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John

Atlanta, GA, United States | Member Since 2007

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 162 ratings
  • 303 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4

  • City of Thieves

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Benioff
    • Narrated By Ron Perlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1468)
    Performance
    (734)
    Story
    (732)

    A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself "built for deprivation." He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building.

    Paul says: "Stunning Tale. Great Narration."
    "terriffic"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is fascinating on many levels: as historical fiction depicting the siege of Leningrad, a unique friendship between two people, a type of quest and a journey. The characters are well developed and the reader does a great job of bringing them to life.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Helen Simonson
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2448)
    Performance
    (1161)
    Story
    (1153)

    You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction.

    jc says: "Charming book with an excellent narrator"
    "Good story, terrible reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the book, but not the reader. This is one that I would have been better of reading instead of listening.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Reader has a terrible fake upper crust British accent.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3491)
    Performance
    (1209)
    Story
    (1213)

    Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world.

    Lawrence says: "Believe the Hype"
    "Incredibly over rated"
    Overall

    This book has been widely praised as the great new american novel. I read it as I wanted to see what all the fuss is about and was disappointed with the book from beginning to end. So many of the parts that deal with the issues of "freedom" are simplistic and cliche. While the reader does a good job with the material, I cannot say that I enjoyed any of it. Proceed with caution...

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (724)
    Performance
    (341)
    Story
    (344)

    As plans got under way for the Allied invasion of Sicily in June 1943, British counter-intelligence agent Ewen Montagu masterminded a scheme to mislead the Germans into thinking the next landing would occur in Greece. This extraordinary operation called for a dead body, dressed as a Royal Marine officer and carrying false information about a pending Allied invasion of Greece, to wash up on a Spanish shore near the town of a known Nazi agent.

    Jack M says: "Better than the movie"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall

    I tried this book because I loved Agent Zig Zag, but this one is not nearly as good. Perhaps because the protagonist is a corpse. The characters are not as well developed and the plot is slow.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2090)
    Performance
    (1075)
    Story
    (1095)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Pretentious and boring"
    Overall

    I read this book after reading so many positive reviews for it. However I was greatly disappointed as the book is a series of long winded philosophical musings without much plot or character development. The story takes place in a a french apartment building where the concierge develops a friendship with a new Japanese tenant. Part of the book is narrated by the concierge who has a highly developed and unrealistic knowledge of art and literature from philosophy to The Matrix. It is also narrated by a 12 year old girl who lives in the building whose viewpoint is also very unrealistic for a 12 year old. The reader of the concierge part is very good, but the reader of the 12 year old girl part is annoying.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Fraction of the Whole

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Steve Tolz
    • Narrated By Colin McPhillamy, Craig Baldwin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    Stewing in an Australian prison, Jasper Dean reflects on his relationship with his dead father and recounts the many zany adventures they shared together.

    Nancy says: "Beautifully written, wonderful characters"
    "40% Great"
    Overall

    I loved 40% of this book! It tells the story of a father and his son who are both extremely odd and have a very dysfunctional relationship. Most of the book is told from the point of view of the son (the 60% I did not like) and 40% is wonderfully told by the father. The reader of the father portion is much better than the reader of the son portions. If you take the time to listen to it, there are a lot of moments of pleasure, however you have to wade through a lot of muck to get there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Angel's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (405)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (240)

    In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city's underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

    bluebelle says: "My Favorite Book!"
    "Not as good as Shadow of the Wind"
    Overall

    I read the Angel's Game shortly after reading the wonderful "Shadow of the Wind." While both are set in Barcelona and use the city as a backdrop for the story, I found The Angel's game to be far less successful. The story is not as interesting and the characters less developed. The reader does a great job with the material, but cannot make up for the weak plot.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Shanghai Girls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1383)
    Performance
    (610)
    Story
    (620)

    Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl's parents arrange for their daughters to "Gold Mountain men" who have come from Los Angeles to find brides. But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel's Island (the Ellis Island of the West, where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months) they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she's pregnant, the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.

    Frances says: "Touching, sad, and enjoyable"
    "Good story - fair book"
    Overall

    While the book has an interesting story - two sisters are forced from their native china and end up living in America, I was disappointed with the book overall.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow of the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (1702)
    Performance
    (739)
    Story
    (754)

    Barcelona, 1945: Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his 11th birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

    Katherine says: "Great With One Exception"
    "Wonderful book"
    Overall

    This is a truly wonderful book. Terrific storytelling and character development. It is one of those books that yo do not want to end because you enjoy the characters so much. The reader does a great job as well in bringing it to life. I look forward to reading the prequel.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Lincoln Lawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    Overall
    (6662)
    Performance
    (2964)
    Story
    (2977)

    Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense pro who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, to defend clients at the bottom of the legal food chain. It's no wonder that he is despised by cops, prosecutors, and even some of his own clients. But an investigator is murdered for getting too close to the truth and Haller quickly discovers that his search for innocence has taken him face to face with a kind of evil as pure as a flame.

    Steven says: "Great Legal Thriller, Great Reader"
    "terriffic book"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed this book. While it may not fall into the category of great literature, it is an entertaining and engrossing read. The narrator does a great job with the characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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