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I'm a singer, songwriter, musician, producer and music educator. I've spent the majority of my life wearing headphones . . .

Thousand Oaks, CA, United States | Member Since 2005

  • 19 reviews
  • 59 ratings
  • 1383 titles in library
  • 58 purchased in 2014

  • High Treason: A Jonathan Grave Thriller, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By John Gilstrap
    • Narrated By Basil Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First Lady Anna Darmond has been kidnapped in a bloody gunfight. It's an unthinkable crime that, if revealed, could cause public panic, so hostage rescue specialist Jonathan Grave and his team must operate in absolute secrecy. But the mission is not all it seems. There are shadows in Mrs. Darmond's past. As Grave tracks the missing First Lady through a labyrinth of lies and murder, he confronts a traitor at the highest level of Washington power - and a devastating scheme to bring a nation to its knees.

    Napagal says: "just Awful"
    "Can't Rescue This One"

    While the Jonathan Grave series got off to a promising start with "No Mercy," the quality of each successive offering in the franchise has been gradually declining until here, in the fifth novel of the series, it hits rock bottom.

    I'm a big fan of political action adventure fairy tales - the really good ones share a commonality - they present a credible or plausible premise at the core of whatever fanciful plot the author chooses to spin. Unfortunately, the premise of High Treason is so far-fetched, so outside the lines of plausibility that the suspension of disbelief becomes a chore akin to bench pressing a piano, rather than a willing pleasure.

    Add a stilted dialogue, read by narrator with a very limited range of expression and limited voice characterization skills - and I found myself asking when this clunker was going to be over.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Place: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson

    "The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.


    Between the unending litany of cliche's about 16 year old girls and the fingernails on chalkboard quality of the female narration . . . I lost interest in this novel early . . . and often.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Atlantis Gene: The Origin Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By A. G. Riddle
    • Narrated By Stephen Bel Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Seventy thousand years ago, the human race almost went extinct. We survived, but no one knows how.

    Until now. The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time. The Immari are good at keeping secrets. For 2,000 years, they've hidden the truth about human evolution. They've also searched for an ancient enemy - a threat that could wipe out the human race. Now the search is over.

    january says: "Pretty bad, but not the worst I've ever read"
    "Junk Science Fiction or Just Plain Junk?"

    There are some authors who can string together a bunch of cockamamie ideas into an improbable premise with such skill and style that I am always happy to suspend my disbelief and buy in.

    A.G. Riddle, unfortunately, is not one of those authors

    Riddle's confusing and convoluted plot snakes through thousands of years of human history and, in the end, goes pretty much nowhere. He didn't write a single character that I wanted to root for or follow into the next adventure of Book 2 . . .

    The premise of a higher technology having a hand in the development of the human species is, by now, a cliche' and Riddle's contribution to this particular sci-fi sub genre is neither very illuminating or original. But much worse, by far . . . it isn't very entertaining, either.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "One Third of A Great Novel and then . . . ."

    The first third of this book is absolutely stupendous . . . and as brilliant everybody says it is.
    But . . . when the hero moves back to New York and grows up, the story turns to mush and gets very, very boring. I can't tell you about how this tale ends because I stopped listening, though I will probably get back to it, eventually . . . for now . . . color me disappointed.

    20 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Billy Crystal
    • Narrated By Billy Crystal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Billy Crystal is 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like ""Buying the Plot"" and ""Nodding Off,"" Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, and his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Listeners get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever ""test positive for Maalox""), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (""the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac""); grandparenting; and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

    Pamela J says: "Growing up with Billy Crystal"
    "Oy! What Schmaltz"

    I'm a Billy Crystal fan and I found this audiobook to be a disappointment. I liked his stories about his relationships with Muhammed Ali, Mickey Mantle and all his celeb friends, and the behind the scenes looks at his professional and creative life were exceptionally engaging but the parts about his family weren't very interesting at all, in that he sounded, by his recollection, to have had a normal and loving life that didn't seem to be all that different from anybody else.

    I really liked the live audience part but the rest of the narration seemed like Billy was reading rather than relating about his life . . . and he seems like such a competent conversationalist in his act . . . and this reading sounded somewhat stilted and nervous.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. Reacher is there to meet - in person - the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone. But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.

    Marci says: "Expect the Best"
    "Happily Ever After, Jack Reacher Style"

    If you are a fan of Lee Child's Reacher novels, I don't think you will be disappointed with this latest offering. If you are thinking of making this novel your introduction to Reacher, I think you'd be better served by starting at the beginning with "Killing Floor" and working your way forward.

    The novels go by rapidly, they are interesting and fun and all make a kind of logical sense when listened to as a series.

    Also . . . I would like to take this opportunity to state, unequivocally, that Jack Reacher does not look anything like Tom Cruise.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    Jacqueline says: "A M A Z I N G"
    "Long, Tedious and Not Very Interesting"

    Hallelujah!!! Jake Weber's narration has cured my insomnia. It might not have been all that bad had this tale not become less interesting as it went on . . . and, trust me, it went on and on and on . . .

    I've seen stories survive bad narrators before but, unfortunately, Night Film isn't one of those!

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Bone Season

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Samantha Shannon
    • Narrated By Alana Kerr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant, and in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.... It is raining the day her life changes forever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford - a city kept secret for 200 years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race.

    Steph says: "Fabulous but mismarketed - its not Harry Potter"
    "Not Good"

    This is less of a novel and more of a litany of things that happened to the lead character, Paige. That might have been OK in the hands of an adept narrator, but Alana Kerr makes the experience excruciatingly tedious.

    I'd like to tell you what this novel is about but, to be honest, I really don't have a clue. It seems like a hodgepodge of bad sci-fi and dark fairytale with a nod to vampires and zombies for the sake of being trendy. Throw in a tad of Irish folklore and you need a flow chart to find out where you are in the story . . . which, for me, two thirds of the way through, is mostly nowhere.

    I wish I could offer something positive or constructive to say about The Bone Season, but it's is really an awfully bad book. Sorry.

    21 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "And Decent Story, Poorly Written"

    The saving grace of Peter Cline's "14" is that the story is interesting enough that it's easy to overlook how badly it's written. The characters are shallow and their relationships to each other are so juvenile and snarky it was hard for me to take their plight seriously. And the incessant references to Scooby Doo didn't help, either.

    All the five-star ratings are somewhat deceptive, as this audiobook isn't really that good and, had I known it was going to be as poorly written as it was, I would have spent my credit elsewhere.

    I found myself, at the end, wondering when it was going to be over, so I could get back to listening to the kind of grown up stuff that I prefer.

    It was hard for me to gauge Ray Porter's performance but, considering the inanity of the material he had to work with, he did a pretty good job.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Panther

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, have been posted overseas to Sana'a, Yemen - one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East. While there, they will be working with a small team to track down one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole bombing: a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative known as The Panther. Ruthless and elusive, he's wanted for multiple terrorist acts and murders - and the U.S. government is determined to bring him down, no matter the cost.

    John says: "Exciting Nelson DeMille novel with great narration"
    "I Was Rooting For The Bad Guys"

    Main character, John Corey, is such an obnoxious dick head, it's a wonder that one of the many people with guns, on his side, haven't simply blown him away by now. It also strains credulity that any, modern, 21st century woman would put up with his nonsense for five minutes, let alone want to spend the rest of her life being married to this jerk . . . and yet, there is Mrs Corey, the lovely and talented Kate Mayfield, along for the ride, whose main contribution to the first third of the novel are a few brief utterances of admonishment to her a-hole of a husband

    As for the novel itself . . . it is a mean-spirited lump of trash, dripping with bigotry towards Middle Eastern culture, with lots of white throats being slashed by knives wielded by brown hands.

    To make matters worse, this tripe was served up by that narrative equivalent of a very bad ham actor, Scott Brick. Brick's overwrought characterizations make the already awful writing sound even more insipid.

    All in all, if you are the kind of person that likes being water boarded, you might find something to like in the Panther . . . but a third of the way through and I'm ready to tell everything I know and give up all my friends and loved ones, if somebody would just make this torture of a novel stop!!

    By far, the best part of this audio book experience happens toward the end of the first part - and I quote "This audio book has been broken into multiple parts to make the download faster. You have reached the end of a part but not the end of the complete audio book. So, please check you library for the next part of this audio book."

    And that's where I decided to quit!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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