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Maureen

Portland, Australia | Member Since 2010

ratings
226
REVIEWS
15
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
14

  • The Man Who Smiled: An Inspector Wallander Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Crestfallen, dejected, and spiralling into an alcohol-fuelled depression after killing a man in the line of duty, Inspector Kurt Wallander has made up his mind to quit the police force for good. When an old acquaintance, a solicitor, seeks Wallander's help to investigate the suspicious circumstances in which his father has died, Kurt doesn't want to know. But when the solicitor also turns up dead, shot three times, Wallander realises that he was wrong not to listen.

    Lia says: "Classic Wallander"
    "Classic Mankell"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What I love about Mankell's characters is their depth. I never wonder why someone behaves the way they do - their actions arise from the sense of real personality that Mankell endows them with.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shady Palms

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Allen Dusk
    • Narrated By Rose Caraway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (268)

    A sleazy motel, burrowed on the edge of town, is haunted by rumors of dead hookers found between mattresses and peep holes drilled through walls. When Special Agent Daniels targets the motel during an investigation, the nefarious owner, Sanjay, must scramble to conceal evidence of his own dark deeds. Just when he believes things can't get any worse, motel guests begin to vanish without a trace.

    Bill says: "What a fun ride!"
    "Giant radioactive bedbugs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the worst book I have ever listened to (or read) in my entire life! It is amoral, it revels in violence and sleaze and the writer's poor grammar sets it off in its own dark corner as a book to avoid at all costs.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • FREE The Gray Man

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (1232)
    Performance
    (1088)
    Story
    (1109)

    Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man - a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness. Now, he is going to prove that for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living-and killing to stay alive.

    Rollin says: "Gripping, unremitting action"
    "Gun porn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're into improbable situations where a lone and rugged individual with right on his side, an increasing range of nasty injuries and an occasional touch of deus ex machina, wins through and saves the plucky children, then this is the One, The Book, where it all happens. If you're like me, uncertain as to whether a glock is a gun or a cuckoo clock, then it's not the book for you.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Chains of Folly: A Magdalene la Batarde Mystery, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Roberta Gellis
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    That Nelda Roundheels had been murdered would have been of little interest to anyone - except that her body turned up in the bishop of Winchester's bedchamber with a letter to the bishop, from the king's most important enemy, rolled up in her breastband. The bishop and his knight, Sir Bellamy of Itchen, realize immediately that the purpose of putting the body in Winchester's bedchamber is to embarrass and discredit the bishop. And the reason for this attack on Winchester is his calling of a convocation to chastise the king for acting high-handedly against the bishop of Salisbury.

    Joy says: "Deserves more credit than it's getting"
    "Don't buy this one!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Despite the narrator's sing-song reading through much of the story, the story carried itself fairly well until the critical moment of The Big Fight, where there was a major part of the action missing from the recording! (Part 2, 4:14:36). Were there pages missing from the book itself or did the person overseeing the recording nod off?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cryptonomicon

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (1996)
    Performance
    (1355)
    Story
    (1375)

    Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

    flaos says: "Finally Audible"
    "Not a maths graduate? Buy the hard copy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrative is intermittent and entangled with big slabs of maths-speak. I tried rewinding to listen to the same part several times to try to understand the maths (I'm not a maths person) or the more detailed elements of the encryption systems, but soon grew tired of this exercise and let those (tedious) sections roll over me. There was still plenty there to capture my attention and keep me listening through the lectures. This is a perfect book for your programmer friend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World of Ptavvs

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Larry Niven
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (93)

    A reflective statue is found at the bottom of one of Earth's oceans, having lain there for 1.5 billion years. Since humans have recently developed a time-slowing field and found that one such field cannot function within another, it is suspected that the "Sea Statue" is actually a space traveler within one of these time fields. Larry Greenberg, a telepath, agrees to participate in an experiment: a time-slowing field is generated around both Greenberg and the statue, shutting off the stasis field and revealing Kzanol.

    Billy says: "Early Niven but still good."
    "Unsuitable for audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's very hard to follow an audiotext where there are jumps from one part of the story to another without some sort of vocal clue. The narrator doesn't even pause between story sections. Apart from that, the story is quite boring and the narrator gives far too much dramatic emphasis to unimportant details so you become immune to any written drama in the story. Unless you are a collector of Larry Niven's work, well ...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Virgin in the Ice: The Sixth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ellis Peters
    • Narrated By Vanessa Benjamin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    The winter of 1139 will disrupt Brother Cadfael's tranquil life in Shrewsbury with the most disturbing events. Raging civil war has sent refugees fleeing north from Worcester. Among them are two orphans from a noble family, a boy of thirteen and an 18-year-old girl of great beauty, and their companion, a young Benedictine nun...

    Vivian says: "THE BEST"
    "Cadfael to the rescue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good old Cadfael does it again - a touch of forensic observation, a dose of kindness and a plateful of tolerance for the folly of girls in love. The only down-side of this audiobook was the occasional recording or production fault that left some words out or allowed a nasty electronic signal to overlay the narrator. This detracted a little from the performance and made the product seem a little shoddy. Better 'proof-reading' by editorial staff could pick up these faults before release.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Neverwhere

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    Under the streets of London there's a world most people could never even dream of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre.

    lynn says: "A WHOLE NEW WORLD TO DISCOVER"
    "Intriguing and satisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is perfect for audio - strong and memorable imagery, fast-paced, enjoyable characters and a satisfying ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Icelander

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Dustin Long
    • Narrated By Miette Elm
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (3)

    The daughter of a local legend of the investigative arts, Our Heroine searches for her dog while avoiding her biological impulse to solve the mystery of her best friend's recent murder.

    Maureen says: "Unsuitable for audio"
    "Unsuitable for audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book might be a good one to read, but as audio it is difficult - the constant interspersed notes, the references to other books are difficult enough, but the narrator's soporific and slow reading makes it really hard to concentrate on the text. 30 minutes of listening nearly put me to sleep. Miette's bedtime stories podcast are wonderful, but her style of reading seems out of keeping with this book. If you want to listen to a book in order to overcome insomnia, this is the one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3500)
    Performance
    (3060)
    Story
    (3094)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "Survivalists meet the Taliban"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think this story promised well at the beginning but relied too much on stereotypical characters - all the women were innocent and seen by the men as vulnerable, all the men were naughty boys in one way or another. The final shoot-out was predictable and quite boring really. There were some unresolved but important plot details lost in a bloodfest in the mountains. Overall, it kept me engaged, but I was disappointed by the denouement.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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