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Austin, TX USA | Member Since 2014

  • 10 reviews
  • 102 ratings
  • 964 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2015

  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "Characters lacking"

    The author's command and use of language is remarkable, and the world created in this book is fascinating. The reader has a deep, soothing voice, and eloquently expresses the pauses along with the passages. The premise of the novel (truly a cautionary tale) is well presented and developed.

    The problem (in my opinion) is the characters. As a whole they lack depth. They never developed into true humans with morals, empathy, and insight-- even though they are in the middle of a truly apocalyptic event.

    The story presented many opportunities for deep character development-- but they remained one-dimensional, trapped forever in an adolescent narcissistic funk.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Art in America

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ron McLarty

    Art in America tells the story of unknown writer Steven Kearney, an aging man whose lifelong commitment to his art finally brings him to homelessness in NYC. Then miraculously he receives an invitation to become playwright in residence of a troubled Rocky Mountain town.

    TypicalConsumer says: "Another great tale from Ron McLarty"
    "Another great tale from Ron McLarty"

    Mr. McLarty is a master of characterization. His quirky, endearing characters come to life for me - I can both see and hear them as I read his words. He is also a truly gifted narrator. So I end up with the novel in two forms - printed and audible- first reading, then listening. The best of both worlds.
    The book jacket has a review likening this novel to A Confederacy of Dunces and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. ACoD is one of my all-time favorite books, but there is no likeness between the two protagonists, other than large heads and weight. What the two novels do have in common is well-drawn characters, with many eccentricities. The allusion to OFOtCN befuddles me. There is no Nurse Ratched, no oppression, no cohersion. The only commonality I found between the three novels, is that they are very good reads.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Say You Love Me

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Johanna Lindsey
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Her parents' death has left Kelsey Langton penniless - and responsible for the well-being of her younger sister, Jean. Kelsey knows that the only way to avert their doom is to allow herself to be sold at auction. Resigned to becoming the plaything of a well-heeled gentleman, she gets more than she bargained for.

    XYZPDQ says: "Something Different"
    "Characters' voices wrong"

    The story is fine - and actually the narrator's voice is quite pleasant when in Narrator mode - but when speaking in any of the male characters' voices, he sounds much too old - and privileged - and snotty. Makes it hard to like the males.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Confederacy of Dunces

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By John Kennedy Toole
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The hero of John Kennedy Toole's incomparable, Pulitzer Prize-winning comic classic is one Ignatius J. Reilly, "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter". His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures.

    Jon says: "Well Done"
    "Bumptious, Noxious, Fractious Ignatius J. Reilly"

    "When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."
    - Jonathan Swift

    'Confederacy' is one of my top-5 favorite books - both in print and audio. I just finished my second 'listen', and am amazed at the book's ability to make me laugh and wince in equal measure. To those who have tried this book but put it down unfinished, give it another chance. It is meant to be experienced in a visceral way, much like New Orleans itself. Someone once said that upon returning home to NO, he had to find a bowl of great Red Beans & Rice and eat it right away, to get back into the funk of his town. Ignatius Riley is part of that funk, with his troublesome valve, inexorably obese body, and unbelievably overwhelming hubris.

    Mr. Whitener is spot-on in his narration. He truly brings Ignatius to life, is great with the supporting cast of characters, and the ironic tone of his Narrator is perfect.

    If only the Coen brothers would get the movie rights, and cast Philip Seymour Hoffman as Ignatius, my world would be complete. Surely their combined genius would please even the dimmest confederacy of dunces.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Bait

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Karen Robards
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It's a business trip that takes attorney Maddie Fitzgerald down to New Orleans, but it's hardly business as usual when a man breaks into her hotel room and tries to kill her. Barely escaping with her life, the sexy, stylish 32-year-old brunette calls the police and finds herself face-to-face with FBI agent Sam McCabe. Unnerved by his questions - and his good looks - Maddie is told she's been targeted by a hired killer, one who has eluded McCabe for years.

    Monique says: "Exciting Read!"
    "Didn't shut it off, but..."

    ... I won't ever revisit this book/listen. The storyline is fine, but awfully 'wordy' for audio. Quite a lot of non-atmospheric filler lines - taking 50 words to express what needs only 10. That plus the reader reading 'unsub' as an acronym (U-N-S-U-B) instead of the abbreviation for 'unidentified subject' (read as one word - unsub) is quite distracting. Hearing multiple FBI agents referring to the U-N-S-U-B is funny, but surely a mistake that an editor should have caught.
    All that said, I didn't turn it off. I did want to know which of the two possible killers was after the main character.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Coraline

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close. The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

    Melise says: "Scary, but interesting for both adults and kids"
    "purely Gaiman"

    The only thing better than reading a Gaiman story is hearing the author himself read it. Coraline herself is resilient, loyal and courageous -- everything a girl should be.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • It's In His Kiss

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Julia Quinn
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Raised by an unloving father who told him he was actually a bastard, Gareth St. Clair, the second son of a viscount, has plenty of private demons to battle. Years later, after ironically becoming the heir to the St. Clair title when his older brother dies, Gareth still doesn't understand why his father, Lord St. Clair, hasn't publicly denounced his position in society.

    A says: "Solid historical romance"
    "Pure fun"

    This will be a definite re-visit in future -- the narrator is splendid.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Daughters of Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Barbara Erskine
    • Narrated By Barbara Erskine

    As the Romans invade Britannia, the princess of the great tribe of the Brigantes watches the enemies of her people come ever closer. In the present day, historian Viv Lloyd Rees has immersed herself in the legends surrounding the Celtic queen.

    Kathy says: "Too much work"
    "recommend w/reservations"

    The plot of this book is compelling, and the narrator's voice perfect for the part -- actually 'parts', as she clearly distinguishes between characters with her distinctive accents.
    What the book lacks is decent editing. A good going-through with red pen, cutting superfluous scenes and repetitive conversations, would keep the storyline moving. Instead it has serious drag points -- how many times does one need to hear a character whine about then doubt their visions -- twice would have done for me. The characters repeatedly have huge flashes of anger or remorse, followed by apparent short-term memory loss, as they repeat their actions 24 hours later.
    The author herself suffers from a lack of focus, as the characters she starts the book with seem to regress to adolescence emotionally.
    A really good editor is needed here -- both to eliminate redundancy and help the author stay on track.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reincarnationist

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By M. J. Rose
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel

    A bomb in Rome, a flash of bluish-white light, and photojournalist Josh Ryder's world exploded. From that instant nothing would ever be the same.

    As Josh recovers, his mind is increasingly invaded with thoughts that have the emotion, the intensity, the intimacy of memories. But they are not his memories. They are ancient...and violent. A battery of medical and psychological tests can't explain Josh's baffling symptoms. And the memories have an urgency he can't ignore, pulling him to save a woman named Sabina, and the treasures she is protecting.

    TypicalConsumer says: "melodramatic tedium"
    "melodramatic tedium"

    Of the 100s of audiobooks I've listened to, some I've loved and others not so much -- but never have I felt compelled to leave a negative review. However, this one has worked my last nerve.

    I can't tell who is at fault: the author for describing everything ad nauseum (including those emotions that should be intuitive -- the listener knows from the third chapter that the pagan priest and his culture are doomed -- yet after five years of persecution the priest is still dazed and confused), or the reader for giving each syllable equal measure. His tone is redundantly portentious, he pauses at each and every comma and period -- in short, a truly unskilled reading.

    Overall, the book is saved from being flat-out boring only by the dubious distinction of it's irritation factor.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Black: Book One, The Birth of Evil

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ted Dekker
    • Narrated By Rob Lamont

    Fleeing assailants through alleyways in Denver late one night, Thomas Hunter narrowly escapes to the roof of an industrial building. Then a silent bullet from the night clips his head and his world goes black. When he awakes, he finds himself in an entirely different reality, a green forest that seems more real than where he was. Every time he tries to sleep, he wakes up in the other world, and soon he truly no longer knows which reality is real.

    Andrew says: "Narrator speaks at double speed without pauses…"

    While the author's descriptions of the Green and Black Forests are beautiful and vivid, the characters in this book are very one-dimensional-- inadvertent 'Everymen'. In addition, some of the necessary plot developments are highly improbable. World leaders gathered to listen to this young prophet-- due to his 'proof' of knowing the future (predicting the winner of the Kentucky Derby)-- would never happen. My third problem with the book itself is its length: the action would have been better served by stricter editing.

    The narrator's monotone didn't add to the story. Although a huge fan of audio books, I will not be purchasing the next two in the trilogy.

    The comparison to C.S. Lewis' gorgeous and engaging Narnia books is, in my opinion, totally unwarranted.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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