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Invisible Lizard

Matt

Cary, NC | Member Since 2012

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 35 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1391)
    Performance
    (1235)
    Story
    (1252)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "Great story, well read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared again? Why?

    Sure, I would. It was a blast, and the reader did a fine job (especially pronouncing all of those Swedish/foreign names that I would have struggled with).


    What other book might you compare The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared to and why?

    It reminded me of Forrest Gump (the movie, I haven't read the book) and I'm sure comparisons have already been made, but it also had the humor (sometimes dark humor) of light Monty Python. I'm not sure if I can think of anything that would serve as a direct comparison.


    Which character – as performed by Steven Crossley – was your favorite?

    Allan, the main character.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Moved me to roll on the floor laughing out loud? Sure. Allan's first meeting with Stalin, his escape from prison in Tehran, when Mr. Dollars tried to land the plane in Bali. Too many to mention


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Threats

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Amelia Gray
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    A blazingly original, electrifying mystery of love and loss from the haunted imagination of Amelia Gray. In the dead of winter, David, a retired dentist in an unnamed town in Ohio, is pretty sure his wife, Franny, is dead. But he can’t quite figure out what killed her or why she had to die. Disoriented by grief, David struggles to unravel these mysteries - which become increasingly baffling when he starts finding a series of elaborate and escalating threats hidden around his home.

    Invisible Lizard says: "Experimental Fiction"
    "Experimental Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Threats rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'm glad it was short. Threats features some of the best writing I've come across in a while. However, the story itself was lacking. Great atmosphere, creepy characters, chilling setup, building tension, and then... poof. It suddenly ended. Readers smarter than I probably appreciated it for that very fact, but I prefer a little more payoff in the books I choose to read. Luckily it was short, and I don't really feel I wasted 7 hours of my life. I will keep thinking on this one and maybe revisit it down the road.


    If you’ve listened to books by Amelia Gray before, how does this one compare?

    My first Amelia Gray book. I will probably investigate some of her short stories down the road, just for curiosity's sake.


    Have you listened to any of Hillary Huber’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Don't think I've heard Hillary Huber before, but she did a great job with this one. Her forced, dry tone added to the atmosphere of the novel in a meaningful way.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Sure, I kept hoping it was going somewhere.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't buy this unless you're fan of experimental fiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By D. T. Max
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (78)

    David Foster Wallace was the leading literary light of his generation, a man who not only captivated readers with his prose but also mesmerized them with his brilliant mind. In this, the first biography of the writer, D. T. Max sets out to chart Wallace’s tormented, anguished, and often triumphant battle to succeed as a novelist as he fights off depression and addiction to emerge with his masterpiece, Infinite Jest.

    Darwin8u says: "Max avoids hagiography or a sycophant's biography"
    "For those who really love DFW"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Probably not. First of all, I don't have too many friends who are as rabid a David Foster Wallace fan as I am. I don't have too many friends who are DFW fans period, at any level of rabidity. However, (secondly) if I did, I would probably recommend they read the actual book instead of listening to the audiobook. The loss of the (copious) endnotes from the audio kept me going back to the physical book daily to read what I'd missed. I think the producers of this audiobook should have found a way to include them. There were some real gems buried in those notes. For instance, the title is only mentioned/explained in an endnote.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Being (as I am) a rabid DFW fan, I liked best the parts that described his writing experience, especially around the creation of Infinite Jest.


    What three words best describe Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance?

    Let me just say this: the performance was fine, mostly, but I noticed that there were passages, single sentences here and there, that were re-recorded (the tone of voice and background noise changed audibly for an entire sentence and then resumed back to normal afterward) and then I realized that every time this happened, the sentence contained Jay McInerney's name.* Seriously. Every. Single. Time. Then I figured out what had obviously happened. After the entire recording was done, someone realized that Hillgartner had mispronounced McInerney's name all the way through. The index (in my printed copy) shows that McInerney appears on 13 different pages, so that's at least 13 different sentences that needed to be re-recorded and spliced back in. I found that off-putting, to say the least, although (admittedly) a minor gripe.

    However, besides that and to repeat myself, I thought Hillgartner's performance was fine. He did an especially good job of "voicing" DFW himself during passages where his own writing was quoted.

    * McInerney wrote Bright Lights, Big City back in the 80's and was a person whom DFW followed during his early career.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Sure. Any time DFW went off his meds. And obviously the last few pages.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're going to listen to this, get a copy of the actual book and follow along. The endnotes are worth reading.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Hemlock Grove: or, The Wise Wolf

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Brian McGreevy
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (118)

    The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel Mill. A manhunt ensues - though the authorities aren’t sure if it's a man they should be looking for.

    Erin says: "Very similar to the TV show"
    "Mostly fun, entertaining, not bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Brian McGreevy and/or Sean Runnette?

    Sure. I think McGreevy's got this one laid out read for sequels. I'll probably give (at least one of) them a try, especially if the Netflix series is any good.


    What about Sean Runnette’s performance did you like?

    Even paced. Nothing glaring about it. The best performances enhance the book. This one didn't quite do that, but it didn't distract from it either. It was a pleasurable listen.


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

    No, probably doesn't need it. But I think it's primed for one.


    Any additional comments?

    Do we need another variation on the werewolf story? (As well as other plot lines the reader/listener will find familiar that I won't spoil here.) McGreevy does try to be clever by throwing in everything including the kitchen sink into this horror/gothic/occult story, and I'm not sure he completely succeeds. But it was fun and probably a good thing that it was a brief.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Charles J. Shields
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    New York Times best-selling author and biographer Charles J. Shields crafts this fascinating portrait of literary icon Kurt Vonnegut. The first authorized biography of the influential American writer, And So It Goes examines Vonnegut’s life, from his childhood to his death in 2007, and explores how the author changed the conversation of American literature.

    Invisible Lizard says: "Probably only for die hard Vonnegut fans"
    "Probably only for die hard Vonnegut fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What aspect of Fred Berman’s performance would you have changed?

    I've listened to a fair number of audio books, and this was the first one where I could hear the narrator take very loud audible breaths in between sentences, almost as it to alert you that a new sentence was starting. I found this very distracting. Even odder was the fact that that this was inconsistent throughout the narration. It came and went, almost as if this sort of thing is cleaned up digitally before releasing the recording and whoever was cleaning it up missed huge sections. Or the producer used different microphone equipment for different sessions. I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, but this was highly annoying to listen to.


    Any additional comments?

    Vonnegut is very different from the public persona he created over the decades. He was, in fact, a miserable man who seemed to enjoy making people around him miserable as well. Not a particularly fun book to read, but being a huge Vonnegut fan, I'm still glad I read it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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