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Leon Miller

New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 47
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  • 110
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  • 65
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-05-18

Wonderful.

Brilliant and kind and decent. We need more of this, especially now. And, the all-star cast was outstanding. Congratulations to everyone who helped create this.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-05-17

Slow and boring

I enjoyed and admired "The Da Vinci Code" and enjoyed "Angels & Demons" even more. I therefore looked forward to Brown's follow-up, "The Lost Symbol." Washington DC, with its wealth of public art and odd masonic symbols, seemed an excellent place to send Robert Langdon next. Unfortunately, it turned out that Washington didn't have that many mysteries and the ones it had weren't that interesting. "The Inferno" was far worse, with a silly and meaningless story.

I therefore purchased "Origin" with some trepidation, but the advanced buzz gave me hope that Langdon had returned to his element. It started off slow and boring, stayed slow and boring, and I stopped reading/listening to it about two-thirds through. That was aggravated by a narrator who was miscast. His personal style was slow, and while he was fine with secondary characters and accents, his Langdon and his "narrator's voice" were lifeless (sometimes, weaker books are enhanced by a strong narrator and strong books are harmed by a lesser narrator. In this case, I got the sense that I would have enjoyed the book more as a purely reading rather than listening experience - using Whispersync, I followed the text while listening - but in the end the story didn't interest me enough to do that).

If the last third were worth the slog, let me know, but with any future Brown books, I won't again give him the benefit of the doubt.

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2 of 7 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-27-17

Neither Clancy's nor Audible's best

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This is a weaker Clancy book and quite dated. It reflects the early 1990s fear of economic dominance by Japan and the plot is among Clancy's least probable, although it does serve as a useful cautionary tale on the role of the military in projecting US power in peacetime. It was slow to build but once the action started, it was pure Clancy.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I had a difficult time with the voice artist. He was fine with dialogue but his narration (the closest thing I can think to call it is recitative) was so wooden that at first, I thought it was an electronic voice transcription. The difference between his narration and dialogue was so great that I wondered if the producers had used two voice artists. While he was good with voices and accents, at times his Indian and Japanese characterizations veered uncomfortably close to racial stereotypes.

Any additional comments?

The audio production was also weak. Clancy constantly shifts among various locales and in this version, locales and chapters run together with no break or audio cue to let you know when you are shifting to a new scene. That made for a disconcerting and sometimes confusing listening experience.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-14-17

Great fun.

Any additional comments?

A light look at the history of English. Far from scholarly and a little dated but great fun. You will never find linguistics and etymology so accessible and entertaining.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-14-17

Great fun.

What made the experience of listening to For We Are Many the most enjoyable?

Bob's odd, often sarcastic, self-deprecating, warm, and funny sense of humor as conveyed by the excellent narrator.

Any additional comments?

Delightful, engaging, fascinating, creative, and often goofy fun. Imagine you are a computer scientist who awakens to find himself a disembodied intelligence "alive" only as code in a machine. You're given control of a spaceship and go off exploring. Moreover, you can duplicate yourself and your ship, and so many of you explore different parts of space at once. The result is a sort of collection of interlocking short stories with interlocking plots. It sounds complicated and confusing. Instead, it is delightful, creative, and great fun. It is also surprisingly warm and humane, with Bob the AI (sort of) possessing a wry sense of humor. I "read" this using Amazon's Whispersync (although I'm not sure they still call it "Whispersync") with the Audible audio book version. That was a great plus, because the narrator not only expertly and clearly portrayed numerous characters, he was also wonderful at conveying Bob's odd, often sarcastic, self-deprecating, warm, and funny sense of humor. I'm looking forward to the second book on the series.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-30-17

Thrilling, romantic, fascinating, and enlightening

What did you love best about Ambition and Desire?

The fact that it introduced me to a world I knew little about, a world of people swept up in the great dramas of their time. The political and military side of this story is better known, but here we are given the human side of history, and it was absolutely fascinating.

What about Corrie James’s performance did you like?

Corrie James is one of the finest narrator's I have had the pleasure to listen to. She brought warmth, charm, drama, a sense of understanding the characters, and an absolutely delightful sly wit. I was very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed her work.

Any additional comments?

"Ambition and Desire" is everything you want in history. Deeply researched, this riveting account of one of the world's great love stories is a true page-turner. With great assurance and flair, the author guides you through Josephine's childhood on the island of Martinique, through the Terror and its aftermath, and the rise and fall of Napoleon. Josephine is a wonderful lens for viewing a different perspective on the French Revolution. As a victim of the Terror herself, she experienced some of its worst abuses and eventually survived to become one of Paris's great courtesans. And then, of course, was Napoleon. Highly recommended.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-27-17

Didn't keep me engaged

Any additional comments?

Every holiday season, I try to read a couple of light Christmas cozies. A murder during Christmas on a university campus needs solving, and since it occurred in horticulturalist Professor Peter Shandy's house, he's the person to do it. The insights into university life were often spot on and often quite funny, but the book in general just didn't involve me.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-27-17

Failed to engage me.

Any additional comments?

It just didn't engage me, and at more than twenty hours of listening, that was a lot of time I would have preferred doing something else. The problem might have been the narrator. A thriller requires someone with a wide range, while this narrator seemed to have a fairly flat, even monotonal style. Worse, she portrayed Asian women as having a high-pitched, sing-song voice. That was culturally insensitive at best. That aside, I was never engrossed in the story.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-29-16

Utterly shameless fun.

Any additional comments?

Absolutely delightful in a shamelessly over the top 1930s B-movie Saturday morning adventure serial kind of way. Great fun.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-29-16

A wonderful holiday cozy with surprising depth

Which character – as performed by Donna Postel – was your favorite?

The heroine, Raine Stockton, was a very appealing character on many levels.

Any additional comments?

Christmas cozies have become an industry unto themselves and to do my part for the economy, I try to read one every December. Often they're a disappointment but "Silent Night," the fifth volume in the Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries, was a welcome surprise.

Stockton and her search and rescue dog Cisco live in a small North Carolina town. This is, of course, a murder mystery, but in addition to a murder, there's a child in a manger, romance, the Smokey Mountains in winter, history, possible spies, social conscience, surprisingly excellent action, and puppies. Stockton has the best description of heartache after a divorce I've ever read and her sympathy for rural people in an area with decreasing economic options is heart-felt. This is not, however, a grim read. It is a delightful Christmas cozy with a very appealing heroine, an engrossing and meaningful plot, and puppies. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful