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Eva Gannon

Chicago, Illinois, US
  • 126
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  • 465
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  • Virgin Earth

  • Tradescant Novels, Book 2
  • By: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 25 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

As England descends into civil war, John Tradescant the Younger, gardener to King Charles I, finds his loyalties in question, his status an ever-growing danger to his family. Fearing royal defeat and determined to avoid serving the rebels, John escapes to the royalist colony of Virginia, a land bursting with fertility that stirs his passion for botany. Only the native American peoples understand the forest, and John is drawn to their way of life just as they come into fatal conflict with the colonial settlers.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A Big Rotten Apple of a Book

  • By Eva Gannon on 12-29-18

A Big Rotten Apple of a Book

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

Reviewed: 12-29-18

After this book, I'll regard future Gregory books with skepticism. It's way too long, meanders over the river and through the woods in the story line, and the main characters are unlikable.

The central character, John Tradescant, is repellant. Totally self centered and lacking in introspection. He leaves England (and his children) for the New World to collect new plants. There, he falls in love with a 14 year old Powwatan girl, and promises to return to marry her.

Upon his return to England, he discovers that his father died, and had appointed Hester guardian of his children and the rarities. It was his father's intention that John marry Hester. He does, but in such a churlish manner I wanted to slap him. He never attempts to form a relationship with her.

He departs England again in a snit over the fate of the King whose gardener he is, during the Civil War. I suspect it was his lust for the teen aged Suquhana that was the real reason. Again, he abandons his children, and now his wife. In Virginia, he almost dies during his first winter, and I found myself wishing he would, so the book could end. Instead, Suquhana rescues him. She's married. John becomes a member of the tribe and is allowed to marry her. However, he is unable to take part in the war against the white settlers and ends up going back to England.

There, the author tries to save the character by giving him some small introspection and a bit of a civil relationship with Hester. It's too little, too late.

Then the focus shifts to Johnny, his son. Filled with teen aged angst, he is unable to accept that he isn't the gardener to a king. His adolescent protestations are annoying. I won't reveal his fate so as not to post a spoiler.

By this time, I was debating putting the book down, but forced myself to finish. Gregory finishes the book like the child Johnny. She takes her creation and smashes it as a child would stomp on a sand castle. Hopefully, this will be the last in the Tradescant series.

Finally, the narrator is awful. The voices he does are harsh and stereotyped. He doesn't use a separate for John or Hester. He has no sense of pacing or emphasis.

This book runs over 25 hours: that's a long time to listen to a poor narrator. A lot of it could have been edited out. I so disliked it, I'm thinking of returning it.

I do not recommend this book. In the future, I'll regard Philippa Gregory books with great caution.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Look Alive Twenty-Five

  • A Stephanie Plum Novel
  • By: Janet Evanovich
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,390
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,139

There's nothing like a good deli, and the Red River Deli in Trenton is one of the best. World-famous for its pastrami, cole slaw, and for its disappearing managers. Over the last month, three have vanished from the face of the earth, and the only clue in each case is one shoe that's been left behind. The police are baffled. Lula is convinced that it's a case of alien abduction. Whatever it is, they'd better figure out what's going on before they lose their new manager, Ms. Stephanie Plum.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Same boring story

  • By BJinNH on 11-15-18

Silly Fun

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

Reviewed: 12-29-18

This book is just a lot of silly fun. Don't look for anything profound, just take it for what it is.

My one regret with the book is that Ranger appears to have become more protector than lover, and he teams up with Morelli to do so. Still, he grows as a character, so that's OK.

If you're looking for some relaxation and entertainment, this is your book.

  • The Colors of All the Cattle

  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 365
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 339
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336

When Mma Potokwane suggests to Mma Ramotswe that she run for a seat on the city council, Mma Ramotswe is at first unsure. But when she learns about the proposed construction of the flashy Big Fun Hotel next to a graveyard, she allows herself to be persuaded. Her opponent is none other than Violet Sephotho, who is in the pocket of the hotel developers. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable

  • By Jean on 11-15-18

Not Your Usual Mma Ramotswe Story

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

Reviewed: 12-29-18

Our intrepid detective runs for office. She doesn't want to, but allows herself to be "persuaded" by Mma Potokwane, who, btw, comes across as a bit of a bully. For the first time Precious shows indecision, and it doesn't fit her well.

Not the best book in the series.

  • Leverage in Death

  • In Death Series, Book 47
  • By: J. D. Robb
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,194
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,905
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,888

For the airline executives finalizing a merger that would make news in the business world, the nine a.m. meeting would be a major milestone. But after marketing VP Paul Rogan walked into the plush conference room, strapped with explosives, the headlines told of death and destruction instead. The NYPSD’s Eve Dallas confirms that Rogan was cruelly coerced by two masked men holding his family hostage. His motive was saving his wife and daughter - but what was the motive of the masked men? 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating

  • By Jean on 09-23-18

Weakest In the Series

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

Reviewed: 10-02-18

Reading this series is like slipping into a comfy chair with a glass of wine. As soon as a new one comes out, I buy it and listen. I love the characters, the story, and the narrator. This one was a disappointment. The plot was thin, and Eve was the focus. The subsidiary characters we know and love, Mira, Mr. Mira, Peabody, McNab, Summerset, even Galahad the cat, make token appearances,but this is definitely an Eve focused story. And I didn't buy it.

The reason for the mass murders just didn't hold water. I don't want to post a spoiler, so I'm not going to say more, but the title gives a clue. And the path to the truth wasn't as riveting as it usually is, either. Sometimes, the book drags.

Susan Ericksen does her usualy excellent job giving voice to the characters.

I won't say don't read it, because if you love the Dallas series as much as I do, you have to read it! But I didn't like it as much as the others in the series.

  • 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 126
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 106
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 106

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully woven

  • By Joy Jordan-Lake on 10-22-18

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 427
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 385
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 384

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The President Is Missing

  • By: Bill Clinton, James Patterson
  • Narrated by: Dennis Quaid, January LaVoy, Peter Ganim, and others
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13,320
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12,211
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12,168

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.

117 of 134 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 36,839
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,732
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,590

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
  • Will Patton great - story so so

  • By Randall on 06-19-18

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 7,876
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,330
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,320

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 47 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 9,423
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,674
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,638

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.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-31-18

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.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful