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Michael

Montclair, NJ, United States | Member Since 2008

84
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 60 reviews
  • 78 ratings
  • 211 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015
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5

  • Summer Knight: The Dresden Files, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7269)
    Performance
    (5677)
    Story
    (5670)

    The Winter Queen of Faerie has manipulated Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden into accepting a case to solve a murder and stop a war between the courts of Summer and Winter that could have literally earth shattering consequences. His own soul is up for grabs. Dresden must dig deep to discover that at time a willingness to accept a little help from your friends, be they a cub pack of werewolves, old loves in sheep's clothing, or a battalion of pizza loving dewdrop fairies, is a very good thing.

    Michael says: "Harry & James are one."
    "Harry & James are one."
    Overall

    Anyone who has made it this far LISTENING to the Harry Dresden series has to feel that James Marsters is the perfect Harry and one of the best overall narrators out there.

    Jim Dale move over! James Marsters is the new leader in town...(at least Chicago). His tone, pitch, inflections and a host of different character voices make it seem like he is actually telling HIS story.

    I have been listening to recorded books for decades & i can tell you a bad narration can ruin the experience; a great narration can make it hard to stop listening.
    You probably could not go wrong with Jim Butchers story lines but then i wouldn't be going through them as fast as i am without Marsters.
    The story in Summer Knight is extrodinary. Just when you think Butcher can't be more inventive, he comes up with more spells & monsters to make your pulse fly!

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Glen McCready
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (98)

    Here is the precursor to Jurassic Park. Victorian explorers have heard there is a remote plateau where dinosaurs still survive, and a group set outs on a dangerous mission to find out more about it.

    Simon Fraser says: "Wit and Drama"
    "Classic Excellence!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Stop reading this right now & go download it. 5 stars straight across! There is a reason This book is considered a classic and I for one am thrilled it wasn't ruined by horrible direction or narration. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Walk Among the Tombstones: A Matt Scudder Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (296)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (245)

    Private detective Matt Scudder investigates a series of kidnappings that always end in brutal murder. Best-selling author Lawrence Block takes us into the seedier back alleys and side-streets of New York City, rendering his subject with a gritty realism.

    PerryMartinBookReviews says: "Movie to be out Sept 19, 2014"
    "Horrible Narration/Direction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I had read this book years ago in text and was looking forward to Mark Hammer's narration. The direction/editiong was so bad I could not finsh it. I had to stop the maddening pauses & delays between remarks in the dialogue!
    There were these pregnant pauses after a question as though the character was being asked a deep seminal question, when all along it was a simple reply to would you like some coffee?!
    to complicate matters there were times when the character was supposed to be agitaed and their comments came out as though they were saying "have a nice day".
    There are too many good books outthere to waste my time...I'm returning this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Legend

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Richard Matheson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3963)
    Performance
    (1861)
    Story
    (1877)

    In I Am Legend, a plague has decimated the world, and those unfortunate enough to survive are transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Robert Neville is the last living man on earth. Everyone else has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood. By day, he stalks the sleeping undead, by night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

    Amazon Customer says: "Superb!"
    "I Am Bored"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I absolutely recommend you do not listen to this book. Unless you are a masochist and enjoy several hours of listeneing to the psychological breakdown of a boring protagonist!Now that i got that out of my system i have to admit I did finish the book. I had to continue because I couldn't believe that it would continue for hours without a change. The total isolation, the intense self loathing, the eww, eww feel sorry for me! On & on! Every time you think its going to be a story about hope and/or redemption it falls apart again. I will say that once i realized it was written in 1954 it altered the way i looked at the book. But that doesn't mean i can recommend it. I say skip it & save your credits!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London Novel (Peter Grant, Book 5)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    Overall
    (594)
    Performance
    (539)
    Story
    (530)

    Peter Grant - cop, magical apprentice, and Londoner to the core - is being forced out of his comfort zone and into the English countryside. His latest case involves the disappearance of children in the small village of Herefordshire, and the local police are unwilling to admit there might be a supernatural element involved. Now Peter must deal with them, local river spirits, and the fact that all the shops close by 4 P.M.

    Amazon Customer says: "What a fun ride!"
    "Least Interesting of the Lot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    OK, it seems Aaronovitch's creative muse is"petering" out or he's succumbed to the "just in it for the paycheck" syndrome.
    That being said, I DID like this book, it just leaves you wanting...wanting a longer story or wanting a little MORE story.
    The plot is OK but it never really develops into anything too interesting. All of this is a bit of a let down when compared to the first 3 and (# 4 was a bit of a bore). With Peter, Nightingale, Molly, Beverly & Leslie, he has a cast of some of the most incredibly interesting characters out there. In Foxglove Summer, they all seem a bit wasted.
    I did like the development of Peter's relationship with Beverly but other than that, the idea of relationship (which are integral in the first few books) is totally gone.
    One other small issue: while I think Kobnar Holdbrook-Smith is absolutely perfect as Peter Grant (He may also be one of my all time top 5 narrators), there were times when he was either whispering of speaking so slowly I could not understand him!
    I do recommend this book but try to get it on sale!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Horse: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (2521)
    Performance
    (1875)
    Story
    (1856)

    The Denver Post hails Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mystery series as a must-read. Joining the four previous novels - all of which have been Book Sense picks - The Dark Horse puts a unique Wyoming twist on the classic British village mystery. When Longmire meets a woman jailed for her husband's death, he travels outside his usual haunts to discover the truth behind this unusual murder case.

    V. Sharol says: "Another outstanding book from Johnson"
    "Another Winner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is another winner in The Walt Longmire series.
    I am convinced that these are better stories to listen to than to read in text. Though I have a different picture in my head Walt then George Guidall, there are only a few narrators on a par with him. You feel like you are there! His voice modulation, the tones and inflections are perfect.
    The story wasn't quite as deep and moving as some of the others but it is still interesting and compelling.
    I strongly recommend The Dark Horse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    Overall
    (1083)
    Performance
    (958)
    Story
    (958)

    In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are 36 bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable, but not my favorite"
    "Curiosity: Why this narrator?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I cannot give this book a very good review because it was a chore to listen too.

    First and foremost: The Narration is horrible. the timbre and cadence of Jonathon Marosz is downrite somnambulistic. This lilt that never changes, zero modulation. I swear, i will never download another book without listening to a sample first.

    That being said I did finish it...i was trapped without anything else to lister to! This is the 3rd Pendergast story I have listened to & it was the most boring. My biggest pet peeve about all of these books is: why does every figure of authority, every upper level manager, every boss have to be an incompetent jerk. Talk about a cliche!

    This will be my last Preston/Child book. The characters are boring and not compelling. The stories are boring and dragged out for the paycheck.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dracula [Audible Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3760)
    Performance
    (3441)
    Story
    (3459)

    The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

    N. Houghton says: "Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
    "Bloody Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have been on a dry spell lately with regards to finding a decent audio book. Most of my last few reviews have 2 or 3 stars and trust me I get no satisfaction from that.I am so thrilled that I found this gem amongst all of the junk out there.This book succeeds...no excels, on all levels: The story is fantastic, interesting, compelling and thrilling; the narration is spot on. I am not usually a big fan of a large cast in audio books but this format is perfectly suited for it. With readings from various journals, letters & diaries it works like a charm.I think this sums it up: I listen while I drive and I didn't want to stop listening and kept looking for excuses to get back in my car!I love the older stories & had read this 30 years ago in text. It really is still one of the best vampire stories ever!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tomb: Repairman Jack #1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By F. Paul Wilson
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (510)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (406)

    Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Gia, Repairman Jack doesn't deal with electronic appliances. He fixes situations for people, often putting himself in deadly danger. His latest project is recovering a stolen necklace, which carries with it an ancient curse that may unleash a horde of Bengali demons. Jack is used to danger, but this time Gia's daughter Vicky is threatened. Can Jack overcome the curse of the yellow necklace and bring Vicky safely back home?

    Elena says: "Pretty good story"
    "Interesting Story Horrible Narration..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a tough book to review. The Story is interesting and very original. There is just something that keeps it from being compelling.

    For one thing, Repairman Jack himself doesn't become even a little interesting until at least halfway through the book. I kept thinking: why should i care about Jack...he's boring and irksome. Even the whole idea of not having an identity made no sense when you find out he still has a family he visits.

    There were also a few too many what I call "Oh-Come-on-now!" moments. No spoilers here and I realize this is the author's story, not mine, but there are some things this listener just take...moments you tell yourself "Oh, C'mon Now! No one would do that!"

    I think the biggest reason I do not like this book is the narrator. He is all wrong. He sounds like he should have been the voice over for a 1960's insurance commercials not reading a supernatural thriller. He did some very convincing NY, Indian & Jewish accents but OMG when he tries to sound like a 7 year old girl i wanted to stick hot wax in my ears.

    I did like the originality of the book and I think they changed narrators in the next book so i may give it a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Strain

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan
    • Narrated By Ron Perlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2813)
    Performance
    (1705)
    Story
    (1716)

    The visionary creator of the Academy Award-winning Pan's Labyrinth and a Hammett Award-winning author bring their imaginations to this bold, epic novel about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity. It is the first installment in a thrilling trilogy and an extraordinary international publishing event.

    Flavius says: "Hokey But Fun"
    "Narration a "Strain" - Buy it in Text"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This has to be one of the top ten worst narrations of all time. What a disappointment!
    I Love Ron Perlman's acting but this was just all wrong.
    It was one monotone "strain" all the way through! It almost seemed intentional; any narrative or prose sounded like an unsure child reading in front of a class, but when he got to dialog he employed accents and inflections. Honestly I tuned out much of it and that is not supposed to happen in good story telling.
    I don't remember who directed it but they must ghve been hearing impaired to the max. Even when the narrative said a character was terrified and began speaking faster it was the same metronomic monotone!
    I'll always give a story 2 or 3 hours to get used to a performer but it never worked here. I kept at it only becuase the story is captivating, interesting & compelling (and because i wasn't able to downlad aything else during this time)...I strongly recommend buying this book in text and enjoying the story rather than have it almost ruined by this reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise of Endymion

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1607)
    Performance
    (1038)
    Story
    (1046)

    In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention. On the 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.

    Chad says: "Simmons' Magnum Opus"
    "The Rise of Disappointment!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you loved the first three Books in this series DO NOT READ THIS BOOK.

    What an utter disappointment to a wonderful (and wonderfully wriiten) series. I had been telling everyone I knowe to read these books (Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion & Endymion)...Now, my goal will be to warn everyonestop after #3!

    First: You cannot convince me that Dan Simmons wasn't paid by the word in this book. OMG! The constant repetition! "My friend" Aenea did this and "my friend" Aenea that and c'mon EVERY time she touiches me i get an elecric shock...we get it, you don't have to write it 40 times!

    Second: (Refer to the First complaint) I love his descriptive prose, I can't think of an author that can better describe a sunset or a mountain range, or the stars... but do you have to name and describe all 7 moons around a planet or 35 people at a gathering (none of whom ever show up in the book again)? Do you have to actually include an entire funeral benediction from a Catholic mass? At least if you are reading this in text you can skim; while listening you just find your attention lost and your mind drifting!

    Third: What happened to all of the other fantastic characters? Father Captain DeSoya, A. Bettick, etc...they all become minor characters so we really lose something in the story. All of the other stories concern many characters, not just one or two. which brings me to:

    Fourth: What are we left with? A whiny Raul and a preaching Aenea. The whole story just becomes an multi-hour (boring) sermon with a dopey Raul wondering whats going on!I am so unhappy with this book I am tempted to return it to Audible.

    Side note: Victor Bevine is fantastic as ever!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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