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bionichands

procrastinator

washington, d.c. area | Member Since 2009

249
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 38 reviews
  • 209 ratings
  • 676 titles in library
  • 48 purchased in 2014
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18

  • The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Hallgrimur Helgason
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (85)

    With some 66 hits under his belt, Tomislav Bokšic, or Toxic, has a flawless record as hitman for the Croatian mafia in New York. That is, until he kills the wrong guy and is forced to flee the States, leaving behind the life he knows and loves. Suddenly, he finds himself on a plane hurtling toward Reykjavik disguised as American televangelist Father Friendly. With no means of escape from this island devoid of gun shops, this country with absolutely no tradition for contract killing, he is forced to come to terms with his bloody past and reevaluate his future, to tragicomic effect.

    Jane says: "Some find this humorous,"
    "Funny moments but mostly a snore"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are some things to like about Helgason's novel. As common a character as "the hitman on the run" is in books, this hitman at least has a fairly interesting and novel background. The setting in Iceland is also something the reader might not have come across before now. There are funny moments in the book, a few almost laugh out loud. And lastly, the narrator is fantastic. I am guessing that he is affecting the accent he uses for the hitman, but I personally thought he did a great job with the reading.

    My main problem with the book was the story. After a decent setup, it alternates between not very interesting to just flat out dull. At times the situations feel like something you might find in a sitcom. Three's Company or something like that. A lot of things happen which are just hard to understand. Why did a character act this way? Why is this happening at all? The finale is completely unsurprising. This book ends pretty much EXACTLY the way you think it will.

    I was mostly glad it was a fairly short novel. I managed to finish it, so it wasn't a complete waste of a credit or anything. I think I have better books in my library to enjoy though.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Troop

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Nick Cutter
    • Narrated By Corey Brill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (346)

    Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip - a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfre. The boys are a tight-knit crew. There’s Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well-liked and easygoing; then there’s Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there - which makes Scoutmaster Tim’s job a little easier.

    Kim Venatries says: "Seriously Messed Up Gruesome Horror"
    "Just couldn't get into it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Honestly, this wasn't a terrible book or anything I just had a hard time caring about it. I can tell when I'm checking frequently to see how much longer I have to listen that I'm not really into a book. With the really good ones, I'm usually hating when it ends. So anyway, I think this would be a good book for horror fans, fans of some of Stephen King's scarier stuff.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I thought the premise behind the "worms" was pretty good. The Shelly character though was a little too far out there. Like on top of this insane worm thing, one of these kids happens to be a jr. serial killer in training. Mostly though, I found some of the lengthy descriptions tedious and would have enjoyed if there were more "story" to it.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Corey Brill’s performances?

    Sure, I just wasn't wild about this deadpan narration.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The writing itself was good. As I said, I thought the plot was actually promising too, and it would probably make a good horror movie.


    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8628)
    Performance
    (7912)
    Story
    (7917)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    Cynthia says: "What a slog"
    "Best book I listened to this year"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes its just a great story, authentic, unusual. I was sad when it was over.


    What other book might you compare The Goldfinch to and why?

    There were times I wanted to compare it to GREAT EXPECTATIONS. It has a little bit of that feel. The writing is modern though. I can't really compare the story to other books, but if you like stuff like THE ART OF FIELDING, you'll probably enjoy this one.


    Which character – as performed by David Pittu – was your favorite?

    Narration was awesome. But his Boris character, and all of the russian voices, were most excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    Just such a great book. So much of it is unexpected too. There were so many points in this book where I found myself impatient, dying to know what had happened or what a character was about to explain. It was really amazing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Burn Palace

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Stephen Dobyns
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    The sleepy community of Brewster, Rhode Island, is just like any other small American town. But recently, something out of the ordinary - perhaps even supernatural - has been stirring in Brewster. While packs of coyotes gather on back roads and the news spreads that a baby has been stolen from Memorial Hospital (and replaced in its bassinet by a snake), a series of inexplicably violent acts begins to confound Detective Woody Potter and the local police - and inspire terror in the hearts and minds of the locals.

    Sixty Some says: "Outside my box"
    "Difficult book in audio format"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Stephen Dobyns and/or George Newbern?

    Not sure


    Has The Burn Palace turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I don't think so.


    What three words best describe George Newbern’s voice?

    No issues with the narrator's voice.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was a good idea for a story and well written, just hard to follow.


    Any additional comments?

    I was looking forward to this book and was pretty disappointed. I just found it very hard to follow in the audio format. The story is told through dozens of characters in this town which is a cool idea. In the audio format though, I had a lot of trouble keeping up with the story, recalling who each character was, etc; I think this is a book I may have enjoyed more reading the hard copy where you could flip back if needed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joyland

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Michael Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3068)
    Performance
    (2839)
    Story
    (2841)

    Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

    Cozy Reader says: "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    "Stephen King weirdly keeps getting better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Joyland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I don't know, I've listened to a lot of books. But I thought this was one of the best narrator performances. Michael Kelly was great.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Its kind of short for that. I wouldn't describe the book that way. I would compare this book more to the "Stand By Me"/"The Body" novella.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Kelly – was your favorite?

    Honestly, I loved them all. His southern voices were incredible, and I loved his dialogue between characters. I hope he'll consider doing some more narration in the future.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Nexus: Nexus, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ramez Naam
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (168)

    In the near future, the nano-drug Nexus can link mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it. When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage, with far more at stake than anyone realizes.

    Amy says: "The Post-human Future is Now"
    "I love sci-fi. This is NOT a five star book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Ramez Naam and/or Luke Daniels?

    Not sure.


    What was most disappointing about Ramez Naam’s story?

    I was pretty disappointed in NEXUS, especially considering some of the endorsements this book has received. My biggest disappointment was that the beginning of the book sets the story up really well. The entire into to what NEXUS is, the characters, how things work, what they're capable of on the drug was really compelling and interesting.

    And THEN the characters go to Thailand and things just become a mess.

    Seriously, I just could not follow it. The two main characters go to a trade show in Thailand and what ensues is an endless stream of new characters, kind of boring gun battles, trippy mind melds, and characters who inexplicably keep changing their core beliefs. I really could not wait to be finished with this.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He was mostly good except for the voice he uses for this one Chinese clone special forces character. I mean, I know the guy is Chinese, but he is also supposed to be this laboratory created special forces military man. Why does he sound like the most hilarious chinese waiter/Bruce Lee's opponent's henchman?


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was a really good idea that just doesn't deliver the good in the overall story.


    Any additional comments?

    I had a hard time not turning this off and couldn't wait to get to the end. I think some of the stream of conciousness/group mind stuff was just especially tough to follow in the audio format.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Impulse

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Steven Gould
    • Narrated By Emily Rankin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (349)

    Cent has a secret. She lives in isolation, with her parents, hiding from the people who took her father captive and tortured him to gain control over his ability to teleport, and from the government agencies who want to use his talent. Cent has seen the world, but only from the safety of her parents' arms. She's teleported more than anyone on Earth, except for her mother and father, but she's never been able to do it herself. Her life has never been in danger. Until the day when she went snowboarding without permission and triggered an avalanche. When the snow and ice thundered down on her, she suddenly found herself in her own bedroom.

    Brian says: "Refreshing!"
    "Just couldn't do it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Impulse?

    Just too YA for me. And I hated the first person narrative.


    What could Steven Gould have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not written a book about the daughter.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Emily Rankin?

    She was fine.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm sure there is an audience for this book. Kind of a wasted credit for me unfortunately. I really enjoyed JUMPER and REFLEX was pretty good too.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5)

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Minnie Goode
    Overall
    (1310)
    Performance
    (1195)
    Story
    (1195)

    This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

    Charles says: "Unique"
    "Read this Twice."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5) again? Why?

    Absolutely. I actually read this book on my kindle over the past year. Decided I wanted to check out the audiobook.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5)?

    This seems like a dumb question to me. I don't want to give away any of the plot and spoil the book for anyone. I'll just say if you're a fan of post apocalyptic fiction, this is a really good one with no zombies involved. It feels fresh, characters are mostly well drawn out, and the story is really clever. I couldn't help but think as I read this book that it would make a great HBO series like Game of Thrones.


    Have you listened to any of Minnie Goode’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think so, but the reader is good. The most prominent character is a woman,so her voice seems appropriate. Some of the male voices are a little goofy, but no big deal.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I guess so.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't know if this is really a 5-star book or not, but I wanted to emphasize that I thought it was one of the better SF-ish books I've listened to this year and well worth your time checking out. I listened to a good chunk of those SM Stirling books, and this series is so much better, so much less cheesy. I think even non-SF fans may enjoy this one. Very glad to find it in audio version.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • HHhH

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Laurent Binet
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (57)

    HHhH: "Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich," or "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich." The most dangerous man in Hitler's cabinet, Reinhard Heydrich was known as the "Butcher of Prague." He was feared by all and loathed by most. With his cold Aryan features and implacable cruelty, Heydrich seemed indestructible-until two men, a Slovak and a Czech recruited by the British secret service-killed him in broad daylight on a bustling street in Prague, and thus changed the course of History.

    Darwin8u says: "Himlers Hirn heisst Heydrich"
    "Weird storytelling just didn't work for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Laurent Binet and/or John Lee?

    No.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    WOOL Omnibus Edition.


    Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

    Sure there was no issue with the narrator.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The actual story and history that the book wants to tell is compelling. But the weird method of telling the story gets in the way.


    Any additional comments?

    This should have been a much better book considering the story it aims to tell about the assassination of Heidrich. The problem with the book is that the author is writing about his attempt to write this story. In PAINFUL detail. He literally interrupts the story to say things like, "I was going to write that Heidrich had pancakes for breakfast, but I didn't know for sure if that would be historically accurate". I'm not making this up. WTF?? The first three chapters of the book are the author's ramblings about thinking about writing a book. I thought it was just a lengthy FOREWARD or something.

    I don't know why he wrote the book this way. It seems like it would have been a compelling story and at times it starts to be, then the author interjects something like, "I wrote this sentence but my girlfriend didn't like it, but I kept it anyway." ugh.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Flowertown

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By S. G. Redling
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (77)

    Seven years ago, a chemical spill brought the U.S. Army to rural Penn County, Iowa, where soldiers established a long-term, medically maintained quarantine. Officially, it’s called the PennCo Containment Area. But to the people trapped inside, their bodies tainted with chemicals that give off a sweet smell, it’s known simply as Flowertown. The quarantine was supposed to save their lives, but many of the survivors have grown suspicious of the government’s real motives. But not Ellie Cauley - her rage long ago burned down to hard, cynical pessimism. When a series of deadly events forces Ellie out of her apathy, she must prepare to face an enemy powerful enough to unleash her greatest nightmare.

    GremlinGrrl says: "My favorite new smart-aleck heroine"
    "Painful. Not sure I can finish last 60 minutes."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sorry, this is just bad. I'm on the last 60 minutes or so, and I don't know if I can finish. I really could care less if I finish it. I'm just pressing on through sheer willpower.

    The premise of this sealed off town starts off ok. Quickly devolves into this trite and convoluted story of this big pharm company conspiracy. The dialogue in the story is HORRIBLE. Completely phony witty banter. Seriously, S.G. Redling, NOBODY TALKS LIKE THIS AND IT IS PAINFUL TO LISTEN TO. The back and forth between Ellie and Bing is especially bad as is their constantly replaying the same scene over and over. The two talk amicably, suddenly get upset, one storms off, then they meet up again later and apologize, suddenly upset, one storms off, etc; I am not kidding, this happens a dozen times at least in the same book.

    And lastly, no offense, but it you speak with a lisp, you should not be narrating audiobooks. It can be cute and endearing, I have no problem with it. However, it is just annoying in an audiobook, like fingernails on a chalkboard. Audible should start screening these books and post a freaking warning when the narrator has a lisp or is Stephen King.

    There are a TON of better books on audible to use your credit on. Avoid this one.

    5 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Providence Rider: A Matthew Corbett Novel, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (779)
    Performance
    (699)
    Story
    (700)

    The Providence Rider is the fourth installment in the extraordinary series of historical thrillers featuring Matthew Corbett, professional problem solver. The narrative begins in the winter of 1703, with Matthew still haunted by his lethal encounter with notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter. When an unexplained series of explosions rocks his Manhattan neighborhood, Matthew finds himself forced to confront a new and unexpected problem. Someone is trying - and trying very hard - to get his attention.

    bionichands says: "This is a fun series"
    "This is a fun series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read all four Corbett books to date. Thanks audible for making these available! I highly recommend checking out the entire series. Matthew Corbett is a fantastic character. The colonial America setting is unusual and well written, and the stories are engaging and fun.

    I've been looking forward to Book 4 for a few months. Thankfully, McCammon seems to churn these out quickly. All of your favorite characters are back, AND most importantly we finally get to meet Professor Fell. Lots of action.

    This isn't high art by any stretch, but it is a really fun read. Well worth your listening time and credits.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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