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W. Perry Hall

S. Quire

Member Since 2012

ratings
505
REVIEWS
103
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
12
HELPFUL VOTES
325

  • Case Histories: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Susan Jameson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (559)
    Performance
    (379)
    Story
    (383)

    Case One: A little girl goes missing in the night. Case Two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack. Case Three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.

    Carrie says: "Deftly written, completely original mystery"
    "chunked, smothered, diced, peppered and just bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is all over the place and the characters boring, thus I couldn't care less about the answer to the mysteries (case histories), now nearly 2/3 of the way through the book.

    Like Waffle House hashbrowns, an appropriate way to describe this book is:
    CHUNKED, DICED, SMOTHERED, PEPPERED, COVERED

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Those Who Wish Me Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Michael Koryta
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (274)

    When 13-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he's plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare. The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him.

    Jen says: "Best Bad Guys EVER!"
    "Villains too good to be wasted on the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book kept me interested, with a decent plot line, though a little disjointed, and a believable set of psychotic villains, though I thought shortcuts were taken to arrive at the climax, which itself seemed forced to the point of being affectatious. All in all, a good, not great, thriller.

    I hope Mr. Koryta brings back such superbly drawn evildoers (or some like the ones here) and put them in a grander story with a little more work on the protagonists.

    The villains gave Mr. Petkoff a chance to shine, so I give him 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Churchill Factor: How One Man Changed History

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Boris Johnson
    • Narrated By Simon Shepherd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    On the 50th anniversary of Churchill's death, Boris Johnson celebrates the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the 20th century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays - with characteristic wit and passion - a man of contagious bravery, breathtaking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity.

    W. Perry Hall says: "If you appreciate History but aren't its lover"
    "If you appreciate History but aren't its lover"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a near-flawless book in measuring, in an erudite yet conversational manner, the near-majesty of a man who played a leading role (arguably the leading part) in maintaining the course of the free world and altering evil in the 20th Century. I was hesitant, but Mr. Johnson was able to draw me into his scholarly chat, unlike the historians who can cure any insomniac.

    I highly recommend this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Ron Rash
    • Narrated By Christian Baskous
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    No one captures the complexities of Appalachia - a rugged, brutal landscape of exquisite beauty - as evocatively and indelibly as author and poet Ron Rash. Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, two O Henry prizes, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, Rash brilliantly illuminates the tensions between the traditional and the modern, the old and new south, tenderness and violence, man and nature.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Exhibit #1"
    "Exhibit #1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ron Rash writes great short stories set in Appalachia. This is a selection of his best from prior volumes.

    As in the Midwest and Northeast, a variety of Southern accents exist from region to region within the South. For example, the accent and dialect in the hills of north Alabama differ from those along coastal Alabama and the Florida panhandle, which are considerably different from those in south Louisiana, and so on.

    What they do NOT have in common is a bumbling and idiotic drawl in each and every person.

    This narrator Christian Baskous (a Juilliard grad, so his site says) may be okay on some audiobooks, but he should be banned from reading books set anywhere in the South. His faux Southern accent is like none I've ever heard in my 40+ years in the South, but rather it sounds like an amalgamation of every stereotypical dufus he's ever seen depicted on film and in the media. The absolute worst faux Southern accent I've heard. Think Forrest Gump in Deliverance. And, I have no problem with the use of such an accent for some of the characters or the stories. But, EVERY STORY?? EVERY CHARACTER???? It's an insult to every Southerner generally and to Ron Rash specifically.

    PLEASE buy the book in print. Skip this ruination.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Brethren

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (719)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (206)

    In a minimum security federal prison known as Trumble, three former judges who call themselves the Brethren are quietly writing letters to unsuspecting victims of a monumental mail scam. Much to their delight, the money is pouring in. But now they've ensnared the wrong man and the Brethren's days of marking time are over.

    Debora says: "Great Read"
    "Shallow, Contrived and Uninteresting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm familiar with the prison pen pal scams in LA and MS. Maybe that's why this novel seemed like Grisham picked the plot from his list of "maybe's," yet then when writing it his heart just wasn't there. I'm a fan of much of Grisham's work, but this one seemed neither real nor true, and it lacked a shred of suspense, which is normally Grisham's strongest suit. Written as if Grisham just phoned it in.

    I was very disappointed.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1057)
    Performance
    (999)
    Story
    (1008)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Reverend ReVOLTing Revival"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4.5 stars for wizardry in King's ominous odyssey of Jamie Morton into the darkest forces of evil. The novel methodically intensifies a menace like the bass drum of the Sunrise in Strauss's "Also sprach Zarathustra," as the Dickensian Jamie travels deeper and deeper into a supernatural storm with a defrocked Methodist minister (Charles Jacobs: J.C. backwards) hell-bent on revenge and corrupted by resentment against religion to the point of heresy, contempt and possibly insanity. Shades of Poe, Hawthorne and O'Connor via an electric Elmer Gantry.

    I like this change of pace and find the story more terrifying because King slowly builds layer upon layer of evil to a cancerous crescendo. While I don't consider it one of his best, I do continue to appreciate King's never-ending well of Lucifer-ous imagination.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fahrenheit 451

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ray Bradbury
    • Narrated By Tim Robbins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (91)

    Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family."

    W. Perry Hall says: "I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin' for You"
    "I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin' for You"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I see a new release on audio of a classic book read by a great actor or actress, I'm in. Sometimes it doesn't work. Here, Tim Robbins' rhapsody perfectly pitches this futuro de fuego novel that for most of us was required reading in school. The boy I was surely did not appreciate Ray Bradbury's talent for telling fantastic stories or his prose or the value and experience of *Fahrenheit 451.*

    This book, with Tim Robbin's narration, lit up my literary fervor with a tale of how life would be without books, and has ignited my interest in Ray Bradbury's other books.

    More valuable than the credit spent, this enthralling audiobook is a reminder of the value of literature and, more than that, an infernal blast!

    23 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    In The Sense of Style, the best-selling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these questions and more. Rethinking the usage guide for the 21st century, Pinker doesn’t carp about the decline of language or recycle pet peeves from the rulebooks of a century ago. Instead, he applies insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear, coherent, and stylish prose.

    M. Kunze says: "A great book, done a great injustice by the audio"
    "author references charts, etc. in audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audiobook starts out by saying that the author-referenced charts, etc. are contained in PDF form accessible upon purchase of audiobook.

    UNTRUE.

    I will modify this review AFTer I have and listen to it in its entirety.

    16 of 44 people found this review helpful
  • So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Maureen Corrigan
    • Narrated By Maureen Corrigan
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, it's now a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. But how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald's masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.

    Mark says: "Reading Gatsby as an adult reveals its greatness!"
    "The Great American Novel: An Orgastic Argument"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professor Corrigan, book critic for NPR and Georgetown professor, loves THE GREAT GATSBY, as do I. I devoured her delightful, didactic book on how and why it's the **Great American Novel** because, among other things, it splendidly captured Americans' quotidian desires for the *American dream,* our desire for desire ("there are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired") and our quixotic belief, or perhaps subconscious romanticizing, that we can somehow recapture or relive the past, especially past loves (as Gatsby said to Nick, "Can't repeat the past? ... Why of course you can!").


    ------- "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--to-morrow we will run faster, stretch our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning------

    -------- "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."


    Ms. Corrigan also provides a scintillating exploration of the author's tragic life and death and why, like many supremely talented artists before him, F. Scott Fitzgerald died in the depths of depression and perceived by himself and many others as a mediocre, has-been, with the splendor of his masterpiece unrecognized (by most) until several years after his death and yet endures as the most studied piece of literature in U.S. secondary education.

    I highly recommend this book if you enjoyed The Great Gatsby or if you are fascinated with early 20th century America.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Megan McArdle
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (110)

    Most new products fail. So do most small businesses. And most of us, if we are honest, have experienced a major setback in our personal or professional lives. So what determines who will bounce back and follow up with a home run? If you want to succeed in business and in life, Megan McArdle argues in this hugely thought-provoking book, you have to learn how to harness the power of failure. McArdle has been one of our most popular business bloggers for more than a decade, covering the rise and fall of some the world' s top companies and challenging us to think differently about how we live, learn, and work.

    Ray says: "Good Book"
    "Book's potential drowned in lake of Narcissus"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book started out wonderfully. If the author had stuck to her plan stated in the first several pages of the book, it could well have been helpful and inspiring. And yet, her smugness and self-aggrandizing babel get the better of her and ruin this book, which becomes all about Ms. McArdle and her personal and political views, rather than a book that gives advice or even anecdotes about those who have succeeded after failure, how they did it or how and *why failing well is the key to success*.

    I didn't get to the last 3 chapters. I had suffered far too long, deciding instead to cut my costs and fail well.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
    • Narrated By Timothy Miller, Claire Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (208)
    Story
    (208)

    This is an audiobook for busy people. If you want less on your plate and more for your life and career, tune in to the #1 Wall Street Journal best seller, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. The ONE Thing will bring your life and your work into focus. Authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan teach you the tricks to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, dial down stress, and master what matters to you.

    Michael Williams says: "Do this and you have the answer."
    "Should be called "FOR A FIRM GRASP OF THE OBVIOUS""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The secret: concentrate on ONE thing at a time.

    How does it take 5 1/2 hours to get to ONE Firm Grasp?

    Add ONE happy song, ONE ton of guitar filler and (my ONE compliment to the authors is their skill to) say ONE thing ONE Hundred different ways.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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