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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
59
REVIEWS
24
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
62

  • 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
    (557)
    Performance
    (506)
    Story
    (520)

    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
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2249)
    Performance
    (2093)
    Story
    (2086)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Galbraith gets better and better!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Usually I enjoy the first book in a series more than the subsequent releases. I'm not sure why, nor do I know if others find it so. This is not the case with The Silkworm, the second book in this Strike series. In fact, I find this book a little more polished, the characters more sharply defined, and the conclusion superb. When there is a broad family of players in the story, it can be a bit confusing to recall who did what to whom in earlier chapters -- what parts each character plays in the plot. I appreciate conclusions that summarize and bring everything to the forefront. Like the first in the series, I found this remarkably entertaining and enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (6339)
    Performance
    (5772)
    Story
    (5780)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Liked everything about this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I usually don't care for "damaged" protagonists. They often present themselves as weak, burdened, struggling, and inept. I find it hard to identify with those traits. Fortunately, that's not the case with Galbraith's hero, Cormoran Strike. His handicap contributes more than it detracts from his attractiveness. Plot is great. Characters are sufficiently unique to be identifiable without being bizarre. All in all, a really entertaining and enjoyable book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Town Red

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jennifer Moss
    • Narrated By Todd Ellis
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    His partner is killed. His girlfriend takes off. His job is hanging by a thread.... Chicago Homicide Detective Ryan Doherty has one last chance to save his career - solving the case of Scott and Carly Redding, ad execs who each appear to have died of natural causes...on the same night. And there are hundreds of people who could've wanted the Reddings dead, including every ex-employee of their high-powered firm, Town Red Media.

    Robert says: "Horrid narration"
    "Horrid narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The sample audio sounds okay -- too fast and not enough variation in pace, but okay. The vocalization of the detective's sidekick in squeaking falsetto is about as pleasant to hear as fingernails on a slate blackboard. This may or may not be a readable book. The plot may be okay. I don't know. But this audio performance it truly terrible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2825)
    Performance
    (2480)
    Story
    (2501)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "One very weird book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't identify a single, admirable character in the entire cast. Everyone was flawed, and most, fatally. Yet the author takes the reader into their lives so deftly, I was enthralled. Felt a bit like the proverbially bird watching a snake. Narrator Tom Hollander did a superb job, especially with the voicing of different characters. So much so, that I will search his name for other books he has narrated. Following a narrator, rather than only the author, is something I rarely do. All in all, a very, very good book, but if you're looking for something cheery and uplifting, do pass on this one.

    0 of 0 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
    (158)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    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
    (123)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (115)

    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.

    shelley says: "Excellent Series I hope Book 3 is going to be soon"
    "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
    (2197)
    Performance
    (1946)
    Story
    (1951)

    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.

    L.W. says: "Several Stories in One Book..So Good!"
    "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.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Judgment

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By D.W. Buffa
    • Narrated By Dennis Predovic
    Overall
    (399)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (89)

    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
    (90)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (72)

    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

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