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ciscospice

Member Since 2002

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 169 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
19
FOLLOWERS
1

  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1678)
    Performance
    (844)
    Story
    (848)

    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"
    "Interesting Details"
    Overall

    What I really liked about this book were the interesting details and the way in which the scientific content was integrated so well with the character dynamics.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Black Swan Green

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (118)

    From award-winning writer David Mitchell comes a sinewy, meditative novel of boyhood on the cusp of adulthood and the old on the cusp of the new. Black Swan Green tracks a single year in what is, for 13-year-old Jason Taylor, the sleepiest village in muddiest Worcestershire in dying Cold War England, 1982. But the 13 chapters, each a short story in its own right, create an exquisitely observed world that is anything but sleepy.

    Janet Tarasovic says: "The joys of teen misery"
    "It may no longer be cool to say this,"
    Overall

    But this book was ...epic!

    Fabulous narration as well. I just listened to this for the second time and enjoyed it even more than the first time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Manual of Detection

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jedediah Berry
    • Narrated By Pete Larkin
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    In an unnamed city slick with rain, Charles Unwin toils as a clerk at an imperious detective agency. His job: writing reports on cases solved by the palindromic Detective Travis Sivart. When Sivart goes missing and his supervisor is murdered, Unwin is promoted to detective, a rank for which he is woefully unprepared. His only guidance comes from his sleepy new assistant and the pithy yet profound Manual of Detection.

    Darryl says: "fun quirky noir"
    "I really tried..."
    Overall

    To enjoy this book.

    After searching around online, I learned that there is a specific structure to the book that is captured in the formatting of the hard copy. This doesn't transfer over to the audio version very well.

    I also found that even after several hours of listening, I still didn't feel like I knew very much about the characters. Character development was done through convoluted action and staccato conversations. The result was that the characters were barely indistinguishable from each other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wife of the Gods: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Kwei Quartey
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (45)

    Detective Inspector Darko Dawson, a good family man and a remarkably intuitive sleuth, is sent to the village of Ketanu---the site of his mother's disappearance many years ago---to solve the murder of an accomplished young AIDS worker. While battling his own anger issues and concerns for his ailing son, Darko explores the motivations and secrets of the residents of Ketanu.

    Shaliali says: "Engrossing Mystery in a Fascinating Setting"
    "Great Story. Wonderful New Author."
    Overall

    This is well written detective story that takes place in Ghana.

    I love that this story is set in Ghana just like a Michael Connelly book is set in California or a Steig Larsson book is set in Sweden. It's the setting where the author is comfortable and the best place to tell a particular story. Which might make more sense if I can explain what the book is not.

    It's not a story about westerners in Africa. It's not a story about the struggle and strife of life in Africa as written by a non-African. It's not a cartoon-ish depiction of native Africans (like Alexander McCall Smith's books can sometimes be). It simply takes place there. Which means that their are interesting cultural details that are included because of the place setting, but those details are not included to make a political point or to be set up against a comparable western standard.

    To put this in context - I love reading about Africa. I've read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction set within and about South Africa. And as wonderful as many of those stories are, they are almost always written by a non-native African or tell the story through western eyes.

    I love that Kwerty's book just tells a story about the people who live their everyday lives in Ghana. The detective story is well done (Admittedly, I did kind of know who the murderer was given some of the early fore-shadowing and was disappointed by this at first. But the way the story unfolded was still satisfying and I had some moments of doubt as different suspects were investigated.) The main character is wonderfully flawed. I hope the author keeps this guy around. I'm guessing that he has future plans for Detective Dawson.

    It looks like they are promoting Kwerty as another McCall Smith and while I understand that they are trying to capitalize on the success of the Mma Ramotswe stories, I think this book stands on it's own.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • White Corridor: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Christopher Fowler
    • Narrated By Tim Goodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (67)

    The unthinkable has happened at London's Peculiar Crimes Unit. In the depths of winter, a member of staff has been found murdered, and everyone who works there is suddenly a suspect. But Arthur Bryant and John May, the eccentric elderly detectives who run London's strangest crime division, aren't on hand to solve the crime. They've ventured into the heart of the English countryside, only to become stranded on a desolate snowbound section of road.

    Lynnette B. Crocker says: "Another great Peculiar Crimes mystery"
    "My Favorite so Far"
    Overall

    I love Arthur Bryant.

    The characters in this series are just brilliant and I love the narration. Fowler has a great talent for colorful description and his characters have interesting insights and ideas. The fact that the stories are intriguing just makes the books all around good "reads".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lush Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Richard Price
    • Narrated By Bobby Cannavale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (603)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (116)

    What do you do? Whenever people asked him, Eric Cash used to have a dozen answers. Artist, actor, screenwriter...But now he's 35 years old and he's still living downtown, still in the restaurant business, working night shifts and serving the people he always wanted to be. What does Eric do? He manages.

    Richard Delman says: "Eerily real"
    "Enjoyable"
    Overall

    I had to start this twice. At first listen, I had a little bit of trouble getting into the story. The author doesn't reveal the story through alot of narration. The dialogue and action help reveal the story and I think this was why I had a slow start with it.

    But once the story got going, it was great fun. The characters are well-developed. They have flaws and weaknesses that go along with their intelligence and strengths.

    I look forward to listening to more books from this author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3248)
    Performance
    (1037)
    Story
    (1043)

    One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

    Robert says: "A Classic"
    "Good!"
    Overall

    This was a really great book. The story is complex, yet the author never loses track of how all of the details work together.

    The detailed effects of astronomy and biology and how science works over time are maintained and woven into the details of the story. This makes for satisfying science fiction.

    In addition to the wonderful complexity of the story is a cast of believable characters.

    My only complaint would have to be the narrator. He infuses sarcasm into almost every sentence of the book. There are times when sarcasm is appropriate because a character is actually being sarcastic. But when the narrator uses sarcasm to speak neutral parts of the story it can be a bit grating on the listener's nerves. Overall, the guy is a good reader - he'd be excellent if he could figure out how to soften the sarcastic tone of his voice and only use that tone when appropriate.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Kim Edwards
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (583)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (171)

    Kim Edwards' stunning family drama evokes the spirit of Sue Miller and Alice Sebold, articulating every mother's silent fear: what would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you?

    In 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins, he immediately recognizes that one of them has Down Syndrome and makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever.

    ciscospice says: "Is it over yet?"
    "Is it over yet?"
    Overall

    That is what I'm thinking, though I still have two hours left of the recording. This is not a bad story - it just tends to go on and on and on with details that don't add anything to the characters or to the story.

    The narrator is not one of the best that you'll ever listen to. There seems to be "chic-lit" style of narrator for these types of books and they have a tendency to make each sentence sound like a question. It can be a bit annoying at times.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Lisa Unger
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (130)

    If Ridley Jones had slept 10 minutes later or had taken the subway instead of waiting for a cab, she would still be living the beautiful lie she used to call her life. She would still be the privileged daughter of a doting father and a loving mother. Her life would still be perfect, with only the tiny cracks of an angry junkie for a brother and a charming drunk with shady underworld connections for an uncle to mar the otherwise flawless whole.

    Linda Ann Howson says: "Give it a chance"
    "I Know What You're Thinking"
    Overall

    The combination of narrator, who sounds like she is reading aloud to a kindergarten class, and the writing which is full of cliches and is unnecessarily descriptive, makes this book almost unbearable.

    The main character is uninteresting. She's the stranger that you get stuck next to on a long plane trip who just won't stop talking. Her pseudo-philosophizing is naive and childish - though it doesn't seem to be the author's intention that the character should come across this way.

    The main character, Ridley, talks to the reader throughout the book, saying things like, "I know what you're thinking". It's very irritating because she seems to assume that the readers are as unintelligent and one dimensional as she is.

    "I know what you're thinking". Oh, really? Because, what I was thinking was, "This book is pretty bad!"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Freddy and Fredericka

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mark Helprin
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (363)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (90)

    Best-selling, critically acclaimed author Mark Helprin's work has drawn favorable comparisons to an elite group of literary legends, including James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe, and Thomas Mann. Helprin's sheer comic brilliance shines in this ingenious farce.

    Chris says: "God save Craig-Vyvyan! I liked it."
    "Definitely Worth It!"
    Overall

    Have you ever sat through a movie that had a few dumb bits, but paid off with beautifully clever or amazingly funny moments?

    That's what I found with this book. Perhaps it could have used a bit more editing, but honestly, I'd like to "read" it again in print because I think there is more to the book than what comes across in the listening.

    I couldn't help thinking of the cliched phrase, "from the ridiculous to the sublime" while listening to the book. There are moments of stilted, silliness combined with passages of pure genius.

    Thank you Mark Helprin! I still can't get over the word "opheliated" - I just love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skinny Dip

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (2351)
    Performance
    (598)
    Story
    (608)

    When Chaz Perron's wife discovers that he is running a scam (posing as a marine biologist to doctor water samples so that an agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the Everglades), he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner. Unlucky for Chaz, Joey survives clutching a bale of Jamaican pot. Rescued from the Atlantic by a former police officer, Mick Stranahan, she decides not to report him but instead haunt and taunt him, with Mick's help, by playing dead.

    Phillip says: "Summer's Best Read"
    "Characters that you won't forget"
    Overall

    This is a wonderful book. And definitely a book that is great to listen to. The characters are unforgettable. Funny and completely enjoyable. I've been recommending this to everyone I meet who is looking for an entertaining read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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