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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

ratings
309
REVIEWS
164
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
93
HELPFUL VOTES
417

  • Hostage

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By James Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (465)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (323)

    Jeff Talley was a good husband, a fine father, and a frontline negotiator with LAPD's SWAT unit. But the high stress, unforgiving job took an irreparable toll on his psyche. After a despondent father murders his wife and son and takes his own life, Talley hits bottom. His marriage ends, he resigns from SWAT, and he struggles to escape from his former life. But Talley's pursuit of peaceful small-town life is about to change.

    David says: "Wonderful clarity of plot and character"
    "Good, but the Ending is Without Suspense or Climax"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book until the ending. . . then it was so anti climactic there was hardly a need to finish listening to the last 45 minutes. Too bad, because it had great potential and good narration. The story built and built and then just collapsed on itself with predictable events that made for an oh so happy ending. Too, too bad. Three stars at best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (344)
    Story
    (341)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "Much, Much Better than I Expected! Try it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first few minutes of this book did not impress. . . but I gave it a bit more time and before I knew it, I was totally hooked. This is a very good mystery story set in a time and place (Laos post war) that has been mostly overlooked in fiction. The author did a great job of creating characters who demanded your empathy or ire; and produced a plot line that kept me wondering. The narration is (at the beginning) a bit flat and may be the element that made me wonder about my choice of books; but Clive Chafer did a remarkable job throughout. HIs performance is different that many others with which you may be familiar. I will listen to more of his books.

    Worth the credit!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Servant

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (764)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (365)

    Gabriel is summoned once more by his masters to undertake what appears to be a routine assignment: travel to Amsterdam to purge the archives of a murdered Dutch terrorism analyst who also happened to be an asset of Israeli intelligence. But once in Amsterdam, Gabriel soon discovers a conspiracy of terror festering in the city's Islamic underground.

    Dan says: "One of the very best"
    "Good Good Good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an engaging international thriller featuring the uncommon secrecy and bravery of the Israeli secret service and its star agent, Albion. Silva writes a good if not great thriller, but I felt Gigante's performance less than stellar. . . with pomposity in his voice for a good bit of the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard C. Morais
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (357)
    Story
    (351)

    Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.

    Marci says: "Great details & writing in a flawed story"
    "Predictable Story with Bland Conclusion. . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So now I will have to see the movie. This may be one time the movie is better than the book, although I am skeptical since the book offers little in terms of suspense, mystery, climax or conclusion. While others may rave, I just found this one to be rather typical, predictable and ordinary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • False Prophet, a Legal Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jeff Rasley
    • Narrated By Lucas Schuneman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Jack Ross loses his soul but finds redemption representing an evangelical African American preacher. Jack's downward spiral begins with his idealistic but doomed defense of his best friend and colleague. It becomes an existential crisis. His wife leaves. His partner is in alcohol rehab. Jack's struggle to reclaim his professional standing and self-respect is aided by a petty criminal and a hot young reporter. Jack sets out to right the wrongs done to his Christian-prophet client.

    Paula says: "Sophomoric, Bland, Not the Least Thrilling"
    "Sophomoric, Bland, Not the Least Thrilling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't say much that is nice about this one, so maybe I should say nothing. In a nutshell, once you have read GOOD legal thrillers, this one doesn't even come close. The lawyers you are supposed to care about are immature, sophomoric boys who still hang on to their high school football days; can't develop the emotional maturity it takes to keep a relationship going unless it is all about their "needs"; and the bad guys are one dimensional characters who come and go in every dime store novel, so it is impossible to be held in suspense about what they will do next.

    On top of bad writing, add really bad narration. . . and this one becomes painful. Keep looking if you want a legal thriller. This isn't it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Bean Trees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By C. J. Critt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (180)

    Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity of putting down roots.

    Nancy says: "Barbara, can we have a "re-do?""
    "Narration Totally Ruins this Mediocre Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tried, I really did. There was no getting past the narrator's gasping breaths between every sentence; the ungodly long pauses between paragraphs ( and even longer ones between chapters.) I tried to stick with it but after two+ hours, I gave it up. The story wasn't particularly engaging and that, combined with the dreadful narration was just too much to bare. Do authors have a say in who performs their books? I can't believe Barbara Kingsolver would approve of this awful production.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Reversible Errors

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By J. R. Horne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (358)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (70)

    Scott Turow has written a supercharged, exquisitely suspenseful novel about a vicious triple murder and the man condemned to die for it. No other writer offers such a profound understanding of what is at stake when the state holds the power to end a man's life.

    Kent says: "An engaging story"
    "Stay With It, the Story is Worth Your Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This Turow novel is different from his others. . . and at one point, I considered giving up on it. Am glad I didn't, because in this one, Turow reveals how police, investigators, lab techs, prosecutors, defenders, judges, press and public can get at cross purposes with each, creating tangles within the legal system that can hold men accountable for acts they didn't commit.

    Turow wrote this in such a way that the "back story" on the individual characters is intermittently revealed, making the book anything but chronological. If you miss hearing a date or dateline, you will be a bit confused at times, more than likely.

    The narration is superb and I ultimately enjoyed the way that this story untangled the horrific web that had developed around one unfortunate man. Good did prevail, but it came after years and much expense of others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fortune Cookie

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (311)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (241)

    It's the 1960s and the world of advertising is coming alive - and it's an exciting world to be part of. Simon Wong, a Chinese-Australian and promising young advertising executive, is sent to Singapore to establish an office. He finds himself thrust into an environment that is at once strangely familiar and profoundly different; one where the rules that govern behaviour - both in business and in personal life - differ wildly from what he is used to. And where all is not what it appears to be.

    Lia says: "Enjoyable easy listen"
    "Grand, Delightful, Wonderful Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read other Courtenay books, but in my view, this is one of his best. Perhaps that stems from the story being set in the 1960's Singapore when so much was happening in every corner of the world. Courtenay combines world history in a manner that is educational, engaging and well plotted. It was a wonderful listen.

    This story is exceptionally well told by Humphrey Bower. Lots of good voices to represent the many characters and just the right pace. I enjoyed the entire plot as well as the family history that was revealing itself in the then present-day characters' lives.

    If any fault is to be found, it is in the final minutes when finally the truths are revealed. I didn't want the story to end and it seemed too abrupt. However, when the pieces of the puzzle came together, they did so very fast, so perhaps it was in keeping with the plot.

    If you like historical fiction and want to learn more about the coming of age of Singapore, China and other parts of the east, you will enjoy this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chris Ewan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (498)
    Performance
    (439)
    Story
    (442)

    Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living. To supplement his income - and keep his hand in - Charlie has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission. When a mysterious American offers Charlie 20,000 euros to steal two small monkey figurines to match the one he already has, Charlie is suspicious; the job seems too good to be true, and of course, it is. He soon finds the American beaten nearly to death, while the third figurine has disappeared.

    adrienne says: "A delightful surprise!"
    "Holiday in Amsterdam!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Simon Vance's narration is what drew me to this book and he was spectacular, as always. The story was a fun little diversion in the city of Amsterdam, and having spent time there myself, I enjoyed all the references and geographically staged events. Interesting plot and outcome. . . just a nice listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jakarta Pandemic

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven Konkoly
    • Narrated By Joseph Morton
    Overall
    (733)
    Performance
    (656)
    Story
    (653)

    In the late fall of 2013, a lethal pandemic virus emerges from the Islamic Republic of Indonesia (IRI) and rages unchecked across every continent. When the Jakarta Flu threatens his picture-perfect Maine neighborhood, Alex Fletcher, Iraq War veteran, is ready to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. As a seasoned sales representative for Biosphere Pharmaceuticals, makers of a leading flu virus treatment, Alex understands what a deadly pandemic means for all of them.

    deedeeg says: "Nice surprise"
    "Paranoia, PSTD and the Pandemic. . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a L-O-O-O-O-NG story. You get your money's worth if you buy books by the hour. However, it could have been told in a much more compact, exciting, interesting way. If you haven't ready many books about dystopian societies, this one will be entertaining; maybe even seem pretty realistic. If you are better read, leave this on the shelf. I gave up on hoping for reality in this story when the snow plows arrived and cell service continued, despite the loss of all other services, including shipments of food, availability of medical care, and the loss of electricity.

    The main character was Alex, a former Marine captain, who may or may not have PSTD eight years after the fact, and may or may not have a family he truly cares about, and may or may not make the darnedest decisions. . some of them borderline stupid. . when a global flu epidemic turns his Maine neighborhood into a combat zone.

    The characters are really little than cardboard, nothing multi-dimensional about them at all. That leaves the listener wondering if he/she should really care how all this turns out. In the end (spoiler) everyone lives happily ever after, just as you know logically that every 12-year old boy who plays video games, would after using a automatic gun to kill a man who was about to shoot his dad.

    The narration was solemn, slow paced and really fit the story, although it might put less committed listeners to sleep.

    Three stars only because I finished the book. It was somewhat engaging.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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