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Ron

A great fan of stories and audiobooks. Good ones.

Vancouver, BC, Canada

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 77 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
1

  • Half of a Yellow Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (324)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (282)

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Adichie’s brilliant historical novel follows the fortunes of five characters living through the tumultuous 1960s—a time when the Biafran-Nigerian War raged in southern Africa.

    Alla says: "Horrifyingly human - mandatory reading"
    "No point to this, absolutely no point"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just wish I had not wasted a credit on this audio book. Sorry, but this is one choice to regret. A story that starts no where, goes no where, and ends even worse, with just a feeling of time poorly wasted, waiting for some story to emerge. Blank headphones would have made better company than listening to this audiobook.
    Four or five average people, leading average lives, told in a less than average story. I would love the ask the author - why? What were you writing about? How did it ever get to print? Or audiobook? Who do you know? This speaks to the depths of the lack of quality out there. Not saying I could do better, no, but I don't pretend to have a story and then spill out streams of endless drivel about a half dozen average people.
    Just because they are in Africa, and that seems exotic to North Americans, does not make this interesting. Hardly.
    The only saving grace was skillful narration.
    I would love to hear the reasoning behind anyone believing there is something to this novel, because I just don't get it.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10931)
    Performance
    (6127)
    Story
    (6176)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Everyone loved it, but I thought it was stupid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fantasy. A tiger that can swim and get into a lifeboat? Flying pigs and singing monkeys were the only thing missing. I did make it through, but my sense of reality was challenged throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Locked On

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3820)
    Performance
    (3277)
    Story
    (3263)

    Although his father had been reluctant to become a field operative, Jack Ryan Jr. wants nothing more. Privately training with a seasoned Special Forces drill instructor, he’s honing his skills to transition his work within The Campus from intelligence analysis to hunting down and eliminating terrorists wherever he can—even as Jack Ryan Sr. campaigns for re-election as President of the United States. But what neither father nor son knows is that the political and the personal have just become equally dangerous.

    Joseph says: "Give me more! Loved it!"
    "Not worth the credit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enough said. Tried to get interested about a dozen times, but there is nothing redeeming in this pulp trash

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • To Have and Have Not

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (104)

    To Have and Have Not is the dramatic story of Harry Morgan, an honest man who is forced into running contraband between Cuba and Key West as a means of keeping his crumbling family financially afloat. His adventures lead him into the world of wealthy and dissipated yachtsmen who throng the region, and involve him in a strange and unlikely love affair.

    Marsha says: "Nostalgic read."
    "Rambling Ernest at his best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No doubt Ernest Hemingway looked at life in a clear plain way. This story gets you inside the heads of many characters. Not really going anywhere, in no particular order, is the beauty of it. Simplicity and clarity of voice is the trademark, and what makes this another great listen from the man himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moby-Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1303)
    Performance
    (1015)
    Story
    (1020)

    Labeled variously a realistic story of whaling, a romance of unusual adventure and eccentric characters, a symbolic allegory, and a drama of heroic conflict, Moby Dick is first and foremost a great story. It has both the humor and poignancy of a simple sea ballad, as well as the depth and universality of a grand odyssey.

    Alice says: "I felt totally swept up in this world"
    "A classic,sure, but a difficult listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A little hard to stay on track. A better read than a listen. The narration is too fast for the complexity of the language used.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3612)
    Performance
    (3230)
    Story
    (3259)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
    "Enthralling insights into a serious business"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the story is stretched to make one event last an entire 6 hours of audio book, the background is interesting enough. What makes it worthwhile is that this is not a writer telling this story, it is a soldier, pure and simple. A person trained to be a cool calm detached killing machine. Just cause, yes, and if anyone is good at his job, this person is. What is impressive is the level of training, the professionalism, the dedication that is depicted. Total respect for these top level "CEO" calibre fighting men. This is what the story is about. How a group of men can be handed the task to undertake this serious mission and just do it, almost flawlessly. (The HILO did crash for some reason). I would recommend it. And I did have to listen over and over more than a few times the thump thump thump of those few rounds that were actually the ones that rid the world of bin laden. Yes, the book is worth a listen for those seconds alone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Shadow of the Banyan: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Vaddey Ratner
    • Narrated By Greta Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (207)

    For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus. Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood - the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father.

    Melinda says: "A Terrible Tale from A Beautiful Storywriter"
    "Unfathomable depths of sadness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Beautiful and horrific all at once and combined. The almost unimaginable horrors this small child had to live through, that most humans could not comprehend, are told in exquisite and often poetic detail. This is a story of a dismantling of a country and a society, and the family that she loses can almost be seen as a metaphor for the entire four years of the reign of terror the Khmer Rouge.

    Often times disturbing, this might not be everyone. But it is like a history lesson, and a lesson and example as to the inhumanity that is still contained within humanity.

    The narration is very good, but just a little lacking, considering the drama there was to work with in the story. But I enjoyed it, and it has taken a few days of reflection before I could attempt this review, for the simple fact that the story is haunting me and will for a while.

    Thank you Vaddey Rutner for being so brave to retell this story. The strength you showed just surviving those horrors lives on. You are a special human being.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson
    • Narrated By Kevin Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2320)
    Performance
    (2165)
    Story
    (2176)

    Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history.

    Mike says: "Enthralling and authentic story of valor in combat"
    "Sorry, it is so bad I can't even listen to it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Of all the narrators doing audiobooks this guy is the hands down the worst. It gets so irritating that I wonder if I can ever buy another audio book. Every word he ends with a period.
    Like: "We. Started. The approach. To. Kandahar. The. Location. ...." you get the idea. For some reason he has to stop for a second after each word, so you expect the sentence to end. I tried four times to get into this story and each time I gave up wanting to delete the file.
    I am a big fan of audiobooks, and I have told many people about the advantages of this format. But this is a bad example. Sorry to say, but it sucks.
    The story might be OK but I'll never know, the narrator is so irritating I would rather... (fill in the worst thing you can think of here...) than listen to this.
    I only wish you could leave NO stars on the performance level. One is waaaay too much.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Option: Mitch Rapp Series

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2273)
    Performance
    (1894)
    Story
    (1878)

    CIA counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp falls prey to government forces with an agenda of their own after Dr. Irene Kennedy is named the successor to dying CIA Director Thomas Stansfield—a choice that enrages many inside the world’s most powerful intelligence agency. Her detractors will resort to extreme measures to prevent her from taking the reins—which makes Rapp an expendable asset. But Mitch Rapp is no one’s pawn, and he will stop at nothing to find out who has set him up.

    William says: "A great novel nearly ruined by the reader."
    "Running out of ideas for a plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the first two, and even liked the next two, but I almost feel sorry for the author having to pump these out with a cookie cutter. Can you say 'formula'? Had a tough time getting though it and can see that the ideas are done, gone, finished. How many ways can you shoot a guy 'between the eyebrows" with a suppressed MP3 or whatever. Seems like he got tired of trying to invent muslim names so he turned this story onto itself and someone from the inside the CIA has to kill the hero. But not after, of course, he has to rescue the fair maiden. I guess the superhero Mitch has killed off all the middle eastern terrorists.
    But, for all you reading this that have not been through at least three or four of this series, it is great, go for it, just don't OD on Mitch and Dr. Kennedy and become bitter like me. Quit at four, or five.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Treasure Island

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (604)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (392)

    Robert Louis Stevenson's cherished, unforgettable adventure magically captures the thrill of a sea voyage and a treasure hunt through the eyes of its teenage protagonist, Jim Hawkins. Crossing the Atlantic in search of the buried cache, Jim and the ship's crew must brave the elements and a mutinous charge led by the quintessentially ruthless pirate Long John Silver. Brilliantly conceived and splendidly executed, it is a novel that has seized the imagination of generations of adults and children alike.

    Jessica Kos says: "Wonderful!"
    "A timeless classic, with a gifted narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Within a few moments you realize this is something special. The same classic enjoyed years ago, but brought to life in full measure in the hands of the amazing Alfred Molina. A bedtime story told by a master narrator, an actor. Of all the audio books you might listen to in a year, this will either be the best, or among the best. What a treat. Every moment. Thank you Mr. Molina.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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