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James

Marietta, OH, United States | Member Since 2009

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 87 ratings
  • 293 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • The New York Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Paul Auster
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Paul Auster's signature work, The New York Trilogy, consists of three interlocking novels: City of Glass, Ghosts, and The Locked Room - haunting and mysterious tales that move at the breathless pace of a thriller.

    James says: "Great Book of Pretentiousness"
    "Great Book of Pretentiousness"
    Overall

    This book is a little too much for a lot of people, but I like how Auster riffs on identity issues and then pairs it up with the classic icon of the private detective. If you're looking for something that will take you back to Chandler, this might not be up your alley, but if you're seeking something a bit experimental and somewhat quirky, check out the NYT.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (18510)
    Performance
    (16477)
    Story
    (16437)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "King is a genius!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    King is known for his horror, but 11/22/63 exemplifies his ability to tell a story that hits on all themes of the human condition. This book is not only a fantastic King tale, but a fantastic example of American fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darkly Dreaming Dexter

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jeff Lindsay
    • Narrated By Nick Landrum
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2703)
    Performance
    (922)
    Story
    (933)

    Dexter Morgan appears to be the perfect gentleman. He is handsome and polite, and has been in a relationship for nearly a year and a half. Yet appearances can be deceiving, for Dexter is a serial killer who has slain many people. But in this tale, he's the good guy, for there is one little twist: Dexter only snuffs out other murderers. When another serial killer, with an eerily similar style, starts grabbing headlines, Dexter has a fairly morbid thought. Am I being challenged?

    V. Sharol says: "Compelling but unsettling"
    "Junk Food"
    Overall

    This book kept me interested, but served mainly as an easy listen. I'm a big fan of the Showtime series, and thought I'd give the source material a shot, expecting it to be about the same in style and mood, and Lindsay's book met the goal. Exactly what I was hoping it would be.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The House of the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Walter Covell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (19)

    The House of the Dead is a fascinating portrait of life in a Siberian prison camp - a life of great hardship and deprivation, yet filled with simple moments of humanity showing mankinds ability to adapt and survive in the most extreme of circumstances. Dostoevsky tells his story in a chronological order, from his character's arrival and his sense of alienation to his gradual adjustment to prison life.

    James says: "In the Prison House"
    "In the Prison House"
    Overall

    Dostoyevsky imparts his experiences from a Siberian prison camp, and during this narrative, we find out again why this writer is regarded as the best in fiction. Through his techniques in presentation and methods of characterization, Dostoyevsky delivers another great read.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • American Psycho

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Bret Easton Ellis
    • Narrated By Pablo Schreiber
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront.

    Mike Calvo says: "Really Twisted!"
    "Disappointment."
    Overall

    I entered this book expecting to find some great satire, remarkable writing, and a lot of violence. I'd read Ellis's Rules of Attraction earlier and found it very enjoyable, but with American Psycho, all that seemed to be conveyed was boring lists and repetitive routines and details.
    I get what the author was shooting for, but—with me, at least—I wasn't convinced that his work hit the mark.
    Ellis has talent. I don't see this as his best, but that doesn't mean prospective readers should disregard him entirely.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Elephant Vanishes: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By John Chancer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (63)

    A collection of off-the-wall short stories by Japan's leading contemporary novelist. An elephant vanishes; hunger drives a couple to rob McDonalds; an insomniac wife wakes in a different world.

    Jennifer says: "Beautiful Collection"
    "Murakami Rocks Both Styles!"
    Overall

    All of Murakami's novels have been amazing, but with The Elephant Vanishes, the writer shows that he can handle the short story as well as his longer works.
    With the exception of "The Wind Up Bird and Tuesday's Women," each of these stories stands alone as fantastic. (Note: the only reason I say this is because I can't break this story away from the masterpiece novel it later became.)
    Moving on to "The Second Bakery Attack," this story relates just how little we sometimes know our significant others, albeit in an exaggerated way.
    Probably my favorite story, however, was "The Last Lawn of the Afternoon." By the time this story ends, the ambiguity of the drunken housewife's motivations paired with the facts we know about her past leaves us wondering what kind of emotional pain she's really going through, and how our narrator helped her ease that pain in the long run.
    Easily, this collection of 17 short stories can be seen as Murakami's best. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy their literature with a bit of strangeness added.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1279)
    Performance
    (739)
    Story
    (743)

    Author of the National Book Award-winning All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy is one of the most provocative American stylists to emerge in the last century. The striking novel Blood Meridian offers an unflinching narrative of the brutality that accompanied the push west on the 1850s Texas frontier.

    Colin says: "Existential leavings"
    "High lit, well-read."
    Overall

    Never before have I encountered a book that went so far over my head the first time I read through it, but Blood Meridian passed by so high, it's taken me quite some time to reach a point that I could appreciate the work for all its accomplishments. This book is a chore, plainly stated, but - like so many difficult yet great books that are out there - it will be worthwhile for those who decided to take up the task.
    As for the reading, Poe did a fantastic job in his narration. Not over-the-top but not a monotonous drone, his choices in the voicing of these characters allowed for the text to really speak out.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • What I Talk about When I Talk about Running: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (519)
    Performance
    (264)
    Story
    (269)

    From the best-selling author of Kafka on the Shore comes this rich and revelatory memoir about writing and running and the integral impact both have made on his life. Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers Murakami's four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon. Settings range from Tokyo, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston, among young women who outpace him.

    Rick says: "It is what it says it is"
    "Murakami Nonfiction"
    Overall

    I've found the Murakami's nonfiction can be both insightful and lacking depending on the section you read. With WITAWITAR (whew!), I found the book meters above Underground, which was a bit repetitive. With Running, you get anecdotes that come across as both touching and insightful. These two words are often used to describe Murakami's fiction (along with weird, surreal, etc.), but here they come across through the effort of journaling.
    I will say, however, that HM's nonfiction doesn't hold a candle to his novels, or even his short stories, but for the price they're asking here, you can't go wrong with this selection.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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