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Charlie K

Princeton Junction, NJ United States

ratings
54
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
26

  • Body of Lies

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Iris Johansen
    • Narrated By Cherry Jones
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan matches wits with a killer who challenges her skill, tests her courage, and threatens her family. From Iris Johansen, best selling author of The Search, comes this fast-paced and terrifying psychological thriller that pushes the level of suspense to the absolute limit - and beyond.

    Mario says: "No lie, it is a stinko-PU"
    "Tedious"
    Overall

    I found this book to be rather superficial and tedious. It was hard to get excited about either the charaters or the plot.

    12 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sara Gran
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (431)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (361)

    Claire DeWitt is not your average private investigator. She has brilliant skills of deduction and is an ace at discovering evidence. But Claire also uses her dreams, omens, and mind-expanding herbs to help her solve mysteries, and relies on Détection—the only book published by the great and mysterious French detective Jacques Silette before his death.

    A. D. Mcrae says: "Mostly Disappointed but it was Quick"
    "Quirky and Compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As with many relationships, getting to know Claire DeWitt was not easy.

    I purchased this book in July and made three attempts to listen to it. Each time I gave up in irritation. Seven months later, I've finally connected with the book. I finished it today and immediately purchased the next volume in the series. Clearly my feelings have changed.

    Claire DeWiit and the City of the Dead is a well-written, interesting and very quirky book. Be warned -- if you don't like foul language and dislike drug use, you will find the book offensive. The heroine is not a clean living character through she is deeply moral and even heroic.

    I don't really agree with those who classify this book as noir or even as a mystery. While there are stylistic elements that suggest it, this is not hard-boiled stuff. The goal is not to figure out a puzzle. It's closer, in my mind to Harry Dresden but with far less emphasis on the supernatural. Just a bit of something beyond the rational is always present at Claire DeWitt's core.

    Claire does not choose to be a detective. She has been fated to become one. And detectives like Claire DeWitt are very different kind from police officers. For Claire the search for truth is mystical, a philosophy and a calling that requires her to jack into a plane of reality that's different from everyday experience. Bits of truth will come to you in dreams, when you are high, when you meet others whose journeys intersect yours. And knowing how few people value truth will make you cynical. You won't be well-liked either.

    As a detective, you are compelled to search for truth but you will pay a price (again, much like Harry Dresden does). Being a detective DeWitt style is not a happy choice and I very much doubt that she will live a long and healthy life. Surely not a conventional one.

    The book is set in post Katrina New Orleans. It's a city I love and I really enjoyed her take on the city which I also visited after the hurricane. The story effectively alternates with a back story that reveals who Claire is and how she came to her calling. It's good writing and the narration by Carol Monda is superb.

    If you are a concrete-thinking person who is looking for a good mystery novel, you will probably not enjoy this book. If you enjoy fantasy and sarcasm and are willing to play along with the author and suspend disbelief, you may (as I did) find the book a really enjoyable experience.

    It took me seven months to get into the first book and seven minutes to purchase the second volume. And I'm now 12 chapters into the second book and enjoying it a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cop Town

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1000)
    Performance
    (841)
    Story
    (850)

    Atlanta, 1974: It's Kate Murphy's first day on the job, and the Atlanta Police Department is seething after the murder of an officer. Before the day has barely begun, she already suspects she's not cut out to be a cop. Her male uniform is too big, she can't handle a gun, and she's rapidly learning that the APD is hardly a place that welcomes women. Worse still, in the ensuing manhunt she'll be partnered with Maggie Lawson, a cop with her own ax to grind.

    Ronna says: "Women cops in bigoted 1974 Georgia"
    "Violent, nasty, unrealistic and weak."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Obviously some people loved it. I didn't. Paper thin characters. Plot is weak. Men are unrelentingly racist, sexist and mean. No matter how much violence the women are unaffected. Book is a downer. I'd give it a pass.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anansi Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Lenny Henry
    Overall
    (4461)
    Performance
    (2272)
    Story
    (2289)

    Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times best seller American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny, a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him."

    A. Hawley says: "Beautifully narrated"
    "Great fun. Great performance."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Light-hearted but with depth this is the best Neil Gaiman I've read to date. The story is good natured - the characters likeable. Based on West African myths but set in London, Florida, and a fictional Caribbean island called St. Andrews.

    Lenny Henry is superb, shifting among British and island accents.

    Rarely do I give a book give stars but this one merits it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Critical Mass: VI Warshawski, Book 16

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Sara Paretsky
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (183)

    V. I. Warshawski’s closest friend in Chicago is the Viennese-born doctor Lotty Herschel, who lost most of her family in the Holocaust. Lotty escaped to London in 1939 on the Kindertransport with a childhood playmate, Kitty Saginor Binder. When Kitty’s daughter finds her life is in danger, she calls Lotty, who in turn summons V. I. to help. The daughter’s troubles turn out to be just the tip of an iceberg of lies, secrets, and silence, whose origins go back to the mad competition among America, Germany, Japan, and England to develop the first atomic bomb.

    Paty says: "Shrillness...not for the faint of heat"
    "Good writing and a dark, intricate plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It's been a while since I've read a VI Warshawski book and I enjoyed this one a lot.

    Recently, I've been disappointed at the quality of writing that I've encountered in a number of mystery novels. Not here. Sara Paretsky is an excellent writer.

    The plot in this book relates to World War II and the Holocaust. It's not always the easiest material to listen to but it's clear that Paretsky has done her research well. The intricate plot weaves the current mystery with a back story that feels realistic and detailed.

    It's also clear that the author has concerns and a position about current issues. She weaves them in but does not bludgeon the reader with them. As a result, I found the references to current issues like privacy and government surveillance added to the sense of depth.

    I have one long-standing gripe with Ms. Paretsky that I had forgotten but which re-emerged when I "read" this book. Many of her characters are hard-edged and interactions are often nasty. Perhaps that is the way of the world but it's a bit of a downer. I am always amazed by VI's ability to maintain her cool in the face of verbal assault.

    With all that, Critical Mass is a good and engaging listen. I found myself engaged and wanting to keep listening. The ending is satisfying and the author ties up a lot of lose threads -- another grip I have about many books that seem to end far too abruptly.

    I give this book 4.5 stars. It's well worth a listen.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Black Sun Rising: Coldfire Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By C. S. Friedman
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (697)
    Performance
    (629)
    Story
    (644)

    The Coldfire trilogy tells a story of discovery and battle against evil on a planet where a force of nature exists that is capable of reshaping the world in response to psychic stimulus. This terrifying force, much like magic, has the power to prey upon the human mind, drawing forth a person's worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams and indiscriminately giving them life. This is the story of two men. They are absolute enemies who must unite to conquer an evil greater than anything their world has ever known.

    William says: "Tedium Ad Nauseum"
    "Interesting Concept but Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first started listening to this book I was very hopeful. It has an interesting conceit - a world which contains a force that responds to human thoughts and shapes the physical environment accordingly. I found the protagonist, a warrior-priest with a mission, a refreshing change from the usual.

    Alas, I got bogged down in the book and found getting to the end difficult. The development of the plot and the characters did not fulfill the original promise. Instead, the story became tedious and repetitive. Motivations were not clear. By the end I didn't care anymore.

    Too bad, because it had a great concept.

    That being said, others seem to like the book so read the reviews carefully. Perhaps it will be your cuppa tea. Sadly, it was not mine.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12900)
    Performance
    (11717)
    Story
    (11745)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Charles says: "Completely Engaging"
    "A fun listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    14 is a fun book and a worthwhile listen. It might have been a deeper and more powerful book but many questions are not explored and the conclusion is rather swift and sketchy, That's why I left off the 5th star.

    But it is enjoyable, light-hearted (for a supernatural thriller) and good-natured.

    Worth a listen., especially if you are looking for escape and you don't want to slog through a 30 hour fantasy novel.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life with Crows: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2171)
    Performance
    (1862)
    Story
    (1851)

    For the first time in unabridged audio! A small Kansas town has turned into a killing ground. Is it a serial killer, a man with the need to destroy? Or is it a darker force, a curse upon the land? Amid golden cornfields, FBI Special Agent Pendergast discovers evil in the blood of America's heart.

    Polly says: "SCARY, WEIRD, ENGAGING"
    "Not Profound but Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Books like this remind me of TV shows. The characters are not deep and the plot is not realistic. If you really thought about it you would find lots of holes in the story.

    That being said, the characters are interesting and the story engaging.

    If you are looking to shut off your mind and listen to a good, if implausible, story you should enjoy the book (assuming you like mystery and horror).

    If you want something more, you might be disappointed.

    Charlie

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (19966)
    Performance
    (17765)
    Story
    (17731)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "A Truly Enjoyable Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I must admit that I purchased this book with some trepidation. I thought that the concept of time travel and changing history was a bit strained and the book was likely to be hokey.

    I was wrong.

    Stephen King has written an engaging novel which, in some ways, is reminiscent of the Dark Tower series (although much shorter). What makes the book, in my opinion, are the wonderful characterizations and level of detail. For example, there is one scene in which the protagonist, Jake Epping, has a migraine headache. Rather than just mentioning it, King weaves the throbbing pain into the narrative in a way that any migraine sufferer will relate to.

    The book is well-researched. The novel revolves around events related to the Kennedy assassination and it is clear that the author did his homework. He talks about the research in an afterward.

    The ending of the book is satisfying. I often feel that novels end far too abruptly. Not this one. The ending takes a good hour and ties up a lot of loose ends. I thoroughly enjoyed this listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Masques: Aralorn, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Patricia Briggs
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Patricia Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1272)
    Performance
    (883)
    Story
    (900)

    After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. Her latest mission involves spying on the increasingly powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae'Magi. But in a war against an enemy armed with the powers of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is - or where he will strike next?

    Tabitha says: "Satisfying tale, interesting characters"
    "A worthwhile first nove;"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If you are someone who enjoys the fantasy genre and Patricia Briggs. this first novel is worth a listen. It is far from her best work but it is pleasant and you can see the seeds of her later work in it.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13679)
    Performance
    (10365)
    Story
    (10372)

    A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.

    Tom says: "Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering"
    "A Fun Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. It is the first published novel of Jim Butcher and (according to Wikipedia) he had a heck of a time getting it published. Not clear why because the book is well-written and kept me engaged.Often in this type of urban noir fantasy mysteries the characterization is superficial. Here there was depth and interesting twists.Neither the author nor the protagonist seems to take themselves overly seriously and that is all to the good. Is it a perfect book or a classic -- no. But it's fun and engaging. I plan to read the rest of the series.My one complaint is the heavy breathing that James Marsters indulges in. Not sure if this was deliberate or poor audio editing but I found it distracting and annoying. Too bad because his reading is otherwise fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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