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Annandale, VA United States
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  • Night of the Grizzlies

  • By: Jack Olsen
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295

Jack Olsen's true account, traces the causes of the tragic night in August 1967 when two separate and unrelated campers, a distance apart, were savagely mangled and killed by enraged bears.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The night the bears lost their fear of humans

  • By Michael on 12-19-14

True Crime, Animal Offender

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

Where does Night of the Grizzlies rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's in the middle of the pack, largely because so many of my audiobooks are excellent.

What other book might you compare Night of the Grizzlies to and why?

Part Heart of the Sea/Moby Dick, part True Crime, the book both capitalizes on the fear we have of the unpredictability of powerful animals around humans and on the mystery of how a crime unfolded. It's written by a True Crime author and read by Kavin Pierce who has narrated a lot of True Crime audiobooks.

Which character – as performed by Kevin Pierce – was your favorite?

I'd say and of the National Park Rangers were my favorite.

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

When it comes to Kevin Pierce and True Crime, I always want to listen all the way through. This is very similar. And it helps that Jack Olsen is one of my favorite True Crime authors.

Any additional comments?

Applying his approach to storytelling and True Crime to the events of 1967, Jack Olsen does a thorough exploration of the events, people, and atmosphere that were responsible for and led up to the Night of the Grizzlies. Witnesses to strange bear behavior, unwise incentives created by tourists and concession operators, and the Park Service's casual enforcement of good practices are all reviewed and tied together to create some understanding of how things came to a tragic, horrible climax one night in Glacier National Park. It's the kind of complete approach I've appreciated in Olsen's other work, and Pierce lends a voice that is both pleasant and gives a sense of authority to the work. His emotions are always appropriate and never over-done.

  • The Exorcist

  • 40th Anniversary Edition
  • By: William Peter Blatty
  • Narrated by: William Peter Blatty, Eliana Shaskan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,922
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,916

Four decades after it first shook the nation, then the world, William Peter Blatty's thrilling masterwork of faith and demonic possession returns in an even more powerful form. Raw and profane, shocking and blood-chilling, it remains a modern parable of good and evil and perhaps the most terrifying novel ever written.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrifying...

  • By Kenneth on 10-01-12

Well Done

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

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

Creepy, vivid, classic

What other book might you compare The Exorcist to and why?

I don't often read this genre so I really can't compare it,

Which character – as performed by William Peter Blatty and Eliana Shaskan – was your favorite?

The demon

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

Maybe it's because I saw the movie first, and as a child, when I was home alone, this wasn't as frightening as the movie.

Any additional comments?

This book delivers what any fan of the movie would expect. No more, no less. I'm glad I listened to it and I might listen to it again sometime in the future.

  • Without Mercy

  • Obsession and Murder Under the Influence
  • By: Gary Provost
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 497
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 454
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 452

On any Sunday morning in the Florida Redlands, Dee Casteel might have served you pancakes at the IHOP. She was a hard-working, cheerful waitress, one of the nicest people you'd ever want to know. She was also a three-bottle-a-day alcoholic, hopelessly in love with the IHOP's manager, Allen Bryant. Bryant wanted his live-in lover, IHOP owner Art Venecia, dead. And Dee Casteel helped him to arrange it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Thoroughly Enjoyed This Book

  • By Stephanie on 02-08-17

An almost sympathetic murderer

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

Reviewed: 05-11-17

What did you love best about Without Mercy?

The story was compassionate, but not overly so, for the main subject of the story. Some might argue it spends too much time humanizing her and not the victims, but I think there's something valuable in getting that humanization - that you can never tell.

What other book might you compare Without Mercy to and why?

It's hard to find something sufficiently close. All the other true crime books don't have someone who seemed mostly duped into murder.

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

This one is easily as good as the others. It may even be the best one, with the multiple voices being sufficiently distinct.

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

The nicest person you meet could hire your killer

Any additional comments?

It's easy to feel sympathetic towards Dee Casteel, the woman at the center of the story. She almost was disconnected from it all, believing that since she was part of a conspiracy, she was not as culpable as the originator or the executors of the conspiracy. she didn't even profit from it. But the fact is, she helped arrange the murders, and ended up on death row.

The book does need an update, based on what I found upon googling her.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Every Mother's Nightmare

  • By: Charles Bosworth Jr
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 158
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 151

Reveals the harrowing story of two mothers, Jude Govreau and Mari Winzen, whose children were brutally killed by a vicious murderer, and recounts their efforts with a lone district attorney to bring the murderer to justice.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heartbreaking but interesting

  • By Charles on 11-19-15

Determined Mothers and a Determined ADA

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

Reviewed: 05-09-17

What did you love best about Every Mother's Nightmare?

It's hard to "love" anything about a true crime novel about child victims, but it's always satisfying when a determined underdog fights for justice.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Every Mother's Nightmare?

Finding that the judge was able to mitigate the defense's attempts to add insult to injury.

Which scene was your favorite?

How one of the more aggressive mothers spoke to the defendant.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Victims' rights are pretty truncated - more so than one might think.

Any additional comments?

This is one of the better true crime novels, although I'm disappointed at some of the behavior of certain law enforcement authorities.

  • Bogeyman

  • By: Steve Jackson
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 347
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 312
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 310

For years he'd stalked elementary schools and playground looking for young girls from low-income neighborhoods to abduct, rape and murder. He thought of them as "throwaway kids" - hardly missed, and soon forgotten, except by those who loved them. He was ever parent's worst nightmare. The bogeyman they warned their children about ... the fiend who lurked outside bedroom windows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a heartbreaking audio

  • By cheryl on 07-04-16

The Children's Horror Must Have Been Profound

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

Reviewed: 05-09-17

Would you listen to Bogeyman again? Why?

I probably wouldn't listen to it again. While I would love additional updates, other true crimes have a better sense of closure than this one does.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bogeyman?

When profound fear wasn't being felt by the children, but by the perpetrator

What about Kevin Pierce’s performance did you like?

His fatherly yet authoritative voice fits the genre just right. It's sympathetic, but still maintains an air of formality - like what you might imagine a good detective might sound like when speaking with victims.

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

No, though I might if I think too much on how the children died and what it must have been like for them.

Any additional comments?

Without getting into spoilers, there are true crimes books with a more complete sense of justice at the end.

  • The Night Stalker

  • The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez
  • By: Philip Carlo
  • Narrated by: Tom Zingarelli
  • Length: 18 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 712
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 656
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 655

Decades after Richard Ramirez left 13 dead and paralyzed the city of Los Angeles, his name is still synonymous with fear, torture, and sadistic murder. Philip Carlo's classic The Night Stalker, based on years of meticulous research and extensive interviews with Ramirez, revealed the killer and his horrifying crimes to be even more chilling than anyone could have imagined. The story of Ramirez is a bizarre and spellbinding descent into the very heart of human evil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another True Crime classic...! (yay)

  • By Polly Poizendem on 11-19-16

Comprehensive and Interesting

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

Reviewed: 05-09-17

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

I would consider it on the list of books that are worth listening to. It's not great, but it covers the crimes well, though perhaps too well in that it is probably longer than it needs to be.

What did you like best about this story?

I think I like best who caught him. It's the only such case that I can think of.

What aspect of Tom Zingarelli’s performance would you have changed?

It's hard to diagnose because the material itself is such a large variable in the outcome.

If you could give The Night Stalker a new subtitle, what would it be?

It will make you want to work the night shift.

Any additional comments?

This is a very detailed book - so much so, that at times the book's narrative structure suffers a little. I don't regret having listened to it - it made me go look up a few more things about him. But it's simply not up to the standards of some of the other true crime authors.

  • Gosnell

  • The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer
  • By: Ann McElhinney, Phelim McAleer
  • Narrated by: Ann McElhinney
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 553
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 507
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 507

Gosnell is the untold story of America's most prolific serial killer. In 2013, Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of killing four people, including three babies, but is thought to have killed hundreds, perhaps thousands more in a 30-year killing spree. ABC News correspondent Terry Moran described Gosnell as "America's most prolific serial killer".

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Difficult But Important

  • By There Might Be Cupcakes Podcast on 10-23-17

Story marred by politics

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

Reviewed: 05-09-17

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

This is a delicate subject and it's hard to tell the story objectively, I'm sure. But this kind of thing needs that objectivity to be more than a painful listen for anyone who isn't emotionally engaged in pro-life positions.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I moved on to less politically sensitive true crime books.

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

A strong Irish accent.

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

It did demonstrate that the industry requires regulation to prevent the kinds of abuses described in the book.

Any additional comments?

At worst, the book is an anti-abortion screed that found its perfect criminal example to parade around in support of its message. At best, there's way too much editorializing. I actually feel it's a bit of a bait and switch because I'd classify this as a political book rather than true crime simply because of the unnecessary and extensive commentary. While doubtless that Gosnell was a criminal and deserves the excoriation he receives, it's nevertheless not what one normally imagines when one picks up a true crime book.

Really, this book is more of a, "Everything repulsive about abortions that we've said over the last 40 years is true! This proves it! They're all the same!" book. If you're pro-life, and looking for true crime, you still might not consider this to be what you wanted when looking for a true crime book. If you're pro-choice, you'll find the editorializing infuriating.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Atomic Accidents

  • A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters; From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima
  • By: James Mahaffey
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,193
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,107
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,102

From the moment radiation was discovered in the late nineteenth century, nuclear science has had a rich history of innovative scientific exploration and discovery, coupled with mistakes, accidents, and downright disasters.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A NUCLEAR POINT OF VIEW

  • By CHET YARBROUGH on 01-05-15

Detailed Nuclear Power for the Layman

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

Reviewed: 05-09-17

What made the experience of listening to Atomic Accidents the most enjoyable?

It's an interesting subject, and knowing more about how things go wrong and why gives perspective and understanding.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

People being people, our not unjustified concerns have nonetheless resulted in our being stuck with far more dangerous reactors than we should have because we won't license new ones, and we have 20 times more waste than we need to for political reasons.

What about Tom Weiner’s performance did you like?

He captured the preposterousness of some of the accidents.

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

This book is written with what many anti-nuclear activists would consider a bias in favor of nuclear power. It's not a constant companion to the narrative, though. Still, if you're looking for a book that simply bashes nuclear power, this isn't one you'll like. It's also fairly technical. I liked finding out precisely how it works and it made it entirely understandable that people did counter-productive things because nuclear power is, in many ways, counter-intuitive. If you don't like a lot of technical detail, you won't enjoy this book very much.

  • Salt of the Earth

  • By: Jack Olsen
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 605
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 551

Joe Gere said he died on the afternoon his 12-year-old daughter Brenda disappeared. It was left to Brenda's mother Elaine to sustain her stricken family, search for her missing child, and pressure the authorities for justice. From the first minutes of the investigation, suspicion fell on Michael Kay Green, a steroid-abusing "Mr. Universe" hopeful, but there was no proof of a crime, leaving police and prosecutors stymied. Tips and sightings poured in as lawmen and volunteers combed the Cascades forest.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling True Crime -portrait of a family

  • By Suzanne on 05-08-16

Unusual Presentation Makes You Invested

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

Reviewed: 04-19-17

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

I would recommend this book to any True Crime enthusiast. It's an unusual presentation, partly because the family history is so difficult and there's a tremendous backstory to involve the listener with the victims. You get a deeper sense of loss as the family experiences it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I would say the mother is one of the strongest people I've heard of. She undergoes such trying and difficult times even before the true tragedy strikes.

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

I've listened to many of his performances and this one is on par with his other books.

If you could give Salt of the Earth a new subtitle, what would it be?

Listen to Your Warning Signals

Any additional comments?

The construction of this book, as the forward states, is unusual for a True Crime. In and of itself, the approach is worthy of note, and it is uniquely appropriate for this story. It demonstrates Olsen's skill with writing a story based on how it is best written than simply adopting stories to a style.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Cold Kill

  • The True Story of a Murderous Love
  • By: Jack Olsen
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 527
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 479
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 483

David loved Cindy and was loved in return. Or so he thought. The troubled young man clung to his new love and dreamed of their future together. So begins the chain of events that was to evolve into a horror of terrifying proportions. Jack Olsen, best-selling author of Son, now reveals the details of a true-life romance gone hideously awry.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If Cindy Calls - DON'T Answer!

  • By Polly Poizendem on 02-12-17

Be Careful Who You Believe

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

Reviewed: 04-19-17

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

The psychology of the critical character is so bizarre that it makes for interesting reading. I would recommend it to anyone who is into abnormal psychology even if they weren't into True Crime.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The private investigator who takes on the case and insinuates themselves into the plot.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where the police realize they were all wrong about the private investigator.

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

Yes - the situations were so unreal I just wanted to see what insanity was going to manifest next.

Any additional comments?

It's not my favorite Jack Olsen book, but its weirdness made it more interesting than the description hinted.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful