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ARLINGTON, VA, United States | Member Since 2007

  • 3 reviews
  • 114 ratings
  • 357 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015

  • The Colony

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By F.G. Cottam
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For over a century, the New Hope Island vanishing has tantalized the world. How did 150 people disappear from a lonely Hebridean island, leaving no trace and no clues? Media magnate Alexander McIntyre decides to solve the mystery, and gathers a team of experts to mount an expedition to the island. He hopes running the story as a rolling exclusive will revive the fortunes of his flagship news-stand title. He hopes to find conclusive answers to questions that have teased a curious world for decades. And he wants his own secret theory triumphantly vindicated.

    Amanda says: "Solid atmospheric horror"
    "I can't believe I made it all the way through."
    Would you try another book from F.G. Cottam and/or David Rintoul?

    No. I wouldn't even listen to another book by Cottam if it was given to me for free. David Rintoul was serviceable, although a bit too grandfatherly sounding to generate any excitement. To be fair, the material he was working with was execrable.

    What was most disappointing about F.G. Cottam’s story?

    It is billed as a sort of supernatural mystery, so one hopes for some tension, some horror, a little bit of that fear that good horror gives, and a lot of the curiosity that drives most mysteries forward. The narrative starts off slow, and at first I kept listening in the hopes that the interesting stuff would be right around the corner. By the end, I was listening only to see if there was ANY payoff, whatsoever, for the time I had invested. Maybe the ending would be worth the wait? It was not. The horror was not horrifying. They mystery was not terribly mysterious. I have the feeling this is a very old manuscript that was pulled out of someone's slush pile, and updated to add a few modern day references. It feels like something written in the 70s. Shame on Audible for promoting this!

    What didn’t you like about David Rintoul’s performance?

    Too dry and too RP for this particular book. He might as well have been reading the OED.

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

    Profound disappointment that Audible seems to have been pushing this title for some time now. It's really, really awful.

    Any additional comments?

    I'll be using my satisfaction guarantee on this one. I've only used it once before. I feel it shouldn't be abused. But if ever a book deserved to be returned for a refund, this one is it.

    11 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Frozen Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Bernard Minier
    • Narrated By Elijah Alexander

    The first victim is a horse: its headless, flayed body hangs suspended from the edge of a frozen cliff. On the same day as the gruesome discovery takes place, Diane Berg, a young psychiatrist starts her first job at a high security asylum for the criminally insane, just a few miles away. She is baffled by the slightly unorthodox methods the asylums' director uses, and then greatly alarmed when she realizes that drugs are disappearing.

    Lisa says: "Terrible narration. Just awful"
    "Terrible narration. Just awful"
    Would you try another book from Bernard Minier and/or Elijah Alexander?

    I might try a book by the author. I might even try this book again - but not with this reader. The French accents were so grating and distracting. Gah. So bad I couldn't even focus on the story, which, for all I know, might turn out to be OK.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator voiced all the characters in awful French or Swiss accents. Really horrible accents. Like the accents from an Inspector Clouseau movie. Blech.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Three Seconds

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Anders Roslund, Börge Hellström, Kari Dickson (translator)
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane

    In this dark and gripping novel from number-one best-selling Swedish writing duo Roslund and Hellström, Piet Hoffman is the Swedish police’s most valuable secret operative. His cover is that of a lieutenant inside the ruthless Polish mafia, trying to take over amphetamine distribution within Sweden’s prison system. With this, his most dangerous assignment, success will mean a new identity and the freedom to start a new life with his wife and young sons.

    Howard says: "Forget the comparision - enjoy the read"
    "Avoid, avoid, avoid!"
    What disappointed you about Three Seconds?

    I tried to give this the benefit of the doubt. The performance was so bad that I just couldn't listen anymore. I tried to imagine whether the story would have been improved with a better reader, and it's possible, but I suspect that bad reading simply made a bad book worse. Confession: I only made it through the first two hours before bailing. This book was marketed as being in the vein of Stieg Larsson, and clearly the publishers were trying to catch the Nordic Noir wave. I hate when publishers treat their consumers as if they were idiots. We're buying *books* not shiny, sparkly things. At some point, we will discover that you're lying to us.

    What was most disappointing about the authors’s story?

    What I managed to absorb of the story was trite and hackneyed. It's as if the authors decided to write something that could be marketed as Nordic Noir, and followed a very precise formula to achieve that. Gruff, middle-aged, misanthropic detective, dealing with grief, loss or depression? Check. Detective resists new technology and clings to the past? Check. Evil doers are from Eastern Europe? Check. Character who presents stark contrast between placid home life in Scandinavian socialist paradise, and anarchic, gritty underworld professional life? Check.

    Feh. After two hours of listening there was not a single character about whose fate I had any interest; and I still wasn't sure what the central mystery was even though there was a murder at the start.

    What didn’t you like about Christopher Lane’s performance?

    There are very few readers to whom I refuse to listen. In fact, until now, there was only one - John Lee. Christopher Lane makes two. Why on earth would you give the characters slight, vaguely Germanic accents when they are speaking? They're speaking their own language in their own country! They don't hear each other as having accents. Why do we need ot hear them as having accents? GAH. Furthermore, why would you make them sound like such repulsive people? The "voicing" of the lead detective was so terse, abrupt and grumbled that it was annoying. This reading sounds like something out of the bad old days of audiobooks - very 70s. A reader should either avoid acting and inflection and read neutrally, OR, add tone and inflection and "voices" if competent to do so. Christopher Lane is not competent to do so.

    Any additional comments?

    Misleading marketing of bad book with truly awful performance. I rarely take the time to write out a full review. This might actually be my first. It was that bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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