Many, many superfluous characters, so hard to follow sometimes. Got the whole series, this being the first it will likely get better, I hope. Kudos to the reader, long listen, which I like, interesting insight on radical Islamic beliefs, but the book/story itself is somehow ... meh ...
Secret Thoughts begins with a small child, seemingly having only a cold. It’s more than a cold and the reader is gripped by the frantic efforts of the mother to save the dying little girl. Thus begins a mystery from headlines. A cause is quickly found. The killer, however, is not and, we’re off and running with this thrilling book.
I was immediately involved in the story …. I live in Chicago and vividly remember the public panic here regarding the tampering of aceracetaminophen capsules in the early 1980s. Several innocent people died. Those murders have never been solved.
This is a short novel, just over six hours of listening, read nicely by Ernie Sprance. This is my first listen of Sprance narration, and I was surprised to learn that he has only one other audiobook recording on Audible. Based on this recording, I think, and hope, he’ll be around a while in that he even does a nice job on female voices.
An enjoyable, exciting listen. Well worth the credits.
The Good House is in the vein of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, i.e., you must enjoy horror, the hide-behind-the-couch-scary stuff.
The story centers on demonic possession, voodoo, magic spells, and death of the innocent and bad guys alike. A spooky Good House on a hill and an ancient curse, will grip the reader. Anticipation will satisfy the ghoulish heart in you!
The story could have been shorter by a few chapters, in my opinion. The author is extremely adept at stretching out the story, creating new scenes of terror. All fit into the plot, but ultimately some didn’t really add much to the tale. Credibility is an issue for me with the behavior of Cory; he’s a teenager with the volatile hormones of a young man, but follows through with behavior that’s a bit too responsible for even an adult in the same position.
The books I’ve listened to in this genre usually have me rolling my eyes, but Tananarive Due does a great job. Narration is very well done by Robin Miles. At over twenty-one hours, The Good House is a long audiobook, but if you like the genre, it’s probably just about right!
This edition of Dexter in the Dark, read by Nick Landrum, is just under thirteen hours of listening, and is no longer listed for sale on Audible.com. Admittedly, it’s been in my queue for quite a while. The edition now available for sale is read by the author and is just over ten hours. So…….this should be taken into consideration. The two versions appear to be the same book, of course. But, the narration length is askew. Possibly the author decided to re-write the work?
Dexter in the Dark is the first I’ve listened to in the Dexter series. The lead character is a killer, albeit kills only bad guys. Written in first person, the story involves a great deal of inner thoughts on the part of Dexter, struggling with his demon and deeds, interspersed with a bizarre sense of humor. Dexter slumps into ‘gray, empty, madness’ and is somehow deemed to be the go-to-guy by his police detective sister. Neither she, nor his fiancé, have a clue that the guy isn’t playing with a full deck, he’s brilliant … and insane. Maybe you’re a fan of Dexter, either via the books or the TV series. But … I can’t recommend. Not many audiobooks I don’t finish, but this one is a bit too dark and convoluted.
Drawn to this author due to an article in a Chicago newspaper. The setting of Chicago was naturally a draw, it’s my home town and where I live. I don’t usually review two books in one sweep, but these stories are connected. Brilliance begins with the premise that savants have used their ‘brilliance’ to take over and conquer a number of cultural icons, i.e., there is no more stock market, for example. The story progresses via an agent who believes in the necessity to eliminate gifted or brilliant people for perceived terrorism. He learns the evil of his ways and changes sides to protect his children and save the world.
A Better World is a continuation of the story. The world has been saved, however there is still tension between the ‘normal’ and the ‘abnorm’ , abnorms being the ‘brilliants’. The new President of the United States elicits the assistance of our protagonist, Nate Cooper, and we’re off and running with a new mystery, i.e., Cooper chasing the bad guys in his effort to again save the world.
Overall, the stories are fun listen. There are some areas of repetition that I personally found a bit annoying. The narration by Luke Daniels is nice, pace and tempo good. Daniels even does a good job with the female voice. Suggest starting with Brilliance, the first book in this SciFi series.
The Power of One was originally published in the early nineties and released as an audiobook recently, read by Humphrey Bower. Just over twenty-one hours of listening, the story is a first person accounting of a white South African, beginning with his brutal childhood. The main character has the desire to pursue a career in boxing, which in itself holds little interest unless you enjoy the sport.
The tale describes the years of WWII in South Africa, through the eyes of an independent, albeit vulnerable boy. In this coming of age story, quirky characters, violence, sadness, and great happiness traverse the pages and Peekay’s life. The writing, in addition to the wonderful narration by Bower, is pleasant. I’ve a wee bit of trouble with all the laudatory praise. From personal perspective, it is a good book, but not great. The story itself is simply that of a child, from age five, through early adulthood, and subsequent adventures and tribulations. Frankly, in some areas, I glazed over and didn’t bother to rewind. Okay, if you like the genre of memoirs.
Audiobook. Cliche, but I can’t say much about this book that hasn’t already been said. The audiobook version has over 2000 reviews. Typical Baldacci, well produced, and excellent narration by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy. They have a terrific delivery, with an extraordinarily smooth transition in dialogue. I appreciate that McLarty does all the author narration, in addition to the male voices … makes for a better listen. If you are a fan of Robie and Reel, you’ll enjoy. The alphabet soup of American agencies is loaded with bad guys and good guys and you’ll have fun deciding. Fun listen.
North and South, Love and War, and finally, Heaven and Hell is an American Civil War trilogy. This final edition is intended to be the reconstruction period, so I thought … the rebuilding of the southern states following the war. Although a terrific series, this novel is much more focused on the development of the west, the American Indian wars. The history is interesting, but frankly, it would have been a better story if the author had focused on reconstruction and stayed with the American Civil War theme rather than cowboys and indians. These chapters reveal the further tribulations of one character, his personal demons, and a great deal of grizzly abuse, animals and people alike.
Although the novels would stand alone, you’d be shortchanging yourself not to start at the beginning. One of the most difficult accomplishments, at least in my opinion, is for the individual characters to come to life, seem real and alive. Jakes accomplishes this with several of his characters. The reader will make friends and enemies of them all. A fun, educational, and um….very long…listen. The entire series is read by Grover Gardner, and is approximately one hundred hours of listening. Gardner does a great job, but a little slow for my taste, bumped it up to 1.5.
Audiobook. Over forty hours of listening. Love and War is the second book in a three part trilogy regarding the American Civil War. Although historically accurate, the primary purpose of this story is not to convey history. It is rather to convey the effects of history of the lives of ordinary people. Sweeping and accurate, Love and War pulls the characters from North and South through the war years as human, flawed, and victims all.
Expect the epic-tale style of writing, a different type of presentation than the modern novel. Better, in my opinion, affording the reader the opportunity to savor the time and thoughts of the characters and the author.
Listened to this audiobook at 1.5 speed. Grover Gardner, although a terrific narrator for the series, is a bit slow for my taste.
The original publication of North and South was in the early 1980s, during an era of epic and sweeping novels by authors such as James Clavell, James Michener, and a collective clamor for this type of story. The popularity extended to the television mini-series, i.e., Roots, The Thorn Birds. In my humble opinion, the abandonment of this type of writing is a shame, a narrow minded view on the part of modern day publishers. There seems to be a belief that readers are only interested in the immediate gratification of a 50,000 word novel chopped into a 2-hour television movie with over thirty minutes of commercials. I think they are wrong.
I read North and South shortly after the initial publication and loved it, as I do today. Not much I can contribute to other reviews, so will only say that although a fictional story about two families caught up in the war, North and South is an accurate portrayal of the emotions and fears that lead up to the conflict. It is not a history book, but few latitudes of creative license are taken, it is pretty authentic. This is the first book in the trilogy and ends with the secession of South Carolina and the firing on Ft. Sumter. The American Civil War begins.
The audiobook is long, over thirty hours of listening. Released in 2012, read by Grover Gardner, a pleasant read albeit a distressing period of American history. Worth the credits, I look forward to the sequels.
Water for Elephants is a love story taking place in the environs of a 1931 circus, as remembered by an old man in a retirement home. He dreams of being young, dropping out of Cornell, abandoning his veterinarian degree, and jumping a circus train following the death of his parents in a car accident. Boy meets girl performer who carries the baggage of a brutal husband. Nicely researched, Water for Elephants conveys the circus life of the time, the train, the cruelty, the dust and heat.
An enjoyable read, close to twelve hours of listening. Dual narration by LeDoux and Jones is good. One carries the chapters and voice of Jacob as an old man, the other as his life in the circus seventy years ago. Jacob’s frustration of being a young-man-in-an-old-man’s-body is wonderfully done, something we should all think about as we age … but never do.
Not for the faint-of-heart as it pertains to animal abuse, be prepared. Worth the credit.
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