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Susan

SuseADoodle - "Audiobook Addict!" - Please disregard my "guided" reviews since it appears that a lot of what I wrote has been chopped off.

Amery, WI, United States

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 329 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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3

  • When Elves Attack: A Joyous Christmas Greeting from the Criminal Nutbars of the Sunshine State

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Tim Dorsey
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (139)

    It’s ho, ho, ho time in this hilarious and wacky Florida holiday tale, featuring bighearted psychopath Serge Storms and his sidekick, Coleman. Like Santa, Serge knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Few can give with the generosity and creativity of Serge, and as December 24 rolls around, he is filling up the Serge sleigh with an unforgettable bag of presents. But before that, it’s all a big free-range Christmas office party, where Serge will be spreading his special cheer. And there’s that last-minute go-for-broke spree at the mall (just beware of those attacking elves - they bite).

    Susan says: "I Don't Know about Joyous but Nutbars REALLY Fits!"
    "I Don't Know about Joyous but Nutbars REALLY Fits!"
    Overall
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    Story

    Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to read the reader reviews -- because I decide to disregard their advice. For instance, many reviewers suggested that a person totally new to the Serge A. Storms series of stories NOT start here. They said to start at the beginning, or at least listen to or read the first novel of the series before this book.

    Well, I decided to ignore that advice and started here.

    Other reviewers complained about the voice the narrator used for Serge. At first, it was a bit annoying, but after a short time I found that it really helped form a visual image of Serge in my mind much better than a less annoying voice would have. (In fact, I have since begun to listen (I'm just about halfway through) to Florida Roadkill and think the un-remarkable Serge voice there really does not help form a mental image of the character.)

    Okay, this story does not include nearly as much Florida history and not as many crazy Floridians as the first novel of the series, but this book might fit into the series the same way the "between the Plums" fit into Janet Evanovitch's Stephanie Plum novels. It really doesn't matter. When Elves Attack is funny and quirky and made me "KNOW" I have to listen to the entire series as soon as possible. So, as soon as the speakers on my laptop spit out "We hope you enjoyed this book," I was at the Audible website to get Florida Roadkill. As soon as part one finished downloading, I started it playing.

    It's going to be very hard to wait for credits to arrive to complete the collection. But ... my local public library doesn't have any of the Serge A. Storms novels available in audio, so ... **sigh** I'll have to be patient.

    While I am waiting, I think I will listen to When Elves Attack at least one more time. :-)

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Vampire's Revenge

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Willis Hall
    • Narrated By Brian Glover
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Count Alucard, the last surviving member of a long line of Transylvanian vampires, is on the run again - this time from the villagers of Little Lechfield. He dreams of America, a land where he can be judged for what he is, not by the actions of his parents and grandparents. Then fate intervenes in the shape of a Hollywood film producer and Alucard embarks on a series of hilarious escapades along the length and breadth of the USA...

    Susan says: "Another Fun "Vampire" story from Willis Hall ..."
    "Another Fun "Vampire" story from Willis Hall ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not being able to find a list of Hall's Vampire books that shows the order of the stories, I had started with "The Vampire's Christmas." I enjoyed that book very much. Audible has only one other of Hall's Vampire novels and this is it. I'm not sure whether there are four, five or six novels in the series (looking at a list of Hall novels at Amazon -- not all had book descriptions).

    Anyhow, the two audiobooks available here at Audible have different narrators. I liked the voice chosen for "The Vampire's Christmas" better than the one used here. The Brits have definite ideas of what American's sound like -- Chicago bootleggers of the 1920s, Boston Italians, or New York City Jewish Princesses and their moms. (No ethnic slurs intended here -- it is just these are the stereotypical voices used in the majority of British books that involve characters from the USA.) Here the New York accent is just too much ...

    Also, call me a prude or something but I was shocked to hear some of the language that was used in a supposed children's book -- like damn and hell. Not generally accepted words in books for a younger audience. May be okay in a YA book but not a middle grade book (if that is what this is supposed to be). I assumed the Vampire books by Willis Hall are intended for a middle grade audience because of Henry Hollins who features in "The Vampire's Christmas" and a few other Vampire books. Henry does not appear in this story so I am not really sure of the intended audience (except that the publisher of the hardcover edition is Bodley Head Children's Books) ...

    Still a fun story. Maybe not as fun as "The Vampire's Christmas." But still a fun listen.

    One tiny production error -- toward the end of the book, two characters are said to be in Pennsylvania when they are in fact in Transylvania. ** sigh **

    I wish Audible had the other books. A few are available as cassettes tapes at Amazon, but I really prefer the digital audiobooks better (besides it is getting harder to find cassette players!)

    Final analysis -- "The Vampire's Christmas" is a better book, but this one is okay.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Natalie Haynes
    • Narrated By Suzy Aitchison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    It's the summer holidays and Millie's bored stiff. Every week, she has to clean windows with her dad at a nearby laboratory. But she's sure something weird is going on inside. Then, one day, a cat comes hurtling through the lobby and asks her for help.

    Susan says: "Heavy-handed with the "sermon""
    "Heavy-handed with the "sermon""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Being anti-animal testing is great. It is a good stance to have.

    But ...

    Well, at the halfway point through the book, (2:41:46), I had decided I hated this book. And it would have gotten one or no stars except that I liked Max the Talking Cat (not giving away anything there, since the book description tells us that a cat "asks" for help) and the 9-year old computer wiz, Ben.

    The author needed to make a greater effort to follow the "Show Don't Tell" rule -- to make her point about being anti-animal testing. The story plot and the characters could have pulled off getting that point across in a much more subtle way.

    I'm an adult to whom many people might say I'm too old to be listening to kids books. But I love them. Many are so much more inventive than the ones written for the adult audience. And I have two special young friends who read almost as much as I do (in fact, I think one may devour just as many or even more books in a year than I do!) ...
    They would agree with me that the heavy-handed handling of the anti-animal testing would keep them from recommending the book to their friends.

    Think "101 Dalmatians" -- Was there any overt anti-fur statement in that book or the various movie adaptations? No.

    The last 2:41:32 of the book was more action related. However, one character, Ben, the computer wiz, is also a bit of a hacker. Um ... should an author of children's books be condoning hacking and photo-faking? It would have been better if the info the kids gathered was through further sneaky activities (like how they got hold a huge trove of emails) or through legitimate internet searches rather than actual hacking -- especially since the author is also heavy-handed with "teaching" all about internet- and computer-safety concerning passwords and the like.

    Most people want to read fiction to be entertained not "taught." Now, if teaching occurs, fine, but I don't want to be aware that the author is really trying to make me "learn" this stuff or share a certain opinion. Subtlety, even when writing for a younger audience that may not do as much abstract thinking as adults or teens do, has got to be better than the sledgehammer approach.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Last Night at the Lobster

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Stewart O'Nan
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (30)

    Perched in the far corner of a run-down New England mall, the Red Lobster hasn't been making its numbers, and headquarters has pulled the plug. But manager Manny DeLeon still needs to navigate a tricky last shift. With only four shopping days left until Christmas, Manny must convince his near-mutinous staff to hunker down and serve the final onslaught of hungry retirees, lunatics, and holiday office parties.

    Richard says: "Very good novella"
    "Another Interesting Concept for a Novel ..."
    Overall
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    Story

    but the execution ...

    Maybe it just me. Maybe I am not familiar with books written in this style.

    There is little actual dialog, little actual plot. It is almost like someone wrote out their feelings and activities, for a diary entry, about the day the local Red Lobster closed. Yeh, that's it, it's like a diary entry.

    Still, it is an interesting story. Last day before the restaurant closes. Staffing problems. Then a snowstorm that keeps away customers. Worrying about the marlin on the wall.

    Not a bad book. Not a spectacular book. An okay book. An okay listen. Probably better as a listen than as a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Passion, Betrayal, and Killer Highlights

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Kyra Davis
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    Overall
    (1153)
    Performance
    (531)
    Story
    (538)

    The last time Sophie saw sexy P.I. Anatoly Darinsky, he practically danced a jig when she waved goodbye; a normal reaction for a man who'd nearly bought the farm trying to protect her from her own foolishness. What are the chances he'd agree to take incriminating pictures of her sister's philandering husband? Or that he'd let her tag along, you know, for research?

    Jessica says: "Great Chick Lit Mystery"
    "I've discovered a new series ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well, this is the second book of the series. But since this one was on sale and sounded like a book I would be interested in, I decided to start here.

    Now, I have to go back to the first book and work my way through a series that isn't quite long enough yet. I enjoyed this book a lot. And look forward to each addition to the series in the future.

    Okay, I'm not sure that I should compare one series with another by different authors but ... I'm going to.
    I started the Stephanie Plum books, by Janet Evanovich, with "Plum Spooky" because I am originally from southern New Jersey and wanted to know Evanovich's "take" on the Pine Barrens. Quickly, I added to my collection from that series, but mostly because I enjoyed all the supporting characters like Lula, Grandma Mazur and Connie. Stephanie -- well, she's the glue that brings together all these fun and wacky people.
    However, here, Sophie is an interesting character in herself. Her supporting character friends and family are interesting but aren't the draw here. Sophie holds her own.

    Onward to the the rest of this series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By David Suchet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (946)
    Performance
    (543)
    Story
    (536)

    Savor one of the most clever of Christie's suspenseful classics. An American businessman is stabbed to death aboard a luxury train, the Orient Express, snowbound in the middle of Europe. Nothing escapes the eagle eye and quick intelligence of the great Hercule Poirot, and clues abound. Sorting through a dozen perfectly respectable passengers, all suspects, Poirot is tenacious in his pursuit of the truth.

    Glenda Fuller says: "Great Story and Well Read"
    "Dame Agatha at her best (IMHO)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a fan of Hercule Poirot -- from the TV shows -- when I found the audiobooks, I began to devour them. It is hard to classify one book better or worse than another; they are all very good.

    This one, though, has one added advantage -- the Orient Express is caught in a snow bank and Poirot has no access to outside information, such as marriage records in London or Scotland Yard investigation clues. Poirot must rely on his own "little gray cells."

    My only complaint -- and this is with most of the Christie novels, whether read by Suchet or Hugh Fraser (who played Hastings in the TV shows) -- is the British concept of the American accent. Ugh. Sorry, but most Americans do not sound like Cagney and other 1930s / 1940s Chicago bootleggers. Otherwise, I enjoy the audio versions of the Hercule Poirot novels and short stories immensely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs: Jane Jameson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5096)
    Performance
    (3848)
    Story
    (3863)

    Maybe it was the Shenanigans gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children's librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed $25 in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that's sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she's mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead.

    Denise says: "What a HOOT!!!!!!!"
    "Intriguing Idea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Single librarian turned into vampire.

    Hmmm ... has potential.

    I'm not really "into" the paranormal fad but recently have found myself indulging in books in the genre.

    My husband noticed this one and brought it to my attention. He thought I might find the book summary just "funny" enough to be interested.

    And yes, the summary made it sound like a book with a bit of comedy in it.

    Librarian gets pink slip with a gift card to a local bar, gets stinking, has car trouble on the way home, decides to walk the rest of the way, gets mistaken for a deer by a poaching shiner. I mean, that is just all flat out almost "silly" and as the premise for a book, should make for a witty and amusing tale.

    I was disappointed.

    Sure, she is shot, wakes three days later as a vampire, goes home and sees her dead great-aunt who had left her the house in her will, deals with family members who believe that aunt made a big mistake leaving the house to her, deals with family who believe she needs to get a life and find a new job, and deals with the vampire who made her, deals with vampire politics and intrigue when another vampire is actually murdered and is dead for good, plus deals with an old friend who starts attending a support group for friends of "others."

    While I grinned at the turn of events toward the very end of the book, I wasn't impressed enough to bother going any further in the series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Undead and Unappreciated: Queen Betsy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By MaryJanice Davidson
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1001)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (376)

    In between running her vampire nightclub and hunting down the perfect pair of shoes, Betsy learns her long-lost half-sister Laura is actually the spawn of Satan. Complicating matters, prophesy states that the devil's offspring and the queen of the vampires are destined to rule the world together.

    Michelle says: "Cute"
    "Not sure how Title fits the Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I may have missed something while listening to this book. But I am not sure where or when Betsy was actually unappreciated in the book. Well, she does mess up with her friends at one point and reaps the cold shoulder consequences of those actions. "Unappreciated" doesn't seem to be the right word to describe that, though. The alliteration in the title is catchy ...

    The short summary of the book tells us that Betsy has a half-sister that she didn't know about and there is a prophecy about them both.

    Betsy wants to know more and reads from The Books of The Dead for too long with bad consequences. She wants to meet her sister and goes looking for her. Finds her and, well, ... talk about "Minnesota Nice" ... Laura is the walking embodiment of it. Betsy isn't sure she can tell Laura about the prophecy. To make matters even worse, the nightclub is on the verge of bankruptcy. The worst thing, though, is not Betsy's stepmother's pregnancy -- no, it is Betsy's reaction to Sinclair. Her "life," she feels, is really complicated.

    Some reviewers here didn't like this addition to the Queen Betsy series. Everyone has their own tastes and is entitled to them. This book is a little bit different. Yet it moves along the overall plot and adds new characters and twists. It is a decent addition to the series.

    I was most surprised that the reader/narrator is the same for this third book of the series as for the first two -- I don't remember her voicing of Sinclair being so stilted and "off" in the first two. She does a good job except for Sinclair.






    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jean Van Leeuwen
    • Narrated By Daniel Bostick
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    "Merciless Marvin the Magnificent" is back! (Which means, of course, that Fats the Fuse and Raymond the Rat are along for the ride). When Marvin makes his way into Macy's department store, he thinks he's discovered the best deal a mouse could wish for. But no sooner has he gathered his gang, and then gotten them cozily settled into a dollhouse in the toy department, than Macy's Santa goes missing.

    Morgan says: "Great"
    "What IS it about mice and rats?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Part of me shudders to think of the mice and a rat living together in a doll house in the Macy's department store, taking nighttime nibbles from the cheeses and meats in the deli case. When I lived near downtown Minneapolis, I loved the deli at Dayton's and often bought entrees to take to work for my dinner.

    Another part of me shrugs, lets the thought go and decides to just enjoy the story of how two mice and a rat discover the truth. One wintry evening, Marvin makes his way into a store to get out of the cold. He discovers the deli and a dollhouse. He decides to move in and then goes to find his two friends, Fats and Raymond, to bring them to join him there.

    Fats is entranced by the store Santa. When Santa goes missing, the three friends decide to find him.

    Marvin reminded me of Geronimo Stilton in many ways.

    I give this book a thumbs up and recommend it to anyone who enjoys tales of the tiny triumphing over the big.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Merry Christmas Mouse and Mole: Christmas Special

    • UNABRIDGED (42 mins)
    • By Joyce Dunbar
    • Narrated By Alan Bennett, Richard Briers, Imelda Staunton
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Meet Mouse and Mole. They live together in a little cottage in the country. Mouse is practical and cheerful. Mole gets into scrapes and needs looking after. Their everyday adventures will appeal to adults and children alike, because the charm of the stories lie in the endearing friendship of the two central characters and the humour of their exchanges.

    Susan says: "May need to be familiar with TV series ..."
    "May need to be familiar with TV series ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thankfully I am very familiar with the voice of Richard Briers from the BBC series GOOD NEIGHBORS. There is no narrator in this tale and the casted dramatization of the tale requires the ability to follow the voices to keep track of who is doing what. I had a little bit of a hard time, occasionally, following the action.
    However, the tale will become part of my annual holiday entertainment -- just like I HAVE to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas, listen to or watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, watch It's A Wonderful Life. (Anyone know where I can get a copy of Bernard and the Genie?)

    This is a fun little tale. About Christmas wishes, fears, party plans, Christmas guests, and being among friends. What could be better?

    Once I listen to this tale again, I will probably want to change my current ratings to higher ones. Right now they are at 3 because of how I got lost in following the action in a few spots. If I listen again, I'm sure I'll follow it better -- and while I know I won't be able to change my review, maybe I'll be able to up my star ratings ... :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snowmen at Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (4 mins)
    • By Caralyn Buehner
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    This snappy and entertaining companion to the New York Times bestseller Snowmen at Night depicts all the best parts of the holiday, replete with icy treats and a snowman Kris Kringle.

    Susan says: "Probably better as a Picture Book"
    "Probably better as a Picture Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But if you like to create metal pictures in your own head -- this is a fun little listen!

    The snowfolk do lots of fun things. Having the illustrations could actually spoil it :-) It is fun to imagine all the things they do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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