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Kindle Customer

I'm a bear that likes honey, climbing trees, stealing picnic baskets and listening to audiobooks.

Walpole, MA, United States | Member Since 2011

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 485 titles in library
  • 100 purchased in 2014
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  • The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Amy Reading
    • Narrated By Richard McGonagle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    In 1919, Texas rancher J. Frank Norfleet lost everything he had in a stock market swindle. He did what many other marks did - he went home, borrowed more money from his family, and returned for another round of swindling. Only after he lost that second fortune did he reclaim control of his story. Instead of crawling back home in shame, he vowed to hunt down the five men who had conned him. Through Norfleet's ingenious reverse-swindle, Amy Reading reveals the mechanics behind the scenes of the big con.

    D. Littman says: "a scattering of interesting facts"
    "Confusing Premise Makes for A Tough Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Amy Reading and/or Richard McGonagle?

    This book begins with a ton of promise, but then the author tries to have it both ways by asking us to suspend our disbelief while continuing to read the text as non-fiction.


    What could Amy Reading have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I think that if she had waited until later in the text to ask us to make that suspension of disbelief, it might have been a more compelling read. Why not let us get caught up in the adventure?


    What about Richard McGonagle’s performance did you like?

    Love his voice and his matter of fact delivery. Tough like the old west, and perfect for the story.


    Any additional comments?

    There's a great book in here somewhere, I am just wondering if the structure works against the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chris Ewan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (620)
    Performance
    (549)
    Story
    (554)

    Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living. To supplement his income - and keep his hand in - Charlie has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission. When a mysterious American offers Charlie 20,000 euros to steal two small monkey figurines to match the one he already has, Charlie is suspicious; the job seems too good to be true, and of course, it is. He soon finds the American beaten nearly to death, while the third figurine has disappeared.

    adrienne says: "A delightful surprise!"
    "Solid But None Too Thrilling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam? What did you like least?

    I thought that the main character--an author of mystery novels who is also a thief--was an interesting concept.


    Did Simon Vance do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes, he is a great narrator and has a knack for doing different characters without making you aware that he is putting on a performance. His narration probably made an underwhelming tale more enjoyable.


    Any additional comments?

    It was interesting enough to keep me listening but overall a little underwhelming. Simon Vance's narration is great. It gets the job done but could have used a little more drama and tension.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Poet

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3566)
    Performance
    (2199)
    Story
    (2190)

    Our hero is Jack McEvoy, a Rocky Mountain News crime-beat reporter. As the story opens, Jack's twin brother, a Denver homicide detective, has just killed himself. Or so it seems. But when Jack begins to investigate the phenomenon of police suicides, a disturbing pattern emerges, and soon suspects that a serial murderer is at work.

    Tom says: "Is Connelly the Best Crime Writer Or What?"
    "Okay, but could have been better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I think that this book could have been an interesting, somewhat understated police procedural told from the perspective of a tag-along reporter, but the author falls prey to thriller cliches and takes the book in directions that weakens its overall effect. So pretty good, but ultimately disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Ann Rule
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (239)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (218)

    Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends. Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast.

    La Becket says: "Embarrassingly terrible narration"
    "A Polarizing Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I struggled a lot with this book. There are parts that are totally riveting (the accounts of Bundy's killings, for example). I was much less enthralled with Rule's account of her struggle to come to terms with the Ted she knew and the Ted that was accused of all this killing. One could almost argue that she is being willfully ignorant just to draw out the "drama" in this book.


    Did The Stranger Beside Me inspire you to do anything?

    Lock my doors. Take a harder look at people.


    Any additional comments?

    I think that this book is an excellent case study for a class in crime writing. It is maddening at times, frightening at times, and repetitive at times. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, you want to shake this lady and tell her to stop making allowances for Bundy. Is she being willfully ignorant because it keeps her close to the story? Is she inflating her relationship with him to become a bigger part of the Bundy saga? It seems strange that she was not able to reach some of these conclusions sooner, but then again maybe that is hindsight talking. Recommended, but be prepared to be frustrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And All the Brilliant Minds Who Made the Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jennifer Armstrong
    • Narrated By Amy Landon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Mary Tyler Moore made her name as Dick Van Dyke's wife on the eponymous show; she was a cute, unassuming housewife that audiences loved. But when screenwriters James Brooks and Allan Burnes dreamed up an edgy show about a divorced woman with a career, network executives replied: "Americans won't watch television about New York City, divorcées, men with mustaches, or Jews." But Moore and her team were committed, and when the show finally aired, in spite of tepid reviews, fans loved it.

    Eileen says: "The Narrator Came from the Ted Baxter School ..."
    "A Great Account of a Cultural Phenomenon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of television writing or the Mary Tyler Moore show. It's also a great cultural account of feminism and the early 1970s.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    James L. Brooks and Alan Burns. They seemed to be years ahead of their time in terms of their creative ambitions and work habits. Also Grant Tinker seemed to be a genuinely decent guy.


    Any additional comments?

    For those of us who grew up seeing the Mary Tyler Moore Show in reruns, this books does an excellent job of placing it in a cultural context. We understand how unique it was to have a show about a single woman in her 30s on television, and we get to see how the show opened up the world to women television writers. A really good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Ryan Holiday
    • Narrated By Ryan Holiday
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (304)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (275)

    "You’ve seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me. I’m a media manipulator. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, my job is to control blogs—as much as any one person can."

    Book Mogul says: "Trust me, it's worth the listen, and I'm not lying"
    "Compelling and Thought Provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Trust Me, I'm Lying the most enjoyable?

    Holiday does a really good job of explaining how the media works in the internet age and how the pay-per-view culture of blogging encourages shoddy journalism.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Trust Me, I'm Lying?

    What I will take away from this book is a better understanding of how easily we can be manipulated by the media, how little truth matters when it comes to drumming up buzz, and how important it is to be responsible as a writer and a blogger.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended. You'll never be able to see an article from Gawker or Buzzfeed or the Huffington Post without thinking about what Holiday has to say in his book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By David Simon
    • Narrated By Reed Diamond
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (94)

    A highly acclaimed journalistic masterpiece and true crime classic, Homicide illustrates a year in the life of the detectives of the Homicide Unit in the city of Baltimore. David Simon, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, spent 4 tears on the police beat before taking a leave of absence to write this book.

    Larry says: "As real as it gets"
    "Great "Slice of LIfe" Crime Writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Homicide again? Why?

    Yes, I really enjoyed the writing and the narration. Simon has an amazing way to bring the homicide detectives of Baltimore to life without inserting himself into the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Detective Donald Worden. A super smart, resourceful, honorable and world weary detective.


    Which character – as performed by Reed Diamond – was your favorite?

    Detective sergeant Terry McLarney. Diamond chose a great voice for this character.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Having watched Homicide and the Wire I was familiar with a lot of the subject matter in this book, but getting some of the firsthand details made it more real. It gives you a real appreciation for what homicide detectives have to go through each day.


    Any additional comments?

    To me, this is a great example of literary journalism used to tell a story in bold and vivid detail. The storytelling tricks used by Simon never seem too heavy handed, but give a lot of weight to the story. Highly recommended. {Just wish it wasn't abridged}

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Robert Kolker
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (96)

    One late spring evening in 2010, Shannan Gilbert, after running through the oceanfront community of Oak Beach screaming for her life, went missing. No one who had heard of her disappearance thought much about what had happened to the 24-year-old: She was a Craigslist prostitute who had been fleeing a scene. The Suffolk County Police, too, seemed to have paid little attention - until seven months later, when an unexpected discovery in a bramble alongside a nearby highway turned up four bodies, all evenly spaced, all wrapped in burlap. But none of them Shannan's.

    Sam says: "No answers"
    "Sad Story, Smartly Told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Lost Girls the most enjoyable?

    This was an enlightening (if somewhat depressing) look into the dangers of the modern sex trade, especially in the Craigslist era. I wouldn't call it an enjoyable listen, but informative and well-told.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lost Girls?

    I think what will leave a lasting impression was the amount of time the author devoted to telling the stories of the victims. A lot of hard work and excellent reporting went into this work.


    Any additional comments?

    I think the author did a really good job of telling the complete story, from the broken homes that the victims came from, to the quirks of the private community where the bodies were found. There are no easy answers in this story, but it was a smartly written and fair minded work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Eye of the Needle

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Eric Lincoln
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2050)
    Performance
    (1117)
    Story
    (1121)

    One enemy spy knows the secret of the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin - code name: "The Needle" - who holds the key to the ultimate Nazi victory.

    Daniel Mcafee says: "Just OK by Follett Standards"
    "Might Be My Favorite So Far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Eye of the Needle?

    The story had great stakes, great characters, and it moved along at a brisk pace. It kept me riveted the whole time I was listening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The needle is a great character.


    What about Eric Lincoln’s performance did you like?

    I love the ensemble cast approach that this book has. It was a different listening experience that was jarring at first (seeing as I am so used to one narrator), but ultimately worked perfectly for the story. I think more books should be read like this.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "The Needle has Landed"


    Any additional comments?

    If you love historical fiction and love to get absorbed in a tale, this is a great way to go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Whodunnit?: Murder on Mystery Island

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Anthony E. Zuiker
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1177)
    Performance
    (1055)
    Story
    (1062)

    Ten excited co-workers arrive at the beautiful Avondale Resort on a remote island in the middle of the Caribbean, having been told that they are being rewarded for their hard work and productivity. But their relaxing tropical getaway soon turns into a murderous nightmare.

    AudioAddict says: "Surprisingly good for a free listen!"
    "You Get What You Pay For"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Free: Whodunnit? Murder on Mystery Island better?

    Well, it's hard to critique a free audiobook, but I'll give it my best shot. I guess I would have liked some better characterization, less stereotypes, less complex murders and a more realistic portrayal of what someone in those circumstances might feel.


    Has Free: Whodunnit? Murder on Mystery Island turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, actually, it made we want to seek out other "Murder on a Deserted Island" type of stories. It was the curiosity about who was the killer and why that kept me going until the end even though I wasn't a huge fan of the story.


    What aspect of Gildart Jackson’s performance would you have changed?

    He was good.


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

    Disappointment. As I said above, this is a great genre to work in, and it was a little disappointing that there wasn't more effort to create characters with some depth, some good parts and bad parts, and maybe a killer with a clear motive. Maybe there could have been a morality aspect to it. I mean the workplace is pretty cutthroat.


    Any additional comments?

    Hey, I love a free book so no complaints. Just a little disappointed that it wasn't a better listen.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Roger Zelazny
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    Overall
    (1564)
    Performance
    (1404)
    Story
    (1421)

    Amber is the one real world, of which all others including our own Earth are but Shadows. Amber burns in Corwin's blood. Exiled on Shadow Earth for centuries, the prince is about to return to Amber to make a mad and desperate rush upon the throne.

    Joe says: "Great begining of the series"
    "Tried My Best, But Couldn't Do It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Roger Zelazny and/or Alessandro Juliani?

    I probably wouldn't try another book from Roger Zelazny, but I don't have a big problem with the narrator.


    What was most disappointing about Roger Zelazny’s story?

    I wanted to like this book, it just seemed to be too flawed. There were too many characters to keep straight, the stakes were never clear, the fact that the main character starts off the book with no memory means that we never get a sense of the rules in which we are operating, so the writer can just change circumstances at whim.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Narrator was good for the most part.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Nine Princes in Amber?

    I would look at a book like "The Rook" by Daniel O'Malley, which also has a protagonist with hidden powers waking up in an amnesiac haze, but does a much better job of setting the stakes, making the main character accessible, and grounding us with some rules.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't mean to bash on the book, but I really tried to get through the whole thing (it's only 5 hours or so), and just had to give up because I didn't care about anything.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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