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Janels

ratings
275
REVIEWS
124
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
45
HELPFUL VOTES
175

  • The Panther

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2112)
    Performance
    (1786)
    Story
    (1778)

    Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, have been posted overseas to Sana'a, Yemen - one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East. While there, they will be working with a small team to track down one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole bombing: a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative known as The Panther. Ruthless and elusive, he's wanted for multiple terrorist acts and murders - and the U.S. government is determined to bring him down, no matter the cost.

    John says: "Exciting Nelson DeMille novel with great narration"
    "Corey and Brenner--it doesn't get any better!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Every one of Nelson DeMille's books are like a delicious treat to be treasured and savored. Meticulously researched, cleverly written--a master story teller to whom every single written word is meaningful. No wasted words or characters. Two of his wittiest and most clever characters, John Corey and Paul Brenner unite in this on-topic masterpiece that is too close to current events to ever be made into a movie. It is a shame, as all his books should be movies. Just as John Travolta brought wise-cracking Paul Brenner to life in the movie rendition of The General's Daughter; a movie with him and the Corey character would be great. But relish DeMille's latest masterpiece; he has the recipe that so many authors have tried for and failed: humor, well-researched and intricate plot, no gratuitous violence or sex, and not a single wasted word. All wonderful. By the way, do listen to the epilogue. It is worthwhile hearing the author's own personage as it blends with that of his characters.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (821)
    Performance
    (746)
    Story
    (759)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Marci says: "So Disappointing"
    "Book suffers from awful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You would think that a best selling author would choose/rate first class narration--not on this book. First of all, the female who reads rather than narrates sounds as though she is a teenaged Valley girl. She literally reads (every sentence starts with voice higher and ends at voice lower at period). When she tries any intonation, it is misleading as she breaks up sentences inappropriately and puts the wrong emphasis on the wrong words. Furthermore, she absolutely can't do different voices for different characters. The listener becomes easily confused, unless there is a "he said" or "she said", as you can't tell the differences among the female characters and there seems little if any difference between male and female voices. Except her ridiculous hillbilly caricature. The lead female, Samantha, is supposed to be a 29 year old attorney. The narrator voices her as a high-pitched much younger sounding character.

    Aside from the grating and ruinous narration, the book seems to have a new (for Grisham) gripping plot. I'm only half way through, and the narration is so disturbing that I decided to comment now. This is definitely a book much better read (as in hard copy) than listened to. Too many of the characters are lost to poor narration and it detracts from the plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • These Things Hidden

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Ali Ahn, Angela Lin, Angela Goethals
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (385)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (314)

    Once the golden child of tiny Linden Falls, Iowa, Allison Glenn watches her reputation crumble as she is sent to prison for five years—convicted of a terrible crime. But what really happened that fateful night? Allison’s younger sister is the only other person who knows the truth. Now out of prison, Allison is more desperate than ever to set the record straight, but the revelation of the truth could have far-reaching consequences.

    C. Morris says: "Please save yourself the time"
    "Jumbled, only comes together at end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This continually lost my interest, and it was only sheer endurance that made me listen until the end. It begins with several different readers telling several seemingly unrelated stories...very confusing. It came off as very disjointed and uninteresting, until the end when it quickly pulled it all together. It felt as though I were being intentionally mislead until the rabbit was pulled out of the hat--and the various versions just didn't have enough depth. I would not listen to something from this author again--too much work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rainbow's End

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (39)

    When three women die of "natural causes" in London and the West Country, there appears to be no connection - or reason to suspect foul play. But Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury has other ideas, and before long he’s following his keen police instincts all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There, in the company of a brooding 13-year-old girl and her pet coyote, he mingles with an odd assortment of characters and tangles with a twisted plot that stretches from England to the American Southwest.

    Janels says: "Always interesting, but bad American stereotypes"
    "Always interesting, but bad American stereotypes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jury mysteries are always witty and amusing, but this one seems to veer out of its comfort zone by adding ridiculous American stereotypes, bad dialogue, and bad American accents. Kind of seemed as though the author took a trip to New Mexico and just had to make Jury fit into it. He didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Seventh Secret (Signet)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Irving Wallace
    • Narrated By Chet Williamson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    Eminent Oxford don Sir Harrison Ashcroft, on the verge of proving that Hitler did not die in the bunker, is murdered in Berlin. His daughter, Emily, continues this quest. Her life is endangered but she has new and unexpected protectors: Rex Foster, researching the vainglory of Nazi architecture; Nicholas Kirvov, curator of a Soviet art museum; and Tovah Levine, Mossad agent. The four prove a tough match for a coterie of neo-Nazis conspiring to perpetuate Hitler's image and obscure the details of his death.

    Keith says: "Solid Conspiracy Theory"
    "Robotic narration and dated dialogue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not a new story, but the narration was uninspired and robotic, the love scenes just plain embarrassing, and the story interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Graham Robb
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (59)

    This is the Paris you never knew. From the Revolution to the present, Graham Robb has distilled a series of astonishing true narratives, all stranger than fiction. A young artillery lieutenant, strolling through the Palais-Royal, observes disapprovingly the courtesans plying their trade. A particular woman catches his eye; nature takes its course. Later that night, Napoleon Bonaparte writes a meticulous account of his first sexual encounter....

    Myrna Minkoff says: "Difficult....but worth it"
    "Historical vertigo"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a Francophile who spends at least a month in Paris each year. I try to read all books which humanize French history. It's great to be able to better appreciate where I happen to be at any given time and know just what went on there.

    However, this book would be much better followed if read in written form. I listen to audiobooks so that I can multitask. But that doesn't mean I don't pay attention--I just can't take notes or memorize sequences. This book whips back and forth throughout history, chapters, characters, and quotes without the benefit of written punctuation. The narrator (one of my favorites, by the way) does an excellent job of injecting dry Brit wit into the writer's comments on much of the historical revelations. However, it is difficult to distinguish between a poem and the narration of any of the dozens of characterizations, and the "2.5.1" etc., (presumably chapters and sub chapters, and sub-sub chapters?) makes my ears stop listening. It can be very difficult to follow, as it is a collection of many separate scenarios, largely unlinked except for the city. The scores of character names are numbing, although the historical research is often entertaining, and certainly revealing.

    It's just that, it is almost like a history text book, and really should be seen and read. Reciting chapter numbers and sub-chapters is meaningless and distracting. And, you never know what era the narrator will begin after taking an all-too-short pause. Sometimes if I am just slightly distracted, I'll have no idea what era or happening is being recited by the narrator. By the time I catch up, I have hopelessly lost my place and vow to get the printed book.

    All in all, it is impressive research, and very entertaining and enlightening factoids about Paris and Parisians. It is just a bit oblique for a casual listener. And I really don't want to have to listen in a vacuum, as with a lecture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Paris Apartment

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Michelle Gable
    • Narrated By Erin Moon, Saskia Maarleveld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    When her boss tells her about the discoveries in a cramped, decrepit apartment in the ninth arrondissement, Sotheby' s continental furniture specialist April Vaught does not hear "dust" or "rats" or "shuttered for 70 years". She hears Paris. She hears escape. She cannot board the plane fast enough. When she arrives, April quickly learns the apartment is more than just some rich hoarder' s repository. Beneath the dust and cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a literal goldmine - and not just in terms of actual dollars.

    Simone says: "Total Fail"
    "Engrossing dramatization of an actual event"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although a Francophile, I don't remember hearing about the Paris apartment that had been closed up for 70 years. When I now research that finding, I see that many stories got it wrong. It was not the original owner, Marthe de Florian, who fled the Nazis for southern France around the time of the 2nd World War, but her granddaughter, which is a mystery in itself. This appears to be the best and tidiest accounting of the apartment and the lineage of owners. It also probably speculates as to why the final owner never returned for 70 years prior to her death, but kept paying the rent for all that time. The speculations are quite interesting, and it makes for an engrossing story--especially as it is heavily based on actual events. It seems to have been painstakingly researched to be able to have woven the intricate series of events that lead up to this fabulous find. Almost my only negative comment would be of the very excellent narrator. Especially when narrating the voice of a multi-degreed antiques expert, PLEASE pronounce "jewElry" correctly! (not jew-le-ry).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Heist

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1031)
    Performance
    (916)
    Story
    (919)

    Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled listeners with 16 thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back - from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant creation, Gabriel Allon - art restorer, assassin, spy - has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.

    Brian says: "If new to Daniel Silva, great book. Otherwise..."
    "Great education in art history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of Silva's more detailed, and in my opinion, more interesting and educational narratives, giving in-depth histories of some of the world's greatest painters. It has a more or less typical Gabriel Allon story line, but for some reason, Kiara and Shamron do not play as big a roll as in the past. Another benefit for Francophiles is the detailed descriptions of his paths in Paris. Clearly, Silva has been there recently. The book is fast-paced and mesmerizing until the end, which is somewhat disappointing. It is as though it quickly tied up lose ends and just stopped any in-depth narrative. Still very worth the listen, as are all of Silva's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stargazey: Richard Jury, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    Saturday night. It was not a night to be spending alone, riding a bus. When he was a teenager at the comprehensive, Saturday night without a girl, without a date, without at least your mates to raise hell with, Saturday night alone would have been shameful. One wouldn't want to be seen alone on a Saturday night…. Who are you kidding? That was never your life, Jury, not yours.

    Cynthia says: "Entertaining and well thought-out."
    "The most entertaining Grimes novel I've heard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I stumbled on the Richard Jury books and found they had very entertaining if odd characters. Each character that continues from book to book seems to get deeper, funnier and better developed with each. This is the most entertaining of all the Jury books I've listened to, and I will likely go for the entire series. The narrator does a lively and excellent job of injecting humor and nuance into a vast variety of voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emily and Einstein: A Novel of Second Chances

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Linda Francis Lee
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller, Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (525)
    Performance
    (450)
    Story
    (451)

    He was a man who didn’t deserve a second chance... but he needed one. Emily and her husband, Sandy Portman, seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building. But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident. The funeral isn't even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment. But worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned when she discovers that her marriage was made up of lies.

    Allison says: "Well-written, kept my attention"
    "Learning life lessons from a dog, and as a dog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    (spoiler alert?) Emily becomes a children's author, and writes books about just what this book is about. It is predictable, allegorical life lessons, as though written for children. Children would be better at suspending belief with a dog angel. The pure of heart triumph, and the impure are shamed.

    I don't know if it was just my recording, but it is the only book that I have heard that repeats phrases and sentences occasionally. Bad job of editing?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Long Knives

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Charles Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd, Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (74)

    Jenna James’ life has been smooth-sailing since she left the high-powered law firm of Marbury Marfan. She’s happily ensconced as a professor at a prestigious law school, where she’s well liked by her students, coupled up with a handsome colleague, and on track for tenure. But things take a shocking turn one morning when a student, Primo, comes to Jenna’s office seeking her advice about a treasure map he recently inherited. When Primo turns up dead and Jenna is suddenly the prime suspect in a murder investigation, everyone turns on her.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Disaster on Campus"
    "Terrible narration--ruins it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't imagine how TWO narrators, male and female, can both be so misguidedly awful! For some reason, they eggageratedly enunciate as though English was their second--or third--language. And I don't mean when they are characterizing a foreigner--everyone sounds stilted with way too many consonants pronounced in a heavy handed manner. I liked the author from the other novel, but this is a disaster. I would never listen to these narrators again, particularly the male.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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