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  • 105
  • reviews
  • 188
  • helpful votes
  • 159
  • ratings
  • The Hike

  • By: Drew Magary
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,756
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,536
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,525

When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Take a Hike

  • By Karen Moran on 06-04-17

Meaningful

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

The Hike seemed quite shallow in the beginning—rather like a Stephen King wannabe. But in the end it was quite meaningful. The final twist was amazing.

  • The Book of Lost Things

  • By: John Connolly
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,903
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,652
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,651

High in his attic bedroom, 12-year-old David mourns the loss of his mother. He is angry and he is alone, with only the books on his shelf for company.But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in the myths and fairytales so beloved of his dead mother, he finds that the real world and the fantasy world have begun to meld. The Crooked Man has come, with his mocking smile and his enigmatic words: "Welcome, your majesty. All hail the new king."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • For Those Who Enjoy Playing with Fairytales

  • By alison on 01-06-13

Surprisingly Good

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

At a few points nearer the beginning, I was prepared to 2- or 3-star this one. But The Book of Lost Things grew on me. Connolly is a good writer and Crossley an excellent narrator.

The plot is gripping and though it seems at first to be for children, it turns out to be much more mature both in detail and in message. The author's re-telling of fables and fairytales is disturbing, but in a way that most readers like to be disturbed.

The main character's love for books was evident throughout the story. But what was touching in the end was the power of one particular book to keep a character who'd sold a big part of his soul from entirely losing his humanity.

  • The Pirate Hunter

  • By: Richard Zacks
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 18 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 821
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 502
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 507

Captain Kidd has gone down in history as America's most ruthless buccaneer. However, Captain William Kidd was no career cut-throat; he was a tough, successful New York sea captain who was hired to chase pirates. Across the oceans of the world, the pirate hunter, Kidd, pursued the pirate, Culliford. One man would hang in the harbor; the other would walk away with the treasure. The Pirate Hunter is both a masterpiece of historical detective work and a page-turner.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Aaaargh Matey, Listen to this tale!

  • By Karen on 04-20-04

Poorly Written

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

This book was bizarre in that it ended in the middle with Kidd's death, and then started again. I'm not saying that it appeared to end, and then appeared to start again. I'm saying it literally said The End, half way through the book, then continued by starting all over from very near the beginning, and telling the story again.

It was poorly written in many other ways as well. Here's an actual quote from the book: “In this calm, the enemies were stuck in an endless battle, like boxers during a round with no end.” The writer also unnecessarily fell into stereotypes of women, ethnic groups, and adherents to certain religions. For example, it's one thing to quote a 17th century figure referring to island women as "dark-skinned lovelies," but it's entirely another use that term not as a quotation, but using the writer's own 21st century voice.

Speaking of voices, Prichard's was good, but the breaths he took at the end of sentences and phrases sounded so unhealthy as to be distracting.

I appreciate knowing more now than I did about William Kidd. I was just not fond of this particular audiobook.

  • Unwholly

  • By: Neal Shusterman
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,351
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,214
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,217

Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Can not wait for #3!

  • By Leah on 02-17-14

What Is a Person?

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

Reviewed: 09-15-18

This book is a worthy sequel to the first book in the series. It digs deeper into the themes of existence and personhood. Just as in today's political landscape, the notion that corporations are people with more rights than actual people makes its ugly appearance here. And there's a Frankenstein sort of theme happening as well.

This book is intense, and I'll need a bit of a break before I start the next in the series.

Daniels, by the way, is a good narrator.

  • The Baker's Secret

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen P. Kiernan
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,413
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,146
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,137

Only 22, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at 13, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Help is really on the way

  • By Georgia on 07-15-17

Worth a Listen

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

Cassandra Campbell's narration was perhaps the best thing about this book. She voiced Emma, the main character, perfectly, and her French accent was effective while still being perfectly easy to understand. Also, the tempo at which she read was appropriate.

The book itself was quite good, but there were a few things about it that drove me crazy. The main one was the seemingly adolescent treatment of the village priest and religion itself. It seemed the author had a bone to pick with people of faith, and the portrayal of the priest at the beginning proved unfair by the end. And the other criticism I'll share was the two-dimensional nature of most of the characters—really, all of them except Emma. They often seemed to be little more than stereotypes of people than real people. Even Emma herself came off as a bit wooden for most of the book.

Even taking the criticisms into consideration, The Baker's Secret is still very good.

  • Turtles All the Way Down

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,088
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,557
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,554

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly small amount of actual turtles.

  • By Meg on 11-03-17

Not Satisfying in the End

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

Reviewed: 09-07-18

Of course I wanted resolution in the end. And of course there wasn't really resolution. I know this book wasn't written for my demographic, by the way.

Green, as always, does an excellent job of getting into a teenager's mind and saying what needs to be said. There is, in fact, quite a lot of good stuff in here. And he does a great job incorporating actual literature into the body of the book.

But I like happy endings, and this just didn't qualify.

Kate Rudd did a near perfect job, though.

  • Confessions: Robbie

  • Confessions Series, Book 1
  • By: Ella Frank
  • Narrated by: Charlie David
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241

Relationships are complex. Love is ever-changing. And when it comes to rules of the heart, they were made to be broken. That's what Robert Antonio Bianchi was telling himself, anyway. Otherwise, he really had no excuse for what - or who - he'd done. If there was a bad decision to be made, Robbie always had a knack for making it. And thus, begins the story of the priest, the princess, and the prick. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Start

  • By Dorothy L. Benefield on 05-12-18

Not for Me

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

Reviewed: 08-28-18

Sorry, but I just can't get into novels in which a gay man is portrayed so effeminately. Guys who wear red onesies with pompoms or pink thongs are just a huge turn-off.

Also, the author made extensive use of French. Fine. I minored in French. but the average reader didn't

Which brings me to the final thing: The narrator didn't speak French and totally butchered it. Not to mention he didn't seem to know where to put the stress on any of the words in English. But kudos for making the effeminate main character sound as feminine as possible!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies

  • By: Robert J. Allison, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert J. Allison
  • Length: 18 hrs and 33 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 515
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 458
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 460

The history of colonial America is a story of extraordinary scope, with Europeans, Africans, and the native peoples of North America interacting in a drama of settlement and conflict that lasted nearly three centuries. Go back in time and relive this epic story in 36 spellbinding lectures. While concentrating on British North America, Professor Allison also covers developments in the colonial outposts of Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the all-important British possessions in the West Indies, which were the source of the most lucrative crop in the New World - sugar - and the reason for the enormous growth in the slave trade.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Subject Matter is wonderful, Narrator no so much

  • By Jeremy Tillman on 02-25-15

Worst. Lectures. Ever.

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

Reviewed: 08-25-18

Allison could not possibly sound more bored as he drones on about his misconceptions about colonial America. You'd think such fanciful inventions would get him more excited. But whatever.

He introduces his subject matter by talking to us about "language families" and informs us that both Hindi and Persian were, and I kid you not, both GERMANIC languages. It went downhill from here.

He seems unbothered by the European treatment of Africans and indigenous Americans (whom he insists upon calling "Indians" throughout these lectures—even though he admitted early on that this was an insulting term). It's important, he says, that we not force our modern sensibilities on 16th and 17th century minds.

But then he does precisely that throughout the lectures when discussing New England. While atrocities in other parts of the Americas were fine, apparently, anything negative about New England was highlighted, discussed, and laid at the feet of the "Congregationalists." This became particularly frustrating in two places.

In one, Allison quoted Gov. Berkeley of Virginia as being an admirer of New England. He'd like, he said, to create a New England in Virginia but without the Puritans. Allison interjected, quite unnecessarily here, that he didn't blame Berkeley for this sentiment. But then goes immediately from agreeing that Puritans are horrible people and that he agreed with Gov. Berkeley to quoting Berkeley's reasons for hating the Puritans. Was it their intolerance? By no means. It was their commitment to free education and to printing books. So Allison, supposedly a PhD from Harvard, takes the side of the bigot who's against education and books over the people who are committed to education and literacy.

In another lecture, Allison discusses the New Englanders' rebellion against Old England when they had their charter taken away, and were denied representative government, a say in their own taxation, and their right to gather as communities to discuss their own affairs. Throughout this lecture, he somehow presented the New Englanders as being unreasonable, and the colonizing power as being wronged by these horrible people who wanted a say in their own affairs. Why? Because they were Congregationalists.

One final thing I'll mention from closer to the end of the lectures, he criticized the New Englanders for trying to change the customs of the indigenous peoples (remember, he calls them "Indians") and said this was something the French and the Spanish didn't do. Then immediately says that the French and the Spanish actually did do this, but his point had already been made: Oppressing the indigenous peoples (i.e. "Indians") was fine as long as you weren't Protestant.

Obviously somewhere along the way this professor had a run-in with Congregationalists, and has devoted his life to insulting them. If you, too, hate them, then this series of lectures is for you. Otherwise, you might want to avoid this misnamed "Great Course"—or do you really want to trust a "scholar" who thinks that Hindi and Persian are Germanic languages?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sunset

  • Pact Arcanum, Book 1
  • By: Arshad Ahsanuddin
  • Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
  • Length: 14 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

The three metahuman races exist in careful balance, working to maintain a fragile peace. Nick and his fellow Daywalkers successfully master their natural bloodlust. The Sentinels, armed with both magic and steel, repress their warlike instincts. And even some Nightwalkers, normally their natural enemies, have deserted the Court of Shadows to join the triple alliance. Nick Jameson is deeply involved with two such Nightwalkers - handsome Lorcan and powerful Rory.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Read the second book first!

  • By Jessica on 10-07-17

One Was Enough

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

Reviewed: 08-23-18

This book wasn't horrible. It was just far too long. It might've been easier to keep the characters straight if I'd been reading it instead of listening to it, but I admit to some trouble with the audio version. The magic in the book was pretty good, but the relationships seemed pretty adolescent throughout.
The climax had a nice twist to it, and I liked the way it resolved itself in sort of an Ender Wiggin fashion. But in the end the story was only average—again, mostly based on the fact that it was far too long for the amount of story that needed to be told. I don't regret this one, but I won't be reading the followup.
The narration was quite good.

  • Autoboyography

  • By: Christina Lauren
  • Narrated by: Deacon Lee, Kyle Mason
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316

Three years ago Tanner Scott's family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah. But when his best friend, Autumn, dares him to take Provo High's prestigious Seminar - where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester - Tanner can't resist going against his better judgment and having a go.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫ 4.5 Stars ✫✫

  • By Cyndi on 06-16-18

The Tension Was Too Tense

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

Christina Lauren's Autoboyography is a book about a book. A high school senior in Provo, Utah, has signed up for a course called The Seminar, during which each student has a semester to write a book. Tanner's book is mostly about his crush on, and then his relationship with BYU freshman Sebastian, the local Mormon bishop's son. Sebastian was so successful when he took The Seminar that he got a book deal out of it, and ends up being the teacher's T.A. at his old high school, helping the students (particularly Sebastian) with their own books.

This book was quite a bit more tense then one might imagine—so much so, that I can't describe the experience of reading it as a good one. We ended up in the right place, but getting there was too agonizing. I'm not sure that all this tension was intentional on the part of the authors (Christina Lauren is, indeed, two women: Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings), but maybe I'm wrong. I can't imagine that the back story was intended to have the impact it did. For example, Tanner's parents were portrayed as extremely supportive of their bi son, even celebrating his identity from the moment they found it out. And yet they voluntarily move (yes, this involved quitting their excellent jobs, not being fired, laid off, or anything else involuntary) from progressive northern California to Provo, Utah, which is 90% Mormon. Nor can it be argued that they didn't know what they were doing: Tanner's mother is former LDS, having been excommunicated precisely because of her support for her lesbian sister. Moreover, upon moving, Tanner's parents not only tell him he can't date a Mormon (once again, the town is 90% Mormon), but also tell him not to come out to anyone at school. This description makes them sound incredibly inconsiderate and small—and that's the way I perceived them—yet the book itself seems to genuinely want us to think they're progressive and cool.

All in all, the book would've been entertaining enough without the constant and (to me, at least) unnecessary crisis, and the ending was sweet. But the unproductive tension keeps it from actually being a good book in my opinion. The narration was probably above average.