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Mark

Corrales, NM, United States | Member Since 2003

ratings
19
REVIEWS
15
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
42

  • The Gunslinger: The Dark Tower I

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7004)
    Performance
    (3416)
    Story
    (3468)

    Eerie, dreamlike, set in a world that is weirdly related to our own, The Gunslinger introduces Roland Deschain of Gilead, of In-World that was, as he pursues his enigmatic antagonist to the mountains that separate the desert from the Western Sea in the first volume of The Dark Tower series. Roland, the last gunslinger, is a solitary figure, perhaps accursed, who with a strange single-mindedness traverses an exhausted, almost timeless landscape of good and evil.

    Valerie says: "Just As Wonderful as I Remembered!"
    "INCREDIBLY BORING"
    Overall

    I bought this based on prior good experiences with Stephen King and the mostly very positive reviews. I was bored out of my skull. Very unrealistic, maybe you might like it if you are into sci-fi or fantasy books, but I could not get into it at all. Virtually all of the characters are men which increases the boringness of it. I tried many times to get through even the first hour and had to keep rewinding because I could not focus. A little bit like Mad Max, if you are into that kind of fantasy. To me it felt like just a huge waste of time to listen to this. I felt like asking, is this supposed to be entertaining or am I supposed to get anything of value out of this or what?

    4 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • An Irish Country Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Patrick Taylor
    • Narrated By Terry Donnelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (103)

    Readers of Patrick Taylor's books know Mrs. Kinky Kincaid as the unflappable housekeeper who looks after two frequently frazzled doctors in the colourful Irish village of Ballybucklebo. She is a trusted fixture in the lives of those around her, and it often seems as though Kinky has always been there.Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Connie says: "Stick with it!"
    "If you are looking for Ballybucklebo it's not here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If the author had stuck with the characters and town that the other books in this series are about. This one is a boring long winded story, told to some kids by housekeeper Kinky Kincaid. Some demons or spirits didn't want her neighbor, when she was a young woman, to chop down a tree. So he chops down the tree and now ooooh scary, all these supernatural things are happening. I think Patrick Taylor had a left over short story in his files and thought he could make it part of this series by having good ol Kinky tell the story within the story. Its a huge disappointment!


    What was most disappointing about Patrick Taylor’s story?

    Boring, a story about a kid chopping down a tree drags on forever and ever. Get over it--it's a tree!


    How could the performance have been better?

    Narrator appears to be faking an Irish accent. I liked the male reader of the other books in this series much better.


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

    No, none that I can see.


    Any additional comments?

    skip this one and read the Irish Country Doctor, Dublin City Student, and Irish Country Village.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sandel
    • Narrated By Michael J. Sandel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (91)

    Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we allow corporations to pay for the right to pollute the atmosphere? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars? Auctioning admission to elite universities? Selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay?

    Kristopher says: "Great introduction to the world of ethics"
    "interesting analysis but no real solutions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of What Money Can't Buy to be better than the print version?

    One advantage of the audio version is it is read by the author who is a very popular and distinguished Harvard professor, so it is as though you are in his class.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Makes you consider where we should draw the line of what should and should not be bought.


    Any additional comments?

    The author says repeatedly that we have had no public discourse about this issue and we should start a national dialogue about it, etc, but it is unclear what exactly that means. Should we start writing editorials, talk about it on TV news stations, or what? Where would the solution to this problem lie?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last King of Scotland

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Giles Foden
    • Narrated By Mirron E. Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Shortly after his arrival in Uganda, Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan is called to the scene of a bizarre accident: Idi Amin, careening down a dirt road in his Maserati, has hit a cow. When Garrigan tends to Amin, the dictator, obsessed with all things Scottish, appoints him as his personal physician. So begins a fateful dalliance with the African leader whose Emperor Jones-style autocracy would transform into a reign of terror.

    James says: "Worst Production Ever"
    "better even than the great movie"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed this novel even more than I enjoyed the excellent movie. The accents I thought seemed fine (except a woman Israeli accent) and did not bother me at all, though I have spent little time with Scots. I did not notice any boring meandering as other reviewers have suggested. To me this seemed a well paced, fascinating story that helped me understand how Amin began as a somewhat charismatic and intelligent leader and gradually transformed into a monster as the main character gradually found himself trapped in Amin's sphere, unable to leave. My understanding is that the main character is fictional but based on several actual white expatriates who became close to Amin.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5092)
    Performance
    (1325)
    Story
    (1326)

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "annoying and boring"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed Kite Runner but I found this one quite boring. I felt like, it is no surprise that women living in an oppressive, mysoginistic culture are going to have a terrible time. And yet the woman routinely has sexual relations (and has a child) with her disgusting older arranged-marriage husband, which seems to me like accepting serial rape in a way. Also I found the narrator's voice very annoying and did not want to return to this audiobook. I forced myself to for a while, then gave up when the monotony persisted.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes. One Goal. And Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Neal Bascomb
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (59)

    In the tradition of Seabiscuit, critically acclaimed author Neal Bascomb reaches back to the golden age of sport and crafts an utterly captivating narrative of what may be the most remarkable athletic feat of all time.

    Brent says: "Most inpirational!"
    "really fun"
    Overall

    A fun thriller that is the true story of Roger Bannister and his colleagues. It is a Rocky-type sports story. I really enjoyed listening to this while running. (However not only I did I not crack a 4 minute mile, I probably didn't even crack 8.)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blow the House Down

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Robert Baer
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    Veteran CIA officer Max Waller has long been obsessed with the abduction and murder of his Agency mentor. Though years of digging yield the name of a suspect, an Iranian math genius turned terrorist, the trail seems too cold to justify further effort. Then Max turns up a photograph of the man standing alongside Osama bin Laden and a mysterious westerner whose face has been cut out, feeding Max's suspicion.

    Mark says: "author should stick to nonfiction"
    "author should stick to nonfiction"
    Overall

    I read both of Robert Baer's previous (nonfiction) books on his life in the CIA and US-Saudi Arabian relations, and they were great. This novel is a so-so international espionage thriller, whose most interesting part is details about what it's like to be a CIA agent (better outlined in his nonfiction). I think it probably suffers greatly from being abridged because I found some of the connections hard to follow in an abridged audio format.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Love Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Gish Jen
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens, Ken Leung, Nancy Wu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Critically acclaimed author Gish Jen is a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee and the person John Updike proclaimed as the young novelist most likely to become his successor. In The Love Wife, Jen poignantly explores the explosive dynamics of a mixed-race modern family.

    Cynthia says: "really special book"
    "ok, nothing great"
    Overall

    I made it through this novel, which is a family drama dealing with Chinese and Chinese-American ethnic identity. It's sort of interesting but most of the adult characters in this "love triangle" are not really very likeable. I could only emphasize with the children, who sound like an adult mimicking a child. Bottom line: this is OK, but there are better novels out there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Year of Magical Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Joan Didion
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    Overall
    (1292)
    Performance
    (424)
    Story
    (426)

    "Life changes fast....You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends." These were among the first words Joan Didion wrote in January 2004. Her daughter was lying unconscious in an intensive care unit, a victim of pneumonia and septic shock. Her husband, John Gregory Dunne, was dead. The night before New Year's Eve, while they were sitting down to dinner, he suffered a massive and fatal coronary. The two had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years.

    Darwin8u says: "Sharp, sometimes funny, but always clear & precise"
    "rich lady mourning"
    Overall

    Not especially interesting or compelling. Actually rather boring for the most part. I don't really get why this book was on so many top 10 books of the year lists. Maybe there is something I am missing, because I couldn't relate to her issues at all. Lots of sad tales about her going back & forth from the hospital to the Beverly Willshire Hotel (boo hoo). Also she is so surprised her husband drops dead of a cardiac arrest after he has heart disease for 20 years and has a pacemaker in. Don't mean to be callous, but didn't you see this coming? Even the husband said he knew how he was going to die (heart attack).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • American Theocracy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Kevin Phillips
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (71)

    From Ancient Rome to the British Empire, Phillips demonstrates that every world-dominating power has been brought down by a related set of causes: a lethal combination of global over-reach, militant religion, resource problems, and ballooning debt. It is this same axis of ills that has come to define America's political and economic identity in the past decade.

    Miles C. says: "Excellent Work!"
    "Kind of Boring"
    Overall

    I am very disgusted with the current administration and the religious right in this country. But I think this book does not do a great job tying together its main themes: that this is a theocratic regime which is burying us in huge amounts of debt and is beholden to big oil interests. The author takes many side trips into reviewing other "superpowers" in history such as the British empire, though their relevance to the US in the early 21st century is unclear. The focus on economic themes and detail makes this book rather ponderous and boring. Try Jimmy Carter's new book for a great, concise recap of what's wrong with the far right and the current administration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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