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Leon Miller

New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 55
  • reviews
  • 122
  • helpful votes
  • 76
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  • The Spanish Cape Mystery

  • The Ellery Queen Mysteries
  • By: Ellery Queen
  • Narrated by: Mark Peckham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

On a seaside vacation, Ellery Queen is ensnared in a trio of strange crimes. Spanish Cape is a dramatic promontory, its rocky cliff stopped with a picturesque hacienda. This isolated spot belongs to millionaire Walter Godfrey and it should be a peaceful family getaway - but one summer evening, Rosa Godfrey argues with her uncle David as he tries to convince her not to run away with one of their guests, the roguish John Marco. Suddenly, a one-eyed gunman appears out of the twilight.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun period piece

  • By Leon Miller on 07-23-18

Fun period piece

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

I'd never read an Ellery Queen book so this fulfilled a sort of bucket list item. The most enjoyable aspect was the 1930s setting, style, and language. It was so much fun to hear the narrator speak words like "rascally," "perfidy," "scoundrel," and "perspicacious" with sly humor but no irony. I think I'll read another.

  • The Day of the Triffids

  • By: John Wyndham
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 711
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 621
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 621

Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere 24 hours before is gone forever.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • NOT unabridged.

  • By Dave Cole on 05-12-14

Fascinating and quite different than the movie.

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Recently re-released as part of a sort of "classics of sci-fi series," "The Day of the Triffids" is a wonderful 1950s-era Cold War cautionary tale of people taking too much for granted, abusing their planet, placing too much faith in technology, and paying a high price for it. Quite different from the movie, the book is really more about how people would survive when society is reduced to a fraction of its previous numbers, and so was a much more character-focused, person-driven story. It was very surprising, not what I expected, thoroughly enjoyable, had an excellent narrator, I highly recommend it, and I'm very glad I read it.

  • The Secret History of Wonder Woman

  • By: Jill Lepore
  • Narrated by: Jill Lepore
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 554
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 498
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 498

Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she has also has a secret history. Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman's creator.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Narration ruined it for me

  • By Julia on 11-09-14

Wow. I mean … wow.

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

I would never have thought that a history of a comic would be so profoundly revealing about such a wide range of areas. Lepore has written a brilliant history we did not know we desperately needed. Women's rights, gun control, birth control, the military, politics, sex, the history of comics themselves, the history of academic psychology, the history of lie detector machines, and on and on. Lepore ties the threads together into a fascinating tale that is revealing, moving, profound, and a great read. Highly recommended.

  • Untimely Death

  • A Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Elizabeth J. Duncan
  • Narrated by: Sarah Nichols
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 27

A Catskills resort's production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet takes a wickedly ironic turn when the leading lady, Lauren Richmond, is first poisoned and then stabbed. Who would extinguish the life of such a beautiful young thespian? It seems like just about everyone had a motive to pull the ropes on her final curtain call. At the center of this Shakespearean tragedy is Charlotte Fairfax, formerly the costume mistress of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Caroline Breheny on 04-18-17

Entertaining, informative, delightful.

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

What a wonderful surprise. I don't recall a cozy that not only made me smile and laugh so often, but was also so interesting and informative. This new series involves a costume designer who works for an annual summer Shakespeare festival at a small hotel in the Catskills. OK, that's a lot to take in, and I was suspicious of such a convoluted premise. Upstate New York is, of course, beautiful, and that was a big plus, but the biggest surprise was the angle of designing costumes for theater productions. The author did her homework and you learn all kinds of truly interesting information about the theater, including how actors like to be treated, how costumes are organized throughout a theater season, how dress rehearsals work, and much, much, more. I knew nothing about these things, I had no idea there was so much to learn, and it was fascinating. The character of the costume designer / detective herself was warm and comfortable, a real person with a solid, well-defined background whom you like and enjoy listening to. That likability was enhanced by the excellent narrator. And, the mystery itself was neatly done. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I learned a lot, my eyes were opened to new experiences, and I'm very glad I discovered this book.

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61,502
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 57,705
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57,598

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

  • By PW on 04-12-17

Great fun.

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Delightful, engaging, fascinating, creative, and often goofy fun. Imagine you are a computer scientist who awakens to find himself a disembodied intelligence "alive" only as code in a machine. You're given control of a spaceship and go off exploring. Moreover, you can duplicate yourself and your ship, and so many of you explore different parts of space at once. The result is a sort of collection of interlocking short stories with interlocking plots. It sounds complicated and confusing. Instead, it is delightful, creative, and great fun. It is also surprisingly warm and humane, with Bob the AI (sort of) possessing a wry sense of humor. I "read" this using Amazon's Whispersync (although I'm not sure they still call it "Whispersync") with the Audible audio book version. That was a great plus, because the narrator not only expertly and clearly portrayed numerous characters, he was also wonderful at conveying Bob's odd, often sarcastic, self-deprecating, warm, and funny sense of humor. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series.

  • Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

  • By: Al Franken
  • Narrated by: Al Franken
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 14,855
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,724
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 13,582

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I was reading this when the allegations against Franken came out

  • By Fruitsalad200 on 12-10-17

Wonderfu, insightful, important.

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Wonderful, funny, insightful, and very important. "Giant of the Senate" is not only one of the most important political books ever written, but also a delightful and often laugh-out-loud memoir of a full, fascinating, and meaningful life. Franken guides the reader from his childhood to a fascinating brief history of Saturday Night Live before discussing his political career and the current state of politics in the US. As his own narrator, Franken is wry, self-deprecating, modest, and warm. Whether your interest is popular culture or political affairs, you'll be fascinated, informed, and vastly entertained.

  • A Campy Christmas

  • A Frannie Shoemaker Campground Adventure
  • By: Karen Musser Nortman
  • Narrated by: Michelle Babb
  • Length: 1 hr and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40

A holiday novella. The Shoemakers and Ferraros plan to spend Christmas in Texas with Larry and Jane Ann's brother and then take a camping trip through the Southwest. But those plans are stopped cold when they hit a rogue ice storm in Missouri and they end up snowbound in a campground. And that's just the beginning.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Cozy Christmas Adventure

  • By Lori on 12-01-16

Brief but charming.

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

I loved the scenes of being snowed in at a state park in a travel trailer, but the story itself was slight and short. A fun distraction for Christmas. As is not uncommon with narrators, the narrator wasn't bad with the characters but less accomplished with the authorial (or narrative) voice.

  • Graveyard of Memories

  • John Rain, Book 8
  • By: Barry Eisler
  • Narrated by: Barry Eisler
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,057
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 961
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 962

What makes a legendary assassin? For John Rain, it was the lessons of love, war, and betrayal he learned in Tokyo in 1972. Fresh from the killing fields of Southeast Asia, Rain works as a bagman under the watchful eye of his CIA handler, delivering cash to corrupt elements of the Japanese government. But when a delivery goes violently wrong, Rain finds himself in the crosshairs of Japan’s most powerful yakuza clan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kudos to Eisler for some real life lessons here

  • By shelley on 04-24-14

Thoroughly enjoyable and a great performance.

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

I thoroughly enjoyed Amazon's "Kindle-in-Motion" format with a previous book, and since this was in Kindle-in-Motion, was ridiculously inexpensive, and since the accompanying Whispersync Audible version was also ridiculously inexpensive, I purchased it and the audiobook together.

I had never before read (or, in this case, listened to while following along in the text) a John Rain book and I enjoyed this one. Rain is an assassin-for-hire and this book is a flashback to his days as young man in Tokyo when he first got into the business. I'm not a fan of flashbacks but I enjoyed this one. The descriptions of Tokyo and Japanese customs were always interesting and Rain's path to becoming an assassin was interesting and grounded in events that helped give it some sense of reality (or, as much reality as an international assassin with almost superhuman killing powers can have).

My enjoyment of the book was greatly enhanced by the excellent narrator. He not only was good with characters but imbued his narration with a sense of the world-weariness of someone looking back to the beginnings of his career after a lifetime of seeing and doing horrible things. The narrator was outstanding.

The only disappointment was the Kindle-in-Motion features. The illustrations were excellent, creative, and supported the story but there were too few of them to make any difference. Still, the Kindle-in-Motion version and the Audible book together were all of four bucks. That's a fantastic price for a great story, a great audible book, and a few nice illustrations on the side.

  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

  • By: Marlon Bundo, Jill Twiss
  • Narrated by: Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, and others
  • Length: 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 13,129
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12,364
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12,302

HBO's Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents the story of a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence - the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This story is cute, but let's be honest.

  • By João on 03-19-18

Wonderful.

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

Reviewed: 05-05-18

Brilliant and kind and decent. We need more of this, especially now. And, the all-star cast was outstanding. Congratulations to everyone who helped create this.

  • Origin

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,426
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,223
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 34,121

In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture in this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind's two most enduring questions - and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Formula over fiction

  • By Evan M Carlson on 11-01-17

Slow and boring

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

Reviewed: 11-05-17

I enjoyed and admired "The Da Vinci Code" and enjoyed "Angels & Demons" even more. I therefore looked forward to Brown's follow-up, "The Lost Symbol." Washington DC, with its wealth of public art and odd masonic symbols, seemed an excellent place to send Robert Langdon next. Unfortunately, it turned out that Washington didn't have that many mysteries and the ones it had weren't that interesting. "The Inferno" was far worse, with a silly and meaningless story.

I therefore purchased "Origin" with some trepidation, but the advanced buzz gave me hope that Langdon had returned to his element. It started off slow and boring, stayed slow and boring, and I stopped reading/listening to it about two-thirds through. That was aggravated by a narrator who was miscast. His personal style was slow, and while he was fine with secondary characters and accents, his Langdon and his "narrator's voice" were lifeless (sometimes, weaker books are enhanced by a strong narrator and strong books are harmed by a lesser narrator. In this case, I got the sense that I would have enjoyed the book more as a purely reading rather than listening experience - using Whispersync, I followed the text while listening - but in the end the story didn't interest me enough to do that).

If the last third were worth the slog, let me know, but with any future Brown books, I won't again give him the benefit of the doubt.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful