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Robert

I have a strong preference for the SPOKEN, as opposed to the written word. Although a poor reader may detract from a book, a truly capable reader adds immeasurably to the enjoyment of a good book.

Selbyville, DE, United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
54
REVIEWS
20
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
59

  • A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Rob McQuay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (503)
    Performance
    (457)
    Story
    (469)

    The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America - majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaing guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way - and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

    colleen says: "What a treat"
    "Comsi comsa"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At times, amusing, at times, boring, and steeped in information about the Appalachian Trail and the portion of America it spans. The reader does a very credible job, but it is mostly first person and with few voices, it isn't a demanding read. I bought the book looking for humor and found very little. I listened from beginning to end because I was fascinated with the author's experience and reactions, as well as the lessons in natural history. Knowing what I know now, would I buy it again? Maybe, maybe not.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Guardian of Lies: A Paul Madriani Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Steve Martini
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (51)

    Together with his partner, Harry Hinds, Madriani must piece together the threads of a decades-old conspiracy involving priceless gold coins, an aging American spy, a disaffected Russian soldier, and a forgotten weapon from the days of JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis. As the separate strands of the story come together, Madriani finds information that will ultimately lead him to the one person who holds the key to it all: a man some call "The Guardian of Lies".

    Sharon in Surrey says: "Guardian of Lies"
    "A Mixed Review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A somewhat convoluted plot with multiple agents and motives, mixing murder charges with terrorist plots make for a strange, but not entirely distasteful stew. Guidall, with his remarkable facility for portraying multiple characters with distinct voices, made it fairly easy to recognize who is speaking and acting. With a less talented narrator, the listening experience would have been terribly confusing and unrewarding. If you enjoy plots pitting inept government agencies agains mad terrorists and heroic individuals, alike, you'll enjoy this book; however, if you're looking for an intriguing legal thriller, perhaps you should turn to an earlier Steve Martini.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Inside Out: Ben Treven, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Barry Eisler
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (102)

    Torture. Ghost Detainees. And a massive cover-up that continues even today. Marooned in a Manila jail after a bar fight fatality, black ops soldier Ben Treven gets a visit from his former commander, Colonel Scott Horton, who explains the price of Ben's release: find and eliminate Daniel Larison, a rogue operator from Ben's unit who has stolen 92 torture tapes from the CIA and is using them to blackmail the U.S. government. But other players are after the tapes, too.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Solid thriller with excellent tradecraft"
    "More than a little inconclusive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Eisler is as good a narrator as he is an author. I found the plot as intriguing as those of the John Rain series. Be prepared for some X-rated sexual descriptions. Not the kind of thing you'd want to share with Mom or Junior. I would have given it 5 stars, save for the blatant set-up for a sequel and the resulting, rather inconclusive ending. All in all, though, a fun audit if you don't mind some vivid descriptions of violence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Target

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1777)
    Performance
    (1579)
    Story
    (1579)

    The president knows it's a perilous, high-risk assignment. If he gives the order, he has the opportunity to take down a global menace, once and for all. If the mission fails, he would face certain impeachment, and the threats against the nation would multiply. So the president turns to the one team that can pull off the impossible: Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel. Together, Robie and Reel's talents as assassins are unmatched. But there are some in power who don't trust the pair.

    G. House Sr. says: "Tight and Engaging -- Reel and Robie are back!"
    "TotallY unbelievable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The plot, characters, and dialog were about as realistic as a B-grade video game. McLarty is an okay narrator, but Cassidy has an elderly woman's voice that doesn't work for a thirtysomething character. This book, or at least the start of it, the only part I was able to abide, is markedly inferior to Baldacci's earlier writing; so much so, that I wondered if it was his in name only. If a gaost writer, he or she isn't nearly as talented as the young Baldicci.

    9 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Judgment

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By D.W. Buffa
    • Narrated By Dennis Predovic
    Overall
    (394)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (85)

    When Judge Calvin Jeffries is found murdered in a courthouse parking lot, the crime shocks the community, but justice is swift. Soon a second judge is stabbed to death. Attorney Joseph Antonelli agrees to defend the accused. What he discovers challenges everything he knows about crime and punishment...and himself. Also available abridged.

    Michael says: "Buffa's Best"
    "What a delight this book was!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved everything about this book. Never trite. Never boring. Always enguaging. Enought twists and turns to keep me guessing, but not so convoluted that it was difficult to follow. I didn't know Buffa was this good. I'll certainly try his other works.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Vineyard: A Mystery of the French Countryside

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Martin Walker
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (68)

    A prolific journalist, Martin Walker has crafted a mystery series that deftly blends the stylings of Peter Mayle and Alexander McCall Smith. Chief Bruno Courreges loves life in his small French village. One day his idyll is disturbed when a local research station for genetically modified crops is burned down. An enclave of environmentalists seems to be the most likely culprit, but soon Bruno uncovers evidence that makes the case infinitely more complicated.

    Cary says: "Another winner...."
    "Just barely a murder mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is more about food and wine than murder and mayhem. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It's refreshing to find a hero that's "gooder than good." And it's enjoyable to get to know the various characters in the village. A bit of love story, a bit of politics, quite a bit of food and wine, all wrapped around a mysterious fire and (maybe) a murder. Fun stuff!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland
    Overall
    (855)
    Performance
    (771)
    Story
    (764)

    Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

    Mark says: "Tantalizing time trip"
    "Man, this book is truly boring!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found World History 101 to be as boring a subject as every I took. Kings and princes, the power elite of Western nations. I kept wondering what life was like for the "common man or women." When I saw the description of this book, I jumped on it. Jumped too soon, as it turned out. I felt like I was back in World History 101, but with a professor with an English accent who was even more pedantic than good old Sister What's-Her-Name. I'll think long and hard before I try anything else from The Great Courses series.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Heirs and Graces: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1242)
    Performance
    (1114)
    Story
    (1106)

    As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable light murder mystery"
    "Narrater's voice too unpleasant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Only listened to a few minutes of this book, then abandon it because I found the narrator's voice grated on my nerves. Thus, the negative rating of the performance. The Overall and Story ratings are only because the had to be checked to rate the performance, but I actually didn't hear enough to have an opinion.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Act of Treason

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2907)
    Performance
    (1414)
    Story
    (1408)

    It's a gorgeous autumn day in Georgetown. The Democratic candidates for president and vice-president of the United States are dutifully glad-handing voters and the media outside a grand estate where a national-security conference has just been held, bringing together the world's greatest minds to discuss the issues that are threatening the country. It's American politicking at its best. That's when all hell breaks loose.

    Stevon says: "My first Flynn"
    "Another great fanciful diversion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you would like to take a break from the mundane trivia of everyday life and spend a few hours in a make-believe world of action, justice, and retribution, Vince Flynn is your ticket. His good guys are wonderfully good and powerful, the bad guys absolutely despicable, and in the end, justice will always prevail. Recently I started from the beginning of the series and intend to continue to the latest. Those read by George Guidall are thoroughly enjoyable. Those by other readers, not so much. If you like this kind of entertainment, I suggest you do the series. Get to know the characters and their predilections. Take a great trip through the wild, crazy, often violent, but never disappointing world of Mitch Rapp.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Memorial Day

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2607)
    Performance
    (1753)
    Story
    (1735)

    It's just seven days before Memorial Day, and a spike in CIA intelligence has pointed to a major terrorist attack on the United States. Now it's up to counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp to pull out all the stops. Rapp immediately leaves for Afghanistan, where he leads a special forces unit on a daring commando raid across the border into a remote Pakistani village. Their target: an al-Qaeda stronghold. Rapp and his team soon discover plans for a catastrophic nuclear attack on Washington, DC.

    Guy says: "Flynn's best Mitch Rapp Book"
    "Another fun book by Flynn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some of the content is more "blood and guts" than I'd like, and some relationships are a bit unbelievable, but all in all it's great entertainment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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