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critical shopper

critical choices

CA | Member Since 2011

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 45 ratings
  • 373 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2015
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  • Bad Monkey

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Arte Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1012)
    Performance
    (894)
    Story
    (905)

    Andrew Yancy - late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office - has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first - this being Hiaasen country - Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters.

    James says: "Disappointed"
    "Boring with echoes of Hiaasen's past brilliance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm really not sure I should review a book I didn't finish listening to but it really seemed too tedious for words. The last straw was the narration in a faux Chicago mobster accent.
    Do wish I had not ever started it on a two hour drive...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold Song

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Linn Ullmann
    • Narrated By Heather Wilds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    Siri Brodal, a chef and restaurant owner, is married to Jon Dreyer, a famous novelist plagued by writer's block. Siri and Jon have two daughters, and together they spend their summers on the coast of Norway, in a mansion belonging to Jenny Brodal, Siri's stylish and unforgiving mother. Siri and Jon's marriage is loving but difficult and troubled by painful secrets.

    critical shopper says: "Tiresome and overworked"
    "Tiresome and overworked"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is just plain boring and the reading is awkward at best. I love being read to but I hate, hate, hate weird false accents to delineate a speaker.
    A straightforward dramatic reading is preferable to attempts to "act" out the parts!
    This has irritating phony Germanish ?? sounding accents, like "I vant to go there"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth Is Missing

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Emma Healey
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (204)

    In this darkly riveting debut novel - a sophisticated psychological mystery that is also an heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and aging - an elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences.

    Amber says: "A contemporary mystery for non-mystery lovers."
    "Surprisingly engaging character"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Elizabeth is missing is the first book I've read that takes a reader into the failing mind of an older character with dementia/Alzheimers. Her confusion and struggles to deal with a problem while constrained by her mental deficit is fascinating. Not for everyone but really well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf in White Van

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John Darnielle
    • Narrated By John Darnielle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (204)

    Welcome to Trace Italian, a game of strategy and survival! You may now make your first move. Isolated by a disfiguring injury since the age of seventeen, Sean Phillips crafts imaginary worlds for strangers to play in. From his small apartment in southern California, he orchestrates fantastic adventures where possibilities, both dark and bright, open in the boundaries between the real and the imagined.

    Steve says: "Breathtaking, expected and unexpected."
    "amazingly frightening book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was totally gripping and mysterious and horrifying. It is really well written and I could not stop listening even though the trajectory was a downer of massive proportions. I cannot / will not spoil the book by blathering about the plot. It is good/great and worth a second listening and I don't every listen again. Read by the author and he was great. Too bad he isn't a regular reader.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2098)
    Performance
    (1496)
    Story
    (1497)

    It is the summer of 1950 and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

    'Nathan says: "Phenomenal!"
    "A little too sweet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story moves, the plot is interesting but it is a little too Nancy Drew for my taste.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By B. J. Novak
    • Narrated By B. J. Novak, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1183)
    Performance
    (1056)
    Story
    (1062)

    B.J. Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction. A boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes - only to discover how claiming the winnings might unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins - turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A new arrival in Heaven, overwhelmed with options, procrastinates over a long-ago promise to visit his grandmother....

    Marci says: "It gets better, and better, and better, and better"
    "Sooo Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fascinating stories with excellent composite narrations. Wish it were longer! The quality of the writing is astonishing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Boy

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Theresa Schwegel
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Edgar award-winner Theresa Schwegel returns with The Good Boy, her most dramatic and emotional novel to date, a family epic that combines the hard-boiled grit of her acclaimed police thrillers with an intimate portrait of a young boy trying to follow his heart in an often heartless city.

    critical shopper says: "Over acted ghetto dialog"
    "Over acted ghetto dialog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is more than a bit over-written, but my real dissatisfaction is with the acting out of interactions only when they involve exaggerated ghetto speech. Really obnoxious. I need to be able to tell in advance when the story is being intelligently read (my preference) and when silly acting out with exaggerated voices is present. It ruins the book for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • W Is for Wasted: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1718)
    Performance
    (1508)
    Story
    (1505)

    Two dead bodies changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue. The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He'd been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He'd been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone's name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.

    karen says: "Well worth waiting for...."
    "Kinsey is as good as ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this series and appreciate the consistency of writing and plotting over all. Performance was not the best for my taste due to the amateurish, girly girly voicing for the Anna cousin character. It was jarring and did not belong. Sometimes when these Audible books try to "act out" the dialog they blow it. Would have been better left as a straighforward naration and straightforward reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy in the Suitcase: A Nina Borg Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Lene Kaaberbøl (author and translator), Agnete Friis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (584)
    Performance
    (512)
    Story
    (514)

    Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is trying to live a quiet life. The last thing her husband wants is for her to go running off on another dangerous mission to help illegal refugees. But when Nina's estranged friend, Karin, leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, and begs her to take care of its contents, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous case yet.

    Howard says: "Not your next Scandinavian export."
    "These foreign translations are not all that good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once again I was succered by the review and hype. Stilted English, awkward translation, predictable plotline. Not as good as I had hoped.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Leftovers

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Tom Perrotta
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (756)
    Performance
    (646)
    Story
    (659)

    What if—whoosh, right now, with no explanation—a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down?That’s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened—not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children.

    glamazon says: "The title is the best part"
    "Best mystery/sf for my year"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the deceptive simplicity of the story. So simple and so layered and complex at the same time. Great narration, kept the rhythm and cadence of the superb writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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