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Mark

Father,Husband,Photographer,Book Fiend. 1st Audiobook was 1776 byDavid McCullough;listened while putting up Xmas lights in snowstorm-Hooked!

Bettendorf, IA, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
257
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
18

  • The Supernaturals

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (437)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (391)

    Seven years ago, Professor Gabriel Kennedy's investigation into paranormal activity at Summer Place ended in tragedy, and destroyed his career. Now, Kelly Delaphoy, the ambitious producer of a top-rated ghost-hunting television series, is determined to make Summer Place the centerpiece of an epic live broadcast on Halloween night. To ensure success, she needs help from the one man who has come face-to-face with the evil that dwells in Summer Place, a man still haunted by the ghosts of his own failure. Disgraced and alienated from the academic community, Kennedy wants nothing to do with it. But Summer Place has other plans....

    DebaDeb says: "Scary!!"
    "a nice find, great read, front runner in its field"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Supernaturals again? Why?

    Yes, I would, and will someday. As someone who reads/listens to 4-5 books a week, I've become a bit jaded to formulaic plots and figuring out the end game well before the end. I've been coming across a lot of great reads lately, though, and this is one of them!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gabriel Kennedy, obviously, but all of his personal friends, too.


    What about Jeffrey Kafer’s performance did you like?

    I read a review where someone knocks the narrator, but for the life of me, I don't understand why! I thought Mr. Kafer did an excellent job. His vocal talent and reading of various characters never took me out of the story (uber important), and he did a very nice job with consistency. I thought he was superb.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It was simply a good ghost story...a good story period! Well plotted, spooky, enough humor to keep the book from becoming utterly gloomy...a very nice find, and I love to come across an author I've never encountered and be so happy with a spent credit.


    Any additional comments?

    The only critical thing I would have to say- and it's a minor point, certainly nothing to take away from a great story- is that based on the time this is taking place( meaning the 21st century, I'm guessing 2010 or 2011), I was surprised not to hear much about the internet being a factor in making this a huge phenomenon. There was very little talk of web stuff at all. Mr. Golemon, I mean absolutely no disrespect and you did a wonderful job. But it did sort of stand out for me. But that is a very minor point. This, like the book "14" by Peter Clines, was just a fantastic find I would highly recommend.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Confession

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    It is 1956. Radio reports of the Hungarian revolution break through the government's radio jamming, setting the entire Eastern Bloc on edge.

    Inspector Ferenc Kolyeszar must track down a murderer while dealing with his crumbling marriage. As he is drawn deep into an underworld of betrayal and violence, he finds that he is not so different from those he pursues.

    Vivian says: "very good very different"
    "Heart-breaking, chilling and utterly engrossing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the fifth Steinhauer novel I've read (so far) and his best to date. Though if you're seeking light fare or a pleasant tale with a storybook ending, you might wait until you're ready for this novel. I'm continuously drawn to novels of this era if they're well written, and particularly with this book, Steinhauer is a masterful storyteller, drawing rich characters. I caught myself scowling many times as I went through the main character's trials- getting totally caught up in the story. It's a rare novelist- and a rare novel- that can get me so engrossed.

    I only wish that stories of this era, and the madness they stemmed from and the madness they inflicted, with the worst failings of humankind on display, were a thing of the past. But as long as power can intoxicate its wielders, it always has the potential to perverse and subjugate. Or maybe I'm just writing this too soon after the reading and it's all too fresh in my mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (794)
    Story
    (794)

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "Guess only right wingers are true Americans..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyable enough for the genre until "A. American" started preaching his "philosophy"...glad I got it on sale. Might've picked up book 2, but I already avoid Glenn, Russ & Sean so why shell out hard won coin to another "true american" to get more of the same?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Stephen Chbosky
    • Narrated By Noah Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1519)
    Performance
    (1389)
    Story
    (1408)

    Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. But then seniors Patrick and his beautiful stepsister Sam take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love.

    FanB14 says: "Intelligent, Absorbing Coming of Age Story"
    "Happily surprised"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't review often, but I wasn't expecting much from this book (concerns about movie hype, book hype, I am far from YA, etc)...but it was on sale, and I needed to shake things up a a bit, as my reading/listening had been sort of narrowly focused recently. Enter "Perks" and especially Noah Galvin and Stephen Chbosky. Maybe I just started this book at the right moment, but it was just a really enjoyable experience. Chbosky's characters were well written, even if the main character was the only fully developed one. And Noah Galvin's voice and acting ability lent themselves so utterly pitch-perfectly to this book. One could imagine that Galvin was truly reading about himself. A truly excellent performance. I laughed out loud more than once and actually got choked up a couple of times...not something i do when reading very often.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Various Haunts of Men: A Simon Serrailler Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (186)

    A woman vanishes in the fog up on "the Hill", an area locally known for its tranquility and peace. The police are not alarmed; people usually disappear for their own reasons. But when a young girl, an old man, and even a dog disappear, no one can deny that something untoward is happening in this quiet town. Young policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case; she's new to the job, compassionate, inquisitive, and dedicated to the task of unraveling the mystery behind this gruesome sequence of events.

    karen says: "Best of the best...."
    "very well worth the credit and the slow(ish) start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd recently listened to several stellar books in a row, then dumped 3 middling reads mid-way through. Life is too short to stick with a poor book that requires you to suspend disbelief utterly for several hundred pages, am I right?

    Right from the start of The Various Haunts of Men, the writing was very good, and Steven Pacey's reading was excellent, improving even more as the book hit its crescendo. His various characters were all distinct, and he conveyed emotion exceptionally well. But while I knew the book would be good, sometimes we're looking for a particular type or genre of book, as well. I knew I'd eventually finish this book, but considered coming back to it later. So glad I stuck with it. The character building was well done and it had many satisfying story-lines intertwined with the overall plot. Definitely recommend.

    I don't write many reviews, and have read several other excellent books recently, but for whatever reason, wanted to give this one some notice. Happy reading!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Delicate Truth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By John le Carre
    • Narrated By John le Carre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (238)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (207)

    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.

    connie says: "I haven't enjoyed a tale this much in many listens"
    "Stunning, as always. Read by the master himself!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My mother-in-law turned me on to the works of John LeCarre more than 15 years ago, with "Smiley's People" and since that time I've read everything I could get my hands on. John LeCarre is not only a master of the spy genre, but literature itself. His prose is precise and beautiful; often times I'll find myself re-reading lines or paragraphs just to enjoy the way he phrases things so artfully. His characters and the stories they inhabit are unmatched. No punches are pulled and his works are based in a world much closer to reality than the "we're good/infallible/always heroic and justice driven" world of most fiction (and most politicians). If near-immortality is ever scientifically possible, I'm hoping LeCarre uses whatever contacts he may still maintain in the intelligence world to prolong his life (and continue writing).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Sparrow: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jason Matthews
    • Narrated By Jeremy Bobb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (814)
    Performance
    (735)
    Story
    (739)

    Drafted against her will to become a "Sparrow" - a trained seductress in the service, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow.

    Melinda says: "Sexy Saucy Spies"
    "Finally, a talent on par with LeCarre!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The thing I've always admired about John LeCarre and what has placed him in my personal Top 3 authors is that his novels are definitely not straight genre; yes, they take place within the world of espionage, but his prose is also literature at its best. There are times when I have to re-read (or rewind) a line or a page, just to take in the beauty of his written word. (And suddenly there are LeCarre titles aplenty at Audible-finally! Well done Audible!)

    Enter Jason Matthews and Red Sparrow. I blame him for a couple of sleepless nights because I just couldn't pull out the earbuds. His style and dedication to detail, along with an engrossing plot with fully realized characters are reason enough to listen to Red Sparrow, but he also offers a fresh take on the spy world, the East/West, or rather the "Never Fully-Thawed War" dynamic...I'm now a fan and look forward to his next effort(s).

    As for the recipes...maybe I'll attempt some of them one day, but in my opinion, they weren't that important in the grand scheme. I would've been fine without them, but they were by no means a deal-breaker, & I'm fascinated sometimes by critics who take such offense to authors trying something like this out. If one doesn't like the concept, it's certainly easy enough to skip over them...live and let live. I, for one, hope Mr. Matthews is already at work on his next book!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Shawshank Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (769)
    Performance
    (474)
    Story
    (478)

    Based on a a novella from Different Seasons, this unabridged tale focuses on a man convicted of murder, who finds himself in a prison ruled by a sadistic warden and secretly operated by a clever convict.

    Eric says: "This makes the movie better"
    "Seeing the Movie Didn't Ruin The Reading/Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Shawshank Redemption the most enjoyable?

    The character development is always great with King, but this is such a concise, short story that precision is paramount to a great story. He hits the mark brilliantly, and it's a beautiful, rich story of the brotherhood of man, and the good and ill that individuals are capable of. Frank Muller was fantastic as always.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Go the F--k to Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By Adam Mansbach, Ricardo Cortes (cover illustration)
    • Narrated By Samuel L. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10716)
    Performance
    (6171)
    Story
    (6062)

    Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) rocks this mock bedtime story, capturing a hilarious range of emotions as the voice of a father struggling to get his child to sleep. Go the F**k to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland.

    FanB14 says: "Hilarious"
    "Samuel Jackson is pitch perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Go the F--k to Sleep the most enjoyable?

    Having a five year old, knowing exactly how the author feels, listening to Jackson NAIL the reading.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steven Sherrill
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (694)
    Performance
    (650)
    Story
    (650)

    Five thousand years out of the Labyrinth, the Minotaur finds himself in the American South, living in a trailer park and working as a line cook at a steakhouse. No longer a devourer of human flesh, the Minotaur is a socially inept, lonely creature with very human needs. But over a two-week period, as his life dissolves into chaos, this broken and alienated immortal awakens to the possibility for happiness and to the capacity for love.

    Cathy says: "Full of surprises, delightfully unexpected"
    "So glad Neil Gaiman has teamed with Audible!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel the most enjoyable?

    This was a great, fun listen that probably wouldn't have crossed my radar were it not for the partnership between Gaiman and Audible. The narration was fantastic, and no easy feat when trying to convey the speech of a rambling Minotaur with angst!


    What did you like best about this story?

    its surreal nature, heart and humor.


    If you could rename The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel, what would you call it?

    The name is PERFECT, as is. To change it would be sinful.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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