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Robert

Austin, TX, USA | Member Since 2002

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 126 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • Freedom (TM)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5698)
    Performance
    (3619)
    Story
    (3638)

    In a world of conflicted loyalties, rapidly diminishing human power, and the possibility that anyone can be a spy, what's at stake is nothing less than human freedom's last hope to survive the technology revolution.

    James says: "wow - a must read"
    "Terribly disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I have no idea who writes four and five star reviews for this book. The first book was intriguing and engaging. This book is cardboard characters and way too many circumstances of convenience for the author. Worse, it's just the author's soapbox, and whereas the first book raises legitimate questions and ideas this one is paranoia conspiracy-land. It doesn't stand up to any sort of analysis, be it literary, technical, or political.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm currently listening to Gone Girl, but it's dragging on a bit so I may need a break from it.


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

    Utter, total disappointment.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2851)
    Performance
    (2458)
    Story
    (2449)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    barbara says: "Stunned"
    "Huge step down from the first three"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Broken Harbor?

    My standards for Tana French are high, and this just doesn't cut it. Development is very slow, and the end result is not worth the wait. I don't have to like her characters, though in all three of the other books I have in fact liked one or more of them. I do have to understand and be at least a bit sympathetic to one or two of her main characters. Not in this book!

    There was too much telling and not enough showing in this one. And the telling was quite repetitive.

    I do highly recommend any and all of her other three books.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Tana French again?

    Yes.


    What about Stephen Hogan’s performance did you like?

    Good character separation. Not perfect -- he sometimes took a few extra seconds to transition from one speaker to another -- but quite good.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Broken Harbor?

    The whole approach to getting us to know these characters just doesn't work. It's not about cutting scenes, it's about changing the approach. What goes on in Richie's head is important, but we can't get at that very well because he's not the narrator, and it's critical that the narrator be ignorant of what's going on in Richie's head. Not enough was done to let the reader figure things out that the narrator couldn't.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope the fifth book returns to the previous quality! I'll certainly give it a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Artists in Crime

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Ngaio Marsh
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    When murder upsets the creative tranquility of an artists' colony, Scotland Yard sends in its most famous investigator. And what begins as a routine case turns out to be the most momentous of Roderick Alleyn's career. For before he can corner the killer, his heart is captured by one of the suspects, the flashing-eyed painter Agatha Troy, who has nothing but scorn for the art of detection.

    Rebekah says: "Loved it."
    "Period piece"
    Overall

    I didn't realize this was written in the 1930s. Mea culpa. It's vaguely interesting as a period piece, but it's not a great mystery or a great character study. I suppose it's almost good at both.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Devil in a Blue Dress: An Easy Rawlins Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Walter Mosley
    • Narrated By G. C. Simms
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Los Angeles, 1948: Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job. Now he's drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage. That's when DeWitt Albright, a quietly vicious white man, walks in, and offers Easy good money if he'll just do a little job for him: find Miss Daphne Monet, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs. It seems simple enough, but Easy soon discovers that Albright isn't the only one looking for the lovely Miss Monet.

    Izzy says: "Very Nostalgic feeling"
    "Poor narration of an ok Easy Rawlins book"
    Overall

    For the first half of this book it sounds like the narrator is reading the book without ever having seen it before. His dramatic emphasis is often misplaced because he begins reading the sentence he expects to see and is then surprised when it turns a different direction. Words that have multiple meanings are often a source of annoyance -- he emphasizes them as if they have a different meaning from the one that actually fits the context.

    As another reviewer has said, the narration does get better in the second half but I don't agree that the narrator "hits his stride". The narrator becomes adequate, with errors of emphasis still occurring but becoming much less frequent.

    The book itself is not the best in the series. It is apparently the first in the series and it sounds like it. The author spends too much time telling me what the character thinks and why he thinks that way rather than showing me. Also, the author fails to make the central female character a believable seductress. He justs insists that her power over men is unbelievably strong, and it is just that ... unbelievable. The Brawly Brown book is much better written. I love the Rawlins character, but this book doesn't do him justice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2161)
    Performance
    (1270)
    Story
    (1285)

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "Entertaining, but not profound"
    Overall

    The science fiction here has been done better long before now. The science concepts are nothing new, nor are the motivations of the principal characters. I assume the main point is supposed to be the character interactions or perhaps the storytelling itself. That's a more personal call, but I found neither particularly compelling. It was entertaining to listen to, but I carried nothing new away from it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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