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Mark

Reno, NV, United States
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  • 162
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  • A False Report

  • A True Story of Rape in America
  • By: T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber, T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 60

On August 11, 2008, 18-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle and raped her. Within days, the police swiftly pivoted and began investigating Marie. Confronted with inconsistencies in her story and the doubts of others, Marie broke down and said her story was a lie - a bid for attention. More than two years later, Colorado detectives pursued a serial rapist who photographed his victims, threatening to release the images online, and whose calculated steps to erase all physical evidence suggested he might be a soldier or a cop.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting

  • By Mark on 04-08-18

Riveting

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

A riveting book that revolves around a woman who reports being raped, is doubted by the police and her friends, forced to recant, charged with making a false report, and basically made to plead guilty. But she’s not making up the story. Everything is fascinating on so many levels because everyone is interviewed: the woman, the rapist, the detective who charged her with making a false report, the detectives who caught the rapist, other victims. At the end is a rage-inducing description of the history of women not being believed about rape claims, as well as the institutional mechanisms that keep it happening even today. P.S. If you’ve read Jon Krakauer’s “Missoula” and are wondering if you want to tackle another book about rape, please know that they cover completely different territory. Grade: A

Narration is solid.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

  • By: Marlon Bundo, Jill Twiss
  • Narrated by: Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, and others
  • Length: 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 11,872
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,189
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 11,135

HBO's Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents the story of a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence - the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This story is cute, but let's be honest.

  • By João on 03-19-18

Get the print or Kindle version instead

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

I listened to the book first, and it was good. But then I read the Kindle version and it was so much better. The narrators are great, but it's simply a book better seen than heard because the artwork adds so much.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • 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 3,085
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,804
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,800

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

Long and not the full story - good narrator

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

A white supremacist dying of cancer wants to come clean about race murders in the 1960s, but the people who benefit from the killings staying unsolved have other ideas. It's really long (800 pages, 35 hours on audio), and only when it ended did I discover it's Part One in a self-contained trilogy so the reader is only getting started. This may sound daunting, but I’m hooked. It's got the right mix of moral dilemmas, social commentary, and action so it's always interesting, either philosophically or plot-wise. And the way Iles (raised in Natchez, Mississippi) talks about race is so different from East and West coast authors that the book made me rethink some of America's recent history. Grade: A-

As for the narrator, he's better than Dick Hill (who did the first three books in the Penn Cage series), although I don’t think Hill is as bad as many reviewers think. He's just an acquired taste. David Ledoux is good and not histrionic like Hill and does women's voices better. That said, I’ve already started the next book in the trilogy and the next narrator is even better than Ledoux.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Devil's Punchbowl

  • By: Greg Iles
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 24 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,962
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,525
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,515

As a prosecutor in Houston, Penn Cage sent killers to death row. But as mayor of his hometown - Natchez, Mississippi - Penn will face his most dangerous threat. Urged by old friends to try to restore this fading jewel of the Old South, Penn has ridden into office on a tide of support for change. But in its quest for new jobs and fresh money, Natchez has turned to casino gambling, and now five steamboats float on the river beside the old slave market, like props from Gone With the Wind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Southern Thriller

  • By Brad on 10-01-13

Good book, good narrator even if he's dramatic

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

Reviewed: 03-03-18

I like the moral dilemmas Iles sets up, even if I’m not always in agreement with what seems to be his viewpoint. In this one, the dilemma is whether it’s OK to kill someone who really really deserves it. Another related dilemma is one that was big during the Bush era: When is it OK to allow injustice that harms a few people if you can (allegedly) stop a bigger injustice that harms even more people? The specific story is set around dog fighting (with some gruesome depictions) and prostitution (plus rape). Some writers describe rape from the rapist’s point of view, which can make the act feel understandable or even arousing, whereas in this book, Iles always describes it from the victims’ viewpoint and it is ugly. Good, long yet fast-paced, and thought-provoking. Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: A-

Now, about Dick Hill's narration. I generally like Hill as a narrator, but I can understand why some people might not. His voice for women who are upset can be grating if you don’t like him. But I do. The issue is he acts out the action — laughing when people laugh, shrieking when people shriek. He's very dramatic. So maybe it's just that I’ve listened to so many books narrated by Hill that he's comforting to me, and this book has some pretty harsh scenes, so his occasionally histrionic voice helped carry me through them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Insidious Intent

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 134
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 129

In the north of England, single women are beginning to disappear from weddings. A pattern soon becomes clear: Someone is crashing the festivities and luring the women away - only to leave the victims' bodies in their own burned-out cars in remote locations. Tony and Carol are called upon to investigate - but this may be the toughest case they've ever had to face. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Paula McIntyre and her partner Elinor must deal with a cruel cyber-blackmailer targeting their teenage ward, Torin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another stellar mystery. Unfortunate narration.

  • By motleysu on 12-09-17

Should've got a female narrator; book is solid

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

Reviewed: 01-14-18

No spoilers - the end of this one reminds me of the earlier Tony Hill-Carol Jordan book where Tony's mom encounters a serial killer: what happens is perfect but I don't think enough time was spent on the ending. It happens so quickly and shockingly, that I wish McDermid had spent more time on the buildup and then lingered afterward. But it’s just a metaphorical “Boom!” ripping through the main characters. Anyway, in this one, a serial killer targets women who are alone at weddings and wishing they had a partner. The killer’s gimmick feels slight at first but as the book goes along, his motivations feel like they could really happen. One observation on the overall series: the earlier books were creepier and darker. For the past five or so, the methods of killing are less skin-crawling and more about the relationships of the investigators. In this case, I think more skin-crawling would've justified the ending better. Still good. Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: B+

As for the new narrator, I didn't initially like his voice for young men but he soon faded into the background and it was just about the story. Yes, I like the narrator of the earlier books better. But this new one is good, too. However, if the publisher had to change narrators, a woman should've been chosen. The author is female, and the majority of main characters are female. Feels like a poor decision by the publisher.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Ordinary Grace

  • By: William Kent Krueger
  • Narrated by: Rich Orlow
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,405
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,933
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,931

Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Wonderful - In Every Way

  • By tooonce72 on 03-29-13

Good but too male-centric for my taste

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

Reviewed: 12-31-17

This is a coming-of-age book with a mystery component that I can see why people love, but I wasn't quite as in awe of it. This my personal preference but it was too male-oriented. Nearly every character is male, and the female characters are stuck in very confining roles: mother, wife, sister, girlfriend. Admittedly, some of this is because the book is told from a boy's point of view around 1960, but it was written now so there's not an excuse for having no women who are really fully developed people with lives and thoughts outside the plot, especially when the males are so richly described and filled with hidden depths. I found myself easily pulled away by other books during the reading of this, even though I enjoyed it while reading it. Your mileage may vary. Grade: B

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fierce Kingdom

  • A Novel
  • By: Gin Phillips
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 264
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 245

The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours - the entire scope of the novel - she keeps on running.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fantastic Fast Paced Listen

  • By Sara on 08-11-17

Good but needed faster pacing or stronger message

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

Reviewed: 12-19-17

A woman tries to survive during an active-shooter situation at a zoo, and her actions are completely skewed by trying to protect her noisy, impatient four-year-old son. It was interesting to see a story of macho male violence almost entirely from the view of women watching it unfold. It could’ve had a heavy-handed message but it very subtly gets the viewpoint across about the essential role women play behind the scenes of society at large. Frankly, I wanted a stronger message or else faster plotting. A subtle message and slow plotting were a bit of a chore. Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: B

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Help, Thanks, Wow

  • The Three Essential Prayers
  • By: Anne Lamott
  • Narrated by: Anne Lamott
  • Length: 1 hr and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 527
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 458
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 452

Anne Lamott is known for her perceptive and funny writings about spirituality. Listeners of all ages have followed her faith journey through decades of trial and error (sometimes more error than Annie wanted), and in her new book, she has coalesced all she knows about prayer to three essentials: Help, Thanks, and Wow. It is these three prayers - asking for assistance from a higher power, appreciating all that we have and all that is good, and feeling awe at the beauty of the world around us - that can get us through the day and can show us the way forward.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thanks and Wow

  • By Holly Helscher on 12-14-12

Good but I'd get the print or e-version

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

Reviewed: 12-01-17

This book was mentioned in Louise Penny’s “The Glass House” and that was a good enough recommendation for me. I love Lamott’s nonfiction writing, even though I don’t share her faith in a God. What I do love are her struggles to square suffering with a kind god — and her humor. This is a short book that looks at what she considers as the essential prayers: help, thanks and wow. I’d gotten the audiobook — which Lamott reads wonderfully — but her words are ones to savor so I quit the audio and switched to hardback. Excerpt: “We pray without knowing much about whom we are praying to. We pray not really knowing what to pray for. We pray not really knowing how to pray. Certain Christians, who will happily tell you they have a monopoly on truth, say that Jesus gave us exact instructions of how and what to pray: the Lord’s Prayer. Isn’t that nice? Thank you, Christians. Love that certainty. It must be great to be so sure of yourselves all the time. Matisse actually said the most useful thing I’ve ever heard about praying: ‘I don’t know whether I believe in God or not. I think, really, I’m some sort of Buddhist. But the essential thing is to put oneself in the frame of mind which is close to that of prayer.’” Grade: A-

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Cows

  • By: Dawn O'Porter
  • Narrated by: Dawn O'Porter, Karen Cass, Laura Kirman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women. In all the noise of modern life, each needs to find her own voice. It's about friendship and being female. It's bold and brilliant. It's searingly perceptive. It's about never following the herd. And everyone is going to be talking about it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Smart, funny, feminist

  • By Mark on 11-05-17

Smart, funny, feminist

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

Reviewed: 11-05-17

I learned about this one after the author was on The Guilty Feminist podcast. Like that show, the book is smart and funny and examines the hypocrisies and insecurities that undermine efforts to be feminist. The writing operates in the vicinity of “Bridget Jones” and Liane Moriarty. The book revolves mostly around the idea of whether society allows 42-year-old moms to be sexual beings, after a main character’s private moment is caught on video and becomes a viral sensation. I’d read some reviews that things went too far, and I'll admit I was yelling “no, no, no!” when one of the characters did something seemingly unforgivable. But the power-of-sisterhood ending was perfect. Grade: A-

P.S. The audio version has three different narrators, including the author, and all are great.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Opening the Door of Your Heart

  • And Other Buddhist Tales of Happiness
  • By: Ajahn Brahm
  • Narrated by: Francis Greenslade
  • Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 467
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 379
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374

During his wanderings and work over the last 30 years as a Buddhist monk, Ajahn Brahm has gathered many poignant, funny and profound stories. While traditional Buddhist philosophy is at the heart of this collection, these thoughtful stories are written like playful parables, which are used to launch into a deeper exploration of subjects such as mindfulness, suffering, forgiveness, hope, wisdom, and unconditional love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listen and change your perspective

  • By Jo on 08-07-12

The best Ajahn Brahm book - yet

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

Reviewed: 10-08-17

The title is the original (and boring) Australian title. The American title is "Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?" If you try one Ajahn Brahm book, this is the one. It's light and funny (sometimes with groaningly bad jokes) yet really packs a punch. It's a perfect bedtime read with short, thoughtful stories, many of which put a spin on tales you’ve heard before, like the six blind men describing an elephant. His telling of the elephant story fundamentally changed my worldview on religion. For that alone, I will always cherish this book. Grade: A-

The narration is very good, but having listened to many Ajahn Brahm podcast recordings of talks, I would've much preferred him to read his own book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful