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RAMON

Avid Reader

Gray, TN, United States | Member Since 2007

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 295 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • The Redbreast

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1142)
    Performance
    (887)
    Story
    (890)

    It is 1944: Daniel, a soldier, legendary among the Norwegians fighting the advance of Bolshevism on the Russian front, is killed. Two years later, a wounded soldier wakes up in a Vienna hospital. He becomes involved with a young nurse, the consequences of which will ripple forward to the turn of the next century. In 1999, Harry Hole, alone again after having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, has been promoted to inspector and is lumbered with surveillance duties. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities....

    David says: "Bravura writing"
    "An Unpredictable Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good mystery from another culture. The characters are interesting and idiosyncratic. Although the policeman with a drinking problem is a cliche. It is a well written book but it could have been an hour shorter.

    0 of 1 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
    Overall
    (983)
    Performance
    (883)
    Story
    (876)

    "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.

    Jim says: "CAN NOT UNDERSTAND HALF THE BOOK (AUDIO)"
    "Well conceived and well written. Engrossing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although I did nor enjoy Faithful Place, I decided to give Tana French another try. I am glad I did. This is a wonderful and compelling book full of interesting characters. Its about friendship, cliques and seeing people beyond stereotypes. It is also one of the best descriptions of interrogation from the interrogator's perspective. French also does a great job of portraying teenage girls, their angst and fierce loyalties.

    Unlike Faithful Place, the identity of the murderer was not obvious and the story unfolded in an engrossing and satisfying manner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Warburg in Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By James Carroll
    • Narrated By David Doersch
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    David Warburg, newly minted director of the U.S. War Refugee Board, arrives in Rome at war's end, determined to bring aid to the destitute European Jews streaming into the city. Marguerite d'Erasmo, a French-Italian Red Cross worker with a shadowed past, is initially Warburg's guide to a complicated Rome; while a charismatic young American Catholic priest, Monsignor Kevin Deane, seems equally committed to aiding Italian Jews. Soon, Warburg discovers one of history's great scandals....

    RAMON says: "Engrossing Historical Fiction"
    "Engrossing Historical Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a work of historical fiction regarding anti-semitism in the US as well as in Europe before, during and after World War II. I enjoyed the fictional characters and their intrigues and romances. The title character Warburg is a secular Jew who is forced to confront his identity and heritage by events. There is also a Catholic priest who has to decide whether being a priest is a calling or a career.

    The lukewarm efforts of the US to help European jews during this era are rather shameful as depicted in this book. There was a casual anti-semitism in the US during this time. The role of the Vatican and Pope Pius XII remains controversial. Certainly there were pro facist elements in the Vatican and the Church.

    One of the central themes of the book is efforts by people within the Vatican and the US government to aid Nazi war criminals because for a variety of reasons, A recent non fiction book Operation Paper Clip details US actions regarding Nazi scientists. Carroll's story deals with efforts to save Nazis and their sympathizes to fight communism.

    Its a good listen and thought provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Joshua Ferris
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (97)

    Paul O'Rourke is a Manhattan dentist with a thriving practice leading a quiet, routine-driven life. But behind the smiles and the nice apartment, he's a man made of contradictions, and his biggest fear is that he may never truly come to understand anybody, including himself. Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name.

    Jessica R Harper says: "Is the performance better than the book?"
    "Original, funny and compelling, great performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was not sure what to expect from this book about a dentist feeling empty in the face of materialism and the modern world of electronic social networks . He is an atheist and has a series of failed relationships. It turned out to be compelling and funny. The performance is excellent and had a lot to do with success of the audiobook. The book has a serious side-finding meaning in the modern world and the importance of relationships to survival but it is done in and entertaining and original manner. I highly recommend this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Prayer

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Philip Kerr
    • Narrated By Mark Zeisler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (22)

    Special Agent Gil Martins investigates domestic terrorism for the Houston FBI. He is a religious man who is close to losing his faith; the very nature of his job has led him to question the existence of a God who could allow the things that Gil sees every day. But Gil' s wife, Ruth, doesn' t see things the same way and his crisis of faith provokes a fracture in their marriage. Gil' s world is breaking apart. At the same time, Gil starts to investigate a series of unexplained deaths that bring this crisis of faith into uncomfortable focus. When Esther, a disturbed woman, informs Gil that these men have been killed by prayer, Gil questions her sanity.

    Gary says: "Wow, WTF Happened To This Guy?"
    "A Disappointing Kerr Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have enjoyed other books by Philip Kerr that feature his Berlin detective. This book is not so much a mystery book as screed for an Old Testament Deity. I did not enjoy it and had trouble finishing it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Baltimore Blues

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Laura Lippman
    • Narrated By Deborah Hazlett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (404)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (221)

    Unemployed at 29, Tess Monaghan is willing to take any freelance job to pay the rent - including a bit of unorthodox snooping for her rowing buddy, Darryl "Rock" Paxton. In a city where someone is murdered almost every day, attorney Michael Abramowitz's death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer's notoriety - and his noontime trysts with Rock's fiancée - make the case front page news...and point to Rock as the likely murderer.

    connie says: "I'm on #8 - This series is almost unique"
    "Entertaining and enjoyable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This main character in this book is a delightful young journalist/ rower.The book is good entertainment and a good introduction to Baltimore and its politics. Think of it as the Wire light. I will probably listen to more books in the series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Waiting for Wednesday: A Frieda Klein Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Nicci French
    • Narrated By Beth Chalmers
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (166)

    Ruth Lennox, housewife and mother of three, is found dead in a pool of her own blood. Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson can’t piece together a motive and calls in Frieda, hoping her talents will offer a new angle on the case. When it emerges that the mother was hiding a scandalous secret, her family closes ranks. Frieda herself is distracted, still reeling from an attempt on her life, and struggling with her own rare feelings of vulnerability. Then a patient’s chance remark sends Frieda down a dangerous path that seems to lead to a serial killer who’s long escaped detection.

    RAMON says: "A well written , well performed name mystery."
    "A well written , well performed name mystery."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a modern English mystery whose characters suffer modern trials of bureaucratic politics and professional jealously. The mysteries themselves are not obvious nor predictable. The characters are interesting and believable even if some situations and motivations are a stretch. There is a serious undercurrent to the story of the murder of the perfect suburban housewife. This is the consequences of our actions and choices. I found it a thoughtful and entertained tale with a likable protagonist.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (609)
    Story
    (620)

    International superstar Jussi Adler-Olsen, with more than fourteen million copies of his books sold worldwide, returns with the fourth book in his New York Times best-selling Department Q series, about a perplexing cold case with sinister modern-day consequences. In 1987, Nete Hermansen plans revenge on those who abused her in her youth, including Curt Wad, a charismatic surgeon who was part of a movement to sterilize wayward girls in 1950s Denmark.

    Charles Atkinson says: "It's a 5 Star Story of Revenge"
    "Good Characters, Dark and Grim Subject Matter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great series with interesting characters and an ongoing mystery. But this is not a comfortable story, perhaps we should not shrink from the darker emotions and evil in the world but it was tough going at times to listen to this tale of depravity, callousness and vengeance. But Assad and Rose, minor characters are more developed and mysterious here. There are also nice twists in the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Noah Feldman
    • Narrated By Noah Feldman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (75)

    They began as close allies and friends of FDR, but the quest to shape a new Constitution led them to competition and sometimes outright warfare. Scorpions tells the story of four great justices: their relationship with Roosevelt, with each other, and with the turbulent world of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. It also serves as a history of the modern Constitution itself.

    Charles M. Wyzanski says: "Narrated as admirably as it is written!"
    "Great History, Legal Analysis and Story Telling."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not only the story of four Supreme Court Justices but (albeit partial) history of the New Deal era and the legal struggles to establish New Deal programs. The lives and character (and contradictions) of the four Justices (Frankfuter, Black, Jackson and Douglas) are developed as well of those of contemporary jurists and historical figures. In addition to being a professor at a prestigious law school, Mr. Feldman is a good storyteller. The performance is excellent. Highly recommended to anyone interested in history. While initially united by their New Deal liberalism, the justices eventually went their separate way in their views of the Constitution and its interpretation. Author Feldman makes a persuasive argument of the importance of these Justices in the development of constitutional thought.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Black Skies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Arnaldur Indridason
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    A man is making a crude leather mask with slits for eyes and mouth, and an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a 'death mask', once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves. He has revenge in mind. Meanwhile, with Detective Erlendur absent, his baseball-loving colleague Sigurdur Óli is in the spotlight. A school reunion has left Sigurdur Óli dissatisfied with life in the police force. Iceland is enjoying an economic boom and young tycoons are busy partying with the international jet set.

    Leonard says: "Pleasantly Surprised."
    "The Maturing of A Policeman"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The protagonist in this book is the kind of arrogant and oafish policeman who is a minor character or irritant in other stories. We learn how he got that way and how he matures as a person and gains some empathy. The story itself has good twists. It is also interesting to learn something about Iceland an obscure country for Americans. Its a good police procedural with cautionary lessons about greed, recklessness and the lasting effects of damage. All this without being preachy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Crowd

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Kevin Baker
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    In 1941, when Charlie was district attorney, Abe "Kid Twist" Reles was Charlie's star witness against the biggest crime syndicate in New York. While under 24-hour police watch, Reles jumped - or was he pushed? - out the window of the seedy Coney Island motel where he was being hidden, and with him went Charlie's case....

    RAMON says: "Evocative but a little disappointing"
    "Evocative but a little disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story of political corruption, intrigue, murder, Irish immigrants, adultery and New York in the 40's and 50's. That's a little too ambitious. Some of the street scenes and crowd scenes are overwritten and transparent attempts to be evocative. Surprisingly, the scenes in Mexico are very evocative of a lost time. Many of the characters, especially the gangsters are vividly described. But at times the book seem to veer into being a romance novel. It is not a bad book, just a little sprawling. The solution to the central mystery was clever but took so long, it was not that surprising.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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