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Mark

Puyallup, WA, United States

30
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 102 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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  • The Turn of the Screw

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Walter Zimmerman, Cindy Hardin Killavey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    The Turn of the Screw has been described by many critics as the most sophisticated and terrifying ghost story in the English language. It is considered one of the great intellectual "spook tales" of all time. The story concerns a naive young governess who is hired to take care of two children in a large mansion in the English countryside. Everything is going fine, until she discovers that the children are not as innocent as they seem.

    Diane says: "Excellent all around - great narrator"
    "Hard to slow down for this one"
    Overall

    Just like most good literature of the past, this book probably scared the heck out of people! The book is well read and moves at a comfortable pace, but I wasnt able to thoroughly enjoy it after being jaded by all the modern horror out there these days. I felt like I was reading a child's horror book, trying to be frightened by a scary coat hanging in the closet (not really in the book!). Excellent for the older crowd who want to bring back memories of better years in writing.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22835)
    Performance
    (9492)
    Story
    (9565)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Great book - BUT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? What did you like least?

    The development of the main characters.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The crazy chick (female lead) and her interactions.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    All of them were wonderful.


    Did The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, to find other audio books not written by this author.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is wonderfully detailed, but WAY too many irrelevant details that the author spends way too much time on developing. Most of them fall away later in the book, and I sat there thinking WTF? There are dozens and dozens of "foreign" names to remember, floods of minutia, and an overabundance of "stuff" to wrangle with. I was never sure WHO or WHAT I would need to recall until the end; and by that time I was so awash with names and details that I just sat there nodding my head like I get it. It's a 5-star book in theory, but in the real world, I give it 3 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Odd Apocalypse: An Odd Thomas Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2123)
    Performance
    (1869)
    Story
    (1869)

    Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogul during the Roaring ’20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, for the moment, it’s also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria. In the wake of Odd’s most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor’s comforts should be welcome. But there’s far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven.

    D says: "Odd Apocalypse; Oddly Great"
    "Good BUT the same as all the others"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would ask the author to break out of the EXTREME comfort zone that he has found himself in, and has thrown Odd into. I would ask him to forcible grab hold of the steering whel, yank hard to the right, and get himself out of this predictable rut called the Odd series.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It was a typical ending for the Odd series: nothing great, nothing bad; just... eh.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All the scenes are solid, but so tiring and predictable.


    Could you see Odd Apocalypse being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    If Odd Apocalypse were made into a series, it would be a little weak, as this book finds itself standing on the shoulders of the previous books. It would probably be better to let the TV writers cull a ton of repetition and predictability throughout the series and condense the SERIES into something that would be fast-paced, sketchy and awesome. It would have to be a mini-series, as most of his books are full of repetition and fluff.


    Any additional comments?

    He's great airplane or bus-ride material, but he's no great novelist with all eyes on him for some Nobel prize! I have purchased all the Odd audiobooks because it's a lot of fun, but it got tiring and old after the last couple, so I probably won't buy the next one - it's just too predictable and flat now. Odd's desire to not offend or be disrespectful to anyone has become so thick that that it's beyond annoying, to the point of condescending and sarcastic. On the other hand, The READER was great! I couldn't ask for a better voice!

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

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1095)
    Performance
    (689)
    Story
    (696)

    Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache, and a pair of horns growing from his temples. At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances.

    bet says: "people are funny"
    "Almost as good as Heart-Shaped-Box!"
    Overall

    Joe Hill claims he uses that pseudonym to write because he wants to be successful on his own merits, opposed to his family, the son of Stephen King. Aside from whether I think King is doing the writing or not, he's probably at least the coxswain. Horns is a solid, gripping novel that has our "hero" wandering around trying to figure out his new reality - who he is, what he is, why he is, and why people do what they do around him. The characters are real and interesting, but a little overdeveloped. Excellent read!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jesse Bullington
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    The year is 1364. Hungry creatures stalk the dark woods of medieval Europe, and both sea and sky teem with unspeakable horrors. There is no foulness, however, no witch nor demon, to rival the grave-robbing twins Hegel and Manfried Grossbart. This is their tale, sad but true.

    Ambrose says: "Best Listen Since Eco's Baudolino"
    "Spoiler alert: last sentence of my review."
    Overall

    Ok, so the book starts off great - vile, murderous, and cruel. The two brothers are mouthy, muderous, self-centered, self-absorbed, inbred idiots who strongly believe they are pious and wonderful in Mother Mary's eyes. That's the book pretty much in a nutshell. The book moves well, until the slaughter of the demonic pig in one of the many towns they visit (not done in a comedic manner). Right around that time the story falls off into a maelstrom of unnecessary characters and extremely deep conversations that have no relevance or reason for being along the way, except for at that moment. Most of the book is reminiscent of a bunch of stoned, or drunken idots trying to sound educated. I found it highly annoying about half-way through and was hoping for the end to come soon. My sweet release came at the very end, when I thought "good, the characters are all dead and gone;. I can move on to the next book!"

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9795)
    Performance
    (4738)
    Story
    (4766)

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Suzanne says: "The scare is in the human nature under stress."
    "Way Too Long For No Reason"
    Overall

    First this is NOT a spoiler!

    The main gist is in the title of the book. Or if you prefer, imagine living under a dome with no real law, and the resources are quickly dwindling. Welcome to the story.

    THE GOOD: The premise of the book! The introduction and mystique of the Dome! The character descriptions and development! The action descriptions! The realness of the characters!

    THE BAD: Read below...

    Is Stephen King a great writer? Yes! Is this book his best work? No! I would say it qualifies as average. About 25% of the book is engaging "action," which means people are doing some type of activity, or something is happening to them that makes you sit up and pay attention. The remaining 75% is needless character development and chatter. King introduces dozens and dozens of characters and then weaves the story through and around them, which makes it tough to form a relationship with them. I found myself skipping back to re-listen to bits throughout to try and follow who he's talking about at any given time...and what was important to remember, and what I could chalk up to as blathering. Tough to tell.

    There are too many characters with too much attention paid to each one for what seems to be no real apparent reason...so many details. I found myself also being forced to try an follow and connect their stories, and recall conversations - and less time actually enjoying the book. Maybe it would have been easier to read than listen to...?

    The final outcome was boring and un-eventful. The lead-in to the ending was being built, and built, and built and then ... plop. So little detail and attention was paid to the ending.

    This book would have been WAY better as a short story, or a "normal-length" story...chop out 3 of the 5 chapters and call it good :)

    Heck, even King says in his own voice at the end that he loves books with tons of characters and drawn-out character development! Cool if that's your thing :)

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gemma

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Meg Tilly
    • Narrated By Meg Tilly
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (52)

    Gemma is the story of a child abduction written from two widely divergent points of view: 12 year-old Gemma and Hazen Wook, the 36-year-old man who abducts her. Hazen is a violent pedophile, a sexual obsessive, and Tilly does not white-wash or sanitize his thoughts in any way. This book is scary and not for the faint of heart.

    kristabela says: "wow"
    "Good Listen!"
    Overall

    This is a good listen, but like the others say in these reviews, it's not for the faint of heart. The book moves at a good pace and the author/reader is incredibly dynamic. She is an actress, for those of you who haven't figured that out already, and she brings these characters to life...almost a bit too realistically at times. The only real issue I had with the reading is that Gemma (the young lady in the book) is read at a super-fast pace that can be grating and annoying; just like a REAL kid! Very few breaths are taken when she speaks as Gemma and that, coupled with the speed wore on me a bit. Otherwise, she did a phenomenal job!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The God Delusion

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4360)
    Performance
    (1765)
    Story
    (1744)

    Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

    Rick Just says: "Dangerous Religion"
    "A lot of information!"
    Overall

    Ok, this book has a massive amount if information and ideolgoies being introduced at a fast pace. Though I don't agree with his "proof" of why agnostics should really give up being agnostics and become aetheists (among other things), the book is full of good stuff and should be read in book format to fully understand its concepts; otherwise you'll be hitting rewind a LOT to get the info to sit in your head properly. This is the reason why I gave it 3 stars. It would have gotten more, but he just moves too fast for the casual listener to really comprehend what he's saying.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Duma Key: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4912)
    Performance
    (1620)
    Story
    (1609)

    A terrible accident takes Edgar Freemantle's right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. When his marriage suddenly ends, Edgar begins to wish he hadn't survived his injuries. He wants out. His psychologist suggests a new life distant from the Twin Cities, along with something else.

    Amazon Customer says: "Play the Book and Let the Book Play You"
    "Depressing and Slow"
    Overall

    I am a fan of all things Stephen King, but this book was way too depressing throughout and moved very slowly as an audible book. The ending was a bit of a let down with just "ok" closure. I liked the book for the writing itself - it's incredible, but it could easily have been cut in half and been more effecive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black House

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King, Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2161)
    Performance
    (672)
    Story
    (686)

    Stephen King and Peter Straub reintroduce you to Jack Sawyer of The Talisman, once a precocious boy traversing the Territories to save his mother and her "twinner," now a retired homicide detective drawn back to his past.

    Jennifer says: "Magnificent Sequel -- Riveting"
    "Couldn't Stand The Reader"
    Overall

    I'm sure the book is good, but I just couldn't stand the reader. He tries way too hard with his "sly" style of reading, which translates to fake and choppy bursts of rapid speaking throughout. He doesn't use different voices well at all for each character, which makes for a confusing listen. It would be nice if he learned how to use natural pauses. Better yet, find a better reader for such incredible writers.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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