LISTENER

M Dougherty

Wilmington, DE
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 31
  • helpful votes
  • 15
  • ratings
  • Somebody I Used to Know

  • By: David Bell
  • Narrated by: Andy Paris
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,150
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,887
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,883

When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire 20 years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off. The next morning the police arrive at Nick's house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She's been found dead.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bit of a soap opera, but I used to watch those.

  • By Richard Delman on 11-13-17

Hard to get through.

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

Reviewed: 02-12-19

Not tooooo bad (I try to reserve my one star reviews for real pieces of trash), but boring, especially for what I thought was supposed to be a thriller. The plot somehow manages to be wildly implausible but also predictable. The characters made inexplicably dumb decisions in service of the plot twists. Given the limits of the material, the narrator does a good job.

In case you were worried, the dog doesn't die. He was the only character I liked.

  • Deep

  • Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves
  • By: James Nestor
  • Narrated by: James Nestor
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,036
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 960
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956

Deep is a voyage from the ocean's surface to its darkest trenches, the most mysterious places on Earth. Fascinated by the sport of freediving - in which competitors descend to great depths on a single breath - James Nestor embeds with a gang of oceangoing extreme athletes and renegade researchers. He finds whales that communicate with other whales hundreds of miles away, sharks that swim in unerringly straight lines through pitch-black waters, and other strange phenomena.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More than I expected!

  • By P. Wilson on 11-13-17

I didn't expect this book to be so amazing!

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

Reviewed: 07-05-18

I picked up this book when it was on sale and didn't have any expectations going in, so I was genuinely surprised when it gripped me from the very first few minutes. It covers a lot of fascinating territory that is catnip to me: extreme sports and people who push their bodies to their limits (and sometimes die in the process); diving disasters generally; the amazing science of what happens to your body under extreme pressures; brilliant or crackpot scientists (hard to tell) who believe they're on the cusp of translating dolphin speech; and the author's own journey from skeptic to free diving with sperm whales off the coast of Sri Lanka. My only complaint is that I wish it were longer--I want to spend more time in this world of people who free dive with sharks and whales.

I knocked one star off for the performance only because when the author/narrator does people's voices, they seem a little stoned. I didn't realize until writing this review that the author/narrator are the same person, though--if his narration is true-to-life and the people in his book *were* stoned when they talked to him (or at least they sounded that way), then I apologize.

And, edited to say, unless the author is also a performer (thinking of Tina Fey or Amy Poehler), I tend to find the narration in author-narrated books disappointing. Nestor does an EXCELLENT job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Area X

  • The Southern Reach Trilogy - Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance
  • By: Jeff VanderMeer
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick, Bronson Pinchot, Xe Sands
  • Length: 26 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3,379
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,161
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3,175

Dive into the mysteries of Area X, a remote and lush terrain that has inexplicably sequestered itself from civilization. Twelve expeditions have gone in, and not a single member of any of them has remained unchanged by the experience - for better or worse.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Almost Great

  • By clifford on 12-26-15

Better read than listened to.

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

Reviewed: 10-12-17

I slogged through listening to the first two books, but couldn't make myself even start the third. I found them hard to follow and boring. These books don't lend themselves to the audio format in the first place, but also, the first narrator especially was a bad fit. (She also narrated the Hunger Games--I didn't enjoy that performance either, but if you did, you might disagree with this review.)

BUT THEN: I checked the first book (Annihilation) out of the library this week. It's short--I made it through almost half of it in a few hours, and by that point I had been sucked in and couldn't put it down, even though it was well past midnight. It's creepy and unsettling and surprising in the best way, and I can't stop thinking about it. To say too much risks spoiling it, so I'll leave there.
In short: the audio book is not worth your time, but the written book is awesome.

  • My Best Friend's Exorcism

  • A Novel
  • By: Grady Hendrix
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,132
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,073
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,072

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since the fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act...different. She's moody. She's irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she's nearby. Abby's investigation leads her to some startling discoveries - and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • In My Top 5 Audiobooks

  • By M Dougherty on 11-18-16

In My Top 5 Audiobooks

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

Reviewed: 11-18-16

I picked this up as a Daily Deal and didn't have any expectations going in, but I loved it. I listened to it in two days--as close to non-stop as sleep and work permitted.

I'm not sure why, exactly--maybe because the friendship between Abbie and Gretchen felt so authentic? Hendrix writes fully-fleshed characters with real flaws and zits, gives you enough time to get to know them and like them, and then begins the crazy stuff, a lot of which is gross, and some of which is legitimately scary.

One thing that I found hard to take, though--there is an incident of animal cruelty. You'll see it coming. If that's something that bothers you as much as it does me, you can easily avoid it by fast-forwarding for a few minutes.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Sleep Tight

  • By: Anne Frasier
  • Narrated by: Hollis McCarthy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,104
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,011
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,006

FBI agent Mary Cantrell has been called to Minneapolis to hunt down a killer. It's shaking her to the core, and reviving dreadful memories. Years ago, her best friend was murdered. Now the man convicted of the crime, Gavin Hitchcock, is free, and Mary's own sister Gillian, a local cop, has befriended him. As each clue leads them closer to Hitchcock, Mary and Gillian set themselves up as the perfect target - and the perfect trap.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great except for the Narration

  • By Keith on 10-19-16

Pretty good!

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

Reviewed: 11-14-16

Sleep Tight is a competently written thriller. A number of other reviews complain about the narrator's voice. I disagree, I thought she was quite good. Her diction reminds me a little of Hugo Weaving's character in the Matrix--some words are drawn out--but it's not distracting or unpleasant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Faithful

  • By: S. M. Freedman
  • Narrated by: Tanya Eby
  • Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,320
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,187
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,193

FBI agent Josh Metcalf believes he has uncovered a decades-long conspiracy involving missing children. His obsession has led him to compile hundreds of cases. All involve children rumored to have psychic abilities - and all have no witnesses, no leads, and no resolution.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Bad on a cracker

  • By Anne on 12-08-16

This book hit all my sweet spots.

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

Reviewed: 06-22-16

ESP, conspiracy, action, a little romance, plus a narrator who is perfectly matched to the book. The plot goes in so many different directions at once, but Freedman manages to tie it all together in the end.
Docking one star, however, because nearly every woman is described in terms of her physical attractiveness (including one minor character who seems to be introduced only for us to laugh at). This is not the case for the men, and the objectification (even though by a female author) bothered me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Duplicity

  • By: N.K. Traver
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 712
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 645
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 643

In private, 17-year-old Brandon hacks bank accounts just for the thrill of it. In public, he looks like any other tattooed bad boy with a fast car and devil-may-care attitude. He should know: he's worked hard to maintain that façade. With inattentive parents who move constantly from city to city, he's learned not to get tangled up in things like friends and relationships. So he'll just keep living like a machine, all gears and wires.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cyberpunk at its best

  • By Sailfish on 02-20-16

I am clearly not the target audience

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

Reviewed: 04-11-16

I was going to say that only teenage boys should read this book, but on reflection, I don't think they should, either--it's too rife with casual sexism and homophobia to make appropriate reading for anyone. And the plot makes no sense, and the characters are unrealistic (every woman is a cardboard cut-out) and/or unlikable. The narrator gamely does his best to make an unreadable book listenable, but unfortunately it's not enough to salvage this awful book.
Highly DON'T RECOMMEND -- save your credits.

  • Just One Damned Thing After Another

  • The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 1
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,697
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,174
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,168

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet. Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Action Adventure Time Travel Novel w/ Good Reader

  • By Sires on 04-13-14

Kind of a big jumble, but entertaining.

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

Reviewed: 10-22-14

Max, the main character, is a lot of fun. The concept is great, and I liked the narration. Basically, it's a good, fun book.

But . . . it sounded very much like a first draft to me. It's more of a series of vignettes strung together by a not-very-interesting thriller-type story. Just enough details about the "bad guys" were thrown in that I thought there would be something there, but it was kept so cryptic that I couldn't bring myself to care, and I was really bored for the last two hours. It may have been a deliberate choice on the part of the author to withhold details for later books in the series, but if so, I think it was the wrong choice.

Also, for a novel about time-travelling historians, there is next to nothing about historic events. It would have been lovely to have a description of, say, the signing of the Magna Carta, or the death of King Arthur, or an explanation for Richard III and the two little princes. . . something. Anything. Instead, there are about 50 scenes describing the historians & their crews drinking and getting drunk and then drinking some more - it bothers me not at all on a moral level, but it's not very interesting to read about.

Plus, plot holes.

  • NOS4A2

  • A Novel
  • By: Joe Hill
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
  • Length: 19 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11,274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,511
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10,502

Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping performance by Kate Mulgrew....

  • By Leslie on 05-06-13

Terrific book, made even better by narration.

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

Reviewed: 10-07-13

If you could sum up NOS4A2 in three words, what would they be?

Terrifying "page-turner."

What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

Kate Mulgrew knows how to tell a story. Narration can make or break a story. I listened to Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box a while ago and didn't like it much. The narrator did a competent job of reading the story, but he didn't *act* it, and the characters never came alive for me. Kate Mulgrew can ACT. The voices she creates for the different characters are realistic and, for Charlie Manx and Bing, absolutely chilling. She is amazing.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book kept me awake at night wondering if N0S4A2 might be coming for me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Rest You Merry

  • By: Charlotte MacLeod
  • Narrated by: John McLain
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 175
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 172

For years, Professor Peter Shandy has been badgered by Jemima Ames, Assistant Librarian and Annual Chairperson, to decorate his campus home for the Grand Illumination which is Balaclava Agricultural College's main fund-raising event. Now he can hold out no longer. Goaded to madness, he buries his small brick house under an avalanche of plastic reindeer, flashing lights, and fake Santa Clauses. Hooks up an amplifier blaring "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth," locks the switches at "on," and escapes to sea on a tramp steamer....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A classic story - and great for this time of year!

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-08-12

Love the book, disappointed by the narration.

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

Reviewed: 06-25-13

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Charlotte MacLeod is my favorite cozy mystery writer. I have read Rest You Merry and the other books in the Peter Shandy series a number of times - I wouldn't change anything.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

As other reviewers have noted, the narrator pronounced certain words very strangely, to the extent that I'm not sure if he is a native English speaker. This audio book was less of a performance and more of a straight reading of the novel by someone who didn't really know what it was about or who the characters were supposed to be. You need a very particular kind of narrator for a cozy mystery that gets its color from quirky, not-quite-realistic characters and stylized, old-fashioned dialogue, and unfortunately Mr. McLain doesn't quite hit the mark.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful