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Cholmondeley

Santa Barbara, CA United States | Member Since 2004

68
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 388 ratings
  • 875 titles in library
  • 48 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Betrayal: A Dismas Hardy Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By John Lescroart
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    When Dismas Hardy agrees to clean up the caseload of recently disappeared attorney Charlie Bowen, he thinks it will be easy. But one of the cases is far from small-time - the appeal to overturn the murder conviction of National Guard reservist Evan Scholler, who has been sentenced to life without parole for the murder of an ex-Navy SEAL and private contractor named Ron Nolan. Two rapid-fire events in Iraq conspired to bring the men into fatal conflict.

    Cholmondeley says: "Not enough Dismas; too much back-story"
    "Not enough Dismas; too much back-story"
    Overall

    I listened to and enjoyed the first two Dismas Hardy titles available from Audible (Guilt and Mercy). I'm pleased with the several new releases that have become recently available and will probably buy and listen to all of them.

    But this is not the Dismas Hardy book for new "readers" or old fans. The first fifteen minutes or so set up a couple of back- stories that involve none of the Dismas Hardy characters. These back-stories take up AT LEAST 75% of the book! And they are tedious.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Ophelia Cut: Dismas Hardy, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Lescroart
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (163)

    Moses McGuire has good reason to be concerned about his beautiful 23-year-old daughter, Brittany. She moves quickly from one boyfriend to the next, and always seems to prefer a new and mysterious stranger to a man she knows something about. But her most recent ex, Rick Jessup, isn’t willing to let her go, culminating in a terrible night when Brittany is raped. Within 24 hours, Rick Jessup is dead, Moses McGuire is the prime suspect in the investigation, and Dismas Hardy has been hired to defend his brother-in-law.

    Jane says: "Entertaining but unconvincing plot resolutions"
    "Remember the shootout at the pier?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a full-on "mature" Dismas Hardy story. You get what you pay for and the value is good. This is a bit of a clean up story for Hardy fans who read and remember the over-the-top 'on the pier' shoot out where Abe, Dismas and Moses kill a lot of bad guys (six?) and SPLIT. (Only in SF.) Well, this story starts off with everyone worried that Moses is going to start talking six years after the fact and it goes on from there.

    The Incident at the Pier is more or less central but so is the date rape of Franny's niece, who happens to be Moses's daughter who may or may not have murdered the man responsible. There seems to be an underlying premise that most fathers would want to murder a man responsible for the date rape of his beautiful and very sexually active twenty-something daughter. I doubt it's the attitude of most of those men or very many of those daughters.

    Then, there's a muddled conclusion with muddled implications that should haunt Dismas for the rest of his life even though it was none of his doing. As I recall, Moses was kind of interesting as a philosopher bartender, but he doesn't wear well during his trial with either the other characters or with the reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Keeper: Dismas Hardy, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By John Lescroart
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (180)

    On the evening before Thanksgiving, Hal Chase, a guard in the San Francisco County Jail, drives to the airport to pick up his step-brother for the weekend. When they return, Hal’s wife, Katie, has disappeared without a clue. By the time Dismas Hardy hears about this, Katie has been missing for five days. The case strikes close to home because Katie had been seeing Hardy’s wife, a marriage counselor. By this time, the original Missing Persons case has become a suspected homicide, and Hal is the prime suspect.

    PaddyC says: "One of slower stories of the Dismas Hardy series"
    "Lescroat in full stride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is classic Lescroart. It's set in San Francisco - probably a San Francisco of yesterday but he describes a crazy place I knew and liked. He's not a lawyer but he gets the procedural stuff and the sense of criminal law practice as well as anyone in the writing business. Dismas and Fran are getting older and in a way, they are both getting cooler.

    David Colacci is, of course, the voice of the series and does for Lescroart what Richard Ferrone has done for the Prey Series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bagmen: Victor Carl, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By William Lashner
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    At a low point in his lowly career, Victor finds himself skulking through the streets of Philadelphia carrying a bag full of money for an ambitious politician. It is a rotten job on the wrong side of anyone’s line, but with bag in hand Victor is suddenly hobnobbing with the city’s elite, filling his bank account, and having sex with the politician’s gorgeous and deranged sister. But just when Victor begins to think he’s got a future in the political game, one of his payoffs ends up in the pocket of a dead woman, and Victor goes from bagman to fall guy.

    Cholmondeley says: "The premise of the screw-up lawyer is promising..."
    "The premise of the screw-up lawyer is promising..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like the idea of a series about a hapless lawyer who survives in spite of it all. But this poor guy - Victor Karl - was for me more hopeless than hapless, and the way it was read made what was poor much worse. I couldn't finish listening and that doesn't happen very often.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cairo Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (302)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (269)

    Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed. Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated.

    Darwin8u says: "In the widening gyre"
    "Who's on Third? Or Second or First? Or at Home?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    1. This is not a Dept. Q novel.
    2. This is not like a Dept. Q novel - no delightfully goofy characters.
    3. It's a spy story and probably a reasonably good one, but I couldn't remember who was who or who had done what to whom, when.
    4. I appreciated the sound of the narrator's voice and the author's (translator's?) words and I got the gist of the story but didn't follow it from chapter to chapter.
    5. I didn't play it during a long car trip and it might be good for that. I don't think it would be confusing to read, but I wouldn't put this on a list of books to actually read - ever.

    2 of 3 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
    (9466)
    Performance
    (8667)
    Story
    (8680)

    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"
    "High Duration : Cost Ratio ... but"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There aren't many 1 Credit books that take more than 30 hours to read. Many by Dickens, several by the Russians and David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (58 hours without the footnotes!). These are worth reading and they are worth listening too and the duration is a bonus.

    I listen to audiobooks for several different reasons. Most of those reasons have to do with being entertained or distracted. If the book and narrator are "just good enough" to amuse, distract, or both, the longer the book the better it satisfies what I want from it.

    The structure of this story didn't seem strong enough to support its length, so while it was good enough to listen to for 30+ hours, it didn't say anything that was particularly interesting to me, or if it did, it didn't say it memorably.

    If you're painting a room (two coats, trim, prep time, and clean-up) this would be a reasonable selection.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Guilt: Department Q, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (85)

    Following the international No 1 bestsellers Mercy and Disgrace, Guilt is the fourth heart-stopping Department Q novel from Jussi Adler-Olsen, and a gripping treat for all fans of the Scandinavian crime thriller.1987. Nete Rosen thought she'd put her traumatic youth behind her. Her caring foster parents and loving husband helped her start again. However, when a man from her past reappears one night, Nete's new life could be shattered.

    Craig says: "This is the Book "The Purity of Vengeance" Renamed"
    "I've heard this and once was enough."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audible - you don't have to include my rating. I'm using this as a way to ask for $ back. I couldn't sleep last night and needed a book to listen to. This seemed to be brand new but as soon as it started I realized that I had heard it before, that I didn't want to hear it again, and in no event was it a good book to use to help with sleep! In the past I think I've been told by my library when I try to buy a book I've already got. I think there have been problems with the name of this one. Thanks, Brian Burke

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Life After Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Fenella Woolgar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1374)
    Performance
    (1220)
    Story
    (1230)

    On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

    Diane says: "Life after life after life after life after life.."
    "Not what you might think."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are hoping for the next episode in the story developed in Case Histories and Started Early Took My Dog, this isn't the book you were waiting for. At least I don't think it is. Atkinson can mystify the reader for several chapters before the narrative starts to hang together, but she has the ability to make the material engaging even though you don't know what's going on. Maybe that's what she's doing in this novel. I wouldn't know because I gave up on it after about 1/2 hour. This very low rating represents my disappointment as much as the perceived quality of the book.

    6 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Crossing to Safety

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Wallace Stegner
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (302)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (231)

    One of the finest American authors of the 20th century, Wallace Stegner compiled an impressive collection of accolades during his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, a National Book Award, and three O. Henry Awards. His final novel, Crossing to Safety is the quiet yet stirring tale of two couples that meet during the Great Depression and form a lifelong bond.

    Barbara says: "Real characters dealing with life & death."
    "Death"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story about death and decay. I'm too old to listen to it and gave up after 1/2 hour.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Refuge

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Chris Knopf
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (97)

    Sam Acquillo is at the end of the line: he's a middle-aged corporate dropout living in a ramshackle cottage in Southampton's North Sea. But then the old lady next door ends up floating dead in her bathtub, and it seems that Sam is the only one who wonders why.

    Daniel says: "A good read (listen)"
    "A hero who doesn't work and play well with others."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a glutton for audiobooks - especially mysteries - and I'm surprised I had never heard of Chris Knopf until I stumbled upon The Last Refuge. After hearing it read, I listened to the other four in a week. Five books by the same writer in one week is high praise. But note, these books won't be for everyone. My interest is in the protagonist, a 54 year old mechanical engineer, called Sam Acquillo, who is one of those guys who knows how almost everything works - both manufactured or natural. If he doesn't know, he can figure it out. He's a know-it-all, but he isn't annoying because he DOES know it all. He a good guy to have around, especially if you are tracking down various murderers.

    Sam is a former boxer. He's wasn't a good boxer but he's stayed in shape by working out at grimy, smelly boxing gyms. When he meets another man, Sam sizes the man up and decides whether he could kick the guy’s butt. He usually decides that he can and he's usually right. This is largely because most men were never boxers of any sort, and if they were they haven't maintained the physical condition of even a mediocre boxer.

    At the beginning of this book Sam runs a R&D Division of a huge corporation. He has a record of going all over the world to fix big problems in huge industrial operations. He's the company's best engineer, in spite of the fact that he doesn't play and work well with others.

    The book begins with a corporate board meeting. Sam is invited and is praised for the remarkable job he's do with his division and the terrific revenues his team has been able to generate. In fact, it is so profitable that the Board is thinking about selling it off at a very high profit. Sam knows it's a done deal and is very unhappy to have his division sold out from under him.

    Sam's lousy personality emerges. The house counsel, sitting across the table from Sam, starts to read a description of the mechanics by which Sam's division will be spun-off. Sam gets up, reaches across the table, grabs the lawyer's tie, and pulls him far enough across the table to punch him in the face. It isn't a good thing for anyone to do to another person, but Sam has seized the “reader’s attention,” (At least he seized my attention.)

    Within twelve hours Sam has quit his job, abandoned his career, and has dumped his dreadful wife. He has also consumed a lot of Absolute vodka (which is a continuing riff). For days, weeks, or months, Sam runs on the wild side. His is committed to a detox. The program doesn't work but Sam gets off the streets and ends up in a small beach cottage he has inherited and which is barely habitable. He lives like a semi-hermit and is starting to FIND himself when he FINDS his elderly next door neighbor, a woman he doesn't like, dead in her bathtub. The police call it a natural death; Sam thinks it's murder because the old gal didn't take baths.

    It goes on from there.

    I'm giving five's to all of these recordings. They aren't the same kind of fives I give to Dickens novels, but fives to acknowledge a new series with a new protagonist I like the fictional John Deal and Doc Ford and the real-life Australian science-genius: Dr. Karl (who can be heard on a BBC podcast).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Infinite Jest

    • UNABRIDGED (56 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David Foster Wallace
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (492)
    Performance
    (425)
    Story
    (425)

    A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.

    Charlie R. Williams says: "good if you already read the book."
    "Pratt's reading is virtuoso performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to Infinite Jest is an experience of hearing the work of a virtuoso performer. These 900+ pages include four-page paragraphs (3000 words) which Pratt reads in a way that keeps them engaging and fresh from beginning to end. The same can be said about his reading of the entire novel.

    His accomplishment can't be fully appreciated without reading a few pages of the text while he performs it. I find myself listening to random selections from the download two or three times, and I enjoy listening to the words and sentences without concern about how the fit into something larger. I don't think I've ever done this with another book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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