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Regina

Seattle, WA, United States 98109 | Member Since 2007

444
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 117 reviews
  • 586 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 89 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
8
FOLLOWERS
19

  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1828)
    Performance
    (1639)
    Story
    (1634)

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "Avoids cute, but not by much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not bad, not great. The smart kid is a little too smart, and her parents quirky without being solid enough to stand all that quirk. If I had it to buy again, I wouldn't, but I don't resent the time I spent on it. All these people who find the book funny: I assume you work for laugh-track companies. The best quality here is endearing. Everyone's over the top. Once you accept that, the story sneaks up on you. The ending's the best part.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Brilliance

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (610)
    Performance
    (539)
    Story
    (539)

    In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in.

    cristina says: "Glued from beginning to end"
    "I hate this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Who needs this story? Children born smarter than anyone else are segregated and treated horribly. I couldn't get through it. If I hadn't bought it on sale I would have asked for a refund. A writer who offers heartbreak and horror better be great. There has to be a substantial reason to plow through, and that reason is missing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dry Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Peter May
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (87)

    What happened to Jacques Gaillard? The brilliant teacher at the École Nationale d’Administration, who trained some of France’s best and brightest as future prime ministers and presidents, vanished ten years ago, presumably from Paris. This ten-year-old mystery inspires a bet—one that Enzo Macleod, a biologist teaching in Toulouse, France, instead of pursuing a brilliant career in forensics back home in Scotland, can ill afford to lose.

    adrienne says: "Delightful find! First of the Enzo Files"
    "Dry bones indeed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Agatha Christie did this kind of story much better. All that working from clue to clue to reach a conclusion, with the narrative serving as background for the murder-solving blueprint, is now tired. I expect characters who are complex and interesting on their own accounts. The hero rushes around and risks his life for a bet. It's not believable, and it's certainly not enjoyable.

    Simon Vance is perfect. If anyone could have saved this, it would have been he.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Levanter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Eric Ambler
    • Narrated By Tim Bentinck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Syria, 1970. Three years after the Six-Day War. Michael Howell is utterly apolitical and genetically programmed for survival, a Levantine of mixed origin with an Italian mistress and profitable business enterprises throughout the Middle East. Life is sweet for Howell until, one night in Damascus, he discovers that his factories have become the clandestine operations base for a fanatical terrorist organization dead set on destroying Israel. Suddenly, Howell is caught in the middle, with nowhere to run.

    Howie says: "Really Good, stick with it through the beginning.."
    "Very clever, hard to get through"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're fascinated by business conducted in corrupt countries and the lengths a wily man must travel to stay afloat amid political outrages leveled at him from all sides, this book might be for you.

    Eric Ambler is a classic, famous in the mid 20th Century for his style, complexity and sense of geopolitical dread. A good man in an Ambler story will soon find his ground eroded. While I've enjoyed others in his line, this one was not a pleasure.

    More than half a century after the writer's heyday, I feel somewhat ashamed to be a representative of a more simplistic outlook prized in thrillers of our age. I like a good fictional struggle but admit to favoring a clear resolution. Give the heavily tested hero a bit of applause, would that kill you? I guess I'm not up to Ambler's dreary outlook.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Down Home Murder: Laura Fleming, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Toni L. P. Kelner
    • Narrated By Gayle Hendrix
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (169)

    When a tragic family accident brings Laura Fleming back home to Byerly, North Carolina, the sleuth discovers that her beloved grampaw's fatal fall from a ladder in the old mill was not an accident.

    Regina says: "Folksy overkill"
    "Folksy overkill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My fault. Consider the title. If I weren't ready for home-fried folk cliches, I shouldn't have clicked on purchase. On the other hand, this would have been a much better book had an editor (remember editors, a nearly extinct species?) red-penciled through the worst cliches. Rode hard and put up wet. Dry as a bone. Sweet as honey.

    There's a core of a pretty good mystery here, which is why I gave it a 3. Pretty good.

    One more thing, as long as I'm complaining: The narrator's voice is too old for the character's. The latter is somewhere in her early 20s. The former might have daughters that age. The middle-aged young person was a distraction.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Royal Wulff Murders

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Keith McCafferty
    • Narrated By Rick Holmes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    A local fisherman lands more than he bargained for when he pulls a dead body out of Montana’s Madison River. Sheriff Martha Ettinger takes on the case and soon comes into the company of reclusive artist, Montana newcomer, and ex-PI Sean Stranahan. After teaming up to investigate, Martha and Sean soon uncover evidence that the murder has ties to one of the state’s biggest industries: fly fishing.

    Regina says: "Local color into local headache"
    "Local color into local headache"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't mind about the fishing. The writer seems to know a lot about fly fishing, and that part is at least marginally interesting, even for a person with little affinity for the subject.

    What got me is the approach to characters. Each one goes on and on about his/her background. Listening to this story is like being trapped on a bus by a bore. He/she is hell-bent on telling you everything he/she ever experienced - the life story. Please. I'm still breathing here, and wanted this writer to get on with the story before boredom made me stop. Barely made it to the end.

    Narrator deserves better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Trinity Game

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sean Chercover
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (141)

    Daniel Byrne is an investigator for the Vatican’s secretive Office of the Devil’s Advocate - the department that scrutinizes miracle claims. Over 10 years and 721 cases, not one miracle he tested has proved true. But case #722 is different; Daniel’s estranged uncle, a crooked TV evangelist, has started speaking in tongues - and accurately predicting the future. Daniel knows Reverend Tim Trinity is a con man. Could Trinity also be something more? The evangelist himself is baffled by his newfound power.

    J. Webb says: "Faith without Acts...Could Get You Killed."
    "Engaging premise, great start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the idea of a miracle hunter, an evidence-based seeker of the divine on earth. (Not quite the same thing as the Catholic Church's Devil's Advocate, but close. If only the Devil's Advocate had these high standards.) The hero is a young Catholic priest raised by a tent-preacher con man. Nobody gets stereotyped in this telling, which is so unusual. Nephew and uncle get back together, and sparks fly.

    Although Chercover is respectful of the spiritual impulse, this story suggests organized religion is a business prone to corruption and willing, when threatened, to engage in faking the evidence and even murder.

    Hard to argue with that, but it would have been terrific if the writer had also enlarged on what can make communities of the faithful a profound experience. That would have been a great book, and this is only a good one.

    First half of the book is thrilling. It trailed off into a caper, but never lost me entirely. The narrator is splendid. Worth a credit, especially for conflicted ex-Catholics.



    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sunstroke

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jesse Kellerman
    • Narrated By Annie Henk
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Gloria Mendez is single and 36, and secretly and somewhat hopelessly in love with her oblivious boss. He is both single and solitary, and far too old for her, but she has worked for him, side by side, for 10 oddly companionable years. But when he disappears on his annual trip to Mexico, the one aspect of his life to which she's never been privy, Gloria's sudden and impulsive search for him reveals the wreckage of a hidden past.

    glamazon says: "Snail's pace but good!"
    "Original voice, well-told tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jesse Kellerman is a better writer than his dad (Jonathan,) but doesn't have his dad's gift for fast-pacing. He's as good a writer as his mom (Faye), maybe better, and certainly with a wider lens and fresher outlook.

    I really liked this story, which is a mystery that I couldn't guess my way through. It constantly surprised me. The characters are deep, and the diverse cultural understandings rich. I love the main character, a woman with a blighted life who keeps on keeping on. Everyone around her also well realized.

    Really good narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Nick Trout
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Dr. Cyrus Mills returns to his hometown after inheriting his father's failing veterinary practice. Cyrus intends to sell the practice and get out of town as fast as he can, but when his first patient - a down-on-her-luck golden retriever named Frieda Fuzzypaws - wags her way through the door, life suddenly gets complicated. Cyrus gets caught up in a new community and its endearing residents, both human and animal. Sensing he may have misjudged the past, he begins to realize it's not just his patients that need healing.

    Regina says: "Dogs good, people and plot lacking"
    "Dogs good, people and plot lacking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This plot might have worked in outline, but then it appears the outline got lost. The story wanders in search of its redemptive narrative, which is imposed instead of earned. We never learn essential things, such as, what the vet did or didn't do to get his license revoked, what his dad didn't do right to deserve all this alienation and how the false premises trick ever worked on anybody.

    Plus, somebody who takes a child's pet to the vet to be put to sleep on the sly and lets the child and mother search for it afterward deserves a punishment. Some punishment. At least shame. Add blackmail to his crimes. I hung in with the story, hoping the writer would grind this person into the dirt, but no. The person capable of such wrongdoing will do it again.

    The dogs are lovely, and well described, but they can't save this bumbling tale. Besides the animals and one great little girl, I didn't believe any of it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cut: Spero Lucas, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By George Pelecanos
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (95)

    Spero Lucas has a new line of work. Since he returned home after serving in Iraq, he has been doing special investigations for a defense attorney. He's good at it, and he has carved out a niche: recovering stolen property, no questions asked. His cut is 40 percent. But is any cut worth your family, your lover, your life?

    Cori says: "So entertaining and surprising!"
    "Hard to finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a wonderful book. Great tone, characters, dialogue and I love the narrator. His silky slides into other voices are amazing. Each one is believable. My problem remains a big one, however. The architecture of the story is so predictable.

    Once the story starts to talk up a character, such as, a young man in high school full of promise, we know he's going down. Another one: the brave and optimistic Iraq war vet, hobbling along on a metal leg and bringing realistic light into bad situations. Boom for him. And the fight between brothers? Saw it coming chapters back. Saw the misunderstanding.

    Haven't finished and don't believe I will. For all the admirable qualities George Pelecanos possesses as a writer, there's something here I just don't buy. His vision of struggling urban life has a cartoon quality. He's bringing the comics to life and not quite able to shed the banality at the center of his enterprise. I don't believe him. He quotes Elmore Leonard, but he is far, far from Elmore Leonard.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • London Calling: Inspector Carlyle, Novel 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By James Craig
    • Narrated By Joe Jameson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Can you win an election and cover up murder at the same time? When Inspector John Carlyle finds a body in a luxury London hotel room he begins a journey through the murky world of the British ruling classes which leads all the way to the top. In the middle of a General Election, a murderer is stalking the man poised to be the next Prime Minister. With power almost in his grasp, Edgar Carlton will not stand idly by while his birthright is threatened.

    Regina says: "Better than good"
    "Better than good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "London Calling" has attracted more than its share of negative Audible reviews, as opposed to positive Amazon reviews, or even reviews in newspapers, such as a strongly favorable one in the Washington Post. Usually when this happens, it's because a poor narrator ruined a good story, but the narrator here is wonderful.

    Yes, it's violent, but far less so than more police thrillers, where the victims are nearly always women who are prey to terrible men. Here, the "victims" deserve some kind of punishment, exposure for their deeds at the least.

    I didn't find this story offensive. By my lights, it's very well written, with a great central character and a fast-moving plot. I enjoyed it thoroughly and look forward to other titles in the series.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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