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Jim

Batavia, IL, United States | Member Since 2004

47
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 425 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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  • The Maltese Falcon

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Dashiell Hammett
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (814)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (337)

    Hard-boiled detective Sam Spade is hired to locate a client's sister by tailing the sister's companion. Spade's partner Miles Archer takes on the assignment, and quickly both Archer and the man he was shadowing are murdered. As Spade pursues the mystery of his partner's death, he is drawn into a circle of colorful characters, and they are all after a legendary statuette of a falcon that had long ago been made for King Charles of Spain. Encrusted with jewels, it is worth a fortune.

    Jim says: "A little overacted"
    "A little overacted"
    Overall

    Good book and great story. The narrator was good and the audio quality was good. Only one problem - the narrator REALLY overacted the women's parts. In fact, he carried on so much, I fast forwarded through a couple of sections because it got so nerve-rattling.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Number of the Beast

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne, Emily Durante, Malcolm Hillgartner, and others
    Overall
    (369)
    Performance
    (335)
    Story
    (337)

    The wickedest, most wonderful science fiction story ever created in our - or any - time. Anything can begin at a party in California - and everything does in this bold masterwork by a grand master of science fiction. When four supremely sensual and unspeakably cerebral humans - two male, two female - find themselves under attack from aliens who want their awesome quantum breakthrough, they take to the skies - and zoom into the cosmos on a rocket roller-coaster ride of adventure, danger, ecstasy, and peril.

    Michelle says: "I've been waiting for this book in audio format..."
    "Well, that was a waste...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A completely different book


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert A. Heinlein again?

    Yes, I'm working my way through all of his books. I love most of his stuff. LOVE it. Which is the only reason I kept reading this waste of time.


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

    I don't think so.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Number of the Beast?

    The geometry and navigation lessons, the nonsense about command, and any scenes involving the four main characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Heinlein has created a mess of a book. He has created characters I can't stand, a story premise that is unintelligible, and seems to have a fetish for the word "kiss." In almost every scene where someone is leaving, someone else is saying "kiss me." He has done this in other books, but this one is just brutally annoying.

    The only thing I liked was "Gay Deceiver" and the furtherance of the Lazarus Long mythology. But that was the last quarter of the book. The rest - well, read this if you're reading other Heinlein stuff. You'll hate it, but it's like the one course in college you had to take.

    Don't bother reading it otherwise.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Nightmare in Pink: A Travis McGee Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By John D. MacDonald
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (300)

    Nina - a career girl living alone in Manhattan - offers Travis McGee companionship and the first loose thread in the elaborate fabric of a gigantic swindle. Now, she's leading McGee on a wild and tortuous chase into the decadent world of high society, the ruthless world of big money, and the weird world of hallucinatory drugs.

    Bonnie says: "Trav McGee just gets better"
    "Had to skip ahead at one point"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At one point, the plot got pretty circular so I fast-forwarded. Amazing but I didn't miss a thing. I enjoy these books because of the south Florida setting. There was almost none of it in this book...it all happens in NY.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Templar

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Raymond Khoury
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (887)
    Performance
    (422)
    Story
    (427)

    As the burning city of Acre falls from the hands of the West in 1291, a young Templar knight, his mentor, and a handful of others escape to the sea carrying a mysterious chest. In present day Manhattan, four masked horsemen dressed as Templar Knights steal a strange device. In the aftermath, an FBI investigation is led by anti-terrorist specialist Sean Reilly. Soon, he and archaeologist Tess Chaykin are drawn into the dark, hidden history of the crusading knights.

    Ed says: "A Good Listen"
    "Gosh, another Vatican-secret society book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the author's first book, and it shows. Instead of developing characters, he simply has another character think, "gosh, he's deep." And the heroes (and villains too) keep doing really stupid stuff. Repeatedly! This isn't a spoiler, but if you want a preview of what's happening as the story goes along, just think about the dumbest thing the character can do. That will be what they do! Just unbelievable. What a complete waste of time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Will Fear No Evil

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (321)

    As startling and provocative as his famous Stranger in a Strange Land, here is Heinlein’s grand masterpiece about a man supremely talented, immensely old, and obscenely wealthy who discovers that money can buy everything.

    Lisa says: "Not Heinlein's best - but still good"
    "Story may be OK, but can't stand the narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a Heinlein fan and have loved all of his other books. And the reviews indicate that this one will be worthwhile too. But this one, at least in audio form, is a turn off. They really should have gotten a woman to read this book since most of the relevant characters are female. The narrator doesn't have enough vocal variation to help you differentiate between characters and his voicing of women characters comes off really fake.

    I plan to "read" this book. I think I'll be able to handle the dialogue. For example, in the last five minutes, before I gave up (almost all the way through part 1), the words "pretty" "sweet" and "dear" were used too many times. If I'm reading, I can tune out those awful word choices. But the way Heald performs, it is just too annoying.

    Now to download another Heinlein book that I haven't read yet. Audible doesn't have many more.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Cover Her Face

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By P.D. James
    • Narrated By Roy Marsden
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    Though Sally Jupp came from the village home for unmarried mothers, she seemed the ideal girl to help Mrs Maxie run a large house and look after her invalid husband. But the real Sally, pretty, ambitious and clever, was very different from the docile, repentant character she seemed to be. Murder shattered the tranquility of her new home and Chief Detective Inspector Adam Dalgliesh arrived in the peace of a country Sunday to investigate the killing of a character as mysterious as Sally herself.

    connie says: "sound quality OK in E format"
    "Narration is bad"
    Overall

    The person doing the narration is fine, but the sound quality was pretty bad. It sounds like they held a microphone up to 8 track tape player to make the downloadable file.

    I would have gotten more from buying the paperback.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    Overall
    (10208)
    Performance
    (5849)
    Story
    (5932)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Great!"
    Overall

    I read this book years ago when I was in college and enjoyed it then. And I've reread it at least once since then. But now that I'm older, I got a lot more out of the book and really enjoyed it as an audio. I probably will listen to it again in a few years.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Who's Who in the Age of Jesus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Geza Vermes
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    This remarkable work paints a comprehensive and colorful picture of the world that Jesus knew. From detailed, convincing portraits of John the Baptist, Pontius Pilate, Herod, Jesus himself, and other key figures, to the Jewish and Hellenistic leaders often ignored in scripture, Who's Who in the Age of Jesus is a critical, in-depth look at one of the most tumultuous eras in human history.

    Jim says: "LIke listening to a dictionary"
    "LIke listening to a dictionary"
    Overall

    Don't buy this! Unless you like to listen to someone reading the dictionary, then avoid this one. I vary rarely write a review, but this one cries out for a warning. There are lots of dates, and the reader reads EVERY date. Every time a person or event occurs, the reader reads the date. And there is no cohesiveness. Characters are described in alphabetical sequence. And the reader refers to photographs and other images that obviously we don't get to see. This actually sounds like a book I'd like to read, but listening to it was a waste of a credit.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Skinny Dip

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (2423)
    Performance
    (660)
    Story
    (672)

    When Chaz Perron's wife discovers that he is running a scam (posing as a marine biologist to doctor water samples so that an agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the Everglades), he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner. Unlucky for Chaz, Joey survives clutching a bale of Jamaican pot. Rescued from the Atlantic by a former police officer, Mick Stranahan, she decides not to report him but instead haunt and taunt him, with Mick's help, by playing dead.

    Phillip says: "Summer's Best Read"
    "Very good"
    Overall

    This is my first experience with the author and I am looking forward to reading some of his other books. Not only was the book enjoyable, I enjoyed the reader too, who did a great job on the characters and didn't simply slip into phony falsettos when doing the females. Good job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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