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Michael A. Alderete

San Francisco | Member Since 2003

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 490 ratings
  • 1279 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2321)
    Performance
    (402)
    Story
    (407)

    In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.

    Brent says: "This audio edition is abridged!"
    "Really, outstanding, interesting, and hypnotizing"
    Overall

    First off, the narrator is perfect. *Perfect.* Just an outstanding voice, perfect pitch and inflection, and delivers the many wry, humorous lines with the dry tone only the English can truly manage.

    Second, the book itself is fascinating. Even for people who don't like science, Bryson has written a beautiful guide that is interesting as much for the human characters as for the science itself. And the facts are presented so well, with so many good comparisons and easy-to-grasp metaphors that you'll find yourself interested, even if you think you hate science.

    And last, this may be the perfect book for dropping off to sleep with. Bryson's transitions from topic to topic are clever and smooth, but it's not plot-driven; the book can really be listened to from any point, for any length of time. Missed 20 minutes because you fell asleep before your iPod sleep timer shut off? No big deal, you won't miss it. Catch it the next time around.

    And you will listen to this book again. It's interesting enough and humorous enough that the parts you remember are worth hearing again, and there will be delightful surprises and laughs in those chunks you missed.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    Overall
    (1388)
    Performance
    (459)
    Story
    (459)

    In lower Manhattan, a charnel pit of horror is uncovered: the remains of 36 people murdered and gruesomely dismembered over 130 years ago by an unknown serial killer. Just as a museum archaeologist and an enigmatic FBI agent begin to unravel the clues to the killings, a fresh spree of copy-cat murders and surgical mutilation erupts around them. Mixing science and terror in a way only they can, Preston and Child deliver a novel that's as gruesome as it is enthralling.

    Dianna says: "This Book is a True Curiosity!!"
    "Hooked!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was my first Preston/Child novel and my first Pendergast novel. I'm hooked. I've been buying Preston/Child UNABRIDGED novels ever since. Some have been better than others, but I'll always remember the joy of this novel, discovering a great new series and two new authors.

    FYI: I'll buy it again when the unabridged version come out.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beat the Reaper: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Josh Bazell
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1155)
    Performance
    (447)
    Story
    (446)

    Meet Peter Brown, a young Manhattan emergency room doctor with an unusual past that is just about to catch up with him. His morning begins with the quick disarming of a would-be mugger, followed by a steamy elevator encounter with a sexy young pharmaceutical rep, topped off by a visit with a new patient - and from there Peter's day is going to get a whole lot worse and a whole lot weirder.

    Chuck says: "Great book and great narrator"
    "Strap in to a rocket ride"
    Overall

    This novel blasts off in the first minutes, and never slows down. And even though it's "only" 6+ hours long, it's so intense, and so funny, you will feel like it's a much longer book. I loved every minute of it.

    The novel "takes place" over the course of the narrator's shift in a hospital, with flashbacks into his past. The non-sequential structure is easy to follow, and makes for a more compelling story, building suspense from two directions. It is an R-rated novel, for obvious sex and violence aspects, but what may make listeners squirm the most are some graphic medical scenes.

    The narration is spot on, with a fast pace that matches the novel, bringing both intensity and humor. After listening to this book, you will never think of hospitals the same again.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Closers: Harry Bosch Series, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    Overall
    (2355)
    Performance
    (881)
    Story
    (893)

    In Los Angeles in 1988, a 16-year-old girl disappeared from her home and was later found dead of a gunshot wound to the chest. The death appeared at first to be a suicide, but some of the evidence contradicted that scenario, and detectives came to believe this was in fact a murder. Despite a by-the-book investigation, no one was ever charged.

    Wheelman says: "Thoroughly enjoyable....."
    "I dream of Harry Bosch"
    Overall

    Every time I listen to a Harry Bosch novel, I end up dreaming about it, and him. He's a great character, written well, and as you read or listen to the novels, you feel like you get to know him, that you are compelled to think about him.

    And Len Cariou, the narrator of The Closers (as well as Lost Light and The Narrows) *is* Harry Bosch. His voice is so perfect for the role, I _hear_ his voice in my head when I think about the book. I imagine that when I listen to a Harry Bosch novel without him, it will take away from the book.

    All in all, another highly recommended book from Michael Connelly. Start listening today, you'll not be able to stop.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Lost Light: Harry Bosch Series, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    Overall
    (2503)
    Performance
    (1011)
    Story
    (1027)

    Four years ago, LAPD detective Harry Bosch was on a movie set, asking questions about the murder of a young production assistant, when an armored car arrived with $2 million cash for use in a heist scene. In a life-imitates-art firestorm, a gang of masked men converged on the delivery and robbed the armored car with guns blazing. The crime was never resolved, and the young woman's murder was in the stack of unsolved-case files Bosch carried home the night he left the LAPD.

    Harris says: "Dashel Hammet Redux"
    "This is the best book I've listened to so far"
    Overall

    I've enjoyed a number of other books audited via Audible.com, but Lost Light is the best so far. Gripping story, Michael Connelly's books are now all on my Wish List.

    And Len Cariou is probably the best narrator I've listened to. Certainly, his voice and narration style are _perfect_ for hard boiled detective novels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Skinny Dip

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (2393)
    Performance
    (633)
    Story
    (644)

    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"
    "Enjoyable, diverting, and funny"
    Overall

    While this might not be Hiaasen's best novel, it's certainly enjoyable. And the narrator has a delightfully casual narrative style that goes perfectly with Hiaasen's descriptions of the new Capital of Weird, the state of Florida.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Risk Worth Taking

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Robin Pilcher
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    After the dot-com bubble burst, Dan Porter is laid off from his job and must decide what is truly important. His wife of twenty years, Jackie, a beautiful and successful managing director at a clothing designer shop, no longer connects with him. His teenagers, Josh, Nina, and Millie, are distant and confusing. Jackie is tempted by the attentions of a younger man at her office, and thanks to an opportunity suggested by a magazine article, Dan finds himself contemplating a drastic change in his life.

    Deborah says: "Great Story"
    "Terrible Book, Self-absorbed Ass"
    Overall

    This book sounded so promising. But the main character, Dan Porter, was such a rat, I couldn't stand it. First he gets laid off & loses all the family money in a bad investment. Then, he refuses to accept any job offers so he can "be there" for his kids, even though he doesn't listen to a word they say, much less have any meaningful communication with them or his wife. And he sends money he doesn't have to help a friend in NY. Then, while his wife is struggling as sole bread-winner, instead of supporting her, he runs off to Scotland to help another family he just met. Yes, Dan Porter such a "great guy", he's there for everyone except his own family. Sadly, the author writes the character of the wife so badly you don't care about her either.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Birth of Venus: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Sarah Dunant
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (88)

    Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family's Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter's abilities.

    Giovanna says: "Excellent"
    "unconvincing story, bad reader"
    Overall

    The reader can't keep her character's voices straight which is annoying but more annoying is the poor rendition of the main character by the author. The ending was ridiculous.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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