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JOHN

Audible Member Since 2003

Plantation, FL, United States | Member Since 2003

510
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 66 reviews
  • 430 ratings
  • 644 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
30

  • Atonement

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1047)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (331)

    In Atonement, three children lose their innocence, as the sweltering summer heat bears down on the hottest day in 1935, and their lives are changed forever. Cecilia Tallis is of England's priviledged class; Robbie Turner is the housekeeper's son. In their moment of intimate surrender, they are interrupted by Cecilia's hyperimaginative and scheming 13-year-old sister, Briony. And as chaos consumes the family, Briony commits a crime, the guilt of which she shall carry throughout her life.

    William R. Creech says: "Well written; well read."
    "Impressed"
    Overall

    This is my first Ian McEwan book and I now see why his work is so highly respected. Atonement is not an action-packed thriller but a well-conceived and drawn story about the events of one day and their lifelong consequences. Probably the first third or more of this book details the events of that fateful day, where the author skillfully replays the same scenes over and over as experienced by different characters in the story. Perhaps this is why some find the book "boring." For my taste, it is anything but boring and this author's skill had me very wrapped up in this seemingly simple but complex plot.

    The manner in which this book ended is pure genious - wrapping up all of the details into a very surprising and thought-provoking finale.

    I now have one or two McEwan titles on my wish-list and will definitely purchase one in the future when I am ready for another "dark" novel.

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl You Left Behind

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Penny Rawlins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (466)
    Performance
    (418)
    Story
    (415)

    France, 1916: Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front. When their small town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War II, Edouard’s portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant. As the officer’s dangerous obsession deepens, Sophie will risk everything - her family, her reputation, and her life - to see her husband again.

    FanB14 says: "Exquisite Portrait of Sophie and Liz"
    "Really Quite Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Reading the titles and descriptions of the various Jojo Moyes books, one might assume that she is a prolific "chick lit" factory. After finishing The Girl You Left Behind, my second Moyes novel, my experience has thus far been quite to the contrary. This is a well-written, engaging, thoughtful and rich story.
    The beginning, set in a French town during the German occupation in WWI, sets the stage for what will become a tale that becomes a legal and ethical dilemma on many levels. "The Girl You Left Behind" is actually a painting of questionable provenance painted during the war one hundred years ago. But it is so much more than just a painting and the woman who was the painting's subject is brought to life and continues to speak many generations later from the canvas where she is enshrined.
    Excellent and touching story, well written and well read. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Tale for the Time Being

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ruth Ozeki
    • Narrated By Ruth Ozeki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (491)
    Performance
    (436)
    Story
    (436)

    In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace - and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox - possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami.

    Karen says: "Engaging story beautifully read"
    "Extraordinary Effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ordinarily I do not like to hear an author read his/her own books. Almost always they come across as emotionless and wooden, and one cannot help but wonder why in the world wouldn't a professional WRITER delegate the narration to a professional READER? This is not the case with this book. Ruth Ozeki's reading skills rival that of any I have ever heard. She definitely improves on her written words with her spoken words. Actually I cannot imagine anyone doing a better job than she.
    It would seem that the Ruth in this book is the alter-ego of the author, who is drawn to some flotsam on the beach where she finds, among other artifacts, a diary protected within some plastic freezer bags. It soon becomes apparent the diary came from Japan, and although unlikely, possibly from the devastating tsunami of 2011. The diary was written by a Japanese teenager, Nao (not a coincidence that the pronunciation is "Now") who was contemplating suicide. Nao speaks to her reader across an ocean of water and time, and Ruth is drawn deeper into Nao's life. A captivating connection is made between the two through the girl's story, in spite of the chasm of time and space.
    This is truly an elegant, lovely, poignant and thought-provoking novel and Ruth Ozeki has proven she is a brilliant author AND narrator. Highly recommended.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3449)
    Performance
    (3064)
    Story
    (3075)

    Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable.

    Mikeyxote says: "Great listen for tech fans"
    "A Lesson in Security"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having an awareness in Information Security, I found this book to be entertaining. Certainly Kevin Mitnick, the author/protagonist is not by any means a heroic character. While he asserts he never hacked for financial gain in spite of the fact that he possessed huge amounts of credit card and other "personally identifiable information" the fact remains that he stole intellectual property, personal identities, telephone connectivity, etc. He needed to be caught and incarcerated, which in fact did occur. To him hacking was an addiction, an irresistible urge to beat the system, break through locked doors and unlock security measures designed to defeat him and people like him. Whether or not the listeners of this book believe he is rehabilitated or remorseful, the fact remains that he served time in prison and paid his debt to society.
    For me, the value of this book is that it illustrates just how dependent we all are on information systems, and how vulnerable we are to the lax security at the gatekeepers of our most personal information. We need to do a lot better, and hopefully Mr. Mitnick is now helping us as opposed to hacking us.
    I found the book engaging from a technical standpoint while it demonstrates just how easy it is for some to steal information, sometimes merely for the asking. As Mitnick stated, "like taking candy from a baby."

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3628)
    Performance
    (3276)
    Story
    (3296)

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Emily - Audible says: "My Top Pick for 2012"
    "One of My Favorites from Margaret Atwood"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have long looked for this title on Audible and was very pleased when it finally arrived. The story is told in the first person and Claire Danes performs it perfectly with the voice, I believe, that the author intended when she wrote this story.
    The progression of the Tale is gradual and engaging, requiring the reader/listener to gather up bits of of carefully placed images and information to put together the picture of this repressive nation. Imagine the Taliban in control of the US government and one gets an idea of the society described in this story. It is very interesting to me that Ms Atwood wrote this book in 1985, long before the world became acquainted with the Taliban, as some of the images are eerily reminiscent of some of their tactics witnessed on TV after the 9/11 attacks.
    The Handmaid's Tale comes to a conclusion and the book wraps up with a brilliant epilogue, answering many questions in a surprising and unique fashion.
    Certainly not a happy story nor action-packed, but nonetheless wonderful and captivating. Claire Danes' performance is flawless.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Darlings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Cristina Alger
    • Narrated By Jonathan Fried
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (61)

    Now that he's married to Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to New York society and all of its luxuries: a Park Avenue apartment, weekends in the Hamptons, bespoke suits. When Paul loses his job, Carter offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position. But Paul's luck is about to shift....

    glamazon says: "Another Madoff Spin-off"
    "So So..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book to be unremarkable and predictable. The prose was bland, the characters formulaic and the outcome foreseen.
    The author sets this novel amid the recent Wall Street financial meltdown, opening the story with the apparent suicide of a major hedge fund manager on the eve of the long Thanksgiving weekend. The ensuing tale takes place over the weekend, filling in back story, painting the picture of the Darling family who are tied to this fund and its principal. Throw in a few crooked lawyers and SEC officials and you have pretty much the material upon which this book is constructed.
    This book is not terrible, and I did find myself at times wanting to listen more just to see how it turns out. However there were no surprises. The writing was mediocre and I was unsatisfied with the ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (375)
    Story
    (368)

    Here is an impassioned plea for reason in a world divided by faith. This important and timely work delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today's world. Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind's willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behavior and sometimes heinous crimes.

    William says: "Good book, bad narrator"
    "Brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Sam Harris left no stone unturned explaining his thesis that

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Patricia Highsmith
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (729)
    Performance
    (627)
    Story
    (631)

    In this first novel, we are introduced to suave, handsome Tom Ripley: a young striver, newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan in the 1950s. A product of a broken home, branded a "sissy" by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley becomes enamored of the moneyed world of his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf. This fondness turns obsessive when Ripley is sent to Italy to bring back his libertine pal, but he grows enraged by Dickie's ambivalent feelings for Marge, a charming American dilettante.

    Darwin8u says: "A high-wire, high-risk, high-reward masterpiece"
    "The Anti-Social Protagonist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was an interesting book and of the genre that doesn't normally attract me. However, it passed the simplest true test for me - it made me look forward to listening more and more.

    Although narrated in the third person, it is told as if the author is just over the shoulder of Tom Ripley. It is a subtle seduction where the reader/listener, observing this character soon gets the notion that something isn't quite right with this guy. He engages in some bizarre behavior, that at first might seem to be harmless mischief, but hints at some deeper psychosis. Before long, we are given glimpses into Ripley's thought processes, and any doubts about his sanity are erased.

    Tom Ripley travels to Europe at the request of the wealthy father of one of his

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3400)
    Performance
    (2705)
    Story
    (2693)

    A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

    N. Belle says: "Great Book and Great Story"
    "Surprisingly Good - Well Written and Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this book because of the good reviews and high customer ratings. I was not disappointed and was actually very impressed with the depth, humility, and intelligence of this memoir. Rob Lowe is so much more than just a pretty face. His writing is solid and articulate. His reading is perfect and I had no idea he was such a good impersonator. He nails every voice from Carey Grant to Robert Wagner, including spot-on mimics of Patrick Swayze, Christopher Walken, Matt Dillon, Bill Clinton, Francis Copolla and more.
    This is a book that you do not want to stop listening to, whether or not you are a fan of Rob Lowe.
    Highly recommended.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Barbara Demick
    • Narrated By Karen White
    Overall
    (1599)
    Performance
    (1010)
    Story
    (1015)

    Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years - a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung and the unchallenged rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape never before seen, Demick brings to life what it means to be an average Korean citizen, living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

    Gohar says: "The man who wants to be GOD"
    "Surprisingly Wonderful Book"
    Overall

    One sure sign of a great book is that after you put it down you think about it and cannot wait to get back to it. This was my experience of Barbara Demick's "Nothing to Envy, Ordinary Lives in North Korea."
    It is almost impossible to imagine living in a place where the "Thought Police" described in George Orwell's 1984 abound, where one cannot so much as whisper a phrase of anything less than praise and gratitude for the most repressive regime in the world - but this place exists. The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) is a place shut off from the rest of the world, with virtually no telephone service, mail or internet to the outside, where it is a serious crime to own a radio or television tuned to anything but government-run programming; a place where the community standards police inspect your home to ensure that you keep a picture of Kim Il Sung on the wall or your home and that it is clean and dust-free. This is a country where private enterprise is forbidden, while people are starving to death. Electricity runs only a few hours per week for most people.
    Compiled from interviews from defectors this book reads like a novel, detailing "ordinary" lives that are anything but ordinary. For no matter where on earth a person may live, he or she is still a human being with basic needs and desires. We all need to eat, to learn, to grow, to love.
    "Nothing to Envy" is a wonderfully written expose' on North Korea as experienced by it's "ordinary" citizens. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4069)
    Performance
    (2616)
    Story
    (2643)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Meticulously Researched, Wonderfully Written"
    Overall

    Rebecca Skloot spent ten years of her life researching and writing this book. At the time she had no way of knowing just what she was getting herself into.

    The HeLa cell line is one of the most important and studied subjects in the world of medicine and biology, but practically nothing was known about the person from which these cells were named, Henrietta Lacks. In fact, for years even the name Henrietta Lacks was intentionally obscured by the fictitious names of Helen Lane or Helen Larson.

    Skloot was a young student at the time she became interested in the mostly anonymous Henrietta Lacks, who died at the age of 31 from a terribly aggressive form of cervical cancer. Her cells were extracted, without permission or informed consent, becoming for all purposes the first line of "immortal" human cells living outside of the host body. The author decided to attempt to put a human face on the donor of the cells which played a vital part in such scientific advances as in the cure for polio, aids research, genetic discoveries, cancer cures, drug developments, to name just a few. However, learning the true story of the Lacks family two generations after the death of Henrietta turned out to be quite the daunting venture as Skloot tenaciously uncovers layers of family suffering, mistrust, ignorance and exploitation.

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a real-life story of family and all that goes along with it, good and bad. It is in-part a tale of mystery that walks into real human drama, tackling many difficult issues of racism, bio-ethics, privacy and profiteering.

    This book is perfectly narrated and is one of the best audio books I have encountered in quite some time. Do not miss this one!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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