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Sunflowers614

I like books about business, self-improvement & memoirs with the occasional fiction book thrown in, especially horror & mystery.

Manlius, NY | Member Since 2006

ratings
18
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
31

  • Needful Things: The Last Castle Rock Story

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    Overall
    (987)
    Performance
    (732)
    Story
    (736)

    A new store has opened in the town of Castle Rock, Maine. It has whatever your heart desires...if you're willing to pay the price. In this chilling novel by one of the most potent imaginations of our time, evil is on a shopping spree and out to scare you witless. Presented unabridged and read by the author.

    Jaimie says: "A good book and narration"
    "Unbelievably ridiculous!"
    Overall

    I cannot believe that I was fooled into buying yet another Stephen King book despite being disappointed so many times before. The primary thing that gets me is the fact that I love how he crafts the characters and opens each story and the only reason I do NOT like them is he NEVER ends a story in a way that is even remotely believable or interesting ("horror" does not have to mean "fantasy" though it seems to for Stephen King). So while I finish every one of his books with "literary blue balls" after the first 25 hours of teasing finally leads to an anticlimactic end, I then spend the next month thinking about the potential the tale had and wondering if the next one may end better. Unfortunately, I haven't found that "one" yet! Not Bag of Bones, It, Duma Key, etc, etc, etc. Instead I had better make a simple mental note to my future self: Avoid all stories where the hero prevails because of his ability to either make shadow puppets (Needful Things) OR paint pictures that come to life (Duma Key) and most certainly run the other way if a story has a house that holds the evil spirits of dead people (Bag of Bones) because if those premises aren't stupid enough, the ending absolutely will be. Reviewers who gave this, or in my opinion any other Stephen King book, 4 or even 5 stars either needs to raise their standards significantly or seek help! If you ABSOLUTELY need to read a Stephen King book, get The Shining; while it also has some pretty ridiculous parts and premises, it is at least somewhat worthwhile based upon its premise (psychological thriller vs. fantasy).

    5 of 45 people found this review helpful
  • Across America by Bicycle: Alice and Bobbi's Summer on Wheels

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Alice Honeywell, Bobbi Montgomery
    • Narrated By Rosemary Benson
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    Biking from Oregon to Maine is no small feat, especially for two newly retired women who carry everything they need for three months, powered only by the strength of their legs and a desire for adventure. Alice Honeywell and Bobbi Montgomery invite listeners to follow their ride by bicycle across the United States, as they face scorching sun, driving rain, buffeting winds, equipment failures, killer hills, wild fires, and even a plague of grasshoppers.

    Sunflowers614 says: "Does EVERYBODY have to write a book???"
    "Does EVERYBODY have to write a book???"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Did Rosemary Benson do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    She did a fine job of narrating.


    Any additional comments?

    Just because someone does something they are proud of or that others may wish they could do DOES NOT mean they should write a book about it! This book was SO BORING and literally there was not ONE MINUTE where I cared about what was happening. The book is split into sections describing each day and, as an example, by Day 5 (a full hour into the book) the only things that happened were 1) one of the ladies dropped her camera and they had to double back 5 miles and retrieve it and 2) the gear frame on one of the bikes came loose and made the ride a bit shaking for the rider until they made it into town and had it repaired. Unbelievably wasted time! The only reason I finished it was to see if ANYTHING happened to redeem the story...nothing did. I admire them for making the trip and achieving their goals but, again, a book was not required.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Few Seconds of Panic: A 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Stefan Fatsis
    • Narrated By Stefan Fatsis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    Stefan Fatsis infiltrates a strikingly different subculture: pro football. After more than a year spent working out with a strength coach and polishing his craft with a gurulike kicking coach, Fatsis molded his fortyish body into one that could stand up - barely - to the rigors of NFL training. And over three months in 2006, he became a Denver Bronco.

    Robert says: "Living a dream."
    "I hate this guy."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different book written by a different guy, read by a different guy.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Stefan Fatsis again?

    No.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Get a professional narrator.


    What character would you cut from A Few Seconds of Panic?

    Stefan Fatsis.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought about asking for a refund about 6 times during this book only to continue on and give it just a little longer to see if it would get better. It didn't. It should have been named: "A few hours of bragging: A 43 year old guy gets a book deal by fooling the book company into thinking he was going to write about the REAL players only to use the experience to make himself feel like he could have been an NFL great if only he didn't wait until he was 43 years old to try."

    At one point, after receiving tons of special treatment & assistance, he made a few field goals from the 35 yard line (without anyone trying to block him) and then went on to say how the rest of the team didn't do as well as he did that day! I couldn't believe my ears. What an arrogant (for no reason) little-man-syndrome-having jerk-off. Whenever something went his way he would brag about his innate athletic ability and whenever he'd be faced with reality (ie. not being able to perform as well as the others, being injured or sore) he would chalk it up to his age, his height, his weight, etc. So pathetic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Profiler: My Life Hunting Serial Killers and Psychopaths

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Pat Brown, Bob A. Andelman
    • Narrated By Pat Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (38)

    In 1990, a young woman was strangled on a jogging path near the home of Pat Brown and her family. Brown suspected the young man who was renting a room in her house, and quickly uncovered strong evidence that pointed to him - but the police dismissed her as merely a housewife with an overactive imagination. It would be six years before her former boarder would be brought in for questioning, but the night Brown took action to solve the murder was the beginning of her life's work.

    Clydene says: "The Hero's Journey or Heroine's Journey"
    "Amazing...ly BAD!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Where to start?! Oh I know...I LOATHE THIS WOMAN! More of a know-it-all, conceded, snobby bitch I have never seen, despite having very little reason for being so. The sad part is that she took an interesting topic, a great story from her personal life & an opportunity to simply sit and simply tell tales of what she has seen during her "career" as a profiler and turned it into a platform to spew criticisms of every person, place or thing she has ever come in contact with. ALL schools are bad so she home schooled her kids and now they are the most amazing human beings on planet earth. Police have to pursue justice in a formal manner so she sees all cops as useless a-holes and, therefore, decides to save the world for us by amazingly teaching herself criminal profiling and striking out on her own like a superhero. A karate instructor puts on a class to help women defend themselves so, being a self-proclaimed karate master, she actually goes to the class just to belittle him in front of everyone by stating the OBVIOUS fact (to her anyway) that you CANNOT defend yourself against a sneak attack (then she proceeds to actually take over the class and shows everyone how to successfully defend against a sneak attack). She even criticizes other private investigators for treating their careers as a business and actually expecting to be paid for working their cases when they cannot guarantee that they can solve it! How she can question anyone's skills or intelligence when she allowed what I officially consider to be THE CRAZIEST PERSON EVER to move into her home and rent a room in order to keep her from having to go to work in order to home school her kids and (unfortunately I know this next part because she made it quite clear that she is brilliant for doing so) breast feed her children until 2 years old. You may wonder what that has to do with criminal profiling, but that is actually in the section in which she tells you why you are an a-hole for having your children sleep in separate beds from you and, even worse, have a life outside of their mommy and daddy. She even implies that because she did these things for her kids they are officially guaranteed a life free of rape, murder and horror (and, believe me, just as free of fun).

    Here is my own twist ending: LISTEN TO THIS BOOK because the guy in the beginning is so crazy that it would be just plain funny if he weren't a murderer. Instead, hearing the stories about his antics makes you laugh to yourself while shaking your head but, trust me, they are still amazing stories to hear. The true laugh out loud part is that there is no way that someone naive enough to allow a guy like that to move in to their home as a tenant in the first place could EVER learn the common sense needed to do this job with any success. Either that or the whole field of profiling is B.S. Oh wait, she actually implies that it IS B.S. at several parts when she talks about other, REAL crimonologists like John Douglas and complains that there is NO WAY they could ever REALLY know what they say they know about individuals in their cases unless they are cheating and hiding the fact that they already knew the whole story BEFORE profiling the killers! That pretty much sums up my feelings about profiling after reading this one book on the subject so far, though I am sure this is only because SHE is an idiot. Therefore, I am on to John Douglas's Mind Hunter next to set things straight!

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Gator A-Go-Go: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Tim Dorsey
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (81)

    That's right: Serge and Coleman do spring break!It's been a long time coming, but they're at the party now - and you┬╣ll never look at a Frisbee the same way again. But trouble is brewing. After years of quiet, a legendary Miami kingpin from the anything-goes '80s is suddenly back in the news, along with one of the state's most psychotic homicidal monsters, every bit as criminally insane as Serge - except without the morals. And the mysteries continue to mount....

    Jonathan says: "Love Tim Dorsey"
    "ONE WORD..."
    Overall

    HORRIBLE! That could be describing the writing, the narration or the pain in my stomach after listening to this abomination. If you want Florida serial killers, stick with Dexter.

    6 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Wildman of Kentucky: The Mystery of Panther Rock

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs)
    • By Philip Spencer
    • Narrated By O. H. Krill
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In the heart of Kentucky there is an ancient and sacred ground known as Panther Rock. For many years tales of strange events have been reported but never investigated in full. Now, for the first time an intrepid group of explorers ventures into the unknown to discover the truth. Join the Reality Team of Special Investigators as they uncover new Bigfoot witnesses and historical tales. Journey with them into the dark woods of the Frazier Land and witness amazing paranormal and often terrifying events.

    Sunflowers614 says: "Utterly ridiculous."
    "Utterly ridiculous."
    Overall

    I'd rate it ZERO if I could! There's not much to say other than: HORRIBLE! The only explanation for this book even being available publicly is that the author knows someone at the top of the "food chain" or paid someone off. The only thing worse than the writing is the hideous, worse-than-amateurish heavy metal guitar playing that separates each chapter. Skip this unless you have an urge to hear THE WORST audible title by far!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Mirror Effect

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Drew Pinsky, S. Mark Young
    • Narrated By Drew Pinsky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Reality TV. Celebutantes. YouTube. Sex Tapes. Gossip Blogs. Drunk Driving. Tabloids. Drug Overdoses. Is this entertainment? Why do we keep watching? What does it mean for our kids? In the last decade, the face of entertainment has changed radically - and dangerously, as addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky and business and entertainment expert Dr. S. Mark Young argue in this eye-opening new book.

    Sunflowers614 says: "Excellent book-if only people will listen..."
    "Excellent book-if only people will listen..."
    Overall

    I bought this book because I am a fan of Dr. Drew's from his various shows and appearances. He is very well thought out and seems to have his life together (though you never REALLY know!) which makes him an unusual person these days! After "reading" this book I am even more impressed by his knowledge in that he has such a thorough understanding of our society and culture. Therefore, when he talks about how the people and situations in this book are bringing us down as a whole (a problem I think ALL of us who have seen the "Flavor of Love" or "Simple Life" realize but do not always think about on this level), it seems to shift from a comical situation to a dire one that will significantly affect the lives of our children (and so on) if we keep heading in this direction. The sad part is that I have recommended this book to dozens of friends who laugh it off saying how much they love reality TV & crazy celebrity antics which suggests that, despite the importance of this book, it will not likely slow our decent down the slippery slope we are currently on. But at least I still highly recommend it!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Me and a Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship With Elvis Presley

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jerry Schilling, Chuck Crisafulli
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    On a lazy Sunday in 1954, 12-year-old Jerry Schilling wandered into a Memphis touch-football game, only to discover that his team was quarterbacked by a 19-year-old Elvis Presley, the local teen whose first record, That's All Right, had just debuted on Memphis radio. The two became fast friends, even as Elvis turned into the world's biggest star.

    John says: "Narration too dramatic"
    "JERRY SCHILLING IS A LOSER!"
    Overall

    I just HAD to keep on listening to this book all the way through to the end because I assumed there HAD to be SOMETHING interesting in it considering that the guy who wrote it opened the book by stating that Elvis was his best friend. While he did say at that point that he "cannot necessarily say that he was Elvis's best friend" in return, I thought he was just being modest...HE WASN'T! Hour after hour passed in which very bland stories would be labored through only to reveal NOTHING of interest except for the fact that Elvis was able to keep his "Pee-Ons" enamored simply by his presence even after having known him for 10 or more years! During EVERY story in the book this pitiful scrub of Elvis's would be practically giggling like a school-girl for having been "actually sitting at a table with Elvis Presley and -----". GET OVER IT! For someone who is supposed to have been a GOOD (let alone "the BEST") friend of ANYONE, the amazement of being with them during a mundane dinner party or backstage at the 1000th gig SHOULD HAVE worn off after the first 10 years of being with them if you REALLY were that close. It went from annoying to pathetic to just plain pissing me off that I wasted so much time listening to a book by an obvious "hanger-on" that was simply used by Elvis for years (so much that Elvis actually screwed this guy's girlfriend behind his back!) until finally Elvis died and this loser was left with nothing on his resume but having been Elvis's gopher and shoe-shine boy well into his late 30's! Even worse:I know there are people out there that would DIE to be "this guy" just to be near whatever "celebrity of the moment" they are able to hook up with. I wanted a story about Elvis by an inside guy to hear some cool stories about his REAL LIFE--at least I know now not to bother buying the Howard Stern book by that berry-face Ralph Cirella!

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Next Better Place: A Father and Son on the Road

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Michael Keith
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    At the age of 11, Michael Keith left a stable life with his mother and sisters and set off to cross the country with his irresponsible hobo of a father - a real bum. The memoir, narrated without sentimentality by this funny, world-wise little boy, describes their life on the road - the characters they meet hitching rides, their adventures with bed bugs in Salvation Army bunks, the joys of finally encountering a decent meal.

    Sunflowers614 says: "No Way This Is A True Story"
    "No Way This Is A True Story"
    Overall

    I am torn. On the one hand it is a fair story overall and, because of the shortage of travel stories I was interested in hearing at the time, I stuck with it and was able to get through it without much disappointment. However, my problem with it stems from the fact that there is NO WAY that this story could be a factual memoir, as it is marketed to be. While I understand that stories and timelines have to be embelished in any memoir to make it flow, this is supposed to be about a time in 1959 when the author was 11 years old. There is simply NO WAY that he was able to recount a year of his life at that tender age without forgetting the contents of a single meal or conversation (as is portrayed in the book). While you may wonder why this is a big deal to me, it is simply because IF THE STORIES IN THE BOOK WERE FABRICATED BY THE AUTHOR AND NOT TRUE EVENTS, he should be locked up because he is disturbed! Story after story of child molestation, necrophilia and incest with no point other than the apparent goal of entertainment during a book that is supposed to be about a father and son going cross country makes for one if the most disturbing stories I have read! It is one thing to discuss these topics if the author is describing how an individual worked through the associated trauma or even related the events to something else going on in the story but in this book they are simply told and passed by. IT WAS SO F#CKED UP! To me, the book reeked of a guy who thought of some disturbing and shocking stories about farting, defecating and the stuff mentioned above and worked them into a loose account of a year in his life in order to sell a book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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