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oldmanwagner

  • 14
  • reviews
  • 57
  • helpful votes
  • 33
  • ratings
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,393
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,045
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,030

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unbelievable debut mystery set in London

  • By Tracey on 05-26-13

Pass on this one

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

Reviewed: 06-26-18

too many subplots, and not enough characters to care about. this is a snooze-fest, and I mean that in a literal sense. ZZZZ

  • The Vixen Diaries

  • By: Karrine Steffans
  • Narrated by: Karrine Steffans
  • Length: 5 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 93
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 94

This titillating expose chronicles the personal and professional adventures of this tabloid-laden socialite, dispelling some rumors, while confirming others. Diaries unveils the heavily shrouded Hollywood backrooms and its coveted secrets. Offering her ardent fans answers to burning questions and presenting lessons learned, this book will surely not disappoint.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So enjoyed this, Thank You Karrine

  • By Sensimellia on 03-12-16

Just pass

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

Reviewed: 05-22-17

Reads like a press release written by an aspiring actress. Boring, sad, and totally unintrospective. These are her stories to tell...to bad she tells them so poorly.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Gods of Gotham

  • By: Lyndsay Faye
  • Narrated by: Steven Boyer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,015
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 903
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 906

It is 1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever.... Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, fantasizing about the day he has enough money to win the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams literally incinerate in a fire devastating downtown Manhattan, he finds himself disfigured, unemployed, and homeless. His older brother obtains Timothy a job in the newly minted NYPD, but he is highly skeptical of this new "police force".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't miss this one!

  • By Kelly on 11-06-12

Nice details...lesser story

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

Reviewed: 06-08-16

The image of pre-civil war NYC is fascinating, but the narrative ark is a bit tedious and the characters are interesting, but somehow not fully drawn.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fool Moon

  • The Dresden Files, Book 2
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,984
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,933
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,880

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicago's only openly practicing wizard. He is also dead broke. His vast knowledge and magical skills are unfortunately matched by his talent for making powerful enemies and alienating friends. With little more than his integrity left, he accepts an offer of work from Lt. Karin Murphy of Chicago's Special Investigations Unit. He wants to redeem himself in Murphy's eyes and make enough money to quiet his rumbling stomach.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best books I've read in a long time!

  • By David Ziegler on 05-06-10

the later stories are better

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

Reviewed: 10-26-15

What made the experience of listening to Fool Moon the most enjoyable?

I chanced across this character in a collection of short stories...and I must say, the later, more fully developed H Dresden is infinitely preferable to the somewhat stock character presented here. I think I'll be skipping ahead in the this series before I buy another installment.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Tibetan Peach Pie

  • A True Account of an Imaginative Life
  • By: Tom Robbins
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 547
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 496
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 493

Internationally best-selling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long-awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would become over the course of half a century a poet-interruptus, an air force weatherman, a radio DJ, an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman, a world-famous novelist, and a counter-culture hero, leading a life as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those of his quixotic characters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This isn't a book, it's a complete experience

  • By David Shear on 05-31-14

Not enough to tell

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

Reviewed: 10-26-15

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

Listening to this book was wonderful, except for the author's really, really indulgent view of a not-so-incredible past. I think his life would be a better read had another author tackled it. Reading about Robbins' small experiments with drugs etc...pales in comparison to the extensive (and documented) explorations of his contemporaries, folks like Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson. So while I am a long-time fan of his work (and continue to be) this book falls short of the mark for the simple reason that I imagine it is very hard to write about oneself.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Stargazer

  • The Life, World, and Films of Andy Warhol
  • By: Stephen Koch
  • Narrated by: Anthony Haden Salerno
  • Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 2

Andy Warhol's work and personality changed American visual culture forever, making him an international superstar. His rise to global fame, his entanglement with the seedy New York sexual underground, and the shocking assassination attempt that almost ended his life are chronicled in Stephen Koch's indispensible classic, Stargazer.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • put it back on the shelf

  • By oldmanwagner on 09-06-15

put it back on the shelf

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

Reviewed: 09-06-15

What disappointed you about Stargazer?

it read more like a pedantic thesis about Andy Warhol, than anything with a personal, or provocative slant

What do you think your next listen will be?

something about Thomas Cromwell

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

nope

Any additional comments?

Reach for Bob Colacelo's (sp?) wonderful book, "Holy Terror" about Warhol's Factory in the 70s to 80s.

  • Call Me Burroughs

  • A Life
  • By: Barry Miles
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 29 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66

In Call Me Burroughs, biographer and Beat historian Barry Miles presents the first full-length biography of Burroughs to be published in a quarter century - and the first one to chronicle the last decade of Burroughs's life and examine his long-term cultural legacy.

Written with the full support of the Burroughs estate and drawing from countless interviews with figures like Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, and Burroughs himself, Call Me Burroughs is a rigorously researched biography that finally gets to the heart of its notoriously mercurial subject.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Masterpiece Crime Novel

  • By Nurture Learners and Able Observers on 08-09-14

A Wonderful, Intimate Portrait

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

Reviewed: 12-02-14

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

Yes. It is a fascinating look into the life and love(s) of one of America's most important and contrary writers.

What other book might you compare Call Me Burroughs to and why?

Fire in the Belly. Because both were clear and human looks at extraordinary and uncompromising men. Neither biography flinched away from looking at the less savory aspects of each man's life (murder, drugs, hustling), but they were not salacious glimpses, just informational, and mostly, compassionate.

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

No. But I liked it very much, and I am super fussy about narrators.

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

The notion that after a sexual encounter, the usually gruff WB was gentle, tender, and "giddy." I loved that extraordinarily human detail.

Any additional comments?

If you are interested in the Beats, read this book about the most interesting one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sleeping with the Enemy

  • Coco Chanel's Secret War
  • By: Hal Vaughan
  • Narrated by: Susan Denaker, Mark Deakins
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 82

Coco Chanel created the look of the modern woman and was the high priestess of couture. But this book also pieces together how Coco Chanel became a German intelligence operative; how and why she was enlisted in a number of spy missions; how she escaped arrest in France after the war, despite her activities being known to the Gaullist intelligence network; and how she fled to Switzerland for a nine-year exile with her lover, Dincklage.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Wandering account, errors in French

  • By Vivien Tarkirk-Smith on 07-04-13

Who is Even Surprised Chanel was A Nazi?

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

Reviewed: 12-02-14

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

Yes. It details a side of the Nazi occupation of France with intimacy and attention to detail, and that makes it somehow more chilling. I wanted to dump all of my Chanel perfume down the drain (I didn't, bc the Chanel perfumes haven't been owned by Chanel since the 30s or so). It is also an unflinching portrait of Coco herself, and as such, of a certain way of life that now only exists at the pinnacle of wealth.

Who was your favorite character and why?

They were all despicable, and fascinating.

Which character – as performed by Susan Denaker and Mark Deakins – was your favorite?

Dinklager.

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

It made me hate extremists and racists even more.

Any additional comments?

Read this for a look into an utterly self-serving woman, and class of people who existed to take advantage of the Nazi war machine, and the beauty of Paris.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • How to Build a Girl

  • By: Caitlin Moran
  • Narrated by: Louise Brealey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 558
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 558

It's 1990. Johanna Morrigan, 14, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there's no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde - fast-talking, hard-drinking gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer - like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontës - but without the dying-young bit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Get This Book!

  • By David Shear on 10-06-14

When you see yourself in print, and its okay

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

Reviewed: 12-02-14

What made the experience of listening to How to Build a Girl the most enjoyable?

The humor and compassion with which the entire story was conveyed made it always approachable, and easy to return to. And speaking as a woman who was a young teen in the 90s, the portrait of the time (even though it is in England) and place (lower middle class with a worthless but somehow not useless father) was hopeful and though simpler, on the cusp of great change was perfectly crystalized and presented. Reading this was to be transported back to look at a younger self, and realizing that though that younger self is an absurd creature, she is also splendid.

What other book might you compare How to Build a Girl to and why?

How To Be A Woman. This book expands on the Caitlen Moran character in HTBaW without being a simple retelling of Moran's life...it imagines a slightly more breathless approach, one in keeping with a teenage narrator.

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

The nuance of spoken British slang.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Buy this for the young (college-aged) women in your life. It'll help them realize that you need not be perfect to achieve dreams. In fact, flaws can be memorable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

  • A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League
  • By: Jeff Hobbs
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,158
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,945
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,947

When author Jeff Hobbs arrived at Yale University, he became fast friends with the man who would be his college roommate for four years, Robert Peace. Robert's life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was a brilliant student, and it was supposed to get easier when he was accepted to Yale, where he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Everyone Should Read this Book

  • By oldmanwagner on 12-02-14

Everyone Should Read this Book

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

Reviewed: 12-02-14

What made the experience of listening to The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace the most enjoyable?

Robert Peace, the main character, is charismatic, driven, focused, and flawed. HIs should've been a life of steady ascension, despite a tough start in life, and instead he ended up driving in literal circles. The book functions not only as a tale of triumph and loss, but also as an object lesson in the problems poor kids face in improving their status/lot in life. And the book does it without wallowing, and in beautiful prose that sidles up to poetry.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace?

There was no single moment: as this tale is a series of small moments, of how tiny hiccups--which would be totally surmountable by the middle class, and even the lower middle class--are the stuff that derails lives and destroys opportunities, for those who live below the poverty line. But it is not all tragic, in it, Robert's extraordinariness shines through and there joy he experienced in his life is conveyed here too.

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

I thought he was wonderful, really excellent. The quality of this narration would make me seek out his other projects.

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

Yes. I only stopped because I fell asleep.

Any additional comments?

I think anyone who is curious about why poverty is ingrained as a seeming unovercomable obstacle in this country should read this book.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful