Seattle, WA, United States | Member Since 2014
Janathan Evison encapsulates what nobody I have met has been able to describe - 21st Century Port Angeles, Washington. This book is for readers craving to make sense of the funeral pyre that is rural Washington's logging and fishing industries. Port Angeles is a dying town, but it still refuses to give up its last breath. That's because its descendants carry a legacy of hard working, hard drinking, and cold fishing in their blood. They live and bleed the stamina of their forbearers. The community survives because it was built to survive. It's a strange magic that draws you in.
West of Here is a journey into the lives of people that you will never meet because you don't live in Port Angeles (Port Bonita in the book). But, you should meet them and get to know them through Evison's characters. They have something to teach you about yourself. Every character in his book is just a little bit of you. If you don't like his characters it may be because they hit too close to home. Don't let that stop you...it takes guts to look into a mirror.
This book is a must read for anyone trying to make sense of the often strange yet compelling Western maritime legacy. It juxtaposes the sea with the wilderness, men against mountains, and lovers against themselves. I think this novel is gutsy and refreshing. Try it with a mind open to seeing the unfamiliar landscape of the Western mind.
Compelling WWII history keeps me awake at night, risking of a garroting by earbud wires carefully tucked under my pillow. Not this story however. I hit the off button after ten minutes or so.
The story is an important one; where did the art stolen by the Nazis end up? However, the novel is 3/5 personalities and 2/5 art chasing (I'm being generous). The film Monuments Men, from which this book derives, needed plenty of embellishments to forge a screen play out this rather thin tale based on even thinner records.
There are some great vignettes about very famous art works that make the listener go, "huh" or "what a tragedy." It's just not a whole credit's worth. So…listen to be informed, not entertained, if you chose this book.
When your author makes excuses for the unfathomable good luck of his detective with statements like this, "Enzo was beginning to feel like one of the Three Princes of Serendip," you know that you're being fed a lazy tale where accidents, rather than sagacity, are the dominant theme.
The premise of this quasi-detective story (the main character is not a cop, but a biology professor) is seriously flawed - the protagonist (Enzo) takes a case on a bet. Other motivations are not clear…perhaps he's bored. Once he does engage, we follow his left turns over this "Pont" and onto that "Rue," around French postcard cities, generally unengaged with the author's sideshow cuisine and wine forays. Few North Americans can reference Enzo's urban(e) wanderings, leaving the listener feeling like he or she has just departed a boring dinner party where the hosts showed their guests a slideshow of a recent trip to France. After awhile it all blurs into a bland Ratatouille stew.
To keep the listener attentive, the author makes a futile attempt at mimicking Umberto Eco's, The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum. But, Peter May is no Umberto Eco. Some reviewers equate this novel with Brown's, Da Vinci Code. However, Dry Bones is far too random and cliche to rise that far.
Personally, I think Peter May should try his hand at travel writing. He seems to know a great deal of trivia that may be of interest to the Francophile in a few of us.
Long before the advent of road trip books like John Steinbeck's, Travels with Charlie, or Jack Kerouac's, On the Road, there was Mark Twain's - Life on the Mississippi. This is a two part story - one dealing with Twain's years as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi, and the second part focusing on his nostalgia journey back to the river twenty years later.
The river serves as metaphor for the rapidly changing industrial landscape of mid-19th Century North America. Twain encapsulates the metamorphoses through vignettes and interviews that capture "what-was" and "what-is."
As good in audio as in text, this story will captivate historians and Big Muddy aficionados. It does tend to drag towards the end, though for a purpose. I wouldn't let that keep me from recommending this book. Just listen to it when you have plenty of leisure time or you're on the road again in the Midwest.
When I found myself counting the number of visits to Starbucks by our protagonists, a sense of dread washed over me...'Harry Bosch has lost his edge.' However, when the pastry selection Bosch buys (from Starbucks) for a judge to garner favor for a court order is given play in the story, I realized that we have reached the end of an era.
Harry Bosch no longer exists. In his place is a Hollywood cutout who is no longer the consummate outsider. He has morphed into just another wise, old detective with street savvy, but too polished to allow us to see his dark side.
This story was canned, relying on strokes of luck to move the plot along. The author even chastises his own use of this weak writing tool by reminding us that lightening doesn't often strike in an investigation (but it does - several times).
If you purchase this book it may give you an excuse to leave the past behind. Time find yourself a new anti-hero like Bosch to enjoy.
Burn a witch? Reveal an conspiracy? History comes alive in this crisp retelling of an horrid era in Colonial history…witch trials and the intersection of faith and law.
The reason why I am recommending this audiobook has nothing to do with the story (which is phenomenal). It is a tale of one boy/man and his intellect, against a myriad of biblically-misguided Colonials who see darkness with every twist of fate. I want you to listen to this book so you understand from whence we have come as a Nation.
There are some eye-rolling moments, however, they are so infrequent that the story abides…as does our Nation. That is, America abides…even though we were at one time serious ignoramuses.
Go for it!
This canned, quasi-spy novel, is written to wind your tension-lovin' spring. But, the story is so pedestrian, so canned and unbelievable, that its masquerade as thriller is as transparent as the unsmoked glass that the good guys must endure in their rented Porches when the genocidal maniacs shoot their silenced guns through the streets of crowded cities into their righteous and speedy vehicles.
What incredibly bogus, pulp fiction, this stuff is…I feel dirty.
But, as always Scott Brick is my hero. Narrator extraordinaire!
At first I took this audiobook for pulp si-fi and intended to listen with a modicum of disinterest as I went through my daily rituals, ear buds dangling in their usual position. Then, as the penultimate battle approached, I went into serious listener mode. 'This is going to be good,' I thought. Not!
The book ends without resolution and in the middle of a space battle where tactics (human) are pitted against overwhelming numbers (alien). What happened? Who knows? You have to buy the second book.
Unlike Jack Campbell, who resolves the dilemma before setting up a new one for readers to ponder, McGinnis churns pulp like an episode of "Orange is the New Black." Want to know what happens…tough luck buddy…spend another credit.
Well…not me…I am returning this wholly unsatisfying example of churn.
Having read this novel three decades ago, I recalled that I was enthralled with how the story unwound. Now, hearing it read by John Lee, I can tell my fellow listeners that this novel/audiobook is in my top 25 out of 1350.
First, don't be put off by the period sexism (circa 1970). You'll find the same stuff in Exodus (also by Uris). It's just the way he wrote. Keep focused on the motivations of the characters. Their extremes are tell-tale foreshadowing to a totally unexpected ending.
QB VII (or Queen's Bench 7) is the British courtroom where a trial takes place. The listener must serve as jury to answer the question: Is Abraham Cady (a reporter) guilty of libeling Dr. Adam Kelno, a Polish physician, whom Cady accused of war crimes? The backdrop for this story is the Holocaust, but the drama plays out in British Courtroom two decades after WWII ended.
When you finish this book you will be a different person. Oh…one more thing…it is based on a true story!
This familiar and tragic tale epitomizes Western motif writing: a prairie family is massacred by Comanches and a young girl is kidnapped. Men track the Comanche, but struggle to find the band responsible for the deed.
The story morphs into a quest (the Holy Grail of sorts) for the girl. Years in the saddle and transformations within the main characters tell the reader that a quest, fruitless or not, is more destiny than circumstance. This book is a road trip (albeit on horseback), through landscape harsh and spectacular. If the High Plains do not kill a man (man in this case), it will redeem him.
This is a sure-fire listen for those appreciating a realistic Western novel. It could have happened and probably did many times just the way Alan LeMay said.
At the opening the premise was solid; there is a secret government organization responsible for monitoring and controlling global technological innovations. It is very powerful and deeply off the books. Then, just when you have bitten a big bite of the apple, enter the dark forces that mimic the evil characters in a Marvel comic sans the mutant superpowers (our antagonists use technology to that end).
Eventually the entire sic-fi thriller degrades into silly dialogue and revenge-driven mania.
This audiobook should only be downloaded in those desperate moments (from your Wish List) when you are late for work and your iPod is empty. If you have the time, search around for a more viable futuristic battle of good vs. holier-than-thou-technocrat.
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