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Frank

Member Since 2009

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 112 ratings
  • 213 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Prague Fatale

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Philip Kerr
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (118)

    Philip Kerr’s thrilling mystery series starring private detective Bernie Gunther has been hailed as “one of the great historical crime series” by Bookmarks Magazine. Set in 1941, Prague Fatale follows Gunther as he investigates a murder at the country estate of his old boss, SD member Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich was throwing a dinner party for senior German officers when the victim was discovered - the body mysteriously locked in a room from the inside.

    Michael says: "Another Great Bernie Gunther Mystery!"
    "A different view of WWII"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've loved all the books in the Bernie Gunther series and this is no exception. Great plot, believable characters and events. A good look at a part of the war we never studied, and from a perspective few authors give. Start at the beginning and enjoy many hours of great noir detectiving along with a look inside the Third Reich from a German who had to live in a Nazi world.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8413)
    Performance
    (8006)
    Story
    (8020)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Not a single misstep"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's been a long time since I read a science-fiction novel that got everything right. This guy feels like a real engineer, which I know something about, and like what I'd expect an astronaut to be. Hey, most astronauts were ex-military pilots like me, so I think I can vouch for some authenticity. I like his sense of humor in the face of disaster, his ingenuity, his frustrations--all of it feels real. The tie-in to Earth and the help he gets (eventually)--all that feels real, too. Believable. I had trouble putting my iPhone down, I so enjoyed this book. Can't recommend it enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1085)
    Performance
    (961)
    Story
    (965)

    Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists beyond the airport.

    Melinda says: "Absolutely Stellar!"
    "Stupid when it's not tedious (plot spoilers)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had to return this. I made it through the first 2/3s, though I confess I was hitting the fast-forward button pretty frequently. This author has a weird idea of pacing--he's in the middle of some action, and suddenly he starts drifting off to describing the scenery. Or feelings, or whatever--but he loses the thread of the story. Speaking of the story. . .look, I know not everybody is a pilot, but could anybody be as stupid as this pilot? Let's see. . .apparently the last plane left on earth, and for nine years, all he can think to do with it is go retrieve Cokes? He sets off on his big adventure--without pre-positioning gas or other supplies--drills along at low altitude so that his fuel consumption goes way up? Let's see. . .other technical errors include getting blasted by a shotgun--just how frickin' low was he flying??? The hero just doesn't seem like a realistic representation of a person to me; not believable. I'm all for survival stories, but a world where you only shoot on sight and never attempt to gain allies or friends, is just not anything like the humans I've grown up with. I'm surprised this got as many good reviews as it did. Maybe I was expecting more--especially after reading The Martian, which was an outstanding story of a man struggling to survive. This story. . .is just stupid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3344)
    Performance
    (3101)
    Story
    (3095)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a disappointment. This very long book was painful to get through. There are no likeable characters beyond Strike and Robin, and they weren't particularly appealing in this book. There's very little action other than Strike re-injuring himself time and again, and the bulk of the book is Strike talking to one weird book person after another. Dark and depressing--not the book to hear when stuck in rush-hour traffic! Glenister's gruff voicing for Strike may make him less appealing than Rowling had in mind; as it is, I can't believe Robin has hung in there this long. What else. . .why doesn't Strike have an income from the military? Surely he was medically retired and receives roughly half-pay plus all sorts of benefits and allowances? But I digress. I've been a big fan of Rowling's writing but this book was no pleasure to read. I bought it as soon as it was available--I won't rush to buy her next.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Panther

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2085)
    Performance
    (1762)
    Story
    (1755)

    Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, have been posted overseas to Sana'a, Yemen - one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East. While there, they will be working with a small team to track down one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole bombing: a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative known as The Panther. Ruthless and elusive, he's wanted for multiple terrorist acts and murders - and the U.S. government is determined to bring him down, no matter the cost.

    John says: "Exciting Nelson DeMille novel with great narration"
    "Nelson's lost it; Brick never had it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been a Nelson DeMille fan for years, but this series has peaked and I couldn't finish this one. Trite, dull, predictable. John's lines are tired and why he and Kate are together is more of a mystery than ever. The plot. . .yawn. A superhuman Middle Eastern terrorist. Haven't we seen this one before?

    I've never liked Scott Brick as a narrator (I'm sure he's a swell person) and this book confirms it. Absolutely the wrong choice for a smart-aleck like John Corey--in every book he's read, he sounds like he's terminally depressed. He made some weird choices, too--like, why does the Arab terrorist sound like an Arab. . .when he was born and raised in New Jersey? Brick might be the right choice for a book about the end of the world. . .but not this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Quartered Safe Out Here: A Recollection of the War in Burma

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By George MacDonald Fraser
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (33)

    George MacDonald Fraser beloved for his series of Flashman historical novels offers an action-packed memoir of his experiences in Burma during World War II. Fraser was only 19 when he arrived there in the wars final year, and he offers a first-hand glimpse at the camaraderie, danger, and satisfactions of service

    Andrew M. Woodward says: "Accents"
    "If you liked Flashie, don't hesitate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well, I should add to that, "and if you like history in general". I've read quite a few histories of WWII and this was a great way to view an obscure and rarely told portion of the war. But even without that. . .Fraser writes with his usual dry wit; his own exploits are suitably modestly told, and each of his characters is well-developed and sometimes larger than life--as, I believe, soldiers are at times. Or maybe it only seems that way in our memories. Reading this twenty years after it was written, I found it interesting to hear Fraser's opinions on the war and the evolution of war, and of England, since.

    David Case is brilliant, as always, at capturing the mood and the characters. One reviewer complained that the book should have been read by a Scot. . .sheesh, this Yank had a hard enough time with the accents as it was! So don't let that put you off; if you've enjoyed Case with Flashie or Sharpe, you'll love him here.

    My only complaint is that Fraser stopped at the end of the war. I'll have to find an audio version of his North African novels to learn what happened to him next (sort of).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (6936)
    Performance
    (6316)
    Story
    (6325)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Intelligent, layered and absorbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this after the news broke that Galbraith was a pseudonym for JK Rowling. I'd loved all her Harry Potter books (despite my advanced years) and knew she'd write well in any genre. Not to brag. . .but I was dead on! This book is far from the standard murder mystery. The protagonist, Strike, is the usual strong, silent type (wish he was more of a wise-cracker!) but with a twist. His inner demons, his wreck of a private life, are more subtle, real and convincing than the usual. The second protagonist, the receptionist/apprentice, is a brilliant idea and allows the author a different perspective from which to develop Strike. The reader does a wonderful job with all the male voices. . .why are audiobooks never read by two readers, with a second for the voices of the other sex? Well, never mind. He does a great job with what he has. JK, keep 'em coming!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flashman and the Mountain of Light

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By George MacDonald Fraser
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (54)

    This ninth volume of The Flashman Papers, faithfully edited and transcribed by Fraser, finds that Sir Harry Flashman is back in India, where his saga began. This time, our hero is sent by Her Majesty's Secret Service to spy on the corrupt court of Lahore, on India's Northwest Frontier. Flashy's most challenging exploit yet is as politically shrewd and thoroughly lewd as ever.

    Laura says: "Flashy is Magnificent, Narration is Superb!"
    "A man of his time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Others have written better reviews than I could ever create, so I'll only add a few cents worth here. Flashie considers himself a complete coward but. . .to us, he often seems to be doing the sensible thing. Or at least, the thing I'd be doing in that situation. I think the author has done an excellent job of capturing the standards of the time. A Victorian soldier must have felt incredible pressure to risk his life at the least opportunity, to live up to the standards he'd been taught. Flashie gives himself no credit for the many times he is brave or at least soldiers on despite his fear. So--for an anti-hero, he's often a pretty good guy. If you don't mind a little infidelity now and then. . .and now. . .and then. . .and now. . .and then.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Naughty in Nice: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1917)
    Performance
    (1690)
    Story
    (1662)

    Lady Georgiana Rannoch has once again been called into service by Her Majesty the Queen. This time she's sent to Nice on a secret assignment that's nothing to sneeze at: recover the Queen's stolen snuff box. As much of an honor as it is to be trusted by Her Majesty, an even greater honor awaits Georgie in Nice - as Coco Chanel herself asks Georgie to model her latest fashion. But when a necklace belonging to the Queen is stolen on the catwalk, Georgie has to find two priceless items-and solve a murder. How's a girl to find any time to go to the casino?

    Lindsay says: "Lots of good fun"
    "Funnest series ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK, make that "most fun". Look, I love mysteries but most are dark and foreboding. This is a lark; a good mystery set in a satire of the British upper classes of the '30s. Georgie is a great heroine, naive but quick to learn. The narration is fantastic. Katherine Kellgren does an incredible job with all the different characters. Even her male voices are good; she doesn't try to drop her register like so many female narrators do. What else. . .start the series at the beginning and enjoy the ride!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Swan: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Benjamin Black
    • Narrated By Timothy Dalton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (87)

    Two years have passed since the events of the best-selling Christine Falls, and much has changed for Quirke, the irascible, formerly hard-drinking Dublin pathologist. His beloved Sarah is dead, the judge lies in a convent hospital paralyzed by a devastating stroke, and Phoebe, Quirke's long-denied daughter, has grown increasingly withdrawn and isolated.

    David says: "A great sequel!"
    "Dark is only good if it goes somewhere"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jeez, this book is tedious. Unattractive characters with problems. . .and it just goes on and on. I loved Christine Falls, and I like noir mysteries in general. But I couldn't get through this one. Dalton is a great reader but he goes a little far with the bitterness. I mean, I know Quirk's life is a mess but even the least sentences in the narration are delivered like the world is ending. It just gets to be too much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blackout

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2050)
    Performance
    (1306)
    Story
    (1313)

    In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

    Monica says: "Double review - Blackout and All Clear"
    "Too many annoying characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Connie's earlier books, and the way she weaves a story out of a confusion of current events. But it seems no one will edit her, now that she's successful, and no one will tell her she needs to cut back on the cranky, irritating and annoying side characters. Just get on with the story, girl! I couldn't take more than the first few hours. I love the narrator, Katherine Kellgren, and the way she brought Bloody Jack and Her Royal Spyness to life. But here, her excellent mimicry only makes the annoying characters worse--you can't just skim over their nonsense in an audiobook, you have to listen to every idiotic word. I think the subject matter is fascinating, but I couldn't get through the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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