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Richard Bruno

  • 22
  • reviews
  • 391
  • helpful votes
  • 475
  • ratings
  • Magic Show

  • By: Lawrence Michaelis, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
  • Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

Gilbert Gilbertson, an inept magic clown whose biggest gigs are kids' birthday parties, suddenly develops skills in sleight-of-hand and stage illusions that confound expert magicians. He also begins affecting people in strange ways, as well as winning staggering amounts of money in Las Vegas, which he donates to the Catholic Church. Enter a far-right fringe group within the Catholic Church, convinced that Gilbert is working legitimate miracles - miracles they believe will convince Catholics to return to more conservative ways. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • !!!!Best new author debut!!!!

  • By shelley on 01-13-19

No magic here

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

Reviewed: 03-04-19

I am at a loss to explain the positive reviews that this book has received. It is well intentioned, I guess, but wholly inept. Awkward writing, stereotyped and condescending characterizations, inept plotting, and a complete absence of mystery or suspense. I hung in for the entire book, unwilling to cut my losses because I felt that there had to be some kind of payoff at the end. But no, nothing whatsoever redeeming. By far, one of the worst books I have read in recent years.

  • The Calculating Stars

  • A Lady Astronaut Novel
  • By: Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,561
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,479
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,474

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the East Coast of the US, including Washington, DC. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the Earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space and requires a much-larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma York’s drive to become the first lady astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • it's a nice story

  • By sonja holmes on 07-16-18

Never achieves lift off

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

Reviewed: 10-01-18

So very disappointing. An interesting alternate history premise, but a deeply awkward and clunky execution. Infuriating, repetitive, formulaic. Every now and then there are whiffs of originality and creativity (like when, in listing a group of new astronauts, the familiar names of actual Mercury and Gemini astronauts are included, without calling any attention to the fact), but these moments are rare. And the obsessive and obligatory (but, of course, socially sanctioned) sex scenes between the protagonist and her husband are excruciating as they strive to call up every rocket launch innuendo that they can. Eew.

The author reads her own work, which doesn't help matters. Over the top narration and exaggerated characterizations.

62 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • The Hellfire Club

  • By: Jake Tapper
  • Narrated by: Jake Tapper
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,114
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,020
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,016

 Charlie Marder is an unlikely congressman. Thrust into office by his family ties after his predecessor died mysteriously, Charlie is struggling to navigate the dangerous waters of 1950s Washington, DC, alongside his young wife, Margaret, a zoologist with ambitions of her own. Amid the swirl of glamorous and powerful political leaders and deal makers, a mysterious fatal car accident thrusts Charlie and Margaret into an underworld of backroom deals, secret societies, and a plot that could change the course of history. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Could be happening now

  • By Barbara or Jerold Gendler on 05-24-18

Awful!

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

Reviewed: 06-07-18

A disappointment in every way. My instinct was to abandon the book after 15 minutes but I thought, it’s Jake Tapper, there has to me more here. But there is nothing. Atrocious writing, lame plotting, total absence of suspense. And Tapper gives the worst reading I have yet encountered. This is one where I really wish no stars was an option.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Children's Game

  • A Thriller
  • By: Max Karpov
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

The CIA has learned that the Kremlin is about to launch a sophisticated propaganda operation aimed at discrediting and disrupting the United States and ultimately restoring Russia to great nation status. Intercepted intelligence suggests that the operation will hinge on a single, breaking news event in Eastern Europe, supported by a sustained campaign of disinformation and cyberattacks. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Plausible scenario of Russian gambit!

  • By Wayne on 03-18-18

Disappointed

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

Reviewed: 03-23-18

Very weak story, cliched characters, nonexistent tension. I don’t understand the positive reviews/comments. A good book could have been written about this subject but this is not it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The World Beneath

  • A Joe Tesla Novel
  • By: Rebecca Cantrell
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 384
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 342
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 343

Award-winning and New York Times best-selling author Rebecca Cantrell drops you into a vast, dark world: 100 miles of living, breathing, tunnels that is the New York City underground. This subterranean labyrinth inhales three million bustling commuters every day. And every day, it breathes them all out again...except for one.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I look forward to the next in the series

  • By PowderRiverRose on 04-22-14

Dumbfounded by the high ratings

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

Reviewed: 02-08-16

I simply don't understand why this book has been so highly rated. The plotting is laughable, the characters cliched and un-compelling and the writing never more than adequate. It feels like it is written for a very unsophisticated audience, individuals who have never actually read a mystery or thriller.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Disclaimer: A Novel

  • By: Renée Knight
  • Narrated by: Michael Pennington, Laura Paton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 354
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 328
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 326

Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day she became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew - and that person is dead.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly upsetting -- bizarre premise

  • By Elizabeth Grainger on 09-22-15

Empty, pointless...

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

Reviewed: 09-11-15

This book is like cotton candy, insubstantial, deceptively insubstantial, cloying...

It has an unbearably annoying protagonist who seems to relish her victimization as much as the author enjoys subjecting her to it.

She is purportedly a documentary filmmaker, yet never, not once, does she call on any of the skills or experiences that such an occupation would necessarily give her to examine or understand her situation.

When the "twist" comes it is so underwhelming and we are so tired of everyone in the book, that the only response of a shrug.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Hand That Feeds You

  • A Novel
  • By: A.J. Rich
  • Narrated by: Ann Marie Lee
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 182

Morgan Prager, at age 30, is completing her thesis on victim psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. She is newly engaged to Bennett, a seductive but possessive and secretive man. She returns from class one day to find Bennett mauled to death, and her dogs - a Great Pyrenees and two pit bulls she has rescued - covered in blood. Bewildered and devastated that her dogs could have committed such violence, she worries that she might suffer from one of the syndromes she studies.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Ludicrous and annoying

  • By Richard Bruno on 08-19-15

Ludicrous and annoying

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

Reviewed: 08-19-15

I am at a loss to understand how two experienced writers could produce such a mess. I caution potential readers not to be taken in by the premise, which is interesting, nor by the back story about the novel's genesis, which is poignant. The book itself is a hot mess.

Implausible, nonsensical and just plain bizarre. Here are just a few examples: A 30-year old protagonist whose cultural reference points are consistently those of people of the authors' generation. Passages of undigested psychological content just plopped in with not even an attempt to integrate them into the action. A denouement that is as perfunctory as it is unsatisfying. A villain who it is established very early is known by different people by different names, and yet, everyone seems to refer to him by the name by which he is known to the protagonist. At the conclusion, the murderer is charged in New York City with several crimes and murders, even though one of the murders was committed in Massachusetts, one on Long Island and one in Canada.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Monogram Murders

  • The New Hercule Poirot Mystery
  • By: Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 808
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 734
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 734

Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified - but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not Agatha Christie

  • By Molly on 09-17-14

Unrelenting tedium

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

Reviewed: 09-26-14

I had such high hopes for this!

A book that is well-written but at the same time a bad, bad book. An extraordinarily bad plot. No attempt at all to channel the Christie approach. A full 20% of the book consists of Poirot reviewing the plot with the assembled suspects. This kind of denouement can be tedious when it is limited to a single chapter. But in this book, it goes on forever. The book is singularly devoid of surprise or cleverness. It plods, plods, plods.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Chinese Orange Mystery

  • The Ellery Queen Mysteries 1934
  • By: Ellery Queen
  • Narrated by: Richard Waterhouse
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

A puzzling publishing murder attracts the eye of Ellery Queen. Mandarin Press is a premier publishing house for foreign literature, but to those at the top of this enterprise, there is little more beautiful than a rare stamp. As Donald Kirk, publisher and philatelist, prepares his office for a banquet, an unfamiliar man comes to call. No one recognizes him, but Kirk’s staff is used to strange characters visiting their boss, so Kirk’s secretary asks him to wait in the anteroom.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Classic detective series, awful narrator

  • By Richard Bruno on 01-23-14

Classic detective series, awful narrator

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

Reviewed: 01-23-14

As most people who read detective stories and mysteries know, the Ellery Queen novels are splendid examples of their time and of the locked room/impossible crime genre. This book is no exception. But be forewarned: the narrator leaves everything to be desired. he is stiff, awkward, artificial. His attempts at characterization through accents are laughable. He makes listening a continuous challenge. To me, he reads the book as if he were reading it to a group of beginning English-language learners, who were following along with the printed text.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Wind Chill Factor

  • By: Thomas Gifford
  • Narrated by: Lincoln Hoppe
  • Length: 15 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

His marriage destroyed by drinking, John Cooper returns to Cambridge, Massachusetts, trying to recapture the joy he felt as an undergraduate in Harvard University’s sacred halls. He is just beginning to piece his life together when he gets a telegram calling him home to Minnesota. The message comes from Buenos Aires, and with Cooper’s family history, that can mean only one thing: The Nazis are staging a comeback.

To John and his brother, their grandfather was a kind, distinguished old man. But to the American people, he was the worst kind of traitor.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing, dated, tedious

  • By Richard Bruno on 04-05-13

Disappointing, dated, tedious

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

Reviewed: 04-05-13

I had read this book years ago, when it was first published. But beyond a vague recollection of being disappointed, I remembered little about it. So I thought I would give it another chance. My mistake. A sprawling and flaccid "Fourth Reich" tale, lacking any sparks of originality or narrative discipline. It s also more than slightly distasteful that a couple of the more villainous neo-Nazis are portrayed as homosexual and repeatedly described as "perverts."

There are also issues with the Audible production. During the first hour or so, there a good half dozen times where the reader finishes a phrase and then repeats the phrase as he continues on. Clearly, recording edits that were not caught and cut by the Audible engineer. Also, the narrator simply sounds much, much younger than the stated age (35) of the character whose voice is telling the story. And, although he certainly tries, the narrator is simply not very good with accents, in a book that calls for several distinct national accents (Spanish, British, German). His British accents are laughably awkward, and both his Spanish and German attempts wind up sounding vaguely Romanian.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful