Love Vince Flynn ... doesn't really matter what the story entails, just agree with his general attitude. But ... where's Mitch Rapp? Missed him in this story.
Long, close to thirty hours of listening, The Goldfinch is read by David Pittu. The Goldfinch is a coming-of-age tale surrounding the life of Theo, victim of a terrorist attack at a New York art museum. He is left orphaned, mother dead, father a dead-beat alcoholic. During the attack, Theo takes a very old painting admired by his mother, ergo the title. Theo is only a boy, with no criminal thought in taking the painting. The museum is a crumbled mess of broken bricks, dust, dead bodies. Theo simply takes the painting for his mother. Unbeknownst to Theo, many other works of art have gone missing. There are emotions that come to mind with regard to the main character: angst, puppy love, strange obsessiveness for his deceased mother, questionable moral character, drug muddled thinking, stupid decisions. The reader has to be in the right mindset to enjoy this book, i.e., be prepared to let the author ramble…ramble a lot.
The fact that The Goldfinch won the Pulitzer for fiction in 2014 is the reason I've read this lengthy tomb. Donna Tartt has joined the ranks of Hemingway, Joyce Carol Oates, Updike, Faulkner, Michener, Herman Wouk, Allen Drury, many more. This particular award seems to be a clear statement indicating a drop in required standards. The story weaves through Theo’s life, straying to irrelevant situations and characters, and at least twice as long as what could be a decent story … but over-written beyond boredom in many sections.
Narration by David Pittu is superb, voices for each character are unique, male and female alike. Lovely reading.
However, after about thirteen hours on the iPhone Audible app, I began to jump forward a chapter here, a chapter there, missing nothing pertinent, and set the player speed up to 1.5.
Read by MacLeod Andrews, Sick is just under ten hours of listening. The story starts out with a thrilling scene at a military base; a man and his family are violently separated by scary hazmat-wearing men and hustled to an unknown fate. Mom is dead. The bad guys are creating a pathogen to reduce world population by 99%, and members of this family have a natural immunity. The story arc is a quest for the main character to find his children. The book is exciting, you’ll have no trouble ‘turning-the-page’. In my opinion, it slows down a bit hear the end, and it’s never clearly stated how world-disaster is averted. It seems that there are many, many people involved in a global conspiracy to end of civilization as we know it, but at the end of the story only one mad scientist and a couple of cooperative guards are featured. A few loose ends that might be addressed in sequels.
The reader was fine, no problem identifying who-says-what-to-who. He does a decent job with the voices of children and women.
Worth a credit. Enjoy!
Brilliantly read by Susan Erickson, this story is number 40 in the In Death series. I’ve read them all, and I marvel at the creativity of Nora Roberts somehow being able wrap another crime story around Eve and her merry crowd of cohorts. They are all in this book … Peabody, McNabb, Feeney, Mira, Nadeen, etc.; nobody has been shelved for Obsession In Death. Why? Because any one of them might become a victim in this new thriller!!
There are many stories, myths, fictions, non-fictions, etc., written about the Titanic. This is fiction, young adult, approximately three hours in length. It’s well written, a captivating story. This is a nice selection to inspire a young person in addition to interesting fodder for any reader, the story, to this point, is certainly more plausible than the James Cameron movie. Facts are intermingled with a fictional story, which is character driven, and doesn’t progress through the actual sinking … which we can assume occurs in subsequent books in the series.
Well worth the Audible Daily Deal, not sure about a full credit, though.
Another review for the In Death series! Woot-woot-woot! Yikes, what else is there to say about this series? I’ve read, rather listened to, the entire series. If you’re a fan, you already know the characters … and, they are wonderful. But, I’m ready to gripe a little. First, in my humble opinion, Eve Dallas is “over-the-top”, a lot. There. I said it. Go ahead, shoot me. I realize this is all part of her character, but she’s a bit much sometimes. She is a brilliant and relentless investigator, but she is also unbelievably snarky and obnoxious with regard to pretty much everything. Even her handsome husband and friends fall victim. I mean, come on, who in their right mind would bitch about the house Roarke has created, the beautiful clothes he buys for her, jewelry. Gimme a break. She needs to chill a bit and enjoy her world a bit more.
Nuff griping about Eve.
The audiobook is read by Susan Erickson, and her portrayal of the In Death characters is superb, as usual. You are really doing yourself a disservice if you don’t listen to these stories rather that just read them. Ericsson and Nora Roberts have created an amazing group of wonderful characters that the audiobooks simply bring to life.
Festive In Death, in a similar vein to a previous In Death mystery, takes place during Christmas. Murder and mayhem. If you’re a fan of the In Death series, you’ll enjoy the story.
Read by Carol Hendrickson, Delayed Diagnosis is just over ten hours of listening. This is Book 1 in the Rhea Lynch, MD series of mysteries. Rhea Lynch returns from a vacation to chaos. Her best friend is near catatonic, cannot speak, diagnosed with having had a stroke. More people show up in the ER with similar symptoms. But … it is not a stroke, rather a devious, diabolic attempt to silence individuals who know the truth. Evil beyond description. Who done it? Rhea Lynch digs. Take a ride with Delayed Diagnosis and find out!
Nice introduction to a character, however, if I were to have my druthers, the author would taper back with the educational medical verbiage. Speaking metaphorically, I wasn't too interested in how the watch was built, only that it was ticking. Robin Cook, author of medical thrillers such as Coma and Outbreak, would like this story, right up his alley. Narration is great, no trouble discerning who-says-what-to-who ... no trouble sticking with this story, a page turner. Enjoy
Narrated by Richard Poe, Deception Point is approximately seventeen hours of listening. Although not specifically stated, the catalyst for this book is likely the discovery of a meteorite in Antartica that was thought to contain evidence of life on Mars. The event involved an announcement by then President Bill Clinton, NASA dignitaries at his side, given approximately two or three years prior to publication of this book. Deception Point is too similar, and it would be too much of a coincidence for that announcement not to have been the seed planted in Dan Brown’s brain which grew into this story.
Deception Point begins with the exact scenario, except this meteorite is huge, buried in ice, evidence of creepy-crawlers from outer space within. A presidential election is forthcoming, the incumbent’s rival an anti-NASA expense advocate. Politics, skullduggery, scheming, sex scandals, murder, all manner of fun abounds with a delightful mix of fact and fiction, typical of Dan Brown. Is the meteorite real? Do we finally have proof that ‘we are not alone.’? Or … is this whole thing a scam to keep NASA alive and funded? Read on and enjoy!
Narration by Caroline Lee, nineteen hours of listening.
In preparation for a movie, a film maker is researching the suicide of a poet. This suicide took place at an old mansion/country manor, amongst the early 20th century wealthy. Residents include two rival sisters, witnesses. Research involves interviewing Grace, an aged woman who was once a housemaid. Unbeknownst to the researcher, Grace has knowledge of the event, information known only to her. The story is told in flashbacks as Grace creates audiotapes.
Lots of detail regarding the advent of WWI, the rich and spoiled upper crust of England. In my opinion, the story is longer than necessary. A bit much with regard to fluffy conversations between the sisters, descriptions of gowns, parties, etc., at least for my taste. The story itself gets more intriguing nearer the end of the book, so hang in there.
Narration was problematic for me. For the most part the reading was pretty good. However, the narrator created an annoyingly high-pitched squeal when voicing some of the female characters, and although colorful and appropriate for the character, albeit sometimes child-like, it forced a grumble a number of times.
Grace’s secret isn’t revealed until the last few pages, but you’ll probably figure it out in earlier chapters.
A world-wide flu pandemic and the resulting impact on a family of four in a small Maine town. Dad is a PTSD laden Iraq War veteran. He plays war-battle-brainless video games with his son, likes wearing camo-gear, guns, disaster preparedness, etc. There is an undercurrent of a visceral enjoyment in this character. He seems to relish the militaristic life they now lead. A lot is written about the military accouterments, night vision goggles, camouflage, more guns. The family is ready for the pandemic, basement loaded with food, anti-viral medication … and eventually the flu permeates their surroundings. Not much is related with regard to world or political impact, although it is briefly mentioned. The story primarily involves a picturesque neighborhood and a few neighbors. People become desperate, offensive, defensive, predictable killings, vagrants appear, disappear, etc. Most people are not prepared.
I think I would have liked this book if the main character had been a reluctant hero. Personally, at least to me, the guy was nuts and a bit scary. He enjoyed this scenario too much. Mentioned only once, this would have been an excellent opportunity to explore the ramifications of PTSD - the causes, symptoms, treatment. The author missed his chance here.
The Jakarta Pandemic is read by Joseph Mortan, approximately sixteen hours of listening. In my opinion, Joseph Mortan is more suited to a different genrè, historical fiction, for example. This story is action-thriller … maybe Scott Brick or Dick Hill?
If you’re into the ‘pandemic’ events, I suppose you’ll want to check it out, but be prepared to wear camo and peer out your bedroom window with night vision goggles several times. No spoilers, but the ending is a bit anticlimactic … meh.
It has been a long time since I’ve been engrossed in a Tom Clancy novel, and it is sad that I will no longer be so privileged. My first exposure, as I believe would common to many readers, was The Hunt for Red October. These few words address Executive Orders and Debt of Honor. Read by Michael Prichard and John MacDonald, respectively, these books total approximately 87 hours of listening. I would suggest reading Debt of Honor first, as it is a tale that ends with information critical to the beginning of Executive Orders.
Tom Clancy’s generation, the baby-boomers, was one of the Cold War, and as a youngster, listening to tales of World War II, and as time marched forward, the Gulf War, and the overall Muslim-country-based angst. Well, guess what … these books reflect exactly that … Japan is the bad guy in Debt of Honor – and the Muslim terrorist is foundation of Executive Orders. The U.S. Capitol is destroyed, threats against the president and is family lace the pages. Ebola is unleashed, there are good-guy politicians, bad-guy politicians, good ‘o boys, sex scandals, and more. Typical of Clancy, these books are very detailed in the war strategies and technology of the era. No cell phones, but a world-wide-web is born.
Clancy, through his character Jack Ryan, is a flag-waving patriot … a red, white, and blue type A guy. The views are conservative. May have those readers with a liberal bent rolling their eyes a bit.
My preference in audiobook narration is pretty simple. If I am enjoying the listen and not hitting re-wind a great deal, the narrator is doing a good job. No complaints.
There are thousands of reviews on Clancy books, ergo not much for me to add. There is a baby-boomer writer flavor. The authors of this generation were encouraged to pen 800 page novels. Think John Jakes, Robert Ludlum, James Clavell, Allen Drury … these long, wordy, books are fun. The plots and sub-plots are rich and detailed … sometimes wavering from the story, but always intriguing and usually educational and historically accurate. Books are not written like this any more. Too bad.
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