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John

Parker, CO, United States | Member Since 2006

47
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 30 reviews
  • 673 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
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  • The Man Who Was Thursday

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By G. K. Chesterton
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    The story begins when two poets meet. Gabriel Syme is a poet of law. Lucian Gregory is a poetic anarchist. As the poets protest their respective philosophies, they strike a challenge. In the ruckus that ensues, the Central European Council of Anarchists elects Syme to the post of Thursday, one of their seven chief council positions. Undercover. On the run, Syme meets with Sunday, the head of the council, a man so outrageously mysterious that his antics confound both the law-abiding and the anarchist.

    Erez says: "Indescribably good"
    "just silly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I suppose there is some deep Christian allegory hidden in here somewhere, but it isn't worth plodding through the inane plot to find it.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Bryant and May Off the Rails

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Christopher Fowler
    • Narrated By Tim Goodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (72)

    Internationally best-selling author Christopher Fowler dazzles audiences with his mastery of impossible-crime mysteries - and with the exploits of his beloved, odd-couple detectives Arthur Bryant and John May. Here, the eccentric investigators delve into London’s lore-infused subway to catch a killer.

    John says: "Not my cup of tea"
    "Not my cup of tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like mysteries where almost all the essential information relevant to the crime is withheld until the very end, at which time the wily old detective gets everyone in a room and all the guilty ones readily confess and fill in all the details (a la Columbo, Poirot or Perry Mason), you'll probably like this. If not, not. There is a decent amount of clever British-style quips and banter and the narrator is ok but not exceptional.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Nathan McCall
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Barlowe, a single African-American in his 40s, shares a ramshackle house with his 20-something nephew in the old Fourth Ward of downtown Atlanta. When Sean and Sandy, a white married couple from Philadelphia, buy and renovate the house next door in anticipation of a neighborhood "turnaround", everyone tries at first to go about their daily business. But fear and suspicion begin to build as more and more new whites move in and make changes, and once familiar people and places disappear.

    Sharon says: "A look at Race Issues"
    "Well done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this was very well written and thought provoking. Assuming it is an accurate portrayal of Black culture (which I do), it demonstrates that the author is not afraid to show that Whites do not have a corner on racism, but also that he does not seem to understand Whites or White culture any better than Whites understand Blacks. Since all the White characters are either air-headed, condescending, 'bleeding heart' (one of his Black character's phrases) yuppies or unapologetic red-neck racists, I can only conclude, surprisingly, that even with his intelligence and experience as a respected journalist, he apparently has not encountered any who share the same values I'm sure he has--hard work, honesty, self-reliance, self-respect, personal responsibility--and who endeavor to judge others on those same grounds, not on skin color. If he has, I'm not sure why none were portrayed in his otherwise excellent novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Stina Nielsen, Davina Porter, Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1369)
    Performance
    (606)
    Story
    (611)

    The child of a scheming father and ruthless mother, Lady Jane Grey is born during a time when ambition dictates action. Cousin to Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, she is merely a pawn in a political and religious game in which one false step means a certain demise. But Lady Jane has remarkable qualities that help her to withstand the constant pressures of the royal machinery far better than most expect.

    Jt says: "Superior listen!"
    "Strange"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book was ok in terms of plot, character development, etc., but I found it very odd that the author chose to present it as a number of first person narrations. What are we supposed to think these are? They are not letters or diary entries. If we are supposed to think the all-seeing author is putting us inside the heads of these people as they muse, it strains credulity to think that anyone muses so articulately, whether a child, a nurse maid, an executioner or a queen. I don't recall ever reading a book like this and I think it greatly distracts from the overall work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dixie City Jam: A Dave Roubicheaux Novel, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (70)

    They're out there, under the salt - the bodies of German seamen who used to lie in wait at the mouth of the Mississippi for unescorted American tankers sailing from the oil refineries of Baton Rouge out into the Gulf of Mexico. As a child, Dave Robicheaux had been haunted by the sailors' images. Years later, Robicheaux, a detective with the New Iberia sheriff's office, finds himself and his family at serious risk, stalked for his knowledge of a watery burial ground by a mysterious man named Will Buchalter - a man who believes that the Holocaust was one big hoax.

    Dennis says: "Jury out on this one"
    "Too many holes, too much politics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This may be my last Burke novel. The plot is preposterous in many places. (Warning: plot spoilers dead ahead.) Why would a German submarine have a 42 pound, jewel encrusted swastika and Hitler's 'plan for America' on board? Why would even a Neo-Nazi psychopath want the sub so badly? Would any real person risk his life to save a man (he thought) who had brutally tortured him or a woman (as it turns out) who terrorized his family? How can Clete continue to get away with his shenanigans (as much as I like them)? How many times can one novel contain some variation of 'Are we CLEAR on that now, podnah?" To top it all off, are Rush Limbaugh listeners (Burke makes a very thinly veiled allusion to them) really responsible for the Neo-Nazi movement and do they really not care about black people being slaughtered, as Burke clearly implies? I've contributed enough to the support of self-righteous liberals like Streisand, Baldwin, Penn and Damon. I didn't realize until this book that Burke has the same mind-set. I wish someone had warned me.

    I gave it two stars instead of the one (or less) it probably deserves because there are some funny lines and, despite a great deal of over-elaborate description and psychological musing, it is pretty well written. Unlike many Burke reviewers, I think Hammer's narrations are excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No One Sees God: The Dark Night of Atheists and Believers

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Michael Novak
    • Narrated By Michael Novak
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (2)

    This book appraches the reality of spiritual engagement in today's challenging world. Novak engages the thought of prominent contemporary atheists Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett. He describes the struggle to know ourselves and to participate in the life of this world as it plays out for believers and non-believers.

    John says: "I wish the whole book was about no one seeing God"
    "Very dissapointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So I'm about 1/4 of the way through this and I'm not sure how much longer I can take it. I was hoping for an honest account of how a Christian sincerely combats atheist objections. (Maybe this is it. Maybe this is the best they can do.) He starts by saying again and again that even believers like him have doubts. (So?) He seems to go on (it's never very clear) by adopting Tertullian's claim that he 'believes because it is absurd.' An argument which is self-confirmingly absurd. He then claims to respond to Hitchens' challenge of 'tell me some moral shortcoming I have because I'm an atheist' by saying Hitchens wouldn't comply with the first three commandments (have no other gods before me, no craven images, honor the Sabbath), simply assuming without justification that anyone who does so is immoral. He asserts, with no real facts or argument, that atheism is self-contradictory. He cites many appeals to what the founding fathers believed (so?), but so far, he has not even attempted to answer why anyone should believe whatever he believes without any evidence whatsoever. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I don't know how much further I can go in what seems more and more like a basic (unresponsive and irrelevant) claim that believing what he does makes him feel better about other people, himself and his place in the world. I may amend this review later if he ever comes to grips with the real issues atheists propound, but I'm having doubts about that ever happening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Frames

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Loren D. Estleman
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Enter Valentino, a mild-mannered UCLA film archivist, who buys a decrepit movie palace and uncovers a skeleton in the secret Prohibition basement. He then makes a second discovery: long-lost, priceless, reels of film: Erich von Stroheim's infamous Greed. The LAPD wants to take the reels as evidence, jeopardizing the precious old film.

    John says: "Disappointing"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a big Estleman fan, but this one is not worth your time. It's a Scooby Doo/Hardy Boys plot, unworthy of him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To the Last Man: A Novel of the First World War

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jeff Shaara
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (213)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (98)

    Spring 1916: the horror of a stalemate on Europe's western front. France and Great Britain are on one side of the barbed wire, a fierce German army is on the other. Shaara opens the window onto the otherworldly tableau of trench warfare as seen through the eyes of a typical British soldier who experiences the bizarre and the horrible - a "Tommy" whose innocent youth is cast into the hell of a terrifying war. In the skies, meanwhile, technology has provided a devastating new tool, the "aeroplane", and with it a different kind of hero emerges: the flying ace.

    Suzanne says: "To the Last Man"
    "A book too far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read 6 of Shaara's books (the 4 WWII ones and the last two on the Civil War) and liked them all, but I just couldn't get into this one. The characters seemed flat and the plot uninteresting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1816)
    Performance
    (899)
    Story
    (914)

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "Sophomoric"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I guess that's why I, like everyone I knew at the time, LOVED this book when I was a college sophomore in the late '60s. Yosarian was us. We were the only ones who saw through all the phoniness of the culture our parents had created. We were the only ones who realized that war is a bad thing. Everyone in any position of authority was a mindless buffoon, perfectly caricatured by Heller and his buddy, Kurt Vonnegut. We can now look around and see what my generation of know-it-alls baby-boomers has done to the world. Unfortunately, from the many rave reviews, there seem to still be a lot of that mind-set around.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shakespeare's Landlord: Lily Bard Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    Overall
    (472)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (264)

    From the Anthony Award-winning author of the immensely popular Sookie Stackhouse mysteries comes the first book starring Lily Bard, a reclusive cleaning lady with a penchant for karate. When Lily finds and reports a dead body, her shady past and connections to potential perpetrators make her a leading suspect.

    Bonnie says: "If your looking for Sookie leave this series alone"
    "Another Big Mistake"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've got to stop buying books just because they are on sale and must start paying attention to the gender of the rave reviewers. Some of my favorite authors are women--Wharton, Eliot, Austen--and more recently Ruth Downie and Margaret George, but I'm always a bit leery of contemporary women writers--especially mystery writers--because all too often I find them, like this one, filling space with too much adolescent romance with 'dreamy' guys with tight buns. This one adds another 'bonus'--a bad-ass, karate chopping hell cat who is more than a match for any guy around. I'd had enough about half way through. I think I was probably generous in giving it 2 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Back to Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (470)
    Performance
    (381)
    Story
    (386)

    As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay - with officer Nestor Camacho on board - Tom Wolfe is off and running. Here is a big, panoramic story of the new America, as told by our master chronicler of the way we live now. Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe's previous best-selling novels, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.

    Cynthia says: "Masterful Story-tel!ing & Great Narration!"
    "Wolfe at his best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The full panoply of human folly is on display as only Wolfe can do--greed, envy, lust, petty self-interest, tribalism, hubris. Phillips' narration is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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