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BookReader

Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2001

131
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 112 reviews
  • 163 ratings
  • 1008 titles in library
  • 48 purchased in 2014
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  • Love and War: Volume Two of the North and South Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Jakes
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (601)
    Performance
    (525)
    Story
    (525)

    The Main and Hazard families clash on and off the Civil War’s battlefields as they grapple with the violent realities of a divided nation. America's master storyteller continues his reign with Love and War, a story steeped in passion and betrayal. With the Confederate and Union armies furiously fighting, the once-steadfast bond between the Main and Hazard families continues to be tested. From opposite sides of the conflict, they face heartache and triumph on the frontlines as they fight for the future of the nation and their loved ones.

    Hunter says: "The second is as good as the first!!!"
    "Love and War"
    Overall
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    Audiobook. Over forty hours of listening. Love and War is the second book in a three part trilogy regarding the American Civil War. Although historically accurate, the primary purpose of this story is not to convey history. It is rather to convey the effects of history of the lives of ordinary people. Sweeping and accurate, Love and War pulls the characters from North and South through the war years as human, flawed, and victims all.

    Expect the epic-tale style of writing, a different type of presentation than the modern novel. Better, in my opinion, affording the reader the opportunity to savor the time and thoughts of the characters and the author.

    Listened to this audiobook at 1.5 speed. Grover Gardner, although a terrific narrator for the series, is a bit slow for my taste.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Line of Vision

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David Ellis
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (116)

    Marty Kalish is a young man suffocating in the heat of an affair with a married woman named Rachel. When Rachel's husband disappears one night, Marty is one of the first to be questioned. With few likely suspects, the police arrest him for murder. We want him to be innocent, but the more he tells us, the more we fear he is guilty. And as the twists and turns of the plot unfold, we can't be completely sure.

    Cynthia says: "Outstanding!"
    "Line of Vision"
    Overall
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    Story
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    Line of Vision is approximately 15 hours of listening, read by the estimable Dick Hill. This audiobook has been in my reading listing since 2009, about time I listened! Released by Brilliance Audio in early 2008, the book was originally published as a hardback in 2001 - so it’s been around a while. There are actually more ratings on Audible than reviews on Amazon, interesting. Maybe that has to do with audiobook fans searching for ‘Dick Hill’?

    Dick Hill is one of those few readers that, with their talent, will take a mediocre story and create a terrific audiobook. Well, he has much more than mediocre to work with in Line of Vision.

    The book is a good one, winner of the 2002 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author. The story is told from the viewpoint of Marty Kalish. Marty is in the midst of an illicit affair with a married co-worker’s wife, Rachael Rhinheart. The reader immediately is convinced, as are the police, that Marty murdered Rachael’s husband. Mystery solved, right? Well, not really.

    In this cat and mouse police procedural, the guilt of Marty Kalish seems to be cut and dried. But, as the story progresses, the reader is gradually made uncertain. Therein is the substance of Line of Vision. Did Marty commit this murder? Did Rachael? You’ll begin to wonder. And, at the same time, enjoy one hell of a nice murder mystery. Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Carol Cowan, Michael Hanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (441)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (205)

    Reporter Holly Thorne is intrigued by Jim Ironheart, who has saved 12 lives in the past three months. Holly wants to know what kind of power drives him, why terrifying visions of a churning windmill haunt his dreams, and just what he means when he whispers in his sleep that an enemy who will kill everyone is coming.

    Michael says: "Above average Koontz"
    "Cold Fire"
    Overall
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    Narrated by Michael Hanson and Carol Cowan, Cold Fire is approximately fifteen hours of listening. The original novel was published in 1991. When I first heard the stigmata issue, I rolled my eyes and thought I was in for a boring, religious diatribe. Fortunately, my initial fears were unfounded, and I kept listening simply because the story was so intriguing. Koontz is an amazing story teller, and as has been said, story trumps all.

    The lead character, Jim Ironheart, has a gift; call it clairvoyance. He knows when someone is in danger, and goes to whatever measures are necessary to save lives. Early in the tale a struggling journalist, Holly Thorne, witnesses this mysterious heroism. Holly smells a story that may salvage her career, and before long, the two become lovers. However, the love affair is secondary to the fact that together they journey through the macabre (It’s Dean Koontz, after all.) details of Jim Ironheart’s past to understand his amazing powers. Great plane crash scene.

    The most wonderful aspect of this story is the audio reading by Carol Cowan. Just terrific. The male voices are read by Michael Hanson, and are nice … but Carol does an incredible job with the voice and thoughts of Holly Thorne. Both readers jockey through dialogue and narrative very smoothly. An enjoyable listen, well worth the credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Man

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (65)

    On a freezing February day, a stranger emerges from out of the gray to request a room at a local provincial inn. Who is this out-of-season traveler? More confounding is the thick mask of bandages obscuring his face. Why does he disguise himself in this manner and keep himself hidden away in his room? Aroused by trepidation and curiosity, the local villagers bring it upon themselves to find the answers.

    Brian says: "Way ahead of its time!"
    "Cool, classic Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
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    If you’re looking for a book that reflects the television productions of either the late 1950s or mid 1970s, this is not the book for you. Although the fundamental basis is the same, the behavior of the lead character is not. In the television stories, our invisible man was a good guy, altruistic. This protagonist is more power conscious and although the distress resulting from an accidental experiment is understandable, his devilish behavior is evidence of a nasty human being.

    Worth the credits, classic science fiction. This story was written in the late 1800s and is timeless in it’s appeal. Just over five hours of listening, nicely read by James Adams, released in 2000. Been around in audio format for quite a while. Enjoyed!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4214)
    Performance
    (3166)
    Story
    (3172)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Alas"
    Overall
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    From Wikipedia: Alas Babylon is a 1959 novel by by Pat Frank (the pen name of Harry Hart Frank). It was one of the first apocalyptic novels of the nuclear age and remains popular 55 years after it was first published, consistently ranking in Amazon.com's Top 20 Science Fiction Short Stories.

    I purchased Alas, Babylon as a result of an Audible Daily Deal. The audible version is approximately 12 hours of listening, read by Will Patton, so I wouldn’t exactly call it a 'short story' . Obviously, an old classic is terrific fodder for a new audio production in that Alas, Babylon is a 2012 Audie Award Winner. Will Patton does a great job. I wish they’d do more of this with classic literature. Possibly start out with audio versions of all Pulitzer Prize winners? Advise & Consent would be awesome in audiobook format.

    At any rate, this story is one of survival, loss, triumph, death, and re-birth amidst, and post nuclear war. This nuclear war lasts one single day, a day the characters refer to as simply, The Day. A small town in Florida learns to do without pretty much everything and begin living in a post The Day world. Completely cut off from the rest of civilization, the town has no idea what has happened, if or not the United States has ‘won’ the war, the global implications, and to what degree the human race will move forward. Considering when this book was written, 1959, and 2014 headlines of today, I’m sorry to say the pulse of world politics has not changed. Alas, Babylon is a vision of world-wide holocaust brought about by the nuclear age that has been a real threat since WWII. The countries involved are the same, i.e., Russia, Syria, the middle east.

    The only difference from today is that in 1959 there were no cell-phones. Eerie.Well worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Cross

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (868)
    Performance
    (540)
    Story
    (537)

    It is January 1944 - and as Allied troops prepare for D day, Nazi scientists develop a toxic nerve gas that will repel and wipe out any invasion force. To salvage the planned assault, two vastly different but equally determined men are sent to infiltrate the secret concentration camp where the poison gas is being perfected on human subjects. Their only objective: destroy all traces of the gas and the men who created it - no matter how many lives may be lost...including their own.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "They Might Be Scum, But they were German Scum"
    "Black Cross"
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    Narrated by the amazing Dick Hill, Black Cross is a long listen, over twenty hours. The story begins with the death of WWII veteran Michael McConnell, who, typical of all war veterans, has never conveyed any details of his service, neither to his wife nor his son. An old companion, aware of these secrets, seeks out McConnell's son, and deems that some amazing heroics and history needs told or forever lost. The book is the narration of Michael McConnell’s horrific tale.

    There is latitude taken by the author, as it pertains to point of view and writing technique. The story is supposed to be a documented history, as witnessed by Michael McConnell. Several scenes, most in fact, are such that McConnell cannot and doesn't witness them, the scenes include other ancillary characters and it’s never exactly clear how McConnell could be aware of these instances. For example, conversations between Churchill and his generals while McConnell is working in a lab at Oxford. Scenes that take place between two women in a concentration camp, or between a concentration camp prisoner and an SS agent. How can these events be conveyed without ever having been witnessed by McConnell himself? Much of the story is basically hearsay.

    This conundrum aside, the tale is gripping and a sad commentary of the inhumanity inflicted by humans upon each other. Greg Iles thought Black Cross was one of his best efforts … it is, albeit distressing and terribly sad. Although fiction, the basics of the atrocities inflicted by Germany are true.

    Excellent narration, of course, by Dick Hill. Well worth the credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 9th Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (773)
    Performance
    (678)
    Story
    (688)

    On a frigid New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis, a young woman’s brutalized body falls from the trunk of a car into the path of oncoming traffic. Questions as to whether she was alive or dead when she hit the icy pavement result in her macabre nickname, Zombie Doe. Unidentified and unidentifiable, she is the ninth nameless female victim of the year, and homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are charged with the task of not only finding out who Zombie Doe is but who in her life hated her enough to destroy her. Was it personal? Or could it just have been a crime of opportunity?

    Sires says: "Not Fond of Narrator, Characters Sterotypical"
    "The 9th Girl"
    Overall
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    Tami Hoag might have a crush on Channing Tatum … maybe? Not sure mentioning a current Hollywood heart-throb in a book, at least twice, is a good idea. Someone picks this book up in forty years and they’ll have no idea who she’s talking about. That said, The 9th Girl, is a decent police procedural. Not giving anything away that isn’t revealed within the first few pages. A teenaged girl pops out of a trunk in front of a party-limo that can’t avoid hitting her. The story moves on from this point, i.e., who is she? Why was she in the trunk? What caused the caustic burns on her face? What’s with the tattoo? The investigation proceeds through suspicions of parents, frustrated cops, deceptive teenaged angst.

    The characters are oversimplified images, not fully rounded. It’s hard to root for anyone in particular. The cops act like cops, type-a and hard-boiled. The teenagers act like teenagers, hate everything and everybody, shave their heads and have earrings in their lips. Mothers are like mothers with cubs. Dads are stoic and distant. Nobody stands out.

    Writing, in my opinion, begins with character development … followed with plot. Something is skewed in The 9th Girl, and although I had no trouble sticking with the story, something was just …. off.

    Okay mystery, but not one of Hoag’s best. Narration was fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Bayou

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By James Daniels, Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1175)
    Performance
    (972)
    Story
    (973)

    Declan Fitzgerald had always been the family maverick, but even he couldn't understand his impulse to buy a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of New Orleans. All he knew was that ever since he saw Manet Hall, he'd been enchanted - and obsessed - with it. So when the opportunity to buy the house comes up Declan jumps at the chance to live out a dream.

    Phyllis S. Mike says: "Not the Norm"
    "Midnight Bayou"
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    Close to 600 audiobook reviews, read by James Daniels and Sandra Burr, originally published in 2001, the unabridged version of Midnight Bayou is just under ten hours of listening. Typical Nora Roberts, i.e., a nice curl-up-on-the-sofa story. Not deep, not life changing.

    The Roberts formula shines through the story. Take a dilapidated old plantation mansion in New Orleans, a young Boston lawyer (Burned out at a young age, which is a story in itself, I would think.), throw in a stubbornly independent, albeit beautiful, local, a few ghosts, a little southern Louisiana superstition and voodoo, some reincarnation … and ta-da … you have a winner.

    Nice narration, fun listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Innocent Ones: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Robert Gregory Browne
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (190)

    Assistant District Attorney Beth Crawford and her sister, Jen, take a much needed vacation in Baja California, but the fun in the sun doesn't last long when Jen disappears without a trace on the streets of Playa del Sol. Now Beth must navigate the underbelly of a city she doesn't know, and the only one who can help her is Nick Vargas, a disgraced newspaper reporter on the trail of a dangerous and deadly cult with big plans for its annual celebration...on the Day of the Dead.

    shelley says: "Another winner from Robert Gregory Browne"
    "The Innocent Ones"
    Overall
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    Two parallel stories begin this tale. One centers on a scandalized journalist, Vargas, seeking to recover a shattered career by investigating a mass murder near the Mexican border. The other surrounds two sisters on a cruise, one a Holly-Go-Lightly named Jen, the other a straight laced attorney, Beth. The sudden disappearance of Jen in a Mexico port of call, sends Beth into a frenzy of searching. You’ll wonder how the author can possibly bring these two, completely unique, story lines together into a uniform plot. He does, very well. This is a page-turning thriller.

    Read by the incredible Scott Brick, the story is approximately eleven hours of listening. Scott could read a cookbook and make it spellbinding; he uses his stellar talent in joining with Robert Browne to make a good book even better. Fun listen. Surprised that there aren’t more audio reviews; less than 50 at this writing. Lot’s of planning went into this story and all the pieces come together nicely. Enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2160)
    Performance
    (1968)
    Story
    (1964)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "Pines"
    Overall
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    Pines is close to nine hours of listening, read by Paul Michael Garcia. There are close to 2000 reviews on Audible at this writing, and the book has a four-star rating. Not likely there is much I can add to what has already said, the story is a page-turner. A secret service agent is dispatched to a small town to investigate the disappearance of fellow agents.

    The book should be part of a Sci-Fi listing, because although Pines is a thriller, the tale involves time leaps and the macabre. Any lovers of Dean Koontz or Stephen King out there? Pines is in the same vein. The main character goes through several physically abusive situations, more than necessary, in my opinion. Lots of narration defining his aches and pains … I actually muttered ‘I get it!’ a time or two, and fast-forwarded through repetitive torture scenes that were a bit gratuitous and added nothing to the plot.

    Paul Michael Garcia does a great job, good narration.

    Don’t expect a Tom Clancy/Vince Flynn type thriller or a Tami Hoag crime procedural - Pines is Sci-Fi, through and through. But, good Sci-Fi! Enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • First to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Andrew Peterson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3057)
    Performance
    (2146)
    Story
    (2144)

    When you're the best at what you do, it's not always easy to walk away. Nathan McBride was retired. The trained Marine sniper and covert CIA operative had put the violence of his former life behind him. But not anymore. A deep-cover FBI agent has disappeared along with one ton of powerful Semtex explosive, enough to unleash a disaster of international proportions. The U.S. government has no choice but to coax Nathan out of retirement.

    Ed says: "Sniper thriller par excellence"
    "First to Kill"
    Overall
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    Dick Hill. One of the best! Sorry to say, First to Kill isn’t one of the best. The lead character, Nathan McBride, will remind you of another type A, take no prisoners, kick-ass, fundamentally soft-hearted former military dude. Maybe it’s the fact that Dick Hill narrated First to Kill. If you read primarily via audiobook format, such as I, Connelly’s Jack Reacher is brought to mind. Hill is the voice of Reacher in all of that series, as far as I know.

    First to Kill is a thriller, centering on high-level politics and skullduggery covertly pulling our main character into a revenge laced situation. Lot’s of characters to keep track of, a few twists, but the bad-guys are well known throughout. Mild love interest interspersed … just because it’s expected, I guess. Didn’t add anything to the story. A little trouble holding my interest and sadly, I didn’t rewind, just kept moving forward.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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