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CCCii

SF Bay Area, USA | Member Since 2009

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 363 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5375)
    Performance
    (4549)
    Story
    (4560)

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Tim says: "Brilliant Sequel"
    "A great tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This isn't "literature," but it's a a darn good tale. Even better than darn good. Though the characters don't have great depth, they are mostly icons rather than real people, they are interesting. The plot soars, dives and twists against a historical background. As an American it's interesting to get a British perspective (along with other European) on WWII.
    Though there are more than a few overly convient coincidences, the plot is very enjoyable and hard to turn away from.

    I throughly enjoyed this book, as well as the first in the series. This one is slightly better than the first, but not by much. It was good enough that I'm already looking forward to next.

    The reader did a fine job, though I think he made some of the strong women sound weaker than I imagined them being. He does an admirable job with the men and their accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cairo Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (278)

    Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed. Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated.

    Darwin8u says: "In the widening gyre"
    "Complex and interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed the endless web of complexity in this well-read story. I'll be getting this authors other books!
    It's also wonderful to have an up-to-date, post 9/11 spy tale that shows this kind of novel still has relevance in a even after the cold war.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nemesis

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Thor Knai
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (584)
    Performance
    (428)
    Story
    (415)

    Captured on closed-circuit television: A man walks into an Oslo bank, puts a gun to a cashier’s head, and tells her to count to 25. When he doesn’t get his money fast enough, he pulls the trigger. The young woman dies—and two million Norwegian kroner disappear without a trace.

    Richard says: "What a difference a narrator makes"
    "Don't believe the other reviews. Great narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've enjoyed very much Jo Nesbø books narrated by others. This one, however, is even better. I see a lot of other listeners don't like him, but I think he brings a unique flavor and irony to this complex, engaging story. I liked Thor Knai so much that as soon as I click post for this review I'm going to see what else he's done.
    The story? Complex, detailed, full of Nesbø tricks and twists. If you like his other work, you'll love this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By John Lescroart
    • Narrated By Eric Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (100)

    Raised by loving adoptive parents, San Francisco private investigator Wyatt Hunt never had an interest in finding his birth family-until he gets a chilling text message from an unknown number: "How did ur mother die?"

    Philo-sophia says: "An okay read"
    "Reader wrecks story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think I'm pretty darn excepting of different styles of narration. But this is the worst-read book I downloaded from Audible I've ever listened to. I'll finish it, but I am constantly cringing.

    The voices the reader uses are just awful. They might work for a kids cartoon, but they are over-the-top silly. His women's voices are almost frightening. They all sound like cartoon hags.

    What's even weirder is the protagonist's voice sounds almost like it's being read by a computer. The words are over pronounced and oddly flat most of the time.

    The only time the reader isn't annoying is when he's just reading and not doing characters
    I am having trouble telling how much I think the story itself is good. The reader is such a painful distraction it's hard to give it a fair evaluation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    Overall
    (1147)
    Performance
    (962)
    Story
    (974)

    Many consider this rich social commentary to be Jane Austen's finest novel. It is certainly among her more famous ones. Austen sets her entertaining study of manners and misconceptions against the backdrop of a class-conscious society in 18th-century England.

    Rachel Kapila says: "Flo Gibson Reads You Stories"
    "I was shocked"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audible gave me this as a possible choice of a gift for Valentines Day. I thought I should give it a shot as it was free and it might be "good for me." I was expecting it to be a lot of work to get through as it was written in 1813. I also guessed it was the sort of book English teachers liked and not something I'd actually enjoy.

    How wrong I was. The language is a delight. The narrator supplies just the perfect tone for the dry verbal warfare that takes place between people who can never say what they feel. The story feels so contemporary, and sometimes the underlying social commentary feels downright snarky it would be easy to believe this was written by a modern author about that era.

    I will be downloading Emma with the same narrator.

    I'm shocked with myself. I like science fiction, bad lawyer novels and even some spy tales. But Austen is stunning. Maybe those English teachers do know something after all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tyler Hamilton, Daniel Coyle
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (527)
    Performance
    (465)
    Story
    (470)

    Here is an explosive book that takes us, for the first time, deep inside a shadowy, fascinating, and surreal world of unscrupulous doctors, anything-goes team directors, and athletes so relentlessly driven to succeed that they would do anything—and take any risk, physical, mental, or moral—to gain the edge they needed to win. The Secret Race is a riveting, courageous act of witness from a man who is as determined to reveal the hard truth about his sport as he once was to win the Tour de France.

    Alan says: "Gripping and fascinating"
    "A sad but fascinating story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a real inside look at pro cycling. It's a sad tale of the temptations — perhaps irresistible — to do whatever it takes to be part of that world. Tyler is pretty hard on himself, so it's very believable. It's filled with too many small details to be totally made up.If you care about pro cycling, this is a great book. I couldn't stop listening. It's a bit like a train wreck: You can't not look. If you don't care about pro cycling, you'll be bored to death. (Ask my wife, I played it in the car on a trip.)The reader does a very creditable job. He didn't get in the way and let the story be the star, as he should have.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hostile Witness: The Witness Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Rebecca Forster
    • Narrated By Tara Platt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (149)

    Josie Baylor-Bates returns to the practice of criminal defense when her friend's sixteen-year-old daughter, Hannah, is arrested for the brutal slaying of her step-grandfather-a California Supreme Court justice. Although all evidence points to Hannah's guilt, her family's disturbing relations may play a more significant role than anyone could guess. As Josie unravels a circle of secrets, she discovers a shocking truth that could save her client-or destroy them all...

    Kristine says: "Naration ALMOST spoils good story"
    "I wish I'd skipped this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I like legal thrillers, but this one left a lot to be desired. Flat characters, a plot that was not even close to believable, dialog and courtroom scenes that are stiff and unrealistic work together to make this book near unlistinable.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I'm not sure if the narrator was weak or just didn't have much to work with, but so many times the emphasis in sentences was misplaced I had to go back and listen again.


    Any additional comments?

    I picked this due to good reviews, but apparently I have drastically different tastes.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Scott Westerfeld
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1260)
    Performance
    (988)
    Story
    (993)

    It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. The Leviathan is a living airship, the most formidable airbeast in the skies of Europe.

    Ryan says: "entertaining"
    "First rate story read to perfection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's a YA novel, but a great one. The reader makes it even better. I enjoyed the tale much more than I should have as an adult. It's just fun. I try to point my students who are reading Hunger Games toward this excellent story. It has a wonderful female protagonist, plenty of action and amazing creativity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Land of Laughs

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jonathan Carroll
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (327)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (295)

    Thomas Abbey is a man stuck in a rut. To kick-start his life, he takes a sabbatical to work on a biography of his favorite writer, the mysterious Marshall France. Although Abbey has been warned that France's daughter, Anna, has blocked all previous attempts at her father's biography, he is surprised to find her the soul of small-town hospitality and quite excited about Abbey's proposal. Even stranger than Anna's behavior, though, is the town itself. The people seem to know what their future holds - freak accidents and all - down to the hour.

    Daryl says: "It's Not You - It's Me"
    "Great reader, pretty good story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think the reader made this story better than it really is. He's just really good, without trying to do weird voices or anything. The story itself is rather quirky, but I'm glad I listened to it. Not great, but good.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35940)
    Performance
    (26939)
    Story
    (27324)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
    "I seem to be near alone in not liking this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My English teacher wife asked me to listen to this. I did, because I likes Uglies by Westerfield so much, I thought another YA novel was worth a shot.

    This one is no Uglies. The characters don't ring true, and the plot has holes big enough to drive a truck through. It's just silly.

    That said, apparently young readers, both male and female, love it. My wife reports great pleasure in discovering a lot boys really like this book with a female protagonist. So what do I know know?

    Still, I'd give it a miss. I listened to the whole set and feel like I wasted my time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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