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Bedford, NH, USA

  • 5 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 74 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • December 6

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By John Slattery

    From Martin Cruz Smith, "a master of the international thriller," comes an audacious novel of exotic locales, intimate intrigues, and the mysteries of the human heart. "A superb thriller and a remarkable evocation of a place," raves Booklist in a starred review. "A moving, believable love story in which individual lives are invested with great dignity, even in the face of national ideals."

    Andrew says: "No substitute for the book, but not bad."
    "Great, but should have been unabridged"

    I'll get my bias out of the way first -- listening to an abridged audiobook is like getting Filet Mignon at a drive-through window.

    Okay, on to the book. Martin Cruz Smith is a genius at getting inside a culture and telling a story that could only have worked in the right setting. I have no way of knowing what 1941 Tokyo was like, but Smith's rendition is totally plausible and unquestionably different than modern US culture. The setting, characters, and culture are all consistent and work together to really pull you into the story.

    The story itself is fascinating, believable, and has enough twists to keep it interesting. Small details given casually help set the scene. And, like I mentioned before, it is a story that could only have happened in Japan in 1941. The end might ring false to Americans, but it is perfectly in character and consistent.

    I highly recommend this book. The abridgement is quite good, but I would have given the unabridged version 5 stars.

    If you enjoy this, I recommend other books by the author: Gorky Park, Polar Star, and Havana Bay are my favorites. Not available on Audible, yet (hint hint :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Scott Smith
    • Narrated By Patrick Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Ruins follows two American couples enjoying a pleasant, lazy beach holiday together in Mexico. On an impulse, they go off with newfound friends in search of one of their group, the young German who, in pursuit of a girl, has headed for the remote Mayan ruins, site of a fabled archeological dig.

    Art says: "The Plant"
    "Unusual but intriguing"

    First, the good: the story itself is creative, scary, and plausible. As it unfolds, each step is a logical progression and you end up believing that it could really happen (well, I did anyway). The story ends with most questions answered but enough unexplained to be intriguing.

    Now, the not-so-good. The author has an unusual style. The tone is somewhat distant. The people are described more like acquaintances seen from outside rather than the more typical omniscient point of view. Also, the pace is odd. There are some descriptions of thoughts that drag on far too long and some vital action is referred to only in flashback. I thought I had fallen asleep and missed part of it but no, that part just wasn't told in detail.

    Overall, though, I recommend it if you feel like an unusual, creative story. The presentation isn't as polished as some more well-known authors, but in my opinion the story is good enough to be worth a listen.

    For those who care, there is a small amount of bad language and sex and quite a bit of violence.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Labyrinth

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Mosse
    • Narrated By Donada Peters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery: two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth; between the skeletons, a stone ring, and a small leather bag.

    Sara says: "Terrible Listening Experience"
    "Intriguing but slow"

    Overall, there is some interesting material here. I found myself interested in and researching the central locations in the story.

    However, the pace is slower than I like, the number of characters with similar names confused me more than once, and it didn't consistently keep my attention.

    I mildly enjoyed it, but I won't go out of my way to seek out the author again. It's too bad because the plot and setting had a lot of potential.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 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"
    "Author A-, Narrator D-"

    I've read/listened to several books by Carl Hiaasen and have enjoyed them greatly. This one? I couldn't get past the first five minutes. The narrator just turned me off completely. He sounded like somebody reading a cereal box to themselves. No enthusiasm, no energy, just a casual bored tone of voice like he had something better to do.

    By all means, read Hiaasen's work, but make sure you can handle this narrator before purchasing. I wish I had....

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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