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Brett

Charlotte, NC, United States | Member Since 2014

340
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 61 reviews
  • 131 ratings
  • 396 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
40

  • Calculating God

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2382)
    Performance
    (1737)
    Story
    (1751)

    In this Hugo-nominated novel, an alien walks into a museum and asks if he can see a paleontologist. But the arachnid ET hasn't come aboard a rowboat with the Pope and Stephen Hawking (although His Holiness does request an audience later). Landing at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the spacefarer, Hollus, asks to compare notes on mass extinctions with resident dino-scientist Thomas Jericho.

    Ione says: "Interesting book, very enjoyable narration"
    "Introduces God into Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An alien lands on Earth to do research on the evolution of Earth's intelligent life and to bring a message - proof of the existence of God!

    I liked this story - mostly. While this is a work of fiction, some of the arguments against the fossil record (evolution) and for intelligent design were not confined to the story and were very compelling and thought provoking. What I didn't like, however, was an odd subplot introduced about 2/3 into the novel that involved some violent Christian extremists. I suppose this was to give counter weight to the story so that it didn't come off as "too religious" but it felt clumsy and out of place.

    The last 1/3 of the novel was pure Sci-Fi and I did not find this nearly as interesting as the dialogue between the alien and a scientist.

    Overall I thought that Calculating God was a pretty good novel, especially for someone interested in hearing discussions about God and that likes the Sci-Fi genre.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Glenn Greenwald
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    Overall
    (705)
    Performance
    (620)
    Story
    (617)

    In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security....

    Dean says: "Excellent! Engaging, thoughtful, and illuminating"
    "Not what I was expecting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to hear the back story of Edward Snowden. I wanted to hear about his life before, during, and after his disclosures. Snowden is discussed in the 1st quarter of the book but even this is superficial. The rest of the book discusses privacy and the NSA documents. I found this repetitive and boring. I also felt that Glenn Greenwald painted himself very favorably and so, to me, this book rang a little self serving and preachy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (7226)
    Performance
    (6050)
    Story
    (6080)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Charles says: "Dark Places Indeed..."
    "Not Exactly a Thriller and not Exactly a Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story follows mostly Libby and her quest for the truth of her family's murder. A lot of this story was told in flashback, and I loved how the tension slowly ratcheted up as the characters hurdled towards their fate. This isn't an action thriller or a mystery as such. I felt like it was more of a personal transformation story with elements of thriller and mystery woven into it. I liked it. True, the story is gory and gruesome at times, but I doubt you'll put this book down. The author is very skilled at pulling the reader in and taking them to dark places.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Roland Merullo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1145)
    Performance
    (982)
    Story
    (980)

    When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he'd planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger---and amuse himself---he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way.

    Mary McCarthy says: "a thoughtful and often hilarious journey"
    "Nice but Too Easy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story about the spiritual awakening of a fussy guy (Otto) with everything going for him. Circumstances align for Otto to take a cross country trip with a guru, and we follow Otto's transformation over the course of the trip.

    I like the premise, and I like the idea of presenting spiritual lessons in story form. However, I found everything too easy for Otto - he had nothing at risk. The biggest challenge that Otto faced during the trip was a yoga session, which was so much for Otto that afterwards he immediately scheduled a massage session....you get the idea. By the end of the story Otto started to get on my nerves. That being said, I liked the guru's lessons. I suspect everyone will like the guru's lessons since they are pretty universal and don't offer anything too difficult to consider.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29069)
    Performance
    (25658)
    Story
    (25731)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "A Masterpiece!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Gone Girl is the BEST mystery/thriller I have ever read! Wow. Wow! WOW! This book held me firmly in its grips from cover to cover and now still haunts me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23485)
    Performance
    (19524)
    Story
    (19509)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Hop this Train!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great Book! Best book I've listened to in a while!

    In ways it reminded me of Hitchcock's "Rear Window" and also the film "Memento."

    Three narrators kept things from becoming too confusing - though at first it was still a little confusing.

    It was hard to put this book down!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What's So Funny?: My Hilarious Life

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Tim Conway, Jane Scovell, Carol Burnett
    • Narrated By Tim Conway, Carol Burnett, Dick Hill, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (800)
    Performance
    (727)
    Story
    (725)

    Six-time Emmy Award-winning funnyman Tim Conway, best known for his characters on The Carol Burnett Show, offers a straight-shooting and hilarious memoir about his life on stage and off as an actor and comedian. In television history, few entertainers have captured as many hearts and made as many people laugh as Tim Conway. There's nothing in the world that Tim Conway would rather do than entertain - and in his first-ever memoir, What's So Funny?, that's exactly what he does.

    Richard says: "Very Enjoyable"
    "Tim Loves Everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tim Conway is about the luckiest guy in the world and he knows it. "What's so Funny" is comprised of vignettes of Conway's life woven together to form a life story.

    The stories were all very positive and overall had such strong tones of irrepressible optimism that at times this book felt more like a performance and less like honest sharing. Tim Conway is not shy with the praise of others and at times this too seemed heavy handed.

    In total, this is a fairly tepid memoir that will offend absolutely nobody. This can be good or bad depending on what you are looking for. I found this book to be "laugh out loud" once but mostly it just mildly amused me.

    I am a little too young to have appreciated most of the characters and the stories here. I would say that this book would be most loved by folks that were middle aged in the 60s and 70s.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1776

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By David McCullough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5571)
    Performance
    (2629)
    Story
    (2635)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you ever thought history was boring, David McCullough’s performance of his fascinating book will change your mind. In this stirring audiobook, McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success.

    Amazon Customer says: "It tantalized my taste buds"
    "Don't even need to like history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonderful book. 1776 was an amazing year and the author captures the events and action with so much detail that its like he was there. I learned a lot about the revolutionary war - things I would have never learned in school. One thing that I found particularly interesting was how there were so many coincidences leading to wins or gains for the continental army. It was amazing how many times things looked like they were just about done for Washington's army only to see them turn around (sometimes overnight). I think that 1776 surprised everyone - including Washington himself. It was a great lesson in never giving up! Great read and I highly recommend for anyone - not just history buffs.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (2344)
    Performance
    (949)
    Story
    (952)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: When it comes to author/narrator pairings, nobody tops James Lee Burke and Will Patton in the Robicheaux thrillers. Beloved Burke hero Detective Dave Robicheaux here returns to New Iberia to solve a series of grisly murders. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high-school honor student, doesn’t fit.

    Gardner says: "Best Yet... Almost"
    "First and Last"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Seems like people love the Dave Robicheaux mysteries but I don't see it.

    This book had all the get-up-and-go of a Mississippi barge during a drought. Sure, there was action but it all seemed gratuitous. To me the mystery almost seemed secondary to this story. I didn't feel like there was a plot force driving all the characters towards a conclusion. It was just Dave and his pal Clete meandering around and beating up bad guys. Speaking of "bad", the class-hate (rich=bad) is so cliche these days that it often drives all mystery right out of mysteries.

    I did like the descriptions of Louisiana and the people. I also loved the narration. Having said this, the novel was too long for me and not much fun. I only recommend it to Robicheaux fans. For me...it was my first and last of Monsieur Robicheaux. To you sir, I must say adieu.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gorky Park

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Henry Strozier
    Overall
    (595)
    Performance
    (405)
    Story
    (408)

    At first, the case of the bodies found in a Moscow park looked straightforward: a "troika", probably three on a bottle, drunk together and then frozen to death together in the brutal Russian night. But Chief Homicide Investigator Arkady Renko hits a sharp and complicated turn with the arrival of the KGB's Pribluda. Suddenly, his access to a routine investigation is blocked. Why?

    IVAL says: "Still the BEST"
    "Maybe Better to Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Gorky Park is a detective novel set in the former Soviet Union. It is a dense book with many characters and a plot that seems to plod along - never boring but also never truly exciting. What made this story good, however, was the author's imagery. So many times I thought, "Wow that is a great description!" Also, the author's knowledge and understanding of the Soviet Union seemed very deep. I only hope that the bleakness described has been been lifted since the story was written. It was a fascinating novel if for no other reason than to get a glimpse of this.

    The low part of this book, which lead to the title of this review, was the narration. The narrator was more a reader and less a performer. He needed better timing, better intonation, and better character voices for this story to work as an audio book. I felt lost sometimes in scene transitions and in dialogue.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers for Algernon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Daniel Keyes
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1788)
    Performance
    (1480)
    Story
    (1489)

    Charlie Gordon knows that he isn't very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie's brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon.

    FanB14 says: "Phenomenal Classic"
    "Didn't Remember THAT in High School..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a clever book in so many ways and it attempts to confront so many social and philosophical questions - questions all the way up to the meaning of life.

    I read this story in high school and remember it being pretty good, so I decided to read it again. What I found was a much different book. Now I know why there were rumors about it being provocative. I must have read the cleaned up version, with none of the main character's sexual hang-ups. This book is tragic, sad, and thought provoking. I recommend it for a book club.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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