LISTENER

Deborah

HOUSTON, TX, United States
  • 32
  • reviews
  • 100
  • helpful votes
  • 177
  • ratings
  • The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson

  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 3 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12,670
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11,405
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,405

[Contains explicit content] Hear the story of what happened when the tech industry gave the world what it wanted: free porn. Lives were mangled. Fortunes were made. All for your pleasure. Follow writer and narrator Jon Ronson as he uncovers our web of desire.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I will never forget it...

  • By Charles Atkinson on 07-31-17

Perfect non-fiction longform

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

Reviewed: 10-01-17

Fascinating exploration of the unintended consequences of the rapid development of the internet, using porn as a case study. Wonderful investigative reporting brought multiple viewpoints into the limelight, with some very colorful characters, of course-not a dull interview among them. Neither titillating nor prudish, it held my attention for the entire 3 1/2 hours. Jon Ronson is a great story-teller I have long admitted on This American Life, and he tells this story with great humanism and barely a trace of judgementalism. Many different angles to the story leave plenty to ponder and discuss long after the audio is over. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and this is the best I have heard in a long while.

  • Glass Houses

  • A Novel
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Robert Bathurst
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,991
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,745
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,735

When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead. From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed

  • By Anna on 09-05-17

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 09-28-17

I continue to read Louise Penny mysteries because other mystery-loving friends recommend them, but I admit I am not a big fan. The Canadian rustic setting and small village characters are interesting, but the protagonist is heroic to an unconvincing degree. The 13 1/2 hours of this audio version could have been edited down by half- it was very slow-paced and repetitive as if the author did not trust us to really understand what the main characters were thinking. While the actual murder was unique and interesting, it seemed a minor subplot and there were not enough clues to keep you guessing. The final conclusion was a dud. The narrative was a head-scratching mess. With so much time and point-of-view-shifting, it was often difficult to keep the characters and timeline straight. Small spoiler: I found it irritating that while the trial filled a good portion of the novel, the identity of the defendant was not revealed until near the end- turns out it really didn't matter. In the first few pages the protagonist hinted that he had an alternative solution to the war on drugs, but this did not materialize.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Holding

  • A Novel
  • By: Graham Norton
  • Narrated by: Graham Norton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,460
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,343
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,337

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama, but when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be those of Tommy Burke - a former lover of two different inhabitants - the village's dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated sergeant PJ Collins struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community's worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Splendidly delightful

  • By John Scott on 12-03-17

Very enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 09-20-17

If you could sum up Holding in three words, what would they be?

Old fashioned mystery

What did you like best about this story?

Interesting setting and characters each of whom are totally relatable, Graham Norton is a keen observer of human behavior. For the most part, he avoided the clichés of the modern detective novel such as gory forensics and a flawed but impossibly bright detective who solves the mystery in the last page. It's also a welcome relief from the Scandinavian noir mysteries with their gratuitous sexual violence.

What does Graham Norton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He's a great narrator- he knows how to tell a story in the usual Irish tradition.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but I imagine there may be some triggers for overweight people, victims of sexual abuse. As a single woman, I did not care for the depiction of the spinster sisters, but it didn't offend me.

Any additional comments?

I will look for Graham Norton's other books! I understand his next novel will not be a mystery.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Snowblind

  • By: Ragnar Jónasson, Quentin Bates - translator
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 154

When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theater, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one and secrets and lies are a way of life. Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts as Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness - blinded by snow and with a killer on the loose.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpected and different

  • By green ice cream garden on 10-12-17

This is my idea of a perfect mystery

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

Reviewed: 08-15-17

What did you love best about Snowblind?

Setting was a character in itself. Main character thoroughly likeable and believable. Interesting supporting characters, well developed. Mysteries were interesting and conclusion was believable.

What did you like best about this story?

There was no sexual violence, as with so many mysteries today. Possibility of accident and suicide was also considered tragic outcomes (not every death was a murder).

What about Will Damron’s performance did you like?

Did not detract from the story- barely noticed the narration, it was like I was reading the story in my head!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Relationship between the young couple raised a lot of interesting issues, left me feeling deeply for both of them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ragdoll

  • A Novel
  • By: Daniel Cole
  • Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 50

William Fawkes, a controversial detective known as The Wolf, has just been reinstated to his post after he was suspended for assaulting a vindicated suspect. Still under psychological evaluation, Fawkes returns to the force eager for a big case. When his former partner and friend, detective Emily Baxter, calls him to a crime scene, he's sure this is it: the body is made of the dismembered parts of six victims, sewn together like a puppet - a corpse that becomes known as "The Ragdoll".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Some Listen! Excellent.

  • By Kristen Herburger on 04-29-17

Couldn't finish it

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

Reviewed: 08-15-17

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The initial premise was very interesting, but the implausibility of it all became overwhelming.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The original premise of finding 6 victims' body parts stitched together, and the "locked room" mystery of how a prisoner becomes a victim, certainly caught my attention; however, the detective work seemed incredibly casual and inept. I was not at all interested in the lives of the detectives.

What didn’t you like about Alex Wyndham’s performance?

Voice is husky and hard to hear. Also, every sentence seemed to end in an exclamation point, as though he were trying to add excitement to an otherwise bland performance.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Ragdoll?

Couldn't make it through. Identifying the original 6 victims and their murderer would have been enough to fill a novel- why add 6 more intended victims? Lost interest in so many subplots.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Trespasser

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Hilda Fay
  • Length: 20 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,687
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,082
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,045

Being on the murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she's there. The rest of her working life is a stream of thankless cases, vicious pranks, and harassment. Antoinette is savagely tough, but she's getting close to the breaking point. Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers' quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty, groomed to a shine, and dead in her catalogue-perfect living room, next to a table set for a romantic dinner.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A literary mystery

  • By lesley on 10-08-16

Tedious and unconvincing

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

Reviewed: 06-03-17

What disappointed you about The Trespasser?

I have read almost all of Tana French's novels and I fail to understand why she is such a critical darling. I appreciate the sociologic themes, but the police procedurals are totally nonsensical. The detectives are not people I care to spend time with and the interdepartmental pettiness is very irritating and unbelievable. If everyone acted like grown-ups the mystery would be solved in one page!

Has The Trespasser turned you off from other books in this genre?

The author's machinations were very obvious, no surprises. The many "twists" were forecast from the beginning.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Hilda Fay?

Likely not. Sometimes hard to understand her brogue and not a very pretty language.

What character would you cut from The Trespasser?

Main detective- too abrasive and immature.

Any additional comments?

Some of the minor characters were easy to forget over the 20 hour narration

  • Possessed

  • The Infamous Texas Stiletto Murder
  • By: Kathryn Casey
  • Narrated by: Heather Auden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 50

The officer responding to a 911 call at one of Houston's hippest high-rises expected the worst. After all, domestic violence situations can be unpredictable. But nothing could've prepared him for what he found: a beautiful woman drenched in blood, an older man lying dead on the floor, and a cobalt blue suede stiletto with tufts of white hair stuck to its five-and-a-half-inch heel.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well written

  • By Heather S. on 04-12-17

Fascinating true crime

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

Reviewed: 10-16-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I live in Houston where this story was covered extensively, so I appreciated the authors' careful researching of the facts beyond the lurid headlines. I was satisfied that I had an answer to "How could this happen?", but relieved that she didn't try to psychoanalyze the characters or look for a "deeper message". I found myself very interested in the story and finished it in about 2 days.

If you’ve listened to books by Kathryn Casey before, how does this one compare?

1st one. Probably won't read any others, as it's very depressing to be immersed in these sordid tales.

Would you be willing to try another one of Heather Auden’s performances?

This was a downside- the Spanish accent was terrible and distracting, especially in Texas where Spanish is spoken everywhere.

Did Possessed inspire you to do anything?

No- both of the characters were fairly "damaged", so there is no fear that this could happen to me or anyone I know!

Any additional comments?

No

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Great Reckoning

  • A Novel
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Robert Bathurst
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,733
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,711

When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes. Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must. And there he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Return to Three Pines

  • By Lisa K. Dillon on 09-05-16

Interesting

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

Reviewed: 10-08-16

Would you try another book from Louise Penny and/or Robert Bathurst?

Maybe

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The premise of the "Great Reckoning" was based on events which occurred before this story began (perhaps it was an earlier novel?) It started very slowly and the central mysteries were resolved quickly at the end.

What about Robert Bathurst’s performance did you like?

Excellent King's English and French pronunciation.

Could you see A Great Reckoning being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

PBS Masterpiece Mystery.

  • Razor Girl

  • A Novel
  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: John Rubinstein
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,310
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,024
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,023

When Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but (this is Hiaasen!). Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield - the eponymous Razor Girl - and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book this year!

  • By green ice cream garden on 09-19-16

Carl Hiassen is a National Treasure

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

Reviewed: 09-27-16

If you could sum up Razor Girl in three words, what would they be?

Masterpiece contemporary satire

What did you like best about this story?

The characters were richly drawn and hugely entertaining, but easily recognizable in modern society. Multiple intersecting plot lines converged in surprising ways-the story proceeded at a quick pace. Florida Keys was a major character- clearly the author loves Florida. This is like a Dave Barry and John Grisham mash-up. Typical Hiaasen exposure of environmental and corporate villians, very true to life. The hilarity of the narrative helped soften the pathetic desecration of the landscape. 50 years from now, this may be mistaken for a memoir- what seems bizzare today is destined for reality!

Which scene was your favorite?

Any scene involving Razor girl- dialogue was crackling.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

?

Any additional comments?

I love all of Carl Hiassen's novels, but this is my favorite by far. This is a perfect audiobook. Narrator was unbelievable with all the voices. The writing was crisp with excellent pacing and prose was beautiful to listen to.

  • Surrender, New York

  • By: Caleb Carr
  • Narrated by: Tom Taylorson
  • Length: 23 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,386
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,272
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,273

In rural, impoverished Burgoyne County, New York, a pattern of strange deaths begins to emerge: Adolescent boys and girls are found murdered, their corpses left hanging in gruesome, ritualistic fashion. Senior law enforcement officials are quick to blame a serial killer, but their efforts to apprehend this criminal are peculiarly ineffective.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wanted to love this but...

  • By Mark Hancock on 09-27-16

Painfully implausible

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

Reviewed: 09-22-16

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Have no idea

What was most disappointing about Caleb Carr’s story?

The characters were unreal, and therefore unrelatable. The main protagonist spoke in stilted, formal language, which may have been appropriate in the Alienist, but would never get him through in modern times. The vaunted "method" used by the rogue investigators was nothing but gut instinct, and I yearned for some actual clues. While hitting on some hot button social issues, the terrible fate of the victims seemed like a cheap shot designed for an emotional reaction not justified by the writing. The romance was so unconvincing, I assumed the love interest must be in on the plot. Some quirky characters had no real role in the plot- seemed like filler.

Which scene was your favorite?

The opening scene was very captivating and got me interested in the central mystery; therefore, I continued listening to the end. If I had been reading a print version, I would have FFed through 90% of it.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment- I liked the Alienist.

Any additional comments?

Don't understand the positive reviews this mystery received- had those reviewers actually listened to 23 hours?

Narrator was extremely good. I could actually tell the many male characters apart by his accent.