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Pat C

Book lover

Member Since 2015

65
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 896 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 85 purchased in 2015
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5

  • Bad Monkey

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Arte Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1014)
    Performance
    (896)
    Story
    (907)

    Andrew Yancy - late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office - has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first - this being Hiaasen country - Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters.

    James says: "Disappointed"
    "Carl Hiaasen back in prime form"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a die-hard Carl Hiaasen fan until “Nature Girl” and “Star Island” both of which were substandard (IMHO). When he took his hiatus to write kid’s books I was disappointed because I couldn’t give up on him completely but as the years passed with no new novels for the adult reader, his star faded in my firmament. I did take note of “Bad Monkey” when it came out but I didn’t rush to download it because I didn’t want to face more disenchantment. Then recently I read a synopsis of his next book (“No Surrender”) which features his iconic character, Skink, and that was the spark that renewed my interest.
    I loved “Bad Monkey” and wholeheartedly recommend it. The story is suspenseful, the characters are hilarious - either lovable or despicable but always outrageous - and the plot has plenty of twists and turns. The ending is quite satisfying although there were a few plot points I wasn't clear about - a minor issue which did not detract from the overall pleasure. I've been to the Florida Keys but I'm not very familiar with the climate, flora, fauna or bug life. CH makes this part of the world one of the main characters in his novels. He makes no secret of his love for his home state and his wish to protect it from those who would “pave paradise and put up a parking lot” (thank you, Joni Mitchell).

    In the interest of full disclosure, I probably wouldn’t give “Bad Monkey” a full 5 stars except that I want to bring up the average because it is definitely a 4+ star listen/read. I don’t get the complaints about Arte Johnson AT ALL. I think he did a great job but I guess narration really is a matter of taste because there are some narrators I don’t care for who are very popular (George Guidall, Scott Brick, Lorelei King). This is why it’s a good thing Audible includes a sound sample ;-)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1758)
    Performance
    (1417)
    Story
    (1415)

    There have been many books - on a large and small scale - about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others. Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half genius, half jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike.

    Douglas Vincent says: "Contextual, Insightful, Inspiring"
    "OK but not as good as Walter Isaacson's biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The two authors of "Becoming Steve Jobs" make a big deal of writing a more sympathetic and authentic biography than any of the previous efforts made. Personally, if I had read "Becoming Steve Jobs" first, I would not have had a good opinion of the man. Walter Isaacson is a better writer and nicely balanced tech information with Jobs’ personal life. While he did not white wash Jobs’ less attractive personality traits, he didn't emphasize his faults to the extent that made you glad the guy died young.
    Dylan Baker did a great job narrating while George Newborn was a little monotonous - or maybe it was the author's tendency to focus excessively on the technical aspects of the computer software and hardware industry. There were times I almost fell asleep listening to this book, which would not have been good, because I listen while driving my car.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Cool Breeze on the Underground

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (691)
    Performance
    (539)
    Story
    (536)

    Neal Carey is not your usual private eye. A graduate student at Columbia University, he grew up on the streets of New York, usually on the wrong side of the law. Then he met a P.I. who introduced him to the Bank, an exclusive institution with a sideline in keeping its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. They pay Neal's college tuition, and Neal gets an education that can't be found in any textbook, from learning how to trail a suspect to mastering the proper way to search a room. Now it's payback time.

    mindusq says: "Joe Barrett reading Don Winslow = joy squared"
    "Funny, suspenseful, good characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was introduced to Don Winslow by reading "The Power of the Dog" which is a tour de force in a genre I would call reality fiction. That book was obviously well researched and I learned a lot about the history, and hypocrisy of the "war on drugs.” "A Cool Breeze on the Underground" is the first in a series that I found hugely enjoyable although not as hard hitting as "The Power of the Dog" or even Winslow's more recent fiction that is set in southern California.
    Hard hitting or not, I recommend "A Cool Breeze on the Underground" and for that matter, I recommend all of Don Winslow's fiction.I wish he was still writing the Neal Carey series in addition to his other excellent fiction. The story grabs your attention and keeps it to the end and along the way you will find humor as well as some thought provoking subject matter.
    Joe Barrett does an excellent job portraying the somewhat quirky characters.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirty Nine Steps: A Richard Hannay Thriller, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By John Buchan
    • Narrated By Peter Joyce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (90)

    Among the first espionage thrillers and an acknowledged classic, The Thirty-Nine Steps well deserves its accolades as one of the best adventure stories of all time. Leaving aside the improbable denouement, the fast paced, brilliantly conceived narrative still excites and carries one along with the sheer suspense of the manhunt - a recurring theme in literature - and Hannay’s struggle against the evil that is the ‘Black Stone'.

    Amazon Customer says: "epic!!!!!!!"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a well read, suspenseful story, but not nearly as good as the BBC production shown last year on PBS starring Rupert Penry-Jones ( I think I got his name right). It's basically the same story line but a female co-star was added for modern sensibilities and the interaction between the two added so much to the story - humor, romance, and the tension that occurs between two strangers who find themselves falling in love despite not liking each other much at first. Anyway - that's the TV show and this novella has none of it. It was written in 1915 and I guess it didn't occur to many people back then that a woman could be an adventure hero too, despite the fact that they had a real life example in Mata Hari.
    I recommend skipping this audiobook version and streaming the video instead.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sylvester

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Richard Armitage
    Overall
    (417)
    Performance
    (300)
    Story
    (296)

    When Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, first meets Phoebe Marlow, he finds her dull and insipid. She finds him insufferably arrogant. But when a series of unforeseen events leads them to be stranded together in a lonely country inn, they are both forced to reassess their hastily formed opinions, and begin a new-found liking and respect for each other.

    Marcheta says: "Georgette Heyer and Richard Armitage - love it!"
    "Don't get the abridged version"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I selected this version of "Sylvester" shortly after becoming a member of Audible and did not look closely enough to notice that this was an abridged audiobook. When I listened to it, the story did not make much sense. Several years later, Audible obtained the unabridged version so I took a chance on it and loved it! In fact, it is one of my top five favorite Georgette Heyer books (Frederica, Friday's Child, Venetia, Devil's Cub and Sylvester being my favorites in both written and audiobook format). So my recommendation is that you skip this version and go for the unabridged one instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Americanah

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Adjoa Andoh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1275)
    Performance
    (1134)
    Story
    (1134)

    Anna-Bo-Banana says: "Dazzling, Romantic, and Witty"
    "great narrator but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There isn't much of a story here. It's pretty much a Nigerian national's observations of American people, their culture and their value system and if you're an American it leaves you feeling defensive and annoyed. I don't find it insightful to clump a huge variety of human beings, each with their own individual beliefs, yearnings, inadequacies, and flaws all in the same boat and sink them with your superior attitude.
    I really wanted to like this novel - I heard a bunch of educated, intelligent people discussing it on the Diane Rehm show so I had high expectations. I feel like Adichie has bamboozled the literati. If you're not reading this for your college English class I would pass it up. It is not entertaining and it just made me feel bad.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Duncan Whitehead
    • Narrated By David de Vries
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Little is what it seems to be in a leafy Savannah neighborhood as members of an afternoon cocktail and dog walking club mourn a neighbor’s death. Jealousies surface when friends vie for the widower running for mayor. An old woman with an infamous uncle plots to avenge a wrong. Memories haunt a once successful children’s writer. And a model has won the trip of a lifetime. But a killer lurks and secrets unfold, as does a web of deceit. Is anyone really who he or she seems to be?

    Sara says: "A disappointment"
    "Unappealing characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not care for this book. I guess the plot could be called clever in that it does illustrate how people and situations are not always as they appear. But none of the characters are likable. Well, one of the male characters is an overall good guy and his wife, who is dying, has some appeal but everyone else in the story is two faced, phony, deceptive and some of them are downright evil.
    I thought this book was supposed to be funny but I didn't find it amusing at all. Its only saving grace is that it has a lot of dogs in it - but the author didn't use the dogs to propel the plot or make the story more quaint or colorful or original.
    The narrator was fine but although a bad narrator can ruin a book, a good narrator can’t rescue a poorly written story.
    I don't recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ann Leary
    • Narrated By Mary Beth Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1624)
    Performance
    (1464)
    Story
    (1457)

    The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place - "if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life" - and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key.

    Mel says: "Soberingly Funny"
    "Get this one!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is so great. It's funny, painful, gripping and the narrator is perfect! I put off buying it and then put off listening to it and now I wish I could find another book just as good. Not to gush even more but it is truly one of my all time favorites. And it has a happy ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Northanger Abbey

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Val McDermid
    • Narrated By Liz Pearce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Cat Morland is ready to grow up. A homeschooled minister's daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, she loses herself in novels and is sure there is a glamorous adventure awaiting her beyond the valley's narrow horizon. So imagine her delight when the Allens, neighbors and friends of her parents, invite her to attend the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh as their guest.

    Pat C says: "Valley girl Brit of a narrator"
    "Valley girl Brit of a narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Actually I don't have much to add to my headline. I had no idea there were British people, even teenagers, who sound like they're students at Oxford by way of San Fernando Valley circa 1980. (Isn’t that when Moon Zappa put out her famous song with the line "gag me with a spoon"?) I'm going to trust that Val McDermid did her homework for current slang in the British Isles... but the narrator was literally unbelievable.
    Aside from the narration I think the writer did a creditable job transplanting the plot and characters of Jane Austen's 19th century parody of the Gothic novel. It is a good story and really, teenagers (although there was no such thing in the 19th century) haven't changed all that much. Some things are timeless and universal and that is what makes Jane Austen one of the truly great novelists.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Son: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (773)
    Story
    (767)

    Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny’s been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit - or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes. Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption....

    Russell says: "A Break From The Harry Hole Series Is a Hit"
    "Entertaining and gripping"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first book I've read by Jo Nesbo and if his other books are this good I'll be reading a lot more. “The Son” reminded me a lot of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy in that it is a revenge fantasy (and it's always better to leave revenge in the realm of fantasy in my opinion). But it is satisfying to sometimes see the bad guys get what they deserve and "The Son" does that in spades.
    If you are looking for fiction that is believable you probably want to look elsewhere because this book demands significant suspension of belief. I am willing to do that when the story is this compelling and the characters are well drawn and resemble real humans. Some reviews emphasize the graphic violence in "The Son" and it is a pertinent warning, although I don’t think there is any more blood and guts than any other books of this genre.
    The narrator is competent. I didn’t love the narration but I think it was just a matter of personal preference because I can’t find fault with it. The narrator did not interfere with the enjoyment of this book, which is my bottom line. All in all I agree with the other folks who recommend spending a credit on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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