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Robert

I know from whence I speak.

Member Since 2007

45
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 462 ratings
  • 1329 titles in library
  • 136 purchased in 2014
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  • The Three Musketeers

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1081)
    Performance
    (819)
    Story
    (830)

    Mixing a bit of seventeenth-century French history with a great deal of invention, Alexandre Dumas tells the tale of young D'Artagnan and his musketeer comrades, Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. Together they fight to foil the schemes of the brilliant, dangerous Cardinal Richelieu, who pretends to support the king while plotting to advance his own power. Bursting with swirling swordplay, swooning romance, and unforgettable figures.

    A. A. Green says: "What Fun!"
    "Better than the movies"
    Overall

    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.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Iron Lake: Cork O'Connor, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (852)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (708)

    Anthony Award-winning author William Kent Krueger crafts this riveting tale about a small Minnesota town’s ex-sheriff who is having trouble retiring his badge. Cork O’Connor loses his job after being blamed for a tragedy on the local Anishinaabe Indian reservation. But he must set aside his personal demons when a young boy goes missing on the same day a judge commits suicide—and no one but O’Connor suspects foul play.

    C. Telfair says: "Crackerjack Beginning to a Great Series"
    "Is this gonna be a good series, or what?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a surprisingly good book. I think I picked it up in a 3 for 2 credit sale because I am always looking for a new series in this genre. I think I may have found one. Krueger not only tells a good story, he creates and develops interesting characters that should be interesting to follow. Moreover, this is not a "they lived happily thereafter book". I get the feeling nobody, the main character not withstanding, is safe in Krueger's plots. I suppose time will tell if this theme continues as I go through the 13 available books.

    From a more critical point of view, Krueger's plot in Iron Lake might have been a bit over extended. There were a lot of characters and sub-plots that didn't add much, if anything, to the story. Are some of them going to play roles in later books? I don't know. But, I'd like to give the author a little slack in the first book in his series and move on to the next one. In my experience, the good authors usually get better with experience (probably because they get better editors who polish the work). I hope that will be the case in later Cork O'Connor stories.

    The narrator, David Chandler, did a great job. I almost did notice he was there and I could usually identify the character by the sound of his voice.

    In any event, I will purchase the next book in the series right after I submit this review. I suppose that best expresses my feelings toward this one.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc - the Rangers Who Landed at D-Day and Fought Across Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Patrick K. O’Donnell
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (92)

    It is said that the right man in the right place at the right time can mean the difference between victory and defeat. This is the dramatic story of 68 soldiers in the US Army's Second Ranger Battalion, Company D - "Dog Company" - who made that difference, time and again. America had many heroes in World War II; however, few can say that, but for them, the course of the war would have been very different. The right men, the right place, the right time - Dog Company.

    Erik says: "A solid work on a specific topic"
    "Great War Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Dog Company" followed the timeline of "Band of Brothers" (D-Day to V-E Day in Germany) but from the perspective of a different unit. It wasn't the same stories but many new ones. The books are complementary of each other and provide a dramatic history of America's fighting men in the European Theater in WWII.

    I believe the battle for Hill 400 is unique to this book. It is quite a hellish story of battlefield horrors and the near destruction of an army unit that held out time and again against attacks from a superior force. I'd like to see a book dedicated to this battle with as complete a rendition as possible from both opposing forces. I'd bet the Germans haves some great tales about Hill 400.

    The only shortcoming I found in the book was in the limited development of the personal stories of the men of Dog Company. These were citizen soldiers from many walks of America life who willingly faced battles and campaigns fraught with horrific experiences that could have come from Satan's own top ten list of ways to die. For the most part, the Rangers of Dog Company bravely and repeatedly faced it all with a spirit of aggressive individualism, personal sacrifice, and mission accomplishment. If faced with similar circumstances that might be a hard act to follow in today's modern Army where political correctness, obese bureaucracy, bloated Hqs staffs, and hi-tech micromanagement rules the day.

    John Pruden was an excellent narrator and seemed a natural for this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Yard

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Alex Grecian
    • Narrated By Toby Leonard Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (732)
    Performance
    (640)
    Story
    (639)

    Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only 12 detectives - known as “The Murder Squad” - to investigate thousands of murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. When Walter Day, the squad’s newest hire, is assigned the case of the murdered detective, he finds a strange ally in the Yard’s first forensic pathologist, Dr. Bernard Kingsley.

    Debra says: "Enjoyable annoying book"
    "Antique CSI"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Newt Gingrich, Callista Gingrich
    • Narrated By Newt Gingrich
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (38)

    In his blockbuster new book, To Save America, former Speaker of the House and best-selling author Newt Gingrich issues a dire warning for America. Gingrich argues that the big-spending, big-government programs and bureaucracies of the secular socialist Left are the greatest threat to our nation’s survival since the Civil War.

    Robert says: "Too Much Callista"
    "Too Much Callista"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Paradise: A Stone Barrington Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (108)

    Cop-turned-lawyer Stone Barrington, he of street smarts, dry wit, and debonair charm, becomes reacquainted with a case he thought was buried years ago, and must settle romantic entanglements that haunt him still. Allison Manning, the beautiful and enigmatic woman Stone defended against a murder charge in Dead in the Water, mysteriously reappears to request his help with a set of problems she has never resolved.

    Julia N. says: "Good but not great. Easy to listen to Dick Hill"
    "Dick Hill Makes Most Books Worth Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sixth Man

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2282)
    Performance
    (1366)
    Story
    (1369)

    Edgar Roy - an alleged serial killer held in a secure, fortress-like Federal Supermax facility-is awaiting trial. He faces almost certain conviction. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy's attorney, Sean's old friend and mentor Ted Bergin, to help work the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins-en route to their first meeting with Bergin, Sean and Michelle find him murdered. It is now up to them to ask the questions no one seems to want answered....

    Anthony says: "Somebody needs to be fired..."
    "The Narrators Make The Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aphrodite

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Russell Andrews
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (129)

    It looked for all the world like a terrible, tragic accident. Susanna Morgan had gotten up in the middle of the night, tripped, fallen, and broken her neck. Yet when detective Justin Westwood inspects the victim's apartment, he can't help noticing that the details don't quite add up. The glass on the bedside table is knocked over but there are no cuts on her body. The scrape on her knee looks suspiciously fresh. And then a terrified witness comes forward, confirming his worst fear.

    Tenesha says: "Really Enjoyed this......"
    "Sleepy Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Patient Zero: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4088)
    Performance
    (3420)
    Story
    (3413)

    When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle....

    Kim Venatries says: "Yes! It IS that good. Five stars and more."
    "Complex Zombie Story for Adult Minds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13116)
    Performance
    (5462)
    Story
    (5508)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"
    "I wish there were many more like this one"
    Overall

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The First Rule: An Elvis Cole - Joe Pike Novel, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By Robert Crais
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (656)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (227)

    The organized criminal gangs of the former Soviet Union are bound by what they call the thieves' code. The first rule is this: A thief must forsake his mother, father, brothers, and sisters. He must have no family - no wife, no children - because only other criminals are his family. If any of the rules are broken, it is punishable by death.

    Mystery Addict says: "Not Elvis but a good listen"
    "Second Time Around"
    Overall

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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