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.
Nobody I Know
The "Story" itself
He was terrible -- sounded like Jim Nabors trying to sing.
How about the whole book.
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.
Compelling. Engrossing. Empathic.
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.
Jake and Sadie re-uniting at the end.
Too long for that -- but I know I didn't want it to end.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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