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Pete

Brooklyn
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 31
  • helpful votes
  • 51
  • ratings
  • Library at Mount Char

  • By: Scott Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 16 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,176
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,075
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,080

Carolyn's not so different from the other human beings around her. After all, she was a normal American herself once. That was a long time ago, of course - before the time she calls "adoption day", when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful and Thought Provoking

  • By D. Marie on 12-04-15

Impressively Original and Brilliantly Rendered

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

Reviewed: 09-03-17

Would you listen to Library at Mount Char again? Why?

No because I want to listen to as many books as I can. But I will remember this one regardless and probably for a long time.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Library at Mount Char?

This is one of the most outstandingly original novels I have read or listened to in years and I've read and listened to hundreds of books in a wide variety of (mostly fiction) genres. The breadth of creative narrative in this story is like discovering The Golden Compass or Slaughterhouse Five. And so there are enough unique, startling, non-derivitive and mind-boggling moments in this book to fill a library of books with one spectacular moment each. I guess it would just be too hard to say.

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

Hillary Huber is my new audiobook hero!!! This performance is flawless and her characters were among the most vivid I've ever experienced as a decades long listener. By that, I found that I could see more of her characters more vividly in my mind (most especially the males, interestingly enough) than I usually consciously do even during the finest audiobooks. I always get caught up in superb acting, insightful and nuanced dialogue, skilled description and action but the actual appearance of characters in my mind as I'm hearing them is a rare and delightful occurance, something that comes unbidden and is discovered only after the fact. And this was my first time listening to Ms. Huber. I believe it's the most riveting performance by a female narrator for me since Mare Winningham's reading of Stephen King's LISEY'S STORY. And that was a doozy!!

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

Yes. Oh yes. Aw, yes.It also made me think, wince, drive too slow, talk back to my dashboard, jaw drop and possibly, once, sneeze but that may have been a coincidence.

Any additional comments?

Well, I'll certainly forge ahead and look for more compelling novels narrated by HH. I'll also see what else this author has written and look forward to following him around. And I suspect I need to start listening to more female narrators even though I'm naturally drawn to male protagonists and male writers. But this reminded me of how limiting that is. And how eventually it would be like reading only half the books there are. So bravo.

  • Breathing Water

  • A Poke Rafferty Thriller
  • By: Timothy Hallinan
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115

A late-night poker game in Bangkok nets American ex-pat writer Poke Rafferty the "opportunity" to write the biography of Khun Pan, a flamboyant, vulgar, self-made billionaire with a criminal past and far-reaching political ambitions. Within hours, Rafferty, his wife, Rose, their adopted daughter, Miaow, and Poke's best friend, honest Bangkok cop Arthit, have become disposable pawns in a brutal power struggle among some of Thailand's richest, most ruthless citizens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thai mystery will take your breath away

  • By Bob on 10-24-11

Hallinan does it again!

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

Reviewed: 04-27-17

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

Victor Bevine is a skillful and nuanced narrator. He channels Hallinan's Bangkok like a native. His characters are brave and subtle and compelling. He can make you laugh out loud or tear you apart with a whisper. Great writing deserves a clear and sympathetic voice.
Timothy Hallinan is a National Treasure and Victor Bevine is a loyal guardian of his prose.

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

If I were to make a film of the book the tag line might be: "Save your money! Listen to the audiobook!" And that's why I live on the East Coast.

Any additional comments?

About to download the next in the series. Thank you.

  • Pushing Brilliance

  • By: Tim Tigner
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,965
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,763

Framed for murder and on the run, former Olympic biathlete Kyle Achilles is also in the crosshairs of assassins' guns. Why? He has no idea. He's fighting blind against two master strategists and one extraordinary invention - known as Brillyanc. Achilles' only ally is the other prime suspect, a beautiful Russian mathematician who is either the best or worst person to ever enter his life. Katya was engaged to Achilles' brother - before he died. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • BRILLIANT!!

  • By shelley on 08-31-16

Top Form - Thoroughly Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 03-25-17

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

I'm all about audio these days. My relationship to reading has changed in the last decade and I'm addicted to this form. I don't even know if I have a lamp bright enough to read by anymore.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The two protagonists made such a terrific team that I was completely satisfied whenever they were together. Bot the ensemble of Russian toughs were expertly realized by narrator and author alike.

Which scene was your favorite?

Hercules' climb up a thirty story building may not have been my favorite but the imagery is hard to easily dispense with. However, for pure eye opening entertainment, I found the secret "party" the most compelling.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have but I really only listen while driving and I would have wound up in Newfoundland.

Any additional comments?

Tim Tigner is a new find for me and one I'm delighted to discover. He's a master storyteller and a craftsman. By the time I was halfway through, I was already counting on a sequel. I put the next book in the series on my wish list before the credits were through.

And Dick Hill is a National Treasure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Raw

  • By: Mark Haskell Smith
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 7 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

Sepp Gregory, a reality-TV hunk and one of People magazine's "sexiest men alive", is on tour to promote his debut novel. Not that Sepp's actually read the book - he doesn't have to. He lived it! And everyone just wants him to take his shirt off. The book has hit the best-seller list and is even getting rave reviews from serious critics. Aside from Harriet Post, that is. One of the blogosphere's most respected literary minds, Harriet fears that the novel's reception means the end of civilization is upon us.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • HILARIOUS! ORIGINAL! HUGELY ENTERTAINING!

  • By Pete on 11-01-16

HILARIOUS! ORIGINAL! HUGELY ENTERTAINING!

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

Reviewed: 11-01-16

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

There is nothing more healing than laughter. The world is a dark place and the more we laugh the more light we share. Some books are deep, some are poetic, some are dark and fascinating. But a book that can take your breath away with laughter is a great gift and this writer has that gift in spades.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Raw?

When poor Sepp Gregory, the book's protagonist, accidentally takes a viagra instead of something for his anxiety in the middle of a book signing. I can see it and hear it so vividly. I actually feel like I saw it.The results are heartbreaking and hysterical and the same time.

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

Pretty much everything!! He is simply fantastic. It's almost as if he and the author share the same mind, the same humor. His delivery is flawless. His characters are very lovingly expressed and very clearly delineated. And his comic timing is impeccable. I'm sure it would be fun to read. But it would seem like a black and white photograph instead of a movie. That's what this felt like.

Who was the most memorable character of Raw and why?

Definitely Sepp Gregory. I never imagined that I would fall in love with a brainless reality show celebrity. But the heart and the soul of the man is almost pure and childlike. In his shallowness he has more depth than many of the novel's more well grounded and intelligent characters. And the rest of the characters are great too.

Any additional comments?

I can't wait to hear more of this author's work. The humor is so contagious that I listened to this one with the same breathlessness as a suspense novel or a Stephen King book. And Mr. Berkrot was just wonderful!

  • Fishbowl

  • A Novel
  • By: Bradley Somer
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 529
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 483
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 483

A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He's longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • What a Nice Surprise

  • By Elizabeth on 12-05-16

STELLAR PERFORMANCE + MAGICAL TALE = VIRTUAL JOY!

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

Reviewed: 02-28-16

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

LYRICAL
LIFE-AFFIRMING (counts as one)
JOYOUS

What did you like best about this story?

In some way it is reminiscent of Salmon Rushdie's "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" only the magic comes from the simplest everyday things. I think the format itself creates that magic, the wildly imaginative notion of an entire book taking place in the span of time it takes for a goldfish to fall from the 27th floor of a building to the ground below.

This book reads like a slice of life but because of all the lives that intertwine, it's more like the whole pie. I don't want to give anything away but real time is repeated over and over from a variety of perspectives. This works on many levels and allows the narrator to remain somewhat omniscient and yet able telescope in almost on the cellular level when called for.

The narrator is brilliant at this. Spinning a yarn from a great distance and yet walking, crawling and gliding alongside the people we meet, he's like a friendly presence throughout. The result is the feeling that the story is being told to the listener in an intimate setting, as if anyone else who wants to hear the story would have to wait in line.

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

Yes. Quite a lot of them actually. He's seems to be an especially gifted actor because he gets inside the minds of the characters' and breathes individual and specific life into each of them. He can be very funny and very chilling. In this book he uncovers all the clues provided by a wonderful writer to take us on a fairy tale kind of journey and make us feel like we are right there with him.

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

YES! Without giving too much away, there is a wonderful scene in which someone is giving birth and the exchange between the characters is priceless. The way the scene culminates is quite moving.

Any additional comments?

I think I've said enough. : ) MORE BY THIS AUTHOR AND NARRATOR PLEASE. : )))

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • A Better World

  • The Brilliance Saga, Book 2
  • By: Marcus Sakey
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,936
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,641
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,624

The brilliants changed everything.

Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we'd only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person's most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional...and the rest of us.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Constant suspense!

  • By Wayne on 12-17-15

Great Ride Start To Finish - Better Than the First

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

Reviewed: 01-27-16

What did you love best about A Better World?

It had all the elements of Book 1 but with greater momentum and higher stakes. A story that gets better as it goes. And Luke Daniels' performance was riveting. The characters he brought to life in BRILLIANCE were old friends this time around; his vault of fully realized and disparate secondary players, the perfect background music in a symphony of action and intrigue.

What did you like best about this story?

The manner in which the genomes express themselves, the descriptions of the characters as they experience the sensations and perceptions of their particular gifts. The many ways in which the gifted characters interact.

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

The whole point of an audiobook is to trust the story to an expert, knowing that the experience is vastly different than the solitary act of reading to oneself and visualizing the events. Most people don't read aloud to themselves, let alone with fully realized three dimensional nuanced and dramatic renderings that make it feel as much like a movie as a book.

Daniels does what experienced narrators do best, bring the story to life and take you on a great adventure, taking care not to miss a beat or a moment that might enhance the narrative or illuminate a relationship. His characterizations always remain tied into the imaginary world and every choice he makes is designed to take the reader deeper and more completely on the ride.

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

Sorry no. Not that kind of book. But I certainly stuck right in there with the story, occasionally trying to intercede but finding that no one could hear me.

Any additional comments?

Yes. I immediately downloaded the third book in the series despite all the books in my library and on my wish list because I couldn't imagine putting off my satisfaction. And it's great so far...

  • Certainty

  • By: Victor Bevine
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 591
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 524
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 520

When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back. He agrees to defend the minister against the shocking allegations, in the face of dire personal and professional consequences. But when the trial grows increasingly sensational, and when outrageous revelations echo all the way from Newport to the federal government, William must confront more than just the truth - he must confront the very nature of good and evil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!!!

  • By Sir Shopper on 12-30-14

Bound for Literary and Oscar Success

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

Reviewed: 12-08-15

Would you listen to Certainty again? Why?

I love books too much to miss listening to one before I die just because I listened to another one twice. The only books I listen to time and again are old friends like the Harry Potter series which have become more like background music. Something I can listen to without paying attention to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Certainty?

There are several gentle and intimate moments that dazzle, shining through the darkness of a story often told in the shadows and through a veil of ignorance and suspicion and cruelty.

And there are the courtroom scenes which, unlike some acrobatic and noisy courtroom dramas, full of histrionics and bluster, carry the weight of truth and the breathlessness of suspense, sustaining the power and urgency of the story even when communicated through a whisper or a glance that only one man can see.

The final courtroom scene is astounding.

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

I have. I'm a big fan of Tim Hallinan. His Junior Bender books narrated by Peter Berkrot are among my favorite audiobooks. That led me to the Poke Rafferty series and Victor Bevine. He's a remarkably gifted actor with a beautiful voice and an enormous range. So I plan to listen to all of the rest in that series. And anything else he does that comes along.

I am not ordinarily a fan of author reads which mostly sound like reads and not performances. In this case, Mr. Bevine is an actor first and an author second. He would have been terrific if someone else wrote this, I'm sure.

Here the marriage of word and voice needed no melding, no interpretation, no creative distance. This is what actors talk about when they refer to being organic. The story is not merely moving through him, it is coming from within him. The result is a subtle beauty that defies nor requires description.

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

Absolutely. I imagine that given the subject matter and the setting, that moment may differ from one listener to the next. Whether one is passionate about the law or justice, about the military or the clergy, whether one is gay or black or female or Muslim and has experienced injustice or blind hatred firsthand, or whether one is simply a human being who loves a good story, there are moving moments for everyone.

Any additional comments?

Yes. First, I'm astonished that this is not a best seller or top ten listen or whatever made The Martian, The Martian. That was a very quiet book. Until someone discovered the human drama beneath the exposition.

CERTAINTY has all the elements of a great book and an Oscar contender at the box office. At turns, fascinating historical fiction, powerful courtroom drama and human interest story, CERTAINTY is sad and sexy, outrageous and enraging, blistering and breathtaking. The questions raised are timely: what is guilt and is innocence, can the small ever defend itself against the all powerful, how can something as beautiful as love be forbidden and how can the world ever change when a single man, even a good one, can be paralyzed by certainty.

Mr. Bevine's work is quiet but it in the quiet that we can hear the truth.

  • Locke & Key

  • By: Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez
  • Narrated by: Haley Joel Osment, Tatiana Maslany, Kate Mulgrew, and others
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,745
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,301
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,287

Based on the best-selling, award-winning graphic novel series Locke & Key - written by acclaimed suspense novelist Joe Hill ( NOS4A2, Horns) and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez - this multicast, fully dramatized audio production brings the images and words to life.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • don't waste your time/money

  • By Kyle Warren on 01-23-19

Everything Old Is New Again

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

Reviewed: 11-05-15

Would you listen to Locke & Key again? Why?

I would certainly share parts of it with friends and acting students. I love audiobooks too much not to move on to something new but if I were to listen to a book more than once, this certainly has all the elements that would make the experience worthwhile.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Locke & Key?

Oh there were so so many. I don't want to give anything away so I won't mention parts of the end which were as memorable as anything else in the story. There were many sections of the book that I could see so vividly and clearly that it makes them especially memorable; the first time they use the HEAD KEY, the near drowning in the caves, the brutal fight between mother and daughter, the scene where they fly, the down syndrome kid allowing us to see the world through his fantasy life, the opening scene, there are just too many to list without spoiling surprises for others who read this.

Which scene was your favorite?

Again, this is like asking to choose a favorite child or pet. The books was so consistently brilliant and emotionally riveting that choosing one scene feels like arbitrarily discarding another brilliant scene. For the sake of argument though, any scene involving a new key or a new door was especially exciting to discover.

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

Totally. I laughed out loud a bunch of times, sobbed at least twice and held my breath many times longer than a physician might recommend. I also spent a good hour or so in my driveway.

At one point, I thought the book was affecting my perception altogether. It was toward the end, the last five hours or so and in the course of two days, every time I went out (I'm a car listener) I either missed my exit, went the wrong way or just flat-out forgot why I was in the car and didn't worry about it since I knew I would figure it out. : ) . I usually drive in the left lane but I stayed in the slow late and made sure that everything I did, every chore, trip to the gym, etc took as long as possible.

It was quite beautiful those two days, the sun shining on brilliantly colored leaves and Halloween decorations everywhere. The passing landscape became the backdrop for the story, a living, breathing, mobile movie in my head that I could drive through. I realized that I had made the book kind of a priority, wanting never to arrive at my destination.

I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks. I have loved many, been moved and thrilled by many and I would have thought it unlikely to have a completely unique and unusual experience with one. I was mistaken.

Any additional comments?

The headline of the review refers to the format of the book. I love straight forward single narrator books and I enjoy multi-character books as well when cast and produced well. But this was new.

I came of age when color TV was invented and that seemed like the newest and best thing in the world, a new way of seeing, a new dimension for a child. It was perhaps one of those monumental shifts, sea changes, you don't realize is changing the shape and our perception of the world while it's happening. But you feel it.

My parents used to go on and on about the early days of radio, how they would sit for hours in the living room in some apartment in Brooklyn or the Bronx during the Depression and be transported to other places, to leave the world behind and move into fantasy and impossibility. It seemed to my child's mind, rather naive of them, a dark and two dimensional experience which I could only see in black and white.

When I got swept up into the world of LOCKE AND KEY, I started to get it. Because something new was happening to me. As I drove in the car not caring if I got where I was going, I felt a new sense of three dimensionality, of moving through the story as it played. I SAW the images as clearly as they must appear in Mr. Hill's graphic novel, I went into the caves, I saw the dark rooms and shadow creatures, I cringed at the stuff being taken out of people's heads and could not relax until they were returned. I almost felt like I was on a ride.

There was also a freedom that most books don't offer because not once did I have to go back because I missed something. The brief narrative, soaring music and mostly dialogue allowed more space to inhabit the book without getting distracted and missing something.

And the acting is to be highly commended! Not just the celebrity names attached to the project but the entire large ensemble. There must be a range of skills involved but the commitment to the world of the story and the dedication on the part of the director and performers, allowed not one single false note to ring through. It must be said that these actors should be doing more work. It may take a celebrity to sell a book but it takes a village as it were to make one like this and no one actor was any better than any other in this telling.

And I finally understand what my parents were talking about.

3 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Starling Project

  • An Audible Drama
  • By: Jeffery Deaver
  • Narrated by: Alfred Molina, full cast
  • Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,592
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,449
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,440

Audie Award, Original Work, 2016; Audie Award Finalist, Audio Drama, 2016. An aborted raid targeting a major arms dealer. A hostage standoff at a bank that may not be what it seems. A plot to spring a former African dictator from prison. What is the threat that connects them all? And just who is the mysterious mastermind, The Starling? From Mexico to Washington – from London to Marseille to Prague – war crimes investigator Harold Middleton and his team of Volunteers risk their lives to follow the trail of clues. But how can they stop The Starling – when he always seems one step ahead?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is a DRAMA, not a book!

  • By Writrix on 11-25-14

WOW! Like a movie in my head!!

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

Reviewed: 11-30-14

Where does The Starling Project rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This listening experience demands it's own rank! I am a big fan of audiobooks, usually preferring one reader to multiple but this just transported me in a more visceral and immediate way than anything I've heard before!!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Starling Project?

I loved the scene inside and outside the bank but also many of the foreign scenes

What about Alfred Molina and full cast ’s performance did you like?

Love him, always have but I was surprised and delighted by the many wonderful voices, accents and characters everywhere; in the hotel, on the dock, in the speeding truck and jungle...

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

Extreme only in the sense of it being a totally different listening experience for me! So fun!! And I laughed at small unexpected things, usually when new, smaller characters would come and go.

Any additional comments?

More please! I still love traditional listens but this is perfect for the gym or other types of activities! I will look for more of these "radio dramas"!!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful