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Mark

Le Vaud, Switzerland | Member Since 2000

41
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 74 ratings
  • 538 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (1338)
    Performance
    (929)
    Story
    (948)

    Volume two in this series consists of one novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and two collections of short stories, which include "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" (a total of 23 stories). These creations by Doyle represent the finest work of his Holmes series, and certainly the most famous.

    T. says: "a list of what you'll find in Volume 2"
    "A good rendition"
    Overall

    Mr Griffin reads with energy and gives each character a very distinct accent. Mostly this works well, though some of his pronuciation sounds a little strange to a British ear. The hero's name comes out as "Horms" much of the time, and some place names like "Wool-witch" give away that the excellent British accent hides a non-native English speaker :-). That said, this is one of the best Holmes readings available.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Masques: Aralorn, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Patricia Briggs
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Patricia Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1193)
    Performance
    (812)
    Story
    (826)

    After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. Her latest mission involves spying on the increasingly powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae'Magi. But in a war against an enemy armed with the powers of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is - or where he will strike next?

    Tabitha says: "Satisfying tale, interesting characters"
    "Solid fantasy adventure"
    Overall

    Despite being the author's first book (and having some weaknesses she identifies in the preface), this is a pretty decent book, and I enjoyed it. The setting is good, if a little vague, and there are some novel elements in the magic. The story is not overly predictable, and the reader make a good presentation of it.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Angels and Demons

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (6369)
    Performance
    (1942)
    Story
    (1971)

    World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization, the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra.

    Phillip says: "I couldn't put it down...5 STARS"
    "Another good pulp adventure"
    Overall

    This time Dan Brown demonstrates his complete ignorance of basic physics, which implies an equal lack of knowledge of the Catholic church. When he writes about a subject I know (e.g. cryptography or physics) he is so far off the mark that I have no doubt he is equally inaccurate when dealing with other subjects. But don't let that detract from a pretty decent adventure yarn. There are no "revelations" here (or in any of his books), but the story has pace and thrills. And if you know anything about CERN, antimatter containment, aerodynamics, or systems design, you will have quite a few good laughs too.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Digital Fortress

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Patrick Cohen
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    Chillingly current and filled with more intelligence secrets than Tom Clancy, Digital Fortress transports readers deep within the most powerful intelligence organization on earth - the National Security Agency (NSA), an ultra-secret, multibillion-dollar agency, which (until now) less than 3 percent of Americans knew existed.

    robk72 says: "Good premise, weak characters"
    "Typical Brown"
    Overall

    Brown writes a good yarn, and doesn't let facts get in the way. As someone who works with cryptographic experts, I found the cipher stuff hilariously ridiculous. And I don't like the way he changes history to make his clues work. But as pulp fiction with a silly technology premise, it's a fun ride. Believe me, the NSA are not going to worry about his "revelations".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Fleet: Victorious

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2955)
    Performance
    (1952)
    Story
    (1964)

    As war continues to rage between the Alliance and Syndicate Worlds, Captain "Black Jack" Geary is promoted to admiral - even though the ruling council fears he may stage a military coup. His new rank gives him the authority to negotiate with the Syndics, who have suffered tremendous losses and may finally be willing to end the war. But an even greater alien threat lurks on the far side of the Syndic occupied space.

    matthew says: "A Great Book From a Great Series"
    "Wrapping up the series"
    Overall

    This book certainly tied up the loose ends, and has some very good passages. However the final war encounter was spoiled for me because the "twist" was so obvious for a long time before the normally smart characters worked it out for themselves. I kept shouting "No, you idiots, they are [doing X]". The final dialogue scene to resolve the romance subplot was nicely done, also with some twists.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Leavenworth Case

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Anna Katherine Green
    • Narrated By Jim Killavey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (17)

    Horatio Leavenworth is a New York merchant whose material wealth is matched by his eminence in the communityand reputation for good works. He is also the guardian of two striking nieces who share his Fifth Avenue mansion. Mary, her uncle's favorite, is to inherit her uncle's fortune at his death. As this mystery opens, that lamentable event has just occurred. Leavenworth has been shot to death and circumstances point to one of his young wards.

    Linda says: "Masterpiece"
    "Not bad, if dated"
    Overall

    A very good story in its day, and with some good twists, though the writing is a bit heavy and old-fashioned for a modern reader. Worth a credit if you like period fiction. The reading is rather bland, but serviceable.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Churchill

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Roy Jenkins
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (515)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (191)

    In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins' unparalleled command of the political history of Britain and his own high-level government experience combine in a narrative account of Churchill's astounding career that is unmatched in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author's nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject.

    Karen says: "Best of British Political Soap Opera"
    "Absolutely brilliant"
    Overall

    I first got this Audible title many years ago, and I'm now going through it again. The reading is excellent, and the material is authoritative, entertaining and well balanced.
    There are enough twists and turns for good fiction, though this is all true history.
    Churchill was a complex character, and every nuance is examined, not least from the political experience of the author who held senior office in later British governments.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26809)
    Performance
    (20575)
    Story
    (20658)

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall

    Unlike some reviewers, I really like Roy Dotrice's reading of this book, but then I'm English by birth.

    What I didn't like is the plotting of the story. It was SO predictable. Every betrayal was signalled well in advance, and I just wanted to shout at the characters that they were being so stupid not to see the so-obvious warning signs blazing at them, or to spot the obvious clues for what had happened afterwards.

    The country and politics is very two-dimensional to my mind, as are the vast majority of the characters.

    Frankly, compare with the likes of Robert Jordan, Lois McMaster Bujold, and other modern fantasy writers, this seemed very dated and old fashioned.

    I stuck with the book for about two thirds before I gave up on it. There are some excellent ideas in here, such as the sky cells and the use of the dire wolves, but the story just became too much of a drag of predictability for me as it went along. I might come back to it one day, and I'm willing to admit it has potential to improve in later volumes.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (2751)
    Performance
    (1866)
    Story
    (1883)

    First appearing in print in 1890, the character of Sherlock Holmes has now become synonymous worldwide with the concept of a super sleuth. His creator, Conan Doyle, imbued his detective hero with intellectual power, acute observational abilities, a penchant for deductive reasoning and a highly educated use of forensic skills. Indeed, Doyle created the first fictional private detective who used what we now recognize as modern scientific investigative techniques.

    David says: "mouth watering"
    "Very good rendition of classic stories"
    Overall

    Mr Griffin reads with energy and gives each character a very distinct accent. Mostly this works well, though some of his pronuciation sounds a little strange to a British ear. The hero's name comes out as "Horms" much of the time, and some place names like "Wool-witch" give away that the excellent British accent hides a non-native English speaker :-). That said, this is one of the best Holmes readings available.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11343)
    Performance
    (8751)
    Story
    (8809)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "A bit of a slog"
    Overall

    This is a looooooonnnnnggggg book. And the momentum sometimes drops way down. Some characters are left in the air for many chapters, and the various different parts seem very loosely connected.

    That said, like a game of cricket or a good vintage wine, it rewards those who stick it out and let the tapestry come together. The book includes a lot of new concepts in fantasy writing, and is clearly based on a very rich backstory and "magic" system.

    Michael and Kate read it excellently as always.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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