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antonio

A man's got to do what a man's got to do..

genthod, Switzerland | Member Since 2011

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 54 reviews
  • 59 ratings
  • 130 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
5

  • The Power of the Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (476)
    Story
    (481)

    This explosive novel of the drug trade takes you deep inside a world riddled with corruption, betrayal, and bloody revenge. From the streets of New York City to Mexico City and Tijuana to the jungles of Central America, this is the war on drugs like you've never seen it.

    Leslie says: "Amazing Novel, Excellent Narration"
    "A powerful, intensiv, quasi "shakespearian" tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the best book to-date of Don Winslow. On the background of the establishement of the first drug cartels in Mexico, Winslow moves his characters in a complex , but well laid out , story plot. Violence, deceit, love and betrayal characterise the story with a strong tension between good and evil.The book is engaging, full of emotions and addictive. Do not miss it !

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil's Punchbowl

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    As a prosecuting attorney Penn Cage sent hardened killers to death row. But it is as mayor of his hometown that he will face his most dangerous enemy. In its quest for new jobs and fresh money, the town of Natchez has turned to gambling. Five fantastical steamboats float on the river, but one boat isn’t like the others. Rumour has it that the Magnolia Queen has found a way to pull in the big players. And with them comes an unquenchable taste for blood sport, and the dark vices that go with it.

    antonio says: "This time Greg Iles overdoes....."
    "This time Greg Iles overdoes....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Our favorite hero –Penn Cage- is approached by on old classmate friend who works as a blackjack dealer on one of the casino boats (The Devil’s Punchbowl). The friend reports -before being savagely murdered- of vicious activities (drugs, prostitution, money laundry, rapes and vicious dog fighting) being orchestrated by the casino manager.
    As usual, Greg Iles knows how to build the plot with both suspense and drama gradually growing so that the reader gets irresistibly hooked to the story. I honestly could not resist and went through the 23 hours of reading in a few days. However I felt afterwards as someone having had too much junk food in a short time. Like for junk food, the basic ingredients of the book are simple and basically appealing: terrifying bad guys, a fast paced action, a bit of sex and a good hero. However, here everything is in excessive doses: the bad guys are way too bad and good guys lily white (so much for character complexity…) . Violence is at gore movies level and toward the second half the story gets so fast paced that you feel being in a Road Runner and Wile E Coyote movie (so much for the sense of drama… ).
    Jeff Harding comes across a very rhetoric, which, given the context, does not help….

    I enjoyed this way less than the others Greg Iles books. However, to be honest, I think that I will not resist and shall read the next one (Nantchez burning). At times junk food makes you feel good…… (or simply full ?!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead I Well May Be

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1257)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (685)

    Young Michael, an illegal immigrant escaping the troubles in Northern Ireland is strong and fearless and clever, just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a crime boss, to join a gang of Irish thugs struggling against the rising Dominican powers in Harlem and the Bronx. The time is pre-Giuliani New York, when crack rules the city, squatters live furtively in ruined buildings, and hundreds are murdered each month.

    Robert says: "What an amazing book"
    "Mc Kinty : what a great writer !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the early 90s a young chap leaves Belfast to escape unemployment, boredom and misery and joins –more by default than by choice-an Irish Mob boss in New York. His small gangster life suddenly takes unexpected turns and spins into a nightmare experience of a jail in a southern region of Mexico first and becomes later a tale of death, betrayal and revenge. It is a tough book, dark and luminous at the same time, engaging and beautifully written. Michael Forsyth, the main character, captivates the reader for his poetic naiveté, dark humor, kindness and toughness.

    This is my first Mc Kinty book: what a great discovery. Gerald Doyle is as good as it gets and his gentle Irish accent makes the story more vivid. I can’t wait for the second book of the trilogy !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3790)
    Performance
    (3333)
    Story
    (3338)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "The trilogy comes to an end : it was time !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the first two books of the trilogy, and was looking forward to the third episode. Deception was waiting for me : Follet seems have run out of steam and inspiration. The book focuses and leverages on the great events that have characterized the world since WW2 from the Cuba crisis to the election of President Obama. The members of the four families that had given the tread to the plot in the first two books happen to be (can you believe it?!) all very close to the main figures and the events that made the history. So, one is working closely with Krutchev , one the the assistant to Bobby Kennedy and another a German politician that fled East Germany in 1948… Follet then uses them to give an “insider view “ of the history of the past 60 years. The results are disappointing: it is a succession of anecdotes and superficial analysis that add nothing to our understanding and memories of the past years.. As a result, the characters become very sketchy and the story plot unexciting as the focus is now the BIG PICTURE (but a big picture superficially described).
    Boy, I am glad it is over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Live by Night

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Adam Sims
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    Joe Coughlin is 19 when he meets Emma Gould. A small-time thief in 1920s Boston, he is told to cuff her while his accomplices raid the casino she works for. But Joe falls in love with Emma - and his life changes forever.

    That meeting is the beginning of Joe's journey to becoming one of the nation's most feared and respected gangsters. It is a journey beset by violence, double-crossing, drama, and pain. And it is a journey into the soul of prohibition-era America....

    antonio says: "A tough gangster story by a great writer"
    "A tough gangster story by a great writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The novel follows the criminal career path of Joe Coughlin, one of the sons of a corrupt police officer described in Lehane’s prior book “The Given Day” (which have not YET read).
    It’s a though gangster story with likable and authentic characters, an engaging plot, witty and realistic dialogue and moments of real suspense alternated with times of reflection and observation of Florida and Cuba in the prohibition times. A thoroughly thrilling and satisfying read in every way.
    If you know Dennis Lehane , this is a book at par with the prior ones ; if you do not, here is an excellent opportunity to discover a great writer !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Quiet Game

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (366)

    When former prosecutor Penn Cage returns to his hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, he doesn't find the peace he desperately craves. He finds that his own father is being blackmailed by a corrupt ex-cop. And when Penn investigates, he uncovers a murderous secret - and the small town's violent past.

    Daniel Mcafee says: "What a Great Surprise"
    "My first Greg Iles ; many more to come....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Penn Cage, a successful prosecutor from Houston and famous author of legal thrillers, returns to his boyhood home in Natchez, Mississippi following his wife's death. Suddenly , almost by chance, Cage finds himself reopening a cold case , relating to the murder of the union leader Del Payton that has remained unsolved for thirty years. In the midst of a storm of racial tensions, crime and political intrigue in which all the major suspects are playing The Quiet Game, a game of waiting to see who breaks first.
    The book is developing along a solid and very articulated plot where Penn Cage turns every stone and finds embarrassing trues for a number of well established citizens of Natchez. The beginning is slow as the writer defines the settings, sketches out the various characters and immerses us in the unique Mississipi atmosphere. Then the story picks up momentum and becomes fast paced and the (not without some credibility issues) and the detective thriller turns into a legal thriller with dramatic turns and twists in the court that lead to the –predictable- “grand final “.
    I found that – in the second half of the book- there is probably way too much action (shooting/running..) which results in a trade-off between suspense and adrenaline versus psychological analysis and credibility (and that makes Penn Cage turn into a Sylvester Stallone). Also, once we get at the end of the story we realize that the universe of characters is made by either very good or very bad guys…This is not real life, but thrillers are not meant to be about real life..
    Nevertheless this is a truly enjoyable book, very well written. Looking forward more of Greg Iles stories…
    PS : I’ve read a couple of reviews mentioning that there is too much sex. In truth, sex is very mild, but it is difficult to understand why some readers can live with violence, murder, bad words and get edgy when read hints that the main characters at some point in the story make love and enjoy it. Also, isn’t sex (and more generally the lust) part of real life and a key to understand the true essence of people ? More sex in your next books , please Mr Iles

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29331)
    Performance
    (25882)
    Story
    (25953)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "A must read !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like in the most romantic stories, Amy and Nick, young, good-looking, and somewhat successful writers meet at a party in New York, fall in love and get married. Five years later very little - if anything – of the magic has remained. They have lost their job and moved to a small town in the mid-west. All of a sudden, Amy is missing. And from there, a more and more surprising and devious plot develops, supported by the elegant and witty style of a Gillian Flynn, a very talented writer.
    The story transcends the basics of the thriller plot (is Amy dead? Did Nick kill her?) and talks cleverly about the disillusion of a couple that grows cynical about their own relationship (when reality substitutes the image that each partner had presented initially), about life in small-town America (versus New York )and the power and influence of the media .

    The first half of the book –the one talking about the story of Amy and Nick prior to her disappearing and about the first couple of days of Amy missing- is so well written and engaging that made me think that this was truly the best book I had read for a long time. From then onwards, however, the story starts getting unduly complex and loses the elegant momentum it had initially.
    Many readers find the end disappointing; I rather think that is “cerebral” as if Gillian Flynn felt the need to construct rationally an end that would be “psychologically consistent” with the trajectory of the main characters. I would have preferred something coming more from the guts..

    Despite the shortcomings, I enjoyed tremendously the book and had great time in reading it .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight in Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Alan Furst
    • Narrated By Daniel Gerroll
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (184)

    Paris, 1938: As the shadow of war darkens Europe, democratic forces on the Continent struggle against fascism and communism, while in Spain the war has already begun. Alan Furst, whom Vince Flynn has called "the most talented espionage novelist of our generation", now gives us a taut, suspenseful, romantic, and richly rendered novel of spies and secret operatives in Paris and New York, in Warsaw and Odessa, on the eve of World War II.

    Annie M. says: "Furst + Carroll = WIN!"
    "Here we go again...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Alain Furst , a truly good writer with an incredible insight into the years preceding the second world war and the capability to beautifully describe characters and atmospheres... But , this time again, the plot is weak with no momentum and clear direction. So the reader get lost (or bored) and loses gradually interest for the story.
    Daniel Gerroll is by far not fitting the bill and his narration is at time embarrassing.

    All in all, a deception!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Burning Room

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Titus Welliver
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but any other evidence is virtually nonexistent. Now Bosch and his new partner, rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case.

    North Haven says: "Go Harry"
    "A good reading, but Bosch stories are aging..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, one can find the strengths of Connelly’s books (and of the Harry Bosh saga): a linear story, a very solid and credible plot, characters well depicted and a catchy Los Angeles providing as usual a great background to the action. However, somehow the book is not engaging as most of the Bosh stories used to be. May be is Bosh that has aged: from the passionate, intense, almost dark hero that used to be, Harry is now a grumpy, a bit cynical cop flirting with (and fighting) retirement. Glimpses into his private life –that should provide pauses and contrast to the thriller plot- are frankly boring: he is a worrying father to a teenage girl without really other interest or relationship. This is emblematic of the lost charisma of Bosh and a key to understand why this book is less engaging than the first ones of the series. I must however say that, in relative terms, is by far not the worse book that Connelly has recently written. In fact, in absolute terms, the book is overall a good experience and had no problems in keeping up through the (good) end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Any Human Heart: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (135)

    Best-selling author William Boyd—the novelist who has been called a “master storyteller” (Chicago Tribune) and “a gutsy writer who is good company to keep” (Time)—here gives us his most entertaining, sly, and compelling novel to date. The novel evokes the tumult, events, and iconic faces of our time as it tells the story of Logan Mountstuart—writer, lover, and man of the world—through his intimate journals. It is the “riotous and disorganized reality” of Mountstuart’s 85 years in all their extraordinary, tragic, and humorous aspects.

    connie says: "very satisfying story-telling"
    "The long journey of an ordinary/extraordinary man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is written as an autobiographic diary, and, at first, one can find it a bit obvious, if not boring, as the main character, Logan Montstuart (LMS), writes about his experiences of young middle-class boy going to public school and discovering life. But then quickly the story grows in intensity, interest and emotions, as Boyd draws his character with more decisive strokes and blends him in the “air du temps”. In his 85 years of life, LMS (a writer, art dealer, spy, professor and many things more) goes through the most complex periods and events of the 20th century not as a hero, but simply as a close witness. He happens to meet famous people (Picasso, Hemmingway, Virginia Wolff, Ian Fleming and Edward VIII, to name a few) to live in different countries and continents, to be involved in complex plots, but always as a witness or rather as someone that casually happens to be there rather than somebody truly driving his life and destiny. As he gets old, LMS becomes self reflective on his own experiences and more generally on life and its meaning. The reader, at the beginning a distant witness of his life, becomes more and more involved and moved by the uneven trajectory of LMS, his rise and fall, and his melancholic journey through old age.
    The book is far from being perfect (at times one feels that episodes and famous characters are “thrown in” simply to make the story interesting and keep the momentum), but Boyd is a wonderful writer and little by little seduces and engages deeply the reader.
    All in all, I truly enjoyed it !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Sport and a Pastime

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By James Salter
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    "As nearly perfect as any American fiction I know," is how Reynolds Price (The New York Times) described this classic that has been a favorite of readers, both here and in Europe, for almost forty years. Set in provincial France in the 1960s, it is the intensely carnal story - part shocking reality, part feverish dream - of a love affair between a footloose Yale dropout and a young French girl. There is the seen and the unseen - and pages that burn with a rare intensity.

    antonio says: "Grace, lust and melancholy"
    "Grace, lust and melancholy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    South of France, late 50s…Imagine Dean, a young man a young man dropout of a prestigious university (I immediately thought of James Dean), meeting Marie, a young woman (think of Jean Seberg ) who works as a clerk in a small company. He is rich, reckless, charming and a daydreamer. Drives a luxurious cabriolet, but lives on borrowed money. She is quiet, low profile, modest and passionate. They meet, make love, and travel all over France in his borrowed car. Theirs is affection with sex, probably not love; complicity without true communication, melancholy without dreams. All along there is a lingering sense of disaster inevitably approaching.

    James Salter is a wonderful writer: his prose is elegant and delicate and the characters are beautifully sketched out. The sex scenes are explicitly described, but Dean and Marie feelings are portrayed in a fuzzy, tentative way as they were a distant dream. The sense of the passing time –that is so present in all his books- and the magnificent atmosphere of the changing seasons in South of France are a wonderful background to the story.

    A great book of a superb author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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