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Calliope

ratings
156
REVIEWS
154
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
203

  • Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Janet Reitman
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1190)
    Performance
    (991)
    Story
    (1002)

    Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals.

    Matt says: "My cup of tea."
    "interesting, a bit drawn out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Inside Scientology rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Non-fiction audiobooks can be challenging because the material can be a bit dry, but it was still an interesting listen.


    Would you recommend Inside Scientology to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this book for those interested in the subject matter (and who isn't?). It isn't the "unbiased" book it states it intended to be, but still worthwhile


    What does Stephen Hoye bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I do think this would have been as interesting a read as it was a listen.....listening to the audiobook was a convenience, but not an improvement on the material, I think.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting subject matter and competently read, for those interested in the subject.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Trust Your Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Linwood Barclay
    • Narrated By Ken Marks, Rick Holmes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (329)

    Thomas Kilbride is a map-obsessed schizophrenic so affected that he rarely leaves the self-imposed bastion of his bedroom. But with a computer program called Whirl360.com, he travels the world while never so much as stepping out the door. He pores over and memorizes the streets of the world. He examines every address, as well as the people who are frozen in time on his computer screen. Then he sees something that anyone else might have stumbled upon - but has not - in a street view of downtown New York City: an image in a window. An image that looks like a woman being murdered.

    karen says: "One of 2013's best!"
    "why is this so highly rated?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'll start with the narration, which was my biggest problem with this audiobook. There are two narrators - one is fine, but not especially good, but the other is horrible. Bland intonation and slightly elongated pauses - Stuart McLean uses a similar pacing for comedy, but they just don't work for narrating a murder thriller. I thought the book was kind of painful to listen to, but my sister urged me to go on because of the quality of the story.

    The main story line is a good one, involving brothers after the death of their father. One is a political cartoonist, the other is a schizophrenic with obvious autistic spectrum signs who spend his days and night obsessively memorizing street maps from around the world from the computer website. When he sees what he thinks is a murder taking place, it reveals a past and starts a string of future events. That's great......but what isn't great is the myriad of back-stories and subplots that do nothing to help the characterization or clarity and simply add bulk and uninteresting information. A really strong editor would have been an asset.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rolling Thunder: A John Ceepak Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Chris Grabenstein
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (601)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (330)

    A prominent citizen suffers a heart attack on opening day of a brand new boardwalk roller coaster in the seedy seaside resort town Sea Haven, New Jersey. Initially ruled a tragic accident, it isnt long before there are suspicious hints of foul play, especially after another dead body is discovered: a stunning young beach beauty. Fortunately for mystery lovers, the straight-arrow cop John Ceepak and his wise-cracking young partner Danny Boyle are on the case.

    Janet says: "Great story and narration as usual!"
    "Another fun installment in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoy this series - it's a lot of fun. It can be tough for an author to write humorous murder mysteries (many have tried, few succeed), and Grabenstein seems to have hit the mark well. Add the excellent narration by Jeff Woodman, and it's a winner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Scott Carney
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    Investigative journalist Scott Carney has spent five years on the ground tracing the lucrative and deeply secretive trade in human bodies and body parts - a vast hidden economy known as the "red market".By turns tragic, voyeuristic, and thought-provoking, The Red Market is an eye-opening, surreal look at a little-known global industry and its implications for all our lives.

    J. Potocki says: "Intriguing Listen!"
    "Interesting and depressing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd had this book on my wish list for a long time, and I'm glad I finally chose to listen to it because it is a fascinating look at the myriad of ways that parts of people are bought, sold, and traded across the world. Some are voluntary, some are financially motivated, some are criminally stolen. Buying blood, hair donations, organ sales, hired surrogates, kidnapped children adopted out internationally........the stories are both interesting and depressing. Because of the internet and the ease of world travel, local laws are not much of a restriction when laws of other countries allow one to obtain internationally what is not available locally. And sometimes even what one obtains locally could have been sourced internationally - with ethical problems attached - without one knowing. It's a complicated and ethically fraught web of problems.

    I did find the author a little overly preachy about some issues, but it didn't detract much from the overall effect of the book. I can't quite say I enjoyed it, but it was very interesting and a worthwhile "read".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devotion of Suspect X

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (565)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (278)

    Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor.

    Howard says: "Devoted tale of kindness and unknown friendship."
    "Not a thriller or a whodunnit......."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This isn't a whodunnit, because the murder is clear in the first part of the book - we know where, when, why, and (yes) who did it. The only question that remains is if, when, and how will the aftermath play out.

    The novel is ultimately focused on whether it it more difficult to create an unsolvable problem, or to solve that problem. And if you can understand and ponder the philosophy in that, then you can get to the heart of this story, where the main characters are a mathematician, and physics professor, and a police detective - all alumni of the same university in the same year, and all brought together by the murder of a greedy and abusive man by his frightened ex-wife.

    It's also about friendship, unrequited love, devotion (to people and philosophies), and morality. Sadly, though it has thoughtfulness and intelligence, I thought it lacked in character development and emotion. That was not helped by the narrator, who didn't provide sufficiently different voices for the characters, in my opinion, further adding to the lack of characterization and emotion in their voices. It all sounded a bit wooden to me, though that might also have been the fault of the translator - without being able to read (or listen to it) in Japanese, I can't decide which is at fault there.

    I chose this because I wanted to try a Japanese murder mystery and it was well reviewed and awarded, but it didn't wow me and I'm not sure I'll try another.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up: The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas

    • ORIGINAL (37 mins)
    • By Rod Serling
    • Narrated By Stacy Keach, Richard Kind
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Following a frantic phone call about a crashed spaceship, two policeman try to determine who among the passengers of a bus at a snowed-in roadside diner is from another world.

    Calliope says: "good story and performance, doesn't feel too dated"
    "good story and performance, doesn't feel too dated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Even though this was a 1961 episode of The Twilight Zone written by Rod Serling, it doesn't feel really dated (other than the pre X Files concept of aliens). Very enjoyable story and presentation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Passage on the Lady Anne: The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas

    • ORIGINAL (55 mins)
    • By Charles Beaumont
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Ayres, Stacy Keach
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    A young couple on the verge of divorce decides to cruise on a ghostly steamship to England in the hopes of saving their marriage.

    Calliope says: "old fashioned, but enjoyable"
    "old fashioned, but enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is the audio version of a 1963 Twilight Zone episode; it's very dated in characterizations and setting, but it's a kind of creepy story nonetheless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steel: The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas

    • ORIGINAL (46 mins)
    • By Richard Matheson
    • Narrated By Lou Gossett Jr.
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    In the near future, boxing has been outlawed and is performed by mechanical robots. The manager of a robot desperately in need of repair does the unthinkable to win a bout.

    Calliope says: "a nice little radio play"
    "a nice little radio play"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good performances, good sound effects, a nice little radio drama about man's determination and love of competition.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sittaford Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (78)

    In a remote house in the middle of Dartmoor, six shadowy figures huddle around a table for a seance. Tension rises as the spirits spell out a chilling message: "Captain Trevelyan...dead...murder." Is this black magic or simply a macabre joke? The only way to be certain is to locate Captain Trevelyan. Unfortunately, his home is six miles away and, with snowdrifts blocking the roads, someone will have to make the journey on foot....

    Peter says: "Audio probably made this much better"
    "great characters, great mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I find some of Agatha Christie's novels are more about the mystery and the sleuth (often her regulars, Miss Marple or Poirot), but this one is as much about the characters and the setting, as it is about the mystery. It's a funny look at the characters of the snowed in country village, who love to gossip and know everything about everyone -- except for the mother and daughter pair who've rented the manor estate, a very odd happening for the middle of a Dartmoor winter. And when a resident turns up murdered at the same time as forecast by the spirits during a "table turning" seance, everyone starts wondering what could have happened. In comes a police inspector, a newspaper reporter, and the fiancee of the nephew (and heir) of the murdered man, all trying to find out whodunnit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2681)
    Performance
    (2308)
    Story
    (2296)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    barbara says: "Stunned"
    "Not the story I was hoping for"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I do like the Tana French novels I've listened to, and I particularly like her character development -- each one of the Dublin Murder Squad books (so far) seems to take a murder detective and use a case to delved deep into the character and the effect of the case on that character. This one is no exception, however I found that the main character here is more deeply flawed than most and balancing carefully on the edge of breaking apart. I was hoping that would become more of the focus and progression of the story, but that never seemed to happen. It left me feeling dissatisfied with the ending, even though i enjoyed the trip along the way. As in the others, the plot plays second fiddle to the characters, but that can still make for a good book. Too many authors put all their effort into a fabulous plot, but have cardboard characters with stilted dialogue, but I prefer a balance tilted more towards characterization.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moriarty: Sherlock Holmes, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Anthony Horowitz
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt, Derek Jacobi
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (135)

    Internationally best-selling author Anthony Horowitz's nail-biting new novel plunges us back into the dark and complex world of detective Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty - dubbed the "Napoleon of crime" by Holmes - in the aftermath of their fateful struggle at the Reichenbach Falls. Days after the encounter at the Swiss waterfall, Pinkerton detective agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York.

    Tony says: "Re-Imaginings in the Holmes Universe"
    "Shouldn't have worked, but it did"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are so many pieces of this audiobook that don't seem to work, but by the end of it all they did all work together -- the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Many of the accents seemed a little wrong, but I understood and that was OK. Some of the plot seemed wrong, but in minor ways that didn't detract from the flow. Somehow, it all worked together to create an enjoyable audiobook when all was said and done.

    Although - as many have said - Sherlock doesn't appear in this book (taking place immediately after the Reichenbach Falls event), I don't agree that he doesn't isn't a part of this book.....His personality and notoriety are a strong factor in this book, playing a part in the actions of all the major characters. Still, I enjoyed it for what it is, not for being a part of the "Sherlock Holmes" world. The writing was good, the plot made sense without being too obvious, and the characters were interesting. I picked this title based on my enjoyment of House of Silk and not because I am a Holmes-ophile, and I was not disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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