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James

Vancouver, WA, USA

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 98 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Zeitgeist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Bruce Sterling
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    It's 1999, and on the Turkish half of Cyprus, the ever-enterprising Leggy Starlitz has alighted - pausing on his mission to storm the Third World with the G-7 girls, the cheapest, phoniest all-girl band ever to wear Wonderbras and spandex. His market is staring him in the face: millions of teenagers trapped in a world of mullahs and mosques, all ready to blow their pocket change on G-7's massive merchandising campaign - and to wildly anticipate music the band will never release.

    James says: "Enjoyable, very well narrated post-cyberpunk piece"
    "interesting near future history"
    Overall

    This book is another good one by Bruce Sterling. He takes a more moderated tack to the practice of cyber-punk fiction, which he famously pioneered in co-authored books with William Gibson. Sterling here provides a pretty fun and interesting sort of international intrigue with a great protagonist and lots of good sociological speculation. All of his books are provocative and thoughtful science fiction on the cutting edge.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Death in Holy Orders

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By P.D. James
    • Narrated By Charles Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (546)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (140)

    Atop a sweep of low cliffs stands the small theological college of St. Anselm's. Not far away, smothered beneath a fall of sand, lies the body of one of the school's young ordinands. When Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called to investigate the death, the college is torn apart by another death, a sacrilegious and horrifying murder.

    Jannice says: "Death in Holy Orders - good PBS"
    "highly recommended"
    Overall

    This was a very long listen, but very enjoyable. It is an intricate, believable, and carefully crafted story. The narration is excellent. More PD James is called for!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    Overall
    (596)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (76)

    Laura Hillenbrand beautifully renders this breathtaking saga of one horse's journey from also-ran to national luminary. Seabiscuit: An American Legend is an inspiring tale of unlikely heroes, a classic story of three embattled individuals overcoming the odds in the Great Depression.

    Andrew says: "Abridged = Awful"
    "riveting tale well told"
    Overall

    This was a wonderful listen. It was full of suspense and wonder. The narration also was fine.
    A real pleasure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dreamcatcher

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn
    Overall
    (1879)
    Performance
    (622)
    Story
    (638)

    A dark and sweeping adventure, Dreamcatcher is set in the haunted city of Derry - the site of Stephen King's It and Insomnia. In it, four young boys stand together and do a brave, good thing, an act that changes them in ways that they hardly understand. A quarter-century later, as grown men who have gone their separate ways, these friends come together once a year to hunt in the woods of Maine.

    DeClawed says: "Stick with It: A Great Ride"
    "Marvelous, engrossing, heart-warming"
    Overall

    I listened to this one on a road trip to Yellowstone. It made the long hours fly by. I loved the narration. Extremely well done. And I loved the development of the four or five main characters-their particularities, the novel slang and cursing of "The Beav", and the comaraderie. Its a great male bonding story.
    The story was wonderful: incredibly suspenseful without being excessive. The crafting of each line in this one was marvelously done. It was a pleasure to observe the yarn being so finely spun. I didn't expect it from King.
    This title has made me a King fan, for sure. I never thought I would get into such a mainstream author, but now I see that it is well worth it.
    One of my best listens yet.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Memoirs of a Geisha

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Arthur Golden
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3725)
    Performance
    (1045)
    Story
    (1056)

    In a voice both haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri describes her life as a geisha. Taken from her home at the age of nine, she is sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Witness her transformation as you enter a world where appearances are paramount, virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder, women beguile powerful men, and love is scorned as illusion.

    Stephanie says: "Best Book in a while"
    "ruined by the narration"
    Overall

    This is an excellent book in print, but the audiobook was ruined by its inferior production. I bought it, but regret it. I have read the book; it is great. But this production--what a mess.

    The narrator really only reads the book--reading a book is quite different from telling a story. She is no voice artist. At first, I thought she was in character, as some sort of clipped and emotionless spinster, to convey the personality of this elderly, formal Japanese geisha telling her story. (Even that doesn't make sense, if you know the story.) But no. It is simply a very mechanical reading. You can hear the commas, the capital letters, the white space in between the words. You can't hear the spirit, the feeling, the charm of the chararaters and the plot. I never lost myself in the story, and I could never lose my awareness of the irritating, clipped, nasal voice of this woman reading a book to me as if it were for a test in middle school.

    I know Japanese and Japanese culture, but you dont have to know much about Japan to do better than this! The narrator attempts a Japanese accent at points, but it emerges as crudely Chinese. I could hardly believe what I was hearing--"Is this some regional dialect I am unfamiliar with?" I thought. The geisha serves a cup of "sackey" (sake). What is that? Romanized Japanese is the easiest language to pronounce: it is just like Spanish. Obviously this production got the short shrift, and I am upset because it is really such a marvelous book.

    13 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • A Darkness More than Night: Harry Bosch Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2291)
    Performance
    (1073)
    Story
    (1087)

    A movie director is charged with murdering an actress during sex, and then staging her death to make it look like a suicide. In a seemingly unrelated case, a loner is murdered, leaving the sheriff's department with no clues. One unsettling revelation after another leaves a retired FBI agent and an L.A. detective thinking they've unmasked a most frightening killer with almost inconceivable calculation.

    Aaron says: "Terrific Pairing of Connelly's best Detectives."
    "poor narration, clunky story"
    Overall

    I enjoyed Lost Light (narrated by Len Cariou). In it, Bosch emerged as a complex and appealing character and the narration was good.
    Here, however, the narration is gratingly monochromatic. Bosch was made to be almost comically gruff, and many characters are inflected with a strange, unrealistic twang of some sort.
    The story too was noticeably less inspired and more plodding than Lost Light. I put it down in frustration half-way through.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11011)
    Performance
    (6201)
    Story
    (6250)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "revised review: an engrossing and inspiring story"
    Overall

    I earlier gave this book a very critical review. I could not stomach the first part that was heavily religious. However, after reading another review, I decided to give it a second chance, and happy am I that I did so.
    What an incredible story. It is engrossing, charming, pure of heart, shocking, and revitalizing. The protagonist is a wonderful character that never lets go of his will to give his life meaning through telling a good story.
    In the end, it is not at all about religion, or faith in religion. The protagonist pities those who reject religion not because they reject the truth, but because they miss out on the best story. And the same can be said for this book, which I think you shouldn't miss.
    And, importantly, the narration is very nicely done

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1961)
    Performance
    (1101)
    Story
    (1114)

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "Dark but satisfying"
    Overall

    This was a wonderful listen. It was at times a bit depressing, which one must expect with this sort of apocalyptic science fiction. But it was beautifully narrated, and by the end emerges as a deeply satisfying story. I highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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