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John R. Holmes, Jr.

Anacortes, Washington | Member Since 2011

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • The Law

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 49 mins)
    • By Frederic Bastiat
    • Narrated By Erik Synnestvedt
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    The Law was originally published as a pamphlet in French in 1850 by Frederic Bastiat. It is his most famous work and was written two years after the third French Revolution of 1848. It defines, through development, a just system of laws and then demonstrates how such law facilitates a free society. Bastiat was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly.

    Emily says: "The Principles of Liberty explained."
    "Essential Reading for Everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    What are the purposes of the law and what are its limits? These are the questions Bastiat raises, and his answers written in 1850 are as relevant as if they'd been written in 2012. I won't attempt to summarize his theories, except to say whether you're Republican or Democrat, your problem is less what laws you want to enact than whether they'll work if you manage to get your way.

    The audio version is only slightly marred by the fact that the reader seems to have a speech impediment. Bastiat frequently uses the word "plunder" to describe misuse of the law, and in the audio version it sounds like "plunderer." Same with other words that end in "r." I even bought the print version just to see what he was saying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Burying Place

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Brian Freeman
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (105)

    Lieutenant Jonathan Stride is quietly recovering from injuries sustained on his latest case when a rich doctor's baby is kidnapped and his peace is shattered. As suspicion builds that the doctor may have staged the baby’s disappearance, the relationship between the doctor and his wife and neighbors begins to disintegrate.

    Loy says: "good book"
    "Contrived Suspense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I didn't realize that this is more of a Horror book than a Mystery. Horror tends to have looser rules for what constitutes suspense. For example, every time the rookie cop got in a scrape, she dropped her gun, her phone, her flashlight, her knife, and virtually everything else she touched.

    Then there's the detective who dropped a drinking glass, fell on it, and got cuts all over his body. I don't think you'd get that many cuts if you fell in a cement mixer full of broken glass.

    In summary, there's a lot going on in this book, but most of the tension turns on stupidity and clumsiness. It didn't work for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Feud: The Man Who Blew the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Kathleen Sharp
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (21)

    Blood-boosting Procrit is Johnson & Johnson's biotech superstar. Behind its various brand names, it ranks as Medicare's most reimbursed drug. But Procrit performs frighteningly well, and can stimulate so many blood cells that thousands of patients die in unexplained and painful ways. Blood Feud is award-winning journalist Kathleen Sharp's nail-biting expose of the Procrit case. Packed with corporate espionage, plot twists, and larger-than-life characters, it's as gripping as it is terrifyingly true.

    Karen says: "Big Pharma has no conscience"
    "Slow and Frustrating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a long saga about a person with terminal bad judgment having the bad luck to become a salesman and fall into a pharmaceutical scandal. At the end of the book, you realize the huge impact of luck on human events.

    In this case the flawed salesman, Mark Duxbury, a person who smoked, drank, had emotional problems, and used general poor judgment, was ultimately responsible for his own failed quixotic quest. We the people are the unlucky ones, because it seems pretty clear if a better person had stumbled on the Johnson & Johnson Procrit scandal, many people's lives would have been saved.

    The book suffers from another flaw. The author, in an apparent attempt to add color and interest, litters the book with similes (it spread like kelp on an artificial reef) and internal dialogues (he looked out the window and thought the weather reflected his prospects). I have a hard time believing the author was able to accurately discover minutia, such as whether Duxbury decided to pass up a cup of coffee when leaving an airport ten years earlier, so I found these bits of "color" distracting.

    As the end of the day, you'll come away believing that Procrit is bad, Johnson & Johnson is bad, many doctors and lawyers are bad, and the author has an excuse for her incredible litany of Duxbury failures. I found the whole thing boring and disappointing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rain Fall: John Rain Thrillers

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Brian Nishii
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1199)
    Performance
    (764)
    Story
    (763)

    Haunted by the past, John Rain kills to order and leaves no trace, but the death at his hand of an old man has unforeseen complications - and soon Rain is trying to protect not just his carefully preserved anonymity but his own life and those of the people he cares for. A stunning, page-turning reinvention of the hitman thriller, Rain Fall marks the introduction of a compelling new series character and major new thriller writing career.

    George says: "Great new take on the Assassin Genre"
    "Stilted Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Either you'll like Barry Eisler or you won't. His books have more scenery than action, but I like how they're woven.

    The performance by Brian Nishii is clear but wooden. It's what I imagine a really good computer would sound like if it were programmed to turn written words into sound. Each word is clear, but the natural bunching of words into logical groups is lacking. That said, I had no trouble figuring it out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Midnight House

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Alex Berenson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (711)
    Performance
    (365)
    Story
    (367)

    Early one morning, a former CIA agent is shot to death in the street. That night, an army vet is gunned down in his doorway. The next day, John Wells gets a phone call. Come to Langley. Now.

    Joel says: "Good but Not Great"
    "Boring Story, Well Narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This book is boring. It's supposed to be a thriller about global terrorism, but it's slow, slow, slow. I'm not sure whether this is a morality play about the evils of the U.S. government's anti-terrorism efforts or merely an artless tale. Either way, it's stultifying.


    What was most disappointing about Alex Berenson’s story?

    Slow and boring. It starts with two long, anecdotal tales of security people, when the only thing they contribute to the story is that they're two murder victims in what turns out to be six people that used to work together. What takes an hour to unfold in the audiobook should take 5 minutes. In fact, most of the background and characters in this story seems to be irrelevant.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't buy this audiobook. A good narrator can't salvage a weak story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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