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BookReader

Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2001

145
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 126 reviews
  • 177 ratings
  • 1072 titles in library
  • 81 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Breath of Scandal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1214)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (706)

    On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman's worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers. Robbed of her youthful ideals and at the center of scandal and tragedy, Jade ran as far and as fast as she could. But she never forgot the sleepy "company town" where every man, woman, and child was dependent on one wealthy family.

    Margaret says: "Lifted by Narration"
    "Great mystery."
    Overall

    Dick Hill's female voices make them all sound like breathless morons. If you can stand that, the rest of it is a worth a credit.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Beneath the Dark Ice

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Greig Beck
    • Narrated By Sean Mangan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (425)
    Performance
    (386)
    Story
    (387)

    When a plane crashes into the Antarctic ice, exposing a massive cave beneath, a rescue and research team is dispatched. Twenty-four hours later, all contact is lost. Captain Alex Hunter and his highly trained squad of commandos are fast tracked to the hot zone to find out what went wrong - and to follow up the detection of a vast underground reservoir.

    Bob says: "A fun and interesting read."
    "Beneath the Dark Ice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Read by Sean Mangan, Beneath the Dark Ice is just under ten hours of listening. Reading was paced well, female vs male voices okay, no problem discerning who-says-what-to-who.

    A corporate jet crashes through the ice of Antarctica, rescue workers immediately respond and disappear. Mystery lifts off immediately!

    Formulaic in character construct as the story moves forward, however. We have a beautiful yet vulnerable, smart, female scientist lead, a type A macho hero with extraordinary strength, a weaselly milk-toast, a few ‘red-shirts’ that get eaten alive, some a bit gratuitously, in my opinion. Then there are the requisite hard boiled officers, the bad-guy Russians. Throw it all into a pot with nasty shrimp-like/lizardly/slimy creature and wormy things that have lived underground on humanoids and each other for millennia and voila … Beneath the Dark Ice!

    Made for TV stuff that will likely never get made for TV? I didn’t have any trouble finishing the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (643)
    Story
    (649)

    John Puller's older brother, Robert, was convicted of treason and national security crimes. His inexplicable escape from prison makes him the most wanted criminal in the country. Some in the government believe that John Puller represents their best chance at capturing Robert alive, and so Puller takes on the burden of bringing his brother in to face justice. But Puller quickly discovers that there are others pursuing his brother, who only see Robert as a traitor and are unconcerned if he survives.

    Joan says: "Time to Give Baldacci a Break"
    "The Escape"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Approximately fifteen hours of listening, read by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy, The Escape is book number three in the John Puller - Victoria Knox thrillers. As in the other books, McLarty and Cassidy do a great job, smooth transitions. Production is very typical of Baldacci, lots of attention to music and special sound effects. There are three male Pullers in this story. John, the main character, Robert, his older brother, who’s escape from prison is the subject matter, and John, Sr., daddy in a retirement facility. Words for the listener that took me some time to figure out: When the author simply says ‘Puller’, think John, Jr., the main character, and you’ll usually be right.

    The story surrounds The Escape of Robert Puller from prison and John Puller’s pursuit of his brother’s freedom and justice for the evil doers. Not giving any secrets away here, because you can easily guess Robert has been framed. He’s a Puller, they’re always good-guys. Not quite up to Baldacci standards, in my opinion. There are many characters to keep mental track of, some who’s omission wouldn’t have done the story any harm. If you’re a fan of the Puller-Knox thrillers, it’s gonna be your kinda book. Some interesting twists, enjoy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1083)
    Performance
    (1023)
    Story
    (1032)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Revival"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Remember the TV series called St. Elsewhere? It was a weekly drama in the 80s surrounding the exploits of several medical personnel at a Boston hospital. One of the stars was David Morse, who played a doctor. Never understood why that series went kaput, it was one of the better ones on TV at the time. At any rate, Morse is the narrator for Revival, and he does a good job. Just the right tone for this novel, a hide-behind-the-couch thriller by Stephen King.

    Typical of King, Revival is long winded, wordy. The center of the book could be pared down by a few hundred pages. Also typical of King, the writing, turns of phrase, etc., are creative and superb.

    What happens after death is a question asked by mankind since the advent of time itself. Nobody knows, that is unless you have been there and come back, or have religious beliefs to convey certainty. Speculation abounds. King appears to question his own convictions through his character, some interesting perspective and reading. He does take a dark and ominous view in Revival, which one can expect. Far from uplifting, Revival chronicles a small town pastor’s loss of faith, his obsession to answer the mysterious question: what happens?. Pastor Jacobs loses his wife and young son to a tragic highway accident and spends the remainder of his life in a quest to understand. Tagging along through the pages is Jamie, through who’s point of view we learn. No spoiler. If you enjoy Stephen King, you’ll find this story is back to the basics, I think, ergo you’ll be entertained.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One Mississippi

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Mark Childress
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (63)

    Yankee transplant Daniel Musgrove can't seem to fit in at his Mississippi high school. When he meets fellow outsider Tim Cousins, things look up. But then the two boys' battles with a local bully escalate into a violent act that rocks the town.

    Bob says: "A great listen, if not great literature"
    "Mss-Ippi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    One Mississippi is about thirteen hours of listening, read by Jeff Woodman. It’s a coming of age tale. The reading by Woodman, albeit a heartfelt, creative effort, is very distracting … with singing throughout … ugh. The fact that the audiobook has an average rating of 4 stars has me puzzled … it’s not that good … plus, about twice as many audiobook reviews as the other formats. The story arc isn’t very well focused in that there are many side issues to the main thrust, which is a couple of guys romping through juvenile mechanicalness and angst as they squirm or lie their way around guilt. There are several reviews that rave, several that pan, several readers think the book is hilarious. Frankly, I don’t fit into any pigeon hole on this tale, unless there is a category for ‘indifference’. With One Mississippi I did learn something, though. If you are local to Mississippi, you call it: Missippi. Appears I’m not much help to potential readers, in that this review is very vague. So is the book. Not impressed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Timbuktu

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Paul Auster
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (177)

    Mr. Bones, the canine hero of this astonishing book, is the sidekick and confidant of Willy G. Christmas, a brilliant and troubled homeless man from Brooklyn. As Willy's body slowly expires, he sets off with Mr. Bones for Baltimore in search of his high-school English teacher and a new home for his companion. Mr. Bones is our witness during their journey, and out of his thoughts, Paul Auster has spun one of the richest, most compelling tales in American fiction.

    Dubi says: "Should I Have Said Gehrig?"
    "Mr. Bones"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Timbuktu is just under six hours of listening, read by Joe Barrett. The story is written from the point of view of a dog, Mr. Bones. The dog is not a lovely Labrador Retriever, as pictured on the cover. Mr. Bones is a Heinz variety, of unknown heritage. That said, the story of a dog’s loyalty is a fun read (listen). The dog’s owner, Willie Christmas, of somewhat questionable character, is dying. The two converse … well, Mr. Bones ’thinks’, Willie talks. But, Mr. Bones understands pretty much everything said and has his own doggie interpretations. The tale progresses through Mr. Bones’ thoughts as he and Willie journey to Boston and someone Willie hopes will take care of Mr. Bones when the grim reaper calls. Any dog lover will get a bang out of this unique perspective. Got this audiobook via one of Audible.com’s Daily Deals. Enjoyed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Strange Highways

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (386)

    Joey Shannon, an alcoholic whose life has been going nowhere for 20 years, returns to his hometown for the funeral of his father. As he leaves town, he gets a mysterious second chance to relive the night in 1975 when his life began its downward spiral: to both literally and figuratively take the road that he didn't originally take. On this road he is supremely tested by conflict with his successful and charismatic older brother P.J., by conflict between his cynicism and his lost faith, and by conflict between the ultimate good and evil.

    Michael says: "OK Koontz but Shorts not Included"
    "Strange Highways"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Read by Jeff Cummings, Strange Highway is just over six hours of listening. Typical of Dean Koontz this story is hide-under-the-covers scary stuff. The plot is intriguing. A guy is stuck in a time warp, initially bouncing back to his youth to right some wrongs. I don’t usually even purchase books less than ten hours in length, and actually purchased Strange Highway simply because it’s a Koontz. Good story.

    The reader is a teeny bit intense for my taste, but whatever. It’s an intense, spooky tale … just shorter than I prefer. Enjoy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Time

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1290)
    Performance
    (1190)
    Story
    (1192)

    Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest.

    Jan says: "Pickiest Reader Would Be Willing to Give 6 Stars"
    "Leaving Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    No spoilers. This is the story of a young girl who, abandoned by her mother ten years ago, is determined to find out why. Her mother’s career involved the sanctuary and safekeeping of elephants. With the the aid of a has-been detective, a burned out phychic, and her mother’s journals , Jen investigates her past. The crux of the story, in my opinion, is the research and beautiful, and horribly sad, stories of the elephants. The relationships between the animals, their babies, the human who interact with and care for them, is beautifully told. I’m not so sure this part of the story wouldn’t make for good non-fiction. Leaving Time reminds me a good deal of Jane Goodall and her primates, the fictionalized story of Jen only a vehicle to convey the world of elephants.

    Leaving Time is just over fifteen hours of listening and read by an ensemble cast, Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and Mark Deakins. Individual characters of the story are read by the individual cast members. This is the first story I’ve listened to, other than old radio programs, that are created in this manner. The process made for a unique listen, smooth transitions. Enjoyed!

    0 of 0 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
    (1198)
    Performance
    (1091)
    Story
    (1101)

    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.

    Jan says: "Sorry John... wanted to like it... love you anyway"
    "Gray Mountain"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Catherine Taber does not do male voices. Any attempt is barely discernible and lame, at best. In conversations that include a male voice, it is difficult to decide who-is-talking-to-who, a listener nightmare of re-wind hell. John Grisham has a history of using narrators like Michael Beck or Scott Brick, and others who are stellar at their trade of voice-over or audiobook narration. I frown at my iPhone and wonder why Grisham went with Catherine Taber. Maybe, given that the lead character, the POV, in Gray Mountain is a woman? Although sweet, clear in diction, nice pacing, Catherine Taber’s voice is much more suited to young adult or children’s books. Her voice is child-like, teenaged, valley-girlish. Nothing against her … the reading is okay, but her voice simply doesn’t work for Gray Mountain, at all. Bad choice.

    So, to those contemplating the audio version of Gray Matter, do your best to ignore the reader and focus on the story itself.

    Samantha, the lead character, is caught in the New York collapse of the financial world of a few years ago. Lay off from her job as a junior associate lawyer is the catalyst to a job at not-for-profit legal aid clinic in the boondocks of coal country. Black lung, crooked strip mining companies, and desperate poor people traverse the pages of a novel that is very typical of John Grisham. All of Grisham’s books involve characters and the locale of the deep south, i.e., A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row and A Painted House, etc. Write what you know is taken seriously with Grisham, as is the New England area with Stephen King.

    Grisham has an incredible understanding and knowledge of the legal arena and of the southern psyche. His deep love of the south is very apparent in his words, his insight is a pleasure to read.

    Gray Mountain is a David-vs-Goliath story, big coal company skulduggery vs the desperate little guy. The story is a bit longer than necessary, scenes and side-plots having little, if anything, to do with the story arc, but considering the arena of the Grisham books, this one fits in well. If you’re a fan of Grisham, you will enjoy the story.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Murder Book

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (100)

    In 17 consecutive best selling novels, Jonathan Kellerman has proven himself the master of the psychological thriller. Now, in Kellerman's most compelling novel yet, L.A. psychologist-detective Alex Delaware confronts a long-unsolved murder of unspeakable brutality - an ice-cold case whose resolution threatens his survival and that of longtime friend, homicide detective Milo Sturgis.

    Lynn says: "I liked it"
    "The Murder Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I’ll start by saying I’m a big fan of the Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis characters, and the narration of John Rubinstein. These stories are always absorbing, easy listens. The Murder Book is not up to these standards, sadly. There are many side issues, way too many characters to keep track of, many of them irrelevant to the basic plot. The entire story arc is much more complicated than necessary. Although I listened to the entire story, as there are interesting segments, I had a difficult time. Reversed the iPhone Audible player a number of times to re-listen and finally just kept-on-keeping-on, and tried to stay with the rhythm of the tale.

    The narrator, John Rubinstein, does a terrific job with a plethora of voices. If you’ve listened to audiobooks for as long as I have, his voice will be familiar. He’s narrated quite a few for many other authors, and is quite good. He is a good choice by Kellerman for the voice of Alex Delaware.

    The story is typical of the Delaware/Sturgis modus operandi. A dead girl. Let’s find out what happened. So the premise is pretty much right for the characters; the author execution, however, is not. Complex, convoluted.

    0 of 0 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
    (3863)
    Performance
    (1984)
    Story
    (1996)

    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"
    "The Reversal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I’ve been a fan of the Harry Bosch character for many years, since his introduction in The Black Echo in 2008. When Connelly made the decision to create stories around another character, Mickey Haller, I was disappointed. I was so loyal to and a fan of the sad-sack-drinks-too-much-go-to-detective that I rebelled. I wouldn’t listen to anything about this new guy. I then read The Lincoln Lawyer, featuring Mickey. I still preferred Harry, but Haller was okay. In this his novel, The Reversal, Harry and Mickey work together to bring down a killer, released on his own recognizance for a re-trial, after spending a decade in jail for the murder of a child. Thus is the crux of The Reversal. There are a few thousand reviews, so I can’t add much, other than to say I enjoyed the listen. It’s police procedural crossed with court room drama crossed with cold-case mystery.

    It took me a while to get used to the narration by Peter Giles, although I’ve listened to his readings before. He has a very low, somewhat gravely voice. But, eventually, the cadence went well with the story.

    A good listen, recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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