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Michael

ratings
451
REVIEWS
29
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
18
HELPFUL VOTES
9

  • Patricia Highsmith: Selected Novels and Short Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Patricia Highsmith
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Cassandra Campbell
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (139)

    The remarkable renaissance of Patricia Highsmith continues with the publication of Patricia Highsmith: Selected Novels and Short Stories, featuring the groundbreaking novels Strangers on a Train and The Price of Salt as well as a trove of penetrating short stories. With a critical introduction by Joan Schenkar, situating Highsmith’s classic works within her own tumultuous life, this book provides a useful guide to some of her most dazzlingly seductive writing.

    Linda J. Westerschulte says: "Strangers on a Train"
    "Boring."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was the first time I tried Ms. Highsmith. I bought the book for Strangers on a Train because of the movie. The underlying story was fine but I had difficulty staying interested because of the extensive time spent in the protagonist's mind and not pursuing the story. I did listen to all of Strangers because I wanted to see how it ended. I tried one or two of the short stories but could not develop any interest in them. Then, the Price of Salt bored me to tears. I quit within 20 minutes of starting Salt as the story itself had gone nowhere. While she may be considered an accomplished writer, I could not get interested in the characters or story.

    I only gave Stranger on a Train three stars for story. What I did listen to beyond that got zero stars for story.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Mary Kubica
    • Narrated By Lindy Nettleton, Johnny Heller, Tom Taylorson, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14124)
    Performance
    (12567)
    Story
    (12551)

    Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, Colin Thatcher seems at first like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

    Roger says: "Brilliant performances, moving story"
    "Okay but too disjointed for me. "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The switching between past and present drove me to distraction. I generally prefer stories told on a linear fashion.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mary Kubica again?

    Was not overly impressed. I would have to think hard and research the story format before committing. Generally, I prefer a story to move forward without excessive inner thoughts bogging down the flow of the story. Some inner thoughts are necessary but think more Raymond Chandler and less Patricia Highsmith.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The story is narrated by numerous characters and was recorded using several different narrators. They did a wonderful job.


    Do you think The Good Girl needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. Although the story came to a kind abrupt end, I do not think there is anywhere to logically go from there.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Number of the Beast

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne, Emily Durante, Malcolm Hillgartner, and others
    Overall
    (845)
    Performance
    (763)
    Story
    (767)

    The wickedest, most wonderful science fiction story ever created in our - or any - time. Anything can begin at a party in California - and everything does in this bold masterwork by a grand master of science fiction. When four supremely sensual and unspeakably cerebral humans - two male, two female - find themselves under attack from aliens who want their awesome quantum breakthrough, they take to the skies - and zoom into the cosmos on a rocket roller-coaster ride of adventure, danger, ecstasy, and peril.

    Michelle says: "I've been waiting for this book in audio format..."
    "I tried and tried"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    but just could not finish this book. It went on and on and on with little or no point that I saw. Countless expositions containing extensive minutiae having nothing to do with a story. I slogged most of the book but finally gave up. Not only was the story rambling but I could not care less how it came out, assuming it did end with a point. Think I'll stick with his earlier work and let these stories alone.

    The only really good part was the narration. The story is written in first person from each main character's perspective. And each character was uniquely presented by a different narrator. Smart thinking on someone's part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rule of Evidence: JAG in Space, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (314)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (248)

    On maneuvers, the USS Michaelson's sister ship, the USS Maury, is wracked by devastating explosions that destroy its engineering section. Lieutenant Paul Sinclair is overjoyed when his girlfriend, Lieutenant Jen Shen, is found alive--until she faces court-martial for the disaster on the Maury. Paul must find out what really caused the explosions. But the more he learns, the more he faces the terrible possibility that the woman he loves may be guilty of sabotage and murder.

    Jean says: "Military court room drama"
    "A door is not a hatch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As retired lawyer, I enjoy the legal basis of this series. As a retired Coast Guard officer, it drives me to distraction that Jack Campbell calls doors "hatches." Doors are between compartments on the same level while hatches are between compartments on different levels. On ships, doors can be watertight or non-watertight. Maybe the author is trying to make things sound more nautical.

    The story was disappointing because you know what the ending will be as soon as the defendant is charged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spartan Gold

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Clive Cussler
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3570)
    Performance
    (3009)
    Story
    (3007)

    Treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo are exploring the Great Pocomoke Swamp in Delaware when they are shocked to discover a World War II German U-boat. Inside, they find a bottle taken from Napoleon's "lost cellar." Fascinated, the Fargos set out to find the rest of the collection. But another connoisseur of sorts has been looking for the bottle they've just found.

    Deepseabc says: "Action Packed Treasure Hunt"
    "Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the most tedious Cussler I have ever experienced. It just drones on and on without any story progression. Endless chapters about how to get out of one predicament after another. I don't remember the early Dirk Pitt stories being so boring. And I also enjoy the Issac Bell series and the Oregon Files. Maybe it is just the actual author, Grant Blackwood, that needs lots of tweeking. Sending it back and will get something worth listening too.
    Scott Brick is great as ever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Deadly Grind: Vintage Kitchen Mystery Series, # 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Victoria Hamilton
    • Narrated By Emily Woo Zeller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (971)
    Performance
    (878)
    Story
    (876)

    When vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton spies an original 1920s Hoosier brand kitchen cabinet at an estate auction, it's love at first sight. Despite the protests of her sister that the 19th-century yellow-brick house they share in Michigan is already too cluttered with Jaymie's "junk," she successfully outbids the other buyers and triumphantly takes home her Hoosier.

    Byron says: "History can be deadly in this cozy mystery!"
    "Tried, but not for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Went through half the book before I gave up and returned it. Guess I like a story that goes somewhere sooner than later. You know, gets to the point and, dare I say, gets to the action. I don't really care for lengthy trips into extensive side issues. This story seems to be as much a romance and as a mystery. Just not for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    Overall
    (6469)
    Performance
    (5009)
    Story
    (5034)

    In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.

    Gerald says: "Very Good Interpretation"
    "Not my anticipated Heinlein"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I usually expect Heinlein science fiction to have some fun and adventure. While this novel is set on the moon that leads to a science fiction patina, it is really a social science novel. The story has a lot more to do with subversion and rebellion than science. The colonies of the moon are being oppressed by the huge consolidated powers of the earth. The moon is not going to take it any more. This leads to subversive conspiracies and resistance leading to outright rebellion for independence. Sound familiar?

    Even though I was disappointed in the story, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Lloyd James. His accents for moon-speak seemed very natural.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Favorite Science Fiction Stories, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick, Robert Silverberg, Fritz Leiber, and others
    • Narrated By Jim Roberts, Ben Hurst, Cindy Hardin Killavey
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (107)

    This first volume of Favorite Science Fiction Stories features "the best of the best" from the Golden Age of science fiction. It includes 21 stories by, among others, Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert Silverberg, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Philip K. Dick, Edmond Hamilton, Jack Williamson , Alan Edward Nourse, Fritz Leiber, Frederik Pohl, Fredric Brown, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., and others.

    Joe says: "Very nice collection"
    "Overall disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Favorite Science Fiction Stories, Volume 1 better?

    Perhaps the stories were just too dated? Certainly better narration would have been a significant improvement. I'm not a science fiction aficionado, but I do enjoy good science fiction, such as Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clark, some of Alastair Reynolds and especially John Scalzi. And I really like Philip K. Dick, especially when he is messing with our minds about what is real and what is not.


    What could the authors have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    It's not necessarily the authors but the editors. Not sure who really thought these were favorite stories. Whose favorites were they? Maybe my idea of good science fiction is not the same as the editors in whatever year they made the selection.


    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    The narration was terrible. The primary narrator was the definition of one-dimensional. He didn't even make an effort to have the characters sound different or distinctive. I had difficulty following who was talking during conversations.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really. While there were a couple of stories that the listener can become invested in, overall they seemed unimaginative or predictable.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe a short story format is just not for me in audible format.

    0 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
    (253)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (219)

    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
    (3442)
    Performance
    (2805)
    Story
    (2805)

    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
    (634)
    Performance
    (572)
    Story
    (569)

    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.

    Jonathan F. says: "Getting even better"
    "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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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