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Richard R

richard_t

Member Since 2007

72
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 172 ratings
  • 258 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Three Stations: An Arkady Renko Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    In Three Stations, Arkady Renko’s skills are put to their most severe test. Though he has been technically suspended from the prosecutor’s office for once again turning up unpleasant truths, he strives to solve a last case: the death of an elegant young woman whose body is found in a construction trailer on the perimeter of Moscow’s main rail hub. It looks like a simple drug overdose to everyone—except to Renko, whose examination of the crime scene turns up some inexplicable clues.

    Jeffrey Dame says: "Arkady Jumps The Shark"
    "Not as Strong as Previous Cruz Smith Books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Three Stations again? Why?

    The story was shorter, thinner, and not as engrossing as Cruz Smith's early powerful books (Gorky Park, Polar Star, and Red Square). I love the narration of the previous books by Henry Strozier, so listening to Ron McLarty's was a bit disappointing. He doesn't capture the weary cynicism nearly so well and all the voices sound precisely the same, so you're never quite sure who's talking


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cymbeline (BBC Radio 3: Drama on 3)

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis, Nia Roberts, William Houston, and others
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    A BBC Radio 3 full-cast dramatisation of Shakespeare’s classic ‘Cymbeline’, starring Bill Wallis. Originally broadcast in December 2006 as part of the ‘Drama on 3’ collection.Shakespeare's play, set during the Roman invasion of Britain, centres around the banishment of the man who has incurred the wrath of the king by secretly marrying his daughter. Confusion follows in an intricate plot in which nobody is quite who they seem to be.

    Richard R says: "Not "Unabridged" as Advertised !"
    "Not "Unabridged" as Advertised !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Cymbeline (BBC Radio 3: Drama on 3) better?

    The blurb here on Audible says this is an "unabridged" version of the play. It's not.
    If you purchased this planning to listen along while you read the text, you won't be able to.
    I feel cheated.


    Would you recommend Cymbeline (BBC Radio 3: Drama on 3) to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. The blurb is inaccurate.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Sea of Troubles: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Donna Leon
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (93)

    On a beautiful spring morning on the island of Pellestrina, south of the Lido on the Venetian lagoon, a small fishing boat moored at the docks suddenly explodes. When it becomes clear that the fire was deliberately set and the boat’s owners brutally murdered, Commissario Brunetti tries to dig up information from Pellestrina’s close-knit - and closemouthed - citizenry. But it is with mixed feelings that he accepts Signorina Elettra’s offer to visit her relatives there and search for clues.

    Jocelyn says: "Classic Mystery"
    "Donna Leon Jumps the Shark"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Storms, mayhem, murder, drama! Miss Electra falls blindly in love! Donna Leon gets away from her dry ironic style and jumps the shark trying to inject some action drama into the Brunetti series. This story is a real disappointment. If it represents a new direction for the series, I've read my last.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dogs of Riga: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (494)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (268)

    On the Swedish coastline, the bodies of two victims of grisly torture and cold execution are discovered in a life raft. With no witnesses, no motives, and no crime scene, Detective Kurt Wallander is frustrated and uncertain that he has the ability to solve the case. After the victims are traced to Latvia, Major Liepa of the Riga police takes over the investigation. Thinking his work is done, Wallander slips back into his routine - until he is suddenly called to Riga and plunged into an alien world.

    Stevon says: "My first Mankell book"
    "Uninteresting and Overlong"
    Overall

    The second in the Kurt Wallander series does not measure up to the first. Swedish detective Wallander spends most of the story in Latvia trying to figure out who is behind a police conspiracy. But the bulk of the book is Wallander's internal dialogues --uninteresting, repetitive, and overlong. "I don't understand any of this!", "What is going on here?", "Who are these people?" Wallander repeatedly asks himself (although he mixes in the classic: "'I'm sorry', he said apologetically"). The story ends predictably --if you think you've figured it out halfway through, you have.

    If you enjoy twelve hours of Swedish angst and internal dialogues, this book is for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dari Persian Phase 1, Unit 01-05: Learn to Speak and Understand Dari with Pimsleur Language Programs

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Pimsleur
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Each lesson in Dari Persian Phase 1, Units 1-5 provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation. Each lesson contains practice for vocabulary introduced in previous lessons.

    Richard R says: "Quite Good"
    "Quite Good"
    Overall

    The Pimsleur method is based on research on memory, and how we learn languages. If you repeat a new word a few times when you first learn it, and then repeat it periodically after that, it will eventually stick in the brain.

    These lessons are broken into 30-minute sessions that are designed to be listened to one-per-day. They are similar to other language tapes: you listen to, and repeat, dialogues between a couple of Dari speakers, while a narrator gives you explanations. But there are a few key differences. You really do notice the periodic repetition of the vocabulary words, and it seems to work and lock them into memory.

    Also, there is no booklet or written text, you are listening and learning to speak the language, but intentionally not learning the Dari alphabet, which would be new and confusing to American and British students and would introduce a whole new level of complexity.

    Simple, enjoyable, and effective. That's pretty high praise for an audio language course.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hark!

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Ed McBain
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Ed McBain concocts a brilliant and intricate thriller about a master criminal who haunts the city with cryptic passages from Shakespeare, directing the detectives of the 87th Precinct to a future crime, if only they can figure out what he means.

    Adams says: "A disappointment"
    "Absolutely Awful"
    Overall

    Absolute trash. The plot is senseless; the police detectives are complete dolts, ignoring leads and insulting victims; the villain is a cardboard cutout; the dialogue of the African-American characters is exactly what you would expect to be written by an elderly suburban white guy, which is what the author was by this time; the lead detective needs his pre-teen child to explain the internet to him (mind you the book was written in 2004, so the internet wasn't exactly a novelty).

    It occurred to me part-way through this book that the whole plot was inspired by the fact that the author was fooling around on the internet one day and stumbled across an anagram-creator and a Shakespeare quote-finder. Once you know that, you know everything you need about this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Slumdog Millionaire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Vikas Swarup
    • Narrated By Christopher Simpson
    Overall
    (840)
    Performance
    (527)
    Story
    (525)

    Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut novel, the inspiration for the award-winning film, opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all 12 questions on India's biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales, Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question.

    J. Wigfall says: "Powerful"
    "Good Story, Well Narrated"
    Overall

    As others have noted, the book is longer, different, and more interesting than the movie. The characters are more thoroughly drawn out, and the link between each story and the money that Ram wins from each question in the contest is more clear.

    In each story, Ram loses something. Or more specifically, he voluntarily gives up something in order to help someone else. The contest is how he gets paid back for his lifetime of suffering and generosity.

    The narration is interesting, with a variety of Indian accents. I enjoyed the movie for the images of India, but I enjoyed the book for the characters and the morality play among them.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By James Shapiro
    • Narrated By James Shapiro
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    How did Shakespeare go from being a talented poet and playwright to becoming one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In this one exhilarating year we follow what he reads and writes, what he sees, and who he works with as he invests in the new Globe Theatre and creates four of his most famous plays: Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet.

    Larry Miller says: "If you love Shakespeare"
    "Terrific"
    Overall

    A terrific look at a pivotal year in Shakespeare's life: 1599. The year he wrote four key plays: Henry V, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet. Shapiro does a wonderful job of placing Shakespeare in his historical context, with the construction of the Globe Theatre, the rebellion of Essex after the Ireland campaign, and the aging Queen Elizabeth. Shakespeare leapt forward in artistic creativity and in terms of pushing out the boundaries of dramatic writing.

    Shapiro does an excellent job in narrating his own book. The last 45 minutes of the recording are key passages from the four plays discussed in the text.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9025)
    Performance
    (3252)
    Story
    (3329)

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Frank says: "Not his best"
    "Awful"
    Overall

    Well, those are 18 hours of my life I'll never get back. That is one awful book. Overwritten, stuffed with all the usual Dan Brown nonsense. It's exactly like his previous works, except this one takes place in one night in Washington DC. I recommend you stay as far away as possible.

    On the other hand, the narration is pretty good.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Volk's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Brent Ghelfi
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    A firefight reverberates through Moscow's dark, rain-soaked streets; shattered glass and screams echo in the air. In the lawless ways of Russia's capital city, the gunmen melt away into the night. Two men are dead, the targets not what they seem. A shadowy figure lopes along the riverbank outside the Kremlin walls. Known to all as Volk, a battle-hardened veteran of Russia's brutal war in Chechnya, he prowls Moscow¿s grim alleyways, a knife concealed in his prosthetic foot at all times.

    Mary Ann says: "Distasteful"
    "Pretty Good"
    Overall

    It's true, as other reviewers note, that some of the violence is gratuitous and that the audio narrator has an odd cadence, but I still enjoyed the book. The Moscow ambience is dark and violent, and long shadows from the Chechnyan wars are cast across the characters and events. A fascinating depiction of how organized crime, senior government, and the military intersect in Putin's Russia. A pretty good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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