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Richard

Castro Valley, CA, USA | Member Since 2003

80
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 30 reviews
  • 207 ratings
  • 389 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Unseen Academicals: Discworld #32

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (977)
    Performance
    (491)
    Story
    (499)

    Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork - not the old-fashioned, grubby pushing and shoving, but the new, fast football with pointy hats for goalposts and balls that go gloing when you drop them. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood for trying everything else.

    goddess_of_pipework says: "Punch-in-the-arm fun"
    "Best for Soccer Fans"
    Overall

    I'm still looking for the Discworld novel as good as Going Postal. This wasn't it. Also, I think it helps to be a soccer fanatic to truly appreciate the humor here. Because of the soccer story line, it took a while for me to warm up to this, but in the end I enjoyed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Know I Am, But What Are You?

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Samantha Bee
    • Narrated By Samantha Bee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (306)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (167)

    Critics have called her “sweet, adorable, and vicious.” But there is so much more to be said about Samantha Bee. For one, she’s Canadian - whatever that means. And now, she opens up for the very first time about her checkered Canadian past. With charming candor, she admits to her Lennie from Of Mice and Men-style love of baby animals, her teenage crime spree as one-half of a car-thieving couple, and the fact that strangers seem compelled to show her their genitals.

    Coby says: "So Funny!"
    "I Like Samantha, but..."
    Overall

    I don't know if she's interesting enough to be writing her memoirs/biography. She's a hoot on the daily show (along with hubby Jason Jones), but her uneventful, middle class Canadian upbringing just isn't book worthy. I giggled a couple of times, and listened all the way through, but I can't recommend it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Matilda

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Roald Dahl
    • Narrated By Joely Richardson
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (78)

    Who put superglue in Dad's hat? Was it really a ghost that made Mom tear out of the house? Matilda is a genius with idiot parents, and she's having a great time driving them crazy. But at school things are different. At school there's Miss Trunchbull, two hundred menacing pounds of kid-hating headmistress. Get rid of the Trunchbull and Matilda would be a hero. But that would take a superhuman genius, wouldn't it?

    Peter says: "Great for kids...and adults"
    "An Amazing Book"
    Overall

    It took me a while to warm up to Matilda, not being too sure where it was going. Some of the early escapades seemed a little mean, but after the nasty adults became even nastier, Matilda went Obi Wan. It was wonderful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18343)
    Performance
    (8501)
    Story
    (8541)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "Best of the Series"
    Overall

    Wow. If you asked me, I would never say I love murder mysteries. Especially ones with the disturbing scenes of violence. However, these three books were three of my all time favorite audiobooks. I just couldn't stop listening, and the wait for each successive volume to get translated and then narrated seemed interminable.

    All three books were excellent, but this was definitely my favorite. The plot twists were original and varied, and the characters all compelling.

    My only complaint is the plot reliance on specific pieces of technology, which will prevent these works from aging well I think. Much of the technology used (e.g,Salander's "Palm Tungsten") are already obsolete and forgotten. In ten years, they will be absolute mysteries.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shades of Grey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jasper Fforde
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (480)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (255)

    As long as anyone can remember, society has been ruled by a Colortocracy. From the underground feedpipes that keep the municipal park green to the healing hues viewed to cure illness to a social hierarchy based upon one's limited color perception, society is dominated by color. In this world, you are what you can see.

    Roger says: "Slow, weird... but a good set-up for sequels."
    "Interesting, but not Irresistible"
    Overall

    This book was intriguing, but ultimately unsatisfying. I especially dislike the ending. If this is the beginning of a series (Fforde certainly likes his series), I won't be bothering with the others.

    John Lee remains one of my favorite narrators, however. With a lesser narrator, I might not have finished.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire Part 2: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (3112)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered.

    Richard says: "Not as good as Tattoo"
    "Not as good as Tattoo"
    Overall

    Like a lot of sequels, this wasn't as enjoyable as the original. Still, a gripping murder mystery in its own right.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thief of Time: Discworld, Book 26

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (712)
    Performance
    (460)
    Story
    (463)

    Time is a resource. Everyone knows it has to be managed. And on the Discworld that is the job of the Monks of History, who store it and pump it from the places where it's wasted (like the underwater; how much time does a codfish need?) to places like cities, where there's never enough time.

    Glen Phipps says: "A welcome re-recording."
    "An Average Discworld Tale"
    Overall

    I started my Discworld journey with Going Postal and none of the other four I've listened to since have been nearly as enjoyable. This was easily my least favorite. The story line was preposterous even by Discworld standards, but the killer was the accent of Lu-Tze. It invoked the worst of the racist Charlie Chan movies, and made this book nearly unlistenable. I think both narrator and author are culpable here, because the speech of The Sweeper is in pidgin English, and pronounced in an awful accent by Stephen Briggs. I'm hoping my next (yes, I'll keep trying because Postal was so amazing) Discworld is better.

    3 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Hornet Flight

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1087)
    Performance
    (443)
    Story
    (446)

    It's June 1941, and the low point of the war. England throws wave after wave of RAF bombers across the Channel, but somehow the Luftwaffe is able to shoot them down at will. The skies, indeed, the war itself seem to belong to Hitler.

    C. McCoy says: "An Outstanding Spy Novel"
    "Another Historical Novel Lite from Ken Follett"
    Overall

    And I say that with fondness. I've listened to Pillars of the Earth, World Without End and now Hornet Flight. They are all very enjoyable, but somehow just a little unfulfilling in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • First Among Sequels: A Thursday Next Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jasper Fforde
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (718)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (282)

    It's been 14 years since Thursday pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and Friday is now a difficult 16-year-old. However, Thursday's got bigger problems. Sherlock Holmes is killed, and his series is stopped in its tracks. And before this can be corrected, Miss Marple dies suddenly in a car accident, bringing her series to a close as well. When Thursday receives a death threat clearly intended for her written self, she realizes what's going on: there is a serial killer on the loose in the Bookworld.

    Tzungmay says: "As amazing as the previous ones!"
    "Really should be Last among sequels"
    Overall

    This series is completely out of gas. It's almost painful to listen to. The first three Thursday Next novels, narrated by Elizabeth Sastre were great fun. This one is a slog I'm not sure I can finish. Emily Gray reads so slowly and pauses so long between paragraphs that I think my iPod is broken. Jasper Fforde is incredibly imaginative. I hope he starts fresh next time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4401)
    Performance
    (2854)
    Story
    (2884)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "Has its moments"
    Overall

    I'm a Terry Pratchett addict, but don't know much about Neil Gaiman. The narration for this book is great, and the only thing that kept me going. There are several amusing scenes in this novel, but the overall story just seemed too forced.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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