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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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