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Paul L. Sungenis

Pab Sungenis

East Vineland, NJ USA | Member Since 2005

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 70 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • The Ask: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Sam Lipsyte
    • Narrated By Sam Lipsyte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (49)

    Milo Burke, a development officer at a third-tier university, has "not been developing": after a run-in with a well-connected undergrad, he finds himself among the burgeoning class of the newly unemployed. Grasping after odd jobs to support his wife and child, Milo is offered one last chance by his former employer: he must reel in a potential donor--a major "ask"--who, mysteriously, has requested Milo's involvement.

    Erica says: "Fantastic"
    "Can't follow the story because of the narration."
    Overall

    This is the latest of a (sadly) growing number of books that publishers have inexplicably chosen to have read by their author, when the author has no dramatic ability and no apparent director to oversee the production. Sam Lipsyte's droning reading keeps you guessing which characters are saying what in long conversations, and eventually proves distracting enough to keep you from following the story at all. This is one to avoid.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • They Eat Puppies, Don't They?: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Christopher Buckley
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (83)

    In an attempt to gain congressional approval for a top-secret weapons system, Washington lobbyist "Bird" McIntyre teams up with sexy, outspoken neocon Angel Templeton to pit the American public against the Chinese. When Bird fails to uncover an authentic reason to slander the nation, he and Angel put the Washington media machine to work, spreading a rumor that the Chinese secret service is working to assassinate the Dalai Lama.

    Adam Shields says: "I love Buckley. This was not his best."
    "Fine modern American satire"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm often accused of saying that conservatives aren't funny. That's not true. The trick is that good humor, especially satire, has to have some basis in fact to build upon. Even when you're writing in an absurdist vein you need to plant some of it in reality and too few "conservative" writers today know how to base their humor in reality. Christopher Buckley is a conservative who can be extremely funny, especially since he knows how to skewer everyone, not just his political opponents. This latest book shows Buckley is still in fine form and still hilarious. Robert Petkoff's voice and delivery are perfect for the tone of the book as well. This one is worth your credit.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Be Now, Buddy What: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Dan Spencer
    • Narrated By Dan Spencer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    A naked man survives a meteoric plunge from a cloudless sky, and a small-town TV reporter rushes to get the story. The fallen man claims amnesia and, despite widespread efforts, no one can identify him. The press dubs him Buddy What. When no clues surface about his identity and as details about him are examined, Internet devotees worship him as a celestial being. With trepidation, he accepts the call to become a spiritual guru. But as Buddy What grows into a worldwide phenomenon, controversies follow.

    Paul L. Sungenis says: "Another unfortunate case of author reading book."
    "Another unfortunate case of author reading book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Be Now, Buddy What" is an interesting story with some fascinating observations about today's neo-spiritualism and the cult of celebrity. Unfortunately, Dan Spencer saw the need (like far too many authors today) to read his own book.

    Spencer tries to do character voices and in many cases (especially feminine ones) proves horribly inept at it. The bulk of the narration is serviceable but some characters (especially that of Buddy himself) grate on the eardrums.

    I recommend this book solely for the story. If you can't stomach half-baked author narration then look for it in a different format.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Chad Harbach
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1173)
    Performance
    (984)
    Story
    (987)

    At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

    S. says: "Not Quite ~"
    "Great new version of a great novel."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I fell in love with this story despite the original version here on Audible (narrated by Bryan Kennedy, who was woefully inappropriate for this book). This new version narrated by Holter Graham is much less distracting than the original (and thanks to his more natural patter an hour shorter than before) and lets the characters feel more natural. If any of the previous reviews and low rankings because of the narration put you off downloading this book, please reconsider and give it a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One of Our Thursdays is Missing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jasper Fforde
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (472)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (303)

    Deftly blending such genres as mystery, science fiction, and classic literature, Jasper Fforde’s gleefully irreverent New York Times best-selling Thursday Next novels defy categorization. In this sixth installment, the threat of all-out Genre war looms over BookWorld. But with the real Thursday Next retired in the real world, the Council of Genres has no other choice than to tap the fictional Thursday to save the day. Her mission as emissary is to prevent the brewing war—but her task is made more difficult by a hidden foe manipulating events.

    Kevin says: "Not really a Thursday Next book"
    "Extremely disappointing."
    Overall

    Not really a "Thursday Next" book at all, but the continuing adventures of "Thursday Five" as she was called in "First Among Sequels." None of the "Outland" characters seem to be in the book, JurisFiction is all but nonexistent, and the newly rearranged BookWorld is just plain sad.

    It's annoying that Fforde wasted his time on this while he could have been finally writing the third Nursery Chryme or the next Shades of Grey.

    Skip this one and I doubt you'll regret it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The November Criminals: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Sam Munson
    • Narrated By Sam Munson
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    For a high school senior, Addison Schacht has a lot of preoccupations. Like getting into college. Selling drugs to his classmates. His complicated relationship with his best friend (NOT his girlfriend) Digger. And he's just added another to the list: the murder of his classmate Kevin Broadus, and his own absurd, obsessive plan to investigate the death.

    John B. Judkins says: "Don't waste your money - horrible narration"
    "Fine story, but the narration ruins it."
    Overall

    I can't understand the current fad for having authors with no dramatic experience reading their own novels. Sam Munson's reading of this novel (much like Sam Lipsyte's reading of "The Ask") makes it impossible to follow at many points, and the story gets lost in a dreary monotone. Go buy the paperback when it comes out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hitler's War

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Harry Turtledove
    • Narrated By John Allen Nelson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (82)

    The New York Times best-selling master of alternate history delivers the captivating first novel in his new World War II series. Harry Turtledove imagines how the war in Europe would have ended had British prime minister Chamberlain refused to allow Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland.

    B Daigle says: "Interesting"
    "4 stars for the text, =3 for the reading."
    Overall

    This has to be the worst reading I've heard yet from Audible, so bad I can't believe it's ON Audible. The "narrator" has no clue about pacing, inflection, or distinguishing between voices. Worse, he affects the worst stereotypical "foreign" accents with no clue on how words in the languages he is mimicking are actually pronounced. There are even a few ENGLISH words he can't pronounce correctly.

    I love Harry Turtledove, and now regret the mistake of getting this book on Audible instead of in hardcover, because this reader has completely ruined the story for me.

    Avoid this reader at all costs.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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