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R. A. Frank

cali | Member Since 2010

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 520 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • The Regulators

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Kate Nelligan
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (111)

    There's a place in Wentworth, Ohio, where summer is in full swing. It's called Poplar Street. Up until now it's been a nice place to live. The idling red van around the corner is about to change all that. Let the battle against evil begin.

    Brian says: "Didn't realized this was abridged - don't buy it"
    "Fast-paced King thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Regulators in three words, what would they be?

    Lots of action.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The setting of "Poplar Street" was so descriptive. The way it started with the paperboy zig-zagging from house to house on his bike set the scene very nicely. You got to know the people on the block almost instantly.


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

    No, but she is good. Her ability to get dramatic is awesome. She also drops a little nugget towards the end when she sings quite well.


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

    Seth (the autistic boy). At first he seems like a pain in the butt burden for Audrey (his aunt). However, as the story progresses you can see a loving child with a brilliant, if not genius mind.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this King thriller quite a bit and didn't want my adventure on Poplar Street to end!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cider House Rules

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (827)
    Performance
    (491)
    Story
    (491)

    From one of America's most beloved and respected writers comes the classic story of Homer Wells, an orphan, and Wilbur Larch, a doctor without children of his own, who develop an extraordinary bond with one another.

    Patti says: "Wonderful"
    "I liked it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Cider House Rules?

    I think the best part is the solidly built framework of the orphanage. There are many side stories which are great, but this orphanage is thoroughly vetted and the moral issues of the time (and even now) are completely explored. I loved the deviousness of Dr. Larch especially, as a reader I never quite knew what complex web he was weaving. It is a very compelling story from start to finish!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Cider House Rules?

    When the assistant Train Station Master came to the orphanage to pay his last respects to the (deceased) Station Master and came up on Dr. Larch performing the autopsy. All of the events leading up to this made it very entertaining.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    I just like his reading voice and cadence. I especially liked him in one of my first audio books "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors". He was equally enjoyable here.


    If you could take any character from The Cider House Rules out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Candy's father (forgot his name). He was a lobster trapper but he was rumored to eat hamburgers instead. Very interesting character, he was a tinkerer, an inventor, and near genius in his creativity.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my second Irving book, the first was "Owen Meany". I am now on to "The World according to Garp". I have to say that they have all been very enjoyable. I am a Stephen King fan and these novels are similar in a lot of ways. They are both set in Maine and the New England lifestyle is similarly entrenched in them. I am looking forward to reading more of his books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1814)
    Performance
    (1276)
    Story
    (1288)

    Little else in life is as dangerous as fire jumping. Flying past towering pillars of smoke, parachuting down to the edge of an all-consuming blaze, shoveling and sawing for hours upon hours, days at a time, all to hold the line and push back against the raw power of Mother Nature. But there’s also little else as thrilling - at least to Rowan Tripp. The Missoula smoke jumpers are one of the most exclusive firefighting squads in the nation, and the job is in Rowan’s blood: her father is a legend in the field. She’s been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday.

    M. Davis says: "Another winner by Roberts!"
    "Wasn't expecting a Romance Novel here."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Chasing Fire? What did you like least?

    I liked the development of the characters and the tight setting at the base camp. I wasn't happy that the main characters were "over the top" physically fit, good looking, talented, strong, smart and polite.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral-And How It Changed the American West.


    Which character – as performed by Rebecca Lowman – was your favorite?

    Rowan.


    Could you see Chasing Fire being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Not unless it is done like a Marvel Comic.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't expecting this to be a romance. This is my first Nora Roberts book and I just thought I would give it a try. The audible reviews didn't really suggest the degree of the romance. Caught me by surprise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moby Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (579)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (217)

    The outcast youth Ishmael, succumbing to wanderlust during a dreary New England autumn, signs up for passage aboard a whaling ship. The Pequod sails under the command of the one-legged Captain Ahab, who has set himself on a monomaniacal quest to capture the cunning white whale that robbed him of his leg: Moby-Dick. Capturing life on the sea with robust realism, Melville details the adventures of the colorful crew aboard the ship as Ahab pursues his crusade of revenge, heedless of all cost.

    Sarah says: "Gripping despite the minutiae"
    "Long winded and blow-harded!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Herman Melville and/or Anthony Heald?

    Not in my lifetime.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    A good Stephen King Novel.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Since there was so little actual dialogue it is hard to tell. The narrator could do Ahab quite well, but the other people sounded alike.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It taught me the meaning of some modern terms such as "Jury Rig" and "There she blows!"


    Any additional comments?

    Too wordy and too off-kilter for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black House

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Stephen King, Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (725)
    Performance
    (658)
    Story
    (664)

    Twenty years ago, a boy named Jack Sawyer traveled to a parallel universe called the Territories to save his mother and her “Twinner” from an agonizing death that would have brought cataclysm to the other world. Now Jack is a retired Los Angeles homicide detective living in the nearly nonexistent hamlet of Tamarack, Wisconsin. He has no recollection of his adventures in the Territories....

    Brian says: "Jack Sawyer delivers"
    "Delightful detective story with a magical twist!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Black House to be better than the print version?

    I am an audio listener by trade.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jack of course, he is the main man, super talented and powerful in ways that surprise the reader.


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

    Frank Muller was spectacular in the Talisman and he brings the same energy here. His performance of the new characters such as the "Fisherman" and "Mr. Munshun" in a sort of a Red Skelton mumbling jumble made me laugh out loud.


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

    There are several funny parts that made me laugh especially when the Biker gang (Thunder Five) dudes made sharp cracks. Yes I did get misty there was a tremendous friendship between Jack Sawyer and Henry Leyden and some real sadness surrounding the murders of the children.


    Any additional comments?

    There was a very large character set here, but as most "constant readers" know it is handled with extreme expertise. The thing about this book that grabbed me the most was that it quickly became a fascinating murder-mystery novel. There was a the reluctant Jack Sawyer that had purportedly been a "superstar detective" but retired from the LAPD at the young age of 31. So for about 1/4 of the book the reader has no idea just how good he really is at it. Now throw in the element of the supernatural where King and Straub really get cranked up. And of course we know from the Talisman that Jack Sawyer has a little bit of experience in this area. This one will make you want to listen till the end!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Insomnia

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Eli Wallach
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1112)
    Performance
    (767)
    Story
    (773)

    Ralph Roberts has an incurable case of insomnia, but lack of sleep is the least of his worries. Each night he stays awake, Ralph witnesses more of the odd activity taking place in Derry after dark than he wants to know. The nice young chemist up the street beats his wife and has delusions about beings he calls "The Centurions".

    KB says: "King lover very disappointed - NO Spoilers"
    "Bang-up job by Eli Wallach, very good dose of King"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Insomnia again? Why?

    I wouldn't listen again unless I get old and forgetful like the Ralph and Lois in the story. Too many Audiobooks to read, so little time.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ralph because I was inside his head the most and the psychology that King deployed was the most colorful here.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Ralph puts Pickering into a "Catatonic state". I.E. the rescue at the Woman's Shelter.


    If you could take any character from Insomnia out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Ralph, I would know the most about him already and it would make interesting conversation.


    Any additional comments?

    The fact that this story was centered in Derry, Maine was the deciding factor for me to buy this book. I was not disappointed, King used many references to the fictional town history that I remember so well from "IT".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Full Dark, No Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson, Jessica Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2370)
    Performance
    (1122)
    Story
    (1118)

    "I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922", the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

    Parusski says: "Eerie, honest, frightening!"
    "Loved the Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Craig Wasson is the reason I bought this book. He was so good in 11-22-63 I wanted more! I was not disappointed with his performance in 2 of these Novellas. The other Narrator, Jessica Hecht was different for sure but the stories were perfect for her. I was thrilled with both "Big Driver" and "A Good Marriage". It was appropriate since the lead character was female, and compelling with her distinctive style and character development. I find myself missing her now that I am on to "From a Buick 8" and the female voice is someone else.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By James D. Hornfischer
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (298)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (217)

    With The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and Ship of Ghosts, James D. Hornfischer created essential and enduring narratives about America’s World War II Navy, works of unique immediacy distinguished by rich portraits of ordinary men in extremis and exclusive new information. Now he does the same for the deadliest, most pivotal naval campaign of the Pacific war: Guadalcanal.

    Thomas says: "Hornfischer does it again."
    "Dull and drab"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has no appeal whatsoever. If I wanted to hear the facts read to me like from an encyclopedia I would use a voice synthesizer and spare Robertson Dean the trouble. There is no chemistry with the characters, the story-line is all over the place. Not good!

    0 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Bat Boy: My True Life Adventures Coming of Age with the New York Yankees

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Matthew McGough
    • Narrated By Jason Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Sixteen-year-old Matthew McGough was a fairly typical teenager, obsessed with getting through high school, girls, and baseball, not necessarily in that order. His passion for the New York Yankees was absolute, complete with a poster of his hero, Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly, hanging on his bedroom wall. Despite having no connections whatsoever with the ballclub, Matt dreamed of sitting in the dugout with the fabled Bronx Bombers.

    Sarah says: "Fun"
    "Put on your cleats and sit next to Don Mattingly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had the wonderful aspect of taking me inside the real world of a Major League Baseball from a wide-eyed boy's view. Anybody that grew up a baseball fan will love imagining being in his shoes. I loved the baseball parts and even the parts about his life as a high school student burning the candle at both ends. There was a problem though, to me it seemed like the Publisher must have decided that the book was too short and needed more content. There is about 2 hrs of story (during the off-season) that deals with a financial scam the boy got into that really doesn't fit with the rest of the book. I would have rated the book higher had it not been for that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • West with the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Beryl Markham
    • Narrated By Julie Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (579)
    Performance
    (378)
    Story
    (377)

    West with the Night is the story of a remarkable woman molded and shaped by many things: the African jungle, a certain dog, horses, airplanes, friendships with white men and black. There is no life, no story quite like it.

    Michael Moore says: "Top Notch Writing; Riveting Stories"
    "Many great tales inside this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are about 5 great stories inside this book. They are well worth listening to and well told. The author never really conveys a sense reality because there is absolutely no love-life at all. The narrator does whistle through her nose during some of the most critical readings. But, those 5 great stories really make this book a great listen. There is an encounter with a lion, a wonderful story about a dog and a leopard, an elephant safari, a brilliantly told horse race and a flight across the Ocean. I liked it a lot and I am going to go back right now and listen to that horse race because it gave me goose bumps!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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