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Jim

Dearborn, MI, USA

56
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 252 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Forever Odd: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3568)
    Performance
    (1220)
    Story
    (1242)

    He's the most unlikely hero you'll ever meet, an ordinary guy with a modest job you might never look at twice. But there's so much more to any of us than meets the eye, and that goes triple for Odd Thomas. For Odd lives always between two worlds in the small desert town of Pico Mundo, where the heroic and the harrowing are everyday events. Odd never asked to communicate with the dead, it's something that just happened.

    Bill says: "Great narration, disappointing story"
    "Sophomore Curse-Skip it."
    Overall

    After I finished listening to Forever Odd, I had to go back and listen to Odd Thomas just to see what it was that made me want to listen to Forever Odd. Then I thought maybe I had inadvertently downloaded an abridged version of Forever Odd, without the characteristic convolutions and engaging enigmas of a typical Koontz novel, but it really was just a short, flat, uninteresting book about some really interesting characters. If Koontz revisits Odd in a third book, go straight to that one from Odd Thomas.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Quest

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Wilbur Smith
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (83)

    Egypt is struck by a series of terrible plagues that cripple the Kingdom, and then the ultimate disaster follows: the Nile fails. The waters that nourish and sustain the land dry up. Something catastrophic is taking place in the distant and totally unexplored depths of Africa from where the mighty river springs. In desperation, Pharaoh sends for Taita, the only man who might be able to find the source of the Nile and discover the cause of all their woes.

    John Fedderke says: "Dissapointed beyond belief"
    "The Quest...for a better story"
    Overall

    This is my first Wilbur Smith book, so i won't hold it against him, since he receives generally high praise for many of his other volumes.

    Imagine your spouse's boss has invited you over for dinner with her and her husband. After a modest and unimpressive dinner, they insist on showing you vacation slides, and you feel obligated to stay. In the interminable parade of photos of people you don't know in places you've never been, every so often, an interesting pictures pops up, which keeps you from falling asleep, but on the whole, you'd rather just be done with it and back in your car, actually moving somewhere.

    This was my experience with this book.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Sharp Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3722)
    Performance
    (2989)
    Story
    (3014)

    Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

    Kelley says: "I agree with Stephen King"
    "Tragically, tragically hip"
    Overall

    In an age of Dr. Phil and Jerry Springer, I imagine the protagonist of this book must be viewed as sympathetic or as an anti-hero in some sense, but without the release valve of some undamaged characters, I found this whole story dreary and unapproachable. I couldn't find a single person in the story to care about, and with 2 hours left, I was rooting for the main character to die and put me out my misery.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tananarive Due
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (1272)
    Performance
    (677)
    Story
    (672)

    Tananarive Due, author of The Living Blood won the American Book Award and is praised as Stephen King's equal by Publishers Weekly. In The Good House, Due sets a story of ancient powers and modern retribution in a small Pacific Northwest town. When a young woman returns to her grandmother's empty mansion, she is pitted against demonic forces that have poisoned her family for generations.

    Rebecca says: "FABULOUS!"
    "Very good; could use a blue pencil"
    Overall

    I enjoyed the story and the writing very much, until the last 5 hours or so. Near the end, I began to plead with my iPod to just get on with the end of the story. The tangential tide had come in, and the expository undertow was sucking me under. I also grew weary of the detailed and protracted descriptions of sexual encounters - all things in moderation.

    Still, overall, an enjoyable listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tyrannosaur Canyon

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1015)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (307)

    What fire bolt from the galactic dark shattered the Earth eons ago, and now hides in that remote cleft in the southwest U.S. known as Tyrannosaur Canyon?

    Peggy says: "A pleasure to listen to"
    "Good, not great."
    Overall

    OK, the narrator is awful. The only thing worse than his feminine voices was his ridiculous attempt at an English accent. He also has a habit of simply reciting words instead of reading the story; e.g., he says "he watched her smiling" when the text obviously reads "he watched her, smiling". Then there's the story. I enjoyed Preston's work with Lincoln Child on the Pendergast novels, but this story is a literary bas-relief - a story that merely suggests depth of charcters and plot, but doesn't deliver any real dimension. It was a good listen and seems well researched, but I wanted it to be better.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Altered Carbon

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3427)
    Performance
    (1626)
    Story
    (1637)

    In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

    Jake Williams says: "Altered Carbon"
    "Philip Marlowe meets Philip K. Dick"
    Overall

    Liked it; didn't love it. It's definitely film noir fodder that should be printed on pulp paper, complete with an "I don't know..." monologue at the end. (Remember the last 10 minutes of Blade Runner?) I thought the world was well constructed, but it was 9 hours of story packed into 17 hours of listening that culminated in a disappointing "OK, spill!" exposition. And, although it clearly tails The Big Sleep, et al., this book packs none of the witty banter that makes Chandler so engaging. Morgan has apparnetly riddled his narrative with similes instead, like bullet holes in a getaway car on the business end of a Tommy gun. Also, the adolescently explicit sexual and gore scenes were self-consciously overdone. The whole thing could have used a sharp blue pencil, but generally enjoyable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Soul Tracker

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bill Myers
    • Narrated By Bill Myers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    David Kauffman, novelist, single parent, and agnostic, is devastated by his young daughter's death. He is desperate to know where she has gone. Soon he meets Gita Patekar, a beautiful and committed Believer with a shame-ridden past. Gita works for Life After Life, an organization dedicated to scientifically tracking and recording the experiences of the soul once it leaves the body.

    April says: "Great Read!"
    "Not so much, really."
    Overall

    I found the description very misleading, as this turned out to be not much more than a Christian parable. Once I looked at his other books, I probably could have guessed that, though. Aside from flatly drawn characters that border on genuinely stupid, he also has a bit of a pronoun problem: "He walked up to a door. He wiped his face and opened it." If you want a "Ain't God great?" story, go ahead and listen, but "gut-wrenching"? Not so much.

    9 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • The Time Traveler's Wife

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Audrey Niffenegger
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed, Christopher Burns
    Overall
    (2613)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (382)

    Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six. They were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry was thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future.

    Herve Bronnimann says: "My Favorite Audiobook so far"
    "I did not enjoy this book"
    Overall

    I was going to write my own review, but I read Kirk from NC, and he has summed the book up brilliantly.

    I would add that it feels to me like the author is a free verse poet trying to write a novel. She has created some surpassingly beuatiful and insightful passages here and there, but they are just stitched together too loosely to form an interesting narrative.

    Truthfully, I only finished it because I has started it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1963)
    Performance
    (1103)
    Story
    (1116)

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "If you love Margaret Atwood, listen to this book."
    Overall

    This is the third (and probably last) Margaret Atwood book I've read/listened to. From Surfacing and The Handmaid's Tale to Oryx and Crake, I have yet to find any of her work that can be described without using the word "bleak." She is clearly a writer of skill and depth, as well as renown, but reading her novels, for me, is like layering heavy blanket upon heavy blanket of despair, and I finish them only so I can throw off the accumulated weight. I always end up thinking she would be very much at home teaching a workshop in German Existentialsim, where the burden of our very existence is paralysing.

    21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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