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R. Schwed

NYC

Listener Since 2007

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • Exile

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard North Patterson
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1135)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (179)

    David Wolfe's life is approaching an exhilarating peak: a successful San Francisco lawyer, he's about to get married and has been primed for a run for Congress. But when the phone rings and he hears the voice of Hana Arif, the Palestinian woman with whom he had a passionate affair in law school, he begins a completely unexpected journey. The day after Hana's call, the prime minister of Israel is assassinated by a suicide bomber - and soon Hana is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder.

    John says: "Exile"
    "Excellent in All Respects"
    Overall

    As others have said, this book, as well as the narration, set a new standard in excellence.

    As a fan of Richard North Patterson, I actually had the hardcover of "Exile" on my bookshelf, unread, for many months, somewhat daunted by its length and its background of Middle East politics.
    I decided to see whether I could access the book more easily through the audio version, and I'm glad I did.

    The story is both gripping and educational -- without the education ever over-intruding and hitting you over the head.

    He does a great job of presenting both Israeli and Palestinian views of the Middle East conflict without proselytizing and without, it seems overtly choosing sides -- which, I can understand, may trouble some. But if you end up thinking some portrayals of characters are overly-sympathetic (and I did occasionally), I think it is ultimately a reflection of Patterson's success in conveying the very complexities of the Middle East players -- as well as the dangers and limitations to all of us from either pigeonholing or stereotyping them.

    The story, while being thoroughly entertaining on all levels (plot, characterizations, love interests) makes you think about myriad perspectives on the conflict.

    Then there's the narration! Let me just say that it was superb all the way through. I've looked for more of the narrator's books and am simply sorry that there do not appear to be that many.

    Definitely a 5-star recommendation in all respects.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Echelon Vendetta: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Stone
    • Narrated By Firdous Bamji
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (927)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (112)

    When CIA "fixer" Micah Dalton's friend and mentor turns up dead, he's put on a collision course with a killer who has a penchant for intricate knife-work and Native American mysticism, a sadist who is killing ex-CIA agents. The victims are hard-nosed field men whose only link to one another seems to be a global surveillance operation called Echelon. The murders appear to be acts of retribution. But for what?

    Carmela08 says: "Excellent spy tale"
    "Great Book -- Get Ready to Buy the Next Two!"
    Overall

    This was a delightful read/listen -- although it is hard to categorize. It is completely a thriller that captivates you, but it is really the characterizations -- the lead protagonist, Micah Dalton, and a wonderful surrounding/supporting cast -- that raises the book to well above the norm.

    I finished this late one night and immediately downloaded Stone's next -- The Orpheus Deception -- without missing a beat. When that was done, I immediately ordered his third.

    The only other Audible series I've done that with is Nelson DeMille's John Corey series -- whose books are different in tone -- their humor is more overt, slightly less sophisticated -- but equally entertaining so that you always want to listen and never want them to end. Stone is like that too, but more subtle.

    The narrator was excellent. I was sorry to see he didn't do Stone's second book, but the narration there is at least very good (not quite excellent).

    Five stars in my mind for The Echelon Vendetta. This is a thinking-person's thriller (and, so you know my bias, I would almost equally give one or two stars to almost everything James Patterson writes...)

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Judgment

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By D.W. Buffa
    • Narrated By Dennis Predovic
    Overall
    (394)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (85)

    When Judge Calvin Jeffries is found murdered in a courthouse parking lot, the crime shocks the community, but justice is swift. Soon a second judge is stabbed to death. Attorney Joseph Antonelli agrees to defend the accused. What he discovers challenges everything he knows about crime and punishment...and himself. Also available abridged.

    Michael says: "Buffa's Best"
    "A Painful Listen"
    Overall

    I'm sorry, but this was one of the worst audible listens ever. The problem was not the legal mystery and courtroom plot, each of which had its moments and could maintain my interest, but the horribly adolescent love subplot, which went on forever and was terribly written. It literally made me wince to listen to the sophomoric yearnings and repeated declarations of love and longing.
    Separately from the love subplot, Buffa also has a tendency to go on and on with extraneous descriptions that unnecessarily slow down even the interesting parts of the book.
    Maybe the abridged version would have been better, but I had to force myself to finish this one up.
    If you want a 5 star listen IMHO, try Richard North Paterson's "Exile" instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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