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John

Huntington Beach, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

213
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 140 reviews
  • 258 ratings
  • 469 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
31

  • Solomon's Song: The Australian Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1540)
    Performance
    (1026)
    Story
    (1021)

    Here is the story of two families, branches of the Solomons, transported to an alien land. Both branches eventually grow rich and powerful. But through three generations, the families never, for one moment, relinquish their hatred for each other. This novel is also the story of Australia, from its beginnings to its coming of age as a nation.

    Anne says: "Breathtaking!"
    "Not what I hoped for."
    Overall

    I enjoyed the first two books for the blending of history and fiction that provided action and great character development. Solomon's Song being the last book of a trilogy, I expected the same action with a conclusion to the tale that started with Ikie. Instead, I was baffled throughout. Why was the author spending so much time on certain specific topics on the last of a trilogy. The ratio of historical data to fiction was tilted way to far to historical detail and absent the good fictional narratives that made the other books so good. I know if you have gotten this far in the series that you have to buy this book so I guess I am just venting. Most seem to enjoy it so I might be the exception. The narration again is exceptional, a savior for this book.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1329)
    Performance
    (1189)
    Story
    (1194)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "Huh? End of the trilogy is a political statement"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. If I had known that the end of the trilogy would basically be a diatribe by Follett on his political beliefs, I would not have started it. Of course too late now. I weathered the marathon. Seemed that each book got worse in the series and clearly book three was the worst. Too bad. Such potential but a total bust.

    1 of 1 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
    (3905)
    Performance
    (3599)
    Story
    (3598)

    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"
    "Great mystery. Highly Recommend!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a great writer. The characters are great, plot keeps you guessing and no slow points along the way. Of course have a great narrator doesn't hurt. This would be a 6 star if I could give it. Cant' wait for another book in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Drop Shot

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (380)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (174)

    Tennis has been very good to sports agent Myron Bolitar. He represents two of the hottest young stars in the game. But when his female player is murdered in broad daylight at the U.S. Open and his male player becomes the prime suspect, Myron's got a whole new match to win. His investigation leads to an old murder, the mob, a crooked senator, a jealous mother, and someone who's determined to shut down his search for good.

    Jim says: "Funny, Intriguing, and Engaging"
    "Entertaining though a little over done in places"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Deal Breaker so I went with book two in the series and was pleased but I start to sense a formula to Coben's writing. Also a little too much sarcasm. Maybe the novelty of the first book made it a five star. Still I like the way Coben creates a story and I will get more of his books. Just hoping the future books have more variety in plots and story structure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • South of the Border, West of the Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Eric Loren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (68)

    Born in 1951 in an affluent Tokyo suburb, Hajime - beginning in Japanese - has arrived at middle age wanting for almost nothing. The postwar years have brought him a fine marriage, two daughters, and an enviable career as the proprietor of two jazz clubs. Yet a nagging sense of inauthenticity about his success threatens Hajime's happiness. And a boyhood memory of a wise, lonely girl named Shimamoto clouds his heart.

    Darwin8u says: "A River of Unmindfulness"
    "Enjoyable with interesting characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not my favorite Murakami book but it held my interest and I could get into the main character. Enjoyed the narration fit the book well. Hard to give Murakami less than four stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angels Flight: A Harry Bosch Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    Overall
    (717)
    Performance
    (636)
    Story
    (643)

    An activist attorney is killed in a cute little L.A. trolley called Angels Flight, far from Harry Bosch's Hollywood turf. But the case is so explosive - and the dead man's enemies inside the L.A.P.D. are so numerous - that it falls to Harry to solve it. Now the streets are superheating. Harry's year-old Vegas marriage is unraveling. And the hunt for a killer is leading Harry to another high-profile L.A. murder case, one where every cop had a motive. The question is, did any have the guts?

    Oenophile says: "Much improved"
    "Solid book despite marginal narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Loved the story. Plot was solid and pace was great. The narrator, though, sounded like Clint Eastwood in a Dirty Harry role. Distracting at first then but seems not to be as bad toward the end of the book. Connelly has not disappointed me once. Great writing always wins out over marginal narration. Highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Bruce Locke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (201)

    The new novel - a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan - from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since IQ84. Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.

    Pamela J says: "We're all victims of our youth"
    "Disappointed at first, then just bored."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge Murakami fan and have listened to most of his books. This one though fell flat. Maybe the poor narration was the reason but I think the actually story was also to blame. Even the characters were hard to get into. Not like Murakami's other books. This is the first Murakami book I would not recommend to other readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Light of Day

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Eric Ambler
    • Narrated By Gareth Armstong
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Arthur Simpson is a petty thief who is discovered stealing from a hotel room. His victim, however, turns out to be a criminal in a league well above his own and Simpson is blackmailed into smuggling arms into Turkey for use in a major jewel robbery. The Turkish police, however, discover the arms and he is further 'blackmailed' by them into spying on the 'gang' - or rot in a Turkish jail. However, agreeing to help brings even worse danger...

    John says: "Another solid book from Ambler"
    "Another solid book from Ambler"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hard to criticize anything about Ambler's writing. He can make a 6 hour book seem like 10 hours. Everything flows, the plot holds your interest and he has a great way to create characters that are interesting. Also great narration on this book. Recommend highly.

    0 of 0 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
    (9457)
    Performance
    (8993)
    Story
    (9010)

    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"
    "Great mix of science, action with comedic relief."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book kept me coming back for more. Characters were well done and excellent narration. A lot of scientific detail that made me zone out at times but did also get one into the action aspect of the book and certainly made it more realistic and hence more interesting. Would recommend this book but probably not for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12941)
    Performance
    (8815)
    Story
    (8864)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Annie M. says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "Amazing story with average narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Amazing biography and well researched. The down side in my mind was the book many times reads as though the narrator is reading an encyclopedia version of the main characters life. Don't know if it the writing style or the narrator's monotone voice. Also just a little too much details in the book that does not add to the story in my mind. The good side of the book is the amazing subject. I am usually not a fan of historical non-fiction but this story was worth it. This book is not for everyone but for many it will be well worth it. I would recommend people read a description of the book prior to buying this one. I try not to do that so I don't spoil the plot, in this case I wish I would have. If there is an abridged version in the future, that would probably be the better choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deal Breaker

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (833)
    Performance
    (381)
    Story
    (382)

    Sports agent Myron Bolitar is poised on the edge of the big-time. So is Christian Steele, a rookie quarterback and Myron's prized client. But when Christian gets a phone call from a former girlfriend, a woman who everyone, including the police, believes is dead, the deal starts to go sour. Suddenly Myron is plunged into a baffling mystery of sex and blackmail.

    Lisa says: "Deal Breaker"
    "A great find. Highly recommend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. So glad I pulled the trigger on this book. Everything about this book was well done. Great plot, characters and pace. Could not wait to get back in the car each day. Can not wait to listen to more books from this author. This is well worth a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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