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Janels

ratings
284
REVIEWS
126
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
45
HELPFUL VOTES
179

  • Involuntary Witness: Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Gianrico Carofiglio
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (794)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (695)

    A nine-year-old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well near a popular beach resort in southern Italy. In what looks like a hopeless case for Guido Guerrieri, a Senegalese peddler is accused of the crime. Faced with small-town racism, Guido attempts to exploit the esoteric workings of the Italian courts. The voice of Sean Barrett brings this gritty Italian detective series to life.

    dumbclub says: "Excellence"
    "Charming character, tedious telling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although I find the protagonist in the few of these books I have read quite charming, this particular reading is thronged with beyond tedious courtroom questions, procedures, identifications, etc. I found that when my mind drifted out of boredom, it really made no difference to where I was in the story. The main character is complex, yet very well developed and the reader is given entree to his inner persona. Were the story more interesting, it would have been a great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Cat: A Richard Jury Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (133)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (59)

    Three months have passed since Richard Jury was left bereft and guilt- ridden after his lover's tragic auto accident, and he is now more wary than ever. He is deeply suspicious when requested on a case far out of his jurisdiction in an outlying village, where a young woman has been murdered behind the local pub. The only witness is the establishment's black cat, who gives neither crook nor clue as to the girl's identity or her killer's.

    Brad says: "Thoroughly Enjoyed Latest Edition to Series"
    "Where is Steve West?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been working my way through all the Grimes/Jury books, and in general, enjoy them enormously. This is despite them being somewhat tediously formulaic--always a child, usually a cat--but delightful and humorous characters. Steve West embodies and embraces this formula, and always does a masterful job with all characters, giving them just the right touch of irony or humor. This book is, again, borne of that formula. But without West narrating, they all sound alike and the humor and irony seem to fall short of the mark. This narrator does not do justice to Grimes' writing, and effectively shatters the beloved characterizations that have been built up through her other books. He is the wrong person to narrate, ruins it, makes the characters unmemorable and inseparable--a waste for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 24 Hours

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (342)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (228)

    24 Hours begins with the perfect family...on the perfect day...about to become trapped in the perfect crime.

    Will Jennings is a successful young doctor in Jackson, Mississippi, with his whole life ahead of him. He has a thriving practice, a beautiful wife, and a young daughter he loves beyond measure.

    Suzn F says: "Exciting Book, so well read"
    "Thriller! But needs better medical pronunciations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an excellent thriller from start to finish. The most distracting part, was, oddly, the seasoned narrator Dick Hill. Because medications, conditions and treatments were crucially important to the plot, Mr. Hill should have been given a primer in their correct pronunciations--very distracting having to figure out what he was trying to pronounce, then missing the ensuing dialogue. His southern accents seemed harsh and difficult to distinguish between better educated and lower-life accents--and none seemed anything but contrived. He does better with Reacher. However, the book was truly an edge-of-the-seat thriller about the abduction of a diabetic child without sinking into graphic cruelty. Other issues brought forward were wives sacrificing their careers to raise children and men, particularly doctors, putting their conventions and meetings above family. It also highlights the harsh reality that no one is really safe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1189)
    Performance
    (1085)
    Story
    (1096)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Jan says: "Sorry John... wanted to like it... love you anyway"
    "Book suffers from awful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You would think that a best selling author would choose/rate first class narration--not on this book. First of all, the female who reads rather than narrates sounds as though she is a teenaged Valley girl. She literally reads (every sentence starts with voice higher and ends at voice lower at period). When she tries any intonation, it is misleading as she breaks up sentences inappropriately and puts the wrong emphasis on the wrong words. Furthermore, she absolutely can't do different voices for different characters. The listener becomes easily confused, unless there is a "he said" or "she said", as you can't tell the differences among the female characters and there seems little if any difference between male and female voices. Except her ridiculous hillbilly caricature. The lead female, Samantha, is supposed to be a 29 year old attorney. The narrator voices her as a high-pitched much younger sounding character.

    Aside from the grating and ruinous narration, the book seems to have a new (for Grisham) gripping plot. I'm only half way through, and the narration is so disturbing that I decided to comment now. This is definitely a book much better read (as in hard copy) than listened to. Too many of the characters are lost to poor narration and it detracts from the plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • These Things Hidden

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Ali Ahn, Angela Lin, Angela Goethals
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (340)
    Story
    (333)

    Once the golden child of tiny Linden Falls, Iowa, Allison Glenn watches her reputation crumble as she is sent to prison for five years—convicted of a terrible crime. But what really happened that fateful night? Allison’s younger sister is the only other person who knows the truth. Now out of prison, Allison is more desperate than ever to set the record straight, but the revelation of the truth could have far-reaching consequences.

    C. Morris says: "Please save yourself the time"
    "Jumbled, only comes together at end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This continually lost my interest, and it was only sheer endurance that made me listen until the end. It begins with several different readers telling several seemingly unrelated stories...very confusing. It came off as very disjointed and uninteresting, until the end when it quickly pulled it all together. It felt as though I were being intentionally mislead until the rabbit was pulled out of the hat--and the various versions just didn't have enough depth. I would not listen to something from this author again--too much work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rainbow's End

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    When three women die of "natural causes" in London and the West Country, there appears to be no connection - or reason to suspect foul play. But Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury has other ideas, and before long he’s following his keen police instincts all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There, in the company of a brooding 13-year-old girl and her pet coyote, he mingles with an odd assortment of characters and tangles with a twisted plot that stretches from England to the American Southwest.

    Janels says: "Always interesting, but bad American stereotypes"
    "Always interesting, but bad American stereotypes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jury mysteries are always witty and amusing, but this one seems to veer out of its comfort zone by adding ridiculous American stereotypes, bad dialogue, and bad American accents. Kind of seemed as though the author took a trip to New Mexico and just had to make Jury fit into it. He didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Seventh Secret (Signet)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Irving Wallace
    • Narrated By Chet Williamson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (58)

    Eminent Oxford don Sir Harrison Ashcroft, on the verge of proving that Hitler did not die in the bunker, is murdered in Berlin. His daughter, Emily, continues this quest. Her life is endangered but she has new and unexpected protectors: Rex Foster, researching the vainglory of Nazi architecture; Nicholas Kirvov, curator of a Soviet art museum; and Tovah Levine, Mossad agent. The four prove a tough match for a coterie of neo-Nazis conspiring to perpetuate Hitler's image and obscure the details of his death.

    Keith says: "Solid Conspiracy Theory"
    "Robotic narration and dated dialogue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not a new story, but the narration was uninspired and robotic, the love scenes just plain embarrassing, and the story interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Graham Robb
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (60)

    This is the Paris you never knew. From the Revolution to the present, Graham Robb has distilled a series of astonishing true narratives, all stranger than fiction. A young artillery lieutenant, strolling through the Palais-Royal, observes disapprovingly the courtesans plying their trade. A particular woman catches his eye; nature takes its course. Later that night, Napoleon Bonaparte writes a meticulous account of his first sexual encounter....

    Myrna Minkoff says: "Difficult....but worth it"
    "Historical vertigo"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a Francophile who spends at least a month in Paris each year. I try to read all books which humanize French history. It's great to be able to better appreciate where I happen to be at any given time and know just what went on there.

    However, this book would be much better followed if read in written form. I listen to audiobooks so that I can multitask. But that doesn't mean I don't pay attention--I just can't take notes or memorize sequences. This book whips back and forth throughout history, chapters, characters, and quotes without the benefit of written punctuation. The narrator (one of my favorites, by the way) does an excellent job of injecting dry Brit wit into the writer's comments on much of the historical revelations. However, it is difficult to distinguish between a poem and the narration of any of the dozens of characterizations, and the "2.5.1" etc., (presumably chapters and sub chapters, and sub-sub chapters?) makes my ears stop listening. It can be very difficult to follow, as it is a collection of many separate scenarios, largely unlinked except for the city. The scores of character names are numbing, although the historical research is often entertaining, and certainly revealing.

    It's just that, it is almost like a history text book, and really should be seen and read. Reciting chapter numbers and sub-chapters is meaningless and distracting. And, you never know what era the narrator will begin after taking an all-too-short pause. Sometimes if I am just slightly distracted, I'll have no idea what era or happening is being recited by the narrator. By the time I catch up, I have hopelessly lost my place and vow to get the printed book.

    All in all, it is impressive research, and very entertaining and enlightening factoids about Paris and Parisians. It is just a bit oblique for a casual listener. And I really don't want to have to listen in a vacuum, as with a lecture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Paris Apartment

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Michelle Gable
    • Narrated By Erin Moon, Saskia Maarleveld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    When her boss tells her about the discoveries in a cramped, decrepit apartment in the ninth arrondissement, Sotheby' s continental furniture specialist April Vaught does not hear "dust" or "rats" or "shuttered for 70 years". She hears Paris. She hears escape. She cannot board the plane fast enough. When she arrives, April quickly learns the apartment is more than just some rich hoarder' s repository. Beneath the dust and cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a literal goldmine - and not just in terms of actual dollars.

    Simone says: "Total Fail"
    "Engrossing dramatization of an actual event"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although a Francophile, I don't remember hearing about the Paris apartment that had been closed up for 70 years. When I now research that finding, I see that many stories got it wrong. It was not the original owner, Marthe de Florian, who fled the Nazis for southern France around the time of the 2nd World War, but her granddaughter, which is a mystery in itself. This appears to be the best and tidiest accounting of the apartment and the lineage of owners. It also probably speculates as to why the final owner never returned for 70 years prior to her death, but kept paying the rent for all that time. The speculations are quite interesting, and it makes for an engrossing story--especially as it is heavily based on actual events. It seems to have been painstakingly researched to be able to have woven the intricate series of events that lead up to this fabulous find. Almost my only negative comment would be of the very excellent narrator. Especially when narrating the voice of a multi-degreed antiques expert, PLEASE pronounce "jewElry" correctly! (not jew-le-ry).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Heist

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1106)
    Performance
    (978)
    Story
    (984)

    Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled listeners with 16 thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back - from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant creation, Gabriel Allon - art restorer, assassin, spy - has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.

    Brian says: "If new to Daniel Silva, great book. Otherwise..."
    "Great education in art history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of Silva's more detailed, and in my opinion, more interesting and educational narratives, giving in-depth histories of some of the world's greatest painters. It has a more or less typical Gabriel Allon story line, but for some reason, Kiara and Shamron do not play as big a roll as in the past. Another benefit for Francophiles is the detailed descriptions of his paths in Paris. Clearly, Silva has been there recently. The book is fast-paced and mesmerizing until the end, which is somewhat disappointing. It is as though it quickly tied up lose ends and just stopped any in-depth narrative. Still very worth the listen, as are all of Silva's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stargazey: Richard Jury, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (36)

    Saturday night. It was not a night to be spending alone, riding a bus. When he was a teenager at the comprehensive, Saturday night without a girl, without a date, without at least your mates to raise hell with, Saturday night alone would have been shameful. One wouldn't want to be seen alone on a Saturday night…. Who are you kidding? That was never your life, Jury, not yours.

    Cynthia says: "Entertaining and well thought-out."
    "The most entertaining Grimes novel I've heard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I stumbled on the Richard Jury books and found they had very entertaining if odd characters. Each character that continues from book to book seems to get deeper, funnier and better developed with each. This is the most entertaining of all the Jury books I've listened to, and I will likely go for the entire series. The narrator does a lively and excellent job of injecting humor and nuance into a vast variety of voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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