You no longer follow Toivo

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Toivo

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Toivo

Fairbanks, AK, USA | Member Since 2008

47
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 84 ratings
  • 899 titles in library
  • 89 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3

  • The Mirror of Her Dreams: Volume I of Mordant's Need

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Donaldson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (155)

    The daughter of rich but neglectful parents, Terisa Morgan lives alone in a New York City apartment, a young woman who has grown to doubt her own existence. Surrounded by the flat reassurance of mirrors, she leads an unfulfilled life - until the night a strange man named Geraden comes crashing through one of her mirrors, on a quest to find a champion to save his kingdom of Mordant from a pervasive evil that threatens the land.

    C. Lunde says: "Scott Brick+Donaldson=Winning Combination"
    "Donaldson's best work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book and its sequel are the most captivating that the author ever wrote. I absolutely recommend this book and it's sequel for anyone who enjoys fantasy novels. I think very highly of the first Covenant series, but for purely enjoyable story telling this is his best.

    First things first- this book has a lot going on. The main character is involved in lots of plots and sub-plots and had many very interesting interactions with many vivid characters. The book is a fantasy/mystery. The climax is absolutely great.

    My only real complaint about Donaldson is that his characters are so damned frustrating. In other books, after restating every problem a hundred times they often do little or do something weird or simply wait for someone else to do something. This book has some of that, but I believe that he handles it much better than in the Covenant novels. As I said, there is a lot going on and many times the character has good reason not to act.

    Unfortunately the reader is the patron saint of frustrated narration and I think he was a terrible choice for any Donaldson novel. Technically he's is very good reader, but for my money he was a bad choice here.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2425)
    Performance
    (1297)
    Story
    (1291)

    The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

    Bill says: "Excellent!"
    "Tedious until you get past the first half"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first half of this book is a sort of autobiography. I can't imagine why it was included. I did learn that his brother is a super-genius or something like that. I am sure he is a wonderful guy and I admire King a hell of a lot, but I just didn't have much interest in the beginning of this book.

    The rest is, as the title says, more of a memoir on the craft of writing. I do not believe that it is particularly helpful to a writing student. It isn't much in the way of instructions on how to write (for that see Lawrence Block or, better, Sol Stein) as mostly just what King does. But what works for King might not work for others.

    King has an amazing talent for characterizations that draw readers into his stories. I think he could write a book using any technique imaginable and it'd come out pretty good because of his characters. I was hoping to learn something about how to do that or at least get a glimpse of the master at work, but I don't feel I got that.

    For anyone interested in writing, I'd recommend this. It is always interesting to see the creative process at work, a topic about which writers are traditional secretive when it comes to the details. On the other hand I have gotten more helpful writing advice from online writer's blogs than I did from this book. That doesn't mean it wasn't a good book, but my expectations were at odds with my experience.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Man Rides Through: Volume II of Mordant's Need

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Donaldson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (120)

    Aided by the powerful magic of Vagel, the evil Arch-Imager, the merciless armies are marching against the kingdom of Mordant. In its hour of greatest need, two unlikely champions emerge. One is Geraden, whose inability to master the simplest skills of Imagery has made him a laughingstock. The other is Terisa Morgan, transferred to Mordant from a Manhattan apartment by Geraden’s faulty magic. Together, Geraden and Terisa discover undreamed-of talents within themselves—talents that make them more than a match for any Imager... including Vagel himself. Unfortunately, those talents also mark them for death.

    Marie says: "Great Story...great ending to a two part story.."
    "The author's best story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    [This is a copy of my review of the first book, The Mirror of Her Dreams.]

    This pair of books are the most captivating that the author ever wrote. I absolutely recommend this book and it's sequel for anyone who enjoys fantasy novels. I think very highly of the first Covenant series, but for purely enjoyable story telling this is his best.

    First things first- this book has a lot going on. The main character is involved in lots of plots and sub-plots and had many very interesting interactions with many vivid characters. The book is a fantasy/mystery. The climax is absolutely great.

    My only real complaint about Donaldson is that his characters are so damned frustrating. In other books, after restating every problem a hundred times they often do little or do something weird or simply wait for someone else to do something. This book has some of that, but I believe that he handles it much better than in the Covenant novels. As I said, there is a lot going on and many times the character has good reason not to act.

    Unfortunately the reader is the patron saint of frustrated narration and I think he was a terrible choice for any Donaldson novel. Technically he's is very good reader, but for my money he was a bad choice here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reader

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Bernhard Schlink
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (596)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (211)

    When he falls ill on his way home from school, 15-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover--then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

    Ella says: "Dysfunctional"
    "Difficult to enjoy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author has a very interesting story to tell, but the characters are so dead that it is impossible to care about them. That makes it impossible to care about what happens to them. In the end what might be a very tragic and thoughtful story becomes a deadly bore.

    Reading a plot synopsis made me think, "brilliant!" In reality I found this book mostly frustrating as every character consistently took NO ACTION to help themselves, help someone else, or even answer questions put to them. Unanswered questions are great for building a little tension, but this author's abuse of that literary device can be measured on the richter scale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hellfire Club

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (29)

    They are dying, one by one. Wealthy, middle-aged women in an exclusive Connecticut suburb. Their murderer remains at large. Nora Chancel, wife of publishing scion Davey Chancel, fears she may be next. After all, her past has branded her a victim.... Then Davey tells Nora a surreal story about the Hellfire Club, where years before he met an obsessed fan of Chancel House's most successful book, Night Journey - a book that has a strange history of its own.

    Toivo says: "Wonderful mystery"
    "Wonderful mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a great read. This book is a combination of a decent thriller and a supreme mystery story. Or maybe I'd call it a couple of mysteries because the story is very complex and intertwined. The author constantly reveals new layers on each of the stories.

    P.S. This is the version that you want. Do not pick up the abridged version by mistake. I have both. The abridged version is cut so short that it is not only loses the very essence of the story, it also stops making sense.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hellfire Club

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Margaret Colin
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Not since Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs has a writer invented a villain as diabolical, clever, fascinating, and funny as the one Peter Straub has created in serial killer Dick Dart. Having already murdered four women. Dart seizes as a hostage Nora Chancel, who is unwillingly drawn into a treacherous double mystery, and who shines as a heroine of courage, wit, and intelligence.

    Toivo says: "Great story, but trashed in abridging."
    "Great story, but trashed in abridging."
    Overall

    I have read the novel a couple of times. It is fantastic. This abridged version is terrible. So much meat is cut from the plot that it doesn't make a shred of sense.

    The novel upon which this is based really is great.

    Audible- please get an unabridged version of this story (as well as the other Blue Rose stories).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When the Sacred Ginmill Closes: A Matt Scudder Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    When ex-cop Matt Scudder thought back on the summer of '75, two faces emerged from behind the smoky haze of a half dozen boozy saloons that made up his beat - Skip Devoe and Tommy Tillary - two bar flies he wouldn't have given a second thought to in the bright light of day. Yet they and their troubles were the reason that moved him a little farther out of the bleary-eyed mess that had become his life.

    mindusq says: "Great narration, great prose"
    "I bought this sort of at random"
    Overall

    I have never read anything by this author before. The book and the reader were both superb. I mean really fantastic. I was blown away at how much I enjoyed this story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Magic Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Beth MacDonald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    With Magic Terror Peter Straub, best selling author of The Talisman (with Stephen King), has written one of the most imaginatively unsettling collections in years. The terrain of these extraordinary stories is marked by brutality, heartbreak, despair, wonder, and an unexpected humor that allows empathy to blossom within the most unlikely contexts.

    Plus, hear Peter Straub in a recent Fresh Air interview.

    Toivo says: "I call this pretty good"
    "I call this pretty good"
    Overall

    There are some pretty excellent stories here. Maybe they aren't everybody's cup of tea, but they are good. Porkpie Hat I call brilliant.

    Don't buy this expecting 12 page O Henry ironic twisters. These aren't those kind of stories. These stories are longer and darker. They don't necessarily end neatly resolved. More than once I got to the end thinking, "what just happened here?" I savored each story for quite a while after finishing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • It

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4949)
    Performance
    (3664)
    Story
    (3690)

    They were just kids when they stumbled upon the horror of their hometown. Now, as adults, none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them all back to Derry, Maine, to face the nightmare without end, and the evil without a name.

    Parola138 says: "I thought I was desensitized"
    "Amazing reader"
    Overall

    I read this book in college when it came out. For me it is far and away my favorite of King's novels. But the reader really takes hold of this book by the throat. His energy and passion make listening to this an absolute treat.

    My advice- buy this book.

    36 of 39 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.