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Christopher

Menomonie, WI, USA | Member Since 2004

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 373 ratings
  • 625 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Home Front

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Kristin Hannah
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (270)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (223)

    From a distance, Michael and Joleen Zarkades seem to have it all: a solid marriage, two exciting careers, and children they adore. But after twelve years together, the couple has lost their way; they are unhappy and edging toward divorce. Then the Iraq war starts. An unexpected deployment will tear their already fragile family apart, sending one of them deep into harm’s way and leaving the other at home, waiting for news. When the worst happens, each must face their darkest fear and fight for the future of their family.

    Elizabeth says: "Very Disappointed"
    "Eye opening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book really opened my eyes to the effect of war on families. I look forward to more by Kristin Hannah.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4679)
    Performance
    (2722)
    Story
    (2744)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "Frightening story presented as soon to be reality"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is intended to provide a glimpse of the price to pay for lack of attention to specific terrorist threats against the US technology infrastructure. It deals with a serious subject with a potentially scary (in fact horrific) outcomes for failure to address critical security laspses. It is not written by a polished author; it is broadly stroked and painted with morality laced platitudes throughout. The author amateurishly describes an "ideal" society and the life/death decisions that (in the author's opinion) will be required for the rightous to survive. Still, the book IS thought provoking and worth a reading. It made me want to know more about the technologies at play and if the "hardening" of infrasture has been left to chance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4322)
    Performance
    (2396)
    Story
    (2396)

    As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

    Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery.

    Barbara says: "A near-flawless audiobook (but for one thing...)"
    "A little to real-world in the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ok, I like the book and I will read more of Tana French's work. It was very real world, but (not to provide any spoilers) was too much like the real world in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Persuader

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2528)
    Performance
    (1788)
    Story
    (1771)

    Jack Reacher. The ultimate loner. An elite ex-military cop who left the service years ago, he's moved from place to place...without family...without possessions...without commitments.

    Joanna says: "Child at His Best! A Must Read for Reacher Fans!"
    "Author gets better later in the Reacher series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The books in the Reacher series provide generally fast-paced material and don't demand too much from the reader. Like his earlier books in the series, Child is still working on nuance regarding the elements of a mystery story. Persuader also requires the reader to accept a larger dose of fantastic survival skills on the part of Reacher. Because I have read the latest two books in this series (out of order and prior to deciding to read the series from the beginning), I know that Child gets better at plot formation, learns to better present/reveal mystery elements, and to reduce the readers need to accept fantastic situations, I will likely move on to the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ape Who Guards the Balance: The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (622)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (311)

    Against the romantic backdrop of Edwardian Egypt, the irresistible Amelia Peabody and her charmingly unconventional family prove themselves to be formidable foes of villainy. In The Ape Who Guards the Balance, Amelia must muster all of her considerable skills of detection to unravel a snarled web of stolen archeological treasures, murderous cults, and fallen women.

    Yvonne Jocks says: "Another Wonderful Book in the Series"
    "Very British attitude and dialogue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Elizabeth Peters style is quite different. The various sections are presented as case notes and descriptive narratives from the diary entries and other manuscripts of the various family members sharing the experience being described. A very British attitude and dialogue is conveyed....and the book is written as an archeological adventure in Eygpt of the 1930s. I had a bit of trouble following the story.....but that is possibly also due to audio difficulties (as I listened to the story during a long road trip.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Against All Enemies

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Peter Telep
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1840)
    Performance
    (1239)
    Story
    (1255)

    For years, ex–Navy SEAL Maxwell Moore has worked across the Middle East and behind the scenes for the Special Activities Division of the CIA, making connections, extracting valuable intelligence, and facing off against America’s enemies at every turn. And then...news of a potentially devastating coalition: What if two of the greatest threats to the security of the United States were to form an unholy alliance?

    stephen says: "Be patient, it gets better"
    "Unfortunately troubling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tom Clancy's writing in "Against All Enemies" takes me back to "The Hunt for Red October": a reasonably plausible storyline, a heroic protagonist (but not to the point of unbelievable super heroism), and a gripping pace. Though the likely outcome is predictable very early in the book and the desire for (and delivery of) a positive (relative to alternative scenarios) resolution of the story is provided without much disguise, I enjoyed the story and will likely ponder the issues Clancy raises regarding protecting/watching our southern boundaries over the next few weeks. This book may bring me back to Clancy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Off the Grid: A Monkeewrench Novel, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By P. J. Tracy
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (50)

    On a sailboat 10 miles off the Florida Keys, Grace MacBride, partner in Monkeewrench Software, thwarts an assassination attempt on retired FBI agent John Smith. A few hours later, in Minneapolis, a 15-year-old girl is found in a vacant lot, her throat slashed. Later that morning, two young men are found in their home a few blocks away, killed execution style. The next morning, three more men are found savagely murdered in the same neighborhood. As Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth struggle to link the crime scenes, they discover that there have been similar murders in other cities....

    Kathleen says: "The fith and newest P. J. Tracy Monkeywrench Gang"
    "Up north feeling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like the P.J. Tracy books because they are set (primarily) in Minnesota and Wisconsin. "Off the Grid" fit the bill and even had Native American elements that I usually attribute to William Kent Krueger. A fast, enjoyable, young adult feeling read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Smoke Jumper

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Nicholas Evans
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (37)

    The best selling author of The Horse Whisperer and The Loop returns with this sweeping novel of love and loyalty, guilt and honor, set against the epic backdrop of wilderness firefighting and frontline photojournalism.

    Dan says: "Good story, needs a new title"
    "Something's missing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Near the end of the book, I had the feeling that the rest of the book was somewhere beside me.....but when I looked, it wasn't really there. Truly, I checked to be certain that I had not inadvertently purchased an abridgement. Yes, the story fragments that are told show Evans at his best. Yes, the story is gripping. In fact, it is indeed because it is gripping that the fairytale ending is a bit of a letdown. What is the meaning of the burning elk's antlers and eyes? Where does Skye twist fate? When and how did Ed die? Why all the unwoven threads? A beautiful story unfulfilled. Still.....worth five stars. The parts of the story that exist are very well written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hummingbird's Daughter: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Luis Alberto Urrea
    • Narrated By Luis Alberto Urrea
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (101)

    It is 1889, and civil war is brewing in Mexico. A 16-year-old girl, Teresita, illegitimate but beloved daughter of the wealthy and powerful rancher Don Tomas Urrea, wakes from the strangest dream, a dream that she has died. Only it was not a dream. This passionate and rebellious young woman has arisen from death with the power to heal, but it will take all her faith to endure the trials that await her and her family now that she has become the "Saint of Cabora".

    Steph says: "My New Favorite Book"
    "Gripping but wearing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once started, the story of the Hummingbird's Daughter, her life, the lives of her family and the people around her, the times, the misery, the impossible suffering and the life that emerges....move you to travel the whole distance to its conclusion. I plan to read the Queen of America as soon as recover. I dream of flying like Teriseta but know I have not the constitution to suffer as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mad River

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1106)
    Performance
    (956)
    Story
    (948)

    Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what's-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns. The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers' cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down.

    Bill says: "Good. Not Great. But Virgil is Hard to Skip."
    "A chilling thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sandford once again turns out a thriller. This Flowers story was consumed in two sittings, on a trip to Bemidji over the weekend. Virgil is an even more likable (and believable) character than Davenport ever was. Like real life, it left one (fairly important) dangling line. Food for thought between "Mad River" and his next book which will not be published soon enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Box: Harry Bosch, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1799)
    Performance
    (1524)
    Story
    (1504)

    In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box", the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

    Priscilla says: "Disappointing"
    "Even fictional characters mature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Michael Connelly continues to hone his craft. I must admit that I guessed the primary elements of the plot early (getting only the actual act and motives for the cover-up off in their detail.) However, Connelly's telling of the story of "The Black Box" still unwound in a way that gave flesh and vigor to the characters and kept the player rolling in two five+ hour sessions. I appreciate Connelly's good sense to leave the details of violence and inhumanity to imagination. Even the final twist shows how our minds often engage in "making things up" that impel even our fictional selves to draw conclusions that lead us to engage in dangerous behavior.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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