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Amherst, MA, USA | Member Since 2004

  • 7 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 191 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Tepper Isn't Going Out

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Calvin Trillin
    • Narrated By Calvin Trillin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tepper enjoys sitting in his car, reading his newspaper in peace. His car always seems to be parked in a prime spot and other drivers want to know if Tepper is going out. He isn't. This drives some people crazy - including the mayor - but leads others to think Tepper harbors some hidden wisdom. The tale that emerges is "refreshing and completely likable."

    George says: "Dog Stopping Funny"
    "Very funny but not the best reader"

    ... Or I guess I should say "I've heard better." I am a big fan of Mr. Trillin's writing, and have read most of his non-fiction over the years. He's a funny man, and a good writer.

    That being said, there are a couple of flaws that make me not so fond of the audiobook. The first is that his reading is rather bland, and does not do his prose justice. Most authors should leave reading to the professionals, and Mr. Trillin is unfortunately one of them. The second is that the prose itself suffers from that characteristic flaw of first-time novelists who have been writing for many years: Many of the jokes and themes have appeared many times in his earlier work. (If you've heard the phrase 'sabbath gasbag' before, you'll be in my boat.) This detracts somewhat from the enjoyment. Though it evokes the same nostalgia one feels for the city that the rest of the book does, it's not so pleasant in the ideas of the book as opposed to the milieu.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Man Jeeves

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By P.G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    My Man Jeeves, first published in 1919, introduced the world to affable, indolent Bertie Wooster and his precise, capable valet, Jeeves. Some of the finest examples of humorous writing found in English literature are woven around the relationship between these two men of very different classes and temperaments. Where Bertie is impetuous and feeble, Jeeves is coolheaded and poised.

    Ken says: "Jeeves and Pepper"
    "Jeeves and Pepper"

    Despite the title, more than half the book is stories about Reggie Pepper. Same flavor as the Jeeves books, and of course Wodehouse is excellent, but if it's Jeeves you want, you'll do better with another title.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John O'Neill, Jerome R. Corsi
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In their new book, Unfit for Command, John O'Neill and co-author Jerome Corsi bring together the words of more than 200 Navy veterans who served with John Kerry and who feel it their duty to tell why Kerry is unworthy of the presidency.

    Richard T. Betz says: "Unfit For Command"

    The book is a fantasy, and cannot be judged within it's own twisted little right-wing foaming-at-the-mouth world. No one should be deceived into thinking it is 'fair', 'balalnced', or truthful. Any reasonable external review of its assertions will reveal that they are unsubstantiated and unverifiable post-hoc opinions.

    That being said, I expect only those disliking John Kerry will be interested in actually reading this swill.

    33 of 104 people found this review helpful
  • On the House, 1-Month Subscription

    • Abridged/Unabridged (2 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By James Carey, Morris Carey

    On The House with the Carey Brothers is the #1 home repair radio program in the U.S. With more than 50 years of combined experience as contractors, James Carey and Morris Carey are nationally recognized experts on home building and renovation. Each week, they take calls from listeners and offer money-saving tips on building, remodeling, and repairing homes in a way that appeals to both casual listeners and avid do-it-yourselfers.

    Ken says: "A reminder of why NPR is soooo good"
    "A reminder of why NPR is soooo good"

    This is the very first thing I've downloaded from audible but not listened to all of. In the first 25 minutes of the program I got, they didn't take one call-- the show was devoted to thanking the sponsors, promoting their book, 'classic' rock lead-ins coming back from commercial breaks, and funny voices from their answering machine. Yawn.

    Then they took two calls. In neither case did they listen closely enough to get the important details of the problem, though I did. They also missed the tenor of the question. Example: a woman called in about the rental apartment her daughter lived in, and a drafty window which she wanted advice about insulating. The hosts suggested a storm window. Good advice for a homeowner, but unlikely to seem attractive to a renter.

    Car Talk works because the guys are funny, and because they listen to their callers and take all the time they need. These guys are not funny, do not listen, and make each call as short as possible. No, thanks.

    46 of 46 people found this review helpful
  • To the Nines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Stephanie Plum may not be the best bounty hunter in beautiful downtown Trenton, but she's pretty darn good at turning bad situations her way...and she always gets her man. Her cousin Vinnie (who's also her boss) has posted bail on Samuel Singh, an illegal immigrant. When the elusive Mr. Singh goes missing, Stephanie is on the case. In a race against time that takes her from the Jersey Turnpike to the Vegas Strip, Stephanie Plum is on the chase of her life.

    Maxine says: "hilarious"
    "stereotyping, weak plotting, caricaturish reading"

    Aspiring writers are often advised to write about what they know. Assuming the author took this advice, everything she knows about New Jersey, Italian-Americans, Las Vegas, manufacturing, police work and officers, criminals, and psychopathology came from Hollywood and TV. Next time, some research away from the screen would be wise.

    Although part of the stereotyping may come from the narrator-- who overacts each of the different voices-- the author does not miss an opportunity to make a person's ethnicity stand in for their personality. From the Italian grandmother who sees visions to the pushy Indian mother trying to marry off her daughter to the overweight black sidekick, you will get no more sense of who these people are from the book than you did in this sentence. Oh, and New Jersey is tough and gritty, a place where a 'minor mob boss' can coexist peacefully with the authorities. Puh-lease.

    The plot is there, but just barely. Our hero gets mixed up in some bad business, chases a few dead ends, suspects (for no good reason) the wrong person, and survives in the end. No spoilers there, I hope! I'd say 60% of the text is filler describing the characters going to the mall, doing random tasks (locking the car with the remote control-- no kidding? Wow!), being sexually aroused, or going about their jobs until it's dark enough to fit the next plot point.

    The book is apparently part of series about the main character. The author does provide enough history and context to the unitiated. I did somehow care about her a bit, too.

    There is some sex and (ooh!) orgasms. If that is what you are looking for, you don't need to suffer through the rest of the book to get it. If you want a mystery, you _really_ don't want this. If you want good writing, no luck here.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Le Show, 1-Month Subscription

    • Abridged/Unabridged (1 hr)
    • By Harry Shearer
    • Narrated By Harry Shearer

    Le Show is a program of satire, humor, and commentary about the week's news. Comedy sketches written and performed by multi-talented multimedia artist Harry Shearer, interwoven with an eclectic, ever-changing blend of music; from world to pop, soul to jazz. Shearer says about Le Show, "I do it because I don't do standup, and I don't do sitcoms, and the radio broadcast enables me to do what I think is funny in a broadcast medium without having to listen either to network executives or Canadian producers."

    David says: "Overpriced!"
    "Give 'em hell, Harry!"

    Harry Shearer does, as several other reviewers have noted, 'just' read the news, often with pauses to allow/force the listener to think about what was just said. The news is often 'funny', though in the painful irony sense rather than the mindless Gallagher sense. The funnyness is in the juxtaposition of the stories and his commentary on the news.

    I often find that his reading is broader than mine, and thus I actually get news from him that is not played up by the herd media. Not that I need reasons to be angrier about the behavior of the federal, state and local government, politicians, corporations, and celebrities, but it is great to have the right person humiliate the offenders. After listening to each week's show, I feel vindicated and cathartically cleansed as by a Greek tragedy. Thank you, Audible, for providing Le Show.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil in the White City

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

    D says: "A Rich Read!"
    "Narrator detracts from great story"

    The book is great, and well worth the time. The story and the writing really take you to the time and place-- more credit to Mr. Larson for his style and scholarship. Fascinating book.

    To me, the audiobook was a mixed bag, though. The narrator over-emotes every sentence, and until the drama really heated up, I considered dropping the book-- I kept getting distracted by Mr. Brick's inappropriate, superior, and generally irritating tone. That being said, he seems to be some people's cup of tea, and if you like (or just dont mind) him as a reader, the book will not disappoint.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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