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Christopher Williams


San Diego, CA United States

  • 17 reviews
  • 185 ratings
  • 870 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014

  • The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Sarah Lyall
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Sarah Lyall, a reporter for the New York Times, moved to London in the mid-1990s and soon became known for her amusing and incisive dispatches on her adopted country. As she came to terms with its eccentric inhabitants, she found that she had a ringside seat at a singular transitional era in British life.

    A User says: "An American in the U.K."
    "Surprisingly Poor"
    What disappointed you about The Anglo Files?

    The Brits have a pretty good sense of humor and are more than able to laugh at themselves. This book, however, became more and more hostile about the Brits and certainly less and less amusing.

    As a displaced Brit living in the USA I probably have a better perspective than most on life on both sides of the pond. The Brits certainly have some odd traits: wacky political activities, heavy drinking, beating people up during football games in as many countries as they can easily fly to, basic slobbishness. But this is a minority of Brits and not the whole bunch of them. This book points out all of these negative traits with glee and indicates that they are essentially universal in Britain. The author also bashes the traditions of the country - it was not clear why, just that they are horrible things that the poor unfortunate Brits have to live with.

    The author then goes to great lengths to point out, by inference or direct statement, just how perfectly wonderful the United States and its citizens are. In the USA the politicians are all polite, honest and diligent about their jobs, no one drinks in the US, there is no violence or racism in the US, and indeed the US is simply the most Utopian country on earth if not in the entire universe.

    That is when I lost interest. I believe she would be better off back home in New York than mingling with the elite she finds herself amongst in the UK - she clearly does not belong there and seems to hate it more than anything.

    After reading 70% I stopped. I recommend you do not start. I say this as a kindness so you can read something else instead.

    What could Sarah Lyall have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Brought humor to the tale - bash the Brits by all means but do it with a smile and not a cudgel with a nail in it.

    What does Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She did a great job overall - even did a pretty good English accent.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really. I think the premise had possibilities but they were never realized.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lionel Asbo: State of England

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Martin Amis
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lionel Asbo, a terrifying yet weirdly loyal thug (self-named after England's notorious "Anti-Social Behaviour Order"), has always looked out for his ward and nephew, the orphaned Desmond Pepperdine. He provides him with fatherly career advice (always carry a knife, for example) and is determined they should share the joys of pit bulls (fed with lots of Tabasco sauce), Internet porn, and all manner of more serious criminality. Des, on the other hand, desires nothing more than books to read and a girl to love .

    Darwin8u says: "Jē! Just don't buy it for your Grans."
    "A train wreck you cannot look away from..."
    If you could sum up Lionel Asbo in three words, what would they be?

    A distillation of real English people who you would not want to meet.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lionel Asbo?

    Who let the dogs in. And we will never know.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The first family meeting at the country manor, Wormwood Scrubs.

    If you could take any character from Lionel Asbo out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Definitely NOT Lionel Asbo

    Any additional comments?

    One of the most well written books I have enjoyed. The prose alone is worth the listen - and the story is superb. But if you are an American anglophile you might want to stay away. As a Brit in the US, the 'orrible English characters resonate - albeit disturbingly!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Four Fires

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower

    The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

    Robert says: "Hit in the solar plexus"
    "A long book - but too short for me!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    One of the most absorbing books I have read for a long time. It has everything in it - stuff that life throws at this family and how they respond, love, war, work, desires... gripping.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The tale of one man and his journey through life.

    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    He got each character perfectly. Made the characters real and believable (though the story does this very well - he made it better).

    If you could take any character from Four Fires out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Mole. He would be a fun person to talk with - intelligent with a LOT of depth.

    Any additional comments?

    Do not miss this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mark of the Golden Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By L. A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The irrepressible Jacky Faber, condemned for life to the English penal colony in Australia for crimes against the Crown, has once again wriggled out of the grasp of British authorities. Back on her flagship, the Lorelei Lee, she eagerly heads back to England in the company of friends and her beloved Jaimy Fletcher.But when the voyage is waylaid by pirates, storms, and her own impetuous nature, Jacky is cast into a world of danger that extends from the South China Sea to the equally treacherous waters of London politics.

    Eileen says: "A Transitional Tale for Faber & Co."
    "Tired or just a brief pause for breath?"
    What did you like best about The Mark of the Golden Dragon? What did you like least?

    The story is fun (though less so than prior), adventurous (though more predictable and seeming repetitious than prior) and as usual fantastically brought to life by Katherine Kellgren. But it plodded along and I was looking forward to the end.

    Would you ever listen to anything by L. A. Meyer again?

    Yes, I am sure I would. I hope this was simply a low spot.

    Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Just as good. This reader is AMAZINGLY GOOD!!

    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not.

    Any additional comments?

    Write another great story please - or maybe it is time to hang up the flag.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Forced to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Andrew Peterson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill

    Bravery. Honor. Sacrifice. These are more than mere words to trained Marine sniper Nathan McBride. He’s never backed away from danger and he’s not about to start now, even if it means confronting the cold-blooded interrogator who tortured him to the brink of death more than a decade ago.

    1BookJ says: "Awsome sequel!!!"
    "I rarely sigh during a book..."
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    To me at least this story was trite and tedious. I found myself sighing during much of the book and almost laughing at a lot of the dialog.
    The story is deliberately gory in order to shock I suspect, but the underlying plot had no more to offer than that.
    Would recommend you pass.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Hollywood Crows: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Joseph Wambaugh
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Nate and Bix Rumstead (a supposedly upstanding cop with serious sobriety issues) find themselves caught up with bombshell Margot Aziz, they think they're just having some fun. But in Hollywood, nothing is ever what it seems.

    Christopher Williams says: "Laugh out loud funny and deadly serious"
    "Laugh out loud funny and deadly serious"

    Great and fun ride. The author brings in witty thoughtful and silly characters. At the same time crafts a good tale around it. This was my first of Joseph Wambaugh's books - now on to the next one!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Die Trying

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a Chicago suburb, a dentist is met in his office parking lot by three men and ordered into the trunk of his Lexus. On a downtown sidewalk, Jack Reacher and an unknown woman are abducted in broad daylight by two men - practiced and confident - who stop them at gunpoint and hustle them into the same sedan.

    Keith says: "not the best but okay"
    "Half as long would may have made it less mediocre"

    I like to listen to mysteries/action books when driving or doing chores. They keep me occupied and in general are fun rides. This book is not excellent or good. It is just slightly south of OK.

    The protagonist is a typical superman but appears to have an IQ that needs some work. The female romantic interest/victim is smart but like all Hollywood maidens, has a damaged leg and so cannot fight the way she would like to and also slows down the man. At least she does not say "leave me and save yourself" - well she kind of does but not in those exact words.

    The lead villain is a parody. Surprisingly the circumstances that surround the story do have some occasional plausibility.

    The folks who come to save the two people are the top of the Military, top of the FBI, etc. You might expect them to be experienced and smart. They are neither. In fact they cause more trouble for the superman character than actual help.

    If you have time and credits and nothing else to read. Go for it. Otherwise, I suggest you avoid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Relic: Pendergast, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders. Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who - or what - is doing the killing.

    Snoodely says: "Non-Perishable"
    "Not up to the Pendergast standard"

    This was a little too predictable - scary monsters, lightning, rain, panic, obviously bad police decisions, brave civilian heroine...

    I love the Pendergast series so this was somewhat of a let down from the story perspective. The reader also made Pendergast a little more harsh sounding than he is in the other books; not as cool and collected.

    Not a bad book (not a 1 star for example), it was just not up there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "What a GREAT book and rendition!"

    I read this book in its paper form some years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt this version would be good for the car and it would be fun to read it again. This rendition is absolutely worthwhile - the story is still excellent and fresh but the reader is so good it would be worth listening just for his range. Not to be missed!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Frank says: "Not his best"
    "I should have trusted the other reviewers"

    I expected not too much and the book delivered it. Chewing gum for the mind is something I enjoy when doing chores around the house, and this book should have delivered that. Unfortunately this chewing gum had been left on the bedpost over too many nights. As other reviewers pointed out, this story just did not make it. The events in the story are incredibly far from believable even when you know they are supposed to be far from believable. The protagonist is frequently made out to be a genius then an imbecile in the same paragraph. Finally, the book is too long; a thin paperback probably would not sell, but it could have produced a more coherent and even suspenseful story.

    While I did finish it and would not say "avoid at all costs", I would say avoid if you have other books to read.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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