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  • The Twelfth Imam: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Joel C. Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tensions are rising in the Middle East. Iran’s president vows to annihilate the United States and Israel. Israel’s prime minister says someone must hit Iran’s nuclear sites “before it’s too late.” The American president warns against a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and says negotiations are the key to finding peace. And amid it all, rumors are swirling throughout the region of a mysterious religious cleric claiming to be the Islamic messiah.

    Mike From Mesa says: "An almost perfect book, with one caveat"
    "Political Thriller/Religious Polemic"

    On the positive side, this is an engaging political thriller that is remarkably accurate in mirroring events in real life. And I felt the reader did an excellent job of helping us know which character was speaking by his many variations of accent and tone.
    My two criticisms are regarding the loose ends or lack of continuity in the story and the decidedly biased approach to religions. On the first point, I echo the many reviews that pointed out the many unresolved issues when the book simply stops. These were not side issues, but things that the whole story had been building up to and they are simply left unexplained. I haven't read the next book in the series, but I noted that one reviewer said it also ends rather abruptly. In addition, there are a number of things that are not explained, just moving from one scene to the next. For example, in one scene, the hero is injured, covered in blood, limping, clothes torn, etc. In the next, he seems to be completely back to normal with no explanation as to how this miraculous transformation has taken place.
    And speaking of miracles, there is the religious theme. Some reviewers have warned that this is written from a Christian point of view. I would say it is written from a "Christianity is the only true faith" perspective. And if we agree with this author, all Muslims are either evil or completely misled and had better convert to Christianity to have any hope of salvation. What ever happened to ecumenism and religious tolerance? And on a related note, nothing like a bit of deus ex machina to resolve a plot issue when Jesus or the 12th Imam performs a miracle. I don't think I need to read any more Rosenberg stories

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Great Story, Wonderful Narration"

    It has been a few months since I listened to Life of Pi, so I don't recall too many specific details, but my overall impression is that it's a great story, very imaginative and extremely well narrated. I had no problem distinguishing the various characters, which is remarkable, considering that there are several characters of the same ethnic background. But the narrator was able to put sufficient slight tonal differences into the characters that each was audibly distinct.
    The story, of course, has received plaudits from all over the world since the book was first published and I had been thinking for some time that I'd like to read it. But most of my reading is of the mystery/thriller type, so I had always found some "gripper" that I wanted to read first. But when I saw it was available on Audible and I had a spate of 2-hour-day commuting ahead, I thought, this is my opportunity. I'm so glad I did.
    My only slight negative on the story itself is that I thought it was a bit long on the detailed first portion. I had heard so much about Pi and the Bengal Tiger being at sea together for so long that I was anxious to get to that part. In retrospect, that detail was probably all necessary.
    And I've just started to watch the movie on Netflix and curious to see how it compares. Only 20 minutes into it so far, but it looks great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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