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Susan

Iowa City, IA, United States | Member Since 2015

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 128 ratings
  • 277 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
15
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Pigtown

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By William Caunitz
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Caunitz, a NYPD detective for more than 20 years, is a master of police blotter fiction. In the gritty, hardboiled world of the NYPD, Detective Matt Stuart works a shabby beat where homicides are his daily paper work. Tracking down an elusive killer, he is forced to face critical decisions when the trail leads to dangerous criminals who are not on the street, but in uniform.

    Susan says: "Finally gave up"
    "Finally gave up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As much as I wanted to like this (I do generally really like hard-boiled police and detective books), I finally could not stand what seemed like stupid and gratuitously graffic sex scenes. This is not a case of me being unwilling to hear bad news (that women have often been used just as props, objects of male sexual fantasy etc.) but...it just became unbelievable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Ruth Downie
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (966)
    Performance
    (541)
    Story
    (544)

    Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doctor who has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. After a 36-hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner. And before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar.

    Lehua says: "Took Me by Surprise"
    "Not what I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this because I have loved Lindsey Davis's Falco books, narrated by Christian Rodska. A number of reviewers compared Ms Downie's writing to those books. Also, I find the, era, location and the state of medicine (for example) in first century Britton are very interesting. However, I was bored with this book. Some of the problem was Mr. Vance, the narrator. Normally, his voice and performances are compelling. In this case, the gravitas he brings to all of his narrations came off sounding stiff and stilted. I gave up after about 3 hours and it was a relief.

    This not so much a criticism as personal preference.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Promise of Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Brian McClellan
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (923)
    Performance
    (831)
    Story
    (835)

    Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail. But when gods are involved.... Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should....

    Ethan M. says: "Excellent epic fantasy with Napoleonic influences"
    "I appear to not be a fan of fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I gave this book a try because a reviewer I like and follow, gave it high praise. At my first attempt to listen, I turn it off in resigned annoyance. Within the first 10 minutes we meet many men, soldiers all with various interesting magical powers, and 1 woman, again magical powers alluded to, who is mute. Also one other woman is mentioned as: "I found her in bed with another man." Really? The only two women are a *mute* and an *adulterer* (which is a more refined word than was implied).

    When I was alerted to a new review by the above mentioned reviewer, it turned out to be for the 3rd book in this trilogy. OK. I'll try again, I said to myself. I made it a little further in the second listen but found myself bored.

    I don't approach books from an ideological perspective. Sometimes, however, the misogyny (or racism, or anti-semitism, or homophobia, etc) is just too much - especially when there is no prominent character to counter the offensive commentary.

    I hope I have learned my lesson about fantasy novels: they are primarily coming of age stories which tend to include a great deal of narcissism and little complexity of character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lush Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Richard Price
    • Narrated By Bobby Cannavale
    Overall
    (647)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (154)

    What do you do? Whenever people asked him, Eric Cash used to have a dozen answers. Artist, actor, screenwriter...But now he's 35 years old and he's still living downtown, still in the restaurant business, working night shifts and serving the people he always wanted to be. What does Eric do? He manages.

    Stephen McLeod says: "Brilliant"
    "Had high hopes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really expected to like, perhaps love, this book. Given that a favorite reviewer, whom I follow, gave it high praise. Add to that Bobby Cannavale and how could I miss? The writing is good but it is just too grim for me. Also, I had some of a hard time getting all the characters straight as the scenes switch back and forth between various settings, times, and people. You may not have that problem.

    Bobby Cannavale ("Boardwalk Empire" and "Station Agent" to name just two amazing performances) was a disappointment as a narrator. He is simply a reader, in this format, not a performer. That only contributed to my difficulty distinguishing the various characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Florida Straits: A Key West Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Laurence Shames
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    In the grand tradition of Elmore Leonard, Laurence Shames creates an outrageous heavyweight thriller that’s heavy on atmosphere and action. Joey Goldman is a low-level New York hustler. He’s taking a working vacation in South Florida and looking to score big with a time-share scam. His half brother Gino Delgatto is a man in need of a fall guy. When they meet in Key West, the term dysfunctional family takes on a new meaning. Will one of them succeed? Or will the Miami mob find an eye-popping way to dispose of them both?

    Susan says: "So glad I took another reader's advise"
    "So glad I took another reader's advise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked this book. I wasn't sure for the first chapter or so. But then Joey and Sandra move into the bungalow in a compound in Key West, Bert the Shirt and Don Giovanni are on the scene and it becomes delightful, interesting, and at times tense. Richard Ferrone is perfect for this book. I will certainly continue with the series.

    One caveat: I fast forwarded through a verbally abusive rant that was over long in my opinion. This was directed at Joey by his older half-brother Gino. I also skipped through some of the graphic violence - I mean this is about a mafia family but I just didn't feel the need to hear every little detail. There is not a huge amount of this stuff and I am not really criticizing the book. Just saying....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Yard

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Alex Grecian
    • Narrated By Toby Leonard Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (794)
    Performance
    (697)
    Story
    (697)

    Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only 12 detectives - known as “The Murder Squad” - to investigate thousands of murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. When Walter Day, the squad’s newest hire, is assigned the case of the murdered detective, he finds a strange ally in the Yard’s first forensic pathologist, Dr. Bernard Kingsley.

    Debra says: "Enjoyable annoying book"
    "Wanted to like"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I should have taken seriously a couple of reader comments but liking the era so much I thought surely it would work for me. It just did not. Some may be the narration which I found stolid and flat. Perhaps it was the pacing of the writing and story. What ever it was it just did not hold my interest. Also the time spent with the murder and his particular interests was just too grim for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Morgue Drawer Next Door: Morgue Drawer, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jutta Profijt
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (95)

    As crime-fighting teams go, Dr. Martin Gänsewein and Pascha are an unlikely pair. Martin is a shy, scrupulous forensic pathologist who spends his days autopsying dead bodies, while Pascha is the gregarious ghost of a former car thief whose murder Martin reluctantly helped solve. After narrowly surviving that adventure, Martin wants nothing more than a little peace and quiet. Unfortunately, the good doctor is out of luck thanks to the arrival of Marlene, the spirit of a nun killed in a fire that ravaged her medieval convent and home.

    Susan says: "Finally wore me down"
    "Finally wore me down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the performance and world building are good, the exuberant sexism finally wore me down. When our protagonist, the ghost of a car thief, asserts that prostitution will always be *necessary* "as long as women withhold sex" and the ghost of a nun who ran a shelter for battered sex-workers for 30 years, agrees with his analysis of *the* cause of prostitution, I ground my teeth, sighed and deleted the book.

    It's one thing for our ignorant, young former car thief to hold, well, ignorant opinions. And he does. Hold many. However, often those same opinions are challenged by the behaviors or conversations of characters whom we respect and our young car thief thinks again. The crude sexist opinions he spouts about women, relationships with women, what women are good for, etc. seem to be impervious to other information. The lecture about prostitution was simply the last straw.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Country

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By C. B. McKenzie
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (64)

    Rodeo Grace Garnet lives alone, save for his old dog, in a remote corner of Arizona known to locals as the Hole. He doesn't get many visitors, but a body found near his home has drawn police attention to his front door. The victim is not one of the many illegal immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border just south of the Hole, but is instead a member of one of the local Indian tribes.

    Candace Russell says: "First book? Really?"
    "just too unrelentingly grim and hate-filled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is probably just about me - but after a few hours of listening to fabulous narration, I just could not *take* the aggressive and hate-filled interactions between characters or directed towards the protagonist. It simply was not worth it.
    I think the writer holds some promise and others may find this grim world tolerable. Not for me.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A Burnable Book: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Bruce Holsinger
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (98)

    London, 1385: Surrounded by ruthless courtiers - including his powerful uncle, John of Gaunt, and Gaunt's artful mistress, Katherine Swynford - England's young king, Richard II, is in mortal peril. Songs are heard across London - catchy verses said to originate from an ancient book that prophesies the ends of England's kings - and among the book's predictions is Richard's assassination. Only a few powerful men know that the cryptic lines derive from a "burnable book", a seditious work that threatens the stability of the realm.

    Annie Fitt says: "I wanted to like this.."
    "Interesting era"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book rises well above the usual examples of the genre: historical fiction. The details of daily life in London have the feel of authenticity especially when delivered by the ever excellent Simon Vance. I did finally give up about 4 hours from the end because I just could not take any more "laying of pipe" - exposition - even when delivered by Vance. Should Mr. Holsinger continue to write fiction it is my hope his skills will grow beyond the traps of the neophyte.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Split Images

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Elmore Leonard
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Quintessential Elmore Leonard, Split Images stars Palm Beach playboy Robbie Daniels. He's the kind of guy who gets away with everything - even murder - until a vacationing Motown cop, Bryan Hurd, starts asking questions. When this millionaire reptile reveals the psychopath beneath his slippery skin, Hurd finds out this is one helluva way for an out-of-town lawman to spend his vacation.

    Susan says: "Couldn't finish it"
    "Couldn't finish it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Elmore Leonard. I've read most of his non-westerns. I also usually like George Guidall (He is excellent in the Walt Longmire books. Also liked his narration of the "hot kid" series from Leonard). However here he is just, well, boring and annoying. He is not, imho, the right narrator for Leonard's urban novels. If only with the incomparable Frank Muller had recorded *everything* Leonard wrote.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Polar Star

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (741)
    Performance
    (639)
    Story
    (638)

    Ex-Chief Investigator Arkady Renko is in deep on the “slime line” - the fish-gutting station - in the Polar Star, a Soviet fish factory ship of some 250 souls, almost as many secrets, and a dangerous shipboard sub-culture that cares little for the Party, and less for human life.

    Richard Delman says: "Probably the greatest audiobook ever. Really."
    "Heaven"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Martin Cruz Smith at the top of his game and the incomparable Frank Muller: what could be better. ( Muller is, IMHO, the greatest narrator. If you can find it listen to his performances of anything by le Carre', especially the "Smiley" cycle. And get his performance of "Motherless Brooklyn"; he is perfection.) The story of Renko, disgraced Moscow investigator working on the "slime line" of a Russian fish trawler is wonderfully claustrophobic and yet expansive. I can't recommend this book enough.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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