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Mary

Scotia, NY, United States | Member Since 2002

91
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 264 ratings
  • 791 titles in library
  • 82 purchased in 2014
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  • Child 44

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tom Rob Smith
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1832)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (710)

    It is a society that is, officially, a paradise. Superior to the decadent West, Stalin's Soviet Union is a haven for its citizens, providing for all of their needs: education, health care, security. In exchange, all that is required is their hard work, and their loyalty and faith to the Soviet State. But now a murderer is on the loose.

    Melvin says: "Terror from all sides."
    "Riveting"
    Overall

    Rarely is an audiobook so compelling, so absorbing from beginning to end, as this one was. I found myself sitting in the car after getting to work, wishing I could continue listening, and plugging the headphones back into my ears at the end of my 8 hours, eager to resume the tale.
    Some stories have nothing but action. Some get carried away with descriptive passages. Some focus so intensely on characters that the story line is too thin. This one has the perfect balance of all three elements -- memorable characters, nail-bitting plot, and evocative descriptions.
    I can hardly wait for the author's next book.


    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Cop Town

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (523)
    Performance
    (434)
    Story
    (445)

    Atlanta, 1974: It's Kate Murphy's first day on the job, and the Atlanta Police Department is seething after the murder of an officer. Before the day has barely begun, she already suspects she's not cut out to be a cop. Her male uniform is too big, she can't handle a gun, and she's rapidly learning that the APD is hardly a place that welcomes women. Worse still, in the ensuing manhunt she'll be partnered with Maggie Lawson, a cop with her own ax to grind.

    Ronna says: "Women cops in bigoted 1974 Georgia"
    "Glad I stuck with it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't like this book at first. I was put off by the writer's over-the-top descriptions and use of words, which distracted me from the story and made me think of someone trying to employ all the devices she learned in a creative writing class. I was also put off by the characters, who were all unlikeable. But I stuck with it, and before too long I was pulled into the story. The characters began to be more complex, and I grew to like the women. Their family lives added interest and dimension. By the end, I was so impressed with the author's storytelling and character development that I downloaded another of her books, Triptych. That one is far better. Great characters and a plot that kept me engrossed as it unfolded bit by bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Julia Scheeres
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (612)
    Performance
    (522)
    Story
    (525)

    In A Thousand Lives, the New York Times best-selling memoirist Julia Scheeres traces the fates of five individuals who followed Jim Jones to South America as they struggled to first build their paradise, and then survive it. Each went for different reasons - some were drawn to Jones for his progressive attitudes towards racial equality, others were dazzled by his claims to be a faith healer. But once in Guyana, Jones' drug addiction, mental decay, and sexual depredations quickly eroded the idealistic community.

    Rachel says: "Unforgettable"
    "Interesting look at a bizarre event"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book does a good job of telling the Jonestown story from the perspective of some of Jim Jones' followers. I can see the attraction of the People's Temple. It provided a caring family and community for a lot of people who needed that. I'm left wondering what would have happened if Jones wasn't a drug-abusing mental case. Could the community have thrived? I suppose it would have eventually broken down, as other utopian societies have fallen apart.

    While the book delves deeply into the personal stories of several families who survived, and does a good job of shedding light on what motivated them to follow Jones, I'm left wanting to know more about the movement's leaders. It's clear Jones was insane. But why did so many people support him and enforce his cruel policies?

    More diabolical than Jones was Dr. Schacht, the doctor who concocted the deadly cocktail that killed more than 900 men, women and children in the Guyanese jungle. The book has a lot of information about him.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (933)
    Performance
    (880)
    Story
    (890)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was thin and not at all compelling. Ultimately depressing. I'm a big King fan, but this isnt one of his best. Someone compared it to Green Mile. No way. That story was rivetting and had memorable characters. This one has a flaccid story line and uninteresting characters, and there was too much repetition of certain lines. Scary? Not at all.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Field of Prey: Lucas Davenport, Book 24

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1740)
    Performance
    (1527)
    Story
    (1527)

    The night after the fourth of July, Layton Carlson, Jr., of Red Wing, Minnesota, finally got lucky. And unlucky.

    He’d picked the perfect spot to lose his virginity to his girlfriend, an abandoned farmyard in the middle of cornfields: nice, private, and quiet. The only problem was...something smelled bad - like, really bad. He mentioned it to a county deputy he knew, and when the cop took a look, he found a body stuffed down a cistern. And then another, and another. By the time Lucas Davenport was called in, the police were up to 15 bodies and counting.

    Ed says: "Sandford and Ferrone deliver"
    "How could anyone like this?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm at a loss. I really can't understand how this writer is so popular. The story was thin, the characters forgetable. I stuck with it til the end, thinking maybe something surprising would happen, but it just plodded along and I was grateful when it was over. I don't have any interest in reading any other Sandford novel.

    I did think the narrator was okay. Not great, but okay. If he had been annoying, I couldn't have stuck with the book til the end. So the best I can say for him is, his narration was good enough to allow me to keep listening to an uninteresting story until it was over. I wouldn't mind listening to him read something that had an exciting plot line.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Involuntary Witness: Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Gianrico Carofiglio
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (792)
    Performance
    (692)
    Story
    (694)

    A nine-year-old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well near a popular beach resort in southern Italy. In what looks like a hopeless case for Guido Guerrieri, a Senegalese peddler is accused of the crime. Faced with small-town racism, Guido attempts to exploit the esoteric workings of the Italian courts. The voice of Sean Barrett brings this gritty Italian detective series to life.

    dumbclub says: "Excellence"
    "What was it about?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm amazed that I listened to the whole thing. The only reason I stuck with it is because I kept thinking there had to be some kind of stunning plot twist coming up. But no, it just plodded along, wandering from the lawyer's pathetic personal life to the scarcely developed criminal case. The trial was unbelievable. The characters lacked any dimension. The narrator had a pleasant enough voice but it tended to lull me to sleep. I bought the title because it was a Daily Deal and I was out of credits; I don't recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Burning Wire: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jeffery Deaver
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (614)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (220)

    Lincoln Rhyme is back, on the trail of a killer whose weapon of choice cripples New York City with fear. The weapon is invisible and omnipresent. Without it, modern society grinds to a halt. It is electricity. The killer harnesses and steers huge arc flashes with voltage so high and heat so searing that steel melts and his victims are set afire.

    Joanne says: "I love Lincoln Rhyme but..."
    "Slow, boring story; lazy narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my 3rd Jeffery Deaver book and I'm very disappointed. Very hard to get into this story, even though the premise seemed very interesting. The narration is awful; people all sound the same. Linc is even more unlikeable than he was in previous stories. This will be my last Lincoln Rhyme book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4479)
    Performance
    (3406)
    Story
    (3413)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Sorry to get to the end."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the best post-apocalyptic stories I've read. Nice to have one without zombies. Good cast of well-drawn characters. A very human story that loses nothing over the decades since it was written. And Will Patton's narration is perfect. This one goes on my list of books that get a second and maybe a third listen. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Riptide

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1799)
    Performance
    (1103)
    Story
    (1098)

    A centuries-old, cursed pirate's treasure, valued at over $2 billion, lies deep within the treacherous waters off the coast of Maine. Men who have attempted to unearth the fortune have suffered gruesome deaths. Will a high-tech expedition meet the same fate?

    Allan says: "very cinematic. high tech meets pirate treasure."
    "Too much padding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is interesting, but most of the book is padding. Superfluous characters who aren't particularly interesting. Long, drawn-out descriptions of struggles on the water. And Scott Brick's narration rises and swells like the surf in a tiresome, melodramatic way. I kept setting my iPod at 3x to get through the bloated passages that did nothing to advance the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Junot Diaz
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2307)
    Performance
    (1020)
    Story
    (1029)

    Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

    Kathleen says: "Fabulous listen"
    "Boring. Couldn't finish it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've had this book on my wish list for a long time, based on good reviews it has received. I wish I hadn't wasted the book point on it. The story was dull and rambling. The characters were uninteresting; I couldn't connect with any of them. And the narration was awful. I got the impression the narrators were as disengaged with the story as I was. I generally like fiction set against the backdrop of history and various cultures (Barbara Kingsolver's "Poisonwood Bible" is one of my favorites), but this book totally disappointed me.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • New York to Dallas: In Death, Book 33

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2099)
    Performance
    (1819)
    Story
    (1815)

    It was one of Eve Dallas’s earliest takedowns, back in her uniform days. A monster named Isaac McQueen had been abducting young victims and leaving them scarred in both mind and body. Thanks to Eve, he wound up where he belonged, removed from civilized society in Rikers. But he’s not behind bars anymore. After his escape, McQueen has two things in mind. One is to take up where he left off, preying on the young and innocent - when necessary, with the help of a female partner all too willing to be manipulated and to aid and abet his crimes.

    helen says: "How does she do it?"
    "Horrible!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I suppose it's my own fault for not realizing that this is a trash novelist. I just read the story description and it sounded interesting. I couldn't stomach more than an hour of it. Bad writing, very annoying reader. Maybe the story would have developed into something had I listened for longer, but I couldn't bear to listen any more.

    0 of 13 people found this review helpful

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