Saint Augustine, FL, United States | Member Since 2006
I've read all of Child's Reacher books in order and am about halfway through the series. The storylines have all been quite different but the one constant is Reacher. He will prevail no matter what the challenge. Some readers might not like that kind of predictability. I love it. One Shot had the right amount of twists and turns. I particularly liked the character development of the television news anchor. I wouldn't mind seeing her in future installments although I'm not sure that will happen. Then again, Reacher has her phone number and knows where she lives. Dick Hill was again exemplary. I hope to find that he is the narrator for the entire series. I'll close with a familiar refrain: if you like the Reacher novels, you'll love One Shot.
As someone who usually listens to mystery/thriller books, it was interesting to enter into the non-fiction world of the genre. I was alive at the time of the Manson murders but had forgotten much of the details. Bugliosi does an excellent job of recreating the events that took place on the horrible night 44 years ago. If I had one complaint it would be he did too thorough a job of telling the story. I didn't keep count but the cast of characters had to exceed 100 in the 26.5-hour narration. The main characters were easy enough to keep track of, but some of the minor ones got gobbled up in the incredibly detailed recounting. I would recommend this book to both those who were alive at the time of the murders and to those for whom the story is truly history to them.
Not sure that John Sandford spend a lot of time writing this novel. He introduced several characters that were not germane to the story and when they reappeared several pages later it had me trying to recall where they fit in. The agent with the double secret phone was one such character. That aside, this was a typical Flowers yarn, even though it didn't deal with the typical Flowers elements. Can't remember Virgil dealing with too many ancient biblical artifacts in his previous adventures. Lots of running in circles in this story but enough action, comedy and intrigue to keep Flowers fans interested. The twist at the end fit the story perfectly. The length was about right too. Those who like the Flowers series will be satisfied but not overly impressed.
This wasn't a bad book but if you're looking forward to learning how a medical examiner uses forensic evidence to uncover the mystery behind crimes, you will be disappointed. The unraveling of the mystery had very little to do with forensics and more to do with generic detective work. Also, listening to this book 20 or so years after it was written might prove a little distracting because of the advances made in computing and investigative techniques. Get past all that and the book will provide some entertainment. Worth a listen if you can pick it up on a $4.99 sale.
I listened to this book because, like Billy, I grew up in Long Beach in the fifties and sixties. He is three years older than me and was in my late brother's class at Long Beach High School. I remember playing softball with Billy at the East School playground. He was short back then too. I was hoping he would make a reference to the temple across the street from East School on Neptune Boulevard. A long softball drive would make it across the boulevard and hit Temple Emanuel. "Hit Emanuel" was one of our war cries. In softball terms it was the equivalent of a tape measure homer by Mickey. The book was memorable because I could personally identify with many of the references Billy made to his hometown. Beyond that, I learned many new things about Billy and the trip that brought him to where he is today. A funny and talented guy, he made me laugh, cry and remember. The live portions of the narration before an audience were like listening to new material in comedy record albums. Overall, a great listen.
Lee Child apparently heard the criticism sent his way after the highly disappointing, "A Wanted Man." Book 18 in the series, "Never Go Back" features the Jack Reacher many of us have grown to love. This installment finds him doing much more than sitting in a car and driving around for a third of the book. It starts off with heads bashing into cars and doesn't lose its momentum anywhere along the line. The totally unbelievable scenes that Child constructed during a commercial airline flight will have Reacher fans alternately cringing and smiling. The plot and characters were well conceived and the story flowed in a logical fashion. There were some twists and we met at least one character who is sure to surface in another installment down the line. My one criticism of the book was Scott Brick's narration. Maybe he slowed his delivery because Reacher himself is aging as this series progresses. But the slurry, methodical voice he used for Reacher seemed to be a bit overdone. Reacher fans will be happy to have him back. Let's hope Child doesn't phone it in for his next effort.
I'm still batting 1.000 with books I've listened to with my daughter. This book, from the Sunshine State Readers' List for 2013-14, is another gem. It's funny, keeps you interested, teaches life lessons and makes you wonder where all the great books were when you were a kid. My only complaint is the rather deliberate narration. Even my 10-year-old daughter urged the narrator to pick things up a bit. The audible book, accompanied by the paper or Kindle version, help with developing young reader skills, in my opinion. There seems to be synergy at work. Recommend that you and your child give this one a listen.
I met this author several years ago when I did a story on him for a magazine I edited. Nice guy, good writer and fellow Gator alum. So I want to give him four or five stars every time I read one of his books. The best I could do on this one was three stars because, quite frankly, it was a little hard to follow. The good guys and the bad guys kept trading places and some of it seems like it was made up on the fly. But Grippando did something right because I kept on listening and I kept on being interested. The ending was a bit abrupt but not disappointing. What can I say? A three-star effort and listen.
I often listen/read kids' books with my 10-year-old daughter and usually like them. The One and Only Ivan was no exception. It's one of this year's Sunshine State Books for 3rd-5th graders. They (Florida education officials) select 15 books each year and we've yet to come across one that hasn't been excellent. This book teaches about kindness and the importance of "peer" interaction. The chapters in the book were numerous and short. The story snippets were organized and easy to follow. Everything blended together well. Listen (and read along) with your kid. You will both enjoy the experience.
I like the way Coben injects a sprinkling of romance into his mystery/thriller novels and this one definitely fits the mold. I had difficulty unraveling the mystery until Coben revealed what was happening. Some of the reason for this was because he wove a complicated tale, but most of it was because the tale was pretty unbelievable. But there are many examples of well-written fiction that strain credulity and I have no problem suspending my belief threshold if the story holds my interest. And this story certainly held my attention. I didn't want to shut my iPod off. There were also some marksmanship issues near the conclusion of the book that put some serious strain on the aforementioned credulity, but to reveal what they were might spoil some of the fun. Coben fans will like this book.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters, especially the evil Taryn Grant, were well developed and, in her case, especially dislikable. The political maneuvering, although extreme, was believable in this age of dirty politics. Lucas was leaning in the right direction but it took him a while to move there. My only beef with this otherwise well-written story was the number of major loose ends that remained at the book's closing. Can't tell you what they were without providing spoilers but I think most readers will similarly be disappointed at the manner in which the tale ended so abruptly. Maybe the next Prey book will pick up where this one left off, but that hasn't been Sandford's style. Don't know if the author ran out of ideas or ended it this way purposely. Either way, I would have preferred a more conclusive ending. All that aside, worth a credit and worth a listen.
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