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Constant Reader

Charlottesville VA USA


  • Cemetery Dance

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Captain Hayward leads the official homocide investigation, while Pendergast, D'Agosta, and Nora undertake a private quest for the truth. Their serpentine journey takes them into a part of Manhattan they never imagined could exist: a secretive and deadly hotbed of Obeah, the West Indian Zombii cult of sorcery and magic. And it is here they find their true peril is just beginning.

    J. says: "Not for the faint of heart OR animal lovers"
    "Good, Almost Excellent"

    Preston and Child deliver one of their good stories here. In the world of Preston/Child, what makes an outstanding listen? Most important is having lots of Pendergast in the plot. Some don't, if you can believe that. Other characters need to be strong too. That's not so great here.

    But the big negative here is the narrator's vocalization of the other worldly voices. Endless oogahs and eeows rendered at max volume. Not his fault, of course, if that's what the author wrote. Still, hard to listen to.
    For diehard Preston and Child fans, like me, a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Top Notch Thriller"

    It seemed like a long wait for this book to come out. When it finally did, I started listening within a couple of hours of its arrival. As a fan of the long listen, I was pleased to see that I would have over 17 hours of listening ahead. Now that it's finished, I'll go back to the beginning and listen again. Cormoran Strike and his trusty sidekick Robin, and all their family members, friends, and enemies, are fully drawn as characters, and the dialog is priceless. Robert Glenister's narration, differentiating each character--especially the aging literary agent--is about the best narration I've ever heard, and that's counting some 125 books. And the plot! JK Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith, proves that she deserves her reputation as an unparalleled creator of ingenious plots. I kept thinking that the end of The Silkworm had to be a disappointment, but not at all. Rowling/Galbraith winds up and delivers a socko ending and resolution to the gruesome mystery. Kudos to all concerned.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ben Fountain
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal" - three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew - has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide Victory Tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys....

    Mel says: "Oh-ooo Say, Can We See?"
    "Never Thought I'd Love It"

    When the rave reviews started for this book, I was dubious. Not my thing. A story about a 19-year-old Iraqi war vet? And from Texas? And a lot happening at a football game? Please give me another English upper-class mystery.
    But I want to learn, expand my horizons, understand other people....and my book club agreed to read it. Was I in for a surprise.
    Ben Fountain is a magician cleverly disguised as a writer. The reviews said the sentences were elegant, and they were, but they were more than that: they were transformative. The voice of a young decorated war veteran, describing what he had seen and experienced, and what witnessing the death of his closest friend in battle had done to him. Billy's visit to his own family in Texas, how they see him, their relationships, true, real. Billy's head-over-heels meeting with a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, their sky-rocketing reaction to each other. All the events led up to a conclusion that was not what I expected, but still feels authentic and right.
    I've been thinking about Billy Lynn for weeks now. He and Ben Fountain did what great writing is supposed to do. They brought greater understanding and deep sympathy for the book's characters, and a new way of looking at the world. I can honestly say that his is one of the best books I've ever read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch.

    Caitlin says: "Great audiobook!"
    "Good Holiday Listening for the Family"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    C.S. Lewis was a wonderful writer, though his goal of introducing Christian principles to young listeners can be off-putting. It's still a good story, and fun for everyone to listen to on a winter evening.

    What other book might you compare The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to and why?

    Might compare this to other good fantasy writing for children, even something like Peter Pan. Very British, from an earlier era of young people's fiction, but a memorably good story with strong characters. Girls may feel that they have been relegated to the roles of a bygone time, but they will still enjoy the plot.

    What about Michael York’s performance did you like?

    His Britsh voice and elegant diction, plus the vocal changes he brings to each character, make the story come alive.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not exactly an extreme reaction, just fun and the feeling of having enjoyed a good and entertaining story.

    Any additional comments?

    C.S. Lewis was a favorite of mine when I was a child, and my children read them and enjoyed them too. They didn't get to hear the story as their children will, and I hope that will add even more to another generation's fondness for old C.S. Lewis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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