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John

I'm a fan of mystery, science-fiction, and the unusual.

Sedro-Woolley, WA, United States | Member Since 2002

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 1485 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Jennifer Government

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Max Barry
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (368)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (134)

    The irreverent author of the cult classic Syrup hits his target in this satire on the wages of big capital. In Max Barry's hilarious vision of the near future, the world is run by giant American corporations, and employees take the last names of the companies they work for; The Police and The NRA are publicly traded security firms, and the U.S. government may only investigate crimes if they can bill a citizen directly.

    EJ SHUMAK says: "Well done but just a bit preachy--"
    "Just the Right Amount of Irony"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Jennifer Government again? Why?

    I liked the book. I thought it drew a very funny caricature of modern life, and what it might look like if taken to ridiculous extremes. It was easy to immerse myself into the story. The theme was clever, and colorful. I really appreciate the authors take on modern culture.


    What about Michael Kramer’s performance did you like?

    The narrator was perfect for the fast-moving story line.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nocturnal: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Scott Sigler
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (292)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (279)

    Homicide detective Bryan Clauser is losing his mind. How else to explain the dreams he keeps having - dreams that mirror, with impossible accuracy, the gruesome serial murders taking place all over San Francisco? How else to explain the feelings these dreams provoke in him - not disgust, not horror, but excitement? As Bryan and his longtime partner, Lawrence 'Pookie' Chang, investigate the murders, they learn that things are even stranger than they at first seem.

    valarie says: "Another AMAZING story"
    "Cliché After Cliché"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It's pretty bad. I listened to the first two hours, and I'm not sure how I got that far. It's sophomoric humor mixed with life the way a 14 year old boy might imagine it. It's just horrible.


    What was most disappointing about Scott Sigler’s story?

    The characters, are just a little worse than the plot.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Phil Gigante’s performances?

    I don't know who to blame for this bad production. I think the director more than the voice talent.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I need to pay attention to who's reviews I give any weight to. Clearly I don't identify with the people who recommend this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought there was a button to return a bad book and get my credit back. I'm looking for it.

    10 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (463)
    Performance
    (432)
    Story
    (432)

    Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum-security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

    Mickey says: "Probably the best performance I've listened to."
    "A Great Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It held my attention for two weeks.


    What did you like best about this story?

    it seemed the author had done his research. The details had the ring of authenticity.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The characters were easily recognizable from the voices he used.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It is too long to listen to in one setting. It was a page-turner, if that is the question.


    Any additional comments?

    Shantaram is a story about a fugitive from Australia who finds a home in Bombay, India. He becomes part of the criminal underworld, and has myriad adventures. The novel is not biographical, though it reads as such. It is loosely based on, and drawn from, the authors real life experiences. The author is a heroin addict who escaped from prison in Australia, and lived as a fugitive in Bombay.
    I loved this book. It's a very long, detailed page-turner. The characters are realistic enough to like. The events are larger than life, but with enough truth in them all that it never shook me out of my immersion in the narrative. The story is both outrageously adventurous, and plausible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9855)
    Performance
    (9019)
    Story
    (9033)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    Cynthia says: "What a slog"
    "Modern Day Catcher"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes. It's premise is unusual


    Would you recommend The Goldfinch to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes


    Have you listened to any of David Pittu’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not sure.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a modern day Catcher in the Rye, though perhaps not so insightful. The voice of the young protagonist seemed to be echoing Holden Caulfield at times. It had some predictability to it, and a Pollyanna ending, but it was plenty entertaining. I did care what happened to the main characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Elsewhere

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Robert Jackson Bennett
    • Narrated By Graham Winton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (160)

    Some places are too good to be true. Under a pink moon, there is a perfect little town not found on any map. In that town, there are quiet streets lined with pretty houses, houses that conceal the strangest things. After a couple years of hard traveling, ex-cop Mona Bright inherits her long-dead mother's home in Wink, New Mexico. And the closer Mona gets to her mother's past, the more she understands that the people of Wink are very, very different....

    Lisa says: "You are entering the twighlight zone"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made American Elsewhere better?

    The plot seemed to meander. It seemed like the story was going to be interested, but it ended up like a Hollywood B-movie.


    What was most disappointing about Robert Jackson Bennett’s story?

    The plot didn't develop into anything new or different.


    Which character – as performed by Graham Winton – was your favorite?

    I didn't feel a connection to any of them.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from American Elsewhere?

    The last two-thirds of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    It started out promising, but like many modern novels, the author seems to be writing with the hope of a movie deal, and creating a new action hero for a series of bad, but successful Hollywood action films.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pride of Carthage

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David Anthony Durham
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    This epic retelling of the legendary Carthaginian military leader's assault on the Roman empire begins in Ancient Spain, where Hannibal Barca sets out with tens of thousands of soldiers and 30 elephants. After conquering the Roman city of Saguntum, Hannibal wages his campaign through the outposts of the empire, shrewdly befriending peoples disillusioned by Rome and, with dazzling tactics, outwitting the opponents who believe the land route he has chosen is impossible.

    John says: "Unseemly"
    "Unseemly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better research.


    Would you ever listen to anything by David Anthony Durham again?

    Perhaps, but I doubt it.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I thought the narrator was excellent. He certainly enunciates clearly.


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The Punic wars are an interesting period.


    Any additional comments?

    I have a fondness for historically accurate fiction, and particularly, well researched historically accurate fiction. This book seemed to be trying to give us a picture of Hannibal, and Carthaginians as sub-Saharan Africans. It's not accurate, and the author seemed to go out of his way to try to indicate that it is. If it were an occasional inference, it wouldn't matter, but after a while, it became evident that he was trying to make it an issue. I thought the narrative suffered from it.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Museum of Innocence

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Orhan Pamuk, Maureen Freely (translator)
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (45)

    Kemal, scion of one of the city's wealthiest families, is about to become engaged to Sibel, daughter of another prominent family, when he encounters Füsun, a beautiful shopgirl and a distant relation. Once the long-lost cousins violate the code of virginity, a rift begins to open between Kemal and the world of the Westernized Istanbul bourgeosie - a world, as he lovingly describes it, with opulent parties and clubs, society gossip, picnics, and mansions on the Bosphorus, infused with the melancholy of decay.

    Rebecca Lindroos says: "one of the very best I've ever heard"
    "Not So Much"
    Overall

    I didn't like this book as much as "My Name Is Red" or "Snow." I found it to be tedious and too deep into the minutia. I suppose telling a story about and obsessed man has to have it to a degree, so you get and idea of what an obsessed mind is like, but it was really difficult to hang in there for the end. I suppose that I did is indicative of my enjoyment of the story, but being a bit obsessive myself, I couldn't leave it unfinished.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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