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Mark Butterman

Denver, CO USA
  • 15
  • reviews
  • 32
  • helpful votes
  • 41
  • ratings
  • Tombland

  • By: C.J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 37 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 192
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191

The nominal king, Edward VI, is 11 years old. His uncle, Edward Seymour, Lord Hertford, rules as Edward's regent and Protector. In the kingdom, radical Protestants are driving the old religion into extinction, while the Protector's prolonged war with Scotland has led to hyperinflation and economic collapse. Rebellion is stirring among the peasantry. Matthew Shardlake has been working as a lawyer in the service of Henry's younger daughter, the lady Elizabeth. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book- download in parts

  • By Oh Good Grief on 02-11-19

The Department of Redundancy Department

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

Reviewed: 03-24-19

I've read the entire series. Why for the first time Mr. Sansom feels he must make the same point over and over in the most obvious way is the real mystery here. I came perilously close to putting the whole thing down on the 25th occasion that I was told of the virtues of those participating in Kett's Rebellion. To right a wrongly held historical narrative, it does not help to repeat oneself ad nauseam.

If this story were half as lengthy, it would have held me mesmerized by the vividness of the story and the historical accuracy, just like the rest of the series. An early casual reference to diners putting napkins over their shoulders had me looking up Tudor dining manners. There is a great novel here hidden inside a boring one.

  • Surrender, New York

  • By: Caleb Carr
  • Narrated by: Tom Taylorson
  • Length: 23 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,423
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,307
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,308

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

Loses Believability When Set In the Present

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

Reviewed: 09-23-16

There is something about Caleb Carr's characters, plots and settings that are somehow more believable when set in the gas lamp era. When writing for the present, he seems to take the same character types and add lots of "fuck's" and "shits" to the dialogue, but otherwise it could pass for sentences coming out of his characters from the 19th century. The Alienist works for Carr's style because that time period seems somewhat romantic to us now, but putting these characters' business in a Junkers airplane and giving Trajan a cheetah as pet does not create a romantic present, it just seems incredible. As in not credible.

I know a lot of people enjoy his long languid writing style, but if I couldn't get past my inability to buy into various parts of the plot line.

  • Destroyer

  • Rewinder, Book 2
  • By: Brett Battles
  • Narrated by: Vikas Adam
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 927
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 869
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 866

With the whole of human history altered, Denny Younger may be the last rewinder in existence - and the last person on Earth with a chaser unit capable of time travel. While caring for his ailing sister, Denny must discover a way to recharge his device before he's left with no defense against a past that wants him dead. Before long, Denny notices a mysterious stranger following him - keeping tabs on Denny, his family, and his friends. Is Denny just paranoid?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic narration! Terrible story.

  • By Woodrow M Bell on 03-26-16

Denny Chases Lydia

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

Reviewed: 08-13-16

So much of this book is spent with Denny running closer to Lydia, then moving away, then closer, then closer still, then away, then almost there, then they get separated, only to have Denny find her again. Oh, and also Denny waits for her, then sometimes she surprises him. God only knows I was ready to grab that knife and stab myself.

The first book in the series was clever and took some time to paint a portrait of other times and places. This one briefly takes us to the Mongol invasion of Europe but does almost nothing to stoke our imagination of the time and place. Geez, what are time travel books for if not to do that? Instead we get more of the game of tag. What went wrong here Mr. Battles?

  • Neptune's Inferno

  • The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal
  • By: James D. Hornfischer
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 18 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,121
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 955

With The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and Ship of Ghosts, James D. Hornfischer created essential and enduring narratives about America’s World War II Navy, works of unique immediacy distinguished by rich portraits of ordinary men in extremis and exclusive new information. Now he does the same for the deadliest, most pivotal naval campaign of the Pacific war: Guadalcanal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Desperate battles, well told

  • By Robert B on 05-04-12

Perspectives Abound

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

Reviewed: 06-07-15

James Hornfischer has a wonderful ability to weave together and describe the strategic picture at the highest level, the tactical forces at work in a particular engagement, and the details of a particular sailor's experience. It makes listening to his work engaging at all levels. He is a fine writer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Heft

  • By: Liz Moore
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,525
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,154
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,151

Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing--Captivating--Altering

  • By Mel on 04-19-12

5% from Greatness

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

Reviewed: 04-16-15

One line of story is not quite as tight as The Goldfinch, another "orphaned boy" story, but that is setting a high bar for comparison purposes. The parallel track with Arthur was truly unique. And the narrator for Arthur was superb - a great example of an audiobook providing enrichment above and beyond the pages. I am anxious to see what Liz Moore does next.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Lamentation

  • By: C.J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 25 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 776
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 696
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 699

Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councilors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government. As heretics are hunted across London, and radical Protestants are burned at the stake, the Catholic party focuses its attack on Henry's sixth wife - and Matthew Shardlake's old mentor - Queen Catherine Parr.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • History Lesson that Goes Down Like Ice Cream

  • By Mark Butterman on 03-14-15

History Lesson that Goes Down Like Ice Cream

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

Reviewed: 03-14-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Lamentation to be better than the print version?

Crossley voices his characters effortlessly. It is a tribute that I can't imagine the Shardlake books without him as narrator.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Big Fat Surprise

  • Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet
  • By: Nina Teicholz
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,368
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,090
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,090

Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we've been told about fat is wrong. For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of "bad" saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat "heart healthy" fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation's health has declined. What is going on?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book. Challenges your belief system.

  • By Ted on 07-08-14

Mind Boggling

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

Reviewed: 02-04-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Many deep seated views I had on what constitutes a healthy diet were revealed to be based on bad science propagated by endless media repetition, until what was tenuous at best, became accepted as "fact". It is revealing to learn how much we rely on the opinion of others and how little we question authority. All those weighty and portentous proclamations from the American Heart Association, and the USDA that I grew up with turn out to be not just unhelpful, but harmful.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Big Fat Surprise?

How quick science was to grab onto an explanation that had a puritan appeal. I think Americans have some deep seated need to believe that depriving ourselves of saturated fat must be good for us, because anything that tasty must be a sin! I say this only partly in jest....but I notice that the nutritional scientist in other parts of the world never seem to have bought into the "heart healthy" diet to the extent we did, and in the dark years when nutritional scientists were risking their reputations for questioning this dogma, only English and Germans dared speak out.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

There are long stretches of technical detail here, so I'm not sure that a more dramatic reading would have been anything but ludicrous, but her delivery at times was somewhat monotonous.

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

Yes, I did a full 180 degree turn in my thinking about a healthy diet. Until I learned how many studies were shaded, ignored, or misrepresented, I had fully bought into and lived by the "heart healthy" diet. Since finishing this book (about a month ago) I've gone fully over to the low carb way of eating, given up unsaturated fat, added greater quantities of saturated fat to my diet, lost 10 lbs and simply feel better than I have in 30 years. So yes, "extreme" is a good word choice.

Any additional comments?

If you go from here to any of Gary Taubes books you will have a good grounding in the real science of nutrition. People who prostheltytize like I'm doing tend to look nuts, so I recommend reading the science and deciding for yourself.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,398
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,576
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,551

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun! Things you might want to know:

  • By Alexis on 08-29-14

Clever in Many Ways

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

Reviewed: 02-04-15

Would you listen to Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton) again? Why?

The background meditation on the morality of a completely different kind of society created by the disease was fascinating and deserves a second (and third) listen. The plot is so engrossing that I didn't do justice to this the first time through.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)?

When I figured out early in the book what Agent Shane was talking about when he referred to himself as doing things he should be able to do (don't want to give to much away here, but its one of those moments where the veil lifts and you go, "AAAAHHH, I get it!")

Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I thought he did a great job but his dialect did not sound the least bit African-American. There was a suggestion that Shane's dad was a big black man with a gun at one point, and it totally surprised me because Mr. Wheaton sounds like your average white computer geek. Of course, since Shane spent most of his time manifested as a threep, the question of race and identity is open to question, as is whether "dialect" has any meaning in this context. So if this was intentional dissonance, its pretty cool.

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

Made me think a lot about mind/body duality.

Any additional comments?

I thought Mr. Scalzi was borderline precocious at times in a way that was slightly irritating. Yes, the banter is clever, but sometimes just a bit too much so. Tony and Shane dialog, especially.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Ark Royal

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,468
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,165
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,158

Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good solid effort at a Space Opera

  • By Jim In Texas! on 08-05-14

Predictable

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

Reviewed: 02-04-15

What would have made Ark Royal better?

I barely have the energy to write a review. This book is so cliche ridden in its characters that I couldn't have cared less about any of them.

What could Christopher G. Nuttall have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Infuse some life into the characters

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrator was fine.

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

Nothing. I couldn't wait for it to end. Overall plot had an interesting premise which is why I took a chance and downloaded it, but since none of the characters ever felt alive, it was difficult to care.

Any additional comments?

Meh....

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Angel of Darkness

  • By: Caleb Carr
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 25 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,782
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,636
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,631

In The Angel Of Darkness, Caleb Carr brings back the vivid world of his bestselling The Alienist but with a twist: this story is told by the former street urchin Stevie Taggert, whose rough life has given him wisdom beyond his years. Thus New York City, and the groundbreaking alienist Dr. Kreizler himself, are seen anew. It is June 1897. A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very Entertaining Read

  • By 6catz on 01-31-13

Please End So I Can Stop Listening!

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

Reviewed: 10-23-14

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

If historical richness can excuse a plodding plot, and you have have plenty of time on your hands, this might be for you.

Has The Angel of Darkness turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, The Alienist was terrific.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Not exactly George Guidall's fault, because he is normally a terrific narrator, but I couldn't stand anticipating the word substitution of "what" for "that", which seems to be Caleb Carr's way of providing colloquial verisimilitude. I was so attentive to the substitution that I nearly jumped out of my skin the one and only time I heard Mr. Guidall use the word "that" while voicing the character of Stevie.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Angel of Darkness?

I'm immersed in the trial right now and the opening speeches of both lawyers was totally predictable and serves no purpose at such length but to restate the themes of the book. For about the seventh time.

Any additional comments?

I kept thinking how much more interesting this book would have been if Jack Reacher would have made an appearance to make it all right by busting a few heads and moving the plot along. I guess we have to be satisfied with Teddy Roosevelt instead.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful