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Christopher

San Diego, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 68 ratings
  • 236 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Canterbury Tales: A New Unabridged Translation by Burton Raffel

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Geoffrey Chaucer
    • Narrated By uncredited
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (27)

    Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. The Tales gathers 29 of literature's most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble Plowman. This unabridged work is based on the new translation.

    Tad Davis says: "A wonderful treat!"
    "Tales of morality"
    Overall

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see why this collection of moral stories has stood up over the centuries. I understand that this is a new interpretation of the original texts and I understand that the narration of the stories plays a big part in the story; however, to me this tales were antiquated tales of morality. I did enjoy some of the comedic stories near the beginning, but some of the more pious stories bored me. To each their own!

    Point to consider: This rendition of The Canterbury Tales also contains UNFINISHED stories. You don't know they are unfinished until the story ends. Abruptly.

    2 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Life After Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Fenella Woolgar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1340)
    Performance
    (1189)
    Story
    (1198)

    On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

    Diane says: "Life after life after life after life after life.."
    "Zzzzzzzzz"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Kate Atkinson and/or Fenella Woolgar?

    Sure.


    What could Kate Atkinson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Make this a short story instead of a novel.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Ursula was responding to bombings during the blitz.


    What character would you cut from Life After Life?

    Morris


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a slow, boring version of Groundhog Day. It takes way too long to get to the point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wool: Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Amanda Sayle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1604)
    Performance
    (1477)
    Story
    (1492)

    In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Post-apocalyptic life in a silo"
    "Average"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The characters themselves are fine;however, when they interact in relationships their actions don't make any sense.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Amanda Sayle’s performances?

    Not very good male voices but passable. Yes, I would try another of the narrator's books.


    Any additional comments?

    An average effort by the author and narrator. It was an "ok" book that had heavy handed plot devices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2920)
    Performance
    (2709)
    Story
    (2713)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "There are better Joe Hill books."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This is the third Joe Hill book I've listened to and it's definitely my least favorite because of the following reasons.
    1) It reads more like a Stephen King book and less like a Joe Hill book. The voice isn't Joe Hill's.
    2) The story doesn't feel original to me (Christine). Is Joe trying to ride on the vampire money train?
    3) In at least two places in the book, the author pulls the reader out of the story to talk to them directly. It's my recollection that these points happen at times when unbelievable coincidences take place. It seems like the author is admitting that he doesn't buy it either.


    Any additional comments?

    Kate Mulgrew's performance was excellent. I really enjoyed her performance with one exception. I think the main antagonist was supposed to have a southern accent and she didn't perform that dialogue with that accent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4092)
    Performance
    (3576)
    Story
    (3544)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Needs an Editor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about 1Q84?

    In brief, this story needed a lot of editing I only made it half way through this book, or about 23 hours. This is the first time in three years that I haven't finished a book I've selected and there have been some stinkers. Very little happens in the first 13 hours of the book. The weak characters aren't particularly interesting and are like children in that they are told what to do through the story. The writing is sterile and has very little warmth or life to it; however this could partly due to the narrators who are below average. Even the sex scenes early in the book were described without passion and sounded more like a government report to me.


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    No. Allison Hiroto was particularly bad. The person that performed Tengo's story was below average. Neither performer brought the story to life.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom. The writing and/or performances were too sterile to invoke any emotions.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13412)
    Performance
    (5831)
    Story
    (5904)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "I don't get it"
    Overall

    Ok, so the elephant is a metaphor, but it's really not worth suffering through the rest of the story to learn what the book is trying to say. The female character has no substance. I cannot understand how this story got so many good reviews.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Patient Zero: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3898)
    Performance
    (3246)
    Story
    (3239)

    When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle....

    Kim Venatries says: "Yes! It IS that good. Five stars and more."
    "WARNING: BIOHAZARD"
    Overall

    If Tom Clancy published a poorly written, poorly researched zombie book, then this is what the book might be like. To be fair, I was not expecting award winning literature when I chose this book; however, I was expecting a protagonist that had more than one emotion, anger, and did not behave a teenager full of angst. It's ok though, because the main character is in therapy. Quarantine this book.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Lush Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Richard Price
    • Narrated By Bobby Cannavale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (613)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (124)

    What do you do? Whenever people asked him, Eric Cash used to have a dozen answers. Artist, actor, screenwriter...But now he's 35 years old and he's still living downtown, still in the restaurant business, working night shifts and serving the people he always wanted to be. What does Eric do? He manages.

    Richard Delman says: "Eerily real"
    "Book with ambiance but no suspense"
    Overall

    This book is a police drama but reads like true crime because you know from the second scene of the book "who done it." All you're left with is listening to the police chase every red herring in what sounds like a fairly realistic police investigation. There just isn't any suspense or drama when you know the police are following the wrong clues.
    Where this story shines is the ambiance of the book. It's a fairly gritty setting that paints New York as a very depressing place to live. The reader also does an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fear Nothing

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Keith Szarabajka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1014)
    Performance
    (451)
    Story
    (447)

    Christopher Snow is the best-known resident of 12,000-strong Moonlight Bay, California. This is because 28-year-old Chris has xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), a light-sensitivity so severe that he cannot leave his house in daylight, cannot enter a normally-lit room, cannot sit at a computer.

    Stanley says: "Great Book"
    "Damn Monkeys!"
    Overall

    This was the first Dean Koontz book I ever read and I think it was also the first audiobook to which I ever listened. This book is seeping with creepy. It is "walking alone through a creaky oak forest on Halloween," creepy. It is "footsteps in your backyard but nobody is there," creepy.

    I repurchased this book to play for some friends on a road trip. I will tell you that they thought the beginning was slow, but as the details of the story are slowly fleshed out, they were eager to return to the story after rest stops.

    Narration is perfect as there is just enough "cool" in the character voices without becoming campy. Well, except where the writing stumbles a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany Part 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (997)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Molly-o says: "Nothing better"
    "Loved this book"
    Overall

    To me, this book is a series of interesting short stories telling about events in the protagonists past. In between the short stories are preachy, religious and political segments that... well, I can't ruin it. You just have to bear these segments. Trust me, it's worth it.

    One thing is for certain, if you start this book you are in it for the long haul. You can't quit before the end of the book or you have missed how the entire book is tied together. This book is a commitment.

    BTW, I am an atheist and I still made it through the religious parts. They are important.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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