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Douglas

Madison WI, WI, United States | Member Since 2007

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 92 ratings
  • 495 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2015
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  • The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (768)
    Performance
    (580)
    Story
    (573)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great way to read Homer's The Odyssey. Ian McKellen was wonderful. The story is one of the greatest in world history, in fact, it is the story that most other good stories borrow something from.

    The only issue with this recording (which is why the overall is missing a star) is there are some brief glitches and then starting around Audible chapter 9, the voice is really slowed down for about two or three chapters. It was annoying but I simply used my Audible App speed feature and sped through those parts.

    If you've always wanted to read the Classics, but felt intimidated, this is an excellent place to begin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kafka on the Shore

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett, Oliver Le Sueur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (199)

    With Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come.

    Dr. Curmudgeon says: "What's better than Murakami? More Murakami"
    "One of my favorites..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A good novel entertains you and perhaps doles out an insight or two but a great novel transforms the world around you as you read and you aren't quite the same person who started reading the novel.

    Kafka on the Shore is a great novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jimmy the Stick

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Michael Mayo
    • Narrated By Paul Christy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Jimmy Quinn was a gunman, bootlegger, and bagman, running with mobsters the likes of Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll, until a bullet in the leg and the murder of Arnold Rothstein ended his career. Quinn bought a speakeasy in downtown Manhattan and settled into a quiet retirement - until the day he learns that famous aviator Charles Lindbergh’s baby has been kidnapped, and his old friend and partner Walter Spencer wants a word....

    Douglas says: "Great story marred by an average performance"
    "Great story marred by an average performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed Mike Mayo's first detective novel, set against the backdrop of the Lindbergh kidnapping and U.S. prohibition era crime, very much. The world Mike creates is rich and textured and felt very real.

    I first came to know Mike Mayo as a movie critic and his love of and expertise in movie history made this book particularly enjoyable. Mike's narrative and my imagination combined to create a world that was a softer sort of Dark City without The Strangers and I look forward to reading the other two novels in the series, either in audio format or in traditional paperback should it take a while for them to appear in audio format.

    My biggest criticism would be the performance, which for the main character of Jimmy The Stick, I think the voice was fine most of the time but it was harder to distinguish other characters and at times the reading struck me as flat and uninteresting. Not a terrible performance but lacking inspiration.

    If you are a person that can overlook an lackluster performance, and enjoy the mystery genre, there is much here to like and to look forward to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Weird Company: The Secret History of H. P. Lovecraft’s Twentieth Century

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Peter Rawlik
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Shoggoths attack in this adrenaline-pumping novel set in the world of H. P. Lovecraft, where the horrors of the cosmos know no limits… It was in a way humanoid, as it stood on two legs and possessed two arms that ended in delicate digits that I would dare to call hands. Its skin was a pale blue, like the eggs of a robin, and curiously dry looking. The head was massive with a huge bulbous cranium, a large lipless mouth, and three blood red eyes that stared out at the world with nothing but hate.

    Justin says: "Great book. PHENOMENAL NARRATOR."
    "An interesting interpretation of Lovecraft"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started this story just after finishing up on Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell and I was immediately pleased I bought this book, thinking it was all a collection of Lovecraft stories from a different perspective, as the first story has to do with the events that happened in The Mountains of Madness.

    But, as it turned out the whole book is a novel that takes different characters from Lovecraft's stories and brings them together on a mission to stop something from coming through.

    Overall, I enjoyed the story although the choice that Oliver Wyman made for the main character, Robert Olmstead was both appropriate yet grating and while I do not fault him for his choice, I did mark the story down by one star. All of the characters are distinct and it is even masterful.

    In my mind, though, Olmstead's voice would have changed as he gained more confidence.

    The story itself will be familiar to any fan of Lovecraft. While not an expert on all of Lovecraft's writing, I was able to identify the majority of characters and their situations and I especially liked the bits that expanded on the Mountains of Madness

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Disaster Artist: My Life inside 'The Room', the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
    • Narrated By Greg Sestero
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (597)
    Performance
    (546)
    Story
    (544)

    Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon.

    marcus says: "It Starts coming Together"
    "Best Audio Book of 2014"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had tried to watch The Room a few years ago when The Cartoon Network showed it but something was so alien about the movie that it gave me a headache so, even though I am a fan of bad movies and I had seen Tommy Wiseau interviewed on Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld I put this one out of my mind for many years.

    Then I was in the middle of a book on Hitchcock and The Disaster Artist came up as an Audible Deal of the Day. Well, my first instinct was to pass but I am glad I didn't.

    The Disaster Artist as read by Greg Sestero should be the Audio Book of the Year. It is funny, well paced, insightful, and heart-felt.

    The format of the book is to tell two stories, one being the making of Tommy Wiseau's now-classic cinematic misfire starting from the day before the first day of shooting through to its big Hollywood premiere. The other being the story of a young, struggling actor meeting and befriending this visionary outsider who's thinking is like that of quite-no-one-else.

    It is through Greg Sestero's words that we are given insight into Tommy Wiseau's unique thought-processes and while we laugh a lot through this book we laugh mostly because of the child-like novelty of Tommy's thinking. While reading this book, I went through some of the reviews on IMDB, the Internet Movie Database for the uninitiated, for The Room and was saddened to see one reviewer snark "...we are laughing at you, not with you..." and there is never that kind of pettiness in Greg Sestero's account.

    While I laughed out loud through most of the book, there were times I felt very sad for Tommy or exasperated with him. To a lesser extent, I experienced Greg Sestero's fears and hopes as he pursued and, for a time, gave up on his dream of being an actor.

    I think this book speaks to anybody with a dream, even if you haven't seen nor have any interest in ever seeing The Room, this book is for you.

    This book is currently in development for a major motion picture but I urge readers not to wait for the movie in this case. I think this book is untranslatable to the silver screen, unless the Hollywood Frat Pack intent on making this book into a movie surprise us and show us their own inner artist yearning to break free from the fratty sort of movies that make them money. I don't think this book can be made into a movie by a Hollywood insider. David Lynch or John Carpenter might have a shot and making this a good movie. David Cronenberg too. But these are not the people who will be making the movie.

    I hope that whoever makes the movie, they are able to at least bring out the love that Greg obviously feels for Tommy out in a meaningful way and bring the audience to the point where they laugh more out of surprise at Tommy's thinking than at Tommy himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stranger

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Albert Camus
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1304)
    Performance
    (845)
    Story
    (843)

    Albert Camus' The Stranger is one of the most widely read novels in the world, with millions of copies sold. It stands as perhaps the greatest existentialist tale ever conceived, and is certainly one of the most important and influential books ever produced. Now, for the first time, this revered masterpiece is available as an unabridged audio production.

    Rolando says: "Is amorality bad?"
    "The Golden Man with a Gun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The performance was adequate but the story was dismal.


    What was most disappointing about Albert Camus’s story?

    It is just a bunch of words strung together by a affect-less character. It does not depict amorality so much as it encourages it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I suppose bits of the trial approached interesting but since everything comes from the narration of a flat, disembodied character it made no difference.


    What character would you cut from The Stranger?

    I would replace it entirely with Philip K. Dick's The Golden Man which tells the story of an amoral character that, by mutation, is fecund and irresistible to women and thus the amoral animal ceaselessly reproduces itself threatening the existence of human life only that story doesn't come from only one perspective as this one does which is, no doubt, why this story is successful at creating monsters while Philip K. Dick's story was destroyed by Nicholas Cage in the obscure movie adaptation known as Next.


    Any additional comments?

    It is because the world makes banners out of, and marches behind books such as these that the world can never extricate itself from the mire.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3299)
    Performance
    (2965)
    Story
    (2967)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "One of the best action/adventure novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pines to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version. Why would you ask this question as a default? Well, I'll answer the questions I wish you would have asked like a politician at a debate:

    Pines is hands down the best action/adventure story I have ever read. I was hooked from the very first. While the story shared some similarities some TV shows I had liked, most of them either died before they could go too far or just decided to go all in for a totally surreal ending. Pines is both enthralling and logically consistent with the world and characters Blake Crouch created.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ethan Burke, hands down. The greatest action hero of all time! To be fair to the other characters, Ethan dominates the pages of this book. I guess he is part Jason Bourne and part Ethan Hunt and part Number Six. He is the indestructible man who's mind hungers for the truth and his body is strong enough to seek it out. No other man nor any monster is his match. His intellect and brawn are integrated and support each other.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Well, this book was a real page turner and I don't want to give too much away. The reader should find this novel on his own and devour it. Each scene either builds upon or gives detail to support the entire structure of the novel.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The major emotions I experienced while reading this book were wonder and curiosity. I moved through the book relatively quickly because I wanted to know, just like Ethan.


    Any additional comments?

    I see they are making this into a TV show. Well, we have had so many good TV shows lately I hope the TV show makes the grade and whatever changes are made to the source material I hope I can recognize the underlying world an characters that were written about in the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Eternal: Book Three of the Strain Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan
    • Narrated By Daniel Oreskes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1471)
    Performance
    (1318)
    Story
    (1334)

    It’s been two years since the vampiric virus was unleashed in The Strain and the entire world now lies on the brink of annihilation. There has been a mass extermination of humans orchestrated by the Master - an ancient vampire possessed of unparalleled powers. The future of humankind lies in the hands of a ragtag band of freedom fighters - Dr. Eph Goodweather, Dr. Nora Martinez, Vasiliy Fet, and Mr. Quinlan, the half-breed offspring of the Master who is bent on revenge. It’s their job to overturn this devastating new world order.

    Mel says: "When Good Ghouls Go Bad"
    "World creation at its finest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Night Eternal again? Why?

    Yes, as well as the first two books. I bought the books because of the TV series and even though the TV series made numerous changes they kept true to the characters and the world of the books so that I could enjoy both. All of the characters remained true to their character and the book world remained true to itself.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I would say Fet the rat catcher was my favorite character. In a sense, he is like Roddy Piper's character in They Live in that once he knows what his mission in life is, he throws himself fully into it.


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

    Daniel was a good reader I think much better than Ron Perlman did for the first book. At the same time, the characterization the authors did helped both the readers.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "Face the world with open eyes."


    Any additional comments?

    Finally a good scary nonredeemable vampire story. I'm so sick of romantic vampires.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Eerie

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch, Jordan Crouch
    • Narrated By Karen Chilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (41)

    On a crisp autumn evening in 1980, seven-year-old Grant Moreton and his five-year-old sister Paige were nearly killed in a mysterious accident in the Cascade Mountains that left them orphans.It's been 30 years since that night. Grant is now a detective with the Seattle Police Department and long estranged from his sister. But his investigation into the bloody past of a high-class prostitute has led right to Paige's door, and what awaits inside is beyond his wildest imagining.

    Vicki Wolf says: "Very very strange"
    "Probably would work better as a cable mini-series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would turn it into a cable mini-series. In the novel format, I had trouble staying interested. None of the characters really resonated nor did I have a sense of the world the story took place in but as an episodic television show there are plenty of places to leave the viewer with cliffhanger. In the right hands, this property would be better in the visual media.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have made this a smaller subplot in a bigger world. A building block of a larger story instead of a story within itself.


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

    She was a very good voice actress for this story. Her voices were distinct enough most of the time that I knew who was speaking.


    Was Eerie worth the listening time?

    It was okay. If you are a fan of some of Blake Crouch's other work, you're probably going to want to listen to this one no matter what the reviews are but I would say this is a lesser Crouch work.


    Any additional comments?

    The story was interesting enough, if this is your first Blake Crouch novel you might enjoy it more but after reading Pines and the Thicker Than Blood trilogy, there isn't enough world creation that I look for in my fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1462)
    Performance
    (1255)
    Story
    (1266)

    Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

    SoCalBonnie says: "It won me over completely"
    "Thought provoking and good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Unwind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've listened to a lot of audio books. It certainly isn't the top but the story was compelling and I was interested in the characters and the plot all the way through and I'll get the rest of the series at some point.


    What other book might you compare Unwind to and why?

    I read a book in high school called House of Stairs which has stayed with me all this time even though I only read it once. That book was complete in one novel and was a story of conforming to authority versus the ultimate rebellion. This story is similar.

    Also, Philip K. Dick's short story The Pre-Persons is what this story reminded me of the most. Although Dick was far less ambiguous.


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

    I did find it to be a real page turner and did read through it quickly. I don't think I would have wanted to do it all in one sitting as there is something to be said for the cliff hanger that real life brings to the enjoyment of a good book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thicker Than Blood: The Complete Andrew Z. Thomas Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    Andrew Z. Thomas is a successful writer of suspense thrillers, living the dream at his lake house in the piedmont of North Carolina. One afternoon in late spring, he receives a bizarre letter that eventually threatens his career, his sanity, and the lives of everyone he loves. A murderer is designing his future, and for the life of him, Andrew can't get away.

    Carolyn L says: "Well written but... yuck!"
    "Hard, gritty, horrifying read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Thicker Than Blood the most enjoyable?

    It was well written but there really is no light here.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Andrew Z. Thomas even though he does some really stupid stuff but he's the only character you can really identify with. You just wish he had a little more ruthlessness. Even though he's not a New Age male he's certainly not enough of a man.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was moved negatively. It is a very dark book. Kind of hopeless, really. Whatever universe this is taking place in, I hope i never go there.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book because I really liked Pines and it is well written, only, I cannot really recommend it. It is dark, it is almost like a ritual to draw the reader into the world of the serial killer. The first two books, I guess you could get away with saying it is entertainment. But taken as a whole, the whole experience is pretty mean-spirited.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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