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Susan

Atlanta, GA, United States | Member Since 2001

78
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 89 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • When The Dancing Stopped: The Real Story of the Morro Castle Disaster and Its Deadly Wake

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Brian Hicks
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    In the best-selling tradition of The Devil in the White City, award-winning author Brian Hicks tells the explosive story of the Morro Castle, the elegant luxury liner that burned off the coast of New Jersey on September 7, 1934. The captain died under mysterious circumstances seven hours before his ship caught fire off the New Jersey coast.

    Susan says: "Gripping account of a needless disaster."
    "Gripping account of a needless disaster."
    Overall

    This book caught my eye because I'd heard of the Morro Castle but knew just the basic outlines of the tragedy. I knew a lot of people died when the ship caught fire off the NJ coast, that's about all. I'm about halfway through it now and it's one of those selections that makes me look forward to my commute. The writer carefully paints a vivid picture of the events leading to the tragedy, and from many points of view. We are assured the author based the narrative on testimony, letters and other solid evidence. Trusting that's so, we see yet again that truth truly is stranger than fiction. Who would have thought a captain would choose to never have a fire drill because he didn't want to inconvenience the passengers. Even though it was routine throughout the industry and the passengers actually found the experience rather fun, an exciting little adventure, a comfort to know everyone was prepared in the unlikely event of fire. And who would think it so important that all the woodwork throughout the ship be polished to a high gloss that they regularly soaked all the wood surfaces in an inflammable concoction. And the constellation of events that conspired to leave the ship in the hands of a rookie who didn't think to send out an SOS at the first sign of trouble or turn the vessel out of a 20 knot headwind that was fanning the flames. If this were a movie of a fictional account, I'd have walked out by now. But this is all historical fact. I recommend this one to history buffs.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Becky Ann Baker, John Cullum, Boyd Gaines, and others
    Overall
    (178)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (162)

    The first collection of stories Stephen King has published since Nightmares & Dreamscapes nine years ago, Everything's Eventual includes one O. Henry Prize winner, two other award winners, four stories published by The New Yorker, and "Riding the Bullet", King's original e-book, which attracted over half a million online readers and became the most famous short story of the decade. Intense, eerie, and instantly compelling, they announce the stunningly fertile imagination of perhaps the greatest storyteller of our time.

    Samir Quntar "al-Muti" says: "A Really Great Audiobook"
    "A great book for the beach or beside the pool."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely would recommend this title. I listened to it while on vacation and some of these tales will haunt me ever after.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This was a collection of short stories. Everything's Eventual, the title story about a geek with an unusual ability to create deadly emails, was brilliantly told, unfolded. The story about the boy trying to hitch-hike to a neighboring town to visit his sick mother presented that character with an unthinkable choice. The one about the road virus was terrifying. All of the stories included were good.


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

    Some interpretation of the characters, I suppose. Hearing someone read to you is comforting and ensures comprehension, narrators in this collection were not intrusive and did a good job of interpreting the characters.


    If you could take any character from Everything's Eventual out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The email writing geek. I want to hear more about the glyphs he can construct.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2253)
    Performance
    (2122)
    Story
    (2121)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Marci says: "King and Patton create a winning combo"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I usually enjoy King's work but this is just another run of the mill detective story, I cannot even refer to it as a thriller. Nothing memorable about this book. I kept waiting for something to develop, and there was some tension near the end (will they stop him?!?), but not the interesting plot I usually find in King's work.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The Troop, if I can stand to listen to the gore and gag.


    Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

    Brady Hartsfield was splendidly captured by Will Patton. He's an EXCELLENT narrator, easy to listen do, does an extraordinary job changing voices without the hysterical overacting you find with some narrators like Scott Brick.


    Did Mr. Mercedes inspire you to do anything?

    Pray that Mr. King's muse returns.


    Any additional comments?

    King's prose is engaging and this isn't a bad read if you keep your expectations low.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2701)
    Performance
    (2500)
    Story
    (2505)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Christopher Barnes says: "D*mn near flawless"
    "Kate Mulgrew's performance held me to the end."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to NOS4A2 again? Why?

    I might listen again just to hear Ms. Mulgrew's performance. Her voice is wonderfully rich and her characterizations were perfect. I went out and searched for her other titles. But to be perfectly honest, I think I might be willing to listen to her read the phone book, she's that good. Of course, I realize she is a brilliant actor and I know her from television, movies and the stage. But I hope she does more audible books.


    What other book might you compare NOS4A2 to and why?

    I would compare his work with that of Stephen King. Like King, he has a unique, rather askew, world view. I loved Hill's "Heart Shaped Box" and "Horns" was utterly amazing. This follows that tradition. I must admit that NOS4A2 did not *grab* me the way his other work did. With "Horns" I was hooked with the first page. NOS4A2 did not engage me like that but I stuck with it and sure am glad I did. I'm looking forward to Hill's next opus.


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

    I've listened to a lot of audible titles but this is the first one with Mulgrew. I've already purchased another title (anthology of short stories) she performs part of, just because this listen was so extraordinary and such a great experience.


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

    Have yourself a merry vampire Christmas.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15705)
    Performance
    (13931)
    Story
    (13966)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "These two are a match made in hell."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Gone Girl the most enjoyable?

    The way the author unfolded this story was unconventional and brilliant.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Every time you think you know what's going to happen, the tale took a 180. I highly recommend this one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10567)
    Performance
    (9590)
    Story
    (9610)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Couldn't put this one down!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to 14 the most enjoyable?

    The story concept was unique and facinating. From the move-in scenes near the beginning, the questions start piling up. The answers were unexpected, especially the reveal about apartment 14. I love steampunk anyhow and pulling in elements of historical figures like Tesla was a brilliant move.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 14?

    The discovery of the power room and its energy source, a vivid mental picture.The reveal of the wood paneled apartment as a "control room".


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

    Never listened to Ray before this book but I'll be looking for him now. He did a wonderful job.


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

    YES!!!!


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't as impressed with the alternate dimension scenes. It was ok, and of course was intended to be spectacular, but this was the only place where my suspension of disbelief collapsed. It was just a little bit silly in my opinion. Had a hard time taking it very seriously. Perhaps it would play better in a good sci-fi movie interpretation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Port Mortuary: A Scarpetta Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Patricia Cornwell
    • Narrated By Kate Burton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (842)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (325)

    In this fast-paced story, a treacherous path from Scarpetta's past merges with the high tech highway she now finds herself on. We travel back to the beginning of her professional career, when she enlisted in the Air Force to pay off her medical school debt and found herself ensnared in a gruesome case of what seemed to be vicious, racially motivated hate crimes against two Americans in South Africa.

    Terry says: "once again angry"
    "Big disappointment, yet again."
    Overall

    This is it. I am now officially giving up on Patricia Cornwell. Although the case at the center of this novel might have been reasonably interesting, most of the book was taken up with Scarpetta's angst, anger and self doubt bordering on paranoid fantasies. It was a profoundly irritating and repetitive read. Basically, this is a criminal case worthy of perhaps a short story or possibly a novella. Cornwell pads it with a lot of needless organizational and personal diversions. Don't bother, folks. This is not classic Cornwell, it's more of her recent drivel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Full Dark, No Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson, Jessica Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2260)
    Performance
    (1015)
    Story
    (1012)

    "I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922", the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

    Parusski says: "Eerie, honest, frightening!"
    "I really enjoyed 2 of the 4 stories ..."
    Overall

    This book is 4 novellas or long stories. The first one, about a 1920s era farmer, wasn't worth the time. It went on too long and there was no significant reveal at the end. Man kills wife and screws up son. Yawn. Good prose though (as usual with King). The one about the writer was splendid, as was the one about the woman who makes a truly horrifying discovery in her husband's workshop area. That leaves the last story and I would have given it a more favorable review except for the abrupt ending. The most interesting aspect to a Faustian bargain is the bargainer's comeuppance, which we never saw. I did enjoy the author's post script, concluding comments. I agree with King, what most interests me is ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. He's a master at that. Can't wait for his next work!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Phantoms

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (968)
    Performance
    (585)
    Story
    (590)

    They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still warm. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing. But the terror had only begun in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, California.

    Crystal says: "GREAT story. HORRIBLE narrator!"
    "Great listen, highly recommended."
    Overall

    From the ominous opening passages that introduce us to Snowfield through to the climactic shootout at the hospital this book had me from beginning to end. The narrator was perfect, I didn't notice him at all (which is my measure of a good narrator, unintrusive). The "Ancient Enemy" seemed a bit of a rehash of the 1950's thriller "The Blob" - but it was a worthwhile rehash, for sure.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6852)
    Performance
    (3221)
    Story
    (3226)

    First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

    Nicole says: "You love it or you hate it..."
    "Variant on the I Am Legend plot."
    Overall

    If you can put up with Scott Brick's delivery this isn't a bad listen. But it seems to me like a variant on the I Am Legend storyline - a hero struggling to survive in a world overrun with mutants. The author devotes just a few paragraphs to barely hint at the genesis of the virus. I would have enjoyed more details. Regarding the narrator, I've listened to many of his narrations and he's gotten more breathless and melodramatic with each one. Listen to a sample before getting into this one because his style drives some folks to distraction.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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