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Eva Gannon

Chicago, Illinois, US
  • 122
  • reviews
  • 1,135
  • helpful votes
  • 453
  • ratings
  • On a Cold Dark Sea

  • By: Elizabeth Blackwell
  • Narrated by: Siiri Scott
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 58

Con artist Charlotte Digby lied her way through London and onto the Titanic. The disaster could be her chance at a new life - if she hides the truth about her past. Esme Harper, a wealthy American, mourns the end of a passionate affair and fears that everything beautiful is slipping from her grasp. And Anna Halversson, a Swedish farm girl in search of a fresh start in America, is tormented by the screams that ring out from the water. Is one of them calling her name? Twenty years later, a sudden death brings the three women back together.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Story of the Titanic

  • By Eva Gannon on 08-12-18

A Story of the Titanic

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

This story focuses on the lives of several passengers, before they board, on the lifeboats, and 20 years later. It's simple and straightforward, discussing issues such as the role of women in the society of the time, and class structure. It explores why the lifeboats weren't full, and why they didn't save more. It's not great literature, but I greatly enjoyed the storytelling and the characters.

The narrator tends to be a bit too breathy and turgid for my taste, but does not ruin the story.

I recommend this book.

  • Muralist

  • By: B. A. Shapiro
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 390
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 351
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 348

Alizée Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940 amid personal and political turmoil. No one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a gripping tale of emotion

  • By acarter1123 on 08-07-16

Historical Fiction Meets Reality

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

Reviewed: 08-09-18

The beauty of this book is that its fictional characters interact with historical figures, such as Eleanor Roosevelt. It gives the book a unique authenticity, as well as a glimpse into foreign policy actions taken during WWII that are repeating themselves in our current political landscape.

The narrator is spot on.

I highly recommend this book.

  • The President Is Missing

  • By: Bill Clinton, James Patterson
  • Narrated by: Dennis Quaid, January LaVoy, Peter Ganim, and others
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,576
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,994
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,957

The White House is the home of the president of the United States, the most guarded, monitored, closely watched person in the world. So how could a US president vanish without a trace? And why would he choose to do so? An unprecedented collaboration between President Bill Clinton and the world's best-selling novelist, James Patterson, The President Is Missing is a breathtaking story from the pinnacle of power.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Wanted it to be so much better

  • By K. Moeller on 06-18-18

Like Putting a Cheese Grater In Your Ear

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

Reviewed: 06-24-18

The best I can say about this book is that it's boring. Not at all what one would expect from James Patterson & Bill Clinton. I got half way through, and just can't force myself to finish the book, since that would involve more hours of Dennis Quaid's voice...

...which is like a cheese grater in your ear. He has absolutely no sense of timing, no sense of when to emphasize and when to back off, and he can't do characters at all. But it's the sound of his voice that I just can't stand. Since the book is boring, there's no point to tormenting my ears anymore.

I preordered this book with great anticipation. What a terrible disappointment.

88 of 100 people found this review helpful

  • The Outsider

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,060
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,210
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,111

An 11-year-old boy's violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • No big surprises in this book.

  • By A. Brewster on 07-10-18

Will Patton Is the Best Narrator Ever!

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

Reviewed: 06-24-18

Will Patton is the best narrator I've ever listened to, and I've been listening to audiobooks since they were on tape! He can give voice to any character, male or female, with flawless delivery. Many, if not most, male narrators can't do the women characters justice, but he surely can, without resorting to an obviously phony falsetto. Holly comes to mind, as one of the main characters brought to life by his voice. His pacing of events is spot on. He knows when to add emphasis and when to ease up, according to the needs of the story. Without his expert narration, this book would have lost a star from me.

The book itself is standard King fare. It's divided into two portions, the first the murder mystery, the second the solution involving the supernatural, as one expects from King. The first part of the book was more interesting to me; the second was pretty much King dialing it in. I liked the addition of and reference to, characters from the Mr. Mercedes series. It added a bit of depth to the book, and a nice feeling of linkage.

If you like King, you'll like this book. But you'll love Will Patton's narration!

1 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Terminal List

  • A Thriller
  • By: Jack Carr
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,648
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,273
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,264

On his last combat deployment, Lt. Cmdr. James Reece's entire team was killed in an ambush that also claimed the lives of the aircrew sent in to rescue them. But when those dearest to him are murdered on the day of his homecoming, Reece discovers that this was not an act of war by a foreign enemy but a conspiracy that runs to the highest levels of government. Now, with no family and free from the military's command structure, Reece applies the lessons that he's learned in over a decade of constant warfare toward revenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Make way for Jack Carr!!!!

  • By shelley on 03-08-18

Thinly Disguised Political Screed

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

This book is a political statement disguised as a novel. The author is a former Navy Seal who received clearance from DoD to publish (as amended). The amendments are blacked out in the print version, but aren't noted in the audiobook.

The preface is somewhat promising. Carr sets out his beliefs that the consolidation of federal power in the name of public safety is the erosion of individual rights and the end of democracy as we know it. The targeting of political opponents, and revisionist views by opportunistic politicians, and unelected judges, threaten the core principles of the republic. We are citizens, not subjects. Sounds good right? But - I found myself waiting for Carr to drop the other shoe, which he most certainly does.

Not too far into the book he identifies the villains as "liberal Democrats." The vilest of these are easily recognizable from our political scene, in particular the female Secretary of Defense who is a very thinly disguised Hillary Clinton. His contempt for her couldn't be clearer.

Later in the book, references are made to "Saint Reagan." You will easily reach your own conclusions as to Carr's political views.

Well, this is a novel, and Carr isn't the first to write from his personal politics. Nor will he be the last. His vilification of persons holding opposing views is exemplary of how real life political dialogue has degenerated into what we are now calling "tribal politics."

James Reese is a deeply flawed protagonist. Again, not the first. Flawed protagonists can be rather appealing, because they're more realistic.

Reese is presented as an avenging angel, his sins forgiven in the name of revenge for the crimes that have been perpetrated against him. It's frightening to think that real life Reesses may be out there, and may follow orders that really will be the end of our republic, if they are given by someone who claims to hold similar views. Given the prologue, perhaps Carr intends this as a cautionary tale for precisely that reason.

The reader can sympathize with Reese. Some of the people he kills get what they deserve. We shouldn't rejoice at their deaths, but we do,because they got what was coming to them. However this sympathy is soon eroded by the callous and horrific manner in which Reese metes out retribution.

After the murder of his wife and daughter (and unborn son) Reese goes on a killing spree of revenge, taking the lives of those who wielded the weapons that killed his family, and of those who concocted a plot to field test an anti-PTSD drug on him and those under his command. The drug, when approved, would make the conspirators fabulously wealthy.

His spree takes him into Mexico, where he slaughters the individuals responsible, some in their sleep. The Mexicans are presented as worthless scum, deserving of their fate. He states clearly that he wouldn't hesitate to kill the women if they get in his way, even though they had nothing to do with the murder of his wife and children.

The Mexicans are never included in his body count in the United States. It's in the U.S. that he kills those responsible for the drug trials that resulted in the tumor in his brain, and the sacrifice of 50 soldiers, including 20 Seals, to safeguard the moneymaking secret that all were part of the drug trial.

One of the money hungry Americans is killed by being gutted, then his intestines wound around a tree - Reese forced him to walk around the tree - and being left for the insects and larger prey animals to eat alive.

In Chapter 59 Reese says to his pilot that he's not a cold blooded killer. She agrees, This is a puerile attempt to rehabilitate Reese, who is obviously not just a cold blooded killer, but a cold blooded murderer who acts as judge, jury, and executioner, without compunction.

On a lighter note, the narrator raises his voice into falsetto for the female characters. It's a lack of skill that is grating on the ears.

The book is mildly entertaining if the reader can overlook the politics and the blood. Since the politics are frequently and obviously shoved into the reader's face (or ears, in the audiobook), this is difficult to do. I finished it, but can't really say I liked it. I'm debating returning it for the credit I used to buy it. My response to the writer's politics, in the pocket book that Reese so clearly despises.

I can't recommend this book not only because of the politics, but because it's just plain bloody and often gruesome, and because the narrator is annoying when voicing female characters. Should you choose to listen to the book, you'll make your own judgment.

31 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Sleeping Beauties

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King, Owen King
  • Narrated by: Marin Ireland
  • Length: 25 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,505
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,467

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep: They become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place.... The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • The story was drawn out and very uneventful.

  • By Trevor zarek on 06-13-18

Good Concept, Poor Execution

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

Reviewed: 11-02-17

The concept of this book, women being cocooned after falling asleep, seems intriguing. The women become violent if the cocoon is broken, awakening them. The book doesn't keep this promise.

It's way too long. Way, way, way too long. And it doesn't get interesting until the last 6-7 hours. While I understand that the numerous characters have to be set up, it's really a slow, and largely uninteresting, haul to those final hours. It hops around from short vignette to short vignette, character to character, giving the book a choppy, disjointed, narrative.

The horror/supernatural turns that King is famous for don't materialize. The alternate universe inhabited by the women after falling asleep, the symbolism of the tree, the lion, the fox, and Eve, are empty vessels. Ultimately, they don't mean much to the story. Again, it felt like an empty promise.

Several times I thought of stopping, but kept slogging through only because it's Stephen King. I finished the book so I won't return it, but I can't say I liked it much.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • The Late Show

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Katherine Moennig
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,934
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7,300
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,263

Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none, as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor. But one night she catches two cases she doesn't want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Noooooooooooooooooo!

  • By H. Jamieson on 08-12-17

Not Another Rave Review

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

Reviewed: 08-06-17

This book is getting rave reviews. I can't go along with the gusher. As a long time fan of the Bosch series, perhaps my expectations were too high, or there was too much comparison with that series.

Renee Ballard doesn't enthrall me. Sleeping on the beach with her rescue dog as a guardian just doesn't engage my emotions in a positive way. Speaking of Lola, Ballard is somewhat neglectful of the dog. I hate that she leaves the dog alone on the public beach while she's paddling. and that the dog sits outside her tent all night, again on a public beach, again without protection. She leaves Lola with daycare too long too, and the pet minder tells her off about it. So that's strike one for Renee Ballard,

Her strength of character is written by a man from a man's perspective, and maybe that's why I'm having a hard time warming up to her. She's too hard, too eager/willing to bypass the police department she works for in a blatant manner, and without concern for herself or others. She doesn't even give a nod to it, as Bosch did. Her pursuit of a suspect is reckless; failure to pay attention to details, and to anticipate criminal behavior, results in her capture by a sociopath, who may or may not have raped her. I don't like the possible rape angle either. It's too stereotyped, obviously written by a man. Totally unnecessary to the story too.

Her failure to take basic precautions also results in a shootout, and one of the other cops who was involved complained about it. Justifiably so, because she put him and his partner in harm's way without much thought.

Her independence and strength of character sometimes comes across as merely abrasive. She hangs up on people regularly, butts in on conversations and interrogations when she shouldn't. Again, it's a strong woman written from a man's perspective, perhaps one who finds strong women abrasive.

The story is OK, a good plot twist at the end. Easy enough to follow. However, I didn't find it to be as absorbing as the reviewers obviously did.

Connelly's reliance on three-letter acronyms for various aspect of the LAPD was a bit much too. At times, I didn't know what they meant and so a portion of the storyline was lost to confusion.

Finally, the narrator doesn't do voices, so it's often hard to tell who is speaking.

Will I read the next book in the series? Probably. Some of the reviews say Connelly hasn't written good women characters in the past. I'm not sure he's succeeded with Renee Ballard. Time will tell this story.

73 of 78 people found this review helpful

  • Camino Island

  • A Novel
  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: January LaVoy
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11,345
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,205
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10,181

Priceless F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts stolen in a daring heist; a young woman recruited to recover them, and a beach-resort bookseller who gets more than he bargained for - all in one long summer on Camino Island.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not happy

  • By William on 06-08-17

Prefect Summer Listen

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

Reviewed: 07-20-17

This is a prefect book for summer, especially if you're on vacation. The plot is interesting, the characters sympathetic, and it holds your interest without without keeping you glued to the headphones. Much lighter than the usual Grisham fare.

The main character, Mercer, suffering writer's block, and in need of money, is urged to write a popular novel instead of trying to write the Great American Novel. Since this book is so much lighter and simpler than Grisham's usual fare, I can't help but wonder how much of the author is in Mercer.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Black Book

  • By: James Patterson, David Ellis
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,469
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,447

Billy Harney was born to be a cop. The son of Chicago's chief of detectives, whose twin sister is also on the force, Billy plays it by the book. Alongside Detective Kate Fenton, Billy's tempestuous, adrenaline-junkie partner, there's nothing he wouldn't sacrifice for his job. Enter Amy Lentini, a hard-charging assistant state's attorney hell-bent on making a name for herself - who suspects Billy isn't the cop he claims to be. They're about to be linked by more than their careers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • GREAT STORY!

  • By Artkeep on 07-03-17

Just Can't Like Patterson

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

Reviewed: 04-12-17

This book is set in Chicago, which is why I bought it. However, not even the setting can save this book, and I'm probably going to return it without finishing.

The story line is blah - hot shot cop arrests the mayor in a brothel, but the Madam's "little black book" is missing. Yawn.

Billy, the hot shot cop is a total stereotype. All balls, no brains. He knows better than everyone and doesn't hesitate to say it, while mayhem is taking place unnoticed beneath his nose.

The narrator is at least partially at fault. He reads Billy with an almost breathless aggression that is getting on my last nerve. I don't want to hear his voice again.

Mr. Patterson, if you're going to set a book in Chicago, learn the streets, which way they run, and where they go. Make sure your narrator knows how to pronounce the names. Armitage is pronounced Ar Mitt Ij, not Ar Mitt Taaagh.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Nix

  • A Novel
  • By: Nathan Hill
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 21 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,162
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,139

It's 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson - college professor, stalled writer - has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn't seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she's reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the Internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high school sweetheart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nathan Hill is an exceptional storyteller.

  • By Bonny on 09-13-16

Does Not Fulfill Its Press

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

Reviewed: 01-28-17

The story of the long-gone mother reappearing in her adult son's life after committing a spectacular crime, appears to be more a tangent than a story line. The book is composed of individual threads rather than a cohesive story holding them all together.

She abandons Samuel and his father when he's 12, and neither know why. She planned it for a very long time too, at least a year. When at last she reappears in his life, she refuses to tell him why, saying it was "private." At the same time she wants him to write a letter of reference to the judge in her case.

Her lawyer is utterly ridiculous (I'm a retired lawyer). To call him a parody is to disgrace the word parody. His dialogue is so puerile it defies comprehension how a published author could write it and how an editor could let it pass. The statement he writes for Sam's mother to read - to Samuel - must be someone's idea of how the law works, but that someone obviously doesn't have a clue. It comes off so poorly, it made me want to stop listening immediately.

The characters don't jump off the page commanding your interest either.

Samuel is a crybaby, even as an adult. It's easy to understand why his mother might want to be rid of him, that's how annoying the character is written. Bishop is a murdering psychopath. Sam's student (can't remember her name) isn't a character, but a melange of stereotypes. Don't listen to her passages through a speaker, it will disturb everyone in the house.

After five hours, I just couldn't take it anymore. The thought of investing an additional 17+ hours into this steaming mess was totally unappealing. I'm going to return this book.

Needless to say, I don't recommend it.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful