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William R. Toddmancillas

Chico, California United States
  • 312
  • reviews
  • 251
  • helpful votes
  • 581
  • ratings
  • Some Danger Involved

  • Barker & Llewelyn Series, Book 1
  • By: Will Thomas
  • Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,694
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,498
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,488

An atmospheric debut novel set on the gritty streets of Victorian London, Some Danger Involved introduces detective Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, as they work to solve the gruesome murder of a young scholar in London's Jewish ghetto. When the eccentric and enigmatic Barker takes the case, he must hire an assistant, and out of all who answer an ad for a position with "some danger involved", he chooses downtrodden Llewelyn, a gutsy young man with a murky past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Clever writing!

  • By Kathi on 01-13-17

Predictable Plot But Enjoyable.

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

Narration: Not all the accents are spot on but narration is nonetheless interesting.

Story: Predictable but no less fun for it.

  • A Second Chance

  • The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 3
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,662
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,411
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,410

St Mary’s is back and nothing is going right for Max. Once again, it’s just one damned thing after another. The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. Discover how a simple fact-finding assignment to witness the ancient and murderous cheese-rolling ceremony in Gloucester can result in CBC - concussion by cheese.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This series is just gettihg better and better.

  • By MJ on 09-06-14

Classic Taylor St. Mary's Chronicle

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

Narration: Clear, lively, different characters come alive.

Story: Several episodes in this edition. All are original, compelling. Darn good series.

  • A Symphony of Echoes

  • The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 2
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,403
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,092
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,081

Book Two in the madcap time-travel series based at the St Mary's Institute of Historical Research that seems to be everyone's cup of tea. In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary's series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas A Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyed This Second St Mary's Time Travel Book

  • By Sires on 04-27-14

St Mary's Carries On

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

Narration: So much to delight in this narration----lovely, varied British timbre, individualistic timbres, paces, inflections, paces. Each character's enunciation clear. Perfect synchronizes of characters' complementary speech styles.

Story:

Title: Has nothing to do with story. An alternative might be: "St. Mary's Under Attack."

Actually, the first section is a novella unrelated to bulk of story. Would recommend publishing it separately as a novella (1.5).

Cheeky ripostes classic British wit. Sentences mostly short so action is fast and compels attention. Does not in the least drag. If listener likes sophisticated British speech they will be enchanted with narration. In fact, this and other of author's books serve as exemplars of how brief sentences can build one upon the other to create humor and excitement.

"Fuck": It is interesting how major character uses this work inoffensively and appropriately. Really adds to character development.

Story: Bad guys steal from Good guys; Good guys get back what is stolen, humiliate and exact proportionate revenge.

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 202,950
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 189,508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189,102

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

Existing title good as any

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

Narration: Clear, enthusiastic, engaging, appropriate for content in that timbre evokes youth and computer game playing more apropos of youth.

Story: Clever plot. Probably more of interest to game enthusiasts than others.

Conclusion: None---story not evocative or engaging for me, but then I am not a game enthusiast. Different strokes...

  • Toxic Rage: A Tale of Murder in Tucson

  • By: A.J. Flick
  • Narrated by: John N Gully
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

Brian Stidham fell in love with Tucson, Arizona, the minute he came to town. A young and talented eye surgeon, he accepted a job with an established eye surgeon to take over his pediatric patients. Brad Schwartz, the doctor who hired Brian, was ambitious and possessed surgical skills few others had. But he was a troubled man. Within a year of Stidham’s arrival in Tucson, the medical relationship would be severed by Schwartz’s personal troubles.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb true crime.

  • By William R. Toddmancillas on 12-03-18

Superb true crime.

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

Reviewed: 12-03-18

Narration: Well done....each character beautifully rendered by believable variations in timbre, cadence, pace, inflection, accent--the works......Petpeeve: rote use of "he saids" and "she saids" is unnecessary, annoying, distracting, and reflects poorly on the producer's and voice coach's judgments. Not appropriate for instance to attach these conventions to dialogues between men and women older and younger characters, characters having predictably different accents associated with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Story: Prococative, informative, enjoyable exposition of murder trial involving prestigious physicians..character development excellent, procedural and judicial proceduress profitably explained.

Highly recommended.

  • Garden of Beasts

  • A Novel of Berlin 1936
  • By: Jeffery Deaver
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,592
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,474
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,463

Paul Schumann, a German American living in New York City in 1936, is a mobster hitman known as much for his brilliant tactics as for taking only "righteous" assignments. But then Paul gets caught. And the arresting officer offers him a stark choice: prison or covert government service. Paul is asked to pose as a journalist covering the summer Olympics taking place in Berlin. He's to hunt down and kill Reinhard Ernst - the ruthless architect of Hitler's clandestine rearmament.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favs

  • By nicholas on 11-02-17

Predictable but still fun

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

Reviewed: 12-02-18

Narration: Slightly sonorous, measured, appropriately varied inflection helps set mood. Well done.

Story: Antihero assassin kills the right people and therefore recruited to infiltrate Hitlerian society to undo nefarious, Genocidal plot. Those evil doers are, of course, thwarted by our supper dooper do-gooder, patriotic, ever on alert and uncannily talented hero.


Conclusion: 'Ol fashioned likeable bad boy fights victoriously against all odds for country, woman,innocents.

  • Brain Storms

  • The Race to Unlock the Mysteries of Parkinson's Disease
  • By: Jon Palfreman
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 337
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 307
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301

Seven million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson's, and doctors, researchers, and patients continue to hunt for a cure. In Brain Storms, the award-winning journalist Jon Palfreman tells their story, a story that became his own when he was diagnosed with the debilitating illness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Explains the science and its significance

  • By Neuron on 09-27-15

Understanding Brain Dysfunctions

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

Narration: Clear. Cadence somewhat monotonous but nonetheless gentle and indicates sincere appreciation for material.

Content: An informative, exhaustive explanation of Parkinson's and related diseases and treatments.

The descriptions and caveats of scientific research methodologies are truly outstanding. If one does not know much about scientific research procedures and paradigms then they will find this book informative, possibly even transformative.

The stories of those heroically coping and researching Parkinson's disease are truly inspirational (e.g., Michael J. Fox).

Highly recommended. Somewhat tedious but perhaps necessarily so. I am tempted to recommend some editing but am uncertain whether that would detract from this excellent treatment.

  • A 20-minute Summary of Atul Gawande's Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

  • By: Instaread Summaries
  • Narrated by: Jason P. Hilton
  • Length: 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 54

Gawande grew up in Ohio. His parents were immigrants from India and both were doctors. His grandparents stayed in India, and there were few older people in his neighborhood, so he had little experience with aging or death until he met his wife's grandmother, Alice Hobson. Hobson was 77 and living on her own in Virginia. She was a spirited widow who fixed her own plumbing and volunteered with Meals on Wheels.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Helpful

  • By j c on 11-21-15

An Adequate Summary

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

Narration: Pronunciation clear enough but cadence is choppy and awkward.

Content: One can follow the drift of the book's structure and principal points, but transitions from one major idea to another seem clumsy (as though narrator is not quite sure of his understanding).

Overall, this is an adequate, informative summary, but I recommend listening to the unabridged edition. I think listeners would find that more satisfactory.

Moreover, the author is so gifted that I think attending to the nuances of his reportage would be more compelling than this condensed edition.

  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen - Book Summary

  • By: GetFlashNotes Book Summaries
  • Narrated by: Dean Bokhari
  • Length: 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 40

Since it was first published almost 15 years ago, David Allen's Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era and the ultimate book on personal organization. "GTD" is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Mixed

  • By Alan on 10-05-16

Do it! This is How

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

Narration: Clear. Not particularly inspirational but good enough.

Content: Solid overview of book's structure and recommendations. Make sense. Most of us have heard these guidelines before, but occasional review serves as useful reminders and prompts.

  • Summary of Jason Fung's The Obesity Code: Key Takeaways & Analysis

  • By: Sumoreads
  • Narrated by: Michael London Anglado
  • Length: 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68

Extensive research makes The Obesity Code a time machine to back when Western countries became fat nations, an extensive exploration of the hormonal human body, an exposé of the pervasive myths that keep people fat, and a clear path to systematic weight loss.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent reminder

  • By Roland on 12-21-17

Great weight loss explanations, recommendations

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

Narration: crystal clear, enthusiastic, engaging.

Approach: Excellent summary of key points. If you purchase this summary you will not then have to purchase the unabridged edition.