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Regina

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  • Let Me Lie

  • By: Clare Mackintosh
  • Narrated by: Gemma Whelan, Clare Mackintosh
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 485
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 450
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 449

Last year, Tom and Caroline Johnson chose to end their lives, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents' deaths, unwilling to accept the verdict of suicide. Now with a baby herself, Anna feels her mother's absence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as she digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her. Sometimes it's safer to let things lie....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn’t see that coming.

  • By Donna on 03-22-18

Good bones aren't enough

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Story is well-plotted, and nice enough in writing style. Nothing annoyed me excessively until about half way through and the plotting began to show through as a machine part instead of structure for an organic story. I didn't believe it. First of all, children of alcoholics usually know there's a problem, but even if they manage to deceive themselves until safely delivered into adulthood, nobody is so dense as to make the mistake the narrator makes here.

By the story's end, the mistakes pile up into a fantasy. The plot's ok on paper, but it fails the crucial test: who'd buy it? On the other hand, I listened to the whole thing and gave it three stars. Not terrible, and the narrator is great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dispatches from Pluto

  • Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta
  • By: Richard Grant
  • Narrated by: Shaun Grindell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 519
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 470
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 460

Richard Grant and his girlfriend were living in a shoebox apartment in New York City when they decided on a whim to buy an old plantation house in the Mississippi Delta. Dispatches from Pluto is their journey of discovery into this strange and wonderful American place. On a remote, isolated strip of land, three miles beyond the tiny community of Pluto, Richard and his girlfriend, Mariah, embark on a new life. They learn to hunt, grow their own food, and fend off alligators, snakes, and varmints galore.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved this

  • By Gladys S. Whitney on 01-20-16

Stopped reading thanks to horror

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

I bought this book. I'd love to hear something different about Mississippi. Some hope for the future, love of the land, the people, something. At first I thought I'd get all of that, until, early on, this English writer decides to tell the story of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy visiting relatives who was tortured for days and murdered by whites in 1955. They claimed he wolf-whistled at a white woman in a country store. The woman in question came forward decades later to say nothing happened. Emmett Till did not flirt with her. She was too afraid of her murderous husband to say so at the time.

Richard Grant repeats the lie that the child flirted with the woman. It's a small point, really, because, how could a whistle justify the horror that followed? It couldn't. But that slender thread of the mob's defense was itself a lie. Emmett Till's murder has entered history as the spark and seed of the Civil Rights Movement. Who in the United States hasn't seen his image in his coffin, which his mother insisted on revealing to the world? His battered face?

Mr. Grant: You are on hallowed ground. You should have stepped more carefully. I can't listen to your book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Undone

  • By: Karin Slaughter
  • Narrated by: Natalie Ross
  • Length: 16 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,966
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,596
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,582

In her latest suspense masterpiece, Karin Slaughter weaves together moving, powerful human stories of characters as real as they are complex and unforgettable. At the same time she has crafted a work of dazzling storytelling and spine-tingling mystery - as three people, with their own wounds and their own secrets, are all that stand between a madman and his next crime.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slaughter's got it goin on!

  • By Charles Atkinson on 07-23-13

Didn't like it, but...

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

Reviewed: 07-22-18

Horrible people can write great books, of course, but there's something arresting about this portion of an interview KS did recently with the New York Times:

NYT: "Describe your ideal reading experience (when, where, what, how)."

KS: "Atlanta is razor-hot right now, so I blast the air-conditioner in my office for pretend winter, snuggle under a blanket with my cat, Dexter, and make sure the reading lamp is on high, because for some crazy reason the words on the page look tinier without light. Maybe it’s because of global warming, because I’m too young for that crap."

Remember Richard Nixon, blasting the air conditioning unit in summer in D.C. in front of a blazing fire?

Her thinking skills seem deficient, and I think that's what's wrong with her books. Shriveled roots. Nothing grips down to waken.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Never-Open Desert Diner

  • A Novel
  • By: James Anderson
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 82
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 77

Ben Jones lives a quiet, hardscrabble life, working as a trucker on Route 117, a little-travelled road in a remote region of the Utah desert that serves as a haven for fugitives and others looking to hide from the world. For many of the desert's inhabitants, Ben's visits are their only contact with the outside world, and the only landmark worth noting is a once-famous roadside diner that hasn't opened in years.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The desert drags you in

  • By Sherri on 04-16-16

Broken-hearted hokum

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

Reviewed: 07-15-18

This story seals itself in a vault with no oxygen supply. Everybody's tragic, tragic, tragic. Everybody does the weird thing. We've got manly suffering and sphinx-like women. They suffer too. The writing's good and the narrator does what he can to sell this, but it's tiresome nonsense.

  • Twisted Prey

  • By: John Sandford
  • Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,083
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,813
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,818

Lucas Davenport had crossed paths with her before. A rich psychopath, Taryn Grant had run successfully for the US Senate, where Lucas had predicted she'd fit right in. He was also convinced that she'd been responsible for three murders, though he'd never been able to prove it. Once a psychopath had gotten that kind of rush, though, he or she often needed another fix, so he figured he might be seeing her again. He was right.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A masterpiece!

  • By Steven Allgood on 04-27-18

Sandford skips a step

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

Reviewed: 04-26-18

Any additional comments?

John Sandford started out as a reporter and a good one. The only real flaw in the thoroughly
enjoyable "Twisted Prey" is the writer's atrophied reporting skills. The plot holes all come from the occasional and gaping failure of who-what-when-where-why.

Example, without spoiler: Two U.S. senators are name-calling in the press. One implies the other is a murderer. The other says her adversary is a drunk and a liar. There is easily obtainable medical evidence to disapprove the latter. Although the press reports the charges, no one at the Washington Post or NYT bothers to check them out. Pass on to the next chapter.

An evil character appeared in a previous book, but Sandford's hero appears to have forgotten her response to a crisis on her team. (Failure of "who".) She kills people. Our hero corners one of her thugs, and then does nothing. Deliberate nothing. He goes shopping for a custom-made suit. When the inevitable happens, he's surprised.

It's possible Sandford is lazy, but it's also possible that as he grows older he has lost faith in the rule of law and the importance of fact. This is a chaos book. Maybe the writer now agrees with Henry Miller that "chaos is the score upon which reality is written."

No good can come from that attitude.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Losing Faith

  • By: Adam Mitzner
  • Narrated by: David Marantz
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,048
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 948
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 949

Aaron Littmann, the chairman of one of the country's most prestigious law firms, has just been contacted by a high-profile defense attorney whose client is Nikolai Garkov, a Russian businessman arraigned on terrorism charges for pulling the financial strings behind recent treasonous acts. The attorney informs Aaron that Garkov is looking to switch representation and will pay $100,000 just to take the meeting.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Could not suspend disbelief.

  • By Will on 06-25-15

Losing Faith is right

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

Reviewed: 12-10-15

Others have commented on the cliches. Yes, especially at the beginning. Once Mitzner hits his stride, they make fewer appearances. My problem is simple. I don't care. Mitzner didn't make me care about any of these characters. I didn't believe in their motivations or engage with their actions. Everybody is puny. They're adults with fast-lane careers and the emotional maturity of junior high school students. I skipped to the last two chapters half way through, to find out who did it. No surprise, I didn't care.

The narrator is wonderful, not wonderful enough to save this material (nobody could) but still quite admirable.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Burglary

  • The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI
  • By: Betty Medsger
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot, Betty Medsger
  • Length: 25 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 311
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287

The never-before-told full story of the history-changing break-in at the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, by a group of unlikely activists - quiet, ordinary, hardworking Americans - that made clear the shocking truth and confirmed what some had long suspected, that J. Edgar Hoover had created and was operating, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, his own shadow Bureau of Investigation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Forget Ocean's 11

  • By Susie on 02-06-14

Love this book

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

Reviewed: 12-04-15

Can ordinary citizens thirsting for justice make a positive difference when faced with the overwhelming power of a corrupt state? You bet. This story is so inspiring, both about the people who took it upon themselves to expose the crazy evil of J. Edgar Hoover and that crazy evil itself.

Did you know that Hoover hated black people? Journalists following the burglars lead got that from FBI files. We know, thanks to the burglars, about his persecution of Dr. Martin Luther King, but who could have ever imagined how far Hoover took his hatred, that every FBI agent had to have an informant trailing ordinary black people, and that in Washington DC every agent had to have six informants trailing black people?

Black activists? Given Hoover's rage, it's amazing how many survived. We know about the ones who didn't, but this book documents Hoover's role in many of their demises. Did you know that the FBI knew about the threats to Dr. King's life and where they came from, but failed to warn him, by order of Hoover? How about Fred Hampton? It wasn't just Chicago cops who murdered him. (Yes, murdered. Google it.) They got a big direct assist from the FBI, and praise from the agency after.

What we all know about Hoover, the bad things, come from this break into a small FBI office and the decision to release the stolen files to journalists. Note: The New York Times refused to publish those documents, and The Washington Post went ahead. When this book came out, 40 years later, the New York Times wrote a somewhat snotty review, while the Post praised it. It's hard for everyone to admit a bad judgment, but it's essential for a newspaper.

The book unravels a little bit at the end, with maybe too much information about these burglars. But it picks up at the very end with the final word from the 8th participant, who had been in hiding all this time. The others chose to hide in plain sight. None were never charged. It's a remarkable achievement, considering Hoover put 200 agents on the task of finding them. The FBI always gets its man? Please. The burglars won by keeping their mouths shut. Informants can't betray anyone when they have no information.

If you're interested at all in the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-war movement, this is a great place to start. If you lived through that era and especially if you participated, even in a small way, this book is a joy. Overall, the Vietnam anti-war movements are a record of a tragedy, but this moment is a shining win.

PS: Why is Hoover's name still on the FBI building in Washington DC?

Here's Jonathan Rauch in the Atlantic:

"Now that the Confederate flag has been furled at South Carolina’s Capitol, it’s time to deal with another symbolic insult to minorities and the Constitution—the one inscribed over the door of the nation’s top law-enforcement agency.

A consummate bureaucrat and institution-builder, J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI’s first director, was also a paranoid obsessive who put together a rogue secret service accountable only to himself."

How does Rauch know that? Listen to this book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Where the Memories Lie

  • By: Sibel Hodge
  • Narrated by: Anna Parker-Naples
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 268
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 230
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 229

Twenty-five years ago Katie ran away from home and never came back. But now she's suddenly reappeared in her best friend Olivia's life - in the form of a chilling confession. Olivia's father-in-law, wracked with guilt, says he murdered her all those years ago. Tom suffers from Alzheimer's and his story is riddled with error and confusion. Except for one terrifying certainty: he knows where the body is buried.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Original plot

  • By Candace Russell on 09-23-15

Comes up short

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

Reviewed: 11-24-15

Not awful, but lacking a key ingredient in any novel - a sense that characters have lives. This story is like a diagrammed sentence. All the parts are there, but the life is gone. I like the narrator but just don't believe this story works as a story. It's an exercise in moral questions.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Dead Man's Footsteps

  • Roy Grace, Book 4
  • By: Peter James
  • Narrated by: David Bauckham
  • Length: 14 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 126
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 126

Amid the tragic unfolding mayhem of the morning of 9/11, failed Brighton never-do-well Ronnie Wilson sees the chance of a lifetime, to disappear and reinvent himself in another country. Five years later the discovery of the skeletal remains of a woman's body in a storm drain in Brighton, leads Detective Superintendent Roy Grace on an enquiry spanning the globe, and into a desperate race against time to save the life of a woman being hunted down like an animal in the streets and alleys of Brighton.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bewdy bottler bonza Ozzie accents - mate :)

  • By Lesley on 04-15-09

Dead hard to follow

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

Reviewed: 11-15-15

I like Peter James' "Dead" series, but this one had problems. First, there were many different plots that eventually came together. Also, lots of skipping around from past to present. Making these difficulties more so is the odd sequencing of the recording. It tracks back not one chapter but 10 chapters. Yes, there's no way to go back and listen to what you missed without going way, way back. Very annoying. I almost returned this book but hung with it and ended up liking it, but this was a rough ride. Good narrator.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Andromeda Strain

  • By: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: David Morse
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,283
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,828
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,838

The United States government is given a warning by the preeminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best science + biology fiction book I have read

  • By Ryan Johnson on 07-31-15

Proto-Geek fail

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

Reviewed: 11-05-15

I remember the terrible reviews when this book came out, late '60s. Stick characters, unbelievable dialogue, sluggish start and vague ending. But the A. Strain popped up as a daily deal, and given the rise of geek culture in the last half-century, I thought, why not.

For me, the original reviews were accurate. In addition, there's something creepy about the story that I wasn't expecting. The humans are so inhuman that I couldn't help rooting a bit for the space bacteria.

Consider the case of the baby. There's a baby survivor hustled into a lab and left untouched and screaming for its waking hours. That's all we know, and Crichton doesn't bother to say what happened to him/her. Yes, the kid is of so little consequence to the writer that he doesn't bother to say what the sex is. Does this fictional tiny person remain in solitary? No answer. The real question is, how did this book become a best seller and remain in print?

I'm happy nerd-geeks have risen up to become admired for their undeniable strengths, but this book doesn't show them to best advantage.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful