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Brad

Littleton, MA, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
64
REVIEWS
49
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
98

  • Thunderball

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (149)

    James Bond is in disgrace. His medical report is critical of the high living that is ruining his health, and M packs him off for a fortnight to a health farm to be tuned up to his former pitch of exceptional fitness. Bond expects a trying two weeks. The last thing he expects is an adversary more deadly, more ruthless even than SMERSH.

    Miles GE says: "Impeccable"
    "A Solid Bond Entry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Thunderball to be better than the print version?

    Yes, this story is a little/lot dated and the performance seems to make it more real, kind of like a retrospective spy novel, set in the late 1950's.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes and no. I read this book nearly 40 years ago, and most of us have seen the movie, which somewhat follows the book and in many ways does not. So there was a missing element of suspense for me personally. I really loved reading these James Bond novels in my junior high school and high school years. It was good to relive this work as an older adult and find the book still interesting and the characters, locales and action compelling. This is one of the better James Bond entries and set the stage for many fun movies and future novels bases on the premise of the Spector criminal organization. Fleming seems to delight in putting you into beautiful locales with lavish yachts, casinos and mansions. It's all good fun and entertaining.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Simon Vance did an excellent job narrating this spy novel.


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

    Yes, it is realively short in length so it is possible. The book has a certain flow that you will enjoy letting the story unfold. Ian Fleming was an excellent storyteller, so you are never stuck with a dull chapter. Fleming wrote in a sparse number of pages with a large numbers of chapters so each becomes it own little cliffhanger. You are teased into needing to listen to the next chapter and the next and so on.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an excellent entry in the Bond series and well worth the time and expense to enjoy. All that said, it is a product of the 1950's so much of it may ring quaint or even a little campy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bat: The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (415)
    Performance
    (380)
    Story
    (388)

    Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman tried to take everything he held dear, he went to Australia. Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect.

    Old Hippy says: "Glad I read the all the other Nesbo books first"
    "Wow, A Complex, Nordic/Australian Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the story of a Norwegian detective sent to Sydney Australia to investigate the murder of a Norwegian television star. I love Jo Nesbo's writing style. The dialog is perfect, tone-on. You get a large exposure to the native culture and a gritty serial killer at work. There are the blind alleys. Harry the protagonist is the flawed detective (alcoholic) but he keeps a sharp eye on detail and inconsistencies. The plot unravels slowly at first, feeling very real and then accelerates. I loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rogue Island

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Bruce DeSilva
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman, Bruce DeSilva
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (856)
    Performance
    (666)
    Story
    (660)

    Liam Mulligan is as old school as a newspaper man gets. His beat is Providence, Rhode Island, and he knows every street and alley. He knows the priests and prostitutes, the cops and street thugs. He knows the mobsters and politicians--who are pretty much one and the same. Someone is systematically burning down the neighborhood Mulligan grew up in, people he knows and loves are perishing in the flames, and the public is on the verge of panic.

    Michael Jacobi says: "Classic Whodunnit"
    "Quirky Rhode Island Noir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fun book at times with dark shadows, full of self-deprecating humor set in Providence, Rhode Island. The crimes are a long string of arsons that start killing people.
    A world-weary reporter starts his quest to see what is really going on. His easy relationships with some organized crime types rounds out what could have been a fumbled police procedural.

    As the title implies, there is a shortage of moral fiber in the Ocean State. For me, the story wobbled a little in the middle and then accelerated in the last 90 minutes into one of the best conclusions I have ever experienced.

    Let's just say that some form of justice is liberally handed-out with no conscience.

    I recommend this book for numerous reasons. You get a flavor of a quite different state with some pretty outrageous characters. Rogue Island has a lot going on and while the underlying crime may seem obvious, the red herrings keep you guessing. Finally, there is more than a fair amount of Noir tragedy going on in this book. Bad things happen to good people. Relationships are tested hard.

    Best of all is the dialogue that rings true, apt, snappy and almost philosophical. The characters become amazingly real. Bruce Silva pulls you in. I bet you will like it too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Far Side of the Dollar: A Lew Archer Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Ross MacDonald
    • Narrated By Tom Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Has Tom Hillman run away from his exclusive reform school, or has he been kidnapped? Are his wealthy parents protecting him or their own guilty secrets? And why does every clue lead Lew Archer to an abandoned Hollywood hotel, where starlets and sailors once rubbed shoulders with tycoons and hustlers? The once-popular palace is now boarded up. But for Archer, it may hold the key to a missing teenager and a hot murder.

    Brad says: "A Great Ross MacDonald Mystery"
    "A Great Ross MacDonald Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This noir mystery was written in 1965 by the master of the California private eye genre, Ross MacDonald. Every award/honor Ross MacDonald received during his illustrious career was more than earned. The missing person plot unfolds at a breakneck pace. Tom Parker has the perfect voice to narrate a 1960's setting and the gritty dialogue of the characters. I listened through in two sessions, impossible to stop. Ross MacDonald wrote in terse sentences with a world-weary tone that perfectly captured his detective Lew Archer and his troubled clients. I loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost: Paladin of Shadows, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Jeremy Arthur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (543)
    Performance
    (506)
    Story
    (511)

    Former SEAL Michael Harmon, Team Name ''Ghost'', retired for service injuries, is not enjoying college life. But things are about to change, if not for the better. When he sees a kidnapping, a series of, at the time logical, decisions leave him shot to ribbons and battling a battalion of Syrian commandos with only the help of three naked co-eds who answer to the names ''Bambi,'' ''Thumper'' and ''Cotton Tail.'

    Jenassecret says: "Military-Erotica! I want MORE!!!"
    "Not So Hot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is really a collection of three (3) short stories that are loosely related, starring a semi-retired Navy Seal character that prefers to call himself Ghost. I regret completing this review for several reasons (mainly, obviously some readers love it): (1) This book has foolish stories that all end with atomic bombs (two go off and one is disarmed in the last 5 seconds before detonation). So you have that kind of novelist that believes now everyone will like the US for nuking Middleeastern countries. (2) Our lead character is a self-confessed sadomasochist that practices his killing skills and abusive behavior in escalating intensity throughout the three stories. (3) The US President loves Ghost so much that he pays him something like $65 million through the three stories; so you have Rollo the Rich Kid pursuing bad guys in a leased Gulfstream; I guess the US does not have an AMEX Platinum Card like Mr. Ghost. (4) Oh, and of course, the entire US Military, CIA and Special Operatives are all 1000's of miles away, so Ghost has to race around the world saving us solo. (5) He kills some of the renown bad guys of past and present as a bonus, why just rescue hostages?...why not reset the geopolitical balance too? What's a head of state or two? (6) Inbetween the relentless killing we get relentless plugs for Fox News and the Republican party. Author Ringo does not miss a beat.

    John Ringo writes a lot of science fiction, a genre that permits the author to go outside the bounds of reality, science and logic. This military, spy, counter-terrorism, hero series is sophomoric entertainment, base and senseless and lacks any grounding. The Navy Seal strategy for Ghost is to go in the front door and shoot 10 people standing dumbly around before they can raise an automatic firearm...now that is realistic. Of course, he takes 5 - 6 grievous wounds per story and spouts half-baked philosophy all the way to the trauma center. What a guy!

    I am so very ashamed I completed this novel. It's very low-brow, loaded with action and some very disturbing behavior that other reviewers have commented on much better than I could or will. There are much better thriller series to explore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man with a Load of Mischief: A Richard Jury Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (268)

    At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub’s sign, replacing the mechanical man who kept the time. Two pubs. Two murders. One Scotland Yard inspector called in to help. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the postcard village looking outside of town for the killer - except for one Melrose Plant....

    C. Telfair says: "Favorite Revisited"
    "First Richard Jury Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to like this book very much, and enjoyed it somewhat....thud. The English characters are eccentric and there is an underlying mischief and humor. The first two murders are colorful and unique. There is a lot of fun in this book.

    My issue is that the solution to the mystery is something like an Agatha Christie plot. It is very, very far-fetched and has some of that smugness about a highly doubtful complex sequence with dead bodies that defies most logic. You may suspect the killer, but you will never understand the key detail that keeps the villain shielded...until the Sherlock Holmes-like final reveal. A reader gets the feeling that the characters' daily interactions are the thing and that the underlying motive of the mass killer is somewhat secondary. For that I give 4 stars...maybe 3 1/2. The narration is marvelous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Swing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Rupert Holmes
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    Two-time Edgar Award-winner Rupert Holmes, author of the critically acclaimed Where the Truth Lies and creator of the Tony Award-winning musical whodunit The Mystery of Edwin Drood, now fuses gripping suspense and evocative music in an innovative novel of intrigue set in 1940, during the very heart of the Big Band era.

    Becky says: "Grab this one at the highest resolution"
    "Noir Mystery at the Golden Gate Exposition"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Swing" by Rupert Holmes kept me engaged from the beginning to the end. Frankly it was hard to tell how the mystery would resolve itself to the very end. Like any good Noir, it slowly descends to a final violent and unforeseen conclusion.

    Rupert Holmes has previously won a pair of Edgars, a Grammy and three Tony Awards. He writes very thoughtfully with an abundance of period information. Set in 1940 during the Golden Gate International Exposition on the manmade Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, the noirish fictional historic thriller is narrated by sax player and arranger Ray Sherwood. He is part of the Jack Donovan Orchestra of Note...playing an extended gig at the upscale Claremont Hotel in Oakland. Holmes uses real locales throughout this novel. His descriptions of various key elements of the architecture, Pacifica statue and carillon at the fair make this an atmospheric production.

    A college student entices Ray into helping her arrange an orchestral score for her prize winning piano piece. Part of the prize is a performance by Japan's Pan Pacific Orchestra. The music, the student and the orchestra are not what they seem.

    This book is rich with details of swing music. scoring music, and the details of touring bands. Set in that strange world's fair that World War II was soon make immemorable, it highlights the final gasp of large world's fairs that time had already past. You get much more than a murder plot in this book, you become immersed in 1940, the music and the fair.

    This audible book is appended with original big band music composed by Mr. Holmes.
    No matter...the story is about something more ominous and disturbing than a murder, but to tell more would diminish the pleasure of the denouement.

    "Swing" is right on key and not to be missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Towers to Danger

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By L. Ron Hubbard
    • Narrated By R. F. Daley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Drilling for oil is a dirty business, and for Bill Murphy, it’s about to turn positively filthy. But Murphy’s as big and tough as his home state of Texas - a man in the mold of a young John Wayne - and he’s more than a match for everything the oil-rich land of Venezuela can throw at him. Everything, that is, except for one woman.

    Brad says: "Pulp Thriller from L Ron Hubbard"
    "Pulp Thriller from L Ron Hubbard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very short story set in Venezuela during the roaring, lawless 1930s. The theme is a race/contest of rival wildcatters desperate to generate producing oil wells before their leases expire. I liked that the true villain was hidden for much of the story, so the logical culprit was a good person, well almost. The dialog and horses make this feel like something out of a Western. Hubbard gives you a lot of plot and action and very, very little character development. To call the principles cartoonish would be an overstatement. This is a fun story that takes only a couple of hours, great when you can't devote 15 hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Vision

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Randy Wayne White
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (70)

    A lot is going on in the trailer park known as Little Guadalajara, inhabited principally by illegal laborers. The park manager is the hired gun of a financial syndicate that wants to develop the property, and he's prepared to do whatever it takes - but he can't figure out what to do about the teenage girl, the one the laborers believe has some sort of gift.

    Abbie Lundberg says: "Sick, Perverted Violence"
    "Nothing Much Good Happens in a Trailer Park"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a Doc Ford thriller set in his base in the Florida Everglades. The premise is to help a psychic 13-year-old girl, Tula, who is stopping in a nearby Florida trailer park on her way from Guatemala. She is looking for her mother, who disappeared. Tula has a special skill; she speaks with God through Joan of Arc. Blocking the way is the steroid-crazed manager of the trailer park, Harris Squires. Next mix-in a team of lethal gang bangers and meth cookers and you have quite an amalgam.

    This entertaining book gives you some nice snippets about wildlife and ocean biology as Doc Ford is a marine biologist when he is not reverting to his Special Forces skills. There is even a nice love story. Of course she is very rich which makes things neat.

    Randy Wayne White creates a pretty complex set of circumstances to navigate. The best part is there is a high speed (read high action) conclusion that is very entertaining. I found the Joan of Arc bit a little oppressive as the plot unwound. My preference is to not overload on religious mysticism in a thriller. However, Doc Ford comes through like the cavalry to save the day and the maiden. This is not the best in this long-running series but it does touch on the plight of illegals in America in an enlightened fashion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • McNally's Risk: Archy McNally, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Lawrence Sanders
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    The unbeatable master of suspense returns, in a wickedly wayward case of artists, models, and murder. If larceny is good for the soul, Palm Beach must be confidence heaven - so discovers Lawrence Sanders's sleuth-about-town Archy McNally in his third boffo baffler, McNally's Risk. Hired by a formidable matron to investigate the shadowy bona fides of her bubble-headed son's beloved, Archy is wowed by the enigmatic innamorata's purity and pulchritude. But when the artist for whom she posed is killed, McNally's job takes on a decidedly dangerous turn, and he begins to suspect the demure damsel might be both a poser and a poseur.

    Brad says: "Fun, Light-Hearted Romp Among the Palm Beach Elite"
    "Fun, Light-Hearted Romp Among the Palm Beach Elite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fun entry in the Archie McNally series set amongst the rich of Palm Beach and a fumbling detective (Archie). It has the whole cast of eccentric characters of this long-running series in rare form. Of course rich people don't work with the police (even if it's murder), so everyone has to play a detecting role. You need to suspend a fair amount of belief here. The McNally franchise blends a lot of comedy with a mystery motif. It is getting a little dated (the technology used by the characters in the book is now ancient); so think of it as a 1970's period piece. The comedy outweighs the plot; so jump in and enjoy something very unserious!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939–1945

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Neill Lochery
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (53)

    Throughout the Second World War, Lisbon was at the very center of the world’s attention and was the only European city in which both the Allies and the Axis powers openly operated. Portugal was frantically trying to hold on to its self-proclaimed wartime neutrality but in reality was increasingly caught in the middle of the economic, and naval, wars between the Allies and the Nazis. The story is not, however, a conventional tale of World War II in that barely a shot was fired or a bomb dropped. Instead, it is a gripping tale of intrigue, betrayal, opportunism, and double-dealing....

    Lynn says: "Expostiion of Little Known Story"
    "A Sideshow That Played A Major Role in WWII"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Portugal and its capital Lisbon were neutral during WWII. Despite this, Portugal played a major part in some of the key dramas, escapees from the pending Holocaust, wartime profiteering and asset/gold looting. The author paints a very interest scene of what a decadent wartime city of intrigue and deception Lisbon was. This is an area of history that has been largely neglected. I found it highly engaging and informative. Excellent narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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