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S. Burrows

Namaste

Member Since 2014

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 320 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2015
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  • Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Peter Zuckerman, Amanda Padoan
    • Narrated By David Doersch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (80)

    When Edmund Hillary first conquered Mt. Everest, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was at his side. Indeed, for as long as Westerners have been climbing the Himalaya, Sherpas have been the unsung heroes in the background. In August 2008, when eleven climbers lost their lives on K2, the world’s most dangerous peak, two Sherpas survived. They had emerged from poverty and political turmoil to become two of the most skillful mountaineers on earth. Based on unprecedented access and interviews, Buried in the Sky reveals their astonishing story for the first time.

    Eneida Paulo says: "Absolutely gripping!!"
    "Great, great book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the very best books I've ever read. Gives the story of mountain climbing from the perspective of the Sherpa, without whom Westerners would never have climbed the highest peaks in the world but who are mostly unsung heroes. Excellent performance by narrator as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno, Scott Brick
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (147)

    From best-selling author Jon Krakauer, a stark, powerful, meticulously reported narrative about a series of sexual assaults at the University of Montana - stories that illuminate the human drama behind the national plague of campus rape.

    David Powell says: "Extremely Compelling Fact Based,Learned a Lot"
    "Good but not really up to Krakauer's usual..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have great respect for Jon Krakauer as a writer, and this is the first book I've given less than 5 stars. I don't know if the issue was him or the subject matter, to be honest, but it felt awfully repetitive pretty quickly. Then again, it may have been the fact that there were so many cases that were so similar, and that was the point.

    It was obvious that Krakauer generally took the victims' sides in most cases. I would have too, until hearing in some of them how little it took for them to claim to not have given consent. Also, the role that alcohol played seemed to be downplayed as well.

    A lot was discussed about the role of "trauma" in memory, but almost nothing about the role of extreme drunkenness. In at least some of the cases, including those where boys were convicted and their lives ruined, the girls' memories of whether they had given consent seemed to have been based more on just how drunk or high they had been at the time than on reality.

    Perhaps I'm being a bit judgmental, but when a couple are making out and she is all for it, removing her clothes and his, then claims later she resisted at or after that point, I have to wonder just how much of her memory might be faulty. Granted, the way the world worked when I was young, when the fault was ALWAYS the girl's, and the word "rape" never entered the landscape, even in cases of gang-rape and other obviously non-consensual sex, were wrong and needed to change. However, I wonder if the pendulum has gone a little too far.

    Getting back to the book itself, it's solid work, but I expect more from Krakauer. So, 4 stars rather than 5.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Eden: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Chris Beckett
    • Narrated By Matthew Frow, Jayne Entwistle, Ione Butler, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (347)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (314)

    On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest's lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it. The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say - and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.

    Amazon Customer says: "Hope to see a sequel soon"
    "Truly Original Sci-Fi!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As much science-fiction as I've read and/or listened to over the years, rarely do I come upon something with truly original ideas in it. Dark Eden combines concepts of people necessarily inter-breeding, a truly original world with well-fleshed out, complicated characters, and it hints at more to come.

    A great deal of science-fiction has Young Adult relationships and characters, which can get tedious, but the sex relationships in this book are instead quite mature without feeling pornographic.

    Dealing with the topic of creating an entire population through interbreeding only two people touches on creation myths, and you get a bit of a feel that this is their creation myth while at the same time factual.

    Enough loose ends were left that I can see a sequel on the way---I hope that is the case.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gun Street Girl: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel, The Troubles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (332)

    Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point-blank range and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances.

    Top of Mind says: "Another McKinty Gem"
    "Even better than his previous work!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As an An/Irish person of Catholic descent, U find the Troubles fascinating. McKinney brings them to life with unforgettable characters like Seam Duffy. Gerard Doyle is a wonderful narràtor and nails the difficult Belfast accent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Hallgrimur Helgason
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (117)

    With some 66 hits under his belt, Tomislav Bokšic, or Toxic, has a flawless record as hitman for the Croatian mafia in New York. That is, until he kills the wrong guy and is forced to flee the States, leaving behind the life he knows and loves. Suddenly, he finds himself on a plane hurtling toward Reykjavik disguised as American televangelist Father Friendly. With no means of escape from this island devoid of gun shops, this country with absolutely no tradition for contract killing, he is forced to come to terms with his bloody past and reevaluate his future, to tragicomic effect.

    Jane says: "Some find this humorous,"
    "Great narration, but couldn't stick with the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you can get past the murder-as-comedy mindset, then the first half of the book was pretty funny. About halfway through, however, it turns into an entirely different story, and I couldn't tell if it was trying to turn into an earnest redemption story, a religious tome, or what. Writing in first person always takes the risk of losing the reader, especially when so much of the content goes on only in the narrator's mind. I really tried to stick with it, but finally had to put it down, as I was becoming bored silly. The narration and accents were spot-on, of course, since the narrator is Luke Daniels and he can probably make the phone book interesting. He has a great ear for dialect and foreign accents as well. Maybe a solid C-

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1455)
    Performance
    (1248)
    Story
    (1259)

    Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

    SoCalBonnie says: "It won me over completely"
    "Great dystopian world. Excellent narration as well"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lately I've discovered a number of what are billed as Young Adult dystopian stories; the Hunger Games books, the Giver Quartet, and now the world of Unwind. It's almost too bad that they're billed as YA, as that might prevent some older readers like myself from discovering them.

    Once you accept the basic premise of the storyline---that a civil war fought over abortion has resulted in a world in which abortion is illegal but has been replaced by "unwinding," the dismantling for parts of some teen-agers from 13-18---everything else hangs together quite well.

    China has already discovered that, once you accept that the bodies of those executed are fair game for organ harvest, the desire for such organs and need for more and more bodies results in more crimes deserving the death penalty.

    The narration is also excellent, with each voice fleshed out well and in character. I've so far only listened to Books 1 and 1.5, both of which were great, and am beginning on Book 2. I hope they remain as good as they have been so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Donnie Eichar
    • Narrated By Donnie Eichar
    Overall
    (371)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (339)

    In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.

    Bruce says: "Fascinating and compassionate investigation"
    "Mysterious cold case, in Russia no less!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like true stories, mysteries, adventurers, novels about Russia, and cold cases. So, though I'd never heard of this case before, it filled pretty much all those categories. The story is this: In 1959, at the height of the Cold War, 9 Russian engineering students go hiking and skiing in the northern Ural Mountains, in winter. They are all found dead in the snow near their campsite after failing to return to school, which, by the way, is in Siberia near a bunch of Gulag prison camps. So who or what happened to them? Was it escaped prisoners who killed them, or did they happen on classified military tests for which they had to be silenced? Or aliens, or animals, etc, etc. Using the records from that time and modern science, an American journalist attempts to solve the mystery. Anything more I could tell you would involved spoilers, so I won't. It's not a GREAT book, but a good one, hence four stars instead of five. I also don't really like authors reading their own work, but this one does a pretty good job. He goes into a great deal of detail in what life was like during those years for ordinary Russian citizens, something I find fascinating; that glimpse under the curtain into a closed society to which I would otherwise not know anything about. Historical non-fiction and docu-drama, when the background is accurate, I find interesting because you hear about the lives of the famous, but not the people who would be your counterparts in a very different society. And of course, since the Soviet Union no longer exists, the only way to get a glimpse of ordinary Soviet lives in through work like this. Very solid work---if you like any of those genres; mystery, other culture, etc., you'll find it entertaining. Also, though the author goes back and forth in time between the hikers' journey and his journey visiting where they died, he does it well and it never gets confusing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    Overall
    (4523)
    Performance
    (4063)
    Story
    (4060)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Amazon Customer says: "Spoiler-free review below - Amazing book!"
    "A new take on an old plotline."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd never before read a coming of age novel with zombies, but that's pretty much what this is. I can't say much because it's too difficult to avoid spoilers, and this book has a LOT of plot twists, Couldn't rate it five stars simply because the zombie genre is so terribly overworked, but it's close to a 5-star read. Most of the characters are well-written and three-dimensional, especially the main character, Melanie, a very unusual little girl.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dead I Well May Be

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1258)
    Performance
    (694)
    Story
    (687)

    Young Michael, an illegal immigrant escaping the troubles in Northern Ireland is strong and fearless and clever, just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a crime boss, to join a gang of Irish thugs struggling against the rising Dominican powers in Harlem and the Bronx. The time is pre-Giuliani New York, when crack rules the city, squatters live furtively in ruined buildings, and hundreds are murdered each month.

    Robert says: "What an amazing book"
    "McKinty Totally Rocks!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not usually a fan of the mystery-thriller genre, but love Irish authors, so when introduced to these books, I was sucked in and couldn't get out until I'd listened to the whole series. Gerard Doyle is a wonderful narrator, with a great Irish brogue without sounding like a caricature. Two things about this series, especially, you might want to know. One is that there is a really high level of violence, with an awfully lot of dead bodies. I'm not judging that, since this genre tends to be like that, but it does get close to going over the top a time or two. Second is that you want to listen to, or read, his serial books in order or you'll find yourself totally confused.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Godmakers

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (15)

    On the edge of a war-weary and devastated galaxy, charismatic Lewis Orne has landed on Hamal. His assignment: To detect any signs of latent aggression in this planet's population. To his astonishment, he finds that his own latent extrasensory powers have suddenly blossomed, and he is invited to join the company of "gods" on this planet - and the people here place certain expectations on their gods.

    philly says: "The Little Dune - Just wish it was longer..."
    "Good oldie from Frank Herbert"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just discovered that Audible has most of Frank Herbert's older, non-Dune books. Because his Dune series is SO famous, and has been extended by his son, some of his other work fades into the background. Most, if not all, of his older work deserves the same fame that the Dune books do. I'm glad I discovered that Audible has them in audiobook form. The narration is excellent, as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nightwing

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (226)

    A community in the southwestern United States falls prey to a plague of vampire bats with a virus which compels them to feed on everything in their path. Martin Cruz Smith, author of the best-selling novels, Gorky Park and Polar Star, mixes Indian mythology with virology in this masterful thriller.

    S. Burrows says: "Excellent book."
    "Excellent book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this because I'd read in a review that Martin Cruz Smith had written some excellent books prior to his Detective Arkady Renko books and that he was quite talented at getting the nuances of other cultures correct. This was the first book I read of his other than the Renko books, and the characters were a Hopi Indian and a white expert on vampire bats. I don't know enough about Hopi culture to know for sure if he had that culture down accurately, but it certainly seemed so. Again, good narration as well.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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