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Calliope

ratings
133
REVIEWS
132
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
180

  • Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Nate Blakeslee
    • Narrated By James Boles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (46)

    Early one morning in the summer of 1999, authorities in the tiny West Texas town of Tulia began a roundup of suspected drug dealers. By the time the sweep was done, over 40 people had been arrested and one of every five black adults in town was behind bars, all accused of dealing cocaine to the same undercover officer, Tom Coleman.

    JOHN says: "A Must Read"
    "Can't tell the players without a program"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found the story interesting, particularly since it happened less than 15 years ago - a story of racism and police corruption in Texas wouldn't have surprised me 30 or 40 years ago, but not this recently. However, like many stories of conspiracy, corruption, and courtroom dramatics, there are a lot of people involved, and listening to it gets a bit confusing. Actually, there is limited reading specifically of the courtroom transcripts, but there is a lot of back-and-forth among the lawyers on both sides of the aisle - which is fine and still interesting, but keeping all the names straight was a challenge. Ditto for all of the victims in the story (the original drug bust included 46 people), especially when you include input from their family and friends.

    It's still an astounding story and still worth listening to (or reading), but be prepared for a lot of players to be involved.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rebecca

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Daphne du Maurier
    • Narrated By Anna Massey
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives - resenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

    John S says: "Great Mystery Classic"
    "One of my favourite novels, ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great novel, and considered to be one of the best crime/thriller novels ever written. That might be surprising to some, since it's not about the police or a detective, or even really about a criminal enterprise at all, but about a young girl who marries an older, wealthier man and becomes the mistress of a large, famous, classic English manor named Manderley in the early 20th century. She is haunted by concerns that she will not live up to the perfect perception that her husband's friends, family, and staff have of the now-deceased first wife, Rebecca. The struggle of the naive, young second wife against her dynamic and powerful older husband, as well as by the imprint of his first wife still left in their home are palpable. As for the crime and the mystery? Well, it involves Rebecca's death and why she seems to still haunt the memories of everyone who lives and works at Manderley.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mind Scrambler: A John Ceepak Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Chris Grabenstein
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (609)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (366)

    John Ceepak and Danny Boyle are making the rounds in Atlantic City when Danny runs into his former crush, Katie. She's working for a magician named Rock, and her life seems to be in better order than Boyle could have hoped for. But Ceepak and Boyle soon find themselves on another case when Katie is found strangled to death. It is up to Ceepak and Boyle to find out who killed her. Their lives and the lives of others depend on it.

    Amazon Customer says: "Fun ride on the Mind Scrambler"
    "ancillary characters make this one good fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not my favourite in the series, but the excellent narration and the ancillary characters (I bust a gut laughing at the old lawyer) make this one still good fun. Although Ceepak and Boyle are in Atlantic City this time, Danny Boyle keeps making references to either the town or people he knew from Sea Haven.......hopefully that extra stuff won't be necessary if the characters get back to their home turf of Sea Haven. I liked the new summer cop introduced in Hell Hole, and I hope we'll see more of her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Free: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Washington Irving
    • Narrated By Tom Mison
    Overall
    (994)
    Performance
    (926)
    Story
    (932)

    In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel's farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball.

    Sara says: "Treasures Of Jolly Autumn"
    "good narration, old-style writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good and thrilling ghost story, when you get to it.......in the last 1/4 of the story. Those who only know of the headless horseman might be put off by the long (but interesting) introduction to the life and character of the protagonist, Ichabod Crane.

    For those who understand that the popularly known "ghost" (the Headless Horseman) is not actually the main character in the story and are not put off by the older style of writing, this is a good story and it's clear why it's a classic. Tom Mison does a good performance narrating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Richard Armitage
    Overall
    (418)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (393)

    It is a tale of ghosts, of madness, of revenge - of old alliances giving way to new intrigues. Denmark is changing, shaking off its medieval past. War with Norway is on the horizon. And Hamlet - son of the old king, nephew of the new - becomes increasingly entangled in a web of deception - and murder. Beautifully performed by actor Richard Armitage ("Thorin Oakenshield" in the Hobbit films), Hamlet, Prince of Denmark takes Shakespeare’s original into unexpected realms, reinventing a story we thought we knew.

    Robert says: "Fantastic whether you like Shakespeare or not!"
    "the expanded adventures of Hamlet......"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't sure about this when I started listening, but I got more used to the interpretation of the novelization format, the more I got to like it. Unlike a play, this format leaves little interpretation to one's imagination and, in fact, gives the characters ideas and actions that never appeared in the play. That's not necessarily bad, just different, and I think those who are Shakespeare-philes might have a problem with the new interpretation of Polonius or Ophelia.

    The novel also expands on the action and expands many of the mentioned events, like the pirate attack and the activities in Fortinbras' camp. Very enjoyable, and well read. It's not "Hamlet", but it's good all the same.

    Hint: Be sure to listen to the afterwords, which help explain how the authors used primary sources as part of their work in writing the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Likeness

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Heather O'Neill
    Overall
    (3008)
    Performance
    (1900)
    Story
    (1908)

    Tana French's debut, In the Woods, hit the New York Times best-seller list and drew rave reviews from the Times (London) and Booklist. Picking up six months later, this riveting sequel finds Detective Cassie Maddox still scarred by her last case. When her boyfriend calls her to a chilling murder scene, Cassie is forced to face her inner demons. A young woman has been found stabbed to death outside Dublin, and the victim looks just like Cassie.

    Michael says: "Really on a Different Level"
    "Unbelievable set up, likable book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You've got to get past the ridiculous set up of a murdered PhD student looking 98% like a Dublin police detective and the police managing to slip the detective into the life of the deceased.......but once you get past that, what remains is an interesting and intriguing book.

    Honestly, the character of Cassie didn't make a big impression on me in In The Woods, though I liked that audiobook a lot. So when I saw that there was a second Dublin Murder Squad book in Audible, I was surprised to find it about her and not about Rob, Cassie's partner in that book. Surprised, but not troubled, found I really liked this book and the exploration of how a detective feels and changes when surrounded by various circumstances undercover. That's really what this book is about -- more a psychological thriller of a detective undercover than a mystery about who killed the Trinity student and why.

    The narrator did an excellent job, and I found her Irish accent a joy to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dumb Witness: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (54)

    Miss Emily was old, rich, and afraid - and now, she's dead. Her terrified plea to Hercule Poirot came a little too late. All that's left is a house full of greedy heirs, and a very strange letter that could solve the mystery - or add to it.

    Calliope says: "accidental death or murder?"
    "accidental death or murder?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In this case, Poirot takes on the job requested of him in a letter he received months too late - and long after the letter writer is dead.........did she die an accidental death, as has been officially stated, or was it murder? And if it was murder, who was the guilty party? There's a collection of relatives and hired help who all might get a piece of the inheritance, and it's up to Poirot to figure it out. Very nicely done by Christie from a kind of routine set up (as many of her's are). As for the dog......well, the deceased client's dog get a few "words" in the story too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3189)
    Performance
    (2952)
    Story
    (2955)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "3.5 for the story, 5 for the narration........"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this book needed a good editor - things dragged on a little too long and the middle dragged too far from the heart of the story i.e. the ongoing relationships between those who can cut through reality to thoughts (Vic, Mags, Charlie). I did like that heart of the story, but Hill's writing suffers too much from excessive and unnecessary scatological and juvenile language (including all the swearing, which is a significant amount). His father had a tendency to lean a little too far that way, but either he has a better editor or enough self control to rein it in (and enough talent in other places to make it tolerable). This is the first book I listened to that was narrated by Kate Mulgrew, and she did a terrific job with all the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nightwing

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (132)

    A community in the southwestern United States falls prey to a plague of vampire bats with a virus which compels them to feed on everything in their path. Martin Cruz Smith, author of the best-selling novels, Gorky Park and Polar Star, mixes Indian mythology with virology in this masterful thriller.

    S. Burrows says: "Excellent book."
    "Disappointed fan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've enjoyed several other (later) books by Martin Cruz Smith and I was looking forward to one of his earlier novels.....sadly, I finished disappointed. There is much less characterization and much more cliched action in this book. It was fine, and average novel about vampire bats and infectious disease on a Reservation, but nothing to write home about. It was interesting, though, to read the about the political issues between the Hopi and the Navajo from the Hopi point of view which paints the Navajo in a bad light.....different from other books I've read where the protagonists (and the novel's setting) are Navajo.

    The narrator did a really bad job; I had to run this book at 1.25x speed just to make the narration sound "normal" and not be too slow and ponderous. He is bad with differentiating characters with his voice and some of the characters sounded really unbelievable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Friday the Rabbi Slept Late: A Rabbi Small Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Harry Kemelman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (58)

    Young and unassuming Rabbi David Small sorts through puzzling pieces of mysteries with logic straight from the Talmud. In Friday the Rabbi Slept Late, a shocking discovery on the temple grounds threatens to ruin both the diligent rabbi and the entire Jewish community at Barnard’s Crossing. Unaware that his congregation is grumbling about his rumpled appearance and absent-minded manner, Rabbi Small spends long hours poring over scholarly books.

    DARBY KERN says: "I slept late too, because i was up late listening."
    "nice lightweight mystery, old but new to me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a nice, lightweight mystery that is a little dated (written in 1964), but not in any way that detracts from the story or the writing. I had heard about the series of the rabbi sleuth many years ago, and it was nice to actually enjoy it now -- with one of my favourite narrators George Guidall, who did a wonderful job. The protagonist is only rabbi in a small New England town, and the mystery of the murdered woman is tied in with conflicts among the synagogue board members, office politics, and town gossip among the Jewish and non-Jewish residents. That helps it all ring true, with believable characters (for the mid-sixties suburbs).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Man

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (171)

    On a freezing February day, a stranger emerges from out of the gray to request a room at a local provincial inn. Who is this out-of-season traveler? More confounding is the thick mask of bandages obscuring his face. Why does he disguise himself in this manner and keep himself hidden away in his room? Aroused by trepidation and curiosity, the local villagers bring it upon themselves to find the answers.

    Brian says: "Way ahead of its time!"
    "part slapstick action, part sci-fi ideology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's hard to really like a book with such an unsympathetic central (and title) character. While many reviews say that the character was driven insane by his discovery of invisibility, I'm not so sure......I thought it seemed like he was always a selfish, rude megalomaniac and was only given more ability to express that as an invisible man. It's hard to say, of course.

    What surprised me was how much of the story is taken up with what is essentially slapstick action of people chasing, and being chased by, the invisible man. It's kind of ridiculous and unnecessary, in my opinion, and detracts from any suspense or thriller-type of atmosphere that could have been built. The underlying sci-fi of how a physicist discovered the secret of invisibility and the social message of the difficulties of being invisible are kind of lost under the action and reaction of the end effect (an invisible man who can enter or leave anywhere undetected, and so can attack people at whim).

    I've enjoyed so many other HG Wells books, that it was a real disappointment to me to find this book really only average, in my opinion. And the narration was really only fair, with unnatural accents really distracting from the flow of the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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