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Mark L. Swisshelm

CA | Member Since 2012

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 274 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
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  • Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1764)
    Performance
    (1543)
    Story
    (1548)

    Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Now available for the first time in unabridged audio, the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime is brought to life by acclaimed narrator Scott Brick.

    Larry says: "What a great book."
    "The gold standard for true crime books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Helter Skelter?

    It blows away just about any crime novel I have ever read. No one not even James Elroy could think this stuff up.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The casual and very tenuous but also very chilling connection between the victims, near victims and the killers created at the fringes of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. Sex, drugs, hippies, bikers, record producers, cowboy extras, big name recording artists, The Black Panthers, The Beatles and the Bible's Book of Revelation all combine to create the most off the wall over the top insane motive for murder and mayhem ever.


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

    I have not but he does an outstanding job. The hair stood up at the back of my neck many times during his narration.


    Any additional comments?

    Even if you read the book when it came out in the early 70's it still seems very fresh and is worth a re-read or better yet a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Raven in the Foregate: The Twelfth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Ellis Peters
    • Narrated By Vanessa Benjamin
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Christmas, 1141 A.D. Abbot Radulfus returns from London, bringing with him a priest for the vacant living of Holy Cross (known as the Foregate), a man of presence, scholarship and discipline, but neither humility nor the common touch. When he is found drowned in the mill-pond, suspicion is cast in many directions, not least toward a young man who came in the priest's train, sent to work in Brother Cadfael's garden. For he has little obvious priestly calling. Indeed, he soon attracts the friendship of a girl both beautiful and formidable. To Brother Cadfael, once wordly, now dedicated, if gently cynical, is left the familiar task of sorting the complicated strands which define guilt and innocence.

    Amazon Customer says: "Brother Cadfael saves again..."
    "Ellis Peters keeps you guessing until the end."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Raven in the Foregate to be better than the print version?

    Not better but I enjoy having them both


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Brother Cadfael is right up there with all the great literary detectives. The books give you a feel for life in medieval times but makes human nature seem truly timeless


    What about Vanessa Benjamin’s performance did you like?

    A very nice performance I don't think any of the other books were performed by a women actor but she was able to believable perform all of the parts well both male and female. Characters were given distinctive voices.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It is in it's way a Christmas story so the parts that take place on Christmas Eve were among my favorites.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Planet

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Robert A` Heinlein
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (368)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (193)

    Jim Marlowe's Martian pet, Willis, seems like nothing more than an adorable ball of fur.

    But Jim's devotion to the little creature will soon lead him and his pal Frank into a death-defying trek across Mars.

    Robert says: "Another good story by one of the great SF authors"
    "a little dated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend Red Planet to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probable not. I read and enjoyed the book as a boy but I did not remember it being so politically heavy handed espec ially for book writen for young adults. The story also moves slower than I remembered.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The journey from the boarding school back to the colony.


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

    The tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants even on Mars.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brave New World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aldous Huxley
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3179)
    Performance
    (2384)
    Story
    (2409)

    When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Jefferson says: "“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
    "Way ahead of it's time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Brave New World the most enjoyable?

    It's hard to believe that this book was written in the 1920's. it could easily have been written today.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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