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William

Author, rabid Audible listener.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

126
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 57 reviews
  • 60 ratings
  • 406 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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8

  • Zero Day

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2894)
    Performance
    (2416)
    Story
    (2410)

    From David Baldacci - the modern master of the thriller and number-one worldwide best-selling novelist - comes a new hero: a lone Army Special Agent taking on the toughest crimes facing the nation. John Puller is a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigative Division. His father was an Army fighting legend, and his brother is serving a life sentence for treason in a federal military prison. Puller has an indomitable spirit and an unstoppable drive to find the truth.

    Steve says: "There will be more of Puller ...."
    "Big fan of David Baldacci, not a fan of Zero Day"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The good guy is perfect and the bad guys are really, really evil. Sometimes David Baldacci gets it just right and sometimes he just falls flat. I am putting Zero Day in the latter category.

    John Puller is in the Army's Criminal Investigation Division and is called upon to investigate a murder in a small West Virginia coal mining town. While there, he learns these deaths may have very large implications.

    The story really falls short in a number of ways. First, the sheer size and scope of the investigation and how the government treated it was just out there.. way out there. John Puller's character was interesting and unique but he had this magic rucksack that contained everything from bio-hazard gear to explosives and night vision gear (and everything in between). It just seemed completely implausible this character could be so perfect in so many ways and be able to carry all that equipment in the rucksack. As you can tell, the rucksack issue really bothered me.

    I did listen to this book from Audible.com and the characters were really well played by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy. This is not the first time these two have done characters for David Baldacci and I must say they are the ones that kept me going, not the story.

    Being a fan of David Baldacci, I read it and will likely read the next one(s) to but he really needs to bring things back down to earth.

    -Bill

    33 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • Yes Please

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Amy Poehler
    • Narrated By Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, and others
    Overall
    (1296)
    Performance
    (1250)
    Story
    (1248)

    Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

    S.F. says: "Listen to this book for sure"
    "Warning! Full of Parks & Recs Spoilers!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Amy Poehler is really funny and this book proves it. I always believed she is a pretty guarded person who wants tight control over when her personal and public life spill over and her book seems to make that point. She likes to talk about her life but never scratches too deep beneath the surface.

    The audiobook gets a special treatment with her reading it with some of her friends like Patrick Steward, Carol Burnett, and Seth Meyers. Unfortunately, the Seth Meyers bits are a little obnoxious because they are clearly joking around with their own in-jokes but never letting you in (my point earlier).

    While Yes Please was a solid audiobook with lots of laughs, some touching moments and some funny stories, I finished very, very angry.

    I never really started watching Parks and Recreations until the series ended. This was just a show I decided to watch on Amazon Prime while bored in a hotel room. I was on Season 2 at the time, but Amy goes on to tell some incredibly revealing topics about various seasons, including some major revelations about her character.

    If you are a Parks and Recreations fan that finished the series then by all means, listen to this audiobook because you will probably enjoy some of the inside jokes and fun anecdotes. If you are not done with the series, or think you will watch the series, you have been forewarned. If you think "eh, I won't remember a few words she says." think again because the audiobook even includes audio clips of the series and some of the most significant story arcs you probably never saw coming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Labyrinth

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (558)
    Performance
    (505)
    Story
    (504)

    A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Aloysius Pendergast's most implacable enemies shows up on his doorstep as a murdered corpse. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect murder, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California's desolate Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his family's sinister past.

    G. House Sr. says: "Twists and Tuns in the Pendergast Family Tree"
    "A Refresh to the Pendergast Novels?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just like the end of the James Bond film, Skyfall, you are reunited with some familiar people and places. I really appreciated this book in that it brought back what I love about the Pendergast series.

    In The Blue Labyrinth, Pendergast is forced into his own personal hell by an unseen foe whose intent cannot be determined. He desperately needs the help of his friends who do their best while never quite knowing where Pendergast is or what serious problem is taking place. Pendergast, as usual, never wants to involve other people in his problems for fear their involvement might result in their death.

    Pendergast's friends include the familiar Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta, Dr. Nora Kelly, and the mysterious Constance Green. Another "character" playing a significant part in the book is New York's Natural History Museum; which always manages to have a life of its own in the Pendergast Novels.

    My favorite moments were toward the end as we learn more about Constance Green as she moves to help Pendergast. She not only leaves the house, but we learn just how cunning she can be. I really like how Preston and Child went back to their roots with some of the most loved characters in the story and finally gave us a rare glimpse into Constance Green's past.

    The story itself is actually pretty good until the third half as you realize what is happening. Since it takes his long to build up an understanding of who is behind the plot and why, it is a bit of a let down. The book is always filled with tension but then you have this sort of half-though-out element as to why Pendergast is in so much trouble.

    There is another sub-plot involving Pendergast's genetically engineered Alban that just felt too forced and not thought out well enough for my taste.

    If you have never read a Pendergast novel, I would not recommend you start here. As a matter of fact, the characters, places, and stories lead right back to the first books. If you like this book, then back track to the originals, be warned, Blue Labyrinth is THE spoiler for a 14-book series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Fisher Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2904)
    Performance
    (1452)
    Story
    (1460)

    Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more (except maybe "Maggie," Mary of Magdalan) and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.

    Hope says: "A Worthy Book, indeed"
    "Get over BIff and enjoy the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It does not matter if you are a very religious person, you just need to enjoy sarcasm and a good laugh with Lamb.

    Christopher Moore creates a wholly (holy?) believable character that grew up with Jesus as a child and became his best friend. As most bible stories go, there are a lot of missing years between the birth of Jesus and the events leading up to his being hung on the cross. This book covers all those missing years from the perspective of his friend Biff.The book does an excellent job of explaining why Biff never shows up in any bibles but I won't give that little tidbit away.

    Lamb is a pretty sweeping novel that covers a lot of ground (literally) and shows how a young Jesus (pronounced Joshua at the time) learned to be the messiah by traveling for years to meet each of the three wise men. While the book is laugh-out-loud funny at times, there was never a moment I felt Christopher Moore was trying to poke fun at religion.

    Fisher Steven's was perfect as the narrator and did such an excellent job I was sad when the book ended. The characters were all fully developed and never forced.

    This was a great book and I highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10626)
    Performance
    (9613)
    Story
    (9698)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "Did Dan Brown fire his editors?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dan Brown has great ideas and his knowledge of symbology shines through in every one of his books. Inferno has a great idea for a plot but the masterful use of symbols to drive past stories is not really here.

    Just as my review's headline suggests, this book would have been great if Dan Brown took advice from the great editors he must have at his disposal. There is a significant plot twist that occurs in the book that Dan probably thought would make the reader/listener drop their jaws, instead it was hilariously unimaginable.

    Another area where some good editing would help is in Dan Brown's signature writing style where someone thinks about something then says it out loud. Since I listened to the book rather than reading a hard copy I cannot do a direct quote but for the most part you get he impression Dan is doing this because he's paid by the word, rather than paid to be a skilled writer. What you get is a whole lot of people thinking something then just saying it out loud. For example someone might think "she's going to shoot me", then the person yells "don't shoot me", then the narrator says "a shot rang out". I have no problem with the use of this writing style if it helps with the story but it just does not work in Inferno.

    Even if you are a hardcore Langdon fan, I don't think you will get much out of this book. I've been excited to see something new from Dan Brown for a long time and was very displeased. I hope he uses this experience to craft a better book next time.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5679)
    Performance
    (2975)
    Story
    (3035)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "Neal Stephenson predicted the Oculus Rift"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Neal Stephenson has a wild imagination and my only fear is his vision of the future becomes a reality.

    Snow Crash jumps in and out of a virtual reality world and a not-so-distant future where there are no laws, neighborhoods are protected by a grandfatherly mobster named Uncle Enzo. The primary plot of the book surrounds a virus called Snow Crash.

    I will not get into what makes Snow Crash so special but will say the ramifications of this virus to change humankind is great, but not necessarily for the better. As with most Stephenson books, you will be taking a history lesson, enjoy some good sword fighting and enjoy characters that are clearly a result of their surroundings, rather than their upbringing.

    In a world where there are no real rules, it is very difficult to tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. I personally enjoyed this aspect of the book ad felt Jonathan Davis did an excellent job in voicing the characters to drive home this unique aspect of the book.

    While I thought Jonathan Davis did a good job as the narrator, there were too many times where he had to pause and come back, with his voice clearly showing it. This was a bit distracting but did not ruin the book in any way.

    Get ready to learn a whole lot of out there terms and character names and get sucked into this new world. Be prepared to pay a lot of attention when listening or you won't even notice when someone is in the virtual world or in the 'real' world. There is just enough fun in the book to keep things from getting too dark.

    Another great novel by Neal Stephenson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Two Graves

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2036)
    Performance
    (1784)
    Story
    (1787)

    After his wife, Helen, is brazenly abducted before his eyes, Special Agent Pendergast furiously pursues the kidnappers, chasing them across the country and into Mexico. But then, things go terribly, tragically wrong; the kidnappers escape; and a shattered Pendergast retreats to his New York apartment and shuts out the world. But when a string of bizarre murders erupts across several Manhattan hotels, NYPD Lieutenant D'Agosta asks his friend Pendergast for help.

    G. House Sr. says: "Whiplash from the emotional rollercaster"
    "The Nazi regime is not dead"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is nothing like a great Pendergast story but his deep fall into the abyss of shame and self loathing makes for a heavy listen. I did like this story and there are some very interesting twists that I will obviously not give away.

    There are many plots in this book. We have Pendergast re-united with a very special person that sets off a series of catastrophic events, Vincent is dealing with some very strange crimes in the city, Corrie Swanson is on her own solving with a family problem, and Dr. Felder is on a mission to uncover the mysteries of Constance's past.

    While there is a lot going on here, each of the plots are well played out and helps take the heavy load off Pendergast's dark troubles.

    In listening to this book, I realized one of my favorite characters is his mansion, The Dakota. Every story seems to introduce a new room, route, or special feature of the home that plays to my childhood memories of pretending there might be a secret room somewhere in my own home. If you have felt the same about the other Pendergast outings, you will enjoy Two Graves quite a bit.

    With everything I liked about the story, I couldn't stop laughing that Nazi's were in it. Perhaps I am jaded from too many bad Indiana Jones movies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Merry Christmas, Alex Cross

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By James Patterson
    • Narrated By Michael Boatman, Stephen Kunken, Cristin Milioti
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (700)
    Performance
    (567)
    Story
    (553)

    It's Christmas Eve and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who's robbing his church's poor box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and his children. The tree decorating is barely underway before his phone rings again - a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiraling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family.

    Gayle A. Orner says: "Yawn!"
    "Family Time is Fleeting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alex Cross has a lot on his plate in this latest outing. You will find him dealing with a mad man, then another re-occurring character who has some very nasty plans with the people of Washington DC.

    What to say? I really enjoyed this book. Since the second book is already out as I write this, be aware this is a 'to be continued' storyline.

    Enjoy it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Option to Kill: A Nathan McBride Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Andrew Peterson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1383)
    Performance
    (1204)
    Story
    (1217)

    When Nathan McBride receives a text message from someone who claims she’s been kidnapped, it triggers a deadly chain of events that has the potential to haunt him for the rest of his life. Nathan will soon learn that nothing from his past could ever prepare him for the crisis he’ll soon be facing. The girl’s name is Lauren and she’s just 12 years old.

    Carla says: "An Outstanding Story with Engaging Characters"
    "Nathan is not good with children"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nathan McBride is back and this time there is a girl involved. She is so involved, in fact, that Nathan takes her on a wild journey with gunfights and murderous enemies.

    The story begins with Nathan receiving a text with a mysterious message. A girl texts him to let him know she has been kidnapped. Nathan tracks this girl down and then the plot thickens as they dart around San Diego, then various cities throughout California.

    Harv and Holly are basically minor supporting roles in this outing so it is just Nathan and the girl. The girl is surrounded in mystery (how does she know Nathan's code name and private number?) and the murderous men who kidnapped her are running a very strange operation.

    Actually, I liked the story, enjoyed the plot and Dick Hill once again did a great narration. Here is where the book lost me. The girl is very smart and her need to stay close to Nathan and be protected is what allows the story to have Nathan taking her to gunfight after deadly gunfight.

    No matter what this girl went through, Nathan's taking her on this journey of destruction was completely implausible. Harv and Holly certainly would not approve and I just couldn't get it out of my head either.

    This is actually an interesting story and I do like the Nathan McBride series but I was really bothered by how unrealistic it would be to put this girl into the situations they did.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Zoo

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (503)
    Performance
    (424)
    Story
    (425)

    All over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence to come becomes terrifyingly clear. With the help of ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it's too late. The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide.

    TEDDET says: "Love Patterson, but this was just SILLY"
    "Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Animals are suddenly attacking humans and there is only one person who has dedicated his career trying to convince others bad things are happening. This is an entertaining book with some thought provoking ideas but it is just that.. entertaining. I enjoyed it well enough. Jay Snider played the characters quite well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Severe Clear: A Stone Barrington Novel, Book 24

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By Tony Roberts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (248)

    Stone Barrington is called to Bel-Air to oversee an exclusive event that will gather the top echelons of the beau monde: Hollywood starlets, socialites, politicos, billionaires from overseas. It’s a task in which Stone has a personal stake, and one that is made all the more pleasurable - though somewhat more complicated - with the arrivals of two beautiful women with whom he’s intimately acquainted. But the grand occasion has also attracted a dangerous criminal group with sinister plans....

    drummin2life says: "Less Stone and Dino, more crap about the Wealthy"
    "Loved it, but wanted more Dino"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here is a Stone book with a very different start and a unique plot. Most Stone books start at a restaurant over drinks, then the plot unfolds by way of a beautiful woman walking into the bar.

    Severe Clear is almost a project management book for the rich and powerful. Stone and his team must open a swanky new hotel in LA while dealing with a potential terrorist threat. The fun here is in the motions and planing meetings that go into making sure everything goes right.

    There is a significant side story with Herbert (no longer Herbie) as he helps his new startup deal with potential espionage and employment clauses. This whole bit seems boring and it would be if it weren't for a unique aspect that drives this side story.

    Of course Stone's son and his friends are all still absolutely perfect in every way, which bothers me because I think their flawlessness just comes off as fake.

    This was a great book and I really enjoyed it but if there is one person I really missed, it was Dino. Sure, Dino is in the book and makes appearances but his is there as a bit player rather than someone right there next to Stone.

    As always, Tony Roberts plays the characters extremely well. I wonder if I would like this Audiobook series if Tony did not do the voices?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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