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Book reader

Learned to love audiobooks when I was commuting two to three hour a day. I still love listening to a good book, even when I prefer a printed version.

Boynton Beach, FL | Member Since 2015

  • 17 reviews
  • 85 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015

  • Flush

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Michael Welch

    You know it's going to be a rough summer when you spend Father's Day visiting your dad in the local lockup.Noah's dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor, which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can't prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah's dad is stuck in the clink.

    Book reader says: "Adequate, but something's missing"
    "Adequate, but something's missing"

    Maybe it's because most of Carl Hiaasen's books conjure up such gritty, quirky characters that this book -- which would rate as a good book if it were written by someone else -- is a bit of a let-down. The plot has great potential but the characters just don't run with it. The usual irreverent humor is much subdued. Hoot, Hiaasen's first book for young people, was written in a young boy's voice and was rich with the conflicts and everyday details of early-teen life. Flush lacks these savory details. The reader of this audio version is also adequate but lacks the delicious irony which infused Chad Lowe's reading of Hoot. I feel as if the writer -- who's not capable of writing a BAD book, as far as I can tell -- just didn't have his heart in this one, and the narrator isn't inhabiting the book, just reading it aloud.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Speckled Monster: A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jennifer Lee Carrell
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard

    The Speckled Monster is both a hair-raising tale of courage in the face of the deadliest disease that has ever struck mankind, and a gripping account of the birth of modern immunology. Jennifer Lee Carrell's dramatic story follows two parents who, after barely surviving the agony of smallpox themselves, flouted 18th century European medical tradition by borrowing folk knowledge from African slaves and Eastern women in frantic bids to protect their children. Their heroic struggles gave rise to immunology.

    Book reader says: "Wish it was another 19 hours long!"
    "Wish it was another 19 hours long!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The story brings home what a horrible disease smallpox was and the dangers faced by those who wanted to prevent the disease with inoculation. But it reads like a thriller -- you can't wait to find out what happened to this person or how that situation was resolved.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Speckled Monster?

    The entire story of Zabdeal Boylston was entrancing. I had never heard of him, although I grew up near Boston. He comes alive in this book, not as a colonist, not as a historical character, but as a family man and conscientious doctor who has to fight on multiple fronts to do what he believes is right.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    No one scene sticks out. But I had never realized, as someone who received a routine vaccination as a baby, what a miracle it was that I was safe from what had been a common and devastating scourge. The descriptions of how people actually suffered and died from smallpox changes an abstract idea into a horrible, painful reality for so many generations of people.

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

    Zabdeal Boylston's family's experience with the pox was absolutely wrenching.

    Any additional comments?

    I don't remember when I have enjoyed listening to a book so much. And the fact that, after 19 odd hours, I was disappointed to have it end -- well, I'm seriously considering going back to the beginning and listening again!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
    "Great performances, enhance story"

    This is a sweet story with interesting characters although there were terribly dark parts when the Nazis actively entered into the plot. It somehow didn't convey the terror and claustrophobic sensation that "Island at War" on Masterpiece Theatre did, possibly because it was placed AFTER the central events had unfolded rather than while they were actually happening. Listening to the book was, for me, more enjoyable than reading it, as the characters were so strongly brought to life by the narrators. Wanting to find out what happened to the various personalities kept me going through some of the more tedious parts. Whoever played "Dawsey" grabbed me right at the beginning and kept me going through the whole book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The last novel completed by Jane Austen before she died at 41, Persuasion is often thought to be the story of the author's own lost love. Sir Walter Elliot of Kellynch Hall has three daughters: Elizabeth, who shares his haughty vanity and, at 28 has found no one good enough to marry; Mary, who has, with some condescension, married the son of the local squire; and admirable Anne, who "was nobody with either father or sister".

    Tad Davis says: "Wonderful characters"
    "Great audible presentation..."
    Would you listen to Persuasion again? Why?

    If I wanted to listen to Persuasion again, I would definitely listen to this version again. The narrator is superb and the book is my favorite Austen novel. I do thing that some books are better read than listened to, and this is one, but as an audiobook, this version is perfect!

    What did you like best about this story?

    I just love the older, less attractive heroine getting her chance at last. It's a romantic story and there are always those arch little remarks Austen chucks here and there that you read and then go

    Which character ??? as performed by Nadia May ??? was your favorite?

    I never thought of them as separate roles, but different people speaking at any given time. You lose sight of the fact that it's one narrator inhabiting all the characters as they're all such individuals.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, it's more a cozy, comfortable pleasure than a rock-your-world type book. It's a perfect book for a long, boring drive or a quiet listen when you want to sit and knit and drink a cup of tea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Stewart O'Nan
    • Narrated By Dick Hill

    In 1944, the big top of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford caught fire during the middle of an afternoon performance. Nine thousand people were inside. In seconds, the big top was burning out of control. The toll of the fire, and its circumstances, haunt Hartford to the present day. But it is the intense, detailed narrative - before, after, and especially during the panic under the burning tent - that will remain with listeners long after they finish this book.

    P. M. Morris says: "Harrowing and brilliantly detailed"
    "Clear and tender recounting"

    This book has two faces: the first is a clear, comprehensive discussion of the infamous Circus Fire that struck Hartford in the 1940's; the second is a sensitive accounting of the victims, living and dead, who experienced such a terrifying few minutes, without being maudlin or sensationalist. I must say, I didn't expect the book to be so compelling -- I've just downloaded it to listen to it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Columbine

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Dave Cullen
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Over the course of this gripping narrative, Dave Cullen approaches his subjects with unrivaled care and insight. What emerges are shattering portraits of the killers, the victims, and the community that suffered one of the greatest - and most socially and historically important - shooting tragedies of the 20th century.

    Book reader says: "Truth and heartache"
    "Truth and heartache"

    This book should become the definitive retelling of the Columbine tragedy, and a classic true crime story as is Helter Skelter or The Executioner's Song. Its recounts what happened, how it happened and its effects on the victims and their families. It brings home the loss of each individual and how terrible the shootings really were.

    33 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • Cries and Whiskers: A Theda Krakow Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Clea Simon
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Music-journalist Theda Krakow is caught up in investigating the rise of a dangerous new designer drug that threatens the musicians and fans of her beloved club scene. But she puts her story on hold when she learns of an animal-rights activist who was killed in a hit-and-run accident while trying to rescue feral cats from a ferocious winter storm.

    Book reader says: "Great story, great narrator"
    "Great story, great narrator"

    An unexpected delight! It seemed like an ordinary mystery-with-cats. But within the first few pages, you and the author have become co-conspirators in the enjoyment of a well-written, intelligent mystery read by a perfectly-matched narrator. It's set in Cambridge, MA (okay, Cambridgeport, an entirely different place than Cambridge, despite being part of the same city), primarily in the garage-band club scene, with cat-rescue being another thread in the story. The characters are well-drawn, the plot not predictable and all the subplots satisfactorily tied up at the end. The writing itself (apart from the plots and character crafting) is a pleasure to read, and the narrator enhances it beautifully.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Devil-May-Care

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Grace Conlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ellie is young, rich, engaged, and in love. In the carefree days before marriage and new responsibility, she decides to house-sit at Aunt Kate's palatial estate in Burton, Virginia. With its nearly invisible housekeepers and plethora of pets, Ellie feels right at home. But when she opens an antique book about the town's aristocracy, she finds disturbing secrets that extend to her own family.

    Book reader says: "One of Elizabeth Peters' best!"
    "One of Elizabeth Peters' best!"

    This is an older work of Elizabeth Peters (she of the Amelia Peabody mysteries) but remains one of her best. It's a well-written romance with overtones of the supernatural and one of the funniest books she's ever written, although that doesn't dilute the spookiness of the scarier scenes. There are characters you'll like and characters you'll cheerfully detest. I heartily recommend this for any circumstances, but especially for long drives when you want to stay awake -- you can't stop listening because you want to know what happens, although other drivers may wonder why you're laughing like a loon when you're alone in your car!

    28 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • 3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Sean Flynn
    • Narrated By Richard Rohan

    On December 3, 1999, the call crackled in to the men of the Worchester, Massachusetts Fire Department: a three-alarm warehouse blaze in a six-story windowless colossus of brick and mortar. What happened next - and how their lives and community were changed forever - offers an unprecedented look at these heroic men whose job it is to rush into burning buildings when everyone else just wants out.

    Raymond A. says: "Take an adventure into an inferno"
    "Excellent read & listen"

    This is a wrenching, detailed account of the fire in which six Worcester firefighters lost their lives. The deceased firefighters, their families and their colleagues are shown as full, breathing human beings caught in a tragedy beyond their control. I do agree that the fake Boston accent is a little distracting, but the book is too good to be badly affected by that. I highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott

    Laura Hillenbrand beautifully renders this breathtaking saga of one horse's journey from also-ran to national luminary. Seabiscuit: An American Legend is an inspiring tale of unlikely heroes, a classic story of three embattled individuals overcoming the odds in the Great Depression.

    Andrew says: "Abridged = Awful"
    "Great story and skillful writer"

    I resisted this book for a long time as the topic didn't interest me. Once I started it, though, it grabbed me and I couldn't stop listening. Hillebrand is an excellent writer; she strings together the story from several viewpoints without tangling them, and builds up each incident to the most suspenseful peak before revealing its denouement. The story of horse and men (owner, trainer and jockey) would capture the reader's heart, even in the hands of a lesser writer. But I'm very happy to report that the story of independent, courageous, glorious Seabiscuit and the people who loved and trained him found its way into the hands of a writer who could make it soar. The narrator submerges his personality totally to the benefit of the story, so you sometimes are startled to realize that you're not really watching the story unfold, but hearing it read to you. All in all, a seamlessly written, engrossing listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Darkly Dreaming Dexter

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jeff Lindsay
    • Narrated By Nick Landrum
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Dexter Morgan appears to be the perfect gentleman. He is handsome and polite, and has been in a relationship for nearly a year and a half. Yet appearances can be deceiving, for Dexter is a serial killer who has slain many people. But in this tale, he's the good guy, for there is one little twist: Dexter only snuffs out other murderers. When another serial killer, with an eerily similar style, starts grabbing headlines, Dexter has a fairly morbid thought. Am I being challenged?

    V. Sharol says: "Compelling but unsettling"
    "Delicious read"

    I'm almost afraid to confess how much I enjoyed this book. The narrator is, by his own admission, a monster -- but, darn! I can't help liking him, and sympathizing with him. He's entrancing in his clear-eyed observations of himself and the world surrounding him, and his point of view gives the novel a macabre humor that's hard to resist. The pace of the novel moves quickly. If the end is not wholly surprising, it's still very different from anything else I've ever read. I'm looking forward to this author's next book. ONE CAVEAT: it's probably not for the faint of heart. This is a crime novel with graphic details. If you can handle it, though, it's a great read.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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