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John S

Avid audible listener for over 10 years.

MA | Member Since 2014

640
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 150 reviews
  • 153 ratings
  • 819 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
45

  • The Austere Academy: A Series of Unfortunate Events #5

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Lemony Snicket
    • Narrated By Lemony Snicket
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (201)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (88)

    If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they would do very well at school.

    Leon says: "Tim Curry did a much much better job"
    "Hours of peace and quiet in the car"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a family we listened to all the Lemony Snicket books. Although it has been a few years, my children who are teens still remember these books.These books are classic. One of the best attributes is that you and your children can learn some big new words. Its great for vocabulary building. If you have a long drive your kids will sit there and listen to these books for hours on end. I guarantee it. Since you will be trapped in the car with them, you also have to like books. I enjoyed listening just as much as they did. They turn long drives into a pleasurable experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • California Fire and Life

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Jon Lindstrom
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    Jack Wade, a claims adjuster for California Fire and Life Mutual Insurance Company, is one of the best arson investigators around. He's a man who knows fire, who can read the traces it leaves behind like a roadmap. When he's called in to examine an unusual claim, the tracks of the fire tell him that something's wrong. So wrong that he violates his own cardinal rule - "You don't get personal, you don't get emotional. Whatever you do, you don't get involved" - and plunges into the case.

    Tim says: "Fire, life.... Living in So Cal"
    "A book about an insurance adjuster, oh yea."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you read the synopsis of this book you might want to say, that looks uninteresting. Actually it is one of my favorite books in the last few months. Both the narration and writing are superb. The author has an "ear" for dialogue. so you will find yourself laughing at some times. The plot twists and turns so it is often suspenseful. . But the major good point of the book is that main character is just a regular guy who will not compromise his morals. No Jack Reacher kind of character bent on killing about every third person he meets, but someone just dedicated to his job as a fire claims adjuster who will not tolerate fraud and an underlying murder.

    So good I think I listened to entire 13 hours straight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Johnstown Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (1106)
    Performance
    (584)
    Story
    (582)

    At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon.

    Susan K Donley says: "A page-turner! HIstory that reads like a novel"
    "Great Listen with Excellent Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have listened to many of David McCllough books, actually my first audible book was his novel 1776. Although nonfiction it reads more like a novel with an excellent description of the devastation created by the Johnstown flood. If you like American history this is a must listen.

    About a third of the book is a lead up to the flood, about 1/3 is the flood, and the reminder is the after investigation of the flood. In the end one can suppose mother nature was mostly to blame. THe description of a eighty foot wall of water that tore down the valley after the collapse of the dam is gripping. It is interesting to here the tales of what separated the living from the dead, mostly plain dumb luck

    Worth the credit

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Thin Dark Line

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Karen Peakes
    Overall
    (699)
    Performance
    (629)
    Story
    (631)

    Terror stalks the streets of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana. A suspected murderer is free on a technicality, and the cop accused of planting evidence against him is ordered off the case. But Detective Nick Fourcade refuses to walk away. He’s stepped over the line before. This case threatens to push him over the edge. He’s not the only one. Deputy Annie Broussard found the woman’s mutilated body. She still hears the phantom echoes of dying screams. She wants justice.

    Pamela Dale Foster says: "Exciting Mystery"
    "Unlikeable characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to the author's other book, Cold Cold Heart, and enjoyed it much more than this one. Although well written, the suspense is not that suspenseful and most of the characters mostly unlikeable. The main character, Annie, gets in trouble on the local police force for arresting fellow policeman, Nick Fourcade, for beating a murder suspect senseless. He is a cop gone wild, justifying terrorizing just about anyone who he suspects of a crime. He would be right at home in Ferguson, MO.

    Most of the book seems to be about the petty revenges among the police force. They treat her badly she just responds with really vicious comments. No wonder they don't like her, I wouldn't either.Then you have two really unrelated stories of a murder and multiple rapes in the town. Characters are introduced which have no point in the story, and only a minor twist at the end makes it slightly interesting. I only paid $3.95 on a daily deal so I am not that disappointed. At full price I might have returned it.

    The narration was just ok, having liked the narration of Julian Whelan better in Cold Cold Heart. The female voices are good, but the narrator adds too much a New Orleans French twang to the male voices making the narration difficult to understand

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Vanished Man: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jeffery Deaver
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (275)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (241)

    Forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme is called in to work the high-profile investigation of a killer who seemingly disappeared into thin air just as the NYPD closed in. As the homicidal illusionist baits him with grisly murders that grow more diabolical with each victim, Rhyme and his protégée, Amelia Sachs, must go behind the smoke and mirrors to prevent a horrific act of vengeance that could become the greatest vanishing act of all....

    Charles Atkinson says: "Gripping mystery of a psychopathic illusionist."
    "Magician theme and best in series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book did an excellent job of working in the theme of a master magician and his need for revenge. There are plenty plot twists and the pace is always fast. The narration is excellent. Its mostly plausible, but at some point you say it is way too complicated a scheme based on what the villain's objective is. It reminded me a little of the Silence of the Lambs where "bad guy" is quite adept at escaping from incarceration. He is a magician and a student of Houdini who made a living escaping from handcuffs, prisons and locked trunks.

    My only complaint is that there is too many "plot twists" and book could have ended 30 pages earlier.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • High-Rise

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By J.G. Ballard
    • Narrated By Tom Hiddleston
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (85)

    When a class war erupts inside a luxurious apartment block, modern elevators become violent battlegrounds, and cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on "enemy" floors. In this visionary tale, human society slips into violent reverse as once-peaceful residents, driven by primal urges, re-create a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.

    John S says: "Plan to be depressed"
    "Plan to be depressed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, the narration of this book is fabulous. Second the story is too "strange" The residents of a 40 story apartment building in central London go from "normal" lives to living in a building where raids on other apartments result in murders, cannibalism, and dog eating. All the while in buildings 400 yards away from where normal life go on. The book starts out well with tensions escalating between the tenants living in penthouse apartments and those living in garden level apartments quickly escalating. It goes from rudeness to murder pretty quickly.

    The basic premise is that heart man is a savage and will return to barbarity without modern technology. I found it depressing and it is one the few books I could honestly say I wished I never listened to.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Old Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Gary Grossman
    • Narrated By P. J. Ochlan
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    In the summer of 1601, Galileo Galilei made a startling discovery in the mountains of Eastern Italy that, if made public, could shatter faith in religion, bring down governments, and lead to worldwide turmoil. For more than 400 years, the secret has been guarded by a small group of incredibly powerful people, willing to do everything in their power to keep these discoveries from being made.

    Blue Dragonfly says: "Great Story with lots of new twists and turns"
    "Equal to a Dan Brown Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't sure about this book, but I enjoyed it. It is a decent thriller that combines history, science and a little science fiction. For all of these types of books, you have to suspend a little belief, but this has a somewhat plausible themes. I won't describe it since it would give away the ending.

    You have some history, the Vatican, the inquisition, some decent explanation of geology, and some thrills, so it's not too bad. There is some romance as well. If you like Dan Brown books you will like this. I actually think it was better than last Dan Brown book to be honest.

    So if you like a little "learning" combined with thrills its quite decent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life or Death

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By John Chancer
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (79)

    Audie Palmer has spent 10 years in a Texas prison after pleading guilty to a robbery in which four people died and seven million dollars went missing. During that time he has suffered repeated beatings, stabbings and threats by inmates and guards, all desperate to answer the same question: where's the money?

    John S says: "Decent Thriller set in Texas"
    "Decent Thriller set in Texas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have listened to the author's Joseph O'laughlin and have enjoyed them. They are set in England while this is set in Texas. The main character Audie, is serving time in prison for a crime he did not commit. He escaped the day before he is to be released, and the question throughout the book is why. I won't tell you here. The characters are all really good and the criminals are actually much better then the police. It is a good listen and worth the credit.

    My only issue is with the narration. It is sometimes choppy with the narrator taking big pauses between sentences. His handling of women's voices is rather weak as well with weird accents and things like lisps. Although this does not detract too much from book since most of the narration is male voices.

    If you like the genre of ' " good guy on the run" aka the Jack REacher series you will like this as well.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Gun Street Girl: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel, The Troubles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (306)
    Performance
    (276)
    Story
    (276)

    Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point-blank range and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances.

    Top of Mind says: "Another McKinty Gem"
    "One book too many in series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I typically get hooked into series and at some point I realize enough is enough. This book was the enough. I love the setting of Northern Ireland, the narration by Gerard Doyle, but the basic material in this book is rather weak. I suppose that is just typical when you write a series of books eventually you run out of material, just look at the Harry Potter series.

    I would highly recommend any of the earlier books in this series. This one, no.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1325)
    Performance
    (1113)
    Story
    (1113)

    On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic.

    L. O. Pardue says: "What a Ride!"
    "Not his best. Tedious at End."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I typically love Erik Larson books. I have listened to or read them all. I loved Devil in the White City because it combined a novel with basically a history book on the great Chicago Expedition. Although this book does introduce characters, there are really no central ones. It's basically short bios on the passengers on the Lusitania as well as Woodrow Wilson and his girlfriend.

    It starts off good talking about the setting of WW1, history of the Cunard line, and German submarines, but by the end of the book it's more like reading obituaries of the passengers. Also the sinking takes too long. The boat sunk in 18 minutes but the narration of the sinking goes on for almost 2 hours.

    At the end, I am not sure this was a good topic for Erik Larson. There is no real central character to focus on. The book therefore turns into recitation of lots of facts a figures.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Nightingale

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Kristin Hannah
    • Narrated By Polly Stone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1297)
    Performance
    (1120)
    Story
    (1112)

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

    Linda says: "HEARTBREAKINGLY POIGNANT AND INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL"
    "Better than All the Light you Cannot See"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book much better than the other. Both are good but this one is much better describing the chaos of WWII France. There Is very little "war" as in battle scenes. Instead it describes a country where neighbor turned against neighbor and the Nazis were only one of the evils.

    Superbly written and narrated this book is a must listen. I would recommend it to young adults, especially girls. The heros or I guess it would be heroines are all women, including the Nightingale.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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