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Marian

Washington, DC, United States | Member Since 2009

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 113 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • The Secret Place: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
    Overall
    (551)
    Performance
    (503)
    Story
    (500)

    "The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

    Pamela says: "Well...I really liked 50% of it"
    "Disappointing Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Secret Place?

    The performance by Lara Hutchinson. I could not understand and found myself listening to her parts 2 to 3 times so I could keep up with the plot.


    What could Tana French have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Honestly, I don't know. Maybe the book got better in the second half but I did not want to invest more time in it.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Could not follow the plot. I only listened to the first part. It took me 3 weeks to get through it and I could not see myself devoting another 3 weeks to a book that honestly the plot was thin and rather juvenile.


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

    Disappointment. I have read all of the previous books and could not wait until The Secret Place came out.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to books by narrators with French, Chinese, Hispanic, Scottish, Finish, Norwegian accents and have had no trouble understanding the narrator. Lara Hutchinson spoke so fast with her Irish and dare I say, valley girl accent that I could not understand on the first listen. The director should have auditioned more female narrators for this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Duma Key: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5097)
    Performance
    (1798)
    Story
    (1787)

    A terrible accident takes Edgar Freemantle's right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. When his marriage suddenly ends, Edgar begins to wish he hadn't survived his injuries. He wants out. His psychologist suggests a new life distant from the Twin Cities, along with something else.

    Amazon Customer says: "Play the Book and Let the Book Play You"
    "Not your normal King"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This was a really long book but to what end? I've read most of King's novels, some long and some short, but this one did not seem to have a focus. It was a rather meandering sort of narrative. As an artist, I was really looking forward to this book but it just didn't deliver.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

    Of course! I could never give up on the master of horror and suspense. Everyone has an off day, Duma Key was okay just not vintage King.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Nothing special about the performance. The character of Wireman was well imagined.


    Was Duma Key worth the listening time?

    No, not really. Sorry, Mr. King. I still love you.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bat: The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (348)
    Story
    (356)

    Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman tried to take everything he held dear, he went to Australia. Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect.

    Old Hippy says: "Glad I read the all the other Nesbo books first"
    "This series start is rather low key"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Bat? What did you like least?

    I liked the unique characters (and their names) in this novel. It's not often when you have an Aborigine detective named Andrew Kensington as the co-lead of a murder investigation in Australia. The plot turns seemed to make no sense. They did little to add to the story. There was such a slow build up to the story that I expected more of a climax but nothing. I was a bit let down.


    What was most disappointing about Jo Nesbø’s story?

    The revelation of who the real murderer was. It seemed a bit convenient.


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

    Not much. Some of the characters sounded like they were from Transylvania rather than Australia.


    Did The Bat inspire you to do anything?

    No, I hate to say.


    Any additional comments?

    I read Jo Nesbo most recent novel, The Snowman, and I was inspired to start from the beginning. The Bat was a bad foreshadowing of The Snowman. Same plot twist, same story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Through the Evil Days: A Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Julia Spencer-Fleming
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (75)

    On a frigid January night, Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne and Reverend Clare Fergusson are called to the scene of a raging fire, that quickly becomes a double homicide and kidnapping. Which is the very last thing Russ needs.... Currently he's struggling with the prospect of impending fatherhood. And his new wife is not at all happy with his proposal for their long-delayed honeymoon: A week in an unelectrified ice-fishing cabin.

    C. Telfair says: "Action, Suspense, Bad Weather!"
    "4 stars for series BUT BEWARE SPOILER ALERT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Through the Evil Days?

    The continued relationship of Claire and Russ.


    If you’ve listened to books by Julia Spencer-Fleming before, how does this one compare?

    The performance of Suzanne Toren is consistent but the plot of the book requires a suspension of belief that goes beyond fiction.


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

    No.


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

    Will Claire and Russ' marriage survive the winter storm of the century?


    Any additional comments?

    Okay, I just love JSF and I have read each one of the books in the Claire Ferguson / Russ Van Alstyne series at least 3 times. I waited with anticipation for TTED. Okay, so this book starts with action from page 2! There are a lot of plot lines in this story involving Kevin Flynn, Hadley Knox and obviously Claire and Russ. Claire and Russ go on a honeymoon in the middle of the winter storm of the century (rain, hale, ice and snow), their plan is to go to a cabin with no electricity and no indoor plumbing located on a lake in upstate NY. Claire is 5 and 1/2 months pregnant and faced with the prospect of having a child who maybe developmentally disabled because of her abuse of alcohol in One Was A Soldier. (BTW, I really hate that JSF made Claire an alcoholic in OWAS). Both Claire and Russ face the prospect of unemployment. Claire must explain the bad timing of her pregnancy to her parishioners, vestry and the church's leadership. The bishop is not happy that Claire was clearly having sex prior to marriage and has a baby bump to prove it. Miller's Kill county is considering out sourcing the police to NY State patrol dissolving the Miller's Kill police department. Kevin Flynn has been offered a job with the Syracuse police dept and Hadley Knox's past has been revealed. She was former porn star in California and her dirtbag husband wants Hadley to give him the rights to her movies or he'll sue her for full custody of the kids. There is so much chaos in this book that I thought Bruce Willis might show up! Car accidents, dumb criminals and even more inexplicable decisions by Claire and Russ move this story along at sometimes a snail's pace. Then the end, a cliff hanger involving Kevin Flynn and Hadley Knox and the future of the MKPD! I won't put down JSF because this book was not up to par. I'll be waiting to buy the next book, I only hope it comes soon!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2978)
    Performance
    (2761)
    Story
    (2766)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "Great Book! Worth the Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to NOS4A2 the most enjoyable?

    The overall storyline was very intriguing. I love books with strong heroines and I appreciate the twist and turns he puts his heroine, Vick McQueen, through. I may have not liked what happened to her but this was an awesome read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Just the overall premise. I mean, who thinks of this stuff?


    What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

    Decent narration. I generally don't go for her narration but she did a pretty good job here..


    If you could rename NOS4A2, what would you call it?

    The Shorter Way,


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book! Read this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prime Time: A Charlotte McNally Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Hank Phillippi Ryan
    • Narrated By Margaret Daly
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    In the cutthroat world of television journalism, seasoned reporter Charlotte McNally knows that she'd better pull out all the stops or kiss her job goodbye. But it's her life that might be on the line when she learns that an innocent-looking email offer resulted in murder, mayhem and a multimillion-dollar fraud ring. All too soon her investigation leads her straight to Josh Gelston, who is a little too helpful and a lot too handsome. Charlie might have a nose for news, but men are a whole other matter.

    Kathleen says: "The first book in the intriguing Charlie McMally s"
    "It's Just Okay"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Prime Time better?

    I figured out the end pretty early. I wish there had been a little more mystery to the book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Hank Phillippi Ryan again?

    Probably not, it was a just too contrived.


    What didn’t you like about Margaret Daly’s performance?

    Well, Charlie McNally is supposed to be a 46 year old woman. Her voice was a little young and immature.


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

    Not much of anything really.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18269)
    Performance
    (16302)
    Story
    (16354)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Unexpectedly Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Gone Girl again? Why?

    Yes, I would and I would listen more attentively to the first part which seemed to me a little run of the mill. Then, BOOM! the good and when I say good, I mean crazy, begins. What a wild story!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gone Girl?

    The plot twist. I tried to aniticipate them but I was stumped.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't know that I have a favorite but I would say I loved the confrontation between Nick and Amy when she returned.


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

    It made me mad at times. I laughed at times, too.


    Any additional comments?

    This is definently a good book to try if you aren't sure what book you want to listen to next.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Burning Soul: A Charlie Parker Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Connolly
    • Narrated By George Guidall, Tony Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (62)

    Randall Haight has a secret: He is a convicted murderer, a man with the blood of a young girl on his hands. He has built a new life for himself in the small Maine town of Pastor's Bay, but someone has discovered the truth about him. He is being tormented by anonymously sent reminders of his crime. He wants private detective Charlie Parker to make them go away.

    Marian says: "Great plot, Narration not so great"
    "Great plot, Narration not so great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would not change a thing about this book. It was pretty awesome. I won't be a spoiler but I could not have guessed the ending. There are lots of storylines to follow and Mr. Connolly does a masterful job of keeping us engaged and made each storyline easy to follow.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As usual, Charlie Parker is just a great protagonist. The plot was awesome. The setting on the almost secluded island only added to the plot.


    What didn’t you like about George Guidall and Tony Ward ’s performance?

    I LOVE George Guidall as a narrator. I think his narration has a wry quality to it that I absolutely adore. I search for books he has narrated and on the strength of his narration alone, I may choose to listen to a book, I would not have considered before. I listened to Neil Gaiman's American Gods because George Guidall was the narrator. Okay, so Tony Ward's performance was a bit strange. It was as though he had something in his mouth like a piece of candy the entire time he was reading his parts. I like books with different narrators. It add a freshness to the material. My ears perk up when I hear a different voice. I did read another review that hinted at the low quality of Tony Ward's performance but I disregarded it, thinking that it was subjective (especially since the reviewer did not like George Guidall as a narrator); but really his review of Tony Ward's narration was spot on. Mr. Ward did sound slightly inebriated. I hope Mr. Ward's performance on this book is an anomaly, I would hate to avoid listening to books simply because he was the narrator.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Oh, you better believe it! Although, I have no idea which actor I would like to play Charlie Parker?


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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