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michael williams

old saybrook, CT United States | Member Since 2008

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 287 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Roman Blood: A Mystery of Ancient Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Steven Saylor
    • Narrated By Scott Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (52)

    In Rome, 80 B.C., on a warm spring morning, Gordianus the Finder receives a summons to the house of a then-unknown young advocate and orator, Cicero. Ambitious and brilliant, the 26-year-old Cicero is about to argue his first important case. His client is a wealthy farmer, one Sextus Roscius of the town of Ameria, who stands accused of the most unforgivable act in Ancient Rome: the murder of his father.

    Greg says: "good read/listen"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Steven Saylor and/or Scott Harrison?

    No


    What was most disappointing about Steven Saylor’s story?

    It seemed to be a contrivance, whose sole purpose was to show off the author's scholarship (which seems considerable).


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Scott Harrison?

    Virtually any true voice actor on the planet. At best, Scott Harrison is a reader, but not a very good one at that.


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

    Certainly disappointment, as I am a fan of Rome and Roman history, and was looking forward to a good read.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd like to try another Saylor story, read by someone else. If for no other reason than to see if my adverse reaction to the former is prompted by the latter.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pecan Gap: A Jake Somers Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Don Castle
    • Narrated By John Anthony Davis
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    You really get swept up quickly in this enjoyable novel, as it is written with respect for the reader's intelligence and shows the intrinsic politeness of Don Castle's persona through his character of Jake Somers. Don Castle doesn't resort to foul language, violent scenes or over the top sexual innuendos, making this book ideal for young adult reading as well as the seasoned who-done-it fans.

    michael williams says: "Interesting story, poorly written"
    "Interesting story, poorly written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Don Castle and/or John Anthony Davis?

    No


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    This book has a moderately interesting plot, but a complete lack of sophistication in the writing makes me think that it was written by a high school student.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    It is possible that English is the narrator's second language. Alternatively, that the narrator is reading the words exactly as written (see above re lack of sophistication), and is not voice acting as most great narrators do. The dialogue is wooden, uncomfortable to listen to, and doesn't accurately reflect the way people speak. I'm halfway through the book, and haven't yet heard a single contraction!


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Pecan Gap?

    As I said, the plot is interesting, if a bit predictable. In the hands of a better writer this story would be fun to read or listen to. It's not the scenes that are wrong, it's the author's lack of language skills that make his book unlikable.


    Any additional comments?

    Your canned commentary indicates (for reasons that are quite valid) that this would be a good book for teenagers. However, I'd have to disagree when it comes to the quality of writing. This is not something that should be touted as a teenage "must read".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aurelio Zen: Vendetta

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Dibdin
    • Narrated By Michael Kitchen
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    Inspector Zen has a problem: an impossible murder, recorded on the closed-circuit video of Oscar Burolo's top-security Sardinian fortress. As Zen gets to work, he is once again plunged into a menacing and violent world where his own life is soon at risk.

    Lee Chemel says: "Dibdin and Zen and Kitchen...a great combo"
    "Looking for more!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Aurelio Zen: Vendetta in three words, what would they be?

    All about revenge!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The quirky, unconventional protagonist. The intimate navigation of Roman streets and neighborhoods.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Kitchen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I haven't, but will actively seek him out.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I rarely have extreme reactions to books, but that doesn't mean that this one wasn't a very pleasurable experience from beginning to end.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my first Aurelio Zen experience, but will certainly not be the last.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nightwoods: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Charles Frazier
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (420)
    Story
    (415)

    Charles Frazier puts his remarkable gifts in the service of a lean, taut narrative while losing none of the transcendent prose, virtuosic storytelling, and insight into human nature that have made him one of the most beloved and celebrated authors in the world. Now, with his brilliant portrait of Luce, a young woman who inherits her murdered sister’s troubled twins, Frazier has created his most memorable heroine. Before the children, Luce was content with the reimbursements of the rich Appalachian landscape....

    Molly says: "Beautiful writing and powerful narration"
    "One of the year's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A lovely story, beautifully told. I'd be hard pressed to say whether I liked this story better than Frazier's others, but it certainly is right up there. Incredible use of language, fully realized by Will Patton's narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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