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L. Stapleton

Los Angeles
  • 24
  • reviews
  • 46
  • helpful votes
  • 144
  • ratings
  • Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

  • A Novel
  • By: Camille Pagán
  • Narrated by: Amy McFadden
  • Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,783
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,580
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,586

Libby Miller has always been an unwavering optimist - but when her husband drops a bomb on their marriage the same day a doctor delivers devastating news, she realizes her rose-colored glasses have actually been blinding her. With nothing left to lose, she abandons her life in Chicago for the clear waters and bright beaches of the Caribbean for what might be her last hurrah.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thank you for a very good listen

  • By Fred Stellabotte on 04-26-16

Chick **it

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

Reviewed: 10-04-17

This book just wasn't what I was expecting. It is described as a voyage of self-discovery in the face of a fatal cancer diagnosis, and maybe it is that. But the delivery of that story resembles "The Nanny Diaries" or perhaps "The Devil Wears Prada". The heroine is faced with her diagnosis on the same day her husband defects (trying not to spoiler here). Her reaction to everything is annoying, childish, and trite. The reader exacerbates this with her nasally, immature-sounding reading, which is more like the voice of a 20-something than a 30-something. I couldn't take this book seriously, except to be seriously annoyed.

  • I Am Pilgrim

  • A Thriller
  • By: Terry Hayes
  • Narrated by: Christopher Ragland
  • Length: 22 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,129
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,488
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,494

An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please let this all be fiction.

  • By B.J. on 08-08-14

Stunningly idiotic

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

Reviewed: 02-13-17

I bought this audiobook because of the high ratings and because two very intellegent people I work with read it. I failed to find out what they thought of it before I bought it. My mistake.

During the first two chapters, I was convinced that I was hearing an ironically ridiculous spy story within a story and that eventually it would become clear that those chapters were a joke. Sadly, this was not the case. Some of the highlights of those two chapters were: a man in his early 30s showing up at bloody crime site. He is brilliant (of course) and intuitively determines that the murderer is a woman. He bases this conclusion on the fact that the room is tidy, the milk is in the fridge but beer is on the counter, and that there are rom-com movies. Really? This would indicate, to me, that the killer was British because no one else in the world likes warm beer, even women. And do people who commit premeditated, very bloody murders sit around in their hotel rooms watching rom-com's? Maybe Jeffrey Dahmer did...We are also treated to the main characters purient thoughts on the murder and to other speculation about how the female victim was having sex when murdered. It's a bit much.

We soon learn that the brilliant young man authored a book on crime and espionage and that this murderer is using his book as a how-to guide. He is terribly surprised at the idea that criminals might read his book and get new ideas. Apparently, he's not as bright as we were lead to believe.

Over the course of the book we are expected to come to terms with the idea that the main character is the most interesting man in the world. At age 35ish. The female characters are either mommy figures or they want to sleep with the main character. The woman who recruited him out of college, for example, was wearing a surprisingly short skirt and had great legs.

At best, the book may be a throw back to the great age of Cold War spy novels, James Bond, Smiley, and Gorky Park. At worst it's a ridiculous pack of mysoginistic shite that you shouldn't waste your time with. I'm returning it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lady Thief

  • Scarlet, Book 2
  • By: A. C. Gaughen
  • Narrated by: Helen Stern
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • No Joy

  • By S. Lynne on 06-12-15

Is that an Australian accent?

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

Reviewed: 12-01-16

I believe that this narrator is British, but the cockney (?) accents she gives the characters sounds completely Australian. I found this very distracting. I also found her reading somewhat muddled between the voices and the accent and the rather dull first chapter.

With regard to the story, I read the first novel in this series and loved it, but this seems to plod and I wasn't sold on the character development, at least not when read by someone else.

I will probably read this one and return the audio book.

  • The Ark

  • Children of a Dead Earth, Book 1
  • By: Patrick S. Tomlinson
  • Narrated by: Mirron Willis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 620
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 579
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 578

Humankind has escaped a dying Earth and set out to find a new home among the stars aboard an immense generation ship affectionately named the Ark. Bryan Benson is the Ark's greatest living sports hero, enjoying retirement working as a detective in Avalon, his home module. The hours are good, the work is easy, and the perks can't be beat. But when a crew member goes missing, Bryan is thrust into the center of an ever-expanding web of deception, secrets, and violence.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nearly there

  • By Michaela on 05-11-16

Only made it though about an hour of the audiobook

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

Reviewed: 05-18-16

The narrator was simply terrible. Flat, monotone, strange stilted pronunciations. I couldn't keep my mind on the story and gave up 1 hour in. I will be returning this one.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant

  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,606
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,172
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,173

Timid, socially awkward, and plagued by self-esteem issues, Fred has never been the adventurous sort. One fateful night - different from the night he died, which was more inconvenient than fateful - Fred reconnects with an old friend at his high school reunion. This rekindled relationship sets off a chain of events thrusting him right into the chaos of the parahuman world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun for a While

  • By sherri on 09-18-16

fun and enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 11-23-15

I wasn't sure I would like this when I began to listen to it. I'm pretty over the vampire genre and I don't much care for short stories. These stories, however, build upon one another like journal entries. The main character's humble humor is fun and silly. I really liked the pace and the fact that I could stop and start listening without having to think much about it. Having said that, I was always interested enough to start listening again.

  • The Aeronaut's Windlass

  • The Cinder Spires, Book 1
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: Euan Morton
  • Length: 21 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,243
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,367
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,360

Since time immemorial the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace. Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy's shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Brave New World

  • By Don Gilbert on 10-02-15

Good, but not his best

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

Reviewed: 11-23-15

Make no mistake, this is a YA novel, which is something I didn't realize when I bought it. It is also very clearly the start of a series and feels somewhat incomplete. Having said that, it is a well-written story in a richly imagined world - as you would expect from Jim Butcher. Unfortunately, it lacks the dark humor of the Dresden files and the talking cats really are annoying (yes,we get it, humans are dumb and cats are far superior).

Spotless: Spotless, Book 1 audiobook cover art
  • Spotless: Spotless, Book 1

  • By: Camilla Monk
  • Narrated by: Amy McFadden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 620
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 579
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 578

A gentleman professional killer with a bad case of OCD and zero tolerance for unsorted laundry, March isn't there to kill her...yet. He wants the diamond her late mother stole for a sinister criminal organization. Island agrees to help him find it, facing the kind of adversaries who dismember first and ask questions later. Good thing she's got March to show her the ropes. And the guns. And the knives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Happy Surprise

  • By M. Petherick on 06-25-15

Cute but nothing more

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

Reviewed: 11-23-15

I bought this audible book on sale so I was prepared to take a chance. It started off pretty well, with a clueless heroine and a OCD villain. However, as the two characters develop,we learn that the heroine is a 25 year old virgin, and this becomes a central aspect of the plot and her personality. The virginity trope has been done to death. Is it really worthy of so much attention? Well, there isn't much else going on in this book, so I guess that's why we hear so much about it. It also becomes clear by about the 4th hour of the book that the heroine has the personality of a 12 year old. By hour 5, I had had enough of the Bond-like supervillians, killers with hearts of gold, and passive child-women. On the up side, the ridiculous psuedo-quotes from imaginary bodice-ripper novels that start each chapter were clever and amusing. Unfortunately, I was able to listen to only half before I gave it up.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Sandman Slim

  • By: Richard Kadrey
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,600
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,113
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,124

When he was 19, James Stark was considered to be one of the greatest natural magicians, a reputation that got him demon-snatched and sent downtown - to Hell - where he survived as a gladiator, a sideshow freak entertaining Satan's fallen angels. That was 11 years ago. Now, the hitman who goes only by Stark has escaped and is back in L.A. Armed with a fortune-telling coin, a black bone knife, and an infernal key, Stark is determined to destroy the magic circle.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Hallie on 04-24-12

Somewhat painful

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

Reviewed: 05-06-15

In the beginning, there was a thin veil of noir. It burned off quickly and once it was gone, I found myself mentally checking to verify that I wasn't listening to a YA novel.

Part of the problem is the narrators voice, which is high and reedy and a bit irritating. The "hero" (who ultimately, and in a totally nonsensical way, comes to be known as Sandman Slim, but that is another issue...) is supposed to be a big tough guy seasoned by 11 years as a gladiator in hell. Yet he is written with the personality of a 19 year old, his age when he went to hell. It seems as if the author really couldn't decide whether he wanted his dually-named hero to be a teenager or a gritty tough guy. He ends up with a mish-mash of the two that he rationalizes with an assumption that a 19-year old would not mature after 11 years of torture in hell. It's confusing.

My other criticism is for the author's apparent lack of geographical knowledge of Los Angeles. This was really distracting. I can excuse the re-working of certain neighborhoods to suit the grittyness of the story but Beverly Hills is not, and never has been, anywhere near Laurel Canyon. And to travel in any way other than through Sandman Slim's magic doors between Beverly Hills, Laurel Canyon, and Hollywood would take most of the day. One way.

The upshot is an unevenly written book that tries for noir but does not succeed and gets caught somewhere between a comic book and Preston and Childs novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Captive

  • By: Aimée Carter
  • Narrated by: Lameece Issaq
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 242
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 214

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, in a hostile meritocracy on the verge of revolution, Kitty sees her frustration grow as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoat rebels she is secretly supporting keep her in the dark more than ever.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Really? Character is so stubborn to the point of idiocy.

  • By MelindaCogs on 10-27-15

Doesn't live up to the first book

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

Reviewed: 02-22-15

The first book in this series, "Pawn", was great; fresh, fast, and unpredictable. "Captive" moves along but I found myself bored and annoyed by characters that are no longer engaging. These are "young adult" novels and, as so often happens, the characters are interesting only so long as the plot provides a challenge and lots of action. The author has not sustained that in the second book of this series. The characters are now whiney and dull, the plot is completely transparent. I'm not sure I'll be able to finish listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Arrows of the Queen audiobook cover art
  • Arrows of the Queen

  • By: Mercedes Lackey
  • Narrated by: Carole Edie Smith
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 554
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 354
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 361

Talia has always known that she isn't suited for the life her elders have chosen for her. As part of a small, conservative community, she's never been allowed beyond the boundaries of her father's lands. Her only window to the outside world has been the few books she's been allowed to read, but this only fuels her desire to know more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly Recommend

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-18-07

Good story, poor choice of narrator

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

Reviewed: 06-09-14

This is a well-written and developed story. I've never read any of the other Valdemar books and I had no trouble becoming engrossed in the setting and characters.

The narrator is talented but her strong New York/New Jersey accent is jarring as the voice of a young girl in a fantasy setting.