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Richard

New York, NY, United States | Member Since 2003

49
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 71 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Memory of Running

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ron McLarty
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2835)
    Performance
    (1031)
    Story
    (1022)

    In late 2003, in his column in Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King called The Memory of Running "the best novel you won't read this year." This glowing endorsement of the audiobook resulted in Ron McLarty receiving a $2 million two-book deal from Viking Penguin. Also, Warner Brothers has shelled out big bucks for the movie rights to The Memory of Running, for which McLarty will write the script.

    Neal says: "Funny and Fascinating, A Wonderful Book"
    "A great book written to be listened to"
    Overall

    After hearing the terrific narrator Ron McLarty talk about how he felt this was a book written to be listened to, I had to agree. The story and charactors are clear and the sense of place cleanly defined. While there may not be a lot of depth to Smithy you get a great sense of exactly who he is and what he is about. Also there are holes in the narrative, but McLarty's prose and narration glide so smoothly over them, that you are swept along with Smithy as he travels the U.S. on his bike and traveling his past in his mind. What keeps this book from being great is perhaps the lack of real speed bumps and potholes that would have given the book a sense of tension. Still, the charactors we meet are well worth the visit

    39 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • The Magicians: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Lev Grossman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2498)
    Performance
    (1781)
    Story
    (1784)

    Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

    Ki says: "Not an average book"
    "Brave Potter/Narnia mash-up for "GoT" set"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Have to admit that it takes a very brave author to take Harry Potter and Narnia and have it apply to those young men who are just now discovering "Game of Thrones". Post adolescent young man has to decide what his future will be while still clinging to the rituals of childhood.

    Adulthood is scary, so Quentin our hero, tries to avoid it for as long as possible. Unlike the "Potter" series where father and parental figures abound, Q (as he is sometimes called) has nobody but himself to guide him and he makes a mess of things. Still, little by little he starts to grow up, though by the end Q is not much further then Harry Potter at the end of "Sorcerer's Stone". Wondrous for a boy of 12, dismaying for a young man in his mid twenties.

    Still, I salute Lev Grossman for this brave attempt. Kinda like decent comfort food with with added spices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10799)
    Performance
    (7700)
    Story
    (7704)

    A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.

    Tom says: "Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering"
    "A good start to an intriguing series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Can't say if I will continue with this series, but it does have potential. Kinda like those TV shows whose pilot episode always have too many characters and information, their was a lot of stuff happening that seemed extraneous but could be useful in later stories. Maybe I will give the next few books a chance. Always up for a decent wizard detective. Also it takes place in Chicago which is where I was born, so that's a plus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brothers

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Yu Hua
    • Narrated By Louis Changchien
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    Acclaimed novelist Yu Hua became the first Chinese author to win the distinguished James Joyce Foundation Award. Controversial in his own country for his biting satire, he creates insightful portraits of Chinese society. Step-brothers Baldy Li and Song Gang couldn't be more different. While Baldy is a girl-chasing teen, Song is quiet and studious. The two come of age in a vibrant Chinese culture struggling with constant change.

    mandylouise says: "Quirky, original, compelling and readable"
    "After three hours, I gave up."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Really, after listening to hundreds of books of the years (starting on tapes, then CD's then downloads), I rarely just give up. I mean if I could get through Roberto Bolaño's 39 hour "2666", I could get through most anything. But after 3 hours of "Brothers", I was just getting really annoyed and bored . Then, after reading past reviews and comments, I realized it wasn't going to get any better.

    What drew me to "Brothers" in the first place, was the idea of looking at the changes in China over the past 50 years through the eyes of two different men. With such an awkward translation it was making no sense. Made the decision to just stop. Oh well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Quiet American

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Joseph Porter
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (58)

    Alden Pyle, an idealistic young American, is sent to Vietnam to promote democracy amidst the intrigue and violence of the French war with the Vietminh, while his friend, Fowler, a cynical foreign correspondent, looks on.

    Vinchi says: "unbearable"
    "Terrible narrator nearly derails Greene novel."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Because Audible asks us about performance, I feel that I should bring it up. But first, because of a recent trip to Viet Nam, I decided to get and listen to this book. The story, itself, is remarkable and very prescient regarding American impending tragic and misguided involvement into Southeast Asia. But at it's heart, "The Quiet American" is a tale of two dissimilar men and their love for a beautiful Vietnamese woman. One man is an older British newspaperman saddled with a wife back in England. The other is a young, naive, low level, diplomat from Boston. The bonds, these two forge in friendship and rivalry, whether in a Saigon dance club or in the heat of battle, takes up the majority of this book.

    Unfortunately, Joseph Porter, fails miserably on all accounts in his narrating. Aside from his stilted readings of prose that is both beautiful and exciting, his accents, age and sex differentiation's are atrocious. His Englishmen seem to all come from some strange middle-class. Fowler, the stories narrator, is a mid-fifties hard drinking and smoking Londoner and yet he sounds like bland radio personality. Pyle his rival and friend is even worse, sounding like a late forties mid-westerner with an sixth grade reading level. All the other characters just sound canned-spaggetti versions of real people.

    Seriously, forget listening and read the book.
    Audilble please redo this classic and terrific story with a much better voice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pursuit: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (98)

    Thirteen bodies are found in a Louisville restaurant. When the police can find no suspect or motive, the family of one of the victims seeks the services of the enigmatic and solitary specialist Roy Prescott, known for his ability to find people who don't want to be found.

    Maxine says: "Great book"
    "A fictional Chess match with collateral damage"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't know how Perry was going to sustain my interest for such a relatively long time, but he did. It's always fun to watch the hunter pursue the victim and then have the tables turn. In this case, the 'good' guy is only relative to an extremely depraved bad guy, (which can be traced to bad mothering) so our ending could never be in doubt. Still, a wily Chess game is always more enjoyable then Checkers. (Any good game metaphor works, excepted perhaps Bridge.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6861)
    Performance
    (3229)
    Story
    (3234)

    First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

    Nicole says: "You love it or you hate it..."
    "A long slog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After 36 hours, I just wanted this book to end! Part one was actually quite thrilling, but once story skipped ahead 99 years to a colony of people living a dystopian existence, I just could not hang on. Lots and lots of characters whose purpose never becomes clear and then get killed. Waited forever for second part of the story to catch up to beginning. Way way overwritten.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Garden of Last Days: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Andre Dubus III
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (55)

    Set in the seamy underside of American life at the moment before the world changed, it juxtaposes lust for domination with hunger for connection, sexual violence with family love. It seizes the listener by the throat with the same psychological tension, depth, and realism that characterized Andre Dubus' #1 bestseller, House of Sand and Fog, and has an even greater sense of the dark and anguished places in the human heart.

    Suzn F says: "Andre Dubus III Does It Again"
    "Thoughtless people doing foolish things"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are really interested in learning what a 9/11 hijacker felt about America just before his 'big event', here's the book for you. (hint; he's conflicted about women and Americans.)

    Otherwise join a group of emotionally damaged people as they go from one mistake to another. Each step is preceded by such deluded justification that it made me want to slap them. Like 'what part of essentially kidnapping a child from from a strip joint's parking lot and then giving her Benadryl to calm down' did you think was a good idea?

    I rarely give up on books once I start, but boy, this was a challenge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Moving Target: A Lew Archer Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Ross Macdonald
    • Narrated By Tom Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    As private eye Lew Archer follows the clues from the canyon sanctuaries of the megarich to jazz joints where you can get beaten up between sets, The Moving Target blends sex, greed, misdirected love, and family hatred into an explosive crime novel.

    Richard says: "A good, not great start to a terrific series."
    "A good, not great start to a terrific series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lew Archer is one of the great noir LA detectives. This books starts him out on his journey, seeing the corrupt moneyed culture of Los Angeles circa 1950's. He is certainly up there with Phillip Marlowe and Sam Spade (and a lot more stories). A good beginning. Well read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Loop Group

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By C.J. Critt
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (4)

    Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times best-selling author Larry McMurtry is one of America's best novelists. Several of his books are modern classics, including Lonesome Dove and Terms of Endearment, which was adapted into an Academy Award-winning motion picture. Now McMurtry delivers a funny yet sobering road trip novel reminiscent of Thelma and Louise and featuring two of the most original women to appear in fiction for quite some time.

    Markie Ross says: "Yikes"
    "What A dud!"
    Overall

    I've either listen or read most of McMurty and love his easy going style, but this is such a minor story. the characters are really uninteresting. It's so unlike Mr. McMurtry I'm midway through and though I won't give up, it's taking an act of will.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Twisted

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By Lindsay Crouse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (23)

    Hollywood homicide detective Petra Connor has helped psychologist Alex Delaware crack tough cases in the past. And in Jonathan Kellerman's New York Times best seller Billy Straight, she took the lead in the desperate hunt for a teenage runaway stalked by a vengeful murderer. Now the complex and wryly compassionate Petra is once again at the center of the action, in a novel of cunning twists and page-turning suspense.

    Woody says: "Vintage Kellerman"
    "Dull narrartor, overused plot"
    Overall

    While I think the actor Lindsey Crouse is very good (seen her in lot's of movies and TV), she was a very dull narrator. Still that could have been overlooked if the plot were not so predictable. I'm usually not great at guessing who the villian is, but in this case I was so far ahead of the lead detective Petra O'Conner and her sidekick Issac Gomez, that they began to look like fools. Way to much on their personal lives, which was pretty routine. Lots of glaring set-ups and silly false leads. Near the end, a booklet shows up to explain everything, just like out of an old melodrama, and I just thought Kellerman was really bored writing this one! Better to re-listen to "Billy Straight"

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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