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Jonathan Berger

  • 9
  • reviews
  • 36
  • helpful votes
  • 9
  • ratings
  • This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us

  • By: Edgar Cantero
  • Narrated by: January LaVoy
  • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

In a dingy office in Fisherman's Wharf, the glass panel in the door bears the names of A. Kimrean and Z. Kimrean. Private Eyes. Behind the door there is only one desk, one chair, one scrawny androgynous P.I. in a tank top and skimpy waistcoat. A.Z., as they are collectively known, are twin brother and sister. He's pure misanthropic logic, she's wild hedonistic creativity. The Kimreans have been locked in mortal battle since they were in utero...which is tricky because they, very literally, share one single body. That's right. One body, two pilots.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Edgar Cantero has really out done himself!

  • By Kindle Customer on 11-21-18

Delightful quirky thriller

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

A rompy send-up of hard-boiled detective fiction that also succeeds admirably as just straight-ahead hard-boiled detective fiction. It commits to its odd premise in a very satisfying way.

I'd also add that January LaVoy is now my favorite narrator on Audible. Well, ok, tied for first place with Gildart Jackson.

  • The Wrong Side of Goodbye

  • Harry Bosch, Book 19
  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Titus Welliver
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,064
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,856
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,786

Harry Bosch is California's newest private investigator. He doesn't advertise, he doesn't have an office, and he's picky about who he works for, but it doesn't matter. His chops from 30 years with the LAPD speak for themselves. Soon one of Southern California's biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire has less than six months to live and a lifetime of regrets. He hires Bosch to find out whether he has an heir.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Connelly Delivers Everytime

  • By Charles Atkinson on 07-19-17

Good story. DREADFUL narrator.

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

Reviewed: 08-19-18

I've been through all the Bosch audiobooks up to this one, but this is it for me. I'm going to switch to reading them on Kindle. Titus Welliver, though a decent enough actor, is a TERRIBLE audiobook narrator. He reads in bursts of about two to three seconds, with pauses in between, and the pauses are completely unrelated to the sense of what he's reading. He doesn't appear to KNOW what he's reading; he's just saying the words, about 12 o 15 of them at a time, and then taking a breath and reading the next 12 to 15. I have to form a mental image of the text and then mentally read it in order to figure out what he's talking about, and if I'm going to do that, I might as well just read the damn book. This is by far the worst narration of any audiobook I've listened to, and I've listened to a a lot of them. I understand the commercial appeal of having the actor that plays Bosch on TV read the books, but it only works if he's any good at reading, and he isn't. At all.

  • The Crossing

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Titus Welliver
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,991
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,838
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,787

Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. The murder rap against his client seems ironclad, but Mickey is sure it's a setup. Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch takes the case. With the secret help of his former LAPD partner, Lucia Soto, he turns the investigation inside the police department. But as Bosch gets closer to discovering the truth, he makes himself a target.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I just loved this book; every last bit of it

  • By Michele B on 11-10-15

Good book. Titus Welliver is really annoying

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

I like the book. It's structured a little differently from a lot of the Bosch novels. I'll say no more, but I like the approach. And there's some technical courtroom stuff that Connelly does his frequent (though not universal) job of getting exactly right.

Gotta say, though, that Titus Welliver is a terrible narrator. I know, he plays Bosch in the TV series, and he's very good in that, but this really points up the difference between an actor and a narrator. He constantly, CONSTANLY gets the emphasis wrong, so that I have to imagine what he said being written down in order to figure out what he meant. I'll give just one example, but there are a whole lot of these. At one point, there's a discussion of a device that was surreptitiously mounted on a car, and the text says that it's "mounted in the wheel well, behind the tire," or at least that's what I assume the text says. But Welliver reads it "mounted in the wheel, well behind the tire." I missed about the next ten seconds of narration because I was reconstructing that in my head to figure out what it meant, because it doesn't make any sense the way he read it. This happens constantly: he just sticks in pauses more or less at random, with no connection to the meaning of what he's reading. I never feel like I can really just relax and listen, because I have to be doing this non-stop mental translation. Please, bring back Len Cariou!

  • Lane

  • A Case For Willows And Lane, Book 1
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 254
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 240
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 237

"So I thought I might take up paragliding. You know, buy one on eBay and just jump off the cliff one morning." Emily Willows is middle-aged, widowed, wealthy, and bored. When she makes those flippant remarks to her son over coffee one Friday, she has no inkling that within a few hours she will be facing the most terrifying situation of her life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IT'S A DEFINITE YES

  • By Ann on 05-30-18

Good, and hopefully the series will improve

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

As with the D.C. Smith books, Grainger is writing both a police procedural and a series of well-observed character studies here. He does his customary magnificent job with the latter; these are wonderful characters. And it's a real pleasure to see (well, ok, hear) what he does with female characters when they're really out front and center of the story. So an excellent entry on the Grainger oeuvre on that level. As a straight-ahead detective story, however, this isn't so great. About 95% of the plot is a long, intricate, massively-detailed chase sequence that really doesn't advance the plot all that much, and we're left hanging about pretty much all the questions that the plot (such as it is) raises. I get the impression that this is a setup for the rest of the series, so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now. But standing on its own, it's a little frustrating.

Also, while Henrietta Meire is very decent and while I totally understand why they needed a female narrator for this, I'm never going to be totally satisfied with any narrator of Grainger material other than Gildart Jackson.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • In This Bright Future

  • DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 5
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 549
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 510
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 507

Two weeks of rest and recuperation - that's what the doctor ordered. Detective Sergeant DC Smith could listen to some music, make some of his own, and maybe even catch up on his reading; he is almost looking forward to it. And then there is a knock on the door. It's only his next-door neighbor, but it is the beginning of a sequence of events that will bring him face to face with some of the darkest episodes and the most dangerous people from his own past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best (so far) of a great series

  • By MARY K WALTER on 07-04-17

Best in the series so far

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

Reviewed: 11-14-17

A really gripping and enjoyable story. As with all of Grainger's books, he sets up the ending perfectly and it's completely satisfying, but more than that, this is the narrative that's been continually set up throughout the rest of the series.

Gildart Jackson is the best. I have to say that in a couple of the other books, he's demonstrated that he's only sort of ok at regional English accents, but I thought he really nailed Irish, of which there's quite a lot in this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Brass Verdict

  • A Novel
  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Peter Giles
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,428
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,409

Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent's killer may be coming for him next.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mickey Haller Is My Favorite Mystery Character

  • By Cathy on 10-22-08

Good book, bad reader

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

Reviewed: 09-06-17

How could the performance have been better?

Full disclosure, I'm a criminal defense attorney myself. I really like Connelly, in general. He gets most of it right. There are a few little details, like for instance he has lawyers and judges referring to criminal cases as "California versus (name of defendant)," and nobody in California actually does that; everyone invariably calls them "People versus (name of defendant)." Little stuff like that I can shrug off. But it just bugs the heck out of me when the narrator doesn't bother finding out how to pronounce technical legal terms. The ones that really grate on me in this book are "venire," which is pronounced like "veneer," but which the narrator pronounces "ven-EYE-ree," and "peremptory," which the narrator pronounces "pre-emptory." This is pretty basic stuff, guys. If you don't know how to pronounce it, and you obviously don't, ask someone. This is along the same lines as my gripe with the guy that read Cormac McCarthy's "All the Pretty Horses," has a lot of Spanish passages in it, and the reader clearly neither spoke Spanish nor bothered to find out how it's pronounced.

In general, the narrator suffers badly by comparison with Dick Hill and Len Cariou, who are by far the best Connely readers. The mispronunciation thing is just icing on the cake. But it's very noticeable frosting.

Any additional comments?

As others have commented, the music is really, really annoying. In some of the earlier Connely books, they used musical intros and outros at the beginnings and ends of chapters, and that was sort of ok. But in this one, it just sort of pops in at random moments for no apparent reason. I could really do with a whole lot less of it. Like none.

  • The Overlook: Harry Bosch Series, Book 13

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Len Cariou
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,737
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,732

A body has been found on the overlook near Mulholland Drive. The victim, identified as Dr. Stanley Kent, has two bullet holes in the back of his head, from what looks like an execution-style shooting. LAPD detective Harry Bosch is called out to investigate. As soon as Bosch begins retracing Dr. Kent's steps, contradictions emerge. While Kent doesn't seem to have had ties to organized crime, he did have access to dangerous radioactive substances from just about every hospital in Los Angeles County.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Supremely annoying

  • By karen on 01-10-16

Much better than some of the other reviews suggest

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

Reviewed: 07-21-17

Any additional comments?

I thought this was a decent enough Bosch novel. It's not one of the real stand-outs, mostly because I thought Connelly was perhaps a bit too impressed with his own cleverness. The twistiness of the plot is maybe a bit less credible than in other books in the series. But it's not the worst either, by a long shot. The plot is satisfying and it works, and there are plenty of the "oh, THAT'S why that detail was in the story" moments that we expect from twistily-plotted detective fiction.The criticism that the ending leaves plot points unresolved is really unwarranted. Certain aspects of the relationships between characters (I won't be more specific, because spoilers) are left unresolved, but that's pretty typical of the series. It's along the lines of a cliffhanger ending to a season of a TV show; the idea is to make you want to read the next book to find out what happened. I didn't find that problematic at all.I agree that the saxophone music at the beginnings and ends of chapters is dumb. I hope they cut that out in the remainder of the series. I like Len Cariou's performance a lot, though oddly he seems to have lost sight of the fact that Jerry Edgar is supposed to be black.

  • The Lake House

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 21 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,369
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,224
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,203

Living on her family’s gorgeous lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, clever, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented fourteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure ...One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest son, Theo, has vanished without a trace.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • BRAVO!!!!!!!

  • By Maria on 10-30-15

Fun and satisfying, but a little bit overly meta

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

Reviewed: 12-30-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

First off, great performance by narrator Caroline Lee. I'm going to look for some more of her work.

The book itself is good, but the pacing is a little off. I'm deeply impressed by the author's ability to keep that quantity of plot threads in the air, and she did, in fact, resolve all of them in a well thought-out and satisfying way. No loose ends, and all of the little clues she hung out there with great big "this is a clue" signs hanging off of them did in fact get used to support the mostly fairly surprising resolution, which is just how mystery novels are supposed to work. So good job there. But what put me off a little is that the vast majority of the dangling plot threads all got resolved in a huge hurry in one chapter toward the end. It was kind of like the author realized that she'd written as many words as the publisher was likely to publish, and figured she'd better tie up all the loose ends right now. And she did, and they all tied up very slickly and cleanly, but it was really rushed.

One of the main characters is a writer of English mystery novels, I suspect loosely based on P.D. James, and a lot of the plot centers around the interaction between her writing and her real life. But of course her real life is itself a story in a mystery novel. Whoa, my mind is like totally blown right now. I think the problem with this structure is that the book becomes more about the author's cleverness than about an involving story. I spent a lot of time being impressed at what the author was pulling off, but that sort of kept me at a distance from the story.

Still, I enjoyed it, and it kept me guessing (mostly; there was one plot thread whose resolution anybody who's read any significant number of English mysteries will see coming a mile off), and being impressed by the author's cleverness isn't the worst thing in the world. So I recommend it. But it's not my all-time favorite.

31 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Clean Burn

  • By: Karen Sandler
  • Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Wry, smart, tough private eye Janelle Watkins swore off investigating child abductions four years ago, when she left the San Francisco PD. But when two clients beg for her help, one to find her missing 11-year-old son and the other to find a toddler who's vanished, Janelle can't say no. Even though it means returning to the scene of her nightmares - her hometown of Greenville.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Decent enough story, but the narration was pretty

  • By Jonathan Berger on 10-14-15

Decent enough story, but the narration was pretty

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

Reviewed: 10-14-15

How could the performance have been better?

A decent enough thriller with some interesting characters. However, geez, wouldn't you think that if someone is going to narrate a book that has passages in a foreign language, and they had absolutely no idea whatsoever of how that language is pronounced, they might, like, ask someone, or look it up, or -- hey, here's a concept -- turn down the gig so someone else can do it? This book contains a number of passages in Spanish, and the narrator is completely clueless. The first hint was when she pronounced the name "Martinez" with the accent on the first syllable. Ok, that was pretty bad. But then it got around to some actual Spanish dialogue, and it's really clear that what Ms. Lefkow speaks is Italian. For example, she pronounces "cinco" as "chinco," which would be sort of right in Italian, except for that not being an Italian word. But this is Spanish. It goes on like that. She just doesn't know or care, and it's really off-putting.