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Andrew

ratings
138
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
47

  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6966)
    Performance
    (4000)
    Story
    (4027)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Erica says: "Possibly The Best Techno-thriller Ever"
    "Just short of Great"
    Overall

    I heard about this book the day I heard Michael Creighton died. Suarez is a worthy successor. The pace gallops along,one learns about, and understands, the implications of high tech, and it just plain fun to read. Is it too techie for some? Maybe, but everything is explained well and is real (not like, say, teleporters in Star Trek). Only disappointment is the end--not that it is illogical or doesn't make sense--in that it is something of a letdown considering how the book builds up and up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2055)
    Performance
    (1911)
    Story
    (1907)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Interesting but not fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are inside jokes about the dog-eat-dog world of publishing, but for me, there was not that much to hold my interest, and the premise was implausible. The reveals were not that surprising either. That said, the narrator was very good, though his American accent could use a little work.

    I prefer the American detective story more than the British, more relaxed, version of the genre. Perhaps this colored my review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3353)
    Performance
    (3151)
    Story
    (3153)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Marci says: "King and Patton create a winning combo"
    "For true noir fans, might disappoint"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    For me, this is not genre fiction, it is Stephen King writing like Stephen King, subbing detective fiction for horror. That could be good enough--his book on the JFK assassination was excellent--but I found two problems. First, I was expecting some kind of riff on Raymond Chandler and was disappointed. Second, I did not find the main characters interesting or compelling. The book is plot driven, not character driven. And I didn't find the plot that compelling.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Will Patton?

    I don't know his range, but he read the book like it was hard-boiled detective fiction, which it is not. For me, his voice took on too much of a downbeat, almost horror story intonation that was not appropriate to the material.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Those who justifiably follow Mr. King will probably like this book. But, if you are looking for a slam-bang mystery full of atmosphere, twists, and turns, with a really spooky (rather than simply distasteful) villain, try something like "Silence of the Lambs." And, for noir, if you haven't read Chandler or Dashiel Hammet, do so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Storyteller

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3115)
    Performance
    (2716)
    Story
    (2726)

    Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?

    Sue says: "Interesting...different than I thought it would be"
    "Well performed, but the Holocaust again?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you have never read about the Holocaust in World War II, this is an excellent book to acquaint you with the horror and madness of that era. And, not that there are two sides to the story, but there are two sides to the people--both Germans and Jews. Well-written and superbly read, the book works as history and novel.

    But, if you have more than a passing knowledge of the Holocaust, or have known people who have lived through it, you might not want to revisit the subject. I have known survivors, and was not aware of the Holocaust part of the story before listening to it. My problem was "seeing" my relatives as participants in the story, and that was to say the least, uncomfortable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lexicon

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Max Barry
    • Narrated By Heather Corrigan, Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (580)
    Performance
    (523)
    Story
    (530)

    At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren't taught history, geography, or mathematics - at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as "poets": adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.

    Tango says: "Fasten your seat belt..."
    "Keeps you listening, and talk about big brother"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Besides being a good thriller, the book makes some interesting points about the nature of language and how a Big Brother government takes over using "words." Magic words might not exist in our world, but propaganda--isn't that kind of the same thing if it persuades people to do things they might never have thought of? Taken literally, or as a parable for overreaching government, the book works. The narrators are some of the best--each character is vividly convincing. Only negative is that the Australian accents are really not very good, especially Ms. Corrigan's. But the acting more than makes up for this fault, and story-wise, Aussiespeak in itself is not integral to the plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Brad Meltzer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (650)
    Performance
    (547)
    Story
    (547)

    From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, there have been more than two dozen assassination attempts on the President of the United States. Four have been successful. But now, Beecher White - the hero of the number one New York Times best seller The Inner Circle - discovers a killer in Washington, D.C. who's meticulously re-creating the crimes of these four men. Historians have branded them as four lone wolves. But what if they were wrong?

    Janice says: "I had to stop listening a little bit into the book"
    "Not the Ring trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Look, it's my fault for not realizing this book was part of a trilogy. So, since I did not read Book 1, I was not primed to read this book. And I feel this book does not stand on its own. It isn't that I missed Book 1. its more that I expected a fuller story in this book. All the 14 hours of build up and suspense just seem to get dissipated by the 15th hour made to set up Book 3, whenever it will be written and published.

    As far as believability, Beecher, the main character is an archivist, i.e. a librarian. Why? What about the Dewey Decimal System makes one a James Bond? Given the subject matter, he could have been FBI or Secret Service. Wouldn't have really made a difference and would have been more believable. While the author added substantial back stories to some of the main characters--usually a good thing--jumping from the present to past often seemed to cut or frustrate tension rather than enhance it.

    I've listened to Scot Brick before and liked his readings. This time, however, it seemed like every sentence was read as if the next were about to reveal the secret of the universe--the reading was somewhat overboard.

    I wanted to like the book based on interviews with Brad Meltzer. I was looking for to a great historical thriller. The book does pretty well deliver well on history, but I was not thrilled.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8931)
    Performance
    (3162)
    Story
    (3240)

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Frank says: "Not his best"
    "Fast read but almost a waste of time"
    Overall

    For me, the best way to describe this book is to use the analogy of going to a French restaurant for a great dinner (The Da Vinci Code) and then the next day go to a fast-food joint with a French-style menu. Everything is similar but not as good. Also, the book is extremely formulaic, but so openly so, you see the formula more than the plot. And the writing probably has more clich?s than any professional writer should include.

    But, it is a fast read--good for long, long plane rides or boring vacations. And if you ever wondered about the Masons, this is their Gone with the Wind.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Frank Delaney
    • Narrated By Frank Delaney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (27)

    Drawing on historical documents and contemporary accounts and on exclusive interviews with Carlsen's family, Delaney opens a window into the world of the merchant marine. With deep affection, and respect, for the weather and all that goes with it, he places us in the heart of the storm, a "biblical tempest" of unimaginable power. He illuminates the bravery and ingenuity of Carlsen and the extraordinary courage that the 37-year-old captain inspired in his stalwart crew.

    Andrew says: "Well written and read"
    "Well written and read"
    Overall

    Sometimes having the author read his own material is a mistake. Not here. Mr. Delaney's reading is vivid and his slight brogue a pleasure to hear. The story itself is unique and exciting, although it does drag a bit in the aftermath (though the aftermath is very pertinent, it just couldn't be as exciting as action on the high seas during a hurricane.)

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Confessions of an Economic Hitman

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By John Perkins
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1964)
    Performance
    (536)
    Story
    (532)

    "Economic hit men," John Perkins writes, "are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder."

    Robert P. says: "Excellent Story for people have traveled"
    "A near miss"
    Overall

    It's said that no one is more pious than a reformed prostitute. Listening to the author's confession does get a little wearing at times as he makes his point over and over again. That said, his point is a good one, and what our corporations and government appear to have done deserves to be known and deplored. I read this after visiting the Galapagos and Amazon basin in Ecuador. It explained the roots much of the poverty, corruption, and ecological ruin I saw.

    If you care about how the United States is perceived in the world today, and wonder why, this book will give you the answers.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By David Edmonds, John Eidinow
    • Narrated By Sam Tsoutsouvas
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    In the summer of 1972, with a presidential crisis stirring in the United States and the cold war at a pivotal point, two men, the Soviet world chess champion Boris Spassky and his American challenger Bobby Fischer, met in the most notorious chess match of all time. Their showdown in Reykjavik, Iceland, held the world spellbound for two months with reports of psychological warfare, ultimatums, political intrigue, cliffhangers, and farce to rival a Marx Brothers film.

    Gene says: "Engrossing"
    "Not a chess book, but a book about chess"
    Overall

    If you are looking for a move-by-move analysis, this is not the book. If you are interested in the phenomenon of chess events, oddball players, and how Fischer became world champ, listen up. The only real minus is that the authors delve so deeply into the Soviet politics of chess that the book sometimes sounds like the minutes of a Polit Bureau meeting. Also, there are a lot of long Russian names to get through.

    But, the study of Fischer and Spasky--their foibles, flaws, and accomplishments--is fascinating. And, the story of how the event came off is, at times, funny as any Marx Brothers (not Karl) movie.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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