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Erica

Donaldsonville, LA, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
26
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
15

  • The Lifeboat: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Charlotte Rogan
    • Narrated By Rebecca Gibel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (140)

    Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life. In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband, Henry, across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die. As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met and the new life of privilege she thought she'd found.

    Amazon Customer says: "Lord of the Flies on the Water"
    "This could have been so much better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can only surmise the author was independently wealthy before this book was written, or it would have been completely overhauled before its publication. While very well written, nothing really happens that we as the audience particularly care about. A mysterious explosion on a transatlantic ship, stolen jewels and hidden gold! A murder on an overcrowded lifeboat filled with peril!

    All of this comes up in this book, but not a single thing is addressed with any satisfaction. The main character, Grace is supposed to be the typical unreliable narrator, but character development is so weak throughout everyone in this book that Grace comes off as having the personality of a shoe instead of unhinged, calculating, devious or even strong. Instead of suspense or mystery we get a platform for the author to explain her politics. Women were unequal to men in 1914! (gasp) Women couldn't vote or even serve on juries! (I'm shocked) Men wrote laws that governed women! (oh the injustice)

    What saves this book is the pretty excellent writing, poor character development aside. But I was disappointed that what was described as a mystery thriller was actually a diatribe on gender politics of the early 20th century. And being an educated person with average brain function, I sort of already knew that it wasn't kosher.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brilliance

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1095)
    Performance
    (964)
    Story
    (967)

    In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in.

    Benjamin says: "Predictable Thriller"
    "Mary Sue Alert"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is another one of those books that was obviously originally written as a screenplay. No studio wants to buy an X-Men rip-off, so Marcus Sakey gets it published as a book, probably because his father plays golf with someone important.

    Marcus Sakey's Mary Sue is some guy named Cooper (Twin Peaks marathon during the editing phase). Cooper is so awesome, you guys. He's so smart and so special and so, ahem, brilliant that he can totally intuit everything you're thinking and planning just by your body language. I mean, I know there are FBI and CIA guys who do stuff like that according to that Discovery Channel thing that was playing in the background during the brainstorming phase of this novel, but Marcus Sakey, oops I mean Cooper is so much better than those losers. I mean, he's a step above everyone else on the evolutionary scale, you guys.

    Marcus Sakey would also like everyone to know that Cooper is so intuitive and so OMG awesome that his super-powers make him like, super good in bed, ladies.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The House On Tradd Street

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Karen White
    • Narrated By Aimee Bruneau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (712)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (318)

    Practical Melanie Middleton hates to admit she can see ghosts. But she's going to have to accept it. An Old man she recently met has died, leaving her his historic Tradd Street home, complete with housekeeper, dog - and a family of ghosts anxious to tell her their secrets.

    Joanna says: "Pleasantly surprised"
    "Can't get through this..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tried. Really, I tried. Between the awful (really awful) fake Southern accent by the narrator and the droning on and on and on of old "haahhses" and how much the main character hates them with irrational rage, I mean Jesus this is both infuriating and boring.

    Hey guys, I live in a beautiful home built in 1896. My original plaster walls are made of horsehair and oyster shells. Now, as a life-long Louisianian my love of old houses began with my grandmother, you see. She's an artist, and she too loves old houses. She bought a beautiful historic home in 1977 and restored it to it's original glory. Now, what a lot of people don't know (or appreciate) about old houses...

    The above is what you pretty much get in this book. Nobody cares about how much you love old houses. Seriously. Please get to the murder mystery and stop smugly lecturing me about termites and wooden floors.

    And as someone from New Orleans, I promise that single straight men who are writers do not live in the French Quarter. I haven't gotten far enough into the book for journalist Jack Trenholm to bust up our main character's chifferobe, but in real life he won't want to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Arthur Goldschmidt, Lawrence Davidson
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (284)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (186)

    The ninth edition of this widely acclaimed text has been extensively revised to reflect the latest scholarship and the most recent events in the Middle East. As an introduction to the history of this turbulent region from the beginnings of Islam to the present day, the book is distinguished by its clear style, broad scope, and balanced treatment.

    Magnus Odeen says: "An honest, detailed and well written history"
    "A perfect textbook for fourth graders"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Did you know that the US actually had political dealings with the Middle East before 9/11? Do you need a five minute explanation on what exactly the word "history" means? Do you have such a narrow view on Arabic human beings that you need to be told that Arabs were most certainly NOT barbarians? Do you know that the Middle East has a rich history of art and culture? Do you know what algebra is? Are you aware that the Crusades were really kinda bad?

    Oh, you're a functional adult who doesn't need to be spoken to like a fourth grader? Than this book isn't for you.

    I'm not even one third through and I'm furious. This is a college level textbook? This is how textbook writers communicate to adults? This speaks a lot about higher education's view on their students' intelligence. I don't need to be told that camels actually DON'T carry water in their humps, contrary to what I read in last week's Sunday comics while my mom cut the crust off my peanut butter sandwich. And because I'm older than ten, I'm well aware than the US has had diplomatic relations with several Mideast countries for decades.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead I Well May Be

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1038)
    Performance
    (501)
    Story
    (496)

    Young Michael, an illegal immigrant escaping the troubles in Northern Ireland is strong and fearless and clever, just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a crime boss, to join a gang of Irish thugs struggling against the rising Dominican powers in Harlem and the Bronx. The time is pre-Giuliani New York, when crack rules the city, squatters live furtively in ruined buildings, and hundreds are murdered each month.

    Robert says: "What an amazing book"
    "Crime drama done right..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In my experience, crime and suspense dramas are rarely done well. We get the stock characters dancing a maypole around a Mary Sue hero, guns, awesomeness, lady parts, more awesomeness and stay tuned for the next chapter because it's nothing but series these days!

    Adrian McKinty follows the same formula, but his books are genuinely well written. Dead I May Well Be is a great book about crime and revenge set in 1992 New York that takes us on an honest to God adventure, complete with a stint in a Mexican prison.

    Super fun book as always!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3891)
    Performance
    (3399)
    Story
    (3367)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "It's the narrator that destroys an okay book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This wasn't a good book in the first place. Meandering, boring, repetitive, and just all around unpleasant and generally pointless. It wasn't terrible, but Allison Hiroto pretty much destroyed what little is here.

    Like others have written, Ms. Hiroto speaks like she's narrating to children, which is not only annoying, but extremely off-putting. Especially when one gets to the gratuitous and pointless sex scenes. To steal another reviewers take on it, listening to this really is like hearing a preschool teacher read Penthouse to 4-year-olds. It's gross and weird.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Romeo and Juliet (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Calista Flockhart, Matthew Wolf, Julie White, and others
    Overall
    (373)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (332)

    The most iconic love story of all time, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is an epic-scale tragedy of desire and revenge. Despite the bitter rivalry that exists between their families, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet have fallen madly in love. But when the long-running rivalry boils over into murder, the young couple must embark on a dangerous and deadly mission to preserve their love at any cost. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Calista Flockhart as Juliet.

    Darrel says: "Shakespeare by way of mush mouth"
    "Woa this is bad..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've seen some terrible theater in my time. And I've listened to some terrible books, but this performance of Romeo and Juliette is like listening to everything horrible edited down to two hours of insanity.

    I knew I was in trouble when Romeo started speaking... The actor speaks with an American accent, which isn't so bad when you think about it. It's not like these characters are really English in the first place, right? But when one actor sounds like the cockney-est bootblack to ever scrub your chimney and another sounds like some dude from Chicago their interactions make you want to hurl your phone into the sun just to make it stop.

    Then there's the nurse. Holy crap that's awful. Like, super freaking awful. Probably the worst thing I've ever heard, worse than slamming a car door on a cat's tail. Who ever this "actress" is MUST have been cast straight out of De Sade's asylum. Grating, loud, giggling, it sounds like they recorded this woman right after she gargled with crazy.

    I'm so glad this was free. But now I want to burn my phone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stay Close

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1911)
    Performance
    (1579)
    Story
    (1588)

    Three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will find that the past never truly fades away. Even as the terrible consequences of long-ago events crash together in the present and threaten to ruin lives, they will come to the startling realization that they may not want to forget the past at all.

    Robin says: "Why did I think I liked Harlan Coben novels?"
    "Couldn't even get past the second chapter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to some of the worst books imaginable before, but this novel is King of Terrible Fiction. Some of it is likely due to Scott Brick's (typical) overly emotional delivery, but sweet Baby Jesus this is bad.

    "Kaylie could pull out and answer her cell phone with a speed that would intimidate Wyatt Earp."

    "If women who looked like that were ever that close to him when he was thirteen, he'd have an erection for a week."

    "...all following around the celebrity and snapping pictures of him as though he were Charlie Sheen sneaking into a monastery."

    Seriously? That last line doesn't even come close to making a bit of sense. I've listened to a total of 30 minutes, and there's no way I'm wasting more of my time. Horrible narration, revolting writing.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • A Good and Happy Child: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Justin Evans
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    Thirty-year-old George Davies can't bring himself to hold his newborn son. After months of accepting his lame excuses and strange behavior, his wife demands that he see a therapist, and George, desperate to save his unraveling marriage and redeem himself as a father and husband, reluctantly agrees.

    Barbie Smith says: "Fantastic"
    "Perfectly average"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those books, though not at all bad, you'll forget as soon as you're done listening. The characters are a little weak and the story is sort of boring, but it's a great first attempt at a novel from the writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hell House

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Richard Matheson
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (630)
    Performance
    (379)
    Story
    (382)

    For over 20 years, Belasco House has stood empty. Regarded as the Mt. Everest of haunted houses, its shadowed walls have witnessed scenes of unimaginable horror and depravity. All previous attempts to probe its mysteries have ended in murder, suicide, or insanity.

    But now, a new investigation has been launched, bringing four strangers to Belasco House in search of the ultimate secrets of life and death. A wealthy publisher, brooding over his impending death, has paid a physicist and two mediums to establish the facts of life after death once and for all. For one night, they will investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townsfolk refer to it as the Hell House.

    Phebe says: "Hell House is like Hill House, but fiercer"
    "HEY EVERYBODY LOOK HOW EDGY RICHARD MATHESON IS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is what happens when a writer believes himself to be more daring than Dare McDareson. Trussed up as a horror story, but nothing even remotely scary happens, only sexiness in a sophomoric attempt to shock us. Trust me future writers- nothing is more offensive than someone simply trying to offend. After slugging through the most boring audio porn in history I'd come to the conclusion Richard Matheson was the world's most sheltered teenage boy when he wrote this back in the 1970's.

    For anyone looking for a genuinely creepy haunted house story, get Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, which supposedly inspired Hell House.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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