LISTENER

Jannice

Sugar Land, TX, USA
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 150
  • helpful votes
  • 18
  • ratings
  • The Book of Joe

  • A Novel
  • By: Jonathan Tropper
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 625
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 445
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 446

Joe Goffman was fifteen years out from his sleepy hometown when he wrote Bush Falls, a searing critique of its people and institutions. The book was a runaway best seller, and led to an even more successful movie. Now, however, Joe's got a problem. His father has suffered a stroke, and that means that Joe has to go back to his birthplace after having successfully antagonized every person living there. Can Joe survive the reservoirs of hatred that have been waiting to pour down upon him? Just maybe.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Glad I took a chance

  • By Jannice on 07-04-04

Glad I took a chance

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-04-04

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I chose this title - I actually was drawn to it initatilly because Scott Brick is the reader and he has always done a good job on other books I've listened to. This is no exception - his reading brings the book alive.
But I also found myself fully engaged in the story and characters - I laughed out loud too many time to count, and felt moved to tears at other times. Throughout the reading I tried imagining Joe, and I could see John Cusack playing him if it was a movie - kind of a quirky smart aleck but trying to do the right thing.
There is one unfortunate sexual scene that I thought was unnecessary and unrealistic - probably what a previous reviewer meant when she described this as a boy's book. But it was just one scene and not enough to condemn the whole story. Ultimately I'm glad I took the chance on this book.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • The Taking

  • A Novel
  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Ari Meyers
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,037
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 583
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 588

On the morning that will mark the end of the world they have known, Molly and Neil Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain on their roof. It has haunted their sleep, invaded their dreams, and now they rise to find a luminous silvery downpour drenching their small California mountain town. A strange scent hangs faintly in the air, and the young couple cannot shake the sense of something wrong.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The book may be good, but how can we tell?

  • By Don Pearsall on 06-23-04

Uncharacteristically depressing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-04-04

Like many of the other reviewers, I am usually a faithful Koontz fan. But this time he has spun an overwhelmingly oppressive tale that was almost too hard to get through. I ususally love his visually descriptive style and disagree with those who accuse him of being too wordy. But in this case, the relentless and repetitive descriptions of such ugliness w/o any balance of beauty or hope made for a depressing read. His usual ability to create characters to care about is absent. Molly is the only one with any dimension, and even she is not up to his usual standards.
That said, I did not have a major problem with the reader - she wasn't stellar, but not bad. And unlike other reviewers, I was satisfied with the way he chose to finally explain the reason for the events. It was just a very long and grusome trip to get there. This is the first time I have ever recommended skipping a Koontz book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Cold Mountain

  • By: Charles Frazier
  • Narrated by: Charles Frazier
  • Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,189
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 753
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 757

One of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain is a masterpiece that is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished America in all its savagery, solitude, and splendor.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Cold Mountain (Unabridged)

  • By M. Dunn on 02-09-04

Cold Mountain - Content over style.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-08-04

Previous readers seem to have either loved or hated this book, and the reading by the author is a major factor in these opinions. I loved the story and how Charles Frazier spun the characters and the plot, I could "see" the mountains and the farm, the characters were very real with true voices.
Did I like Frazier's reading? Eventually yes. I had to get over the lack of variety in the characters' voices that would tell me who is speaking. I had to get used to his habit of reading as if there were no periods between sentences, even when the speaker changed. But his voice is a pleasant one to listen to, and his words were remarkable. Ultimately the strength of what he wrote triumphed over how he read it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Temptation

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Guerin Barry
  • Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 81

Mapping the minds of murderers is what Dr. Tony Hill does better than anyone. So when a twisted killer starts targeting psychologists across Northern Europe, he's the obvious choice to track the executioner's mental and physical journey.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The Last Temptation - Wrong voice

  • By Jannice on 04-08-04

The Last Temptation - Wrong voice

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-08-04

I chose this book because I have enjoyed the BBC productions of the Tony Hill mysteries. This selection was a disappointment on 2 levels.
1) The author does a good job of constructing and pacing the criminal and forensic aspects of the story, but unfortunately does not have a good ear for realistic dialogue between characters. They always sound as if they are on stage, feeding us needed information for plot purposes.
2) With characters that are exclusively British or European, this book cries out for a reader that is British and also able to manage credible European accents. This reader is American and his attempts at accents reminds me of Saturday Nite Live style characatures, especially the heavy-handed German voices. The over-all emotional tone is of the "stiff upper lip" Brit style, and his rendition of the main female character verges on the falsetto. The intrinsic dialogue flaws from the author are just magnified by this poor choice of reader.
Those who don't already have a "mind's eye view" of Hill and Jordan from the BBC productions may not feel as critical of this presentation as I am. The story itself is good. I recommend listening to the sample to make a choice about selecting this book or not.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

The Cabinet of Curiosities
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Douglas Preston,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Lincoln Child
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Rene Auberjonois
    
    


    
    Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
    1,555 ratings
    Overall 4.1
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities

  • By: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: Rene Auberjonois
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,555
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 620
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 618

In lower Manhattan, a charnel pit of horror is uncovered: the remains of 36 people murdered and gruesomely dismembered over 130 years ago by an unknown serial killer. Just as a museum archaeologist and an enigmatic FBI agent begin to unravel the clues to the killings, a fresh spree of copy-cat murders and surgical mutilation erupts around them. Mixing science and terror in a way only they can, Preston and Child deliver a novel that's as gruesome as it is enthralling.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Book is a True Curiosity!!

  • By Dianna on 02-26-03

Gripping

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-10-04

Very suspensful, pulled me along the whole way - listened to the whole book in just 2 days. Liked Pendergast in this one better than in "Still Life With Crows" (although I really enjoyed that story too)- he seemed more in his own environment here, and his connection to the murders was more relevant than in the other story. Terrific narration enhanced the characters. It was well paced, enough detail to follow the thread along with Pendergast - I just wonder what was left out by abridging the story?

  • Still Life with Crows

  • By: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: Rene Auberjonois
  • Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 970
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341

Medicine Creek, Kansas, has been slowly dying for the last century. In a town where nothing changes, the community is terrified after a series of grisly murders takes place. Even more alarming, the bodies are displayed in bizarre tableaus. With the entire town in shock, FBI Agent Pendergast arrives from New Orleans to investigate. From the fields to the local caves, Pendergast discovers the remnants of a Prohibition-era moonshine operation and the truth behind one of the town's greatest mysteries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So Exciting! Like watching a film!

  • By Venice on 08-20-03

Good story, well read

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-06-04

This is my first book by these authors, the effort was worth it. The story was good, paced well, populated with interesting characters. Had a hard time at first with the kind of mysterious nature of Pendergast, then decided it wasn't worth getting hung up about, and just enjoyed the ride. Had figured out out where to find the "bad guy" somewhat ahead of the characters, but once the authors got us there, they threw in some more surprises, preventing a boring and predictable end. Good job.

  • Jolie Blon's Bounce

  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Mark Hammer
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 882
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 457
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449

Return to James Lee Burke's "timeless, parallel universe" with detective Dave Robicheaux, as he investigates the murders of two women, tries to prove one man's innocence, and faces an enemy unlike any he has ever known. Gothic, dense, brutal, touching, and always compelling, Jolie Blon's Bounce is classic storytelling from a writer who has been dubbed "the Faulkner of crime fiction."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sorry I was wrong

  • By JD. on 08-25-03

Slow bounce.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-06-04

I struggled getting through this book for 2 reasons:
1. The reader - he had the Louisianna sound down pat, but took way too long to find a way to distinguish one voice from another. Especially in the beginning I had to rewind several times to figure out which character was speaking, especially in conversations between Dave and Clete. It got better towards the end of the book, but the reading is mediocre at best.
2. Lack of action. Right up front we get 2 brutal murders, we meet the characters who are supposed to be solving the crimes, then spend 2/3's of the book tolerating an endless circus of immature and violent behavior from the suspects as well as the "good guys" without a shred of evidence that anyone is trying to find the killer. We don't even get a clue until the final hour of the reading why the crimes were committed.
In the long run, I'm glad I stuck it out - the ending did finally tell the story. But there were too many red herrings to make this a first class suspense story. Reduce the number of characters by half, spend the same amount of effort developing the ones that remain, and then you'll get a story to invest in.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Odd Thomas

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: David Aaron Baker
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,488
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,562
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,577

"The dead don't talk. I don't know why." But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No Doubting Thomas

  • By Denise on 12-11-03

Captivating

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-19-03

As a devoted Koontz fan, I downloaded this selection as soon as I saw it was available. This one knocked my socks off. With an economy of narration that should satisfy critics of previous, more descriptive works, Koontz pushes us relentlessly forward towards a potential catastophe with an urgency reminiscent of his earlier "Strange Highways". There is absolute faith and trust in the instincts and integrity of the hero and narrator of this tale, making the supernatural aspects of the story totally believable from the very beginning.
Koontz and Stephen King are often linked together as similar in writing styles and genre. I have had no luck in enjoying King, finding him gloomy, hostile and often vulgar. On the other hand, in spite of catastrophic happenings, Koontz finds hope, courage and devotion to man's responsibility to humanity as consistent themes in developing his stories. I will stick to Dean Koontz, and recommend this story as a place to start.

41 of 46 people found this review helpful

The Gunslinger
    The Dark Tower I
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Stephen King
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        George Guidall
    
    


    
    Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
    11,109 ratings
    Overall 4.1
  • The Gunslinger

  • The Dark Tower I
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11,109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,270
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,340

Eerie, dreamlike, set in a world that is weirdly related to our own, The Gunslinger introduces Roland Deschain of Gilead, of In-World that was, as he pursues his enigmatic antagonist to the mountains that separate the desert from the Western Sea in the first volume of The Dark Tower series. Roland, the last gunslinger, is a solitary figure, perhaps accursed, who with a strange single-mindedness traverses an exhausted, almost timeless landscape of good and evil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Dark Tower Review - Part One

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-23-03

A long time going nowhere

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-18-03

This was one long excrutiating walk through the desert without any water. I found no one to root for, nothing to give me hope that something was actually going to happen, and the meandering "plot" left me wondering what it was all about. The tone reminded me of the old Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns that always bored me and left me wondering "is that all there is?" Frankly, I finally gave up and moved on to another book that was actually worth my time and effort. Thankfully I only ordered this first episode in the "epic saga" - I won't be ordering any future volumes or investing any more time in following this character on whatever his quest is.

19 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • The Murder Room

  • An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery
  • By: P.D. James
  • Narrated by: Charles Keating
  • Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 632
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 259

The Dupayne, a small private museum in London, is in turmoil. As its trustees argue over whether it should be closed, one of them is brutally and mysteriously murdered. Yet even as Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team proceed with their investigation, a second corpse is discovered. Someone in the Dupayne is prepared to kill and kill again. Still more sinister, the murders appear to echo the notorious crimes of the past featured in one of the museum's galleries: the Murder Room.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic P.D. James

  • By Jim on 11-23-03

Very Satisfying

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-18-03

Another excellent entry in the Adam Dalgleish series, which actually adds increased depth to the Chief Inspector's personality. The story is inhabited by flesh and blood characters (brought to life by Charles Keating's elegant reading), and the plot is believable and well developed. I especially enjoyed the ending - the part after the murders are solved - because of the human side it shows of Adam Dalgleish. Bravo to Ms. James - please write us some more.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful