There is a reason some of these books are called Classics and why the authors reputations have stood the test of time. Unfortunately, our exposure to stories such as The Three Musketeers is often through cinema and they come off lightheaded. This unabridged audio is so much better and its almost a shame that it shares the same title with the inane film version. You won't feel like you're listening to an audio version of the movie. Moreover, it is one of the best productions I've listened to on audible.com. John Lee is a marvelous reader in any event and at the top of his form in this book.
What a great book! I have never read anything by this author and got The Yard on some sale or another. I expected it to be OK but great is what I got as Grecian built this Jack the Ripper era police procedural around three other serial murder cases newly-born Scotland Yard was tasked with. Great character development, good guys and bad, complex plot that he brought together well in the end, and a story of budding comradeship and friendship you only find in professions like law enforcement or the military. He also provided an interesting spin on the beginnings of primitive criminal forensics. A different reading/listen experience and well worth even a full credit.
I loved Newt Gingrich as a candidate. I love most of his politics, I love other books he has written and I know he is one of the smartest Congressmen of modern times. At one time, he was my leading choice for the 2012 Republican Presidential candidate. I really wanted to read this book during the nomination process to understand him better and to hear some of Newt's ideas on "How to Save America". But, there was just too much Callista. Frankly, I could care less what Callista thinks of anything. Newt made a mistake getting her involved her in this book and it really turned me off. He seemed to be doing the same thing in his campaign and I think that worked against him in the end. That said, I am looking forward to listening to other books by Newt, especially the historical kind co-authored with William R. Forstchen or, if we are lucky, a sequel to "One Second After".
As I implied with the headline, Dick Hill makes it good enough for a $4.95 sale book. He's a great narrator and, with the exception of one book, I have enjoyed everything he does. I've also liked the Stone Barrington books but sometimes these authors get lazy by giving the protagonist too much money to facilitate his activities in the plot. Yeah, Woods has done it in this book and we all get to see the nice yacht and vicariously associate with a Bill Gates clone. Frankly, I'd rather see a hero who faces a few more challenges like a real lawyer or a real investigator might face than this minor escapism. Because of this "Dallas"-like fantasy land Woods creates, the characters just don't seem to meet up with any reality that I can relate to. Consequently, the book fell short of my expectations.
My headline sums up my feelings. Ron Mclarty and Orlagh Cassidy are a superb team for narration and made this book especially enjoyable for me. The story is great too, but frankly, you expect that from an author of this caliber. It's the narrators who make an audiobook enjoyable. The male/female team up is a great concept and I hope we see more of it as the audiobook industry matures.
Decent story but the narrator has an especially deep voice and he reads slow. Made me sleepy. I upped the speed on my iPod and it was a little easier to listen to. That said, if you like this author, this is hardly a reason to avoid the book.
What I want most in a Zombie book is a great story of human conflict and survival in a post apocalyptic world rampant with challenges of personal loss, leadership, character, loss of technology, resourcefulness, and realistic enemies human and, of course, the undead (and appropriate amounts of gun play).
This is not quite that book. It is, however, a well crafted action story of dedicated but vulnerable men and women who through chance, service, and sacrifice become true warriors, the protectors of mankind. Along with the Zombies, "Walkers" in this book, these warriors battle criminally brilliant and powerful human villains motivated by lust, money, and/or religious fanaticism who with careless regard are dragging the world toward an apparently inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.
Patient Zero has no relationship to the the Buffy-type books and stories. The author, Jonathan Maberry, tried to make the book as believable as possible with factual information on viruses and the equipment and weapons used by the good guys. Suspension of disbelieve comes easily and naturally. There are good twists of plot, acts of betrayal on both sides, and descriptive fight scenes.
Narrator, Ray Porter, was excellent. His reading gave the book life and emphasis when needed and his voice characters were appropriate, consistent, and gave me a good mental picture thoughout of who they were.
Overall, a fun and interesting book with a plot and characters I hope to follow in subsequent books of this series.
Audiobook ratings and reviews are subjective and usually exaggerated particularly when written by we readers and occasional amateur critics. This is one book, however, that deserves every five star grade and accolade that it gets. Imagine, an epic tale written by one of the great story tellers of modern times and narrated, in my view, by the best narrator in the business. It's that kind of book that you don't want to end and at over forty hours it feeds that need. Moreover, there is a sequel of sorts, World Without End, and even a mini-series on DVD. What more could you want? Oh, you're into mystery, drama, tragedy, war stories, or love stories and don't feel like getting tied up with a boring book about building cathedrals? Frankly, I didn't either. Nonetheless, I bought this book on a sale a couple of years ago to build up and diversify my audio library. I figured that I couldn't go too wrong with a Follett book with lots of good reviews, even if inflated. I was happily rewarded, as I am sure most readers will be. Pillars had all the elements of most of the kinds of books I like to read and then some. After all, Ken Follett is an accomplished author of spy books and war stories. I think he is even better in this genre.
Now that it is on sale again, $8.95 for 40+ hours, this might just be the best audiobook value of all time. That's lower than a credit cost under the best value membership. I sure wish I could find more books like this one.
Occasionally I re-listen to a book that seems to have faded in my memory. Recently, I pulled up The First Rule because I like the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series of novels it led me to and it's substance was evading me. I believe TFR is the first in the series and it focuses on Joe Pike, unlike most of the others that focus on Elvis. Author Robert Crais narrated whereas Patrick Lawlor read most of the others I had listened to. This second time around, I enjoyed it more than ever and it enhanced my enjoyment of subsequent Cole/Pike novels. The plot combines ruthless East European organized crime gangs, LA gangs, loyalty, friendship, betrayal. The bad guys met their match in Joe Pike whose raw tough guy talents drive this story rather than Elvis who leads the way in most of the others. I kind of liked the change of pace because I learned more about the stoic Pike's background and motivations. Crais's narration was particularly entertaining and, if he does another book centering on Pike, he would do well to perform the Pike role again.
If your craving is for more audio of James Lee Burke read by Will Patton you might be happy with this book. Don't be looking for Dave Robecheaux or Billy Bob Howland, though. This book is about people stuck at the lower levels of the socioeconomic scale because of irresponsible behavior and bad decisions usually made in a drunken stupor. I felt like I needed to take a shower to wash off the stale smoke, cheap whiskey, and jailhouse urine about every two chapters. You can certainly see the beginnings of the addiction themes in Burke's later novels but this one offers little else and takes the listener a little too deep into a virtual truck-stop restroom world for my taste. Descriptive yes, satisfying, no.
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