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Thom Dodd

Forester in Maine for nearly 40 years and love to listen to books in my travels.


  • Labyrinth

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Mosse
    • Narrated By Donada Peters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery: two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth; between the skeletons, a stone ring, and a small leather bag.

    Sara says: "Terrible Listening Experience"
    "One of my Audible favorites"

    One thing that I've learned about reviews is that not everyone likes the same things. Why ask a rock music fan if he likes opera and vice versa. This is historical fiction that explores a people in southern France, the Cathars, who dared challenge the early Catholic Church. If that is of little interest to you, then move on.

    This book was one of my favorites because it had good character development, suspense, fluid story, and it taught some very important history about the early Catholic church. The Christain religion had started to go down divergent paths and something had to be done to get it back on the straight and narrow. The story at the very end does get a little fanciful with some connections to Egypt mythology. I think that Mosse was making the connection between ancient Egypt and some of the basic beliefs of Christainity. (See also books by Crossan and Pagels.)

    Don't misunderstand - this isn't a faith or spirtual book. It is cultural history told through a pretty good story.

    I learned a great deal about the culture of southern France and northern Italy. I realize now that some place names, like the Col de Bonne Homme (Mt Blanc area) is a reference to the native Cathars. Further web searches showed me that Mosse had been pretty faithful to history. The last stand of the Cathars was at a famous castle that became an object of study for the Nazi's (a la Indiana Jones) because of the Cathar connection. Go figure.

    As for the narrator, I enjoyed listening to her presentation. She has a good range of voices to use for the different characters. I am not in agreement with others who were less enthusiastic.

    Bottom line - it is a sophisticated story that is well worth the listen.

    26 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • The Bone Clocks

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jessica Ball, Leon Williams, Colin Mace, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Following a scalding row with her mother, 15-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as "the radio people," Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

    Mel says: "Not Short Listed, This Time"
    "Another David Mitchell masterpiece"
    What did you love best about The Bone Clocks?

    The quality of the writing is outstanding. This work could easily become a literary classic.

    What did you like best about this story?

    It's social commentary. David Mitchell's themes make the point how thin the veneer of civilization is in our society. I find myself rethinking the relative importance of things in this world.

    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Holly Sykes. From rebellious teenager to protective grandmother. Our personalities change with time and David Mitchell has a skill to make a character be different things at the different stages of life.

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

    An inconvenient truth about our society and its self-destruction tendencies. (Not catchy but I don't do this for a living.)

    Any additional comments?

    This is a complicated and thought-provoking book. It traces a course of our western society from the 1970's through near collapse in 2040. David Mitchell has put a social commentary into a narrative that clearly shows his views on the outcomes of our collective shortsightedness. Mitchell is an outstanding writer who, like Cormark McCarthy, sees the dark side of things that we should be talking about and taking actions to correct. Civilization is fragile and needs tending. Read this, please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shades of Grey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jasper Fforde
    • Narrated By John Lee

    As long as anyone can remember, society has been ruled by a Colortocracy. From the underground feedpipes that keep the municipal park green to the healing hues viewed to cure illness to a social hierarchy based upon one's limited color perception, society is dominated by color. In this world, you are what you can see.

    Thom Dodd says: "Read this book"
    "Read this book"

    Fforde has written a humorous book in his quirky and other-worldish style on a serious topic. First I thought it was a critique of the British aristocracy but decided towards the end that it is Orwell's "1984" done in a far less dark style. It is very entertaining and will keep you glued. It is a love story and a David against Goliath story in the style of his character, Thursday Next, (from other books), as she battled against the Goliath Corpoaration.

    I finished this book and then immediately listened to it again. I had missed so many clues to what would happen and got a lot out of it the 2nd time. Clearly Fforde has written a 3 part series and couldn't release the first one until he was sure that he had set things up properly.

    This has the potential to become a literary classic. I cannot wait for the subsequent books.

    John Lee is also recognized for his outstanding ability to voice different characters.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    F says: "Did I read the same book as some of you?"
    "One star is too many"

    OK, here's the point, environmental groups are a business, like any other business, and will twist the facts to get more members. All data is suspect and most news is speculation.

    Now you don't have to read the book.

    Oh, there are two good parts. Someone gets eaten and the book is continuous lawyer bashing.

    Every sentence in dialog ends in "he said". It really gets annoying. Crichton never once varied with "he replied" or "asked Sarah". Even the narrator gets annoyed with this poor dialog composition.

    Crichton uses the book as one long diatribe and then makes it more annoying by adding a writer's epilog to restate and then an appendix to restate the restatement.

    If this were my first book, the publisher would have never even returned my calls.

    Mike, you can do better.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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