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Marilyn Armstrong

Massachusetts
  • 79
  • reviews
  • 1,304
  • helpful votes
  • 360
  • ratings
  • Early Riser

  • A Novel
  • By: Jasper Fforde
  • Narrated by: Thomas Hunt
  • Length: 15 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116

Every Winter, the human population hibernates. Your name is Charlie Worthing, and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses. You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artifact borne of the sleeping mind. When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling. When you get the dreams, too, it's weird. When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A different book from Jasper Fforde

  • By Marilyn Armstrong on 02-16-19

A different book from Jasper Fforde

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

Reviewed: 02-16-19

Jasper Fforde has written some of the funniest books I've ever read. You know, the kind of book you read in bed, but you are laughing so hard it makes your partner wake up and irritably ask what the hell you are laughing at?

This book has moments of humor and a once in a while chuckle, but there's a seriousness to this story that none of his other books had. This isn't so much humor as a warning about where our climate is going and who is running our world. I don't know which is more terrifying: the obvious sub-arctic winters in Scotland ... or the deathgrip the mighty "pharma" company has on all humankind.

There are fighters against pharma. Who's the good guy, who's the bad guy. There's not "history" about how the world got to this place, but if you have been reading even the headlines, it isn't hard to put it together. So this is science fiction, except ... it's not all that far-fetched. Sometimes, I found myself not merely listening to the story but worrying if this what I'm reading or hearing is really the future history of my Earth -- unless we DO something about it. Like ... NOW.

Of course, it's beautifully written because everything Jasper Fforde has written is wonderful, though I still am in love with Thursday Next.

I do recommend this book very highly, but I have to warn you -- it isn't like his other books. It isn't hilarious and sometimes, it's pretty serious. But he's telling us a story that I think we need to think about ... while being well-entertained.

Is this science fiction or is it our science future? I think you have to decide.

I have mixed emotions about the narrator. He was good ... but I think I'd have preferred a deeper voice? Or maybe I'm just being overly picky.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The New Iberia Blues

  • Dave Robicheaux Series, Book 22
  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,295
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,219
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,217

Detective Dave Robicheaux’s world isn’t filled with too many happy stories, but Desmond Cormier’s rags-to-riches tale is certainly one of them. Robicheaux first met Cormier on the streets of New Orleans, when the young, undersized boy had foolish dreams of becoming a Hollywood director. Twenty-five years later, when Robicheaux knocks on Cormier’s door, it's to ask about a young woman he found who’s been crucified. She disappeared near Cormier’s Cyrpemort Point estate, and Robicheaux, along with young Deputy Sean McClain, are looking for answers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ROBICHEAUX IS BACK ON FULL FLEEK!

  • By The Louligan on 01-22-19

A great writer, great narrator, GREAT story!

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

Reviewed: 01-30-19

James Lee Burke never fails me. Every book he writes is rich, sensual, and powerful. The writing, the feel of the place and mood of the times. Of course, Dave Robicheaux and Clete are my favorites, but I have loved every book I've read by Burke, in or out of the "Dave " series. I didn't think they could get better, but I think this was better. One of the things I love best is that the characters age and change. They aren't the same Dave and Clete. They aren't the two "guns blazing" guys they were at the beginning. They've learned, grown, and moved one. Life isn't perfect. No one expects life to be perfect, but they are still good with it and still very much alive and involved.

If you like James Lee Burke's writing, there's nothing not to love in this book. Patton is an excellent narrator, maybe even better than the original narrator who was himself, brilliant. Patton has the advantage of managing to do that accent and yet speak clearly enough to hear well. My only regret is that I read the book too fast. I should have slowed down and made the story last longer. Maybe I'll read it again. Maybe I'll read the last TWO again.

  • Dark Light

  • Elizabeth Cage, Book 2
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Julie Teal
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 224
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212

Betrayed, terrified and alone, Elizabeth Cage has fled her home. With no plan and no friends, she arrives at the picturesque village of Greyston and finds herself involved in an ages-old ceremony that will end in death. And that might be the least of her problems - the Sorensen Institute would very much like to know her whereabouts. And Michael Jones is still out there, somewhere, she hopes. No matter how far and how fast she can run, trouble will always find Elizabeth Cage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A break from reality

  • By Mary Catherine on 10-27-18

Very disappointed.

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

I loved every other book Jodi Foster wrote but this was more of a horror story. It lacked humor was kind of dark and grim. I am sorry I bought it.

  • Turn Coat

  • The Dresden Files, Book 11
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16,577
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14,490
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 14,464

The Warden Morgan has been accused of treason against the Wizards of the White Council - and there's only one, final punishment for that crime. He's on the run, wants his name cleared, and needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. Someone like Harry Dresden....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worthy Addition To The Series

  • By Lisa on 05-06-09

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

Each sequel is better, more complex, more entertaining than the last. I hope he starts to write again!

  • Dead Beat

  • The Dresden Files, Book 7
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 18,232
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,069
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15,990

When a killer vampire threatens to destroy head of Special Investigations Karrin Murphy's reputation, unless Harry delivers the powerful Word of Kemmler to her, he has no choice. Now Harry is in a race against time to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I wish it was about 20 hours longer

  • By Dan on 04-18-12

So good I never want it to end

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

Reviewed: 10-24-18

Jim Butcher hasn't written anything new in quite a while, though I keep hearing rumors that something may be happening. In the meantime, I couldn't help myself and I started reading the whole Harry Dresden series again. I swear I love them twice as much now as I did the first time. They are exciting, witty, and intelligently thoughtful. Everyone is so clever and smart -- especially at times when no one sane could possibly be that funny -- but I love it. At a time when the world is a horrible, disastrous mess, I want Harry and his merry band of Wardens to come and fix the mess. Harry, come back! Don't leave us! We need you!

0 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • King of the Wind

  • By: Marguerite Henry
  • Narrated by: David McCallum
  • Length: 3 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

He was named "Sham" for the sun, this golden red stallion born in the Sultan of Morocco's stone stables. Upon his heel was a small white spot, the symbol of speed. But on his chest was the symbol of misfortune. Although he was as swift as the desert winds, Sham's proud pedigree would be scorned all his life by cruel masters and owners.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Childhood Classic!

  • By Keri on 11-06-13

My favorite book as a child

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

Reviewed: 05-14-18

Brought back by a brilliant narrator. I may have actually memorized the book over the years. Wonderful to hear it again.

1 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Fata Morgana

  • By: Steven R. Boyett, Ken Mitchroney
  • Narrated by: Macleod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,287
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,152
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,141

At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wisecracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling, and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world. Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book had it all

  • By Magnus on 10-14-17

One of the more creative "time travel" tales

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

Reviewed: 04-16-18

Okay, it's not "brilliant" but it's smart, sharp, and has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. You know, from the beginning, that' there's a "trick" in there, that something is "off," but it takes a while before you know what it is ... and how it might have something to do with 'us," the now "we." The meeting of modern (1940s) technology with another kind of technology turns up some unpleasant truths about where our future might be going. I enjoyed this one all the way through.

4 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Demonhome

  • Champions of the Dawning Dragons, Book 3
  • By: Michael G. Manning
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 582
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 552
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555

Matthew is the first human wizard to possess the true heritage of the Illeniels, a secret gift no one fully understands. Alone, he travels to another world, seeking the source of their mysterious enemies. There he will discover the origin of their ancient foe, the mysteries of the past, and possibly the future of humankind. If he can survive long enough. In a land beyond death and suffering, he finds the true source of evil, within the heart of humanity, and their newest creation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • fantastic conclusion to the trilogy

  • By David Howell on 03-25-18

Fun book, but gets a little weak towards the end

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

Reviewed: 04-16-18

It was pretty strong as this sort of thing goes, but got pretty cliched as the end approached. It's like they ran our of creative juice, so it ended sort of blah. For all that, It was fun to read and at least for the first half, pretty creative.

1 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Something Girl

  • The Frogmorton Farm Series, Book 2
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 578
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 539
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 536

From the best-selling author of The Chronicles of St Mary's. The Nothing Girl has grown up.... It's life as usual at Frogmorton Farm - which is to say that events have passed the merely eccentric and are now galloping headlong towards the completely bizarre. Once again Jenny struggles to stay afloat in the stormy seas of matrimony with her husband, Russell Checkland, together with an unlikely mix of Patagonian Attack Chickens, Jack the Sad Donkey and Mrs Crisp's mysterious boyfriend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a lovely sequel!

  • By Liz on 08-06-18

I love these books

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

Reviewed: 12-29-17

I'm a big fan of Jodi Taylor's time travel novels. It is rare for me to like something else by the same author as much as I liked the first series. These books are special. Lovely, sweet and warm-hearted. Okay, they are deeply sentimental, but also funny (sometimes laugh-out-loud funny) and joyous. They make me cry every time. I love the animals, the countryside. I love the crazy artists and the dangerous chickens and Thomas, the golden horse. I hope there will be more of them. I also hope the same narrator reads them because she has a wonderful way with the text. You could argue that these are not rational stories, that the behavior of the characters doesn't make sense. Which would be true ... but sometimes, that kind of nit-picking is stupid and pointless. The story works on its own terms. Accept the storyline and everything falls into place.

2 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Frankly Speaking

  • A Frank Rozzani Detective Novel
  • By: Don Massenzio
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Knecht
  • Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

A 16-year-old girl has disappeared. The police believe she is a runaway. Her parents believe she has been taken and is being held against her will. When the parents enlist the services of Frank Rozzani, a former police officer turned private detective, a series of events begins to unfold that implicates a popular local pastor and the religious stronghold of the ultra-conservative community. Frank Rozzani, a transplant to Jacksonville, Florida from Syracuse, New York, must find the young girl despite the obstacles launched at him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great read

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-27-17

Maybe a better narrator?

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

I wasn't thrilled by the book, but the narrator made me crazy. He had a beautiful voice, but no narrative skills. He talked in a slow sing-song that made listening really difficult, and the underlying politics of the author turned my stomach. I really tried, but I couldn't go on with it. Maybe it's someone else's cup of tea and a more professional narrator would be a huge help, regardless.

2 of 13 people found this review helpful