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Elbara

Washington DC
  • 15
  • reviews
  • 83
  • helpful votes
  • 21
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  • The Naturalist

  • The Naturalist, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Mayne
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,883
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,878

Professor Theo Cray is trained to see patterns where others see chaos. So when mutilated bodies found deep in the Montana woods leave the cops searching blindly for clues, Theo sees something they missed. Something unnatural. Something only he can stop. As a computational biologist, Theo is more familiar with digital code and microbes than the dark arts of forensic sleuthing. But a field trip to Montana suddenly lands him in the middle of an investigation into the bloody killing of one of his former students.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic! I loved this book!!

  • By shelley on 10-02-17

Original and captivating.

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

Nice to find a book that's not "cookie cutter." The hero is a quite endearing scientific nerd, not a superman, and his computer-generated approach to identifying and solving the crimes, whether true or not, is certainly original. It was refreshing to exercise one's mind on more than the "whodunit" level. I'm not sure about his other books, which the capsule descriptions suggest rely more on the supernatural, but The Naturalist is definitely a winner.

  • From Baghdad to America

  • Life Lessons from a Dog Named Lava
  • By: Jay Kopelman
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 3 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Jay Kopelman sets forth more than a dozen lessons, including: Life can change in an instant, but you'll be able to handle it; passion for something can help you tap into your most powerful reserve of energy; have a standard operating procedure for everything; and never forget who you are or how you got here. Active and retired troops, soldiers' friends and families, and everyone who has ever loved a dog will embrace this book.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Follow up

  • By Leslie-Ann on 09-10-12

Too much Jay, not enough Lava.

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

Reviewed: 02-05-18

I really enjoyed the earlier book, about the travails of bringing the treasured dog to the US from Iraq, but this one is too much of a self-help book and, from this standpoint, not very original. It's really life lessons after Lava, not from Lava.I can understand why Mr. Kopelman would want to write a follow-up memoir about what happened to him upon returning to the US, but as much as I got through, I didn't see any real link to Lava, which was what interested me.

  • Serial Killers True Crime: 13 Serial Killer Murder Stories of the '90s

  • By: Daniel Brand
  • Narrated by: Karin Allers
  • Length: 1 hr and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

The 1990s was a time of great technological and social change in America, but it was also a time when monsters stalked the highways and byways of the country as well as, for the first time, the information super highway. If you love true tales of horror more chilling than anything the imagination can conceive, then Serial Killers True Crime:13 Serial Killer Murder Stories of the '90s is the audiobook you have been waiting for.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • five stars..

  • By shifana on 12-20-17

Laundry List

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

Reviewed: 02-05-18

Basically this book just lists the serial killer cases without getting into interesting details like motivation, etc. I should have realized it was too short to be good -- and so annoying that I still couldn't listen to the end.

  • Certainty

  • By: Victor Bevine
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 584
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 517
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 513

When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back. He agrees to defend the minister against the shocking allegations, in the face of dire personal and professional consequences. But when the trial grows increasingly sensational, and when outrageous revelations echo all the way from Newport to the federal government, William must confront more than just the truth - he must confront the very nature of good and evil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!!!

  • By Sir Shopper on 12-30-14

Fascinating novelization of a true story.

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

Reviewed: 08-30-15

Period piece with relevance to modern times; excellent characterization; very well narrated by the author who is also an experienced audiobook narrator. Engrossing story that raises interesting issues, develops in unpredictable ways and, as befits a novel derived from real life, comes to a satisfying resolution without tying up all the loose ends.

8 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

  • By: Jonas Jonasson
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 12 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,228
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,584
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,616

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ages Well

  • By Dennis on 10-21-12

Picaresque novel is alive and well -- from Sweden

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

Reviewed: 12-07-14

Loved this gently satirical novel about unpretentious people of all ages who live by their wits and accomplish remarkable things. The way the life of a 100-year old escapee from a grim retirement home unfolds to encompass a century of world history is amusing and remarkably well-written in a most engaging tongue-in-cheek style. A growing cast of other eccentric characters adds further spice to this tale of a surprising and appealing centenarian. This is a great little book. I recommend it highly.

  • He's Gone

  • By: Deb Caletti
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 538
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 492
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 490

The Sunday morning starts like any other. But on this particular Sunday morning, she's surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He's gone. As the days pass, Dani will plumb the depths of her conscience, turning over and revealing the darkest of her secrets in order to discover the hard truth - about herself, her husband, and their lives together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Audible Book I've "Read"!

  • By Swallowtail on 12-27-13

Really tiresome heroine

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

Reviewed: 11-11-14

The description made me think this book would be good, and I did listen to the end -- but only because I felt entitled to know the outcome after investing too much time hoping it would get better. I'm sick of mysteries with women protagonists who insist on doing stupid things and ignoring advice from others and their own heads, thus digging themselves deeper and deeper into trouble -- until the deus ex maxima ending that makes everything suddenly all right. I don't insist that all heroines be supremely strong and practical, but this one was practically catatonic except for her overly emotional inner commentary. Some of the side characters were interesting, especially the mother, and the plot might have been engaging if the main character hadn't been so irritating.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Rogue Island

  • By: Bruce DeSilva
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman, Bruce DeSilva - introduction
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,068
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 856
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 849

Liam Mulligan is as old school as a newspaper man gets. His beat is Providence, Rhode Island, and he knows every street and alley. He knows the priests and prostitutes, the cops and street thugs. He knows the mobsters and politicians--who are pretty much one and the same. Someone is systematically burning down the neighborhood Mulligan grew up in, people he knows and loves are perishing in the flames, and the public is on the verge of panic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Whodunnit

  • By Michael Jacobi on 06-03-11

Witty and Winning!

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

Reviewed: 12-02-13

Delightful book -- full of interesting characters, dark humor, and social/political commentary delivered with a deft touch. Terrific narrator -- local color is spot on. Oh, and a good story too. I even enjoyed some oblique potshots at my august alma mater. All in all, highly recommended.

  • Prep

  • By: Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Narrated by: Julie Dretzin
  • Length: 17 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 410
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 332
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 335

This New York Times best-seller is a funny and poignant coming-of-age story, a dead-on examination of adolescent angst, and a sharp criticism of America’s social structure. Fourteen-year-old Lee Fiora enrolls at the prestigious Ault School of Massachusetts and is surrounded by beautiful, wealthy students. She immediately feels like an outsider, but manages to carve out a niche for herself. Then everything falls apart when Lee’s private thoughts become public information.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Easy & Enjoyable Listen

  • By Lorraine on 06-07-12

I can't believe I listened to the whole thing!

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

Reviewed: 11-18-13

I don't expect all protagonists to be fully likeable, but Lee Fiora is one of the most self-absorbed, insensitive, imperceptive and downright tedious characters I've encountered. It's hard to believe that anyone so dim could have gotten into a prestigious prep school, much less with a scholarship, and even less that she would become the best friend of the most liked girl in her class. Somewhere I read a recommendation for this book as being better than another one I was considering. Can't remember what that was, but if this is really the case, I certainly don't want to! As a public school graduate who attended an Ivy League school, I don't have any reason to be defensive of prep schools, but I will say that even the "villains" in this book are more interesting than the "heroine." The book drones on far too long, and I kept thinking I should just stop listening. Maybe I kept at it thinking it would get better, but it didn't.

  • Involuntary Witness

  • Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1
  • By: Gianrico Carofiglio
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,251
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,095
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,097

A nine-year-old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well near a popular beach resort in southern Italy. In what looks like a hopeless case for Guido Guerrieri, a Senegalese peddler is accused of the crime. Faced with small-town racism, Guido attempts to exploit the esoteric workings of the Italian courts. The voice of Sean Barrett brings this gritty Italian detective series to life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly Poignant

  • By chris on 01-06-12

Intriguing and Informative

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

Reviewed: 08-14-13

New to this author, I found the book absorbing, original and a welcome change from the sadly formulaic mysteries by more local authors that I have sometimes inadvertently purchased. Notable features include (a) well drawn and interesting characters and situations, (b) insight into an Italian legal system quite different from our own (sometimes jarringly so), and (c) a satisfactory resolution without any apparent compulsion to tie up all the loose ends (e.g., whodunit?). A refreshing experience that leaves me eager to read more of the author's work.

  • Brain on Fire

  • My Month of Madness
  • By: Susannah Cahalan
  • Narrated by: Heather Henderson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,397
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,866
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,870

In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • For those interested in neurology & psychology

  • By Brian Quaranta on 01-07-14

Alarmingly Instructive

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

Reviewed: 04-20-13

A fascinating story, well-narrated. This is the second book I've read in the space of a year where persistent, even heroic efforts by persons close to someone suddenly manifesting mental illness to find the right doctors and treatment have discovered an underlying physiological cause that, when treated, restored the patient to a normal life. The other book was "Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD." It is alarming to think of all those diagnosed with schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc., and consigned to numbing drug treatment and mental institutions who might also be victims of ailments that, if properly diagnosed and treated, would give them a productive life rather than dooming them to the shadows. It cries out for better research into possible physiological causes for the most serious and disabling mental illnesses.

49 of 51 people found this review helpful