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Constant Reader

M

LA, CA, USA | Member Since 2008

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 323 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • Attack Poodles and Other Media Mutants: The Looting of the News in a Time of Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By James Wolcott
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    They are coddled and well-groomed. They chase after the latest scandal and then run around in crazy circles, using the TV studio as their show ring and wee-wee pad. There is no controversy they can't trivialize, no issue they can't vulgarize. They obey their political masters and betray the trust of the audience with every bark. They're the attack poodles: a new breed of celebrity pundit.

    Ralph says: "Typical conservative hater"
    "What a Difference a Decade Makes!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've long been a great fan of James Wolcott, and look forward to reading his reminiscence on New York in the 1980s -- a decade so dreadful, I fled west, along with much of my generation. Attack Poodles is fun -- but so dated! Listening to Wolcott praise Lou Dobbs is painful. And really, he doesn't pay enough attention to Olberman. So much has changed -- though O'Reilly remains the same. Hannity, on the other hand, ain't near as swell as Wolcott thinks him to be. And a bit more on the madness of Coulter is always appreciated.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10066)
    Performance
    (9118)
    Story
    (9196)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "The 9th Circle of Pulp Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Dan Brown and/or Paul Michael?

    I think I have to give up on Dan Brown. He apparently doesn't allow editors to touch his books. Inferno is repetitive, filled with long Ayn Randian speeches, and thick with red herrings. It's an audible version of one of Dante's torments.


    What could Dan Brown have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Re-read his book,a nd cut out the repetition, and travel guide writing.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Paul Michael’s performances?

    Sure -- he did fine with what he had.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyance.


    Any additional comments?

    Da Vinci Code was clever. Inferno is just plain smarmy...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Grantchester Grind

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Tom Sharpe
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cecil
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (21)

    The instinct of the true Porterhouse man faced with a crisis is to reach for the bottle and then to fall back on the subtle tactical skills honed at Cambridge down the centuries: blackmail and kidnap. But will these be enough? Menaced on all sides - by the collapse of the Chapel, by the tentacles of organised crime, and by the hovering threat of the abominable Dog’s Nose Man - will Porterhouse be forced to unleash the most fearsome weapon in its armoury - the college food?

    Constant Reader says: "Tom Sharpe Gets Dull"
    "Tom Sharpe Gets Dull"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A proper Thom Sharpe novel, rather than one that appears to have been written out of bits and tatters lying about.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Sharpe again?

    Of course. I love his novels. I wish Audible carried more of them.


    What three words best describe Jonathan Cecil’s performance?

    Entertaining. Witty. British.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyance.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a proper sequel ot Porterhouse Blue. But it is properly named. Reading it really was...a Grind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Bernadette Quigley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (212)

    In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. She begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body near-death experiences.

    Christine says: "Read this book, but don't listen to it!"
    "What a Tough Crowd!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jeez! I avoided this book for years, frightened away by the moans and groans over Bernadette Quigley's reading. Yes, it is a bit odd. But it's not bad. Indeed, it's rather sweet. And heck, her accents are no worse than mine. Indeed, they're better. All my accents sound the same. And anyway, Mary Roach is always -- always! -- worthwhile. The woman is a national treasure. I can't wait to see what's next...

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Star Island

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (878)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (293)

    Meet 22-year-old Cherry Pye (nee Cheryl Bunterman), a pop star since she was 14 - and about to attempt a comeback from her latest drug-and-alcohol disaster.Now meet Cherry again: in the person of her undercover stunt double, Ann DeLusia. Ann portrays Cherry whenever the singer is too indisposed - meaning wasted - to go out in public. And it is Ann-mistaken-for-Cherry who is kidnapped from a South Beach hotel by obsessed paparazzo Bang Abbott.

    Suzn F says: "Laugh Out Loud"
    "Like Cherry, This Book Needs Uppers"
    Overall

    The usually (indeed, always) reliable Carl Hiaasen seems to have run out of gas halfway through this amusing tale of Life in the Passing Lane. The first third of the book is diverting. The middle third loses its way. The final third is just filler. And the epilogue gave me a headache. Good concept -- but not much follow-through. And I grow weary of the runaway Governor...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By James Tabor
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (89)

    Blind Descent explores both the brightest and darkest aspects of the timeless human urge to discover—to be first. It is also a thrilling epic about a pursuit that makes even extreme mountaineering and ocean exploration pale by comparison.

    RGH says: "Amazing Courage!!"
    "But Why?"
    Overall

    About halfway through the book, I realized I couldn't, for the love of me, understand why people would want to crawl through caves. Unlike climbing a mountain, with your spirit soaring, and heaven just out of reach, caves are wet, smelly, dark, and claustrophobic in the extreme. When you get to the bottom of a cave -- well, there you are. At the bottom. In the dark. And the stink. Caving is a creepy activity. And intentionally or not, James Tabor communicates that. After reading Blind Descent, I decided I didn't even want to go into basements. I'd rather seek the sky above -- than the mud below.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Simon Jones, Christopher Cerf, Richard Dawkins, and others
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (196)

    Rescued from his beloved Macintosh, The Salmon of Doubt provides us with the opportunity to linger and frolic one last time in the uniquely entertaining and richly informative mind of Douglas Adams. For the millions of readers who expressed their grief and shock at his untimely death, this is a treasure; his final book and our last chance to see new work from an acknowledged comic genius.

    Ambrose A. Dunn-meynell says: "enjoyable but not well described"
    "A Bit of Editing Wouldn't Have Hurt"
    Overall

    This collection of shards and fragments, bits and pieces, would be more of a pleasure for the many fans of Adams, had someone taken the trouble to edit his various notes, comments, memoes and the like. Instead, it was all thrown into the mix -- where no one seems to have noticed the same stories told over and over again. I guess it was edited by the Redundancy Department of Redundancy...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • South of Broad

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1182)
    Performance
    (386)
    Story
    (386)

    Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of 13, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him

    Lisa S. says: "I gave up"
    "My Mistake"
    Overall

    For some odd reason, I thought South of Broad was written by the same Pat Conroy who wrote The Great Santini and Lords of Discipline. My mistake. This is clearly the Pat Conroy who used to write under pseudonyms like Harold Robbins and Jacqueline Susann. For this is nothing but a shabby melodrama, a soap opera peopled by cardboard cutouts, with a little "hot" sex tossed in, and an amazingly bizarre structure. It feels as if whoever this particular Conroy is, he tried to cobble together a bunch of stories he had sitting around in shoe boxes. At best, it's chewing gum for the mind -- a brainless book to read while burning on the beach...

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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