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Mark

Englewood, CO, United States | Member Since 2013

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 444 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (6000)
    Performance
    (5027)
    Story
    (5054)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Charles says: "Dark Places Indeed..."
    "Great Writing!"
    Overall

    Gillian Flynn is just a fabulous writer. She has a knack with verisimilitude in her characters that makes me want to go back and track just how she built them up, piece by piece- but only after I get to the end of this engrossing mystery. I'd rate this among the best books I've read (or listened to) in quite a while. I loved Sharp Objects and this is even better. LIsten, you won't be sorry!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nina Teicholz
    • Narrated By Erin Bennett
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (292)

    Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we've been told about fat is wrong. For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of "bad" saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat "heart healthy" fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation's health has declined. What is going on?

    Ted says: "Great book. Challenges your belief system."
    "Mind Boggling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Many deep seated views I had on what constitutes a healthy diet were revealed to be based on bad science propagated by endless media repetition, until what was tenuous at best, became accepted as "fact". It is revealing to learn how much we rely on the opinion of others and how little we question authority. All those weighty and portentous proclamations from the American Heart Association, and the USDA that I grew up with turn out to be not just unhelpful, but harmful.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Big Fat Surprise?

    How quick science was to grab onto an explanation that had a puritan appeal. I think Americans have some deep seated need to believe that depriving ourselves of saturated fat must be good for us, because anything that tasty must be a sin! I say this only partly in jest....but I notice that the nutritional scientist in other parts of the world never seem to have bought into the "heart healthy" diet to the extent we did, and in the dark years when nutritional scientists were risking their reputations for questioning this dogma, only English and Germans dared speak out.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    There are long stretches of technical detail here, so I'm not sure that a more dramatic reading would have been anything but ludicrous, but her delivery at times was somewhat monotonous.


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

    Yes, I did a full 180 degree turn in my thinking about a healthy diet. Until I learned how many studies were shaded, ignored, or misrepresented, I had fully bought into and lived by the "heart healthy" diet. Since finishing this book (about a month ago) I've gone fully over to the low carb way of eating, given up unsaturated fat, added greater quantities of saturated fat to my diet, lost 10 lbs and simply feel better than I have in 30 years. So yes, "extreme" is a good word choice.


    Any additional comments?

    If you go from here to any of Gary Taubes books you will have a good grounding in the real science of nutrition. People who prostheltytize like I'm doing tend to look nuts, so I recommend reading the science and deciding for yourself.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2557)
    Performance
    (2391)
    Story
    (2390)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Alexis says: "Fun! Things you might want to know:"
    "Clever in Many Ways"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton) again? Why?

    The background meditation on the morality of a completely different kind of society created by the disease was fascinating and deserves a second (and third) listen. The plot is so engrossing that I didn't do justice to this the first time through.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)?

    When I figured out early in the book what Agent Shane was talking about when he referred to himself as doing things he should be able to do (don't want to give to much away here, but its one of those moments where the veil lifts and you go, "AAAAHHH, I get it!")


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

    I thought he did a great job but his dialect did not sound the least bit African-American. There was a suggestion that Shane's dad was a big black man with a gun at one point, and it totally surprised me because Mr. Wheaton sounds like your average white computer geek. Of course, since Shane spent most of his time manifested as a threep, the question of race and identity is open to question, as is whether "dialect" has any meaning in this context. So if this was intentional dissonance, its pretty cool.


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

    Made me think a lot about mind/body duality.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought Mr. Scalzi was borderline precocious at times in a way that was slightly irritating. Yes, the banter is clever, but sometimes just a bit too much so. Tony and Shane dialog, especially.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ark Royal

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Christopher G. Nuttall
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1692)
    Performance
    (1566)
    Story
    (1570)

    Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Riveting military sci-fi"
    "Predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Ark Royal better?

    I barely have the energy to write a review. This book is so cliche ridden in its characters that I couldn't have cared less about any of them.


    What could Christopher G. Nuttall have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Infuse some life into the characters


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Narrator was fine.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Nothing. I couldn't wait for it to end. Overall plot had an interesting premise which is why I took a chance and downloaded it, but since none of the characters ever felt alive, it was difficult to care.


    Any additional comments?

    Meh....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Angel of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Caleb Carr
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (190)

    In The Angel Of Darkness, Caleb Carr brings back the vivid world of his bestselling The Alienist but with a twist: this story is told by the former street urchin Stevie Taggert, whose rough life has given him wisdom beyond his years. Thus New York City, and the groundbreaking alienist Dr. Kreizler himself, are seen anew. It is June 1897. A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline.

    Gail says: "Birth Forensics+Super Court Scene Clarence Darrow"
    "Please End So I Can Stop Listening!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If historical richness can excuse a plodding plot, and you have have plenty of time on your hands, this might be for you.


    Has The Angel of Darkness turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, The Alienist was terrific.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Not exactly George Guidall's fault, because he is normally a terrific narrator, but I couldn't stand anticipating the word substitution of "what" for "that", which seems to be Caleb Carr's way of providing colloquial verisimilitude. I was so attentive to the substitution that I nearly jumped out of my skin the one and only time I heard Mr. Guidall use the word "that" while voicing the character of Stevie.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Angel of Darkness?

    I'm immersed in the trial right now and the opening speeches of both lawyers was totally predictable and serves no purpose at such length but to restate the themes of the book. For about the seventh time.


    Any additional comments?

    I kept thinking how much more interesting this book would have been if Jack Reacher would have made an appearance to make it all right by busting a few heads and moving the plot along. I guess we have to be satisfied with Teddy Roosevelt instead.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11538)
    Performance
    (10472)
    Story
    (10499)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Stupendous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Goldfinch the most enjoyable?

    David Pittu is the perfect narrator.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Goldfinch?

    The Las Vegas vingette.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    Each character he voiced had a personality.


    If you could rename The Goldfinch, what would you call it?

    Oliver Twist Potter


    Any additional comments?

    I listened in many short sequences over an extended period, not unlike a reader of 19th century literature might approach a serialized novel printed in in a newspaper.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Charlie Huston
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (45)

    Webster Fillmore Goodhue has found temporary work as one of the mop-up crew for the Los Angeles County crime division. In other words, he cleans up grisly crime scenes for the cops. When the daughter of a recent Malibu suicide victim asks for his help cleaning up after her brother has gotten into a little trouble, every cell in Web's brain is telling him to turn her down. But she's very attractive, and before he knows it, he's well on his way to getting his face kicked in.

    Alan says: "Funny!"
    "Hilarious"
    Overall

    If you are someone offended by the profligate use of curses, don't bother. If you accept irreverent humor, this is great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dirty Job

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Fisher Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4592)
    Performance
    (1841)
    Story
    (1853)

    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!"
    "Man, did I laugh"
    Overall

    I am not an easy mark for humor, but I could not resist laughing out loud (while I was in some odd places too) while listening to this book. The narrator was superb, which elevated the audiobook experience up a notch. Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3395)
    Performance
    (1168)
    Story
    (1169)

    One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

    Robert says: "A Classic"
    "Tour De Force"
    Overall

    If you like your science fiction with believable characters, believable plots grounded in the real world, and plots that tie together, this is an engrossing listen. I wish there was more of Wilson's work on Audible.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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