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Tony Squared

Book Freak

Richmond, VA USA | Member Since 2011

  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 43 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Come Unto These Yellow Sands

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Josh Lanyon
    • Narrated By Paul Fleschner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lover of fine poetry and lousy choose-your-own-adventure novels, Professor Sebastian Swift was once the bad-boy darling of the literati. The only lines he does these days are Browning, Frost, and Cummings. Even his relationship with the hot, handsome Wolfe Neck Police chief, Max Prescott, is healthy. When one of his most talented students comes to him bruised and begging for help, Swift hands over the keys to his Orson Island cabin - only to find out that the boy's father is dead and the police are suspicious.

    Tony Squared says: "Suspense (with poetry)"
    "Suspense (with poetry)"
    If you could sum up Come Unto These Yellow Sands in three words, what would they be?

    Exciting, Relevant, Literate

    What other book might you compare Come Unto These Yellow Sands to and why?

    Any of Josh Lanyon's other novels, print or audio. They are all literate (also suspenseful, romantic and fun). Besides, Lanyon writes exciting, edge-of-your seat action scenes.

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

    Not sure.

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

    Absolutely. When listened to all at one go, as I did yesterday on a long road trip, they may be even more suspenseful and compelling than when read chapter by chapter, which is what typically happens when one must put a printed book aside in the middle of things as the demands of daily life intrude.

    Any additional comments?

    The book’s title is a quote from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” which is fitting for Sebastian Swift, the story’s protagonist, a literature professor who becomes a target when he tries to help one of his students who is suspected of murder. A great pleasure of the book is all the situationally relevant quotes of poets from Shakespeare to Eliot and e.e. cummings. One wonders if Josh Lanyon wishes he had been a professor of literature himself. Based on the evidence here, he’d probably be great at it. But you won’t need a poetry anthology beside you to enjoy the story, because it’s also packed with physical and romantic suspense. Download it for your next road trip, or for true listening pleasure anytime.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Haunted Heart: Winter: The Haunted Heart (Book 1)

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Josh Lanyon
    • Narrated By Lee Samuels

    Still grieving over the sudden death of his lover, antiques dealer Flynn Ambrose moves to the old, ramshackle house on Pitch Pine Lane to catalog and sell the large inventory of arcane and oddball items that once filled his late uncle's mysterious museum. But not all the items are that easy to catalog. Or get rid of... Since Alan died, Flynn isn't eating, isn't sleeping, and isn't spending a lot of time looking in mirrors. But maybe he should pay a little more attention - because something in that 18th Century mirror is looking at him.

    Riva says: "Perfect choice for Halloween"
    "Gripping psychological ghost story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Haunted Heart: Winter the most enjoyable?

    The story is compelling and Lee Samuels' narration beautifully conveys all the suspense and emotion.

    What other book might you compare The Haunted Heart: Winter to and why?

    Josh Lanyon's "Dark Farewell," in which spiritualism is the focus: can we communicate with the dead?

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

    Emotional context; drama. He made the characters, including a dead one, come alive.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was mesmerizing.

    Any additional comments?

    A full-blown ghost story and mystery. It raises the question does Josh Lanyon believe in ghosts? Whether or not he does, even if you are a total materialist, at least while you're listening, he'll make a believer of you.
    And it made my six hour road trip fly by.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fatal Shadows: The Adrien English Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Josh Lanyon
    • Narrated By Chris Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Someone's out to get Los Angeles bookseller Adrien English. His best friend has been viciously murdered, now he's getting weird phone calls and sinister gifts from a mysterious "admirer." The cops think he's trying to divert suspicion from himself - with the exception of sexy and homophobic homicide detective Jake Riordan. Is Riordan really such a great detective - or does he have a few secrets of his own? Is his offer to help Adrien on the level or is he out to nail his favorite suspect - to the wall?

    Donald says: "Good book..."
    "A Good Mystery, Well Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fatal Shadows to be better than the print version?

    No, the are equally good each in their own way. What's remarkable is that Lanyon's skillful writing translates so well into the audio medium. He puts precise, witty dialogue on the page that gives each character a distinctive personality and voice. All that comes across vividly in Chris Patton's skillful vocal enactment.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well, Adrien, of course; an sympathetic, quirky character who is, as another character says, "something of a wise-ass."
    After Adrien, the most complex character may well be Riordan, the enigmatic, macho homicide detective.
    But Adrien's faux-French black restaurateur pal Claude is right up there.
    And let's not forget Adrien's overly-doting socialite mother, Lisa.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    I suppose the very last one, where Riordan says,"This won't be easy, Adrien," causing Adrien to smile.
    Makes you impatient for a sequel.
    But the scenes where Adrien tries to communicate with Angus, the Goth temp store clerk, are hilarious.

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

    The most appropriate would be the two lines from the Elizabethan dramatist that give the story it's title:

    "Our acts, our angels are, for good or ill
    Our fatal shadows that walk by us still."

    But for today's audiences you'd have to dumb it down to something like:


    Any additional comments?

    If you like a an exciting, romantic mystery, written in a literate and witty style, this is the story for you.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Darkling Thrush

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Josh Lanyon
    • Narrated By Max Miller

    Fed up with his desk duty in the Imperial Arcane Library, book hunter Colin Bliss accepts a private commission to find The Sword's Shadow, a legendary and dangerous witches' grimoire. But to find the book, Colin must travel to the remote Western Isles and solve a centuries' old murder.

    Tony Squared says: "A Magical Story"
    "A Magical Story"
    What did you love best about The Darkling Thrush?

    Lanyon's lyrical descriptive writing.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Colin. An appealing mix of stubbornness and youthful hope.

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

    His amazing, distinct vocal characterizations of all the characters in the book.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when Septimus, who has been assigned to kill Colin even though he loves him, says "I would do anything to save you."

    Any additional comments?

    The story is a heady brew of fairies, brownies, witches, humans with magical powers, an ancient monster from the Deep, Celtic legends, and magic spells. Of course, it’s also a suspenseful mystery and a romance. Lanyon places his story in the haunted, wind-swept isles off the northwest coast of Scotland, a location which inspires some of the best, most lyrical descriptive writing he has produced.
    The story’s title is a reference to the poem of the same name by Thomas Hardy. Appropriately for the story, the poems last lines are:

    “I could think there trembled through

    His happy good-night air

    Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew

    And I was unaware.”

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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