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Robert

Hubbardston, MA, United States | Member Since 2008

69
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Death Benefits

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (101)

    A careful, methodical young data analyst for a California insurance company, John Walker knows when people will marry, at what age they will most likely have children, and when they will die. All signs point to a long successful career---until Max Stillman, a gruff security consultant, appears without warning at the office. It seems a colleague with whom Walker once had an affair has disappeared after paying a very large death benefit to an impostor.

    Julie says: "My favorite book from one of my favorite authors."
    "Unexpected joyride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thomas Perry has an hysterically droll sense of humor that I did not find in either the Butcher Boy series or in Metzger's Dog (which I didn't find at all funny). However, Perry's fraud investigator in Death Benefits is so droll and understatedly outrageous, I found myself bursting into laughter in the most quotidian situations, and the actuary, John Walker, is his perfect straight man. The narrator, Michael Kramer, does an absolutely perfect job.On more than one occasion I had to stop driving because my eyes were watering so freely.
    That said, I thought the final chase and conclusion were a little over the top and a little bit of a let down. Funny how another reviewer thought this book lacked Perry's "usual sense of humor" but loved the ending. Go figure.
    This is one of the few books I've listened to twice, because I just loved the ride, and it was just as enjoyable on the second go-round.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Silken Prey: Lucas Davenport, Book 23

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1142)
    Performance
    (979)
    Story
    (972)

    Very early one morning, a Minnesota political fixer answers his doorbell. The next thing he knows, he’s waking up on the floor of a moving car, lying on a plastic sheet, his body wet with blood. When the car stops, a voice says, "Hey, I think he’s breathing." And another voice says, "Yeah? Give me the bat." And that’s the last thing he knows. Davenport is investigating another case when the trail leads to the man’s disappearance, then - very troublingly - to the Minneapolis police department, then - most troublingly of all - to a woman who could give Machiavelli lessons.

    John Norton says: "Still my favorite combo of author and reader"
    "Another grand slam for Sandford"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Sandford just keeps batting them out of the park with his character-driven detective stories. This one revolves around a particularly dirty political trick and the people who perpetrated it. The characters are utterly believable, the dialogue is crisp, the descriptions are priceless, and the narration, by Richard Ferrone, is as usual, impeccable. If you haven't listened to any of Sandford's "Prey" series, this is as good a place as any to start. If you have, you probably don't need my encouragement to buy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 9th Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (661)
    Performance
    (575)
    Story
    (586)

    On a frigid New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis, a young woman’s brutalized body falls from the trunk of a car into the path of oncoming traffic. Questions as to whether she was alive or dead when she hit the icy pavement result in her macabre nickname, Zombie Doe. Unidentified and unidentifiable, she is the ninth nameless female victim of the year, and homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are charged with the task of not only finding out who Zombie Doe is but who in her life hated her enough to destroy her. Was it personal? Or could it just have been a crime of opportunity?

    Sires says: "Not Fond of Narrator, Characters Sterotypical"
    "Juvenile and trite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I suppose there is some demand for a book about a tough-but-gentle mom/cop who loves her children but hates people who mutilate and murder innocent-but-misunderstood teenage girls, but I didn't realize I was contributing to it when I plunked down my credit towards this supposed mystery/suspense/thriller.
    I'm frankly baffled by the good reviews this book has gotten, so I assume there is an appetite for these ingredients:
    1: A corpse nicknamed Zombie Doe by the Minneapolis Police Force, because she looked like a zombie bouncing out of the trunk of a speeding car.
    2: A curmudgeonly cop with an estranged daughter about the same age as Zombie Doe and a penchant for introspection.
    3: A conflicted female cop who frets she works too hard and long for society at the expense of her fractured family
    4: A conflicted female cop's teenaged son who thinks his mother works too long and hard at his expense, but shows real grit in the face of bullying and makes his mother proud because he's actually a great kid even if he's a free thinker and not one of the popular kids.
    5: A self-centered mother of a troubled teen-aged girl who cares more about herself than her daughter (Imagine how that's going to end up!).
    6: A diabolical serial killer.
    7: A psychologist with a weakness for troubled teenaged girls and their mothers.

    The recipe this book seems to follow is to combine these ingredients (along with a pinch of schmaltz and maybe a dash of self-righteousness ) and just shake and serve.
    More predictable than mysterious, and more pedantic than suspenseful, this audiobook was about as thrilling as a Public Service Announcement.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Thing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Josh Bazell
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff, Stephanie Wolfe
    Overall
    (278)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (247)

    It's hard to find work as a doctor when using your real name will get you killed. So hard that when a reclusive billionaire offers Dr. Peter Brown, aka Pietro Brnwa, a job accompanying a sexy but self-destructive paleontologist on the world's worst field assignment, Brown has no real choice but to say yes. Even if it means that an army of murderers, mobsters, and international drug dealers-not to mention the occasional lake monster-are about to have a serious Pietro Brnwa problem.

    Edward says: "Disappointing."
    "Beaten to death"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This otherwise funny, fast-paced, smart-allecky, page-turner is seriously marred by the author's irresistible urge to insult a large portion of his readers with repeated, gratuitous cracks about anyone who has an opinion at odds with the uberleft misanthropes that have informed his politics.
    You can't help but like the protagonist, Pietro Brnwa as the callous, cynical physician on the run from the mafia, now hired to investigate a deadly and farcical lake monster scam in the backwoods of Minnesota. Kind of a cross between Hunter Thompson and Hugh Laurie, Brnwa is lured off his rotten job as shipboard quack aboard a cruise ship by a reclusive billionaire to accompany a sexy paleontologist on this questionable quest. It's a compelling story with some whacky characters and lots of snappy dialogue, but it gets weighed down with a cartoonish cameo by Sarah Palin that might seem funny to those still suffering from a severe case of BDS, but really isn't.
    The narration is absolutely top-notch, though, and for left-leaning ideologues and global warming alarmists, the pointed and persistent sarcasm directed at those with differing opinions might very well enhance the over-the-top attitude that buoys the book. There is even an epilogue of sorts in which Bazell dispenses entirely with plot and characters and lectures us on the inherent evils of man in general and conservatives in particular. It’s not particularly cogent but it flows with the same wise-ass attitude that constitutes his style, and has an appeal of its own, at least for people who agree with him to begin with or have more patience for pompous pedantry than this listener.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Worst Fears Realized

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (64)

    Stone and his ex-partner, Dino, are facing every policeman's worst fear: the people close to them are being murdered, probably by someone the two of them sent to prison in the past. To complicate matters, Stone finds himself involved in a distracting relationship with a woman who may be as dangerous as she is beautiful. As the body count multiplies, Stone and Dino race against time to find clues to the brilliant killer's identity.

    MEMcL says: "A good listen"
    "Maybe not the worst"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book hoping that Richard Ferrone's narration could make a mediocre book enjoyable. Surprisingly he managed to do that for the first couple of hours before the sheer implausiblility of Stuart Woods' characters, plot and dialogue made things nearly unlistenable. Stuart Woods clearly has an appreciative audience. I'm just not among them.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Smoke Jumper

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Nicholas Evans
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (41)

    The best selling author of The Horse Whisperer and The Loop returns with this sweeping novel of love and loyalty, guilt and honor, set against the epic backdrop of wilderness firefighting and frontline photojournalism.

    Dan says: "Good story, needs a new title"
    "Low heat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book purely because of the narrator, Eric Conger, who contributes so much to John Sandford's books and surprisingly I was not disappointed. This compelling story is essentially about a love triangle between three very likable people. Perhaps the book's only flaw is that they are too likable. It's a little saccharine and predictable but it's an enjoyable listen, thanks in large part to Eric Conger.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shock Wave

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1496)
    Performance
    (1239)
    Story
    (1234)

    The thrilling new Virgil Flowers novel from the #1 New York Times best-selling author. The superstore chain PyeMart has its sights set on a Minnesota river town, but two very angry groups want to stop it: local merchants, fearing for their businesses, and environmentalists, predicting ecological disaster. The protests don't seem to be slowing the project, though, until someone decides to take matters into his own hands.

    aaron says: "Not the best Virgil ~ but it is still Virgil!"
    "A Blast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    God, I just love John Sandford, and I must say that Eric Conger is giving Richard Ferrone a run for my money in the narration department. Okay, maybe this story line is a little thin, but the descriptions are priceless, the tangential characters are memorable and Virgil Flowers is such a great guy that it would be impossible to put this book down even if a crazed bomber wasn't out there playing with minds just a step or two ahead of the law. As for the writing,the exquisite vignette of Virgil and Johnson Johnson on their day off, watching Minnesota-style beach volleyball alone is worth the price of the audio book.
    In short, if you love John Sandford, you'll find Shock Wave a blast. If you don't, well, I wouldn't know.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6788)
    Performance
    (3834)
    Story
    (3861)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Erica says: "Possibly The Best Techno-thriller Ever"
    "Just awful"
    Overall

    I suppose this must be interesting to people who are on-line gaming fanatics, but unless you are enthralled by endless and detailed descriptions of role-playing computer games, you will soon lose interest or patience. Even someone who thinks he can listen to ANY story while tending to drudge work will eventually find silence preferable.
    As someone who is interested in technology and how high tech is affecting society, as well as its bottomless potential for evil, etc., the premise and the reviews of this audiobook led me to think I'd really enjoy it. And maybe the book gets better after six or seven hours... the characters aren't that badly drawn and the premise is intriguing. But god almighty, if I never hear another description of some stupid virtual reality computer game it will be a lifetime too soon.
    Clearly there is an audience for this. I'm just trying to warn the unwary.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Buried Prey

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1834)
    Performance
    (1107)
    Story
    (1093)

    A house demolition provides an unpleasant surprise for Minneapolis - the bodies of two girls, wrapped in plastic. It looks like they've been there a long time. Lucas Davenport knows exactly how long.In 1985, Davenport was a young cop with a reputation for recklessness, and the girls' disappearance was a big deal. His bosses ultimately declared the case closed, but he never agreed with that. Now that he has a chance to investigate it all over again, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: It wasn't just the bodies that were buried. It was the truth.

    Stevon says: "good story"
    "Well worth the wait."
    Overall

    John Sandford is at the absolute top of his game in the much awaited (by me, anyway) return of Lucas Davenport, and Richard Ferrone does another superb job as the narrator.
    Flashing back to Davenport's earliest days as a beat cop on the Minneapolis police force, we get to meet and get a good feel for the various characters that populate later novels, as well as get a handle on Davenport's less-than-exemplary motivations and very believable character flaws. It's a great device that allows the listener to enjoy the earlier, more devious Davenport before he became so happily married to the wonderful Weather.
    But then we flash forward to the present to find him consumed with personal hatred towards a horrible and truly creepy killer, without really causing too much trouble at home.
    In all, it's a great listen that is difficult to interrupt. But like a favorite meal you haven't had in a long time, it's best if you make yourself slow down and enjoy every bite of it.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Caught

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie, Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (895)
    Performance
    (276)
    Story
    (276)

    Seventeen-year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her. Which is why, when her mother wakes one morning to find that Haley never came home the night before, and three months quickly pass without word from the girl, the community assumes the worst.

    Linda says: "It's Coben at his best!!"
    "Caught Flat Footed"
    Overall

    I love Myron Bolitar and I think Jonathan Marosz is one of the best narrators in the business. That said, this latest offering by Harlan Coben was a huge disappointment for this once-avid fan. In fact, I spent most of the time thinking that it was written by some underling and not very well edited. It was certainly not well narrated, as other reviewers have noted. The basic story line could have been compelling and the characters might have been made interesting if not a little amusing, and the plot could have been believable, but they weren't. There is a cameo appearance by Win about halfway in, but any frail hope of a little witty repartee is quickly crushed, first by the female narrator's awful portrayal, and then almost mercifully by his lack of a meaningful role. Oh, and the "surprise ending, well... no surprises there.
    In all, it's not a terrible book, just a terrible disappointment for a Myron Bolitar fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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