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Amber

Fort Collins, CO, United States | Member Since 2008

183
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 51 reviews
  • 96 ratings
  • 426 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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6

  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip - Confessions of a Cynical Waiter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By The Waiter
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (202)
    Story
    (203)

    According to The Waiter, 80 percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. The remaining 20 percent, however, are socially maladjusted psychopaths.

    Waiter Rant offers the server's unique point of view, replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen bits of human grace transpiring in the most unlikely places.

    Manmit says: "Read the blog first"
    "Written by a blogger"
    Overall

    This book isn't terrible and it's easy to listen to while doing other things - you don't need to worry about missing any of the plot! The author seems to think very highly of himself, and it's apparent throughout the book, which does get a bit irritating. Overall it's an easy listen, and a bit of an insight into the world of America's hospitality industry.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Green, David Levithan
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews, Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (826)
    Performance
    (629)
    Story
    (638)

    One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

    FanB14 says: "Another John Green Hit"
    "Adult readers might want to skip it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    *This review is by a 30-something female, from whom High School feels a long way away*

    I like that this book exists. I hope it helps people to understand compassion, acceptance, tolerance, depression, 'love', 'like', and all the other good stuff that goes along with life (especially during those late teens). But for me, and maybe others like me, the revelations in this book are not so much ground breaking, but more like a reminder of what life was like back when a high school relationship was the totality of your world (you know, before bills, mortgages, bosses, and parenting comes into the picture).

    This story is sweet in a lot of ways, and the characters are very likable. Having suffered from depression in the past (and when I was a teenager) I liked Will Grayson 2's perspective on Mental Health Days and his general frustrations with people who see "depression" as a adjective and not the all-encompassing thing that it is. Depression is a life and death battle that people do not "get over" but survive.

    That said, I found myself to be a bit too old (and maybe too happy with my life these days) to get a lot out of this, aside from a fairly enjoyable way to spend 7 hours.

    I'd recommend this for teens, which is the intended audience after all, but for those adult readers who enjoy a good teen fiction, it's not in the same league as Hunger Games, Harry Potter, or even Divergent, and you could do without adding this one to your collection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darkly Dreaming Dexter: Dexter, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jeff Lindsay
    • Narrated By Jeff Lindsay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (217)

    Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He’s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened - of himself or some other fiend.

    Jane says: "This was fun because it was different."
    "Very enjoyable, not gory. Less relatable than TV"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hesitant to pick up this book for a long while, as I get a little squeamish at grisly descriptions. I’m very glad I did though – it was an enjoyable story and not at all graphic.

    While I enjoy the TV show I’m not a hard-core fan by any means, and I’m seasons behind where it’s currently up to. I found the TV Dexter very likable and relatable – something which is quite disturbing when you think about it. In the book, however, the character is much more alien. There’s a clear distinction between “Dexter” and “People”, and although it doesn’t make the character any less compelling, it helps drive the book in a way where you feel safe as an observer, rather than feeling like a voyeuristic listener.

    I enjoyed the books sparing use of alliteration, a literary tool that’s difficult to pull off. Another treat was the performance by the author himself. When an author narrates it is generally either great or awful – thankfully in this case it was the former! I really enjoyed hearing the book in the way the author intended it to be heard, with all the correct accents, emphases and inflections. Aside from this he has a fantastic speaking voice and plays each of the characters distinctly and enjoyably.

    A credit well spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (713)
    Performance
    (620)
    Story
    (619)

    Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    James says: "Even Better than the Movie"
    "Have returned this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really wanted to like this book, but only managed to get half way through before being unable to continue. The story moves very slowly, with what seems to be a lot (a LOT) of irrelevant back story. Perhaps I am wrong and it would have ended up being vital info, but the first third of the book seemed pointless to me.

    I was hoping to find a good insight into the US Navy, WWII and to look at life from a military point of view, but I did not get that. There was much too much character analysis and self-searching for my taste, and not enough action. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy solid character development, but I didn't feel it from this book. After 18 hours I felt like I hadn't learnt anything more about Willy than I had after the first 2 hours.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (21408)
    Performance
    (15515)
    Story
    (15569)

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "I like Brian** but not Jeffery**"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're even remotely contemplating listening to this you should! If you are a fan of the show and worried about knowing the story already, there’s no need to – it won’t ruin any of your enjoyment of the book. George RR Martin packs so much into his characters, plot, and even the landscapes, that you will be guaranteed to still find the novel just as gripping as someone who has never seen the show.

    This is the second time I've listened to this audio book and found it just as engaging as the first time (having also seen the show in between readings). The characters are so rich, and the plots so in depth and unpredictable that the ending caught me by surprise – it came so quickly despite the run length of 30 hours. There wasn’t a single moment that I checked the time remaining because I was impatient for the book to “hurry up and get on with it”, like so many other novels.

    **Brian and Jeffery are part of the reason I’m marking down the narrator, Roy Dotrice. He does have a great voice for the book, it matches well with the period and feel of the novel, and generally he does well with such a mammoth amount of text. But he is just so lazy and inconsistent I can’t help but mark him down – especially knowing how far off the rails he goes in later books. He mispronounces names often – some seem to be him misreading the names - Bran/Brian and Joffrey/Jeffery for example (both happen quite close to the beginning of the book, though it happens with others throughout) – but with a few it’s as though he just didn’t worry about remembering how he pronounced them last time – even if it was in the same paragraph. Hodor, for example, is by turns “Ho-door”, “Ho-deer”, “Ho-duh”, “Ho-daar” (all of these happen in the narration, so it is not merely character accents). It’s a minor annoyance, though, and not too distracting – unlike the way he holds character’s voices after they stop talking. By this I mean he will be using Robb’s voice to say something, but keep using it to say “Robb said to his mother”. It’s not as noticeable/distracting with the characters he’s voiced similar to his narration style, but for crones or heavily accented characters, like our favourite Imp, it can be quite distracting. It takes me out of the story for a moment once I realise that the character has stopped talking and it is now narration. He also has a habit of slipping into acting during the narration, grunting or laughing or groaning while reading a description of the character doing these things – but he will only do it randomly. The inconsistency of the technique blurs the distinction between characters and narration further, and removes the listener for the story a little.

    Overall these are minor distractions, though, and Roy Dotrice has given voice to Westeros well.

    Game of Thrones is a fantastic read, and a bargain for 1 credit! Do yourself a favour and give it a shot. You’ll be amazed at how often you start making time to listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Darkness, Be My Friend: Tomorrow Series #4

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By John Marsden
    • Narrated By Suzi Dougherty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (80)

    Nowhere to run, one place left to hide. You're running from bullets through the streets of your own town. Your life's on the line and no-one's there to help. What's happened? When did safety turn to fear, peace turn to war, happiness turn to panic? When did your normal day become a nightmare? Ellie and her friends struggle with the biggest questions life can offer.

    Amber says: "A low in the series, but still well worth the time"
    "A low in the series, but still well worth the time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think the trouble with this book is the huge leap of faith we need to take in order to accept that any adult would ask children (or even untrained adult civilians) to go into such a heavily contested military zone. I had trouble swallowing this, and so the rest of the book also felt a little more "make believe" than the previous books had.

    Even with that aside, however, I didn't find this book as compelling as the first three. I have purchased the next in the series, but feel a bit wary. It is difficult to put my finger on the problem exactly (it is still a good listen), but this installment felt a little forced. I got the impression that there were meant to be only 3 in the series, but the publishers made such a great offer Marsden dusted the characters off for number 4.

    I have marked the narrator lower on this recording than the first 3 - this is simply because she has so much trouble with the New Zealand accents! She does a fabulous job otherwise and captures the personalities of the main characters well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tomorrow, When the War Began: Tomorrow Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Marsden
    • Narrated By Suzi Dougherty
    Overall
    (418)
    Performance
    (202)
    Story
    (204)

    While Ellie and her friends are away in the bush, the world changes. Suddenly they are in the toughest situations humans can confront, facing life and death decisions. They are thrown into a world where they find courage, initiative, spirit and wisdom, or they die.

    Bev says: "Listen, you won't be sorry..."
    "Good story well handled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first read this series as a teenager, and now as an adult I found Tomorrow When the War Began just as compelling.

    The narrator does a great job, I forget how fast Aussies talk! She handles the different voices well, but with subtlety. I can see how someone who is unfamiliar with the Australian accent might not hear the distinctions between characters. So if you thought Taggart from A Town Called Eureka sounded authentic you'll probably struggle with this recording.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wool: Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Amanda Sayle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1028)
    Performance
    (949)
    Story
    (952)

    In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Post-apocalyptic life in a silo"
    "Story couldn't cover the performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The performance may have ruined this book for me... I am not sure the story does deserve 3 stars - my sister in law raves about this book - but I can't bring myself to rate higher.

    Problems with the narration... let me count the ways!

    1) Unusual pauses
    There are many, many pauses in this book, for no good reason, and then when a dramatic pause would be perfect the narrator ploughs through with barely a gap between words.
    2) Inconsistent pace
    Some sentences are rushed, some are drawled out.
    3) Character tone
    It's just way off. She will say a line in a way that is completely inconsistent with the character's actions or thoughts. For instance the major is meant to be a strong character, but she speaks in a passive and uncertain tone that would never win an elected position, let alone be the voice of a well-loved public figure head.
    4) The voices
    Oh the voices. This narrator cannot do male voices at all, it's too difficult to even describe how bad it is. They sounded a lot like cartoon voices, circa Rocky and Bullwinkle's era, or Yogi Bear. The females were not as bad, for the most part, but still cringeworthy. One of the reviewers said she sounded like Glinda the good witch, and it's a very accurate call.

    If this story appeals to you, and it was an interesting story, skip the audio version, go visit the book shop!

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By James Wesley Rawles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1254)
    Performance
    (914)
    Story
    (924)

    America faces a full-scale socioeconomic collapse in the near future. The stock market plummets, hyperinflation cripples commerce and the mounting crisis passes the tipping point. Practically overnight, the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure fall, and wholesale rioting and looting grip every major city.

    Hugh says: "Accidentally Good"
    "God, guns, groan."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is not for those with a casual interest in the “survivalist fiction” category, but judging from other comments it doesn’t seem to be for the “true” preppers either.

    If you’re after a good, fun, interesting read on a topic that you find intriguing but haven’t really looked into too much – keep searching, this book isn’t for you.

    For me this book wallowed in detail and smacked of Mary-Sue narrative. I struggled through 10 hours of this book before giving up. In that time there was probably only1 hour, 2 max, of actual story, the reset is bogged down on painful details about equipment, drill instruction, gun descriptions and random preaching about God which had little to do with religion or faith really, but were just a clumsy narrative tool used to try to separate the “good guys” from the “bad guys” in the shortest possible way.

    When he introduces a new character, be it a “baddy” or a “goody” he again takes a short cut to force them on the reader – instead of letting us discover the character he makes them go into a massive monologue explaining their entire life story and the history of how they ended up where they were and why they were prepared for the disaster. Call me sceptical, but if a group of people ambushed me and pointed guns at my face and asked “What are you doing here, don’t worry we’re good guys” I would not be giving them my life story, complete with whimsical quips on my childhood. I’d be keeping my answers short and trying to get away from the people with guns as soon as possible.

    The characters themselves lacked any depth at all. Each character was essentially the same person with a different appearance. All the “good guys” had identical ideals, identical speech patterns, identical vocabulary, and any decision making was really just an excuse for the author to (again) use a cheap ploy to try to force depth onto a character and to show off about his own knowledge on the subject (which he seems to be very pleased with himself about). Sadly the conversations tend to go like this: “I think we should do this” “but this way is better” “Oh you’re right that makes much more sense you’re so smart let’s do it that way”. It’s more like verbal self-gratification than a discussion.

    The bad guys are just your stock-standard “look how inhumane these people are they are cannibals and child abusers and rapists – they make me physically ill, I’m trebling with rage at them”. It’s another cheap way to definitively separate the good from the bad – there is no grey in this book, not bad guys with redeeming features, no good guys with stains against their honour or internal struggles. This post-apocalyptic landscape is populated with 2-dimensional characters strewn about in a highly constructed “narrative” which is really one man’s idea on what he would do if the world ends (and was surrounded by other versions of himself). The author has written this for people already absorbed in the “prepper” mentality hoping that they will project their own life onto the characters, saving the author from having to go into the nasty chore of giving characters any depth himself.

    I’ve marked the narrator down also – if you’re still keen on this book, please listen to a sample before committing to your purchase. He garbles the words in a way that I can’t articulate. It’s like he’s having something painful happening to him while he’s speaking, and his pattern and pitch and rhythm is all wrong. Or like he’s holding in a burp and still trying to talk. Very distracting (especially his female voice!).

    I wish I could get those 10 hours back!

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6674)
    Performance
    (6091)
    Story
    (6117)

    Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

    Pi says: "Jarring change in Dotrice's performance"
    "Dissapointed and insulted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You love the series, and you'll buy this... but do so with this warning...

    This is purely a comment on Roy Dotrice and the producers of this "mummer's farce". He hasn't even shown enough respect for those of use who have invested over 100 hours listening to this series to even review the pronunciation of the characters we've come to love. The accents of the characters have changed so much it's confusing to follow a conversation.

    Catelyn is no longer "Cat-linn" but "Kate-lyn". Petyr is not "Pet-ire" but Peter.

    Any narrator worth their salt keeps track of the accents and voices they lend to their characters, when working on a series. It's a slap in the face to hear this second-rate reading of a fantastic tale.

    Arya sounds like a shrivelled old woman... Jamie sounds like Arya of old...

    Not happy Roy, I wish Audible gave refunds for unsatisfactory purchases.

    110 of 114 people found this review helpful
  • Misery

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Lindsay Crouse
    Overall
    (354)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (243)

    Thrown from the wreckage of his '74 Camaro, Paul Sheldon, author of a best-selling series of historical romances, wakes up one day in a secluded Colorado farmhouse owned by Annie Wilkes, a psychotic ex-nurse who claims she is his number one fan. Immobilized from the pain of two shattered legs and a crushed knee, Sheldon is at Annie's mercy.

    Renee says: "Excellent narrator plus great source material"
    "Gripping"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are points where I was hoping the story would move a little faster, but for the most I found this incredible compelling listening! My only real complaint is the weird chimes and random sounds at the end of certain passages and chapters. It completely threw me out of the story whenever they happened... I've never encountered anything like it in an audio book before, very strange.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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