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W. Brooks

Seattle, WA United States | Member Since 2010

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 44 ratings
  • 170 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10930)
    Performance
    (6125)
    Story
    (6174)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Great book. Super movie."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was a little slow getting started, but once it got moving it was super.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2534)
    Performance
    (1773)
    Story
    (1812)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    far_to_go says: "Annoying music"
    "Didn't really do it for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had higher expectations. Perhaps too high. I hated the ending. Just seemed too simplistic, too predictable. I ended it feeling cheated a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1341)
    Performance
    (1201)
    Story
    (1206)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "Not disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I consume Follett's trilogies. I like the historical richness of them. I learn from them. Mostly, though, I'm taken by the characters and the situations they find themselves in. This book, as is his style, could stand alone without having read the previous ones in the trilogy. But knowing the family back stories does make it a little richer. It's a long listen, but worth it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Not My Father's Son: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Alan Cumming
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (120)

    With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.

    BG853 says: "A Memoir For Mystery Lovers"
    "Wow. What can I say?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved listening to this book. I loved Alan Cumming's story and never tired of his voice. I've been a fan of his since The Good Wife started its Sunday night run a few years back. I had no idea, until recently, anything else about him or some of the outrageous roles he has played. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    Overall
    (2392)
    Performance
    (1270)
    Story
    (1263)

    The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

    Bill says: "Excellent!"
    "Got me writing again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I write for a living. Not fiction, mind you. I write for businesses. Many years ago, I took some time off to travel throughout Southeast Asia. On a train about a day outside Bangkok, my mind stumbled across the idea for a novel. Never happened to me before. As I meandered across northern Thailand, the story wouldn't leave me. I made my way south to an island off the Thai coast. There I spent a month in a little beachfront shack furiously writing longhand into notebooks. It consumed me.

    Then my visa expired. As I left the country, it was as if I had sent my story into hibernation. It was something that I never really understood. How do we walk away from things that fill us with passion?

    Fast forward about 25 years. I had hung on to those pages. Nearly 80,000 words. I pulled the notebooks out and started to read. Perhaps, I thought, there was something there for me. The situation no longer worked, but the story still had potential. I changed the setting, the characters and the time. I started over. Again, though, the world of family and job intervened. I didn't intend to set it aside, but that's what happened.

    They say third time's a charm. I think it might be true. As I listened to Stephen King read this book, the confidence I felt on the island returned. So much of what he said, I do. Except for that month on the island, though, I never gave myself to it.

    When I came back to the book a couple years ago, I found myself consumed with worry about where the plot would end up. Stephen King showed me how to trust my characters. And I do trust my characters! I've created some good ones with the potential to be both heroes and villains. Good people with serious flaws and god-awful ones with slivers of goodness.

    I think the thing that I'll take from book that will make the most difference is to just keep at it. Knowing that someone like Stephen King relies on a daily word goal shines a spotlight on why my book had languished for so long. Good days, bad days. Doesn't matter. Give yourself a daily word goal and write until you hit it. He said to start small. I'm following his 1,000-new-words-a-day suggestion. I still have to work and pay attention to my family. And I'm not going to give up my 30 or 40 Audible books a year. Surely (sorry for that adverb, Stephen) I can muster a thousand words a day. I could have a draft done by late spring.

    I don't know if this book would inspire others as it has me. I do know that it was the right book at the right time for me. Thank you, Stephen King.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Allegiant: Divergent Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin, Aaron Stanford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8723)
    Performance
    (7980)
    Story
    (8066)

    What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times best-selling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of listeners in Divergent and Insurgent.

    Judy says: "What a let down!"
    "I didn't care for the ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not going to say much for obvious reasons, but I didn't like the choices the author made in wrapping up this trilogy. I felt the path she chose was maybe a valid option, but totally unnecessary. I gave the other two installments in this series much higher marks. It's a good read - and clearly made for Hollywood.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Six Years

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3019)
    Performance
    (2606)
    Story
    (2622)

    Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for...but she is not Natalie....

    G. House Sr. says: "Obsession, mystery, and you're hooked!"
    "Not a fun read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read a lot of books in this genre. I didn't care for this one. I like stories to give me useful clues as to what in the world is going on. This one didn't. I kept expecting the pieces - and there were lots of them - to fall into place, but that happen didn't until late in the book. There could have been a good story here, but it needed more care in the telling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9281)
    Performance
    (8360)
    Story
    (8368)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Best Grisham in a long time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you liked the early John Grisham better than the more recent one, you're going to absolutely love this book. A great story with a number of twists and turns. This book is actually a sequel to his very first novel, A Time to Kill, with that book's first protagonist again in the lead role in this book. This book was so well done. It has an easy writing style, which should never be confused with slow. The characters - all of them that matter- are richly drawn.

    And special kudos to the narrator, Michael Beck. He managed to give distinct accents to a host of characters that made the book easy to listen to. I clicked on Beck's name and discovered that he has made a career of voicing Grisham's books almost exclusively. It's easy to see why.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ascendant: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Drew Chapman
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (153)

    Hidden deep within the figures tracking the ups and downs of the stock market lies a terrifying truth: America is under attack. Our government…our economy…our very way of life are in the crosshairs of a ruthless enemy…and no one knows. Except Garrett Reilly. He has a knack for numbers. He sees patterns no one else can. His gift has made him a rising star on Wall Street. But when he notices that two hundred billion dollars' worth of U.S. Treasury bonds are being sold off at a terrifying rate, his gift makes him the most wanted man alive.

    John S says: "Actually quite entertaining"
    "Great story, great pacing, great characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book sneaked up on me. I chose it because it because Audible has promoted it. I read a lot of books in this international thriller genre. They keep me going in the gym way better than non-fiction or "fine writing" novels. The first hour or two of this book moved along okay and then boom, the pace quickened and it was like I was being pulled along by a rushing current. It got in the way of my focusing on work or anything else.Wow. It was that good. Drew Chapman, the author, has enjoyed a lot of success in Hollywood and I think this is his first novel. I can't wait for the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9921)
    Performance
    (9079)
    Story
    (9091)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Easy to see why it's a best seller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Strong story. Great characters. Perhaps a little long, but kept me involved. I liked the complexity of the main character.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Command Authority

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2127)
    Performance
    (1911)
    Story
    (1919)

    There's a new strong man in Russia but his rise to power is based on a dark secret hidden decades in the past. The solution to that mystery lies with a most unexpected source, President Jack Ryan.

    Marci says: "Great story with a couple of flaws"
    "Liked it from start to finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's hard not to like a Tom Clancy book. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It's his last, of course. I'm hoping that Mark Greaney wrote enough of it to hint that the Clancy style will continue to provide us with such great reads. I loved the detail in Command Authority. Everything here could have actually happened. The historical relevance is captivating. This book goes fast and deep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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