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Craig

Raleigh, NC, USA | Member Since 2002

59
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 55 ratings
  • 429 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10556)
    Performance
    (5797)
    Story
    (5841)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Held interest but ultimately fell flat"
    Overall

    Too bad. I was engaged throughout most of the book; personal relationships, science, zoology, religious philosophy; east indian culture, etc. The story, fortunately or unfortunately (I'm not sure which) became more and more fantastic and then from the point of the island experience through the twist in storylines at the end I felt cheated and even used. I can appreciate a good unexpected storyline but it felt rather disingenuos of the writer and didn't really fit with any of the rest of the book. This along with the fact that the writer was not consistent with Pi's philosophical and other views throughout (e.g., the comment about how horrible Japanese whale fishing is juxtaposed against his own and the Tiger's carnivorous ways) was disappointing. I got something from it and will not de-recommend. Nuff said.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Colony

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Tananarive Due
    • Narrated By Patricia Floyd
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    Said to cure almost any illness, the new street drug Glow has attained almost mythical status in America. The key ingredient in Glow is the Living Blood, which courses through the veins of 17-year-old Washington state resident Fana Wolde. Distrustful of her parents and eager to share her healing powers via an elaborate underground network, Fana sets out on her own. But what she doesn't know is she's being hunted by a mysterious and homicidal group with ties to the Vatican.

    L. T. Denby says: "wonderful narration"
    "Great Book, Narrator leaves MUCH to be desired."
    Overall

    Started reading the hardcover before I saw this audio version. I love this series by Due and this book is a great continuation of The Living Blood. The narrator's reading, however, is extremely distracting. Poor pacing and timing with way too many long pauses in the narration. Although the main character is an adolescent I don't think the book should be read like a young adult novel. Going to have to go back to the hardcover and "re-read."

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of One

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (2819)
    Performance
    (1628)
    Story
    (1635)

    Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

    Bob says: "Compelling story lifted higher by the narration"
    "Great Audiobook, Not so great story"
    Overall

    The production value of this audiobook and especially the narrator are excellent. It is a captivating read, paced well, and the narrator captures the different characters very well.

    I read the book then saw the 1991 (or 92) film made just after the ending of Apartheid. They are essentially two stories. You can't capture the nuances of this very difficult story on the screen so they essentially created their own story.

    It is important to keep in mind that this is fiction despite the autobiographical statements of the author. Appreciating that allows one to focus on the lessons of the story and not either the tremendously more complex reality of South Africa at the time or the one-dimensional way the Black Africans and to a great extent the Afrikaners are portrayed. I'd be interested in what Black South Africans think about the story.

    Although essentially a story of the emergence of a child from early oppression and tragedy, he is nonetheless a privileged child by virtue of his "race" and nationality so although the idea of the "power of one" as a means to overcome personal tragedies is a compelling one that privilege cannot be ignored.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mark Haddon
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3985)
    Performance
    (1704)
    Story
    (1727)

    Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.

    Robert says: "Endearing. Pathos, humor, reality, and insight."
    "Not"
    Overall

    A previous reviewer compared this title to Life of Pi. I was particularly disappointed with the ultimate storyline of that book and felt exploited by the author. That, however, is not the case with this book. It is a fascinating eye into the mind of someone who doesn't think like the rest of us. I always enjoy readings that challenge our world views and this does so while also showing how that difference has an impact on those around us. In this case, a not-too-atypical family trying their best to negotiate life. It's about so much more than "the curious incident." You'll enjoy!

    25 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2520)
    Performance
    (1049)
    Story
    (1049)

    Mma "Precious" Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country. At first, cases are hard to come by. But eventually, troubled people come to Precious with a variety of concerns. Potentially philandering husbands, seemingly schizophrenic doctors, and a missing boy who may have been killed by witch doctors all compel Precious to roam about in her tiny van, searching for clues.

    Gene says: "Transcends its Genre"
    "This is what audiobooks should be!"
    Overall

    I am so pleased to have been introduced to this series through audible. I had heard vaguely about the series and the title intrigued me so I tried a listen. I'm preparing to now hear the 3rd book in the series as it has captivated. The story lines are good, if not profound, the ongoing relationships are welcoming and real, the narration is excellent, and the insight into Botswana and Africa and contrasts with the "West." is refreshing. Get it! You will not be disappointed. I've since sent copies of the hardcopy books to friends in Africa.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dragon Rider

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Cornelia Funke
    • Narrated By Brendan Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (572)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (187)

    Firedrake, a young dragon, receives a frightening warning one night: Humans are planning to destroy the valley in which he lives! All the dragons must flee. Their only refuge is a place above the clouds called the Rim of Heaven, which may not even exist.

    Enid says: "EXCELLENT!!!"
    "This is not Eragon!"
    Overall

    I told a friend of mine how much I loved the book Eragon after having audioread it. She suggested that if I liked the genre then I should try some of Funke's work and start with Dragon Rider. Perhaps a subtle distinction but I don't consider this the same genre. The fantasy in Dragon Rider is clearly intended for children, probably the Disney crowd, with talking animals and children who accept them and that very easily. On the other hand, the dragon in Eragon can communicate with select humans (and Elves) but not talk. So while I was intrigued by the telepathy aspects of Eragon the talking animal thing got old quickly for me with this story and I gave up not too far in. It may be a great book (although I even found the beginning much too predictable) but not if you're looking for an Eragon-type fantasy.

    7 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6882)
    Performance
    (2692)
    Story
    (2701)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "Whether you're in to science or not"
    Overall

    Great book. Whether you're in to science or not. Or, perhaps like me, finally wanting to catch up and reaquaint yourself with what you missed or did not get in science classes in high school or college. It reminded me that the great thing about science is that it is constantly changing, so, like a scholar, you'll have to "catch-up" every few years. There needs to be addendum or updates.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Da Vinci Code

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6929)
    Performance
    (1682)
    Story
    (1724)

    While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

    Alexandra says: "Incredibly entertaining"
    "Not a masterpiece but a fun romp!"
    Overall

    If you're looking for a fun summer read that has the added benefit of being intellectually stimulating, this is it. The hype generally surrounding bestsellers is usually enough to turn me off but I gave this a try at the suggestion of a friend. I was not disappointed. Approach it like a serial novel and don't take it too seriously although there are enough facts inside to tempt you. I guess I don't know what a "true" british or french accent is supposed to sound like but the narrator did a good job with the possible exception of Sopie Noveu. My experience is that most male narrators have a hard time doing female voices and this is no exception. Enjoy.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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