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Robert Jason

Lyndhurst, NJ, United States
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 157
  • ratings
  • The Birth of Loud

  • Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll
  • By: Ian S. Port
  • Narrated by: Pete Simonelli
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128

A riveting saga in the history of rock ‘n’ roll: the decades-long rivalry between the two men who innovated the electric guitar’s amplified sound - Leo Fender and Les Paul - and their intense competition to convince rock stars like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton to play the instruments they built. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thoughtful Music History

  • By E. Protzman on 01-23-19

Great story, bland narrator

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

Reviewed: 07-10-19

The stories of Les Paul and Leo Fender are fascinating for guitar enthusiasts, like me. Their rivalry and the innovations it spawned are legendary. And while the book itself is quite good, a little dry here and there, I really didn't care for the narrator at all. His voice is very high school math teachery. It's odd because it kind of fit the material, but in the end, I just didn't enjoy listening to him read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • We Contain Multitudes

  • By: Sarah Henstra
  • Narrated by: Matthew Gouveia, Tony Kim
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets I'll Give You the Sun in an exhilarating and emotional novel about the growing relationship between two teen boys, told through the letters they write to one another. Jonathan Hopkirk and Adam "Kurl" Kurlansky are partnered in English class, writing letters to one another in a weekly pen-pal assignment. With each letter, the two begin to develop a friendship that eventually grows into love. But with homophobia, bullying, and devastating family secrets, Jonathan and Kurl struggle....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A lot to like here, but...

  • By Robert Jason on 05-15-19

A lot to like here, but...

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

Reviewed: 05-15-19

The format of the story, ie: letters, really dilutes the story overall. Every letter, or most, becomes more about moving the plot forward than being a genuine heart-felt moment of revelation or discovery.

The writing is at times very beautiful, and the characters are wonderfully fleshed out (thanks to excellent narrators), but they never really jumped off the page for me and I think that is because of the way Henstra chose to tell this particular story. There have been a great many letters saved from history between lovers that tell interesting stories. I suspect those letters fascinate us not because their writers told us the plot, but showed us something about humanity, emotions like love and desire. Even for a YA title, the letters never get above luke-warm.

There is something that works here, particularly Kurl's journey of discovery, but there's also a lot missing here.

And, one of my biggest complaints in general about titles like this is wondering why women(and straight men) are telling the stories of gay men and boys. Perhaps that is the ingredient missing. I'm not sure. Nothing against Sarah Henstra, but I wish more gay writers would tell their stories. Authenticity matters. So does representation.

Still, overall, WCM has it's moments even if those moments never really shine as bright or reach their full potential due to the constraints of the format.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Little Life

  • A Novel
  • By: Hanya Yanagihara
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 32 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,399
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,651
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,657

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I had to call in SAD to work

  • By Angela on 10-17-15

Nothing can prepare you for 'A Little Life'

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

Reviewed: 05-01-19

I was warned that 'A Little Life' was a difficult, heart-breaking read, but there really are no words to adequately express just how difficult—and beautiful—a read it is. The prose is so lyrical, and the characters vividly come to life as the tragic story unfolds. By the time it reaches its inevitable conclusion, the reader feels as though they are the fifth friend in the story, not merely a spectator but a part of their world. What Yanagihara does so brilliantly here is to create a believable world with flawed, human characters dealing with life in their own ways. I found myself shouting at characters as they made decisions that I knew would not turn out well, or when they had moments of doubts.

Make no mistake, this is a very, very hard read. And the heartbreak is the reward. To say I sobbed, and I mean SOBBED, through the last 3 hours or so of 'A Little Life' is accurate. You get to a point where you just want it to end, and at the same time don't, because you just don't know how much more you can take.

At the end of the day, I do think the pain is worth the journey. 'A Little Life' is far and away the most thought-provoking, moving experience I have had in some time—perhaps, ever. It will destroy you, but also give you a new worldview.

Oliver Wyman's narration is pitch-perfect. Absolutely flawlessly rendered.

It should be required reading, but know going in that it will break your heart and leave you changed in the most beautiful of human ways. 'A Little Life' is fiction at its very best.

  • Supermarket

  • By: Bobby Hall
  • Narrated by: Bobby Hall
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,920
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,708
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,714

Flynn is stuck - depressed, recently dumped, and living at his mom’s house. The supermarket was supposed to change all that. An ordinary job and a steady check. Work isn’t work when it’s saving you from yourself. But things aren’t quite as they seem in these aisles. Arriving to work one day to a crime scene, Flynn’s world collapses as the secrets of his tortured mind are revealed. And Flynn doesn’t want to go looking for answers at the supermarket. Because something there seems to be looking for him.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a great performance!

  • By monique on 04-05-19

Mediocore debut

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

Reviewed: 04-19-19

I'm not at all familiar with who Bobby Hall is outside of SUPERMARKET, but, as a fiction writer, his debut falls quite a bit short of the mark.

It's an interesting premise but never materializes into anything original or surprising. It's a hodge-podge of a dozen other better told stories (not giving any spoilers, but you'll recognize them right away). That said, it's VERY predictable from page one.

About midway through, the story falls apart. Characters are not overly likable or memorable, and in the last half often act out of character.

It's a solid first draft, but far from a polished, finished manuscript. Hall complains that Tolkien spent 80 pages to say something that really only took 2. Hall himself is very guilty of this crime himself in the last half. It's overwritten, boring, and much of it is unnecessary. I kept wanting to just skip ahead.

SUPERMARKET isn't very memorable, but it's a worthy effort.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Good Idea

  • By: Cristina Moracho
  • Narrated by: Alex McKenna
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

Finley and Betty's close friendship survived Fin's ninth-grade move from their coastal Maine town to Manhattan. Calls, letters, and summer visits continued to bind them together, and in the fall of their senior year, they both applied to NYU, planning to reunite for good as roommates. Then Betty disappears.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An absolute must listen/read!

  • By Melissa F on 03-05-17

More about smoking than murder

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

Reviewed: 04-05-19

For starters, this is a YA novel? The characters are 18-ish, smoking every five minutes, screwing every five minutes, drinking and using drugs. I’m not oblivious to the fact that kids do these things, but it reads false here and forced. Seriously, every other page someone is lighting up and smoking. The MC should be in rehab.

The narrator is almost as annoying as the MC. I couldn’t stand either of them. Her voices were laughably bad at time, offensive at others. It didn’t help sell a story that was already bad to begin with.

The writing is mediocre at best. Again, she vividly describes opening a pack of cigarettes and chasing down pills, but everything else was boringly described and uninspired—to put it mildly.

This was one of the worst murder mystery thrillers I have ever read. I literally didn’t care who did it and hoped they killed the MC to end it all.

Awful awful awful read. And I don't say that lightly.

  • Who Killed the Fonz?

  • By: James Boice
  • Narrated by: Michael Crouch
  • Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Richard Cunningham is having a really bad Sunday. He gets a phone call that his best friend from childhood back in Milwaukee, back when everyone called him Richie, is dead. Arthur Fonzarelli. The Fonz. Lost control of his motorcycle while crossing a bridge and plummeted into the water below. Two days of searching and still no body, no trace of his trademark leather jacket. Richard flies back for the memorial service, only to discover Fonzie’s death was no accident - it was murder.  

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing happy here

  • By Brion M. on 03-30-19

Narrator sells "Happy Days" mash-up!

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

Reviewed: 02-27-19

"Who Killed the Fonz?" is an often clever mash-up of the classic TV show and a noir murder mystery. It's fun to see the show's beloved characters in slightly different incarnations. The mystery takes quite a while to get going and is resolved a little too quickly.

Still, despite its flaws, WKTF? is a lot of fun, and Michael Crouch delivers yet another perfect performance. He's a talented narrator who is sometimes better than his material.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Exorcist

  • 40th Anniversary Edition
  • By: William Peter Blatty
  • Narrated by: William Peter Blatty, Eliana Shaskan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,965
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,696
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,688

Four decades after it first shook the nation, then the world, William Peter Blatty's thrilling masterwork of faith and demonic possession returns in an even more powerful form. Raw and profane, shocking and blood-chilling, it remains a modern parable of good and evil and perhaps the most terrifying novel ever written.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrifying...

  • By Kenneth on 10-01-12

Goes beyond the classic film

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

Reviewed: 02-15-19

There are several striking things about the novel. It is incredibly well-written. Blatty is a superb writer with a command of language. He imbibes is characters with life and their voices are clear and distinct. He also builds suspense well. Next, there is more to the story than is covered in the iconic film. The novel goes deeper into the possession itself, Regan, the desacrations, Carras and ever Lancaster Merrin.

Worth a listen/read even if you've seen every version of the film. Blatty is also an excellent narrator.

  • Carrie

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Sissy Spacek
  • Length: 7 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,622
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,410
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,411

An unpopular teenage girl, whose mother is a religious fanatic, is tormented and teased to the breaking point by her more popular schoolmates. She uses her hidden telekinetic powers to inflict a terrifying revenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An absolute MASTERPIECE!!!!

  • By Matthew S. Hill on 02-09-16

Sissy Spacek + Carrie = Perfection!

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

Reviewed: 02-11-19

King's first novel is still one of his best. Perhaps it's the rawness and simplicity of Carrie's story that make the novel so timeless, or how in an age of cyberbullying Carrie is just as relevant as a cautionary tale as it was almost 50-years ago.

You may think you know her, Carrietta White. But if you're only acquainted with her through films, you'll be meeting her for the first time. She's unlike anyone else you've ever met before or likely will meet again. Horrific, heartfelt and heartbreaking... she is Carrie.

  • When Elephants Fly

  • By: Nancy Richardson Fischer
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Davies
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

T. Lily Decker is a high school senior with a 12-year plan: avoid stress, drugs, alcohol, and boyfriends, and take regular psych quizzes administered by her best friend, Sawyer, to make sure she’s not developing schizophrenia. Genetics are not on Lily’s side. When she was seven, her mother, who had paranoid schizophrenia, tried to kill her. And a secret has revealed that Lily’s odds are even worse than she thought. Still, there’s a chance to avoid triggering the mental health condition, if Lily can live a careful life from ages 18 to 30, when schizophrenia most commonly manifests.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exceptional read!

  • By Robert Jason on 01-08-19

Exceptional read!

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

Reviewed: 01-08-19

A perfect balance of animal issues and mental illness. The characters are drawn well and you’ll find yourself rooting for Swifty and Tiger until the very end. Touching, moving and intelligently written. Will stay with you. Narration is mostly spot on.

  • The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

  • A Novel
  • By: Robert Dugoni
  • Narrated by: Robert Dugoni
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,115
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,516
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,505

Sam Hill always saw the world through different eyes. Born with red pupils, he was called “Devil Boy” or Sam “Hell” by his classmates; “God’s will” is what his mother called his ocular albinism. Her words were of little comfort, but Sam persevered. Sam believed it was God who sent Ernie Cantwell, the only African American kid in his class, to be the friend he so desperately needed. And that it was God’s idea for Mickie Kennedy to storm into Our Lady of Mercy like a tornado, uprooting every rule Sam had been taught about boys and girls. Forty years later, Sam, a small-town eye doctor, is no longer certain anything was by design.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Warning about the ending

  • By Roger M. Young on 05-27-18

Extremely moving

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

Reviewed: 09-15-18

A wonderful novel that has a John Irving feel to it. The characters are unforgettable and will live on in your head long after you finish. I suspect Sam Hill and Owen Meany would have been beat friends.

I’m normally not a huge fan of authors reading their own novels, but Dugoni did an excellent job. Or should I say, extraordinary?