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john

Herndon, VA, United States | Member Since 2001

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 202 ratings
  • 1887 titles in library
  • 116 purchased in 2014
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  • The Alchemist

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Ken Goddard
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    They are called designer drugs, and they're worse than lethal--they're legal. A beautiful undercover agent and her partner are brutally murdered in Southern California. A special task force of highly trained police officers go underground to find out why. What they discover is a billion-dollar criminal conspiracy--and an elusive mastermind known as the Alchemist. The Alchemist is a respected chemist who has conjured up a substance worth its weight in gold: a synthetic "designer" drug as potent as cocaine or heroin and twice as dangerous--because its unique chemical formula is perfectly legal! Caught in the crossfire between a desperate Mafia chief and two ruthless drug lords, the task force must step outside the law to crush the impending crime war, risking being lured so far out from behind the protection of their badges that there is no turning back.

    dana says: "Exhaustively descriptive, annoying!"
    "Skip this one!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I had high hopes for this book, but just couldn't finish it. Not sure whether the fault lies w/ the author or narrator, but the accent, speech patterns and dialog for one of the novels central characters, "Rainbow", was delivered in a manner that was offensive. Clearly, the narrator/author don't have a clue on how Black people, educated or otherwise, speak. I had a similar experience with another book I bought some time ago about the Baja Drug Cartels in which most of the locations and characters were in Baja California, Mexico and all of the characters names were Hispanic. Apparently, the narrator had spent little or no time learning to pronounce any of the names of the characters or Mexican place names. His Spanish accented English equally poor. It showed little respect for the people or the language of the area.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ken Goddard? Why or why not?

    Maybe


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of R. C. Bray?

    Someone with greater sensitivity towards how ethnic characters speak.


    Could you see The Alchemist being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    re: Movie - No. Not w/o a major rewrite of how the ethnic characters (especially "Rainbow") speak and act. As written, Rainbow's dialog and delivery were racially offensive.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soft Target: Ray Cruz, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Stephen Hunter
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (378)
    Performance
    (328)
    Story
    (324)

    New York Times best-selling author Stephen Hunter is back with another breakneck thriller, in which ex-Marine sniper, Ray Kruz, must outwit a group of murderous Somali terrorists who’ve laid siege to the Mall of America. Recently retired marine sergeant Ray Kruz has been talked into a mall trip by his fiancé, the beautiful Molly Chan. For Ray, Molly represents a way to reconnect with normal life, something his 20 years in the service and five tours in two combat zones have prevented.

    Jean says: "Another Action packed story from Hunter"
    "This is the last S. Hunter book i'll ever buy."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Soft Target better?

    The author should have left the crude political/racial stereotypes. I've enjoyed all of his books up to this point but won't buy another. If he wants to make political statements, he can send a letter to his newspaper, write an Op Ed piece for the NY Times or better still, run for office.


    Has Soft Target turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Phil Gigante’s performance?

    He does poorly with Black people's accents, especially Black female's accents.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Soft Target?

    Leave out any references to Colonel Obobo, his background, ethnicity, etc. In fact, leave out Obobo entirely. Addressing his ethnicity did nothing to the plot except to make this reader wonder why the author was choosing to make such a crude, and possibly, racist stereotype.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Olympus Device, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Joe Nobody
    • Narrated By Mike Gurdy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    He only wanted to build a plaything - a small, simple device born of innate curiosity and a fascination of things mechanical. Scavenging parts and repurposing components, a country gunsmith assembles what is supposed to be a conversation piece - a trinket to show his friends... a toy really... a small rail gun.

    Mario says: "Such Potential....but fell short (DARN IT!!)"
    "Very Disapointed - Poorly executed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Olympus Device, Book One better?

    Better, more extensive character development. Fewer right-wing speeches.


    What was most disappointing about Joe Nobody’s story?

    Plot – Interesting premise, but unfortunately, it was very poorly executed.

    Narrator – Should have taken more time working out the voices of the individual characters.

    Characters – Characters were one-dimensional and cartoon-ish.

    Author – Author spent little time on character development and their motivation for doing what they were doing. Far too much time was spent on making speeches….that made little sense.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Too many characters sounded the same.Too many males with a gruff, gravelly voices. Narrator wasn't consistent in their pronunciation (ex, Sergei vs. "Ser-Gee").


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Olympus Device, Book One?

    All of the anti-government diatribes. Author took little to explain why his characters did what they did and felt the way they do.In the end they just all came off as "cartoons characters",


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6265)
    Performance
    (5835)
    Story
    (5837)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "Dissapointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This was a disappointing read for me, given how much I enjoyed his other books.


    Would you be willing to try another book from John Scalzi? Why or why not?

    I'd consider reading another, but would be hesitant, given how disappointing Red Shirts was.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World's Most-Wanted Drug Lord

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Malcolm Beith
    • Narrated By John Allen Nelson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    With El Chapo vulnerable as never before, Mexican and DEA authorities are closing in, and journalist Malcolm Beith, a Newsweek contributor who has spent years reporting on the drug wars, follows the chase with full access to senior officials and exclusive interviews with soldiers and drug traffickers in the region, including members of Guzman's cartel. The Last Narco combines fearless reporting with the story of El Chapo's legendary rise from a poor farming family to the "capo" of the world's largest drug empire.

    Jonathan kalkin says: "Informative yet unintentionally hilarious"
    "OMG! Skip this one!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This could have been a great story, but given that the narrator had no concept of how to pronounce Spanish (place names, names of the characters, etc.), I just couldn't force myself to finish listening to the book.

    Did anyone knowledgeable, listen to this performance before releasing it?

    Skip this one!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rainbow Six

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1465)
    Performance
    (1165)
    Story
    (1182)

    Ex-Navy SEAL John Clark is the newly named head of Rainbow, an international task force dedicated to combating terrorism. In a trial by fire, he must stop a terrorist group of men and women so extreme that their success could literally mean the end of life on earth as we know it.

    Nathan says: "Rainbow Six review"
    "Skip this one. Cartoon-ish characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a disappointment!
    I should have known better.
    This book was just personal political statement structured around cartoon-ish characters (dumb terrorists, one dimensional former communists, bad environmentalists, one dimensional Protestant preachers, and, worst of all, good wall street financiers).
    In addition, as a person of color, I was particularly offended by the Clancy's portrayal of the character of the Vice President. No well educated, self-respecting, Black person would speak that way, act that way or be as overtly prejudiced as he was portrayed to be. Ask yourself, would former Secretary Rice or General Powell act or speak the way Clancy's character did?
    Skip this one!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Warlord: An Alex Hawke Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ted Bell
    • Narrated By John Shea
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (574)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (318)

    Alex Hawke has all but given up on life. The British-American MI6 counterterrorism operative lost the woman he loved almost a year ago and has sought refuge at the bottom of a rum bottle ever since. But late one night at his home on Bermuda, he receives a wake-up call... literally. His Royal Highness Prince Charles, an old friend, desperately needs his help. The prince has discovered a not-so-subtle threat directed toward the British royal family.

    Constance says: "I got my Alex Hawke fix!!!!"
    "So-so. Wouldn't recommend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wouldn't recommend to a friend.

    Author seemed to tire and run out of creative "gas" with several parts of the book (rescue in the desert, etc.). The dialog of some characters, especially ethnic characters, lacked authenticity, depth and were cartoon-ish.

    Narrator's voice and characterizations for Afro-American (especially for the character Stokley) and other ethnic characters was remarkably poor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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