LISTENER

Leon Miller

New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 55
  • reviews
  • 116
  • helpful votes
  • 76
  • ratings
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Fun period piece

I'd never read an Ellery Queen book so this fulfilled a sort of bucket list item. The most enjoyable aspect was the 1930s setting, style, and language. It was so much fun to hear the narrator speak words like "rascally," "perfidy," "scoundrel," and "perspicacious" with sly humor but no irony. I think I'll read another.

Read More Hide me
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Fascinating and quite different than the movie.

Recently re-released as part of a sort of "classics of sci-fi series," "The Day of the Triffids" is a wonderful 1950s-era Cold War cautionary tale of people taking too much for granted, abusing their planet, placing too much faith in technology, and paying a high price for it. Quite different from the movie, the book is really more about how people would survive when society is reduced to a fraction of its previous numbers, and so was a much more character-focused, person-driven story. It was very surprising, not what I expected, thoroughly enjoyable, had an excellent narrator, I highly recommend it, and I'm very glad I read it.

Read More Hide me
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Wow. I mean … wow.

I would never have thought that a history of a comic would be so profoundly revealing about such a wide range of areas. Lepore has written a brilliant history we did not know we desperately needed. Women's rights, gun control, birth control, the military, politics, sex, the history of comics themselves, the history of academic psychology, the history of lie detector machines, and on and on. Lepore ties the threads together into a fascinating tale that is revealing, moving, profound, and a great read. Highly recommended.

Read More Hide me
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Entertaining, informative, delightful.

What a wonderful surprise. I don't recall a cozy that not only made me smile and laugh so often, but was also so interesting and informative. This new series involves a costume designer who works for an annual summer Shakespeare festival at a small hotel in the Catskills. OK, that's a lot to take in, and I was suspicious of such a convoluted premise. Upstate New York is, of course, beautiful, and that was a big plus, but the biggest surprise was the angle of designing costumes for theater productions. The author did her homework and you learn all kinds of truly interesting information about the theater, including how actors like to be treated, how costumes are organized throughout a theater season, how dress rehearsals work, and much, much, more. I knew nothing about these things, I had no idea there was so much to learn, and it was fascinating. The character of the costume designer / detective herself was warm and comfortable, a real person with a solid, well-defined background whom you like and enjoy listening to. That likability was enhanced by the excellent narrator. And, the mystery itself was neatly done. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I learned a lot, my eyes were opened to new experiences, and I'm very glad I discovered this book.

Read More Hide me
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Great fun.

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 in the series.

Read More Hide me
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Wonderfu, insightful, important.

Wonderful, funny, insightful, and very important. "Giant of the Senate" is not only one of the most important political books ever written, but also a delightful and often laugh-out-loud memoir of a full, fascinating, and meaningful life. Franken guides the reader from his childhood to a fascinating brief history of Saturday Night Live before discussing his political career and the current state of politics in the US. As his own narrator, Franken is wry, self-deprecating, modest, and warm. Whether your interest is popular culture or political affairs, you'll be fascinated, informed, and vastly entertained.

Read More Hide me
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Brief but charming.

I loved the scenes of being snowed in at a state park in a travel trailer, but the story itself was slight and short. A fun distraction for Christmas. As is not uncommon with narrators, the narrator wasn't bad with the characters but less accomplished with the authorial (or narrative) voice.

Read More Hide me
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Thoroughly enjoyable and a great performance.

I thoroughly enjoyed Amazon's "Kindle-in-Motion" format with a previous book, and since this was in Kindle-in-Motion, was ridiculously inexpensive, and since the accompanying Whispersync Audible version was also ridiculously inexpensive, I purchased it and the audiobook together.

I had never before read (or, in this case, listened to while following along in the text) a John Rain book and I enjoyed this one. Rain is an assassin-for-hire and this book is a flashback to his days as young man in Tokyo when he first got into the business. I'm not a fan of flashbacks but I enjoyed this one. The descriptions of Tokyo and Japanese customs were always interesting and Rain's path to becoming an assassin was interesting and grounded in events that helped give it some sense of reality (or, as much reality as an international assassin with almost superhuman killing powers can have).

My enjoyment of the book was greatly enhanced by the excellent narrator. He not only was good with characters but imbued his narration with a sense of the world-weariness of someone looking back to the beginnings of his career after a lifetime of seeing and doing horrible things. The narrator was outstanding.

The only disappointment was the Kindle-in-Motion features. The illustrations were excellent, creative, and supported the story but there were too few of them to make any difference. Still, the Kindle-in-Motion version and the Audible book together were all of four bucks. That's a fantastic price for a great story, a great audible book, and a few nice illustrations on the side.

Read More Hide me
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.

Read More Hide me
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.

Read More Hide me

2 of 7 people found this review helpful