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Marissa

Chevy Chase, MD, United States | Member Since 2010

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 123 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • Three Stations: An Arkady Renko Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    In Three Stations, Arkady Renko’s skills are put to their most severe test. Though he has been technically suspended from the prosecutor’s office for once again turning up unpleasant truths, he strives to solve a last case: the death of an elegant young woman whose body is found in a construction trailer on the perimeter of Moscow’s main rail hub. It looks like a simple drug overdose to everyone—except to Renko, whose examination of the crime scene turns up some inexplicable clues.

    Jeffrey Dame says: "Arkady Jumps The Shark"
    "Running on Empty"
    Overall

    I've read all the Arkady Renko books and am a great fan. So even when MC Smith puts in a pedestrian effort, with minimal character development -- it's still worth a read. But it was also a disappointment given what Smith can do in terms of pulling you into a new setting (Three Stations is still in Moscow, guess I've been spoiled by recent excursions to Havana and Chernobyl). I even had to check to make sure this was an unbridged version because the book seemed to skip over chapters of character, place and plot development. And everything seemed to fall in Arkady's lap. Again, Smith is such a good writer that it's still worth a listen, but next one, please get back up to your usual speed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5499)
    Performance
    (2819)
    Story
    (2876)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "Introduced to Snow Crash by my 21-Year Old"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Enjoyable both for the less than pretty view of the future, interesting characters and delving into linguistics, computer hacking, civil service, messenger service, the role of the corporation and religion.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Great protaganists (that's a double entrendre)


    What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent, excellent narrator. I think this book would be hard to read, having it read made it sink in better.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The opening scene certainly wakes you up, though it is not all that indicative of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a 50+ mom who only rarely reads science fiction and generally prefer books that well written with good characterization. This book fits the bill.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Craig Ferguson
    • Narrated By Craig Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1671)
    Performance
    (1056)
    Story
    (1055)

    In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his mark - as a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer.

    Diane says: "Unabashedly Honest"
    "Scot's Delight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to American on Purpose again? Why?

    Craig Ferguson is funny in his performances, and funny, in an understated way, in his narrative of his life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Craig, of course. As the case with others who have been through rehab, he has a clear understanding of his faults and bad choices. He is not preachy, just honest.


    What does Craig Ferguson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The way a Scot says "book", sorta like buuuk! Being Scottish is a key aspect of the book, so it's natural for Craig to narrate. And you would not want a plummy Scottish actor to narrate either.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Actually, it was more one that I reserved for times when I needed for-sure listening pleasure, so I eaked it out. I didn't want it to end.


    Any additional comments?

    I now have some of Craig's movies back-orded on Netflix. I've never seen his late night show, but have seen a DVD of his live performance, and the performance rings true to his book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11186)
    Performance
    (10152)
    Story
    (10174)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "You Don't Have to be a Twenty-Something To Enjoy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does 14 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a very good read. It was listed as an Editor's favorite and I appreciate the recommendation.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed all the characters in the apartment building. They had a good reparte that didn't seem too strained, as is often the case. Although several were career-adrift twenty and thirty somethings, a middle aged character added some balance. As a baby boomer myself, I could still relate to the characters.


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

    The narration worked quite well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I just enjoyed the book overall.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skippy Dies

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Murray
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Fred Berman, Clodagh Bowyer, and others
    Overall
    (1460)
    Performance
    (859)
    Story
    (871)

    This touching and uproarious novel by author Paul Murray made everyone’s best fiction of 2010 lists, including The Washington Post, Financial Times, Village Voice, and others. Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the mystery that links the boys of Dublin’s Seabrook College (Ruprecht Van Doren, the overweight genius obsessed with string theory; Carl, the teenager drug dealer and borderline psychotic; Philip Kilfether, the basketball-playing midget) to their parents and teachers in ways that no one could have imagined.

    Laura says: "Funny, touching, entertaining"
    "Skippy Delivers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Skippy Dies?

    I love a book with creative, but not treacle or predictible, prose -- and Skippy Dies delivers in droves. Just a joy to listen to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As other commenters have noted, you don't need to be, or have been, a teenage boy in Ireland to feel simpatico with the characters. They drew you in, though ironically, Skippy was amongst the last fleshed out.


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

    Multiple narrators; worked really well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Definitely laughed. Killing off the main character in the beginning pages (not to mention the title page) undercuts the crying option. One of the best novels I've listened to in a long time.


    Any additional comments?

    I pretty much listen to all my books (not much left eye-wise once work is done), but this book is clearly better due to the narration -- love those Irish accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Heilemann, Mark Halperin
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1909)
    Performance
    (760)
    Story
    (764)

    Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

    Joe says: "Best Audiobook of 2010!"
    "Headline Stories Up Close and Personal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Game Change in three words, what would they be?

    Inside stories exposed


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Getting a sense of the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates


    What about Dennis Boutsikaris’s performance did you like?

    Perfect inflection. Not intrusive.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    There were times I didn't want to pause it, which is high praise for a non-fiction political book.


    Any additional comments?

    You do wonder how the reporters were able to get some of the conversations, particularly the two-person ones. Overall, had the ring of truth, and interesting to reflect on 2008 as we head into 2012.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Steve Martin
    • Narrated By Steve Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2584)
    Performance
    (1195)
    Story
    (1188)

    In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

    Andrew says: "Fantastic"
    "Interesting, Worthwhile, But Not Stellar"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Born Standing Up? What did you like least?

    An honest, but not deep, review of Steve Martin's early life. After recently listening to Keith Richard's and Patti Smith's autobio's, not quite as detailed, nor brash, a life story. Wish there was a bit more devling and more post-fame discussion.


    What does Steve Martin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It's always cool for the author, particularly of an autobiography, to narrate.


    Was Born Standing Up worth the listening time?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • White Noise

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Don DeLillo
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (189)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (103)

    Jack Gladney teaches Hitler studies at a liberal arts college in Middle America where his colleagues include New York expatriates who want to immerse themselves in "American magic and dread". Jack and his fourth wife, Babette, bound by love, fear of death, and four ultramodern offspring, navigate the usual rocky passages of family life to the background babble of brand-name consumerism. Then a lethal black cloud floats over their lives, an airborne "toxic event", an industrial accident.

    Laurie Van Horn says: "HORRIBLE performance."
    "Eeerily Predictive of LIfe 25 Years later"
    Overall

    The White Noise is that of our society, advertising, media, relationships that is eerily predictive of the societal noise surrounding us 25 years later. Do not expect realistic dialog (which is all so many recent novels promise) but instead expositions on daily life. The book can be challenging at times, annoying at times, perplexing at times. There is always a veneer of contrivance, but I never minded, due to the insights and compelling prose.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18113)
    Performance
    (8293)
    Story
    (8326)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "As good as Book One"
    Overall

    An intelligent and engaging finale. You should read books one and two of the series. I expected Book Three to be anticlimatic, but it very much held my interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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