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readqueen

Indianapolis, IN | Member Since 2009

24
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 321 titles in library
  • 37 purchased in 2014
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  • The Beginner's Goodbye

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Anne Tyler
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (150)

    Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, torn apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances: in their house, on the roadway, in the market. Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family's vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.

    Elizabeth Ward says: "Anne Tyler at her Best"
    "Another Anne Tyler Success"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge fan of all books written by Anne Tyler, but this is the first one I've listened to versus read. While the experience is equally enjoyable in both modes, I think the nature of her stories are excellent ones to listen to. Yes, as critics have mentioned, her characters are always not quite what is considered 'normal', but they are not evil or mean spirited. And the characters in this novel are no exception. While this story may not have the depth in the plot line found in her earlier work, it fully holds the reader's/listener's attention. The narrator performed excellently, allowing me to picture each character as the story unfolded. I know I've really enjoyed listening to a book when I turn on my car and am sorry to discover I'm on to another book. I really liked 'The Beginner's Goodbye' and regret having finished it so quickly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Riot: Peter Grant, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1464)
    Performance
    (1340)
    Story
    (1337)

    Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale....

    Nancy J says: "I LOVE this Book!"
    "A unique series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just completed the first book in this series and have now purchased the remaining three. I am usually a reader of more traditional mysteries, but I found this book an engrossing twist on the form. (I did read all of the Harry Potters and Ender books....so I have enjoyed some syfi - supernatural materials in the past.) The reader does a terrific job of communicating the characters and action. Even before finishing the remaining books, I'm hoping there won't be as long of a wait before book 5 comes out as there was between 3 and 4.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wayward: Wayward Pines, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (788)
    Performance
    (719)
    Story
    (723)

    Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amid picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden - except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture. None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they're trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise.

    General Zod says: "I'm Hooked!!!"
    "I can't wait for book 3"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I admit I had no idea until I read a review that I was reading a trilogy. I would have figured it out, though, after book 2, Wayward Pines, as there wasn't a definitive ending. In fact, the whole shebang could have ended with this book with the future of humanity looking rather bleak, but it would have been very unsatisfying. However, as it's not the end of the tale, I am very eager for the final book. I love the narrator - the characters are clear and he uses rate effectively throughout.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Janissary Tree: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jason Goodwin
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (190)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (89)

    It is 1836. Europe is modernizing, and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim Togalu, a man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world. You see, Yashim is a eunuch.

    Andre says: "Turkish History"
    "Wretched Reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I lasted 30 minutes but had chuck it thereby "donating" my money to Audible/Amazon which makes me mad but the reader/performer was terrible. His style sounds as if he thinks he's really good (and someone does as he got paid to do this recording job) but his style is pretentious. You don't believe the characters because it's as if the performer is saying "just listen to this clever - breathy - new vocal trick." His rate is also problematic - very slow as if he thinks it's really important that we hear every word his melodious (officious) voice is uttering. I have never disliked an actor/reader like this before. This is the 2nd audible book I couldn't finish because of the reader - the first was a Stephen King read by Stephen King and he was terrible but then he's not a professional - this guy is supposed to be. I've got more than an hour's drive to get home from work and to get angry because of the wretched performance of a reader does NOT make for a happy Friday. Fortunately, I had an Adrian McGinty book read by Gerard Doyle (I think that's his name) on my mp3 player so the drive home was not a total auditory loss. I regret we can't get our money back for loser readers. I think the story is probably good, but in an audio book the performer must be good as that's how the text is delivered. I may go to the library and get the book, but not one more penny will paid for it. I will, however, remember Stephen Hoyle's name and will NEVER buy another book that he's reading.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Ides of April

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Lindsey Davis
    • Narrated By Lucy Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (27)

    Flavia Albia is the adopted daughter of Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina. From her mother, she learned how to blend in at all levels of society; from her father, she learned the tricks of their mutual professional trade. But her wits and (frequently) sharp tongue are hers alone. Now, working as a private informer in Rome during the reign of Domitian, Flavia has taken over her father’s old ramshackle digs at Fountain Court in the Surbura district, where she plies her trade with energy, determination, and the usual Falco luck.

    readqueen says: "Prefer dead old dad"
    "Prefer dead old dad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this as I love the Falco stories. Sadly, this lacks the humor. Perhaps it's because Falco is such a clearly drawn "character" (in more ways than just one) that a young female just can't compete with him. This isn't a mystery - I knew from the get go who the murderer was, what would be his uh downfall and what the mistaken identity was. I don't recall the Falco stories as being so transparent, but even if they were the stories were just plain fun. In this one, whenever she went to her parents house I'd think "Great, now the story will get more lively" but alas, Falco is not permitted an appearance. The reader was OK....I just miss Falco and the person who reads those books is terrific - just the right amount of dry humor. I think, if you've not read any of Davis' other Roman stories, this would probably work just fine, but for me, I'm just hoping we get to hear from dear old "pa" Falco in the near future.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Winter

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By David Mark
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    What Ian Rankin is to Edinburgh David Mark is to the seaport of Hull in Northern England. This is the beginning of a dynamic, thrilling series featuring detective Sgt. Aector McAvoy, a psychologically-probing investigator who finds patterns and motives in seemingly unrelated deaths in his hardscrabble town.

    readqueen says: "An intriguing tale"
    "An intriguing tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First question - why can't we see all the reviewer ratings like we used to? According to the page this recording is on there are between 5 and 8 reviews, yet I cannot see all of them. Why not an option on the drop down menu for "all" versus the options there now which I could care less about. I am writing this review because of the 1 negative and 1 positive we are allowed to see and feel that this book is well worth a listen. I really enjoyed the story and the narrator. The main character is described as a shy, uncommunicative type of guy and I think the reader really captured that. This protagonist is more of a real person versus the tough guy cops often depicted. The only character I felt was underdeveloped was his wife, who, although described as wonderful, is portrayed only as a sex object. She herself, in late term pregnancy, is also quite the minx. I doubt that a female writer would have created this character, but since she is not key to the story line, this weakness (clearly my view only) did not effect my overall appreciation of the book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6495)
    Performance
    (5846)
    Story
    (5849)

    Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries.

    Hallie says: "Even better than A Discovery of Witches"
    "Oh Please!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this entire piece because I spent money on it, but I spent most of the time rolling my eyes and moaning with disgust as I listened to it. I do not frequently read romances (the main exception is cited below) and if this is the caliber of writer who creates that stuff, then I will continue reading very, very few. The basic idea of the story has some interest for me as I've read all of the Diana Gabaldon time travel books. Yes, those are also romances, but her writing ability is at least that of a high school student, while any third grader could write as well (likely much, much better) as Harkness. Word choices are at the 6 year old level as is the sentence structure and stylistic devices. She uses every trite and overworked simile and metaphor known to woman. The intrigue of time travel is creating the sense of those earlier cultures - her imagination is sadly lacking in that aspect as well.The performer was OK given the trash she had to read, and her breathy, melodramatic style probably fits this type of piece. I regret spending my money on this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Woodcutter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Reginald Hill
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1208)
    Performance
    (901)
    Story
    (897)

    Wolf Hadda's life was a fairytale - successful businessman and adored husband. But a knock on the door one morning ends it all. Universally reviled, thrown into prison, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven years later Wolf begins to talk to the prison psychiatrist and receives parole to return home. But there's a mysterious period in Wolf's past when he was known as the Woodcutter. Now the Woodcutter is back, looking for truth and revenge...

    Diana says: "One of my favorite Reginald Hill books!"
    "The best listen in a long time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having just completed one of worst written books in quite some time, I was floored by how captivating this story is. I've read and listened to other Hill books and have certainly enjoyed them, but this one really stands out. The performer, Jonathan Keeble does a superb job of creating the characters and pacing the story. It is definitely one of those books that made the two hour plus drive to work and back enjoyable. I hope Hill spins another fantastic tale soon!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Helen Simonson
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2509)
    Performance
    (1213)
    Story
    (1207)

    You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction.

    Sara says: "A Surprising Treat!"
    "Wonderful on the page and to the ear"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd forgotten I'd read the book until the recording began. Although the title was familiar, because I had listened to Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (another wonderful book and performance) I thought this was something new. While I almost didn't listen, since the story had really stuck with me, I kept it going. Boy, was it a treat! Peter Altschuler's natural voice is so like I'd "heard" Major Pettigrew's, that he brought the character to life. The story is positively charming and with much humor. Although I'd read it, I again found myself laughing out loud numerous times during the story. This is definately one of those audio books that made me eager to get into my car and head for work!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Tarquin Hall
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (478)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (306)

    Dr. Suresh Jha, best known for unmasking fraudulent swamis and godmen, dies in a fit of giggles at his morning yoga class when goddess Kali appears from the mist and plunges a sword into his chest. The only one laughing now is the main suspect, a powerful guru named Maharaj Swami, who seems to have done away with his most vocal critic.

    Carolyn says: "Fun and entertaining"
    "An enjoyable listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    This is a light, easy to listen while driving story. It ranks fairly highly of those books I've listened to, but I am such an avid reader and listener - with at least four books going at all times - that I could only rank order those that I really disliked.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters are well-drawn. It is not an tension filled type of mystery, but that is likely not the goal of the author anyway. It's very much a character driven tale.


    Which character ??? as performed by Sam Dastor ??? was your favorite?

    The reader does such an excellent job with all of the characters it's hard to pick.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book has a lot of humor in it, and I did find myself chuckling as I tooled to and from work.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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