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Travelling Pillsbury

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  • reviews
  • 24
  • helpful votes
  • 22
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  • I Am Pilgrim

  • A Thriller
  • By: Terry Hayes
  • Narrated by: Christopher Ragland
  • Length: 22 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,862
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,243
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,248

An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please let this all be fiction.

  • By B.J. on 08-08-14

6 minutes -- all I could take. Red flags aplenty.

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

Reviewed: 01-28-18

This first-person protagonist's description of the female murder victim in the opening scene -- and what she may have experienced just prior to her death -- contained enough red flags to compel me to stop listening at 6 minutes 20 seconds.

The narrator describes the female victim, deceased, face and hands in bathtub partially filled with sulfuric acid. Based on the physical evidence at the crime scene he conjures up for us a reconstruction of her pre-death sex experience that for pure psychopathic misogyny is troubling.

To put it simply, through the protagonist/narrator, the author delivers -- perhaps involuntarily, perhaps not -- a sickening snuff fantasy of his own. And that's when I reached out for the stop button.

Good luck Mr Hayes: If your writing career has been paying the bills, perhaps you can set something aside for counselling. I will give your future work a miss, should there be any.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Scarecrow

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Peter Giles
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,236
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,456
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,450

Forced out of the Los Angeles Times amid the latest budget cuts, newspaperman Jack McEvoy decides to go out with a bang, using his final days at the paper to write the definitive murder story of his career. He focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to a brutal murder. But as he delves into the story, Jack realizes that Winslow's so-called confession is bogus. The kid might actually be innocent.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great newsman fiction from Connelly

  • By Tony B. on 08-18-09

Have helped put Connelly's kids through college...

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

Reviewed: 01-24-16

...but enough's enough. Since joining Audible about 6 years ago I've read a huge number of Connelly's works, including lots of Bosch, and three of the Haller's (Lincoln Lawyer, the best of those). Love the Bosch Amazon series and look forward to the next season! I'm 2 hours into Scarecrow and cannot go on. Why? Connelly has not given the main character any stakes we're bothered to care for, so I am not invested in whether he succeeds in writing his front page, 1st column final piece of reportage. Also disappointed that we're dished out the typical hackneyed victim and framed perp (stripper and black teen, respectively, so for our future web series non-pleasure we can be sure of two things: scenes shot in front of pole dancers and plenty of economically depressed bros with guns and pants on the ground). Also, exceptionally dull narration with little character differentiation made this book a go-to for my nap today (droned to sleep), and for that I'm grateful, but I need my credit back.

  • Hollywood Animal

  • A Memoir
  • By: Joe Eszterhas
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 28 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 47

He spent his earliest years in post WWII refugee camps. He came to America and grew up in Cleveland, stealing cars, rolling drunks, battling priests, nearly going to jail. He became the screenwriter of the worldwide hits Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, and Flashdance. He also wrote the legendary disasters Showgirls and Jade. The rebellion never ended, even as he became the most famous, or infamous, screenwriter in Hollywood.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • MEMO to JOE ESZTERHAS

  • By J. Jason on 08-27-13

Puts the 'Me' in 'meandering'

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

Reviewed: 08-26-15

This boat anchor has loads of puke-worthy Hollywood moments enough to scare anyone straight outta their screenwriting daydreams and right off the bottle too. Wow. I can't believe it's been 2 yrs and 4 mos since I downloaded this tome. What a romp, yes, but also, what a helium filled totally unedited self indulgence. Uneven? Yes. This is repetitive and narrative-ly structured like a snake eating its tail. I am still a couple of hours from the end and may take another year. But boy am I glad I moved 6 thousand miles away from my agent back in the 80s and never actually sold a screenplay. Joe: congrats for living long enough to find the regrets and the victories and slam them in between two covers like this; next time pay someone the big bucks to edit assertively, so it retains some narrative cohesion.

  • Norwegian by Night

  • By: Derek B. Miller
  • Narrated by: Sean Mangan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,501
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,298
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,299

Sheldon Horowitz - 82 years old, impatient, and unreasonable - is staying with his granddaughter's family in Norway when he disappears with a stranger's child. Sheldon is an ex-Marine, and he feels responsible for his son's death in Vietnam. Recently widowed and bereft, he talks to the ghosts of his past constantly. To Norway's cops, Sheldon is just an old man who is coming undone at the end of a long and hard life. But Sheldon is clear in his own mind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't Miss This Amazing Book

  • By Sara on 07-17-14

Derek Miller: Get thee to an editor

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

Reviewed: 08-26-15

Was Miller in a rush to close off the last page? had he ever spent time with a toddler? or traveled with one? I think not. Excellent humanizing of the antagonists, not cardboard or cliche...but ended book with tired USA style guns and ammo blast-out - author is badly in need of a more skilled editor to help even out the otherwise very good ideas...enjoyed some of the historical snippets on being a Jew in the USA

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

The Likeness audiobook cover art
  • The Likeness

  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Heather O'Neill
  • Length: 22 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,794
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,374
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,362

Tana French's debut, In the Woods, hit the New York Times best-seller list and drew rave reviews from the Times (London) and Booklist. Picking up six months later, this riveting sequel finds Detective Cassie Maddox still scarred by her last case. When her boyfriend calls her to a chilling murder scene, Cassie is forced to face her inner demons. A young woman has been found stabbed to death outside Dublin, and the victim looks just like Cassie.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really on a Different Level

  • By Michael on 07-05-10

Doppelganger Cop Infiltrates Misfit Roomies Lair

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

Reviewed: 01-28-14

I recall having looked forward to another case with the plucky lady cop from book 1. Alas this new tale is mired in a preposterous premise. Also, vastly unlikeable "suspects" consume abundant space flinging tiresome dialogue from within murky yet unremarkable relationship dysfunctions, all the while apparently flubbing a plethora of unlikely close calls for busting our dead-ringer protagonist. Could just barely make it to the end, but solely to ensure I was not imagining the train wreck.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Human Stain

  • By: Phillip Roth
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 804
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 712
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 712

It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would have astonished even his most virulent accuser.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Less Dramatic than the Title Implies

  • By Guinnevere on 02-19-13

Roth Captures Gray Areas

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

Reviewed: 01-28-14

OK it felt significant. All those gray areas covered so meticulously but still so messily. We all make messes. Roth's protagonist does us all the favor of painting so many percentages of gray into this one, it feels big and universal while getting all human and grrrr in the process. Not a light read, but not an unforgiving one.

  • Light of the World

  • A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 20
  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,883
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,683
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,668

In Light of the World, sadist and serial killer Asa Surrette narrowly escaped the death penalty for the string of heinous murders. But following a series of damning articles written by Dave Robicheaux’s daughter Alafair about possible other crimes committed by Surette, the killer escapes from a prison transport van and heads to Montana - where an unsuspecting Dave happens to have gone to take in the sweet summer air, accompanied by Alafair, his wife Molly, faithful partner Clete, and Clete’s newfound daughter, Gretchen Horowitz.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Burke is still the best

  • By Dave on 08-08-13

Gang Reunites in Mountains for Anger Mismanagement

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

Reviewed: 01-28-14

Finished this about 5 months ago, so things a bit foggy, but here goes: Innumerable verbal confrontations with undesirables help each of our feisty gang to conclude bad people are really quite a pain, and so dispatch a few of them, but not before administering a batch of homilies and lectern poundings to ensure we know what's good, wholesome and worth fighting for, except I'm still not quite sure I got it. Love Will Patton's work - it's pretty well the only thing worth listening to here.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Fifth Witness

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Peter Giles
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,967
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,948

Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable read

  • By Xavier on 08-17-11

Unlucky in Law

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

Reviewed: 08-31-13

Geez the clients Haller gets. I started with Lincoln Lawyer and hung onto the wiper blades while the story thrashed this way and that; very satisfying. By the current installment, I think Connelly is out of gas. The last two thirds felt like the really really long courtroom scenes in Wambaugh's Onion Field, minus the character insights, but yes with occasional jurisprudential zingers. The action was very occasional, and the only riveting scenes were when Haller would shout out things to his hastily conscripted team of poindexters and bikers like "get more file boxes, stat!" [perhaps not actual line but it's been 2 months at least since I finished listening to this tired rehash of all the courtroom snooze-fests I've abided for way too long]. btw: have read at least 7 of Connelly's Bosch series and sure, that gets all procedural and cop-bureaucracy-tedious, but this Haller phoned-in publishing-deadline-looming-so-better-get-typing really tests my loyalty.

  • Kafka on the Shore

  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett, Oliver Le Sueur
  • Length: 19 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,110
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,368
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,366

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at 15, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant Meandering--what was in those brownies..

  • By Mel on 05-09-12

50 shades of Oedipus

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

Reviewed: 03-18-13

Thank you Barry, Grace and James for your insights. I will add this book is not for the rest of our Audible colleagues if their literary predilections do not include:
a) cats being captured, drugged and graphically murdered;
b) elements of Sophocles' Oedipus trotted out in a sophomoric ploy to graft a motif onto a teenage runaway tale;
c) writers like Murakami when they say things like "what I'd like to be is a unique writer who's different from everybody else" and "the key to understanding the novel lies in reading it multiple times."
Really? I mean really?
The audio version comes in 3 parts, and I stopped for good early into the third, out of respect for how little time we have on this earth, and how badly in need of a much ballsier editor this "unique" writer's work is. The narrative is a hot mess, and Murakami knows it, but wishes to continue the ruse, given his existing reputation. Interviews with him reveal he may believe himself to be a medium or channel. Tut tut.
Story aside, performance kudos to Sean Barrett whose Nakata & Hoshino voices alone were a welcome break from the book's meandering miasma.

  • Medium Raw

  • A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook
  • By: Anthony Bourdain
  • Narrated by: Anthony Bourdain
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,027
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,911
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,876

In the 10 years since his classic Kitchen Confidential first alerted us to the idiosyncrasies and lurking perils of eating out, much has changed for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, tracking Bourdain's strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, and even to fatherhood. Bourdain takes no prisoners as he dissects what he's seen.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly tender.

  • By Sparkly on 10-09-12

Unexpectedly Delighted

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

Reviewed: 02-13-13

Bourdain can get on your nerves. I should know, after faithfully inhaling his No Reservations for years, and more recently The Layover, all the while noticing the shows' producers increased tolerance for letting Tony get away with (or encouraging him towards?) kinda lame stuff. To watch as Tony tosses back triple shots of straight (insert local booze here) with a local table-mate until the redness of nose and the inanity of banter chafes my patience, and is no longer good TV (I even found it tedious when I was still a practicing drunk). On the other hand, the Haiti and Beirut and Mozambique episodes are finer recent examples of how No Reservations works when it’s nurtured and cared for. It was this Bourdain I hoped to find in Medium Raw, and with some trepidation I procured the audiobook.

All hesitation was quelled after the first two or three chapters. I am pleased to say I’m now enjoying my second listen, revisiting themes and analyses the first pass threw down with such ease and grace. Whatever impulse Bourdain may have to tread lightly and boozily when shooting some of his less stellar travel drunkalogs is not present here. Instead we have a sharp noggin bristling with ideas and a witty blast of fresh and cheeky verbiage in the sharing of them. He’s got some of David Foster Wallace’s eye for detail, and hints of A. J. Liebling’s ability to communicate complex ideas about food and society in a few finely crafted phrases that get right to the nut.

Dear Tony, if Medium Raw is the Bourdain that the TV versions of you have been hinting at, then please give us more of this pen on paper stuff, as after all it was Kitchen Confidential that sent the TV scouts after you in the first place. Yes you’re fun and irreverent on TV, but you really shine on the page (and incidentally as the narrator of your own work).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful