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L

Skeptic

Centennial, CO, United States | Member Since 2002

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 104 ratings
  • 838 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jason Vuic
    • Narrated By Erik Synnestvedt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (281)
    Story
    (285)

    Six months after its American introduction in 1985, the Yugo was a punch line; within a year, it was a staple of late-night comedy. By 2000, NPR's Car Talk declared it "the worst car of the millennium." And for most Americans that's where the story begins and ends. Hardly. The short, unhappy life of the car, the men who built it, the men who imported it, and the decade that embraced and discarded it is rollicking and astounding, and it is one of the greatest untold business-cum-morality tales of the 1980s.

    Roy says: "Flim Flam at its Best"
    "A Little Too Much Detail"
    Overall

    I bought this book because of my interest in scams, ruthless marketing and shameless misrepresentation. It did not disappoint. Sadly I got more detail about the auto industry than I bargained for. I would have preferred an abridged edition, but I really was very amusing on the whole.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Terry Hayes
    • Narrated By Christopher Ragland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (462)
    Performance
    (421)
    Story
    (423)

    An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Smartest Novel I've Heard or Read in Long time"
    "Far Fetched but Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A few too many coincidences and far fetched plot twists. That being said, I couldn't put it down. It was a great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1922)
    Performance
    (1714)
    Story
    (1735)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "The Gimmick Wears Out Quickly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A fun idea went quickly down the drain. Jonasson attempts to recreate Forrest Gump without the slightest respect for history. For me it was over the moment he wrote about a "B-52" dropping the A-bomb on Hiroshima.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel of North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Adam Johnson
    • Narrated By Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1259)
    Performance
    (1090)
    Story
    (1100)

    Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

    Lisa says: "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    "Disturbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've read Escape from Camp 14 you have a good idea what North Korean prisons are like. North Korean life outside its prisons does not appear to be much better. I found this book difficult to comprehend at times. I questioned why the author devoted so much time to particular individuals, or why he chose a particular sequence of events to weave the story together. In the end it didn't matter. The point was clear, the story was disturbing and the inhuman manipulation that is North Korea was stunningly revealed. The book is a work of art. It is impressive. You just have to be prepared for a nasty ride.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6207)
    Performance
    (5375)
    Story
    (5368)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Well Worth Your Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I get tired of underdeveloped characters with illogical motives who exist for no purpose other than to fill a place in a far fetched plot. Jess Walter's characters were the exact opposite. They were an extremely entertaining and diverse group of carefully crafted individuals who made perfect sense as living, breathing human beings. He weaves a story that is entirely unpredictable, but not at the expense of credibility. A great plot and a great listen. Edoardo Ballerini was a perfect choice for this audio book. This book is fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Panther

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2118)
    Performance
    (1791)
    Story
    (1783)

    Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, have been posted overseas to Sana'a, Yemen - one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East. While there, they will be working with a small team to track down one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole bombing: a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative known as The Panther. Ruthless and elusive, he's wanted for multiple terrorist acts and murders - and the U.S. government is determined to bring him down, no matter the cost.

    John says: "Exciting Nelson DeMille novel with great narration"
    "Not Up to DeMille Standards"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me begin by saying that I like Nelson DeMille. If you've read the Lion books, where Corey's sense of humor was rather amusing, you will soon find him entirely annoying, predictable and (by the end of the book) absolutely intolerable. I kept hoping his "straight man" wife would just shoot him. What ever you do, don't buy the unabridged version! The abridged version is much shorter. As usual, Scott Brick was great. In fact, I bought the book thinking: "Its Scott Brick, what could be the problem?" Now I know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By Bill O'Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4000)
    Performance
    (3560)
    Story
    (3582)

    The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices are not appeased....

    Daniel says: "History Made Interesting"
    "A 'No Spin' Review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent companion for anyone planning to see Spielberg's "Lincoln" since they are both set near the end of the Civil War. They are complimentary to one another and are very informative. While I generally like Bill O'Reilly, he should not have narrated this. My "no spin" take is that he does an okay job, but his television voice simply doesn't compare to some of the better Audible narrators. The book deserves a more serious and historical tone.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Wanted Man: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2456)
    Performance
    (2101)
    Story
    (2094)

    Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning. An hour behind them, a man lies stabbed to death in an old pumping station. He was seen going in with two others, but he never came out. He has been executed, the knife work professional, the killers vanished. Within minutes, the police are notified. Within hours, the FBI descends, laying claim to the victim without ever saying who he was or why he was there. All Reacher wanted was a ride to Virginia. All he did was stick out his thumb. But he soon discovers he has hitched more than a ride.

    Bill says: "Wanted Man is Wanting ~ And I Want 14 Hours Back"
    "The Only Reacher Dud"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recommend that Lee Child sell the dwarf the rights to this. That way I won't have to feel bad about refusing to see the movie and all of the other Reacher gems will be safe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Innocent: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3872)
    Performance
    (3256)
    Story
    (3280)

    Will Robie may have just made the first - and last - mistake of his career.... It begins with a hit gone wrong. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn't seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable: He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people.

    Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward teenage girl, a 14-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn't an ordinary runaway....

    andrea says: "I Hope There's a Sequel!!"
    "Baldacci At His Worst"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book because I really like David Baldacci, the blurb sounded good and the cover art was great. What a disappointment.

    I knew I wasn't going to like the production the minute I heard gunfire that should have been left to the listener's imagination. The production got worse as a female voice actor was introduced into the mix. Don't get me wrong. Both voice actors did a great job and this is not intended as criticism of them. Unfortunately, one male reader would have been sufficient as the story was horrific. The story was so entirely implausible that Baldacci actually felt compelled to explain how all the absurd underdeveloped characters fit together. To be perfectly frank, I think the editor read the first draft and had absolutely no clue what had happened or why. The result was a completely absurd justification for a ridiculous plot, bad plot development and ill-conceived characters. Even the young girl was no more than a contrivance. At the end publisher should have provided a justification letting Baldacci's reputation get tarnished by this dog of a book. (No offense to dogs.) Next time I'll wait for the reviews before committing my time. I should have turned it off at the first sound of gunfire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11954)
    Performance
    (10354)
    Story
    (10332)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Jeanne says: "Interesting man"
    "Bringing the Last Few Decades into Perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is more than a book about Steve Jobs. It is an insight into our digital world and its denizens. Do yourself a favor. Read it next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fever Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Lincoln Child, Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3075)
    Performance
    (1673)
    Story
    (1682)

    At the old family manse in Louisiana, Special Agent Pendergast is putting to rest long-ignored possessions reminiscent of his wife Helen's tragic death, only to make a stunning - and dreadful - discovery. Helen had been mauled by an unusually large and vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa. But now, Pendergast learns that her rifle-her only protection from the beast-had been deliberately loaded with blanks. Who could have wanted Helen dead...and why?

    Snoodely says: "Intelligent, spooky thriller"
    "Pushing the Envelope of Plausibility"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There will, no doubt, be Fever Dream sequel. I will not be reading it. The only thing less plausible that the characters in this silly book is the plot. What a disappointment! These are excellent authors, but this is far from best work. About 1/2 way through it you will want to put it down. Follow your instincts.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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