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Amazon Customer

I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.

Member Since 2014

297
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 140 reviews
  • 172 ratings
  • 518 titles in library
  • 47 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
7
FOLLOWERS
14

  • Footfall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    Overall
    (1145)
    Performance
    (746)
    Story
    (742)

    They first appear as a series of dots on astronomical plates, heading from Saturn directly toward Earth. Since the ringed planet carries no life, scientists deduce the mysterious ship to be a visitor from another star. The world's frantic efforts to signal the aliens go unanswered. The first contact is hostile: the invaders blast a Soviet space station, seize the survivors, and then destroy every dam and installation on Earth with a hail of asteriods.

    Flatlander says: "Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle at Their Best"
    "No one to care about in this book. Weird pacing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So, I'm working my way through all the top sci-fi classics, and I keep bumping into Larry Niven and his okay-ish novels.

    My problem with Niven is that he has no clue how to write an interesting character. Throughout all of his novels I haven't been able to make myself care about any of them. That being said, it's hard to care about any plot if you don't have a stake in the outcome.

    Footfall was one of those books I had to really work to get through. I was bored almost the entire time.

    I found the pacing weird as well. How long did it take for this story to unfold? Months? Years? Decades? I'm not sure. I found the time transitions to be confusing, and I didn't like the book enough to sort it out.

    Oh, and the narrator's alien voice was a bold choice... that annoyed the heck out of me. "A" for effort, "D-" for execution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Niccolò Machiavelli
    • Narrated By Greg Wagland
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    The Prince, Machiavelli's 'little book', was written in 1513 and is dedicated to Lorenzo de' Medici. It remains a compelling and controversial treatise on politics, dispensing often cynical, sometimes brutal advice on gaining power and retaining it. Essential listening for our masters perhaps, but most certainly for those of us who would not be mastered. The text used here is the unabridged and classic translation by W. K. Marriott.

    Amazon Customer says: "Well, at least I can say I've read it"
    "Well, at least I can say I've read it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping that this book, like the Art of War, would give me insights into how to deal with modern workplace politics or have some other applicable lessons. And, like the Art of War, I was disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (4153)
    Performance
    (3769)
    Story
    (3747)

    From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.

    FanB14 says: "Devout Fan Disappointed"
    "Always a Sedaris fan, but this isn't his best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Frankly I would listen to David Sedaris reading a grocery list. His storytelling is superb, and even when he's not bringing his A-game, he's still phenomenal.

    That being said, this book wasn't particularly memorable. And if you're new to Sedaris, I'd recommend looking elsewhere first.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25240)
    Performance
    (20979)
    Story
    (20964)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Fascinating protagonist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not usually one to go in for murder mysteries, but I was looking for something high-rated and different. I was very pleased with The Girl on the Train. It was a very interesting story, told from a fascinating point of view.

    I found the protagonists character development to be particularly cathartic, as she begins to reanalyze her past through new eyes. It was a good reminder that some of our deepest regrets were not the black-and-white mistakes that they appear to be in our memories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End of the Road

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tom Bodett
    • Narrated By Tom Bodett
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    As national spokesman for the Motel 6 chain, as a commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and as creator of the nationally syndicated radio program The End of the Road, Tom Bodett has a voice familiar to millions. Now you can listen, at your pleasure, to his stories about likable, genuine, slightly wacky people who live in the little Alaska town at the end of the road.

    Daniel says: "Like friend's you haven't met"
    "Unique audiobook experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My parents used to play Tom Bodett audiobooks on tape during long car rides. Now, 20 years later I'm revisiting these stories through adult ears, and I love them just as much.

    Funny, touching, bittersweet. Tom Bodett tells these tales masterfully and introduces you to a place and community that you want to live in.

    I'm making my way through the whole series again. If you never have, you'll thank yourself for taking the ride.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1176)
    Performance
    (978)
    Story
    (994)

    Two men possess vital information on Russia's Star Wars missile defense system. One of them is Cardinal -- America's highest agent in the Kremlin -- and he's about to be terminated by the KGB. The other one is the American who can save Cardinal and lead the world to the brink of peace . . . or war. Here is author Tom Clancy's heart-stopping masterpiece -- a riveting novel about one of the most intriguing issues of our time.

    Kara Davis says: "Great story, bad narration"
    "Tom Clancy is one of a kind."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's been about 15 years since I picked up a Clancy novel. I never read the Jack Ryan series because the movies spoiled them for me. I was pleased to find this unmolested book so early in the series, and thought it would be a good place to start. I was right.

    Tom Clancy is not easy to get into. His stories are ... well ... verbose. His knowledge, research, and imagination combine to make extremely interesting and technically detailed stories that have no equal that I've ever heard of. His plots are intricate and huge. Disparate threads are interwoven throughout his novels, and only reveal their pattern in the third act. That means you need to invest a lot of time learning about seemingly inconsequential things before the payoff reveals itself. It's easy to stall out.

    I'm giving this story 4 of 5 stars because it was a worthwhile read, and had a satisfying payoff... but it could have used an editor, could have used more Jack Ryan, and could have had a more exciting climax.

    It wasn't great, but it was a unique read, and just listening to Clancy get technical about military and intelligence matters is just something you can't find anywhere else.

    3 of 5 stars for narration because throughout the book there are jarring production problems where entire passages were clumsily edited in during post-production, with significant volume and tone differences that rip you right out of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Brass Verdict: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    Overall
    (4635)
    Performance
    (2148)
    Story
    (2138)

    Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent's killer may be coming for him next.

    Jeff says: "Five Star Book; Three Star Narration"
    "Fantastic blending of two series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't read the original "Lincoln Lawyer", having seen the movie, I didn't think I'd be able to enjoy the mystery. But after reading the first in the Bosch series, and seeing that show, I decided to check out this second installment in the Lincoln Lawyer series, and see how it blended with Bosch. It was phenomenal.

    Bosch is very much second-seat in this story, and in a way, this book feels like the passing of the baton to Connelly's newer protagonist. But Bosch's gravitas is strongly felt here, and gives the story an interesting dynamic.

    I'm a big fan of Connelly's now, and I'm going to be reading more of his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Echo: Harry Bosch Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5986)
    Performance
    (3866)
    Story
    (3869)

    For LAPD homicide cop Harry Bosch - hero, maverick, nighthawk - the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal. The dead man, Billy Meadows, was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who fought side by side with him in a nightmare underground war that brought them to the depths of hell.

    Daniel Mcafee says: "What a Terrific Book"
    "Huh... I guess I'm a Michael Connelly fan."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I grudging watched the TV series "Bosch" at the prompting of parents. Detective stories and murder mysteries are just not my thing, but I've been bored and wanted to give something new a try. It took a few episodes, but I was hooked. By the end I needed more.

    I generally stay away from pop authors who poor out a huge volume of books, but I figured that the first book in a popular series must have some merit and creativity, and a great hook of some kind, if an entire series and career was built on it, right?

    I was extremely happy with The Black Echo. It was well written, and I really enjoyed meeting this original version of Harry Bosch. This book had all the suspense and grit of the TV series. More so, perhaps.

    I've got other Bosch stories in my queue now, and I've started into the Lincoln Lawyer works as well. Connelly has earned a fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow of What Was Lost: The Licanius Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By James Islington
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (2500)
    Performance
    (2236)
    Story
    (2235)

    It has been 20 years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs, once thought of almost as gods, were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict, their much-feared powers mysteriously failing them. Those who had ruled under them, men and women with a lesser ability known as the Gift, avoided the Augurs' fate only by submitting themselves to the rebellion's Four Tenets.

    alfred says: "James Islington Has A Great Epic Here"
    "Definitely a standout in the fantasy genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been trying a lot of new fantasy series lately... and by that I mean that I'll read the first book, like it a little, but won't be compelled to go on. This book was an exception.

    The Shadow of What was Lost was not the easiest book to slip into, but it wasn't the challenge that some fantasy books are. The prologue was a mistake, I think. The same one that Sanderson made in The Way of Kings. Starting the book at a moment of high action is fine. But starting it in a moment of high action where the stakes and mechanics are unclear, and where the characters are irrelevant to the plot is just a waste of time, and barrier to entry for the reader.

    THAT said, once I settled into the book I was very happy with how it progressed. It was interesting, full of drama and tension and fascinating characters. The mechanics of the magic in the world are revealed in slow but satisfying way. The narration is superb.

    There are plenty of genre cliches, but the story is unique enough to compel me on. It doesn't feel like a rehashing of anything I've read before, as so many fantasy series do.

    I am very eager to see where this series goes, and extremely frustrated that I'll have a long wait to find out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dangerous Animals Club

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Stephen Tobolowsky
    • Narrated By Stephen Tobolowsky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (204)

    If you ran into Stephen Tobolowsky on the street, you would not be mistaken: Yes, you’ve seen him before. A childhood dentist? A former geometry teacher? Your local florist? Tobolowsky is a character actor, one of the most prolific screen and stage presences of our time, having appeared in productions that range from Deadwood to Glee, from Mississippi Burning to Groundhog Day. But Stephen Tobolowsky, it turns out, is not just an actor; he is also a dazzlingly talented storyteller and writer.

    Gina says: "Will Rogers, Spalding Gray, Alexandre Dumas HACKS!"
    "Stephen Tobolowsky is a phenomenal storyteller."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I discovered Stephen Tobolowsky's writing and storytelling through his podcast. I'd recognized him as one of my favorite character actors, but never would have guessed him to be such a wellspring of touching, funny, intelligent, and profoundly moving stories.

    Tobolowsky occasionally veers into the realm of the corny, but this doesn't happen often, and I'll gladly pay that toll to hear his genuinely upbeat philosophy about life.

    Listening to him talk about his life and carrier is like sitting down and talking with a good friend. I strongly recommend this book, and Tobolowsky's storytelling in general.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rosie Project: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Graeme Simsion
    • Narrated By Dan O'Grady
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3169)
    Performance
    (2828)
    Story
    (2822)

    Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical - most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent - and on a quest of her own....

    Margaret says: "A fun listen"
    "I'd give it 6 stars if I could"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Halfway into this book I realized it was going to be one of my all-time favorites. It's hilarious, smart, and absolutely beautiful. Graeme Simsion has created an incredibly touching story here. It was so wonderful that I lost half a nights' sleep because I couldn't pull myself away.

    Dan O'Grady deserves a round of applause. His narration was absolutely perfect, and really brought the characters to life.

    The main character reminded me very much of Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, and this story was exactly the sort of character development I've always wanted to see on that show. It was very satisfying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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