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Laurence G. Byrne

New York, NY
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 27
  • ratings
  • Uncommon Type

  • Some Stories
  • By: Tom Hanks
  • Narrated by: Tom Hanks
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,242
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,018
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,011

A collection of 17 wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor. The short stories are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely the best..

  • By Joan B on 11-04-17

Entertaining Stories

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

Reviewed: 11-14-18

As someone who fondly remembers the look and feel of old manual typewriters, I enjoyed the thread (perhaps I should say ribbon) that runs through these stories. Tom Hanks tells entertaining and engaging stories that have the feel of classic American short stories. His reading of them is, unsurprisingly, consistently entertaining. I expect that I will listen to these stories several more times. #nostalgia, #celebrity reader,#shortstories, #tagsgiving,#Sweepstakes

  • The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

  • A Flavia de Luce Novel
  • By: Alan Bradley
  • Narrated by: Jayne Entwistle
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,180
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,070
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,061

On a spring morning in 1951, 11-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train’s arrival in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd. Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favorite series: try it!

  • By Margaret on 02-01-14

75% Character Development

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

Reviewed: 06-06-18

This sixth trip to Buckshaw is less about murder than it is about fleshing out both Flavia and the supporting cast. There are a few secrets revealed, and more hinted at. The first few chapters are less than cheerful, even for a murder mystery, but hang in. It improves toward the middle.
Jane Entwhistle does her usual good job of bringing the characters to life. Alas, she is a dreadful a singer. The director should have attended to this detail.

  • Her Last Day

  • Jessie Cole, Book 1
  • By: T.R. Ragan
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,374
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,111

Ten years ago, PI Jessie Cole and reporter Ben Morrison each suffered a tragedy that changed their lives - and now these two strangers are about to share a nightmare. For Jessie, who makes her living finding missing persons, no case has consumed her more than the disappearance of her younger sister, Sophie. But left alone to raise Sophie's daughter, she realizes that solving the case has become an unhealthy obsession.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another hit from T R Ragan!!!!

  • By shelley on 10-26-17

Not For the Faint of Heart

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

Reviewed: 04-30-18

The early descriptions of what the "Heartless Killer," the primary villain in this thriller, is doing are so graphic as to be almost pornographic (although not sexual.) However, I toughed it out and got caught up in the story. I wanted to find out if and how his victims escaped and if justice prevailed.

The narrator, while having a somewhat limited range of voice characterizations performed the story well. I recognized her early on as the narrator of many of John Green's books.

The novel is not bedtime reading, especially if you are claustrophobic, but if you like rather dark thrillers, you will probably enjoy "Her Last Day"

  • The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal

  • By: Lilian Jackson Braun
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 507
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 343

Back in Pickax, Jim Qwilleran expects to resume a quiet life, but the people and animals of Pickax have other ideas. A noisy cardinal wakes him every morning. Nosy neighbors drop by uninvited, and the Siamese misbehave, even sneezing on guests. As if they weren't bad enough, Qwill's long-time companion acts as though she is in love, with another man. But worst of all, Qwill finds a body in his apple orchard.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • lovely

  • By Kindle Customer on 03-25-10

Tedium 400 Miles North of Everywhere

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

How many times can an author describe a hundred year old converted apple barn? I can't count that high, but Lilian Jackson Braun belongs in the Guinness Book of World Records for doing so. I have read all of the ";Cat Who" books and listened to many of them, but after listening to The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal, I have no idea why!

The repetition of numerous things in the book are repeatedly incredibly repetitious. Braun manages to cram 15 minutes of her true to formula murder mystery into this 6 hour description of life in Moose County.

Fans of the series will get to visit with their favorite character as they interact with KoKo, Yum Yum, and Qwill, who, of course, figure out "who dunnit."

  • Magpie Murders

  • A Novel
  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Samantha Bond, Allan Corduner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,214
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,649
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,622

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the best-selling crime writer for years, she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan's traditional formula has proved hugely successful.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A British Whodunit

  • By Sara on 07-24-17

Two for One

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

Reviewed: 09-22-17

Magpie Murders is really a double story.... the manuscript of the titular book and all of the mystery and intrigue surrounding the death of its author, and its hoped-for publication. If that sounds a bit convoluted, then I have captured something of the flavor of the novel.
Both stories are interesting, but I found the Magpie Murder storyline more engaging than the "real life" one.
This is a good listen, but one has to pay attention to keep the story straight.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Deadly Grind

  • Vintage Kitchen Mystery Series, # 1
  • By: Victoria Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 995
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 901
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 899

When vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton spies an original 1920s Hoosier brand kitchen cabinet at an estate auction, it's love at first sight. Despite the protests of her sister that the 19th-century yellow-brick house they share in Michigan is already too cluttered with Jaymie's "junk," she successfully outbids the other buyers and triumphantly takes home her Hoosier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • History can be deadly in this cozy mystery!

  • By Byron on 04-28-14

An Aptly Named Book

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

Reviewed: 05-11-16

Probably only Because I was taught to finish what I started, I was able to get through this Deadly grind of a story. I read and/or listen to and enjoy lots of mysteries, be they as grim as Jonathan Kellerman's grittiest tales or Lillian Jackson Braun's fluffiest "Cat Who..." adventures, but this book is so far past cozy it ought to come packaged with a "Snuggy" and a hot chocolate.

The protagonist is a stereotypical lovelorn single woman who sometimes whines and sometimes pines for the stereotypical jerk that jilted her. Fortunately, as things get tough for her, a wealthy and handsome man appears on the scene and he seems to like her! (You know he LIKE likes her, not just likes her. Think 5th grade parlance.) Wow... just like one of the Harlequin Romances she spends her time reading when not collecting kitchen kitsch!

The character has a little bit of emerging backbone, but blushes at nearly everything and the least bit of stress makes her quiver. Had she started shaking over something one more time,I would have been forced to reach through my iPod and smack her!

The story line is pretty thin, but has a few good elements. I think the author researched her subject well. However, the editor needs to go to Summer School as there are numerous grammatical errors.

The overall performance of the book was fine. Ms. Zeller differentiated her voice for the numerous characters and was consistent and energetic in her performance.

This book probably has far more appeal to spinsters who keep cats and collect "Precious Moments" figurines than to any other audience.

  • A Man Lay Dead

  • By: Ngaio Marsh
  • Narrated by: Philip Franks
  • Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 263
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 237

Wealthy Sir Hubert Handesley's original and lively weekend house parties are deservedly famous. To amuse his guests, he has devised a new form of the fashionable Murder Game, in which a guest is secretly selected to commit a 'murder' in the dark, and everyone assembles to solve the crime. But when the lights go up this time, there is a real corpse....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Upper Crust Mystery

  • By Laurence G. Byrne on 02-25-16

Classic Upper Crust Mystery

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

Reviewed: 02-25-16

Any additional comments?

"A Man Lay Dead," although published in 1934, holds up well as an intriguing classic mystery. Like some others of its kind, the novel might have been batter read than heard. That is not to say it was not well performed,(It was.) but that there are so many characters, one practically needs a score card to keep them straight. As the book progressed and some of the red herrings were caught and set aside, it became easier to follow the development of plot and character.
I did get involved enough that I found it difficult to turn off the recording. This might be a great "read" for a long and otherwise dull car trip when one could listen to large sections at a time.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Mrs Queen Takes the Train

  • By: William Kuhn
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,789
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,623
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,620

An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn - author of Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books - Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable with deeper meaning

  • By SydSavvy on 12-31-15

Just Go With It

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

Reviewed: 02-18-16

Any additional comments?

Mrs. Queen takes the Train is a fanciful and fun romp through the world of "What if..." The story's premise that Her Majesty could simply wander off and disappear is fine if one simply suspends one's disbelief and goes with the flow. The story line is a bit complicated due to the character development. There are a good many back-stories that help the characters be three dimensional, but that leads to some difficulty in keeping track of chronology. The characters are by and large pleasant, and all grow during the story. I found myself rooting for each of them as the book progressed. Mr. Kuhn must have an affection and appreciation for the Queen as he creates a character who is easy to like. I found myself wondering if the real Queen would not rather enjoy living out the tale told about her.
Simon Prebble does a fine job of bringing each character to life with a voice that is easy to listen to throughout the production.

  • Skin Tight

  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: George Wilson
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,696
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 957
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 963

This novel by Carl Hiaasen, author of Tourist Season and Native Tongue, begins as most thrillers do, with a killing. But this is no everyday, hum-drum, garden variety killing. Our hero, Nick Stranahan, a 42-year-old private investigator who has killed five men and been married five times, skewers his attacker's aorta with the razor-sharp bill of a stuffed marlin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Skintight

  • By Chris on 08-02-04

Absolute Brain Candy

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

Reviewed: 03-13-15

This utterly absurd novel is a treat to listen to. I found it very hard to turn off. Hiaasen's characters and settings are perhaps just the far side of believable, but are engaging and entertaining.
The narration and production are excellent.

  • Top Secret Twenty-One

  • A Stephanie Plum Novel
  • By: Janet Evanovich
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,477
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,093
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,092

Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Stagnant Stephanie - Plodding Plot - Not great

  • By GH on 06-20-14

A fun story badly read

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

Reviewed: 01-26-15

The 21st installment of the misadventures of Stephanie Plum is another piece of mind candy.
Very unfortunate that the narrator and her attempt at voices is as annoying as a back up on the NJTP, and as refreshing as a deep breath on the Pulaski Skyway. Time to return to a previous narrator.