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Ellen

Boone, NC, United States | Member Since 2005

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 375 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • Sanibel Flats: Doc Ford #1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Randy White
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (199)

    Its cool gulf breezes lured him from a life of danger. Its dark undercurrents threatened to destroy him. After 10 years of living life on the edge, it was hard for Doc Ford to get that addiction to danger out of his system. But spending each day watching the sun melt into Dinkins Bay and the moon rise over the mangrove trees, cooking dinner for his beautiful neighbor, and dispensing advice to the locals over a cold beer lulled him into letting his guard down.

    ShySusan says: "Author seems to have a sexual double standard."
    "Bad Read, Bad Reader"
    Overall

    Enough of the hero that women just fall into bed with at the drop of a hat. Even worse is a reader who uses funny voices that turn every character into a caricature. If you can't do Aussie, read it straight, instead of making the character sound like a Brooklyn simpleton.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Blood River

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Tim Butcher
    • Narrated By Tim Butcher
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    When Daily Telegraph correspondent Tim Butcher was sent to cover Africa in 2000, he quickly became obsessed with the idea of recreating H. M. Stanley's famous expedition - and travelling alone. Despite warnings that his plan was suicidal, Butcher set out for the Congo's eastern border with just a rucksack and a few thousand dollars hidden in his boots.

    Dennis says: "This is a story about a great adventure"
    "I agree: Impossible to listen to!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ordinarily I prefer books narrated by the author, but this one is awful. Butcher's story is fascinating, but he reads so fast that I get a headache in minutes trying to keep up. Usually I listen to audiobooks in the car, but I think I'd probably have a wreck trying to follow this one. If Audiobooks took returns I'd be returning this one for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stonecutter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Camilla Läckberg
    • Narrated By David Thorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (231)

    The remote resort town of Fjällbacka has seen more than its share of tragedies, but a little girl found in a fisherman's net may be the worst yet - especially when the postmortem reveals that this was a methodical murder, not an accidental drowning. Local detective Patrik Hedstrom has just become a father, and it’s his grim task to discover who could have killed a child both he and his partner Erica knew well. He realizes that the solution lies with finding a motive for this terrible crime.

    Maureen says: "Extremely enjoyable"
    "I thought it would never end."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read mysteries for three things: strong plot, complex character development, and evocation of place. This book fails on all three fronts. While it is an interesting exploration of the myriad ways that women crack and break under the stress of rigid patriarchal systems, the parallel plot lines--one from the past and the main one in the present--are not equal. The characters from the past are flat and stereotypical, while those in the present are better developed but unbelievably dense! Even our hero, the erstwhile detective Patric, "forgets" things that are essential to good police work and misses something in an interview he listens to again and again that the reader catches immediately. Worst to my thinking, is the failure to make Fjällbacka come alive, as Lackberg did with much better success in The Ice Princess. Except for a couple of brief scenes, this story could have happened anywhere (which may be Lackberg's point, but still, Fjällbacka is too colorful and interesting not to play a role in the story).

    The reader is frankly terrible. Thorn would be fine if he would just read in a normal voice, but he gives all the characters fake British accents, randomly assigning Cockneyesque, Scottish, and even vaguely Australianesque accents to distinguish among the characters, which polishes off the tendency of the book (especially the storyline from the past) to caricature. The mystery is interesting enough to read as part of the growing body of Swedish mysteries (I finished it, grudgingly), but I would recommend reading this one in print, so you can skim over the slower parts and do your own "voices."

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Nightmare: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Lars Kepler
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (144)

    On a summer night, police recover the body of a young woman from an abandoned pleasure boat drifting around the Stockholm archipelago. Her lungs are filled with brackish water, and the forensics team is sure that she drowned. Why, then, is the pleasure boat still afloat, and why are there no traces of water on her clothes or body?.... After spellbinding audiences in The Hypnotist, Detective Inspector Joona Linna is back in The Nightmare, an internationally best-selling Swedish thriller published to critical acclaim in dozens of countries.

    Amanda says: "A Tale of Two Authors"
    "What's all the fuss about?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't understand the rave reviews "Lars Kepler" gets (off Audible). Like several of the other reviewers, I found this book and The Hypnotist as well to be awkwardly written and creepy, not in a good way. I hate mysteries told in the present tense, as if Joona Linna is always and forever engaged in each particular moment of the action, but that's a prejudice of mine others might not have. However, the writing is just poor, the characters are flat, the is no sense of place, no texture to the novel. The events are so contrived that it's just impossible to engage with the story. I finished them both, but it was a chore rather than a pleasure.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The White Devil

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Justin Evans
    • Narrated By Christian Coulson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    The Harrow School is home to privileged adolescents known as much for their distinctive dress and traditions as for their arrogance and schoolboy cruelty. Seventeen-year-old American Andrew Taylor is enrolled in the esteemed British institution by his father, who hopes that the school's discipline will put some distance between his son and his troubled past in the States. But trouble - and danger - seem to follow Andrew. When one of his schoolmates and friends dies mysteriously of a severe pulmonary illness, Andrew is blamed and is soon an outcast....

    Ellen says: "Not recommended for adults"
    "Not recommended for adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't recommended this book for anyone with a mental age above 13 who is not titillated by teen sex scenes and references to buggery. No suspense (ghosts are not scary when they have no subtlety), nothing very interesting about Byron, which is what I was hoping for. I couldn't maintain enough to interest to finish it. The reader is okay but I disagree with the first reviewer about his American accent. The "Southern" accent that the father speaks is just awful. His rendering of the son is better, but one has to wonder why the father is Southern and the boy isn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hypnotist

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lars Kepler
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (514)
    Performance
    (400)
    Story
    (398)

    Tumba, Sweden. A triple homicide—all the victims from the same family—captivates Detective Inspector Joona Linna. The killer is at large, and it appears that the elder sister of the family escaped the carnage; it seems only a matter of time until she, too, is murdered. But where can Linna begin? The only surviving witness is the boy whose mother, father, and little sister were killed before his eyes. He has suffered more than 100 knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. He’s in no condition to be questioned....

    Watson says: "Suspense for suspense's sake"
    "Creepy and unsatisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found all the characters in this mystery to be flat and unlikeable and the storyline unrealistic and unnecessarily yucky. It seems to be one of those mysteries written with the movie screen in mind; who knows, it might make a better film than a book if the actors could make the characters come to life a little.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Gamble

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Michael McGarrity
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (23)

    When a fire in an abandoned fruit stand in rural Lincoln County reveals the murdered body of a woman gone missing from Sante Fe years ago, Police Chief Kevin Kerney finds himself cooperating with his estranged son, a man he hardly knows, Deputy Sheriff Clayton Istee. While Kerney digs into the woman's past, hoping to find clues that will lead to a credible suspect, Clayton must unravel two more homicides that seem on the surface totally unrelated.

    Vickie Oakley says: "Good series"
    "Another book ruined by a bad reader"
    Overall

    McGarrity might be okay, but Dick Hill is such an annoying reader that I will never know. If he would just read the books without funny voices everything would be fine, but he makes all the characters sound like idiots and ruins the books with his sarcastic tone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Before the Frost: A Kurt and Linda Wallander Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (106)

    Just graduated from the police academy, Linda Wallander returns to Skane to join the police force, and she already shows all the hallmarks of her father - the maverick approach, the flaring temper. Before she even starts work she becomes embroiled in the case of her childhood friend, Anna, who has inexplicably disappeared.

    Anthony says: "Worst Narration Style EVER"
    "Not the Best Wallander"
    Overall

    I love Wallander and I like the idea of Wallander and daughter Linda working together. But this one was very tedious, with lots of "and she walked and opened the door, and walked to the chair, and walked back over to the door, and looked out" and on and on. Tedious too was all the awkward antagonism between Linda and her mother as well as her father. A very unbelievable, uncomfortable scene between Linda and mom. And the mystery didn't amount to much; the ending was quite aniclimactic. This one just didn't have the oomph or the sensitivity of other Wallander novels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Borderline

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Nevada Barr
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (487)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (163)

    While vacationing in Big Bend National Park, Anna and her new husband find themselves sucked into a riptide of danger and intrigue that surges from the Mexican desert to the Texas governor's mansion.

    W.Denis says: "Another hit"
    "Barr has lost it"
    Overall

    There were two reasons I used to love reading Barr's Anna Pigeon books: the protagonist was a strong, independent female, making it on her own; the national parks were characters in the narratives, and the books were filled with carefully rendered details that made each park come to life in their unique ecologies. In this book, Barr has truly and finally given up what make her Anna Pigeon books special. Anna is the helpless, dependent female who has become a passive participant in events, just drifting from one situation to the next clinging to her "adopted" baby like some kind of security blanket; she saves the baby, but she does nothing at all to solve the crimes. Big Bend park is similarly just a passive backdrop for the opening events. Blah.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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