Denver, CO, USA
Australian Douglas Mawson set out on a journey in 1912 to explore the Antarctic, with a goal of scientific observations and specimen gathering. It was a year long undertaking with three other members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), Belgrave Ninnis and Xavier Mertz. Both of these men died during the expedition, one falling into a crevasse, and the other succumbed to spoiled meat. Mawson continues on alone and encounters extreme situations as he tries to find his way back to camp.
The story is comprised from journals kept by Mawson and the two other men from that perilous journey. It is definitely a raw, chilling account of the hardships they went through. Their supplies were insufficient, their clothing not warm enough, and the food scarce. As they trekked through the ice and blistering winds, most of their dogs were lost as they became too weak or sick to continue. The animals definitely did not fare well from the very beginning-and met with unpleasant ends- as a warning to tender-hearted readers.
Overal it is a good book for those who enjoy this kind of historical adventure.
So why did I only give it three stars? I didn't care for the narration, as it was too much the same type of monotone throughout. Also, the book was confusing at times, as it jumped from one event to another without enough of a break in narration or explanation about what was going on. I had to rewind several times just to clarify the content.
I could see myself enjoying this story much better in book form.
I loved this book. Police procedurals can all start sounding like one another, but Nesbo brings such a fresh approach with Harry Hole--and his writing skills are so unique--can't wait for the next one.
Of course I miss Robin Sachs wonderful voice, but John Lee does a pretty good job. I can't really think of another narrator who could take over for Robin and still give us the same rough, tough guy voice.
If you have not listened to the series on Harry Hole before, I recommend starting with the first book and continuing in order. When I listened to my first one, it was already far into the story, so I have had to back track somewhat. You will benefit from starting at the beginning, but just remember, they get better - much better - as they progress.
One of the most disastrous events in history, 700 people were killed on a mostly clear September day, without ever knowing what hit them, when the Great Hurricane of 1938 slammed into the northern edge of the East Coast.
How could a hurricane have hit while people were playing and relaxing on the beach? Weren't there any warning systems to notify everyone to evacuate or get to higher ground. As it turns out, NO --in 1938 forecasting the weather was a primitive art at best. It's hard to imagine when our constant modern day reporting shows us film on television long before deadly storms reach us. We are even able to watch storms on the other side of the world due to our high-tech media outlets.
As a comparison, Hurricane Andrews in 1992 was perhaps the single most destructive hurricane in U.S. history. Even though It followed almost the same path as the GH of '38, however, only 20 people died. It had been tracked by radar for days before it hit, and due to non-stop broadcasting, thousands were safely evacuated.
This book is captivating in the personal stories of those who lived through the event. People went about there business planning weddings, golfing, shopping, and working, and not the least bit concerned about the possible rain coming later that day.
GH '38 hit the coast at a vulnerable time. After the Great Depression, most people were struggling to keep food on the table. Even the well-to-do trimmed back on their extravagant lifestyles, and certainly didn't flaunt their wealth, thinking it unseemly. Everyone suffered equally, rich and poor. It was a different era, and this author does a great job of putting you right in the middle of it.
The author of this medical mystery is an actual board-certified urologist . As a result of his background, the medical procedures are all very graphic and realistic, and hospital protocol probably exactly what you would expect. The plot isn't a completely new idea, and the writing style is much like Robin Cook or Michael Palmer. There are some good tense moments of suspense which could have really built up as the story progressed- unfortunately, it takes a big fall. I never liked or cared about what happened to our main character, as he was made out to be a thick-headed, arrogant, and weak individual.
I love medical thrillers, and am willing to suspend some realism, however could not get past how our main character becomes immature and ridiculous when faced with his situation. He is supposed to be self-assured, intelligent, smart, an extremely quick learner, and admired by all who know him. It doesn't follow that we should believe the decisions he makes.
******************************Big Spoiler Alert Follows**********************************************
Chief Resident Steve Mitchell, is on track to take on a big job at University Hospital. When his patients begin to die, his glowing reputation quickly declines, and instead of being promoted, he may lose his job. There are a lot of ways to die in a hospital- natural causes from the original injury or accident, infection, doctor error, etc. Although his patient's deaths are seemingly the result of something that was likely unavoidable, the real reason is---gasp!--- murder.
This "smart" Chief Resident is finally made aware of who the murderer is, and is being blackmailed by this person due to another matter which could ruin his career. The murderer makes him aware that more deaths will occur, and here is where the unbelievable part starts----he decides to just stay silent to avoid losing his marriage and job!!----- He does take some lame steps to try and figure out what to do by telling a co-worker about what is going on. As the storyline becomes more bizarre, the co-worker simply believes his story (no proof required) and says he will figure out what to do. He won't tell this Chief Resident what steps he is taking, as it may be too dangerous for him to know--and wouldn't you know it, the co-worker is also murdered (but of course, it is made to look like something else)
So now what to do? What did the co-worker find out? Chief Resident figures out a code from prior conversations with helpful co-worker, follows it up and is given more secret codes to unravel before he can finally figure out a way to trap the murderer at his/her own game. Why all the secret codes? No reason.
I'll stop here because after reading this story I was completely frustrated, and writing a review about it makes me even more so! I feel like people are entitled to know more before possibly wasting a credit - wish I had known!
This is the first book I ever reviewed where I felt compelled to include a big spoiler alert.
It's hard to know which book I liked better--Speaks the Nightbird was the first in the series, and is one of the top 20 favorites in my library. The Queen of Bedlam will be added to that group.
I like it when an author doesn't feel the need to point you directly at the circumstances, or the joke, for you to "get it"- this author doesn't insult the reader's intelligence. It is a smart and witty novel about the hunt for a serial killer called "The Masker" in New York City. Our hero, Matthew Corbett, teams up with a detective agency just being established in the city. As was his style in the first book, Matthew goes about his business in a quiet, determined manner as he puts together the clues which ultimately lead to the truth. There are several sub-plots to keep things interesting, and a possible love interest as well. It is a slow build for the first 1/3, but after that, I didn't want to stop listening.
Set in the period around 1700, the author does a wonderful job of giving us a look at life during that time (NYC had a population of about 5,000) which is so rich in detail, it is like being there.
Bottom line--it you liked Speaks the Nightbird- you will like this one too. If you have not read the fist book- this one will stand alone, but I would highly recommend reading the first one to get the full story and rich background.
I've been missing the wonderful voice of Robin Sachs since he passed away, which led me to browse the audible section for his works. I always loved his portrayal of Harry Hole from the Jo Nesbo detective series, which is now being narrated by John Lee. He's good, but can't replace Robin Sachs.
The Last Werewolf turned out to be a fantastic choice. A grown-up, sophisticated, story with the slashing and gashing and blood thirsty violence wrapped into a handsome, charming 200 year old werewolf named Jake. This werewolf has standards. He kills only when necessary, and other than that once a month occurrence, leads a pretty ordinary, if wealthy life. His best friend, Harley, is a human!
"It's official," Harley said. "They killed the Berliner two nights ago. You're the last." Then after a pause: "I'm sorry." He deliver's the news to Jake at Harley's place; Jake sipping his 45 yr. old Macallan and smoking a Camel. Jake is tired of living and wants to just give up. He's lonely for other wolf companionship, and he's seen it and done it all.
Harley's arguments --you've got a duty to live, just like the rest of us, and --you love life, because life is all there is, --don't really convince Jake that life is still worth it --but something happens which does convince him. A great twist to the story!
This book has a compelling storyline, interesting characters, wit and humor when you least expect it, and the wonderful narration of Robin Sachs. Not one to miss!
Note: I understand the followup book to this one is not very good; apparently the narrator doesn't do it justice. I'm hoping they re-record it with someone else, as this could be a great continuing series.
The combination of the amazing author skills of Daniel James Brown--along with the outstanding narrating ability of Edward Hermann--blew me away!
These nine athletes pull together in a quiet determination in preparation for the greatest achievement of their lives. They didn't have the money of some of the other teams, or the best clothing or living arrangements--what they had was some of the most remarkable resolve to maintain their goals and support for the team --each and every one of them. Not to be left out is the shell builder, George Pocock, who had as much influence on the boys as anyone. His dedication to making the perfect shell is quite a story in itself--I found out much more about this sport than I thought I would.
Listening to the winning race was breathtaking. I knew how the race ends- we all do - but I wasn't able to keep from being nervous and cheering the American team on as though I was in the stands. That is what this narrator does--just like in Unbroken, he pulls you in.
Everything came together at that time in history--the right team, the right coach, an amazing shell builder, and their combined efforts to achieve a once in a lifetime moment.
A must listen!
I found the propaganda efforts in Germany one of the most disgusting parts of the story--the fake front they were able to put up for the world during that time was nauseating -as well as Hitler's efforts to unfairly give advantages to the German team over the other's --this was a very small portion of the story, yet had to be included. It makes this story even more amazing.
I recommend listening to Still Life With Crows before this novel, as it gives the necessary back story for Corrie Swanson-- other than that, this could work as a stand alone novel.
Most of this novel takes place in Roaring Fork, Colorado (Aspen-like exclusive mountain resort.) Ms. Corrie Swanson takes the spotlight, now a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is on a mission to write a thesis on some grisly deaths (murders?) which happened in the town decades ago. The deaths are supposedly revealed in a long lost Sherlock Holmes story which was never published.
As Corrie tries to investigate by examining the bones of the long dead victims, she is met with resistance from the town leaders, and must be rescued once again by Pendergast. He arrives in town with his usual flair, and then stays on to make sure things don't go awry. At the same time, a serial arsonist has started burning down the mansions surrounding the main square, leaving the owners inside. It is a particularly horrible crime, as the bodies reveal what terror they must have gone through.
Overall a pretty decent story--however, I didn't find the character of Corrie very enjoyable in this one. She has continued on with her defiant, immature nature which came out in her first appearance in Still Life With Crows --but in that story she was a teenager. Hopefully Preston and Child will give her more depth if she is to continue as a character in future novels with Pendergast.
I have enjoyed David Sedaris wit for many years-he has kept me chuckling and lifted my moods with his sly and clever way of talking about his family, friends, and adventures. This book is full of his heartfelt experiences that take on a humorous slant because of his wit, but also because of the way he narrates--listening to him is the very best way to "read" his books.
However, something he wrote recently has me wondering about his ability to write about his family in such a stark (and as it turns out probably true) account of his family's personal issues. I was really saddened to learn of the suicide of David Sedaris sister, Tiffany. Last month he wrote about it in an essay in The New Yorker, and I was surprised that he claimed not to know what could have driven her to such an end--because in this book which came out in 2004, he clearly knew what her life was like. I, probably like most other's, laughed at his account of her living situation which he described as an apartment like a "revolving junk shop" and her kitchen floor which had been stripped of it's linoleum and left with tar paper as a floor. Tiffany, he said, had wanted to show him her artwork -mosaics that she made out of bits of pottery taken from the trash, but he could only think about how her apartment needed cleaning. I assumed he surely was embellishing his tale of such a dismal, unhappy life, but as it turns out, it was probably close to the truth. So, he clearly knew his sister, but says in his article that he had not talked to her for about 8 years (just about the time this book was published.)
Nothing is ever as black and white as it may appear on the surface. Many people deal with hardships, heartache and sadness with laughter--it is a gift to themselves and others' at times. I look forward to listening to his new books, however, maybe I'll appreciate his talents a little differently in the future.
One good thing about this book--the author's did a decent job of making it non-partisan.
I'm not sure what caused this book to be so disappointing to me--was it the narrator who was so flat and dry, or the actual way the material was put together? It seems like the plan was just to comprise a chronological list of events, and then just read down the line and check off each one.
There wasn't any real excitement or anticipation - which was definitely there throughout Game Change. For political junkies who almost memorized every speech, gaff or event of the last election, I think this book will be a let down. If you weren't glued to the political news programs, and didn't know about all the "inside shenanigans," you will probably enjoy it more. I have heard that people who read the actual book (vs listening) found it to be a lot more engaging.
Even though I found it half as good as Game Change, I couldn't give it 2.5, so had to round up. There are only a few reviews of this book on Audible so far, and I will really be interested to see what other's thought.
Elizabeth George and her Lynley series have kept me entertained for years--and I was really looking forward to this one. It seemed to run off the track a bit from what is typically expected with Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers solving crimes and bailing each other out of all sorts of situations.
This story is mostly based on Barbara's neighbor, Azhar, and his missing daughter, Hadiyyah. She was taken to Italy by her mother, Angelina.
Barbara jumps in with both feet to help him get Hadiyyah back. Ignoring her superiors orders not to get involved (this is nothing new) she seems to lose all sense of reason and concern for her own life and job this time--and Lynley is not a great deal of help.
One source of frustration in the first half of the book are the Italian phrases which are never translated for the reader, even though I could sort of understand what was being said from the rest of the conversation. Still, it was almost enough to make me stop listening--almost. The second half was much better and after all was said and done, an interesting story.
I haven't given up on this series yet--however--if the next novel doesn't return to some of the flavor of the original Lynley novels, it will probably be my last.
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