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Robert

Coventry, CT, USA | Member Since 2003

ratings
188
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
19
HELPFUL VOTES
488

  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15486)
    Performance
    (9824)
    Story
    (9706)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "A Review for Males"
    Overall

    This book was written by a woman for women. About 15% of this book is graphic romance from the woman's perspective. Men listening to these sections will find the discussion extremely boring if not nausiating. These sections are not pornography, but by being graphic and explicit, come close enough to be annoying. During these sessions, the book becomes a Harlequin Romance, and the main character becomes Fabio-like. This greatly distracts from the story-line and will drive many males away from the book.

    So why did I give this book a 4 star rating? Because the rest of the story is compelling, the reader is excellent, and the characters have depth and realism during the non-Fabio moments. The author takes pains to be historically accurate, and if one has visiting Scotland, the descriptions are enjoyable and vivid.

    Be warned, however, that this is not science fiction. Time travel is a mechanism, not a concept in this book. As the author herself admitted at her website, this happened by accident, and she simply went along with it. So dont get this book if the goal is to explore the ramifications and paradoxes of time travel. Such topics are explored superficially in the second book, and ignored here.

    If one wants a great time travel story, I recommend To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

    178 of 216 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6930)
    Performance
    (3299)
    Story
    (3302)

    First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

    Nicole says: "You love it or you hate it..."
    "Slow and Uninspiring"
    Overall

    What the world does not need is yet another vampire story, and while these vampires have a unique origin, they are less interesting than most. This is a long and dreary story with one-dimensional characters and few surprises. I was glad when it was over, and particularly relieved that I had only wasted one credit on it. No way is this story worth two credits. I gave it three stars for Scott Brick's superb conversion of this into something almost worth listening to.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Hyperion

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor, Allyson Johnson, Kevin Pariseau, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3784)
    Performance
    (2320)
    Story
    (2345)

    On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all.

    aaron says: "A LESSON in How to Write Smart, Dark, ADULT SciFi"
    "The Best of Hard Science Fiction"
    Overall

    This is the first in a series of three novels, and one of the finest science fiction books ever written. The story is unique, and unlike most science fiction books, the characters, both human and mechanical, are deep and multidimensional. The Shrike may well be the most interesting of all the characters. Why does this creature exist? Is the Shrike evil or a savior of humanity? Hyperion explores some fundamental issues of the human condition from a unique perspective that spans the full evolution of humans. Not to be missed by any fan of hard science fiction.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Women's Murder Club Box Set, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    Overall
    (527)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (294)

    While Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano prepares to prosecute the toughest trial of her life, the city is in the grip of a chilling crime spree. Children of well-to-do families are being abducted. But the kidnappings are followed by devastating silence -no demand for ransom. Working frantically with her new partner, Lindsay Boxer struggles to find the connection that will help them make sense of these horrific crimes.

    Robert says: "Three mediocre novels for the price of one"
    "Three mediocre novels for the price of one"
    Overall

    This volume contains three short novels in the Women's Murder Club series (Books 4,5 and 6). The first novel in this group (#4) is good and books five and six are pretty bad. Nevertheless, all three keep you interested and for a long drive, these books are worth considering.

    25 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23104)
    Performance
    (9744)
    Story
    (9816)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "A Classic Mystery with Wonderful Characters"
    Overall

    This is a complex and beautifully narrated mystery that is unique in quality of story and characterization. This is the first book of the Millenium Trilogy by the late author Stieg Larsson. This novel has won a number of awards and the trilogy has been compared to War and Peace for its epic scope and depth of characterization. It is a bit hard to keep track of the Swedish characters, so here is a list of them which the listener might wish to print out for reference. This list is carefully constructed to avoid giving any elements of the mystery away.

    Mikael Blomkvist, journalist, publisher of Millennium magazine, and amateur sleuth.

    Lisbeth Salander, antisocial but highly talented computer hacker (the girl with the dragon tattoo),

    Henrik Vanger, aged CEO of Vanger Corporation.

    Hans-Erik Wennerstrom, corrupt Swedish industrialist and Blomkvist's nemesis.

    Harriet Vanger, great-niece of Henrik.

    Martin Vanger, brother of Harriet and President of the Vanger Corporation.

    Nils Bjurman, the lawyer to whom Lisbeth's must report because she is an emancipated minor,

    Cecilia Vanger, Harald's banished daughter.

    There are many other characters of importance, but keeping track of these is critical to enjoying the book. And if one is not used to Swedish names, keeping track is not trivial. However, rest assured the exercise is worth it. This is a mystery of such high quality that the listener will quickly be pulled into the story and find it nearly impossible to stop listening. When it is over, you will go into a brief depression because the characters become part of you, and their interesting behavior is so well described that it becomes a persistent and compelling memory.

    200 of 214 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2057)
    Performance
    (1378)
    Story
    (1398)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Owl says: "Timely, beautiful, terrible and haunting"
    "A Great Story with Wonderful Characters"
    Overall

    This story takes a while to get going, but stick with it, as it is the best audible book I have listened to with only one exception (The Company). But this story has better characters and is recommended for both Science Fiction fans as well as those who enjoy history. Indeed, this story has the same historical depth and feeling as Ken Follett's The Pillars of Earth. The reader is great and adds much to the quality of the experience. This is Connie Willis' best book. After the first third, you will not be able to put it down, and skipping work to listen to it is compulsory.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Extreme Measures: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3047)
    Performance
    (1413)
    Story
    (1426)

    Mitch Rapp and his protege, Mike Nash, may have met their match. The CIA has detected and intercepted two terrorist cells, but a third is feared to be on the loose. Led by a dangerous mastermind obsessed with becoming the leader of al-Qaeda, this determined and terrifying group is about to descend on America.

    F says: "Kickass Thriller - With Politics!"
    "One dimensional but with good action"
    Overall

    This is an enjoyable book to listen to and it keeps your interest for the most part. However, all the characters are one-dimensional and simplistic. There are no suprises- people do exactly what you would expect them to do, and so the plot is limited to following the action. The action is good, although it makes up only a small part of the entirety. For reasons beyond my comprehension, the author thinks the reader will be interested in the details of changing a diaper. This description was quite detailed and accurate, and suggests the author had direct experience. How nice. Pity he didnt put the same effort into his characters.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Chiefs

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1469)
    Performance
    (883)
    Story
    (881)

    In 1919, Delano, Georgia, appoints its first chief of police. Honest and hardworking, the new chief is puzzled when young men start to disappear. But his investigation is ended by the fatal blast from a shotgun. Delano's second chief-of-police is no hero, yet he is also disturbed by what he sees in the missing-persons bulletins. In 1969, when Delano's third chief takes over, the unsolved disappearances still haunt the police files.

    Old Hippy says: "Absolutely Terrific!"
    "A classic"
    Overall

    I love this book. The characters are memorable and presented in depth. The mystery and suspense is maintained throughout and the ending superb. The author's style and substance is a mixture of Ken Follett and Harper Lee, and in many respects, the best of both. This is a classic and should not be missed.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Forever Odd: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3419)
    Performance
    (1088)
    Story
    (1107)

    He's the most unlikely hero you'll ever meet, an ordinary guy with a modest job you might never look at twice. But there's so much more to any of us than meets the eye, and that goes triple for Odd Thomas. For Odd lives always between two worlds in the small desert town of Pico Mundo, where the heroic and the harrowing are everyday events. Odd never asked to communicate with the dead, it's something that just happened.

    Sittingduck says: "Detailed Koontz"
    "A Major Disappointment"
    Overall

    I loved the first book (Odd Thomas) and the last book (Brother Odd), but this one (Forever Odd) is unworthy of the author or the character. Most important, it can be skipped without missing anything. Skip it!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3262)
    Performance
    (1048)
    Story
    (1054)

    One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

    Robert says: "A Classic"
    "A Classic"
    Overall

    Those of us who mourn the loss of Arthur C. Clarke and fondly remember the style and substance of his stories will enjoy Spin. It has great characters and an interesting story that evolves in stages. The many questions are all answered, but only in good time so the reader can enjoy the process as much as the revelations. This book is both fun and thought-provoking, and has enough realistic hard science to keep a scientist or engineer entertained. If you enjoy science fiction, this book is a must read. If you like an interesting mystery, this book is also an excellent choice. I was very sorry when it was over.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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