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  • The Critic: The Enzo Files, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Peter May
    • Narrated By James Adams

    Gil Petty, the world's number-one wine critic, is found dead and strung on a cross in the vineyards of France. Enzo Macleod, Scots exile and former forensics expert, finds that the genteel world of winemakers hides a business driven by greed, envy, and desperation, with no shortage of possible killers.

    Jerry says: "Only a Fair Mystery"
    "Only a Fair Mystery"
    What did you like best about The Critic? What did you like least?

    Compared to the first book in the series, it felt like the author was reaching with this one. There seemed to be a lot of exposition that was not introduced very seamlessly - a lot about winemaking that felt like the author was saying "look what I found out about winemaking as I reseached this book!"

    There was important detail necessary to the story; it just could have been more artfully introduced.

    The denoument seemed sort of flat.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Peter May? Why or why not?

    I listened to the first book and this, the second. I may give the third a try.

    How could the performance have been better?

    I thought it was ridiculous to give the characters outrageous French accents (to quote Monty Python) when, after all, they were all ostensibly speaking in French. In the first book, everyone had a regular (British) accent and Enzo had a Scottish accent. That seemed a much more appropriate approach.

    It was actually a bit painful to listen to. Whoever was supervising the recording could have done a much better job.

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

    This is book two in a multi-volume series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein
    • Narrated By William Hughes

    Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein identify two overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse. But they offer a panoply of useful ideas and reforms, endorsing some solutions, like greater public participation and institutional restructuring, while debunking others, like independent or third-party candidates. Above all, they call on the media as well as the public to focus on the true causes of dysfunction rather than just throwing the bums out every election cycle.

    Scott says: "A No-Nonsense Look at our Current Political Crisis"
    "Enlightening, but not the final answer"
    What made the experience of listening to It's Even Worse Than It Looks the most enjoyable?

    The book gave a good, reasoned explanation for the gridlock in Washington. It did take a specific position towards the GOP, but it did not appear to be a polemic: the position taken truly seemed to be the result of research and not an emotional tirade.

    While the explanation of the historical background and the description of the specific tolls used to create the current tension between Congress and the Presidency clarified a lot for me, I still wound up feeling a bit hopeless about the situation. My reason for saying so was that the authors' proposals for dealing with the situation while well presented and logically pleasing in many respects, would appear to me to have a snowball's chance in hell of ever being put in place - an admission the authors often made themselves.

    Would you listen to another book narrated by William Hughes?

    I might - depending on the book. I noticed some mispronunciations of proper names and perhaps less-than-commonly-used words, but maybe that is the director or editor's problem more than Mr. Hughes.

    Any additional comments?

    It was a very thought provoking listen and inspired some interesting discussion around he house.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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