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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

ratings
283
REVIEWS
157
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
92
HELPFUL VOTES
347

  • Polar Star

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (472)
    Story
    (470)

    Ex-Chief Investigator Arkady Renko is in deep on the “slime line” - the fish-gutting station - in the Polar Star, a Soviet fish factory ship of some 250 souls, almost as many secrets, and a dangerous shipboard sub-culture that cares little for the Party, and less for human life.

    Richard Delman says: "Probably the greatest audiobook ever. Really."
    "A Cold Saga of the Cold War Era"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While some reviewers call this book the "best ever" and others described it as "plodding" the best I can offer is somewhere in between these two dichotomies. Far from the best I've listened to, but certainly not plodding or boring, this book just didn't hit the four or five star mark with me. It seemed to have the same tone throughout. . . no urgency, no drama, really very little suspense. You don't even smell the fish!

    What I did like about it was the description of life on a fish processing vessel and the then-Russian perspectives about communism and the contrasting American way of life. It is a bit grim, laden with grey skies and even darker dispositions of a sultry and homicidal crew. Renko is the hero and does a fine job moving from the slime line to the role of homicide detective.

    Just an average mystery listen from my view.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fortune Cookie

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (278)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (210)

    It's the 1960s and the world of advertising is coming alive - and it's an exciting world to be part of. Simon Wong, a Chinese-Australian and promising young advertising executive, is sent to Singapore to establish an office. He finds himself thrust into an environment that is at once strangely familiar and profoundly different; one where the rules that govern behaviour - both in business and in personal life - differ wildly from what he is used to. And where all is not what it appears to be.

    Corinne says: "If your a Courtenay Bower fan"
    "Grand, Delightful, Wonderful Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read other Courtenay books, but in my view, this is one of his best. Perhaps that stems from the story being set in the 1960's Singapore when so much was happening in every corner of the world. Courtenay combines world history in a manner that is educational, engaging and well plotted. It was a wonderful listen.

    This story is exceptionally well told by Humphrey Bower. Lots of good voices to represent the many characters and just the right pace. I enjoyed the entire plot as well as the family history that was revealing itself in the then present-day characters' lives.

    If any fault is to be found, it is in the final minutes when finally the truths are revealed. I didn't want the story to end and it seemed too abrupt. However, when the pieces of the puzzle came together, they did so very fast, so perhaps it was in keeping with the plot.

    If you like historical fiction and want to learn more about the coming of age of Singapore, China and other parts of the east, you will enjoy this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chris Ewan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (208)
    Story
    (209)

    Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living. To supplement his income - and keep his hand in - Charlie has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission. When a mysterious American offers Charlie 20,000 euros to steal two small monkey figurines to match the one he already has, Charlie is suspicious; the job seems too good to be true, and of course, it is. He soon finds the American beaten nearly to death, while the third figurine has disappeared.

    adrienne says: "A delightful surprise!"
    "Holiday in Amsterdam!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Simon Vance's narration is what drew me to this book and he was spectacular, as always. The story was a fun little diversion in the city of Amsterdam, and having spent time there myself, I enjoyed all the references and geographically staged events. Interesting plot and outcome. . . just a nice listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jakarta Pandemic

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven Konkoly
    • Narrated By Joseph Morton
    Overall
    (630)
    Performance
    (566)
    Story
    (564)

    In the late fall of 2013, a lethal pandemic virus emerges from the Islamic Republic of Indonesia (IRI) and rages unchecked across every continent. When the Jakarta Flu threatens his picture-perfect Maine neighborhood, Alex Fletcher, Iraq War veteran, is ready to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. As a seasoned sales representative for Biosphere Pharmaceuticals, makers of a leading flu virus treatment, Alex understands what a deadly pandemic means for all of them.

    deedeeg says: "Nice surprise"
    "Paranoia, PSTD and the Pandemic. . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a L-O-O-O-O-NG story. You get your money's worth if you buy books by the hour. However, it could have been told in a much more compact, exciting, interesting way. If you haven't ready many books about dystopian societies, this one will be entertaining; maybe even seem pretty realistic. If you are better read, leave this on the shelf. I gave up on hoping for reality in this story when the snow plows arrived and cell service continued, despite the loss of all other services, including shipments of food, availability of medical care, and the loss of electricity.

    The main character was Alex, a former Marine captain, who may or may not have PSTD eight years after the fact, and may or may not have a family he truly cares about, and may or may not make the darnedest decisions. . some of them borderline stupid. . when a global flu epidemic turns his Maine neighborhood into a combat zone.

    The characters are really little than cardboard, nothing multi-dimensional about them at all. That leaves the listener wondering if he/she should really care how all this turns out. In the end (spoiler) everyone lives happily ever after, just as you know logically that every 12-year old boy who plays video games, would after using a automatic gun to kill a man who was about to shoot his dad.

    The narration was solemn, slow paced and really fit the story, although it might put less committed listeners to sleep.

    Three stars only because I finished the book. It was somewhat engaging.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Is Where I Leave You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jonathan Tropper
    • Narrated By Ramon de Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (816)
    Performance
    (528)
    Story
    (527)

    The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family - including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister - have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose 14-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together.

    Jamie says: "Greatly entertaining, not for all audiences."
    "Funny, Crude, and Filled with Family Melancholy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Foxmans are a quintessential dysfunctional family, sans their recently departed husband/father. . . . five kids and their mom sit shiva and the dysfunction reigns supreme. Funny throughout, filled with coarse language and crude moments -- but somehow, quite believable. This is a family many can relate to; especially their varied states of discord and lack of emotional intelligence. Judd, a man reeling from infidelity, narrates the story and offers hilarious "mind thinks" about every situation.

    This one is likely not for everyone, because it has graphic sexual descriptions and a plethora of hard core four letter words. But it rings true, terribly, terribly true and for that reason is a good read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Euphoria: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Lily King
    • Narrated By Simon Vance, Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband, Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery.

    Paula says: "Great Anthropological Story of Anthropologists"
    "Great Anthropological Story of Anthropologists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nell, Fen, Bankson and the tribes of New Guinea are the central characters of this novel with their surroundings well described, their depth of character well-established. The story reveals how professional jealousy, egotistic greed, and love can intermix into a painful, if not volatile circumstance. I enjoyed this story because of the story itself. . . anthropologists who themselves would have been good "case studies," studying the tribes of New Guinea while dealing with complex emotions, needs and relationships.

    Nell may have been fashioned after Margaret Mead and Fen and Bankson otherwise modeled. Perhaps this was why the story rang true and the unscrupulous behaviors of some anthropologists realistic given the 1930's setting.

    Great story, I think. . . would have listened to the narrators and story much longer had it been so.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hidden River

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (595)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (260)

    Alexander Lawson is a former detective for Northern Ireland's police force. After a disastrous six-month stint in the drug squad, he became addicted to heroin and resigned in disgrace. Now 24, sickly, and on the dole, Alex learns that his high-school love, Victoria Patawasti, has been murdered in America. Victoria's wealthy family sends Alex to Colorado to investigate the case, and he seizes the opportunity for a chance at redemption.

    Dawn says: "Gerard Doyle Is Terrific!"
    "Alex isn't as Keen as Sean Duffy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyed this one, but decided half way through that McKinty's Alex was not as brilliant and capable as my fav, Sean Duffy. Good story set in Denver CO which made it great fun. Lots of tragedy and violence, but closes with a semi-happy ending, nevertheless.

    McKinty hasn't written a bad one, so I will look forward to the next!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City of Bones: Harry Bosch Series, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    Overall
    (2089)
    Performance
    (829)
    Story
    (832)

    On New Year's Day, Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch fields a call that a dog has found a bone - a bone that the dog's owner, a doctor, feels certain is human.

    Pamela says: "A good read"
    "Not My Kind of "Harry Bosch" Narrator. . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story line and plot, well written and a police procedural that is very engaging with lots of twists that you won't see coming. Narrator just seemed a bit "off" for this one. . perhaps because I've listened to many other Michael Connelly books and better like the other narrators for his books.

    Not the best Connelly listen I've had, but one I wouldn't have wanted to miss!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Safe House

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Chris Ewan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (380)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (308)

    When Rob Hale wakes up in hospital after a motorcycle crash, he is told that Lena - the gorgeous blonde woman who was on the back of his bike - doesn't exist. The woman he describes bears a striking resemblance to his recently deceased sister, Laura, but has he really only imagined her? Convinced that Lena is as real as he is, Rob teams up with Rebecca Lewis - a London-based PI who has a mysterious connection to Laura - to follow the clues. He learns that even a close-knit community like the Isle of Man can hide dangerous secrets that will not stay safe forever.

    Dave says: "Intriguing twists and turns"
    "Intriguing, Who Can You Trust Mystery!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book, especially the narration by Simon Vance. It is a twisting, turning story of intrigue that will keep you guessing to the very end. My only criticism of it is that none of the characters but Rob were fleshed out enough for the listener to acquire any sense of empathy or dislike for them. That said, it is a good (not great) story that was worth the time for certain!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shipkiller: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Justin Scott
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (267)
    Story
    (273)

    Before he was anointed to carry on the legacy of Robert Ludlum's Janson Command series, and before he collaborated with Clive Cussler on the fan favorite Isaac Bell series, Justin Scott created this suspenseful adventure tale, a novel of love and revenge set on the high seas. Written in 1978, this is considered by many to be one of the best maritime thrillers of all time. As an expert in the world of ships and sailing, Justin Scott creates an authentic maritime world, making The Shipkiller all the more thrilling because it could be a true story.

    Jean says: "A story of revenge"
    "Great Nautical Adventure!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Such a nice surprise! This 1978-era novel of the high seas is a real gem! Scott has produced an engaging story of adventure, revenge and romance (minimal emphasis) on the high seas. It is about one man's war against a behemoth oil tanker and the listeners are taken to sea on both the oil tanker and small yachts. The author has skillfully crafted a story that pulls listeners into the adventure, wondering all the while whether Peter will live to complete his revenge, or simply die trying.

    Loved the narration and recommend this maritime thriller to all!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Degree of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Richard North Patterson
    • Narrated By Alexander Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    Christopher Paget is a trial lawyer with a famous past. As a young investigator he brought down a president. It cost him his relationship with Mary Carelli. Fifteen years have passed while Paget raises their son, seeking privacy. Until a murder changes everything.

    Rajesh says: "A must listen for most"
    "Great Court Room and Family Drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ignore the naysayers -- this is an outstanding novel featuring an engrossing court room drama. The story is lengthy but superb in terms of characters, legal drama and pace. Some say it needed a different/better narrator, but I appreciated Adams' performance because it did not get in the way of the story. He simply told it, using a minimum of different voices. If you are a fan of legal/court room dramas, this is a must read. Patterson truly nailed it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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