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C. D Strother

Potomac, MD United States | Member Since 2000

92
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 33 reviews
  • 58 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014
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  • The Ghost Map

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Steven Johnson
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (164)

    This is a thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.

    D. Littman says: "a entertaining polymath book"
    "great story"
    Overall

    Great story told pretty well. Lots to tell us about the modern situation as to whether we accept the conventional wisdom without applying critical thinking. Author only hints at the fact that water was sold by companies that had a vested interest in cholera being caused by something else and could pay advocates to promote that position, whereas the air was sold by no one and had no advocates except the amatruer scientist that are the heroes of this story. That makes it a little more understandable why the miasma theory of causation continued so long with so little support.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dick Couch, George Galdorisi
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1052)
    Performance
    (923)
    Story
    (923)

    Act of Valor takes audiences deep into the secretive world of the most elite, highly trained group of warriors in the modern world. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the valiant men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home.

    Ann says: "Best of America, honor and character astounding"
    "too, too trite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have complex feelings about Tom Clancy. I thought his first five or so books were wonderful. The next few laughable. The last few great entertainment, particularly as to the action scenes. This one is just too trite. Too much like thousands of other jingoistic, US all good, SEALs all good and near superhuman, the wives all brilliant and beautiful with great careers until they become housewives after getting married, volumes. Like a pulp Western I suppose. Telegraphs the outcome, to the extent is any different than it would ever be in any similar story, way ahead of time.

    That said, the action scenes are great. Very compelling, even if the characters are super human. And the actual prose is not bad at all. I thought the narrator was suitably manly and serious. Really quite good.

    So it is not horrible escapist literature, just way more predictable than even most of the genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow White Must Die

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Nele Neuhaus
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    Overall
    (1006)
    Performance
    (876)
    Story
    (869)

    On a rainy November day, police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: a woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer. On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace.

    C. Vincent says: "Great narrator, unbelievable, never-ending story"
    "not sure what to make of this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I admit that I am not all the way through this one, but I have some strong thoughts on it already. The narrator is fine, even excellent. Nothing really to comment on there. The writing is pretty good and almost sells the story, but I do not think it quite does, and the story seems absurd on many levels. Maybe not enough to discourage me from listening to another one in the series when translated.

    As others have commented, the story seems endless with a fantastic number of subplots some of which go nowhere. Our detective protagonists do seem extremely ineffectual at actually solving anything. I would hope that earlier books in the series would add interest and depth to them. There are few, if any, attractive characters in the book, and the entire village seems evil, which is not credible. Too much coincidence, although some of it might be well-disguised. Too many things generally unbelieveable. Hope this is not a spoiler, but the official and public reaction to someone pitching a human being off an overpass onto a busy "super highway" to the expected results seems vastly understated. Lots of violence that seems to go relatively unreacted to.

    Maybe all of rural Germany is like that. I doubt it. Actually, anything official German seems amazingly ineffectual at doing anything.

    Characters evil and relatively good alike do not seem all that credible.

    All of that said, it seems kind of hard to put down. One still wants to know what happens.

    I love the Scandanavian detective books. Somehow the characters in them seem very credible and deep. I thought this would be more like those. Instead, I guess this one remind me more of the Tana French books. Not bad, but not really credible, and kind of unsatisfying.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Box: Harry Bosch, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1799)
    Performance
    (1524)
    Story
    (1504)

    In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box", the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

    Priscilla says: "Disappointing"
    "Not as good as the rest of the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Harry Bosch series is one of my absolute favorites ever. This one seemed a little thrown together. Not as tightly edited as usual. Still pretty good. The narrator was excellent. I hope Connelly is not running out of steam with this character. Still nice father daughter interaction. A good read. Just not as good as others in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Standing in Another Man's Grave

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Ian Rankin
    • Narrated By James Macpherson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (213)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (175)

    For the last decade, Nina Hazlitt has been ready to hear the worst about her daughter's disappearance. But with no sightings, no body, and no suspect, the police investigation ground to a halt long ago, and Nina's pleas to the cold case department have led her nowhere. Until she meets the newest member of the team: former Detective John Rebus. Rebus has never shied away from lost causes - one of the many ways he managed to antagonize his bosses when he was on the force. Now he's back as a retired civilian, reviewing abandoned files.

    susan says: "Rebus is back!"
    "Maybe it is just me, not particularly compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Pretty good police procedural. But it did not seem compelling to me. I am having trouble remembering the other Rebus books, but my recollection is they were more compelling, and that the Rebus character resonated with me a lot more. He did not seem very complex this time. Just drank and smoked a lot. Narrator had an authentic Scottish accent to my ear. Which means in part, he was relatively hard to understand. The Scandanavian thrillers are blowing things like this book away, it seems to me.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ian Rankin? Why or why not?

    I have read other of the Rebus books. I think I basically like them.


    What aspect of James Macpherson’s performance would you have changed?

    I would just as soon books be read in a regular American English accent. I had to concentrate to understand the narrator, just as I have to do in Scotland!


    Did Standing in Another Man's Grave inspire you to do anything?

    Not that I recall.


    Any additional comments?

    No additional comments. I will probably listen to other Rebus books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Round House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Louise Erdrich
    • Narrated By Gary Farmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (729)
    Story
    (728)

    One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and 13-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

    Melinda says: "Heavy in My Heart"
    "certain flawed premises but a good "read""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The story is well-written and compelling. I thought the narrator was great. To describe it is diffcult. It is a coming of age story, sure. It is a thriller, sure. But it is more than that, and the description of reservation life sounds authentic.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Round House?

    Lots of memorable moments. The priest's chasing the kid all around was particularly good. And ths strip tease, although that was not at all convincing as realistic and I thought it hit a very off note. Golf course scene was amazing.


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

    No. I like the narrator a lot, though.


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

    Somewhat. The story was fairly compelling. I would say there were sections that were hard to put down. But then there were breaks in the action.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought the final section was superfluous and seemed like it was just dopped in for emotional impact. There were some arguably jarring not believeable aspects of the book. No way those kids were 13 years old. Maybe 16. There are jurisdiction issues with enforcing criminal law in and around Native American reservations, but clearly this would not have been one, unless one considers kidnapping and assault to be a mnor crime.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Absent One

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (625)
    Performance
    (542)
    Story
    (543)

    In The Keeper of Lost Causes, Jussi Adler-Olsen introduced Detective Carl Mørck, a deeply flawed, brilliant detective newly assigned to run Department Q, the home of Copenhagen’s coldest cases. The result wasn’t what Mørck - or readers - expected, but by the opening of Adler-Olsen’s shocking, fast-paced follow-up, Mørck is satisfied with the notion of picking up long-cold leads. So he’s naturally intrigued when a closed case lands on his desk: A brother and sister were brutally murdered two decades earlier....

    Judith Baker says: "New favorite author"
    "excellent Scandinavian detective book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have been listening to a lot of Scandinavian detective books lately and this one is excellent. In Denmark this time. Not as introspective and depressed as Wallander. Not as truly troubled, violent, and sometimes hard to read because so troubled as Harry Hole.

    Mostly wanted to put in some praise for the reader though. I had bought the first Jussi Alder-Olsen book. "Keeper of Lost Causes." The story seemed great, and the reading great, except for the dialogue. I could not get used to the reader reading the English words of the dialogue in what I guess is reasonably accurate Danish accented English. I am confident that a native speaker of Danish would not read the original Danish and hear in his/her mind a heavy accent of any kind. Makes no sense to me. Not that heavy an accent anyway.

    Steven Pacey for this one gets it all just right to me.

    Good stuff. I look forward to further translations of her books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Rust

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Philipp Meyer
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (54)

    Set in a beautiful but economically devastated Pennsylvania steel town, American Rust is a novel of the lost American dream and the desperation-as well as the acts of friendship, loyalty, and love-that arise from its loss. From local bars to train yards to prison, it is the story of two young men, bound to the town by family, responsibility, inertia, and the beauty around them, who dream of a future beyond the factories and abandoned homes.

    Darwin8u says: "A Web of Despair and Desperation"
    "excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am only half way through, but so far this is excellent. Very believable characters and great character development. Each with their flaws. Each likeable and non-likeable at the same time. Seem very real with excelent insight to me. Nice to see blue collar characters set out as sensitive, intelligent folks, able to understand human nature.

    Mostly folks doing their best in trying circumstances to do the right thing with conflicting loyalties and duties.

    Nice use of descriptions of natural beauty even though there is blight. It uplifts each character appropriately at appropriate times.

    Excellent sense of place and time. Accurate details, at least as to what I know. I like the idea of going from interior dialogue to interior dialogue among characters.

    Re the story overall great, but I gave it four stars instead of five because in a few instances events seemed too pat, too timed, so artificial with specific transparent purposes.

    Narrator is great. Excellent voice for this work. Completely professional and easy to listen to. His reading is never noticeable. Easy to become engrossed in story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Worth Dying For: A Jack Reacher Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2231)
    Performance
    (1053)
    Story
    (1051)

    There’s deadly trouble in the corn country of Nebraska... and Jack Reacher walks right into it. First he falls foul of the Duncans, a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it’s the unsolved case of a missing child, already decades-old, that Reacher can’t let go. The Duncans want Reacher gone - and it’s not just past secrets they’re trying to hide. They’re awaiting a secret shipment, and they have the kind of customers no one can afford to annoy.

    Lesley says: "Reacber never fails"
    "solid Reacher book"
    Overall

    This is hardly the worst of the Reacher books. I would say that the worst are among the first four or so, and I have listened to each of the Reacher books. Not the very best either, but I think it will more than satisfy most Reacher fans. Perhaps I am misremembering, but Reacher seems somewhat more sadistically violent that ever--is Lee Child having marital problems or something--and the story is pretty improbable, with the enemies being rather cartoonish. But I thought it was a great ride. I think those that complain there is too much writing about landscapes and describing lights, miss that this is well-written stuff which sets up a lot of the suspense, which is here in abundance. This one certainly has plenty of great action, and Lee Child really delivers on those scenes. Loved it, really! One star off though for some things that seemed utterly improbable including I suppose part of the ending.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Falls: An Inspector Rebus Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Ian Rankin
    • Narrated By Samuel Gillies
    Overall
    (190)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    A missing student, a six inch coffin containing a wooden doll, and mysterious role-playing games on the Internet are the intriguing elements of the latest case to challenge Inspector Rebus. The missing student comes from an influential family, and Rebus begins to get a bad feeling about the case in Warsaw. While Rebus follows up a link with the distant past, his DC, Siobhan Clarke, tackles the Internet challenges set by the mysterious Quizmaster.

    Maura says: "Good Rebus book"
    "really loved it"
    Overall

    I really liked this novel. The characters are really well drawn and vivid. Rebus in particular really grows on one, and seems like a real person with all of the faults of one. The setting of Scotland is great. I am not sure why I am not giving this 5 stars. I guess some of the plot seemed pretty contrived and some of the modern internet stuff seemed off. But it kept my attention. I guess I would say that Ian Rankin and Rebus are not quite up there with Michael Connelly and Andrew Vachss, and maybe they are a push with Lee Child (although very different) and maybe with Robert Crais, but they are really good dectective noir stuff.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Doris Kearns Goodwin, Richard Thomas
    Overall
    (1820)
    Performance
    (444)
    Story
    (448)

    We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through. This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.

    Anders says: "wait for the unabridged version"
    "seems superficial"
    Overall

    Seems superficial. May be the abridgement, as others have noted. Also, surprisingly bad writing in places. Overall the entire book would be benefited by taking out every word with an "ly" on the end. Too much hagiography of Lincoln and not enough history. A fascinating era of history and a giant of a man. Does not need any intensifying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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