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R. MCRACKAN

Raleigh, NC
  • 302
  • reviews
  • 212
  • helpful votes
  • 316
  • ratings
  • Differently Morphous

  • By: Yahtzee Croshaw
  • Narrated by: Yahtzee Croshaw
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,288
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,163

A magical serial killer is on the loose, and gelatinous, otherworldly creatures are infesting the English countryside. Which is making life for the Ministry of Occultism difficult, because magic is supposed to be their best kept secret. After centuries in the shadows, the Ministry is forced to unmask, exposing the country's magical history - and magical citizens - to a brave new world of social media, government scrutiny, and public relations.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not for everybody

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 09-24-18

Not for everybody

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

Reviewed: 09-24-18

My reaction to most of this book was "It ain't makin' me laugh, but I get it." There were a few chuckle worthy moments. Maybe this novel works better if you're already a fan of his other work. The 'OMG isn't this over the top PC stuff just soooo zany!?' got old fast. It also would have been better if it were shorter. There were too many times where I was bored and seeing just how much of this book was left. The narration would have been a 5 except for the voice effects which made the shogs and the possessed characters too difficult to understand.

For the stellar ratings, I felt really let down.

61 of 62 people found this review helpful

  • As You Wish

  • Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
  • By: Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (foreword)
  • Narrated by: Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,604
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,976
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,931

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Warm-hearted retelling

  • By Thomas Allen on 10-19-14

So much love

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

Reviewed: 09-23-18

There's a lot of great things to be said of this book, but above all, the love comes through. So much love. Everyone speaks with such affection for the work, the experiences, their fellow artists, and their lives since making this film. This is such a warm recounting of it all and to hear it in everyone's own voice is a treasure. There's one moment where an actor seems like he's going to be the exception and voices some valid criticisms of the director. Even there though, within a few sentences he's telling a story of a time when the director went above and beyond to help this actor specifically -- and again the warm feelings return. Every story is visual, engaging, and often hilarious.

  • Scrappy Little Nobody

  • By: Anna Kendrick
  • Narrated by: Anna Kendrick
  • Length: 6 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,027
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,965
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,880

Anna Kendrick's autobiographical collection of essays amusingly recounts memorable moments throughout her life, from her middle-class upbringing in New England to the blockbuster movies that have made her one of Hollywood's most popular actresses today. Expanding upon the witty and ironic dispatches for which she is known, Anna Kendrick's essays offer her one-of-a-kind commentary on the absurdities she's experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Anna Kendrick: Scrappy Little... Revelation

  • By Andrew on 01-17-17

Charming little nobody

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

Reviewed: 09-23-18

I love memoirs like these, especially ones read by the author. She tells wonderful stories and I thoroughly enjoyed them all.

  • True Crime Addict

  • How I Lost Myself in the Mysterious Disappearance of Maura Murray
  • By: James Renner
  • Narrated by: James Renner
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,206
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,112

When 11-year-old James Renner fell in love with Amy Mihaljevic, the missing girl seen on posters all over his neighborhood, it was the beginning of a lifelong obsession with true crime. That obsession led James to a successful career as an investigative journalist. It also gave him PTSD. In 2011 James began researching the strange disappearance of Maura Murray, a UMass student who went missing after wrecking her car in rural New Hampshire in 2004.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Honest. Surprising. Fascinating.

  • By River Holmes-miller on 05-27-16

Genre crossing

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

Reviewed: 09-21-18

Too much of an investigation to be a memoir. Not enough evidence of crime to be true crime. Too objective to be gonzo journalism. Too little revelation to be a mystery. This genre defying book needs to be read on its own terms. Very compelling.

However, the author was not a good presenter. This would have worked very well in the format of a podcast like S-Town or Serial. In fact, it would feel right at home among those very shows.

  • Alien Space Tentacle Porn

  • By: Peter Cawdron
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 4 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

A 1950s hospital. Temporary amnesia. A naked man running through Central Park yelling something about alien space tentacles. Tinfoil, duct tape, and bananas. These are the ingredients for a spectacular romp through a world you never thought possible as aliens reach out and make contact with Earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Syfi Comedy

  • By Timothy White on 02-04-18

Mostly disposable with a few good scenes

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

Most of this book was ok but entirely forgettable. The biggest exception was the great jail break scene. That was a lot of fun. Great narration though.

Although there's nothing as graphic as the title suggests, the sensationalist title isn't as misleading as it sounds. The author intended to makes several statements about the nature of adult movies.

  • Year Zero

  • A Novel
  • By: Rob Reid
  • Narrated by: John Hodgman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,420
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,226
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,225

Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it's a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity's music ever since "Year Zero" (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic Performance by Hodgman

  • By Robert on 08-15-12

Good enough

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

I got this on a sale and I'm glad I did. The good parts were really funny, but there were a lot of times that just dragged on and on. The beginning and end were really well done.

Hodgman narrating this was perfect. He's hilarious in just the dry way that this kind of book required. Absolutely perfect delivery.

  • I Let You Go

  • By: Clare Mackintosh
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber, Steven Crossley
  • Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,925
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,594
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,598

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past. At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • finally a good book

  • By aletha on 05-17-16

Great police procedural mystery

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

First of all, ignore the silly comparisons to Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. That's just lazy marketing. I Let You Go is nothing like either of them.

What this novel is though, is a wonderful police procedural mystery. Each quarter or so of the novel has a different flavor and each is better than the last. I have to admit, the first quarter of the book was so mediocre that I was regretting my purchase. But the second part kept the interested and it just kept getting better and more addictive as it went.

I'd never heard of either narrator before and they're both great. I hope to hear more from both in the future.

  • Heart-Shaped Box

  • By: Joe Hill
  • Narrated by: Stephen Lang
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,073
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,656
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,661

Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, a thing so terrible-strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet. For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost. It's the real thing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yikes! Five stars for fright

  • By Lesley on 02-23-07

Good old fashioned ghost story

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

This ghost story pulls no punches. If you're used to overly violent books, this won't phase you. But if you're used to more tame, run of the mill fiction violence then this may shock you.

With wonderful narration, we follow an unlikable aging rock star and his shallow young girlfriend as they are tormented by a malicious ghost who has come to punish him for his past. Few of the characters get any more likable as the story progresses, and some get even worse, but still, all is not as it seems. Guilt and innocence become muddled concepts.

I love that as the novel gets deeper into ghost story territory, it leaves New York City on a road trip to the south. There really is no setting for a certain breed of horror like a slow trip through the deep south.

  • NOS4A2

  • A Novel
  • By: Joe Hill
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
  • Length: 19 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9,971
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,290
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,283

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

Perfect vampire story

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

Reviewed: 09-15-18

NOS4A2 is the perfect deconstruction of a vampire book. Instead of thinking of vampires as a collection of lore, NOS4A2 remembers that a vampire is an object of fear. The original vampire stories are about cold thieves, not romance. In this novel, a vampire isn't defined by the trappings of lore -- there's no mention of coffins, crosses, garlic, mirrors, capes, sunlight aversion, fangs, or even blood. NOS4A2 ditches the Dracula-esque trappings and keeps what makes vampires terrorizing. This vampire is a predatory, intelligent, somewhat magical, entirely evil man who steals away something precious in order to prolong its own life. Hill has a lot of his father's talent but definitely has a voice of his own.

Since starting this book I've found out that this narrator is a minor celebrity in her own right. I'd never heard of her before this book but I'm certainly a fan now. She was amazing.

  • Alpha's Heir: A BBW Paranormal Romance

  • Bear Shifter Billionaire
  • By: AJ Tipton
  • Narrated by: Tanya Stevens
  • Length: 1 hr and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 79

Orson Antonov has everything: billions of dollars, stunning good looks, and the respect of his bear shifter clan. The only thing he can't have is his freedom. Forced to marry a woman he doesn't love to unite the clans, can Orson find the strength to break free? When he meets Casey, the beautiful, full-figured woman of his dreams, he invites her to his luxurious mansion in the woods. He hopes he has finally found the inspiration to fight for freedom...and for love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Read

  • By Slim on 04-13-16

Not all great tastes taste great together

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

I really liked the parts of this book individually: the were-bear culture, paranormal bar/common room, family conflict, good well-motivated characters, the steamy romance, even the charmingly awkward BBW wish fulfillment. However, I'm not really sure that all the parts necessarily worked well together.

The narration was hit and miss. It also had too many same-sounding voices -- a problem when there aren't too many characters in the first place.

Overall, I'm glad I listened if for no other reason than the wonderful originality. I think I'd like to see more from this author (these authors) from the different genres individually. There's clearly some fine ideas and good writing skill here.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.