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R. Maher

Washington State
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 67
  • ratings
  • The Man from the Train

  • The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery
  • By: Bill James, Rachel McCarthy James
  • Narrated by: John Bedford Lloyd
  • Length: 17 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 456
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 425

Using unprecedented, dramatically compelling sleuthing techniques, legendary statistician and baseball writer Bill James applies his analytical acumen to crack an unsolved century-old mystery surrounding one of the deadliest serial killers in American history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By Amy L Bruce on 10-04-17

Enjoy being mansplained to? You'll love this book!

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

Reviewed: 05-01-18

What disappointed you about The Man from the Train?

This struck me as a book that was rushed out to take advantage of the current true-crime boom without anyone making an effort at organization, brevity or coherence. It could have been half as long and twice as interesting had it been written by almost any of the other journalists working in the genre today.

The author's asides and fourth-wall breaking were tedious and gave the book an unprofessional "ranty" tone.

The author puts forward lots of ideas without much evidence and expects the reader/listener to agree. He even adds asides to tell you you must agree: "Right?! right?!" he whines after each long-winded explanation of his suspect's MO.

Has The Man from the Train turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. I love true crime. This book was just uniquely bad.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Triple Crown

  • By: Felix Francis
  • Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 156
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 156

Jeff Hinkley is back for a third outing. Still a British Horseracing Authority investigator, Jeff has been seconded to the US Federal Anti-Corruption in Sports Agency (FACSA), where he has been asked to find a mole in their organization, an informant who is passing on confidential information to those under suspicion in American racing. Jeff attends the Kentucky Derby with the FACSA team, accompanying the Special Agents on a raid to a horse trainer's barn at Churchill Downs. Things do not go well.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Fun Read

  • By Jean on 11-17-16

Tin ear for American syntax

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

Reviewed: 03-08-17

Felix Francis has inherited his Dad's penchant for not quite making his American characters speak like Americans. This book is rife with syntactical tics and the occasional 'car park' for parking lot - nothing new for a Francis novel. Infortunately Martin Jarvis (normally my favorite audiobook narrator) also lacks a credible American accent of any kind - let alone the Mexican, New York and Puerto Rican accents the story requires.

On the other hand, I've never met a horse racing mystery I didn't like, and the actual story didn't disappoint me at all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Horse Heaven

  • By: Jane Smiley
  • Narrated by: Shelley Thompson
  • Length: 25 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 168
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 102

Many astonishing and affecting things happen at the racetrack, and the mysterious universe of horse racing, passionate, cold-hearted, pure, corrupt, is woven into a marvelous tapestry of joy and love, chicanery, folly, greed, and reckless courage. Spanning two years on the circuit, from Kentucky and California to New York and Paris, Horse Heaven, puts us among trainers, nervey jockeys, billionaire breeders, and restless track wives.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I wish I could review book and narrator separately

  • By Julie Delio on 03-21-07

Love the book; narration pretty good...

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

Reviewed: 09-22-16

Reader had some odd (Canadian?) pronunciation quirks that took me out of the story. She did Ok on most of the real-life racing names, but not all, and it was jarring every time.

It's one of my all-time favorite books, though, so she's forgiven.

  • Forbidden Fruit

  • Love Stories from the Underground Railroad
  • By: Betty DeRamus
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Uplifting and occasionally heartbreaking stories of love from the time of slavery in the American south.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Great topic, disappointing execution

  • By R. Maher on 11-22-11

Great topic, disappointing execution

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

Reviewed: 11-22-11

I was really looking forward to listening to this book after having listened to several excellent Audible-recommended nonfiction books in a row (this one also came recommended).

Sadly, I found the writing both didactic and oddly padded with extraneous details. It sounded—dare I say it—like a school term paper peppered with editorialized adjectives until it was long enough to be called a book.

I found most of the readers slow and emotionless. The readers trade off chapters, and there was only one in the group that I found at all engaging.

You'd think with such a fascinating topic to work with, the author or the readers would have been able to breathe more life into these stories.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful