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Russell

Keswick, ON, Canada
  • 88
  • reviews
  • 1,647
  • helpful votes
  • 92
  • ratings
  • The Wrong Unit

  • A Novel
  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Rob Dircks
  • Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,171
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,124
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,123

I don't know what the humans are so cranky about. Their enclosures are large, they ingest over 1,000 calories per day, and they're allowed to mate. Plus, they have me: an Autonomous Servile Unit, housed in a mobile/bipedal chassis. I do my job well: keep the humans healthy and happy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Futuristic journey without a single misstep

  • By Julie W. Capell on 10-03-16

Solid Sci Fi Entertainment

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

Reviewed: 08-17-18

The narration was top notch ... and it breaks the rule where a writer should not be his own narrator. The story is about a future where humans are enslaved by an artificial intelligence which cares for their needs but denies any freedoms because of our track record of wars and destroying the environment.

After many unsuccessful attempts by humans to overthrow their mechanical masters over hundreds of years there is a new plot afoot that involves awakening the iceman in a far off location. One type of robot that has some empathy built in is unwillingly enlisted in this task with a newborn to care for. It is actually not the unit that was groomed for the task, but hey .. that's life where plans often go awry.

These units are usually destroyed after 15 years because they develop too much of an affinity for humans. This unit is near that point but since it is now out in the wilderness with the human child and out of the reach of the master system called Core, it's neural nets evolve to become ever more human-like while bringing up the child and searching for the iceman.

If they can find the iceman there is an ancient plan available that just might be able to save the human race. After many years the child has grown up and the iceman is found. The foolproof ancient plan is kicked into motion. You will enjoy watching it carefully unfold. Just remember .. plans are great until real life punches them in the gut.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Everything Trump Touches Dies

  • By: Rick Wilson
  • Narrated by: Rick Wilson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,396
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,264
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,253

In Everything Trump Touches Dies, political campaign strategist and commentator Rick Wilson brings his darkly funny humor and biting analysis to the absurdity of American politics in the age of Trump. Wilson mercilessly exposes the damage Trump has done to the country, to the Republican Party he served for decades, and to the conservative movement that has abandoned its principles for the worst president in American history. No left-winger, Wilson is a lifelong conservative who delivers his withering critique of Trump from the right.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Glad I'm not a Trump fan!

  • By KathrynVB on 08-09-18

A True Conservative's Hyperbole or Dire Warning?

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

Reviewed: 08-14-18

Conservatives have championed tax cuts for so long, it is refreshing to hear a Republican strategist tell the truth that not all tax cuts are equal. This only Trump legislative accomplishment after a year in power appears to be a special interests bonanza that does little to help ordinary Americans and does a lot to put the country ever deeper in debt. It is depressing to hear about a lobbyist feeling like a kid in a candy store as he drafts language that protects corporations and the wealthy. Rick Wilson does not name this contact, but he does not have to. We all know how this bill was put together with the legislators voting on faith since they did not have time to properly read it and perform due diligence. We all know this man has been a loyal Republican strategist for many years and has developed a network of like minded political friends.

As a Liberal, it is refreshing to listen to someone who holds a different world view than mine, but draws a line at the craziness and racism that is endemic in the Trump Presidency. I could live in a Rick Wilson world. Every day it is getting scarier living in a Donald Trump universe.

Rick took a principled stand that cost him financially when Trump got elected. He and his family also had to withstand over the top attacks from the Trump cultists. Rather than fold, he has come out swinging. If the country rediscovers its middle ground, he has some dire warnings for the Republican party. If the authoritarian tendencies of Trump and his rabid followers gain momentum he has some dire warnings for the entire country.

It is encouraging to hear Conservatives like Steve Schmidt, George Will and Rick Wilson fight for a country that follows the rule of law. Michael Wolff's The Fire and Fury punches like a lightweight next to this heavyweight read.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Peripeteia

  • The City Series, Book 2
  • By: Sarah Lyons Fleming
  • Narrated by: Therese Plummer, Luke Daniels
  • Length: 19 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 827
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 793
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 793

Months into the apocalypse, the zombies show no signs of dying, but it's clear everyone in Sunset Park will die without enough food to outlast the undead. Add in the less-than-sociable new neighbors only blocks away, and the hunt for sustenance has come to feel more like a race than a ramble. Sylvie is happy in her new home with the people who've become like family, though she's still working out how to let them into her heart. Eric wants in, and he wants to find his sister, but he can't do both at the same time.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fix the audio!

  • By K. Dennis on 11-07-17

Humor, Zombies and Some Romance

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

Reviewed: 01-16-18

I was very impressed with the first book in the series, and equally impressed with the second. There was a moment where I was saying to myself, wait .. this is a romance book .. what am I doing listening to a chick lit offering. But throw in some apocalypse adventure and a little humor and deep relationship commitments and it looks like I am on board full throttle.

The third book in the series has yet to be published so I did a little research on the author and found out there are related books from the same world focusing on the lost sister of Eric Forrest - Cassie. I will now have to find out if her story will match the intensity of the incredible main protagonist, Sylvie in this City Series.

Eric and Sylvie got some bad news in this book when looking for Cassie. It looked like she did not make it. Now I will find out for sure in the "Until the End of the World" series.

I will not reveal much of the plot - it is more fun to just let this good book unfold. But, be prepared for some heartbreak - not all of the main characters make it to the end.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • IQ

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,989
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,664
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,646

A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores. East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IQ way better than OK

  • By green ice cream garden on 12-21-16

This IQ Scores Off the Charts

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

Reviewed: 01-15-18

This book was enjoyable for me because it was a different type of detective story. Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) solves all sorts of problems and crimes in his community and lives by his wits. In one timeline he starts with no parents and a recently deceased older brother who was caring for him and bringing him up with integrity. The background of rap and gang culture is colorfully handled by the author and narrator.

In another timeline IQ is brought in by a questionable character named Dotsen to figure out who hired a hitman to murder a prominent rap artist who had lost his mojo. The star's refusal to leave his mansion while immersed in excess and depression actually saves his life because the hit man has a more difficult time fulfilling his contract with the rapper holed up with his entourage at home. After the failed hit, IQ is offered a lot of money to figure out who is behind the attempted murder.

As the book follows two major timelines as we learn more about IQ's relationship with Dotson who expects to earn a commission on the current case. In the past Dotson had influenced IQ to take a wrong turn to pursue a criminal life to support himself. In the present IQ is a law abiding citizen taking on cases to help others. Now IQ is only taking money on jobs when he needs it or could use it to benefit others.

I hope that there are more cases to solve and adventures for this Sherlock like IQ ... and that irritating Dotson turns out to have a few redeeming qualities - so let's keep him around. After all, his name does rhyme with Watson.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Mordacious

  • The City Series, Book 1
  • By: Sarah Lyons Fleming
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels, Therese Plummer
  • Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,362
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,284
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,278

Sylvie Rossi has the loner thing down pat, with the exception of her best friend, Grace. But when the two are trapped in a hospital during the last gasp of a dying city, alone time is no longer an option. A nurse's offer of sanctuary promises Sylvie the supplies she needs to survive the zombies - it's the coexisting with people that might do her in. Eric Forrest will do whatever it takes to get into the dead city for his sister, including ending up dead himself. He's used to taking risks, but with every mile he travels death looks likelier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Feel Good Zombie Apocalypse

  • By LD on 09-25-16

Discount Ploy Lures Me In Again, Now I'm an addict

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

Reviewed: 12-05-17

If I'd have known how happy this book was going to make me, I would have parted with two credits to get it. Fortunately I caught it off a sale.

It started out as a typical zombie story with a flawed central character - and if you are the listener who gives up early, you will not understand my enthusiasm. It wasn't until I was halfway through the book that depth of the characters started resonating with me.

The end totally took me by surprise. Not for wrapping up the story, not with a cliff hanger, but this story was done so well and was so entertaining, that I had to adjust to some strange voice saying -- This has been an Audible Studio production... when I was still ready for more. In retrospect, it was a logical and uplifting conclusion to the epic tale.

Having been through two well received books that left me feeling blah, I am now excited to tell my daughter about this new series and will try to enlist her in a word game similar to the one Sylvie and Eric play in the last half of the book. I also may succumb to some binge listening as a precious credit will be now will be used on the second book, Peripeteia.

Audible - your ploy to get me using up my credits worked.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Two Kinds of Truth

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Titus Welliver
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,644
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,878
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,830

Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drugstore where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town's three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bosch Survives Two Career Ending Threats

  • By Russell on 11-20-17

Bosch Survives Two Career Ending Threats

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

Reviewed: 11-20-17

This time Harry Bosch goes undercover as an addict hooked on painkillers to catch a couple of murderers. At the same time he is trying to fend off an insinuation of planting evidence in order to convict someone many years ago. The case against him is so good that his old partner and even his daughter wonder if the accusations are true. It looks like the man he sent to death row is going to be released and exonerated after many years languishing in prison.

This is the first time Connelly has put Bosch on an extremely dangerous mission. In this engaging listen the two unrelated cases intersect and Harry almost loses his life over it. As always mysteries get solved, but while Harry is good, he needs help from other characters to see clues and resolve the cases. For all the Lincoln Lawyer fans, Harry gets some help from his half brother in defending himself on his old collar of a murderer.

Someone heavily criticized the narrator of this book and I don't see it - for me Titus does a superb job.

I guess there are two kinds of truth for all of us.

60 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Flat Spin

  • A Cordell Logan Mystery
  • By: David Freed
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,659
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,386
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,370

The irresistible David Freed’s first mystery is a stay-up-late-to-finish thriller. Based in sunny Rancho Bonita - “California’s Monaco”, as the city’s moneyed minions like to call it - Cordell Logan is a literate, sardonic flight instructor and aspiring Buddhist with dwindling savings and a shadowy past. When his beautiful ex-wife, Savannah, shows up out of the blue to tell him that her husband has been murdered in Los Angeles, Logan is quietly pleased. Savannah’s late husband, after all, is Arlo Echevarria, the man she left Logan for.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A whodunit with a touch of humor.

  • By Arthur on 08-07-12

A lot of Fun With a Mystery to Solve

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

Reviewed: 11-10-17

You won't get answers to the big questions in life or even the small ones in this highly entertaining romp. If you are wondering what a Flat Spin is - Wikipedia says – Also called unrecoverable spin (although in some instances recovery may be possible), it occurs when both rotation around the yaw axis and side-slip dominate, and the nose attitude remains level or nearly so resulting in the aircraft assuming a Frisbee or boomerang-like motion.

Now you know and I didn't ruin anything. The only spoiler that have to worry about is you will be looking for a second Cordell Logan book. I guarantee it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Year of Living Danishly

  • Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
  • By: Helen Russell
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,548
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,369
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,362

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn't Disneyland but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long, dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born or made?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining but Brittle

  • By AR on 02-17-17

Danish Destination Delights

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

Reviewed: 10-06-17

Excuse the alliteration but I am feeling whimsical and after listening to this book and am now seriously considering including Copenhagen on my next vacation to Europe. Bob Hope said that he owed his long life to always gravitating towards a group of people heartily laughing rather than to the crowd that was grumbling. Maybe spending a few days in Denmark will be good for the soul, though I suspect the Danes may not be more bubbly and openly friendly than other cultures, they are just more secure and well cared for.

Helen Russell and Lucy Price-Lewis team up to give us an insight into a successful compassionate social model that we should all aspire towards. We are given a month by month account from an outsider who is curious about the source of the country's happiness. At the end of the month Helen tells us what she has learned and links that to worldwide research findings.

Not everything is perfect in the state of Denmark, but there is enough there to be envious. And if I do visit and the Danes don't open up to me in my brief encounters, Helen has me wondering about how tasty all those baked goods really are. After all there must have been good reason to name one of them a danish.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Strangler Vine

  • By: M. J. Carter
  • Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,240
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,046
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,044

India, 1837: William Avery is a young soldier with few prospects except rotting away in campaigns in India; Jeremiah Blake is a secret political agent gone native, a genius at languages and disguises, disenchanted with the whole ethos of British rule, but who cannot resist the challenge of an unresolved mystery.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not quite Kipling's India

  • By David on 11-14-16

Interesting Perspective on The East India Company

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

Reviewed: 08-31-17

What do you know about the British presence in India in the 1830's? If you are like me and know only a little, than you are in for a captivating educational adventure. While this is a fictionalized account of how the East India Company operated in that country from the perspective of a company soldier, there is a solidly researched historical perspective on the two cultures. The mystique around the Thuggees is explored and M.J. Carter posits a recent new historical interpretation about this band of robbers and murderers.

I would prefer not to tell you much more, because our hero, William Avery will come into this adventure and have his world turned upside down as you will. This young naive company soldier gets picked to accompany a obstreperous political agent, Jeremy Blake on a mission to find a missing celebrated writer. It doesn't hurt that the writer in question was an inspiration to William and his books are the main reason Avery came to India. Unfortunately Avery is unsure of the motives of his India seasoned companion who treats him with disdain. If he had not been ordered to do this mission, he would have passed on it.

The narrator does a superb job and at the end of the book there is a history lesson about some of the major players and events. I thought superintendent William Henry Sleeman was an invention but it turns out he really existed and we hear current historian thoughts on his relationship to the Thuggees cult.

It is always a treat to discover and enjoy a new author, a new narrator and a different genre.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Obesity Code

  • Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss
  • By: Dr. Jason Fung
  • Narrated by: Brian Nishii
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,333
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,577
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,495

In this highly listenable and provocative book, Dr. Jason Fung sets out an original, robust theory of obesity that provides startling insights into proper nutrition. In addition to his five basic steps - a set of lifelong habits that will improve your health and control your insulin levels - Dr. Fung explains how to use intermittent fasting to break the cycle of insulin resistance and reach a healthy weight - for good.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • We'll see, but .... why is this not common knowledge.

  • By PSBoyte on 04-30-17

Compelling Argument about Managing Weight

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

Reviewed: 08-14-17

It was a big surprise that a book on weight loss would inspire me to submit a review. But after a lifetime of hearing about can't miss diet plans that ultimately backfire - sometimes with health consequences, it is nice to hear solid researched arguments that support a diet plan that has already been around for centuries.

Insulin resistance is the villain in our lives that leads to weight gain or a set point weight that puts us in the overweight camp. Caloric reduction, eating small amounts often, the necessity of a large breakfast and many more unsuccessful approaches are not panaceas, and may end of doing more harm than good.

Dr. Fung tells us that fasting is the answer. He busts some of the myths you hear about the dangers of this dieting approach. The one that had my attention was how the muscles were first broken down before fat was used when fasting.

But, don't take my word for it, you need to hear the persuasive evidence based research pleasantly presented to you by a top notch narrator.

Who knew - a diet book - and I was never bored.

33 of 33 people found this review helpful