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Michael

ratings
214
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
18
HELPFUL VOTES
4

  • Blood Work

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2205)
    Performance
    (1411)
    Story
    (1421)

    Thanks to a heart transplant, former FBI agent Terrell McCaleb is enjoying a quiet retirement, renovating the fishing boat he lives on in Los Angeles Harbor. But McCaleb's calm seas turn choppy when a story in the "What Happened To?" column of the LA Times brings him face-to-face with the sister of the woman whose heart now beats in his chest.

    Andrew Stone says: "A Darn Good Book"
    "Connelly and Hill deliver again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a great fan of both Michael Connelly and Dick Hill. Connelly moves the story along with just the right amount of character introspection. I just recently saw the movie again and wanted to see how the book and movie track each other. Thankfully, all the basics of the book made it to the movie. There are, however, sufficient differences to make both enjoyable in their own right, whether enjoying the book or movie alone, or enjoying both.

    I usually like to see the movie first because, out of necessity, there are usually things in the book that are left out of the movie and it easier to accept new facts, characters and information than it is to look in vain for them. Also, having seen actors populate the characters, I have a visual reference for the characters when reading the book. Clearly, I think that Terry McCaleb is much younger than Clint Eastwood, but there was still a face to the character.

    Most of Connelly's novels occupy the same universe with characters freely moving between them. Therefore, if you are Harry Bosch fan, you might want to read this before reading 'A Darkness More than Night' as Terry McCaleb figures prominently in that story.

    I thoroughly enjoy Dick Hill's narrations across a number series that I follow. I get a little disappointed when I listen to one of a series' books narrated by another no matter how accomplished they may be. I am just getting into the Jack Reacher series and am pleased to see that he has narrated many of them also. Keep up the Good Work.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Darker Shade of Sweden

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By John-Henri Holmberg
    • Narrated By Carol Monda, Scott Brick, Adam Grupper, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (117)

    Ever since Stieg Larsson shone a light on the brilliance of Swedish crime writing with his acclaimed and best-selling Millennium trilogy, listeners around the world have sought out and devoured the crime fiction of his countrymen (and women), many of whom have proved to be some of the greatest masters of the genre. In this landmark and unique publication, Sweden's most distinguished and best-loved crime writers have contributed stories to an anthology that promises to thrill even the most jaded mystery listener.

    Alcairha says: "Very uneven collection with some gems (see below)"
    "Eh. Not for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is hard to assign a number to a collection of short stories written by different authors and presented by different narrators. Overall, I was disappointed. I found it quite difficult to get involved in such short stories populated, for the most part, by characters that I do not know and ultimately do not care about. Although I have read all of Henning Mankell's and enjoyed them thoroughly, the short story here with Kurt Wallender left me flat. Even Stieg Larsson's tale left me flat.

    There was only one actual detective crime story late in the book. And even that one had a classic ending twist, not entirely unexpected. Perhaps, if I were a more discerning student of the art of writing a short story, I may have enjoyed this book more. But as it is, it is not for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revelation Space

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1582)
    Performance
    (1107)
    Story
    (1112)

    Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason.

    Eoin says: "Defeated"
    "Not for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have enjoyed a number of Alastair Reynolds' novels but not this one. I tried to start it twice and gave up within a chapter or two both times. I don't know if it is the story or the narrator. During extended dialogues, I lost track of who was speaking because of the lack of distinct voices or even accents.

    Second, in written form some authors use a blank line or two between scenes contained within a numbered chapter. That scheme is used in this novel. Then the narration pauses for a few seconds between scenes to signal the listener what is occurring. That is not used in this recording. Suddenly, a new scene has started without any notice; and sometimes without sufficient change in story that the change is not realized for several lines.

    So, with a different narrator and editor, this might be a book worth listening to. Or it may just be one of those books that is easier to read than listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Widow's Strike

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Brad Taylor
    • Narrated By Henry Strozier, Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (109)

    Compared to such luminaries as #1 New York Times best-selling authors Brad Thor and Vince Flynn, Brad Taylor delivers edgy and adrenaline-drenched military thrillers. The Widow's Strike pits Taskforce operator Pike Logan and his partner Jennifer Cahill against a Chechen suicide bomber intent on releasing a deadly, genetically mutated virus. Traversing the globe to stop this catastrophe, the two soon discover there is a more dangerous enemy lurking in the shadows.

    Shawn says: "Only thing I could say is He is a master"
    "Terrible."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Fans of the Grey Man, maybe. The characters are flat as cardboard. No background or personalization whatsoever. I previously complained that Patricia Highsmith spent too much time in developing a character and what they were thinking. This is the other extreme: no character at all.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not at all. I didn't care a bit for the characters, therefore the plot was of no interest. If anything kept me on the edge of my seat it was wondering when I might learn something about the characters.


    What about Henry Strozier and Rich Orlow ’s performance did you like?

    Unlike others, the use of two different narrators, one for first-person and one for third-person, didn't bother me at all. They were adequate but didn't have anything interesting to work with.


    Any additional comments?

    I have worked my way through most books that I didn't care for, but a few, including this one, I just couldn't finish. I really didn't care what happened, so the slog wasn't work the effort. I quit and returned the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hell Is Empty: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1535)
    Performance
    (1291)
    Story
    (1285)

    Spur Award-winner Craig Johnson has garnered critical acclaim for his Walt Longmire mysteries. In this riveting seventh entry, Wyoming’s Absaroka County sheriff, Walt Longmire, is pushed beyond his limits. When three hardened convicts escape FBI custody in a mountain blizzard, an armed psychopath leads them up Big Horn Mountain. As Longmire struggles to track their treacherous ascent, he’ll need all the help he can get from the tribal spirits of the towering summit.

    Susan says: "Transcendental"
    "Johnson and Longmine deliver again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So far I have listened to all the Walt Longmire stories, in order, and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. Notwithstanding the TV portrayal, George Guidall sounds like Walt Longmire should sound. The story leaves one wondering whether a man could withstand the hardships encountered in this tale. However, Longmire is the man to do it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gun Seller

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Hugh Laurie
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (177)

    Cold-blooded murder just isn't Thomas Lang's cup of tea. Offered a bundle to assassinate an American industrialist, he opts to warn the intended victim instead - a good deed that soon takes a bad turn. Quicker than he can down a shot of his favorite whiskey, Lang is bashing heads with a Buddha statue, matching wits with evil billionaires, and putting his life (among other things) in the hands of a bevy of femme fatales. Up against rogue CIA agents, wannabe terrorists, and an arms dealer looking to make a high-tech killing, Lang's out to save the leggy lady he has come to love...and prevent an international bloodbath to boot.

    connie says: "May he write on!"
    "OKAY, but ......"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    a little disappointing. The narrator was trying to be cute but came of too cutesy with all the aside and snarky comments. At times I found the story hard to follow and finally gave up trying to follow along. I just accepted what was going on and rode the story to the end. Don't think I'll try his next book, if it ever gets published. Maybe Hugh should spend his time pursuing his other activities, for which he is more talented??

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Terminal World

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (684)
    Performance
    (434)
    Story
    (439)

    Spearpoint, the last human city, is an atmosphere-piercing spire of vast size. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different---and rigidly enforced---level of technology. Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue.

    DAVID says: "This ain't your fathers Alastair Reynolds"
    "Solid Alastair Reynolds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While it started a little slow, that was good because it continued to build right up to the end. In fact, even though the author says this is a standalone book, I can see, actually would like to see a sequel. At the end I found myself wanting to know what laid ahead for the characters. Well worth the time to listen to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17930)
    Performance
    (16223)
    Story
    (16349)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Ain't no Hunger Games"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was disappointed in the book, even after reading many of the negative comments. Thought I would give it a try, after all, someone wants to make a movie out of it. Ah, well, live and learn. If you like teenage romance stories, you may enjoy this book. However, if you prefer books like the Hunger Game series, then this is not for you. The book lacks the level of conflict, pathos, grit & grime, and subtly that good fiction needs. The target audience is teenage girls, not thinking adults.

    Emma Galvin sounds like a young girl. Maybe that is good considering this is simply a teenage romance written in the first person. But she is not the person to narrate an action story, which Divergent is trying to be (at least at some level).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (103)

    Pop star Jason Taverner is the product of a top-secret government experiment that produced a selection of genetically enhanced people 40 years ago. Unusually bright and beautiful, he's a television idol beloved by millions - until one day, all records of his identity inexplicably disappear. Overnight, he has gone from being a celebrity to a being a man no one seems to recognize. And in a police state, having no proof of his existence is enough to put his life in danger.

    Shawn says: "One of Philip K. Dick's Best"
    "Not Mr. Dick’s best unreality"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One thing that Philip K. Dick is known for is his ability to make the reader question reality. For example, what is the reality and what is stimulated imagination in “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale?” In “Impostor” who is human and who is not? Dick also presents us with conundrums in “Minority Report” and “The Adjustment Bureau.” But he usually leaves the issue unanswered, letting us postulate and debate what really happened. “Flow my Tears …” starts off with PKD’s usual ‘what’s going on’ approach but then tries to explain what happened in the end along with an epilogue?! Not classic PKD and not a classic story. Sorry.

    I usually enjoy Scott Brick, but I’ve gotten so used to him in the Clive Cussler novels that he just didn’t sound right in this story. Nothing against Scott, I just think this story would have benefitted from a different narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • FREE The Gray Man

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (1320)
    Performance
    (1165)
    Story
    (1188)

    Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man - a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness. Now, he is going to prove that for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living-and killing to stay alive.

    Rollin says: "Gripping, unremitting action"
    "Okay, if you can suspend disbelief"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had previously bought the third book in the series, Ballistic, on sale. It was so bad, I sent it back without finishing the book. The only reason I had this book is because it was on sale for free. I listened to it all the way through. Unlike Ballistic, The Gray Man develops a story around the Gray Man fully populated by other characters that have some interest in their own right. While the the number of unbelievable situations the Gray Man must escape from is staggering, at least the scene shifts from him to his antagonists, giving the reader some insight to their actions and motives, as contrived as they may be. It's not just a manhunt for a manhunt's sake as Ballistic seemed to be.

    Jay Snyder does a workman job as the narrator, using different voices and accents for the various characters. His reading of the highly charges action sequences is quite good.

    I don't expect to try any other Gray Man novels unless they are offered at the remarkably low price of $0.00.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ringworld

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Larry Niven
    • Narrated By Tom Parker
    Overall
    (2925)
    Performance
    (1587)
    Story
    (1614)

    Welcome to Ringworld, an intermediate step between Dyson Spheres and planets. The gravitational force created by a rotation on its axis of 770 miles per second means no need for a roof. Walls 1,000 miles high at each rim will let in the sun and prevent much air from escaping. Larry Niven's novel, Ringworld, is the winner of the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 1970 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1972 Ditmars, an Australian award for Best International Science Fiction.

    Kennet says: "Genuinely Creative"
    "Boring. Missing something"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Totally uninteresting characters. Pointless narrative. Some say this is more about the science than the characters. However, I find a story lacking without characters that are interesting or at least doing something interesting. I was so un-enthralled with the story that I frequently found myself not paying attention. But I listened to the end to find out what happened and Spoiler Alert?? nothing happened. The only reason I did not return the book is because I did listen to the end.

    As to the narrator, again quite uninteresting. Unlike better narrators, his characters all spoke in so nearly the same voice that it was difficult at times to determine who was speaking. But not the worst narrator, by far, so gave him a middling three stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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