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Jeffrey

Austin Texas, United States | Member Since 2011

62
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 41 reviews
  • 41 ratings
  • 115 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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6

  • Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys: The Songs That Tell Their Story

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Mark Dillon
    • Narrated By Mark Dillon
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Reflecting on the Beach Boys’ long, fascinating history, this book tells the story behind 50 of the band’s greatest songs from the perspective of group members, collaborators, fellow musicians, and notable fans. The band's music is as influential now as it was 50 years ago, and this retelling of how the iconic rock group found itself in the annals of pop culture couldn't come at a better time.

    Jeffrey says: "Not Recommended"
    "Not Recommended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ironically, it was one of the interviews that Mr. Dillon confesses he could not acquire that says it all, to paraphrase, "we're getting away from Beach Boys Q&As." I'll give credit to Dillon for telling us not only who he did interview, but more importantly who declined. That's honest and Dillon is obviously a huge fan, but fandom is not nearly enough to save the book. The idea seemed a good one, tell us some insider details about some of their songs, but once again, Dillon was honest and told us which songs did not make the cut and frustratedly, most of my favorite songs could not be in the book. I got very annoyed with his recollections of other books and of other interviews, not very original and quite boring. Dillon has a good voice for narration, smooth and even, but it felt rushed and never nuanced or enthusiastic. I really wanted this book to work, but it simply does not.

    When the principal member dies in a band, it's very sad and tragic and the great ones know when to bury the band with the member. Kurt Cobain and Freddy Mercury of Nirvana and Queen respectively immediately come to mind. When they died, the surviving members allowed Nirvana and Queen to cease to exist. The Beach Boys survived the death of Dennis in 1983, but for me the band ceased to exist in 1998 with Carl's tragic end by cancer. Brian Wilson is still around, but he moved on personally and professionally, the rest of the cut and paste meaningless pseudo-BB bands should do the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • After Ben: Seattle Stories, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Con Riley
    • Narrated By JP Handler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    A year after the sudden death of his longtime partner, Ben, Theo Anderson is still grieving. The last thing he's looking for is a new lover. But as Theo soon discovers, sometimes life has other plans. While Theo experiences a powerful physical attraction to fellow gym member Peter, it's his new online friend, Morgan, who provides the intellectual challenge to make him come alive. Morgan is witty, brave, and irreverent, and Theo is ready to take the plunge…until he discovers Morgan might be half his age.

    Kathleen says: "Beautiful prose and characters with depth"
    "Engrossing, Heart-pleasing, A++"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unusually satisfying, well-written and superbly narrated piece. The narrators Italian accent and interpretations are wonderful. The characters seem alive, like they all live next door to you. The story does start out slow, so give it some time, but when the interns arrive, lookout, the thing just launches into the sky and never comes down!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Troop

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Nick Cutter
    • Narrated By Corey Brill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (124)

    Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip - a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfre. The boys are a tight-knit crew. There’s Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well-liked and easygoing; then there’s Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there - which makes Scoutmaster Tim’s job a little easier.

    Kim Venatries says: "Seriously Messed Up Gruesome Horror"
    "A Dark, Evil Glob Of Perfection!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Horror is not my usual genre, but on Mr. King's endorsement I took a swing at it. At first it was just disgusting and I read with detachment. Then the story it grew on me, well, not unlike the horror described within its pages and then it took over. At the end I was left slack-jawed at how such nonchalant and gruesome cruelty could have drawn me into caring so much about it, but I did. Fantastic character development and the narration was pitch perfect. Careful though, this is not for a weak stomach or easily pricked moral sensibilities.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Trident Deception

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Rick Campbell
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    The USS Kentucky - a Trident ballistic missile submarine carrying a full complement of 192 nuclear warheads - sets out on a routine cruise. Not long after it reaches the open sea, however, the Kentucky receives a launch order. After receiving that launch order, it is cut off from all counter orders and disappears into the Pacific while it makes the eight-day transit to the launch site. What the Kentucky's crew doesn't know is that those launch orders didn't come from the US government.

    Matthew says: "Alot of suspension going on here...."
    "Satisfying High Tension Thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The godfather of submarine-based thrillers will always be Tom Clancy. "The Hunt For Red October," the gold standard. "The Trident Deception" provides no originality and often pipes many of the 21st century military thriller cliches we are all used to in this genre, but that's OK. This book also could have been considerably longer had the author chosen to fill out more back story detail in several areas including its nefarious plot, but chose wisely not to do so as it would have spoiled and bogged down the otherwise excellent pace that ramps to a "can't put it down" ending. I have a bit of quibble with the narration. Mr. Ganim simply didn't do it for me, his portrayal of the book's chief female character especially was just weird to me. Overall, bravo Mr. Campbell!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2871)
    Performance
    (2722)
    Story
    (2725)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Very Different, very good, stunning in fact!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Caution, there is no sex, no romance and the violence is from physics gone wrong. The marooned astronaut is a genius, smart-ass with a sense of humor as dry as the red terrain he unwillingly inhabits. And yet this book is easily in my top 5 of all time reads. I understood only a fraction of the science details involved but was well entertained throughout. Don't be shy, give this read a try!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Shared Range: Stories from the Range

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Andrew Grey
    • Narrated By Jeff Gelder
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    After a year in medical school, Dakota Holden returned home to take care of the family business full time and help his father cope with multiple sclerosis. Devoted to his family, Dakota allows himself just one week of vacation a year, which he spends in some exotic location having all the fun he can stand. On his last vacation, a cruise, Dakota struck up a friendship with Phillip Reardon, and it fills an important role in Dakota’s life. So when Phillip decides to take Dakota up on his invitation to visit the ranch, Dakota is happy to see him and meet his veterinarian friend....

    Jeffrey says: "Missed Many Marks For Me"
    "Missed Many Marks For Me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Where do I begin? Well, the story felt unnatural, kind of contrived. I finally stopped listening when out of the blue, a very minor character suddenly announces his homosexuality out of nowhere for really no good reason that has anything to do with anything in a strange attempt to add drama, where none was really needed. I had great sympathy for the protagonist wanting to take care of his sick father, but by dropping out of medical school? Really?? Does the author know how incredibly difficult it is to get into medical school and how incredibly proud his father would be to have his son complete that arduous journey not to mention he deprived some poor soul of that spot in his class? Disgusting actually.

    The narration was confusing to me, trying to add accents and inflections that never made any sense to me not to mention his attempts to do female voices was very poor. Then there's the road trip with the sudden appearance of Wally with Phillip. The details of their trip out west was pointless and boring, just as it would be pointless and boring for me to go on. I might try one more Andrew Grey story in the future, but with no expectations.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tales From Foster High

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John Goode
    • Narrated By Michael Stellman
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Kyle Stilleno is the invisible student, toiling through high school in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Brad Greymark is the baseball star of Foster High. When they bond over their mutual damage during a night of history tutoring, Kyle thinks maybe his life has changed for good. But the promise of fairy-tale love is a lie when you're gay and falling for the most popular boy in school. A coming of age story in the same vein of John Hughes, Tales from Foster High shows an unflinching vision of the ups and downs of teenage love and what it is like to grow up gay.

    Jeffrey says: "Good Story With A Good Heart"
    "Good Story With A Good Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Goode has an agenda: to stop bullying! Besides some clever references to pop culture sometimes spoken with acid sarcasm, Tales From Foster High also manages to fight at least one stereotype: victims of bullying never fight back, because they do in this book. The #1 emotion expressed most frequently is teenage angst, some of it over-baked. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story. My one niggle with an otherwise excellent narration done by Michael Stellman (oops, make that two), given that the story takes place in a small Texas town, we never get any hint of a Texan drawl from any character. It could have taken place in Arizona or California and maybe that was intentional. Also, my copy of the audio at times had some annoying reverb, again, not the narrator's doing, just a technical glitch I suppose.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War ll

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Allan Berube
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    During World War II, as the United States called on its citizens to serve in unprecedented numbers, the presence of gay Americans in the armed forces increasingly conflicted with the expanding anti-homosexual policies and procedures of the military. In Coming Out Under Fire, Allan Berube examines in depth and detail these social and political confrontations - not as a story of how the military victimized homosexuals, but as a story of how a dynamic power relationship developed.

    Susie says: "Bringing the Armed Services Out of the Closet"
    "An Expose, Shocking and Horrid Truths of WWII"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a story, it's a written documentary. It's unvarnished and parts of it will make you cringe and in my case, I became internally enraged at the horrid "Third Reich" bullying and outright criminal activities perpetrated by the U.S. military against gay U.S. soldiers, male and female. In the end, it is understood that this all apparently had to be, but I'll forever harbor a sense of shame for those stupid men and women who in their fear and self-perpetrated ignorance brought nothing but hatred and violence towards fellow soldiers. At any rate, it's a read that will both inform and impress. A documentary film emerged from this book, it in no way resembles this book, however.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chase the Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By V. M. Waitt
    • Narrated By Hugh Bradley
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Up until he buys an old truck, Elijah Morgan lives life according to his family's plan, never feeling like he belongs. Desperate to find his own path, he heads out on the open road, only to end up stranded in Nebraska. Not wanting to ask for his parents' help, he takes a job with tough, independent farmer Chase McKenzie. Despite their age gap, the attraction between Chase and Elijah soon becomes undeniable. They give in to their desire, but that night changes everything and threatens the secret Chase guards so carefully.

    Jeffrey says: "Not Great, But Good"
    "Not Great, But Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked most of this book, but the pace was awkward at times. It starts out hurriedly and banal, but the middle was quite good and satisfying enough. The ending is announced as an "epilogue" which immediately struck me as pretentious. This is not an epic deserving of that station. Some of the end story events were way too hurried, again a pace issue. The heart of the story is good however, even if the first person protagonist seems a tad cartoonish at times. Would I read another of this author's books? Probably not. The narration was superb, liked him a lot.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Roommate's a Jock? Well, Crap!

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Wade Kelly
    • Narrated By Jason Lovett
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    Cole Reid has been a social recluse since he was 15, when he was outed by his high school baseball team. Since then, his obsessive behavior and sarcastic nature have driven away most of the population, and everyone else hates him because he's gay. As he sees it, he's bound to repulse any prospective friends, let alone boyfriends, so why bother? By the time Cole enters college, he's become a loner - but it's not a problem until his roommate graduates and the housing department assigns Ellis Montgomery to move in with Cole.

    Jeffrey says: "Well, Crap, It's Not Perfect, But I Still Loved It"
    "Well, Crap, It's Not Perfect, But I Still Loved It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yes, just like the characters in the story, the book title is not perfect, it's dorky. Yes, the author changes point of view here and there (and out of blue), but darn it, I really liked the characters and even though there really is nothing very original about the plot and course of the story, I really loved the characters including a neurotic protagonist with his quiet-type lover to be with their friends.The sexual scenes, again, fairly traditional were still very hot and very well done. Narrator Jason Lovett indeed became Cole, bravo!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ham: Slices of a Life: Essays and Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Sam Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    In 16 brilliantly observed true stories, Sam Harris emerges as a natural humorist in league with David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, Carrie Fisher, and Steve Martin, but with a voice uniquely his own. Praised by the Chicago Sun-Times for his "manic, witty commentary", and with a storytelling talent the New York Times calls "New Yorker - worthy," he puts a comedic spin on full-disclosure episodes from his own colorful life. What better place to find painfully funny material than in growing up gay, gifted, and ambitious in the heart of the Bible belt?

    Jeffrey says: "Funny, warmhearted and sincere"
    "Funny, warmhearted and sincere"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I almost stopped listening to this title after just a few chapters in. I don't care for Sam Harris' singing or his Broadway career. I don't care about Liza Minnelli or Over the Rainbow. I gave it one more chapter which happened to the very first one touching on Sam's son Cooper and Sam's many pets. That hooked me and I happily finished the book. Yes, in the end, Sam wants to share snippets of celebrity sightings and experiences, but he also wants to share his journey as a gay boy and teen and then about a single gay man who falls in love and marries his lover and then raises a family. That's what I cared about, the journey from a homophobic Oklahoma to a normal family in California. The book is technically superb and Sam makes a very good narrator. One last thing, God Bless all of the "Mr. McDowells" in the world.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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