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Sal

BROOKLYN, NY, United States | Member Since 2004

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 436 ratings
  • 514 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Thomas Cahill
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (216)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    Best selling history writer Thomas Cahill continues his series on the roots of Western civilization with this volume about the contributions of ancient Greece to the development of contemporary culture. Tracing the origin of Greek culture in the migrations of armed Indo-European horsemen into Attica and the Peloponnesian peninsula, he follows their progress into the creation of the Greek city-states, the refinement of their machinery of war, and the flowering of intellectual and artistic culture.

    Mike says: "Really enjoyed this Audiobook; a good model"
    "Great read"
    Overall

    A completely enjoyable book. The author and reader give you the overall picture of Ancient Greece. I admired the Greeks before I read this, but now I have a integrated sense of their culture.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2921)
    Performance
    (2565)
    Story
    (2588)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "Hauntingly Deprressing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you ever listen to anything by J. K. Rowling again?

    Yes


    Was The Casual Vacancy worth the listening time?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I just read her two post-Harry Potter novels.

    I read the latest one first: _The Cuckoo's Calling_ by Robert Galbraith (pen name).
    It was a very good murder mystery.
    Rowling is still masterful, building an interesting mystery with good and interesting characters. This is a pleasure to read largely because of her skilled imagery and amazing ability to use simile and metaphor. I hope she brings the main characters back in subsequent mysteries.

    Her first post-HP novel, published under her own name, is called _The Casual Vacancy._ I read it after having read _The Cuckoos's Calling_ and it's probably good that I had not read this first, and the critics' responses to it may be why she published her second post-HP novel under a pen name.
    _The Casual Vacancy_ is *very* well written. The problem is it may be the most hauntingly depressing piece of modern naturalism I've ever read. From the pen of a master like JK Rowling, the result is devastating. As good as it is, I hate it and cannot recommend anyone read it--unless they've at least read this brief warning and still feel up to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Spy

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (615)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (292)

    "In wartime," Winston Churchill wrote, "truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." For Britain's counterintelligence operations, this meant finding the unlikeliest agents imaginable - including a history professor named Alfred Vicary.

    Margaret says: "The Unlikely Spy"
    "A Master is Born"
    Overall

    I tired of waiting for the next Allon installment, so decided to go with this, Silva's first. I was extremely pleased. I don't know if he's done anything this good since. Oh, yes I do; he has, again and again!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The President's Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brian Haig
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (435)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (110)

    Shortly after Army lawyer Sean Drummond starts working for the Office of Special Projects, a CIA cell which handles the most dangerous threats, the White House Chief of Staff is found brutally murdered. A note left by the killer promises more victims, including the President.

    William says: "The President's Assassin--A Killer Read!"
    "95% exposition--yuch!"
    Overall

    I gave this book an extra star because I like Scott Brick's reading. It truly is 95% exposition so you're never drawn in, 4% attempted character development, and 1% plot. I couldn't have cared less about ANY of the characters.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Eldest: The Inheritance Trilogy, Book 2, Volume I

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (133)

    Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspiring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems.

    Robin says: "Entertaining, Enjoyable and a Must Read"
    "Promise unfulfilled"
    Overall

    I loved the first book in this "Trilogy." Alas, the author should've ended with Book One and so should you. Eldest is slow, dull, filled with mind-numbing pointless minutia that takes the story nowhere fast.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Time and Again

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jack Finney
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    When Time and Again was published in 1970, The New York Times hailed it as "a fanciful novel that beautifully blends science fiction, nostalgia, and mystery." Millions of fans agreed, making the book a modern classic. Travel with author Jack Finney back to an incredible world where there are no such things as automobiles, airplanes, computers or television...back to January 1882.

    William R. Creech says: "Good historical fiction"
    "90% nostalgia, 8% romance/adventure,2 % fantasy"
    Overall

    I enjoyed most of this. 90% of it is often excrutiatingly detailed nostalgia/travelogue of 1880s NYC; 8% is fun romance/adventure and 2% is sci-fi/fantasy.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Bees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    Overall
    (2610)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (357)

    Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating memory - the day her mother was killed. When she and her "stand-in-mother," a fierce-hearted black woman named Rosaleen, are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily enters a secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women.

    France says: "Secret Life of Bees"
    "14-year old's journey to self-reliance/self-love"
    Overall

    Told from the eyes and mind of a 14-yo girl, this is a story about the importance of self-reliance, self-love and the dangers of unearned guilt. It is very uplifting and I recommend it to the parents of pre-adolescent girls, although not exclusively to be sure. This story could make you a better, happier parent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Closers: Harry Bosch Series, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2379)
    Performance
    (904)
    Story
    (915)

    In Los Angeles in 1988, a 16-year-old girl disappeared from her home and was later found dead of a gunshot wound to the chest. The death appeared at first to be a suicide, but some of the evidence contradicted that scenario, and detectives came to believe this was in fact a murder. Despite a by-the-book investigation, no one was ever charged.

    Wheelman says: "Thoroughly enjoyable....."
    "Lackadaisical procedural work"
    Overall

    I like The Narrows much much more. This one is straight line procedural detective work by an officer just doing a day's work. Lack of personal motivation throughout this story deadens it. For value-driven characters try a Harlan Coben novel.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Partly Cloudy Patriot

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Sarah Vowell, Conan O'Brien, Seth Green, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1584)
    Performance
    (387)
    Story
    (386)

    Sarah Vowell travels through the American past and investigates the dusty, bumpy roads of her own life. Her essays confront a wide range of subjects, icons, and historical moments: Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton; Canadian Mounties and German Filmmakers; Tom Cruise and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; twins and nerds; the Gettysburg Address, the State of the Union, and George W. Bush's inauguration. The result is an engrossing audiobook, capturing Vowell's memorable wit and her keen social commentary.

    Erik says: "A great listen"
    "Charming, Funny, Loving Look at America"
    Overall

    This is a charming look at America through the eyes of a self-proclaimed nerd and history buff who enjoys reading travel guides. She loves America for all the right reasons; she IS a patriot, although a flawed one. Her flaw lies in her self-imposed liberal guilt. Fortunately, her love for America and its ideals overcome her flaw and makes her praise of America even more poignant.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • To the Nines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (1164)
    Performance
    (478)
    Story
    (472)

    Stephanie Plum may not be the best bounty hunter in beautiful downtown Trenton, but she's pretty darn good at turning bad situations her way...and she always gets her man. Her cousin Vinnie (who's also her boss) has posted bail on Samuel Singh, an illegal immigrant. When the elusive Mr. Singh goes missing, Stephanie is on the case. In a race against time that takes her from the Jersey Turnpike to the Vegas Strip, Stephanie Plum is on the chase of her life.

    Maxine says: "hilarious"
    "Low brow farce"
    Overall

    This is classified as comic thriller mystery. Unfortunately, it's actually farce, yet rarely funny. The mystery is more of a side element to the ridiculous characters and "episodes." I'd call it a waste of time, considering all the better titles that are available.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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