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San Luis Obispo, California | Member Since 2012

  • 6 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 927 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2015

  • Man in the Middle

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Brian Haig
    • Narrated By LJ Ganser

    Ripped from today's headlines, Brian Haig's new novel finds Army lawyer Sean Drummond caught between duty to Washington's elite and the soldiers in Iraq. Dispatched to investigate the suicide of one of D.C.'s most influential defense officials, an ardent, early supporter of the war in Iraq, Drummond and his female partner find themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war between Washington's most influential power brokers and his own personal allegiance to the soldiers dying overseas.

    Sherri says: "Where is Scott Brick?"
    "Where is Scott Brick?"

    I realize several other readers have made the same comment, but I did want to stress how incredibly distracting it was to change readers in this series. I nearly quit listening several times, until the book itself became so interesting that I could stop being distracted by the "wrong" voice. The narrator was adequate, but in my brain, I hear Scott Brick as Sean Drummond. PLEASE, Brian Haig, insist on Scott in the future! The book was very good, and I learned a great deal about the Middle East, but I nearly gave up in the early going. I'm not sure the narrator always understood Sean's sense of irony or humor. He quite literally trampeled on the jokes, and the humor was badly needed to offset the grimness of the subject matter.

    I am not certain why the current narrator breathes so loudy, but either the producers made an error in muting a natural breathing technique, or the narrator himself needs to quell his inhilations.

    As for the story itself, it was top-rate. It's not often I read a thriller and come away thinking that I need to do historical research on the subject matter. Well done, Brian Haig.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

    Nicole says: "You love it or you hate it..."
    "Incredibly derivative and annoying ..."

    I stumbled across Stephen King's The Stand about fifteen years ago. I'd never read King, thinking all he wrote was horror. When I was intrigued by The Green Mile and read (and loved) it, I began reading all of King's work. The Stand was my favorite. This book appears to have taken most of The Stand, dumbed it down (down to some of the same characters, for heaven's sake), and added our current fascination with vampires. Save your credits. If you want a great read about the fall of our society, brought about by our own stupidity and hubris, read The Stand. My audio version (obtained elsewhere) is abridged and read by Grover Gardner (a master narrator), but I can heartily recommend it. Of course, the unabrdiged print version is wonderful too.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • True Detectives: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein

    In Jonathan Kellerman's gripping novels, the city of Los Angeles is as much a living, breathing character as the heroes and villains who roam its labyrinthine streets. Sunny on the surface but shadowy beneath, this world of privilege and pleasure has a dark core and a dangerous edge. In True Detectives, Kellerman skillfully brings his renowned gifts for breathless suspense and sharp psychological insight to a tale that resonates on every level and satisfies at every turn.

    A User says: "Disappointing"
    "Poorly written, poorly read"

    I've read, either in print or via audio, all of the Jonathan Kellerman books. In recent years, I've grown increasingly dissatisfied with the series, but this book really took the cake (if taking the cake means writing a poorly plotted, rambling, and murky book).

    John Rubenstein, the narrator, usually does an adequate job, although I much prefer books in the series read by Alexander Adams (aka Grover Gardner). However, in this book, it is nearly impossible to tell which character is speaking. The narrator uses a variation of Milo's "voice" as Aaron (he adds a slight black patois), and he even goes so far as to use the same voice for a seventy-something female interior decorator. Moses, the other main character, is read as though he has a hearing disability. The character certainly is not referenced as having that challenge, but it is wildly distracting and adds nothing to the book (and, I suspect, was not intended by the author).

    Save your money or credits for a better book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Duma Key: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By John Slattery

    A terrible accident takes Edgar Freemantle's right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. When his marriage suddenly ends, Edgar begins to wish he hadn't survived his injuries. He wants out. His psychologist suggests a new life distant from the Twin Cities, along with something else.

    Amazon Customer says: "Play the Book and Let the Book Play You"
    "Well done, SK!"

    Like other reviewers, I, too, could not stop listening to this book. I both cared about and LIKED the characters. Much like The Green Mile and The Stand, there were elements of the supernatural, but the book was just as much about what makes us tick as it was about the journey (both literally and figuratively) taken by Edgar. The narrator was outstanding, and never got in the way of the book.

    I was struck by King's repetition of the surname "Freemantle." The name is unique, and I can't figure out why Mr. King used it again. There's probably no deep, dark reason; however, I am probably going to wonder about it for a while...

    Mr. King, thank you for a wonderful read.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Eye

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By William Bernhardt
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Psychologist Susan Pulaski, who has a near-empathic gift for understanding the thought processes of criminals, is a consultant for the Las Vegas police force. When the city is galvanized by a brutal murder case, stemming from the death of a young woman who has been buried alive, Police Chief Robert O'Bannon calls on Susan's services.

    Amazon Customer says: "Awesome!"
    "I would have given the book a zero star ..."

    ... but our rating system doesn't allow for it.

    This book is a must-miss. The main character is unlikable, histrionic, and a blight on law enforcement. I so disliked her that I gave up about a third of the way through part one. My biggest regret is that I'd paid for both parts of the book, and can stomach neither.

    Do yourself a favor and read something worthwhile. I'm a major mystery fan, so I'm not being a snob. If you favor women protagonists, seek out someone else. This character is an embarrassment to women everywhere.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Fugue in Hell's Kitchen

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Hal Glatzer
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat

    Katy Green is a working musician in the years before World War II. It's 1939, and Katy tries to help a friend out of a jam at a classical music conservatory that ought to be a quiet oasis in Hell's Kitchen, New York's roughest neighborhood. But when Katy searches for the stolen manuscript of a string quartet by Paganini, what she finds is madness, mayhem, unexplained sudden deaths, and a fight for her very life.

    Keith says: "Interesting but weird"
    "Irritating Beyond Belief"

    I cannot give a comprehensive review of this title, as I couldn't bear to complete the book. I might have had a more positive experience had I read the printed page, rather than listened to it. The narrator, Barbara Rosenblat, was incredibly distracting. I've not heard her before, so whether her technique was intentional or not remains a mystery. I believe she may have been attempting to imitate a thirties-style movie actress (i.e., rapid-fire delivery). Instead, she managed to make nearly every sentence one that would include an exclamation point. I don't care what the action, it isn't necessary to finish nearly! every! word! with! emphasis! Do yourself a favor, and pass over this book.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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