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Bobbie

ratings
1325
REVIEWS
15
FOLLOWING
10
FOLLOWERS
15
HELPFUL VOTES
120

  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    Overall
    (2390)
    Performance
    (2145)
    Story
    (2145)

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "Best listen of the summer!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book deserves to be reviewed by someone who has one tenth of the writing talent of Janet Maslin but that's not me. I am in a much lower percentile. So please stick with me while I try to describe how this wonderful novel became my favorite of the summer.

    The plot moves along so fast with so many twists I listened in one sitting always anticipating what would come next. All the characters are human, not caricatures, and the hilarity comes from their interactions and obsessions.

    I live in the desert and after months of triple digit temperatures I become as agoraphobic as Bernadette. I love the cooling memory of Seattle's rain, but Bernadette hates the city's weather and its culture, stays inside at her computer and maintains her closest friendship with her "virtual assistant" in India.

    Her husband Elgin is a star at Microsoft, has given the fourth most watched lecture at TED where Al Gore and David Pogue were in attendance. There's a liberal sprinkling of techie ikons through the narrative to enjoy if you read tech columns and wish you could understand Wired Magazine articles.

    Their daughter Bee, 14, graduating with straight S 's (S = Surpasses Excellence) from Galer Street school is rewarded with a family trip to Antarctica. Bee's character is like fresh air out of the Northwest. She has no affectations, no cell phone addiction and listens to MP3's on her Zune. She "gets" both parents.

    Bernadette's antipathy toward the school's parent association and her fear of the Antarctica trip are the initial psychological motivations. The flash point is her neighbor Audrey's demand to have her yard cleared of blackberry bushes. Audrey is part of the Galer street parent group and receives the brunt of Bernadette's spite but gives back as good as she gets. The fighting provides lots of the laughs.

    Even the minor characters are beautifully drawn and full of surprises. From the "blackberry abatement specialist" who doesn't want Audrey's chard to her delinquent son, all are unique and clearly rendered.

    What caused Bernadette's initial escape from LA to Seattle? Where did she disappear to this time? It's great fun to get to the answers.

    62 of 65 people found this review helpful
  • Personal Injuries

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    To Robbie Feaver the law is all about making a play - to a client, a jury, or a judge. But when the flashy, womanizing, multimillion-dollar personal injury lawyer is caught offering bribes, he's forced to wear a wire. Even as the besieged attorney looks after his ailing wife, Feaver must also make tapes that will hurl his friends, his enemies, his city, and a particular FBI undercover agent into a crisis of conscience and law.

    bradley says: "Keep looking"
    "Do not buy IF.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Do not buy if the “Mystery Thriller” books you listen to must be plot driven and contain action cliff-hangers.

    Read this for the characters and their development.

    Publishers Weekly says it better than I can.

    “Turow has always been more interested in character than plot, and in Robbie Feaver, a lawyer on the make who ends up fighting for his life, he has created his richest and most compelling figure yet.
    ….for Feaver is a character of almost Shakespearean contradictions. A charming, brash womanizer who nevertheless shows superhuman reserves of love and patience to his dying wife at home, he is always several jumps ahead of the prosecutors, the FBI and the reader, winning sympathy, even admiration, where there should be none.”

    Read the Publisher’s summary for the plot.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (958)
    Performance
    (855)
    Story
    (858)

    The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. The topics range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain.

    Nancy says: "Only if you don't listen to the podcast....."
    "Not much new"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I were not a subscriber to the Freakonomics podcast I would give this a 4.5 star rating, but as I listened to the book I realized that much of it had been trotted out on the podcast. The book is one credit. The podcast is free. Where's the economics in that?

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Death Times Three

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Rex Stout
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (61)

    Murder strikes thrice in these three baffling mysteries of crime and detection. First, Stout's great detective, Nero Wolfe, develops an appetite for the sweet taste of revenge when someone slips something most foul into his lunch. Then a couturier's beautiful sister uses Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's man about town, as her ready-made alibi. Finally, Wolfe has a run-in with the law after a mysterious old woman leaves a package at his brownstone that pits him against a cunning criminal and the U.S. government.

    Michael says: "Three Stories All Good, but Two were Repeats"
    "Woops!!! This is the book....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My previous review of "curtains for three" was meant for this book. I realized my error right after I submitted the review and do not know how to retract it. I did a marathon of Nero Wolfe books and got confused. Stories are duplicated in this book that are contained in "homicide Trinity". I hope the editor removes the other review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs)
    • By Kristina Ohlsson
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    A young woman is found carved up and buried in a forest glade in a Stockholm suburb. She is identified as Rebecca Trolle, a student who went missing two years earlier. While Fredrika Bergman and her team try to find out why Rebecca met such a violent demise, more bodies are found in the same area.

    Bobbie says: "Very bad performance"
    "Very bad performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to only 10 minutes of this book and could not listen to any more of it. I have no idea if the story is good or not. The reader had a very distracting and annoying accent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cape Refuge: Cape Refuge Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Terri Blackstock
    • Narrated By Renee Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (137)

    When Thelma and Wayne Owens are found murdered in the warehouse where they held their church services, their son-in-law, Jonathan, is arrested for the crime - but his wife, Morgan, and her sister, Blair, as well as Thelma and Wayne's daughters, are confident that he didnt do it and set out to find the real killer.

    Nancy says: "I'd love to say I loved this.. but..."
    "Wanted a Mystery Not a Morality Play"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this because it was highly rated by a reader I follow. The story was well constructed but the narrator was very poor at doing southern accents and male voices.
    I skipped about two thirds of the book, but had no trouble figuring out what lead to the conclusion in the last chapters. Christian love, charity and forgiveness is wonderful to many of us, but extremely hard to swallow in such large doses from flat or fatuous characters in this book..

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • All Honourable Men

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Gavin Lyall
    • Narrated By William Neenan
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    When a Turkish bandit holds engineers building the Baghdad Railway to ransom, Britain is secretly relieved as the Railway threatens the Persian Gulf oil-fields.Feigning help, the Foreign Office sends the notorious Lady Kelso, once lover of the bandit chief, with Captain Matthew Ranklin and Conall O'Gilroy of the fledgling Secret Service Bureau as 'diplomatic protection'. A journey by the Kaiser's private train to the bandit stronghold leads through ambush, betrayal, murder and bombardment. For there are others - German, Turkish and French - honourably putting their countries' interests above everything.

    Bobbie says: "Great New Find at the end of the Orient Express"
    "Great New Find at the end of the Orient Express"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I could, I would create an Audible sub-genre: "Mysteries and thrillers, Espionage, British, Set in Istanbul". I have three in my audible library that are memorable. Eric Ambler's "A Coffin for Dimitrios" is the very best. Joseph Kanon's "Istanbul Passage" comes in third. (Yes, Kanon is an American author who probably read a lot of British spy novels while at Cambridge.) Gavin Lyall's book is a solid four star second.

    Istanbul between the two world wars provides a stage with built in struggles between the European powers, an incubator for spying. It has a long history of religious and cultural clashes providing fertile ground for native conflict. Great physical beauty and a dark bazaar. All this raw material is fun to visit even in third rate novels.

    This is a first rate novel. "All Honourable Men" has the distinction of being set in 1913 before WW I, so it takes a little digging into what you can recall of the European power structure of the times. Then you can relax and enjoy the the excellent plotting unravel and the characters develop through top notch narrative writing.

    Oh! and the characters get to ride in the Kaiser's private carriage behind the Orient Express!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Phantom

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (635)
    Performance
    (531)
    Story
    (530)

    When Harry left Oslo again for Hong Kong - fleeing the traumas of life as a cop - he thought he was there for good. But then the unthinkable happened. The son of the woman he loved, lost, and still loves is arrested for murder: Oleg, the boy Harry helped raise but couldn't help deserting when he fled. Harry has come back to prove that Oleg is not a killer. Barred from rejoining the police force, he sets out on a solitary, increasingly dangerous investigation that takes him deep into the world of the most virulent drug to ever hit the streets.

    Fran Murphy says: "Jo Nesbo hates Harry Hole"
    "A Pinnacle of Scandinavian Noir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Warning: this is written from the point of view of a Scandinavian Noir addict who has attempted to read/listen to every english translation of the genre since discovering Henning Mankell and his alcoholic, depressed Kurt Wallander decades ago.

    Second warning: Do not read this book if you have not read others in the series. It's best to start with Red Breast and read in order.

    Harry Hole, Jo Nesbø's protagonist, follows the tradition as an alcoholic, depressed police detective with a critical eye on the society around him, a misfit, and failure in his relationships. In every book in the series Nesbø puts this stereotypical character in the midst of plots with so many twists and turns and surprises that the reader's desire to find out the next development does not diminish until the end.

    I rated the story four stars instead of five because of the violence the author does to Harry who, like the old Energizer Bunny, just keeps going and going and going. I'd like to add a half star for the social commentary,i.e."[Norway] is a fairy-tale country".

    Though Nesbø's famous predecessors were Swedish, Per Wahlöö and Maj Sjöwall writing in the sixties through Mankell and Steig Larrson, he has taken the prize home to Norway.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Rumpole à la Carte

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By John Mortimer
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Here are six delightful tales featuring everyone’s favorite barrister for the defense, Horace Rumpole. Eccentric characters such as his wife, Hilda, otherwise known as “She Who Must Be Obeyed”, and his philandering colleague Claude Erskine-Brown are back as Rumpole visits a snooty restaurant where he engages in a battle of wills over his adored mashed spuds, takes the unaccustomed role of prosecutor, and ventures - unwillingly - onto a ship, where he confronts, of all things, a detective novelist.

    Bobbie says: "Rumpole spoiled"
    "Rumpole spoiled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A collection of classic Rumpole tales that are ruined by the narrator. Frederick Davidson does not come up to the standard set by Bill Wallis. I hope I remember to check out the narrator the next time I download a "Rumpole". I tried to return it, but that didn't work for me.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Whiplash River

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Lou Berney
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (33)

    Having left his life of crime behind, former getaway driver Charles "Shake" Bouchon has finally realized the dream of owning his own restaurant in Belize. Unfortunately, to do so he's had to go deep in debt to a murderous local drug lord named Baby Jesus. And when Shake thwarts an attempted hit on an elderly customer named Quinn, things go from bad to worse. Next thing Shake knows, his restaurant's gone up in flames and he's on the run from Baby Jesus, two freelance assassins, and a beautiful but ferocious FBI agent. Out of options, Shake has to turn to the mysterious Quinn for help.

    Richard Delman says: "I couldn't finish this one."
    "It's a Series! (I hope.)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm hoping this is second in a series, starting with 'Gutshot Straight'. I agree with a reviewer of 'Gutshot Straight' who said that Berney writes like a combination of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. This second novel has the hero, Shake, caught up with other vividly drawn characters in a fast paced plot with lots of twists and turns. I found myself smiling and laughing aloud as I listened to the characters' responses to murder and mayhem. The third book can't come along soon enough for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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