LISTENER

Michelle

Rahway, NJ United States
  • 27
  • reviews
  • 52
  • helpful votes
  • 94
  • ratings
  • Isadore's Secret

  • Sin, Murder, and Confession in a Northern Michigan Town
  • By: Mardi Link
  • Narrated by: Anne Jacques
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 107
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 103

This true story was the basis for the Broadway play, The Runner Stumbles, and the movie of the same name. In 1907, a Felician nun disappeared from her rural convent. When her bones were found buried in the dirt-floored basement of the remote, Gothic church she served, it caused a national sensation. Who killed her? The handsome priest? The jealous housekeeper? And, what other secret was uncovered along with her bones?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rich, Lyrical Prose...

  • By Douglas on 07-05-16

Fairly interesting, but terrible narrator

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

Reviewed: 03-16-18

Would you try another book from Mardi Link and/or Anne Jacques?

No. this is the second Mardi Link book I have listened to and I wasn't impressed with either one. Anne Jacques was a terrible narrator, definitely will not listen to her again.

Would you be willing to try another one of Anne Jacques’s performances?

Absolutely not. She was terrible. Her cadence was bad. She mispronounced words and town names, sometimes I couldn't figure out what she meant.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The story itself was interesting but it felt like there was no real definite conclusion. Maybe that was just the nature of the case. Not sure the person who was found guilty was actually guilty. She didn't really build a case for guilt.

  • Wicked Plants

  • The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities
  • By: Amy Stewart
  • Narrated by: Coleen Marlo
  • Length: 4 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 939
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 854
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 849

Beware! The sordid lives of plants behaving badly. A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. Amy Stewart, best-selling author of Flower Confidential, takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature's most appalling creations in an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Grows on You Like Kudzu

  • By Cynthia on 04-23-13

Very disjointed

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

Reviewed: 02-15-18

What disappointed you about Wicked Plants?

Factual inaccuracies - specifically the claim that ergot poisoning caused the Salem witch hysteria (this theory has been disproven) and references to kudzu as the plant that ate the south (it is not as invasive as the author claims - see Smithsonian magazine September 2015). Also most of the book just seemed to be a list of plants. The "meet the relatives" was not really helpful or interesting. Not much depth to the book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Science of Sherlock Holmes

  • From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases
  • By: E. J. Wagner
  • Narrated by: E. J. Wagner, Simon Prebble
  • Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 42

Forensic expert Wagner has crafted a volume that stands out from the plethora of recent memoirs of contemporary scientific detectives. By using the immortal and well-known Sherlock Holmes stories as her starting point, Wagner blends familiar examples from Doyle's accounts into a history of the growth of forensic science, pointing out where fiction strayed from fact.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • sort of forensics barely related to Sherlock H.

  • By David Greenberg on 11-22-13

Seemed very incomplete and disorganized

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

Reviewed: 12-14-17

How could the performance have been better?

This is a perfect example of why authors shouldn't read their works. I generally dislike authors as narrators (with the exception of Stephen King). The author clearly doesn't have a sense of how to read for an audience and her pauses seemed mistimed. Her cadence was all over the place. Leave the narrating to the professionals.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Science of Sherlock Holmes?

One of the biggest problems with the book is that it lacked any sense of flow. The author seemed to jump around and pull cases that fit a certain point, but never really connected everything. Some of the chapters and in fact the book ended abruptly.

Any additional comments?

Very disappointed. The connection to Sherlock Holmes seems forced at times and non-existent at others. It seems like the author really wanted to write a history of forensics, but thought she needed a better hook. What she ended up with was a mess of a manuscript. She doesn't seem to have a strong idea of what she wants to convey or any sense of how to present the material in a compelling, logical manner. She kept using "Whatever remains" as a chapter title and it got very annoying because it didn't tell you what was coming or tie into the material. She would drop bits of information and not explain them. Sometimes it seemed like name dropping, like she thought, oh I should throw this in. Overall very disappointed. Don't expect any real connection to Sherlock Holmes.

  • Amazons

  • Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World
  • By: Adrienne Mayor
  • Narrated by: Fran Tunno
  • Length: 16 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 85
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86

Amazons - fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world - were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Warning: Images NOT Included

  • By Linda on 11-25-14

So so book

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

Reviewed: 07-23-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

At times, it seemed very repetitive. Also the narrator pronounced some of the familiar names in an unfamiliar way, which may just be me, but it's hard to get engrossed in a book when you have to continually think who the narrator is referring to.

Did Amazons inspire you to do anything?

No

Any additional comments?

I almost stopped listening halfway through the book because I was so annoyed that the narrator kept referencing image numbers. It's an audiobook. I don't have images. I have never run into this before, but it's really aggravating because it interrupts the flow of the narration.

  • Schreiber's Secret

  • By: Roger Radford
  • Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

Crime reporter Mark Edwards and his colleague Danielle Green wade deep in red herrings and a twisting and turning plot as they seek to discover the terrible secret of a Nazi sadist who has continued his murdering ways in modern London. The story switches from a wartime transit camp in Czechoslovakia to contemporary Germany; from a London suburb to the Old Bailey, the world's most famous criminal court, where two men strive to claim that the other is the real Hans Schreiber.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Schreiber's secret

  • By MANI on 03-24-15

Can't seem to settle on a genre

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

Reviewed: 03-01-17

What disappointed you about Schreiber's Secret?

The book seemed to lack focus at points. Sometimes it seemed like the author wanted to write a trashy romance novel and at other times seemed to be writing a mystery or trying to explain and promote Judiaism. I like romance novels when I know that's what I am reading and the author is good at writing romance. He's not. I like learning about various religions, but am put off by people saying "oh he wouldn't do something like that, he's (fill in a faith)."

Would you ever listen to anything by Roger Radford again?

Probably not

What character would you cut from Schreiber's Secret?

I didn't particularly like Mark or Danielle and their "romance" was a turn off.

  • Storm Front

  • The Dresden Files, Book 1
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,655
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,004
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,965

A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt. Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters to vampires....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent listen and a great start to the series

  • By Donna on 07-13-09

Loved it!

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

Reviewed: 08-19-16

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

Entertaining, funny, great

What did you like best about this story?

I was vaguely familiar with the Dresden Files from the TV show years ago, so I was curious about the books. I like Harry's sense of humor and the fact that he's willing to make fun of himself. Jim Butcher also does a good job of filling in the background of the mystical world he created for Harry.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely could have listening in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

James Marsters is a great narrator, really gives Harry Dresden a personality. It seems like he understands what kind of character Jim Butcher wants Harry to be. I can't imaging anyone else embodying Harry Dresden.

  • The Crime and the Silence

  • Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne
  • By: Anna Bikont, Alissa Valles - translator
  • Narrated by: David Stifel
  • Length: 22 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Jan Gross' hugely controversial Neighbors was a historian's disclosure of the events in the small Polish town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, when the citizens rounded up the Jewish population and burned them alive in a barn. The massacre was a shocking secret that had been suppressed for more than 60 years, and it provoked the most important public debate in Poland since 1989. Part history, part memoir, The Crime and the Silence is the journalist's account of these events.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tough subject!

  • By Constance on 10-06-17

So bad I stopped listening

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

Reviewed: 08-19-16

What disappointed you about The Crime and the Silence?

I couldn't figure out when things were happening. The narrative kept jumping back and forth like the author couldn't decide how to organize the story.

Would you be willing to try another one of David Stifel’s performances?

I would be willing to listen to another of Stifel's performances. He wasn't the best narrator ever, but he was pretty good.

Any additional comments?

I really wanted to like this book and was looking forward to listening to it. I almost never quit on a book, but after 3 hours, I stopped listening. I couldn't follow what was going on or when things were happening. I think the book would have been better without all of the jumping back and forth in time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • When Evil Came to Good Hart

  • By: Mardi Link
  • Narrated by: JoBe Cerny
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44

In this addictive true-life whodunit, author Mardi Link details all the evidence to date in the case of the Robison family murders. She crafts her book around police and court documents and historical and present-day statements and interviews, in addition to exploring the impact of the case on the community of Good Hart and the stigma that surrounds the popular summer getaway. Adding to both the sense of tragic history and the suspense, Link laces her tale with fascinating bits of local and Indian lore.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Compelling True Crime Read...

  • By Douglas on 07-03-16

Narration makes it impossible to enjoy

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

Reviewed: 08-19-16

What was most disappointing about Mardi Link’s story?

It's hard to tell whether the book was actually any good because the narration was so bad. I wish I had read the book instead of listening to it. I think the story was probably better than it seemed.

Would you be willing to try another one of JoBe Cerny’s performances?

Absolutely NOT! The narrator was terrible. Paused at odd times, which killed any flow from the story. I almost stopped listening because the narration was so terrible.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Gideon's Sword

  • By: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: John Glover
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,240
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,729
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,725

At 12, Gideon Crew witnessed his father, a world-class mathematician, accused of treason and gunned down. At 24, summoned to his dying mother's bedside, Gideon learned the truth: His father was framed and deliberately slaughtered. With her last breath, she begged her son to avenge him. Now, with a new purpose in his life, Gideon crafts a one-time mission of vengeance, aimed at the perpetrator of his father's destruction. His plan is meticulous, spectacular, and successful.But from the shadows, someone is watching. A very powerful someone, who is impressed by Gideon's special skills.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • You've got to be kidding me. (Spoiler Alert)

  • By Larry on 02-21-12

Not nearly as good as Pendergast series

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

Reviewed: 02-22-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I had high hopes for the book because I really enjoy Preston and Child's Pendergast series. But this novel didn't come close in quality. Pacing seemed off, but that could have been due in part to uneven narration. Never got invested in the character or the story.

How could the performance have been better?

I was very disappointed in the narration. I like John Glover as an actor, but his delivery during the narration seemed stilted and disjointed.

Any additional comments?

I couldn't really root for the main character. I didn't like him. Some characters you really root for and would like to know in real life. Not Gideon Crew. I thought the resolve of his driving purpose - clearing his father's name - was dealt with too quickly in a rush to get to the main story. Clearing his father's name seemed almost too easy. His missing joint on a finger was mentioned several times almost like, here, look at this oddity, and dropped for the most part. Why bring it up if you're going to ignore it? It made me think of Chekov's admonition that if you show a gun in Act 1, by Act 3, it must be fired. Otherwise, why show the gun? Same with Gideon's missing finger. Why keep mentioning it if it's not important?

  • The Monogram Murders

  • The New Hercule Poirot Mystery
  • By: Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 677
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 611
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 612

Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified - but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not Agatha Christie

  • By Molly on 09-17-14

Beware--Not an Agatha Christie

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

Reviewed: 08-11-15

What do you think your next listen will be?

Currently listening to a Jim Butcher Harry Dresden book.

Would you be willing to try another one of Julian Rhind-Tutt’s performances?

The performance wasn't bad, so I am open to listening to him again. I think the main reason I didn't like it was I am used to a different narrator for Poirot novels.

Any additional comments?

I didn't read the description well enough to realize this book wasn't written by Agatha Christie. It could and should have ended three different times. All of the twists seemed unnecessary. In general it seemed like the author tried to hard to come up with yet another twist.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful