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Nathan

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Member Since 2006

89
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 33 reviews
  • 228 ratings
  • 425 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3171)
    Performance
    (2821)
    Story
    (2828)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "A very depressing book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not easily discouraged, but found that this book was a downer. It seemed to go on and on and on... and at the end I couldn't wait for it to end.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Mutiny in Time: Infinity Ring, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By James Dashner
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the secret of time travel - a hand-held device known as the Infinity Ring - they're swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course. Now it's up to Dak, Sera, and teenage Hystorian-in-training Riq to travel back in time to fix the Great Breaks . . . and to save Dak's missing parents while they're at it.

    Korey says: "A Mutiny in Time is addicting"
    "Maze Runner this is not"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having enjoyed some of Dashner's other books, not just the Maze Runner Trilogy, I expected an enjoable book. I was disappointed. Dashner seems to have decided to write this book for a younger audience, and include younger characters. Unfortunately, the characters' interactions are much more typical of young people 3 or 4 years older than the supposed age of the characters. This leads to a sort of "disjointed" feel to the book.

    The narrator began the reading with a fervor and exaggerated enunciations and emotions that were very distracting, although eventually he seemed to settle down.

    The only good thing about this book was the plot idea, which was new to me. However when I described it to my spouse, she exclaimed, "That sounds exactly like (name of different book." So it appears Dashner's plot idea wasn't particularly unique either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Woodcutter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Reginald Hill
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1200)
    Performance
    (895)
    Story
    (890)

    Wolf Hadda's life was a fairytale - successful businessman and adored husband. But a knock on the door one morning ends it all. Universally reviled, thrown into prison, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven years later Wolf begins to talk to the prison psychiatrist and receives parole to return home. But there's a mysterious period in Wolf's past when he was known as the Woodcutter. Now the Woodcutter is back, looking for truth and revenge...

    Diana says: "One of my favorite Reginald Hill books!"
    "One of my all-time favourites"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Until this book, I was unfamiliar with Reginald Hill's work. I'm not certain how I was pointed in his direction, but I'm so glad I was! This is a wonderful book; witty and literary at the same time. Unlike so many "literary" books, the plot is not waylaid by incessant philosophical ponderings. I found myself picking up this read at every opportunity, often when I ought to be doing something else entirely. Bravo.

    Likewise, the narration was also stellar. The narrator appeared to struggle with a few German words in a chapter introduction… but this is forgiveable in the light of the remainder of his performance.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1379)
    Performance
    (1145)
    Story
    (1142)

    Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

    Beverly says: "Narrator choice inspired"
    "Utterly disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book partly on the high recommendations, which demonstrates that one can easily be mislead. While the narration was satisfactory, the characters in this "attempt" at a novel are nothing but cardboard cut-outs. There is zero depth to any character in the book. The book is heavily laden with overworn cliches such as "the milk of human kindness." Are you kidding me? It was at this point that I quit listening to the book and deleted it from my library. I'd be as well satisfied by a Harlequin Romance... and probably get a better story as well.

    My main regrets are the money I wasted on this book, and the hours I wasted listening to half of it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Flashback

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Richard Davidson, Bryan Kennedy, Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (100)

    The United States is near total collapse. But 87% of the population doesn't care: they're addicted to flashback, a drug that allows its users to re-experience the best moments of their lives. After ex-detective Nick Bottom's wife died in a car accident, he went under the flash to be with her; he's lost his job, his teenage son, and his livelihood as a result. Nick may be a lost soul, but he's still a good cop, so he is hired to investigate the murder of a top governmental advisor's son.

    Jeffrey says: "Outstanding, haunting work from a master of sci fi"
    "An interesting story... spoiled"
    Overall

    Flashback is an interesting novel, combining elements of science fiction with a sort of "post-apocalyptic America." The characters are interesting, and the plot is unpredictable. There's enough techie stuff to keep sci-fi nerds entertained.

    Unfortunately, the author loads up his story with long political lectures in which he expounds on what I presume are his personal political biases. If these lectures were balanced or well-informed, perhaps they would be excusable. But as it is, they have all the insight and balance of a Rush Limbaugh rant. The author expounds on political subjects on which he is apparently ignorant, in the end achieving a sort of parody of Sarah Palin, where everything is black and white, good or evil.

    The book is worth a listen, but more than once while listening I wished the author had chosen to empty his political garbage elsewhere.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Reversal: Harry Bosch, Book 16 (Mickey Haller, Book 3)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3825)
    Performance
    (1955)
    Story
    (1965)

    Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.

    Andrew Pollack says: "Brilliantly executed"
    "Michael Connelly having fun with Bosch/Haller"
    Overall

    As I listened to this book, I sensed a spirit of playfulness in the writing as Connelly gives one of the main characters an unexpected role to play in the story. The only reason I did not give this book a higher rating was because I found the ending just a bit too "lazy" and not completely satisfying. A score for the story would be 4.5, but a score for the ending would be 2.0.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Factotum: Monster Blood Tattoo Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By D.M. Cornish
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Spirited away from Winstermill by the aristocratic monsterslayer, Europe, Rossamünd is still struggling with the truth of his origins. But self-doubt will have to wait as he plunges headlong into the fulgar’s day-to-day life of political manoeuvring, high society, and well-paid monster-hunting. Exposed to the seamier side of Brandenbrass society, Rossamünd finds himself facing the gravest dangers in his young life, and these will test his mettle and that of the Branden Rose in the ultimate battle against their enemies, the black-hearted schemers who would destroy them both.

    Nathan says: "A fantastic finale!"
    "A fantastic finale!"
    Overall

    As a 57 year old male, I might not be "qualified" to enjoy the Lamplighter trilogy (it being a Young Adult read), but I have enjoyed every minute of it. I became very attached to Rossamünd and the other characters in the story. The narration of Humphrey Bower is always amazing, but in this case the excellence was due as much to the writing as the narration. If you are a person who is willing to let his or her imagination roam free, I challenge you to listen to the this trilogy (begin with the first book, of course). You will not be disappointed.

    While some trilogies end with a whimper, rather than a bang, the ending of the final book (Factotum) was unpredictable and satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Turner's Paintbox

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Paul Morgan
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Gerard Moyne is a Sydney-based art consultant with a passion for the genius of Turner. He has a particular way of looking at things - discerning, sometimes a little callous, always out of the ordinary. When he meets Julia he falls blindly in love with her, unable to see her as she is.

    Andrea says: "elegant love story"
    "Even great narration cannot save this book"
    Overall

    If I read this book in print form, my review might be different. It seems as if the author is telling dual stories, juxtaposed throughout the book. But the two stories seem unrelated to a listener, and it is very hard to follow the purpose of the jumps between the two stories. In addition, the sex scenes (there are a number) are very graphic and might be perfectly acceptable in a book on sexual technique, but were completely out of place in this book. In the end, even Humphrey Bower's excellent narration couldn't get me through this novel. I gave up on the book about 3/4s of the way through. It was going nowhere.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Postmistress

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sarah Blake
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (520)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (191)

    Alternating between an America still cocooned in its inability to grasp the danger at hand and a Europe being torn apart by war, The Postmistress gives us two women who find themselves unable to deliver the news, and a third woman desperately waiting for news yet afraid to hear it. Sarah Blake's The Postmistress shows how we bear the fact that war goes on around us while ordinary lives continue. Filled with stunning parallels to today, it is a remarkable novel.

    Babs says: "Reasonably enjoyable, but too full of stereotypes"
    "Thought provoking and moving"
    Overall

    This is definitely a literary work, so don't expect it to be a "page turner." However this book is worth a listen for several reasons. First, although not a "boiler" in terms of plot, it moves along sufficiently to keep a reader's interest. Second, there are ideas in this book (about how we rationalize our feelings while we supposedly try to keep others from suffering) that are worth time. Third, the writing at numerous places in this book practically glows with passion. I have now downloaded at least 100 books for listening, and I have yet to listen to any book that moved me to tears as deeply and as often as this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Salem Falls

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (854)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (327)

    Jack St. Bride was a popular teacher and soccer coach at a girls' prep school when he was falsely accused of statutory rape. Released after eight months behind bars, he arrives in Salem Falls hoping to start fresh. He lands a job washing dishes at the local diner and even falls in love with the owner, Addie. But then a spoiled local girl accuses Jack of assault, forcing his past into the open and turning the town against him.

    Carolyn says: "Not My Favorite Picoult"
    "Not her best?"
    Overall

    Or am I just getting tired of Jodi Picoult? The story here is engaging enough. Jodi's storytelling is good, and her characters believable, but her writing is the weakness. In every book I've bought, Jodi has sections where she lets herself get carried away with purple prose. She fails to halter her maudlin tendencies, and the result is a feeling of "embarrassment" for the reader, as he feels he is listening to a line or a paragraph that might have been penned by a child in an 8th grade composition class. Still, if you have not listened to a Picoult book, this is worth your time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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