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Brett

“Be awesome! Be a book nut!” — Dr. Seuss

Charlotte, NC, United States | Member Since 2007

244
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 53 reviews
  • 92 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 44 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
10
FOLLOWERS
35

  • Those Across the River

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Christopher Buehlman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (101)

    Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate - the Savoyard Plantation - and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

    Barbara says: "Recording glitches, but a great gruesome tale"
    "Horror the way it should be!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book! Not quite as good as his second book (Between 2 Fires) but seriously head and shoulders above most of the horror that is out there. The story moves along a little slow at first, but then then the menacing tone starts and the dread builds. However, when the mystery is revealed things unwind a bit and I started to see bad decisions that could have avoided the tragedies that unfolded. The story lingers a little longer than I wanted but the ending ties all subplots together and gives a nice sense of forboding and mystery for things to come. I also really like the way the author told this story in first person as if he is telling you how things happened in the past. He uses this to forshadow things to great effect. Finally, I liked how Buehlman spared the southern characters from some of the typical stereotypes used by other authors. This is a good story and short enough to listen to in a day or two.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tell No Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (329)

    The scion of an old-money San Francisco family, Daniel Brasher left his well-paying, respectable money-manager position to marry his community organizer wife and work at a job he loves, leading group counseling sessions with recently paroled violent offenders. One night he finds an envelope - one intended for someone else that was placed in his office mailbox by accident. Inside is an unsigned piece of paper, a handwritten note that says, "Admit what you've done or you will bleed for it."

    karen says: "The purgatory of group therapy"
    "To Sir With Love?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tell no lies is not bad - much better than other thrillers I've read (even by much more well known authors).

    I almost put this book down early on, however, because I felt that it was sanctimonious. There seemed to be a hostile tone towards wealthy people that was hypocritical based on the actions of some of the characters. While this tone was very strong at first, it was moderated somewhat later on. I am not sure what the author was trying to say here (if anything) so I tended to ignore it.

    The mystery was very good except for a few surprising clues that emerged towards the end that immediately ruled out suspects and made others fit. Also, I found the endings of the side story lines trite and saccharine. Overall though, the plot was well crafted and MOST characters were believable. I feel like this novel is worth reading if you have the time.You'll especially like this novel if you know details of San Francisco geography. Hurwitz has peaked my interest as an author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3923)
    Performance
    (3344)
    Story
    (3341)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Shauna says: "Defending Jacob"
    "Whodunnit meets family-drama meets trial-thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I must admit that I've had Defending Jacob on my media player for a long time. I started this book several times. I found it slow and centered on suburban life with kids (something I don't know much about), and I just couldn't get into it. I am so glad that I gave this book one more chance. It was excellent.

    The story starts with the murder of a middle school child. The asst. district attorney takes the case only to realize that his son may be involved. The story follows the trial of the son and raises some interesting questions, such as, "how far would you go to protect your child", "can violence be inherited and are we doomed to commit the sins of our fathers."

    This book becomes a real page turner, and I could not put it down, which is rare for me. The book will keep you guessing until the very last moment. If you're like me, you won't see the ending coming. The story is told in retrospect and is mysterious in certain ways (perhaps a little too mysterious in some aspects).

    I liked this book and I will be reading more of Landay soon. The style reminded me of Scott Turow. The narration was excellent and the narrator's style was well suited to court room dialogue, which was a large part of this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Shipkiller: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Justin Scott
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (289)

    Before he was anointed to carry on the legacy of Robert Ludlum's Janson Command series, and before he collaborated with Clive Cussler on the fan favorite Isaac Bell series, Justin Scott created this suspenseful adventure tale, a novel of love and revenge set on the high seas. Written in 1978, this is considered by many to be one of the best maritime thrillers of all time. As an expert in the world of ships and sailing, Justin Scott creates an authentic maritime world, making The Shipkiller all the more thrilling because it could be a true story.

    Jean says: "A story of revenge"
    "Revenge on the High Seas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Shipkiller is an action novel that tells the story of a man who, upon being run over by a giant tanker named "Leviathan," loses his wife and almost his life. This event sets him on a quest to sink the giant ship.

    The hero's quest is leads him to link up with a woman who's character is largely there to reveal things about the hero and so is drawn in pretty 1-dimensional terms. The hero also links up with the Mossad, which I still don't completely understand as to why. This linkage brings him in conflict with entire countries and allows for some political intrigue that I felt was a little out of step with the rest of the story. I wish that the author had stayed closer to a modern version of Moby Dick and played on the idea that obsession consumes. Instead this is more of a James Bond story where the hero has a mission that brings him in peril and political intrigue (and in love with a woman).

    I think that this was a pretty fun story and the first two chapters cannot be beat as examples of how to start an action novel. The narration was good but very slow. I wish that the narrator would have talked faster and paused less often.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1409)
    Performance
    (1312)
    Story
    (1308)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    Crystal says: "A Yawner"
    "Even Better than Cuckoo"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I look back on the Harry Potter books it seems obvious to me now that Rowling (Galbraith) would move into mystery writing. The Potter books were all, at their heart, mystery novels.

    This 2nd installment of the Cormoran Strike mystery series is even better than the first (which I also ranked as 5stars). The recurring characters continue to develop and become more complex and the scenes/imagery are rich and easy to become immersed in. I found this book difficult to put down.

    I think that Galbraith (Rowling) is a great writer. Her characters come to life and in that way she reminds me of Charles Dickens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1652)
    Performance
    (738)
    Story
    (731)

    Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance, from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labor. Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress.

    Ethan M. says: "A mostly successful and interesting history"
    "History of the world from the perspective of money"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an historical account of money/econonmics in all of its shapes and forms. The book is arranged in chapters that discuss:

    1. The rise of money in society, credit and debt and how hard currency was replaced with paper.
    2. The rise of the bond market and the Rothschild family
    3. The stock market and the bubbles that it has produced (e.g., Enron)
    4. The start of insurance and the management of risk
    5. Housing an mortgages
    6. The effects of globalization (e.g., China's economic development)

    I found this book enjoyable to listen too, but there were times when I wish it had gone into more depth with the explanation of certain economic topics. Still the scope was large enough to give a layman like myself a good survey of topics. I especially liked chapters 1, 3, and 4 but I felt that some of the parts in the (chap5) housing discussion were a little preachy about social inequalities. Also I found the discussion on globalization a little dated - this book was written in 2008.

    The afterward of this book was also interesting but raced through the topic of behavior economics (the irrationality of economics due to human nature) way too fast for me.

    I would recommend this book to those of you that have like popular economic books (e.g., freakonomics, predictably irrational) AND also like history. You must like listening to history books to enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Reality: Exploring Our Everyday Adventures in Wonderland

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jim Baggott
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    A unique fusion of philosophy and metaphysics set against the backdrop of contemporary culture. Have you ever wondered if the world is really there when you're not looking? We tend to take the reality of our world very much for granted. This book will lead you down the rabbit hole in search of something we can point to, hang our hats on, and say this is real.

    Pat says: "A real great listen on the nature of reality"
    "More Quantum Physics than I wanted to Hear"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had two distinct parts.

    The first part, which I found very interesting, was a historical account of the philosophical arguments about reality. I think that I had heard most of these at one time or the other, but this author did an excellent job summarizing and tying them together.

    The second part of the book I found less interesting. It was mostly a scientific discussion of quantum mechanics and other theories.

    I suppose that the author intended to show that in these details of science we are back to the same old philosophical arguments that we couldn't answer before. This was an interesting argument but all of the details of all the science (e.g., quantum entanglement) started to bore me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2350)
    Performance
    (2117)
    Story
    (2106)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "For technophiles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you were born after 1980, believe that computers can do everything, and worship Google with awe and reverence then this story may be for you. This novel grew from a story posted on a website.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Not Taco Bell Material

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Adam Carolla
    • Narrated By Adam Carolla
    Overall
    (888)
    Performance
    (812)
    Story
    (807)

    Funnyman Adam Carolla is known for two things: hilarious rants about things that drive him crazy and personal stories about everything from his hardscrabble childhood to his slacker friends to the hypocrisy of Hollywood. He tackled rants in his first book, and now he tells his best stories and debuts some never-before-heard tales as well. Adam Carolla started broke and blue collar and has now been on the Hollywood scene for over 15 years. Yet he never lost his underdog demeanor.

    Ron says: "Must have for any Adam Carolla Fan!"
    "Not bad but uneven and not revealing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An autobiography of Adam's life told in stages, each stage defined by a house he lived in. This book was funny, and at times even smart, but the extent and quantity of the gross-out gags had an overpoweringly negative effect.

    Carolla narrated this book himself which was fine, and it was mostly really good and original in its approach. He didn't read the book but rather told the stories off-the-cuff in a stand-up comedy style. What I found somewhat annoying here was that he would reference an image in the book and then tell everyone to go buy the print book if they wanted to see it. Also he edited the stories from the book and even left out an entire chapter.

    Overall, I wish that I could have learned more about the Carolla from this book. Why are his friendships so enduring? What has his journey from shoe-box apartments to million dollar mansions taught him? Something more than just a bunch stories about guys peeing on one another (or worse - yes, worse).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (986)
    Performance
    (878)
    Story
    (879)

    Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists beyond the airport.

    Melinda says: "Absolutely Stellar!"
    "Wonderful - A Future Classic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Dog Stars was the best book I have read in a long time. A story of loss, rebirth, and growth set in a post apocalyptic world. The author made me feel it all. The loss was painful, the rebirth was confusing and scary, and the growth was sweet and heart warming. I admired the hero who was vulnerable yet strong and innocent yet wise. I was sad to say goodbye to this character at the end of the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All Seeing Eye

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Rob Thurman
    • Narrated By Jeff Hoyt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (92)

    Picking up a small, pink shoe from the grass forever changed young Jackson Lee’s life. Not only did its presence mean that his sister Tessa was dead - murdered and stuffed in the deep, black water of a narrow well - but the shoe itself told him so. Tessa’s death triggers an even more horrific family massacre that, combined with this new talent he neither wants nor can handle, throws Jack’s life into a tailspin. The years quickly take him from state homes to the streets to grifting in a seedy carnival, until he finally becomes the cynical All Seeing Eye, psychic-for-hire. At last, Jackson has left his troubled past behind and found a semblance of peace....

    Tracey says: "Finally on Audible -- GREAT read"
    "Annoying antihero."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All Seeing Eye was a slow to develop story with so much exposition that by the time any action started I hardly cared. The story was told in first person and clumsily tried to sound colloquial by using slang, wisecracks, and sarcasm. This had little effect. I never believed the main character, and I found him annoying (the narrator only made things worse). In my opinion, the world created in this story felt artificial and flimsy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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