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Maude Lebowski

maudelebowski

Texas | Member Since 2007

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 106 ratings
  • 189 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • Pygmy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    "Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67, on arrival Midwestern American airport....Code name: Operation Havoc." Thus speaks Pygmy, one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the U.S. disguised as exchange students to live with typical American families and blend in, all the while planning an unspecified attack of massive terrorism

    Maude Lebowski says: "A Kinder, Gentler Chuck"
    "A Kinder, Gentler Chuck"
    Overall

    The first thing everyone has to say about Pygmy has to do with, of course, the broken English. It is extremely hard to get used to. It took me three times to get rolling, but once I settled in to the cadence of the work, I rather liked the writing style. I found that he created some astonishing word combinations that made me laugh out loud, and think very hard on how we, as Americans, must look to outsiders.

    Now- that's out of the way. Please read the following text delicately, as you COULD construe this to be a spoiler, though I'll give no plot details at all.

    I've read all of Palahniuk's books. I began with Haunted, and ended with Fight Club. I've read Survivor three times, and never loses its punch for me. Consequently, when CP puts out a new book, I have come to expect a certain thing. I don't go to Chuck's well to walk away refreshed and joyous. I read Chuck's work in an effort to turn myself inside out with every page. This novel, rape and United Nations notwithstanding, is the feel-good book of the year.

    Let us just say that, if you are looking for that ending that leaves you hollow and sick and alone in the world- this is MOST ASSUREDLY not it. And if you're looking for the characteristic gore and horror in his writings, you won't find it here.

    You will find plenty of admonitions against the evils of America, and far more directed toward the church. But really- is that so hard these days? That seems too banal at this point- too simple. I can get all that from The Daily Show, though admittedly John Stewart isn't as funny as Pygmy.

    Palahniuk remains my second favorite author today. He is always thought provoking and witty, and always challenges the reader. Unfortunately, this time, I felt far too much a member of Team Cedar, when I really wanted to be closer to Agent 67.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for My Father…and Finding the Zodiac Killer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Gary L. Stewart, Susan Mustafa
    • Narrated By Gary L. Stewart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    Soon after his birthmother contacted him for the first time at the age of thirty-nine, adoptee Gary L. Stewart decided to search for his biological father. His quest would lead him to a horrifying truth and force him to reconsider everything he thought he knew about himself and his world. Written with award-winning author and journalist Susan Mustafa, The Most Dangerous Animal of All tells the story of Stewart’s decade-long hunt. While combing through government records and news reports and tracking down relatives and friends, Stewart turns up a host of clues—including forensic evidence—that conclusively identify his father as the Zodiac Killer, one of the most notorious and elusive serial murderers in history.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Zodiac behind Big Blue Wall; the IRONY of it all"
    "Very heavy on emotion, light on fact"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Most Dangerous Animal of All better?

    This is not a true crime story. It is a story of a man searching for some kind of meaning through the parents that abandoned him. The author is so emotional and overblown about his "mom" and "dad" that he cannot disconnect enough to realize he is literally destroying the lives of everyone around him with this unfounded Zodiac connection. There are no facts here. Only hand-wringing, and scenes of "tears were streaming down my face."


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Most Dangerous Animal of All?

    I would have cut out everything involving his biological family tree, and imagined stories and conversations about those people. It was not relevant to the story, and was entirely too long.


    Any additional comments?

    Although I am sad for Gary, and I'm sure he is a nice guy at heart, I wish he was able to let this go. Was his "father" a pedophile, kidnapper and document forger? Seems so. Was he the Zodiac? Highly unlikely. Stop bothering the SFPD. There are people being murdered RIGHT NOW that need their attention. Leave them alone. And his poor biological mother. She looks for her son in order to make amends and have some closure on the most difficult part of her life, and her son embroils her in some drama about the Zodiac - complete with midnight phone calls, angry emails, and demands about information. Give this woman some peace. I've read a lot of true crime books, and many made me angry - but this was the first that made me angry at the author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Counterfeit Revival

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Hank Hanegraaff
    • Narrated By Hank Hangegraaff
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    What do Heaven's Gate, Waco, and Jonestown have in common with a church near you? As incredible as it may seem, the very principles used by cult leaders are today employed in literally thousands of churches worldwide. In Counterfeit Revival, by Hank Hanegraaff, leaders of this great apostasy from Pensacola, Florida to Toronto, Canada speak for themselves - so that you can judge for yourself.

    Maude Lebowski says: "Synopsis is a Bit Misleading"
    "Synopsis is a Bit Misleading"
    Overall

    First off- let me state that this book contains no information whatsoever about Heaven's Gate, Waco, Jonestown or anything of the sort. It is an extensive discussion of the current pentecostal and evangelical movements in the Christian church. While the things discussed here are radical, they are by no means fringe cult activities that lead to the deaths of church members.

    Second- this book is designed for Christians only. I don't mean that in an elitist sense at all, but rather, if you are not currently a Christian, then you probably already think everything discussed is loony and you don't need further evidences of that.

    Third- while the author is making some excellent and quite salient points, they are repeatedly overshadowed by his insistence upon using acronyms and alliteration. That might work for young people who need to memorize plant phyla, it's not needed for intelligent adults who are trying to make critical decisions about their faith. It becomes a bit tedious.

    It might sound like I hated this book, which I did not. I thought it was quite useful and agreed with the majority of the author's points. It simply wasn't what I thought it was going to be. Christians who are curious about the fruits of the spirit absolutely SHOULD give this a listen and evaluate the material for themselves. But if you're looking for a discussion about modern day cults, this isn't it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Christian Lander
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (388)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (138)

    They love nothing better than sipping free-trade gourmet coffee, leafing through the Sunday New York Times, and listening to David Sedaris on NPR (ideally all at the same time). Apple products, indie music, food co-ops, and vintage T-shirts make them weak in the knees. They believe they're unique, yet somehow they're all exactly the same.

    Laura says: "Stuff White People Like"
    "DEAD ON"
    Overall

    I had no idea how very, very white I was. It was a little shocking, quite frankly. I can't tell you how many times I shook my head and laughed at myself all the way through this book.

    My only complaint is that it gets a little repetitive. 100 things would have, in my opinion, been better than 150, as there was some overlap with a few chapters.

    The narrator was PERFECT. The only person that MIGHT have been a better choice is John Hodgeman, but that's only because he's the whitest man that ever lived.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5574)
    Performance
    (2205)
    Story
    (2233)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Darwin8u says: "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."
    "Deeply Unsettling"
    Overall

    A friend asked me to describe this book, and I had a hard time doing so, honestly. Ultimately what I said was this, and I think it fits darn well, quite frankly:

    "You know when you're sitting at home, minding your own business, and all of a sudden, you see a large spider out of the corner of your eye? You get up and launch a book at it, killing it. And five minutes later, when you've resumed minding your own business, you can't help but glance back over into that exact same spot every 90 seconds for the remainder of the night - as if that spider is going to come back for revenge, or it's buddies are going to come looking for him and stage an assault. Well - the entire book feels like THAT."

    I hope that makes sense. I promise - it will after you read The Road.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Terminal: A Burke Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Andrew Vachss
    • Narrated By David Joe Wirth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (6)

    When the former shot-caller of the country's most feared white supremacist prison gang contacts Burke, he comes with references...and the promise of a huge score. Terminally ill, the ex-con needs major cash to gamble on the long-shot possibility of a cure that's available only in Switzerland.

    KP says: "What Romance Novels Are to Women..."
    "Perfect Author"
    Overall

    First off, let me say - Andrew Vachss is incapable of writing an imperfect novel. He has long been my favorite author, though I'm just recently trying his material out on audiobook. As with any Vachss novel, you'll have to pay close attention to every single word. If you zone out here and there, it won't make sense later on. For this reason, I prefer his work in print - because it forces me to grab on to every word.

    Great narrator, though, with a very interesting take on The Mole's voice. Not at all how I've heard that voice in my head for well over a decade and a half, but it kind of made sense once I heard his version. Very nice work on The Prof as well.

    I would recommend this audiobook over Two Trains Running, primarily due to the narrator. He keeps you pulled in, and that will give you a good introduction to the pace and cadence of a Vachss novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    Overall
    (1373)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (446)

    In lower Manhattan, a charnel pit of horror is uncovered: the remains of 36 people murdered and gruesomely dismembered over 130 years ago by an unknown serial killer. Just as a museum archaeologist and an enigmatic FBI agent begin to unravel the clues to the killings, a fresh spree of copy-cat murders and surgical mutilation erupts around them. Mixing science and terror in a way only they can, Preston and Child deliver a novel that's as gruesome as it is enthralling.

    Dianna says: "This Book is a True Curiosity!!"
    "Highly Entertaining Story"
    Overall

    This is a fast-paced book with an engaging plot line and a colorful main character (Pendergast). I won't say that the story is breaking any new ground, or that you won't be able to figure out what's going on before the twist is revealed - but if you're looking for something to keep your mind engaged while you're up to something else - this book will certainly do that. Great narrator too. I normally hate it when narrators try to affect an accent, but I thought it was very well done. Fun little book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond Bad

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Sandra Lee
    • Narrated By Kate Hood
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    Here is the shocking, true story of Australia's most horrific crime. Katherine Knight showed no mercy when she butchered her lover in a crime that put her behind bars in an Australian prison for a record life sentence. Knight, a 44-year-old abattoir worker, had stabbed father-of-three John Price 37 times, skinned his body, cooked his head, and served him up as a meal for his children.

    Vikki says: "Oh Boy...."
    "Crikey Mate, I Need Some Grog"
    Overall

    While this book's story is very interesting, compelling and disturbing, I found the narration BARELY tolerable. It is written and read in an Australian slang, absolutely riddled with words like mate, sheila, grog, crikey, de facto (slang for boyfriend apparently), copper, etc. It's the equivalent of listening to a book in Ebonics. The murder itself is fascinating, though.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond the Body Farm: A Legendary Bone Detective Explores Murder, Mysteries, and the Revolution in Forensic Science

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Dr. Bill Bass, Jon Jefferson
    • Narrated By Tom McKeon
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    A pioneer in forensic anthropology, Dr. Bill Bass created the world's first laboratory dedicated to the study of human decomposition. Bill Bass' research at "the Body Farm" has revolutionized forensic science, helping police crack cold cases and pinpoint time since death. In this riveting book, the bone sleuth explores the rise of modern forensic science, using cases from his career to take readers into the real world of "CSI".

    Joanne says: "Liked it"
    "I'll Be a Donor for Sure"
    Overall

    If you've read Dr. Bass' previous non-fiction book, Death's Acre, you know exactly what you will be getting yourself into, but with substantially more grit. This is not as much a personal story of Dr. Bass as it is hard facts about tough cases. Dr. Bass never disappoints, and I am forever grateful for the work he has done in the forensic field, as we all should be. Good book, excellent man.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • And Justice for Some

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Wendy Murphy
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    When Wendy Murphy was a young prosecutor, she learned that the deck is stacked in favor of criminal defendants. Between their arrest and (potential) conviction, murderers, rapists, and drug dealers get more than a fair shake: they get an unfair advantage, often at the expense of their victims.

    Maude Lebowski says: "Pomp and Circumstance"
    "Pomp and Circumstance"
    Overall

    While I agree with the majority of what is being set forth in this book, I found the author to be ego-inflated and repetitive. Also, it was rather tedious that her primary solution to all the problems in the judicial system seem to point towards more laws, which clearly will ultimately be either ignored or unenforced. The cases cited here are cases you will already know well (OJ Simpson, the Ramsey case) and little more can be said in reference to those cases than we have already heard ad nauseum. I did hope that this book would shed some additional light into the darkness of a severely flawed court system, but I found that more can be illuminated simply by reading the paper. Again, I think what Ms. Murphy is saying is correct- however, not revolutionary by any means.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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