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ScipioTex

M A Stoever

Houston, TX USA | Member Since 2001

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 169 ratings
  • 608 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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  • The Shanghai Factor

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Charles McCarry
    • Narrated By Stephen Bowlby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (20)

    An unnamed spy is dispatched to Shanghai to aid a shadowy U.S. agency known only as HQ. There he meets a mysterious woman named Mei and begins a torrid affair that threatens to expose him to Chinese intelligence, the notorious Guoanbu. As danger waits for him around every corner, and the enigmatic Mei moves into and out of his life, he finds himself drawn further into a deadly cat-and-mouse game between Guoanbu and HQ that threatens not only to end his life but to also dangerously destabilize East/West relations.

    Darwin8u says: "Good mix of Counter-Intel & Mentor Spy fiction"
    "Good Story Marred by Bad Chinese"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A clever spy story set against the backdrop of the interface between Chinese and American cultures, which is often depicted (accurately in my experience) with wry humor. This is not an action-packed thriller, but rather a cerebral tale in which the author continually tantalizes with clues and possibilities regarding both the plot and the characters. Having been to China a few times as a tourist, I can vouch for the author's descriptions of the sensations of being a tall white guy trying to make his way through the crowds.

    While the narrator ably handles the voices of the various characters, he butchers many of the Mandarin phrases and names, e.g., "Qi" being pronounced "key" instead of the correct "chee". I wish he had done a little homework before making this recording. I don't think such egregious mispronunciation of a European language would be acceptable in a narration of this purported quality.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Scott Smith
    • Narrated By Patrick Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (568)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (102)

    The Ruins follows two American couples enjoying a pleasant, lazy beach holiday together in Mexico. On an impulse, they go off with newfound friends in search of one of their group, the young German who, in pursuit of a girl, has headed for the remote Mayan ruins, site of a fabled archeological dig.

    Art says: "The Plant"
    "An Engaging Listen"
    Overall

    This book captured my attention with gradually-building tension, well-drawn characters, meticulously crafted descriptions of physical settings and events, and excellent narration. I consider it a technical success - it created in my imagination a vivid cinematic experience in which I found myself silently arguing with the characters, bemoaning their missteps, and offering suggestions to help extricate them from their predicament. And obsessed with what was going to happen next. That things didn't work out the way I would have wanted, that the foundations of the plot are rather far-fetched, and that key questions go unanswered are really beside the point, which is to entertain you while roughing you up a bit.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lonesome Dove

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Lee Horsley
    Overall
    (3369)
    Performance
    (1823)
    Story
    (1855)

    Larry McMurtry's American epic, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, a drive that represents not only a daring foolhardy adventure, but a part of the American Dream for everyone involved.

    A. Wright says: "Inspired reading of a great book"
    "My best listen"
    Overall

    I've been downloading two Audible titles a month for almost two years, and so far Lonesome Dove is the most memorable: an exciting and moving story populated with brilliantly created characters, brought to life by a fine narration.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Douglas Adams
    Overall
    (2260)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (361)

    The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy, the first volume in the five-part Hitchhiker "trilogy" made Douglas Adams a science fiction sensation, and is a must-listen for any and all fans of the genre. Don't forget to bring a towel!

    Victor says: "still a winner!!!"
    "A bit of a bore"
    Overall

    I listened to about the three-quarter point before giving up. The author does a terrific job with the narration, but this doesn't make up for the rather puerile nature of the work itself. The Pythonesque style of humor (e.g., "...and by the way, the little green men ARE green...")is overused to the point of despair, and the overreliance on the comic effect of fanciful names for characters, places, etc. is too much even for a devotee of Dr. Seuss books. Certainly, it's a matter of taste - if a steady diet of straight-faced silliness appeals to you, then give the story a listen, but if instead such a diet goes down like an overcooked Arcturan babblewhompus burger, then steer clear.

    8 of 19 people found this review helpful

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