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Joshua

Spring Mills, PA, United States
  • 39
  • reviews
  • 260
  • helpful votes
  • 196
  • ratings
  • Broken Ground

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 62

In Broken Ground, cold-case Detective Karen Pirie faces her hardest challenge yet. Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville’s inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise - a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. Meanwhile, DCI Pirie is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems. And as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5

  • By Donna on 12-10-18

This can't be the real Val Mcdermid!

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

Reviewed: 12-25-18

I can't believe this is the same author who created Carol Jordan and Tony Hill. This is little more than a bodice ripper. The story is dull, no real plot, no suspense, a flat out dull ending. But!...It does include a well muscled 'crofter' in a kilt. All it lacks is a couple lines about 'hungry mouths seeking each other', and people being 'pressed to loins' and it could be a best seller destined for the back shelf of any Goodwill Industries bargain section. What happened to the writing that could keep one riveted, with quirky characters, suspense and intriguing details? I loved the Tony Hill series, but it's hard to believe this is the same author. A deep disappointment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Insidious Intent

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 178
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 170

In the north of England, single women are beginning to disappear from weddings. A pattern soon becomes clear: Someone is crashing the festivities and luring the women away - only to leave the victims' bodies in their own burned-out cars in remote locations. Tony and Carol are called upon to investigate - but this may be the toughest case they've ever had to face. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Paula McIntyre and her partner Elinor must deal with a cruel cyber-blackmailer targeting their teenage ward, Torin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another stellar mystery. Unfortunate narration.

  • By motleysu on 12-09-17

Yeah, the other reviews are right.

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

Reviewed: 03-29-18

This is a good solid Val McDermid mystery. The end is a little abrupt, but a very enjoyable listen. EXCEPT....A really unfortunate choice of readers. Many have commented on many qualities this narrator lacks. I was most struck by a certain halting quality. He reads as if he can't actually read very well. It wasn't intrusive enough that I gave up on the book, but it certainly diminished the overall story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Soldat

  • Reflections of a German Soldier, 1936-1949
  • By: Siegfried Knappe, Ted Brusaw
  • Narrated by: John Wray
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 624
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 553
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553

A German soldier during World War II offers an inside look at the Nazi war machine, using his wartime diaries to describe how a ruthless psychopath motivated an entire generation of ordinary Germans to carry out his monstrous schemes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An incredible true story

  • By Erik on 09-02-13

Haunting

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

Reviewed: 02-16-18

This is the morally vacant account of the experience of a very lucky German soldier in WW11. It is not particularly well written but I'm finding it unforgettable. This is the diary of a man who is clearly intelligent, yet seems to have never examined the morality of his actions. There's no remorse here, no sense of compassion, no sense that he every questioned what sort of human he had been, just a dry factual account of the war in all it's horror. He did what he was told. I found it terrifying.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Why We Die

  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 48

When Tim Whitby checks into a hotel, he’s not intending to check out again – but then he meets Katrina Blake, a woman in need of rescue. When Arkle, Baxter and Trent inherit the family business, they’re not planning on making a go of it – there are quicker ways of getting rich. But when Zoë Boehm agrees to track down the masked men who robbed Harold Sweeney’s jewellery shop, she’s just looking for some cash to pay off the taxman. She’s not expecting to wind up in a coffin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really well done! Try it!

  • By Joshua on 11-18-17

Really well done! Try it!

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

Reviewed: 11-18-17

I don't give five stars easily, and I could argue that this book isn't a true five star book by my usual criteria, but I think Mick Herron's work is way, way, better than the ratings and reviews it's getting and I'm rating it a total five to bring up the ratings.

Now, I'll admit, I like slow, noir, complex stories, and pointless sex and graphic violence is a complete turn off, so if in your ideal mystery someone has to die in an explicitly gory manner or get laid every few pages this stuff isn't going to work for you. But if you like tight, well plotted stories with complex, interesting characters, nicely crafted suspense, and superb dialog you really should give Herron's work a try.

I don't think I'd claim Herron's novels are perfectly written, but they hold together as well as any of this sort can, the plots don't suddenly become fantastical or insulting, and your heartstrings aren't yanked by some mawkish character. In my opinion he's in a class with Le Carre, or Martin Cruz Smith and really, I think a better writer than Nesbo.

If you try any of the Slough House series, pay attention! Herron has a fantastic, dark sense of humor and he exercises it beautifully, but it's subtle enough, or I'm dense enough that sometimes I'm a sentence or two away before I realize what just happened.

I'm working my way through all his books and will be sorry to complete them.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Finest Hours

  • The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue
  • By: Michael J. Tougias, Casey Sherman
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,976
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,809
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,813

In the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal nor’easter in years. As the weather wreaked havoc on land, the freezing Atlantic became a wind-whipped zone of peril, setting the stage for one of the most heroic rescue stories ever lived. On February 18, while the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer, were in the same horrifying predicament. Built with “dirty steel,” and not prepared to withstand such ferocious seas, both tankers split in two, leaving the dozens of men on board utterly at the Atlantic’s mercy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Everyone should read this.

  • By mtkto on 01-13-17

Good for a daily deal

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

Reviewed: 11-10-17

The nucleus of this book is a pretty good sea story, but it's adrift in an ocean of filler and awash in a sea of hyperbole. It could have been about two hours long.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Get Well Soon

  • History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them
  • By: Jennifer Wright
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,456
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,021
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,004

In 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn't stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon 34 more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the mysterious dancing plague. In late-19th-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome - a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't know syphilis could be so fascinating.

  • By Carrie Arnold on 02-09-17

A look at the social and human effect of plague.

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

Reviewed: 08-20-17

This was one of those books where I found myself looking for the kind of rote task that allows me to continue to listen. I was deeply captured by the author's wide focus, not just on the plague, its causes and symptoms, but on the social and human costs and the heroic, and not so heroic, humans who lived or died during these horrific calamities.

Some people weren't happy with the tone the author set. I liked it quite a bit, but I like black humor and a personal story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Shark Drunk

  • The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean
  • By: Morten Stroksnes
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

In the great depths surrounding the Lofoten islands in Norway lives the infamous Greenland shark. At 26 feet in length and weighing more than a ton, it is truly a beast to behold. But the shark is not just known for its size alone: Its meat contains a toxin that, when consumed, has been known to make people drunk and hallucinatory.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Havboks

  • By Stephen on 07-08-17

Not bad, but not great, for this sort of thing.

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

Reviewed: 07-15-17

I like this sort of account, for that's what it is. I find myself interested in Norway and this book is like taking a walk through a bit of Norwegian life. It's not a novel, and it doesn't really go very far,. but at the end I felt I had gained some real, but narrow, insight into the life of a Norwegian writer and his artist friend and their fascination with the sea.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Why Evil Exists

  • By: Charles Mathewes, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Charles Mathewes
  • Length: 19 hrs and 6 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 472
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 430
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426

Whether we view it in theological, philosophical, or psychological terms, evil remains both a deeply intriguing question and a crucially relevant global issue. Now, Professor Mathewes offers you a richly provocative and revealing encounter with the question of human evil - a dynamic inquiry into Western civilization's greatest thinking and insight on this critical subject.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • But What's Puzzling You is the Nature of My Game

  • By W Perry Hall on 09-28-15

The title is, perhaps, broader than the content.

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

Reviewed: 07-14-17

I found this series very engaging, and while I often found myself somewhat skeptical of the analysis and conclusions it really challenged me to examine and juxtapose my ideas against the Professor's. I think that makes it a very good listen. I gave it a four star rating overall only because I had hoped for a broader, more cross-cultural examination of the idea of evil, and I think the lectures may not have defined evil, or examined our culture's definition/conceptions of exactly what evil is deeply enough. To his credit, at the end of the series he does acknowledge the limitations of the lectures.

The focus is somewhat more from a Christian/European perspective than the publisher's summary makes clear. There's no examination of evil from any current eastern culture's viewpoint, and most of the historical analysis is Jewish/Christian/Islam based. So, it's really an analysis of evil from a monotheistic, supernatural viewpoint. He does do a decent job in addressing the ideas of some of the modern secular philosophers. (As an aside: as a non Christian, I find the tortured logic required to justify why a loving, omnipotent God of Abraham needed to create evil and allow or trick his most favored creations to indulge it a little ludicrous).

Being exposed to this analysis resulted in my being much more suspect of monotheism's value to mankind. I wonder if, in a monotheistic, system, the simplistic dichotomy between good and evil, God and Satan, supports authoritarianism and fanaticism, encouraging over-simplifying complex issues into a black/white, right/wrong, good/evil juxtaposition. After some small study of Greek and Roman history, (especially the Stoics), and developing a working knowledge of Buddhism and a smattering of Confucianism, I find myself pondering if other forms of thought lend themselves to a more reasonable attitude of understanding, compromise, and the emphasis that a moral individual must be responsibility for questioning, choosing and practicing their own philosophical and/or religious beliefs.

The delivery of the lectures is quite good. Professor Mathews regularly makes some verbal slips. I'm not particularly into Freud, but if you were, some of them could be quite interesting to examine, but overall he is enthusiastic and clear.

I think this lecture series was a good investment for me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition

  • How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships
  • By: Michael P. Nichols PhD
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,365
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,232
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,216

One person talks; the other listens. It's so basic that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, most of us think of ourselves as better listeners than we actually are. Why do we so often fail to connect when speaking with family members, romantic partners, colleagues, or friends? How do emotional reactions get in the way of real communication? This thoughtful, witty, and empathic book has already helped over 100,000 people break through conflicts and transform their personal and professional relationships.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enthralling, powerful and practical - a must!

  • By R.A. on 04-28-17

One of the best I've found

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

Reviewed: 06-29-17

I enjoy reading philosophy, but it has often struck me that most of the great philosophers seem to have been both celibate and authoritarian. In their search for eudaimonia, the good life, they set aside the the complexities of interacting with families, friends and the workplace.

Dr. Nichols claims to be a scientist, not a philosopher, yet I found this book to be full of a sort of wisdom, really a philosophical prescription, for how to find, if not the good life, than at least a better life by understanding and practicing the art of listening. He gives us a prescription for how to deal with the complications of living in the messy "real" world, one where we must interact, disagree and compromise His ideas are backed up by research and study. Early scientists referred to themselves as "natural" philosophers, and I think he deserves the honor.

The most available philosophies can be stated in few words, and Dr, Nichols excels at this. For example:

";The greatest impediment to understanding...is the injured feeling of unfairness that makes us look outside ourselves for the sources of our disappointment."

";If you want the truth from someone, you must make it safe for him or her to tell it.,"

";Real listening is an act of self-transcendence."

";Judgement has no place in friendship."

His book is full of these simple, applicable ideas. Perhaps he didn't intend it, but he has laid out a philosophy for those of us who would attempt to live better lives. He sums up the essence of this far better than I could:

"Listening a little harder-extending what we do automatically, extending ourselves a little more-is one of the best ways we can be good to each other.."

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Strangler Vine

  • By: M. J. Carter
  • Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,311
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,114
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,112

India, 1837: William Avery is a young soldier with few prospects except rotting away in campaigns in India; Jeremiah Blake is a secret political agent gone native, a genius at languages and disguises, disenchanted with the whole ethos of British rule, but who cannot resist the challenge of an unresolved mystery.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating historical novel

  • By Meg on 03-12-16

What fun!

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

Reviewed: 06-12-17

I'm an easy mark when it comes to historical adventure novels. Jack Aubrey, Richard Sharpe, any character by Alan Furst. It's great to find a new series! I don't especially want great depth, or overly intricate plotting, just a good romp through some interesting, reasonably well researched epoch with a band of rowdy, raspy characters, good good guys and really bad bad guys and a hero that just barely makes it through every time.

M.J. Carter delivers and Alex Wyndham does a great job with the narration. Buy it and enjoy!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful