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Richard

Cambridge, MA, United States | Member Since 2006

85
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 156 ratings
  • 401 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Company: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5133)
    Performance
    (2229)
    Story
    (2225)

    "If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).

    Cynthia says: "Hang on to your Hat"
    "Solid Story Telling..."
    Overall

    I downloaded this book based upon a recommendation by Audible. It was a good choice. Littell parallels near all the better known events attending the Cold War, and does so in compelling fashion through the prism of the CIA. His characters, many of whom are historically familiar, are nicely brought to life in their difficult and self-imposed isolation. Their interactions with the events of the era are thoughtfully plausible, and he is deft at sustaining the tension-filled momentum over four-plus decades - no small task. There really wasn't a dull moment. Kudos to Audible for putting it on their "must" listen list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By S. C. Gwynne
    • Narrated By Cotter Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (67)

    General Stonewall Jackson was like no one anyone had ever seen. In April of 1862 he was merely another Confederate general with only a single battle credential in an army fighting in what seemed to be a losing cause. By middle June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western World. He had given the Confederate cause what it had recently lacked: hope.

    Jean says: "Captivating"
    "A very good read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my third Jackson biography. S.C. Gwynne offers great insight into his subject - that, and clarity of narrative. The book is appealingly organized. Whether one is new to the life of this extraordinary man or a student of his exploits, this iteration does not disappoint...a very good read.
    ( Note: Occasional internet forays into battle maps are useful - one of the few downsides to listening rather than reading. Some notion as to the geography of the Shenandoah Valley is essential.)

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Richard Flanagan
    • Narrated By David Atlas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (117)

    >In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thailand - Burma Death Railway in 1943, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings - until he receives a letter that will change him forever.

    Lee Chemel says: "Exquisite"
    "Thoroughly absorbing...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well written. Well read. An extraordinary testament to the vagueries of chance, the depredations of war, and the ambiguities of love and romance. Author Flanagan offers a credible analysis of one Australian doctor's quest to find meaning in existence during and after three years of captivity in Siam. As troubling are the efforts of his Japanese captors to do the same following the the war.
    This book can be both haunting and dark. A very good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteen Moons

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Charles Frazier
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (703)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (262)

    This magnificent novel by one of America's finest writers is the epic of one man's remarkable journey, set in 19th-century America against the background of a vanishing people and a rich way of life. At the age of 12, under the Wind Moon, Will is given a horse, a key, and a map, and sent alone into the Indian Nation to run a trading post as a bound boy. It is during this time that he grows into a man, learning, as he does, of the raw power it takes to create a life, to find a home.

    P. Bergh says: "A fascinating, great epic tale"
    "Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I began this book with high hopes, not least because Will Patton was reading it. And Charles Frazier is a serviceable writer. He handles his characters tolerably well - at least, up front. Cold Mountain was a favorite for many, but over its course, I found it a tad fraught in tone with anachronism. It seems Mr. Galbraith likes to spray a fine mist of political correctness over his narratives that, in turn, renders them all too predictable.

    Thirteen Moons compounds these tendencies to the point of absolute tedium. His sepia-hued descriptions are taxing, and the reader gets no sense of characters truly living in their own times. The appeal is always to rather parochial 21st Century perceptions.

    I finally threw off my earplugs in frustration; then downloaded a good history book. After covering two thirds of it, Thirteen Moons was going nowhere. Will keep the last quarter on hand, and maybe I'll get back to it if I am desperate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love You More: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter, Katie MacNichol
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2318)
    Performance
    (1206)
    Story
    (1204)

    One question, a split-second decision, and Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter? As the homicide investigation ratchets into a frantic statewide search for a missing child, D. D. Warren must partner with former lover Bobby Dodge to break through the blue wall of police brotherhood, seeking to understand the inner workings of a trooper’s mind while also unearthing family secrets.

    Molly says: "Keeps you guessing all the way through!"
    "Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ms Gardner would do well to pull out Strunk & White's and brush up on her writing skills. Sixty percent of her adjective's are gratuitous. (She might, also, pick up some Mike Connelly novels as a template for economy of narrative.)

    Moreover, saddling women police officers with rather shopworn expressions of glibness in the face of violence is a poor vehicle for conveying strength among female characters. The "All I want for Christmas..." mantra was beaten to death.

    Neither of the dueling narrators were compelling.

    The story itself affords a nominal, if not at times, intriguing degree of complexity, but my suggestion for those looking for a good listen within this genre is to look elsewhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Drop: Harry Bosch, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    Overall
    (3254)
    Performance
    (2655)
    Story
    (2626)

    Harry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two. DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer, or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? Then Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics....

    Joanne says: "A completely satisfying listen"
    "Never a disappointment..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Whenever I spot the new release of a Mike Connelly book, I download it immediately. 'Tis a matter of reflex. And I am never disappointed. "The Drop" is a great listen, augmented by Cariou's flawless narration.

    Connelly's economy of language, clarity, and tightly crafted plots keep the listener engaged without effort. He is meticulous and credible on police procedure. And his characters always emerge, to a great extent, by default - that is, as a function of the compelling settings he creates.

    I usually listen to his books when exercising. I hate to shut off the narration when I stop. And the thought of picking it up again gets me out when I don't want to go.

    "The Drop"'s story line suggests that the shelf life on Harry Bosch may be good for another five years. This reader hopes that will translate, at a minimum, into five more Bosch-oriented books.

    What Louie L'Amour was to Westerns, Mr. Connelly is to the Detective genre. But he is a better writer.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4718)
    Performance
    (2709)
    Story
    (2693)

    Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

    Bob says: "Compelling and difficult to put down"
    "Always on the mark..."
    Overall

    Connelly's confident economy of language, well-crafted plots, and skillfully revealed characters always add up to a great listen or read. In this murder trial drama, one comes to appreciate the vicissitudes of a game well played by all the legal participants. Connelly's thorough grasp of courtroom procedure is an education unto itself. Once again, he shows himself to be the premiere crime writer of the day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5641)
    Performance
    (3125)
    Story
    (3133)

    Before he was considered a CIA superagent, before he was thought of as a terrorists worst nightmare, and before he was both loathed and admired by the politicians on Capitol Hill, Mitch Rapp was a gifted college athlete without a care in the world . . . and then tragedy struck.

    Lesley says: "Flynn never disappoints"
    "Great Narration...."
    Overall

    George Guidal is testament to the power of narration in taking a good story across the finish line..........thoroughly enjoyed Flynn's latest page turner.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Full Dark, No Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson, Jessica Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2408)
    Performance
    (1159)
    Story
    (1154)

    "I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922", the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

    Parusski says: "Eerie, honest, frightening!"
    "Diverting, but...."
    Overall

    King's rather defensive pontificating at the end of these three stories detracts from his effort. All seemed a tad formulaic. The first was simply too long and hampered by an affected, sing-song, adolescent narration. The other two held together better, but one never gets a good sense of what it is about these women's characters that led to their reacting as they did.
    I was thoroughly engaged by King's lengthy "Tower" series, a real tour de force of the imagination. It appears he was just "mailing these in". Perhaps that explains his over earnest personal comments to the reader as a post script.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Gray Man

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4351)
    Performance
    (3310)
    Story
    (3289)

    Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man - a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness. Now, he is going to prove that for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living-and killing to stay alive.

    Michael says: "High Energy Ride!"
    "Utterly unbelievable, but very good..."
    Overall

    If there is an espionage counterpart to Peter Benchley's "Jaws", this would seem to be it. The author serves up an unpretentious, fast-paced thriller featuring Court Gentry, a white knight assassin with more lives than Rasputin. Don't look for a lot of nuance here. But if you are going for a page turner, capably executed from beginning to end, this is it...

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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