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Richard

San Francisco, CA, USA

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 239 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Sharpe's Tiger: Book I of the Sharpe Series

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (779)
    Performance
    (344)
    Story
    (348)

    1799. As the British Army fights its way through India toward a diabolical trap, the young and illiterate private Richard Sharpe must battle both man and beast behind enemy lines, in an attempt to push the ruthless Tippoo of Mysore from his throne and drive his French allies out of India.

    Angela says: "Believe the Hype!"
    "Vintage Sharpe"
    Overall

    Some fifteen years ago, I read Cornwell's origial Sharpe series in a mad, compulsive rush. Disappointment with a Sharpe "prequel" written to support the television series kept me from trying the India novels that Cornwell wrote during the late 1990s.

    Now I'm glad that I waited for this fine audio version, instead. The narration is first-rate, one of the best I've heard, and a perfect complement to what turns out to be vintage Richard Sharpe. This is a story filled with rich characters, exotic locales, fast-moving action, and riveting historical detail.

    My loss -- I didn't realize how much I missed marching with Sharpe. If you're a fan, treat yourself to this listen. And if you're not yet a fan, after hearing this you will be!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mainspring

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jay Lake
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    Mainspring is the story of a young clockmaker's apprentice, who is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. He is told that he must take the Key Perilous and rewind the Mainspring of the Earth. It is running down, and disaster to the planet will ensue if it's not rewound. From innocence and ignorance to power and self-knowledge, the young man will make the long and perilous journey to the South Polar Axis to fulfill the commandment of his God.

    Richard Stufflebeam says: "Journy well started, but unfullfiled"
    "Insipid Allegory"
    Overall

    A whining wimp copulates with a monkey, then he winds a clock. That's all there is to "Mainspring." It's nothing more than adolescent religious allegory with a steampunk veneer. This book is awful, just awful.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Whiskey Rebels

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Liss
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (467)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (195)

    At his most desperate moment, Ethan Saunders is recruited to find his ex-fiancée's missing husband. Meanwhile, Joan Maycott and her Revolutionary War veteran husband distill whiskey on the western Pennsylvania frontier. As their causes intertwine, Joan and Saunders - both patriots in their own way - find themselves on opposing sides of a daring scheme that will forever change their lives and their new country.

    Lulu says: "In My Top 10 - Maybe Top 5 At Audible"
    "Slow, Bifurcated Historical Fiction"
    Overall

    This one lost me. The history and the writing are fine, but the story just plods along. At fault is Liss's decision to split the narrative between two protagonists. Alternating with each chapter, events in each plot are separated by some years. It's distracting. Yes, the two characters do meet eventually, but by the time they did I'd lost interest.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Precipice: Book One of The Asteroid Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Amanda Karr, cast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (304)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (87)

    Once, Dan Randolph was one of the richest men on Earth. Now the planet is spiraling into environmental disaster, with floods and earthquakes destroying the lives of millions. Martin Humphries, fabulously wealthy heir of the Humphries Trust, also knows that space-based industry is the way of the future. But unlike Randolph, he does not care if Earth perishes in the process.

    Chris says: "Space Opera Fun ( not for Kids)"
    "Slow Sci-Fi"
    Overall

    I made it through an hour or so of this one before I quit out of boredom. The plot, while intriguing, just took too long to get started. Too much expository dialogue setting up the premise -- the author tells his story almost as a series of business meetings. That's hardly compelling drama, and disaster for space opera. Give this "asteroid" a miss.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Ambassador's Son

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Homer Hickam
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    It's 1943 and the Americans and Japanese are fighting a deadly war in the hot, jungle-covered volcanic islands of the South Pacific. The outcome is in doubt and a terrible blow has fallen on American morale. Lieutenant David Armistead, a Marine Corps hero and cousin of the President of the United States, is missing and some say he's gone over to the enemy. Coast Guard Captain Josh Thurlow and his ragtag crew are given the assignment to find Armistead, though not necessarily to bring him back alive.

    Richard says: "Hickam is Hilarious!"
    "Hickam is Hilarious!"
    Overall

    Set in the Solomons during mid-1943, this novel is populated with some notorious WWII characters, including an AWOL Marine lieutenant named David Armistead; a Navy PT boat skipper named Jack Kennedy; a Navy supply officer named "Nick" Nixon; and a Navy historian named Jim Michener. The story begins on Tulagi and heads north in a Catalina, looking for trouble.

    Hickam is a very funny writer, combining inventive storytelling with a keen eye for characterization and detail. This novel is the second in Hickam's Josh Thurlow series; the first, The Keeper's Son, is freighted with some frankly insipid romance, so I really can't recommend it. Hickam's latest novel, on the other hand, takes all of his first novel's best qualities and cranks them up.

    You'll love it!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • An Unpardonable Crime

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andrew Taylor
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    Edgar Allan Poe is an American boy in England, a child standing on the edge of mysteries. In 1819, two Americans arrive in London. Soon afterward a bank collapses. A man is found horribly mutilated on a building site and an heiress flirts with her inferiors. All the while, Poe's young schoolmaster struggles to understand what is happening before he and his loved ones are destroyed. But the truth has its origins in the New World and the Old, in a bitter episode of corruption during the War of 1812.

    Anne says: "worthwhile"
    "Mixed Feelings"
    Overall

    This novel is well written and thoroughly researched. Andrew Taylor is a fine author. His characterizations are crisp and distinctive, his period details are correct and convincing. Yet there's something lacking.

    Edgar Allen Poe is one of the characters, but he's a minor presence and not a particularly memorable one. It's a gimmick, and it's not enough. I hate to say it, but this story drags. The pacing is subdued, the characters are monotonous. All in all, a rather bleak novel.

    Kudos to Simon Vance for his fine narration, which is a treat. He's what kept me listening until the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Track of the Cat

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Nevada Barr
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (576)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (292)

    From the vivid opening vista, high in craggy mountains, to the final haunting glimpse of a moonlit canyon, Nevada Barr's first mystery, Track of the Cat, instantly caught the attention of readers and reviewers. Its popularity gained it both an Agatha and an Anthony Award.

    Ilze says: "A Trek through the Guadalupes"
    "Inspired Narration for a First-Rate Mystery"
    Overall

    Barbara Rosenblatt's narration is brilliant. She really brings Anna Pigeon alive. Nevada Barr is a terrific writer, as most mystery fans know. However, Rosenblatt's inspired narration might just make listening to Barr even better than reading her.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Haunted Ground

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Erin Hart
    • Narrated By Jennifer McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (465)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (179)

    When farmers cutting turf in an Irish peat bog make a grisly discovery, the perfectly intact body of a young woman with long red hair, archaeologist Cormac O'Callaghan and pathologist Nora Gavin are thrown together by their shared scientific interest in human remains. Because of the preservative effect of the bog, it is difficult to tell whether the body has lain there for two decades, two centuries, or two millennia.

    Linda says: "Mysteries old and mysteries new"
    "Insipid Melodrama"
    Overall

    Do I have to give this novel even a single star? If you're expecting an archeological puzzle, don't bother. "Haunted Ground" is more Harlequin romance than ancient mystery. Pathetic characters people contrived settings, stumbling through an improbable plot. The writing itself isn't bad, though Erin Hart does tend to become a bit overwrought at times. A bright spot is Jennifer McMahon's narration -- she possesses an impressive range. However, her talents aren't enough to salvage what is, at heart, nothing more than a suburban bodice-ripper. Halfway through, I found myself finishing characters' sentences in a silly Irish accent. Sadly, it was the only enjoyment I derived from this novel. Fabio should appear on the cover, holding an excavation trowel in one hand and a swooning colleen in the other.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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