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Denver, CO, USA


  • The Accursed

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Joyce Carol Oates
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Princeton, New Jersey, at the turn of the 20th century: a tranquil place to raise a family, a genteel town for genteel souls. But something dark and dangerous lurks at the edges of the town, corrupting and infecting its residents. Vampires and ghosts haunt the dreams of the innocent. A powerful curse besets the elite families of Princeton; their daughters begin disappearing. A young bride on the verge of the altar is seduced and abducted by a dangerously compelling man - a shape-shifting, vaguely European prince who might just be the devil.

    Jacqueline says: "Social Issues Abound in Mixed Genre--"
    "Social Issues Abound in Mixed Genre--"

    Looking for a spooky vampire/ghost book? This isn't it.

    How about an easy book to listen to that flows smoothly? Nope.

    Anyone who reads Joyce Carol Oates knows that isn't what she is about. Nothing is ever really black and white. This is a massive undertaking by Oates which took decades of research and writing (it apparently was developed over 30 years.) Still, I think it kind of fell flat.

    I don't even know if I could really call this work by Oates enjoyable. I loved some prior novels like We Were the Mulvaneys and The Falls. This one takes work to get through.

    SOCIAL INJUSTICE is front and center - social issues which still exist today. Racism, sexism, (lots of sexism) class hostility, and issues with the meat processing industry thrown in for good measure.

    The "meat" of the book:

    There is a Curse raging in Princeton, NJ against the elite blue-bloods. Told from the point of view of an amateur historian, the main character throughout is Rev. Winslow Slade and his family. His children are picked off one by one as they fall prey to demons or spirits. Of course, they are not the only casualties of the vampire/ghost things. All told with a metaphorical slant.

    Although the book is basically historical fiction, there are real people involved in actual events from that time (1905-1906) -along with fictional characters to round out the drama.

    Some of the real people involved were Woodrow Wilson, Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Grover Cleveland and Theodore Roosevelt. Mark Twain and Sherlock Holmes even make appearances. What do all these people have to do with each other? Not a lot.

    There was an interesting exchange between Upton Sinclair and Jack London after Sinclair wrote The Jungle and he tried to engage London to help him with his social causes. London had also just written a best seller, and came to speak at a book event at the request of Sinclair--which didn't turn out as Sinclair had hoped.

    Also, a lot of political maneuvering- some involving Woodrow Wilson and his mentor, Rev. Slade. Wilson was the President of Princeton University at the time, and had a lot of problems with the staff and students. He felt there were underhanded challenges to his authority, and looked to Slade for suggestions.

    I found the spiritual/demon sprinkling throughout to be unnecessary and not very effective.

    At times I was frustrated and disappointed with the sections that dragged (60%)
    I found some of it interesting, when I would have a "finally" moment (20%)
    Some of the novel could have been eliminated without losing content (20%)

    I got through the whole thing partly due to the excellent narration by Grover Gardner.

    Even so, I don't think I could give this a favorable recommendation unless you are a complete Oates die-hard fan--and are prepared to be bored a large part of the time.

    14 of 16 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

    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"
    "Smack, Slurp, Swallow, Sigh---Repeat"

    My first Dresden book, I almost thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Hard to get past the various mouth noises by the narrator, which my have been by design--I'm not sure. After I heard that first "smacking" noise I couldn't NOT hear them.

    However, I really liked the overall story. Harry, the good Wizard who likes to read and has a fabulous sense of humor, and fights crime! I can see why these stories have such a large following.

    If you enjoy off-beat crime/fiction with some fantasy thrown in, I recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Is That All There Is?"

    I was looking forward to a suspenseful, even terrifying story from Mr. King, especially after reading the publisher summary with grabbers such as - - -"a dark shadow fell over him" and "he had demons of his own" - - -etc., etc.

    However, I recently broke my ankle and am a prisoner to my bed right now--so one of my only pleasures is to listen to my audiobooks. It is a good story, and I kept waiting for something to happen (which the main character promises us time and again) --but there is nothing, and I mean nothing suspenseful.

    A horrible family tragedy occurred which was really sad, and family problems abound over the years--but again, nothing to make me grab the covers and pull them over my head or at least turn the lights on! The last 1 1/2 hours it finally got interesting, but the ending was not at all what the build up led me to believe. In fact, kind of fell flat.

    I know King writes stories of immensely tragic and human events without the terror or monsters, etc. Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, etc. He is a genius. However, please do not summarize a book to make it something it isn't (I'm talking to editors or publishers and anyone else responsible for the summaries we rely on in choosing books)

    Listened to or read over 90 of King's works--and this is the very first to disappoint.

    23 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Nightwing

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone

    A community in the southwestern United States falls prey to a plague of vampire bats with a virus which compels them to feed on everything in their path. Martin Cruz Smith, author of the best-selling novels, Gorky Park and Polar Star, mixes Indian mythology with virology in this masterful thriller.

    S. Burrows says: "Excellent book."

    When I think of all the times my sister's and I played in the Red Rocks caves when we were kids--and loved to see the bats that lived there--it gives me chills after listening to this novel.

    One of this author's earlier novels from the 70's. I was happy to see this as a "daily deals" offering. Clearly not as well developed in his writing skills that came later, such as in Gorky Park, but a fascinating look at Indian customs and the damage that some bats can actually inflict on animals and humans.

    The novel kept me listening even though it seemed kind of slow and disjointed at times. If you are a Martin Cruz Smith fan, or not, I would recommend it. I personally love to see what our popular author's work was like early on, and this is a great example.

    One last note--the narrator, Richard Ferrone, is very good. His voice was almost the same in the 70's as it is today as shown in the "Prey" novels by John Sandford.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shatter

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett

    Psychologist Joe O'Laughlin fails to stop a confused woman from jumping off a bridge to her death. Joe knows she had been talking on a cellphone. Now he needs to find out who - or what - was on the other end of the line.

    Old Hippy says: "First rate suspense story, great narration!"
    "Psychological Terror"

    Could you be compelled to put yourself right in the middle of terrifying situations that you fear most--just by someone talking to you on the phone? No hypnosis involved!

    Michael Robotham is really masterful at building suspense that turns otherwise ordinary days into heart pounding, hold-your-breath, mind blowing stories. This is one of the best for pure psychological drama--hard to put down until the end. I liked the character of the female detective too-the author kept away from the oh so common sex symbol type. Hope to see her in future novels.

    The narrator is a big part of this successful novel. His voice holds it all together.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Colony

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By F.G. Cottam
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For over a century, the New Hope Island vanishing has tantalized the world. How did 150 people disappear from a lonely Hebridean island, leaving no trace and no clues? Media magnate Alexander McIntyre decides to solve the mystery, and gathers a team of experts to mount an expedition to the island. He hopes running the story as a rolling exclusive will revive the fortunes of his flagship news-stand title. He hopes to find conclusive answers to questions that have teased a curious world for decades. And he wants his own secret theory triumphantly vindicated.

    Amanda says: "Solid atmospheric horror"
    "A Ghost Story perfect for October"

    The opening chapter really got me hooked. So well written and the narration is spot on!

    A group of people from different professions visit an island where everyone disappeared a long time ago. Each has their own theory about what happened, and they collaborate to get to the truth. Was it aliens or disease or mass suicide? There are a lot of possibilities. The author does a great job of building suspense and keeping the pages turning.

    Maybe a little predictable at times, but overall a satisfying SPOOKY listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Marco Effect: Department Q, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm

    All fifteen-year-old Marco Jameson wants is to become a Danish citizen and go to school like a normal teenager. But his uncle Zola rules his former gypsy clan with an iron fist. Revered as a god and feared as a devil, Zola forces the children of the clan to beg and steal for his personal gain. When Marco discovers a dead body - proving the true extent of Zola's criminal activities - he goes on the run. But his family members aren't the only ones who'll go to any lengths to keep Marco silent - forever.

    Robert says: "So Well Written, So Well Narrated"
    "Chasing Marco - could have been a better title"

    I really like this series. Great character development, witty and well written.

    This book starts out with a gripping storyline that made me want to listen straight through. However, about 3/4 into it, the chase scenes started. Everybody wanted to get Marco for a potential reward, and he seemingly had no place to hide. There were different groups hunting him around every corner of the city, and his escapes were nothing less than remarkable. These chase and escape episodes I thought were really overdone and I got tired of them to the point of using the fast-forward button through some.

    The underlying story is very intriguing and I enjoyed the book overall. Of course the narration is first rate--Graeme Malcolm is perfect for this series.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Way Home: Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole." While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There’s power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.

    David Walker says: "Back in 3 Pines"
    "Better Than Therapy"

    Louise Penny knows how to transport us physically as well as mentally to places we have never been before. She is uniquely in touch with the human soul and all the anger, joy, angst, hatred, loyalty, betrayal, and love and support that we can imagine.

    A very different story than her previous novels, this one is free from the tension and battles surrounding Gamache and others who were determined to ruin his life. It is a more peaceful novel in many ways, but still held my attention completely.

    This story answers the questions about what happens with Peter and Clara Morrow. It starts in Three Pines with Clara confiding in Inspector Gamache, who is now retired and living in Three Pines with his wife, Reine-Marie. They take us on a journey with the help of a few other Three Pines residents through some of the earlier years of Peter's life. Art, of course, takes the stage front and center as layers are peeled back to expose the players and motives to bring us to the present. After finishing, and all was revealed, I went back to re-listen to some chapters, as I wanted to see what clues I might have missed. This is masterful storytelling!

    The consistent voice of Ralph Cosham through all 10 books is just wonderful. He is the perfect narrator for this series.

    Note to those who have not read any of this series--this book will not stand alone, It is the culmination of many previous books, and would probably not make much sense at all if you are not familiar with the characters. A fantastic series, it is well worth starting from the beginning and listening straight through to this one.

    Highly recommended!

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    barbara says: "Stunned"
    "Absorbing Mystery--Somewhat Disturbing"

    This novel grabs from the beginning and doesn't let go. I think it is the best of this series so far, with In The Woods being my second favorite. Tana French definitely has the gift of knowing how to build suspense.

    Great storyline with a murder scene which is like a jigsaw puzzle. Three members of this loving, happy family are dead with no signs of a break-in and no murder weapons. The remaining family member is hanging onto life by a thread. The house is kept in pristine condition-- except for those unsightly holes in the walls everywhere and baby monitors set up in odd places.

    The only issue I have is the ending was too long and drawn out and perhaps a little implausible. It would have been a complete 5 star rating if the ending had been wrapped up a little tighter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Son: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny’s been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit - or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes. Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption....

    Charles Atkinson says: "Maybe The Best Mystery Novelist Anywhere"
    "One of the BEST Crime/Mystery Authors"

    Long time fan of the Harry Hole series, I know this author can really write. His stand alone novels are always just as good--and this one kept me listening straight through.

    The desire for revenge can be powerful and all consuming, which is the case here. The son is determined to make sure other's pay for what they have done, and he overcomes a damaging drug addiction to do so. I also liked the narrator - his voice did not distract me and that is always a good thing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Entertaining Whodunit"

    Who knew the world of writing and publishing could be so savage?

    This second novel in the series kept me engaged from the beginning. Detective Cormoran Strike takes on a missing person case of quirky author, Owen Quine. His wife, Leonora, is sure he has just gone off to a writer's conference or to be by himself, and just wants him to come home (it's been 11 days, after all.) As it turns out, his latest novel, Bombyx Mori, had been finished right before he disappeared, and it apparently was a "tell all" containing damaging information about a lot of people.

    Strike will come to know the complex and pretentious lives of several members in the publishing industry, all of whom could have motives for doing away with the unlikeable author. With his smart and pretty sidekick, Robin, they sort through each possible lead, even as someone is threatening Strike's life.

    As for the argument of listening to novels over reading them, this book is an excellent example. Robert Glenister is brilliant as the narrator. He brings each character to life, male or female, and has perfect pacing. When he coughed and wheezed his way through the chain smoking agent, I felt myself needing to take a deep breath.

    I hope Rowling/Galbraith will keep this series going, as I suspect it it will only get better. Cormoran and Robin make a great team, and are beginning to know each other more personally. We care about them, faults and all. Bringing in their family members and love interests makes them more believable as characters. When Cormoran and his self-involved fiancé ("she lies the way other women breathe") call it quits, we find ourselves hoping it is ended for good.

    In reviewing the book I asked myself 3 questions:

    1. Did I want to keep listening straight through? Yes
    2. Was it a well-done mystery with enough suspense and surprises? Yes
    3.. Did I enjoy the narrator--Yes.

    One last note - to the squeamish - some may need strong control over their "gag reflex" at times, but this is a small part of the novel.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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