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RUKiddingMee

  • 19
  • reviews
  • 42
  • helpful votes
  • 116
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  • The Binding

  • A Novel
  • By: Bridget Collins
  • Narrated by: Carl Prekopp
  • Length: 15 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 54

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a bookbinder - a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community, but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse. For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just wow

  • By RUKiddingMee on 05-18-19

Just wow

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

Reviewed: 05-18-19

The Binding is best book I have read and listened to so far this year. I really, really hate reviews that reveal too much about a book, so I won't get into more of the plot than is revealed in the book summary. A few warnings though: The subject matter is mature and could be triggering to some readers. If you have worries about that, seek a review that reveals more of the subject matter.

The Binding is a little hard to categorize. It involves magic and an imaginary place, so it qualifies as a fantasy but it isn't a sword and sorcery story. The writing is achingly beautiful with a great deal of suspense and surprise. Books I would compare it to: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, some of Neil Gaiman.

Carl Prekopp is excellent as a narrator. At first I thought the pace was a bit slow, but his accents and style of narration add so much to the story that I would rate this as one of my favorite performances ever.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Spook Street

  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 313
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 313

A thrilling fourth installment in the CWA Gold Dagger-winning Slough House series. What happens when an old spook loses his mind? Does the Service have a retirement home for those who know too many secrets but don't remember they're secret? Or does someone take care of the senile spy for good? These are the questions River Cartwright must ask when his grandfather, a Cold War-era operative, starts to forget to wear pants and begins to suspect everyone in his life has been sent by the Service to watch him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best so far

  • By Meg on 03-11-17

Great series about a motley crew of spies

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

Mick Herron's Slough Street series is a extremely well-written and developed, with intricate, rather believable spy plots. And they are funny. Your jaw may hang once in a while at how relevant the supposedly fictional plots are. Fans of Olen Steinhauer and Le Carre will enjoy these. They are a little lighter because of the humor, but don't we all need that right now?

  • Trigger Warning

  • Short Fictions and Disturbances
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,456
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,195
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,181

In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction--stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013--as well as "Black Dog", a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It Triggered Me to Stay Up Late and Listen

  • By Kindle Customer on 02-10-15

Neil's voice is too soft!

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

Reviewed: 11-05-15

Good stories but it is very difficult to hear and understand Gaiman's voice over even the slightest road noise, unless I have it at a blaring volume. Also, the introduction was ridiculously long -- seriously? On an audiobook?

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Days of Rage

  • America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence
  • By: Bryan Burrough
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 22 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 363
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321

The Weathermen. The Symbionese Liberation Army. The FALN. The Black Liberation Army. The names seem quaint now, when not forgotten altogether. But there was a stretch of time in America, during the 1970s, when bombings by domestic underground groups were a daily occurrence. The FBI combated these groups and others as nodes in a single revolutionary underground dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American government.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing treatment of tough history

  • By Steven on 05-13-15

Sneering, unobjective tone

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

Reviewed: 05-17-15

What would have made Days of Rage better?

Burrough took a very interesting topic, did a great deal of research and could have written a great book about it. Alas, he did not. The sneering tone of much of his analysis diminishes his credibility to the point where the listener/reader cannot trust his analysis and reportage. Very unbalanced.

The focus on Bernadine Dohrn's sexuality and physical attractiveness got tiresome -- and more than a little bit creepy.

Would you ever listen to anything by Bryan Burrough again?

Probably not.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

He did a sincere interpretation of the snide, unobjective book, but at some points even seemed to exaggerate it.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It's an interesting bit of history -- and the book did keep me interested, but I would choose a different book if I were a reader new to the subject.

9 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Dear Committee Members

  • A Novel
  • By: Julie Schumacher
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 3 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302

Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hysterically funny and poignant

  • By Catherine on 12-15-14

Great book

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

Reviewed: 01-04-15

If you could sum up Dear Committee Members in three words, what would they be?

Funny, charming and sad.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The professor/narrator. His character is surprisingly complex despite his living up to the Humanities professor stereotype.

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to anything else he has read, but this was an outstanding performance. He has clear diction, great emotional expression and a lovely speaking voice. Really made the book enjoyable.

Who was the most memorable character of Dear Committee Members and why?

Janet. She comes through even though she doesn't say a word in the entire novel.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen

  • By: Garth Nix
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,498
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,372
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,378

Award-winning author Garth Nix returns to the Old Kingdom with a thrilling prequel complete with dark magic, royalty, dangerous action, a strong heroine, and flawless world-building. This epic fantasy adventure is destined to be a classic, and is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great prequel to Abhorsen trilogy

  • By ciorstan on 10-17-14

Very difficult to hear at times

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

Reviewed: 12-26-14

Malcolm's performance was very difficult to hear at times, especially when he used a very low, soft voice. I had to replay parts several times -- and still couldn't make out the words.

Still, I liked the book. I thought it a very good exploration of Clariel's character and the decay of a society.

If you are looking for the same kind of upbeat story line that Sabriel and Lirael had, however, look elsewhere. It's a pretty dark story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Annihilation

  • Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Jeff VanderMeer
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
  • Length: 6 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,844
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,479
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4,480

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, bad narrator

  • By Julian P. on 01-26-16

Very creepy, engrossing story

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

Reviewed: 08-20-14

Would you listen to Annihilation again? Why?

I probably wouldn't listen again because it is a memorable beginning to a trilogy -- it is well-told, but not particularly lyrical or beautiful in its telling. I want to read further rather than listen again.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I think I like the lighthouse keeper. He is a mystery.

Would you be willing to try another one of Carolyn McCormick’s performances?

No. I found her intonation to be very distracting. It was often the same at the end of one sentence and the beginning of another, which made it difficult to tell when one sentence ended and another began. Other reviewers have called it monotonal, but she also frequently used rising intonation which can convey anxiety or uncertainty. I think she did this on purpose, but I found it grew very tedious after a while.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listen almost exclusively in my car -- but the ending was so compelling that I wanted to finish the book.

Any additional comments?

I hope the next two installments of the book are as good.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Natural History of Dragons

  • A Memoir by Lady Trent
  • By: Marie Brennan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,307
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,157
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,150

You, dear listener, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart - no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments - even at the risk of one's life - is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten….All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fantastical, Scientific, and Captivating Joy Ride

  • By Abbygail on 03-06-16

Lovely story, excellent reading

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

Reviewed: 06-28-14

A lovely "memoir" told by an older woman who overcomes the odds in her world in order to become a natural scientist who studies dragons. Her passion takes her on adventures with both rewards and losses. Superb reading by the appropriately named Kate Reading adds to the charm of the main character. I am looking forward to the next in the series!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Absolute Monarchs

  • A History of the Papacy
  • By: John Julius Norwich
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 18 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 236
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 211
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 215

With the papacy embattled in recent years, it is essential to have the perspective of one of the world's most accomplished historians. In Absolute Monarchs, John Julius Norwich captures nearly 2,000 years of inspiration and devotion, intrigue and scandal. The men (and maybe one woman) who have held this position of infallible power over millions have ranged from heroes to rogues, admirably wise to utterly decadent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Neutral, Honest, and Fascinating

  • By Carolyn on 08-15-12

Great performance, pretty good book

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

Reviewed: 05-07-14

This history of the papacy covers almost all of them -- right from St. Peter up to Benedict.

The excellent performance kept my interest all the way through. But I kept waiting for a bigger picture of the papacy and analysis of historical trends. It never came. The book is a series of mini-biographies with little more analysis than, "If Pope So-and-so had been a less bigoted, he might have had a great impact on XYZ."

Still, it was informative and worth listening to. If you want to learn more about the history of the papacy, this isn't a bad place to start.

  • Rivers

  • A Novel
  • By: Michael Farris Smith
  • Narrated by: Michael Farris Smith
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 39

It had been raining for weeks. Maybe months. He had forgotten the last day that it hadn't rained, when the storms gave way to the pale blue of the Gulf sky, when the birds flew and the clouds were white and sunshine glistened across the drenched land. Following years of catastrophic hurricanes, the Gulf Coast - stretching from the Florida panhandle to the western Louisiana border - has been brought to its knees. The region is so punished and depleted that the government has drawn a new boundary ninety miles north of the coastline.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Post apocalypse without the brutality

  • By Jami E. Nettles on 09-21-13

Narration distracts from story

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

Reviewed: 05-07-14

I hate to give a bad review to an author reading his own work, but I cannot finish listening to this book. Mr. Smith's style of writing uses many, many conjunctions, particularly "and." Sometimes we get a a sentence that uses "or" instead. Because Mr. Smith also frequently uses steady or rising intonation instead of falling (declarative) intonation, the sentences run into one another and lose their power.

This pattern could, in small amounts, intensify the sense of dread and loss (and beauty) of the story, but instead is instead terribly distracting and then boring. And then, after about the third hour, infuriating.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful