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Michael Davis

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  • reviews
  • 39
  • helpful votes
  • 31
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  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty, Daniel Oreskes, full cast
  • Length: 19 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,720
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 37,776
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,740

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 10 Years and Still a Fantastic Read

  • By Nightveil on 07-22-11

People and gods ultimately please and disappoint

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

Reviewed: 02-22-18

Reading American Gods, I was reminded of listening to Gaiman's Norse Mythology book (which I incidentally liked better): highly listenable to the ear, humorous, and 'gods' who are little more than your neighbor down the street. For the most part, though the location shifts beautifully like a travelogue across America's 'fruited plains', the people are alternately banal, caring, crass, evil, or some combination there of. In any case, you're unlikely to be bored, though, in the end it may be more like reading Facebook for the gods: moderately interesting, lyrical to the ears through the amazing narrator, striving for 'likes', but ultimately vapid. The places and people are well-drawn and interesting, but the story really says little of worth about gods or men, except that they can be a mix of good and bad. It does this, however, with a melodious voice and a combination and lyrical selection of words that few but Gaiman can pull off.

  • Not Alone

  • By: Craig A. Falconer
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 22 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,608
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,152
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,141

When Dan McCarthy stumbles upon a folder containing evidence of the conspiracy to end all conspiracies - a top-level alien cover-up - he leaks the files without a second thought. The incredible truth revealed by Dan's leak immediately captures the public's imagination, but Dan's relentless commitment to exposing the cover-up and forcing disclosure quickly earns him some enemies in high places.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Impressive Book About Aliens & the Hype Industry

  • By Russell on 12-21-16

A thoroughly engaging alien disclosure story...

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

Reviewed: 02-22-18

Dan, whose personal characteristics incline him toward belief in extraterrestrial life, finds evidence that such life exists. Again, because of his personal characteristics, he makes that evidence publicly available, heedless to the danger it imposes on him. This isn't the story of someone who loves all things alien. Rather, it's the story of someone who obstinately tries to make sure people learn the truth.

Along the way, he discovers friends and enemies, some you come to like, some you continue to fear.

The story hits a plateau about two-thirds of the way through. Honestly, I had to remind myself to stick with the story, though it seemed it was going nowhere for a bit. In hindsight, I'm not sure Falconer had any other choice. In fact, he had to tell it this way. Like a long pause between two big cities, you have to drive it, but it's kind of boring. When you reach the destination, this choices becomes necessary.

Ultimately, the reader is rewarded for her/his patience with a more satisfying ending, characters whom you like (and dislike), and the willingness to embrace an ending that isn't pre-determined by publicists and editors. I'd read Falconer again! A good, old-fashioned alien story without a lot of hoopla.

  • The X-Files: Stolen Lives

  • By: Joe Harris, Chris Carter, Dirk Maggs - adaptation
  • Narrated by: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, and others
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,472
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,360
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,362

Out of the ashes of the Syndicate, a new, more powerful threat has emerged. Resurrected members of this fallen group - now shadows of their former selves - seemingly bend to the will of someone, or something, with unmatched abilities and an unknown purpose. As those believed to be enemies become unlikely allies and trusted friends turn into terrifying foes, FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully become unknowing participants in a deadly game of deception and retribution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As much as the show

  • By S. Reese on 11-02-17

How did old-time radio shows do this better?

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

Reviewed: 11-22-17

On the plus side, it was fun to hear some of the old actors who did the original X-Files series reprise their roles. it was nice to hear living theme song from the original series played as it would have been on the TV.

On the negative side, the stories themselves were only moderately interesting. Perhaps more important to this genre, was the fact that the audio didn't manage the transitions from person to person and place to place very well. If you are familiar with some of the old-time radio shows, they were masters of this broadcast form of Storytelling. They managed the sound effects in a way that you could visualize what was happening in the story. That wasn't the case in this series. At least not very well. all in all, I felt rather deflated. I really wanted to enjoy this, but it fell short of expectations.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Fix

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Kyf Brewer, Orlagh Cassidy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,710
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,842
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,817

Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself. Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter - a family man with a successful consulting business - and his victim, a schoolteacher.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Where is Ron Mcclarty?

  • By jason adams on 04-28-17

Amos Decker twisting in the Wind

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

Reviewed: 10-18-17

I've read other books from this series, but this one seemed to ring hollow for me. Maybe it was the narrators? Maybe it was the story? It felt like somebody was trying to do CPR on this novel, getting a normal sinus rhythm only to have the patient go into tachycardia again. Police procedurals get a bad name. Maybe they are too linear. In this case, I would have appreciated more linear. Just about the time you feel like you found some resolution, Decker comes up with another question. I'm usually glad for that. But in this case, it felt false. Overall, it was just an okay novel. I probably won't be reading many more from this series.

  • Hidden Prey

  • Prey
  • By: John Sandford
  • Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
  • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,248
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,099
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,095

Six months ago, Lucas Davenport tackled his first case as a statewide troubleshooter, and he thought that one was plenty strange enough. But that was before the Russian got killed. On the shore of Lake Superior, a man named Vladimir Oleshev is found shot dead, three holes in his head and heart, and though nobody knows why he was killed, everybody - the local cops, the FBI, and the Russians themselves - has a theory. And when it turns out he had very high government connections, that's when it hits the fan.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Davenport is all business in this one

  • By Ed on 01-14-13

An intelligent story with interesting characters

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

Reviewed: 10-01-17

It stayed within the credulity meter (which is to say, I wasn't rarely yelled at my phone because the author asked me to believe an utterly implausible story twist). The characters here are always interesting. In general, the overall tone of this Lucas Davenport story seemed more serious to me. The author, though, never strays far, even if serious, from his trademark banter, wisecracks, and world-weary, insider banter. The timing of the story is right on target. This helps credulity. I don't usually listen to these a second time, but, I probably could, and enjoy it nearly as much as the first time.

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58,582
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 54,968
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54,864

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

  • By PW on 04-12-17

Wise, wry, and humane.

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

Reviewed: 08-25-17

Audible version. What a refreshing surprise We Are Legion (We Are Bob) has been! Bob awakens after a fatal accident having been cryogenically frozen (cryogened?). He discovers that he is no longer human: he's a Replicant. He's still the benevolent and intelligent Bob that he was before. Minus the Organics. What he comes to learn is that he's been thrust into a world torn between technology and Luddism (Faith). It will fall to Bob - a Replicant - to save humanity. But, how much of Bob remains? Will the Replicants of the Replicant still have Bob's moral compass? And, what of the factions trying to take over the world? And other life forms yet to be discovered? In the absence of God, does Bob become God?

These are the kinds of big questions in the backdrop of a rollicking fun ride. This is nerd and geek Nirvana. Wry references to Roddenberry's world's, Battlestar Galactica and Homer pepper the story. Most narrators can't successfully pull off wink-wink references. If they do, it's only a small percent of the time. I was waiting for Ray Porter to have a mis-step in this regard, especially with so many wink-winks. He manages it all with aplomb.

I fear that only techies will test these waters. I hope I'm wrong. The beauty of this Replicant story is more than skin deep.

  • Fluke

  • By: James Herbert
  • Narrated by: Damian Lynch
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

A likely tail. He was a stringy mongrel, wandering the streets of the city, driven by a ravenous hunger and hunting a quarry he could not define. But he was something more. Somewhere in the depths of his consciousness was memory clawing its way to the surface, tormenting him, refusing to let him rest. The memory of what he once had been. James Herbert was one of Britain's greatest popular novelists and our #1 best-selling writer of chiller fiction.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not Horror, but by all means very good.

  • By Matthew S. Hill on 04-14-17

A charming story with a great narrator

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

Reviewed: 10-03-16

A charming story with a great narrator. My dog, Jeffie, made me listen to it twice more. Which really wasn't a problem since it's such a delightful story.

  • Ballistic

  • A Gray Man Novel
  • By: Mark Greaney
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 14 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,425
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,631
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,626

Ex-CIA assassin Court Gentry thought he could find refuge living in the Amazon rain forest. But his bloody past finds him when a vengeful Russian crime lord forces him to go on the run once again. Court makes his way to one of the only men in the world he can trust - and arrives too late. His friend is dead and buried. Years before, Eddie Gamboa had saved Court's life. Now, Eddie has been murdered by the notorious Mexican drug cartel he fought to take down. And Court soon finds himself drawn into a war he never wanted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Comparable to the first in this series

  • By Ed on 10-30-17

Good story. Only a "little" preposterous.

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

Reviewed: 07-14-16

Good story. It's similar in many ways to the Jack Reacher series. Unfortunately, that series became utterly preposterous and equally predictable. This story had similar sections that bent credulity. But, generally not to the extent or frequency of the Reacher novels. The bodies in the Reacher novels are starting to rot. Here, things still seem kind of fresh.

  • Make Me

  • Jack Reacher, Book 20
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 14 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,015
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,304
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,303

"Why is this town called Mother's Rest?" That's all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It's a tiny place hidden in 1,000 square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very reminiscent of BAD LUCK & TROUBLE

  • By shelley on 09-10-15

Why must Reacher's female buddies be dimwitted?

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

Reviewed: 10-23-15

With regards to the story, Reacher's female "buddies" seem increasingly one dimensional: dumb. I'll give the characters a mistake or two. That's human. But, a supposedly EX-FBI agent who can't imagine how "the bad guys" are tracking them? Not once, but repeatedly? Who utterly and repeatedly fails to see the bigger picture when it's as clear as a chalk body outline? "Reacher said nothing." He should have said, "I'm outta' here" to her and to the story.

With regards to the narration - others may not hear his reading this way - but to me, the females sound whiney, pleading, and carping.

This is the second Reacher book where women have seemed preposterously dumb. That's not the majority of women I know.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Echo Burning

  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,161
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,114
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,119

Reacher is hitching through the heat of West Texas and getting desperate for a ride. The last thing he's worried about is exactly who picks him up.

She's called Carmen. She's a good-looking young woman, she has a beautiful little girl...and she has married into the wrong family. They're called the Greers. They're a bitter and miserly clan, and they've made her life a living hell. Worse, her monster of a husband is soon due out of prison. So she needs protection, and she needs it now.

Lawyers can't help. Cops can't be trusted. So Reacher goes home with her to the lonely ranch where nothing is as it seems, and where evil swirls around them like dust in a storm. Within days, Carmen's husband is dead - and simmering secrets send Echo, Texas, up in flames.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not Lee Child At His Best...

  • By David on 05-12-09

Female voices (character)were nearly intolerable.

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

Reviewed: 08-26-15

I usually like this series. However, the female characters in this one were so plaintive, so weak, that I wanted to fast forward past them whenever they were talking. It got better (slightly) a third of the way through, though. Still, I've worked with abuse victims and I wouldn't characterize them as either stupid our weak. That's how they came across to me in this book.