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R. Moore

Virginia, USA | Member Since 2000

53
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 174 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • The Land of Laughs

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jonathan Carroll
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (283)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (255)

    Thomas Abbey is a man stuck in a rut. To kick-start his life, he takes a sabbatical to work on a biography of his favorite writer, the mysterious Marshall France. Although Abbey has been warned that France's daughter, Anna, has blocked all previous attempts at her father's biography, he is surprised to find her the soul of small-town hospitality and quite excited about Abbey's proposal. Even stranger than Anna's behavior, though, is the town itself. The people seem to know what their future holds - freak accidents and all - down to the hour.

    Acacia says: "It's Not You - It's Me"
    "Didn't quite pull together"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the third Neil Gaiman-recommended book I've listened to recently (Light and Pavane are the others) -- and it will probably be the last. I haven't really found any of them inspiring in the audiobook format. This one has a pretty good premise, but the story seems to get sidetracked with unnecessary stuff, and the ending was anticlimactic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (851)
    Performance
    (754)
    Story
    (755)

    Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists beyond the airport.

    Melinda says: "Absolutely Stellar!"
    "Yes! Amazed how much I cared about these people."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yes. Yes yes yes. This book succeeds in every way The Road failed for me. Set in Colorado after disease has wiped out most of the population, Hig has learned how to keep a small bit of his humanity while reluctantly doing what it takes to survive. Others aren't so reluctant, including Bangley, with whom he's formed an uneasy partnership.

    The story hooks you from the beginning and builds nicely to the end, and Heller does a great job of developing characters you really care about. Then there's Jasper, Hig's beloved old dog, who made me come home and hug Garth every day after listening on my commute. I was, at the end, amazed how much I cared about these people (and dogs) and the bonds they formed. The writing is superb. About the only negative I can think of is the writing style Heller uses: Somewhat fragmented, perhaps the way inner dialog streams through our protagonist’s head. I barely noticed it while listening, but did see some reviews that a few readers were somewhat frustrated by it in the beginning, but after they stuck with it for a while it flowed naturally and worked well.

    Things for my own remembrance follow.

    *

    (On constellations): I name one for a scrappy, fish-loving dog.

    *

    I still dream Jasper is alive. Before that, my heart will not go.

    *

    My favorite poem, the one by Li Shang-Yin:

    When Will I Be Home?

    When will I be home? I don't know.
    In the mountains, in the rainy night,
    The Autumn lake is flooded.
    Someday we will be back together again.
    We will sit in the candlelight by the West window.
    And I will tell you how I remembered you
    Tonight on the stormy mountain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ghosts of Belfast

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Stuart Neville
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1030)
    Performance
    (424)
    Story
    (426)

    Fegan has been a "hard man" - an IRA killer in Northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by 12 ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders. As he's working his way down the list, he encounters a woman who may offer him redemption; she has borne a child to an RUC officer and is an outsider too.

    David P. McGivern says: "What an unexpected good read!"
    "Excellent story, great narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The conflict in Northern Ireland was constantly humming along in the background of my youth: Protestants, Catholics, car bombings, IRA, Ulster, Belfast, Londonderry. This book combines a good thriller with a lot of background on the conflict, and really helped me understand some of the finer points of what was going on. A solid four stars, and another half star for a well-read audiobook by Irishman Gerard Doyle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (21408)
    Performance
    (15515)
    Story
    (15569)

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "Interesting, but can't go further"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is certainly an interesting book, and not necessarily because of the storyline. After finishing up some great writing in books like The Thirteenth Tale and The Art of Fielding, the writing in this one was extremely simple and straightforward. No clever turns of phrase or eloquently woven sentences. However, the story was interesting enough that it didn’t really matter.

    But, it’s an incomplete book. I knew that going in, of course, because it’s only part one of the series, but it was still a very unsatisfying experience. I can understand leaving the reader wanting more in the rest of the series, but it didn’t tie up any major storylines, and opened way too many doors and plotlines. After listening for 34 hours, there is no way I’m going any deeper into this interesting world.

    Some other problems: While I liked switching between characters for the narration, a few major moments (such as the death of a major character) happened at a distance…told by different character. Or (as in the results of a battle) as a recounting at the dinner table. This was very odd to me, and seemed to minimize what were major episodes in the book.

    I’d give it two stars, but the great world created by Martin and interesting storytelling pulls it up to three. Good narration by Roy Dotrice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    Overall
    (501)
    Performance
    (457)
    Story
    (462)

    Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures.

    glamazon says: "Like a Collection of TAL Episodes"
    "I don't get the appeal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A quite run-of-the-mill and mostly forgettable book for me. It’s a collection of articles from Jon Ronson, who may or may not be famous outside the U.S. -- “Jon meets the man preparing to welcome the aliens to earth, the woman trying to build a fully-conscious robotic replica of the love of her life and the ‘Deal or No Deal’ contestants with a foolproof system to beat the Banker.” Though many reviewers laud his storytelling ability, I mostly found myself just on the short side of interested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (9771)
    Performance
    (8875)
    Story
    (8887)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Waited too long for the good stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was interesting enough to hold my attention (three stars isn’t a bad rating, after all). Guy moves into an apartment and begins to notice some very strange things about the building. Guy and neighbors start to compare notes, and decide to investigate. But I think it could have been far better. In journalism terms, the author “buried the lead.” It wasn’t until the latter part of the book that it hit me this could have been Stephen-King-esque if he hadn’t waited so long to bring elements from the last part of the book into the story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Polar Star

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (507)
    Performance
    (432)
    Story
    (430)

    Ex-Chief Investigator Arkady Renko is in deep on the “slime line” - the fish-gutting station - in the Polar Star, a Soviet fish factory ship of some 250 souls, almost as many secrets, and a dangerous shipboard sub-culture that cares little for the Party, and less for human life.

    richard says: "Probably the greatest audiobook ever. Really."
    "Interesting setting, average plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Polar Star features the same detective from Gorky Park: Arkady Renko. This time he’s working on the “slime line” of a fish-processing ship in the Bering Sea, and is called into action to investigate the murder of a fellow crewmember. I found the description of life on the ship very interesting, but I wasn’t all that taken with the actual plot. The narration was good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Diane Setterfield
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4530)
    Performance
    (1436)
    Story
    (1444)

    All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

    PA Law says: "Haunting and beautiful tale"
    "Great story, great writing, wonderfully narrated."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Thirteenth Tale is one of the better books I’ve read or listened to in the past few years. Not so much for the story -- which is very, very good -- but because of the writing. Several times in the latter half of the book I caught myself saying “wow” out loud because of the way Setterfield crafted a sentence or the way she described something. Or even what she described. Like this:

    “His voice had the unmistakable lightness of someone telling something extremely important. A story so cherished it had to be dressed in casualness to disguise its significance in case the listener turned out to be unsympathetic.”

    So simple: Who hasn’t tried to be casual about something of great importance to them? But, who has ever written about it?

    Anyway… this book is supposedly “written in the Gothic tradition, with echoes of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.” I don’t know what any of that means, but perhaps it might help you decide if you’re interested. Briefly, the story involves one of the best-loved novelists in England’s history -- Vida Winter -- tabbing little-known researcher Margaret Lea to write her biography after a long lifetime hiding her secrets. It’s a story within a story: Told from Margaret Lea’s perspective, Miss Winter’s life story is woven within the larger tale of Lea dealing with the cantankerous old lady. It’s somewhat hard on Lea because Miss Winter believes “A birth is not really a beginning. Our lives at the start are not really our own but only the continuation of someone else's story.” And so she begins with the very strange story of Isabelle and Charlie Angelfield…

    Let me leave you with one last bit of Setterfield’s writing -- and why I try not to start a new book until I’ve properly digested the previous one:

    “Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes -- characters even -- caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you.”

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Virgin Suicides

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Nick Landrum
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (568)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (329)

    This nationally best-selling novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides was adapted into an acclaimed film by Academy Award-winner Sofia Coppola. A haunting yet wickedly funny tale, The Virgin Suicides has captivated countless readers with its intoxicating portrait of lost innocence. A brilliant fusion of dark humor and tragedy, it is an atmospheric, allegorical masterpiece about five oppressed, suicidal sisters and the boys who dream of rescuing them.

    Lexi Lou says: "Read this if you want to enjoy this audiobook"
    "Liked the narrative style, but parts lagged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I saw one description of The Virgin Suicides as a “haunting yet wickedly funny tale.” Hmmm, not so much on the funny part. The novel revolves around five suicidal teenage sisters and their rather strange parents. It was pretty good early, but then really lagged after that.

    I like the narrative style, which was from the point of view of a group of neighborhood boys who were so obsessed with the sisters that they conducted interviews and collected memorabilia in the years after in an attempt to piece together what may have been going through the girls’ minds.

    Great narration from Nick Landrum. Recommended for Eugenides fans, though I liked Middlesex much more.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind Through the Keyhole: The Dark Tower

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1991)
    Performance
    (1817)
    Story
    (1803)

    In The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King has returned to the rich landscape of Mid-World. This story within a story within a story finds Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, in his early days during the guilt-ridden year following his mother’s death. Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a "skin-man", Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter.

    Cassandra says: "An exceptional story, but I miss George Guidall."
    "A surprise return to Mid-World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed every book in Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series, and was surprised to find this one brings us back to Mid-World. You could say it’s just a way for King to tell a couple of stories using familiar characters, but it’s clever and tightly woven and it works well. You need not have read the other Dark Tower books to enjoy this one, but having done so will make this a richer (and even nostalgic) experience.

    Early in this book, Roland and his ka-tet encounter one of the strangest types of storms known to Mid-World -- a Starkblast. Riding it out inside a fire-lit cabin, the gang asks Roland for a story, and he responds with two…one nested inside the other.

    King himself narrates this audiobook, and while serviceable, really makes me long for Frank Muller and George Guidall.

    Anyway, if you miss Mid-World and you’re ready to once again walk the Path of the Beam, “Once upon a bye, before your grandfather’s grandfather was born”…

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • FREE: The Future of a Radical Price

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Chris Anderson
    • Narrated By Chris Anderson
    Overall
    (2218)
    Performance
    (997)
    Story
    (988)

    The New York Times best-selling author heralds the future of business in Free. In his revolutionary best seller, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson demonstrated how the online marketplace creates niche markets, allowing products and consumers to connect in a way that has never been possible before. Now, in Free, he makes the compelling case that, in many instances, businesses can profit more from giving things away than they can by charging for them.

    Christopher says: "A fascinating listen"
    "Thoroughly enjoyable - and free!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't expect to get nearly as much out of this book as I did, but it's thoroughly enjoyable and educational. You can probably find it free in some formats, or as an audiobook here on Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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