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Bloomingdale, MI, USA | Member Since 2006

  • 10 reviews
  • 125 ratings
  • 157 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014

  • Special Circumstances

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Sheldon Siegel
    • Narrated By David Dukes

    Mike Daley is an ex-priest, ex-public defender, ex-husband, and most recently an ex-partner at Simpson & Gates, a prominent San Francisco law firm. He's on his own and setting up a private practice on the wrong side of town. Then his best friend and former colleague is charged with a brutal double murder involving one of Simpson & Gates's most powerful partners and a young associate. Mike's got to clear his friend's name, but time is running out.

    Murdo says: "Fine story bizarrely read"

    Reasonable start to a possible series. OK but not terrific. Maybe it was the abridgement, but no reason to love the character who could appear again.
    I was EXTREMELY disappointed by Dukes' narration of minority and regional characters. Stereotypical, disrespectful and distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Blight Way: A Sheriff Bo Tully Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick F. McManus
    • Narrated By Charles Leggett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Bo Tully is the sheriff of Blight County, Idaho, where law enforcement is usually pretty mundane: tracking down truants running away from school, picking up country boys who've had a few too many beers. But Tully gets a little more than the country norm when an ex-con calls with the startling news that there's a corpse draped across one of his fences.

    Carl says: "WHAT A TREAT"
    "Let's hear some more"

    I downloaded this to share with elderly friends, but I listened to it as well. This is different from McManus' usual fare but you can feel his presence. (Ha Ha - particularly his description of people's clothing, not really fashion-forward, but endearingly appropriate for those familiar with the author.)
    The story is fun and clever, and the narrator is very fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Martin Misunderstood

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Wayne Knight

    Martin Reed is thoroughly average in every way. So how has he wound up with such a pathetic existence? Martin has no friends, no lovers, and no respect. Working as a senior accountant at Southern Toilet Supply and still living with his nagging mother, his sole source of excitement is the crime novels he cherishes. So immersed is Martin in these escapes that he fails to notice the crimes going on all around him.

    adrienne says: "Gentle character finds peace."
    "Whole novel"

    This would have been terrific as a novel; it is really good as a novella. Wayne Knight was great too.I have to say I pictured him as Martin, AND I could even see him playing all the lead parts--making for quite a fun video inside my head as the story unfolded.
    I gave it less than five stars due to the conclusion. It was not expected but I was completely unsatisfied--my personal opinion. Others might think it was appropriate. Not terribly believable, but then again, not many options to wrap up the story at this length. Just fun to listen to and leaves you wanting more. Lovably quirky.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Serialist: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By David Gordon
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This stylish, darkly funny psychological debut thriller set in New York City is about a struggling writer forced to play detective in a real-life murder mystery plot, after a convicted serial killer—who claims to be innocent—hires him to write his memoir. All Harry Bloch knows about catching a serial killer is what he has learned from his own books. An unknown writer, Harry churns out pulp novels under a variety of pseudonyms.

    Library Maven says: "Not for the faint of heart but entertaining"

    This was a reasonably interesting and decent book. I appreciated that the porn and the violence weren't explicit. The author includes some food for thought about writing--especially since the writing i this book is pretty light-weight--sort of makes you think anyone could write, if you know what I mean.
    I was very sorry the author decided to keep writing after the story was pretty much over. It got pretty tiresome, and was completely unnecessary. The idea was to have something other than just a simple formula thriller. I think the way to accomplish this is through the quality of the writing, not by messing around with the plot.
    I got pretty excited about Pinchot after listening to Cheese Monkeys. He is very versatile but unfortunately he does repeat voices across different books. It's almost like the books are narrated by an ensemble cast who appear together over and over. That's better than a lot of narrators, but Pinchot is so good you expect more from him and can be disappointed by the recurring voices.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Russell says: "Glad I Listened to 11-22-63 First"
    "Typical King"

    People who love King should have no problems with this novel. I think it is one of the best I have read - I loved the Shining, hated It, loved On Writing, hated Christine, loved Deloris Clayburne, hated Lisey's Story.
    Typical of King, his plotting is fantastic, and his take on human nature seem perfectly plausible, as though he has already seen the circumstances unfold and he is just reporting.
    Also typical of King, his dialogue is corny, and it annoys me when teenagers talk as though they are transported from a 50's soda counter, and the adults pepper their remarks with bygone idioms like "indeed not." A drawback that makes me wait a few years in between each new read.
    The cause of the dome and its final resolution also made me roll my eyes. Typical Stephen King. But I'm still rating a 4, aren't I? Sometimes I wonder if King throws in the cornball stuff just to give the other writers a chance. If his stories weren't loaded with such ridiculous doofiness, other writers might be too intimidated to make an effort.
    The reader is fine, but appeared to be taken aback by the broad array of characters. The women all sounded bored and stoned, and the men sounded like they were from the deep south more often than New England - with a little Tim Gunn thrown in from time to time. All of the children sounded three. This provided a note of amusement, but an otherwise fine narrator.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Freddy and Fredericka

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mark Helprin
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Best-selling, critically acclaimed author Mark Helprin's work has drawn favorable comparisons to an elite group of literary legends, including James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe, and Thomas Mann. Helprin's sheer comic brilliance shines in this ingenious farce.

    Chris says: "God save Craig-Vyvyan! I liked it."
    "editor was absent"

    This fine book could have been even better with a competent editor. Slurs such as "soul brothers" and the tired and embarrassing American Indian-speak were distracting and disappointing.
    Supposed slapstick moments were often too slowed-down to enjoy without completing the scene ahead of the narrator; others were so cliche or repetitive (such as the running gag of double-meanings misinterpreted) that they cheapened the book.
    Combined with beautiful sentiments about man's relationship with his world, the duty of royals, and the beauty of life lived for others, the result was a jumble of impressive passages and others where you wondered if the editor skipped over whole chunks of the book in an effort to coax the author to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Spot of Bother: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Mark Haddon
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At 61, George Hall is settling down to a comfortable retirement. Then his tempestuous daughter, Katie, announces that she is getting remarried, to the deeply inappropriate Ray. Her family is not pleased and Katie can't decide if she loves Ray or loves the wonderful way he has with her son, Jacob. Her mother, Jean, is a bit put out by all the planning and arguing the wedding has occasioned, which get in the way of her quite fulfilling late-life affair with one of her husband's ex-colleagues.

    Matthea says: "Fun and poignant"

    I laughed, I cried. Laughed more than cried. Rooted for each character, even though they had opposing goals. His first two books are wonderful, this one and the 'Curious Incident...'

    Not so heavyweight, but memorable and worthwhile. Even delightfully ironic you might argue, the cosy, matter-of-fact style versus the subject matter. It is easy to picture a masterpiece in Haddon's future.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Disorder Peculiar to the Country: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Ken Kalfus
    • Narrated By James Boles

    Joyce and Marshall Harriman are in the midst of a contentious divorce. On the morning of September 11, Joyce departs for Newark to catch a flight to San Francisco, and Marshall heads for his office in the World Trade Center. She misses her flight and he's late for work, but on that grim day each thinks the other is dead, and each is secretly, shamefully, gloriously happy. In this astonishing black comedy, Kalfus suggests how our nation's public calamities have encroached upon our most private illusions.

    Michael Jones says: "Divorce: 9/11 Style"
    "not funny"

    This book is classed as a black comedy due to laziness in the book-blurb industry--a vestigial reference to the tragedy-tragicomedy-comedy spectrum that no longer scans for today's book-jacket shopper.

    Any book with unique or singular situations that make you uncomfortable becomes a black comedy, and 'hilarious' ends up in its reviews and blurbs.

    Does it find its audience? Personally I shop in this genre for a laugh. Are there readers who look here for dark, depressing books that will reinforce their sense that life is hard and useless? I doubt it.

    I am writing this not to knock the book, but to provide fair warning to black-comedy fans. There are far too many books lumped into the black comedy genre, that are not funny at all, but with more care in promotion, would find a willing and appreciative audience. This is such a book.

    This is a masterful book for people who enjoy the intake of profoundly numbing grief and disappointment in your fellow-man. Or, if you are able to look beyond the pain and go on to have a nice day, this book will satisfy.

    The book evokes the communal sense of loss and bewilderment during the post-9/11 fallout, the futility of going through the motions to make life hum along smoothly. The paralyzing realization that one's own life is minuscule, and the perverse reaction: to mess things up even worse.

    People who don't rally, don't set an example of heroism. People who responded to 9/11 like the rest of us: adrift, depressed, without purpose, feeling guilty for keeping on with their petty concerns and grudges, but going on all the same.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Heart-Shaped Box

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang

    Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, a thing so terrible-strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet. For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost. It's the real thing.

    Lesley says: "Yikes! Five stars for fright"
    "Good enough, but not momentous"

    Two things lessened my enjoyment of this book: The reader and the Audible interview hyping the book, which misrepresented it in an effort to broaden its appeal.

    I didn't care for the reader's approach to the southern accents in the book. This was part of the plot, that accents changed as the characters traveled south, but most of his female characters sounded like Mr. Rogers.

    I am not devoted to the genre, but I will read it occasionally, maybe once a year. I picked this book because of the interview in 'This is Audible.' The slant of the interview was that this crosses genre, can even hold its own among literary fiction. This is hype that tainted my listening experience. I kept waiting for conflict, catharsis, character growth...

    Literary fiction it is not. However, it is every bit as good as the best X-files episode, and the book could have been honestly presented as such. If that had been my expectation, I am sure I would have had no problem recommending it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fourth Bear: A Nursery Crime

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jasper Fforde
    • Narrated By Simon Vance

    The Gingerbreadman, psychopath, sadist, genius, and killer, is on the loose. But it isn't Jack Spratt's case. He and Mary Mary have been demoted to Missing Persons following Jack's poor judgment involving the poisoning of Mr. Bun the baker. Missing Persons looks like a boring assignment until a chance encounter leads them into the hunt for missing journalist Henrietta "Goldy" Hatchett, star reporter for The Daily Mole.

    Gary says: "10001001110000111"
    "Very fun"

    Having read all the Tuesday Next series, I tried this. It is just as good. The reader of this book is kind of understated, but he is very good. His style may take getting used to if you listened to the Tuesday Next books--he's more deadpan. Still an excellent reader and the book is absorbing and entertaining.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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