LISTENER

John Mertus

Rumford, RI USA
  • 24
  • reviews
  • 253
  • helpful votes
  • 32
  • ratings
  • West Cork

  • By: Sam Bungey, Jennifer Forde
  • Narrated by: Sam Bungey, Jennifer Forde
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18,059
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,092
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16,080

This much we do know: Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered days before Christmas in 1996, her broken body discovered at the edge of her property near the town of Schull in West Cork, Ireland. The rest remains a mystery. Gripping, yet ever elusive, join the real-life hunt for answers in the year’s first not-to-be-missed, true-crime series. West Cork is FREE through May 9, 2018.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific Tale!

  • By Paula on 03-11-18

Just Bad

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-19-18

Without question is the worse thing I’ve ever listened to. It’s nothing but recordings of people saying the same thing over and over again. There is no storyline, nothing to build tension and the narrator’ writing is atrocious. The whole story could have made an interesting 45 mins but they tried to drag it out to 7 hours. If one need seven hours of material, the first would have been setting the scene before the murder. Followed how it was discovered and the initial reactions, filled by a build up of frustration. But they told the whole story, except one thing, in the first 5 mins. Also they should have followed a few people to provide continuity, not “hey how many people can we find to say the exact same thing.” Remember the rule of writing: less is more. The real failure was I never felt a connection to anyone, I never felt anything, I was just told things in a jumbled fashion. Luckily I could listen to if at 2x speed so I only wasted 3 hours.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Monkey's Raincoat

  • An Elvis Cole Novel
  • By: Robert Crais
  • Narrated by: Patrick G. Lawlor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,173
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 804
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 790

When Ellen Lang's husband disappears with their son, she hires Elvis Cole to track him down. A quiet and seemingly submissive wife, Ellen can't even write a check without him. All she wants is to get him and her son back - no questions asked.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Slaughtered by sickeningly awful reader

  • By Lehua of Pacifica on 06-11-09

Poor debut for a series

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-09-17

I've enjoyed many book by Robert Crais so I jumped at the chance to read his first in the Elvis Cole series at a discount price. Alas, this book can only be described as terrible, unexciting, and at 3.95, I felt I overplayed by 3.94. The major issues I have with it was no tension, poor plot, unrealistic characters and sophomoric philosophy. The antagonist was undeveloped and a pure wimp. The violence was overblown and mostly unnecessary. And the attempted humor was trite and not funny. I'm glad Crais continued to write but you should read other books by him and avoid this one.

  • The Rock Hole

  • A Red River Mystery
  • By: Reavis Z. Wortham
  • Narrated by: Traber Burns
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,707
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,548
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,546

In 1964, when Ned Parker, farmer and part-time constable, is summoned to a cornfield one hot morning to examine the remains of a tortured bird dog, he discovers that there is a dark presence in their quiet community of Center Springs, Texas. Ned is usually confident handling moonshiners, drunks, and instances of domestic dispute. But when it comes to animal atrocities—which then turn to murder—the investigation spins beyond his abilities.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Must Read

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-19-16

A failed mocking bird.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-06-17

Clearly this was an attempt to imitate the great book "To Kill a Mocking Bird." The reason it failed was not the descriptions of the past, which were quite nice, nor the characters, which were nicely draw. The problem was the story was just a series of tales not tightly woven together with no powerful focus. Now life might be like this, but good stories are not a tight representation of life but a transcendence above life. The days of David Copperfield are over but this author doesn't understand a story needs more than descriptions.

  • Deal Breaker

  • By: Harlan Coben
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Marosz
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,081
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,515
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,503

Sports agent Myron Bolitar is poised on the edge of the big-time. So is Christian Steele, a rookie quarterback and Myron's prized client. But when Christian gets a phone call from a former girlfriend, a woman who everyone, including the police, believes is dead, the deal starts to go sour. Suddenly Myron is plunged into a baffling mystery of sex and blackmail.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deal Breaker

  • By Lisa on 07-02-08

Back to the basics

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-20-16

This book was written 10 years ago at a time car chase books were taking over. A car chase book is where you know everything about what happens and who done it by chapter 2 and the rest of the book is just the good guy catching the bad guy. Car chase books are filled with literary conventions analogous to the overturned fruit cart, draw bridge and the classic semi backing into the street. It is rare for me to enjoy car chase book because I enjoy the discovery of a mystery so much I won't even read the synopsis of the book. This book is a great mystery, not even the littlest car chase, and the mystery well built. The main character throwback is complete when he lacks the tortured soul of most current protagonists. The book weaves a major and minor story together well although the portrayal of the characters is a little one dimensional. All in all, a good fun beach of airplane book.

  • Natchez Burning

  • A Novel
  • By: Greg Iles
  • Narrated by: David Ledoux
  • Length: 35 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,098
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,816
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,812

Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible Narrator - Really, really BAD

  • By Mary on 05-03-14

A long car chase

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-22-16

This is a car chase book; i.e. a plot where all the characters are introduced in the first few chapters, all the mysteries solved and then it's on to chase down the bad guys together with the inevitable truck backing out, the fruit cart overturning, the fright train, the draw bridge or other trite contrivance that thwarts the good guys. After the first hour of listening, I knew mostly what was going to happen and I became bored, more waiting for what backing truck is he going to use here. What was worse was the authors clubbing you over the head with the characters talking about deep ideas such as what a father would do for a son. Let the story tell that and not the characters. Nonetheless, if you enjoy car chases, you will enjoy this book. The characters are well drawn and writing the great prose I've come to expect from him. But the lack of mystery, the overlong explanations, the retelling of episodes again and again made this book hard to finish. It would be much better if 1/3 the length.

  • Prime Suspect #1

  • By: Lynda La Plante
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,486
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,325
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,318

If Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison hadn't been a woman, she might not have noticed the victim's shoes…and that they didn't match the size given on the info sheet now so obviously misidentifying the dead blonde as a hooker named Della Mornay. Being so thorough, so good at the details, made Jane a top investigator; being a woman made the boys in the squadron want to see her fall on her face.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • La Plante's first and best Tennyson novel

  • By Claire on 07-07-12

Well written but boring for me.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-24-16

This book is an effort to portray a woman fighting for respect, a topic that is well worth exploring. But there is no growth of character, no learning that goes on. Her winning of respects comes for no real reason, far too fast and too complete. But that is not the failure of this book. A book needs a plot, a story that develops. This plot might be worth a (very) short story but is painful when spread out to novel length. I do want to say this is very well written, the scenes are believable as are the characters. But I read stories for excitement, the slow discovery of new facts, each one uncovering both information and more questions. I also read for character development. Sadly all are lacking in this book.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant

  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,411
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,062
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,062

Timid, socially awkward, and plagued by self-esteem issues, Fred has never been the adventurous sort. One fateful night - different from the night he died, which was more inconvenient than fateful - Fred reconnects with an old friend at his high school reunion. This rekindled relationship sets off a chain of events thrusting him right into the chaos of the parahuman world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Utterly Awesome!

  • By Greg Hill on 09-25-15

Myths the boat

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-10-15

This book reminds me of Robert Aspirin's Myth series without the cleverness. I enjoyed the myth series despite no true suspense because it was funny. Alas the main character is Teflon, He doesn't act but either things come out right or some ones flies down and rescues him. Equivalent to a movie where, when the character is chased by a car, continues to run down the middle of the street and then the hero is saved buy the car engine blowing up. If you want a book to read when the Internet is down, the DVR is broken and only bowling for dollars is on TV, and it's raining outside, this could be it but those bowling shirts does give the plot a run for the money

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mycroft Holmes

  • By: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Anna Waterhouse
  • Narrated by: Damian Lynch
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,641
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,465
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,459

"When I say, therefore, that [my brother] has better powers of observation than I...I am speaking the exact and literal truth." (Sherlock Holmes). This story occurs when Mycroft, an athletic Cambridge graduate, assists the secretary of State. He becomes embroiled in a mystery in Trinidad based on actual history. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a huge Holmesian, seven-foot-two tall, basketball's all-time leading scorer, and a US cultural ambassador. Anna Waterhouse is a professional screenwriter and script consultant.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very good book

  • By Sherron E. Allen-woods on 09-29-15

More wild Wild West movie than Holmes

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-04-15

The first part of book is good, has a flavor of Holmes even including a 'Watson'. But the story starts having characters act unrealistically. No adequate reason is provided, worse Holmes goes through adventures that he becomes a pawn rather than prime mover. Almost stopped listening which is how bad the climax was. Being constantly beat up is not enough to carry the book.

41 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • The Camel Club

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,855
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,843
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,848

It exists at the fringes of Washington, D.C., has no power, and consists solely of four eccentric and downtrodden members whom society has forgotten. Their simple goal is to find the "truth" behind their country's actions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Witty, fun and an excellent thriller

  • By Charles Atkinson on 12-03-07

Boring, more boring and unrealistic

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-20-11

I read "Zero Day" and found it a great book so I was expecting something pretty good. But the story starts bad, goes to worse, and ends poorly. Spoiler alert. Do not read further unless you want to be warned away from a terrible book.

The camel club see a man executed and then made to look like a suicide. Ok, what would anyone with half a brain do? Take the gun, the suicide note and throw them in the woods or river. Now it is invested as a murder and they don't get involved. Duh. A terrorist kills his companions and commits suicide? And the CIA doesn't get suspicious? They don't run DNA? Then the kidnapping? Come on. Five seconds after the shooting started not a single terrorist would have been left alive even if that required some civilian causalities. Most of the terrorists would be dead before the guns were half way out. That's why they use bombs! Duh. And after the kidnapping? The US borders would be shut down. Nothing would get out.

A story does not have to be realistic to be good, witness James Patterson's stories, it just has to feel plausible. However, if you are dealing with well know events there has to be major element of realism. Nothing in this story, not the character's reactions, not the CIA's intelligence gathering, not the secret service protection are believable.

Basically I listened to most of the story at 3x speed and was bored by it. Want a good story, read Lee Child, this is what Baldacci before he created Zero Day. Rent that book. Not this one. 6 hours out of my life I'll never get back, nor my audible credit.

As far as the performance. I hate sound effects on my books, music is bad enough. My major regret is I can't give a zero rating, or even a -5 rating, to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Devotion of Suspect X

  • By: Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith Translated by
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 872
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 560
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 563

Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Devoted tale of kindness and unknown friendship.

  • By Howard on 02-13-11

Japanese Agatha Christie

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-24-11

A great story starts strongly, builds through a believable plot until it reaches a climax, and a few pages of well deserved repose.

This book starts out with a non-crime; something that I felt was justified. Thus, for the rest of the entire book, I wasn???t wishing for the bad guy to get caught but rather awaiting the inevitable fate that must come. I like good guys to beat the bad guys and from the beginning it was clear it wasn???t about that.

Next, like Agatha Christie, the story deliberately hides information, for example the actual time so it becomes impossible to actually figure out what was going on. It was to be a story about two geniuses going at one another but, alas, apparently neither of these ???geniuses??? ever heard of Ockham???s Razor: inside the incredibly contorted plot that could have gone wrong for many reasons was a simple solution that had a higher probability of working.

Finally the long draw out ending that explained in gory detail what happened. A great plot revels the solution and your mind snaps it into place with an Ah Ha, it all fits. All in all, this is a contrived book with little to recommend it. Agatha Christie was great in her time but she is dated now like this book

3 of 5 people found this review helpful