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James R. Spitznas

Purcellville, VA United States | Member Since 2006

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 632 ratings
  • 875 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
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  • Relic: Pendergast, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4158)
    Performance
    (2597)
    Story
    (2625)

    Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders. Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who - or what - is doing the killing.

    Snoodely says: "Non-Perishable"
    "Not as good as rest of Pendergast series"
    Overall

    I was very glad when Audible offered this title as I've greatly enjoyed the rest of the series. While the story is good and captivating, it's not quite as good as the others in the Pendergast series. My biggest complaint, though is the narration. I've found the "special" effects added to the voices annoying and distracting -- the tunnel voice, the telephone voice, the intercom voice, the thinking to yourself voice. The voice being used for a specific character also abruptly changed on a couple of occasions. Overall, I'd give the story 3.5 stars and the narration 2 stars.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Woken Furies

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1274)
    Performance
    (532)
    Story
    (537)

    Richard K. Morgan has received widespread praise for his astounding 25th-century novels featuring Takeshi Kovacs, and has established a growing legion of fans. Mixing classic noir sensibilities with a searing futuristic vision of an age when death is nearly meaningless, Morgan returns to his saga of betrayal, mystery, and revenge, as Takeshi Kovacs, in one fatal moment, joins forces with a mysterious woman who may have the power to shatter Harlan's World forever.

    Jeri says: "I should have known better..."
    "I couldn't do it ..."
    Overall

    It being to listen to more than 90 minutes of the book. As to the audio component of the book, I found the repeated and lengthy use of the faux echo to be extremely annoying and distracting. As to the written component, I found the dialogue to be stilted and the plot thin and slow to develop. All in all, a major disappointment given that I had thoroughly enjoyed the preceding two books in the series and had eagerly anticipated listening to this installment.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (52 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2080)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (414)

    This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies, but against the woman he loves? Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus and launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. Atlas Shrugged emerged as a premier moral apologia for capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers (and now listeners) who had never heard capitalism defended in other than technical terms.

    Robert says: "Over before you know it"
    "Superb"
    Overall

    I'm sorry I didn't read this classic much earlier in my life. I am amazed at how "current" this tome is despite the span of time between when the book was written and the present. In addition to being an interesting story (though at times predictable), I found the book really made me contemplate a lot of values that society pushes. I'm glad that I invested the time to listen to this book and feel that it should be required reading for all high school and/or college students.

    BTW, the audio quality of this book is absolutely wretched. I knew this before purchasing the book based on other reviews so I did not hold it against the recording in my rating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fool: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Euan Morton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2228)
    Performance
    (1039)
    Story
    (1054)

    Pocket has been Lear's cherished fool for years. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege's side when Lear demands that his kids swear to him their undying love and devotion. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of...well...stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.

    Michael says: "Mr Moore does it again."
    "Mixed bag"
    Overall

    Parts of the book were laugh out loud funny but not as much so as I had been lead to believe based on reviews of this book and author. Other stretches of the book were rather dull. Overall, I would rate the story and its narration at 3.5 stars. In my final rating, though, I'm deducting 0.5 stars for the poor audio quality; there is a persistent high-pitched whine throughout the book that nearly drove me crazy.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Wroblewski
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2865)
    Performance
    (772)
    Story
    (776)

    Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents and an unusual breed of dogs on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. But when tragedy strikes the Sawtelle family, Edgar flees to the surrounding wilderness. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him.

    Ella says: "Just OK"
    "Engrossing story ..."
    Overall

    The story was very engrossing and I looked forward to my next opportunity to listen to see what would happen next. My only complaint was the ending lacked satisfactory closure. All in all it was very well written and perfectly narrated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Three Junes

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Julia Glass
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1141)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (282)

    Three Junes is a vividly textured symphonic novel set on both sides of the Atlantic during three fateful summers in the lives of a Scottish family. Three Junes "almost threatens to burst with all the life it contains...extraordinary," says Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours.

    Dagmar says: "Beautiful Narration of a Wonderful Story!"
    "I wanted to like this book ..."
    Overall

    I really wanted to like this book. I had truly enjoyed Julia Glass' other book that I had downloaded from Audible ("The Whole World Over") and was sorry when it had ended. I tried listening to this book for the first time several months ago and could not get past about 15 minutes of it so I just stopped listening -- at the time I figured I had just enjoyed the previous book (The Company by Robert Littell) so much that I wasn't ready to embark on anything so divergent. So after listening to a few more books I gave Three Junes a try again today. After 75 minutes, I decided it was just impossible to complete -- a first for me. While I don't think the writing was up to the same standard of "The Whole World Over", what really killed the book was the narration. There was little differentiation between the characters, and when there was differentiation it made some of the characters sound unappealing; that would be OK if that was the author's intent but I don't think that was the case. The poor differentiation would have probably been tolerable, though, if it were not for the poor diction of the narrator. There was no pause at the end of some sentences and then some sentences would run into another with no pause. This made for a stilted, hard to follow listening experience. Hopefully this will be the first and only book that I can't finish.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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