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J. C. Edens

Been on/off with Audible since '07, when I found myself long-term in China, desperate for English language books. Love a good story.

Georgia, USA | Member Since 2014

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 58 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
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  • The Onion Field

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Joseph Wambaugh
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (335)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (253)

    Hollywood. Saturday night. A broken taillight leads to a routine traffic stop. It shouldn’t have changed the lives of the four men involved, but it did. The Onion Field is the frighteningly true story of a fatal collision of destinies that would lead two young cops and two young robbers to a deserted field on the outskirts of Los Angeles, towards a bizarre execution and its terrible aftermath.

    Avalon says: "Haunting"
    "Stunning true crime tale from the 1960s"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    My dad recommended this book to me, as he spent 25 years in law enforcement, and said it was particularly affecting. The case in this book reverberated across police departments the nation over, impacting the way many of them interacted with dangerous people. I see why Joseph Wambaugh went on to do this full-time, because the story is gripping, and we get a great sense of all four of the lives and perspectives of the major players involved in the story.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes! I try not to look up too many details of a true crime story as I'm reading or listening to it, since I don't want to spoil certain pieces. So I only looked this up in greater detail once I knew who died/the main incident.

    "The Gardener" is an excellent device for driving the story. If you get this audiobook, you'll meet him and know what I mean.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not because it was happy, but the actual events The Night in the Onion Fields are WONDERFULLY written and read. You feel the same stress and fear and confusion all these men must have felt.


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

    I felt quite sad for Karl Hettinger. It seemed a deep tragedy equally as much for the ones who DID make it out of the Onion Field, who carried that burden far and long. Though I didn't feel very much sympathy for him, Jimmy Smith is portrayed as the unlucky, dumb, complex person he probably was.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Judy Melinek, MD, T. J. Mitchell
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (669)
    Performance
    (600)
    Story
    (594)

    Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband and their toddler holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation-performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, and counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy's two years of training, taking listeners behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple.

    R. Milam says: "Great story - but not for the faint of heart!"
    "Great listen - informative."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great enjoyable listen, that helped me learn a lot of medical things surrounding crimes and death, and all the things that medical examiners see in their work. Fascinating.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1785)
    Performance
    (1643)
    Story
    (1629)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Mel says: "Heavy Load"
    "Poetic and impactful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tim O'Brien wrote the unforgettable source material here, and Bryan Cranston performed it incredibly well. This is an audiobook to remind you how powerful the written AND spoken word can be. I could not recommend it higher. It's a war story, sure, as O'Brien will say. But it is also a life story, humanity broken down raw, and it is important. Don't skip this because you're "not into war stories." It's so worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Superior Death

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Nevada Barr
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (152)

    Nevada Barr quickly attracted the attention of mystery fans when her first Anna Pigeon mystery, Track of the Cat, appeared. Now she immerses the intrepid park ranger in a perilous search that will take her far below the waters of Lake Superior. As Anna spends her days patrolling its shores, the surface of Lake Superior fills with tourists. In the depths below lie an ancient ship and the bones of its sailors.

    Charlene says: "Great mystery, totally enjoyed it"
    "Fun romp through a rugged landscape"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Fun easy listen, I learned a great deal about the technical components of humans underwater.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Superior Death?

    The main character, Anna Pigeon, is a great protagonist-park-ranger-mystery-solver.


    What about Barbara Rosenblat’s performance did you like?

    She was relatable and personified the characters, brought them to life. I would listen to other books by her for sure.


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

    Potentially, if I was a person who did that. But I've never done that ever! It was compelling though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8431)
    Performance
    (7481)
    Story
    (7540)

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Keith says: "Worth the wait!"
    "So worthwhile. Might take you 2 years."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Stand in three words, what would they be?

    Humans: flaws & survival.


    What other book might you compare The Stand to and why?

    Other apocalyptic books. Obviously one of the characters in The Stand is a primary character in King's Dark Tower series, but I've never read the series. This is a classic in the genre of end-of-days books.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    I found Nadine Cross and Harold Lauder to be so compelling - not favorite characters in that they are very likable, but favorite in that they add SO MUCH to the drama of the plot! And mister sociology professor Glen Bateman is so good at waxing poetic on the fate of us all.


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

    The whole first section, with the breakdown of civil society, is completely fascinating all on its own. I was also surprised at some of the people I really expected to survive the climactic Stand to not make it through. Drama through-and-through.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7729)
    Performance
    (6862)
    Story
    (6870)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Suzn F says: "Dreamlike Experience to Savor"
    "Just a love story, but told with EPIC BACKDROP"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Night Circus in three words, what would they be?

    mysterious, whirlwind, fated


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Night Circus?

    The black and whiteness of the circus. I am not a circus loving person, nor do I find them terribly romantic or magical. But this circus, I have never wanted to climb into a book more, and experience this place for myself. Impressed that this circus could do that to me. And in black and white - genius!


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

    Well I started listening to the Harry Potter series read by Jim Dale, but only after this series, so it's fun to hear some of the same accents of varying regional UK folk. Great narration!


    Who was the most memorable character of The Night Circus and why?

    The twins.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Historian

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre, Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3048)
    Performance
    (1373)
    Story
    (1385)

    Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    Branden says: "Phenomenallly detailed..."
    "Epic, gripping, sweeps across the 20th century"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Historian?

    The way it cuts across several generations of the same, gripping story. And all their lovely travel throughout Europe--Amsterdam, Oxford, across the South of France, Istanbul, Romania and the Carpathians, with a few moments in the U.S. - dreamy!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Vlad Tepes, of course. Just kidding, Rossi.


    Have you listened to any of Justine Eyre and Paul Michael ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Nope, but this one is phenomenal! The voice of Dracula is insane. Insanely good.


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

    I felt moved often, especially when we uncover little new bits of the truth, and continue to be suspicious of pale librarians and the undead! I love that the people in this book are so very intelligent and logical, so that it takes us a bit longer to actually believe, as it takes them as well, that the rather unnatural things that are happening are really happening. Creepy!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Snowman

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2225)
    Performance
    (1550)
    Story
    (1551)

    Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf. Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother - and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn....

    Anita says: "many layered thriller"
    "My first Jo Nesbo - did not disappoint!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend. It's a solid crime story, detective you care to keep up with, and the story is compelling.


    What did you like best about this story?

    From the first chapter, which takes place long before the modern Harry Hole mystery to solve, I was hooked. What a way to start the a story!!!!! It comes back around and fits so well later!


    What does Robin Sachs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent pacing, I would say. I always listen to the sample first so I'm not burned with bad narration, and read reviews. He did a nice job.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    IT'S GONNE GET COLD!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (368)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (329)

    In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat.... Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid 16-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

    REBECCA says: "Wonderful book, flawed narration."
    "Tried to get through this one..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Haruki Murakami and/or Rupert Degas?

    Maybe. I could not get through it. No character was likable in any way that I could keep caring about the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bag of Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2967)
    Performance
    (1526)
    Story
    (1536)

    Even four years after the sudden death of his wife, best selling novelist Mike Noonan can't stop grieving, nor can he return to his writing. He moves into his isolated house by the lake, which becomes the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here - and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

    Amazon Customer says: "My Favorite King Novel"
    "Enjoyable listen, story kept me coming back"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Bag of Bones again? Why?

    Nah, it was a solid story that kept me listening and had excellent music. SK did a good job narrating it himself too. But, I've heard the story, so I'm OK closing it and moving along.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Stephen King? Why or why not?

    I've made it through The Stand. I've listened to The Shining twice and know I will continue to listen every few years. That one's THE BEST. Other SK I've liked... ehh not as much.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The small creepy things that keep you wondering, like the two sunflowers and the sticker, and the stuffed animal along the trail. You'll know what I'm talking about. Reminds me of some of King's best work, like the hedge animals and the elevator in The Shining. SO TERRIFYING. That's his best stuff. That same kind of unabashed stuff adds a lot to Bag of Bones too.


    Who was the most memorable character of Bag of Bones and why?

    Several main characters I actually found a bit annoying; I won't discolor them before you have a chance to read. I found Jo, his wife, compelling.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bel Canto

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    Overall
    (1859)
    Performance
    (998)
    Story
    (1006)

    Somewhere in South America at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening, until a band of terrorists breaks in, taking the entire party hostage.

    Nicky Gleason says: "Surprisingly engrossing"
    "Mesmerizing! A bit surreal."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Bel Canto the most enjoyable?

    The narration is quite dreamy, omniscient voice seems impossibly hard to do well, and it works here. Everyone is kind of floating through this crazy, insane traumatic event. I really found I couldn't stop listening, even though I kept wondering why I was so compelled.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bel Canto?

    The unraveling that finally--after so much tension has built up in the small space they all inhabit--happens. The climax.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The way the chips fell. Except the epilogue was quite cheesy and could be removed entirely from the book and do no one any harm.


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

    I did feel emotional at the end, after all that time invested in these people whose lives are so weirdly intertwined in this stalemate for so long, in such close quarters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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