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Andrew

Lombard, IL, USA

102
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 67 ratings
  • 74 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2723)
    Performance
    (1234)
    Story
    (1236)

    Mma "Precious" Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country. At first, cases are hard to come by. But eventually, troubled people come to Precious with a variety of concerns. Potentially philandering husbands, seemingly schizophrenic doctors, and a missing boy who may have been killed by witch doctors all compel Precious to roam about in her tiny van, searching for clues.

    Gene says: "Transcends its Genre"
    "an excellent piece of literature"
    Overall

    i have to admit that i purchased this novel thinking i would be getting a detective story along the lines of sherlock holmes or agatha christie. but this book is so much more than a detective story. it is a story of love and africa, the kalahari sun and simplicity, the joys and heartaches of a family, and the triumphs of the human spirit.

    the narrator is poignant and articulate and communicates very effectively the simplicity and unburdened hearts of her characters. her accents are impeccable and the listener can almost feel the sun on their brow and the dry wind at their back. a narrator can make or break a title, and i can't imagine reading this title as a book - the narrator brings out so many nuances that i would have missed simply with the written word. her efficacy ranks up there with the narrator of <i>life of pi</i> and <i>why we buy</i>.

    i was also surprised that, as character-driven as this book is, i held my attention through to the very end. the author is very skilled at offering little details and background settings that intrigue the listener and cause one to want to push further and discover if these little details are going to be important later on. rarely was i disappointed. the book fits together like a difficult jigsaw puzzle: many pieces that somehow make a beautiful picture once that last piece is filled in. even more beautiful is that the pieces are so often portraits of the heart of the author's intimately crafted characters.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Preservationist

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By David Maine
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Tyler Bunch, Full Cast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    In this brilliant debut novel, Noah's family (or Noe, as he's called here), his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law, tell what it's like to live with a man touched by God, while struggling against events that cannot be controlled or explained. When Noe orders his sons to build an ark, he can't tell them where the wood will come from. When he sends his daughters-in-law out to gather animals, he can offer no directions, money, or protection.

    Sharon says: "A frolicking tale"
    "Brilliant novel and illuminating take on old story"
    Overall

    Sure, don't be fooled into thinking this is a happy Christian novel. It's raw and real and authentic. It's mythical, it's a provocative narrative, it's true to the biblical story but offers depth of insight and color to an otherwise one-dimensional text.

    Each narrator is compelling and relentlessly poignant and interesting. The Bible story will never be the same.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Eragon: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8121)
    Performance
    (3267)
    Story
    (3328)

    When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

    Sandra says: "Utterly Awesome!"
    "meh."
    Overall

    This book was okay, but don't expect to really care about the characters or expect them to act in three-dimensional ways. And slap-me-in-the-butt-and-call-me-Judy if the narrator's voice for Eragon isn't Sesame Street's lovable furry old Grover.

    1 of 2 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
    (986)
    Performance
    (261)
    Story
    (263)

    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"
    "Beautiful story from one of sci-fi's best"
    Overall

    This piece isn't really science fiction, though it is certainly high-tech stuff. But most of it actually could happen today. And the present-tense narration is smart and witty and moves along at just the right pace for a high-tech noir piece.

    Sure, this isn't a Dirk Pitt novel or anything - here you will find depth and character and mystery that isn't always solved. You will find corporate marketing as a potentially evil force and that not everything on this earth is as one-dimensional as Danielle Steele.

    Gibson is at the top of his game and provides a story more readable than his genre-defining Neuromancer. Great read, great narration, A+!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hey Nostradamus!

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Douglas Coupland
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, David LeDoux, Jillian Crane, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (45)

    Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles what becomes her last will and testament on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. For a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains derailed.

    Cynthia says: "Superb"
    "a book to resonate with your soul"
    Overall

    Coupland became one of my favorite living writers with this title. This book starts off hauntingly beautiful, and then is at turns funny, dark, everyday, twisted, hopeful, hopeless; a mystery, a tragedy, a comedy, a coming-of-age tale, a critique of postmodern culture, a parable, a story of a father and his son, a celebration of life and a emotional story of loss and death.

    Coupland himself knows how to deal with today's generation that both rejects and yearns for truth and life, valuing authenticity and real-ness above all else. He coined the phrase "Generation X" with his groundbreaking novel of the same name, and continues to show us the way of new life and joy in the age of commercialism and postmodernity clouding the wealthy lives of Americans.

    The audio production is one of the best in the business. Often I turn this book on just to be comforted by the narrators' poignant inflections and subtle underplaying of emotion.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hearts in Atlantis

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King, William Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1043)
    Performance
    (501)
    Story
    (505)

    All the stories in this collection from Stephen King are related to the Vietnam War. King fans will recognize echoes of The Dark Tower series in the collection's first story, "Low Men in Yellow Coats." As the characters develop over the next four stories, King's version of the Vietnam War becomes one of his most frightening tales ever.

    Steve says: "Touching, Funny - Amazingly well written and read."
    "Brilliant - and proves my point"
    Overall

    I have long considered Stephen King an underrated literary author, and this book proves me right. Here he is at his literary best - stories of depth and insight that define great storytellers.

    Hurt's narration is slow at the beginning, and takes getting used to, but it fits with the slow summer days in Bobby Garfield's life and picks up right when it needs to. And King, as always, is simply brilliant reading his own work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dreamcatcher

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn
    Overall
    (1875)
    Performance
    (619)
    Story
    (634)

    A dark and sweeping adventure, Dreamcatcher is set in the haunted city of Derry - the site of Stephen King's It and Insomnia. In it, four young boys stand together and do a brave, good thing, an act that changes them in ways that they hardly understand. A quarter-century later, as grown men who have gone their separate ways, these friends come together once a year to hunt in the woods of Maine.

    DeClawed says: "Stick with It: A Great Ride"
    "Great stuff"
    Overall

    King is a master storyteller, and Dreamcatcher is one of his finest. I am convinced that King is an underrated literary author - his flashbacks to the childhoods of the boys and Duddits are breathtaking and poignant. And his horror and suspense are the top of the line of pop fiction. Sure, the narrative gets long at times, but it's worth it.

    The narrator does a fantastic job at the New England/Maine accents, giving each character exactly the right nuance.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Charles Seife
    • Narrated By Charles Seife
    Overall
    (372)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (45)

    Zero - infinity's twin - is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything. Science journalist Charles Seife takes a concise and appealing look at the strangest number in the universe and its continuing role as one of the great paradoxes of human thought.

    Yicheng says: "Fascinating"
    "fiction? anyway, it was interesting"
    Overall

    I'm not sure about the facts or fiction behind the book, but I enjoyed the ride. Yes, the narration is a little fast, but if you take your time listening and worry little about catching the details of the math, then you'll be fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Juror

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1583)
    Performance
    (399)
    Story
    (393)

    In 1970, one of Mississippi's more colorful weekly newspapers, The Ford County Times, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by a 23 year-old college dropout, named Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper.

    Danielle says: "Grisham's Finest"
    "definitely"
    Overall

    Anyone who thinks that this book is just a series of vignettes or short stories or overblown tangents must have forgotten that <b>real life</b> is that way, and <b>great storytelling</b> is built of such things. Grisham transcends the static and predictable courtroom thriller by giving us something deeper to care about: family, friends, justice, integrity.

    I found myself in tears by the end of this book, something that I would not have expected from a Grisham title. But the power of Grisham's books has been transferred from his legal knowledge to his understanding of the human heart, which could project him from merely a pop culture icon or pulp fiction writer to a genuine author of true literature, that which touches the heart and carries the emotions as well as entertains or engages the reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Street Lawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (641)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (253)

    Michael was in a hurry. He was scrambling up the ladder at Drake & Sweeney, a giant D.C. firm with 800 lawyers. The money was good and getting better; a partnership was 3 years away. He was a rising star with no time to waste, no time to stop, no time to toss a few coins into the cups of panhandlers. No time for a conscience. But a violent encounter with a homeless man stopped him cold. Also available abridged.

    Nelson says: "A Gem"
    "Best Grisham in a long time"
    Overall

    I know this isn't Grisham's latest, but it was refreshing to hear a novel that wasn't just about suspense, but about people. Muller is a fascinating reader (though at times overdramatic) and he brings this story alive with cunning accuracy. This is well worth your time and certainly well worth the unabridged - it ended and I was hoping for another couple of hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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