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C. Abramson

ratings
183
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • Full Dark House

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Christopher Fowler
    • Narrated By Tim Goodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (150)

    In Full Dark House, Christopher Fowler tells the story of both the first and last case of an unlikely pair of crime fighters - and how along the way they changed the face of detection. A present-day bombing rips through London and claims the life of 80-year-old detective Arthur Bryant. For his partner John May, it means the end of a partnership that lasted over half a century and an eerie echo back to the Blitz of World War II when they first met. Desperately searching for clues, May finds his friend’s notes of their first case....

    Librarian says: "2 English Detective mysteries for the price of 1!!"
    "I envy you, reader who hasn't met Bryant & May yet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've just finished the latest (10th) book in the series, and I am a fan!!!

    I recommend this series to anyone who loves great, quirky British crime novels, and who would enjoy getting to know two octogenarian detectives solving crimes in the London Peculiar Crimes Unit. A special unit under the Home Office, they are themselves a Peculiar bunch, Bryant and May and their team.

    Bryant (described as looking like a great tortoise with a long scarf around its neck while fishing lint-covered "boiled sweets" from his pockets now and then and popping them into his ill-fitting dentures) befriends the London occult subculture and scholarly outsiders, looking to London history and intuition. There is lots of really cool and unusual London history in this series! His dapper friend and partner May does the detective scutwork, collecting evidence and using forensics and police resources. Together they solve more crimes than any other unit--while dealing with bureaucratic red tape and political harassment with the London Metro Police hierarchy constantly threatening to shut down the unit.

    Bryant & May, eccentric, annoying and endearing in turn, have intrigued me into advancing through the series, eagerly awaiting the next book with their next adventures. All the while I'm holding my breath hoping these fragile old guys won't croak before we get to read a bunch more of their stories!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Bayou Trilogy: Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Daniel Woodrell
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (62)

    In the parish of St. Bruno, sex is easy, corruption festers, and double-dealing is a way of life. Rene Shade is an uncompromising detective swimming in a sea of filth. As Shade takes on hit men, porn kings, a gang of ex-cons, and the ghosts of his own checkered past, Woodrell’s three seminal novels pit long-entrenched criminals against the hard line of the law, brother against brother, and two vastly different sons against a long-absent father.

    Gretel says: "Better than I expected..."
    "Could not get into this writer's bayou...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found the tone of the story, the characters, and the narration to be unrelenting downers, without enough to hold my interest. I expect more than to just bear witness to what seemed to be 1. people who don't respect each other, or their jobs, and 2. a place that has few redeeming qualities to one interested in what happens there. I read some gritty ones too--the thing that they need to have to hold me is human interest.

    I have read all of James Lee Burke's Robicheaux novels, and wonder that other reviews find these comparable, other than being set in So.LA. What grabs me in Burke's novels is a protagonist (and the people close to him) with qualities a reader can empathize with; they aren't just depressives living depressing lives facing depressing circumstances.

    Perhaps I didn't stick with it long enough to find a redeeming value in the Bayou Trilogy--it just didn't happen soon enough to not lose me and make me feel I'd wasted my Audible credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard C. Morais
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1160)
    Performance
    (1064)
    Story
    (1060)

    Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.

    R. L. Royce says: "YIkes, I don't speak French"
    "Sounds like a formula movie pitch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Something about this book, though it is entertaining, is as if it was written with a view to making a movie--one that comes out in the summer. What? It did?

    There are too many things that seem formulaic and thin, and sometimes points in the plot seem just inauthentic.

    For one thing, there is no apparent believable reason for Madame Mallory to taste one dish (an Indian dish at that--a cuisine in which we can expect she has no interest or experience) and identify the protagonist as having the makings of a Great French Chef.

    And for another, with all the learning from Grandma in Bombay, he seems to have no real love or connection to the delicious cuisine of India, which has been his life up to that point. Nothing explains why he throws his own heritage away and becomes what seems to me to be a rather effete francophile chef with Michelin stars in his eyes.

    That the French culinary world would accept him (with but one incident mentioned in which he is mistaken by someone on the street for an "arab," isn't really very believable either. One would expect he had to prove himself even more than home-grown French chefs starting out in Paris. That would be a good story (but no, it's easy), and his being taken under the wing of the "Count" doesn't explain that acceptance sufficiently.

    I haven't finished the book.....don't know if I will. I have grown tired of the writing sounding as if the author is pitching his movie and/or just worships great French chefs. I love French cuisine too, but I also love good Indian food, and the journey he made across the street was away from authenticity.

    The early part of the book fleshed out an interesting Indian family, their success, their food, and their tragedies, and then a hundred feet from where they settle in France all that evaporates and we are in the rather esoteric world of Michelin stars and other matters related to being a competitive chef in France. OK--an Indian kid can aspire to being a French chef, but somehow we never really learn who he is as a fleshed-out character with an inner life. The writer plays the sauce all along the way, never really getting to the meat.

    He "pouf" becomes a Frenchman, and that is a loss.

    Will he return to his heritage later on in the book? Not sure; he doesn't seem very interesting as a person, because we don't really get much of a character study, and he seems to be nothing more than a lucky chef breezing to 3 stars in that narrow world. Even his revered friend, chef Paul, is a cardboard cutout--cardboard with stars on it is still cardboard.

    As for a good story with believable characters who have an inner life, I'm still hungry. I am afraid the journey of reading this book has been downhill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bruno, Chief of Police

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Martin Walker
    • Narrated By Robert Ian MacKenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (160)

    Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life - living in his restored shepherd's cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno's attention.

    Sara says: "Good but hardly cozy and gentle!"
    "Bruno, his French village, + a mystery! Oh La La!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The town and the characters are more important than the mystery, though it's a doozie, illustratiing how WWII's aftermath just keeps on giving.....Great first book in this series, glad there are more!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Likeness

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Heather O'Neill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3073)
    Performance
    (1962)
    Story
    (1967)

    Tana French's debut, In the Woods, hit the New York Times best-seller list and drew rave reviews from the Times (London) and Booklist. Picking up six months later, this riveting sequel finds Detective Cassie Maddox still scarred by her last case. When her boyfriend calls her to a chilling murder scene, Cassie is forced to face her inner demons. A young woman has been found stabbed to death outside Dublin, and the victim looks just like Cassie.

    Michael says: "Really on a Different Level"
    "A bit hair-raising at times, but in a good way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tana French is a new favorite author for me. I've now read all of the Dublin decective mysteries, and really like the way she focuses each book on one of the dectectives featured in the earlier stories. Can't wait for the next one! The narrator is good, too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Inherent Vice

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Thomas Pynchon
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (172)

    It's been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy", except that this one usually leads to trouble.

    Philipp Marian Selman says: "If you enjoyed The Crying of Lot 49..."
    "Great protagonist, Dude!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Surprising that the pothead PI is so timely. Very enjoyable character, who at bottom is a straight arrow while accepting of every kind of person, crook or cop, in his inimitable laid-back weed-softened way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie: Highland Pleasures, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jennifer Ashley
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1592)
    Performance
    (1446)
    Story
    (1447)

    It was whispered all through London society that he was a murderer, that he'd spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted - especially with a lady. Any woman caught in his presence was immediately ruined. Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy.

    Lupdilup says: "FANTASTIC BOOK, NICELLY PERFORMED."
    "Bodice/Kilt ripper--dramatic but lightweight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hero is the first Asberger's porn star character I've encountered in my reading.

    Really good narrator can't pull this book together for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Euan Morton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1236)
    Performance
    (1081)
    Story
    (1091)

    In July 1890, Vincent van Gogh went into a cornfield and shot himself. Or did he? Why would an artist at the height of his creative powers attempt to take his life... and then walk a mile to a doctor's house for help? Who was the crooked little "color man" Vincent had claimed was stalking him across France? And why had the painter recently become deathly afraid of a certain shade of blue? These are just a few of the questions confronting Vincent's friends who vow to discover the truth of van Gogh's untimely death.

    John says: "Not Moore at his funniest, but Moore completely"
    "Impressionists Revisited in wild fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love how Christopher Moore immerses himself in a time and with human history and presents us with a view deeply rooted in their reality, but with newly imagined possibilities. This book is a great example of that, a sorta occult mystery steeped in blue (not ultramarine, from Lapis, but some other blue, from--not sure, some kind of magic that happens in a cave.........

    Anyhow, it includes a loving view of the early 20th C impressionists all those who have steeped themselves in their work and their stories can appreciate. I am a painter, and Cezanne was an early hero, next to Monet and Van Gogh. The story touches on all of them, and portrays the times in a believable way.

    It gets over the top, of course. This IS a Christopher Moore novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarum: The Novel of England

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (384)
    Story
    (380)

    In Sarum, Edward Rutherfurd weaves a compelling saga of five English families whose fates become intertwined over the course of centuries. While each family has its own distinct characteristics, the successive generations reflect the changing character of Britain. We become drawn not only into the fortunes of the individual family members, but also the larger destinies of each family line.

    Gordon says: "Most enjoyable"
    "I wanted to like this series--got bogged in Pt 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A friend recommended this series, knowing I loved Frank Delaney's IRELAND - A NOVEL.

    But two things have me bogged down in Part 1: (1) the narrator, whose voice is fine for other things, plods along without much variety in tone, (2) the fictional assumptions and trite story of pre-historical England just don't work for me. The characters aren't alive for me--or interesting. No new material is presented. Not that I expected surprises, just that I thought there would be more than I've gotten from a zillion other sources before, like: could there would be more archeological information to it than the surface assumptions about those early inhabitants that are already all over popular media? Is there really no more to learn about those early people? Are they really so simple as to be "not like us?"
    For me, good historical fiction bridges that particular gap--relating to real people we could know.

    My friend says to stick with it, that following the genetic group that the "prehistory" part begins with becomes more interesting later on. I might just skip ahead, as I just can't plod along with the pre-Arthurian Brits!

    The narrator is, IMHO, the wrong one for this series. Perhaps the series itself is why she didn't put the early part over so far as I was concerned, though.

    If you buy this series, prepare yourself to slog through it until it gets interesting along the way in this LONG series--and like I will, hope that happens! .

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Grave Stones

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Priscilla Masters
    • Narrated By Judith Boyd
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (5)

    For recently engaged DI Joanna Piercy, a murder is the last thing she wants to deal with. Especially one with as dark a back story as that relating to calculating landowner and farmer Jakob Grimshaw; a man who managed to make enemies of all his neighbours and what little family he still had. One thing is certain; Joanna has a tough job ahead of her.

    C. Abramson says: "Some good story lines, needs a good editing"
    "Some good story lines, needs a good editing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like two other Joanna Piercy series novels I've read, there are lots of great human interest sub-plots and myriad plot twists in this book, but it needed a good editor to weed out some of the plodding of it all.

    Methodical DI Joanna, I still think you have potential--this is one of the early ones in the series, so perhaps Masters grows into it and gets a stronger editor later in the series.

    Like Joanna, I plod on--will follow up with one or two later novels in the series to find out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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