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Susan

PEARLAND, TX, United States | Member Since 2003

ratings
56
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
179

  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2265)
    Performance
    (2040)
    Story
    (2029)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore to be better than the print version?

    This is a book to be HEARD. Very much at issue in this novel is the relationship between content and method of delivery. The narrator uses his voice to great advantage, just the right nuances -- sometimes he appears to be going over the top, but then you realize that the effect is spot on.


    What other book might you compare Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore to and why?

    In an odd way, MP24HB reminds me of The Night Circus -- there is the same sense of alternate reality layered onto "real" reality. Mr Penumbr'a is shorter and less serious, the setting is very different, and the "magic" here is in the technology.


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

    Oh, yes. In fact, I almost did.


    Any additional comments?

    This would make a good book club selection -- a nice length, easy to follow, light-hearted, but offering some interesting discussion points. In the thousands of years of human history, print hasn't been around all that long. Is it really a tragedy that many are turning to digital and audio sources for "reading" material? Is it ultimately an either/or situation? What would you do for immortality? What's a friend? A mentor? For that matter, what is a book?

    Not perfect -- the epilogue is superfluous -- but a very nice debut.

    35 of 36 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (1993)
    Performance
    (1002)
    Story
    (1006)

    "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem.

    Katelyn says: "One word - Awesome!"
    "One trick pony"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a life-long Janite, with a strong appreciation for the absurd, and I really expected to be amused. Alas, not.The joke is a good one and could have made a really funny short story, but there's not enough here to make a good book.

    The narration is okay, except when an emerging zombie speaks, at which point it becomes very annoying.

    Two stars for being clever, but I can't recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (924)
    Performance
    (845)
    Story
    (855)

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Benoibe says: "Best book of the year!"
    "Exciting true story of courage and determination"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Boys in the Boat again? Why?

    Absolutely! This is not a read-to-find-out-what-happens book -- it's charm is in the telling. The people are fascinating, better than fictional characters, the technical detail is interesting, and the narrator is perfect.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    George Pocock, the shell builder. Pocock was an enigmatic artist, the character in the book I would most like to have known.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    Herman's voice is smooth and even. His timing is spot-on, and his intonation is just lively enough to avoid monotony, without overpowering the content.


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

    Yes, though it's a little too long for that.


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (2679)
    Performance
    (2532)
    Story
    (2537)

    World War Z: The Complete Edition is a new recording of Max Brooks’ best-selling novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, featuring 21 additional Hollywood A-list actors and sci-fi fan favorites performing stories not included in the original edition. New narrators include Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more!

    Kim Venatries says: "A Good Story with an All Star Cast but ABRIDGED"
    "Best mixed cast audiobook I've ever heard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    High. Really high. 4 12 stars. Really really close to a 5.


    What other book might you compare World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition) to and why?

    This is what Harry Turtledove was trying to do in Worldwar: In the Balance (which I tried to listen to but got bored with and ditched) -- global warfare, strange alliances, it takes an alien threat to unite humanity. The interview format, the multiplicity of voices, makes Z a better book, in my opinion.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Oh, my, how can I choose? The diver. The guy with the dog. The astronaut. The most poignant -- the South African. Major kudos to Max Brooks for his job as the interviewser.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Forget good vs. evil -- it's life vs. death!


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not a zombie fan. I'm not a military sci-fi fan. I doubt if I'd like reading this book. BUT: this is a completely mesmerizing "listen". I came really close to doing it in a single day. I've read a lot of complaints that this is "abridged". Under normal circumstances, I won't even look at anything that's not unabridged, but I didn't feel like there were any continuity problems, and the length is exactly right.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stuck with a Stiff: The Stuck with a Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By D. D. Scott, David Slegg
    • Narrated By Karyn O'Bryant, Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (55)

    The Stuck with a... Series is Castle-gone-country with the mom squad, Betty Boop, and My Cousin Vinny in the barnyard. But this ain't no ordinary barnyard. There's a lot more than a crazy rooster missing from the chicken coop, a bad ass cow causing a bunch of trouble, and a dog looking like a creature out of a storybook. There's a stiff too. A stiff - as in a dead guy - in a snow drift near the chicken coop. Things aren't lookin' too good for Nicky Blane, who owns the farm....

    Susan says: "Had to check to see if it was abridged"
    "Had to check to see if it was abridged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from D. D. Scott and David Slegg and/or Karyn O'Bryant and Jeffrey Kafer ?

    maybe, if it was really cheap


    What could D. D. Scott and David Slegg have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    flesh it out -- it has a clever premise, but the jumps are too sudden. I kept thinking it was a badly abridged version. The extended family premise was pretty much wasted: they set up these potentially interesting relationships then did nothing with them.


    What didn’t you like about Karyn O'Bryant and Jeffrey Kafer ’s performance?

    Dual-narration either works or it doesn't. This doesn't. The voices didn't complement each other. Plus, the Italian accents were excruciatingly awful -- sounded like a poor rendition of Romany gypsies. My Sicilian relatives would run screaming from the room.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Stuck with a Stiff?

    I wouldn't have cut, I'd have added!


    Any additional comments?

    Okay, it wasn't totally awful, just nowhere near as good as it could have been. The ending obviously sets up a sequel -- I wouldn't mind seeing the authors try again.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15358)
    Performance
    (13610)
    Story
    (13641)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Don't waste your time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Gone Girl better?

    At least one character I didn't thoroughly dislike.


    What could Gillian Flynn have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Write something else entirely.


    Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne – was your favorite?

    I guess Margo wasn't too bad.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Gone Girl?

    The diary thing just doesn't work. It is a gimmick, clever but ultimately annoying.


    Any additional comments?

    Everyone is twisted. Even when they are being self-promoting, the two main characters come off as people I would not want to be around. The parents are worse.

    I found this book to be manipulative and depressing.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Skeleton Letters: A Scrapbooking Mystery, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Laura Childs
    • Narrated By Danielle Ferland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    New York Times best-selling author Laura Childs’ cozy Scrapbooking mysteries continue to win fans with each compelling entry. In Skeleton Letters, New Orleans scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand and her friend Ava witness a heinous crime at St. Tristan’s Church that leaves a dear friend dead and an antique crucifix missing. Together, Carmela and Ava search the French Quarter for the crucifix in hopes of finding the killer.

    Susan says: "Okay mystery, truly awful narration"
    "Okay mystery, truly awful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So the story is okay -- I think. I had a hard time getting past how awful the narration is. Why, oh why, oh why, would you get a Valley Girl to read a New Orleans story? (FYI, "New Orleans" has 2 syllables, not 3.) I can excuse anyone from "outside" for not knowing how to procounce "Tchoupitoulas" (it's "chop-uh-two-liss", by the way), but "crawfish"? Excuse me. No matter how you spell it, it's "craw-rhymes-with-claw", not "cray-rhymes-with-clay".

    Other than that, nice little story, some fairly decent local color. Main character is a little too goody-goody, the sidekick is a little tedius, but the snotty society dame is fun, and I really do know an 80-something woman named "Baby".

    Won't listen to another Laura Childs unless they change narrators.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (7779)
    Performance
    (4503)
    Story
    (4489)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Louis says: "Loved it and learned alot."
    "Outstanding historical fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fascinating account of World War I. The intertwined lives of families from England, Germany, Wales, Russia and the US present a personalized picture of social and political realities in an age most of us know little about. Solid research and brilliant storytelling combine to give us a history lesson that leaves us begging for more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pirate King: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    Overall
    (437)
    Performance
    (379)
    Story
    (379)

    As Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes embark on their 11th adventure together, they find themselves immersed in the world of silent filmmaking. Here, the pirates are real—and unlike the shooting done with a camera, this sort can be deadly.

    Debra says: "Very disappointing"
    "Just for fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not King's best, but a light-hearted romp for Mary Russell fans. The Pirates of Penzance, silent movies, sheiks and harems - a departure from the recent, very dark installments in the Russell/Holmes series. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Ice Limit

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (2859)
    Performance
    (1605)
    Story
    (1605)

    The largest known meteorite has been discovered, entombed in the earth for millions of years on a frigid, desolate island off the southern tip of Chile. At four thousand tons, this treasure seems impossible to move. New York billionaire Palmer Lloyd is determined to have this incredible find for his new museum. Stocking a cargo ship with the finest scientists and engineers, he builds a flawless expedition. But from the first approach to the meteorite, people begin to die....

    Lyn says: "Wonderful, Well researched, Page Turner"
    "Annoying narration, boring story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jurassic Park style mega-rich self-centered creep who has to own more and better than anyone else, soul-less strategist, damaged pilot and scientists. All combine in a patently stupid quest that gets nearly everyone killed. I kept trying to put words to how awful the narration is: I usually like Scott Brick (nobody else could do Ender!) but in this book he sounds like one of those sappy up close and personal tear-jerky films they show on sports shows when they have too much time to fill. I finally just gave up and turned it off. Oh, yeah, I did jump ahead and listen to the last few minutes. It ended pretty much the way I thought it would after the first chapter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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