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Scott

Moss Beach, CA, United States
  • 109
  • reviews
  • 302
  • helpful votes
  • 542
  • ratings
  • Mr Gandy's Grand Tour

  • By: Alan Titchmarsh
  • Narrated by: Alan Titchmarsh
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Timothy Gandy has kept his lifetime's ambition secret for 40 years. Now, suddenly (if tragically) released from the henpecked tedium of his ordinary existence, he is unexpectedly free to realize his dreams. He will embark on a grand tour of Europe, following in the footsteps of the aristocrats of the 18th century. He anticipates high art, culture and pleasant weather. He never expects to encounter new friendships - and possibly even love - along the way.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I Didn't Want it to End

  • By Scott on 12-06-18

I Didn't Want it to End

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

I love this kind of book. It's gentle and philosophical. The characters are so well drawn that they feel like old friends. One of the reviewers on Amazon wrote that it was "A little unbelievable but a pleasant read," but most of the elements could easily have been drawn from my own life, so I think it's perfectly believable. I'd give this an extra half star if I could, as my only tiny reservation was with the epilogue, and the fact that I was enjoying it so much I was sorry it wasn't longer.

  • The Serpent of Venice

  • A Novel
  • By: Christopher Moore
  • Narrated by: Euan Morton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,432
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,216
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,212

Venice, a really long time ago: Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favorite of the Doge: The rascal-Fool Pocket. This trio of cunning plotters have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening. Their invitation is, of course, bogus. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool.…

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Shakespear, E.A. Poe, and Pocket the Fool

  • By Sires on 05-11-14

A Tour de Force of Narration

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

This is a farce, and as such will appeal to those who like the genre. It mixes Othello and The Merchant of Venice to forge another story of black deeds and revenge, along with a serpent that serves the deus ex machine role in making everything right in the end. You have to give Moore credit for ambition. It's not an easy task to keep in character for so long. Personally, I find the conceit and silliness only enjoyable in small bites, and might have put this aside without finishing it, had I read it instead of listened to it. Euan Morton, the narrator, kept things lively and comic throughout.

  • The Ocean Liner

  • By: Marius Gabriel
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,016
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 914
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 916

Cousins Masha and Rachel Morgenstern board the luxury liner the SS Manhattan bound for New York, desperate to escape the concentration camps that claimed the rest of their family. America offers a safe haven, but to reach it they must survive a hazardous Atlantic crossing. Among their fellow passengers fleeing the war, each with their own conflicts, secrets, and surprises, are the composer Igor Stravinsky, making a new start after a decade of tragedy, and Rose Kennedy, determined to keep her four children from harm.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Historical Fiction--Compelling Characters

  • By Linda on 04-05-18

Disjointed

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

At first I thought this was going to be a reworking of Ship of Fools, but it seems merely to be a vehicle for bringing together certain fictional and historical figures. The title is misleading, as not all of the action takes place on the ship, nor even during the voyage. The title might have made more sense had it been used as a metaphor, but the author didn’t go there. Some of the characters’ stories intersect. Some don’t. One of the main characters, Rosemary Kennedy, isn’t even a passenger on the ship, and some of the main action takes place on land both before and after the voyage. A quarter of the book jumps sporadically ahead, trying in vain to tie up loose ends and give closure to certain relationships.

The concept had potential. The dialogue was good, even if the dramatic tension and pacing were uneven. Perhaps worst of all, the overarching impetus for everyone onboard was to escape from a Europe being engulfed by war, while for Rosemary Kennedy (who was not onboard) the impetus was to escape the dictates of domineering parents. It’s as though the author melded two stories together, diminishing them both. Rosemary Kennedy’s fate could have been used as a metaphor for all of those trying to escape the control of a diabolical dictatorship, but it’s unclear whether the author was even aware of the parallels.

The narrator, Angela Dawe, should be given credit for giving distinctly individual voices to all the characters, ranging from young women to old men.

  • Exit West

  • A Novel
  • By: Mohsin Hamid
  • Narrated by: Mohsin Hamid
  • Length: 4 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,123
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,946
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,935

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet - sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors - doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Where to Live?

  • By David on 04-04-17

Timely and Hopeful Story

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

Reviewed: 08-31-18

I'm surprised at the dearth of comments regarding the Hemingwayesque style of this novel. Though it's well-written, and highly stylized, it contains several chapters about random people doing unrelated things, with no apparent connection to the story. I expected some resolution at the end, but these appear to be superfluous chapters.
As to the narrator (the author), his delivery is halting, which got on my nerves by the time I'd reached the three-quarters mark.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Jasmine Blackborow
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,063
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,932
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,921

In the days leading up to her wedding to Darcy O'Mara, Lady Georgiana Rannoch takes on the responsibilities of a grand estate, but proving she can run a household just may be the death of her in the new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times best-selling author of On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Overall I loved it!

  • By Dylan on 08-13-18

More Fun with Georgie

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

Reviewed: 08-19-18

Every book in this series is wonderfully fun and entertaining. They all stand alone, but it helps to know Georgiana's background to appreciate how she is growing up, learning to be more assertive and a little less naive. Likewise, Queenie develops, becoming a little more competent in this book. However, as good as the books are, they are even better as audible books. The late Katherine Kellgren gave personality to all of the characters, high and low, which made the audible editions such a delight. The books became a great collaboration between author and narrator, so I was worried that a new narrator might spoil this and any forthcoming books. However, Jasmine Blackborow has stepped right into Kellgren's shoes without missing a beat, and without appreciably changing the characters' distinct voices. Brilliantly done.

  • Lincoln in the Bardo

  • A Novel
  • By: George Saunders
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,411
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,950
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,913

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A Mixed Bag

  • By Thomas More on 02-24-17

Full of Angst, Darkly Humorous, and Poignant

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

Reviewed: 08-01-18

Lincoln in the Bardo isn't so much a novel as a play in novel-like form. I expect to see it on Broadway in two or three years. It's really a very short book. George Saunders is a short-story writer, and though this book is 368 pages, it could be formatted to half the number of pages. Imaginative, idiosyncratic, and bold in conception, it incorporates dozens of contemporary historical accounts to build a collage of Lincoln and his middle son Willie. The larger story is narrated by over a hundred inhabitants of the bardo (a sort of purgatory between life and rebirth), each with his or her own concerns and foibles. Saunders' bardo is suitably creepy. I have only a few reservations. There seemed no purpose to the lack of punctuation, or to the purposeful misspelling of certain words. Also, two foul-mouthed characters seem out-of-character for the time period, while at the same time their foul dialogue is presented with decorously Victorian redaction, as in "The f___ing little s_____! I should kick his G_____n, f___ing nuts!" Despite these reservations, Lincoln in the Bardo is a brave, artistic work, a wild cross-breeding of Waiting for Godot with Our Town, at once full of angst, darkly humorous, and poignant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Western Star

  • By: Craig Johnson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,062
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,855
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,833

Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of 25 armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff's Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Warning! This ends in a cliffhanger.

  • By TyrannosaurusRix on 09-21-17

A Pivotal Book in the Series

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

Reviewed: 06-26-18

Reviewers who have not liked this book all complain about the cliff hanger ending. But this is the book upon which the rest of the series will pivot. It gives us our earliest look at Walt as a newly minted lawman, and ties that story together with the present day, and Walt's major nemesis of the past several books who has devastated his family. The villain is supremely vindictive, and the stakes couldn't be higher. Guidall is excellent as always.

  • Allie and Bea

  • By: Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo, Janet Metzger
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,780
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,416
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,403

Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat - on a mission to reclaim what's rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I did not see this coming

  • By Lolasark on 07-19-17

Life Affirming

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

Reviewed: 06-20-18

Catherine Ryan Hyde's prose is simple and straightforward, but she writes wonderfully nuanced and believable characters. There's a bit of Dickens in the waif-meets-the-cruel world motif, which is not a criticism, just an observation. One reviewer said "nothing happens," and I just have to shake my head. Plenty happens, the stakes are high, and it's refreshing to have a young (fifteen-year-old) protagonist who is both intelligent and yet naive (we've all been there at one point in our lives). The characters learn some important lessons, and I could empathize with this pair, one young and one old, who are uprooted from their middle and upper-middle class lives and thrown together by desperate circumstances. Some books wow you with gorgeous prose, some with story, some with theme. This one earns its five stars with believable characters you can identify with, and care about, while exposing some of society's current ills.

  • Down the River unto the Sea

  • By: Walter Mosley
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,126
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,964
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,958

Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD's finest investigators, until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault by his enemies within the NYPD, a charge which lands him in solitary at Rikers Island. A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. Broken by the brutality he suffered and committed in equal measure while behind bars, his work and his daughter are the only light in his solitary life. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid to frame him those years ago, King realizes that he has no choice.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story

  • By Claudia Peebler on 03-03-18

The Perfect Match of Book and Narrator

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

Reviewed: 06-13-18

Mosley's cadence and pacing is on full display here. It was like a 500 piece puzzle, sometimes a little too complex for me to follow, but the characters had moral conundrums to weather and it was fascinating watching how the progression of the mystery affected the characters' attitudes, assumptions, and moral codes. Dion Graham was so good I could always tell by the intonation which characters was speaking.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Good Girl

  • By: Mary Kubica
  • Narrated by: Lindy Nettleton, Johnny Heller, Tom Taylorson, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15,491
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13,806
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13,799

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, Colin Thatcher seems at first like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant performances, moving story

  • By Roger on 09-11-14

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

Kubica tells an intensely emotional story from four completely different points-of-view. I usually don't like present tense narration, but Kubica pulls it off. Wonderful pacing. Well-delineated characters. I didn't predict exactly how this one would end, but neither was I surprised, as the characters and the story unfolded in a logical sequence.