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antonio

A reviewer's got to do what a reviewer's got to do

genthod, Switzerland | Member Since 2011

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 38 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 94 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Eight Million Ways to Die

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Lawrence Block
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (29)

    Battling the bottle one day at a time, ex-cop, sometime PI Matthew Scudder finds that next to staying sober, staying alive seems easy. But in the mean streets of New York City it never is. Not for the prostitute who wanted out and got her beautiful self slashed to ribbons. Not for a pimp named Chance who is betting his life that the broken-down detective can find her murderer. And not for Matthew Scudder - just trying to stay alive in a city that knows nothing better than how to die.

    antonio says: "Matt Scudder is the best !"
    "Matt Scudder is the best !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Eight Million Ways to Die to be better than the print version?

    Yes, certainly. I've read the book many years ago, but was truly a pleasure to listen to it. Lawrence Block does a great job in reading it and one can see the empathy with the main character (i.e. Matt Scudder)


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Eight Million Ways to Die?

    There not a particular moment. The strength of this book is the way the author describes characters and the NY atmosphere . Reflective with a dark humor and an acute sense on how to develop the plot


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

    It is simply a different experience .


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

    The beginning and the end


    Any additional comments?

    Lawrence Block is one of the very best writers of crime novels ( probably better than Michael Connelly). The challenge with him is that he has written too many books of uneven quality. With Matt Scudder he is at his best (probably because is the character closer to him) and delivers very consistent top quality books

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil Knows You're Dead: A Matthew Scudder Crime Novel, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    In New York City, there is little sense and no rules, and those who fly the highest often come crashing down the hardest. A deranged, derelict, crazed Vietnam vet has been arrested for gunning down successful young lawyer Glenn Holtzmann at a corner phone booth on 11th Avenue - and the suspect's brother wants unlicensed private investigator Matthew Scudder to prove the madman innocent. But Scudder's curiosity and dedication are leading him to dark, unexplored places in his own heart…and to passions and secrets that could destroy everything he loves.

    antonio says: "A journey between murder and melancholy"
    "A journey between murder and melancholy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Matthew Scudder’ s books are not the typical detective story where a detective -the good guy- solves a mystery of a murder and gets the bad guy behind the bars and where suspense, violence and intensity are the basic ingredients of the plot. There is a bit (at times a lot) of all this in Scudder’s stories, but there is much more. Scudder is continuously in a soul-searching mode, engaged in a journey towards redemption from his demons (alcohol, bad memories, life failures). He does all this without rhetoric or drama; he is a man with a natural sense of self-reflection combined with a self-deprecating sense of humour. He is also smart, though when needed and a great at reading people behaviours.
    In this particular book Scudder is asked to help solve the mystery of the death of a prosperous lawyer; a presumed killer is caught by the police, but …. Other more personal events cross Matt’s journey toward the truth and allow different levels of reflection, which the standards detective books do not usually do.
    New York provides a fantastic background to the story and Joe Barret is as good as it gets.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cairo Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (239)

    Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed. Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated.

    Darwin8u says: "In the widening gyre"
    "Not engaging..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is off to a great start : the reader is immediately taken into the suspense of what appears to be a very captivating story where personal passions, politics and mistery are intermingled and the main characters seem like the pieces of a grand chess game that is played in Cairo, Budapest, Washington....But little by little the readers' excitment fades away : too many characters , too many useless details and too many levels of a story too complicated . Steinhauer knows how to write : his characters are credible and you can smell the scent of Cairo when it talks about the city , but , by losing focus,he fails to maintain the right tension and the sense of purpose and loses the reader attention. By the end of the book i was no longer engaged ...and was glad it was finished.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of the Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (605)
    Performance
    (391)
    Story
    (393)

    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 !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Light Years

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By James Salter
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    This exquisite, resonant novel by PEN/Faulkner winner James Salter is a brilliant portrait of a marriage by a contemporary American master. It is the story of Nedra and Viri, whose favored life is centered around dinners, ingenious games with their children, enviable friends, and near-perfect days passed skating on a frozen river or sunning on the beach.

    antonio says: "A story of ordinary unhappiness"
    "A story of ordinary unhappiness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book covers most of the life of Nedra and Ivri, a middle-class suburban couple with two children. They go through life withouth true values, intimacy and any deep sense of realities. There are hopes (no true passions) and rather trivial dreams (traveling to Europe, glamour , wealth, the sexy secretary..) ; their life fades away and ends almost like a candle that has burned out in the dark. Beautifully written, but unengaging , sad and,at times , almost boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Sparrow: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jason Matthews
    • Narrated By Jeremy Bobb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1122)
    Performance
    (1008)
    Story
    (1013)

    Drafted against her will to become a "Sparrow" - a trained seductress in the service, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow.

    Melinda says: "Sexy Saucy Spies"
    "A GREAT disappointment ...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A number of great reviews pushed me to buy and read (or rather to "listen to") this book . What a disappointment ! The story moves along stereotypes : "our" guys are all good, corageous smart & fighting for a better world (except a couple of top CIA bureaucrats) ; "theirs" guys (the Russians) are so unbelievably stupid, mean and corrupt (except those of are willing to betray their country). Modern Russia is like URSS (the Evil Empire) , if not worse. The reader does not develop empathy for the main characters as they are lacking depth and originality ; the plot moves fast , but gets boring after a while.
    On surface it sounds and looks like a Le Carré cold war novel , but it is only a pale imitation. Stay away !!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance at the Slaughterhouse: Matthew Scudder, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In Matt Scudder's mind, money, power, and position elevate nobody above morality or the law. Now the ex-cop and unlicensed PI has been hired to prove that socialite Richard Thurman orchestrated the brutal murder of his beautiful, pregnant wife. During Scudder's hard-drinking years, he left a piece of his soul on every seedy corner of the Big Apple. But this case is more depraved and more potentially devastating than anything he experienced while floundering in the urban depths.

    antonio says: "Dark, engaging, well written !"
    "Dark, engaging, well written !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the darkest Matt Scudder's book of the serie so far : sex for sale, snuff films and an evil killer . New York provides a fantastic background to the story and a number of convincing and engaging characters (Elaine , Tj) accompany Matt Scudder in his journey towards the truth. Joe Barret is as good as it gets.

    Another great book : Audible should make available the whole serie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All That Is

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By James Salter
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    From his experiences as a naval officer in Japan during World War II, Philip Bowman returns to America and becomes a book editor. He soon inhabits a world where affairs ignite, alcohol reigns, writers struggle, and publishers hustle. As one marriage goes bad and another fails to happen; he meets a woman who enthralls, then betrays him, setting him on a course he could never have imagined for himself.

    antonio says: "Life goes by so fast"
    "Life goes by so fast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    James Salter's writing is beautiful, elegant and delicate at the same time and gives you plenty of emotions . The life of the main characters is presented in a series of pictures at different times of his existence , without an excessively structured and logic connection.
    We are the privileged witness of his hopes, emotions, deceptions ; we feel with him thorough 60+ years. A great book, plenty of joy and sadness, which reminds us that great literature can be great fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Solo

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Dominic West
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    A James Bond novel written by William Boyd. It is 1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge. A seasoned veteran of the service, 007 is sent to single-handedly stop a civil war in the small West African nation of Zanzarim. Aided by a beautiful accomplice and hindered by the local militia, he undergoes a scarring experience which compels him to ignore M’s orders in pursuit of his own brand of justice.

    antonio says: "This sounds really like Bond, James Bond.."
    "This sounds really like Bond, James Bond.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a fervent reader of the Ian Fleming books in my early years , I have been deeply disappointed by the various attempts of different writers to re-create James Bond. This time is different. If anything , the best I can say about this book is that , at times, it really sounds like the real thing. The worse is that James Bond - as a character- comes through as a bit "depassė" with his snobbish and macho attitude and belongs to a world ( Cold War) forever gone...In any case this is good entertainment and I would certainly go for an additional " Bond by Boyd" book..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (136)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.

    Bruno says: "Fantastic"
    "Most likely the best Mike Haller story so far...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always considered Mike Haller the byproduct of a diversification strategy where Bosh is the 'core business' ( and the best of all) , while books centered around other characters have the objective to sort of "give a break" to Mike Connelly and let him write without having to consistently reinvent great Bosh stories. This book sets for me a new paradigm; the character of Haller is now maturing , taking a shape and role that stand out on their own ( who cares anymore if he is Bosh half-brother ?). The story plot is as good as it gets, the different characters -including the recurring cast around Mike Haller- engaging and forceful and the reader/listener is hooked to the book from the very beginning.
    The Gods of guilt is a great book and makes me - for the first time- look forward to the next Haller story....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zoo Station

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David Downing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    By 1939, Anglo-American journalist John Russell has spent 15 years in Berlin, where his German-born son lives. He writes human-interest pieces for British and American papers, avoiding the investigative journalism that could get him deported. But as war approaches, he faces the prospect of having to leave his son and his longtime girlfriend.

    antonio says: "Not much happening ...."
    "Not much happening ...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am an avid reader of the Bernie Gunther saga ( by Philip Kerr) which takes mostly place in the pre-war Nazi Germany. Same atmosphere , same background as in Zoo Station, but all this is depicted with a brilliance that David Downing sadly lacks. While Philip Kerr can leverage on this extremely dramatic environment to add intensity and force to the story plot, Downing writes a mousy story set out in a depressing background.
    Looking forward the next Bernie's book.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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