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Stephen

NAPLES, FL, United States | Member Since 2012

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 221 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
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  • Assassin's Code: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1528)
    Performance
    (1433)
    Story
    (1433)

    When Joe Ledger and Echo Team rescue a group of American college kids held hostage in Iran, the Iranian government then asks them to help find six nuclear bombs planted in the Mideast oil fields. These stolen WMDs will lead Joe and Echo Team into hidden vaults of forbidden knowledge, mass-murder, betrayal, and a brotherhood of genetically-engineered killers with a thirst for blood.

    Melinda says: "Hang On To Your Shorts!"
    "Too many "Interludes"..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ray Porter IS Joe Ledger to me, so any Ledger book her reads, I am buying! That said, this book is a big disaapointment. JUST when the action gets moving and you think you are the cusp of figuring things out, BAM, a stupid 'interlude' pops up. These interludes add NOTHING to the story that could not have been done in a single prologue. They are too distracting from the arc of the story, and by the time we are brought back to Joe and Echo team, too much time has elapsed and the momentum is lost. I don't know why Jonathan Maberry loves these 'interludes' but they really need to go. A story like this, and others of its ilk, relies on momentum and suspense--not idiotic forays into times way past, and which have very little to do with the story at hand. Next time, Jonathan, do this sort of thing in a prologue and let the story move! If I was reading this on my kindle, I would have returned it for credit after the first 6 interludes. Had this been a paperback I was reading, I'd have shredded it. Dreck.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black House

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Stephen King, Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (629)
    Story
    (634)

    Twenty years ago, a boy named Jack Sawyer traveled to a parallel universe called the Territories to save his mother and her “Twinner” from an agonizing death that would have brought cataclysm to the other world. Now Jack is a retired Los Angeles homicide detective living in the nearly nonexistent hamlet of Tamarack, Wisconsin. He has no recollection of his adventures in the Territories....

    Brian says: "Jack Sawyer delivers"
    "Extremely Unsatisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I don't think anything could save this stroy, but a different narrator might help. I stopped listening after three hours. Frank Muller is NOT what I think of when I think of a performing narrator.


    What could Stephen King and Peter Straub have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    This was a disappointment, as I have enjoyed both authors immensely over the years. I loved jointly-written book The Talisman, as well as the books both have written separately. Black House, to me, was hard to follow and gave me a feeling of disconnect from what the authors may have intended.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His delivery was too mellifluous. Too many times he spoke in hushed tones when the story line did not warrant it. He was also too breathy. There was one line that I did like: "Case closed, game over, zip up your fly..." but from the 3 hours I listened to before I shut it down and deleted it from my iPhone, that is the only line I remember.


    What character would you cut from Black House?

    All of them.


    Any additional comments?

    Buy this if you must,but don't blame me if you don't like it...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 12th of Never

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    Overall
    (738)
    Performance
    (628)
    Story
    (634)

    Lindsay Boxer's beautiful baby is born! But after only a week at home with her new daughter, Lindsay is forced to return to work to face two of the biggest cases of her career. A rising star football player for the San Francisco 49ers is the prime suspect in a grisly murder. At the same time, Lindsay is confronted with the strangest story she's ever heard: An eccentric English professor has been having vivid nightmares about a violent murder and he's convinced is real.

    Hilary says: "Wow - this is bad! Even for the WMC Series!!!"
    "VERY Poor storyline, annoying characterizations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Where to start...? Ok. It sucked. I listened to the end, because I did want to know what happened, but the story was poorly drawn, EVERY ONE of the characters were written as annoyingly insipid morons. There is NO way Richie Conklin would be a real cop. He's too stupid, in this book anyway. The story arc about Lindsey's baby was gratuitous and really had no place in this book. The storyline about the professor was patently irritating. Patterson either should stop putting his name on this dreck, or hire better "Co-Authors", but we all know JP doesn't write a word of these co-written books. He just puts his name on them to sell them. I think the WMC has run it's course. Retire the force.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Private Berlin

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Mark Sullivan
    • Narrated By January LaVoy, Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (409)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (346)

    Chris Schneider is a superstar agent at Private Berlin, Germany headquarters for the world's most powerful investigation firm. He keeps his methods secret as he tackles Private's most high-profile cases - and when Chris suddenly disappears, he becomes Private Berlin's most dangerous investigation yet. Mattie Engel is another top agent at Private Berlin, gorgeous and ruthlessly determined - and she's also Chris's ex. Mattie throws herself headfirst into finding Chris, following leads to the three people Chris was investigating when he vanished....

    Larry says: "Even as pulp fiction, really a bad book"
    "Not Up To Standard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have loved the previous "Private" books, this one, not so much. I should have read it rather than listen to it. The writing is very poor, for a Patterson Novel. And yes, I know Patterson didn't write a word of it. His 'co-author' is the true author of these books, but he did put his name on it, and the Patterson name carries certain expectations. Those were not met this time out.

    There were a number of disconnects: one of the investigators wondering if a soccer player, theretofore not mentioned in connection with the victim, could have been responsible for the situation. Another disconnect was the description of the investigator's son as being 'intuitive about his mother's moods--when all he did was make a logical connection due to the presence of a cat in the house. And his happiness ran counter to her sad mood. How is THAT intuitive? A third disconnect concerns a list the investigator found at the victim's house, which she hadn't read until later, yet she already knew that the victim was supposed to be seeing the soccer player--before she read the list! I am trying not to give away too much, but I have to point out the victim had been 'missing' for quite sometime, and the last time the investigator saw him was weeks ago, in the timeline of the book. So... how is it possible that she makes these undocumented connections? I'll tell you how... High School level writing and plot development.

    As for the performance, even though there is a man (Ari Filakos) and a woman (January Lavoy) AND Ari DOES voice a man in the same segment that January is voicing the women, for some inexplicable reason, January gives voice to Jack Morgan, who comes off sounding like a female bobybuilder with a headcold. She also voices her partner who sounds as you would expect "Moose" to have sounded in the old Archie comic books.

    I am too far into this story to stop now, I want to see how this is resolved, but this is NOT Private's finest hour. Though the storyline is compelling...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4304)
    Performance
    (3250)
    Story
    (3256)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Chilling storyline, with many parallels for today."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Alas, Babylon again? Why?

    Yes. Besides Will Patton's excellent vocalizations, the compelling storyline would bring me back to listen again. I would have to give it time, but it is one I would revisit. I may actually read the book.


    What other book might you compare Alas, Babylon to and why?

    Failsafe. But only for the chilling effect of the thought of Nuclear Annilhilation. The stories are different in scope and effect, but the considerations they dredge up are timeless. How would YOU react in either situation? What would YOUR thoughts, expectations, realities and future be?


    What does Will Patton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Will Patton gives each character, not just a voice, but he imparts personality and depth to each person. He makes them real. I listen to many books, and have a number of favorite narrators, but Will Patton stands alone in his ability to create a scene with his voice. Through Will's intonations and inflections, you can SEE the town, the people, the various homes; stores; offices, etc... In his readings of James Lee Burkes 'Dave Robicheaux' series, you can FEEL the heat and humidity of the bayou on a sweltering summer day. You can see the moss hanging from the cypress trees. You can smell the fetid stench of a marsh... he is no less successful in 'Alas, Babylon.' I will buy any audiobook that Will Patton narrates. In fact, he is my first search when looking for a new audiobook.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but being that I listen while driving, by necessity, I listen in short segments. But that only serves to make me want to listen all the more next time I am in the car.


    Any additional comments?

    When listening to this book... try, TRY to imagine this happening today. We are so much more dependent on our lifelines: cell phones; ipads; laptops and such. They serve to isolate us from the realities of life. They are our escape, actually, from those realities. A catastrophe as unimaginable as the one in 'Alas, Babylon' is a reality from which there IS no escape.How would YOU cope?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Panther

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2088)
    Performance
    (1764)
    Story
    (1756)

    Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, have been posted overseas to Sana'a, Yemen - one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East. While there, they will be working with a small team to track down one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole bombing: a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative known as The Panther. Ruthless and elusive, he's wanted for multiple terrorist acts and murders - and the U.S. government is determined to bring him down, no matter the cost.

    John says: "Exciting Nelson DeMille novel with great narration"
    "Great Story, weak performance..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Panther?

    The storyline was very compelling. I enjoy pretty much every Nelson DeMille novel, as he writes such involved plots, forcing you to be sharp to keep up.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the pairing of John Corey and Paul Brenner. I hope these two team up again, soon.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Scott Brick?

    I did NOT like Scott's performance on this one. He was trying to give John a New York Accent, but it was spotty at best. And in an annoying way. I don't even know what accent he was trying to impart.... sounded Brooklyn with a mix of Boston and Mid-west. Very confusing. I will say he did great with the Middle Eastern accents. I have liked other Scott Brick performances, notably as Aloysius Pendergast. In that series, he does a commendable New Orleans accent. But this particular performance left me annoyed and unhappy.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. Way too long for that!


    Any additional comments?

    Yes... While I find John Corey an interesting character, Nelson DeMille had too heavy a hand with the sarcasm, facetiousness and general smart-ass commentary the mark John Corey's character. It was distracting in many cases to hear smart-ass comments in rapid succession. And the OVER use of the word "right" sometimes 4 times in a 15-minute section of the book... well, I nearly stopped listening. The John Corey of this book would have been justifiably shot by Kate by the second chapter, and no jury in the world would convict her. Once the action got started (which was WAY too late in the story for my tastes) the sarcasm, etc. was used sparsely. I think a good editor could have saved a couple hours off the reading of this book by cutting the "right" and sarcasm, etc. down to more normal levels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Six Years

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2946)
    Performance
    (2541)
    Story
    (2556)

    Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for...but she is not Natalie....

    G. House Sr. says: "Obsession, mystery, and you're hooked!"
    "The WORST effort from Coben.. EVER."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    No one with a brain.


    What could Harlan Coben have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    There is nothing to recommend about this dreck. The 'hero' is a mentally unbalanced, obsessive delving into something that is none of his business. The plot is contrived, the story is annoyingly stupid and the way this loser Fisher is portrayed is embarrassing. I stopped listening after about 10 chapters. I couldn't take it anymore. What Harlan Coben could have done was never publish this farce. I have loved everything else Coben has written, but had this been my first exposure to Coben, it would certainly have been my last.


    What didn’t you like about Scott Brick’s performance?

    I generally like Scott Brick, but here he portrays his character as a sniveling, obsessed idiot. The whiny quality with which Scott read this character was grating, and part of why I stopped listening. Scott did a fantastic job on 'Still Life With Crows' to hear him do THIS crap... well, in my opinion, it was not a good career move.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Nope. None that I can think of.


    Any additional comments?

    Can I get a refund?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I, Michael Bennett: Michael Bennett, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge
    • Narrated By Bobby Cannavale, Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (614)
    Performance
    (518)
    Story
    (522)

    Detective Michael Bennett arrests an infamous Mexican crime lord in a deadly chase that leaves Bennett's lifelong friend, Hughie McDonough, dead. From jail, the prisoner vows to rain epic violence down upon New York City - and to get revenge on Michael Bennett. To escape the chaos, Bennett takes his 10 kids and their beautiful nanny, Mary Catherine, on a much-needed vacation to his family's cabin near Newburgh, New York. But instead of the calm and happy town he remembers, they step into a nightmare.

    JACKIE says: "Disappointing"
    "Exceedingly Poor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better story line. This one made Michael Bennett seem to be an ambulating idiot. He can't figure out the most obvious of clues. And Mary Catherine is drawn as a selfish, self-involved person. Not the Mary Catherine of the past novels. I found myself tuning out most of the time, having to rewind and try to follow the story arc.


    What was most disappointing about James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge ’s story?

    You want me to name ONE thing that was most disappointing? How about that I actually bought this dreck? The writing was poor and the characterizations were farcical. Except for Seamus, the other major characters were ploddingly drawn, and insipid.


    What about Bobby Cannavale and Jay Snyder ’s performance did you like?

    I liked Bobby Canavale's performance, he captures New York perfectly. Too bad he was saddled with such a poor excuse for a story. Jay Snyder was not memorable to me.


    What character would you cut from I, Michael Bennett?

    It wouldn't help to cut a character or characters. The book was not worth the money I paid for it.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope this is the last Michael Bennett book, at least it most likely will be for me. I was hugely disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swan Peak: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1336)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (394)

    Swan Peak finds Detective Robicheaux far from his New Iberia roots, attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife, and his buddy Clete Purcell have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina.

    Deborah says: "Christmas/Birthday in July"
    "A Good Trip, Ruined..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Swan Peak rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Certainly in the top 5. I resisted, for years, reading James Lee Burke, now I am thoroughly hooked. In his prose, Burke brings the landscape to life, regardless if it is bayou Teche; downtown New Orleans or the vistas of Montana--you feel as if you are walking the same path as Dave, Clete and Molly.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Swan Peak?

    The image of Clete Purcell trussed up to that tree, doused with gasoline. Vivid descriptions, I could smell the gas.


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    Everything. I have NO idea where Clete's voice comes from, and Will's atonal inflections renders every voice memorable. Clete's voice, however, conveys all the Jack Daniels and cigarettes the man has ingested; every hooker he slept with; every wife he ran off; and every bad guy he gave what was coming to them... that is one inspired voice, Big Mon.


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

    Even in Montana, things are not always as they seem...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life with Crows: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1860)
    Performance
    (1585)
    Story
    (1572)

    For the first time in unabridged audio! A small Kansas town has turned into a killing ground. Is it a serial killer, a man with the need to destroy? Or is it a darker force, a curse upon the land? Amid golden cornfields, FBI Special Agent Pendergast discovers evil in the blood of America's heart.

    Polly says: "SCARY, WEIRD, ENGAGING"
    "A fascinating look into the mind of crazy people.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Still Life with Crows in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling, somewhat predicatble


    What did you like best about this story?

    The introduction of Corrie Swanson. I had listened to 'Two Graves' prior to this, and had no idea where this character came from, Also, her father had a different name in 'Two Graves' than the one used in 'Still Life...'


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Excellent, as always. I started this series with Rene Auberjonis, and considered him the penultimate Pendergast... until I heard Scott Brick in Brimstone. Now, I will only listen to the Pendergast books narrated by Scott or Rene. Preference to Scott.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It might have been, except I use my audiobooks for travel, keeps me engaged on the road.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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