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Mari

Cleveland Heights, OH, United States
  • 23
  • reviews
  • 45
  • helpful votes
  • 60
  • ratings
  • Razor Girl

  • A Novel
  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: John Rubinstein
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,875
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,875

When Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but (this is Hiaasen!). Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield - the eponymous Razor Girl - and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book this year!

  • By green ice cream garden on 09-19-16

Carl's Back and Better Than Ever

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

Reviewed: 01-09-17

If you're a fan of Hiaasen, you'll love this. It has all the features of the Hiaasen mill that we've grown attached to — a cynical, almost burnt-out hero, a convoluted scheme to bilk idiots out of their money, a sardonic takedown of contemporary culture via a scripted and cast reality show, quick pacing and wit, all set against a backdrop of Florida corruption at it's finest. One terrific addition is a fully-formed female character in the Razor Girl herself, Merry. She starts out as one of Hiaasen's old-school "babes", but grows with the book. becoming richer and more complex as the story unfolds. this was pure joy from start to finish.

  • Innocent

  • By: Scott Turow
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann, Orlagh Cassidy
  • Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,124
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,056
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,058

The sequel to the genre-defining, landmark best seller Presumed Innocent, Innocent continues the story of Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto who are, once again, 20 years later, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match after the mysterious death of Rusty's wife.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific Book

  • By Suzn F on 05-10-10

Decent Follow-Up to Presumed Innocent

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

Reviewed: 04-27-16

I read Presumed Innocent in the 90's. It was a riveting book with an ending that left me stunned at the time. In "Innocent", Turow does a bit to ease the discomfort of the ending of the earlier book, but it comes across as too little too late.

I don't want to give away too much, in case someone here hasn't read the first book, but suffice it to say, the novel starts out with a mistake in judgement and leads to a somewhat more satisfying conclusion than it's predecessor. But it lacks the pacing, surprise and overall engagement of the first.

The narration is fine - picking up quite a bit when the voice changes over to Anna. All in all, I'd recommend it, particularly for readers of the original, who, like me at the time, finished that book in a state of amazement and bewilderment at the choices people make.

  • Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

  • A Novel
  • By: Geoff Dyer
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 32

Every two years the international art world descends on Venice for the opening of the Biennale. Among them is Jeff Atman, a jaded and dissolute journalist, whose dedication to the cause of Bellini-fuelled party-going is only intermittently disturbed by the obligation to file a story.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hate Jeff in Venice, Love Death in Varanasi

  • By Frank on 01-28-11

A Great Contemporary Novel

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

Reviewed: 03-12-15

I am so surprised at some of these reviews. This is a real thought piece, not something to be taken at face value. To the reviewer who "hated Jeff in Venice", you were supposed to hate him. Here the Biennale represents the height of contemporary decadence. It is one long string of vacuous conversations, holding together a narrative of sex and drugs that make up the contemporary art scene. It's easy to make fun of contemporary art. Dyer takes it one step further and has written a scathing critique of the entire art world. Anyone picking this up and hoping for Thomas Mann will be disappointed. This is Tom Wolf, unleashed on the new millennium.

The book changes gears rapidly and beautifully when we get to Varanasi. The western comparisons to Venice are there, as we witness a transformation of the main character. He enters onto a zen journey into the "true and universal self". After all, isn't that what Atman means?

This is a great contemporary novel. One worth either listening to, or reading, carefully.

  • Losing You

  • By: Nicci French
  • Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 45

It's Nina Landry's birthday, and she's supposed to have her kids ready to leave in a few hours for a Christmas holiday in Florida with her new boyfriend. But her 15-year-old daughter, Charlie, spent the night at a friend's and hasn't come home yet. Not by 10 a.m., not by 11....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Anne Flosnik enlivens the writings of Nicci French

  • By Lauren on 06-04-12

A Helicopter Parent's Dream

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

Reviewed: 12-14-14

Before I write anything, know that I'm normally a fan of Nicci French. But this book, a fantasy about the classic "helicopter parent" (one who, in spite of the fact she wasn't really paying attention to her kid when she was around, knows everything and is better than all the "so-called experts" (i.e. the police) when it comes to her child), was simply a disappointment.

  • Skink - No Surrender

  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 752
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 676
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 674

Classic Malley - to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard - he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink - he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Clinton Tyree is all time favorite

  • By Norman on 09-27-14

Another in Hiaasen's "Spunky Kid" series

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

Reviewed: 12-14-14

This book, alongside "Chomp" has a kid as the main character. So, it requires the right narration. Unfortunately, Heyborne (who did a great job on "Gone Girl") chose to read this in a breathless, winsome voice. I found myself wishing for James Van Der Beek, who did a terrific job with "Chomp". He took the right Hiaasen tone, self-assured, and just this side of cocky. Heyborne interprets the main character as gape-jawed throughout, making it difficult to stay with.

It's still Hiaasen, and it's still Skink. It just needs a Van Der Beek, or some other such reader, at the helm.

  • Them

  • A Novel
  • By: Nathan McCall
  • Narrated by: Mirron Willis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 43

Barlowe, a single African-American in his 40s, shares a ramshackle house with his 20-something nephew in the old Fourth Ward of downtown Atlanta. When Sean and Sandy, a white married couple from Philadelphia, buy and renovate the house next door in anticipation of a neighborhood "turnaround", everyone tries at first to go about their daily business. But fear and suspicion begin to build as more and more new whites move in and make changes, and once familiar people and places disappear.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A look at Race Issues

  • By Anonymous User on 08-28-09

A Powerful Debut Novel From A Great Journalist

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

Reviewed: 08-10-14

Nathan McCall's "Them" is a very different kind of book for our time, one that is sorely needed. The book contains no easy answers. There are no action scenes, no passages containing graphic sex, and no idealistic platitudes or easy answers. In other words, this is a book we all should take the time to read or listen to.

Everyone in the book has a point of view, locked inside their own private bubble, unable to see outside that bubble. The narrative moves on the subtle plot point of, "Can one get outside of this bubble"? There are indications that we can, but the book offers no definitive answers. Honestly, we can't answer this question right now because we are in the midst of severe racial, class and political stratification.

As the book builds, I found myself more and more hooked in - the indication of a well-crafted narrative. If you feel it starts slow, let it. Stop being rushed and distracted and pay attention. This book brings up issues we all must pay attention to. And it does it in the sweeping way that good writing always does: it lifts us out of our existing world and sets us firmly in the midst of another.

This other world is Atlanta's old Fourth Ward, an historic black community in the midst of rapid gentrification. But this tale is not limited to Atlanta. This is happening in my own city (Cleveland) and is going on throughout the country. The disruption of long-standing communities has occurred all over America, from Brooklyn to Oakland, and no one is talking about this. Except Nathan McCall.

I was surprised to read that this is his first novel. It is so well constructed, the characters are so well seen, and the narrative moves forward so steadily, it feels as if it's crafted in the sure hands of a master. I hope this great journalist creates more fiction for us to immerse ourselves in. I'm awaiting his next book (fiction or not).

The reader is spot on. He did a fabulous job, with the exception of some of the female voices. He chose to make them a bit too "weak", but I imagine it is difficult to switch genders easily…especially in this polarized world we live in. For the most part it is phenomenal, and I encourage all to listen and stick with this great book.

  • Sixth Grave on the Edge

  • Charley Davidson, Book 6
  • By: Darynda Jones
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,499
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,262
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,246

Most girls might think twice before getting engaged to someone like Reyes Farrow - but Charley Davidson is not most girls. She’s a paranormal private eye and grim-reaper-in-training who’s known to be a bit of a hell-raiser, especially after a few shots of caffeine. Her beloved Reyes may be the only begotten son of evil, but he’s dark and sultry and deeply sexy and everything Charley could hope for. Really. But when the FBI file on Reyes’ childhood happens to land into her lap, she can’t help herself: She opens it...and then the real fun begins.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • This book could change EVERYTHING!

  • By RabidReads on 05-21-14

Couldn't make it through the first hour

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

Reviewed: 06-10-14

The writer is so caught up in her own cleverness, the story never gets off the ground. I couldn't listen to it. I don't want to blame the narrator, who is struggling with this weak material.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bad Monkey

  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: Arte Johnson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,609
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,429
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,435

Andrew Yancy - late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office - has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first - this being Hiaasen country - Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed

  • By James on 06-14-13

Carl Is As Good As Ever (Johnson, not so much)

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

Reviewed: 11-01-13

For starters, I'm a Carl Hiaasen fan. I have every book written by Carl as solo author, and love most of them. I loved this story. It follows the classic Hiaasen formula: disgruntled, alienated anti-hero who loves the landscape of Florida; smart, no-nonsense female lead; stupid criminals, one of whom becomes more and more disfigured through the story while they do everything in their limited intellectual powers to harm the environment, and a plot full of fun twists and turns. Everything you want from Carl is here, plus a wonderful cast of secondary characters, all suffering from various states of delusion, incompetence and (at times) outright stupidity. Everything we love about Carl Hiaasen is in this book.

Arte Johnson is not the best narrator (my favorites for Hiaasen are George Newborn, Hiaasen himself (he did a bang-up job on Basket Case), and believe it or not, James Van Der Beek), but he is also not the worst. A number of people savaged his narration - it's ok, not terrible. Carl deserves better, but I still loved the book, so that means the narrator did not get in the way.

I say, pick it up. It's Carl. How can you go wrong?

  • Lucky You

  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 522
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 463
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 463

Grange, Florida, is famous for its miracles - the weeping fiberglass Madonna, the Road-Stain Jesus, the stigmata man. And now it has JoLayne Lucks, unlikely winner of the state lottery. Unfortunately, JoLayne's winning ticket isn't the only one. The other belongs to Bodean Gazzer and his raunchy sidekick, Chub, who believe they're entitled to the whole $28 million jackpot. And they need it quickly, to start their own underground militia before NATO troops invade America. But JoLayne Lucks has her own plans for the Lotto money - an Eden-like forest in Grange must be saved from strip-malling.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not Hiaasen's best work

  • By Jimmy on 06-18-13

Classic Carl Hiassen

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

Reviewed: 06-30-13

Oh, if only we lived in Carl Hiassen's world. Where the bad guys always loose (in the most entertaining of ways), corruption meets it's comeuppance, the environment is always saved and good people manage to find each other and eke out an existence in this stupid, silly world we live in.

This is classic Hiassen, from the corrupt judge to the hysterically stupid white power militia thugs to the small town living on fake christian miracles. If you like Hiassen, you'll love this one. Paced beautifully, peppered with crisp dialog, smart insights and great comic timing. I'm sorry it ended!

  • The Family Business

  • By: Carl Weber, Eric Pete
  • Narrated by: Ezra Knight, Patricia R. Floyd, Michael Early
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,105
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,112

New York Times best-selling author Carl Weber and award-winning novelist Eric Pete team up to deliver the first in a much-anticipated new trilogy. The Family Business features two times the heat, two times the fun, and two times the drama as the members of an unforgettable family (not to mention their lovers and hangers-on) find their way in and out of trouble. As their many fans will attest, Weber and Pete share a talent for penning juicy fiction that their audience can’t get enough of.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The story unfolds

  • By Dream on 03-26-12

I really wanted this to be better.

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

Reviewed: 06-30-13

The subject matter of this book is compelling. The production quality is very high. The voice actors do a mighty job. This is just pure trash, though. There are very, very few books I give up on, and this now joins that very short list.