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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 2011

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 25 reviews
  • 337 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 85 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
6

  • The Supernaturals

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (720)
    Performance
    (657)
    Story
    (658)

    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....

    Mark says: "a nice find, great read, front runner in its field"
    "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.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4522)
    Performance
    (4145)
    Story
    (4138)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Janice says: "What does it mean to be human?"
    "So glad I "took a chance" on this wonderful novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book I had relegated to the wish list for that "someday" I'd want to take a chance on it...I'm so glad the day came & now anxiously look forward to another book by Helene Wecker. As for Mr Guidall, he is undoubtably among the best in the business. I always feel like a book is in masterful care when he narrates. Highly recommend The Golem & the Jinni!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gun Street Girl: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel, The Troubles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (292)
    Performance
    (264)
    Story
    (264)

    Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point-blank range and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances.

    Top of Mind says: "Another McKinty Gem"
    "Adrian McKinty +Gerard Doyle narration=Perfection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Adrian McKinty's first novel worked its way into my bloodstream and though I'm only a third of the way into his latest effort, it's already a five star experience. I've yet to travel to the land of my forebears but having read McKinty's bibliography, at least I'll have a small handle on the slang if I ever encounter paramilitants, the peelers, or anyone from Coronation Road.
    The McKinty novels I've encountered to date are crime fiction, to be sure, but they are also historically close to the bone pieces of beautifully written character studies with sometimes crass, sometimes poetic prose that can stop you in your tracks with wonder.
    And Gerard Doyle does a beautiful job. I'm glad the publishers didn't screw around with the engineering on this series...it's always disappointing to fall in love with the characters in a series only to have every voice dramatically change.

    Highly recommend the author and narrator. Well worth the credit or cash- just plan on reading everything he's written one you buy his first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Norwegian by Night

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Derek B. Miller
    • Narrated By Sean Mangan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (430)
    Story
    (431)

    Sheldon Horowitz - 82 years old, impatient, and unreasonable - is staying with his granddaughter's family in Norway when he disappears with a stranger's child. Sheldon is an ex-Marine, and he feels responsible for his son's death in Vietnam. Recently widowed and bereft, he talks to the ghosts of his past constantly. To Norway's cops, Sheldon is just an old man who is coming undone at the end of a long and hard life. But Sheldon is clear in his own mind.

    Sara says: "Don't Miss This Amazing Book"
    "Great listen- fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy a wide range of books, & just came off of a 5 book epic fantasy series when choosing Norwegian By Night as a change of pace. But this is a change of pace from anything I've listened to in some time. Unique, character driven, almost poetic prose at times, and suspenseful...this was a superb audiobook (& the narrator was well chosen- he did a fantastic job).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fool's Fate: The Tawny Man, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By James Langton
    Overall
    (683)
    Performance
    (609)
    Story
    (615)

    FitzChivalry Farseer has become firmly ensconced in the queen’s court. Along with his mentor, Chade, and the simpleminded yet strongly Skilled Thick, Fitz strives to aid Prince Dutiful on a quest that could secure peace with the Outislands - and win Dutiful the hand of the Narcheska Elliania. The Narcheska has set the prince an unfathomable task: to behead a dragon trapped in ice on the isle of Aslevjal. Yet not all the clans of the Outislands support their effort. Are there darker forces at work behind Elliana’s demand?

    Lisa Hines says: "Review: The Tawny Man #3: Fool's Fate"
    "Robin Hobb is Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought the first book of this trilogy on sale; and was swept away into many consecutive nights of little sleep as I devoured them all. Fantastic storytelling, characters (& character development), and perfect narration. I'm hooked!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Way Down on the High Lonely: The Neal Carey Mysteries, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (44)

    Neal Carey’s three-year confinement in a Chinese monastery is finally over—but his troubles are just beginning. The elusive financial benefactors who have bought his freedom expect a return on their investment. They want him to find Cody McCall, a two-year-old boy recently abducted by his father in a bitter Hollywood custody battle—a task that will propel Neal from the glittering Hollywood hills to the remote wilds of Nevada.

    Mark says: "Superb- love the series!"
    "Superb- love the series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Love this series, as well as the Don Winslow stand alone novels. He's become a top tier, "go-to" novelist for me & I can't recommend his work enough. My only criticism is that soon I'll have plowed through his entire bibliography...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of the Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (696)
    Performance
    (467)
    Story
    (471)

    This explosive novel of the drug trade takes you deep inside a world riddled with corruption, betrayal, and bloody revenge. From the streets of New York City to Mexico City and Tijuana to the jungles of Central America, this is the war on drugs like you've never seen it.

    Leslie says: "Amazing Novel, Excellent Narration"
    "Don Winslow is a fantastic author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3rd book of Mr Winslow's I've read & all have been excellent. Great character development and in depth, realistic storylines. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (706)
    Performance
    (537)
    Story
    (537)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Surf City Swami says: "The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine"
    "Mario Who?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read/listened to The Godfather a year ago, long after loving all the films. And was disappointed. This is the second Don Winslow book I've read (Savages was the first) & I'm hooked. His writing is gritty & tight, but bottom-line for me is the authenticity. It's what will translate into my reading his entire catalog, rather than an odd one here or there. Solid book from start to finish- and a great finish, by the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Extinction Point: Extinction Point, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Paul Antony Jones
    • Narrated By Emily Beresford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (424)
    Performance
    (384)
    Story
    (383)

    Emily Baxter’s dream life turns into a waking nightmare the day the red rain falls. Like a biblical plague, the scarlet downpour spreads a hideous virus that demolishes life in New York City, the nation, and the world. Suddenly the last soul in an annihilated metropolis - and possibly on Earth - the onetime newspaper reporter must learn to scavenge, survive...and plan for a future of utter solitude. Then, from far-flung Alaska, another living voice reaches out, and Emily grasps at her only glimmer of hope. But she may be even less alone than she thinks.

    Charyn says: "Several hours that I'll never get back"
    "Lost time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I try to think of the feelings of writers & so don't often write negative reviews, and since it appears many others have done so I'll just say that, even at a discount, I wondered how this book got made- much less an audio version. Editing and additional drafts with more depth and better character & story development might have made an interesting concept something more...sorry to say, this lacked all the important elements.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Code Name Verity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2418)
    Performance
    (2165)
    Story
    (2165)

    Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

    Suzn F says: "Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book"
    "Fantastic story & narration!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This sat on my wish list until it wound up on the Daily Deal special....but it was well worth a credit. Loved this book. And I actually had tears in my eyes when the story came to a close, which has only happened one other time. Heroism, danger, strong female leads telling a crucially important story about a critical time in WW II- just a fantastic novel!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • For the Dead: A Poke Rafferty Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Timothy Hallinan
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    In Bangkok, Thailand, an American travel journalist and his Thai family find themselves inadvertently entangled in a web of dirty cops and far-reaching corruption when their daughter’s ill-gotten cell phone displays photographs of some very crooked cops, all of them thoroughly dead.

    Mark says: "Timothy Hallinan has my appreciation!"
    "Timothy Hallinan has my appreciation!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've not enough time to go back and review each book in the Poke Rafferty series, and rarely write reviews, but Mr. Hallinan has created an exotic, captivating core of characters large and small, and opened a window to a world many of us know little about. This series has become my favorite in recent years and each book has cost me hours at night- listening when I should have been sleeping! Hoping the series continues for many years to come!!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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