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Richard J. Riker

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Southampton, NJ USA

ratings
72
REVIEWS
27
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
134

  • Big Stone Gap: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Adriana Trigiani
    • Narrated By Adriana Trigiani
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (139)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (124)

    Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the tiny town of Big Stone Gap is home to some of the most charming eccentrics in the state. Ave Maria Mulligan is the town's self-proclaimed spinster, a thirty-five year old pharmacist with a "mountain girl's body and a flat behind." She lives an amiable life with good friends and lots of hobbies until the fateful day in 1978 when she suddenly discovers that she's not who she always thought she was.

    Brad B says: "Laughs, Tears & a Place I'd Like to call Home"
    "Stick to the writing, Adriana!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Big Stone Gap again? Why?

    No. I only re-listen to especially good books that are extremely well written. This book does not measure up to that level.


    What other book might you compare Big Stone Gap to and why?

    None that I can think of.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Adriana Trigiani?

    Any actress with skills for reading audio books. Almost anyone other than the writer. Stick to the writing, Adriana. Leave the reading to those who do it well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Bishop’s Man: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Linden Macintyre
    • Narrated By Graham Rowat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Award-winning Canadian journalist Linden MacIntyre’s The Bishop’s Man claimed the Scotiabank Giller Prize. This compelling tale follows Father Duncan MacAskill, who serves as an “Exorcist” for his bishop by disciplining other men of the cloth who have forsaken their vows.

    A User says: "Gave it a second chance...glad I did"
    "Bad book."
    Overall

    Disappointing. Disjointed, Depressing. I struggled through the whole book only to conclude that I had wasted a great deal of time on very little.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Neighbor: A Detective D. D. Warren Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card, Kirby Heyborne, Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1376)
    Performance
    (712)
    Story
    (715)

    It was a case guaranteed to spark a media feeding frenzy: a young mother, blond and pretty, disappears without a trace from her South Boston home, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter as the only witness and her handsome, secretive husband as the prime suspect. But from the moment Detective Sergeant D. D. Warren arrives at the Joneses - a snug little bungalow, she senses something off about the picture of wholesome normality the couple worked so hard to create.

    KSK says: "Listen to "Say Goodbye" first"
    "The minority report."
    Overall

    I'm pleased to see that the several other reviewers of "The Neighbor" enjoyed the book so much. I found it to be a crashing bore. All of the characters just felt so damned sorry about themselves that their whining simply drove all interest and involvement straight away. I finally started skipping along just to see how the "plot" worked out. I should not have bothered.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Alice Schroeder
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    Overall
    (732)
    Performance
    (434)
    Story
    (433)

    Here is THE book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom. The result is the personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as "The Oracle of Omaha."

    Richard J. Riker says: "2,220 well-invested minutes!"
    "2,220 well-invested minutes!"
    Overall

    Did I really want to listen to a 37 hours and 1 minute biography of Warren Buffett? He's a fascinating person, of course, but 2,220 minutes? I'm 75 now -- that's a big investment of my remaining minutes.

    Well I clicked the "purchase" button and got hit with a five part download. I transferred it to hundreds (it seemed) of CD's and left for work. Luckily it's a 45 minute drive. 49.3 one-way trips. I could handle it!

    I quickly got hooked. A generally (needed a touch more editing for a few redundencies) well written biography on basically a good man. It's not a gloss-job. The warts are in there too. I give Buffett credit for his cooperation in producing this biography, warts and all.

    Really an excellent book and a fascinating subject!

    28 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Steven Saylor
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (117)

    Weaving history, legend, and new archaeological discoveries into a spellbinding narrative, critically acclaimed novelist Steven Saylor gives new life to the drama of Rome's first 1,000 years - from the founding of the city by the ill-fated twins Romulus and Remus, through Rome's astonishing ascent to become the capital of the most powerful empire in history.

    S. Caruso says: "Excellent Feel for Ancient Rome"
    "Rome must have been more exciting than this."
    Overall

    Having recently enyoyed Ken Follett's "World Without End", I figured, "Let's see what living in ancient Rome was like."

    I found some of Saylor's explanations for many myths, gods, and legends as originating from ignorance, over-interpretation, and sometimes, just plain chicanery most amusing. My problem with the book, and what has frankly stopped me part of the way through, is the writing. It is so simplistic that I felt I was reading a children's book -- or at least a young adult's book.

    Mildly interesting but numbingly simplistic -- just not enough excitement in Roma.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Hide

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1096)
    Performance
    (557)
    Story
    (568)

    It was a case that haunts Bobby Dodge to this day - the case that nearly killed him and changed his life forever. Now, the gruesome discovery of six mummified corpses resurrects his worst nightmare: the return of a killer he thought dead and buried.

    Chuck says: "Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    "Seek out “Hide”!"
    Overall

    The first line of Lisa Gardner’s “Hide” catches your attention right away. Definitely better than “It was a dark and stormy night.” No plot or character discussion here, but suffice to say that the first hour of the book after that first line hook keeps you careening along.

    There are a few slower moments scattered about, but all-in-all this book is a real page turner, word listener, or a CD switcher (your choice). Much of the credit also goes to the reader, the aptly named Maggi-Meg Reed.

    I’ve seen some criticism of the ending -- which may not be the book’s strongest point -- but by my standards the book hung together right through the slightly convoluted ending. Good book!

    I’m going to squeak out five stars for this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Heart-Shaped Box

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    Overall
    (2023)
    Performance
    (918)
    Story
    (917)

    Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, a thing so terrible-strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet. For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost. It's the real thing.

    Lesley says: "Yikes! Five stars for fright"
    "Am I the only one . . ."
    Overall

    OK! Am I the only one who thinks that the latter Steven King books have become wordy, predictable, and – frankly – a bit boring? Unfortunately, it seems to me that Joe Hill has learned at the knee of the latter (father) Steven King, not the early (daddy) Steven King.

    The opening scenes of Heart Shaped Box were excellent. I have been around for many, many years and I find few books, films, etc. to be pleasantly scary. The opening of this book was excellent. It was scary. But then, the story settled into repetitious scenes, much ghost-babble, uninteresting flash backs, etc. In fact, words, words, words.

    I once accused an author of writing as if he were paid by the word. The same thought occurred to me while reading this book. “Get on with it, man!”

    I found this book to be ultimately boring. (Pre-thanks to the one or two of you who will agree with me.) Oh, yes – good reader!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rage

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (309)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (77)

    In a host of consecutive best sellers, Jonathan Kellerman has kept readers spellbound with the intense, psychologically acute adventures of Dr. Alex Delaware. Rage offers a powerful new case in point, as Delaware and LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis revisit a horrifying crime from the past that has taken on shocking and deadly new dimensions.

    Barbara says: "Top notch Delaware thriller!"
    "Please, Dr. Kellerman . . ."
    Overall

    Please, Dr. Kellerman, stop, pause, get your writing steam back before attacking your next book. Rage was pitiful. The entire story takes place in the first quarter of the book. Then it is talk, talk, talk. I have read here that this talk cleverly reveals two bright criminologists, Alex and Milo, working their way to a solution of the case. Sorry, but no!

    Three quarters of the book is little more than repetitive conversations going over and over and over the minimal facts that actually exist in this tissue-thin plot.

    And then Dr. Kellerman's editor called just before his dinner reservation was coming up, so -- he ended the book.

    Thank God for John Rubenstein and his magnificent reading. Almost as great a master, in his own way, as his dad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Frankenstein, Book Two: City of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz, Ed Gorman
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1211)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (427)

    They are stronger, heal better, and think faster than any humans ever created, and they must be destroyed. But not even Victor Helios, once Frankenstein, can stop the engineered killers he's set loose on a reign of terror through modern-day New Orleans. Now the only hope rests in a one-time "monster" and his all-too-human partners, Detectives Carson O'Connor and Michael Maddison.

    Chris F. says: "Other Reviewers Are Nuts"
    "Sorry again -- I have a second thought!"
    Overall

    One last comment. Have we been had? Who is writing these Frankenstein books anyway?

    Book I ? Dean Koontz AND Kevin J. Anderson

    Book II ? Dean Koontz AND Ed Gorman

    Try a Google on these second bananas and see what they have been writing. I am getting terminally wary of these Big Name Writer AND No Name Writer books.

    I think we need a little truth in authorship, guys.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tananarive Due
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (1180)
    Performance
    (596)
    Story
    (589)

    Tananarive Due, author of The Living Blood won the American Book Award and is praised as Stephen King's equal by Publishers Weekly. In The Good House, Due sets a story of ancient powers and modern retribution in a small Pacific Northwest town. When a young woman returns to her grandmother's empty mansion, she is pitted against demonic forces that have poisoned her family for generations.

    Rebecca says: "FABULOUS!"
    "Consider that rating to be 3.33 stars!"
    Overall

    I really don't want to be negative about this book because I essentially liked it. Excellent -- and unusual -- plot ideas. Good writing. Interesting characters (most of them, anyway). Absolutely first rate reading by Robin Miles, the female Scott Brick.

    I've seen Tananarive Due compared to Steven King in other reviews here. It strikes me as a valid comparison, but not always in a positive way. Ms. Due's story-telling is, I think, actually better than the latter Steven King's. Unfortunately her use of words -- words -- words is most definitely comparable to Mr. King. As an example, the scene of Angie in the woods is needlessly repetitive and goes on way too long.

    I try to avoid listening to abridged books. I would much rather have a novel written to the optimum (not necessarily shorter) length through the author's own editing process.

    OK! Enough of my own words. Good book! About a third too long! Let's see. Five stars times 66.6 equals 3.33 stars. That's my rating.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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