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Aaron

120
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 155 reviews
  • 187 ratings
  • 587 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
55
FOLLOWERS
12

  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1809)
    Performance
    (1651)
    Story
    (1662)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
    "Heart of Africa"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Elephant Whisperer is the true story of a Conservationist who started a wildlife preserve in South Africa. Early in the story he is asked to take a herd of dangerous elephants who will otherwise be killed. This is at the heart of the story, although by no means the entire story.


    This wildlife preserve, Thula Thula, is a place the author refers to numerous times as “Paradise”. By the end of the book we really feel like it is his own little version of Heaven, replete with glorious sunsets, stretches of untamed earth, and the noble creatures that roam there upon. Nevertheless, it is a paradise without God.

    Throughout this entire narrative, we see a man who has made his life’s work that of preserving and protecting the wilds of Africa. Here is a man who so reveres wildlife in all its forms, that he abstains from killing a very dangerous snake, even when it slithers into his bedroom. He would rather walk than move his car, because a spider had created a beautiful web on it that morning. Here also is a man who writes tender accounts of his connection with elephants; this connection is tangible in his rehabilitation of them to accept conditioned human contact.

    Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence are gifted storytellers with a Passionate love for Life. Yet, for all of the splendor, and for all of the reverence for creatures great and small, God was the only thing I felt was truly absent in this book. It felt like something was missing, and that was it. To witness all of the beauty and majesty of Africa as detailed in this sincere autobiography, and still not see God, was heartbreaking (if not the turning of a blind eye).


    Another stellar performance by Simon Vance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Raymond Chandler
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away. But with Sternwood's two wild, devil-may-care daughters prowling LA's seedy backstreets, Marlowe's got his work cut out - and that's before he stumbles over the first corpse.

    Aaron says: "Detective Noir at its finest"
    "Detective Noir at its finest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    It's hard not to picture Bogart, but there is so much that is lost on the silver screen. The movie 'stage punches' and dated cinema left me feeling disconnected, whereas in the book, the grit and brawn came to life in color.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Lions

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Mick Herron
    • Narrated By Michael Healy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    London’s Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “"low horses", as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated here. But now the slow horses have a chance at redemption. An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. The despicable, irascible Jackson Lamb is convinced Dickie Bow was murdered. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade’s circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient Cold War secrets.

    Aaron says: "Top Ten"
    "Top Ten"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A mystery in a day in the life of Slough House.

    MI5 has a cast-off department where screw-ups and castaways go to pasture. Whether it is because of gambling addictions, or leaving a file on a subway car, everyone at Slough House is a "slow horse" or, as they are sometimes referred, "Special Needs".

    The character development is filled out enough that you have a feeling of who the main players really are, and you know what makes them tick. They are the underdogs, and deep down want to prove themselves.

    When they catch wind of a sleeper cell from Cold War times being awakened, they might have a chance to redeem themselves.

    Slow Horses is the prequal to Dead Lions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil's Star

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (909)
    Performance
    (714)
    Story
    (714)

    A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. One finger has been severed from her left hand, and behind her eyelid is secreted a tiny red diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star - a pentagram, the devil’s star. Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and initially wants no part in it. But Harry is already on notice to quit the force and is left with little alternative but to drag himself out of his alcoholic stupor and get to work. A wave of similar murders is on the horizon....

    J.R. says: "New Steig Larsson? Hah! The new Raymond Chandler!"
    "Police/Crime Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A serious 'Crime Thriller' written by Norway's Jo Nesbo.

    I have read three books in the Harry Hole series and this was my favorite. It had a well-considered plot, good dialogue, positive character development, and the writing was expertly handled.I enjoyed the character study of Harry Hole (the hero/anti-hero). He is funny in a pathetic, yet lovable way.

    There were multiple minor plot lines that intersected during the chase for an elusive serial killer; I felt this added interest to the story, and thickened the plot. I do not always enjoy multi-tiered stories, but in this case it was a welcome addition.

    The descriptions of the crimes were mild given that the subject matter involves a serial killer and multiple victims, but would nevertheless give it a strong R-rating for violence and graphic sexual content.

    *Recommended for fans of the genre only.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cop Hater: 87th Precinct Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Ed McBain
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (132)

    When a sniper begins gunning down cops from the 87th Precinct in cold blood, it’s up to Detective Steve Carella to solve the case. With three cops already dead, Carella delves into the city’s underworld to search for the killer.

    PAR-TEE says: "1950's Noir..."
    "50's Cop Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first book "Cop Killer" was set against a heatwave in the middle of Summer.

    The second book "The Mugger" takes place in Fall (Autumn).

    I happened to read both books during the seasons they were written about. I was impressed with McBain's atmospheric writing, perhaps because I experienced the seasons as he was describing them.

    McBain describes the city as if it were a woman (his words) and the reader can thus feel the dress sticking to her skin; Whether it is the sweltering summer sweat, or leaves falling around her ankles onto wet pavement.

    Once the mood is set, the actors are introduced: the criminals and the crimes they perpetrate, the enforcers of peace, and the families at home.


    “The body lay outside an abandoned, boarded-up theater. The theater had started as a first-run movie house, many years back when the neighborhood had still been fashionable. As the neighborhood began rotting, the theater began showing second-run films, and then old movies, and finally foreign-language films.”
    - Ed Mccain from "Cop Hater"




    By todays standards Mccain's writing may seem quaint, but it captures the essence of 1950's cop novels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mugger

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ed McBain
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (41)

    A beat cop winds up on the trail of a deadly mugger, but when it suddenly gets personal, his own life might be the next thing to be snatched….

    Aaron says: "50's Cop Series"
    "50's Cop Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first book "Cop Killer" was set against a heatwave in the middle of summer.

    The second book "The Mugger" takes place in Fall (Autumn).

    It was a coincidence that I happened to read both books during the seasons that they were written about. I was impressed with Mccains atmospheric writing, perhaps because I experienced the seasons as he described them. He was able to capture a feeling of the city, in part because of the different seasons.

    McBain describes the city as if it were a woman (his words) and the reader can thus feel the dress sticking to her skin; Whether it is the sweltering summer sweat, or leaves falling around her ankles onto wet pavement.

    Once the mood is set, the actors are introduced: the criminals and the crimes they perpetrate, the enforcers of peace, and the families at home.

    "You know her tossed head in the auburn crowns of molting autumn foliage, Riverhead, and the park. […] You have seen her naked streets, have heard the sullen murmur of the wind in the concrete canyons of Isola, have watched her come awake, alive. […] She is big and sprawling and dirty sometimes, and sometimes she shrieks in pain, and sometimes she moans in ecstasy.
    But she could be nothing but a woman, and that’s good because your business is women.
    You are a mugger."
    - Ed Mccain from "The Mugger"




    By todays standards Mccain's writing may seem quaint, but it captures the essence of 1950's cop novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14412)
    Performance
    (13503)
    Story
    (13521)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Just like the Movie!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, so the movie hasn't come out yet, but still...it reads just like the movie.

    If you enjoy survival fiction and/or light sic-fi this is it!

    An astronaut is accidentally stranded on Mars (thought dead), but survives in the hopes of being rescued by the next Mars Mission. He currently has enough supplies for 6 people to last hopefully long enough that NASA might figure out he is still alive, or until the next Mars Mission arrives in a few years.

    The "techno babble" is believable enough. I enjoyed the story without wondering if it could actually happen. (e.g.., he has seeds and soil -and of course manure, runs on solar, has an oxygen and water reclaimer, etc...)

    Weir does a good job of creating difficult situations for the main character to overcome, and keeps the reader involved. The main character enlightens tense situations with humor (though funnies if you appreciate sarcasm and the occassional fart joke).

    I am curious to know how Hollywood will cut this book down to 2 hours, as there is quite a lot of book to cram into a short movie. It will be an interesting comparison, and promises to leave enough variety to allow the Book and Movie to stand alone (together).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Immortality

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Kevin Bohacz
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Without warning, something has gone terribly awry. In the remote and unnoticed places of the world, small pockets of death begin occurring. As the initially isolated extinctions spread, the world's eyes focus on this unimaginable horror and chaos. Out of the ecological imbalance, something new and extraordinary is evolving and surviving to fill the voids left by these extinctions. Evolution is operating in ways no one could have expected, and environmental damage may be the catalyst.

    John S says: "Good End of World Thriller"
    "Unbelievable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I appreciate the effort, but it smacked of a sophomoric effort. The story was slow to warm up, and when it did, I was't sure if it was geared for Science/Thriller fans, or PA fans, but suspect that neither will be truly happy.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Richard Armitage
    Overall
    (819)
    Performance
    (766)
    Story
    (761)

    It is a tale of ghosts, of madness, of revenge - of old alliances giving way to new intrigues. Denmark is changing, shaking off its medieval past. War with Norway is on the horizon. And Hamlet - son of the old king, nephew of the new - becomes increasingly entangled in a web of deception - and murder. Beautifully performed by actor Richard Armitage ("Thorin Oakenshield" in the Hobbit films), Hamlet, Prince of Denmark takes Shakespeare’s original into unexpected realms, reinventing a story we thought we knew.

    Madeleine says: "The Devil's In the Details"
    "If Shakespeare wrote novels, this would be it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Every bit as serious as the original.

    Hartley and Hewson have created a modern rendition of Hamlet that is eloquent and faithful to the original, albeit with a more novel feel.

    Richard Ermitage was the perfect reader for Hamlet (I laughed, I cried, I despised).

    Highly recommended to people who want to read Shakespeare, without the play format.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Who Goes There?: The Novella That Formed the Basis of 'THE THING'

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By John W. Campbell
    • Narrated By Steve Cooper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (534)
    Performance
    (451)
    Story
    (456)

    Who Goes There?, the novella that formed the basis of the film The Thing, is the John W. Campbell classic about an antarctic research camp that discovers and thaws the ancient body of a crash-landed alien.

    Joel D Offenberg says: "An Absolute Classic!"
    "Short Sci-Fi Gem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you have a couple hours to kill and are looking for a taut thriller, try this one.
    It is an arctic chiller. It is tightly woven, and wraps-up nicely. Slightly dated, but on the polar ice-cap, trust me, no one cares.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (7935)
    Performance
    (7192)
    Story
    (7211)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Excellent Crime Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Crime Noir makes a re-appearance.
    Hard Boiled detective (named Harry?) no, Cormoran Strike, is a down-on-his-luck, but good-at-his-job Private Dick. The story starts exactly at the right time, and moves at a steady clip, with fine writing, and atmosphere.

    Its just the kind of detective story we all want to hear, but the current lot of hack writers seems incapable of writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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