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Christopher

I am a co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, and author of Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices, and The Bombast Transcripts.

Boulder, CO, United States | Member Since 2010

201
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 168 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
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41

  • Mad River

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1272)
    Performance
    (1103)
    Story
    (1097)

    Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what's-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns. The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers' cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down.

    Bill says: "Good. Not Great. But Virgil is Hard to Skip."
    "Virgil: your guide to the Minnesota underworld"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sanford is one of the few American mystery writers who can actually write. Crais, Lehane, a few others maybe, but too many seem to be putting their names on stuff written by aspiring English majors who went to too many writing workshops. Rant off, sorry.

    But Virgil is always fun, ever ready with a felicitous turn of phrase, like "she had a fondness for little white truck driver pills she bought from little white truck drivers." And later, over a cheeseburger and fries after being on the receiving end of a major asskicking, he feels guilty: "When you get released from a hospital, shouldn't you eat something healthy? Lettuce or something?" ROFL

    Eric Conger's narration is pitch perfect -- one of those magic books (in this case, a whole series) where the audio version is way better than reading it yourself.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Zodiac Station

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Tom Harper
    • Narrated By Piers Wehener
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (85)

    "An extraordinary thriller set at the frozen edge of the world, perfect for fans of Kate Mosse, Michael Crichton and Dan Brown.In the Arctic Ocean, the US Coast Guard icebreaker Terra Nova batters its way through the pack ice. There shouldn't be anyone near them for hundreds of miles. But then a lone skier, half-dead with cold, emerges out of the snow. His name is Tom Anderson, and he is the only survivor of a disaster at Zodiac Station, a scientific research base deep in the Arctic Circle.

    Christopher says: "surprised at how good this was"
    "surprised at how good this was"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    never heard of the author, so this was a crapshoot for me. I kept expecting it to be awful or at best mediocre. but it just kept getting better. what a happy surprise. and the narrator is first rate. if you're looking for an engaging sci-fi/mystery that won't insult your intelligence, try this one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kingdom Come: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By J. G. Ballard
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    A violent novel filled with insidious twists, Kingdom Come follows the exploits of Richard Pearson, a rebellious, unemployed advertising executive, whose father is gunned down by a deranged mental patient in a vast shopping mall outside Heathrow Airport.

    Toad says: "Great Story, Poor Reader"
    "who is making these narrator calls?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So, what was the thinking here, do you suppose? Hmmm, Ballard was English, so let's get a narrator who can do a really REALLY bad British accent? Did the producer think it would what? maybe cute-up this dark novel? it makes the book seem the epitome of what its author was so caustically satirizing. and it utterly wrecks Ballard's final novel, which is a shame.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • High-Rise

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By J. G. Ballard
    • Narrated By Eric Yves Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    When a class war erupts inside a luxurious apartment block, modern elevators become violent battlegrounds and cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on “enemy” floors. In this visionary tale, human society slips into violent reverse as once-peaceful residents, driven by primal urges, re-create a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.

    Christopher says: "Ballard deserves a more competent narrator"
    "Ballard deserves a more competent narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    the narration seriously distracts from the story. when he tries to do British, the reader is merely affected. when he tries to do women, he is laughable. this is unfortunate, to say the least. I was looking forward to a Ballard novel, but I sure the author would be rolling in his grave - or at least in the aisles - if he heard this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Delicate Truth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By John le Carré
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (312)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (271)

    A Delicate Truth opens in 2008. A counter-terrorist operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, a private defense contractor who is also his bosom friend, and a shady American CIA operative of the evangelical far right. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.

    Darwin8u says: "A latter-day Jeremiah of espionage & statecraft."
    "Le Carré just gets better and better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't want this one to end. Le Carré is so refreshing after all the pointless schlock the espionage genre seems to kick out these days - mostly a contest to see how many bad guys can get blowed up in the shortest possible time. in contrast, this is an actual novel, with actual characters who actually develop! the only problem is that you'll find yourself wishing this was more like fiction and less like how the world is actually being run. if the novel doesn't make you uncomfortable, you might want to check if you still have a working conscience.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Live by Night

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (302)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (258)

    Boston, 1926. The ‘20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world. Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

    Christopher says: "bad narrator choice"
    "bad narrator choice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe it's great writing, though I doubt it; some of the lines were so hackneyed they made me laugh. This wasn't helped by Jim Frangione's melodramatic lilt, which made it all sound like a very bad SNL sendup. Maybe I'd have been able to take it seriously with another narrator, but not with this one.

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Backfire: FBI Thriller #16

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Catherine Coulter
    • Narrated By Jim Meskimen, Deanna Hurst
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (666)
    Performance
    (562)
    Story
    (571)

    San Francisco judge Ramsey Hunt, longtime friend to FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich, begins the murder trial of Clive and Cindy Cahill only to have federal prosecutor Mickey O’Rourke, known for his relentless, aggressive style, suddenly turn tentative and distracted. Hunt suspects that something is very wrong — and then O’Rourke goes missing, and Judge Hunt gets shot in the back.

    Amazon Customer says: "Still great at 16."
    "two narrators ruined this for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The decision to have two narrators -- one male, one female -- read this book seems to me a bad production call. The guy says something, then the woman reader interjects (in her simpering delivery) "...he said. Then he sighed..." and the guy continues to read the male part. The material seems trite enough to begin with, but this tradeoff between dueling narrators -- in the course of a single *sentence* for crying out loud -- made this unlistenable for me. I remember enjoying several of Catherine Coulter's earlier novels so I gave this one a try. Maybe if it had been more professionally produced I would have liked this one too. But I'll never know. I deleted it after 30 minutes of "...he said..." alternate-reader interruptions.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Viral

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By James Lilliefors
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    In remote pockets of the Third World, a deadly virus is quietly sweeping through impoverished farming villages with frightening speed and potency. Meanwhile, in Washington, a three-word message left in a safe-deposit box may be the key to stopping the crisis - if, that is, Charles Mallory, a private intelligence contractor and former CIA operative, can decipher the puzzle before time runs out. What Mallory begins to discover are the traces of a secret war with a bold objective - to create a new, technologically advanced society.

    Christopher says: "might have been better with another narrator"
    "might have been better with another narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    maybe it's just me, but I can't stand narrators who embellish what they're reading as if to give themselves a self-important air. it's hard to explain, but this guy does it bigtime. on a more concrete note, there are all kinds of YouTube examples one could listen to -- if one were a supposedly professional narrator -- and an online dictionary even gives a clickable audio pronunciation, so why does Peter Berkrot continually say OlduVAY? Here's a free tip, Pete: if you want to sound self-important and super-knowledgeable, don't telegraph your ignorance like that. Olduvai Gorge isn't just any old place. It's the "The Cradle of Mankind.” You could look it up. Maybe this seems like a nit, but when a narrator clearly -- and literally -- doesn't know what he's talking about, the credibility of the book as a whole takes a serious hit. That may be subjective, but hey, these are AUDIObooks, and the experience of listening *is* subjective.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold Six Thousand

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Ellroy
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (72)

    In The Cold Six Thousand, James Ellroy's most ambitious and explosive novel yet, he puts the whole of the 1960s under his blistering lens. The result is a work of fierce, epic fiction, a speedball through our most tumultuous time.

    Snoodely says: "Plausible history"
    "a rip-snortin' conspiracy bunker-buster"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...and one of the best books on Audible. Brilliantly narrated -- and this is a difficult book to get all brilliant with, trust me -- The Cold Six Thousand will rearrange your sense of second-half 20th century American history. James Ellroy writes like an avenging angel on meth. And in this case, that's a good thing. Can't recommend this one highly enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stay Close

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2015)
    Performance
    (1672)
    Story
    (1679)

    Three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will find that the past never truly fades away. Even as the terrible consequences of long-ago events crash together in the present and threaten to ruin lives, they will come to the startling realization that they may not want to forget the past at all.

    Robin says: "Why did I think I liked Harlan Coben novels?"
    "for Pete's sake, calm down, Scott!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Broome looked at the remains of what had been a furnace two hundred years ago." Only Scott Brick's overwrought elegiac delivery could make that sound like the saddest thing in the world. Of course, it's not. It's just a physical detail of a crime scene. Brick constantly skews the sense of the sentences he reads, spinning them with a histrionic emotional english that distorts whatever it was the author intended them to mean -- and you're left to figure out what that might have been. But while you're figuring, he's off to bemoaning the cracks in the sidewalk or some x-random character's party dress as if it were the biggest tragedy ever to befall humankind. I thought maybe he'd gotten the message from readers to tone it down, but apparently not.

    As to the book, if strip-mall philosophy stops you in your tracks and re-calibrates your sense of self, this is deep stuff indeed. Otherwise, it's all rather pedestrian -- except for the torture and psychosexual depravity, which I guess is to take the embarrassingly bourgeois edge off. Look, I love mysteries and thrillers and my standards aren't all that high, really, but whoever writes the treacly mainstream reviews for stuff like this are either tone-deaf or on the take. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book.

    36 of 60 people found this review helpful

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