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Roger N. Bryan

Ooltewah, TN USA | Member Since 2005

31
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Julia Flynn Siler
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    Set in California's lush Napa Valley and spanning four generations of a talented and visionary family, The House of Mondavi is a tale of genius, sibling rivalry, and betrayal. From 1906, when Italian immigrant Cesare Mondavi passed through Ellis Island, to the Robert Mondavi Corporation's 21st-century battle over a billion-dollar fortune, award-winning journalist Julia Flynn Siler brings to life both the place and the people in this riveting family drama.

    Gerald says: "The House of Mandavi"
    "Disorganized and way too long"
    Overall

    I have only listened to the first six hours but have given up. I can't imagine what 10 more hours would be about. The most interesting thing about the Mondavi story is the legal battle between members of the family and that's over now. The author has done a lot of research, and it supposedly is written from earliest to latest times, but it skips around so much it's hard to keep track of when and where you are in the story. There is also too much unrelated minutiae (do we really need to know what one of the lawyers wore on stage when he performed with his rock band?). Add to this, the reader's pompous tone and his mis-pronunciations make this book barely tolerable. He correctly pronounced the last name Mon-day-vi in the beginning because, according to the author, that's the way the family pronounced their name. After Robert formed his own winery and broke away from his brother and mother, he started pronouncing his surname Mon-dah-vi, and now this reader started
    pronouncing every family member's name as Mon-dah-vi. I don't remember anything saying they all decided on this new pronunciation. Especially egregious, is his mis-pronouncing the name of the prominent town, St. Helena. As a former resident, you couldn't be anywhere in the Napa Valley and not know that the town name is pronounced Saint Hel-eena. All in all, I'm sorry we bought this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kill Writer

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 35 mins)
    • By Nelson Lowhim
    • Narrated By Jim Frankowski
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Jim is a soldier in the most elite unit in the American military. Black ops. Cleans up his country's dirty laundry. He loves it, loves working on his own, loves that he's good at it, loves that he's ridding the world of evil, one bad guy at a time. Missions on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, sniping through gullies and crosswinds. It's tough work, but someone's got to do it. One day he's handed a mission: easy kill. He stares at the folder. He knows the man. A friend. This isn't right. When he sets out to discover the truth, he learns too much, and endangers himself, his country, and the ideals he cherishes in life. Will he survive?

    Roger N. Bryan says: "A New Record Worst"
    "A New Record Worst"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Nobody I Know


    What was most disappointing about Nelson Lowhim’s story?

    The "Story" itself


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He was terrible -- sounded like Jim Nabors trying to sing.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Kill Writer?

    How about the whole book.


    Any additional comments?

    This book combined a pointless story with the worst reader I've ever listened to. I gave it one star only because it was cheap and, thank goodness, short.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (16049)
    Performance
    (14207)
    Story
    (14154)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Best Audiobook Ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up 11-22-63 in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling. Engrossing. Empathic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It allowed me to re-visit an earlier period in my life via a masterful tale built on the exploitation of a credible doorway through time.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Jake and Sadie re-uniting at the end.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Too long for that -- but I know I didn't want it to end.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a fan of Stephen King and this has to be, far and away, his very best. Plus the reader is also the best I've heard on Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rough Country: A Virgil Flowers Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1019)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (486)

    Virgil's always been known for having a somewhat active, er, social life, but he's probably not going to be getting too many opportunities for that during his new case. While competing in a fishing tournament in a remote area of northern Minnesota, he gets a call from Lucas Davenport to investigate a murder at a nearby resort.

    Ruby says: "Extraordinary Plot Twists"
    "Best Listen in Quite Awhile"
    Overall

    This is the most completely entertaining audiobook I've listened to in quite some time. It's a well-plotted story played-out by a really likable protagonist and a great mix of supporting characters. The story has considerable humor, dry and otherwise, woven into it which actually enhances the listening experience. The reader is very good -- especially his interpretation of Virgil Flowers. This is audiobook dollars well spent.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8510)
    Performance
    (2763)
    Story
    (2829)

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Frank says: "Not his best"
    "Pretentious Junk!"
    Overall

    Usually the more extensive an author's research, the higher the quality of his/her written product. Alas, this is not the case with the "Lost Symbol." By the time the hundredth, or so, Masonic factoid was revealed, I'd already had enough. True, the information about buildings in Washington DC is interesting but I didn't buy the book as a gazetteer. The premise that the revelation of Masonic "secrets" would constitute an earth-shaking breach of national security is ludicrous and truly pretentious. And, casting the CIA in a domestic cloak-and-dagger role further impugns the story -- such as it is. All in all, this is a really boring book -- but maybe I just can't decode the "wisdom of the ancients" lurking in its pages. Save your money unless you need a sleep-aid.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crush: A Karen Vail Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Alan Jacobson
    • Narrated By Tish Hicks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Heroine and renowned FBI profiler Karen Vail returns in an explosive thriller set against the backdrop of California's wine country. Hoping to find solace from the demons that haunt her, Vail makes her first trip to the Napa Valley. But shortly after arriving, a victim is found in the deepest reaches of an exclusive wine cave, the work of an extraordinarily unpredictable serial killer.

    Jeri says: "loved it"
    "This is the FBI's Best?"
    Overall

    This is the first Karen Vail novel that I've listened to -- and it's going to be my last. The story is OK (not great) and I'm enjoying it only because I lived for a number of years in the Napa Valley. The reader, too, is OK. But Karen Vail! -- how did the FBI ever hire such an irrational, dysfunctional, dim-bulb? The woman's a disaster with barely enough sense to use a Blackberry -- she certainly shouldn't be trusted with firearms. And a note to the reader -- it's St. HelEEna not Helen-ah.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Deadlock

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Iris Johansen
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Emily Hudson is an artifacts expert for the U.N. who travels to war torn countries attempting to save their priceless treasures from destruction. Her best friend and partner, Joel Levy, is always at her side - until one day her entire crew comes under attack. Joel and Emily are held hostage by a ruthless and evil captor who is determined to find the missing link to a legendary treasure.

    R.E. Vazquez says: "Couldn't wait for it to end"
    "Insipid"
    Overall

    If you're looking for an insipid romance novel in the guise of a less than mediocre suspense thriller -- here's the book for you. Plus, the female protagonist is completely unlikable, and she's "coupled" with a "hero" who keeps dragging the story line into his pants. The reader is OK considering the shallow material she has to work with. All things considered either go with the Romance genre or the Mysteries & Thrillers genre but avoid this mushy alliance of the two.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Long Lost

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (854)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (210)

    Myron hasn't heard from Terese Collins in years. Not since their affair ended with no explanation. There had been no contact since, so her call catches him off guard. She's in Paris, she says, in trouble, and only Myron can help. She tells him a sad story she's never before revealed: a good marriage, her struggles to get pregnant, the happiest moment of her life when her only child was born, the day everything she'd ever loved was taken from her.

    Karen says: "Highly recommend/but prefer Marosz over Weber"
    "Great Story - Great Reader"
    Overall

    "Long Lost" is a great story with a number of interesting "twists." It's a real suspenseful thriller with likable protagonists and humorous quips thrown in along the way. And, the reader is one of the very best I've ever listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blacklist: V. I. Warshawski, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Sara Paretsky
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    This is a story of secrets and betrayals that stretch across four generations - secrets political, social, sexual, financial: all of them with the power to kill. Eager for something physical to do in the spirit-exhausting wake of 9/11, V.I. accepts a request from an old client to check up on an empty family mansion; subsequently surprises an intruder in the dark; and, giving chase, topples into a pond. Grasping for something to hold on to, her fingers close around a lifeless human hand.

    Roger N. Bryan says: "BOOOORING!"
    "BOOOORING!"
    Overall

    Here's an audiobook that really needs to be abridged to separate the story from hours of superfluous blather about the "McCarthy Era." I appreciated the occasional jab at the stupidity of the Patriot Act, but hours spent reliving the (fictitious in the audiobook) trials of the House Unamerican Activities Committee -- boooring, and not much to do with the underlying (and I do mean underlying) story. The story itself is OK (not great) but it's so broken up by McCarthy-stuff, and there are so many characters/names, that you lose track of who's doing what to whom -- to the point you don't really care. Save your money -- Audible has lots of better audiobooks to choose from.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22303)
    Performance
    (8980)
    Story
    (9054)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Needs to be Abridged"
    Overall

    The reader is good. The underlying story is quite good. However, the story is mixed in with much too much (for my tastes) minutiae dealing with 20th Century Swedish politics and social issues. If the Swedish history lesson were to be abridged, the remaining story would be very enjoyable. I did learn, though, that Swedes must have powerful kidneys, enormous bladders, and be wired all the time considering the amount of coffee consumption described in the story.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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