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Danzer

Danz

Indianapolis | Member Since 2001

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 42 purchased in 2014
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  • A Reconstructed Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes): Charles Paris Mysteries, Episode 1

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 52 mins)
    • By Simon Brett
    • Narrated By Bill Nighy
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Bill Nighy returns as Charles Paris: unsuccessful actor, bad husband, and dipsomaniac. Desperately in need of work, having been kicked out of his marital home, Charles jumps at playing a missing property developer in a crime-reconstruction program. But the missing person case soon turns to murder when severed body parts begin to appear.

    Cheryl says: "Well worth the sales price!"
    "Sexiest 50-something couple there is!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to A Reconstructed Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) again? Why?

    I love the BBC productions of the Charles Paris stories. I wish they'd do all of them. Bill Nighy IS Charles Paris, and with Suzanne Burden, they are the sexiest couple-- with such terrific dialogue and warmth between them.

    These productions are very trim, but I don't miss what they leave out from the books. Bill Nighy and Suzanne Burden are worth every minute. And he and John Glover (who plays his agent) are almost as funny together.

    These are just plain fun.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Frances-- Charles' wife, long "abandoned," but entirely her own woman, who takes him when she wants him, and kicks him out when she doesn't. They are great together-- funny, loose, sexy. Frances usually takes the lead in some action, and as Charles calls her, she's Boadicea come back to life.


    What about Bill Nighy’s performance did you like?

    He's wry and funny and does the asides that are so CHARLES in ways that really honor the character.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3242)
    Performance
    (2280)
    Story
    (2280)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "Brilliant but almost too cruel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Potato Factory the most enjoyable?

    Brilliant, but too cruel: The book is a wonderful piece of literature worthy of the sweep and wildness of Oz and the griminess of Dickens' London. The narration of the audiobook is the best I've heard. The genius of Humphrey Bower's voice even exceeds Bryce Courtenay's as a writer. Bower does innumerable voices outstandingly well, from little snot-nosed urchins to aging whores and pompous magistrates.

    Courtney has created a wonderful tale from the skeleton of history known about the 19th Century rascal Ikey Soloman (deemed to be Charles Dickens inspiration for Fagin in "Oliver Twist"). The fictional character of Mary Abacus is just as interesting, if not quite as endearing. And the secondary characters are wonderful in their scruffiness, pomposity, and winsomeness.

    The book has one minor, and one major flaw, in my view. The minor is that conclusory statements about Ikey and Mary are made several times, which turn out not to be true. The one most common is that "Ikey is a broken man" or "has lost his will". But then he lives on to commit another scam or mentor another little scamp. But again, it's a minor quibble. More troubling is Courtenay's horrifying tortures of Mary. He goes much further than is necessary to win our sympathy and show Mary to be indomitable The brutality inflicted upon her in at least three instances is at The Walking Dead level, over the top and gratuitous. Bear the pain, the book is otherwise a delightful experience.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG's Corporate Suicide

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Roddy Boyd
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The true story of how risk destroys, as told through the ongoing saga of AIG From the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the subject of the financial crisis has been well covered. However, the story central to the crisis-that of AIG-has until now remained largely untold. Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG's Corporate Suicide tells the inside story of what really went on inside AIG that caused it to choke on risk and nearly brining down the entire economic system.

    PHIL says: "My favorite business-finance writing, full stop"
    "Weird subtext here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Roddy Boyd and/or Joe Barrett?

    I would listen to another performance by Joe Barrett, who has a lovely wry voice and an intelligent way of presenting complex material.

    Roddy Boyd's explanation of the complicated deals of AIG was impressively understandable. But the focus on particular "Big Guys" fell short of really explaining on what happened and why it caused the crash. I don't actually think Elliot Spitzer is the big villain of the piece here. So I guess I'd say, I might read Roddy Boyd again, but with a grain of salt.




    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I finished annoyed at the Hank Greenberg focus. I guess he was a major source here, but his thoughts were mostly about how everyone should have continued bowing down to him, so he maybe wasn't the best elucidator of what went wrong.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed (bad this way) all the infighting when Hank Greenberg was finally eased into retirement. His successor kept referring to him as "Mr. Greenberg," and the PR people were going crazy that this new CEO sounded like a schoolboy.

    I didn't like the absolute contempt for Spitzer and the rule of law, as if the wealthy corporation and its executives should be above those poltroons who enforce the law. That was very weird, as the book had carefully shown how deceptive and criminal many of AIG's actions were, then suddenly erupts in horror when the legal system finally steps up and enforces the law. I didn't like the subtext that corporations should be allowed to do what they please, destroy the economy, bankrupt shareholders, and none of us or elected officials or law enforcement officials can say anything negative. I guess we're supposed to let companies just do what they want and then bail them out?

    That incident really bothered me, obviously. It seemed totally at odds with everything else in the book. I guess we shouldn't look to businessmen and business reporters for any real insight, but authors have to be wary of identifying too much with their sources.


    Did Fatal Risk inspire you to do anything?

    I think I'll listen to it again, just to figure it out-- I have trouble understanding the strategy of this company, but I think one more listen will help!


    Any additional comments?

    David Faber's And the Roof Caved In, and the Harry Markopoulos book about Madoff were better at explaining what went wrong.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Before I Fall

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (763)
    Performance
    (593)
    Story
    (595)

    Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact.

    Bluemoon says: "Great story... but not for kids!"
    "A High School Groundhog Day-- horrifying, but good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a young adult novel. There are mentions of sex and some extreme partying (the high-schoolers drink and smoke pot A LOT), plus references to rape and suicide. That is, this might not be for the 11-year-old reader.

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. The premise is similar to the film Groundhog Day-- a self-absorbed protagonist is forced to live the same day over and over, learning lessons each time. I was kind of impressed at the risk the author took, not so much for the repetition of plot events (necessary of course for the overall thematic purpose), but for having really unlikeable "mean girls" as the main characters. Don't let that discourage you-- the author deepens the understanding of their personalities as the book goes on. I never did quite distinguish the two minor friends in the clique (never name similar characters with similar names :), but the protagonist and her best friend were sharply limned and boldly individualized.

    I was expecting more of a "wow" ending, and was a bit disappointed by the soft-focus epilogue which didn't really answer the questions the story had set up. But I was really fascinated by the gritty exploration of life in a small high school and within the "in-group" of popular kids and what distinguishes them from everyone else. Well done and scary, and boy, am I glad I graduated and never looked back!

    NOTE: I listened to the audio book from audible.com. I didn't think I'd like the narrator because she sounded so young at first, but she was very good at doing the voices of the different kids, and at conveying emotion, so I ended up really enjoying her narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Old Filth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jane Gardam
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (404)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (309)

    FILTH is a lawyer with a practice in the Far East. A few remember that his nickname stands for Failed In London Try Hong Kong. But Old Filth is not as pompous as people imagine, and his past contains many secrets and dark hiding places.

    Michele says: "A Great Read, matched by a Great Reader"
    "Well-written, beautiful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This isn't an exciting book. It's the story of an old judge looking back on his life, and it isn't that fabulous a life. But the writing is lovely, and the character development strong and insightful. The narrator is terrific, portraying the judge in a thoughtful and considered voice. No big thriller moments, here, but the narrator and the prose make it worth listening to. I will certainly be reading the author's other books, and I will listen to any book narrated by Malcom!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The News from Lake Wobegon from A Prairie Home Companion, May 1, 2004

    • NONE (13 mins)
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Danzer says: "One of his greatest-- of many greats"
    "One of his greatest-- of many greats"
    Overall

    This is one of his great celebrations of spring, mixing the ludicrous with the poignant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6805)
    Performance
    (3173)
    Story
    (3178)

    First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

    Nicole says: "You love it or you hate it..."
    "Very, very slow"
    Overall

    I really don't get all the great reviews this has gotten. It's extremely slow, with long, dull passages of characters thinking and thinking. I got bored and so started noting down all the "inspirations" (read: thefts) from other writers. Stephen King hyped the book, but probably because he knew it would drive readers back to his superior The Stand, and the Dark Tower series, both of which clearly served as models. There's even a Harry Potter moment (the little girl communicates with animals at the zoo, just as Harry did... a decade ago).
    It's not badly written, but it's not WELL-written, and I'm thinking all those literary reviewers who gave it faboo reviews are easily seduced by long paragraphs and lots of supposedly "deep" thoughts.
    I do like the narrator (Scott Brick), who is always good. It's not his fault I got to the end of the first audio part and decided that I'd give the rest of it a miss.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • House Rules

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Mark Turetsky, Nicole Poole, Andy Paris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3039)
    Performance
    (1253)
    Story
    (1261)

    One of America’s most popular authors, Jodi Picoult has earned a reputation for crafting riveting, topical fiction. In House Rules she examines how being different can have dire consequences. Teenager Jacob Hunt has Asperger’s syndrome. A forensic science wizard, he follows his scanner to show up at crime scenes and give law enforcement officials his advice.

    Charlotte says: "Great book until the ending"
    "Too much like another Picoult ending"
    Overall

    I don't want to spoil this, but I was really disappointed when the problem was solved very much like in an earlier book of hers-- just as frustrating for what it said about family. Very unsatisfying, and it requires everyone to behave rather stupidly, like no one ever asking what someone else means.

    But great emotion, as always with Picoult. The middle kind of dragged, but there were many really affecting moments. She does cops very well, I've noticed that before.
    Great narrators too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Graveyard Book

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6262)
    Performance
    (3049)
    Story
    (3064)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Gaiman’s not just an award-winning author, but a narrator who earns rave reviews – and fields requests from other authors to perform their books, too! Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead....

    Guillermo says: "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"
    "Parents should listen first"
    Overall

    This is a great book and wonderfully read (by the author?). HOWEVER... parents might want to listen to it first. The first scene is, well, to put it bluntly, the narrative of a professional murderer stabbing to death two parents and a little girl. It's pretty violent. The story really starts with the second scene, where the baby is "adopted" by ghosts in the graveyard, and if you think the scene of murder will bother your child overmuch, you can probably just skip right over it without losing much plot.

    But this is a very good book, and the reader is really, really good, especially with the children's voices.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26604)
    Performance
    (13250)
    Story
    (13292)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "A fine, unusual perspective on an important time"
    Overall

    I really liked this. I grew up in the South in this period, and I am glad to see it addressed in a novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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