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James McGinley

Listener Since 2008

  • 12 reviews
  • 45 ratings
  • 231 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Almost 4"

    I give this 3.6. The characters are well developed interesting, and believable. The book keeps you interested in the first half, and completely absorbed the second half. I don't care for the writing style of following two separate characters, even though it is quite popular among authors these days. I'm going to buy his next his next audiobook.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Tim says: "True Blood PG13"
    "Romance novel"

    If those words had been the first thing I'd spotted in a review; I would have steered clear. This is a romance novel, more accurately, a novel of forbidden romance. All the kissy, lovey dovey stuff wears thin with me after a while. The last 3rd of the book was getting entertaining, the author had finally developed the story enough to establish a worth while antagonist, which was seriously needed. The story line has potential, but it's loosely wrapped around the romance of the lead characters. I'm sure the next book will be better, but I'll have to be desperate to get it. I wasn't to pleased with the narrator's voice; it has a business like quality.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Canterbury Tales: A New Unabridged Translation by Burton Raffel

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Geoffrey Chaucer
    • Narrated By uncredited

    Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. The Tales gathers 29 of literature's most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble Plowman. This unabridged work is based on the new translation.

    Tad Davis says: "A wonderful treat!"

    I suppose The Canterbury Tales must have been quite controversial at the time of its writing, with many sexual allusions, but it's full of tedious little tales which are exceedingly boring, monotonous, and tend to run one into the other. The poetic flair only carries the monotony to new heights. I tried to listen to it while engaged in a boring repetitive task, and it only seemed to make the job longer; I had to turn it off. I cannot recommend this book on any level.

    1 of 7 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    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.

    Keith says: "Ken Follett and John Lee / Audible's Dream Team"
    "Sorry Ken"

    Follet's last trilogy (Pillars of the Earth) was on of my favorite novels of all time; edge of the seat nail biting, can't pause masterpiece. Fall of Giants fails to grip. The characters fall short on every level. It's a great time period to do historical fiction, and I did learn some great historical facts, but I just could not get involved with this novel as I did his previous. I don't think I'll be reading the follow up to Fall of Giants.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Scarpetta

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Patricia Cornwell
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured man on Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric prison ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk - and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.

    Becky says: "Don't waste your money"
    "Somewhat entertainting"

    I'm an avid reader; I've read books that I can't put down, as well as books that I couldn't finish. This one falls in between. The characters are somewhat generic, although some are a little eccentric. The author didn't develop the characters enough to fully get me absorbed in the novel. The plot is a basic murder mystery, so if you love murder mysteries this will float your boat, but you'll have to do some bailing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fall of Hyperion

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention. Onthe world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening. And the secrets they contain mean that nothing - nothing anywhere in the universe - will ever be the same.

    Darwin8u says: "Hyperion is FALLEN, am I too to fall?"
    "Science fiction must"

    This series is pure science fiction entertainment, with a prolific cast of characters, and one of the most evil antagonists ever designed by an author. The story is wrapped up nicely in the final volume, although the plot is excessively complicated, so there might be a couple of questions unanswered. Overall very satisfying and it keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Anathem

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected". But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the perilous brink of cataclysmic change.

    Richard says: "Tour de force"
    "Good background noise"

    Have you ever listened to a book that you lose track of the storyline and,instead of rewinding to fill yourself in on what you missed, you just keep listening because you would have to rewind all the way to the beginning when you're half way through the book. This book needs to be thinned out by 3/4. Technical mumbo jumbo takes up most of the book. I listened to the whole thing, and 75% of the time my mind was somewhere else.

    5 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Toru Okada is going through a difficult time. He is without a job, his cat has disappeared, and his wife is behaving strangely. Into this unbalanced world comes a variety of curious characters, a young girl sunbathing in a nearby garden; sisters who are very peculiar indeed; an old war veteran with a violent, disturbing story. Okada retreats to a deep well in a nearby house. And the story unfolds.

    Shelley says: "Bizarre"
    "Way too long"

    Don't get me wrong; I love a long book, but this one has a lot, and I mean a whole lot, of digression. It is well written, so I made it through the book, but it was a challenge. There is one character in the book who is particularly annoying, and I believe the author did this intentionally. This book should be shorter by half.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Wroblewski
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents and an unusual breed of dogs on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. But when tragedy strikes the Sawtelle family, Edgar flees to the surrounding wilderness. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him.

    Ella says: "Just OK"
    "Tom Sawyer with a twist"

    Extremely well written and read. The story is about a mute child brought up in a rural setting who comes face to face with some challenging circumstances. We follow the boy from birth into his early teens. The author is elaborately descriptive, which takes up most of the book, but this is not a bad thing as he has a way with words which can only be described as masterful. The ending, while tragic, didn't leave me sad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"

    Make no mistake, this is a romance novel, so if romance is not your thing, move on right now. The novel is well written. The author has a gift for the written word, but the overall story is on the dull side. She creates an excellent antagonist, but uses him very little; instead most of the story is involved in the loving relationship between the hero and heroine.

    15 of 21 people found this review helpful

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