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Sebastopol, CA, USA | Member Since 2014


  • The Chessmen of Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Edgar Rice Burroughs
    • Narrated By John Bolen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Impetuous and headstrong, Tara, Princess of Helium and daughter of John Carter, defies the elements by flying into a rare, fierce Martian storm. Hurtled half a planet from her home, she is threatened by grotesque, flesh eating monsters and barbarous warriors. Is the mysterious Panthan warrior friend or foe? As hero battles for maiden in the chess-like games of Jetan, the pieces are fighting men and the stakes are life and death!

    Jon says: "The series moves on...."
    "The series moves on...."

    John Carter minimally appears in this 5th Mars novel by ERB. #4 featured his son. This one features his daughter. The story is what it is, typical ERB. Fun stuff. Pulp drama. The narrator is...well...what can I say? He's okay? His pacing is bland. His female voices are all faltsetto. He mispronounces a number of words. And his Southern accent for John Carter...well, I'll leave that for others to judge, as I'm not from Virginia. The story carries it through, though. As Burroughs always does, if you love this sort of stuff.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Brothers Karamazov

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Walter Covell

    Dostoevsky studied human nature with passion and precision. He plumbed the depths and never winced at what he found, even when it was beyond his understanding. This extraordinary novel is a recital of his findings, told in the story of four brothers: Dimitri, pleasure-seeking, impatient, unruly; Ivan, brilliant and morose; Alyosha, gentle, loving, honest; and the illegitimate Smerdyakov, sly, silent, cruel. What give this story its dramatic grip is the part these brothers play in their father's murder.

    Paul Z. says: "This book is one of the reasons I joined Audible!"
    "I'm going to try a different reader/translation."

    I listen to A LOT of audio books. Long ones. Like "War & Peace"..."Moby Dick"..."Bleak House". But, this one I couldn't finish, despite several tries. The reader lacks emotional nuance. And the simple pacing of words, which could bring a scene vividly to life, is dull and listless. He's got great pronunciation of words. But, still...I'm going to look for a different version and give it another try.

    7 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey

    Finicky Hercule Poirot has retired to the countryside. Dr. Sheppard, observing his new neighbor, is sure that he must be a former hairdresser. But the brutal murder of wealthy Roger Ackroyd reveals the truth: the peculiar little man is actually a detective par excellence. Poirot shrewdly sorts out the clues and shocks everyone with the facts about the killer, in this stunning landmark of the mystery genre.

    Jon says: "Who killed Roger Ackroyd?"
    "Who killed Roger Ackroyd?"

    This book was a first in detective fiction. I've heard an entire lecture in a college course devoted to it. Even now, it's a bit of a surprise. Because the murderer turns out to be....

    Nowadays, we've all come to love Suchet's interpretation of Poirot. Personally, I like it best, too. But, this reader takes a different view. And he's actually quite good. He has all the voices...just the right pacing...the deeper understanding. And...he doesn't give it away.

    Try this: imagine that Ackroyd was the ONLY Poirot novel Christie ever wrote. Get rid of all assumptions. Consider every possibility. Allow it emerge. Let yourself be completely deceived. Rest in the little grey cells. It's all there. It's handed to you on a platter. Be the fool.

    I've read this book, you see, something like eight or ten times...if not more. It's a classic. And this reading really does do it justice.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Slan

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By A. E. van Vogt
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman

    Jommy Cross is a slan, a genetically bred superhuman whose race was created to aid humanity but is now despised by normal humans. Slans are usually shot on sight, but that doesn't stop Jommy's mother from bringing him to see the world capital of Centropolis, the seat of power for Earth's dictator, Kier Gray. But on their latest trip to Centropolis, the two slans are discovered, and Jommy's mother is killed.

    Jon says: "An Old Friend"
    "An Old Friend"

    When I started this audio book, I really wondered if the reader was up to it. And, you know what? He is. It's a classic of old science fiction. I remember it from when I was young. And it still holds up. So often, with science fiction, even the big authors of today, the characters seem shallow, even whiney. I'm sorry to say that. But, that's not the case here. Van Vogt was writing much more than just a fiction of ideas. He had something he was trying to say. This was his first novel. And what a grand debut! Some reviewers, elsewhere, complain of how this novel slows down in places, of how it's not all about sustained action. In truth, that is precisely why this novel is as great as it is. It's an odd story. Slightly structured on formula, with serialized climaxes. But, van Vogt truly believed in intuition. Not just pure reason. And these things clash in this novel. Wonderfully so. So, if you like the older stuff, this is definitely one of the better ones. And the audio version carries it well. Recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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