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Keith G

Montrose in Houston TX
  • 35
  • reviews
  • 107
  • helpful votes
  • 38
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  • An Accidental Death

  • A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 1
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,372
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,124
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,108

The story opens with the apparently accidental drowning of a sixth form student in the Norfolk countryside. As a matter of routine, or so it seems, the case passes across the desk of Detective Sergeant Smith, recently returned to work after an internal investigation into another case that has led to tensions between officers at Kings Lake police headquarters. As an ex-DCI, Smith could have retired by now, and it is clear that some of his superiors wish that he would do so.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent British Mystery

  • By Customer on 09-07-16

No Accident

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

Reviewed: 02-04-19

I loved this audiobook.

I loved the writing. I loved a narration. The mystery that drives the story can be figured out before the end, but that is not essential to the enjoyment of this well-crafted package filled with vivid characters. This is a character-driven novel.

Central to it all is DC Smith, who is as good a creation as any British detective in fiction.

  • Nothing Like Paris

  • Bend or Break, Book 2
  • By: Amy Jo Cousins
  • Narrated by: Cooper North
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

Jack Tarkington's life is in the toilet. He was supposed to be spending his junior year studying someplace cool, like Paris or Rome. Instead, after taking out his anger on the campus golden boy, whose dad ripped off his parents, Jack is facing possible expulsion. Sure, it's all his own fault, but coming back to the small Iowa town he thought he'd escaped, after crowing about his admission to a prestigious school, has been a humbling experience.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing like Off Campus

  • By HZ on 10-11-16

Paris Is Better

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

The first book in the series, Off Campus, is one of my favorite books in the gay male romance genre. That is no small accomplishment since I think that most female writers in this category do a terrible job of representing what goes on inside the mind of a gay man and their depiction of sex is even worse. Trust me on that.

In this case, my hopes were unfulfilled.

I know that complications drive narrative. One of the most common complications in the genre is the silent brooding gayboy. Believe me when I tell you that very few gay boys are silent and brooding when they are alone with the object of their emotions, particularly if there is an already established history.

Other reviewers mentioned how they were hesitant to begin this book because of their previous dislike of the character Jack. I did not have that issue, and in fact, I was intrigued by some of the backstory and development that Ms. Cousins gave to the character. It's just that at some point it seems like the effort stopped and Jack began acting like a stock character. When an author has a central character do things that defy ordinary, common sense just to continue the narrative, it's time to look elsewhere.

So, I am returning this book because at some point I just stopped caring. The cardboard cutout complications and the unspeakably horrific depictions how gay men behave in their most intimate moments brought me to the realization that I would never replay this book.

  • Tales From Foster High

  • By: John Goode
  • Narrated by: Michael Stellman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173

Kyle Stilleno is the invisible student, toiling through high school in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Brad Greymark is the baseball star of Foster High. When they bond over their mutual damage during a night of history tutoring, Kyle thinks maybe his life has changed for good. But the promise of fairy-tale love is a lie when you're gay and falling for the most popular boy in school. A coming of age story in the same vein of John Hughes, Tales from Foster High shows an unflinching vision of the ups and downs of teenage love and what it is like to grow up gay.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Nice surprise

  • By Riva on 02-06-14

Goode Enough?

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

Reviewed: 12-28-18

At the time of my writing of this review, I have already read several of John Goode’s books. While I will specifically address Tales from Foster High (hereafter referred to as Book 1) I'm sure that my overall evaluation of Goode's output will come poking through.

By now, it's likely that you've already read a summary of the plot, so I feel no need to be repetitive.

Book 1 tells a fairly conventional story in gay fiction. High school nerd (Kyle) and high school jock (Brad) fall for each other. The nerd understands his sexuality. The jock has to struggle to understand what he learns about himself.

John Goode does a better job of telling this tale then most other authors I have read.

Pros
Kyle and Brad are interesting and charismatic.
Early on, student life is portrayed with some realism.
The narrative is focused and moves quickly.

Cons
Too many adults are clueless or the enemy.
Teachers are usually absent from places where teachers usually are.
Violence pops up without real-world repercussion.
When necessary to the plot, school officials become totally clueless.

What disappoints me about the violence and the clueless school officials is that their treatment could have been realistic and provided interesting plot points for the main characters to deal with. Maybe it would have taken a couple extra pages, but it would keep knowledgeable readers from stopping for a moment and thinking what the heck is wrong with this author.

Nonetheless, it's a sweet story and moves quickly enough that some of the logic fails can pass by with slight impact.

I have listened to it twice and found it enjoyable enough.

  • Gun Street Girl

  • Detective Sean Duffy, Book 4
  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,943
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,774
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,757

Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point-blank range and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another McKinty Gem

  • By Top of Mind on 03-07-15

Wonderful

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

Reviewed: 12-12-18

I'm not going to play the game of ranking this as the best Sean Duffy story or the best novel written by Adrian Mckinty. I will say that this is among the best Audible listening experiences I have had in the many years I've been a member.

As always with Mckinty, the story is tight and the humor is both dark and satisfying. The story has an intense pace which wastes no words or time. Gerald Doyle's narration is at a high artistic level.

This is a reading experience that I will be gifting to friends.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Inner Circle

  • By: Brad Meltzer
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 14 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,582
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,716
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,704

When Clementine Kaye, archivist Beecher White's first childhood crush, shows up at the National Archives asking for his help, Beecher tries to impress her by showing her the secret vault where the president of the United States privately reviews classified documents. They accidentally happen upon a priceless artifact - and find themselves suddenly entangled in a web of deception, conspiracy, and murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating

  • By FAC on 12-29-11

When It's Good It's Good....

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

Reviewed: 11-22-18

There is a lot of good, crisp writing that will entertain. AND THEN there are the holes in the story. Just a few at first - no more than most thriller/mysteries.

But as the story progresses, the more the plot holes show up. Finally, as the story reaches its climax, at the time one's disbelief should be totally suspended, all I could do is shake my head and think, "WTF?".

  • The Lies of Locke Lamora

  • By: Scott Lynch
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 21 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,385
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,923
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,897

An orphan's life is harsh---and often short---in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains---a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans---a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stupendous, but be warned.

  • By Luke A. Reynolds on 11-30-09

A Very Worthy Investment

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

Reviewed: 10-28-18

There are already a lot of good reviews, so I will just provide a short gut reaction.

This is a long and very entertaining story told in asynchronous time with the periodic flashbacks providing some of the best tales. There is action, wit, and layered character development, all to the good. The narration is worth many more stars than 5.

In the "present tense" of the story, there is a long con being enacted. I found the details of it to verge on becoming tedious and quite frankly, I used the 30-second jump several times. Aside from that, this is one of the best books of this genre that I have listened to.

  • The Witch Elm

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Paul Nugent
  • Length: 22 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,503
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,199
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4,184

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Yes, the Main Character Comes Off Poorly, But...

  • By Marina on 10-19-18

Liked But Not Loved

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

Reviewed: 10-27-18

I have really liked but have not fallen in love with this book because it is a bit of a strange bird.

Some folks who started in on this tome expecting the normal fare provided by Tana French were a bit shocked. Obviously by the reviews I’ve seen, a number have been disappointed. In my view, Tana French writes mysteries, but the mysteries are only the come-on, the hook. What French actually writes are to superbly crafted character studies using wonderful language and carefully constructed scenes.

Like her other books which I have read, this story contains a profound character study. I’ll even go so far as to say this book is a meditation on the intersection of character and the eroding anchor points that hold society together. Although, at the end of this meditation there are no answers or comforting final insight. The author just leaves us with the reality of the world she observes.

As always, this book contains French’s masterful creation of dialogue and superb sense of place. Her characters are complex and vivid. Their interplay is what I liked most about this story and that is consistent with my reading of French’s other novels.

I should add that the narrator was excellent and I am mystified that others feel differently.

Just be warned: This is not a story in service of a mystery. It is a story that uses a multitude of mysteries toward other ends.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Damaged Like Us

  • By: Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie
  • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese, J. F. Harding
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 873
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 824
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 822

Maximoff Hale is a force of nature. A ship unwilling to be steered. Headstrong, resilient, and wholly responsible - the 22-year-old alpha billionaire can handle his unconventional life. Born into one of the most famous families in the country, his celebrity status began at birth. He is certified American royalty. When he's assigned a new 24/7 bodyguard, he comes face-to-face with the worst case scenario: being attached to the tattooed, MMA-trained, Yale graduate who's known for "going rogue" in the security team - and who fills 1/3 of Maximoff's sexual fantasies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The narration really did the story justice!

  • By Christy Baldwin BBU on 09-30-17

Good Enough

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

Reviewed: 06-29-18

I have started to be wary of gay genre fiction. so much of it is just built on the bones of the straight Harlequin romances written for women. this is another such book. it is made better by some strong character development and spot on narration. there's really not much more to say since the book is so formulaic, you read the story many times before.

  • Turning 16

  • By: Perie Wolford, Michelle Doering
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 3 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 43

Sam never liked his birthdays because not a single one of them was happy... When he turned 1, he fell face-down into his birthday cake; when he turned 5, he broke his left arm and when he turned 7, he broke his right arm and his left leg; when he turned 12, his house caught fire. Now Sam is about to turn 16 and he is dreading the day. The only birthday wish he has is for Jake who is the Mr. Popular of Arcadia High to even acknowledge his existence, or better yet give him a happy-birthday kiss.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love this...

  • By Dominic on 12-07-14

Enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 05-01-18

This is a cute story and there’s some pretty good writing done by the cowriters Perie Wolford and Michelle Doering.

What I appreciated about the story is that it was simple. There was an appropriate amount of situational angst, but no existential crisis used by the writers to power the narrative. It’s basically a story about a kid trying to find the appropriate and worthy focus of his growing emotional and physical needs.

I also appreciated that this was not a story involving a villain or a bad guy or girl brought in to add narrative tension. Because of the rather simple narrative and the limited amount of prose, there was little in the way of those typically tiresome male/male romance tropes. The main character was written in a very believable way. It was enjoyable to experience his world through his point of view.

As far as the things that I wish were better: Why do so many writers in this genre seem to have forgotten how public schools and their sports teams work? I can’t even list the number of sentences that, once read out to me, took me out of the story because the action being described was so improbable in the world that this book wants to inhabit. Dear Lord, is it that hard to write just another paragraph or two and get the process believable?

The other issue that cause me to roll my eyes a few times was some deus ex machina setups that allowed important plot points to occur as if out of the blue. Again, it’s just a matter of spending a little bit of time to lay the groundwork to make these things happen in a way that doesn’t cause foreheads to be slapped. At the end, the narrator specifically mentions the editor, Michelle Doering, was she on Ambien?

I got this 3-hour story as part of the Romance Package, so I’m not going to be overly picky about some of the literary achievements of this book. For what it was, it was an entertaining and largely satisfying listen while doing housework.

  • Zach's Secret

  • By: Matthew W. Grant
  • Narrated by: Luke Avery
  • Length: 3 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

Can a young man come out, find love, and survive senior year all at the same time? Zach Denham, the editor of a small town high school newspaper, struggles to act like a "normal" guy by dating a female friend. Key, the school’s newly arrived attractive jock, forces Zach to confront the truth about his sexual identity. Friends will become enemies when an explosive issue divides the school community. As Mrs. Trevott, Zach’s trusted and sharp-tongued English teacher advises, some of them will stand up for what they believe in even if they are standing alone.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A lesson in being true to yourself ...

  • By Elizabeth L. on 07-25-15

What did the story want to be?

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

The story starts out rather hopefully. It’s a bit stilted, a bit overly written in a few passages, but the skeleton of the narrative implants a degree of hope that the author is providing a decent tale.

I guess the greatest sin of the author is that he tries to do too much. When the story is just focusing on a growing relationship between two boys, it’s a charming tale. When the story enters its “Battle Cry For Freedom” stage, both the author and the story jump the shark. The whole storyline of the school principal, the protest, and the aftermath was written with as much realistic sense as if it were penned by toddler on acid. Come on dude. Learn how schools work and learn how police departments work before you use them in such a way that sensible people have to shudder at what you’ve written.

Finally, although the relationship between the two boys starts out in a rather sweet way, it becomes frustrating that these two individuals express little in the way of intimate affection throughout the story. I realize this book is aimed towards a young crowd but why must gay teenagers be more sexless then hetrosexual teenagers in such literature? The story ends in a very upbeat way, but the upbeat conclusions of the individual storylines are unearned. It's sort of like, “Good things happen. The end.”