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Michael Cox


San Diego, CA USA | Member Since 2005

  • 24 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 489 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014

  • The Financier

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Theodore Dreiser
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Blaisdell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The first in a "trilogy of desire", The Financier tells the story of the ruthlessly dominating broker Frank Cowperwood as he climbs the ladder of success, his adoring mistress championing his every move. Based on the life of flamboyant finance captain C. T. Yerkes, Theodore Dreiser's cutting portrayal of the unscrupulous magnate Cowperwood embodies the idea that behind every great fortune there is a crime.

    Peter says: "Outstanding classic, great narrator"
    "Dull Dull Dull"

    Almost stopped listening when, after 15 chapters, the setup had not concluded; but it was at that point when the story began to pick up so I continued. I should have not wasted my time.

    The story fits together too perfectly and drones on from one unsurprising resolution to the next, with hardly a blink.

    The Civil war is mentioned, in passing, and while it is hard to believe that the world of east coast finance wasn’t turned on its head during this period in our history the author passed over it as though it was nothing more than a minor skirmish; which had little, to no, effect on the protagonists world. There is nothing in this story that doesn’t work itself out and doesn’t end in a “happy ever after” way.

    There were beautiful descriptions home architecture and clothing, and of people, but beyond that it was pretty bland,

    The reading left much to be desired and starting in the middle of the book sections appeared to have been inserted; as though something was wrong with sections of the original reading and needed to be re-read. It was very obvious, and rather distracting, because the tone and cadence of fhe reader's voice was so different in these inserted segments. I sometimes wondered if they were read by someone else.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    mj says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    Where does Flight Behavior rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At the top

    What about Barbara Kingsolver’s performance did you like?

    Warm and believable

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Well no, but I wouldn't consider doing that with any book. But I did, very often, have a hard time shutting it off.

    Any additional comments?

    My first impression of this story, based on just a few minutes of listening, was: “chick flick”, and I came very close to turning it off and giving it a single star rating; so I could get a refund! I was not up for True Romance! How glad I am that I didn’t do that, because this story turned out to be one of the most entertaining stories I’ve listened to from Audible.

    Half way through the book I realized it wasn’t just the telling story of a farm family, revealed in a remarkably warm and realistic way; detailing the most intimate aspects of life on a sheep farm, and inside the workings of a nuclear family struggling to stay afloat; but a story with a message.

    That message began to evolve somewhere in the middle of the book, and was inserted so cleverly that it seemed to appear full blown; in an instant, out of nowhere, and with such skill that it did not shatter it’s container; the story that could have very well stood on its own.

    I highly recommend this title; in fact, I believe it should be required reading!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Therese Anne Fowler
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Picture a late-May morning in 1918, a time when Montgomery wore her prettiest spring dress and finest floral perfume - same as I would wear that evening.... Thus begins the story of beautiful, reckless, 17-year-old Zelda Sayre on the day she meets Lieutenant Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald at a country club dance. Fitzgerald isn’t rich or settled; no one knows his people; and he wants, of all things, to be a writer in New York. No matter how wildly in love they may be, Zelda’s father firmly opposes the match....

    L.W. says: "Great! From the first page to the last....."
    "Finally... the truth about poor Z"

    I was fascinated by this book and pleased with the reading; over all it was a satisfying read, that inspired me to check out "Paradise".

    She lived a very complicated life with a very complicated, and rather self destructive, man. My heart went out to her and I wonder if she would have become so emotionally unbalanced if she had married someone else.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • This Side of Paradise

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Brian D'eon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s pseudo- autobiographical first novel. It describes life at Princeton among the glittering, bored, and disillusioned “lost generation” of post World War1 America. Published in 1920, when he was just 23, the novel was an overnight success and propelled Fitzgerald to instant stardom as spokesman of the Jazz Age.

    Parola138 says: "pre-WWI joy"
    "I just let it wash over me."

    It's not a book I would normally read, but I just finished "Z", so I just had to see what it was all about. I didn't try to follow the story or look too deeply into any of it, I just let it wash over me and I found myself enjoying the experience. I would not have had the patients to actually read it, but having it read; and read so beautifully, was a truly pleasant experience. I think was the pros, it just flowed...

    Over all it was a very nice experience. Can't wait to read Gatsby.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Melinda says: "Intriguing--Captivating--Altering"

    The author creates a several fascinating characters; one of which is morbidly obese, thus the title.

    I opted for this book because I was curious about how someone could allow themselves to get to such a state; and how to they managed, physically and emotionally.

    I found this story is most fascinating, and I found; to my surprise, that I was quite easily able to empathize with him. He is a sad, but quite likable character.

    As each character in this story enters, and reveals their roll in his life; always in the first person, they all, ever so slowly, come together in frequently surprising, and unexpected ways.

    It’s a touching story which held me in its grip to the very end, and when it came I was sad, because I wanted it to go on.
    I would count this book as one of the most fascinating and enjoyable all the I’ve read on Audible.

    The reading was flawless, you could almost feel the weight of the protagonist and the callow youth of :"the other Arthur"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Michael says: "Who or What defines Quality of Life?"

    As a clinician I found this novel trite, overly Romantic, inadiquetly researched and Harlequinesque.

    The medical aspects; of both the condition and the care, were poorly researched and grossly inaccurate, the primary caregiver; who was never identified as the professional he clearly was; no doubt a “Trained Nurse”, failed to warn our protagonist against the pitfalls of romantic involvements which; for all the wrong reasons, sometimes develop between patient and caregiver; and which almost always end in disaster; which is why medical professionals avoid them like the plague.

    But more disturbing than the romantic silliness, was the selfish, overzealous, anti “self-deliverance”, position taken by both the caregivers and the parents. That position was so out of line with current position on self-deliverance and the concept of the “Advanced Directive” as to make this story completely implausible.

    I found it very difficult to handle the intensely, selfish, attitudes toward the right of a patient to make an end of life decision without being burdened by the judgment of all those around him!

    I did stick with this story to the end. The transparent episode with the visitor from London was exactly what I expected it to be, and the end was exactly what I expected it to be.

    This story was very formulaic and delivered no surprises.

    My only objection to the reading, which was quite good in general, was the introduction of the primary caregiver, who's voice boomed onto the scene as if out of nowhere; abrupt, too loud, and generally out of sync with the gentle flow of the narrative.

    My guess is that, if you’re a woman, and a romantic, with no medically training, and you are oblivious to the current trends on end of life issues, you will probably love this book .

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Aris, Paula Wilcox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1799, the artificial island of Dejima lies in Nagasaki Harbor as Japan’s outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company. There, Jacob de Zoet has come to make a fortune large enough to return to Holland and marry the woman he loves.

    Darwin8u says: "A NEAR Perfect Novel."
    "Less about the arrival more about the ride"

    Exquisitely crafted and beautifully performed!

    I confess to getting lost among the plethora of characters and situations; often struggling to remember who was who and what they were up to. I sometimes felt as though I were sitting too close to a large painting, only able to see details but unable to see the big picture.

    In the beginning I occasionally felt like giving up, but decided to simply step back and enjoy the ride; hoping that, eventually, things would come together and the fog would clear.

    The ride was fascinating; even when I wasn't always following the intrigues. Just being in this place; witnessing this culture, and its characters, was enough to keep me listening. I left like an observer who, while I didn't always know what it was all about, was fascinated by the personalities, the voices, the conditions and the strangeness of the Japanese culture of the period.

    As it turned out I found myself enjoying many Aha moments, as pieces suddenly fell into place and situations became clear.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John M. Barry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

    Nancy says: "Gripping and Gory"

    This book would easily qualify as a required text in a course on the History of Modern Medicine in America, as a primer on Epidemiology, microbiology and the Scientific Method. I think it should be required reading for anyone planing to make a career in health care.

    It is truly mind boggling to comprehend how poorly educated, and resistant the American medical establishment was at the end of the 19th century or how much resistance there was to the changes that would make us #1 in the world by the middle of the 20th.

    There is no telling how much worse things might have been if it had not been for "The Hopkins", and the creation of Johns Hopkins University, in pre-Civil war America.

    This story; which reads like a well written mystery novel, of the struggle to modernize medicine, and of the incredible gains, and the unforgivable failures, that occurred along with way; mostly due to large than life egos, and the self interests of politicians and civilians alike, is so mind blowing that it's difficult to imagine how we got to where we are today; or survived "The Great Epidemic"

    This is a fascinating read; especially for those of us in the medical professions, but surely, just as fascinating for those who are not.

    I never imagined that this book would be so enlightening or so spellbinding!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "Loved the movie, hated the book"

    I'm not going to waste any more time on this book, except to say I agree with all the single star reviews.

    It was simply incongruous and absurd; like walking into an alternate universe where up was down and down was left and right was in…. None of it made sense.

    What's perplexing is that so many people gave so many stars. Makes me think I'm in an alternate universe, where down is up and ...

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Home: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Toni Morrison
    • Narrated By Toni Morrison

    Frank Money is an angry, self-loathing veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. His home may seem alien to him, but he is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from and that he's hated all his life. This is a deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood - and his home.

    Melinda says: "not a novel, but a collection of short stories"

    Personally, I felt the best thing about this work was the performance; languid, sweetly pleasing to the ear and thoughtful.

    The characters were beautifully developed and interesting but nebulous; coming into being then melting away as another came to take its place.

    When "C" appeared I began to connect. Finally, I thought, I had found the protagonist, the character that was going to carry the story, but just a suddenly she too was gone, just like the rest. It was just too frustrating!

    I am certain that my inability to connect with this work had more to do with a lack on my part; I didn't take literature in college, then with the work; which is beautifully written and beautifully performed.

    I found it too urbane and sophisticated for my tastes, so after 5 chapters and no, apparent, common denominator, I simply gave up. Because even after 5 chapters my interest hadn't peaked enough to want to know where this story was going.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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