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Ed

Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 12-year-old daughter.

Saint Augustine, FL, United States | Member Since 2013

2561
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 222 reviews
  • 413 ratings
  • 515 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • ToxiCity: Georgia Davis Prequel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Libby Fischer Hellmann
    • Narrated By Robin Rowan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    Ten years before Easy Innocence, PI Georgia Davis was a police officer on the force in a Chicago suburb. And while homicides are rare on the North Shore, three bodies turn up in quick succession - all of them dumped in waste disposal dumpsters or landfills. The investigations into the murders test the mettle and professionalism of a combined police task force. Along the way, they also test the strength of Georgia's relationship with one of the detectives working the case.

    Greenaway says: "Good read by first time listener"
    "Wanted to be impressed more than I was"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really wanted to give this book four or five stars because the author, who noticed that I read and review numerous mystery/thrillers, asked me to review one of hers. So I downloaded ToxiCity and Easy Innocence. Even thought the events in ToxiCity occur before the events in Easy Innocence (it is a prequel in the Georgia Davis series), it was written after Easy Innocence (and another Georgia Davis book) was written. Maybe I should have listened to Easy Innocence first because this offering did not leave me salivating for more Georgia. On the positive side, it gave the listener an opportunity to put clues together and deduce whodunit and why. After the second "years earlier" chapter, the mystery easily came together. It was just a matter of ascertaining methods and details. Hellmann made a compelling story as to why the murders took place and the methods employed by the "bad guys." Some of the dynamics of the story didn't work for me, such as the "lust at first sight" that developed between Ricki Feldman and Matt Singer. I also wish that Hellmann had left the intimacies that occurred between Georgia and Matt more to the imagination of the listener, but that's just a personal preference. Listeners with a Jewish background or a good knowledge of that faith will be at an advantage when listening to this story. If your knowledge of Jewish customs and tradition is limited, you might, at times, be lost. Probably the one thing that bothered me the most about this prequel is that Georgia Davis played a very minor role in the story. She was third in line when it came to the law enforcement officers who had the most impact (even though we learned it was Georgia's research that ultimately broke the case). I'm also not an expert as to the probabilities of a rather timid, law-abiding person being turned into a crazed serial killer, but this character development seemed to be a bit of a stretch to me. Not a bad book, not a good book. I am hopeful that I can award those four or five stars after listening to Easy Innocence. In any event, I have a sneaking suspicion I'll probably learn more about Georgia in that one than I did in ToxiCity.

    12 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Wayfaring Stranger

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (902)
    Performance
    (819)
    Story
    (816)

    It is 1934 and the Depression is bearing down when 16-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends as Weldon puts a bullet through the rear window of Clyde’s stolen automobile. Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland and his sergeant, Hershel Pine, escape certain death in the Battle of the Bulge and encounter a beautiful young woman named Rosita Lowenstein hiding in a deserted extermination camp.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Outstanding Addition to the Holland/Texas Saga"
    "Average for Burke; outstanding for anyone else"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The dialogue and wording of this story were up to Burke's usual standards. I was a little disappointed by the story, which I didn't think captivated as well as others by Burke. Will Patton is in my top three of favorite narrators and nailed this recording. He nearly turned a four-star book into a five-star one. Character development was excellent and Burke drew a very clear picture of all the main ones. Although the ending was a bit abrupt, Burke made up for it by an unanticipated twist. Good listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Frozen: The Junior Novelization

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Disney Press
    • Narrated By Andi Arndt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (144)

    When the kingdom is trapped in an eternal winter, Anna, a young dreamer, must team up with Kristoff, a daring mountain man, and his reindeer on the grandest of journeys to find Anna's sister, the Snow Queen Elsa, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes, and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction. Frozen: The Junior Novelization retells the whole exciting story.

    David A. Heckman says: "Great read"
    "Good Family Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this book with my daughter who had seen the movie several times. I might have been the only person in the world who read this book without having seen the movie. About what I expected. I wasn't surprised by the few twists and turns although I have to honestly say I didn't automatically anticipate them. Listening with my daughter made the exercise worthwhile.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Stranger

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Albert Camus
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1168)
    Performance
    (726)
    Story
    (724)

    Albert Camus' The Stranger is one of the most widely read novels in the world, with millions of copies sold. It stands as perhaps the greatest existentialist tale ever conceived, and is certainly one of the most important and influential books ever produced. Now, for the first time, this revered masterpiece is available as an unabridged audio production.

    Rolando says: "Is amorality bad?"
    "A forgettable classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm pretty sure I read this book about 50 years ago but had little recollection of it. After listening to the audio version I became aware of why I remember so little about it. It is very forgettable. And so I invoke my self-imposed rule that no classic ever gets less than three stars from me. It's abrupt ending did not help. I might note that I gave Jane Eyre and Great Expectations five stars so it's not just my lack of culture that influenced me here. Maybe others will appreciate it more than I. It's less than a four-hour listen so you're not risking a lot to give it a whack.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Deadline: Virgil Flowers, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1113)
    Performance
    (995)
    Story
    (999)

    In Southeast Minnesota, down on the Mississippi, a school board meeting is coming to an end. The board chairman announces that the rest of the meeting will be closed, due to personnel issues. "Issues" is correct. The proposal up for a vote before them is whether to authorize the killing of a local reporter. The vote is four to one in favor.

    MJ says: "Best in this series"
    "About what you would expect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is filled with a whole lot of characters who are easy to hate. Perhaps the newspaper editor is the worst of them all. You have a primary plot and two sub plots that Sandford did an excellent job of weaving together. There's never any doubt that the dogs and the good guys will prevail but the journey is fun anyway. Standard Virgil Flowers fare with maybe a little less female intrigue than usual.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 19

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2021)
    Performance
    (1827)
    Story
    (1827)

    "You can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not always. Not completely," notes Jack Reacher - and sure enough, the retired military cop is soon pulled back into service. This time, for the State Department and the CIA. Someone has taken a shot at the president of France in the City of Light. The bullet was American. The distance between the gunman and the target was exceptional. How many snipers can shoot from three-quarters of a mile with total confidence? Very few, but John Kott - an American marksman gone bad - is one of them...

    Jeffrey says: "Lee and Dick seem tired"
    "Twist at the end was nice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're a Jack Reacher fan you will neither be disappointed nor blown away by this latest offering. It had a good mix of the cerebral and physical dominance that is the calling card of our hero. Fans will start salivating when the character of Little Joey is introduced. If they ever made a movie of this book I would want the late Andre the Giant to play Joey. If he wasn't late, that is. Casey Nice was a likable character and here's hoping that Child brings her back in future offerings. The twist at the end caught me by surprise but I think it was well set up and believable. Knowing that Child did not phone this one in, as he did with "A Wanted Man," should be enough to make this more than worth a credit for Reacher fans. Enough said.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Means: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Douglas Brunt
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, George Newbern, Bob Walter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    Part Primary Colors, part House of Cards, The Means takes you deep into high-stakes politics where everyone has something to hide. Tom Pauley is a conservative trial attorney in Durham, NC, who is tapped by GOP leaders to campaign for the Governor's mansion. His bold style makes him a favorite for a run at the White House. Mitchell Mason is the president-elect of the United States, pushed into politics by a father determined to create a political dynasty.

    Ed says: "Thought I was listening to abridged version"
    "Thought I was listening to abridged version"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this was a pretty good story but would have preferred that one narrator be used. The writing was somewhat disjointed and the use of multi narrators didn't help. Also I did not like the author's technique of jumping ahead of important milestones in the story and reflecting back on them. I gave the book three stars because it revealed some behind-the-scenes looks into politics and journalism. I'm also a fan of Megan Kelly and heard she did some first edits. A solid three stars.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Izzy and Lenore

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Jon Katz
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (275)

    Jon Katz is the New York Times best-selling author of numerous nonfiction tales of man's best friend. Here he presents the story of two dogs that profoundly affected his life and work. Skittish border collie Izzy pushes him into rewarding work with Hospice. And black lab Lenore's gentle spirit helps remind him why he wanted to work with animals in the first place.

    Dan says: "Amazing Book.."
    "No way to go wrong in story about dogs and hospice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a dog lover and supporter of the incredible work performed by hospice folks I knew this book was a no-risk listen. Didn't think it was particularly well written and I never really connected with Jon. Thank goodness for Izzy and Lenore. Izzy went from rags to riches in spirit and was almost too good to be true. Lenore was a lovable Lab who proved near the end of the listen that she possessed more than simple puppy love. The book provides some insights into hospice care and was well worth the listen.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Animal Farm [Dramatised]

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 26 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Tamsin Greig
    Overall
    (388)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (355)

    Animal Farm - the history of a revolution that went wrong - is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power. Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges....

    Ed says: "Not allowed to give a classic less than 3 stars"
    "Not allowed to give a classic less than 3 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Somehow I had managed to spend my entire life without reading this classic. It's short and to the point. I'm not sure how this dramatized version differs from the original but I suspect the story lines and dialogue are similar. I'm glad this was short because I don't think I could have listened for several more hours. I did, however, like the dramatized version, replete with sound effects and murmuring. Made it a little better. I've listened and I can cross another classic off my list. Don't think I'll tackle 1984.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Three Jack Reacher Novellas (with Bonus Jack Reacher's Rules): Deep Down, Second Son, High Heat, and Jack Reacher's Rules

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill, Lee Child
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (138)

    This compilation includes three Jack Reacher novellas and the ultimate fan guide, "Jack Reacher's Rules". Deep Down: In thriller master Lee Child’s short story "Deep Down", Jack Reacher must track down a spy in soldier’s clothing - by matching wits with four formidable females. Second Son: A young Jack Reacher knows how to finish a fight so it stays finished. He knows how to get the job done so it stays done. High Heat: In the midst of a savage heat wave and an infamous murder spree, a blackout awakens the dark side of the city that never sleeps - and a young Jack Reacher takes action.

    Philip says: "Disappointed!!"
    "Reacher was Reacher as a boy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All three of these were entertaining and gave us a young Reacher with the superhuman powers his fans have come to expect. Second Son sounded very familiar and I'm pretty sure that the story was included in one of the full-length novels in the series. Not only were Reacher's physical abilities developed at an early age, so were his cognitive skills and powers of deduction. I was a little disappointed at Jack Reacher's Rules as they went beyond the premise and were often repetitive. All in all, Reacher fans will enjoy this listen.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Field of Prey: Lucas Davenport, Book 24

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1863)
    Performance
    (1637)
    Story
    (1636)

    The night after the fourth of July, Layton Carlson, Jr., of Red Wing, Minnesota, finally got lucky. And unlucky.

    He’d picked the perfect spot to lose his virginity to his girlfriend, an abandoned farmyard in the middle of cornfields: nice, private, and quiet. The only problem was...something smelled bad - like, really bad. He mentioned it to a county deputy he knew, and when the cop took a look, he found a body stuffed down a cistern. And then another, and another. By the time Lucas Davenport was called in, the police were up to 15 bodies and counting.

    Ed says: "Sandford and Ferrone deliver"
    "Sandford and Ferrone deliver"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What I like about the Prey series is John Sandford's ability to continually create some pretty evil guys. He doesn't disappoint in this installment with the really oily dynamic duo of Horn and R-A. Neither of them have anything even resembling a redeeming social value. They are perfect bad guys. Sanford also introduces a new character, who I hope will appear in upcoming installments. Catrin Mattsson had a baptism of fire in this novel and is deserving of a Virgil Flowers kind of spinoff. I hope we at least see her in future Prey offerings. Finally, Richard Ferrone made this story come to life with his dead-on vocal interpretations. A musician could read music and lyrics from a new song and have an idea of what the finished product would sound like. But hearing the instrumentation and vocals would, for most of us, make for a better experience. Same goes with Audible books. Reading them would be fun but listening to them is much better. And with a narrator like Ferrone, the experience is kicked up a notch. A five-star winner. Keep 'em coming.

    21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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