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Rhinebeck
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 174
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  • 16
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  • Primates of Park Avenue

  • Adventures Inside the Secret Sisterhood of Manhattan Moms
  • By: Wednesday Martin Ph.D.
  • Narrated by: Madeleine Maby
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 897
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 799
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 795

Like an urban Dian Fossey, Wednesday Martin decodes the primate social behaviors of Upper East Side mothers in a brilliantly original and witty memoir about her adventures assimilating into that most secretive and elite tribe. After marrying a man from the Upper East Side and moving to the neighborhood, Wednesday Martin struggled to fit in. Drawing on her background in anthropology and primatology, she tried looking at her new world through that lens, and suddenly things fell into place.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lord, Someone Help These People

  • By Elizabeth on 06-04-15

Not So Welcome to the Hotel California

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

Reviewed: 07-04-18

While this was an interesting description of the misery people subject themselves to in order to live in such an exclusive neighborhood, there were a lot of inconsistencies in the author's observations. The most glaring example was a woman supposedly going out of her way to run into the author on the sidewalk, in order to prove she (the author) doesn't exist. (???) That is a complete contradiction. Also the love-hate relationship this woman has with the other moms causes a lot of mixed reactions throughout the book. It is a shame that it took a major tragedy for the women to warm up to the author.

Frequent use of the word "mommies" by an adult, instead of moms or mothers, is a bit annoying.... nobody in NY talks like that.

That being said, it was entertaining enough especially if you have spent a good deal of time in New York, and I got through it pretty quickly.

  • The Borrowed World

  • A Novel of Post-Apocalyptic Collapse, Volume 1
  • By: Franklin Horton
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,627
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,369
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,358

In a night of devastating terror, ISIS operatives have unleashed a coordinated attack on America's infrastructure. With thousands of trapped travelers and scarce law enforcement, the miles between Jim Powell and his family become a brutal gauntlet where the rules of civilized society no longer apply. As Jim puts his years of preparation and planning to the test, he is forced to ask himself if he has what it takes to make it home. Does he have the strength - the brutality - required to meet this new world toe-to-toe?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Close and personal story of the apocalypse

  • By Kingsley on 07-25-15

The Stand meets Duck Dynasty

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

Reviewed: 01-06-18

I am going to review the entire series as a whole because it is hard to separate the volumes and remember which events happened in each one.

The Good:

The story automatically gets three stars up front since it kept me interested enough to get through all five volumes within a week or so. Obviously I had to like the book enough to keep listening and downloading the continuing story. It is a good dystopian/apocalypse tale if that is the genre you are looking for.

I loved the descriptions of the scenery, the landmarks along the journey and the use of the Appalachian Trail. Though the geography seemed a bit off at times during the trip (yes I am a geek and looked at a map), I was able to follow most of it to see where everyone was going. There were enough events to keep things interesting although the "bad guys trying to steal my stuff" theme did get a bit repetitive.

I also really appreciated that, for the most part, the characters were written racially blind without a lot of physical description, so you could picture them however your mind chose to. For example, Randy and Lloyd in my mind were black though I am not sure if that what was intended. Maybe I just assumed with the racial makeup of Virginia that there would be a mix of races so that is where my imagination went.

I also liked the pace, there was plenty of action and not a lot of down time in between scenes, or too much self reflection or background other than what was helpful to the story. The fact that there is always some occasional humor running throughout the series (ex. "I dis-armed him") without it seeming inappropriate given the current dire circumstances, takes some talent, which is much appreciated. Without it the story would probably get too depressing and dark, even for a dystopian theme.

The Bad:

The stereotyping was just way over the top. There are categorically negative stereotypes of poor people, rich people, hispanic people, mentally ill, drug addicts (none are recovered or recovering, of course), hippies, and even vegetarians. The author did no research into these groups of people, for example assuming poor people won't work to find food, or that vegetarians would be unable to find protein because "there would be no falafel stands". Clueless. If you live in a trailer park or a housing project you are assumed to be a thief or drug addict, or both. Everybody who doesn't like guns is a liberal, which brings up another flaw in the book....

There was way too much description on the types and calibers of each and every firearm. I started to feel like I was reading a Browning or Smith and Wesson catalog. It added nothing to the story and just felt like filler. Guns were described more than some people were.

The bad guys were all flat, evil comic book type villains with no depth or personality whatsoever. It almost felt like the author periodically thought "time for a new threat", so he would create the same type repeated evil character in each volume. Even if the occasional bad guy had a background story to "explain" why he was that way, it added nothing to his character. Each of the villains are interchangeable, and each character's neighborhood had the pretty much the same evil ne'er-do-wells living next door.


The Ugly:

The detailed physical descriptions of gunshot wounds, decomposing flesh, vomiting, flies and maggots on bodies, are fine for a horror movie but really did noting to enhance the story. I don't need to know the difference between a one-day corpse versus a three-day corpse. The obsession some characters have with revenge is disturbing, way beyond the need for personal justice, but I can't really describe too much without spoilers so I will leave it at that.

Performance

The narrator did fine, only lost one star because of occasional mumbling and the end of sentences to the point where I couldn't understand a word or two. Other than that he voiced the characters well and, you could pretty much tell who was was talking, whether male or female. That is hard to do with a lot of characters as this story had.


All in all it was worth the credits and I don't regret the time I spent listening. I would recommend it to any dystopia fan.

  • The Cuban Affair

  • By: Nelson DeMille
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,388
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,002
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,980

Daniel Graham MacCormick - Mac for short - seems to have a pretty good life. At age 35 he's living in Key West, owner of a 42-foot charter fishing boat, The Maine. Mac served five years in the army as an infantry officer, with two tours in Afghanistan. He returned with the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, scars that don't tan, and a boat with a big bank loan. Truth be told, Mac's finances are more than a little shaky. One day Mac is sitting in the famous Green Parrot Bar in Key West, contemplating his life....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Lloyd on 10-15-17

Classic Demille

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

Reviewed: 10-04-17

Very enjoyable read and entertaining new character who seems familiar...which is why I just had to give up on picturing Mack as a millennial. Once I allowed my mind to accept him as another middle aged Demille character it was easier. And Sarah I kept picturing as Eva Longoria so I guess she had to be older too lol

I finished this book within a day so it really kept me captivated. And Scott Brick did his usual good job in bringing the characters to life, though on one or two occasions he seemed to overdramatize a rather banal line here and there. All in all a fun beach read during my vacation

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Gone Girl

  • A Novel
  • By: Gillian Flynn
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 19 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50,870
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45,330
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45,421

It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!

  • By Theodore on 01-20-13

Captivating, with some minor annoyances

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

Reviewed: 10-26-14

This is definitely hard to put down, with unexpected twists and turns.... the action is constant, the characters compelling in a train-wreck kind of way and the dialogue engaging. I kept coming back to the story often because I had to find out what happened next. Others complain about the ending, which I won't spoil, but to me it adds to the haunting quality of the story.

One thing that drove me nuts was the mixing of tenses in Amy's part of the book. Using the present tense to describe the past is bad enough, but then it switches tenses back and forth..... to the past tense for something that happened earlier than morning, and back to present tense to talk about an event that happened two weeks ago! "Two weeks ago, we are driving to...." instead of "we were" Very clumsy sounding.

The other problem I had, and this is common, is Julia Whelan's narration of male voices. In fact, I have a message for half the female narrators who read audiobooks: Don't try to sound like a man. Don't bring your voice to an unnaturally low level or disguise it to sound like what you think is manly. The result will sound like a man with a really bad stomach ache. Instead, just bring the pitch down about a half-octave, but stay within your normal speaking range. The goal is to differentiate between characters, not sound exactly like they would sound. The audiobook-listening world will still be able to tell the male is speaking and won't be distracted by the fakeness of the voice. A good example of a female reader who can do this is Laurel Lefkow.... you can hear how she does a man's voice the the sample of "The Reckoning" by Alma Katsu.

  • Wool

  • Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5
  • By: Hugh Howey
  • Narrated by: Amanda Sayle
  • Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,879
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,298
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,323

In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent story, ridiculous narration

  • By virginia on 10-26-14

Excellent story, ridiculous narration

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

Reviewed: 10-26-14

I am always happy to find a new series of books to keep me busy for all of the driving and walking I do, and this kept me interested throughout the entire story. I love the author's vision of an underground society, and the trip to the down-deep by the mayor and deputy, while a slower part of the book, was a great way to describe the makeup of the silo in a more dynamic way than just a narrative description which would have taken too long. The plot twists were well timed, the characters interesting and there was just enough left out to make you want to continue with the next book "Shift" which I will be reading next.

Unfortunately, the narration for many of the character voices was horrendous. I read about narration problems in the reviews, but when I listened to the sample (in both versions of this book) I thought "well that isn't so bad".... of course, because there is no dialogue in any of the samples. Good thinking, Audible, I wouldn't want potential buyers of the book to hear the cringeworthy voice of Bernard, which is a cross between Paul Lynde and Edward G Robinson, or the Minnie Mouse voice of half the female characters. For other males she makes the same mistake as many other female narrators doing male voices... she tries to sound like a man rather than just using a lower version of her normal speaking voice. The result, for characters like Lucas and Holsten, is the voice of a man who has just been punched in the stomach. It is a shame because it takes away from what would otherwise be a very enjoyable and interesting book.

147 of 153 people found this review helpful

  • Joyland

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Michael Kelly
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,655
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,650

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great Stephen King crime/mystery

  • By Mark on 07-11-13

Why Judge a Book By its Predecessors?

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

Reviewed: 07-20-13

This was a great summer read for my daily fitness walks.... the 70's setting, the traditional amusement park, the North Carolina shore and the detailed descriptions of character and setting really makes you feel like you are there while everything is happening. I could almost smell the fried dough and hear the carnival music coming from the merry-go-round. During my walks I felt like I was making that daily hike along the beach to Joyland.

I too am a long-time fan of Stephen King, but have read enough of his books to know he occasionally departs from his usual thriller style.... he can do that because he is a talented writer. The stories that wander off the beaten path are just as enjoyable if you look at them for what they are, and not what they are not. If constant-suspense-thriller type novels are the only kind of reading you enjoy, you might be disappointed... but if your taste varies a bit from only one kind of genre I think you will find this an entertaining and enjoyable read.

I do think there could have been more at the end describing what happened over the years between 1973 and the present to all of the characters... or maybe I was just disappointed when it was over. I know the first couple of times that I looked forward to listening and remembered that I finished the story, I felt a little bummed.

  • Shadowfires

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Sandra Burr
  • Length: 18 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 579
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 321
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 321

Rachel's request for a quick and clean divorce enraged her husband. She had never seen Eric so angry, so consumed by pure and terrifying hatred. Then, in the heat of the moment, Eric was struck down in a traffic accident. His death was instantaneous. Shocked and relieved, Rachel had nothing left to fear. Until Eric's body disappeared from the morgue - and Rachel was stalked by someone who looked like her dead husband.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Welcome to the Land of Oz

  • By Samantha on 08-14-08

Tiresome

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

Reviewed: 03-09-13

I have read and enjoyed many of Dean Koontz's books but I really can't believe how bad this one was.... the effort to finish was tiring.

First of all, I am not an idiot so I don't need a long detailed explanation of why someone puts a chair under a doorknob or why someone is pointing a gun at the ceiling instead of the floor. In fact it really isn't relevant to the story at all how someone is holding a gun between action scenes while they are just talking.... if ever there was a need for an abridged version!

Which brings me to the next point. I also don't need to know every item of junk in a garage. Or every piece of furniture in a room that the characters spend all of five minutes in. Sometimes it seems like the author is just looking for a chance to increase his page count, or use over-superlative hyperbolic descriptions of wealth, power or intelligence. Many times after a character's long-winded over-stated self reflection I'd actually say out loud "Can we move on now?"

Then there are the inconsistencies..... Eric is fueled by rage, but controlling the rage in order to maintain normal behavior, so that he can ultimately carry out his rage. Rachel is another example, going back and forth from strong to whiney as it suits the plot just to make sure she is at the right place to be put in jeopardy. So contrived!

Also, the psychic powers that some of these characters seem to have, which they have to painstakingly explain in the narration of what this person will probably do and what that person will probably do, in order to lead to the next likely chain of probable events that the next character just "figures out".

And the reading... I have never heard and insect go "reee" "reee" the way that narrator sounded. Not even trying to do sound effects, just reading the letters on the page. SO annoying I cringed every time I heard it. Mens' voices too were just awful. Some narrators don't know how to read the opposite gender and they over act or over modify their voices, as was the case here. The key is to use your highest or lowest NORMAL speaking voice to differentiate, not sound like a munchkin!

The characters were unsympathetic. In the first chapter I wanted Ben to either die or take Rachel's break-up with him seriously. I don't know if it was his wish that the Vietnam War would go on forever or his pompous, self-righteous preaching on morality but he became a very tiresome character from the get-go. In fact, the entire book got very preachy and I felt like I was getting more of an agenda than a story.

I'd say skip this one and read "False Memory" or "Intensity". Those are the best Koontz books.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

The Great Gatsby audiobook cover art
  • The Great Gatsby

  • By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by: Tim Robbins
  • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,735
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,115

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrait of the Jazz Age in all its decadence and excess, is, as editor Maxwell Perkins praised it in 1924, "a wonder". It remains one of the most widely read, translated, admired, imitated, and studied 20th-century works of American fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Something you won't fall asleep to...

  • By Mrs. Jewell on 01-18-05

Well done

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-17-07

I have to admit I had no interest in reading this book in high school but listening to it read by Tim Robbins made it very enjoyable. Regarding the problems people are having with the women's accents, if memory serves me correctly both Daisy and Jordan were originally from Tennesee even though they lived in NY, hence the accents.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Forever Odd

  • An Odd Thomas Novel
  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: David Aaron Baker
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,473
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,903
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,917

He's the most unlikely hero you'll ever meet, an ordinary guy with a modest job you might never look at twice. But there's so much more to any of us than meets the eye, and that goes triple for Odd Thomas. For Odd lives always between two worlds in the small desert town of Pico Mundo, where the heroic and the harrowing are everyday events. Odd never asked to communicate with the dead, it's something that just happened.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Detailed Koontz

  • By Sittingduck on 12-27-05

Definitely too descriptive

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-16-06

Even though it kept my interest enough to finish the book, I really found my mind wandering a lot during his walk through the sewers, his climb up the ladder, and the never ending description of why he did each and every little thing... I don't need an explanation of why someone would turn off the ringer on their cell phone.

However it was entertaining enough for me to listen each time I was in the car, and I finished it relatively quickly

  • The Wedding

  • A Novel
  • By: Danielle Steel
  • Narrated by: J. R. Horne
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 171
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 122
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 116

In Danielle Steel's 48th best selling novel, a Hollywood wedding sets the scene for a vivid portrayal of a prominent family whose hopes and fears are as real as our own.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Wedding

  • By Denise on 06-09-08

Most predictable Danielle Steel book I've read

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-23-04

What a waste of time, you knew all along what was going to happen and the characters are all just a little too perfect to be normal and believable.

Some things are totally out there... for exapmle, Allegra is woken up in the middle of the night to bail her client out of jail? Come on! Lawyers are not ethically permited to post bail for their clients. Do some research Danielle, like the rest of the authors do... don't rely on what you see on television. No lawyer would ever give out their home number, let alone answer calls in the middle of the night.

And I am sick and tired of this obsession this author has with thinness. A size 10 is fat? Women like to read about characters who they can relate to and are like themselves... not the ideal woman created by the male world.

Don't waste time on this book, unless you are still in high school.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful