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Doug

Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.

Columbus, NC, United States | Member Since 2015

390
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 69 reviews
  • 193 ratings
  • 695 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
20

  • Life on the Mississippi

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (39)

    When Mark Twain was growing up, all he wanted to be was a steamboat man. And so Twain ran away in pursuit of his dream. Life on the mighty river for Twain consisted of paddleboats and history, poker games and gamblers, larger-than-life characters and outlandish festivals like Mardi Gras. Twain recorded it all with his keen eye for detail and biting wit.

    Kristoffer says: "Inaudible!"
    "Humorous, poignant, informative, adventurous"
    Overall

    The wild man from Hannibal who gave us Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn remembers (and revisits) his home town in this memoir written after he was rich and famous and no longer the kid that in his heart he always remained, at least partly. In making the journey, he tells about the geologic history of the Mississippi, about the geographic effects of the river, about the early days of steamboating on the river and the complexity of the task of moving a boat on a river that changed from hour to hour and day to day and was always ready to grab a boat and its passengers and pull them to muddy death. Any reader who enjoyed Tom and Huck owes it to himself to sample this wonderful story by a man who never wrote a bad sentence, although he was know for using bad language, i.e. profanity, at the drop of a cigar ash. I have listened to the recording twice, have read the book more than two times, and if I take a notion, I will do it again, regardless of the consequences, so little do I value sanity. (That was supposed to be humorous, but I really have listened twice and read twice....and I hope you do too.)

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Firewall: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (177)

    A body is found at an ATM, the apparent victim a of heart attack. Then two teenage girls are arrested for the brutal murder of a cab driver. The girls confess to the crime, showing no remorse whatsoever. Two open-and-shut cases. At first these two incidents seem to have nothing in common, but as Wallander delves deeper into the mystery of why the girls murdered the cab driver, he begins to unravel a plot much more complicated than he initially suspected.

    Kathleen says: "Good but not my favorite"
    "A mystery wrapped in an enigma..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Detective Kurt Wallander is no super sleuth/hero....he is very believable as a careful investigator who has intuitive good sense and proceeds methodically to solve two murders that are strange and bewildering.

    For those of you who have read Wallander books previously, as I have, this is one of the best that I have read.

    Dick Hill does an excellent job, as always he does, reading/performing the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Neil Hunt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (226)

    Eight hundred women and children begin a 1,200-mile journey on foot across Japanese-occupied Malaya. At journey’s end, only 30 will still be alive. This is the story of one woman, of her ordeal, and of how she was saved by the sacrifice of an Australian soldier. It is a story of rare individual courage in the face of certain death, and hope in the face of despair.

    Jean says: "Historical Novel"
    "War...survival...romance...happy ending...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A really really good book....the reader/listener travels with a small group of Western women who are captured by the Japanese in World War II. The Japanese do not want the women...they do not really want to harm them, but they also do not want to be bothered with putting them in a camp and feeding and taking care of them....so they send the women and children from one place to another, on foot with guards...eventually with only one guard as the women seem to be no threat and the soldiers are needed for fighting. As the women walk here and there, wandering over miles of punishing environment, many die of harsh conditions.

    But the war ends, and....the miserable and deadly walk leads to romance....against the odds, as they say, a miracle of sorts happens...love comes out of misery....and just so you know, the book has a happy ending. It is a good narrative, a satisfying story, and the performance of Neil Hunt as he reads the story and acts out the voices is very satisfying...

    Best of all, to use a cliche which really does apply, there is never a boring moment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Persuader

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3776)
    Performance
    (2887)
    Story
    (2874)

    Jack Reacher. The ultimate loner. An elite ex-military cop who left the service years ago, he's moved from place to place...without family...without possessions...without commitments.

    Joanna says: "Child at His Best! A Must Read for Reacher Fans!"
    "Wow! This one might be the BEST Reacher novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Holds you like glue to the very last page.....I have read all the Jack Reacher novels, I think, and this one is the best. At times you are not really sure who the bad guys are....and while the main plot rushes on, Reacher constantly remembers events from the past when an investigation went wrong....and it turns out that the newest problem will help rectify the previous fouled up investigation provided Reacher can overcome the crook that bested him earlier...The narration is very very good....the narrator gets the pacing and the accents and the emotions exactly right....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tatiana: An Arkady Renko Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Henry Strozier
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (164)

    One of the iconic investigators of contemporary fiction, Arkady Renko - cynical, analytical, and quietly subversive - has survived the cultural journey from the Soviet Union to the New Russia, only to find the nation as obsessed with secrecy and brutality as was the old Communist dictatorship. In Tatiana, Martin Cruz Smith’s most ambitious novel since Gorky Park, the melancholy hero finds himself on the trail of a mystery as complex and dangerous as modern Russia herself.

    Rollin says: "Interesting story but terrible narration"
    "Dead people won't stay dead...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In post-soviet Russia, nothing is what it seems...or is it? One thing that is clear and certain is that murder has taken no leave from the society....Arkady Renko finds himself trying to find a killer...or killers...and as usual the odds seem not in his favor. This novel is a fast-paced and satisfying mystery with an ending that fits the overall story...I liked Gorky Park better, but I was glad to visit Renko again....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dab of Dickens, The Touch of Twain, and The Shade of Shakespeare

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Elliot Engel
    • Narrated By Elliot Engel, David Birney, Scott Brick, and others
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    They are icons of the literary world whose soaring works have been discussed and analyzed in countless classrooms, homes, and pubs. Yet for most readers, the living, breathing human beings behind the classics have remained unknown - until now. In this utterly captivating book, Dr. Elliot Engel, a leading authority on the lives of great authors, illuminates the fascinating and flawed members of literature’s elite. In lieu of stuffy biographical sketches, Engel provides fascinating anecdotes.

    Doug says: "Very entertaining!"
    "Very entertaining!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Do you know what you don't know about Dickens, Twain and Shakespeare? Well, probably not....but I do! There is a lot! I have taught American and British lit for 30 years and read them much longer and I found that Elliot Engel informed me of a lot of stuff I did not know about these literary figures....and it was FUN!!! Odd facts such as the fact that Dickens invented the paperback book....and the cliff-hanger....and that he earned more money in his life than any other writer in history....and other stuff you will not find in the typical book on writers. Along with the info on the writers come samples from their works: some of Shakespeare's sonnets and part of King Lear and part of Dickens' David Copperfield. This is a very entertaining and humorous look at three of the greats from our past....fun, not boring.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • High Heat: A Jack Reacher Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (661)
    Performance
    (594)
    Story
    (595)

    New York Times best-selling thriller master, Lee Child returns with an exclusive eBook novella. In the midst of a savage heat wave and an infamous murder spree, a blackout awakens the dark side of the city that never sleeps - and a young Jack Reacher takes action as only he can.

    John says: "Cheap, but still overpriced!"
    "Jack Reacher as a teen ager..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a 16-year old who takes a break from school to check out NY City, Reacher finds that his street-fighting skills learned at marine bases around the world are handy in the Big Apple. He meets some unsavory bad guys who menace a young lady and he encounters a killer who is blasting young couples who are sitting in their cars in the dark having a bit of romance...blasting them with a high-power pistol while they sit kissing or chatting. Reacher has bad news for all the bad guys...it is the beginning of his life of evening the odds and showing bad guys that there is someone on the side of right who is also bad, but for the right reasons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pyramid and Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (363)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (177)

    The Pyramid is the long-awaited addition to Henning Mankell's critically celebrated and internationally best-selling Kurt Wallander mystery series: the book of five short mysteries that takes us back to the beginning. Here are the stories that trace, chronologically, Wallander's growth from a rookie cop into a young father and then a middle-aged divorcé, illuminating how Wallander became a first-rate detective and highlighting new facets of a now canonical character.

    Corinne says: "Pyramid story is extraordinary"
    "Did not want to stop listening!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A sure sign of a good audiobook is one that you do not want to stop listening to. This is the first Wallander audio for me but not the last. I already have bought more, having enjoyed this one so much. It is a good mystery with interesting characters and a plot that satisfies. What else do you want....oh, the narration is quite good also. Unlike some mysteries and thrillers, the plots in these four stories are actually believable...the characters seem like real people and the events are quite possible....no out-of-this world action....just a good story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Not a Drill: Jack Reacher, Book 18.5

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 27 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (466)
    Performance
    (415)
    Story
    (413)

    With nine straight number one New York Times bestsellers and over 17 million copies in print in the United States alone, it's easy to see why the New York Times has anointed Lee Child as "the best thriller writer of the moment". Now, as fans anxiously await the next full-length Reacher adventure, Child delivers a riveting new short story featuring the world's most beloved vigilante hero, Jack Reacher.

    Jean says: "Too Short of a short story"
    "Not the usual Reacher novel..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was nice to read a Reacher novel that was somewhat different. You see a slightly different version of the man, and I enjoyed it. I have liked a dozen of the books so far, and it was good to have a change of pace, since all of the books have a similar plot and you know who Reacher is after four or five books....so this was a fresh wind in the storm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Sparrow: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jason Matthews
    • Narrated By Jeremy Bobb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1514)
    Performance
    (1357)
    Story
    (1360)

    Drafted against her will to become a "Sparrow" - a trained seductress in the service, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow.

    Mel says: "Sexy Saucy Spies"
    "A first-rate mystery/thriller....a "page turner""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Written by a retired CIA operative, this book sounds realistic and it is a book that grabs the reader on the first page and does not let go. I first read the print version a year ago, and now I am listening to the audio. My only regret.....Matthews has only written one book! His next one is due out in 2015 I think. I hate to wait! Seriously! For those who want to know...yes, Red Sparrow has sex and violence. But the s&v fit the story....they are not just thrown in to fill some pages with vulgarity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • George Carlin Reads to You: An Audio Collection Including Grammy Winners 'Braindroppings' and 'Napalm & Silly Putty'

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By George Carlin
    • Narrated By George Carlin
    Overall
    (1429)
    Performance
    (1288)
    Story
    (1272)

    If one George Carlin audio is funny, then two are funnier and three must be funniest, right? That's our thinking behind this new collection. t's a HighBridge library of laugh-out-loud, award-winning recordings featuring George himself performing many of his best bits.

    Rick says: "Like a Cast of Thousands"
    "A real bummer...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pessimistic, negative, not funny, vulgar, and not entertaining. Need I say more? I was looking for laughs, for humor....did not find any.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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