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Roman

ratings
16
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
24

  • 12.21: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Dustin Thomason
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders, Noel Rodriguez, Dustin Thomason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (292)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (242)

    For decades, December 21, 2012, has been a touchstone for doomsayers worldwide. It is the date, they claim, when the ancient Maya calendar predicts the world will end. In Los Angeles, two weeks before, all is calm. Dr. Gabriel Stanton takes his usual morning bike ride, drops off the dog with his ex-wife, and heads to the lab where he studies incurable prion diseases for the CDC. His first phone call is from a hospital resident who has an urgent case she thinks he needs to see.

    cristina says: "Three stars, but enjoyable"
    "Way Overrated!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I should have learned by now to take endorsements from otherwise credible sources with a grain of salt. The best I can say about this overrated/overhyped book is that the story line was interesting and character development good, however it quickly became disjointed and, frankly, boring. The primary narrator was pretty good---in fact he should have done the entire recording, because the second narrator, assuming the role of the scribe, was just awful----to the extent that I couldn't stand to listen to it. Thankfully, it was a short book but I was still unable to stick with it to the end.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • A Cool Breeze on the Underground

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (605)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (461)

    Neal Carey is not your usual private eye. A graduate student at Columbia University, he grew up on the streets of New York, usually on the wrong side of the law. Then he met a P.I. who introduced him to the Bank, an exclusive institution with a sideline in keeping its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. They pay Neal's college tuition, and Neal gets an education that can't be found in any textbook, from learning how to trail a suspect to mastering the proper way to search a room. Now it's payback time.

    mindusq says: "Joe Barrett reading Don Winslow = joy squared"
    "A Very Pleasant Surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up A Cool Breeze on the Underground in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining, surprising, and engaging


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Cool Breeze on the Underground?

    What was most memorable and what I liked best about this story was original and non-traditional lead character in this book. I had never heard of Don Winslow but saw this book a couple of weeks ago listed as a "daily special." The summary description sounded intriguing enough for me to invest $3.95. It sounded like a detective story with a couple of potentially interesting twists, and indeed it was-----but so much more. The author does a nice job of beginning the story and then periodically relating the background on the main character in a very fluid manner so that the reader does not become confused or bored. Before I was half way through, I was so intrigued by the lead character that I found myself hoping that this was, or soon would be, a series. After finishing the book, I checked into other works by this author and found that, to my delight, this was the case. I am now reading the second in the series and it appears to be of at least the same high quality.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to say without giving away key parts of the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Thanks to Audible for featuring this book as a "daily special," without which I probably would not have become familiar with this author. Also, the performance (reader) was outstanding. I had never listened to any books read by Joe Barrett, but he was perfectly matched for this particular story and for the characters therein. Also, much to my immense relief and satisfaction, there were no egregious mispronunciations----an attribute that is unfortunately all too rare.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Place Called Freedom

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (106)

    This lush novel, set in 1766 England and America, evokes an era ripe with riot and revolution, from the teeming streets of London to the sprawling grounds of a Virginia plantation. Mack McAsh burns with the desire to escape his life of slavery in Scottish coal mines while Lizzie Hallim is desperate to shed a life of sheltered subjugation to her spineless husband. United in America, their only chance for freedom lies beyond the Western frontier - if they're brave enough to take it.

    Roman says: "Not Exactly New"
    "Not Exactly New"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Place Called Freedom to be better than the print version?

    I don't know whether I would or not, but I do consider it a bit disingenuous to promote this as a "featured pre-order" when it was written almost 20 years ago. Nonetheless, the second I saw it I pre-ordered it as I would any book by Ken Follett. I did not realize, until the day I actually received it, that it was written in 1996. After listening to it, I can understand why it had not been previously released as an audio book, namely because it is not up to Follett's standards; however, despite being one of his least impressive books, it was still very, very good. In fact had it been written by another author I might have given it five stars.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Place Called Freedom?

    Discovering that my "new, just released" Ken Follett audio book was written in 1996.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    This is the first book I have listened to that was read by Simon Prebble, but like all of Follett's other audio books, it was extremely well done. Pleasant voice with no egregious mispronunciations.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I suppose it was that good; however I also think that this could have easily been lengthened into a multi-part series some of Follett's other works.


    Any additional comments?

    Ken Follett is one of the best fiction writers of his generation. He is an excellent story teller and most of his historical fiction is factual, despite evincing an unmistakable liberal bias.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Wooden: A Coach's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Seth Davis
    • Narrated By Stephen McLaughlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    No college basketball coach has ever dominated the sport like John Wooden. His UCLA teams reached unprecedented heights in the 1960s and '70s, capped by a run of ten NCAA championships in twelve seasons and an eighty-eight-game winning streak, records that stand to this day. Wooden also became a renowned motivational speaker and writer, revered for his "Pyramid of Success." The portrait that emerges from Davis's remarkable biography is of a man in full, whose life story still resonates today.

    Rob - Audible says: "Wooden: A Man Who Transcends Sports"
    "Phenomenal Biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Wooden?

    What I loved best about this book was the even handed treatment of this icon. I have seen the author on various television sports shows and expected more of an "apologia to St. John" than the disinterested, dispassionate, and extremely well researched book that resulted. I also appreciate the well deserved credit and recognition given to Jerry Norman, someone with whom I was only remotely familiar, but someone who clearly deserved an enormous amount of credit for Wooden's early success (shame on Coach Wooden for not doing a better job of recognizing this brilliant coach during the former's life). Finally, as a basketball, and particularly UCLA basketball junkie, I was surprised by how much I learned about the players, coaches and opposing players and coaches throughout (and following)
    Wooden's tenure as head coach.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wooden?

    His double standard. His "firm rules for the players" were clearly not evenly applied. Behavior that would get most players kicked off the team was tolerated and even ignored by the likes of Alcindor, Allen, Wicks, Rowe, et al. I was also shocked, but not really surprised by Wooden's tendency to ignore "boosters" whose antics would have resulted in probation and severe penalties for most other programs by the NCAA. To say that the NCAA was (and still is) hypocritical) would be oxymoronic. Years ago, I considered it poor sportsmanship and petty jealousy when other coaches, particularly Jerry Tarkanian, would bad mouth UCLA and complain about preferential treatment, but I now see that they were very clearly justified.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen McLaughlin’s performances?

    Not unless he was the only reader of a book that I simply could not resist listening to. On second thought, make that a flat unqualified "no." If he were the only reader, I would buy the book. As another reviewer noted, his slow and monotone voice was so annoying that I had to increase the speed on my Ipod. McLaughlin was also guilty of several unforgivable mispronunciations. Unfortunately he has a lot of company in this area, but to butcher names that anyone with even a passing knowledge of basketball would pronounce correctly is reprehensible. Two prominent examples, Adolph Rupp's surname was pronounced as "roop," and in his first mention of Don Chaney, it was pronounced "chancy." The latter was particularly sloppy since subsequent references to Chaney (but not Rupp) were pronounced correctly.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If it were physically possible and if there were a different reader, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Seth is an excellent writer. The only other book I have read by him (and the only other book I am aware that he has written) was one about Earvin Johnson and Larry Bird---not available on Audible---was also very good, though not as good as Wooden. I hope he continues to write more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By Bill O'Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2096)
    Performance
    (1859)
    Story
    (1869)

    General George S. Patton, Jr., died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost 70 years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident - and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton will take listeners inside the final year of the war and recount the events surrounding Patton's tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.

    Tom says: "Really Disappointing and not about what you think."
    "Way Overated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard and/or Bill O'Reilly?

    Not a chance.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting part, which could have been accomplished in a short story, were the various theories on how Patton really died.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    In all fairness, the narration probably deserves a higher score than I gave him, but I find him to be such a loathsome and pretentious personality that I could not get past it while listening to the book (BTW---I am very right wing, so my criticism of O'Reilly is not ideological).


    Do you think Killing Patton needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Heavens no! It needs an abridgement.


    Any additional comments?

    No more "Killings" for me. I relented and bought this audio due to the inexplicably positive reviews.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Spandau Phoenix

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (518)
    Performance
    (337)
    Story
    (333)

    The Spandau Diary -- what was in it? Why did the secret intelligence agencies of every major power want it? Why was a brave and beautiful woman kidnapped to get it? Why did a chain of deception and violent death lash out across the globe, from survivors of the Nazi past to warriors in this new conflict about to explode? Why did the world's entire history of World War II have to be rewritten as the future hung over a nightmare abyss?

    Corinne says: "Excellent and intense"
    "Too Long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Spandau Phoenix? What did you like least?

    This is a pretty good book but not up to Illes' standards. While some of his other works, e.g.the Penn Cage series, are comparably long, they are so well written that it's hard to put them down. Unfortunately Spandau Phoenix does not meet this standard.


    What didn’t you like about Dick Hill’s performance?

    Very little. I cannot understand why Dick Hill is so popular. When he is reading in a normal tone, he's OK, but his attempts at foreign (and female) accents are insufferable and annoying. Unlike John Lee (Century trilogy) whose accents and pronunciations are superb, Hill's are amateurish and exaggerated.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I wish Illes would either continue the Penn Cage series or begin another one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3066)
    Performance
    (2702)
    Story
    (2708)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Jan says: "Sorry John... wanted to like it... love you anyway"
    "A Complete Waste of Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    For years Grisham has managed to get away with blatant political bias that would be the kiss of death to most authors which, I assume, is because he has always been such a superb story teller----at least that's why I keep reading his books. Well, no longer. While Gray Mountain contains his typical left wing prejudice, the story offers no redeeming value. A complete bore. Very disappointing. He had a good run but, absent a stunning comeback, I'm finished with Grisham.
    I am not familiar with the reader, but she did a credible job. I gave her extra credit for not trying to imitate a man's voice and also for not being guilty of any major pronunciation errors (the latter of which is all too common even with otherwise excellent readers).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs)
    • By Rick Perlstein
    • Narrated By David de Vries
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (117)

    In January of 1973 Richard Nixon announced the end of the Vietnam War and prepared for a triumphant second term - until televised Watergate hearings revealed his White House as little better than a mafia den. The next president declared upon Nixon’s resignation “our long national nightmare is over” - but then congressional investigators exposed the CIA for assassinating foreign leaders. The collapse of the South Vietnamese government rendered moot the sacrifice of some 58,000 American lives.

    Tad Davis says: "Brilliant"
    "Good story but too long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Invisible Bridge better?

    Despite the interminable (and perhaps unnecessary) length of this book, I enjoyed listening to it. The author is a good story teller and the reader performed a decent rendition. I must however agree with some of the reviewers who cite bias on the part of the author. Actually, mere "bias" would be a considerable understatement. I have never been a fan of Nixon or Reagan but was nonetheless taken aback by the palpable bias of the author toward both----and especially Reagan.
    This is where the reader did a creditable job---you could actually hear the author frothing with contempt at many of Regan's initiatives. In some cases, despite the author's attempt to the contrary, the positions that Nixon and (especially) Regan were advocating came across as very persuasive. Another peculiarity I noticed, which initially surprised me, were the little shots he took at the Catholic Church; but I soon understood that his venom was directed against the traditional Catholic Church of all times and that he in fact seemed to favor some of the more outrageous manifestations of the post 1968 Vatican II church.
    In summary, if you are interested in this period of history, or lived through it as I did, you will enjoy this book as I did. On the other hand, if you are offended by blatant bias and/or are big advocates of Nixon and/or Regan, you might want to stay away from it.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fatal Conceit

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Robert K. Tanenbaum
    • Narrated By Bob Walter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    After the New York grand jury indicts the national presidential campaign chairman and the NSA spymaster for the murder of the CIA chief, Karp engages in an unforgettable courtroom confrontation with the defendants who have the full weight of the US administration, a hostile judge, and a compliant media supporting them. These sinister forces will stop at nothing to prevent Karp from bringing out the truth, even if they have to resort to murder.

    Steve says: "Truth in fiction."
    "Another good tale of Buch Karp and company"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Fatal Conceit? What did you like least?

    What I liked best was Tannenbaum continuing his use of the same characters present since the beginning of the series and his use of real current events to enliven the story. What I like least is his consistent error in his references to St. Teresa of Avila. I find her apparitions to Lucy clever and amusing, but the credibility would be enhanced if he discontinued referring to St. Teresa as a martyr. She was a virgin (V); not a virgin/martyr (VM). I also think he could have shaved off a couple of hours by cutting back on a lot of unnecessary and frankly uninteresting details on some of his sub-plots involving secondary and tertiary characters.


    What other book might you compare Fatal Conceit to and why?

    I would compare it with all the books in the Butch Karp/Marlene Campi series. All of the great characters are present in their typical form.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Bob Walter?

    Yes, I would. He did an adequate job and also got an extra star from me for not making any blatant mispronunciations which are (regrettably) typical of so many readers---even some of the better ones. Nothing against Mr. Walter, but authors should stick with the same readers when they are writing books that are part of a series. People get used to particular voices and associate them with the respective characters.


    Do you think Fatal Conceit needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It doesn't "need" one but I'm sure it will get one.


    Any additional comments?

    Nope.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Peter Kreeft
    • Narrated By Peter Kreeft
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (133)

    An enthusiastic admirer of the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, professor and philosopher Peter Kreeft details the rational thought and precise literary talent that established Aquinas as the foremost thinker of his time - and as the most important philosopher for the almost 200 years between Aristotle and Descartes.

    criticaltom says: "Just what an introduction to Aquinas should be."
    "An Extremely Valuable Contribution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Modern Scholar the most enjoyable?

    St. Thomas Aquinas, is without any doubt, the most brilliant human being who has ever lived. He completely systemized theology (as well as philosophy). He built upon and corrected such giants as St. Augustine, the great pagan philosopher Plato, and completed what was left to us by the greatest of all pagan philosophers, Aristotle.
    St. Thomas Aquinas' most important body of work, the Summa Theologiae, while intimidating to modern readers, is brought to life and made readily understandable by Peter Kreeft. I cannot say enough about how impressed I am with this with this book!


    Any additional comments?

    My only additional comment is to encourage any reader/listener with an interest in theology, philosophy/epistemology to read or listen to this book. No prior education or training in philosophy is required to understand and appreciate it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tim Donaghy
    • Narrated By Chris Della Penna
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Personal Foul takes an in-depth look at former NBA referee Tim Donaghy and the betting scandal that rocked professional basketball. This is the decisive book that reveals exactly what was done and how it all happened. Which games were affected and how? Did referees target particular players or teams? Just how much did the NBA know and when? How did the mafia get involved? The book answers all of these questions and more.

    Jamaal says: "Gambling edge"
    "The Disgrace that is the NBA"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Personal Foul to be better than the print version?

    Not at all. The reader sounded like he was in a hurry and his pronunciation was atrocious----a problem, unfortunately all too common in audio books. Initially, I thought that the mispronunciations were limited to proper nouns (players' names), which while still inexcusable, would at least be tolerable. But alas, that was not the case.


    What other book might you compare Personal Foul to and why?

    I can't think of another book with which to compare Personal Foul, but I found it to be an honest and candid representation of the circumstances leading to the problem----i.e. no whining or constantly making excuses, blaming others etc. In fact, to my shock, I found myself empathizing with the author.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Yes, primarily with the plethora of mispronunciations.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was moved by learning the extent----not the existence--of corruption and incompetence in the NBA management and officiating. If I continue to watch NBA games, and I still haven't decided upon that, it will certainly be with a jaundiced eye. Is pro basketball a sport, like college basketball where fouls are called on the basis of objective criteria, or a "performance," where the object is to keep high profile players on the floor "no matter what"? Clearly it's the latter, and this is evident across the board.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book. Couldn't put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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