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Kevin

Santa Susana, CA, United States | Member Since 2005

74
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 34 reviews
  • 315 ratings
  • 463 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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3

  • 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"
    "Too Long and a Bit Over-rated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Started strong but the middle of the book got drug down in a love story with fairly sappy dialog. About a fourth of this book could have been tossed and the result would have been a story with far more pace and tension. None of this is particularly unusual for King as he has often been accused of being paid by the word.

    I found the end to be somewhat clunky as well. The "geologic" issues didn't make any sense and, frankly, was little insulting to the listener/reader after this tome.

    The reviews here on Audible for 11-22-63 I find to be somewhat over-rated. It's just OK IMO. I've been through most of King's works and am a fan of his best stuff but he has certainly had his clunkers. This work is dangerously close to being in that latter category.

    Lastly, Craig Wasson's narration is just excellent and I believe is largely responsible for this audio book being as well received as it is.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Informant: A Butcher's Boy Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (554)
    Performance
    (415)
    Story
    (408)

    Married and living in England under the name Michael Schaeffer, the assassin known as the Butcher's Boy is the target of a Mafia hit team sent to exact revenge for his deadly campaign against the Balacontano family years earlier. Schaeffer kills all three attackers, but he knows more will come and needs to find whoever sent them to end it once and for all.

    Darwyn says: "sucker for anything that's the butcher's boy"
    "Fun ride"
    Overall

    Quite entertaining with good narration. Fast paced and to-the-point. I gave it 4 stars because, frankly, this isn't literature. The writing played fairly fast and loose with the logistics of his endeavors, but still enough was there for me to think "ah hah" or "oh, yeah". Good character development which makes this story very engaging.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dance for the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (67)

    When eight-year-old Timothy Decker finds his parents brutally murdered, it's clear the Deckers weren't the intended victims: Timothy's own room---ransacked, all traces of his existence expertly obliterated---is the shocking evidence. Timothy's nanny, Mona, is certain about only one thing. Timmy needs to disappear, fast. Only Jane Whitefield, a Native American "guide" who specializes in making victims vanish, can lead him to safety.

    Cecil says: "*****5 Stars for Thomas Perry"
    "Overated"
    Overall

    I read (listened to) the Butcher's Boy and the Informant before this one and find the ratings for Dance for the Dead too high. The narration is a let down. I have observed, for my own taste, that men can do women's voices pretty well but women fail when portraying men... generally. Beyond this observation, the narrator also sounded like she was reading rather than acting the parts, at times.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9772)
    Performance
    (6741)
    Story
    (6750)

    A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.

    Tom says: "Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering"
    "Overrated"
    Overall

    The writing and narration are quite flippant in style. Considering the subject matters, death, demons, child abuse, drug distribution and addiction, and especially the protagonist's own pending demise, it becomes irritating.

    As with (seemingly) all stories with magic and witchcraft and supernatural powers, there are lot's of inconsistencies. Once these are noticed it's too much of an offense to overcome, for me, and I often think the author uses "magic" as a cheap trick similar to the literary dream sequence.

    Fantasy, the occult, and the supernatural are big right now. I guess I'm not that trendy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2362)
    Performance
    (1110)
    Story
    (1115)

    Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”

    Tina says: "Another wonderful Bryson"
    "In a Different League"
    Overall

    This is not in the same league as "A Short History of Nearly Everything". Though Bryson uses objects in different rooms of his "rectory" as jumping off points, he quickly and consistently starts his verbal meanderings and the listener is left wondering "what was the topic again"?

    A lot about England's Victorian gilded age and English class, or lack thereof, and their class system. Overall the book doesn't seem very focused and we really don't learn much about the objects that populate our homes and their back story.

    Still, pretty good because, hey, it's Bryson. Moderately recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Faithful Spy

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Alex Berenson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2094)
    Performance
    (740)
    Story
    (733)

    John Wells is the only American CIA agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda. Since before the attacks in 2001, Wells has been hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, biding his time, building his cover.

    Margaret says: "Faithful Spy"
    "Tight"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this well paced "page turner". It wasn't so black and white regarding who the characters were and what motivates them, which I appreciated. The narrator, Robertson Dean, was ideal.
    I'll be listening/reading to more by Alex Berenson.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17638)
    Performance
    (7562)
    Story
    (7589)

    Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered.

    David says: "irritatingly engrossing"
    "Repetitive and Rife with Useless info"
    Overall

    Read this on your iMac with 24" glossy display, 250gb Hardrive, 4gb of RAM, with a Super Mouse and 4 USB2 ports.

    Lot's of superfluous descriptions like this in the book, with an emphasis on computer hardware that lends NOTHING to the story. At times the repetition of, and actual wording, describing the morose and distant main character were so redundant that I actually thought the downloaded recording was faulty. This happened three or four times when I thought I was hearing a passage I'd already listened to only to wait it out to find new dialog letting me know the recording was OK.
    Some of the sexual explicitness was the very definition of gratuitous. This author likes very much to write about sex and sexually charged language. I'm not a prude mind you, it just doesn't advance the story and is boring.
    Where was the editor?!

    At times it is quite good, but the writer's lack of discipline ultimately let's the book down. I give it a luke warm 3 stars.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles on Molokai

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By John Tayman
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    In 1866, 12 men and women and one small child were forced aboard a leaky schooner and cast away to a natural prison on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. Two weeks later, a dozen others were exiled, and then 40 more, and then 100 more. Tracked by bounty hunters and torn screaming from their families, the luckless were loaded into shipboard cattle stalls and abandoned in a lawless place where brutality held sway. Many did not have leprosy, and most of those who did were not contagious.

    Christine says: "Interesting"
    "Just OK"
    Overall

    An interesting story that needed better writing and narration. The scenes and characters seem, at times, disjointed. Though the author tried, I didn't get a strong sense of being in Hawaii through his writing. The narrator was one dimensional, though competent.
    It also needed to be a bit more concise and seemed about two hours too long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Furies of Calderon: Codex Alera, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3651)
    Performance
    (2349)
    Story
    (2384)

    In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal - 15-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos - when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies - Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.

    Eric says: "great fantasy series"
    "A Little "Too""
    Overall

    A few too many protracted battle scenes. A few too many resurrections. A little too "magical" for my tastes. A little too predictable. I felt a little too old for this book once finished.

    I imagine kids and probably Harry Potter fans really enjoy this however.


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Scarecrow

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2450)
    Performance
    (840)
    Story
    (836)

    Forced out of the Los Angeles Times amid the latest budget cuts, newspaperman Jack McEvoy decides to go out with a bang, using his final days at the paper to write the definitive murder story of his career. He focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to a brutal murder. But as he delves into the story, Jack realizes that Winslow's so-called confession is bogus. The kid might actually be innocent.

    P. Giorgio says: "Depth & Breadth"
    "A Little Too Hollywood"
    Overall

    This was my fourth by Michael Connelly, and my least favorite. I still enjoyed it quite a bit, but "Scarecrow" reads a bit too much like a Hollywood screenplay for my tastes. One (or two) too many convenient life savings by the love interest, like Connelly didn't want to make it too hard for the screenwriter to convert for the movie. A few more than the usual leaps of faith required also.
    I gave it four stars but it's closer to three and a half.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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