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Mari

Cleveland Heights, OH, United States | Member Since 2005

31
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 41 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • A Dirty Job

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Fisher Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4159)
    Performance
    (1450)
    Story
    (1466)

    People start dropping dead around Charlie, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death.

    colleen says: "I loved it!"
    "What A Joy!"
    Overall

    This was my first Christopher Moore book from Audible, and I loved it. I quickly got everything else from this delightful author that is on this site. Though it is all light fare, Moore is a wonderful writer. He knows how to tell a tale, create compelling characters, build tension in all the right places and, most important, how to do that most astonishing thing - make one laugh out loud.

    The narration on this story is terrific. Fisher Stevens hits perfect notes of mild bemusement, subtle enthusiasm and stark terror as he tells the story of the ultimate "Beta Male", Charlie Asher (don't let the music in the beginning throw you, it only comes up a few times, thankfully). All of the characters are well drawn and loads of fun; particularly Lilly, the perpetually irritated goth working at Asher's Second Hand. Though she does stand out (Moore must have a teen-age daughter), there is not a dull individual in the lot.

    I believe this to be one of Moore's best in the Audible collection (only beaten by Fool), but I have not been disappointed by any of his titles here. Enjoy!



    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Sixth Grave on the Edge: Charley Davidson, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (783)
    Performance
    (745)
    Story
    (738)

    Most girls might think twice before getting engaged to someone like Reyes Farrow - but Charley Davidson is not most girls. She’s a paranormal private eye and grim-reaper-in-training who’s known to be a bit of a hell-raiser, especially after a few shots of caffeine. Her beloved Reyes may be the only begotten son of evil, but he’s dark and sultry and deeply sexy and everything Charley could hope for. Really. But when the FBI file on Reyes’ childhood happens to land into her lap, she can’t help herself: She opens it...and then the real fun begins.

    RabidReads says: "This book could change EVERYTHING!"
    "Couldn't make it through the first hour"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writer is so caught up in her own cleverness, the story never gets off the ground. I couldn't listen to it. I don't want to blame the narrator, who is struggling with this weak material.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Monkey

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Arte Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (841)
    Performance
    (741)
    Story
    (750)

    Andrew Yancy - late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office - has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first - this being Hiaasen country - Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters.

    James says: "Disappointed"
    "Carl Is As Good As Ever (Johnson, not so much)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For starters, I'm a Carl Hiaasen fan. I have every book written by Carl as solo author, and love most of them. I loved this story. It follows the classic Hiaasen formula: disgruntled, alienated anti-hero who loves the landscape of Florida; smart, no-nonsense female lead; stupid criminals, one of whom becomes more and more disfigured through the story while they do everything in their limited intellectual powers to harm the environment, and a plot full of fun twists and turns. Everything you want from Carl is here, plus a wonderful cast of secondary characters, all suffering from various states of delusion, incompetence and (at times) outright stupidity. Everything we love about Carl Hiaasen is in this book.

    Arte Johnson is not the best narrator (my favorites for Hiaasen are George Newborn, Hiaasen himself (he did a bang-up job on Basket Case), and believe it or not, James Van Der Beek), but he is also not the worst. A number of people savaged his narration - it's ok, not terrible. Carl deserves better, but I still loved the book, so that means the narrator did not get in the way.

    I say, pick it up. It's Carl. How can you go wrong?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lucky You

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (127)

    Grange, Florida, is famous for its miracles - the weeping fiberglass Madonna, the Road-Stain Jesus, the stigmata man. And now it has JoLayne Lucks, unlikely winner of the state lottery. Unfortunately, JoLayne's winning ticket isn't the only one. The other belongs to Bodean Gazzer and his raunchy sidekick, Chub, who believe they're entitled to the whole $28 million jackpot. And they need it quickly, to start their own underground militia before NATO troops invade America. But JoLayne Lucks has her own plans for the Lotto money - an Eden-like forest in Grange must be saved from strip-malling.

    Taree says: "Made me want to play the lottery"
    "Classic Carl Hiassen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh, if only we lived in Carl Hiassen's world. Where the bad guys always loose (in the most entertaining of ways), corruption meets it's comeuppance, the environment is always saved and good people manage to find each other and eke out an existence in this stupid, silly world we live in.

    This is classic Hiassen, from the corrupt judge to the hysterically stupid white power militia thugs to the small town living on fake christian miracles. If you like Hiassen, you'll love this one. Paced beautifully, peppered with crisp dialog, smart insights and great comic timing. I'm sorry it ended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Business

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Carl Weber, Eric Pete
    • Narrated By Ezra Knight, Patricia R. Floyd, Michael Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (386)
    Performance
    (340)
    Story
    (345)

    New York Times best-selling author Carl Weber and award-winning novelist Eric Pete team up to deliver the first in a much-anticipated new trilogy. The Family Business features two times the heat, two times the fun, and two times the drama as the members of an unforgettable family (not to mention their lovers and hangers-on) find their way in and out of trouble. As their many fans will attest, Weber and Pete share a talent for penning juicy fiction that their audience can’t get enough of.

    Dream says: "The story unfolds"
    "I really wanted this to be better."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The subject matter of this book is compelling. The production quality is very high. The voice actors do a mighty job. This is just pure trash, though. There are very, very few books I give up on, and this now joins that very short list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Likeness

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Heather O'Neill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2723)
    Performance
    (1634)
    Story
    (1642)

    Tana French's debut, In the Woods, hit the New York Times best-seller list and drew rave reviews from the Times (London) and Booklist. Picking up six months later, this riveting sequel finds Detective Cassie Maddox still scarred by her last case. When her boyfriend calls her to a chilling murder scene, Cassie is forced to face her inner demons. A young woman has been found stabbed to death outside Dublin, and the victim looks just like Cassie.

    Michael says: "Really on a Different Level"
    "Bear With The Slow Bits, It's Worth It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started Tana French with "In The Woods", a taught psychological mystery, and looked forward to following the character Cassie Maddox as she takes over the lead from her psychologically damaged partner from the first volume in the series. If you haven't read "In The Woods" yet, stop, download that volume, and go through it first before entering into this world. The actions that Cassie takes in this book are directly related to events in the first volume of Dublin Murder Squad. You don't need to read it to understand the plot in this one, but you do need the backstory to understand the lead character.

    As "The Likeness" opens, Cassie is in Domestic Violence, still reeling from earlier events that she went through in the murder squad. She is drawn into a bizarre undercover operation that runs as much havoc with her psyche as "Woods" did to her former partner, Adam Ryan. Just like the earlier volume, there is very little blood (only one murder apiece), and essentially no violence. (In other words, if you're looking for the fiction equivalent of "Die Hard" look elsewhere) French writes about the difficult subject of human psychology, and she takes her time unfolding the precarious walls we all build up in our minds.

    About 2/3 through the book, the pace becomes even slower, and even more careful. In this section, Cassie makes some severely stupid choices. We know the reasons behind those choices, sort of, but still, I found myself saying to the character, "Come on. You know better." Honestly, I was writing my review in my head while listening to this section, "Tana French needs a better editor". Boy, was that initial impression wrong. When the pace suddenly shifts, and everything falls into place, you get what she was trying to do. French has written a very good narrative of how, and why, we all make severely stupid choices.

    I now admire the careful crafting of that pace. We all do things that people from the outside of our lives and our histories judge. But French manages to get under the skin. All of the characters, from the arrogant undercover lead, to the sad collection of misfits living in a large old Irish mansion that Cassie infiltrates, are well drawn and fully fleshed out. Once I was through the slow bit, I understood why Cassie did what she did. And even better, I can't say I would have done the same thing. My history is so different; my narrative would have to be different. French is excellent at creating portraits of the complex individuals we see everyday on the street.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skippy Dies

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Murray
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Fred Berman, Clodagh Bowyer, and others
    Overall
    (1432)
    Performance
    (839)
    Story
    (849)

    This touching and uproarious novel by author Paul Murray made everyone’s best fiction of 2010 lists, including The Washington Post, Financial Times, Village Voice, and others. Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the mystery that links the boys of Dublin’s Seabrook College (Ruprecht Van Doren, the overweight genius obsessed with string theory; Carl, the teenager drug dealer and borderline psychotic; Philip Kilfether, the basketball-playing midget) to their parents and teachers in ways that no one could have imagined.

    Laura says: "Funny, touching, entertaining"
    "Oh, Those Irish!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh, those Irish and their beautiful way with words. Who else could take the dull, mundane world of a Catholic boys school and turn it into such a magical gem. I laughed out loud on a number of occasions - Murray's wit and ability to get under the skin of his characters is amazing. The first 2/3 of the book are so funny, from the Irish rappers auditioning for the Christmas Concert to Dennis' interpretation of "The Road Less Traveled" (he's convinced it's anal sex), to simple banter among young boys, Murray lulls you into a light, humorous world that somehow moves (almost in the blink of an eye) into the much more somber final section. All of it is worth is. All is written as expertly as the reviews said.

    The recording is terrific, I'm usually not taken with "cast" recordings, but this one was so well cast, directed and edited, it was a winner. I loved the entire experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agent to the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3206)
    Performance
    (2756)
    Story
    (2758)

    The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

    C. Paget says: "excellent"
    "Nice, But Predictable and Easy Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're looking for something kinda silly, not too challenging, but still well-written, this is your book. I figured out the direction of the story very early on, so I was a bit disappointed - the "twist" was not a twist at all. But, the narrator is terrific, perfect for the book, and the writing is decent, so I kept it on during my daily walk. Actually, I needed something like this, I'd been listening to too many tough, and depressing books about the Middle East.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Charles Duhigg
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    Overall
    (4615)
    Performance
    (3898)
    Story
    (3867)

    At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

    Mehra says: "Nice! A guide on how to change"
    "This Is A Collection of Ideas, Not A Single Theme"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this because I, like every other yuppie out there, am trying to change bad habits. The book was vague help on personal habit change, but for the most part, it reads like a series of essays about various things, forced under the purview of habits. Some of the things are people changing bad habits (the first part stayed on point nicely but ends too quickly), other things are primarily about management practices and how to control workplaces. There's a lengthy section on modern management and employee satisfaction that is crudely crammed into "habit change".

    The frustrating thing is the book doesn't give clear methods to keep you on track in the very tough practice of habit change. He offers his solution: Cue to perform habit, Repeat the habit, Reward the habit. Once. The issue is, he doesn't go into the second step as deeply as he needs to; repeating the habit. Repetition, no matter what, is the only way to ingrain new habits into our lives. It's the "no matter what" that is the hardest part of habit change, and he offers absolutely no guidance on this difficult, difficult stage. This book is as unsatisfying and frustrating as Mark Bittman's Cheese Biscotti video. I am such a yuppie.

    I can't believe this made one of "The Year's Best". I'd put it in the lukewarm category.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Zone One: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Colson Whitehead
    • Narrated By Beresford Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (162)

    In this wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuild­ing civilization under orders from the provisional govern­ment based in Buffalo. Their top mission: the resettlement of Manhattan.

    Jeff says: "Not the next great american author I was hoping"
    "In Spite Of The Writing, Zombies Just Don't Cut It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Colson Whitehead is a great writer. His fabulous turns of phrase kept this snoozer alive. The issue is not with his craft. It's with his subject. Honestly, I don't get the current obsession with zombies. They're a pretty dull subject when you get down to it. We got the metaphors about "we are all zombies", spawned from a Walmart-based culture back in the late 70's when Romero created "Dawn of the Dead". There's not a lot more to say after that, and while Whitehead makes the same point with expert grace, it's still the same point.

    For a much better listen, check out Whitehead's "The Intuitionist". This subject lives up to his great gifts as a writer. Zombies, not so much.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Gary Shteyngart
    • Narrated By Ali Ahn, Adam Grupper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (535)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (280)

    Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, creates a compelling reality in this tale about an illiterate America in the not-too-distant future. Lenny Abramov may just be penning the world’s last diary. Which is good, because while falling in love with a rather unpleasant woman and witnessing the fall of a great empire, Lenny has a lot to write about.

    Ryan says: "Dystopia Now"
    "A Novel For The 99%"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a well-written and preformed warning, one that we need to take seriously. Set in an undefined near-future, Shteyngart paints a portrait of a dystopia we are already teetering on. In the book, the US is dominated by a totalitarian bureaucracy that is desperately trying to keep it's economy afloat with complex financing schemes that remain incomprehensible to most Americans (sound familiar?). The day to day world is dominated by a computer that everyone carries with them, clogged with useless facts and celebrity gossip. "News" is opinion, and the principle opinion that matters is your ranking that is constantly being updated by a mysterious algorithm. Our hapless hero, Lennie, falls for the "ideal" girl—a young, slim Asian woman, obsessed by fashion and her ranking. The affair is doomed (I'm not giving anything away, it's in the title), yet Shteyngart manages to keep us involved and invested in the story.

    Ali Ahn does a great job preforming the role of the self-absorbed Eunice Park. Adam Grupper as Lennie has a much more difficult task (Lennie is a bit of a schlimazel), yet rises to it quite well. Eunice grows a little bit during the course of the book - she is very young, after all. But Lennie, nearing 40, still hasn't learned to question his surroundings or his choices — he stands as a warning to us all.

    I was surprised to read the reviews of others who seemed to think nothing happens in the second half of the book. This is the part where everything comes to a head; the affair of the main title reaches it's inevitable end, a major character comes to a Brazil-like end, the dystopian society crumbles in spectacular fashion. This book is haunting and memorable—one of the best listens of the year for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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