Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 

You no longer follow Richard

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Richard

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Richard

ratings
76
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
20

  • The Zebra-Striped Hearse: A Lew Archer Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Ross Macdonald
    • Narrated By Tom Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Strictly speaking, Lew Archer is only supposed to dig up the dirt on a rich man's suspicious soon-to-be son-in-law. But in no time at all, Ross Macdonald's private eye is following a trail of corpses from the citrus belt to Mazatlan. And then there is the zebra-striped hearse and its crew of beautiful, sunburned surfers, whose path seems to keep crossing the son-in-law's - and Archer's - in this powerful, fast-paced novel of murder on the California coast.

    Richard says: "Lew Archer at his best"
    "Lew Archer at his best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For my money The Zebra-Striped Hearse shows Ross Macdonald at the top of his writing. The story is less violent and more psychologically-nuanced than earlier books on the series. The plot is brilliantly developed with the twists and turns needed to maintain suspense and element of surprise. The writing is both graceful and spare, perfectly capturing the essentials of the detective noir genre. My only complaint is the title which turns out to be something of a red herring -- or maybe that's entirely intentional. I won't say anything further lest I give away a spoiler alert.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Personal Injuries

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    To Robbie Feaver the law is all about making a play - to a client, a jury, or a judge. But when the flashy, womanizing, multimillion-dollar personal injury lawyer is caught offering bribes, he's forced to wear a wire. Even as the besieged attorney looks after his ailing wife, Feaver must also make tapes that will hurl his friends, his enemies, his city, and a particular FBI undercover agent into a crisis of conscience and law.

    bradley says: "Keep looking"
    "A big disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I consider myself a Scott Turow fan. I have read all his books available on Audible and several in hard copy, never with less than overall appreciation for his ability to draw the reader into his narrative and his skill as a writer. Until now. I feel both puzzled and disappointed by Personal Injuries. Several reviewers have described the plot as boring, presumably because it moves along very slowly, frequently punctuated by digressive descriptions of minor characters and descriptive details of settings, clothing etc. It is, in short, more "literary" than the typical crime procedural mystery. My criticisms are more specific and do not take the author to task for writing a book that departs from my general expectations. I would argue that the books fails in ways that transcend genre. For example, the tensions between Robbie, the protagonist anti-hero sleazeball lawyer, and Evon, the constipated FBI agent assigned to undercover duty in Robbie's office, are artificial, tortured, and ultimately the stuff of television soap opera. Throwing in Robbie's wife dying a slow, painful death from ALS over the span of the story only reinforces this unfortunate impression. The cast of corrupt cops and judges comes across as more caricature than credible. Even poor Sandy Stern, the stately Argentine-American attorney from earlier Turow novels, is dragged in toward the end for a cameo appearance. In desperation perhaps, to lend some credibility? Finally one point that some might regard as nitpicking: the story is told in the person by George. George wafts in and out of the storyline, sometimes omniscient (or nearly so) and other times a relatively uninteresting and incurious observer of events. Turow attempts some unconvincing justification of how George could be cognizant of virtually all the things that are going on in the lives and thoughts of the other characters but it just doesn't fly. Creative writing technique aside, it is never a good thing when the reader is distracted by wondering who is narrating and why. Note: After I wrote this review I did a little research and learned that Time magazine named Personal Injuries as the Best Fiction Novel of 1999. I am left wondering who was on the jury and if they actually read the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Invasion: Alaska: Invasion America, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Vaughn Heppner
    • Narrated By Mark Ashby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (321)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (299)

    In this controversial book, Vaughn Heppner explores the theme of a shattered America facing the onslaught of the new colossus in the East: Greater China. The time is 2032, and the Chinese are crossing the polar ice and steaming through the Gulf of Alaska. They have conquered oil-rich Siberia and turned Japan into a satellite state. Now a new glacial period has begun, devastating the world’s food supply. China plans to corner the world’s oil market and buy the needed food for their hungry masses.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "THE AMERICANS ARE NOT SIBERIANS"
    "Weak story with appalling writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book because of an interest in speculative geopolitics. The idea of China invading Alaska in the aftermath of a sovereign debt depression intrigued me. However, neither the geopolitical speculation nor the story grabbed me. Instead I suffered through endless (and repetitive) descriptions of military weaponry, battle scenes described in the most purple of purple prose (worthy of first prize in a "bad writing" contest), cartoonishly shallow characters (to call them cardboard would be to insult inanimate fiber material), rampant stereotyping and cultural chauvinism, etc. I disliked this book on every level imaginable. In the end, however, it failed to connect with my interest in geopolitics and near-future sci-fi.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Little Drummer Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (60)

    On holiday in Mykonos, Charlie wants only sunny days and a brief escape from England's bourgeois dreariness. Then a handsome stranger lures the aspiring actress away from her pals - but his intentions are far from romantic. Joseph is an Israeli intelligence officer, and Charlie has been wooed to flush out the leader of a Palestinian terrorist group responsible for a string of deadly bombings. Still uncertain of her own allegiances, she debuts in the role of a lifetime as a double agent in the "theatre of the real".

    Darwin8u says: "Terror is Theatre: Le Carré Awakens Anger & Love"
    "More than a spy novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For my money this is the best of the post-Smiley books. It is not only sophisticated in its understanding of the moral ambiguities and contradictions of the ongoing -- no end in sight -- conflict in the Middle East, it is a compelling psychological study of a young woman on the fringes of left-wing politics who is drawn -- more accurately kidnapped -- into a plot to thwart a terrorist bombing. Charlie is a theater actress of only modest success, which is to say she makes a living but only barely. She is the quintessential anti-heroine of the story. Sexually promiscuous and co-dependent, an abused girlfriend (of the cretinous "Long Al," a fellow actor), drawn to but also repelled by the brutal logic of terrorism and counter-terrorism, and finally an accidental if not unwilling savior of innocent lives. This is also a love story, counterposing Charlie and "Joseph," a Mossad operative who despite his legendary status as the coolest, toughest spy among the best of both types, is fraught with existential doubt about the consequences of meeting violence with more violence. Le Carre's prose is, as always, superlative. Little Drummer Girl stands up to anything ever written in this genre, including Graham Greene at the top of his game. Michael Jayston's narration is a perfect match for Le Carre's prose.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The End of the Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Colin Firth
    Overall
    (2616)
    Performance
    (2405)
    Story
    (2394)

    Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

    Karen Downes says: "Colin whispers in my ear, and I melt"
    "Colin Firth & Graham Greene are a perfect match"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having previously read The End of the Affair a few years ago and thinking it a minor Greene book, I have raised it to my A-list based on Colin Firth's extraordinary narration. Firth approaches perfection in bringing out the rhythm's and nuance of Greene's unpretentious but beautifully crafted prose. If there's any weakness here it is Greene's preoccupation with Roman Catholicism, which becomes a bit wearisome toward the end of story. Though not as great a novel as The Heart of the Matter, which appears on many lists of the 100 greatest novels ever written, The End of the Affair as narrated by Colin Firth is a must listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter in Madrid

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By C. J. Sansom
    • Narrated By Gordon Gordon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (38)

    Winter in Madrid is set just after the bloody Spanish Civil War, with World War II looming over Europe. Reluctantly, Harry Brett looks for an old schoolmate who's become a person of interest for British intelligence.

    Annie says: "realistic characters in historical context"
    "Shardlake fans will be disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The very negative reviews of this book might well be the result of the jarring difference in style, tone, and narrative from the Shardlake series. Winter in Madrid is written in a literary style" with a weak plot, third person narration, flashbacks, and a generally bleak mood. As a fan of the Shardlake series I was unpleasantly surprised by all of the above. I wouldn't consider Winter in Madrid to be a failure or a bad novel, but it was neither what I expected or enjoyed. For anyone interested in the Spanish Civil War I would recommend Orwell's Homage to Catalonia.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Walk in the Woods

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2332)
    Performance
    (579)
    Story
    (592)

    After 20 years in Britain, Bryson returned to the U.S. and decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. This is his humorous, inspiring account.

    Jeff says: "Wonderful book, but hardly abridged"
    "Story runs out of steam"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bill Bryson fans, please don't hate me. I'm actually one of yours. However, I grew as weary of this book as Bill must have felt slogging across the Appalachian Trail. The story starts out strong, as Bill prepares for the adventure by a hilarious visit to his local sporting goods store. It builds nicely in momentum as he and his less than stalwart companion travel to the hinterlands of Georgia and embark on the Trail. They immediately encounter the eccentrics that populate Bryson's books, and Bill makes the most of his raw material. But all too soon the narrative deteriorates into the usual "man against mountain" (or ocean, jungle, outer space, or whatever) story, with the usual overwhelming circumstances, narrow escapes from the jaws of death, etc. Some people like reading about this kind of thing. I do not. As the book loses its strength (along with the hikers' resolve), and similar scenes seem to reoccur (bad weather, impossible terrain, psychological weariness), Bill interrupts his trip to take a break. He should have realized there and then there wasn't a complete book to be had from the experience. It's always a pleasure to hear Bill Bryson read his books. I imagine he's the kind of guy you'd like to hang out with for a beer or two (or three), soaking up his quirky sense of humor and basking in his overall bonhommie. But not this book, for this reader/listener, at least not after the first few chapters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2321)
    Performance
    (402)
    Story
    (407)

    In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.

    Brent says: "This audio edition is abridged!"
    "Science not social history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am huge Bill Bryson fan, and I could pleasurably listen to him and his quirky digressions for hours and hours. That said, I was expecting more social history instead of the extended foray into the science of the physical universe and biological life. So the "nearly everything" in the title needs to be taken with a large grain of salt. I opted for the abridged version because I love Bryson's narration. I'm not sure what was cut out of the complete book, but judging by what was left in, the subect matter was about all I could take. I followed up this book with Bryson's "At Home," which was much more my cup of tea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Russia House (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Tom Baker
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Tom Baker stars in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of John le Carré’s powerful thriller. In the third year of perestroika, London publisher Barley Blair is sent a manuscript from Moscow. Exposing Russian nuclear threats as a sham, the information - if it’s genuine - could shatter East-West relations. Jazz-loving, hard-drinking Blair is hardly the spymasters’ idea of the perfect agent, yet they are forced to send him to Moscow to make contact.

    Richard says: "Just okay--No substitute for a narrated book"
    "Just okay--No substitute for a narrated book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a Le Carre fan I've exhausted Audible's selection of his books. So I turned to the dramatised production of Russia House in hopes of getting more. I have ot say it's a bit of a letdown, with a lot of over-acting and irritating sound effects that I found distracting. Although Russia House was made into a pretty bad movie (starring Sean Connery), some of Le Carre's books have been successfully adapted to film and television (Smiley's People with Alec Guinness is simply superb). It's not an impossible task to capture Le Carre's distinctive prose style and nuanced characters in a medium other than the printed word. This dramatised version of Russia House falls far short of excellence. I hope that Audible will add the book to its offerings at some point.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Our Man in Havana

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Jeremy Northam
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (112)

    In a legendary novel that appears to predict the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Graham Greene introduces James Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman whose life in transformed when he is asked to join the British Secret Service. He agrees, and finds himself with no information to offer, so begins to invent sources and agencies which do not exist, but which appear very real to his superiors.

    Jean says: "Delete the Music and It Would Be Fine"
    "Annoying music nearly ruins book"
    Overall

    Whoever edited the audio productions must be a big fan of shopping center music. A VERY LOUD Latin rhythm or British band music interrupts the narration every five minutes (or so it seems) at the end of every chapter and between sections within chapters. It was like being tapped in an elevator for 7 plus hours, which very nearly ruined the book for me. "Our Man in Havana" is one of Greene's lightest works, an absurd comic plot but with serious (and prescient) political insights. The reader is adequate. The story itself is well worth the time if you can live with the frequent musical interruptions.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.