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BookReader

Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2001

133
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 117 reviews
  • 168 ratings
  • 1014 titles in library
  • 51 purchased in 2014
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  • Lucifer's Hammer

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3271)
    Performance
    (1902)
    Story
    (1920)

    The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....

    DJM says: "Good story from front to back"
    "Lucifer's Hammer"
    Overall

    Nothing in the way of science. It's a very long "what if" story of natural catastrophe and the instinct to survive. Ok, for it's time.

    0 of 2 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
    (3779)
    Performance
    (1912)
    Story
    (1920)

    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
  • The Collector

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2213)
    Performance
    (1976)
    Story
    (1995)

    From #1 New York Times-best-selling author Nora Roberts comes a novel of a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed, and danger that brings them together - and that could tear them apart… As a professional house-sitter and freelance writer, nothing ties Lila Emerson down - not her work, not a home, and definitely not a relationship. She spends her life moving from one job to the next, sometimes crashing at a friend 's Manhattan apartment. And though she can appreciate her clients ' extraordinary homes, their expensive collections, and their adorable pets, Lila has never longed for possessions of her own. Everything she has, including her heart, is portable.

    Joan says: "Good author and good narrator"
    "The Collector"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I want to grow up to be a house sitter like Lila. What a great gig! Live in these beautiful homes, rent free, take care of sweet animals. Nice job, if you can get it. :-) While doing her fabulous job in a gorgeous apartment, Lila witnesses a murder in an apartment out her window. Sound like a familiar premise? You’re right, the Jimmy Steward movie, Rear Window. That is where any familiarity to that film noir ends, however. From this point forward, it’s all Nora Roberts. But, not one of her best efforts. I listened to the audiobook version. The two female leads came across as ‘valley-girlish’, the men way too alpha. Lot’s of strange fascination with stiletto shoes, the sparkly the better ... a dead giveaway to female characters that are on the shallow side, or a transparent attempt to appeal to airheads? Just me, likely. The book (maybe the author?) has many fans.

    Not my cup ‘o tea. However, if you’re a fan of Nora Roberts, you’ll be okay with this book. There are a few thousand reviews, ergo not much more I can add.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Heroes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (742)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (161)

    Stewart Dubinsky knew his father had served in World War II. And he'd been told how David Dubin (as his father had Americanized the name that Stewart later reclaimed) had rescued Stewart's mother from the horror of the Balingen concentration camp. But when he discovers, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancee, and learns of his father's court-martial and imprisonment, he is plunged into the mystery of his family's secret history.

    Janet C. Walker says: "Excellent"
    "Ordinary Heroes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Like most war veterans, David Dubin never told his children anything about his time in the service, the horrors he witnessed. Now, he’s dead. While cleaning out a closet of his father’s old clothes, Stewart, his son, finds love letters and eventually a manuscript from the 1940s. His father loved a woman other than his mother. His father was nominated for a Silver Star during WWII. A court-martial was empowered to determine if David Dubin should be imprisoned. What else doesn’t Stewart know about his father? And…what does all this stuff mean?

    The battle scenes are vivid and cinematic, the liberation of camps vivid, heartbreaking, and cinematic as well. Although this story is fiction, the horror of war and the devastating impact of war those who survive, witnesses, and die, is not … it is real and chilling.

    If you’re looking for some insight into what war does to people, this is a very realistic accounting, wrapped around an intriguing mystery.

    This audiobook has been on my todo reading list since 2005. If I’d have know it was this good, I wouldn’t have waited so long. Just over thirteen hours of listening, Ordinary Heroes, is nicely read by Edward Hermann. This narrator is a good choice by Turow, in that Hermann has narrated other historical novels, and actually played historical characters in movies (FDR, for one). There is a comfortable feeling throughout this listen, an authoritative glimpse of the past. In some instances, you’ll hear the mortars and bombs of WWII … coming through wonderfully both in Turow’s prose and Hermann’s interpretation.

    Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1691)
    Performance
    (1511)
    Story
    (1530)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "The 100-Year-Old Man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book reminds me of Forrest Gump or The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, in that historical license is taken with several famous people, like Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and many historical events. Allan Karlsson, the lead character, has had an extremely colorful life. A man of somewhat opportunistic character, he isn’t about to die in an retirement home. Karlsson steps out on an adventure, quirky characters crossing his path, and the author intersperses his life story throughout. Within the retrospective portions, famous politicians are liberally sprinkled. De Gaulle, Lyndon Johnson, Joseph Stalin … the guy is 100 years old, so most of the famous individuals of the nineteen century are cameos. What ever you do, don’t take this stuff as accurate history, it’s tongue-in-cheek! Albert Einstein has a moronic brother in this tale … not in real life!

    The narration by Steven Crossley is superb. Originally published in 2009, the story has been translated from Swedish, but you can’t tell. It’s wonderfully done, award winning. It’s my understanding that a movie was released in 2013 in Sweden … but, don’t know anything about it. Worth the credit, enjoyed the listen. About 12 hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18226)
    Performance
    (16259)
    Story
    (16312)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Gone Girl"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Gone Girl is long, about twenty hours. No complaints there, like ‘m long. This story is a first person account read by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne, each taking the roles of the individual characters of Amy and Nick Dunne respectively. Chapters or scenes are alternating voices of the lead characters. Nicely done.

    The story is of a dysfunctional marriage, a tale of two people equally devious in personality. Although this is revealed throughout a few thousand reviews, the plot is a straightforward account of a wife faking her own death to exact revenge on an unfaithful spouse. The police do the typical rush to judgement, i.e., the husband is guilty. Which he is, of infidelity and being a jerk, but of murder? No spoilers. Lots of twists. Let’s just say they are both guilty of something and leave it there. The writing is excellent. The narration is excellent. Enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Line of Vision

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David Ellis
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (118)

    Marty Kalish is a young man suffocating in the heat of an affair with a married woman named Rachel. When Rachel's husband disappears one night, Marty is one of the first to be questioned. With few likely suspects, the police arrest him for murder. We want him to be innocent, but the more he tells us, the more we fear he is guilty. And as the twists and turns of the plot unfold, we can't be completely sure.

    Cynthia says: "Outstanding!"
    "Line of Vision"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Line of Vision is approximately 15 hours of listening, read by the estimable Dick Hill. This audiobook has been in my reading listing since 2009, about time I listened! Released by Brilliance Audio in early 2008, the book was originally published as a hardback in 2001 - so it’s been around a while. There are actually more ratings on Audible than reviews on Amazon, interesting. Maybe that has to do with audiobook fans searching for ‘Dick Hill’?

    Dick Hill is one of those few readers that, with their talent, will take a mediocre story and create a terrific audiobook. Well, he has much more than mediocre to work with in Line of Vision.

    The book is a good one, winner of the 2002 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author. The story is told from the viewpoint of Marty Kalish. Marty is in the midst of an illicit affair with a married co-worker’s wife, Rachael Rhinheart. The reader immediately is convinced, as are the police, that Marty murdered Rachael’s husband. Mystery solved, right? Well, not really.

    In this cat and mouse police procedural, the guilt of Marty Kalish seems to be cut and dried. But, as the story progresses, the reader is gradually made uncertain. Therein is the substance of Line of Vision. Did Marty commit this murder? Did Rachael? You’ll begin to wonder. And, at the same time, enjoy one hell of a nice murder mystery. Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Carol Cowan, Michael Hanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (457)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (220)

    Reporter Holly Thorne is intrigued by Jim Ironheart, who has saved 12 lives in the past three months. Holly wants to know what kind of power drives him, why terrifying visions of a churning windmill haunt his dreams, and just what he means when he whispers in his sleep that an enemy who will kill everyone is coming.

    Michael says: "Above average Koontz"
    "Cold Fire"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Narrated by Michael Hanson and Carol Cowan, Cold Fire is approximately fifteen hours of listening. The original novel was published in 1991. When I first heard the stigmata issue, I rolled my eyes and thought I was in for a boring, religious diatribe. Fortunately, my initial fears were unfounded, and I kept listening simply because the story was so intriguing. Koontz is an amazing story teller, and as has been said, story trumps all.

    The lead character, Jim Ironheart, has a gift; call it clairvoyance. He knows when someone is in danger, and goes to whatever measures are necessary to save lives. Early in the tale a struggling journalist, Holly Thorne, witnesses this mysterious heroism. Holly smells a story that may salvage her career, and before long, the two become lovers. However, the love affair is secondary to the fact that together they journey through the macabre (It’s Dean Koontz, after all.) details of Jim Ironheart’s past to understand his amazing powers. Great plane crash scene.

    The most wonderful aspect of this story is the audio reading by Carol Cowan. Just terrific. The male voices are read by Michael Hanson, and are nice … but Carol does an incredible job with the voice and thoughts of Holly Thorne. Both readers jockey through dialogue and narrative very smoothly. An enjoyable listen, well worth the credits.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Man

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (107)

    On a freezing February day, a stranger emerges from out of the gray to request a room at a local provincial inn. Who is this out-of-season traveler? More confounding is the thick mask of bandages obscuring his face. Why does he disguise himself in this manner and keep himself hidden away in his room? Aroused by trepidation and curiosity, the local villagers bring it upon themselves to find the answers.

    Brian says: "Way ahead of its time!"
    "Cool, classic Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you’re looking for a book that reflects the television productions of either the late 1950s or mid 1970s, this is not the book for you. Although the fundamental basis is the same, the behavior of the lead character is not. In the television stories, our invisible man was a good guy, altruistic. This protagonist is more power conscious and although the distress resulting from an accidental experiment is understandable, his devilish behavior is evidence of a nasty human being.

    Worth the credits, classic science fiction. This story was written in the late 1800s and is timeless in it’s appeal. Just over five hours of listening, nicely read by James Adams, released in 2000. Been around in audio format for quite a while. Enjoyed!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4297)
    Performance
    (3244)
    Story
    (3250)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Alas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    From Wikipedia: Alas Babylon is a 1959 novel by by Pat Frank (the pen name of Harry Hart Frank). It was one of the first apocalyptic novels of the nuclear age and remains popular 55 years after it was first published, consistently ranking in Amazon.com's Top 20 Science Fiction Short Stories.

    I purchased Alas, Babylon as a result of an Audible Daily Deal. The audible version is approximately 12 hours of listening, read by Will Patton, so I wouldn’t exactly call it a 'short story' . Obviously, an old classic is terrific fodder for a new audio production in that Alas, Babylon is a 2012 Audie Award Winner. Will Patton does a great job. I wish they’d do more of this with classic literature. Possibly start out with audio versions of all Pulitzer Prize winners? Advise & Consent would be awesome in audiobook format.

    At any rate, this story is one of survival, loss, triumph, death, and re-birth amidst, and post nuclear war. This nuclear war lasts one single day, a day the characters refer to as simply, The Day. A small town in Florida learns to do without pretty much everything and begin living in a post The Day world. Completely cut off from the rest of civilization, the town has no idea what has happened, if or not the United States has ‘won’ the war, the global implications, and to what degree the human race will move forward. Considering when this book was written, 1959, and 2014 headlines of today, I’m sorry to say the pulse of world politics has not changed. Alas, Babylon is a vision of world-wide holocaust brought about by the nuclear age that has been a real threat since WWII. The countries involved are the same, i.e., Russia, Syria, the middle east.

    The only difference from today is that in 1959 there were no cell-phones. Eerie.Well worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Cross

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (891)
    Performance
    (561)
    Story
    (558)

    It is January 1944 - and as Allied troops prepare for D day, Nazi scientists develop a toxic nerve gas that will repel and wipe out any invasion force. To salvage the planned assault, two vastly different but equally determined men are sent to infiltrate the secret concentration camp where the poison gas is being perfected on human subjects. Their only objective: destroy all traces of the gas and the men who created it - no matter how many lives may be lost...including their own.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "They Might Be Scum, But they were German Scum"
    "Black Cross"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Narrated by the amazing Dick Hill, Black Cross is a long listen, over twenty hours. The story begins with the death of WWII veteran Michael McConnell, who, typical of all war veterans, has never conveyed any details of his service, neither to his wife nor his son. An old companion, aware of these secrets, seeks out McConnell's son, and deems that some amazing heroics and history needs told or forever lost. The book is the narration of Michael McConnell’s horrific tale.

    There is latitude taken by the author, as it pertains to point of view and writing technique. The story is supposed to be a documented history, as witnessed by Michael McConnell. Several scenes, most in fact, are such that McConnell cannot and doesn't witness them, the scenes include other ancillary characters and it’s never exactly clear how McConnell could be aware of these instances. For example, conversations between Churchill and his generals while McConnell is working in a lab at Oxford. Scenes that take place between two women in a concentration camp, or between a concentration camp prisoner and an SS agent. How can these events be conveyed without ever having been witnessed by McConnell himself? Much of the story is basically hearsay.

    This conundrum aside, the tale is gripping and a sad commentary of the inhumanity inflicted by humans upon each other. Greg Iles thought Black Cross was one of his best efforts … it is, albeit distressing and terribly sad. Although fiction, the basics of the atrocities inflicted by Germany are true.

    Excellent narration, of course, by Dick Hill. Well worth the credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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