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Brad Marlowe

Los Angeles, CA United States | Member Since 2003

102
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 799 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • Wolves of the Calla: Dark Tower V

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3656)
    Performance
    (1814)
    Story
    (1849)

    Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World, the almost timeless landscape that seems to stretch from the wreckage of civility that defined Roland's youth to the crimson chaos that seems the future's only promise. Followers of Stephen King's epic series know Roland well, or as well as this enigmatic hero can be known. They also know the companions who have been drawn to his quest for the Dark Tower: Eddie Dean and his wife, Susannah; Jake Chambers; and Oy.

    Amazon Customer says: "The Dark Tower Review - Part Five"
    "Frank Muller is Sorely Missed"
    Overall

    I agree with an earlier reviewer who stated that the books in this series keep getting better. I found the first one, The Gunslinger, merely average, but am very glad that I stuck it out through books 2, 3, 4, and now 5. I feel fortunate that I came to the series late, in fact only when they emerged on audiobook, because I was able to emerse myself in the whole series to date - over the course of three month's listening. Frank Muller's narration felt a little over the top at first (in the Gunslinger) but I soon warmed to it, and then grew to love it. That must be why this volume, the first that was not voiced by Muller, felt lacking at first. The characters all spoke differently, of course, and that felt like the sequel to a great film in which a new lead actor replaces the one who made the role famous (Hannibal comes to mind), but by hour 6 or 7 - I was back onboard.

    All and all - a great read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Predator

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Patricia Cornwell
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (574)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (155)

    Dr. Kay Scarpetta, now freelancing with the National Forensic Academy in Florida, takes charge of a case that stretches from steamy Florida to snowbound Boston, one as unnerving as any she has ever faced. The teasing psychological clues lead Scarpetta and her team, Pete Marino, Benton Wesley, and Lucy Farinelli, to suspect that they are hunting someone with a cunning and malevolent mind whose secrets have kept them in the shadows, until now.

    Babs says: "What's next? Scarpetta kidnapped by aliens?"
    "Just Plain Bad"
    Overall

    I've read or listened to every novel in this series and Predator is by far the worst. The story is unfocused, the characters have all become unhappy and bickering, and the climax was so head-scratchingly bad that I thought I'd skipped a few chapters...but didn't even care enough to go back and check. Cornwell is obviously bored with these characters and needs to move on to something else. She's clearly just in it for the money, at this point, and her formerly-loyal readers deserve better. If Cornwell doesn't kill off Scarpetta in the next book - I'll write the character's demise myself and post it here. It certainly couldn't be any worse than the author's current work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skull Session

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Daniel Hecht
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    Despite his brilliance, Paul Skoglund hasn't held a steady job for years, partly because of his Tourette's syndrome, a neurological disorder that forces his body into wild swings and to blurt out words that are hilariously, often tragically, inappropriate.

    David says: "Great enough for ME to review!"
    "I respectfully disagree"
    Overall

    I found this book very hard to get into and, in fact, put it aside a couple of times before committing. I should have listened to my first instinct on this one.

    The extensive and, in my opinion, tedious "neurological disorder" background information made this book feel more like a term paper than a novel and when it becomes clear why the author spent so much of his/our time on this medical and pseudo-medical material in order to (attempt to) justify his big finale -- it just feels forced and false. In essence, the reader/listener must slog through hours and hours of tedium in order to arrive at an entirely un-credible (not incredible) and over-the-top conclusion.

    The author's Cree Black series is far better, though those books still feel a little slow and clunky, to me. If you're looking for paranormal thrillers Stephen King still reins supreme, with Dean Koontz a distant second.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Exodus: A Story from Haunted - Free Excerpt

    • UNABRIDGED (44 mins)
    • By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr
    Overall
    (599)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (47)

    Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter, sometimes all at once. They are told by people who have answered an ad headlined "Writers' Retreat: Abandon Your Life for Three Months", and who are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of "real life" that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them.

    William says: "A waste of time."
    "A Perverse"
    Overall

    If you like gory, sexually-deviant, graphic, VERY dark material - this collection of short stories is for you. The writing is terrific and smart and the narrators are competent. I've never been a great fan of short stories, but the Tales-from-the-Crypt-like framework onto which this collection is built made it feel more like a novel and less like literary fragments and leftovers that had gathered dust in the author's bottom drawer until some editor suggested throwing them all together into a compilation.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Close to Home

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Peter Robinson
    • Narrated By Ron Keith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (38)

    Peter Robinson is the critically acclaimed New York Times and London Sunday Times best-selling author of the Inspector Alan Banks series, as well as a winner of the 2001 Anthony and 2001 Ellis Awards. Close to Home traverses the difficult landscapes of a painful past, and an uncertain future for Inspector Banks. Two 15-year-old boys are lost, and the circumstances of their disappearances seem oddly parallel save one detail. The first boy disappeared and was presumed dead 35 years ago.

    Kev says: "Golden Age of Mystery"
    "Not great, so far"
    Overall

    At the four hour mark, I have to agree with the other reviewer(s) - the narrator?s nasal Scottish brogue and stilted, halting delivery are both annoying and distracting. And maybe I've been spoiled with faster-paced American mysteries by Jonathan Kellerman, John Sandford and Patricia Cornwell. By comparison, Close To Home creeps along at an arthritic snail's pace. Perhaps it will get better, but so far . . . pretty underwhelming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Susanna Clarke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (3315)
    Performance
    (1306)
    Story
    (1310)

    English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

    David says: "Hang in there!"
    "An Odd Gem"
    Overall

    At first, I was taken aback by the languid pace and ambling nature of this story. But the excellent narration, whimsical invention and atmospheric "texture" of the tale won me over, about three hours into it. And then, as the story unfolded, I actually began to care less about the destination and more about the literary journey of the piece, which was rare for me - being a lover of modern mysteries.

    From then on it was a pure pleasure, and even turned out to have a satisfying destination after all. Ultimately, it was a unique blend of historic and fantasy elements, presented with a whimsical freshness that I've seldom experienced in a book. After 30+ hours -- I was sorry to see it end.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Red: Book Two, The Heroic Rescue

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ted Dekker
    • Narrated By Rob Lamont
    Overall
    (635)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (219)

    Red centers around the heroic rescue attempts of Thomas Hunter to save both worlds. With the devastating realization that he has unleashed death into both worlds, he now must figure out how to undo this evil all while trying to save his true love. From meeting with world powers in one world to leading a small band of mighty warriors in the great forests of the other world, Thomas is determined to change the history of two realities, or sacrifice all in trying.

    Deanna says: "Best of the best!"
    "Only for fans of"
    Overall

    With BLACK, this trilogy got off to an interesting, if not entirely-original, dual dimension/reality premise. But the sloppy writing (frequently-repeated descriptive words in the same sentence, too-easy obstacle resolutions for paper-thin characters, and derivative Biblical "parallels" which feel more like laziness than homage) combined with amateurish, clunky narration (which sounds to me like a minister moonlighting as an audio book reader) made this "epic" trilogy feel more like an over-hyped, thinly-veneered sermon on the mount that anything approaching engrossing fiction. And WHITE is, by far, the worst offender of the three books in this regard.

    I felt compelled to offer this opinion because many reviews of the Dekker books have been so over-the-top glowing that I now believe that the author's primary readership must be among the ranks of hard-core "believers". About half-way through book two, RED, this occurred to me and after a web search, I could find not a single review of a Ted Dekker book that did not originate from a "Christian" site. And - surprise, surprise ? not one reviewer had a single criticism.

    Don't get me wrong, there were some very imaginative elements to the story - and I have nothing against "Christian Fiction" or any other genre of writing. I'd just prefer to have a bit more truth in advertising. This is a Christian story for Christian readers who are so glad to have anything to read that even pretends to be suspenseful or exciting that they are happy to overlook the author and narrator's shortcomings, and will praise this trilogy to high-heaven . . . no pun intended ;)

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Black: Book One, The Birth of Evil

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ted Dekker
    • Narrated By Rob Lamont
    Overall
    (897)
    Performance
    (290)
    Story
    (299)

    Fleeing assailants through alleyways in Denver late one night, Thomas Hunter narrowly escapes to the roof of an industrial building. Then a silent bullet from the night clips his head and his world goes black. When he awakes, he finds himself in an entirely different reality, a green forest that seems more real than where he was. Every time he tries to sleep, he wakes up in the other world, and soon he truly no longer knows which reality is real.

    Curtis says: "Should be Section One, not Book One"
    "Only for fans of"
    Overall

    With BLACK, this trilogy got off to an interesting, if not entirely-original, dual dimension/reality premise. But the sloppy writing (frequently-repeated descriptive words in the same sentence, too-easy obstacle resolutions for paper-thin characters, and derivative Biblical "parallels" which feel more like laziness than homage) combined with amateurish, clunky narration (which sounds to me like a minister moonlighting as an audio book reader) made this "epic" trilogy feel more like an over-hyped, thinly-veneered sermon on the mount that anything approaching engrossing fiction. And WHITE is, by far, the worst offender of the three books in this regard.

    I felt compelled to offer this opinion because many reviews of the Dekker books have been so over-the-top glowing that I now believe that the author's primary readership must be among the ranks of hard-core "believers". About half-way through book two, RED, this occurred to me and after a web search, I could find not a single review of a Ted Dekker book that did not originate from a "Christian" site. And - surprise, surprise ? not one reviewer had a single criticism.

    Don't get me wrong, there were some very imaginative elements to the story - and I have nothing against "Christian Fiction" or any other genre of writing. I'd just prefer to have a bit more truth in advertising. This is a Christian story for Christian readers who are so glad to have anything to read that even pretends to be suspenseful or exciting that they are happy to overlook the author and narrator's shortcomings, and will praise this trilogy to high-heaven . . . no pun intended ;)

    55 of 72 people found this review helpful
  • White: Book Three, The Great Pursuit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ted Dekker
    • Narrated By Rob Lamont
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (552)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (199)

    In this final installment of Ted Dekker's groundbreaking Circle Trilogy, Thomas Hunter has only days to survive two separate realms of danger, deceit, and destruction. The fate of both worlds hinges on his unique ability to shift realities through his dreams.

    April says: "Fantastic Series"
    "Only for fans of"
    Overall

    With BLACK, this trilogy got off to an interesting, if not entirely-original, dual dimension/reality premise. But the sloppy writing (frequently-repeated descriptive words in the same sentence, too-easy obstacle resolutions for paper-thin characters, and derivative Biblical "parallels" which feel more like laziness than homage) combined with amateurish, clunky narration (which sounds to me like a minister moonlighting as an audio book reader) made this "epic" trilogy feel more like an over-hyped, thinly-veneered sermon on the mount that anything approaching engrossing fiction. And WHITE is, by far, the worst offender of the three books in this regard.

    I felt compelled to offer this opinion because many reviews of the Dekker books have been so over-the-top glowing that I now believe that the author's primary readership must be among the ranks of hard-core "believers". About half-way through book two, RED, this occurred to me and after a web search, I could find not a single review of a Ted Dekker book that did not originate from a "Christian" site. And - surprise, surprise ? not one reviewer had a single criticism.

    Don't get me wrong, there were some very imaginative elements to the story - and I have nothing against "Christian Fiction" or any other genre of writing. I'd just prefer to have a bit more truth in advertising. This is a Christian story for Christian readers who are so glad to have anything to read that even pretends to be suspenseful or exciting that they are happy to overlook the author and narrator's shortcomings, and will praise this trilogy to high-heaven . . . no pun intended ;)

    24 of 56 people found this review helpful
  • Serpent's Tooth

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Faye Kellerman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (3)

    Serpent's Tooth is a New York Times best-selling thriller from the phenomenally popular author of Stone Kiss. When a suicidal ex-employee of a chic Los Angeles restaurant goes to work with a machine gun, the results of his murderous rampage send chills up the spine of homicide detective Peter Decker. But how could so many people be killed with just one gun? With lightning-quick pacing and thrill-a-minute plotting, Faye Kellerman's novel triumphs with a fantastic reading by George Guidall.

    MEMcL says: "Another good one"
    "Unfortunately, talent doesn't run in the family"
    Overall

    In my six months of membership in Audible I've listened to approximately 25 books and this is the first time I've been sufficiently moved to comment on a purchase.

    This book - and this writer - are just plain bad. Balsa wood characters for whom you feel nothing but impatience, leaden dialogue, and plotting so remedial that you can almost see the 3x5 "plot-point" cards taped to the writer's wall.

    Run away from this one. Far, far away.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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