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Jack@NYC

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 33
  • helpful votes
  • 113
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  • Only to Sleep

  • A Philip Marlowe Novel
  • By: Lawrence Osborne
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 119

The year is 1988. The place, Baja California. And Philip Marlowe - now in his 72nd year - is living out his retirement in the terrace bar of the La Fonda hotel. Sipping margaritas, playing cards, his silver-tipped cane at the ready. When in saunter two men dressed like undertakers, with a case that has his name written all over it. For Marlowe, this is his last roll of the dice, his swan song. His mission is to investigate the death of Donald Zinn - supposedly drowned off his yacht, and leaving behind a much younger and now very rich wife. But is Zinn actually alive?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant resurrection of greatest detective in US fiction

  • By R. G. Shalhoub on 07-28-18

Perfect Title - It Definitely Put Me To Sleep

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

I step forward to write a review as a service to anyone hoping for an interesting listen. Forget it. This is one of those novels where the author is so intent on painting pretty pictures with words that he forgets he is supposed to be telling an interesting story. Reminds me of Cormac McCarthy - if you like his oleaginous prose, then you will probably like this. The plot is simple - Marlowe is engaged by an insurance company to find out if a death of one of its insureds really happened, or if it was a scam. Virtually all the story takes place in Mexico where the author spends endless pages rolling around in a thousand descriptions of dusty, cactus-laden, tequila-sodden landscapes, and a dissolute parade of louche Mexicans and Americans living there, and only occasionally advances the plot. I kept jumping ahead in 30-second intervals trying to get somewhere. Finally, thankfully, I came to the end, which was itself a complete fizzle. It was not quite bad enough to ask for my money back, but close.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Other Woman

  • A Novel
  • By: Daniel Silva
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,995
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,979

From Daniel Silva, the number one New York Times best-selling author, comes a modern masterpiece of espionage, love, and betrayal. She was his best-kept secret....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not typical of Daniel Silva!

  • By Wayne on 07-18-18

Silva At The Top of His Game

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

I have read every one of Silva's novels centering on the Israeli spymaster, Gabriel Allon. I look forward to each new installment every summer. The past couple of years I thought were slightly sub-par, but still well worth reading. This year, however, Silva has really brought home a winner. The superb storyline, coupled with the exquisite narration by George Guidall, makes this my best overall Audible experience this year. For anyone wondering if they can start the Silva experience with this latest issue, I say yes. You don't need to be steeped in the whole history of Allon's art-restoration avocation, or the now somewhat tedious backstory of his famous Mossad mentor Ari Shamron, or even the fact that Allon started his career tracking down and killing the Munich Olympics terrorists. All water well under the bridge. Good to know about it, but not necessary. The only background that might be helpful to a reader is a bit of knowledge about the infamous British traitor, Kim Philby, around whom this story revolves. It's a superb historical environment for the novel. I recommend this novel without a single reservation - especially in the Audible format because this narrator is now one of my very favorites. He takes Silva's masterful use of language and polishes the words like gemstones. It is a lush and elegant experience for your ears. I will be on the lookout now for other offerings carrying his narration. Enjoy!

  • Agent in Place

  • By: Mark Greaney
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 16 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,343
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,930
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,902

Fresh off his first mission back with the CIA, Court Gentry secures what seems like a cut-and-dried contract job: A group of expats in Paris hires him to kidnap the mistress of Syrian dictator Ahmed Azzam to get intel that could destabilize Azzam's regime. Court delivers Bianca Medina to the rebels, but his job doesn't end there. She soon reveals that she has given birth to a son, the only heir to Azzam's rule - and a potent threat to the Syrian president's powerful wife. Now, to get Bianca's cooperation, Court must bring her son out of Syria alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best one yet

  • By Victor @ theAudiobookBlog on 03-22-18

As Good As It Gets

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

Reviewed: 04-25-18

A friend recommended Agent in Place and when I realized it is the seventh in the Gray Man series I decided to start from the beginning. Well, a few weeks later, I have now binge-listened through all seven of them and have to say they are absolutely great. The Gray Man now tops Jack Reacher in my mind as the best character in this genre working now (and I love Jack Reacher). Mark Greaney really knows his stuff; he writes action scenes as well as anyone working and his handling of relationships is masterful. His Gray Man is the consummate professional assassin, but an assassin with a conscience and with heart. His on and off relationship with the CIA and its various good and bad guys provides great plot lines. My only slight quibble is that some of the predicaments Greaney puts the Gray Man into seem so preposterously impossible to get out of alive that it almost defies reason (Agent in Place is a pretty good example), yet to Greaney's credit, most of the time his descriptions and explanations of how Gray Man escapes with mission accomplished are within the realm of belief. The Gray Man's travels around the world provide a fascinating travelogue, often to places you would never want to go - war-torn Syria, the Sudan, back-country Russia, cartel-infested Mexico, etc. I am now in Audible depression because I'll have to move on to other books, waiting anxiously for the next Gray Man edition. Come on, Mark - give the Tom Clancy books a rest and work on the Gray Man! Oh, by the way - the narrator on all of these books is Jay Snyder, who is fantastic. I would definitely choose listening over reading because of Snyder. He provides a thrilling audio experience.

  • The Thirst

  • A Harry Hole Novel
  • By: Jo Nesbo, Neil Smith - translator
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 17 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,169
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,163

In Police - the last novel featuring Jo Nesbø's hard-bitten, maverick Oslo detective - a killer wreaking revenge on the police had Harry Hole fighting for the safety of the people closest to him. Now, in The Thirst, the story continues as Harry is inextricably drawn back into the Oslo police force. A serial murderer has begun targeting Tinder daters - a murderer whose MO reignites Harry's hunt for a nemesis of his past.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Tedious, Unoriginal and Poorly Narrated

  • By Jack@NYC on 12-27-17

Tedious, Unoriginal and Poorly Narrated

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

Reviewed: 12-27-17

I am late to the Harry Hole party but was enticed by the hype and history of the series. Well, perhaps this wasn't the book to start with, but I am 11 hours into it and am reluctantly bailing out. In part this is owing to the reader, John Lee. I am sure Mr Lee is a nice guy but he is the worst reader I have ever encountered in my many dozens of Audible books. He has the most annoying artificial way of intoning his words that makes any character's voice sound like a superficial twit. No one IRL talks like his characters. Sadly, I had previously encountered his narration and had the same reaction, but had forgotten his name. The minute I opened this book and heard him again I cringed. Really, he is terrible. Nevertheless, if the story ever got moving along I might have overlooked the problematic reading, but it just drags and drags. Plus it's nothing original - just the old "ace detective bedeviled by an old nemesis" story. Adding some iron teeth (seriously?) to the villain can't salvage it. Perhaps the next nine hours might have turned it around, but life is too short for me to slog through and find out. I'm done.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Rooster Bar

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13,184
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,770
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,754

Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Story=Terrible

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-04-17

A Very Lame Grisham

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

Reviewed: 11-09-17

I am sorry to observe that John Grisham must have socked away enough money from writing that he no longer feels the need to work hard at his craft. I thought he just mailed it in with Camino Island, and now he has depressed me even further with The Rooster Bar. In his concluding "author's note" Grisham acknowledges, "As usual, I played fast and loose with reality, especially the legal stuff..." Wow, that's the understatement of the year. Without spoiling the specific plot, I will just say you don't have to be a lawyer to recognize that the grand underlying scam pulled off by his very unlikeable protagonists is ludicrously impossible. The strength of Grisham's work has always been his realistic depiction of legal scenarios - especially his courtroom scenes - that were completely plausible. In the Rooster Bar he abandons all pretense of plausibility. Really, it just left a very bad taste in my mouth. Very disappointing.

  • Two Kinds of Truth

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Titus Welliver
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,736
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,877
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,823

Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drugstore where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town's three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bosch Survives Two Career Ending Threats

  • By Russell on 11-20-17

Best Bosch Ever !

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

Reviewed: 11-06-17

This is an absolutely terrific listening experience. Michael Connelly is at the top of his game with a multi-pronged story that is riveting across the board, and Titus Welliver (who plays Bosch in the TV series) continues to be the quintessential narrator of the Connelly/Bosch work. I hope Connelly is young and healthy because I want him to continue to deliver these great stories for years to come. I can't recommend it enough!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Force

  • A Novel
  • By: Don Winslow
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,015
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,665
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,652

All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop. He is the "King of Manhattan North", a highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant and the real leader of "Da Force". Malone and his crew are the smartest, the toughest, the quickest, the bravest, and the baddest - an elite special unit given carte blanche to fight gangs, drugs, and guns. Every day and every night for the 18 years he's spent on the job, Malone has served on the front lines, witnessing the hurt, the dead, the victims, the perps.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Winslow continus to amaze

  • By Steve L on 07-13-17

An Audio Explosion in Your Head

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

Reviewed: 07-17-17

Hands down the best performance of a novel I have heard. Dion Graham takes this powerful story to the highest level. I couldn't stop listening, and the sound of his voice was stuck in my brain after each session. As for the story - Winslow is a wizard at capturing the dialog and rhythms of the street, and of the cops in particular. Coupled with the audio rendition by Graham it is a masterpiece. The only thing that keeps me from a five star rating is the ending, which I found to be just too implausible and contrived. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the book and recommend it, but definitely do the audible version!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Lola

  • A Novel
  • By: Melissa Love
  • Narrated by: Roxana Ortega
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 127

The Crenshaw Six are a small but up-and-coming gang in South Central LA who have recently been drawn into an escalating war between rival drug cartels. To outsiders, the Crenshaw Six appear to be led by a man named Garcia...but what no one has figured out is that the gang's real leader (and secret weapon) is Garcia's girlfriend, a brilliant young woman named Lola. Lola has mastered playing the role of submissive girlfriend, and in the man's world she inhabits she is consistently underestimated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Review from Boyle Heights

  • By Sergio Aguilera on 04-05-17

Very Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 06-18-17

I jumped this book to the top of my list after reading a very positive review of it in the New York Times "summer reading" review. Sadly, I found it was greatly overrated. The author is apparently trying to set up her protagonist, Lola, as a new tough gangsta leader with a conscience and core family values - sequels to come. If they do, the writing has to get much tighter. This one was way too long and just not worth the effort. I did not find Lola to be particularly interesting nor did I find the the story to be captivating. As a beach read, I would throw it in the ocean.

4 of 5 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 12,511
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,255
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,223

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
  • Grisham wrote this?

  • By Dan on 06-13-17

Grisham Mailing It In

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

Reviewed: 06-18-17

I have read all of Grisham's novels and I'm a big fan so I downloaded this one as soon as it came available. Alas. I found it to be a pedestrian effort on his part, not aided at all by the audio performance which I found to be generally annoying, particularly the voice of the leading female, Mercer. Best I can say is that it passed the time, but never grabbed me as so many other Grisham works have. I will look forward to his next effort.

  • The Jersey Brothers

  • A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family's Quest to Bring Him Home
  • By: Sally Mott Freeman
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 369
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 332
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331

They are three brothers, all navy men, who end up coincidentally and extraordinarily at the epicenter of three of the war's most crucial moments. Bill is picked by Roosevelt to run his first map room in Washington. Benny is the gunnery and antiaircraft officer on the USS Enterprise, one of the only carriers to escape Pearl Harbor and by the end of 1942 the last one left in the Pacific to defend against the Japanese. Barton, the youngest and least distinguished of the three, is shuffled off to the Navy Supply Corps because his mother wants him out of harm's way.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Band of Brothers Meets Unbroken-a Remarkable Book

  • By Jack@NYC on 05-30-17

Band of Brothers Meets Unbroken-a Remarkable Book

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

Reviewed: 05-30-17

This is one of the most amazing stories I have ever read, rendered all the more amazing because it is pure fact, not fiction. Anyone who has any interest in the WWII action in the Pacific theater must put this on his/her reading list. As others have noted, it has echoes of "Unbroken", but not only does it cover the territory (and confirm) that book's recounting of the unspeakable horrors suffered by prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese, it covers so many other aspects of the war in the Pacific, from Pearl Harbor to Bataan and the Philippines to the great land and sea battles including Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Leyte Gulf, the Coral Sea - all told from first hand accounts of the three brothers who were there and who could comment not only on the battles but on the commanders who ran them - MacArthur, Halsey, Nimitz, Turner and others. In addition, one of the brothers - the father of the author by the way - witnessed the early years of the war from the inner circle of the White House. He ran (actually, created) FDR's vaunted strategic "map room" and there interacted daily with the president and his war staff (as well as first lady Eleanor) before he, too, shipped out to join the war at sea. To have these three brothers all as first-hand witnesses to some of the major events of the war is itself astounding, and as you would expect, leads to some equally amazing - and heart-wrenching - tales from their home front, focusing on their indomitable mother, Helen. The author spent ten years researching this material not only from family archives but from sources scattered all over the world. She pulls it together beautifully. I couldn't put this book down. I walked extra miles just so I could keep listening and it left me in tears and emotionally drained at the end. Please read or listen to it; it is unforgettable. Brava Sally Mott Freeman!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful