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Joel

Washington, DC, United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
151
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
54

  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8985)
    Performance
    (4711)
    Story
    (4781)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Wonderful but oddities in voices"
    Overall

    This is a terrific book that I'd read many years ago. One of the best sci-fi novels ever, and a great novel even outside that genre. This production is quite good, and most of the voices are terrific.

    Very strangely, however, this production sometimes uses two VERY different voices for the same character! For example, Duke Leto is voiced by an American-sounding actor in one scene and then a Brit in the next. Later, it will be back to the American!

    The same with the Baron Harkonnen: two very different voices.

    This is a very confusing state of affairs and I can't imagine why it was done. Oddly, the two actors voicing the same character don't even try to sound alike at all.

    The book is so good, however, that it still gets 4 stars.

    34 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • Treachery In Death: In Death, Book 32

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1892)
    Performance
    (1181)
    Story
    (1175)

    In a New York City fifty years in the future, Detective Eve Dallas tracks down those who break the law - including the ones sworn to uphold it. Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a brutal, senseless crime - an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. And for the first time, Peabody is primary detective on the case, which means she has to get used to a new level of authority and responsibility. Good thing she learned the ropes from a master like Eve. But after rounding up the perps, Peabody stumbles upon a much trickier situation.

    Jean says: "Treachery in Death"
    "Painful in every respect: skip it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel was unbearable for me: simplistic plot, painfully dopey voice characterizations (the voice used for Peabody was cringe-inducing: where exactly is Peabody supposed to be from?) and, as has been pointed out by others, absolutely no thought given to the "50 years in the future" aspect. Skip it. Read some Elmore Leonard instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1162)
    Performance
    (517)
    Story
    (523)

    Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth. A Neanderthal physicist, Ponter Boddit, accidentally passes from his universe into a Canadian underground research facility. Fortunately, a team of human scientists, including expert paleo-anthropologist Mary Vaughan, promptly identifies and warmly receives Ponter. Solving the language problem and much else is a mini-computer, called a Companion, implanted in the brain of every Neanderthal. But it can't help his fellow scientist back in his world, Adikor Huld, when the authorities charge Adikor with his murder.

    Scott says: "Scicen Fiction Can Be Literature"
    "Juvenile"
    Overall

    I have to admit that I've read a lot of "beach books" with simplistic characters and wooden dialog, but this one is special: it adds ham-fisted politically correct subthemes. Not worth listening to.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3223)
    Performance
    (1018)
    Story
    (1023)

    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"
    "Weak, old-time sci-fi"
    Overall

    I was amazed to find, on listening to this audiobook, that the book was written recently, since the characters sound like they're from some 1970s sci-fi novel.

    The narrator is entirely unconvincing as a child, and only a little less so when conveying an adult, and the story is filled with unrealistic ideas and characters.

    -- Why does the population begin calling the field around the Earth the "Spin", anyway? It doesn't spin, apparently, but I guess that was just a cooler book name?

    -- The idea that the wife of a former colleague of the elder Lawton would, on her husband's death, take a job as a HOUSEKEEPER for her husband's former friend beggars belief.

    -- the boy genius Jason Lawton, a direct descendant of Tom Swift, sounds like he's the scientist character out of a Hardy Boys novel, mixed with some Robert Heinlein.

    I should also note that all the female characters are basically weak. No female scientists, only alcoholics, religious fanatics, and housekeepers.

    The whole thing is interesting scientifically, but an absolute failure as to character and plot, in my opinion. I could hardly finish it.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing the Dime

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1264)
    Performance
    (335)
    Story
    (330)

    The messages waiting for Henry Pierce when he plugs in his new phone clearly aren't intended for him. They indicate something has gone terribly wrong for a woman named Lilly. Pierce probes, investigates, and then tumbles through a hole, leaving behind a life driven by work to track down and help a woman he's never met. Connelly's latest is "a grabber from the beginning...utterly compelling."

    David says: "Nobody Could Be That Stupid That Many Times!"
    "The worst from Michael Connelly"
    Overall

    As a fan of Michael Connelly's work, I was quite disappointed by this effort. Although the narration was adequate, the story itself is incredibly simplistic and implausible. I recommend you skip it and get The Lincoln Lawyer instead.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Darkness More than Night: Harry Bosch Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2107)
    Performance
    (911)
    Story
    (925)

    A movie director is charged with murdering an actress during sex, and then staging her death to make it look like a suicide. In a seemingly unrelated case, a loner is murdered, leaving the sheriff's department with no clues. One unsettling revelation after another leaves a retired FBI agent and an L.A. detective thinking they've unmasked a most frightening killer with almost inconceivable calculation.

    Aaron says: "Terrific Pairing of Connelly's best Detectives."
    "Another great one from Connelly"
    Overall

    Another terrific book from Michael Connelly, well-narrated by Richard Davidson. Definitely recommended if you've enjoyed other crime thrillers from Connelly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Partly Cloudy Patriot

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Sarah Vowell, Conan O'Brien, Seth Green, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1556)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (361)

    Sarah Vowell travels through the American past and investigates the dusty, bumpy roads of her own life. Her essays confront a wide range of subjects, icons, and historical moments: Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton; Canadian Mounties and German Filmmakers; Tom Cruise and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; twins and nerds; the Gettysburg Address, the State of the Union, and George W. Bush's inauguration. The result is an engrossing audiobook, capturing Vowell's memorable wit and her keen social commentary.

    Erik says: "A great listen"
    "Sleeper hit"
    Overall

    I had never even heard of Sarah Vowell before downloading this book from Audible, but I am now a big fan. Ms. Vowell, with her dry delivery and ironic wit, is often compared with David Sedaris. The difference is this: Mr. Sedaris makes funny observations about his life, while Ms. Vowell is a literate and well-read humorous commentator on American history and politics. While Mr. Sedaris might make you laugh (if you can stand his voice), Sarah Vowell might actually make you think.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Susanna Clarke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (3194)
    Performance
    (1190)
    Story
    (1194)

    English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

    David says: "Hang in there!"
    "First and best"
    Overall

    This was the first audiobook I listened to after joining Audible.com, and it is still the best. Terrific story, fantastic narrator who really makes it possible to believe you are listening to different characters. Highly recommended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Janson Directive

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Robert Ludlum
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1149)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (210)

    Peter Novak, one of the world's greatest men, has been kidnapped! Running out of time and hope, Novak's people turn to Paul Janson, legendary covert operative and assassin. Janson is retired, and nothing could lure him back - nothing except Peter Novak, who once saved Janson's life. "Ludlum's best since The Bourne Identity," raves Kirkus Reviews.

    Grady says: "Captivated me from the beginning"
    "unlistenable"
    Overall

    I've read many Robert Ludlum books in the past, and can generally count on Mr. L for a good vacation read; the equivalent of a decent movie. In this case, perhaps it is the cloying narration, or maybe it's just the incredibly cliched, wooden dialog, but I had to quit: I just could not listen past the first hour or so.

    If you ignore my warning and buy this, you'll be treated to:

    1 - hackneyed dialog like "but how could he have known?? How!?!" or "I'll need good men, the best in their field. And they'll have to be men I can *trust*".

    2 - female characters of every nationality all speaking with similar accents

    3 - characters you just don't care about

    Stay away from this one. If you'd like a thriller, I'd recommend something by Michael Connelly, like the excellent Lincoln Lawyer, or Echo Park.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Lincoln Lawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6490)
    Performance
    (2803)
    Story
    (2814)

    Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense pro who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, to defend clients at the bottom of the legal food chain. It's no wonder that he is despised by cops, prosecutors, and even some of his own clients. But an investigator is murdered for getting too close to the truth and Haller quickly discovers that his search for innocence has taken him face to face with a kind of evil as pure as a flame.

    Steven says: "Great Legal Thriller, Great Reader"
    "Great story, great narration"
    Overall

    My first Michael Connelly book and it was just what I wanted: fast-paced, interesting characters, plot-driven. And great narration. Mr. Grupper was terrific. Best thing I could say: I could not put it down!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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