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antonio

A reviewer's got to do what a reviewer's got to do

genthod, Switzerland | Member Since 2011

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 81 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
7
FOLLOWERS
1

  • Waiting for Sunrise

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Roger May
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Vienna. 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr. Bensimon. He is sitting anxiously in the waiting room when an extraordinary woman enters.... Moving from Vienna to London's West End, the battlefields of France, and hotel rooms in Geneva, Waiting for Sunrise is a feverish and mesmerising journey into the human psyche, and a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe.

    J. Crosby says: "Superb story let down by weak narrator"
    "Enjoyable !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story develops in many European cities just before world war 1. Initially the characters are well shaped , the atmosphere captivating and the plot intriguing . Boyd writes with a confident and fluent style which makes the reading very enjoyable...However as the story progresses the plot becomes shaky (and frankly less credible) and Boyd seems uncertain as to how wrap it up . The end of the journey is somewhat disappointing , particularly because the first half of the book is so engaging..

    All in all enjoyable (i.e. good,but not great)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Polish Officer

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alan Furst
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (91)

    New York Times best-selling author Alan Furst is internationally renowned as master of the European espionage thriller. Unfolding in September of 1939 as Hitler's Wehrmacht ravages Warsaw, The Polish Officer reveals the daring mission of a Captain in the Polish underground intelligence service.

    Charles Lawton says: "Insight into a dark era"
    "Unfocused , almost boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Few writers can capture the spirit of the second world war , describe characters and atmosphere like Alan Furst. However at times -and this happens too often in this book- he lets the story plot wander without direction, gets lost in useless details (three minutes to describe the content of the library of a minor character without any relevance in the actual development of events) and goes on and on without getting anywhere. My hearth bleeds , but this time, no matter how much i usually like his books , i have to give him a rating of two stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Ticket to the Boneyard: A Matthew Scudder Crime Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Matthew Scudder is about to face every cop's worst nightmare: James Leo Motley, psychopath extraordinaire. Twelve years ago Matthew Scudder lied to a jury to put James Leo Motley behind bars. Now the ingenious psychopath is free, and the alcoholic ex-cop turned private investigator must pay dearly for his sins. Friends and former lovers - even strangers unfortunate enough to share Scudder's name - are turning up dead because a vengeful maniac is determined not to rest until he's driven his nemesis back to the bottle…and then to the boneyard.

    Kevin Quigley says: "Fantastic read for a fantastic story."
    "Another Matt Scudder great story..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know am biased : i am firmly convinced that Lawrence Block's Matthew series lays on the the top of the thrillers stories of the past 30 years . I've read all the books in "real time" (i.e. when they were first published) and now i've the pleasure to discover them in an audio format. The books have not aged a bit as Matt Scudder's stories provide what one expects from a great thriller : an intriguing and tense plot, engaging characters , great atmosphere and a tension that builds up as you turn the pages . They are well written , captivating and make you feel a great empathy with the lonely hero , Matt Scudder.
    Do not miss it !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eye of the Red Tsar: A Novel of Suspense

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Sam Eastland
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (59)

    Shortly after midnight on July 17, 1918, the imprisoned family of Tsar Nicholas Romanov was awakened and led down to the basement of the Ipatiev house. There they were summarily executed. A decade later, one man lives in purgatory, banished to a forest on the outskirts of humanity. Pekkala was once the most trusted secret agent of the Romanovs, the right-hand man of the Tsar himself. Now he is Prisoner 4745-P. But the state needs Pekkala one last time.

    Richard says: "Historical Detail and Layers of Suspense"
    "a disappointment ...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high expectations for this book and am really disappointed. Both the story plot and the writing style are trivial and bland ; the description of the historical setting (early 20th century in the early Soviet Union) is not credible (no more than the reproduction of Venice in a Las Vegas hotel...). Phony , weak and a bit boring ....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Out on the Cutting Edge: A Matthew Scudder Crime Novel, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Dan Butler
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    This is a city that seduces dreamers - then eats their dreams. Matthew Scudder understands the futility of his search for a longtime missing Midwestern innocent who wanted to be an actress in the vast meat-grinder called New York City. But her frantic father heard that Scudder is the best, and now the ex-cop turned private investigator is scouring the hell called Hell's Kitchen looking for anything that might resemble a lead. And in this neighborhood of the lost, he's finding love - and death - in the worst possible places.

    antonio says: "A great thriller"
    "A great thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I believe Lawrence Block “at his best” is among the three top thriller writers of the past 20 (30?) years. A great writer, but also very inconsistent: he reaches his best in the Matt Scudder books where the affinity with the main character, the need to deliver complex and consistently new plots, the familiar New York ambiance (where Scudder stories are taking place) truly inspire him and contribute to deliver excellent results. While the Rodenbarr’s series are pleasant, but lightweight, the Keller books were surprising and stunning at first, but get repetitive and almost boring as new episodes come out, Matt Scudder continue to grip the reader with wit, dark dramas and the finely described characters and the environment of New York.
    Scudder is following two cases at once: one involving a girl, a would-be
    actress, who has been missing for several months. The second is more personal and involves the dead of an AA friend. In both the situations the police has given up and the leads few and scants. Suddenly both cases fortuitously intertwine and …..

    By the way, Dan Butler is superb !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (4798)
    Performance
    (4369)
    Story
    (4379)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Do it again,JK. Rowling ...oups,i meant RGalbraith"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very classic set up : a somewhat romantic private detective (a looser/winner) with hardly any client, a secretary with a character, a case without cause .. Notwithstanding the clichés , this is the hell of a good book, very well written, Look forward the second episode...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The World at Night: Jean Casson Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Alan Furst
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (74)

    The World at Night is an edge-of-your-seat World War II tale of intrigue and espionage, set in the shadowy back streets and glittering salons of occupied Paris. Film producer Jean Casson, a Paris sophisticate, struggles to come to terms with the uncomfortable realities of life under German occupation, as he becomes caught up in the initial actions of what was to become the French Resistance.

    Darwin8u says: "A solid Furst novel, just not a great one"
    "Enjoyable !!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No writer can -like Alan Furst- describe the unique atmosphere of France during the second world war and create characters that are complex, credible and engaging. This book is more than just a spy story: is about the second world war, about Paris , about adventure with a zest of romantics . The plot itself is not particularly surprising nor breathless, but the pleasure of reading is intact till the very end.
    Geoge Guidall does a fabulous job (and his French pretty good)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Absolution

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Patrick Flanery
    • Narrated By Janet Suzman, Patrick Doherty
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    In her lush garden on the Western Cape, Clare Wald, world-renowned author, takes up her pen and confronts her life. Ambitious young writer Sam Leroux has returned to South Africa to write Clare's biography. But how honest is she prepared to be? As Sam and Clare turn over the events of her life, she begins to seek reconciliation, absolution. But just below the surface of her story lie Sam's own ghosts.

    antonio says: "complexity is the ennemy of a pleasant reading..."
    "complexity is the ennemy of a pleasant reading..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is told by different characters in an unduly complex fashion and finally unfolds leaving the reader with doubts, lack of clarity and generally mixed feelongs. May be this is the purpose and the message of the book, but i found challenging to complete the reading. I also found that South Africa is presented with too many stereotypes ; this country deserves a better insigth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Home at the End of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Michael Cunningham
    • Narrated By Colin Farrell, Dallas Roberts, Blair Brown, and others
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    Michael Cunningham's celebrated novel is the story of two boyhood friends: Jonathan, lonely, introspective, and unsure of himself; and Bobby, hip, dark, and inarticulate. In New York after college, Bobby moves in with Jonathan and his roommate, Clare, a veteran of the city's erotic wars. Bobby and Clare fall in love, scuttling the plans of Jonathan, who is gay, to father Clare's child.

    Sue says: "ended too soon"
    "Writing well is not enough..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got almost annoyed with author of the book. He writes beautifully, but the plot is unconvincing and the three main characters are excessively self-absorbed in contemplating their unhappiness and , more generally, the unavoidable misery of the human condition. There is no room for real passion, hope, and engagement. It is all grey and hopeless.
    My last book of Michael Cunningham !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Box

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (94)

    May 1992, and after four LAPD officers were acquitted after the savage beating of Rodney King, Los Angeles is ablaze. As looting and burning take over the city, law and order are swept away in a tidal wave of violence. But under threat of their lives, homicide detectives like Harry Bosch are still stubbornly trying to do their job. With no effective police presence on the streets, murder just got a whole lot easier - and investigating them got a whole lot harder.

    Bruno says: "Another Great Read from Connelly"
    "Bosh is back !!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I felt that the last few Michael Connelly novels were disappointingly repetitive and far less exciting than the first ones. The plots were not credible and lacking interest. The character of Hyeronimous Bosh was also fading and lacking the intensity that used to make him so attractive.
    The Black Box reconciles me with both Connelly and Bosh ; i listened to the book in 48 hours and -to say the least- i really got into the story.
    Welcome back H Bosh !!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Panther: John Corey Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    It's one of the most dangerous and volatile countries in the world: Yemen. A Middle Eastern hotbed of corruption and insurgency and the perfect training ground for Islamic terrorists. When FBI agents John Corey and Kate Mayfield are assigned to overseas posts in Sana'a, Yemen's capital city, they are tasked with hunting down a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative.

    Martin says: "My heart sank when I saw who the narrator was ..."
    "It took too long to catch my interest..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Demille has been a great story teller with engaging books such as Word Of Honor, Up Country, Spencerville, where action, introspection (characters beautifully carved out) , a pinch of sex and of humor would keep high your attention and your interest through the end of the book. Those days have gone. The book is endless and it is a challenge to get through the end. The character of John Corey has worn out and it is both boring and pathetic with his jokes of a 15 years old... Neléson Demille, you can do better ..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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