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MillenniumMike

Aurora, IL United States
  • 25
  • reviews
  • 82
  • helpful votes
  • 37
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  • One Summer Day in Rome

  • A Novel
  • By: Mark Lamprell
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 187
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 188

Alice, an art student in New York City, has come to Rome in search of adventure and inspiration before settling down with her steady, safe fiancé. Meg and Alec, busy parents and successful businesspeople from LA, are on a mission to find the holy grail, a certain blue tile that will make their home renovation complete - but soon it becomes clear that their marriage needs a makeover as well. Connie and Lizzie are women of a certain age who come from London to scatter the ashes of their beloved husband and brother.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved this book!

  • By Debra naude on 10-16-17

One Summer Day seemed more like a year

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

Reviewed: 12-02-17

I'm dense when it comes to allegory, and I suspect I missed the deeper meanings in this story. 6 people come to Rome for a day (or two) in pairs or solo looking for meaning and direction in the next chapter in their lives. And then the chapters pile up and take the listener through various twists and turns, as we join them on their quests.

The reading was fine, the writing was good; however, the characters didn't particularly interest me. At least it wasn't a long listen. It was not the light travelogue romance I expected. so that's probably my fault, and I'm sure many others will find the story and characters more interesting that I did.

  • The Two Ronnies

  • It's Goodnight From Me
  • By: Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett
  • Narrated by: Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett
  • Length: 2 hrs and 2 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

For nearly 25 years the two Ronnies were a TV institution, a much loved double-act but each with his own inimitable, individual appeal.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Classical Ronnies

  • By Graeme on 05-30-05

Funny stuff but with obnoxiously loud laugh track

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

Reviewed: 09-14-17

I really enjoyed The Two Ronnies TV show when it ran years ago and I was looking forward to listening to this audio compilation. The Ronnies sound great and I love their humor and wordplay. But, almost everything they say, even the least funny remarks, gets a 2.2 second full volume laughtrack that shuts off as suddenly as it turns on. It is so annoying I can only listen to the audiobook a few minutes at a time. This is also true of another great series, Yes, Prime Minister; but not true of its predecessor, Yes, Minister; so why BBC Audio or whoever produces these audio versions chooses to amp up the phony laughs on some of these audio versions is a mystery, and a big disappointment, not to mention a danger to my hearing. I've factored in the obnoxious use of a laughtrack in my Overall and Performance ratings here.

  • In Farleigh Field

  • A Novel
  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Gemma Dawson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,780
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,767

World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham's middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and Engaging Storyline

  • By RavidReader on 03-05-17

The problem with audiobooks ..

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

Reviewed: 05-05-17

.. is that you can't skip ahead through the boring bits. Since nothing much happens in the first half of this book it would have been nice to skim through most of those pages. But, with an audible book you can't skim because you may skip something essential.

Anyway, in this mediocre story, you mostly read about Lord and Lady so-and-so and life of the gentry on the home front in WWII England. Yawning already? There is an alleged mystery at the start of this, a body in military uniform found in Lord so-and-so's field. Then the story line zigzags all over until something of a thriller gets pieced together.

I've enjoyed Rhys Bowen with her Royal Spyness series, but that is intentionally light fare; here she is trying to step up her game into a wartime page-turner, but the page I most looked forward to was when Audible man comes on at the end of the book thanking me for reading it.

There are a few well-described scenes, so the book does have some merit. And, the reader does a nice job, although with a sing-song-y touch that seems more in the style of a juvenile story. Which maybe it is.

With so many amazing, fascinating, heroic and tragic real stories of this era, I wonder why I spent almost 12 hours listening to a mediocre fiction instead. So, at least I can thank this book for helping me re-kindle (no pun intended) my interest in non-fiction reading.

  • Hounded

  • By: David Rosenfelt
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,058
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 944
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 941

Andy Carpenter isn't sure what to think when he gets a mysterious phone call from a good friend, policeman Pete Stanton, asking him to drop everything, drive to an unfamiliar address, and bring his girlfriend, Laurie Collins. He certainly isn't expecting to show up at a crime scene. But that's exactly where he arrives - at the house where Pete has just discovered the body of ex-convict Danny Balfour. Upstairs are Danny's now orphaned four-year-old son and basset hound. And that, Andy discovers, is why he and Laurie were called to the scene - Pete wants them to take care of the boy and the dog so they won't get thrown into the "system". This is already asking a lot, but soon Pete needs another big favor from Andy. Pete himself has come under suspicion for Danny's murder, and he needs defense attorney Andy to represent him - and to find out what really happened in Danny's house that day!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best Andy Carpenter yet!

  • By Joe on 08-10-14

Entertaining, well-constructed, nicely narrated

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

Reviewed: 06-09-15

This was my first Andy Carpenter book. I bought "Hounded" with the dog photo on the cover thinking a dog might be essential to the mystery. This was not good detection on my part as that was not true. What you get instead is a very well-constructed contemporary crime mystery set in New Jersey. A few too many murders for my taste, but the first person narrative is entertainingly written by the author and very well-delivered by the narrator, Grover Gardner. There are so many characters you might think you need a scorecard but they're not hard to keep up with as the author reminds you periodically who they are and the essential characters and plot come thru clearly. You don't need to have read other novels in the series to follow along, but now that I've read this one I'd be interested in reading more and getting to know any regular characters better. Other than too many murders, a myriad of characters, and one or two illogical moves by attorney/investigator Andy Carpenter -- all of which are minor blips -- this is a very enjoyable story and listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl on the Train

  • A Novel
  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131,712
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116,275
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116,145

Audie Award, Audiobook of the Year, 2016. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A festival of personality disorders

  • By Paula Dee on 04-20-15

Well-crafted and narrated suspense story

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

Reviewed: 04-19-15

Very nicely paced and structured story of suspense; three excellent narrators representing the three major female characters; and a complete cast of characters who are all the biggest losers. The drama builds well with the lead females alternating telling their version of events, and each narrator played their character perfectly and distinctly. Hitchcock-ian in suspense and tone, except Hitchcock usually had at least one sympathetic character for the reader to identify with -- this book has none. It runs on a little long but it is still a worthwhile listen for the superb narrators and the overall suspense that permeates from start to finish.

Winter Solstice audiobook cover art
  • Winter Solstice

  • By: Rosamunde Pilcher
  • Narrated by: Lynn Redgrave
  • Length: 6 hrs
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108

Elfrida Phipps tries to exorcise the pain of the past and find peace, taking refuge in a rambling house in the north of Scotland called Corrydale. Almost like a magnet, Corrydale attracts various waifs and strays, each of them escaping difficult personal pasts. As the holidays approach and the weather turns foul, it seems a perfect recipe for disaster.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Good Read

  • By Eileen on 12-14-11

Sweet story, wonderfully read

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

Reviewed: 02-16-15

I read this book some years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This abridged audio version is a most enjoyable version, for the very relatable characters, the very descriptive prose, the satisfaction of characters trying to make life better for each other, and the absolutely wonderful reading by Lynn Redgrave. Early on this version spends a little too much time on a few less significant characters, but then it gets back on track and moves nicely forward. Highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • All the Light We Cannot See

  • A Novel
  • By: Anthony Doerr
  • Narrated by: Zach Appelman
  • Length: 16 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44,457
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,733
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,736

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Afraid to Write a "Less-Than-Positive" Review

  • By Elizabeth on 08-06-14

Excellent story, deserves a more appropriate reade

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

Reviewed: 12-23-14

There are countless reviews and synopses already available now of this novel set in the World War II era, so I won't reiterate these other than to say the characters and settings are very well drawn and the plotlines well-written and well-developed. There may be just a little too much jumping back and forth in time and between characters with short chapters (seems like there are about 100 chapters of 6 pages each with their own title) that interrupts the flow of the narrative here and there, but all the characters and plotlines are interesting. Why I think this book would have been better to read than to listen to is the narrator's voice. Mr. Appelman does an adequate job of reading, but I found his twangy American accent and high school French pronunciations to be annoying and distracting. You'd think a story set in France and Germany with French and German characters would have a narrator who didn't sound like an American reading Tom Sawyer. This book deserves a more poetic and European voice.

  • Lieutenant Hornblower

  • By: C.S. Forester
  • Narrated by: Patrick Macnee
  • Length: 6 hrs
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74

The second act of the Hornblower saga is a gripping, rip-roaring tale of turmoil and triumph on the high seas. With new responsibilities thrust upon him, a young Lieutenant Hornblower is now fully in command of a ship for the first time. Faced with the challenges of near-mutiny, bloody hand-to-hand combat, deck-splintering sea battles, and the violence and horrors of life aboard the fighting ships in Napoleonic Wars, Hornblower must find a way to endure and overcome, as only a hero of his stature can.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lieutenant Hornblower

  • By Loren Lockard on 09-13-03

Slow start but then wonderful writing & adventure

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

Reviewed: 06-06-14

This is an excellent entry in the Hornblower nautical series set during the Napoleonic Wars. Hornblower has been promoted to Lieutenant and is serving under a sadistic captain. It's a grim start that goes on too long, but then the story line shifts to sea and land action in the Caribbean, and the action and writing are first rate. Lts. Hornblower and Bush become friends, and there are other interesting character developments, too. A very strong book in the Forester - Hornblower series, and no can beat Patrick Macnee for his expert narration.

  • I Capture the Castle

  • By: Dodie Smith
  • Narrated by: Jenny Agutter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 981
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 880
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 879

In this coming of age story, Dodie Smith introduces the visionary and eccentric character of seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain. The youngest daughter in a family of impoverished artists, it is her imagination and writing that takes us away from the ramshackle old English castle where they live, and towards an intriguing tale of husband-hunting and light-hearted sibling rivalry.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well, that was a surprise

  • By Matthew on 12-16-13

Gothic romance set in the 20th century

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

Reviewed: 05-03-14

Cassandra, 17, writes in her journal of her oddball 20th century family living in an old English castle house that is connected to a remnant of a 600 year-old castle.

The family has no money, no jobs or income, not even towels or electricity, yet they sit around all day making Big Decisions such as whether or not to sip cocoa or tea that day. For excitement they argue as to whether men look better in beards or not.

The patriarch of the family wrote a book once, but now just reads mysteries and does crosswords 24x7 in candlelight in his gatehouse room. Topaz, 29, his second wife, is a former artist's model who likes to take nude walks in the moonlight (but modestly wearing her boots, of course), and for some reason seems worried about losing her prize of a husband. Older sister, Rose, 21, sits around all day doing absolutely nothing except looking beautiful/enchanting/ravishing. A yardhand, Stephen, seems to be the sole character with a heart and a working income, but he is looked down as inferior by the layabout sisters and is not considered to be a marriageable prospect. There is periodic excitement in the house like when the librarian stops by with new books (hooray!!!) or the vicar drops in for a chat. Occasionally there is tremendous drama as when Cassandra takes the wrong purse to a restaurant and can't pay for her dinner.

While sitting around doing nothing all day the sisters like to fantasize wondering what might happen if two rich eligible young bachelors might accidentally appear on their doorstep. And, then ..
You'll hear Great Thoughts like, "Getting a trousseau is such hard work," and you'll encounter activities all readers can relate to such as swimming in a moat. And, there's a ridiculously unbelievable comic scene involving a fur coat mistaken for a live bear. Added to the melange of ennui and inertia is the author's pretentiousness, with 17 year-old Cassandra making references throughout her journal to Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Leo Tolstoy, great poets, and other classic authors. The dogs in the book are Abelard and Heloise. Pretentious, moi?

I will say, though, that although the characters and plot are boring, and the story line (will the man I love love me?), the author does occasionally put together a nicely written passage describing scenery or moonlight. And, in terms of the reader, Jenny Agutter is outstanding -- too bad her talents are wasted on this tripe. The problem with audio books is that when you encounter a book as vapid as this, you can't skim along any faster than the book reads.

I recommend this book to a) people looking for Prince Charming, b) those who need a Jane Austen-lite fix, and c) men in solitary confinement with absolutely nothing else to do. 12 hours of listening to vacuous people doing absolutely nothing except trying to understand and catch the opposite sex is a bit too much excitement for this reader.

PS. If you think I might not enjoy this genre, I love the books by Jane Austen, and Charlotte and Emily Bronte.

And, now, please pour me my cup of chamomile..

38 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • The Missing Chums

  • Hardy Boys 4
  • By: Franklin Dixon
  • Narrated by: Bill Irwin
  • Length: 3 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126

When the Hardy Boys set out to solve the mystery of their missing chums, they discover a gang hide-out in a cave on an island along the way.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable Hardy Boys sleuthing around Bayport

  • By MillenniumMike on 11-02-13

Enjoyable Hardy Boys sleuthing around Bayport

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

Reviewed: 11-02-13

Not the strongest entry in the "canon," but an enjoyable mystery set along the ocean around Bayport. Two of Frank and Joe's best buds go missing and the Hardy Boys try to locate them while finding linkages with a bank heist crime that their father is trying to solve. Entertaining sleuthing goes on and even if it's not the most exciting or exotic of the series, it is still very entertaining and relaxing to listen to, especially if you, like I, grew up reading every volume in the series. Bill Irwin does an excellent job reading and speaking as each of the characters, and there are just enough sound effects and a soundtrack to add some atmosphere.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful