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M. McClure

damack1

Pelham, AL USA | Member Since 2001

130
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 98 ratings
  • 733 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • The God Delusion

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4540)
    Performance
    (1926)
    Story
    (1903)

    Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

    Rick Just says: "Dangerous Religion"
    "Look reality in the eye"
    Overall

    This is an engaging and enjoyable book that makes a strong case for abandoning the wishful thinking of religious belief and embracing reality to the best of our ability. I found it bracing and thought-provoking.

    The two-reader format was bit distracting. At first I thought the female voice (Lalla Ward) was reading only quoted passages, while Dawkins was reading the bulk of the text. However, it turns out that the readers change apparently at random intervals. Ward, though a clear reader, often took a somewhat disdainful tone that wasn't so apparent in Dawkins's voice. However, this is a minor niggle that did not detract much from my overall enjoyment of the book.

    Looking back on my own conversion to atheism and how difficult it was to abandon my religious upbringing, I hope this book will make the struggle easier for those who are just starting down that path. The book makes clear the fact that, by opening our eyes to reality, we see a universe much more awe-inspiring than what is allowed by religious mythology.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Garment of Shadows: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin, Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (391)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (341)

    In a strange room in Morocco, Mary Russell is trying to solve a pressing mystery: Who am I? She has awakened with shadows in her mind, blood on her hands, and soldiers pounding on the door. Out in the hivelike streets, she discovers herself strangely adept in the skills of the underworld, escaping through alleys and rooftops, picking pockets and locks. She is clothed like a man, and armed only with her wits and a scrap of paper containing a mysterious Arabic phrase. Overhead, warplanes pass ominously north.

    connie says: "for this series fan, a disappointment"
    "Definitely not road trip material"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this book to take on a 12 hour road trip. I don't recommend it for this kind of listening, and I'm not sure I could recommend it at all. It seemed to me that it went way over the top with long, convoluted political discussions, and most of the action is described after the fact by the characters, i.e. it doesn't happen "live."

    And although I'm all for woman power, this got kind of ridiculous in several places, notably when Mary manages to knock out 3 armed men, each with a single blow. Give me a break.

    I actually took an active dislike to the book toward the end, and only finished it because my travel companion, who had slept through most of it, wanted to hear the last part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Who Danced

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Susan Wilson
    • Narrated By Fred Berman, Christina Delaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (102)

    If there’s been a theme in Justine Meade’s life, it’s loss. Her mother, her home, even her son. The one bright spot in her loss-filled life, the partner she could always count on, has always been Mack, her gray and black Sheltie - that is, until she is summoned back to her childhood home after more than 20 years away. Fiercely loyal, acutely perceptive and guided by a herd dog’s instinct, Mack has a way of bringing out the best in his humans.

    M. McClure says: "Great Road Trip Entertainment"
    "Great Road Trip Entertainment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My mother and I listened to this book over the course of a weekend road trip. We're both "dog people," but I don't like overly sentimental books or blatantly manipulative tear-jerkers. This book had an interesting story that kept our interest to the very end. In fact, we listened to the last several minutes sitting in our driveway.

    For those of you who don't like sad endings, this one shouldn't be a problem for you. Without spoiling it for you, I can say I felt the ending made sense and was actually what my mother and I had both said would be the best solution to a difficult problem.

    The main characters in this book were well rounded and interesting, and even secondary characters who started out as stereotypes were mostly revealed as flawed people who had reasons for the things they did.

    I enjoyed this book greatly and will look for other titles by this author.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Calumet City

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Charlie Newton
    • Narrated By Eliza Foss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (99)

    Among the most self-assured and sharply crafted debuts in recent years, Calumet City detonates a Molotov cocktail of character-driven suspense and ghetto-Chicago intrigue. A powerful fiction debut that captures the precise emotional landscape of one cop's hard-bitten life in the trenches. This first-time author joins that rare breed whose fiction is suffused with profound authenticity.

    Snoodely says: "Lee Child owes me 15 hrs. & 15 bucks"
    "Waaaaaay too much mindless thrashing"
    Overall

    I listened to about the first two thirds of this book before I finally got tired of it and gave up. This is one of those books where the main character takes a stupid pill and never recovers. At every turn, she is either mindlessly firing her gun without first identifying the target, driving her car like a maniac, punching her friends in the face, or basically refusing to act like a normal human being. Up to the point where I gave up, I don't think she had made a single reasonable decision, even allowing for the fact that she was supposed to be damaged by abuse as a child. My advice: take a pass on this one.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Live Free or Die: Troy Rising, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2147)
    Performance
    (1495)
    Story
    (1512)

    When aliens trundled a gate to other worlds into the solar system, the world reacted with awe, hope and fear. But the first aliens to come through, the Glatun, were peaceful traders and the world breathed a sigh of relief.

    Amazon Customer says: "Republican Physicists in Space!!!"
    "Author's soapbox"
    Overall

    I'll save you some time. Here's the book:
    talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk action talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk conservatives=heroes talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk asteroids talk talk talk talk mirrors talk talk talk liberals=cowards talk talk talk talk action talk talk talk talk talk action talk talk talk talk talk.

    20 of 79 people found this review helpful
  • The Tourist: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (229)

    In the vein of John le Carré and Graham Greene, this contemporary international thriller follows Milo Weaver as he is drawn into a conspiracy that links riots in the Sudan, an assassin committing suicide, and an old friend who's been accused of selling secrets to the Chinese. Once the CIA and Homeland Security are after him, the only way for him to survive is to return, headfirst, into Tourism.

    Derek says: "I loved this book"
    "Couldn't get into it"
    Overall

    When I first began listening to this book, I thought the reader must be the author. Usually, when you hear a reader who is not all that great, it turns out to be the author. (Neil Gaiman is an exception: he's an excellent reader as well as a great writer.) In any case, the reading sounds clipped and too fast, and it can be difficult to understand. As others have mentioned, character voices, especially for female characters, are not done well.

    This reader might do fine on non-fiction but he just wasn't well-matched to this novel. I gave up after about 2 hours.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Neverwhere

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6098)
    Performance
    (2889)
    Story
    (2912)

    Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but shrewish fiancée. Then one night he stumbles upon a girl lying on the sidewalk, bleeding. He stops to help her, and his life is changed forever. Soon he finds himself living in a London most people would never have dreamed of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels. It is a world that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations.

    Thomas says: "Neverwhere is Great"
    "Absolutely top-notch"
    Overall

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've downloaded from Audible in my 7 years as a subscriber. Neil Gaiman really knocked this one out of the ballpark.

    Unlike some other authors who read their own works, Gaiman could easily have made a career as an audiobook reader (not that he'd want to.) He compares favorably with my two other favorite readers, Jim Dale of the Harry Potter books, and Lisette Lecat, who reads the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. He's that good.

    I also listened to the Anansi Boys, and wasn't all that crazy about it. This book, though, really captured and kept my attention. I liked all the characters, and was thoroughly entertained every minute of the way.

    One thing that I especially appreciated was the remorse felt by the main character after losing one of his guides. In most books of this kind, the loss of a minor character is just shrugged off.

    There was something touching about the reluctant and unassuming manner of the main character as he becomes the literal hero of the story.

    I can't recommend this book strongly enough!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The War with the Mein: Book One of the Acacia Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Anthony Durham
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (853)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (414)

    A deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, while the Mein also unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to his separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father's death and restore the Acacian empire, this time on the basis of universal freedom.

    Glen says: "Thumbs up!"
    "Top notch entertainment"
    Overall

    I enjoyed every minute of this book, and am eagerly awaiting the next volume. The reader is excellent: he has a very pleasing voice, and does the characters well. One minor quibble: on occasion he stops reading and starts acting, and in some places, over-acting. However, I'll gladly listen to another book by this author and this reader.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Horizon Storms: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1133)
    Performance
    (426)
    Story
    (433)

    Kevin J. Anderson is one of the most popular and acclaimed science fiction writers in the world. He is a New York Times best-selling author with more than 11 million copies of his books in print. Now the epic saga he began with Hidden Empire continues in this breathtaking novel.

    MS says: "Great Writing"
    "But wait a minute..."
    Overall

    I've stuck with this series so far, but just barely. I found the universe represented here to be interesting and inventive, and I liked many of the characters.

    My main complaint is the many, many holes in the plot that leave you saying, "But wait a minute. That doesn't make sense because..." And I'm not talking about minor quibbles. I'm talking about major parts of the plot. For example, if the Mage Imperator of the Ildirans retained the memory of the ancient war and how his race was almost exterminated by it, why didn't he stop the humans from deploying the torch, which would surely reignite the war? If the wentils can make a ship for Jess Tamblyn to fly, why do they need him at all? Why don't they fly their own ship and seed the new worlds themselves? And speaking of Jess Tamblyn, if he could be inhabited and transformed by the wentils, why would touching other humans supposedly be fatal for them? And why does everyone keep saying that the existence of the hybrid child of the Mage Imperator and the green priest vindicated a heinous forced breeding progam, when said child was not a product of said program?

    After awhile, so many inconsistencies become a constant irritant.

    Another complaint is the great amount of filler in this book. The first 15 minutes is a summary of the first 2 books. After that, there are constant interruptions to restate things from the other books, and sometimes to restate things from this book. It speaks of sloppy editing to me.

    What kept me going with this book is that I thought it was a trilogy, and I had to make it to the end. But now that I know there are several more, I'm ready to call it quits. I'd like to know how it ends, but my patience has its limits.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Black Swan Green

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (122)

    From award-winning writer David Mitchell comes a sinewy, meditative novel of boyhood on the cusp of adulthood and the old on the cusp of the new. Black Swan Green tracks a single year in what is, for 13-year-old Jason Taylor, the sleepiest village in muddiest Worcestershire in dying Cold War England, 1982. But the 13 chapters, each a short story in its own right, create an exquisitely observed world that is anything but sleepy.

    Angie says: "Captivating"
    "One of my favorites"
    Overall

    I loved this book. The narrator was top-notch, and the story was engrossing. I found myself worrying about Jason at odd times during the day and night, when I wasn't listening to the book. There were also some really memorable phrases, the kind you hear, stop the the player, and think, "I've got to remember that one."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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