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Robin Charleston

avid reader

Chicago, IL USA | Member Since 2007

32
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 65 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
0

  • The Child's Child: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Barbara Vine
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (32)

    When their grandmother dies, Grace and Andrew Easton inherit her sprawling, book-filled London home, Dinmont House. Rather than sell it, the adult siblings move in together, splitting the numerous bedrooms and studies. The arrangement is unusual, but ideal for the affectionate pair - until the day Andrew brings home a new boyfriend. A devilishly handsome novelist, James Derain resembles Cary Grant, but his strident comments about Grace’s doctoral thesis soon puncture the house’s idyllic atmosphere. When he and Andrew witness their friend’s murder outside a London nightclub, James begins to unravel.

    Yennta says: "Wha?"
    "Perfect pairing of narrator with story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Child's Child?

    Fascinating intertwined plots -- a novel within a novel -- and the narrator's accent and delivery fit the moods of both perfectly.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Child's Child?

    The end of the main (contemporary) story -- jeopardy and resolution.


    What about Sarah Coomes’s performance did you like?

    Accents, changes of pace to evoke characters and plot tempo.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I will say that the end left me puzzled. I had expected the two plots to be pulled together more in some common resolution than was the case here.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (240)

    For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past - and get away with murder. Peter Straub's classic best seller is a work of "superb horror" (Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time - and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.

    Jaimie says: "Great Story! The Best of Peter Straub"
    "Too good for the "horror" label!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Ghost Story the most enjoyable?

    It's a scary story that is beautifully plotted. Having it narrated is a real treat.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The camaraderie of the key characters, and the unfolding story of the evil that pursues them.


    Which character – as performed by Buck Schirner – was your favorite?

    Stella -- even though not a main character.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The worse thing that could happen . . . .


    Any additional comments?

    I have read this book several times over the years. It's my ideal of a scary story, and the audio book version does it justice. Very satisfying.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Back to Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (513)
    Performance
    (421)
    Story
    (425)

    As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay - with officer Nestor Camacho on board - Tom Wolfe is off and running. Here is a big, panoramic story of the new America, as told by our master chronicler of the way we live now. Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe's previous best-selling novels, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.

    Cynthia says: "Masterful Story-tel!ing & Great Narration!"
    "A Tom Wolfe Tour de Force!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Back to Blood the most enjoyable?

    Lengthy, meaty plot, snarky tone and point of view.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Back to Blood?

    Opening scene in which protagonist scales a sailboat mast to rescue/capture a refugee.


    What does Lou Diamond Phillips bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Pacing of the reading -- If I just read the book I would be tempted to race ahead and would miss the full impact (and fun) of some of the subplots.


    If you could rename Back to Blood, what would you call it?

    Title is as good as anything that I can think of.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best from Tom Wolfe in a long, long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Wanted Man: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2243)
    Performance
    (1910)
    Story
    (1899)

    Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning. An hour behind them, a man lies stabbed to death in an old pumping station. He was seen going in with two others, but he never came out. He has been executed, the knife work professional, the killers vanished. Within minutes, the police are notified. Within hours, the FBI descends, laying claim to the victim without ever saying who he was or why he was there. All Reacher wanted was a ride to Virginia. All he did was stick out his thumb. But he soon discovers he has hitched more than a ride.

    Bill says: "Wanted Man is Wanting ~ And I Want 14 Hours Back"
    "It's Lee Child! Of course it's great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A Wanted Man the most enjoyable?

    The plot, the performance, and of course the main character.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Further exploration ot the adventures of Jack Reacher. I can never get enough.


    Have you listened to any of Dick Hill’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. Just as good as the others.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes -- but I don't want to insert a spoiler. Suffice it to say it was toward the end -- just when I thought that I knew what was going on.


    Any additional comments?

    I would read/listen to anything by this author!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gun Church

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Reed Farrel Coleman
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett, John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (55)

    Kip Weiler is a self-destructive, washed-up, middle-aged professor. Once a superstar of the literary set, he has bottomed out after years of drinking and not writing anything worth a damn. As the novel begins, he’s teaching classes at a small, rural community college. Kip's talent, money, and chances have just about run out, when he rescues a classroom full of his students from a deranged student gunman who opens fire and takes the class hostage. Things then begin to change for Kip - seemingly for the better....

    Karen says: "Glad I took the chance"
    "Worthwhile because of the performance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Reed Farrel Coleman and/or Joe Barrett and John Keating ?

    Not sure.


    What was most disappointing about Reed Farrel Coleman’s story?

    Poorly drawn female characters, drawn-out final scene, somewhat unsurprising and unsatisfactory ending, and main character who starts off being being likeable but rapidly grows unsympathetic.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    First visit to the gun church.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not.


    Any additional comments?

    The performance is excellent. If I had been reading this book instead of listening to it, I probably would have flipped to the ending midway through and given up on it.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    Overall
    (565)
    Performance
    (514)
    Story
    (519)

    Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures.

    glamazon says: "Like a Collection of TAL Episodes"
    "Would have rated it ZERO if I could have!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing. This was awful. I could not get beyond 30 minutes of it. There should be a ZERO rating option for it. That being said, the content was BORING. The first "chapter" was a tedious narrative about a game show/reality show in England that was completely unremarkable. It seemed to go downhill from there.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something that I check out more carefully.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Hard to say, since content-wise, the book was not enjoyable for me. The narrator is the author -- not a disqualifier by any means, but this particular author does not have a particularly expressive, pleasant, or interesting voice.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Total boredom.


    Any additional comments?

    This is tied with one other book as the worst audio book I ever purchased. It underscores the advantage of print -- if I had browsed a few pages I would never have bought it. From now on, I will "research" unfamiliar authors on Amazon or at my local bookstore.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelve: A Novel: The Passage Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (2726)
    Performance
    (2402)
    Story
    (2401)

    In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as "Last Stand in Denver", has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin.

    Amanda says: "Expanding The Story In Every Direction"
    "The Twelve lives up to The Passage!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed The Passage.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Compelling plot and calendars, excellent writing.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    Alicia.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    I lost sleep giving in to the temptation to listen to just 15 more minutes, then 15 more . . . and before I realized it I had given up hours of sleep to continue this book. Calling this a "vampire novel" really isn't fair to the monummental nature of the story line, the sweep across a century of "history," and the uniquely horrifying and complex nature of the creature who prey upon and virtually destroy humanity.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cutting Season: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Attica Locke
    • Narrated By Quincy Tyler Bernstine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (221)

    Caren Gray manages Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation that sits between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where the past and the present coexist uneasily. The estate's owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction, complete with full-dress re-enactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, a corporation with ambitious plans has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have been growing sugar cane for generations, and now replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property.

    C. Telfair says: "Mystery + Atmosphere = A Definite Winner!"
    "Suspense, atmosphere, characters all great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Cutting Season to be better than the print version?

    I have read another book by Attica Locke,and it enjoyed it immensely. However, I must say that the narrator greatly enhanced my appreciation of this novel.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The setting -- a southern plantation; and the suspenseful mix of past and present crimes, with a hint of class warfare.


    What about Quincy Tyler Bernstine’s performance did you like?

    Pace of speech, accents.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A Gothic tale of the new/old South.


    Any additional comments?

    I never did get the main character's affection for that old plantation. It just seemed like a dreadful place and I thought that it was bizarre for her to think that it was a fit place for a child.
    This is not a book that will gain fans for old Dixie -- not that I was ever one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unholy Night

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (242)

    They're an iconic part of history's most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio. But leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.

    Ryan says: "A nice twist to the greatest story ever told."
    "Disappointing; no vampires, zombies, or thrills!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Seth Grahame-Smith and/or Peter Berkrot?

    Maybe if I didn't have to buy it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Seth Grahame-Smith again?

    Not if it cost a credit or $.


    What does Peter Berkrot bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    If I had been reading the book, I would have set it aside because it was rather tedious.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    After Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer, I expected something at least interesting and out of the ordinary. This was neither. It's just a routine historical novel set in biblical times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Stephen L. Carter
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (79)

    Stephen L. Carter’s thrilling new novel takes as its starting point an alternate history: President Abraham Lincoln survives the assassination attempt at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Two years later he is charged with overstepping his constitutional authority, both during and after the Civil War, and faces an impeachment trial.... Twenty-one-year-old Abigail Canner is a young black woman with a degree from Oberlin and a letter of employment from the law firm that has undertaken Lincoln’s defense....

    Doug says: "Worth It For Serious Readers"
    "Alternative history? Sort of. Good listen? Yes!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    I would put this in the top one-third. I've listened to a LOT of audiobooks, though.


    What other book might you compare The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln to and why?

    I would compare it to a number of mass-appeal civil war/reconstruction histories, also to some alternative history novels.


    What about Paul Boehmer???s performance did you like?

    Good pacing, differentiation among speakers without being artificial or corny.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Revelations towards end about conspiracies.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a fun audiobook for someone who is a bit of a history "nerd" and enjoys alternative histories that are not focused on the intricacies of military theory and or an intimate knowledge of the period covered. I liked it a lot. It is not very much like Carter's other novels, which I also read and enjoyed, in that it has a bit more universal appeal and is not focused on a particular ethnic group and class, but it is equally well written and plotted.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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