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Codger

Hyannis, MA USA | Member Since 2012

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 64 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • The Hangman's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Oliver Pötzsch, Lee Chadeayne (translator)
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1046)
    Performance
    (922)
    Story
    (915)

    When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play in his small Bavarian town. When more children disappear and an orphan is found dead with the same mark, the mounting hysteria threatens to erupt. Before the unrest forces him to torture and execute the woman who aided in the birth of his children, Jakob must unravel the truth.

    goddess_of_pipework says: "Fascinating"
    "Wonderful concept - just Ok writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The idea that the town's executioner should be more worried about justice than the burghers is a great premise. The story moves along, but the repetition in the prose is off-putting. Character development is slow and that's not always bad - but in this case, some of the major characters are still incomplete at the end of the book. Hints are given, but clarity would be nice. I found it strange that the reformation was totally ignored.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4681)
    Performance
    (4339)
    Story
    (4349)

    Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

    D says: "The sequel to the book; not the movie"
    "Finally - Stephen King as good as I remember."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After wading through "Cell" and "11/26/1963", I started wondering where the Stephen King that I enjoyed was. While not as innovative as "Carrie" or as just plain scary as "'Salem's Lot", "Doctor Sleep” stands alongside its predecessor as a good read that can provide more than just chills. It haunts you all the way through and leaves you fulfilled at the end.

    Good Job all the way around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (15864)
    Performance
    (11844)
    Story
    (11776)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "As funny as any one skit,..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...but much more endearing. A well rounded memoir played for comic effect. Her asides and disclaimers were hilarious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Billy Crystal
    • Narrated By Billy Crystal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1062)
    Performance
    (971)
    Story
    (971)

    Billy Crystal is 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like ""Buying the Plot"" and ""Nodding Off,"" Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, and his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Listeners get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever ""test positive for Maalox""), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (""the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac""); grandparenting; and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

    Pamela says: "Growing up with Billy Crystal"
    "On the whole, I liked it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Upfront - everyone with a sense of humor should listen to this book. His boyhood friendship with Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and later acqaintances and friendships with Mickey Mantle and Mohammad Ali would make a great book.

    There were moments that were awkward and you can tell that were somewhat awkward for him. He didn't seem that he wanted to talk about religion or W, but they were part of his life. And he decided not to hide anything. I give him credit for that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3557)
    Performance
    (3028)
    Story
    (3023)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Shauna says: "Defending Jacob"
    "Kept me captivated..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...but in the end there was a contradiction that was too glaring for it to be satisfactory. Most of the contradictions were because it is written from the perspective of one person and no one person can know everything. I have no problem with that.

    I'll leave it at that rather than playing spoiler and in advertantly giving away the ending. Suffice it to say that the error is glaring and disconcerting and could have easily beeen resolved. You wonder whe edited the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (3126)
    Performance
    (2452)
    Story
    (2479)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Glenda Jeffers says: "Riveting but brutal"
    "I liked the flashback style..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...because the elapsed time helps you cope with the heinous nature of the events by tempering the horror. It doen't remove the horrific nature of the defining moment of the book. It sneaks up on it with sidelong glances that allow it to be viewed slowly until it comes into view and even then, takes several angles until it is fully focused and brought into sharp relief.

    The flashback style makes this different from Ms. Flynn's other books. She, of course, uses flashbacks in "Sharp Objects" and "Gone Girl" to great effect, but they are more incidental and peripheral.

    "Dark Places" is another story of broken people that is every bit as dark and foreboding as "Sharp Objects" and "Gone Girl". I recommend it to anyone that likes her other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cell: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    Overall
    (3170)
    Performance
    (929)
    Story
    (934)

    The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone's cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization's darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then begins to evolve.

    chris says: "Entertained"
    "I'd call this a good read..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...not a great book. There are holes in the plot that you can drive a truck through. Good concepts and entertaining prose, but it's ultimately too loose.

    Case in point: What happened to the cops? They were armed and seemingly still sane, but something that could only act with wanton bloodlust or suicidal rage could out think the law enforcement that went to the airport?

    Good story overall, but too many holes in the first days, too little tribalization of the "normies".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Taos Bank Robbery: And Other True Stories of the Southwest

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Tony Hillerman
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    This classic collection of nonfiction essays about life in New Mexico by the great Tony Hillerman remains a must listen for anyone looking to understand the state's unique charm. The engaging pieces in The Great Taos Bank Robbery unveil the life and magic one experiences in the Land of Enchantment.

    Susie says: "How Tony Hillerman Got His Start"
    "New Mexico stories from the inside."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tony Hillerman has the concise descriptive style that appears expansive when exercised on the scale necessary for the landscape. That style comes from much practice. While many of these earlier works are verbose by comparison, they do show humor and a real feeling for the subject matter. The narrator tends to go into a monotone when the story get verbose and drawn out. He reads alot of it as if it were a text book, not an entertainment.

    All things considered, I enjoyed and recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (16053)
    Performance
    (14211)
    Story
    (14158)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "The ultimate anthropomorphosis."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening once, I started it again because there was a little nagging feeling in the back of my head. The writing was clear and easy to understand and most of the story was compelling, but it left me singularly unsatisfied.

    The feeling finally manifested itself: Time (e.g., the past) cannot be obdurate in the way that the book describes. It could be a chute or tunnel or path that would be easier if you went along, but it would have to have sentience to actively try to stop changes from occurring.

    It's the ultimate anthropomorphosis - transferring the human trait of stubborness to a whole dimension. I can usually push the "I Believe" button for entertainment's sake after I figure out the shortfalls in the concept, but for some reason the story doesn't make me want to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharp Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2449)
    Performance
    (1810)
    Story
    (1823)

    Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

    Kelley says: "I agree with Stephen King"
    "Disturbing - and addictive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not as complete as "Gone Girl", but it shows that Giliian Flynn learned from her first books. Don't want to know where the inspiration for this book comes from, but the skillful writing compells you through the dark places that inhabit her characters. You can identify with them as human, but recoil in horror at their actions. A good read that suffers slightly from having it wrap up at different pace than is used in the rest of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Oliver Pötzsch
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (363)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (329)

    It is 1648, a small village in the Alps: In the thick of a blizzard,a town priest discovers he’s been poisoned. As numbness creeps up his body, he summons the last of his strength and scratches a sign in the frost that will lead the town hangman, his daughter, and the town physician in pursuit of a treasure of the Knights Templar. But the priest’s murderer is already on their trail, and he’s not the only one after the legendary fortune: a dark monk is not far behind,and a band of thieves is roving the countryside, attacking solitary travelers and spreading panic.

    Snoodely says: "The Real Discovery of Penicillin!"
    "I like the series, but...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like the series, but wish that more time had been used to round out the tale. Alot of the plot smacks of the fantasical - too much so for a book that's supposed to be an historical novel. I really want to like to like it more than I actually do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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