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Keith

Tucson, AZ, United States | Member Since 2000

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 220 ratings
  • 745 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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  • Leonardo's Swans

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Karen Essex
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Sastre
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Isabella d'Este, daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, born into privilege and the political and artistic turbulence of Renaissance Italy, is a stunning black-eyed blonde and a precocious lover and collector of art. Worldly and ambitious, she has never envied her less attractive sister, the spirited but naive Beatrice, until, by a quirk of fate, Beatrice is betrothed to the future Duke of Milan.

    Catherine says: "Renaissance history brought to life..."
    "Solid and fun, but disappointing"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this book for its period character, and it is a good story with strong characters. Somehow, the overall effect did not reach its full potential. Very little detail of the times of DaVinci in the book, quite a trivial tale really. Was it Leonardo's swans to ride the coattails of the DaVinci Code?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Plantation

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Chris Kuzneski
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    The first to disappear is a ski instructor in the secluded mountains of Colorado. Hours later, a pregnant woman is abducted from a crowded hospital. Two places, two incidents, a single motive. And so it begins....

    Char says: "Incredible Story"
    "Truly dreadful, avoid at all costs..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Plantation better?

    This was a first novel, so perhaps one should have more tolerance for "rookie errors". However, this was so poor, that I doubt that I would try any others in this series. On the positive side, it has an interesting premise, and this kept me listening until the end. However, the plot is overly intricate in highly improbable ways - major plot lines just evaporate, never to be resolved; the primary characters have potential, but just don't come across as human, overcoming impossible obstacles without comment.


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

    No, but it has made me believe that this author is talentless.


    What does Dick Hill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Dick Hill is a master narrator, but even he seems to be struggling with the scripts hyperbole.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Plantation?

    The white slave trade to Africa might be an interesting element, but largely superfluous to the primary "reversed roles" revenge plot. It adds, but creates complexities that the author has to go through unlikely contortions to resolve - e.g. how does an ex-special forces officer manage to persuade a full team to leave their duty on his say-so, deploy with full equipment to Africa, engage in a private war, and then come back blameless? Really?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Monkey's Raincoat: An Elvis Cole Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By Patrick G. Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (701)
    Performance
    (389)
    Story
    (374)

    When Ellen Lang's husband disappears with their son, she hires Elvis Cole to track him down. A quiet and seemingly submissive wife, Ellen can't even write a check without him. All she wants is to get him and her son back - no questions asked.

    John says: "Good book for the first in the series."
    "Very workable PI story spoiled by the narrator"
    Overall

    The protagonist in this book is an intriguing and convincing character, involved in an interesting and compelling plot. Unfortunately the narrator simply murders the book. The written style is full of witty dialogue and irony, requiring an understated reading for its full affect. This narrator simply over acts (hams up) the dialogue, making quite enjoyable witty dialogue just plain irritating. Patrick Lawlor is now on my (very short) narrator blacklist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Informationist: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Taylor Stevens
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1381)
    Performance
    (780)
    Story
    (794)

    Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information - expensive information - working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle's most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in Dallas, she's never looked back. Until now....

    John C. says: "Strong premise & character descend into melodrama"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall

    I really wanted to like this book, but just could not. The plot and setup are quite promising, but fail to deliver. The characters are poorly constructed, not plausible (even within my highly flexible imagination), and do not develop in a three dimensional way. Net net I could neither relate to, or like any of the primary characters. The overly dramatic reading did not help. What a shame.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Fugue in Hell's Kitchen

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Hal Glatzer
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Katy Green is a working musician in the years before World War II. It's 1939, and Katy tries to help a friend out of a jam at a classical music conservatory that ought to be a quiet oasis in Hell's Kitchen, New York's roughest neighborhood. But when Katy searches for the stolen manuscript of a string quartet by Paganini, what she finds is madness, mayhem, unexplained sudden deaths, and a fight for her very life.

    Keith says: "Interesting but weird"
    "Interesting but weird"
    Overall

    I am a big fan of the reader of this book, and the book is a good story. However, the 'production' is just weird - odd sound effects throughout - doors banging, traffic, trains. The overall effect took quite a bit to get used to. I think it is still worth the listen, but what on earth were the producers thinking of?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Jewel that Was Ours

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Colin Dexter
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The case seems so simple, Inspector Morse deems it beneath notice. A wealthy, elderly American tourist has a heart attack in her room at Oxford's luxurious Randolph Hotel. Missing from the scene is the lady's handbag, which contained the Wolvercote Tongue, a priceless jewel that her late husband had bequeathed to the Ashmolean Museum just across the street.

    Keith says: "Great Book, Lousy sound quality"
    "Great Book, Lousy sound quality"
    Overall

    Another fabulous book from Colin Dexter, read with wonderful skill and creativity. Unfortunately, only available in format 2, and this considerably degrades what should be a wonderful experience. Still worth listening, though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Burned: A Regan Reilly Mystery

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Carol Higgins Clark
    • Narrated By Carol Higgins Clark
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    When we last saw L.A.-based private detective Regan Reilly, she'd recently become engaged, but before the big event Kit convinces her to come to Hawaii for one last girls' weekend.

    Keith says: "So trivial"
    "So trivial"
    Overall

    as a frequent reader of mysteries, I have to say this was the worst I have ever heard or read. Having the author read the book was a big mistake, I am afraid that the reading is truly dreadful. The story however, is worse. Weak dialogue, poorly developed characters, and a plot that never rings true. Nothing to recommend this book. Avoid it at all costs

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lian Hearn
    • Narrated By Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6243)
    Performance
    (2372)
    Story
    (2382)

    A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Wonderful epic story"
    "An intriguing, but surprisingly thin series"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this book, and with its other two parts offers the opportunity to live in a colorful and well described world. In spite of this the books are surprisingly thin - the plot is just OK, and the character development is weak. The characters themselves offer plenty of scope for development, but somehow the author fails to achieve this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Killer Smile

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lisa Scottoline
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (42)

    Mary DiNunzio gets a terrifying telephone call while she's working late, then goes home to find a shadow lurking at her front door. When a lawyer close to her turns up dead, Mary begins to suspect that the case she's been working on, involving the suicide of an Italian-American in an internment camp during World War II, may not be ancient history after all.

    Scott says: "The Japanese weren't the ONLY jailed during WWII"
    "Brilliantly Read"
    Overall

    This is a fun and interesting mystery. The star of this book is the absolutely brilliant reading by Barbara Rosenblatt. I have listened to some other of her readings, and this one is the best. A good author read by a great reader is the best combination!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jolie Blon's Bounce

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (594)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (185)

    Return to James Lee Burke's "timeless, parallel universe" with detective Dave Robicheaux, as he investigates the murders of two women, tries to prove one man's innocence, and faces an enemy unlike any he has ever known. Gothic, dense, brutal, touching, and always compelling, Jolie Blon's Bounce is classic storytelling from a writer who has been dubbed "the Faulkner of crime fiction."

    JD. says: "Sorry I was wrong"
    "Powerful and Emotional"
    Overall

    This book is extraordinary. The plot is good, but unexceptional, solid, fast paced and secure. The characterisation and the creation of the environment of the south of this period is what sets the book apart. Reading books aloud is becoming an art form of its own, and the reader in this case creates the mood that is this book's strength

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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