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The Louligan

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  • 270
  • reviews
  • 3,179
  • helpful votes
  • 1,712
  • ratings
  • Those Wild Wyndhams

  • By: Claudia Renton
  • Narrated by: Claudia Renton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

They were confidantes to British prime ministers, poets, writers, and artists, their lives entwined with the most celebrated and scandalous figures of the day, from Oscar Wilde to Henry James. They were the lovers of great men - or men of great prominence... They lived in a world of luxurious excess, a world of splendor at 44 Belgrave Square and later at the even more vast Clouds, the exquisite Wiltshire house on 4,000 acres, the "house of the age", designed in 1876 by the visionary architect Philip Webb - the model for Henry James' The Spoils of Poynton.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Wild Wyndhams...an incisive look at the British ruling class

  • By Michael B. Miller on 12-27-18

SLOW START BUT STICK WITH THIS ONE

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

I had trouble getting into this book at first. I don’t know if it was the narrator or the way the story began. Fortunately I fell asleep and woke up around Chapter 5. THEN the fun began!

This is a well-written story about 3 little known yet amazing female members of minor British aristocracy. Each sister is unique, talented and innovative in her own way. I’m not going to say a lot here. This is a book that will interest each listener in his or her own way. Try it, stick with it and ....ENJOY!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Robicheaux

  • A Novel
  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 13 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,150
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,994
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,978

During a murder investigation, Dave Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he's investigating, one that involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave's beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Modern Day Master Work

  • By Meg on 01-05-18

WHAT A DRAG! VERY DISAPPOINTING!

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

Dave Robicheaux is one of the best fictional detectives in recent history. James Burke can be a bit wordy in describing the locale and the people but this is usually balanced by Will Patton’s masterful narration. Not so much here. Even Patton sounds as if he’s over this book. His character voices are running together, without the usual distinct sound he gives each character. Dave sounds like Clete who sounds like Smiley! The voice levels in this book are all over the place. You will find yourself barely hearing one character while another is screaming in your ear! I spent more time adjusting my Alexa volume controls all night long.

Also this is nothing more than a pity party for Dave’s dead wife. He moans and groans so much that the listener doesn’t care! There is just so much angst I can take, particularly since this is supposed to be a murder thriller, not a Harlequin romance. This will be a RETURN for me!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The New Iberia Blues

  • Dave Robicheaux Series, Book 22
  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 893
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 846
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 845

Detective Dave Robicheaux’s world isn’t filled with too many happy stories, but Desmond Cormier’s rags-to-riches tale is certainly one of them. Robicheaux first met Cormier on the streets of New Orleans, when the young, undersized boy had foolish dreams of becoming a Hollywood director. Twenty-five years later, when Robicheaux knocks on Cormier’s door, it's to ask about a young woman he found who’s been crucified. She disappeared near Cormier’s Cyrpemort Point estate, and Robicheaux, along with young Deputy Sean McClain, are looking for answers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ROBICHEAUX IS BACK ON FULL FLEEK!

  • By The Louligan on 01-22-19

ROBICHEAUX IS BACK ON FULL FLEEK!

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

I am a big fan of this series, mainly due to Will Patton’s masterful narration. My late husband and our children are descendants of pre-Civil War free people of color, who still live and farm in New Iberia LA. Burke provides rich descriptions of the people, locale, food, even, the smells of New Iberia. His crime writing is well-crafted and suspenseful. I had listened to all of the books in this series but was very disappointed by the previous one “Robicheaux”. It was such a rambling mess of similes and sustained angst about his dead wife that I thought I would kill myself!!! Even Will Patton seemed to be bored, not sustaining the different voice characteristics in each person, even losing Dave and the glorious gangsta P.I. Clete Purcell in the messiness of his narration. But everyone is back in da house in “The New Iberia Blues”! Dave is finally over his tragedy and the loveable rogue, Crete, is as grumpy and out-of-control as ever! Even the “Sweet Sociopath” Smiley makes us want to fist bump him like you know want to do with Hannibal Lecter! Well worth the credit/cash. I can’t wait for the next installment!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Anne and Charles

  • Passion and Politics in Late Medieval France: the Story of Anne of Brittany’s Marriage to Charles VIII
  • By: Rozsa Gaston
  • Narrated by: Anna Parker-Naples
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

When Anne of Brittany's father dies in 1488, she becomes Duchess of Brittany, her country's ruler at age 11. For the next three years, the unmarried, orphaned duchess is pursued by suitors while Brittany is invaded by its larger, more powerful neighbor of France. With no other way out, at age 14 she agrees to marry Charles VIII, King of France, to save her country. Better to be a queen than a prisoner.... Unexpectedly, a passionate relationship ensues. Yet Charles cannot shake off bad habits he has brought into their marriage, and Anne cannot help him in his darkest area of struggle.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • ABSOLUTELY AWFUL!

  • By The Louligan on 06-01-18

ABSOLUTELY AWFUL!

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

Reviewed: 06-01-18

I thought this was historical fiction in the style of Philippa Gregory. Instead it’s just a really bad Harlequin romance. I have read thousands of books about European royalty. Now I see why I’ve never even heard of these two. I only made it through the the first 12 chapters, skipping through most of them, because all it was is a 14 year-old child fantasizing about her wedding night! When she finally got there, one would think she was a pro at sex. In 1491? I don’t think so. I decided to just go to Wikipedia for the real story. This CHILD was pregnant with 16 babies in 20 years. Charles died early from getting smacked on the head walking through a low doorway. Anne remarried then died from all of them babies (only one girl baby survived). No wonder since Charles and Anne were sickly, too young, and damn near siblings. What happened to that “4 degrees of sanguinity” rule?

Anyway, it’s just not an interesting set of people. It’s poorly written and the narrator made my eyebrows hurt. Do not waste a credit on this mess. Wikipedia is more accurate. And a lot shorter! REFUND! 😡

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Dangerous Crossing

  • A Novel
  • By: Rachel Rhys
  • Narrated by: Katherine Manners
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

It is 1939. Europe is on the brink of war when young Lily Shepherd boards an ocean liner in Essex, bound for Australia. She is ready to start anew, leaving behind the shadows in her past. The passage proves magical, complete with live music, cocktails, and fancy dress balls. The voyage shows Lily places she'd only ever dreamed of and enables her to make friends with those above her social station. She even allows herself to hope that a man she couldn't possibly have a future with might return her feelings. But Lily soon realizes that she's not the only one hiding secrets.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SYNOPIS!

  • By The Louligan on 01-13-18

DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SYNOPIS!

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

Reviewed: 01-13-18

I love Agatha Christie, so of course I’d be interested to listen a story “in the style” of Christie. NOT EVEN CLOSE! This is not Death On The Nile. More like Death Of Eleven Hours Of Your Life! There is no mystery in this story. The characters are vapid, shallow and under-developed. The main character, Lily, is as dumb as a box of hair. She inserts herself into every aspect of every character in the book. Murder, abortion, disappearance - she’s there, front row seat, and not in a good way. A friend goes missing ON A CRUISE SHIP so Lily just goes to sleep then tours the port city the next day. She is in love with one man but gets caught about to have sex with the husband of a companion under the tarpaulin IN ONE OF THE UNDEPLOYED RESCUE BOATS! No moral compass at all.

The author spends a lot of time with flashbacks of Lily’s life in England. But it’s unconnected snippets which are hard to follow. More importantly, I thought the book was about Europeans going to Australia to start anew. There’s too much focus on the impending World War II that makes no sense. So - enter Stage Left - a Jewish woman fleeing Nazi Austria.

As I endured a day-by-day account of weeks on this ship, I felt like I was in labor - waiting for a baby that never comes. There’s no plot here, no compelling story, no interesting characters. What’s worse is that Lily is supposed to be based on a real character in the 1930s who sailed from England to Australia. The failure of this story is stretching it to 11 hours of the most boring saga ever! Download at your own risk!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Big Book of Serial Killers

  • An Encyclopedia of Serial Killers - 150 Serial Killer Files of the World's Worst Murderers
  • By: Jack Rosewood, Rebecca Lo
  • Narrated by: Kevin Kollins
  • Length: 17 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178

There is little more terrifying than those who hunt, stalk, and snatch their prey under the cloak of darkness. These hunters search not for animals, but for the touch, taste, and empowerment of human flesh. They are cannibals, vampires, and monsters, and they walk among us. These serial killers are not mythical beasts with horns and shaggy hair. They are people living among society, going about their day-to-day activities until nightfall. They are the Dennis Rader's, the fathers, husbands, church-going members of the community.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • GREAT FOR TRUE CRIME DEVOTÉES, BUT....

  • By The Louligan on 10-31-17

GREAT FOR TRUE CRIME DEVOTÉES, BUT....

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

Reviewed: 10-31-17

........this is a 5-Star PRINTED book but just a 2-Star AUDIOBOOK. You get all the serial killing that you could hope for, with several spree killers thrown in. Narrator Kevin Kollins is absolutely perfect for this genre.

So what’s the problem? Well, it’s written in outline form, making it difficult fully appreciate in audio. The author presents each killer in a non-chronological database form, which references and cross-references their crimes, which is often redundant. Also, he lists “Murder Victims” (by name and age), “Offenses” (including murder), and a “Timeline of Murders”. This is alright, albeit redundant, if there are less than 5 victims. However, in the case of prolific serial killers like Ted Bundy, Gary Greenway, and John Wayne Gacy, you will zone out by victim 10. Lord help you if there are 30+ victims! Or, in the case of Chinese, Korean, or South American killers (don’t ask me their names!) who killed as many as 100 people in their native countries......well, I think you get where I’m going with this.

This book makes a better hard-copy version because the reader can skim or totally skip over the lists which add nothing to the accounts unless you’re a researcher. You get a pretty thorough synopsis in the narrative backstory included with exact killer.

I am going to return the audio version and just buy the print version. I suggest you do the same. This is a great READ but an almost impossible LISTEN.

52 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • The It Girls

  • A Novel
  • By: Karen Harper
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 22

From New York Times best-selling author Karen Harper comes a novel based on the lives of two amazing sisters. One sailed the Titanic and started a fashion empire. The other overtook Hollywood and scandalized the world. Together, they were unstoppable. They rose from genteel poverty, two beautiful sisters, ambitious, witty, seductive. Elinor and Lucy Sutherland are at once each other's fiercest supporters and most vicious critics.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • GREAT SUBJECT RUINED BY POOR WRITING

  • By The Louligan on 10-28-17

GREAT SUBJECT RUINED BY POOR WRITING

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

Reviewed: 10-28-17

Unfortunately, I am the first person to review this book for Audible. I really wish some - ANYONE - had given me a heads up. This audiobook is in my TOP 5 WORST BOOKS OF ALL TIME. If it was just a bad story, I could understand. But the synopsis sets it up as being much more than it is. The main characters are one-dimensional. Best described as “Kardashianesque”. The two sisters, Lucille had Eleanor, are gold diggers who go after men whom, on first sight, are rich, gentle, and compassionate. Then, either during after or during the honeymoon, the guys turn out to be....ummm. Lamar Odom, Scott Disick, and/or Kanye - very flawed. One minute these women are married and suddenly “married in name only” but we aren’t privy as to what really happened. They keep referring themselves as “The Two Girls From Just Jersey”. No, not as the one next to The Big Apple. The Channel Islands Jersey. But WHY?!

The author never develops any story lines or explains how the plot got from here to there. She will suddenly write “Then two (or six, or 12) months later” and we are there - but very confused. It’s not even as well-written as a fluffy romance novel with Fabio on the corner. There’s something missing on every level. Lucille is supposed to a fashion designer while Eleanor is a writer or something. The Victorian historical aspects such as local color, fashion, food, customs, etc. are so lacking that Eleanor could just as well be an internet blogger. All they do is drop names like the Prince of Wales, Lillie Langtry, designer Norman Hartnell Duchess Of York, Duke This And Lady That”. Neither of them has any prior training or education or life experience to advance as far as the do. It’s kinda like “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami”. They get there but don’t really do anything of substance. In the next chapter, it’s suddenly “Kourtney and Kim Take New York”, “ Dash Dolls”. Try to keep in mind that this during Queen Victoria’s time when “gentlewomen” didn’t do anything except go to balls.

The narrator adds nothing. She reads way too fast. Just about every character sounds the same, especially Eleanor and Lucille. It becomes hard to stay engaged with her boring delivery. But she doesn’t have much to work with here.

This book is more like “The WHAT Girls”. As in “WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT”!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Wideacre

  • Wideacre, Book 1
  • By: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: Emma Powell
  • Length: 26 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 224
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 227

Philippa Gregory's first story in the best-selling Wideacre trilogy. A compelling tale of passion and intrigue set in the 18th century. From the author of The Other Boleyn Girl and The Virgin's Lover. Wideacre Hall, set in the heart of the English countryside, is the ancestral home that Beatrice Lacey loves. But as a woman of the 18th century, she has no right of inheritance. Corrupted by a world that mistreats women, she sets out to corrupt others.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refreshing

  • By Ruth on 11-11-17

26 HOURS OF INCEST IS 25.75 HOURS TOO MUCH!

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

Reviewed: 09-19-17

I have always enjoyed Philippa Gregory's books of historically based fiction. A great way to learn about the Tudors, Plantagenets, Stuarts, etc. But this book is just too TOO!!! Too much murder, too much obsession, too much BDSM, too much psychopathy and way too much incest. The latter is overdone, uncomfortable, and adds nothing to the overall plot. It can't be called MAKING LOVE, if both parties are of legal age and KNOW their sexual behavior is unacceptable. Especially between an adult brother and sister, with no prior psychological or socio-economic reasons for their actions. The main character is only 18! Even if she was born a bad seed, with a severe personality disorder, it makes no sense that her sexual sociopathy would appear in her late teens, particularly in an era that many of the young women of her age, class and breeding are married with children. Her older brother, more worldly AND married, becoming suddenly sexually attracted to his sister defies common sense. The bondage/sadism aspect also has no historic background within the family makeup. Lord knows, Gregory had HOURS to give the reader a backstory first.

The other problem with this book is that the entire story line takes place in a two year period. TWENTY-SIX HOURS of "Fifty Shades of Grey" meets "Flowers In The Attic" is ridiculous! This same story - if it really needed to be told - could have been done in less than 10 hours. That's with every act of incest and other crimes included. There is so much mind-numbing minutiae in this book that screams "ABRIDGE ME NOW!" The narrator brings nothing to this already flawed work. The length of the book overwhelms her pleasant but uninspiring voice.

If this is the first of a series, I cannot see its successors being any better. In fact, the preview at the end suggests more of the same among the unsuspecting next generation of Wildacre cousins who are actually sister and brother and the result of incest. Enough, already! Most of us are appalled enough with Cersei and Jaime Lannister in "Game of Thrones". But this work is not even close to "GOT"! I sure hope it never becomes a mini-series! 😝

17 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Last Train to Memphis

  • The Rise of Elvis Presley
  • By: Peter Guralnick
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 22 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 282
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251

Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley is the first biography to go past that myth and present an Elvis beyond the legend. Based on hundreds of interviews and nearly a decade of research, it traces the evolution not just of the man but of the music and of the culture he left utterly transformed, creating a completely fresh portrait of Elvis and his world. This volume tracks the first 24 years of Elvis' life, covering his childhood, the stunning first recordings at Sun Records, and the early RCA hits.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very Eye Opening

  • By Carson on 10-13-17

A WASTE OF TIME

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

Reviewed: 06-12-17

I lived right behind Graceland from 1975 to 1978. I remember being unable to get home on the afternoon of August 16, 1977 due to the tens of thousands of people who filled the streets around Graceland after Elvis Presley was pronounced dead earlier that afternoon from a "heart attack". Two days later, since my husband and I were still not able to get near our complex, so we chose instead to stand in the sweltering Memphis, TN heat with that great mass of people - both rabid fans from around the world and just the merely curious - on what is now Elvis Presley Blvd., as the hearse carrying the body of "The King", followed by a dozen or so white limos with his superstar mourners, made its mournful way to nearby Forest Hill Cemetery.

Many books have been written about Presley since that day, most of which I have read. Each account has a different view of this man's life - some factual, some more fiction than truth, some vindictive, some self-serving. But, combined, one can get a pretty good idea of Presley's life and music. In my opinion, the best of the lot is "Elvis" by Albert Goldman (1981). But I still wanted to know more. So I bought Peter Guralnick's book. I couldn't be more disappointed!

After 22 hours, I still no idea what this book is about. It claims to chronicle the early years of Elvis Presley, yet there is very little about the REAL man in this book. The author writes like an 8 year-old doing a book report on a book he didn't read. The story is all over the place, his thoughts unfocused, no sense of chronology or local flavor. He will start telling us about an event or person but then not finish his point. The story is told in some weird, sometimes first-person manner, but you never know who is talking at the time. The narrator doesn't help, sounding bored, with no change in his voice for each person. He has a non-regional, generic voice, attempting to narrate a book about people from the seriously southern Mississippi and Tennessee!

Save yourself some time and money. Guralnick's effort is lazy, amateurish and superficial. Buy the Goldman biography on Elvis Presley. Some critics called it controversial at the time, but at least it's INTERESTING! At the very least, you will get great insight into the King and his huge "posse" (second only to the Disciples).

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Young and Damned and Fair

  • The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII
  • By: Mr. Gareth Russell
  • Narrated by: Jenny Funnell
  • Length: 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116

Written with an exciting combination of narrative flair and historical authority, this interpretation of the tragic life of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, breaks new ground in our understanding of the very young woman who became queen at a time of unprecedented social and political tension and whose terrible errors in judgment quickly led her to the executioner's block.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magnifent scholarly work

  • By Linda Erlich on 08-08-17

NOT WORTH THE TIME OR CREDIT

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

Reviewed: 05-15-17

This book is about everything EXCEPT Catherine Howard. Irish Parliament, Scottish royalty, every person ever mentioned in books about the Tudor Dynasty. Poor Catherine was Queen Consort for 16 months before being beheaded by the tyrannical old pervert Henry VIII. She added nothing to history and would not even be remembered if she's married a country squire. The author tells us very little about Catherine, instead he filled a book with English mores and customs of the era. You can learn these same facts in Alison Weir's "Henry VIII: King and Court".

5 of 8 people found this review helpful