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RB

Utah USA | Member Since 2004

37
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 454 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
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  • Available Dark

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Hand
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    As this riveting tour-de-force opens, the police already want to talk to Cass about a mysterious death she was involved with previously, but before they can bring her in, Cass accepts a job offer from overseas and hops on a plane. In Helsinki, she authenticates a series of disturbing but stunning images taken by a famous fashion photographer who has cut himself off from the violent Nordic music scene where he first made his reputation. Paid off by her shady employer, she buys a one-way ticket to Reykjavik, in search of a lover from her own dark past.

    Laurene says: "Love Cass Neary!"
    "The kind of people your mother warned you about"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I am hooked on the Cass Neary series - totally hooked. But be warned, these are not your average mysteries and Cass is not your average amateur sleuth. Rather she's a self destructive bisexual washed-up photographer whose moment of fame was a long time ago and who longs for the good old days when the New York punk scene was at its pinnacle. Cass drinks to excess, takes drugs just to get through the day and then to end it. She is a kleptomaniac who uses other people???s medicine cabinets as a source to supply her habit, and she just happens to be in the wrong and the worst time.

    But there is a certain allure that makes Cass intriguing rather than repulsive. The mysteries are twisted and savage and Cass' involvement is totally by chance rather than by choice or interest as she???s been enticed, or coerced, into a job where she can put her skills to work.

    Carol Monda's performance is terrific, she is able to get to the gut of each of the characters and you know exactly what they are feeling and what they're experiencing.

    So if you???ve got an open mind and if you don't mind peering at the darker edges of humanity, I enthusiastically encourage you to give these books a try. Be aware that you do have to listen to them in order. And I can???t wait for the next mess that Cass falls into.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sister: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Rosamund Lupton
    • Narrated By Juanita McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (91)

    When Beatrice learns her sister Tess is missing, she goes to London to join the search. And when everyone else gives up, only Beatrice soldiers on—determined to cut through the dark secrets and learn the truth behind her sister’s disappearance.

    Susianna says: "Deliciously Dark Literary Thriller"
    "Stunning!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to Sister several months ago and I have to say that it is still on my mind. There is something innately beautiful about this novel. Is it the unbreakable bonds between siblings? The heartbreak of not knowing the sequence of events leading to the death of someone you love? A pain that's enough to drive one to despair? Or to drive a person to find the truth behind the pain? I can't say but what keeps popping into my head about when I think about Sister is that I loved it!

    I found the story to be intense, emotional, and yes, sometimes it creeps along. But even during those moments there is a subdued sense of tension that runs behind the mundane. And the ending really is a surprise and I am still stunned whenever I think about it.

    I would compare Rosamund Lupton's style with that of the master of suspense, Ruth Rendell and her stand alone novels or her novels that she writes under her pseudonym, Barbara Vine. Those twisted psychological thrillers that focus on character development which is the driving force behind the story.

    And Juanita McMahon is a superb narrator and was perfect for this novel. Her narration is steady, thoughtful and subtle. But when necessary she adds just the right tone to bring the suspenseful intensity that is necessary for a scene.

    Now after all that, I got to go listen this stunner again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharp Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3213)
    Performance
    (2514)
    Story
    (2532)

    Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

    Kelley says: "I agree with Stephen King"
    "Mommy Dearest twisted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A disturbing tale of gruesome murders and sinister family secrets. I was left feeling like I had been sucker punched and like I needed a hug. Or a drink. Powerful stuff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maurice

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By E.M. Forster
    • Narrated By Peter Firth
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (99)

    Maurice is born into a privileged way of life, conforming to social conventions, yet he finds himself increasingly attracted to his own sex. Through Clive, a Cambridge friend, and Alec, the gamekeeper, he experiences a sexual awakening.

    Christopher P. says: "Finally!!! It's past time!"
    "Maurice - A must for lovers of classic fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maurice is the intimate story of one man's coming to terms with his sexuality and his desires contrasted by his struggles of living in a suppressive culture and the binding social expectations set by class standards. Bold by the standards of the time that it was written, I found Maurice to be both sad and beautiful. Sad because of the frustration of defeat and the ensuing heartbreak Maurice endures. But beautiful because of the hope and determination that rises from the courage Maurice finds to live his life fulfilled as his heart commands. Peter Firth's narration is really very good; his voice is cultured and rich and he has the emotional power to carry the story to the end. I know that I will listen to Maurice again and again, it's that good.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Generation Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Hand
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Cass Neary made her name in the 70s as a photographer embedded in the burgeoning punk movement in New York City. Her pictures of the musicians and the hangers-on, the infamous, the damned, and the dead, earned her a brief moment of fame. Thirty years later she is adrift, on her way down, and almost out when an old acquaintance sends her on a mercy gig to interview a famously reclusive photographer who lives on an island in Maine.

    RB says: "Patricia Highsmith meets Patti Smith"
    "Patricia Highsmith meets Patti Smith"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Generation Loss the most enjoyable?

    It was very dark.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was unexpectedly atmospheric.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I came by this book quite by chance; while reading a review for Available Dark, the next book in Hand's Cass Neery series, I became intrigued with the first title so I decided to order it from Audible.com. I listened to it over a long weekend and I'm glad that I gave it a chance. (And I really wish that I'd been the first to post a review.)
    Cass Neery, a washed up post-survivor of NYC's punk era is an edgy photographer whose book of photographs was a mild sensation, is given a chance to interview a famous photographer who has become a legendary recluse on a Maine island. Once there, she's mystified by posters of people who have gone missing, all without any clue as to why or how.
    I'll admit that Cass is unlikable. She's a loser, she's selfish, she's caustic and rude, and seemingly without morals. But there is something about her that is broken and it seems that deep down she knows this to be true. Her armor of disdain, powered by drugs and alcohol, doesn't seem to be working for her as well as it used to.
    Generation Loss is dark and edgy, and it's disturbing which makes you want to avert your gaze. Yet at the same it's painful and powerfully atmospheric, and there's something about it that keeps you peering in.
    I really liked Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand and found the narrator to be perfect for this novel and I highly urge you to give it a try. But do stay away if you're looking for the traditional mystery that has likeable characters, where the good guys always win and the bad guys get what they deserve.
    Facts: Booklist and Publishers Weekly gave Generation Loss starred reviews; Elizabeth Hand is an awarding winning author of science fiction and contributes to The Washington Post Book World and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Agincourt

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Charles Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1485)
    Performance
    (604)
    Story
    (615)

    Young Nicholas Hook is dogged by a curse, haunted by what he has failed to do and banished for what he has done. A wanted man in England, he is driven to fight as a mercenary archer in France, where he finds two things he can love: his instincts as a fighting man, and a girl in trouble. Together they survive the notorious massacre at Soissons, an event that shocks all Christendom. With no options left, Hook heads home to England, where his capture means certain death.

    Andrew says: "Fantastic!"
    "It's vulgar, it's profane and it's gruesome. . ."
    Overall

    . . . and it's the 15th century.
    Though this is not my usual "listen", I have to say that I was enthralled. I love all things France, especially the Medieval period, and that's what drew me to Cornwell's novel, Agincourt. Cornwell's novel presents warfare, rape, brutality, chauvinism; so you'd better be prepared because nothing in this story is sugar coated. But really, nothing was sugar coated about life during the Medieval times; the times were hard and brutal, and it was a time when Christianity was used as a psychological weapon as well as an excuse for horrors beyond imagination. It's all here; Cornwell's telling of the ravage of Soissons is nothing but heartbreaking - and he holds nothing back. This story is not only an exciting novel as well as an excellent record of 15th century life - especially warfare and the class structure. Through it all, Keating's narration is captivating and spot-on. Listen to this if you love history, but only if you can tolerate vulgarity, brutality, and profanity, which, really is what the history of the Western world is all about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Falling Off Air

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Catherine Sampson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (32)

    Robin Ballantyne's life is finally coming together. After learning she was pregnant with twins and being abandoned by her irresponsible boyfriend, Adam, she's settling into life as a single mother. But one night, after putting the children to bed, she hears an argument and suddenly, a body falls past her window. Running outside, she finds the body of Paula Carmichael, a renowned activist.

    Hannah says: "Rich, developed and unusual"
    "A wonderful debut mystery"
    Overall

    Sampson's stellar debut of single mother of twins, Londoner Robin Ballantyne, is instantly compelling. Told in first person narrative, Reading's performance is spot-on; all of the characters were fully developed and believable. My next listen is Sampson's Out of Mind; and I can hardly wait for book three to be released, The Slaughter Pavilion. Very well done indeed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sea of Poppies

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Amitav Ghosh
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (283)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (104)

    At the heart of this vibrant saga is an immense ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean, its purpose to fight China's vicious 19th-century Opium Wars. As for the crew, they are a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts.

    Evelyn M Kloepper says: "ignorance may be bliss"
    "Better listen to the preview. . ."
    Overall

    . . . because the reading of this novel is very arduous. I wanted so much to listen to "Sea of Poppies" but I just could not get past the driveling narration. I found the narration so annoying that I had no idea what the story was about. Honestly, after about 30 minutes I just turned it off and breathed a sign of relief.
    It would have been so much better with another narrator; one with a slower pace and particularly one who had an Indic accent to add to the tone of the story.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Blood in the Water

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Gillian Galbraith
    • Narrated By Hilary Neville
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    When one Edinburgh citizen after another is murdered in the same bloody manner, the newspapers buzz with talk of a serial killer. Smart and capable, but battling disillusionment and loneliness, DS Alice Rice races against time and an implacable killer to solve this series of grisly murders among the professional elite in the city's well-to-do New Town.

    RB says: "Exciting new author"
    "Exciting new author"
    Overall

    This is a great mystery and I thought this production was grade A+ - the story was compelling and the narrator was able to distinguish the various characters, though minding the British accent. But the real star of this is the story itself - a gruesome serial killer in Edinburgh but there is a connection and that's the crux of the mystery. If you like British mysteries I would urge you to give this a try and I do hope that Audible picks up the next title in the series to be published in 2008.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Known World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Edward P. Jones
    • Narrated By Kevin Free
    Overall
    (478)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (91)

    Henry Townsend, a black farmer, bootmaker, and former slave, has a fondness for Paradise Lost and an unusual mentor, William Robbins, perhaps the most powerful white man in antebellum Virginia's Manchester County. Under Robbins's tutelage, Henry becomes proprietor of his own plantation, as well as of his own slaves. When he dies, his widow Caldonia succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart.

    Rachel says: "wonderful and highly recommended"
    "The Known World, a novel about slavery in America"
    Overall

    Jones has written a work of genius about a much overlooked chapter in American history, black slave owners in the antebellum South. Set 20 years before the Civil War, The Known World allows us a glance at this neglected fact of history by entwining the past and future narrations of freed and enslaved blacks, along with those of white slave owners and civilians. Meticulously narrated by Kevin Free, it's a grand, brilliantly written novel that I highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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