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Tim

Member Since 2004

ratings
88
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
35

  • Spook Country

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (580)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (132)

    Bobby Chombo is a "producer" and an enigma. In his day job, Bobby is a troubleshooter for manufacturers of military navigation equipment. He refuses to sleep in the same place twice. He meets no one. Hollis Henry, an investigative journalist, has been told to find him.

    wendy says: "Loved it"
    "Great prose, complex and entertaining plot"
    Overall

    Pattern Recognition was a dream-like story with a wild and complex plot that never quite resolved itself (for me). Spook Country starts out the same and then becomes a more direct plot with a kick. It's futuristic, but it could happen today. It's a mystery, but it's totally plausible. The prose is inventive, but it's totally understandable. It's a great book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Perfect Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By H.R.F. Keating
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    It is Inspector Ghote's bad luck to be landed with the case of the perfect murder at the start of his career with the Bombay Police, for in this most baffling of crimes there is the cunning and important tycoon Lala Varde to contend with. And as if this were not enough, he finds himself having to investigate the mysterious theft of one rupee from the desk of yet another Very Important Person, the Minister of Police Affairs and the Arts.

    Anne says: "An Inspector Ghote novel"
    "Tedious"
    Overall

    This is a wordy and overwritten book of very little mystery, with a narrator who makes a singsong attempt at Indian accents that makes them all sound the same. Its redeeming qualities are a somewhat endearing detective and some local color prose. But they're not enough to rescue the book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Charlotte Simmons

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (693)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (165)

    Dupont University: the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition....Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

    Eric says: "Decadence through the eyes of a ?good girl?"
    "Too long and very vulgar but still good"
    Overall

    This is not a great book by a long shot, but it's an entertaining book.

    It's Thackeray-like: lots of characters over lots of time with lots of plot intersections and some (only some) witty commentary on the people and their society. But it's really, really long--far longer than the characters justify and with very little plot development. And it's really vulgar; the language is obscene, the actions are beyond bawdy, and the people are shallow. (That's part of Wolf's point--really his main point--but he reproduces the boredom of being around these people and their talk.)

    And yet it's still worth the trouble. Even windy, four-letter-filled Thackeray is better than most stuff that's written now. There are wickedly funny observations and some really first-rate prose.

    And the narrator is terrific. He separatates characters clearly and gives them moods and tones of voice. He alone pushed my rating up one star.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Broker

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (16)

    In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

    Cory says: "Best Grisham to date!"
    "Entertaining--and an Italian travelogue as a bonus"
    Overall

    It's not LeCarre, but it's good spy stuff. The Italian settings, food, and language lessons all made me want to go.

    It's a good read, and well narrated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    Overall
    (2063)
    Performance
    (487)
    Story
    (492)

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    F says: "Did I read the same book as some of you?"
    "Boring, boring, boring"
    Overall

    This tirade disguised as a novel is not good as either. Part of the time it's just statistics and talking points: Here's the volume of greenhouse gases emitted last year; here's last year's average temperature; here's last year's thickness of ice in Antarctica....

    And part of the time it is just hack writing: A wounded, bleeding man is grey. A little later another wounded, bleeding man is grey. Scandinavian women are tall, blonde, and attractive....

    I don't really care what the politics of the thriller are supposed to be (this one is opposed to environmental extremists), but a thriller shouldn't be this boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sunday Philosophy Club: An Isabel Dalhousie Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (410)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (134)

    New York Times best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith, winner of the first-ever Saga Award for Wit, has entertained millions with his beloved No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency mysteries. Now this phenomenally popular author introduces a fresh series, brimming with the charm and humor his stable of dedicated fans can't get enough of.

    connie says: "Not Number One Ladies Detective Agency!"
    "Very slight, mildly amusing"
    Overall

    This is a very slow, thin book with little character development and less plot. The amusement in it is the extraction of major philosophical and moral debates from very minor daily life. It's calm, not unpleasant, but not much more.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Pattern Recognition

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (966)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (244)

    Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for Cayce's client. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled, she realizes there's more to this project than she had expected.

    Laura says: "Not Unabridged"
    "Fascinating book, very well read"
    Overall

    Some cyberfiction, some critique of marketing and branding, some treasure hunt. This is better than Gibson's earlier books (some of which are good). This is Asimov plus McLuhan plus LeCarre.

    The reader is also very good, giving distinct characterizations to a number of people and, sometimes, making it possible to tell if the dialogue is spoken or typed. Her voice is good to listen to. (I do wish that someone had told her how to pronounce some of the non-American words; it's distracting to hear them mangled. But that's a small thing.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Not Exactly What I Had in Mind

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Roy Blount
    • Narrated By Roy Blount Jr.
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (3)

    "It's my belief that sanity lies in realizing that reality is not exactly what we had in mind," says Roy Blount, Jr. in this witty collection of essays. With humor that's wry, dry, and warm, he delights and provokes us by confronting the reality of American life compared to the way we thought it would be. With his characteristic drawl (or "oral resonance," as he calls it), he reflects on John Wayne, the federal deficit, women's underwear, and more.

    Tim says: "Genuinely funny--like a Southern Thurber"
    "Genuinely funny--like a Southern Thurber"
    Overall

    This is funny stuff. It's a series of wry essays, read by the author in a Southern drawl, but not just about the South (e.g., how to get a restaurant table, what's weird about celebrities, etc.) It's terrific.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Uncommon Clay

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Margaret Maron
    • Narrated By C.J. Critt
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    Uncommon Clay delves into the intriguing world of the Nordans, a deep-rooted family of talented yet cursed North Carolina potters. Judge Knott is filling in for another judge who suffered a mild stroke. When she decrees that the divorcing Nordan couple split their valuable earthenware collection, the husband winds up dead, in his own kiln! Many people have motives and the clay wheel swirls with suspects.

    Veronica says: "Great!"
    "Good characters, but way too obvious plot"
    Overall

    I like this writer and her recurring characters. This book also has some interesting stuff about the pottery craft. But the elements of the mystery (and its solution) are hammered in repeatedly. I was tempted just to fast forward to get it over with. Not her best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slow Dollar

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Margaret Maron
    • Narrated By C.J. Critt
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    At the annual Harvest Festival carnival, while everyone else is playing games and having fun, someone commits murder. As Deborah investigates, she must struggle to win a carny's confidence while a dark web of dangerous secrets begins to unravel.

    Tim says: "Colorful writing and characterization, good plot"
    "Colorful writing and characterization, good plot"
    Overall

    This is the best of the Judge Knott series: Good local color and colorful writing, good characters (both main and secondary), and a complex plot that was fun to follow. Good diversion.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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