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Sequim, WA, United States | Member Since 2009

  • 7 reviews
  • 134 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 37 purchased in 2015

  • Beneath a Weeping Sky: The River City Crime Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Frank Zafiro
    • Narrated By Michael Bowen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    River City is plagued by a serial rapist. His attacks are becoming more brutal and Detective John Tower is sure that he’ll go from rape to murder if he isn’t stopped soon. Meanwhile, the rapes stir up ghosts for both Officer Katie MacLeod and Officer Thomas Chisolm. Both struggle to put those haunted memories to rest even as they are drawn into the center of Tower’s investigation. When a series of missteps and near misses push the rapist even further, everyone involved must face their old fears...or be destroyed by them.

    Lynn says: "Um...wait a sec"
    "Um...wait a sec"
    What did you like best about Beneath a Weeping Sky? What did you like least?

    What I liked was what I found the most distracting. To anyone who has spent any time in Spokane, Washington, it was clear that was the setting for this story. Except for one misdirection, all street names and landmarks were spot on. Kind of fun except that if one is going to go to all that trouble, why not just call the city in the story Spokane and the river bisecting the downtown the Spokane River? Looking Glass River? Really? Dumb.

    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The story was OK, though certainly not exceptional. Other than being troubled by the place name, it was a satisfactory diversion.

    Do you think Beneath a Weeping Sky needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Not especially, unless the author could bring himself to naming the actual city. I would read/listen to another.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Revise Your Expectations"
    Would you listen to Revival again? Why?

    No. First because I rarely re-listen to stories, but also because I was not that taken by the story.

    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    More Stephen King weirdness, and I don't mean creepiness. I am a big King fan, and have found most of his other books brought me along with more intrigue or anticipation. Jacobs, for the most part, seemed like a mostly normal guy with an abnormal obsession, but not enough was made of the potentially nefarious nature of that obsession until the end.

    What about David Morse’s performance did you like?

    Everything. In fact, upon completing the book, the first thing I did was look up what other books read by Morse I might find. I am in hopes he, like Will Patton, finds audio books a good secondary career. I loved his reading, his character voicing, his timing. Great job.

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

    Nope, just sort of floated through it. No strong reaction at all...which is part of the problem, I think.

    Any additional comments?

    If this had been written by Joe Schmo, I think I might have liked it better and would not have had such elevated expectations regarding inherent tension. I cannot say it is badly written at all. King is wonderful to read in all cases. But it was sort of like expecting a ribeye steak for dinner and getting macaroni and cheese. No matter how good the mac and cheese, it isn't steak.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Janice says: "Do you believe in miracles??"
    "Dear Publishers of Audio Books"
    If you could sum up The Boys in the Boat in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, exciting and captivating

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Boys in the Boat?

    There were actually several, but most had to do with how the lads had to push themselves beyond what they (and others) thought possible.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Edward Herrmann is an excellent narrator, so I don't believe the problem is with him. Before a book is recorded, a staffer should be assigned to pick out ALL proper nouns, especially place names, and call a local Chamber of Commerce or somewhere to ascertain how these nouns are pronounced locally/correctly. This is not the first book where this has been a very big distraction for me, just the latest. Yes, the Pacific Northwest has some complicated and strangely named towns, but, in fact, so do places everywhere. As I listened, it was disruptive to mentally correct the pronunciations and eventually became frustrating at something so easily remedied. Again, Mr. Herrmann is a wonderful narrator. His voice mellifluous, his infusion of life into the characters sine qua non. Publishers, please...take the moments required to get the pronunciations right.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Pray for the Dying

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Quintin Jardine
    • Narrated By James Bryce

    The killing was an expert hit. Three shots through the head, as the lights dimmed at a celebrity concert in Glasgow. A most public crime, and Edinburgh Chief Constable Bob Skinner is right in the centre of the storm. The crisis finds Skinner, his private life shattered by the shocking end of his marriage, taking a step that he had sworn he never would. Tasked by Scotland's First Minister with the investigation, he finds himself quickly uncovering some very murky deeds...

    helen says: "A great Scottish Police Procedural!"
    "Story is pretty good; writing less so."
    Where does Pray for the Dying rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Lower half, but surely not the worst. The story line was both complex and, in places, predictable. My greatest issue is with the overuse (many times over) of the "F-word". I am no prude and I read almost exclusively murder mysteries. In addition, it is no source of pride for me to admit to a colorful, even blue, vocabulary. That said, repeating the word in question over and over does not make for spicy, interesting or even authentic writing. Instead, it becomes a distraction and significantly weakens the impact that "properly" using that and similar words is meant to have. I think my enjoyment of this book would have been far greater if the F-bombs had been cut by half...or more.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Quintin Jardine? Why or why not?

    Yes, I would, but I hope for something written with more flair and innovation and less gratuitous f***ing language!

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

    I have listened to quite a few (OK, loads) of mysteries, most narrated as well or better. He read very well. I listen because actually "reading" is no longer feasible for me. Old eyes get tired too quickly for the reader with as voracious an appetite for novels as mine. So, the alternative would be not having "read" the book at all.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Good grief, no. I come from a family of Scots and am accustomed to the accent, but even I had to actually work at listening in places. I don't fault the reader; I believe he was quite authentic. It was just that my Americanized ear is unaccustomed to the more heavily accented bits. I needed to take this story in smaller increments of an hour or so at a time.

    Any additional comments?

    I will try another book by this author with hopes for a positive outcome. I found his characters believable and well rounded. The plot was good, though not to say intriguing or exactly compelling. But it captured my interest and a desire to finish the book - not always the case, to be sure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Friend, enemy, family, stranger... YES. Best mystery I've read in quite a while.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Robin, because of her unflagging loyalty and spunk.

    What about Robert Glenister’s performance did you like?

    He did all the various voices very well without being over the top. Yes, the accents changed appropriately, but the female characters weren't cloying or simpering, as I've heard some other readers do, even when the character is, in fact, strong. He didn't "read" it, by which I mean the cadence was just as though it were real life, not being read word-by-word. I recently listened to quite a good book, but the performance really threw the whole experience off for me.

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

    No laughing or crying, but held in thrall, for sure, at many points.

    Any additional comments?

    Note to Robert Galbraith, aka J K Rowling, more please. I'm waiting anxiously, though none to patiently, for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gold Coast

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Welcome to the fabled Gold Coast, that stretch on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America. Here two men are destined for an explosive collision: John Sutter, Wall Street lawyer, holding fast to a fading aristocratic legacy; and Frank Bellarosa, the Mafia don who seizes his piece of the staid and unprepared Gold Coast like a latter-day barbarian chief and draws Sutter and his regally beautiful wife, Susan, into his violent world.

    Jack C says: "Unexpectedly Great!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm a big DeMille fan...usually. However, the protagonist is a xenophobic, bigoted, effete, misogynistic, upper class snob who seems to have no positive feelings for anybody, save for a way too vividly and too frequently described lusting for his simpering, libidinous, manipulative but air-headed wife. I listened to the book in it's entirety because the author touted it as the best he'd written. I not only could not empathize with any of the characters, I didn't even like any of them. The plot was hyper-extended to fill far too many chapters and could have been condensed to great advantage. If I had not already "read" so many of DeMille's other (and much, much better) offerings, I would never have read another by him. As it happened, I bought the sequel (very much by accident) and was too much of a thrifty Scot to just not listen to it. That book, The Gate House, is the reason The Gold Coast received two stars. It was hard to fathom that a book by such an otherwise wonderful storyteller could be worse, but The Gate House managed. So, by comparison to the one star rating for the sequel, I was forced to give the ever so slightly better The Gold Coast two stars.In defense of DeMille, I do like that his books are grammatically correct and he uses a vocabulary that assumes the readers/listeners have a good working vocabulary, themselves. More's the pity, this isn't always the case, so good marks for that.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Nelson DeMille again?

    Yes, and hope for much better. I have listened to many of his most excellent books already and will listen to more.

    How could the performance have been better?

    I don't know. His voices were good, and I guess he captured the characters' accents effectively, though the "preppy" accent and the nasal snobbery accent drove me to distraction. Not the reader's fault, as I believe he did it well. As mentioned above, the book was too long and listening to that voice of presumed superiority was grating, particularly since I didn't like the story anyway.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Gold Coast?

    A whole lot... I think I'd have had it down to one download instead of three.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Total Control

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Sidney Archer has the world. A husband she loves. A job at which she excels, and a cherished young daughter. Then, as a plane plummets into the Virginia countryside, everything changes. And suddenly there is no one whom Sidney Archer can trust.

    G. House Sr. says: "Story doesn't disappoint -- well spent 10 hours"
    "Baldacci? Really?"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    With so many really good books available, even ones by Baldacci, I can't think of anyone to whom I'd recommend this book.

    Has Total Control turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. It is because I'm a junkie of this genre I selected it in the first place. I have enjoyed other offerings by this author, and I truly expected much better than I got.

    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jonathan Marosz?

    I'm not sure even Scott Brick could have saved this poorly written, poorly edited piece of... well, stuff will have to suffice.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Total Control?

    I am an editor and there is so much from beginning to end, it would be hard for me to single out one or two scenes. Had I had this manuscript, there would have been cuts, slashes, and reworks throughout.

    Any additional comments?

    I was disappointed, too, that Audible didn't warn me that this was an older novel, or at the very least that it was set in a different decade/century. It was bad enough having a poor interpretation by the narrator of a poorly written/edited novel, but the inclusion of outdated technology was distracting until I got the timeline straight in my mind.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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