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jacques

otterburn park, QC, Canada | Member Since 2010

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 50 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014
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  • Magic Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Beth MacDonald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    With Magic Terror Peter Straub, best selling author of The Talisman (with Stephen King), has written one of the most imaginatively unsettling collections in years. The terrain of these extraordinary stories is marked by brutality, heartbreak, despair, wonder, and an unexpected humor that allows empathy to blossom within the most unlikely contexts.

    Plus, hear Peter Straub in a recent Fresh Air interview.

    Toivo says: "I call this pretty good"
    "disturbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Peter Straub has an interest in pedophelia which I do not share. His descriptions of human cruelty and outright psychopathy are gruesome, detailed and offputting. I'm not the sort who goes out of his way to find things to be offended by, but this guy pushes the limits of good taste. His prose is unique, and annoying after a few hours, you'll have to listen to a sample to understand what i mean. It's difficult to describe, street thugs who talk like university professors. Long speeches using long words do describe a trip to the medicine cabinet for aspirin. It's just wierd, I listened to the whole book, hoping it would get better because I liked what he did with Stephen King. but I found myself feeling kind of queasy sometimes, vivid descriptions of rape and torture and child abuse. Not really my bag. I could compare this to what you might get from a movie like Saw. If you've seen that, and you liked it, you'll probably like this.
    In a nutshell, it was sick.

    0 of 0 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
    (286)
    Performance
    (256)
    Story
    (258)

    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!"
    "i hate that i liked it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Poor writing, worse narration. Silly doesn't begin to describe it.
    It was often vulgar, sometimes downright gross.
    This writer really like s to gild the lilly, superfluous redundancies are abundantly plentiful.

    Narration was terrible, there was a passage where some poor guy's LAR-NYX gets crushed.
    I was able to deduce from the resulting inconveniences of that particular injury, that a LAR-NYX is located in the throat and serves in a capacity similar to that of the larynx. whatever.

    I am ashamed of myself for actually having enjoyed this, think 1980s B horror flick.
    fun, just don't tell anyone I said that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When Worlds Collide

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Philip Wylie, Edwin Balmer
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (402)

    A runaway planet hurtles toward Earth. As it draws near, massive tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions wrack our planet, devastating continents, drowning cities, and wiping out millions. In central North America, a team of scientists race to build a spacecraft powerful enough to escape the doomed Earth. Their greatest threat, they soon discover, comes not from the skies but from other humans.

    Cynthia L. Walker says: "Still as good as I remember!"
    "love story nearly killed it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    remove, burn, stomp up and down upon the silly little love story.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    no. the narrator sounded a bit like scott brick. monotone and serious. but somehow not as engaging. (inasmuch as one can be engaging when speaking in a monotone)


    Any additional comments?

    Some very old and unfashionable attitudes come in bold face in this little adventure.
    Written in 1932, the protagonist's Japanese manservant is repeatedly referred to as ''the little jap''.
    At one point a great leader ''wept like a woman'' explains the narrator in a vaguely disgusted tone.
    When you consider that this book is 80 years old, it's surprisingly good. The descriptions of what might be like after a close encounter with a wandering planet, are imaginative and well thought out. But I wouldn't listen a second time. If you can get it in the bargain bin, yeah, give 'er a spin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Elsewhere

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Robert Jackson Bennett
    • Narrated By Graham Winton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (141)

    Some places are too good to be true. Under a pink moon, there is a perfect little town not found on any map. In that town, there are quiet streets lined with pretty houses, houses that conceal the strangest things. After a couple years of hard traveling, ex-cop Mona Bright inherits her long-dead mother's home in Wink, New Mexico. And the closer Mona gets to her mother's past, the more she understands that the people of Wink are very, very different....

    Lisa says: "You are entering the twighlight zone"
    "sloppy writing, sloppy production."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made American Elsewhere better?

    Editing. The book was chock full of mistakes and awkward phrasing.


    What was most disappointing about Robert Jackson Bennett’s story?

    It had potential, it really could have been a better book. It desperately needs pruning. It was disjointed, and stilted. The good ideas that it did contain went unexplored.


    What didn’t you like about Graham Winton’s performance?

    He often stutters, not like a handicap, but often enough that you wonder why the director (whose name is proudly spoken at the beginning of each part) did not redo the take. The narrator hesitates on a word, and puts emphasis on the wrong words, which changes the meaning of the sentence. Taken out of context, it would make no sense.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    There were some parts that seemed like they were written and performed by professionnals, but they were like gaps in the clouds on an overcast day. The prevailing winds would blow me back into the gray reality of what an amateurish and silly book this really is.


    Any additional comments?

    Here are some examples of what bugged me in the writing;

    '' Whimpered like a stuck pig'' I thought they squealed.
    '' she was a becoming young woman'' Did he mean comeley?
    '' He was unable to enunciate his sadness'' What??

    He mangles popular expressins contantly, and uses words in not quite the right way so often, I could not finish it. I got most of the way through, but it was just not worth it.Another reviewer said it was like early Koontz, Maybe Koontz in high school... Maybe.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Speaks the Nightbird

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2602)
    Performance
    (2324)
    Story
    (2309)

    The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies -- and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....

    aaron says: "Dark, Twisted Period Piece with GREAT Characters!"
    "Where to begin..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    O.K. Imagine an author has a good idea for a book. He sketches it out, builds up some interesting characters and situations, and sets it in the latter part of the 17th century.
    Now imagine he gives it to Mike Tyson to flesh it out.

    This was a Hardy boys novel, set in colonial north America, and meant for grownup adolescents. It was not a bad book, i enjoyed most of it. But the language was clumsy, to say the least. " i shoveleth the walketh of snoweth this morningeth" Anachronisms abound. Modern slang spoken by colonists of yore. The use of words twelve letters long apparently just for the fun of using them. I sometimes got the idea the writer had a list of words on his desk that he just had to use somewhere, and fit them in where he could.

    If you are not a fusspot where language is concerned, (I am, and this book made me laugh out loud more than once) and historical inaccuracies don't bother you you'll probably enjoy this. Not bad, but definitely not high culture.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (3206)
    Performance
    (1548)
    Story
    (1549)

    This mesmerizing first novel tells the epic journey of Lin, an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia to disappear into the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The keys to unlock the mysteries that bind Lin are held by two people: his mentor Khader Khan, mafia godfather and criminal-philosopher; and the beautiful, elusive Karla, whose passions are driven by dangerous secrets.

    Jamie says: "Do Not Miss This"
    "Very good, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The meat of this book is really excellent. I never got bored, not once. That is an amazing accomplishment in a book this long. An ever changing adventure that will hold your attention to the end.

    However, I did find myself becoming impatient with the writer's long and flowery descriptions of everything from the beauty of someone's eyes (and everybody seems to have beautiful eyes in this book) to the various merits of an article of clothing. He describes the shorts worn by farmers as "noble", among other things. Yup, Noble shorts... If it were not for the endless parade of eyes the colour of sand in the last days before the monsoon. Or The brilliant and endless blue of a winter sky, softly caressed by delicate clouds of a deep sadness...

    Really a great book, but if ten of fifteen hours of ''soft lips like the velvet petals of the lotus'' were removed, Id have liked it better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Daddy's Home

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By A. K. Alexander
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (24)

    A killer is roaming the streets of San Diego, preying on single mothers and their children with a depravity that few in the police department have ever seen. He’s hunting for the perfect family...and judging by the trail of bodies he’s left scattered across the city, this particular daddy is very hard to please. For Detective Holly Jennings, the search for the Family Man killer just got personal. Not only is she a single mother struggling, after the death of her husband, to raise her daughter, but now Holly’s friend and her daughter have become the Family Man’s latest victims.

    jacques says: "amateurish, at best."
    "amateurish, at best."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The first thing I noticed was the narrator. She delivers the story with all the emotion of a weather reporter, apparently trying to shout over the sound of the rain. Then I noticed the banal conversations between characters, the rote police jargon, the cliché so pervasive it seems almost deliberate. The story did not flow so much as it was excreted in chunks, kind of like a comic book. The language was of a sophistication also appropriate to the comic book. ''that monster kills children, I'll get him if it''s the last thing I ever do." or " Will I ever be able to love again?''

    Ever read a book and wonder how it ever got published? The mistake was compounded when some decided to make this an audio book. I thought that if i could get used to the terrible narration, I might find some redeeming qualities in the story. I'm sorry to say I found none. After two hours, I switched to another book I had on my Ipod, Hold tight by Harlan Coben. Scott brick is not my favourite narrator, But he is a professional, and the difference between this, and what I had just turned off was like a splash of cold water in the face.In short, this thing plods along with all the grace of a drunk monkey, and I hope this review will save somebody a hangover.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nightmare at 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King (introduction), Richard Matheson
    • Narrated By Julia Campbell, Paul Michael Garcia, Malcolm Hillgartner, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (79)

    Much of Richard Matheson's work has found its way into pop culture: the title story became a memorable episode of television's The Twilight Zone, and more recently, Will Smith starred in the blockbuster movie I Am Legend. Stephen King has declared Matheson to be one of his favorite writers. Find out why as you listen to the classic horror story of a man who peers out of his airplane window to see a gremlin destroying the wing.

    skee a. Goedhart says: "An Excellent Collection"
    "Some good, some bad."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    There was a number of really good stories in here, some a bit dated but still very good.
    Some were not so good. The stories which concern one man's descent into madness, usually written in the first person, and ending with the reader wondering wether the events described had actually taken place, or were in the narrator's mind. Kind of like ending a story with '' It was all just a dream'' I've always thought that stories like that are a bit of a cop out. Still worth the time and the credit.
    There wer a couple of stories i recognized from T.V. and movies. The Gremlin, of course from the twilight zone. The distibutor very likely inspired Stephen King to write Needful things. (one of his best in my opinion) And One year aniversary was used for an episode of The outer limits.

    1 of 1 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
    (6843)
    Performance
    (3212)
    Story
    (3217)

    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 bit disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The story is divided into three parts; The first is of the events leading to the disaster which brings on the end of the world as we know it. This first part was excellent, I was absolutely absorbed in the story, the characters, and the possibilities for the world after.

    In the second part, The story sadly veers left into the compost heap. The second part concerns the social politics of a colony of survivors 100 years after the disaster. It doesn't go anywhere, and it doesn't go there fast. Petty rivalries, jealousy over women, who gets to be the leader this year. He said, she said post apocalyptic daytime soap opera.

    In the third part, a small group of people get wise and decide to decamp, Here the adventure begins anew. And more or less redeems itself.

    I had this book in my wish list for about a year. The reason it stayed there was that Audible wanted two credits for it. I'm glad I waited, it's worth a listen if you like this kind of thing. But if I had paid 2 creds for it, my review might have been a bit more negative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eye of the Needle

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Eric Lincoln
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1965)
    Performance
    (1034)
    Story
    (1036)

    One enemy spy knows the secret of the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin - code name: "The Needle" - who holds the key to the ultimate Nazi victory.

    Scott says: "A Classic WWII Spy Thriller"
    "Not bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I was worried this might be confusing, complicated, and convoluted. Spy novels often are.
    But this one was easy to follow, and very entertaining. Nothin too heavy, and not one of Follett's greatest works. It was still a good, solid read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind Through the Keyhole: The Dark Tower

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2158)
    Performance
    (1974)
    Story
    (1954)

    In The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King has returned to the rich landscape of Mid-World. This story within a story within a story finds Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, in his early days during the guilt-ridden year following his mother’s death. Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a "skin-man", Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter.

    Amazon Customer says: "An exceptional story, but I miss George Guidall."
    "pleasantly surprised"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    After the first three books in the Gunslinger series, I found the quality of the writing had suffered. (excepting Wolves of the Calla) The stories seemed hastily written and had little respect for what came before. Wind through the keyhole is a book that stands on it's own. A story within a story, it uses the landscape of midworld without depending too heavily on the characters from the gunslinger stories. A nice fairy tale for grownups in a world which is moving on. Mr. King, my faith in you is renewed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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