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El Cerrito, CA, USA | Member Since 2004

  • 7 reviews
  • 97 ratings
  • 450 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • One Drop of Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Thomas Holland
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    As the director of the U.S. Army's Central Identification Lab in Hawaii (CILHI), Robert Dean "Kel" McKelvey has made a career solving some of the country's most complex identification cases. Though fast approaching emotional meltdown, Kel now faces his thorniest case yet: the recovery of Jimmie Carl Trimble, a soldier from Arkansas who died a hero's death in Vietnam 40 years ago.

    Barbara says: "Pretty good for what it was..."
    "Great story, even better narrator"

    This story really pulled me in, and kept me there. I had a hard time putting it aside. The two main characters are a team that I hope find their way together again. The narrator brings them to life, as he does all the various characters that inhabit this novel. I saw the ending coming down the road a bit, but there were still enough surprises to keep me hanging on. Time very well spent.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Being Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jim Crace
    • Narrated By Virginia Leishman

    Jim Crace has been called "one of the brightest lights in contemporary British fiction" by The New York Times Book Review. His novels have won a Whitbread Prize, an E.M. Forster Award, the Guardian Fiction Award, the GAP International Prize for Literature, and have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Far-ranging in its imagery, Being Dead is a provocative examination of mortality.

    J. Cline says: "Contemplating Death"
    "A hard book to characterize"

    This book was a raft of contradictions for me.

    It was gorgeously written, and nicely narrated. Yet, it took me longer than usual to get through it (I kept falling asleep.) It is the world's strangest bedtime story. It is an amazing contemplation on mortality, connection to humanity, and connection to nature. It's lovely, horrifying, engrossing, and boring all at the same time.

    I highly recommend it to anyone who isn't looking for a standard listen, a predictable story, an average plot. There isn't much plot here (yet it's the world's biggest plot). People who enjoy a story that isn't the ordinary will like this. Others... well, you see their one-star reviews.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Nightlife

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier

    When the cousin of Los Angeles underworld figure Hugo Poole is found shot to death in his Portland, Oregon, home, police find nothing at the scene of the crime except several long strands of blonde hair hinting that a second victim may have been involved. Hotel security tapes from the victim's last vacation reveal an out-of-focus picture of a young blond woman entering and leaving his room. Could she also be a murder victim?

    Barbara says: "Just what you want in a book like this..."
    "A great listen, until the end..."

    This book is such an engaging listen--great characters, interesting and complex twists, great development of the story.

    Then, there's the end. I was fully expecting a 5-star experience, and apparently, the timer went off on the author's laundry because all that complex plot got boiled down to a 5-minute, simplistic final scene which cuts (is badly edited?) to a final wrap-up.

    I would *love* this book if it weren't for the incredibly abrupt and unsatisfying end. But, I'll give the author another try, and the narrator is first-rate.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Everyman

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The hero of Everyman is obsessed with mortality. As he reminds himself at one point, "I'm 34! Worry about oblivion when you're 75." But he cannot help himself. He is the ex-husband in three marriages gone wrong. He is the father of two sons who detest him, despite a daughter who adores him. A masterful portrait of one man's inner struggles, Everyman is a brilliant showcase for one of the world's most distinguished novelists.

    JOHN says: "Full Frontal Roth"
    "Rich, heartbreaking"

    I would give this a 5 except I find the narrator to have a bit of a halting style that distracted me from time to time.

    But, the story itself is terrific. It is a bit short, but then, so's life, and that's the point here. (And besides, it was the perfect length for a 5-hour flight yesterday.) The reflections on mortality, life, failure to be the person we expect and hope to be, all of these ideas make this a brilliant listen--one that is close to the bone sometimes.

    A keeper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Protect and Defend

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The action begins in the heart of Iran, where billions of dollars are being spent on the development of a nuclear program. No longer willing to wait for the international community to stop its neighboring enemy, Israel launches a creative and daring operation that leaves a radioactive tomb in the middle of Iran's second largest city. An outraged Iranian government publicly blames both Israel and the United States and demands retribution.

    Warren says: "Best book I've listened to this year"
    "A disappointment"

    Though a fan of V. Flynn and Mitch Rapp, I was disappointed in this one. Flynn seems to skimp on the characters and go on at length about procedural. Although he takes pains to make some of the Arabs "good guys," in fact, the characters all come off as a bit cardboard.

    I didn't expect great literature, but there were no surprises here. Didn't care much what happened to any of the characters, and was bored by much of the description.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Innocent

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Some mistakes can change your life forever. For Matt Hunter, that mistake came in one terrible moment when his attempt to help a friend and stop a fight resulted in an accidental death. Matt was convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison. Time that his peers spent in college, Matt endured behind bars.

    Amber says: "Exciting!"
    "Same Same, but not different"

    If it hadn't been for Scott Brick's reading, this might have been a 2-star listen for me. Although I am typically a fan, *The Innocent* didn't do it for me. Some of the characters were one-dimensional cliches, and there were too many implausible coincidences. The protagonist seems so dopy that I didn't care that much what happened to him or his wife. I couldn't wait to get through with it to move on to something more engaging.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Breathtaker

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Alice Blanchard
    • Narrated By Peter Coyote

    A howling funnel of destruction screams across the prairie and slams into the sleepy town of Promise, Oklahoma. As the mammoth twister splinters homes, shreds crops, and tosses cars through the air, only three of the town's terrified residents know that an even more malevolent force has come to torment them...and they will not live to tell anyone.

    Margaret says: "Breathtaking!"

    This is an edge-of-your seat thriller, with excellent character development. The author artfully takes you through twists and turns, and it has an ending that will suck you in (pun intended).

    The parallel, yet different lives of the villain and the hero really show the results of child abuse. Similar lives, but such divergent outcomes.

    Peter Coyote is an excellent narrator, and the sound effects added to the dark and forboding atmosphere that is built so convincingly. I do hope that more of Alice Blanchard's books will be made availble in audio format. They're perfect for the medium.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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