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Thomas

I like Irish and Swedish crime thrillers and sociological exposes concerning African American life from Colonial times to the end of WWII. Recently I have taken a real liking to the works of Neal Stephenson and Fyodor Dostoevsky as well.

Member Since 2009

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 44 ratings
  • 321 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • Rabbit at Rest

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John Updike
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behaving erratically; his daughter-in-law, Pru, is sending out mixed signals; and his wife, Janice, decides in mid-life to become a working girl. As, though the winter, spring, and summer of 1989, Reagan's debt-ridden, AIDS-plagued America yields to that of George Bush, Rabbit explores the bleak terrain of late middle age.

    Kathryn G Goodman says: "classic rabbit"
    "The Last and Best of the Rabbit Novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Well, first I would recommend reading the first three books or at least the first one. It is ble to be read as a stand alone book but seeing the characters develop across four decades of American history is really great and Arthur Morey really hits the nail on the head as narrator. His flat, Philadelphia accent isn't too far off from Updike's own (having listened to the John Updike Audio Collection I have had the joy of hearing the author's own voice) and the steady,unhurried way he narrates makes all of the deadpan comedy really come home. I'm also a native of Pennsylvania but from the Pittsburgh side and I can identify with so much of the places and characters.


    What other book might you compare Rabbit at Rest to and why?

    Obviously the first three books are comparable but despite its length, it is much better paced that either the second or third novels (the latter of which I thought to be too long for its own good). I truly liked how the series came full circle at the end bringing in elements of the first novel back for good measure. A great finish to the series (with Rabbit living in any case. The extra novella is a bit unnecessary although it ends nicely).


    What about Arthur Morey’s performance did you like?

    His Philadelphia accent and the perfect deadpan comedy.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The basketball game at the end was moving in that it showed the series coming full circle.


    Any additional comments?

    Aside from Nelson's character for the first two thirds of the novel, this is the best book in the series. Rabbit finally can do all that he couldn't do in the first book. We have the feeling that he was finally able to run away for good and there was a safe place waiting for him unlike his run away into the scary unknown in the first book. I like how Nelson reforms however at the expense of everything and even Janice smartens up a bit. The adventures in Florida in the beginning are perfectly wonderful. It was nice not to have to put up with Ronnie until later in the book. The main problem is Nelson and even that is nicely handled.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11307)
    Performance
    (10539)
    Story
    (10548)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Ryan says: "Wil Wheaton for President"
    "A Fun Nostalgic Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It would depend on what they think of the 80's and of Video Games but YES! in most cases.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ready Player One?

    The discovery of the various places of the keys and gates and all of the geeky trivia entailed in it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Ultraman Vs. MechaGodzilla! I know it sounds silly and geeky but it was such a satisfying scene for many reasons.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me feel the nostalgia of playing a good game over and over, the obsession, the times (80's) and the respective styles/movies/music/video games. There is plenty of explanation for the uninitiated so I think no one will really get too left behind.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll come right out and say it, the romance angle is not really well written. It is a bit of a major come down after the breathless beginning up to the first gate. Clumsily done with no real understanding of what the characters are feeling, it is a bit of a let down.
    On another note, this book has a LOAD of replay value for me. It's impossible to pick out all of the many references in one go which makes each new listening experience a joy. I skip over the awkward relationship parts on these outings which makes it even more enjoyable.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4401)
    Performance
    (2854)
    Story
    (2884)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "Delicious Delivery of Heaven,Hell and Earth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Good Omens the most enjoyable?

    The writing is so full of references to the Omen, Rosemary's Baby, and most other Biblical End of the World films and books as well as insights into modern belief and demoniacal/angelic intervention in late 20th Century life channeling everyone from C.S. Lewis to the silly Televangelists who get "Words of God" from their earpieces. I enjoyed Marvin Jarvis in his role as Rossi etc int he abridged version of the Historian and here, his talent is shown even further as he enacts demons, Satanic nuns, renegade angels, and English children with a sweeping range of voices.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Good Omens?

    The birth and mix-up in the beginning and the Witchfinder Corps were pretty amusing but mostly the many jokes scattered throughout the book are truly fun.


    What does Martin Jarvis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    As mentioned above, his various accents and even his singing voice all lend themselves to the comedy. I feel there are a few references made clearer by his performance than I missed when I read the book beforehand. There's something about his voice for the AntiChrist boy that sounds like it was supposed to mean something but I couldn't catch it.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was laughing for most of the time due to the many jokes and references to various films and general supernatural, angelic and demoniac behavior.


    Any additional comments?

    The ending is a bit underwhelming what with the big set-up and everything but it was a fun ride overall mostly thanks to Marvin Jarvis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dracula [Audible Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2779)
    Performance
    (2544)
    Story
    (2570)

    The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

    N. Houghton says: "Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
    "A Bit Disappointing Despite the Hype."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It's a nice retelling of Dracula but I just wished it could have made more of its full ensemble cast a la The Historian and His Dark Materials Trilogy i.e. each character's voice being performed by a different actor.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dracula [Audible Edition]?

    Jonathan Harker's account of Castle Dracula in the beginning. I was expecting MUCH MORE from Tim Curry as Van Helsing. He seemed to be a bit bored with the role. He read it quite slowly with none of the energy I have associated with the role.


    What three words best describe the narrators’s performance?

    Professional, Variety, but Limited


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It is a movie and I have seen it. Coppola's was the best if not for the unnecessary love story.


    Any additional comments?

    If only each letter had assistance from each characters voice when they had a line, it would be better. Also, I thought Mina and Lucy's voices should have been switched.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Irish Country Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Patrick Taylor
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (182)

    Barry Laverty, M.B., is looking forward to his first Christmas in the cozy village of Ballybucklebo, at least until he learns that his sweetheart, Patricia, might not be coming home for the holidays. That unhappy prospect dampens his spirits somewhat, but Barry has little time to dwell on his romantic disappointments. Christmas may be drawing nigh, but there is little peace to be found on earth, especially for a young doctor plying his trade in the emerald hills and glens of rural Ireland.

    Sara says: "A wonderful christmas listen"
    "Perfectly comfortable tale for Christmas Season."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does An Irish Country Christmas rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's harmlessly comfortable. It's predictable but also very warmhearted with contrived plot lines all aimed at a warm and happy end. But I didn't care. I wanted something Christmasy and I got it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Its characters and description of small town 1960s Ireland.


    Which character – as performed by John Keating – was your favorite?

    All the characters, with the exception of the rival Doctor had pleasant accents.


    If you could rename An Irish Country Christmas, what would you call it?

    The name really suits the story. You get what you pay for.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stolen Souls: A Jack Lennon Investigation

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Stuart Neville
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (127)

    Galya Petrova travels to Ireland on a promise that she will work for a nice Russian family, teaching their children English. Instead, she is dragged into the world of modern slavery, sold to a Belfast brothel, and held there against her will. She escapes at a terrible cost - the slaying of one of her captors - and takes refuge with a man who offers his help. But her savior is not what he seems....

    Deborah says: "Strong Third Chapter"
    "A Come Down for the Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Stolen Souls? What did you like least?

    As usual, Neville has action and well written, suspenseful passages but without Gerry Fagan, the series has really lost its steam.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    If this is the last book of the series, I'm really going to be disappointed. However, I'm not sure if I'd want to continue the series unless something really unexpected happens.


    Have you listened to any of Gerard Doyle’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He's always awesome in whatever he does. I've never had a complaint about him and I probably never will. His accents, inflections, and voice ranges are all magnificent.


    Did Stolen Souls inspire you to do anything?

    Not really. It's a bit of a downer especially with the Christmas setting and all.


    Any additional comments?

    Neville should break free of his series and write something new and cool and original like Ghosts of Belfast.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Historian

    • ABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Joanne Whalley, Dennis Boutsikaris, Rosalyn Landor, and others
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history....Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of-a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    Meg says: "Dracula revisited"
    "Great accents, wonderful background music and more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Historian the most enjoyable?

    The use of different voices for the reading of different letters. Each character is voiced by a separate actor or actress performing with a different accent. As I am a fan of all accents, it made the story very pleasant to listen to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Historian?

    Rossi's missing letters meant to be sent from Romania. They reveal SO much about the historical Dracula as well as the story's plot.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    As mentioned before, the accents. The best was the guy who did the man with a mixed Scottish/Romanian accent. It was superb and an excellent example of hard work and top-notch voice acting.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Historian and why?

    Perhaps Rossi himself but each plot line has its own quirks. The unnamed narrator's recounting of her trip to Italy and Slovenia has its own charms too.


    Any additional comments?

    I've listened to this recording many times. It is fitting when the Autumn chill fills the air and you want something intellectually satisfying yet a bit dark.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cryptonomicon

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (2213)
    Performance
    (1543)
    Story
    (1565)

    Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

    flaos says: "Finally Audible"
    "Cracking Cryptonomicon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes but with guarded words. Prepare to commit to over 40 hours of intense mathematical and historical discourse told with a lot of wit but seemingly without any direction until the last 3 hours or so.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not really. It's not that kind of book. In Stephenson's first two SciFi masterpieces he makes use of his creativity for imagining a possible technological dystopia but as the two time periods in this novel are the (then) present of the late 90's and WWII era America, The Philipines, Japan, China, Europe and all the seas in between, he has to rely on actual math and while some of it is over the head of most (or at least this) listener(s), he also makes use of his remarkable wit of which we have only heard snatches of up to this point. There's no real suspense although there are a few suspenseful situations. Stephenson's unique outlook on the world and his remarkably well-realized characters reminds me of John Updike for some reason, perhaps for the fact that they seem like real people who think about real things rather than just some made-up characters.I found myself laughing like crazy for seemingly no reason just for the "oh so ordinary but so true" way some of the characters talk. Stephenson is certainly one of the most versatile writers out there. There is so much here and , as someone who majored in East Asian Studies and lives in Japan, he hit the nail on the head at least as far as Japan is concerned but he steers away from just idolization/damnation of other cultures but sees them from a basic human standpoint without being either cynical or preachy. You don't really realize he is toeing this line but he is. I think the expression "Nips" was used a bit much but it gave a sense of period and albeit it a terrible slanderous word, it is marginally less grating on the ear than the more common slur "Japs." Interestingly enough, I don't think the German equivalents were used even once. Fancy that.


    Which character – as performed by William Dufris – was your favorite?

    Probably Randy although his German accents are pretty interesting as he demonstrated in another book "The Murder of the Century." His Japanese accents sound strangely Native American and his Filipino accents sound Mexican but his basic dry wit narrator's voice is probably my favorite. The narrators for the audiobooks must be handpicked by Stephenson himself because after listening to each I couldn't imagine a better reader for either one. He has decent variations and his Douglas MacArthur and Ronald Reagan voices had me laughing with incredulity. His Shaftoe voice took a while to get used to because he sounds just like a mindless grunt which, although his behavior over most of the novel reflects as much, it cheapens him a bit.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed at some of the asides such as General Mills calculation of making Cap'n Crunch nuggets the same size as teeth so as to be ergonomically eaten and Randy's ex-girlfriend's research on "shaving pornography" as a sort of indirect hint to get him to shave off his beard not to mention the absolutely batsh*t ridiculous handling of the furniture-to-be-bequeathed using an interactive x y graph in which hopeful relatives of Randy (all genius IQ mathematicians and scientists) lug the items they want all over the parking lot comparing monetary and emotional value with the x and y values. Basically, half the time, you're thinking, "Where the heck is he going with this?" It's a fun and geeky ride but a long one and there is a payoff but it doesn't come until about the 37 hour mark. For me, it was worth it but I can see how some might see it as a "too little, too late" sort of deal. On the bright side, without revealing any spoilers, the ending is the most clear cut of all the Stephenson SciFI novels so far.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Classic Christmas Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 40 mins)
    • By Hans Christian Andersen, Louisa May Alcott, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and others
    • Narrated By Paul Albertson
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Classic Christmas Stories features seven timeless classics, including Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, A Christmas Dream and How it Came True by Louisa May Alcott, A Christmas Inspiration by Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen, and The Three Kings by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

    Thomas says: "Solid Stories with a Crafty Sounding Narrator"
    "Solid Stories with a Crafty Sounding Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Sure! You'll either love the narrator or not. He's probably not the best guy to read The Night Before Christmas but for all of the other stories, he does a pretty nice job. Especially in the L. Frank Baum and Wilder stories, his range of voice and the devious nature of his tone come to full bloom.


    What other book might you compare Classic Christmas Stories to and why?

    Maybe the Holiday Classics Collection that Audible gave away for free a couple of years ago. Each story fit, was short and left you in wonder at the end.


    What about Paul Albertson’s performance did you like?

    I liked the bite in his voice for the demons in Santa Claus Kidnapped and the childish snobbery of the little girl in the Christmas Dream Come True story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The little Match girl's story was sad but really sweet.


    Any additional comments?

    He could have read the Night Before Christmas with a lighter tone but the other stories were great.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stories of Faith for Christmas: Guideposts for the Spirit

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Richard H. Schneider, Billy Graham, Richard Crenna, and others
    • Narrated By Jon Gauger, Lucille Cole, Sharilynn Dunn, and others
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Here are more than 60 heartwarming stories of faith. These are stories about the true gifts of Christmas: answered prayers, real-life angels, and inexplicable miracles. They are the stories of people who gained a greater understanding of the true meaning of Christmas, some through a word or gesture from their fellow man, others through a miraculous event that could only have come from God.

    Thomas says: "You Get What You Pay For"
    "You Get What You Pay For"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    More solidly written stories without the irksome need for feel-good endings. I really liked the Pearl Buck story and the one that took place at the outbreak of WWII but most of them had predictable outcomes or hammy lines.


    Has Stories of Faith for Christmas turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I got it for cheap. I just wanted something to get me in the mood for Christmas. usually nothing does that like a good story but most of these were just too cheesy for me. It's just a matter of taste, I guess.
    I prefer stories that emphasize the joy of giving and the surprise in the recipient not corny Christmas Miracles. There is but one Christmas Miracle and that's good enough for me. Stories like Christmas Day in the Morning (renamed here something corny like A Gift to Last a Lifetime) which show the simple but true way we can all make Christmas special by doing something just as ordinary as someone else's chores.
    God gave us something much more beautiful just by letting a young girl give birth in a stable. The man getting locked in a safe and having no one notice was a nice wake-up call and the citizens who had come to a cheap California apartment all chipping together to help a young pregnant woman was a nice affirmation of American as well as true Christian values.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The father's reaction when his son had fed and milked the cows for him pm Christmas Day.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Stories of Faith for Christmas?

    Unfortunately, most of the


    Any additional comments?

    The biggest turnoff was the

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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