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Vaughn

South Charleston, WV, United States
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 48
  • ratings
  • Razor Girl

  • A Novel
  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: John Rubinstein
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,874
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,874

When Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but (this is Hiaasen!). Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield - the eponymous Razor Girl - and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book this year!

  • By green ice cream garden on 09-19-16

very disappointing by Hiaasen standards

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

Reviewed: 09-23-16

Would you try another book from Carl Hiaasen and/or John Rubinstein?

I've read and/or listened to all. Of his other adult books and this one is, by far, the weakest one,

What could Carl Hiaasen have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The characters are not typical Hiaasen characters. While Duck Dynesty is mentioned in the book, Captain Cock is obviously a barely factionalized version of Phil Robertson. The characters were weak, the storyline was even weaker.

What about John Rubinstein’s performance did you like?

The narration was fine.

What character would you cut from Razor Girl?

Captain Cock should have been more original.

Any additional comments?

Hiaasen novels are known for their crazy characters, inept criminals, and hilarious conten. It appears that Hiaasen tried to follow the script with this one, but failed. Merry and her razor had a lot of potential, but the other characters dragged down what could have been a classic Hiaasen character. His other novels made me laugh out loud at times. This one caused a slight chuckle, but missed the point far too often.

  • Skink - No Surrender

  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 751
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 675
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 673

Classic Malley - to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard - he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink - he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Clinton Tyree is all time favorite

  • By Norman on 09-27-14

I wish I knew it was YA before starting

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

Reviewed: 05-25-16

Where does Skink - No Surrender rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I love Carl Hiaasen books and have either read or listened to them all. When I saw the title of the book I was excited because Skink has always been one of the most interesting and memorable repeating characters in his books. However, he was only a secondary character in the book that bears his name. As a YA novel, it ranks far below his regular fiction, and even below his other YA novels, Holes and Hoot.

Would you recommend Skink - No Surrender to your friends? Why or why not?

It would be a recommendation with reservations to limit expectations.

What aspect of Kirby Heyborne’s performance would you have changed?

It was acceptable, but not one of my favorites.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Based on the title of the book, I probably would have, but as the book progressed, it wasn't a single session book.

  • Gray Mountain

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Catherine Taber
  • Length: 14 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,353
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,645
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,652

The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Painful to listen to

  • By Toni on 10-24-14

This is probably the WORST Grisham book ever!

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

Reviewed: 12-29-14

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This is a difficult question to answer because I think it would start with a new plot, a new protagonist, new supporting characters, and then move on from there. The start of the book is fine, but then it descends quickly, has a horrible plot, a couple of the sub-plots are somewhat OK, but they're not enough to save the book. After forcing myself to finish (actually, I had to force myself to start listening again a few times before forcing myself to finish), I found myself completely disappointed with the ending. To answer the question honestly, for me to give it 4 or 5 stars, I would have to listen to "The Firm", "The Client", "A Time to Kill." or one of his many other 4 and 5 star books and review it instead of this book.

What didn’t you like about Catherine Taber’s performance?

Catherine Taber's performance was pretty good, until she tried doing an Appalachian accent. It sounded more like an overblown southern styled accent with a hint of Hollywood's perception of what a hillbilly should sound like.

What character would you cut from Gray Mountain?

All of them.

Any additional comments?

I wouldn't have been bothered with the characters having issues with coal companies, the loss of unions, difficulty with black lung benefits, or any of the other legal issues raised in the book, but instead of it being part of the story, it was like Grisham was trying to preach, teach, and educate those from areas outside the coal fields what it's like (and trying to convince those of us who live in the areas he's describing that our perception is wrong). Living in Appalachia and understanding the coal fields and the legal system, the book was just fictionalized on the basic points of construction. The story is supposed to be fiction, but when he basis the story on a specific location, it should at least somewhat resemble the place it's supposed to be. I have read all of Grisham's novels (excluding his YA stuff), and this was the most disappointing book he's ever written. It took me multiple attempts to get through this book. I kept hoping he would get past the far left-wing liberal preaching and just tell a story. I would have the same problem if it was a far right-wing conservative preaching story. This is fiction, and the lectures by the characters didn't sound like normal fiction, they came across as self-ritious and pious. I surely hope he gets back to story telling in his next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lucky You

  • A Novel
  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: Edward Asner
  • Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17

Grange, Florida, is famous for its miracles - the weeping fiberglass Madonna, the Road-Stain Jesus, the stigmata man. And now it has JoLayne Lucks, unlikely winner of the state lottery. Unfortunately, JoLayne's winning ticket isn't the only one. The other belongs to Bodean Gazzer and his raunchy sidekick, Chub, who believe they're entitled to the whole $28 million jackpot. And they need it quickly, to start their own underground militia before NATO troops invade America. But JoLayne Lucks has her own plans for the Lotto money - an Eden-like forest in Grange must be saved from strip-malling.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not My favorite Hiasson Audiobook.

  • By Elisabeth on 11-24-12

Great characters, great story, and quite funny too

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

Reviewed: 12-19-13

Where does Lucky You rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I love Carl Hiaasen. His books always have colorful characters that make for a funny adventure. The characters are often simple minded people trying to make the score of their life, but every step of the way they find a way to make the adventure more interesting and funny.

What other book might you compare Lucky You to and why?

It's like an Elmore Leonard novel set in Florida. The comparison is based on the dialog style of writing.

What about Edward Asner’s performance did you like?

Asner does a pretty good job. I've listened to other Hiaasen novels that had better narration, but Asner's reading doesn't detract from the storyline.

Any additional comments?

If you've never experienced Hiaasen, you may want to select an earlier book like Tourist Season, Double Whammy or Lucky Dog.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Casual Vacancy

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
  • Length: 17 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5,645
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,027
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5,068

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I was surprised by how much I liked it

  • By cristina on 01-14-14

Very disappointing

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

Reviewed: 12-19-13

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I don't think this could have been made into a 4 or 5 star book. I couldn't finish it. It was long, tedious, and difficult to continue. The story was very slow in developing.

What could J. K. Rowling have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

She should have added some wizards, teenagers, and a boarding school. Trying to move from adolescent fantasy to adult fiction doesn't work for her.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Race

  • An Isaac Bell Adventure, Book 4
  • By: Clive Cussler, Justin Scott
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,013
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,768
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,768

It is 1910, the age of flying machines is still in its infancy, and newspaper publisher Preston Whiteway is offering $50,000 for the first daring aviator to cross America in less than 50 days. He is even sponsoring one of the prime candidates - an intrepid woman named Josephine Frost - and that's where Bell, chief investigator for the Van Dorn Detective Agency, comes in.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Up, Up, Josephine...

  • By Clint on 09-22-11

Early flight at it's best

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

Reviewed: 12-19-13

Would you listen to The Race again? Why?

I am a huge fan of Dirk Pitt, but with the Isaac Bell series, I have a new favorite Cussler character. The race is set during the early days of flight, when anybody daring enough was free to fly. The description of a cross-country air race during this time gives you a window into how people strove to push the limits of flight.

What did you like best about this story?

While the story revolves around the air race, it is a typical Cussler mystery with twists and turns. Isaac Bell is as brave and cunning as Dirk Pitt. If you like the Pitt series, then this is an excellent change. You get the same fantastical events, but instead of ships, subs, and sunken treasure, you get primitive planes, early automobiles, and trains.

What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Scott Brick is a pro at these books. I always enjoy his work. When I see his name, I know the narration will be top quality.

  • The Chase

  • By: Clive Cussler
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,559
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,815
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,800

A no-nonsense detective is on the trail of the sharpest and deadliest criminal mind he has ever encountered: a serial robber who murders any and all witnesses in cold-blood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Opener to Cussler's Isaac Bell Series

  • By ftmgal on 04-05-15

A refreshing twist on a detective story

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

Reviewed: 12-19-13

What did you love best about The Chase?

I've read and listened to a lot of Clive Cussler's works. I'm a huge Dirk Pitt fan. With Isaac Bell we get a glimpse of what Drik Pitt might have been if he came of age 100 years ago. The series takes you from coast to coast, but while the books are fast paced and full of twists, Bell has to travel by train for cross-country trips.

What did you like best about this story?

The Chase is a good foundation for the Isaac Bell series. I recommend reading them in order because just like Cussler's other books, these build on each other as well.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I loved getting a glimpse into life 100 years ago. So many of the conveniences we take for granted weren't even enjoyed by the most wealthy individuals of the day. As with any Cussler book, he describes the means of transportation in great detail so you get a real of being in the train or early automobile.

  • The Undertaker's Widow

  • By: Phillip Margolin
  • Narrated by: Eric Dawe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 71

Judge Richard Quinn is young, idealistic, and honest to a fault. That's why he's handed the most sensational homicide case in Oregon history. Locked in a race for the U.S. Senate, Ellen Crease gunned down the intruder who murdered her wealthy husband. In a single, brutal instant she became a widow, a victim, and a hero. Yet disturbing questions remain. What secrets did the man who started his fortune running mortuaries keep that might have cost him his life?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Read the book, forget the audio

  • By Vaughn on 05-17-13

Read the book, forget the audio

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

Reviewed: 05-17-13

What didn’t you like about Eric Dawe’s performance?

Mr. Dawe read in such a monotonous tone that I could not finish listening. I read this book in 1998 when it was first released and it made me an instant fan of Phillip Margolin. I have either read or listened to all of his books as a result of reading this book. I decided to go back and listen to the book since it has been 15 years since I read it. I have listened to over 100 books through Audible and this is the first time I can remember where I stopped listening because of the narrator. I was seriously disappointed.

Any additional comments?

This is a very entertaining book and well worth the read, but I couldn't listen to it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • U Is for Undertow

  • A Kinsey Millhone Mystery
  • By: Sue Grafton
  • Narrated by: Judy Kaye
  • Length: 14 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,893
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 889
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 895

It's April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's 38th birthday, and she's alone in her office doing paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he'd be carded if he tried to buy booze, but Michael Sutton is 27, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared, and a recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A brilliant departure from the familiar

  • By BSquaredInOz on 01-02-10

As always, an enjoyable listen.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-25-10

Sue Grafton's alphabet mystery series continues to provide good stories. This time Kinsey has to explore a side of her rarely seen in previous novels, but it rounds her out as a person. Judy Kaye is the voice of Kinsey Millhone. If you enjoyed A-T, you'll enjoy U. The down side is that there is only 5 books left in this series.

  • Fletch Won

  • By: Gregory Mcdonald
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

As a fledgling reporter, Fletch is doing more flailing than anything else. That, and floating around from department to department, trying to figure out where he fits in. His managing editor's got him pegged for the society pages, but the kind of society Fletch gets involved with is anything but polite.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Quirky and Interesting

  • By Deborah on 05-16-12

I wish there were more Fletch Novels

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-08

If you enjoyed the previous Fletch Novel, you’ll probably like this one too. In this prequel, MacDonald showed the origins of Erwin Flecher’s journalism career. His attempts to scoop the story are great, but some of his sarcastic attempts at humor fall flat. I read the Fletch novels several years ago and was disappointed that it took so long for another one to come along.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful