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Ralph

Foster City, CA, United States | Member Since 2000

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • Transfer of Power: Mitch Rapp Series

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    Overall
    (2440)
    Performance
    (2020)
    Story
    (2031)

    On a busy Washington morning, the stately calm of the White House is shattered in a deadly terrorist attack on the executive mansion. The president is evacuated to an underground bunker, but not before nearly one hundred hostages are taken. Mitch Rapp, the CIA’s top counterterrorism operative, is sent in to take control of the crisis and determines that the president is not as safe as Washington’s power elite had thought....

    Michael says: "Great Story-Bad Narration"
    "Criticisn of Narrator Not Justified"
    Overall

    I found both the story and the narration to be excellent and do not understand the basis for the criticism of the narration.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Einstein: His Life and Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3662)
    Performance
    (1620)
    Story
    (1630)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: You thought he was a stodgy scientist with funny hair, but Isaacson and Hermann reveal an eloquent, intense, and selfless human being who not only shaped science with his theories, but politics and world events in the 20th century as well. Based on the newly released personal letters of Albert Einstein, Walter Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos.

    Henrik says: "Surprise: Two books in one!"
    "Great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the third book by Walter Isaacson that I have listened to. Like the the other two, it was highly informative, well-written, and insightful. The author does a great job of explaining complex scientific concepts without talking down to the reader. The narration was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Johnny Carson

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Henry Bushkin
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (296)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (265)

    From 1962 until 1992, Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show and permeated the American consciousness. In the ’70s and ’80s he was the country’s highest-paid entertainer and its most enigmatic. He was notoriously inscrutable, as mercurial (and sometimes cruel) off-camera as he was charming and hilarious onstage. During the apex of his reign, Carson’s longtime lawyer and best friend was Henry Bushkin, who now shows us Johnny Carson with a breathtaking clarity and depth that nobody else could.

    Pi says: "Not for the uninitiated"
    "Horrible Performance Distracts Form Marginal Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book contains a number of interesting anecdotes, stories and insights; however, it is poorly written and terribly narrated. It is the self-aggrandizing story of someone who was in the right place at the right time, initially did a good job, and finally grew "too big for his britches."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Sparrow: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jason Matthews
    • Narrated By Jeremy Bobb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1070)
    Performance
    (965)
    Story
    (969)

    Drafted against her will to become a "Sparrow" - a trained seductress in the service, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow.

    Melinda says: "Sexy Saucy Spies"
    "Dispppointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me start with the positives: (1) the book is well written with good use of the the English language; (2) the discussions of trade craft are interesting; (3) the use of Russian phrases is is a nice touch as is the author's knowledge of Russian geography; and (4) the performance is very good.

    As for the negatives:

    1. The main character is is so poorly conceived that it is impossible to suspend disbelief. For example, is it credible for a young female Russian corporal to constantly talk back to senior officers (and get away with it)?

    2. The lead character also bases many of her decisions on the color of the "aura" she see around the heads of the other characters. Really?

    3. The author is obviously a foodie -- each chapter ends with a recipe for a dish mentioned in that chapter. I found this annoying. Perhaps the author should write a cookbook next time.

    Overall, I had a hard time hanging in until the end.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hold Tight

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1323)
    Performance
    (511)
    Story
    (503)

    Tia and Mike Baye never imagined they'd become the type of overprotective parents who spy on their kids. But their 16-year-old son, Adam, has been unusually distant lately, and after the suicide of his classmate, Spencer Hill they can't help but worry. They install a sophisticated spy program on Adam's computer, and within days they are jolted by a message from an unknown correspondent addressed to their son: "Just stay quiet and all safe."

    Meanwhile, Betsy Hill is struck by a photo that appears to have been taken on the night of her son's death...and he wasn't alone.

    Ed says: "Will hold your interest till the end"
    "Weakest Coben Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was disappointed in this book. I have enjoyed Coben's other work; however, this book should have been edited to half its length. I found myself constantly anticipating obvious and unnecessary dialog: frequently a character says the same thing at lest two different ways in case you missed the point.

    The story was OK -- not great.

    Many other reviewers criticized the narrator but I thought that Scott Brick did a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Power Down: Dewey Andreas, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Ben Coes
    • Narrated By Peter Hermann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1463)
    Performance
    (1108)
    Story
    (1117)

    There was one factor that the terrorists didn’t take into account when they struck the Capitana oil platform off the coast of Colombia - slaughtering much of the crew and blowing up the platform - and that was the Capitana crew chief, Dewey Andreas. Dewey, former Army Ranger and Delta, survives the attack, rescuing as many of his men as possible. But the battle has just begun....

    Tommy says: "The best thing to happen since Mitch Rapp!"
    "Good action story; some details wrong"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As an action/adventure story a suspension of disbelief is required. Looked at that way,it is a good story. The narration was OK -- not nearly as bad as some reviewers have said.

    Admittedly, I may be a stickler for details . In this book there were a number of obvious errors which should have been caught by an editor or researcher (if not the the author). Two obvious ones are consistently referring to the device that holds the ammunition in a semi-automatic pistol as a "clip" instead of a "magazine" and believing that a senator nominates someone for the Congressional Medal of Honor. Also, apparently, the author believes that the Medal can be awarded for activities undertaken as a civilian.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Havana: A Swagger Family Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Stephen Hunter
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    In Cuba, Earl Swagger finds himself up to his neck in treacherous ambiguity where the old rules about honor and duty don't apply, and where Earl's target seems to have more guts and good luck than anyone else in Cuba.

    Ralph says: "OK Story; Weak Narration"
    "OK Story; Weak Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my third Stephen Hunter novel. Although it is the weakest of the three, it is till a good story and kept my attention.

    However, the narration detracted substantially form the enjoyment of this book. The narrator frequently "over acts" in a way that is inconsistent with the characters. He also badly mispronounced at least 5 or 6 words. Isn't there an editor who listens to the narration so such mistakes can be avoided? Pay a little more and get someone with talent like Scott B. or George G.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Coast: A Larison Short Story

    • UNABRIDGED (40 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Barry Eisler
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (71)

    For Larison, a man off the grid and on the run, the sleepy northern California town of Arcata, gateway to the state's fabled Lost Coast, seems like a perfect place to disappear for a while. But Arcata isn't nearly as sleepy as it seems, and when three locals decide Larison would make a perfect target for their twisted sport, Larison exacts a lifetime of vengeance in one explosive evening.

    pamela says: "Too violent"
    "Weaker than Usual"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interestingly, the author/narrator did not do his homework on one small but annoying point: the location of this story -- Arcata -- is pronounced "Ar-kate-a" not "Ar-cat-a." After all, Eisler often includes such details as the model of a particular knife. The story is provides a part of the back-story for a character who appears in other books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Detachment

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Barry Eisler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1030)
    Performance
    (853)
    Story
    (855)

    John Rain is back. And “the most charismatic assassin since James Bond” (San Francisco Chronicle) is up against his most formidable enemy yet: the nexus of political, military, media, and corporate factions known only as the Oligarchy. When legendary black ops veteran Colonel Scott “Hort” Horton tracks Rain down in Tokyo, Rain can’t resist the offer: a multi-million dollar payday for the “natural causes” demise of three ultra-high-profile targets who are dangerously close to launching a coup in America. But the opposition on this job is going to be too much for even Rain to pull it off alone.

    Andrew Stone says: "Fast paced read..."
    "Very good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first exception to my belief that authors who read narrate their own books are letting their egos get in the way of a quality product. Eisler is, in fact, an excellent narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sixth Man

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    Overall
    (2195)
    Performance
    (1288)
    Story
    (1291)

    Edgar Roy - an alleged serial killer held in a secure, fortress-like Federal Supermax facility-is awaiting trial. He faces almost certain conviction. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy's attorney, Sean's old friend and mentor Ted Bergin, to help work the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins-en route to their first meeting with Bergin, Sean and Michelle find him murdered. It is now up to them to ask the questions no one seems to want answered....

    Anthony says: "Somebody needs to be fired..."
    "Disappointing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a poorly conceived and executed story. I have really liked most of Baldacci's books; however, in this one the story is not credible and the dialog strained.

    Also, while the male narrator did a decent job, the female narrator was terrible.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Outlaws

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (479)
    Performance
    (290)
    Story
    (297)

    Charlie Castillo's secret unit has been disbanded - but that doesn't mean he's out of business. As experience has painfully shown him, there are many things the intelligence community can't do, won't do, or doesn't do well, and he has the men and assets to help set things straight.

    Mondobelly says: "Disappointing re-write of character history"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Outlaws better?

    Less repetition of previous stories; the characters simply do not ring true as they have in the past; the dialog is often trite.


    What could W.E.B. Griffin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He could have written it rather than have his much less talented co-author write it.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jonathan Davies?

    Yes.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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