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John

Powakee

Dona Ana, NM, United States | Member Since 2008

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 598 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2015
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  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (20444)
    Performance
    (18201)
    Story
    (18166)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Well Told Story - Old Drabby Theme"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love SK books. I started out reading his stuff in 1976 and somewhere in the early 90's I simply started buying his books the moment they hit the book store. I have watched/read as he has grown and matured as a writer and I enjoy reading him today as much as ever. That said, I was a little disappointed in this story. It felt too much like a rehash of the Dead Zone. I thought the main character was just a little bit psychopathic (which gave us the story line) and when he sort of 'became aware' that actions have consequences King wrapped up the story in about 30 minutes. It sort of felt like 'what's interesting about a self aware individual?' The author's answer was 'nothing.'

    I suspect as SK works through this overall issue of what do you do when you are aware of every action of every person and you have the ability to look forward in time as well as to trace back in time the 'intervening event' that caused everything else he will reduce the story to 5 to 7 characters, write the bible from God's perspective, and actually make it fun to read. I can't hardly wait.

    I gave the reader a 3 star because he was 'okay' but he wasn't dramatic. I think George Guidall could have made this story more dramatic.

    1 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Knowing Your Value

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mika Brzezinski
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (191)

    It's no secret that women have long been overlooked and under-compensated, and while great strides have been made in recent decades, the value placed on women versus their male counterparts is still consistently unbalanced. In Knowing Your Value, bestselling author Mika Brzezinski takes an in-depth look at how women today achieve their deserved recognition and financial worth.

    Leah says: "It's ok"
    "Subtle Well Told Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was powerful because it was read by the author. The authenticity as to her concerns and how she engaged her work place dealing with an "I don't know - if" factor was engaging. It is the kind of story that makes everyone pay attention to what women deal with and how our society treats women because they are part of a sub-class in the division of labor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Seamstress

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Sara Tuvel Bernstein, Louise Loots Thornton, Marlene Bernstein Samuels
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (713)
    Performance
    (653)
    Story
    (646)

    Told with the same old-fashioned narrative power as the novels of Herman Wouk, The Seamstress is the true story of Seren (Sara) Tuvel Bernstein and her survival during wartime. This powerful eyewitness account of survival, told with power and grace, will stay with listeners for years to come.

    Meryl H. Ruth says: "Overcome with Emotion"
    "Slow to start; Hard to Put Down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book contains some real nice hidden gems. I ordered the paper version when I finished. read it! Your life will be enhanced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 47th Samurai: Swagger

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Stephen Hunter
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (153)

    Bob Lee Swagger and Philip Yano are bound together by a single moment when their fathers met in the bloody and chaotic battle for the island. Only Earl Swagger survived. More than 60 years later, Yano comes to America to honor the legacy of his heroic father by recovering the sword he used in the battle. His search has led him to Crazy Horse, Idaho, where Bob Lee, ex-marine and Vietnam veteran, has settled into a restless retirement and immediately pledges himself to Yano's quest.

    Trevor says: "Sharp action, but not very many bullets"
    "Slow Development with Powerhouse Ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not know this was a series book until I was listening to the author's note at the end of the book. I am glad I did not know because (with a few exceptions) I have tried to stay away from 'series' books. The reader on this book matched the main character very nicely throughout the story. The story developed quite slowly. Early on I was ready to put the book down and move on but thought I'd stay with it and see what happened. I am glad I did.

    I cannot put my finger on any one point (still, it was w/n the first couple of hours) and say this is where the story started getting good or where exactly it pulled me in; however, it did. The story was organized and told well. It was exciting. The author had a nice mix of 'going back in time' and blending the back in time perspective into the story with the present. He did it well and it enhanced the story completely.

    Overall, the book pulled me in slowly and completely and in the final portion I simply stopped what I was doing sat down and listened to the end of the book. I was glad that I did not follow my initial inclination to put this one down. It was well told and kept me hooked to the end.

    Likely, I will look at this author's other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wayfaring Stranger

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1030)
    Performance
    (936)
    Story
    (934)

    It is 1934 and the Depression is bearing down when 16-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends as Weldon puts a bullet through the rear window of Clyde’s stolen automobile. Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland and his sergeant, Hershel Pine, escape certain death in the Battle of the Bulge and encounter a beautiful young woman named Rosita Lowenstein hiding in a deserted extermination camp.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Outstanding Addition to the Holland/Texas Saga"
    "Same OLD Characters; Same OLD story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from James Lee Burke and/or Will Patton?

    I suspect this is my last James Lee Burke book. When my wife and I listened to the Alamo we both thought it was Will Patton reading like he was reading a dave robeshow story. He used the same voice for characters that sounded like it was Dave & Cletus. Now this book has the same 2 main characters that once again sound like Dave and Cletus. I think that James Lee Burke is a great writer for a variety of reasons but I think he does not know how to write a 'fresh' story. Or, perhaps his editor won't let him. Either way, I am done w/ James Lee Burke.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The setting is in Texas. That is the variety of this story that is different from Burke's other 'southern' stories.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Will Patton does a good job but he needs to stop reading the James Lee Burke stories. He reads them too much the same way..


    Could you see Wayfaring Stranger being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I could not see this story going into film..


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Terry Tempest Williams
    • Narrated By Terry Tempest Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (214)

    Terry Tempest Williams's mother told her: "I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won't look at them until after I'm gone." Fans of Williams's iconic and unconventional memoir, Refuge, well remember that mother. She was a member of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah who developed cancer as a result of the nuclear testing in nearby Nevada. It was a shock to Williams that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock as what she found when the time came to read them.

    E says: "Amazing Story, Amazing Voice"
    "Not About Birds!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice?

    In the context of story telling when the writer discovered 'the secret' she did not dwell so much on what could appear as an obvious disappointment but immediately began a search to understand the meaning of the gift and the meaning of a life as looked at through both her eyes and her mothers' eyes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the many pearls of wisdom dropped by the author along the story line. There are not many people who can write a short book and SLAM the reader with insightful revelations into the human condition and still make the reader want to continue the book to the end. This author did that very thing magnificently!


    What does Terry Tempest Williams bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I always enjoy hearing an author read their own work. Her voice, the speed, emphasis, pauses these interpretations of her own work helped me 'hear' the voice in the story. I found, many times while going through this book, sheer wonderment that the voice I was hearing was the voice of the writer. She wrote this story very nicely and her voice brought out the 'shine' that lay within those words. She was great.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A film would detract from this story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Finisher

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (236)

    Fourteen-year-old Vega Jane lives in the village of Wormwood, where life is nasty, brutish, and short. Villagers have been told that there is nothing outside of Wormwood except for the Quag, a foul forest filled with terrifying beasts. No one comes, no one goes, and Wormwood has stayed this way for generations. Until Vega's friend Quentin Herms disappears. Quentin leaves Vega a secret message hinting that there's a way out of Wormwood and something extraordinary on the other side.

    John Hopkins says: "An original great from Baldacci!"
    "Surprisingly Bad for Baldacci"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have say that I am a Baldacci fanatic. I like his story telling. However, this one just never quite rose to the occasion. The performance was good. The writing ~ by a man telling a story totally from a female perspective was outstanding. Unfortunately, that was about the only fascinating part of this writing. The story took nearly 1/2 the book to get going; i.e., for the story to begin to be interesting - and then it was pretty good for about 3 hours and the last two hours (maybe 90 minutes) just petered out. I got the sense that the author never really knew where he was going or what he intended to do with this story.

    I expected more from Baldacci. I think he went out on a limb here to try and cash in on the 'fantasy story' that is sucking up the interest of the youngsters presently. And, maybe a youngster will like this story but it just didn't carry the day for me. I cannot recommend that anyone spend the time or energy trying to get through this story.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1455)
    Performance
    (1248)
    Story
    (1259)

    Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

    SoCalBonnie says: "It won me over completely"
    "Weird . . . . But, well told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author starts out and gives the reader the basis of the story. Over time - he fills in the details. The "fill" does not make the underlying premise any more plausible & I think I just never quite 'bought in' to the story. Be that as it may, I liked the adventure of the story and the movement. It was, in essence, so well told that even though I thought the underlying premise was lame - I kept listening. It was entertaining through and through.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10796)
    Performance
    (9688)
    Story
    (9692)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Cant Wait For The Movie!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I still had Matthew McConaughey in my head when I started listening to this book. Despite the reader 'not quite' sounding like McConaughey that's the only 'real' voice I could hear on this entire book. I nearly had to say - I think Grisham wrote the book w/ one movie actor in mind for this main character. With that said, it is a great story and well told. And I hope McConaughey plays the role in the movie. I'd be disappointed if anyone else played it. To say that Grisham has the role of story teller down pat is sort of like saying the best description of water is that it is wet. But, the story develops and grabs your attention immediately. It only gets better with each passing moment. It was pretty obvious that the Alaska connection was gonna be the clincher but it was still a surprise on how it came out and it emphasized again, how quickly a jury can change (even in real life). I am so glad Grisham has devoted his time to writing. He simply does it so well. And, he has given me years of pleasure. I am sure that anyone who reads or listens to this book will not be disappointed. Grisham has brought so much pleasure. What more can one human do for so many others than that?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Total Control

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (806)
    Performance
    (677)
    Story
    (692)

    Sidney Archer has the world. A husband she loves. A job at which she excels, and a cherished young daughter. Then, as a plane plummets into the Virginia countryside, everything changes. And suddenly there is no one whom Sidney Archer can trust.

    G. House Sr. says: "Story doesn't disappoint -- well spent 10 hours"
    "Exciting Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My wife and I both enjoy David Baldacci stories. I thought I would have read this one before but the story was unknown to me. And, it was great! Pure and simple - a great story! What was both intriguing and 'quaint' was the characters' use of telephone calling cards and tape answering machines. While listening to this it seemed incredible to me that it was "only 1995" that we still relied so heavily on land lines and telephone calling cards and tape machines. And, there was so much time taken in the story dealing with remembering telephone numbers (not actually mentioned but in there) and then running around and finding "pay phones" to use "the calling card" on. Incredible! The digital revolution has so over taken our society that to go back in time, even a decade, (a little more than less) and see how much time and energy land line communications took. And here, how much time and energy it took just to be part of the story - it was incredible! I think if the author rewrote this story - and without the land lines but with smart cell phones with apps - he'd cut 30 pages out of the story and an hour of reading.

    What was also amazing to me was the thought that the author could modify this story and use smart phones but not really change anything else about the plot or theme of the book. The truly an exciting concept in the late 90's as to the internet and organizing material - what a dream by the author - remains a dream, now, nearly 15 years later. We have different 'gadgets' but the dream is still there. I wonder how long it will so remain?

    Overall, this story gets an A+.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Two for Texas

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (184)

    This James Lee Burke novel, featuring Son Holland - the great-grandfather of Burke's Billy Bob Holland - as he flees a Louisiana prison camp with a Native American woman and a fellow prisoner in tow, is now available in audio.

    Tim says: "So Good... and a bonus! Clete is here!"
    "Burke Needs to Slow Down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My overwhelming sense with this book was that it was another Dave Robecheu novel transported back in time. First, I should say that I listened to any book I can find that Will Patton reads. I particularly like the Dave Robecheu novels. Second, I like the 'gum-shoe' cop books that Burke writes. But, Third, this one was simply and only the same two characters of Cleat or Pete and Dave. Unfortunately, I think Will Patton got caught up in the familiarity of the 'voice' of the book and by a quarter the way in he was using the same exact voice of Dave & Cleat.

    In the end, the same voice, the same style, the same characters and just moving it to the Texas independence fight - it just didn't cut it for me. Basically, this book blew chunks.

    Either Burke needs to take a vacation or he needs to try a little harder and create some new characters or . . . he could just write Dave Robecheu novels.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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