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Sharron

Member Since 2006

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 237 ratings
  • 413 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Burglars Can't Be Choosers

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (69)

    In this first in a series of wickedly funny mysteries, best-selling author Lawrence Block introduces Bernie Rhodenbarr, sometimes burglar, sometimes sleuth. Pulling only an occasional, very discreet job, Bernie manages to maintain his comfortable New York City apartment and keep his unorthodox vocation a closely-guarded secret. Every burglar knows never to trust anonymous phone calls. But when the caller offers easy money for an hour's work, Bernie can't ignore the job.

    Bodiccea says: "Wonderful Wise-Ass Humour"
    "Bernie Rhodenbarr kinda grows on ya!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Lawrence Block and/or Richard Ferrone?

    Will definitely read more in the Bernie series


    If you’ve listened to books by Lawrence Block before, how does this one compare?

    Much better than the two Matt Scudder novels I've read


    What aspect of Richard Ferrone’s performance would you have changed?

    None! He did an excellent job of differentiating characters' voices without going overboard, even to the extent of giving women distinction. Pacing was just right, too.


    Do you think Burglars Can't Be Choosers needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes, I'm looking forward to finding the rest of the series. The review I read described Bernie as a


    Any additional comments?

    Bernie is a thief, and unashamed of it. In fact he's proud of his professionalism. At the outset I couldn't imagine admiring, respecting, or even liking such a character. But by the end of this short book I saw Bernie in a much more wholesome light, and wanted to know him better and hear more of his adventures. That is a LOT for an author to accomplish in the first book in a series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 13 1/2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Nevada Barr
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    In Jackson Square in the French Quarter a tarot card reader told Polly Deschamps she would be a success. Thirty years later, Polly is a respected professor of literature with good friends and her own home - a safe life for her and her two daughters. Butcher Boy, released on his 17th birthday, shook the snow from his boots and headed south. New Orleans, a Mecca for runaways then and now, offers sanctuary but never forgiveness.

    Douglas says: "Very dark"
    "Huge disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a huge disappointment for my family! We've enjoyed every one of Barr's Anna Pigeon series over the years and looked forward to hearing this one. A few lines of dialog in the first chapter leapt out at me and ruined whatever suspense/mystery might have carried the story. I wondered later if perhaps the reader, knowing the whole story at the time he read aloud, might have tried too hard to make a couple of comments seem unimportant. Something in his delivery made me ask a question and then mentally answer it. Not until the last chapter did the author give the answer -- the same answer -- but by then I was too bored to care.

    The characters were not very compelling. Good people, striving to succeed and live a good live in spite of horrendous childhood experiences...shouldn't it be fairly easy to make them appealing? And the villain was one-dimensionally evil, with no real background on why he was that way.

    Even a favorite author falters once in awhile, but I will not seek out any future non-series books Ms. Barr chooses to publish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Two Graves

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1962)
    Performance
    (1719)
    Story
    (1726)

    After his wife, Helen, is brazenly abducted before his eyes, Special Agent Pendergast furiously pursues the kidnappers, chasing them across the country and into Mexico. But then, things go terribly, tragically wrong; the kidnappers escape; and a shattered Pendergast retreats to his New York apartment and shuts out the world. But when a string of bizarre murders erupts across several Manhattan hotels, NYPD Lieutenant D'Agosta asks his friend Pendergast for help.

    G. House Sr. says: "Whiplash from the emotional rollercaster"
    "Disappointing hash"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Two Graves
    Pendergast # (2013 addition to this mystery series)
    Unabridged audio

    Impeccable narration by René Auberjunois could not overcome my disappointment at this implausible, fragmented, and frustrating "visit" with Special Agent Pendergast. Three or four separate plots--and I do mean separate--never connected the characters we usually enjoy as an ensemble. Pendergast was in South America, Corey Swanson was in Kansas, Constance Green was following her own story line, and NYPD Detective Vincent D'Agosta was mere window-dressing. None of the plots overlapped or worked together, yet none was strong enough to stand alone. They are not improved by being bound together in one volume.

    I usually enjoy suspending disbelief, at least a little bit, when going on an adventure with Pendergast. But the main plot, focusing on him, was a deadly combination of "timeworn" and "ridiculous."

    Pendergast remains one of my favorite continuing characters, and I will most likely read the next novel as soon as it's available. By then I hope the bitter taste of this one will have dissipated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death of Yesterday

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (95)

    When a local woman tells Sergeant Hamish Macbeth that she doesn't remember what happened the previous evening, he doesn't begin to worry. She had been out drinking, after all, and he'd prefer not to be bothered with such an arrogant and annoying woman. But when her body is discovered, Hamish is forced to investigate a crime that the only known witness - now dead - had forgotten.

    Sharron says: "Like visiting an old friend"
    "Like visiting an old friend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hamish Macbeth #29? (2013 addition to the mystery series)

    After the first moments of the narrator speaking over harsh jangly intro music, this book was wonderful! I enjoyed Mr. Malcolm's rendition of various accents, and he was able to differentiate among characters without making any of them sound too extreme. The story was up to Beaton's high standards for this series; each book seems like a visit to Lochdubh to see old friends. Having read the first 28 books in only a few months, I am now reduced to waiting a year for each new addition, and it's difficult!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Malice of Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Michael Ennis
    • Narrated By Adrian Paul, Carlotta Montanari, John Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (34)

    Against a teeming canvas of Borgia politics, Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci come together to unmask an enigmatic serial killer, as we learn the secret history behind one of the most controversial works in the western canon, The Prince. Traveling across an Italy torn apart by war, they will enter a labyrinth of ancient superstition and erotic obsession to discover at its center a new face of evil - and a truth that will shake the foundations of western civilization.

    Molly Gordon says: "Female narrator is impossible to listen to."
    "Almost impossible to listen to!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a partial review, commenting only on the performance. I hope to be able to find and read a print copy of the book so I can comment on the story as well. The reviews of the story intrigued me, and it sounds as if it could be a good historical fiction thriller.

    But at the moment, I am so put off by the female narrator that I don't think I can continue listening. WHO HIRED THIS WOMAN? She is clearly not a native speaker of the English language; perhaps she is Italian. She almost swallows Italian phrases and proper nouns (as I am guilty of doing with my own name when I introduce myself...because it's so familiar).

    The majority of the text she reads is English, but her incredibly poor pronunciation makes me miss about 1 word in every 5. And since I'm listening on my iPod, I can't back up just a few seconds, I have to jump back to the beginning of a chapter. So I just let her go on and on, wondering if I am getting enough details to follow the story. Even the words I do understand are mangled. For example, the word "purchase" comes out "poor CHASE" with a long A.

    Occasionally I hear a sentence that makes me smile in pleasure at the clever writing, the unexpected phrase that communicates beautifully and adds a bit of humor or insight. That's why I want to read the book in print, now. It just isn't worth it to struggle through this abysmal narration any more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cutting Season: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Attica Locke
    • Narrated By Quincy Tyler Bernstine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (270)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (232)

    Caren Gray manages Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation that sits between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where the past and the present coexist uneasily. The estate's owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction, complete with full-dress re-enactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, a corporation with ambitious plans has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have been growing sugar cane for generations, and now replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property.

    C. Telfair says: "Mystery + Atmosphere = A Definite Winner!"
    "Lackluster second novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After enjoying Attica Locke's first novel, Black Water Rising, I expected another fast-paced, tense, and action-filled story. The Cutting Season was a disappointment in all three areas. Aside from the finding of a body in a shallow grave, everything else in the first 3/4 of the book seemed like background or side-story. Very little happened to advance the plot.

    As I started to listen, I groaned aloud at the narrator's voice. She sounded like a cranky child. But within a few minutes I got used to her, and appreciated her clear diction and the appropriate emotional content of her reading. Quincy Tyler Bernstine's narration actually improved the story.

    A romantic scene seemed to be added for no purpose at all; it gave little insight into the characters beyond making me like them a bit less for their questionable encounter. As with much of the text, it had nothing to do with the plot.

    I have already recommended Black Water Rising to many friends, and will continue to do so, but I've also started adding "but avoid Locke's second book."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch Me: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2347)
    Performance
    (1950)
    Story
    (1961)

    Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant believes that she will be murdered in four days. And she wants Boston’s top detective to handle her death investigation. It will be up close and personal. No evidence of forced entry, no sign of struggle. Charlie tells a chilling story: Each year at 8:00 p.m. on January 21, a woman has died. The victims have been childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire; the motive remains unknown. Now only one friend, Charlie, remains to count down her final hours.

    Vanessa says: "OK but not her best by a long shot"
    "Suspense and Surprises"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "I'm going to be murdered in four days." That got D. D. Warren's attention! As a Boston homicide detective, Warren is not typically called upon to prevent a murder, but that's the request made of her by a mysterious stranger.

    Fast-paced suspenseful story, unfolded in small pieces that the reader can fit together. As more pieces are added, the puzzle has to be rearranged again and again. Just when it all seems clear -- something new! This is the kind of storytelling that appeals to folks who like to figure out "whodunnit" before being told.

    The narrator's speaking voice is pleasant, and she enunciates clearly. However, she read two major characters so similarly that I often couldn't tell them apart. When I finally caught on to who was speaking, I wished I could "turn back a page or two" to review what she had said and what it meant.

    Having heard one D. D. Warren short story, and then this novel, I'm definitely interested enough in Lisa Gardner's writing to seek out more in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Innocent

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Edward Hermann, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1497)
    Performance
    (478)
    Story
    (478)

    The sequel to the genre-defining, landmark best seller Presumed Innocent, Innocent continues the story of Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto who are, once again, 20 years later, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match after the mysterious death of Rusty's wife.

    Suzn F says: "Terrific Book"
    "Sabich-Molto Rematch!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tense and exciting rematch between Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto, 20 years after the events of Turow's PRESUMED INNOCENT (which, cleverly, were not detailed in this story). Nor was the surprise ending of this book given away ahead of time, yet upon hearing it, I knew it fit all the facts. A well-written, fast-paced story expertly narrated by Edward Hermann and Orlagh Cassidy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By David McRaney
    • Narrated By Don Hagen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (854)
    Performance
    (741)
    Story
    (741)

    An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise. You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you're as deluded as the rest of us. But that's OK - delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It's like a psychology class, with all the boring parts taken out, and with no homework. Based on the popular blog of the same name, You Are Not So Smart collects more than 46 of the lies we tell ourselves everyday.

    Christopher says: "It's official, I'm an idiot"
    "Phenomenal! Informative! FUN!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The anecdotes are all familiar -- they've happened to me or I've seen them happen to others. Hearing a logical, scientific explanation was mind-opening. Now I want everyone I love (and many folks I just like a lot) to hear this book, too. I will definitely listen to it more than once.

    Also, this book alerted me to the author's website and blog, where there are many more examples of where human thinking goes astray.

    The author clearly loves his subject, and knows a lot about it. The writing was clear, direct, and very entertaining. The narrator did an excellent job, and was a good match for this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dragonsong: Harper Hall Trilogy, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Anne McCaffrey
    • Narrated By Sally Darling
    Overall
    (1150)
    Performance
    (635)
    Story
    (658)

    Dragonsong is the spellbinding tale of Menolly of Half Circle Hold, a brave young girl who flees her seaside village and discovers the legendary fire lizards of Pern. All her life, Menolly has longed to learn the ancient secrets of the Harpers, the master musicians of Harper Hall. When her stern father denies her the chance to make her dream come true, Menolly runs away from home. Hiding in a cave by the sea, she finds nine magical fire lizards who join her on a breathtaking journey to Harper Hall.

    Euryleia says: "One of my favorites"
    "Great fantasy escape"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Dragonsong: Harper Hall Trilogy, Volume 1?

    Having begged, borrowed & swapped all of McCaffrey's books that were available when I was in college, I got hooked on her writing. It is a real treat to listen to these old stories, read beautifully, and to realize that their appeal lasts for decades. Listening is almost like a visit to Pern.


    What other book might you compare Dragonsong: Harper Hall Trilogy, Volume 1 to and why?

    As the first book in a long-running, mesmerizing series, DRAGONSONG could be compared to Raymond E. Feist's MAGICIAN, and Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER.


    Which character – as performed by Sally Darling – was your favorite?

    Hard to choose from so many, but today it's Master Robinton.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Let your spirit soar on dragon wings!


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps it's a personal preference for the non-high-tech sort of science fiction, but I enjoyed McCaffrey's Pern novels much more than her other work. In fact there's little "science" in the Pern series; I'd call them "fantasy."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ranger: A Quinn Colson Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ace Atkins
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (114)

    Northeast Mississippi: hill country, rugged and notorious for outlaws since the Civil War, where killings are as commonplace as in the Old West. To Quinn Colson, it's home - but not the home he left when he went to Afghanistan. Now an Army Ranger, he returns to a place overrun by corruption, and finds his uncle, the county sheriff, dead - a suicide, he's told, but others whisper murder.

    Gary says: "A New Favorite"
    "Couldn't Connect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Ranger?

    I chose this book based on a strong recommendation by a friend, who rarely leads me astray. Unfortunately I found little to like about it.


    What was most disappointing about Ace Atkins’s story?

    The lead character (the Ranger himself) was not likable, certainly not admirable. For a story to succeed, the author has to give the reader something to connect with, someone to root for, but this connection was missing for me.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, the narrator did a good job.


    What character would you cut from The Ranger?

    The core group of characters were all essential to the plot. Rather than cutting any, I'd like to see them all made more interesting, more appealing.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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