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Brett

Charlotte, NC, United States | Member Since 2007

297
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 56 reviews
  • 104 ratings
  • 517 titles in library
  • 72 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
8
FOLLOWERS
39

  • Calculating God

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2100)
    Performance
    (1483)
    Story
    (1496)

    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
  • 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
    (652)
    Performance
    (592)
    Story
    (589)

    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
    (4720)
    Performance
    (1902)
    Story
    (1911)

    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.

    Mark says: "Front Seat on History"
    "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.

    1 of 1 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
    (2257)
    Performance
    (868)
    Story
    (874)

    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
    (531)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (356)

    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
    (1451)
    Performance
    (1179)
    Story
    (1188)

    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
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (866)
    Performance
    (772)
    Story
    (773)

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "It's a Big World Out There"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pretty good story that celebrates doing the right thing when nobody is watching and when it would be easy to not do anything instead. The story concerns a simple man that is comfortable with his life as a machine model maker until a tragedy forces him into an adventure of a lifetime.

    This is a sweet story and the hero is very likable. My only problem was with the story climax - it wasn't very climatic. Still I found this book very enjoyable. It made me long for simpler times when the world was a much bigger place.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tell No Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (724)
    Performance
    (638)
    Story
    (637)

    The scion of an old-money San Francisco family, Daniel Brasher left his well-paying, respectable money-manager position to marry his community organizer wife and work at a job he loves, leading group counseling sessions with recently paroled violent offenders. One night he finds an envelope - one intended for someone else that was placed in his office mailbox by accident. Inside is an unsigned piece of paper, a handwritten note that says, "Admit what you've done or you will bleed for it."

    karen says: "The purgatory of group therapy"
    "To Sir With Love?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tell no lies is not bad - much better than other thrillers I've read (even by much more well known authors).

    I almost put this book down early on, however, because I felt that it was sanctimonious. There seemed to be a hostile tone towards wealthy people that was hypocritical based on the actions of some of the characters. While this tone was very strong at first, it was moderated somewhat later on. I am not sure what the author was trying to say here (if anything) so I tended to ignore it.

    The mystery was very good except for a few surprising clues that emerged towards the end that immediately ruled out suspects and made others fit. Also, I found the endings of the side story lines trite and saccharine. Overall though, the plot was well crafted and MOST characters were believable. I feel like this novel is worth reading if you have the time.You'll especially like this novel if you know details of San Francisco geography. Hurwitz has peaked my interest as an author.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4287)
    Performance
    (3672)
    Story
    (3669)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Kelli N. Perkins says: "Still Thinking About This Tale Weeks After"
    "Whodunnit meets family-drama meets trial-thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I must admit that I've had Defending Jacob on my media player for a long time. I started this book several times. I found it slow and centered on suburban life with kids (something I don't know much about), and I just couldn't get into it. I am so glad that I gave this book one more chance. It was excellent.

    The story starts with the murder of a middle school child. The asst. district attorney takes the case only to realize that his son may be involved. The story follows the trial of the son and raises some interesting questions, such as, "how far would you go to protect your child", "can violence be inherited and are we doomed to commit the sins of our fathers."

    This book becomes a real page turner, and I could not put it down, which is rare for me. The book will keep you guessing until the very last moment. If you're like me, you won't see the ending coming. The story is told in retrospect and is mysterious in certain ways (perhaps a little too mysterious in some aspects).

    I liked this book and I will be reading more of Landay soon. The style reminded me of Scott Turow. The narration was excellent and the narrator's style was well suited to court room dialogue, which was a large part of this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Shipkiller: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Justin Scott
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (308)

    Before he was anointed to carry on the legacy of Robert Ludlum's Janson Command series, and before he collaborated with Clive Cussler on the fan favorite Isaac Bell series, Justin Scott created this suspenseful adventure tale, a novel of love and revenge set on the high seas. Written in 1978, this is considered by many to be one of the best maritime thrillers of all time. As an expert in the world of ships and sailing, Justin Scott creates an authentic maritime world, making The Shipkiller all the more thrilling because it could be a true story.

    Jean says: "A story of revenge"
    "Revenge on the High Seas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Shipkiller is an action novel that tells the story of a man who, upon being run over by a giant tanker named "Leviathan," loses his wife and almost his life. This event sets him on a quest to sink the giant ship.

    The hero's quest is leads him to link up with a woman who's character is largely there to reveal things about the hero and so is drawn in pretty 1-dimensional terms. The hero also links up with the Mossad, which I still don't completely understand as to why. This linkage brings him in conflict with entire countries and allows for some political intrigue that I felt was a little out of step with the rest of the story. I wish that the author had stayed closer to a modern version of Moby Dick and played on the idea that obsession consumes. Instead this is more of a James Bond story where the hero has a mission that brings him in peril and political intrigue (and in love with a woman).

    I think that this was a pretty fun story and the first two chapters cannot be beat as examples of how to start an action novel. The narration was good but very slow. I wish that the narrator would have talked faster and paused less often.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3862)
    Performance
    (3561)
    Story
    (3560)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Even Better than Cuckoo"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I look back on the Harry Potter books it seems obvious to me now that Rowling (Galbraith) would move into mystery writing. The Potter books were all, at their heart, mystery novels.

    This 2nd installment of the Cormoran Strike mystery series is even better than the first (which I also ranked as 5stars). The recurring characters continue to develop and become more complex and the scenes/imagery are rich and easy to become immersed in. I found this book difficult to put down.

    I think that Galbraith (Rowling) is a great writer. Her characters come to life and in that way she reminds me of Charles Dickens.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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