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CAS

ratings
64
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
0

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1358)
    Performance
    (1156)
    Story
    (1144)

    A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns – this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.

    Ramon says: "Feels like Jules Verne"
    "Why didn't I remember that this book stinks?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this because of my high opinion of Tim Curry -- have even seen him live -- but I found myself dulled-to-sleep by Verne's story and more than a little irritated by Curry's voice work (especially for the uncle).

    In theory this is a great story, but in print it suffers from its time period. More than half of the book is grindingly dry exposition about the whiney nephew (how could I have forgotten how badly he needed to be slapped?) and references to theories and scientists of the time, almost none of whom are even known today they were of so little consequence. Curry does his best, but he has little to work with.

    If you must listen to this novel skip the high price of this version "extreme rapidity" and bore yourself to death with a cheaper copy.

    This is a book best remembered for the very little that stands out as interesting, but never bothered with again. A post-card-length synopsis of the highpoints would suffice and could probably be remade into a decent movie as long as Brendan Frasier is not miscast into it again, unless he is there to slap the nephew.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Deborah Blum
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1453)
    Performance
    (970)
    Story
    (958)

    In The Poisoner's Handbook, Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime.

    Aaron - Audible says: "CSI eat your heart out"
    "Sounded interesting, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this would be heavy on the true crime side of things with lots and lots of fascinating clues and impressive deductions.
    It was about 50% what I was hoping for and 50% a loving biography of the pathologist and the lab guy. Yes, they were interesting, and they sounded like sterling fellows, both of them, but it was not a thrilling listen. The organization of the book was a little strange as well.

    It was ok, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brock Clarke
    • Narrated By Daneil Passer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    As a teenager, it was never Sam Pulsifer's intention to torch an American landmark, and he certainly never planned to kill two people in the blaze. To this day, he still wonders why that young couple was upstairs in bed in the Emily Dickinson House after hours. After serving 10 years in prison for his crime, Sam is determined to put the past behind him. His low-profile life is chugging along quite nicely until the past comes crashing through his front door.

    Sara says: "A downer of a book"
    "I understand why people dislike this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Despite many poor reviews I kept coming back to this title in my wish list. Yes, it is a novel that doesn't satisfy, but it also does not completely let you down.

    The narrator does not add to the story, neither does the main character, who is whiny and constantly making the wrong choices. You do want to reach out and strangle him.

    What saves the story and keeps you listening is the writer's occasionally perfect pieces of figurative language and 1 or 2 universal truths like a person might find when reading a piece of higher literature. I liked the idea that we are all, at some level of consciousness, hoping we are not in our own lives a specific character that we have read. Also, it's intriguing to consider the idea that many people who love to read despise the classics and would relish burning the homes of these classic writers to the ground.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Little Night Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Lucy March
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1410)
    Performance
    (1293)
    Story
    (1283)

    Olivia Kiskey needs a change. She’s been working at the same Nodaway Falls, New York, waffle house since she was a teenager; not a lot of upward mobility there. She’s been in love with Tobias, the cook, for the last four years; he's never made a move. Intent on shaking things up, Olivia puts her house on the market, buys a one-way ticket to Europe, and announces her plans to her friends - but then she meets Davina Granville, a strange and mystical Southern woman....

    Shelly says: "I really hope this turns into a series..."
    "It's a romance novel, what do you expect?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Normal romance novel. Not as funny as some, not as strong of a story line or characters as some, but ok for escapism.

    I'm not such a huge fan of the magic/lost family/secret skills plot devices, but romance novels have to be about something, don't they? And yes, I do like romance novels. I like to escape, and laugh. This one was ok. None of the characters needed to be smacked senseless by the reader/listener, which is good for something, isn't it?

    Wow, that was lukewarm... :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Sherman Alexie
    • Narrated By Sherman Alexie
    Overall
    (1436)
    Performance
    (894)
    Story
    (898)

    Born poor and hydrocephalic, Arnold Spirit survives brain surgery. But his enormous skull, lopsided eyes, profound stuttering, and frequent seizures target him for abuse on his Indian reservation. Protected by a formidable friend, the book-loving artist survives childhood. And then - convinced his future lies off the rez - the bright 14-year-old enrolls in an all-white high school 22 miles away.

    FanB14 says: "Absolutely Entertaining Memoir"
    "Powerful and true"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I taught and lived on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico for three years, so I am generally leery of "Native American" things. Often they are romanticized or dripping with guilt or excuse. Not this.

    This is the story of what a reservation is. Really. In full color.
    Do you want to know what it is like? Even today? This is what it's like.

    A great boon to the story is the fact that it is read by the author and sounds exactly correct. If you haven't spent a great deal of time around Native Americans--enough to be able to imagine the voices as they are while you read--reading the book in print will rob you of the full experience.

    The characacters are funny and sad and accurate. I have also never been to as many funerals as I attended while on the rez. I could tell you stories of such horror and desperation... and tell you of the beauty and the wonderful children. But my voice is not a Native voice. Why not do yourself a favor and just listen to Mr. Alexie instead?

    Mr. Alexie: Thank you for writing this. I'm glad you were able.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steven Sherrill
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (868)
    Performance
    (818)
    Story
    (818)

    Five thousand years out of the Labyrinth, the Minotaur finds himself in the American South, living in a trailer park and working as a line cook at a steakhouse. No longer a devourer of human flesh, the Minotaur is a socially inept, lonely creature with very human needs. But over a two-week period, as his life dissolves into chaos, this broken and alienated immortal awakens to the possibility for happiness and to the capacity for love.

    Cathy says: "Full of surprises, delightfully unexpected"
    "Huh..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is powerfully read and has a few scenes of good insight/description, but in the middle, and beyond that, and at the end, I have no idea what it was about. I don't mean to come across as unintelligent or poorly read. I'm not.

    I think this might appeal to the same sort of people who enjoy ambiguous stories which do not resolve and have no decisive action. Think English chick lit/romance novels -- nothing happens (crushingly boring!). Subtle like real Italian food in Italy -- appearing to the American palate as flavorless.

    Interesting concept... for what purpose? Why write this story?

    I don't regret listening to the story. It kept me awake and on the road up until the last few chapters, but I'll steer clear of this author in the future. There are many more fulfilling things out there to read instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The City of Ember

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jeanne DuPrau
    • Narrated By Wendy Dillon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (603)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (308)

    The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever! This stunning debut novel offers refreshingly clear writing and fascinating, original characters.

    Jolie Brewer says: "Good story; annoying narrator and background sound"
    "Comfortable Non-Violent Children’s Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an engaging listen of a story essentially about fear of the dark. I kept expecting it to get violent or dangerous or scary, but it never did. The “G” rated quality of the story was kind of a relief.

    The two main characters are children who are curious and intelligent. The setting is unique, and the support characters are well-written.

    The author does a good job of creating the world of the story, describing the city and the fear and the darkness. The author also does a good job on the human weakness to want and the dawning realization of what will happen when things run out, but not in a way that will cause children to lose sleep.

    A lot of the story revolves around decoding a damaged document, and that was frustrating to have to listen to. Particularly because you have to listen to it over and over. I think this might be a better book to actually read.

    It’s not ground-breaking, but it was difficult to put down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1944)
    Performance
    (1684)
    Story
    (1700)

    After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie's bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton's premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it's on Stephanie to track down the con man. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape...or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive.

    G. House Sr. says: "Tedious Formulaic with same-old same-old"
    "Same old same old"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Reading / listening to Stephanie Plum books is like catching up with the crazy basket case you went to high school with. When you hear from her you get an earful of the same insanity, the same repeated mistakes and the same unresolved issues. You are essentially a dumping ground for someone who will never go anywhere. The only reason you put up with it is that you are not expected to do anything for or about your nutso friend, and also she is usually amusing.

    That being said, these are getting old. Very old.
    If you miss a Stephanie Plum book, or a phone call from your crazy friend, you’re not missing anything.


    I will probably keep listing just for the pure undemanding escapism, but I suppose that will only last until I have better things to do with my time than drive cross-country.

    I liked that Ranger played a larger part in this story, although I’m unhappy that he is continually marginalized by Morelli—the appeal of whom I really do not see. I think maybe it is time for Evanovich to write two # 20s. One for Morelli fans, finishing that story up, and one for Ranger fans. Then maybe she can take some time off and come up with a new story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Gregory Maguire
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4574)
    Performance
    (2220)
    Story
    (2252)

    Heralded as an instant classic of fantasy literature, Maguire has written a wonderfully imaginative retelling of The Wizard of Oz told from the Wicked Witch's point of view. More than just a fairy tale for adults, Wicked is a meditation on the nature of good and evil.

    Kathleen says: "It's not easy being green"
    "Skip it. Really."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Gregory Maguire and/or John McDonough?

    No.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    A very, very boring book. Way too long. Into the third part I kept hoping characters would suddenly die so they'd stop talking. The ending itself resolved none of the many meandering and apparently pointless plot lines. I kept desperately (foolishly) hoping it would go somewhere, so there is the bitterness of having my time wasted here, as well.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I think a female narrator would have been a better choice for a book largely about a woman. It was hard to tell whether the narrator made all of the characters tiresome and nasty through his choice of voice, or if the authors intended them to be that way.


    Do you think Wicked needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Good lord, no. Spare us.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this audible book because I'd seen the musical 5 or 6 years ago in London and remembered it as being an interesting take on the familiar story. Now I know it was an artful distillation of the very best possible interpretations of this long and painfully directionless book. The musical told a story. Events and characters were included in the musical as they served a story line with a final goal of some kind. This novel was like a depressing soap opera that had intended to be epic and (we hope) use all of the bits of unrelated information and upon which the plug was pulled with no prior planning no particular care of anyone involved.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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