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Victor

Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2011

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • Zone One: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Colson Whitehead
    • Narrated By Beresford Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (193)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (167)

    In this wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuild­ing civilization under orders from the provisional govern­ment based in Buffalo. Their top mission: the resettlement of Manhattan.

    Annie says: "Tomorrow needs a marketing rollout."
    "smarmy intellectual gives zombies a shot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    we have the convergence of two sub-standard experiences: first, a bloated, overly verbose and self reflective text; second, a reading with too much stylization.

    Coleson Whithead is a darling of the intellectual literati, and for good reason. He is a talented and intelligent author, and I have enjoyed some of his shorter works as well as hearing him in interview. As a long-time fan of the zombie / post-apocalyptic genre, this book immediately piqued my interest.

    unfortunately it falls flat, tripping over its author's vocabulary and introspection and landing right on its face. A strong start get lost in a soupy miasma of reflections and memories of the protagonist which don't inspire any interest of excitement. Whitehead goes out of his way to make the protagonist, Mark, seem like an everyman; instead of making him relatable, Whitehead succeeds only in limiting Mark to gray tones. will Mark make it through the novel alive? who cares? he's so boring and unremarkable I can't imagine being bothered one way or the other.

    on a technical level the book is hindered by an overuse of the author's extensive vocabulary; too many overwrought sentences bulging with pretentious synonyms for common words.regarding the reading: this performer reads like an aspiring actor, or an enthusiastic stage performer reciting someone else's poetry. every sentence is pregnant with meaning, and sounds like it should be accompanied by a soul-bearing stare into a camera. again: sometimes less is more.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Colson Whitehead again?

    Probably not. I am familiar with his other work, though this is the only novel of his that I have read. I find his writing to be exactly the kind of thing that makes intelligent people scoff and roll their eyes at The New Yorker Magazine; very intelligent, but far too self reflective and all style over substance.


    How could the performance have been better?

    again, less is more. I think this reading would have succeeded with a more flat and somber reading, given the subject matter. instead the narrator seems to relish the delivery of each line, and his enthusiasm is distracting and overwrought.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Zone One?

    there are frequent, pointless forays into navel-gazing regarding the protagonist's past that don't come to much. these passages should either be given more weight or eliminated all together.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't help but wonder if I would have preferred this book if I had read it instead of listened to it. I don't know if that says anything about Coleson Whithead, but it speaks to the reader / performer for sure.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Salem's Lot

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    Overall
    (1706)
    Performance
    (673)
    Story
    (683)

    Stephen King's second novel, Salem's Lot, is the story of a mundane town under siege from the forces of darkness. Considered one of the most terrifying vampire novels ever written, it cunningly probes the shadows of the human heart and the insular evils of small-town America.

    Eileen says: "Classic King on audio - FINALLY"
    "an early effort, and not his best."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I've read around 2 dozen of Stephen King's books, and while I wouldn't say this book is bad, he's done a lot better. Most importantly, know this going in: this book ends like a sequel was planned, and there is not follow up to this book.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I listen to a lot of audio books. I am currently listening to Colson Whitehead's


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

    I have not, but I though his performance was wonderful. A lot of King's dialogue is not easily read verbatim out loud, as it sounds a bit corny, and I thought the performance was very strong in light of that fact.


    Did Salem's Lot inspire you to do anything?

    I wouldn't say so. I purchase and listened to (and much preferred) Bram Stoker's


    Any additional comments?

    As a long-time King fan I was always interested in

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Between Good and Evil: A Master Profiler's Hunt for Society's Most Violent Predators

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Roger L. Depue, Susan Schindehette
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (75)

    In this first-person account of becoming the FBI's top serial-killer hunter and a member of a religious order in an attempt to discern the true nature of good and evil, Roger L. Depue searches for an understanding of how evil develops. Between Good and Evil is Depue's look back at a life spent apprehending criminals, especially serial killers, first as a small-town police chief, then an FBI-SWAT team member, Behavioral Sciences Unit chief, and a developer of revolutionary law enforcement programs.

    Victor says: "an autobiography more than a career retrospective"
    "an autobiography more than a career retrospective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Between Good and Evil?

    fascinating and insightful, but more about the life and career of Depue and less about criminal profiling.

    Still a great read, and the presentation is fantastic, but maybe more of the author's life and less of the details of his career than you might be expecting. Also, there is a consistent religious aspect to the author's life. It does not supersede his commitment to the science of forensics and his work at large, but anyone with a hard anti-religious agenda might lose interest before finishing this book (the author commits himself to religious study, but never loses sight of his role as an objective observer). My suggestion is that regardless of you theological inclination, listen to his whole book.

    When all is said and done: a fantastic voice performance, a great read, and a definite recommendation.

    *WARNING: THIS BOOK DETAILS EXTREMELY HEINOUS VIOLENT CRIMES. AVOID THIS TITLE IF THAT IS PROBLEMATIC FOR YOU*


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    very accessible and easy to follow, though some details may be too much for some people, due to the violent nature of the author's work.


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

    Paul Michael brings to this work exactly what I would hope for, which is nothing flashy. He reads the book in the sort of even, presentational tones that one would expect sitting in on an FBI debriefing, nothing more or less.

    I find the greatest problem I have with audio books is readers trying to put too much stylzation into their reading. This book was read in a genuine and straightforward tone that was completely in keeping with the text.


    Any additional comments?

    A great reading of a very good book. Slow at times, but a great experience over-all.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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