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Swallop

Chula Vista, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • A Widow's Story: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Joyce Carol Oates
    • Narrated By Ellen Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (89)

    In a work unlike anything she's written before, National Book Award-winner Joyce Carol Oates unveils a poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of her husband of 46 years and its wrenching, surprising aftermath.

    glamazon says: "Breathless!"
    "Heartrending at first, but drags after awhile"
    Overall

    I hate to write anything negative about this book, because the subject matter is so personal and so convincingly describes a truly terrible event. I was deeply affected by the author's experiences immediately after the death of her husband, and for the first month or so thereafter, but the book begins to amble after that. With nearly half the book remaining, I had to force myself to finish it. The timeline began to be indistinct and the latter struggles just seemed to blend together. In short, the book could have been perhaps 3/4 the current length. Perhaps a good choice for an abridged reading. The narration, however, was very well done.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Dummy Line

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bobby Cole
    • Narrated By Jeremy Arthur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (211)

    Jake Crosby’s nine-year-old daughter Katy is pure tomboy, and her dad couldn’t be happier. Since she was old enough to walk, Katy has shared Jake’s love of the outdoors, taking to hunting and fishing as quickly as other kids take to baseball or bike riding. As he packs the truck for a spring turkey hunt, he vows to savor the time with his little girl. But Jake’s hopes for an idyllic weekend are shattered when a band of drug dealers attempts to break into the Crosbys’ remote hunting camp. Desperate to protect his daughter, Jake makes a violent and gut-wrenching decision.

    Susan says: "Good and Fast Paced"
    "Waste of a credit and a few hours"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't get beyond the first hour of this book, it was that bad. The story included a bunch of hicks, but there must be a way to write about them without writing at their level. To be honest, it seems like this was written as a 7th grade creative writing project. I've gutted my way through many poor beginnings, but this was simply dreadful. The characters were flat and the dialog was cheesy, things I can never get past. I gave the story three stars because I didn't get far enough to judge properly, but it didn't sound promising. If you want to get a sense of the loathing generated by, at least, the first hour of this production, listen to the song "Feed Jake" by Pirates of the Mississippi.

    I can't really judge the narration because the material was abortive, so Jeremy Arthur gets a pass on this one. He should really consider being a little more selective with the material he takes on, though.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Hiding Place

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Bell
    • Narrated By Fred Lehne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    Twenty-five-years ago, the disappearance of four-year-old Justin Manning rocked the small town of Dove Point, Ohio. After his body was found in a shallow grave in the woods two months later, the repercussions were felt for years.… Janet Manning has been haunted by the murder since the day she lost sight of her brother in the park. Now, with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Justin’s death looming, a detective and a newspaper reporter have started to ask questions, opening old wounds and raising new suspicions. Could the man convicted of the murder - who spent more than two decades in prison - really be innocent?

    Swallop says: "Avoids all the mystery novel cliches"
    "Avoids all the mystery novel cliches"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Hiding Place the most enjoyable?

    This is a great mystery/thriller primarily because it avoids all of the well-worn grooves that most mystery writers fall into. I feel that, in a mystery novel, it's important that the conclusion be plausible, but even more so that the events leading to it are independently plausible and not transparently constructed just to lead to that conclusion. This novel satisfied my plausibility appetite more than most, and the dialog was genuine. I can sometimes live with a mediocre plot if the dialog is right, but never the other way around.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I'd Know You Anywhere

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Laura Lippman
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (963)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (290)

    In the summer of 1985, when she was fifteen, Eliza was kidnapped by Walter and held hostage for almost six weeks. He had killed at least one girl and Eliza always suspected he had other victims as well. Now on death row in Virginia for the rape and murder of his final victim, Walter seems to be making a heartfelt act of contrition as his execution nears. Though Eliza wants nothing to do with him, she's never forgotten that Walter was most unpredictable when ignored.

    Susan says: "I found the reason compelling"
    "Hang in there"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I nearly shut this one off during the first 1/2 hour. The narrator described the main character's banal soccer-mom life in a sing-song voice that would've been perfect for a child's book about princesses or fairies. It was dreadful beyond belief, but I stuck it out, and I'm glad I did.

    While certainly not the best book I've encountered, it did explore a unique situation in a realistic manner, and I was glad I'd purchased it. Hang in there and it will be worth it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteen Moons

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Charles Frazier
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (658)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (222)

    This magnificent novel by one of America's finest writers is the epic of one man's remarkable journey, set in 19th-century America against the background of a vanishing people and a rich way of life. At the age of 12, under the Wind Moon, Will is given a horse, a key, and a map, and sent alone into the Indian Nation to run a trading post as a bound boy. It is during this time that he grows into a man, learning, as he does, of the raw power it takes to create a life, to find a home.

    P. Bergh says: "A fascinating, great epic tale"
    "If you're a plot junkie, pass this one by"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some of the other reviewers complained about the plot, and if you're looking for a strong plot with a whiz-bang ending, you will be disappointed. As one of the other reviewers pointed out, however, this is a tale to be sipped and, I add, savored.

    Thirteen Moons is an epic tale, rich and elegant in its own way. It's a dip into a well of memory, desire, and longing. The ending left me with a feeling of nostalgia so poignant that I was in a funk for hours.

    Will Patton is, as always, fantastic. He is, in my opinion, the best audiobook narrator there is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Man's Walk

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (241)

    In Dead Man's Walk, Gus and Call are not yet 20, young men coming of age in the days when Texas was still an independent republic. Enlisting as Texas Rangers under a land pirate who wants to seize Santa Fe from the Mexicans, Gus and Call experience their first great adventure in the barren great plains landscape, in which arbitrary violence is the rule -- whether from nature, or from the Indians whose territory they must cross in order to reach New Mexico.<

    Richard says: "Not Lonesome Dove"
    "Not one of Patton's best performances"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me start by saying that I was let down by Will Patton's performance. Having listened to many of his performances of James Lee Burke's novels, I was looking forward to another stunning narration. Instead, it was just average, probably because the lighter atmosphere of cowboys and whores--even in the company of murderous Comanches--is a departure from the usual dark and brooding material that Burke produces...which seems to fit Patton's voice and intonation much better.

    The story wasn't able to make up for the lackluster performance, however. This book is no Lonesome Dove. The humor, characterization, and epic story just aren't there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Swan Peak: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (1305)
    Performance
    (366)
    Story
    (366)

    Swan Peak finds Detective Robicheaux far from his New Iberia roots, attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife, and his buddy Clete Purcell have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina.

    Deborah says: "Christmas/Birthday in July"
    "Absolutely fantastic"
    Overall

    I listened to this audiobook perhaps three years ago, and randomly started listening to it again. I think this may be one of the best Robicheaux novels--even at second reading. James Lee Burke's luscious environments and artful dialog are never better exemplified than in Swan Peak. Burke gets away with the deus ex machina like no other writer because he sets it up so carefully in advance, and it ends up feeling completely plausible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4491)
    Performance
    (2508)
    Story
    (2487)

    Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

    Bob says: "Compelling and difficult to put down"
    "Not one of Connelly's best"
    Overall

    CAUTION: Mild spoiler. I've enjoyed Michael Connelly's books for many years, especially the Harry Bosch novels, but this one just didn't hit the mark. I'm not a big fan of Peter Giles as narrator, but the quality of Connelly's writing generally outshines the narration. In this instance, the two combine for a novel that's uneven and just not believable. I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe that the courtroom hijinks that Michael Haller employs would be allowed for a minute. Not only that, I really don't think the big bomb that he drops near the end was the deus ex machina it was set out to be. It seemed like there needed to be more to the defense to really make it convincing. To be honest, I felt that the entire book was hastily thrown together. Hopefully, we'll see something better in the near future as I am definitely a Michael Connelly fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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