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Casey

Hi! I'm Casey Keller, semi-retired TV writer, avid cyclist, husband and father. I'm also a guy who devours audio books.

ratings
95
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
109

  • 21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (93)

    Best-selling author Patrick O'Brian became a legend with his beloved Aubrey-Maturin seafaring tales. O'Brian received further attention with the critically acclaimed film adaptation, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards¿ and won two.

    Casey says: "A Sad Farewell"
    "A Sad Farewell"
    Overall

    It's with great sadness that I finished '21' the final, unfinished adventure of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in the Master And Commander Series. I think of all audio books, the UNABRIDGED versions of these must be considered the gold standard.

    Let's begin with the books themselves. If you've never read one, these are the adventures of two best friends, Captain John "Lucky Jack" Aubry and Stephen Maturin, M.D. during the Napoleonic wars. Each book is filled with adventure, comedy, romance, intrigue and history. The characters are drawn wonderfully, consistent enough to create comedy in their reactions, but inconsistent enough to ring true as humans. The details of nautical life are amazing. Author Patrick O'Brian's ear for dialog, dialects and nautical idioms was beyond brilliant.

    Then there is Patrick Tull, the British actor who brings these books to life on tape or MP3. Mr. Tull is that rare book reader who actually reflects on every word he reads. Each character has their own voice and dialect, not an easy thing to pull off over a span of twenty-one books. Even the female characters and love scenes, often a pitfall for even the best narrators, are pulled of wonderfully.

    Do yourself a great favor. Download the UNABRIDGED version of Master And Commander as read by Mr. Tull. See why so many people have followed this series from its beginning. See why we feel so sad that there won't be a twenty-second book. This is as good as audio books can get.

    34 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Carol Leifer
    • Narrated By Carol Leifer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (36)

    For many years, television comedy was an exclusive boys' club - until a brilliant comedian named Carol Leifer came along, blazing a trail for funny women everywhere. From Late Night with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live to Seinfeld, The Ellen Show, and Modern Family, Carol has written for and/or performed on some of the best TV comedies of all time. This hilarious collection of essays charts her extraordinary three-decade journey through show business, illuminating her many triumphs and some missteps along the way.

    Brian Burns says: "The funniest business book ever!"
    "Great Pep Talk For People Beginning Their Careers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a retired TV writer and from time to time young people ask me how to get their careers started in entertainment. In the future, I'll refer them to this book.
    It's loaded with great advice, much of it good for people beginning any kind of career,all of it illustrated with examples from Ms. Leifer's life.
    While I'm sure most people don't need to be reminded to bathe or to show up for job interviews on time, the best advice she gives is to be fearless and relentless.
    If you're beginning your career, as my children are, I think you'll get a lot from reading Ms. Leifer's book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What's So Funny?: My Hilarious Life

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Tim Conway, Jane Scovell, Carol Burnett
    • Narrated By Tim Conway, Carol Burnett, Dick Hill, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (684)
    Performance
    (621)
    Story
    (618)

    Six-time Emmy Award-winning funnyman Tim Conway, best known for his characters on The Carol Burnett Show, offers a straight-shooting and hilarious memoir about his life on stage and off as an actor and comedian. In television history, few entertainers have captured as many hearts and made as many people laugh as Tim Conway. There's nothing in the world that Tim Conway would rather do than entertain - and in his first-ever memoir, What's So Funny?, that's exactly what he does.

    Richard says: "Very Enjoyable"
    "When Did Jack Reacher work with Carol Burnett?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First things first... if you like show business memoirs, this is a fine one. It gives you some insight into the creation of a wonderful comic genius, Tim Conway, and is loaded with funny anecdotes. This is a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
    BUT... Tim Conway does not narrate this book. After a warm and generous forward by Carol Burnett, Mr. Conway does a minute or two of introduction, explaining that he read the book once and does not intend to read it again. At that point, the narration is turned over to Dick Hill.
    DICK HILL!!! The man who reads all those hard boiled detective novels. The voice of Harry Bosch and Jack Reacher. Hill is easily among the best narrators on Audible, but it was jarring, to say the least, to hear Jack Reacher telling stories about his wonderful years working with Carol Burnett. You kept waiting for him to narrate how he beat up the entire cast of McHale's Navy!
    Sorry, Mr. Hill, but you've got a typecasting problem.
    That aside, if you've loved Tim Conway's work on television and in movies, you'll enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Martin Short with Dick Cavett at the 92nd Street Y

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 25 mins)
    • By Martin Short
    • Narrated By Dick Cavett
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Martin Short, one of today's most inventive and popular comic actors, is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, SCTV, and in the films The Three Amigos and The Father of the Bride. The creator of such memorable characters as Jiminy Glick, Ed Grimley, and Irving Cohen, Short returned to Broadway in the "alternate autobiography" Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. Here he talks with Dick Cavett.

    Casey says: "I Want My 99 Cents Back!"
    "I Want My 99 Cents Back!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It seemed like a "can't miss" selection. Martin Short, the funniest man on the planet being interviewed by Dick Cavett, a brilliant interviewer, wit and raconteur. But Mr. Cavett seemed to forgot that he was the interviewer, not the interviewee. He acted as if he were on the stage to amuse Mr. Short with his own anecdotes.
    It would have been so easy to let a brilliant comic like Short loose with all his incredible energy and characters. Everyone would have gone home thinking how brilliant Short was and what a wonderful job Cavett did showing off Short's brilliance. Best of all, I wouldn't be writing this review.
    But instead Cavett blocked Short at every moment, recounting stories about entertainers of an era long before Short's (Milton Berle, Fred Allen, Richard Loo?!)
    Let's be fair and say Mr. Cavett was having a bad evening, or he and Mr. Short didn't have any chemistry. It happens. But that's no excuse for selling this debacle to Audible's subscribers.
    I assure you I will survive very well without my 99 cents, but I should have it back just on principle..

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Freedomland

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Richard Price
    • Narrated By Joe Morton
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (2)

    A white woman, her hands gashed and bloody, stumbles into an inner-city emergency room and announces that she has just been carjacked by a black man. But then comes the horrifying twist: Her young son was asleep in the back seat, and he has now disappeared into the night.

    Casey says: "I'll take my audio books neat (and unabridged)"
    "I'll take my audio books neat (and unabridged)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First things first, Richard Price is an extraordinary writer. His work in movies "Clockers" and in television "The Wire" speaks for itself. His novels are wonderful. He reminds me of Tom Wolfe in his eye for subtlety and detail. His characters talk like human beings, not puppets set up to say glib things to show off how clever the writer is.

    Joe Morton, the narrator, is a world class actor and narrator. Among his acting credits is John Sayles "Brother From Another Planet" where he starred in a feature film without saying a word of dialog. He often narrates the "American Experience" series on PBS.

    But the production on this book leaves me torn. The use of music cues is kind of a turn off. It's not as bad as the audio book of "Huckleberry Finn" I bought on Audible a few months ago with its cutesy banjo and harmonica music, that tried to turn one of America's two greatest novels into a carefree, nostalgic romp, but I prefer my audio books unadulterated.

    Finally, had I noticed that this was an abridged book, I probably would not have bought it. Richard Price's writing is too winning to be cut down with an editor's machete.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (893)
    Performance
    (797)
    Story
    (796)

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "Comfort Food For Your Ears"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know it sounds horribly boring, a book about good people trying to do kind things, but Nevil Shute’s Trustee From The Toolroom charmed me and made me feel good about being human. And that is a lovely thing.

    The story concerns Keith Stewart, a gifted machinist who makes his living writing for a hobbyist magazine called Miniature Mechanic that teaches other hobbyists how to make projects in their home machine shops. That's a little nook of civilization I never knew existed and Shute explores it wonderfully.

    Though disappointed that they could not have children, Keith and his wife live modestly and contentedly in a poor suburb of London. When his sister and brother-in-law die in a boating accident near Tahiti, they are willingly tasked with the role of raising their daughter.

    To recover the modest money left for the little girl's education, Keith must leave the comfort and safety of his home and bum his way around the world to his sister's shipwreck. In his travels, he discovers that, because of his articles in Miniature Mechanic, (and his generosity in taking the time to answer readers' letters) he has a vast network of friends and admirers everywhere eager to help him in his quest.

    Listen, I love listening to Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch kicking ass. I love the violent naval battles in the Master And Commander books, but sometimes it's nice to read a book about nice people doing nice things. I was charmed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • House of Holes

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Nicholson Baker
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    Shandee finds a friendly arm at a granite quarry. Ned drops down a hole in a golf course. Luna meets a man made of light bulbs at a tanning parlor. So begins Nicholson Baker's fuse-blowing, sex-positive escapade, House of Holes. Baker returns to erotic territory with a gleefully over-the-top novel set in a pleasure resort, where normal rules don't apply. Brimful of good-nature, wit, and surreal sexual vocabulary, this is a modern-day Hieronymous Boschian bacchanal that is sure to surprise, amuse, and arouse.

    Jeffrey says: "A fantastic performance of a very funny book"
    "Somebody Help Me Out Here, Please!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Imagine if Richard Brautigan wrote a book about an erotic Disney World. That would be Nicholson Baker's "House Of Holes."

    I listened to this entire book (or should I say "hole" book?) waiting to see what the author was getting at, and at the end, it seemed he was getting at nothing. "House Of Holes" is just not about anything. Instead of a strong narrative to pull me along, Baker uses titillation which got quite tedious after a couple of hours.

    Jeff Woodman’s narration was good, but his character voices were too cartoony. He made everybody sound like libidinous idiots, especially the women.

    And speaking of women, I couldn’t help noticing that all the rave reviews for this book were written by men. I’d be curious to see some reactions from women.

    Would somebody on this forum please help me out and tell me what this book is about? Show me what I missed. Let me in on the joke.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (844)
    Performance
    (696)
    Story
    (692)

    The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career - 1958 to 1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark.

    Abdur Abdul-Malik says: "From Powerful to Powerless"
    "Can We Buy Mr. Gardner A Dictionary?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you know anything about current books, you know that this book is brilliant and well worth your time. It's one of most important books of the year. The New York Times rave review was written by Bill Clinton.

    But something must be said about Grover Gardner's mastery of the English language. It's missing. It's not that he's a bad reader. In fact he would be pretty good if it weren't for one thing... The man is constantly, annoyingly and distractingly mispronouncing words.

    Mr. Gardner needs a producer or a director... someone who can tell him to take a moment and check the pronunciation of the words he's reading.

    A quick search of Audible reveals Mr. Gardner's name on 285 titles. That's thousands of hours of recordings. Perhaps he's too busy recording books to check pronunciations. Perhaps Audible has kept him so busy that he hasn't slept in 12 years and can't concentrate. Perhaps he records books in his sleep.

    My point is not to attack Mr. Gardner, but rather that a brilliant and important book... a publishing event if you will, like The Passage Of Power deserves a lot more care taken with its audio version. We would certainly not be pleased with this book if it were filled with mis-spellings and typographical errors. Grover Gardner's mispronunciations are the audible equivalent.

    4 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Lyndsay Faye
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1480)
    Performance
    (1132)
    Story
    (1125)

    Breathless and painstakingly researched, this is a stunning debut mystery in which Sherlock Holmes unmasks Jack the Ripper. Lyndsay Faye perfectly captures all the color and syntax of Conan Doyle’s distinctive nineteenth-century London.

    connie says: "the best of both Holmes"
    "This One's A Winner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A few weeks ago Audible had a sale and I picked up 5 books thinking, “What the hell. If I hate it, I’m only out $4.95.” Well, with "Shadow And Fog," I picked a winner.

    It’s been years since I read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries and I won’t try to pass myself off as a Baker Street Irregular, but I do love a good mystery and this one more than qualifies. Author Lindsay Faye builds on a conceit I first encountered in Nicholas Meyer’s “Seven Percent Solution.” He places the Holmes and Watson characters in the middle of an historical event or among historical characters. In Meyer’s book, Holmes is tricked into going to Vienna to be treated for his cocaine addiction by Dr. Sigmund Freud. In this story, Holmes finds himself matching wits with Jack The Ripper.

    Sherlock Holmes and his companion/biographer, Dr. John Watson are unquestionably among literature’s most enduring and beloved icons. Faye captures their voices perfectly. A lesser writer might have made Dr. Watson sound like the buffoon Nigel Bruce played opposite Basil Rathbone in the Sherlock Holmes films. Faye creates a number of those wonderful moments when Holmes’ dazzles someone with the conclusions he draws about them, moments that have always left me as impressed with the writer as Holmes’ clients are with his observational powers. And Faye adds a cast of memorable characters, in particular Mary Ann Blunt, a streetwalker with an unexpected talent for sleuthing.

    Simon Vance deserves special credit for his wonderful performance. He certainly seems to know his London dialects neighborhood by neighborhood. Very impressive.

    My conclusion… “Shadow And Fog” is great fun and well worth your time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Reversal: Harry Bosch, Book 16 (Mickey Haller, Book 3)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3855)
    Performance
    (1979)
    Story
    (1990)

    Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.

    Andrew Pollack says: "Brilliantly executed"
    "One of Connelly's Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At his best, Michael Connelly is a great entertainer and a wonderful story teller. I'm happy to say The Reversal is Connelly at his best.
    Lately, I've found the Harry Bosch books to be over the top and, well... silly. But this story is told by both Bosch and his half brother, Mickey Haller (Lincoln Lawyer). That's a perfect combination. We get Mickey Haller for the always perceptive, chess-like court room moves and Hieronymus Bosch to add a bit of action and violence.
    Peter Giles does a great job on the reading although I do have one gripe. His voice for Harry Bosch sounds more like an aging surfer dude than a veteran detective, struggling father and former Vietnam tunnel rat.
    But aside from that, the moment this story starts, you won't be able to stop listening.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    Overall
    (2422)
    Performance
    (1411)
    Story
    (1435)

    Before cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand and slim laptops that fit snugly into briefcases, computers were like strange, alien vending machines. They had cryptic switches, punch cards, and pages of encoded output. But in 1975, a young engineering wizard named Steve Wozniak had an idea: What if you combined computer circuitry with a regular typewriter keyboard and a video screen?

    Anthony says: "Best of the Best"
    "An Enormous Disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Steve Wozniak was a key player in a moment in the world's history that may be as important as Gutenberg's invention of the printing press so if figures that this should be a thrilling read, full of insights (and gossip) about the process, the discoveries and the other important players. Instead, we have a book written at a 5th grade reading level that tediously recounts each clever engineering accomplishment of Mr. Wozniak's.

    We get it, Mr. Wozniak. You're a clever engineer and a nice guy, even if you do have to say so yourself OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. What you're NOT is an author or a raconteur.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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