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Bob

Portland, OR, United States | Member Since 2000

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • This Boy's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tobias Wolff
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (83)

    This book essentially launched the memoir craze that has been going strong ever since. The story is pretty grim: teen-aged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have been supposed.

    Darwin8u says: "Beautiful, unsentimental memoir of youth"
    "this boys snarky life"
    Overall

    Tobias' autobiography left me feeling sorry for all who encountered him from his Mom to his many benefactors. In trying to be frank and self revealing he seems to be only aware of how others were oblivious to his inner deceit and shameless lies. He has no love for anyone and doesn't seem to care who he hurts. I can ride along with this for a while but over time it became apparent that he just didn't care about anyone else but himself. Writing it now that he is a successful author, I would have hoped for at least an after-word of some awareness of how people had helped him and some yes, gratitude for if not letting him learn at the feet of the masters at least some common humanity of a mom trying to do the best she could.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Blue

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Robert Goddard
    • Narrated By Paul Shelley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    Harry Barnett, a middle-aged failure, leads a shabby existence. He is reduced to caretaking a friend's villa on the island of Rhodes and working in a bar to earn his keep. Then a guest at the villa - a young woman he had instantly warmed to - disappears on a mountain peak. Under suspicion of her murder, Harry becomes obsessed by the mystery that has changed his life and begins to trace back the movements and encounters that led to the moment where she vanished into the blue.

    John says: "Goddard never lets me down. Another great book."
    "What a great tale and so well performed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Into the Blue to be better than the print version?

    Though I haven't read the print version, there's just something about having all of the international characters come to life with their accents and foibles that really makes the performance superior.


    What other book might you compare Into the Blue to and why?

    Ian Rankin's Scottish detective series. I guess because both sets of heros aren't ashamed of their flaws- they both drink and smoke too much and are well past their prime but still have some guile when they need it.


    What about Paul Shelley’s performance did you like?

    His ability to take on such a wide sweep of character dialogues.


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

    It's a perfect book for a looong drive at 18 hours. I usually prefer about 8 hours but this definitely kept outr interest for a long vacation drive this summer.


    Any additional comments?

    Into the Blue has a great mix of mystery and adventure with many characters drawn in great detail. It was one that I didn't have to cringe to listen to with my wife and family the way I sometimes do with a lot of sex and violence and profanity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bright Lights, Big City

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jay McInerney
    • Narrated By Daniel Passer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    The tragicomedy of a young man in New York City, a writer, never named, who works as a fact-checker for a prestigious magazine. He struggles with the reality of his mother's death, alienation, and the seductive pull of drugs and a vibrant nightlife.

    Bob says: "a great period piece for NYC of the early 90's"
    "a great period piece for NYC of the early 90's"
    Overall

    I thought I was just going to be annoyed with this story but McInerney's self obsessed, obliviously addicted character grows on you as he struggles with his talents and being his own worst enemy. I kind of live vicariously through characters like this since I've never lived in NY. You kind of want to slap him around and say hey cant you see how great you have it but that's the beauty and the device of the story. Just be warned- it's about living in NYC in the early days of Friends and Seinfeld without all the annoying friends and success.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Crashers

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Dana Haynes
    • Narrated By David Ledoux
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (13)

    Whenever a plane goes down in the U.S., a "Go Team" made up of experts is assembled by the NTSB to investigate. Those people - each of them a leading expert in a specific area - are known as informally as "Crashers."When a passenger plane, a Vermeer One Eleven, slams into the ground outside Portland, Oregon, a team is quickly assembled to investigate the cause.

    Bob says: "Great Story, Great Narration"
    "Great Story, Great Narration"
    Overall

    Dana Haynes has created a memorable cast of characters in this fast moving thriller set in and around Portland Oregon. He brings in some truly bad bad guys but for me the real fun was in finding out how the crash investigators coordinate all the myriad parts of a crash site into a single "cause" for a plane crash. David Ledoux does a great job of creating voices for all of the many characters in the story which was a big help given the large team of "crashers" cops and villains who populate this story.
    No Fear of Flying here- just a good time and a good listen.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5449)
    Performance
    (3411)
    Story
    (3417)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    Lora says: "Enzo (because he's so wize) for president."
    "wonderful perspective and a well told story"
    Overall

    I often try to find books I can share on car trips with my family from my 80 year old mom
    to my teen aged kids. This is one of the few that can span the generations with ease. I hesitated buying this as it seemed a little too cute- maybe good for parents or teens but not just a regular pick up and read book. I am so glad I got it and enjoyed it thoroughly. The unique vantage point of being told by a dog who is a the end of his days gives the story a mobility and freshness that allows it to be both sage and full of child-like glee at the simple things in life and the importance of friendship and family. I did literally laugh outloud and cry outloud.

    As always I try to listen on the faster speed on my ipod and generally buy abriged where possible. It's a short attention span world you know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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