LISTENER

Wayne

Matthews, NC
  • 2,159
  • reviews
  • 23,088
  • helpful votes
  • 2,518
  • ratings
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-17-18

Fascinating!

Using the "Connecticut cougar" story of 2011 the author make a very strong case for bringing back the eastern US cougar to control deer populations which are damaging our forests (and motor vehicles). The book also makes the case that cougars are not natural human predators.

Read More Hide me

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-16-18

Great narration of so-so memoir

I enjoyed OUT OF AFRICA more for the narration than for the content. The content of this short personal memoir is itself very worthwhile. I seldom allow narration to impact my overall rating, but in this case it does.

Read More Hide me

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-15-18

Not for me!

A FISTFUL OF CHARMS has been in my Audible library for more than a year. I've listened to one-third of this highly rated novel and cannot get into it. I do not care for the paranormal.

Read More Hide me

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-15-18

Sweet twisted retribution!

Romance novel author Victoria Dahl writes her psychological thrillers using the pseudonym Victoria Helen Stone. The protagonist (Jane) is a sociopath who does not relate well to other humans in general and whose behavior is seemingly without limits; Meg, her only friend, was driven to suicide by the verbal and psychological abuse of her boyfriend Steven. Jane moves from Malaysia to Minneapolis to get revenge against Steven. Steven does not like or trust women but he uses them for his own pleasure while trying to destroy their sense of self worth. Jane gets herself employed where Steven works as she sets out to destroy him. Jane Doe is a wild and fascinating ride mostly because Jane's behavior is totally unpredictable while Steven's behavior is totally predictable. Listeners who appreciate richly deserved vengeance will enjoy JANE DOE because Jane's behavior is so creatively beyond boundaries. Narration is superb as Nicol Zanzarella really gets into the Jane character.

Read More Hide me

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-14-18

Another excellent series from James Swain!

THE KING TIDES, set in Ft. Lauderdale, is the first novel in the new Lancaster and Daniels detective series by James Swain. Jon Lancaster is an ex Navy SEAL and cop who does not look the part and is now a private investigator. Beth Daniels is an FBI agent who was on her way to being a physician until she was the victim of a kidnapping crime while in college; her kidnappers are now serial killers. Daniels takes very unusual and unlikely steps to catch her kidnappers and in doing exposes her 15 year old niece to many stalkers who are perverts.

James Swain novels tend to be offbeat. His earlier private investigator novels include his Tony Valentine series and his Jack Carpenter series. My personal favorite is Swain's about con man Billy Cunningham; the series is light and fun, and at times silly.

I like Swain's novels so much that I may tend to overrate them. He is a very clever author who is a expert at making the unlikely seem credible. I really enjoyed THE KING TIDES! Patrick Lawlor narration is excellent.

Read More Hide me

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-13-18

Very busy plot!

Attorney and author Teresa Burrell was a child legal advocate in San Diego herself. Her fictional protagonist Sabre Brown in this continuing nine novel legal thriller series has exactly the same job. I have liked enjoyed is the wrong word due to the tragic subject matter) and reviewed every series novel. There is a lot going on in The Advocate's Illusion, but the central case is about a 12 year old girl being forced to be married to a middle age man by a religious cult.

Sabre's is now in love with her southern accented investigator JP who by the way often verbally expresses himself using creative and corny similes. There is also a plot to kill Sabre and JP. Sabre's widowed mother has found a love interest using an Internet website causing Sabre and her brother to be very concerned. I like courtroom scenes and this novel has several.

Teresa Burrell's novels are about court cases concerning abused children. They are difficult to listen to due to the heartbreaking subject matter, but they are very worthwhile. Burrell is a self published author who did a lousy job of selecting narrators for the first five novels in The Advocate series. She is not sticking with John Bell who does a stellar job.

Read More Hide me

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-12-18

Outstanding! But is it worth a full credit?

British author JB Turner, actually a Scot, is yet another Brit who writes suspense thrillers set in the US. Reckoning is Book 2 in his American Ghost/Nathan Stone espionage thriller series. Like Turner's other eight novels in this, the Jon Reznick, and Deborah Jones series, Reckoning is rather short for a novel and is not far outside of the novella total word count range. I'm asking myself why not get the Kindle version free with Kindle unlimited and have the Kindle app's text-to-speech feature read it to me rather than paying a full $9.56 Audible credit.

My concern is about effective price increases hidden by ending a reduced audiobook price for Kindle Unlimited members for some books. It is true for a wide range of short novels I routinely purchase by JB Turner, Jon Mills, Scott Pratt, Colleen Helme, and several others. For the last several years I have spent approximately $2000 annually with Audible. I have purchased, listened to, and rated over 2500 Audible books. My current path is to spend over $500 more this year for the same number of books by the same authors. This is effectively a 25% price increase.

I love Audible and consider their audiobook prices with my Audible credit purchase plan to be a great deal when compared to the same audiobooks at Apple iTunes. But Audible's real competition includes printed books, ebooks, and a wide range of very inexpensive video entertainment options including offerings by Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, etc.

I may be alone in my opinion that Audible Channels and the WSJ or NYT daily news summaries add no value. I simply expect to purchase audiobooks from the widest possible selection at the best prices. Anything else is useless fluff to me.

Finally, I remain very disappointed by the negative changes to the Audible Listener page. However, the recently released ability to edit my reviews is a great step forward.

Read More Hide me

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-11-18

Outstanding suspense thriller!

Dark Mountain is the 10th novel in the 12 book David Wolf series. I have previously reviewed Books 1, 2 and 3 in this series. They were excellent, but this one is even better. Just get it!

Read More Hide me

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-11-18

Lies and exaggerations to support Democrats!

I've read and liked some of journalist and author Micheal Lewis' books. This Audible freebie does not fall into that group. His foundational point is sound: the various US government agencies do generate huge quantities of very useful data. Iin the case of NOAA the analysis of that data by government employees and non-government individuals/entities of the data to dramatically improved weather forecasting. Along the way he gives gifted mathematician DJ Patil (a small cog in the gear) far too much credit for work that occurred years before his involvement in weather data analysis. He specifically gives government credit for weather analysis concepts done mostly in the private sector. Patil, a true genius, deserves less credit than thousands of others. This tendency to give specific individuals far more credit and other more important to the outcome no credit at all is deeply dishonest and it is typical of all of the situational comments by this author in this thankfully short garbage book.

Lewis paints a false picture of farmers as ignorant and uneducated people who thrive only because of government leadership. Most farmers today are university educated scientists who depend on government for very little. Indeed, I suspect most are both better educated and more intelligent than the author whose work here is obvious political hackery.

The author does not like the nomination of NOAA administrator nominee Barry Myers, one of the three Myers brothers at AccuWeather. Neither do I! But listening to The Coming Storm one would never guess that Barry Myers has not been approved by the US Senate so he is not on the job. Myers has been a member of the toothless NOAA advisory committee for several years and his performance there is less than stellar.

Much of this short book is devoted to taking down US Commerce Department secretary Wilbur Ross who is an 80 year old fund manager and political hack who was a Democrat until Trump ran for office. Like some other cabinet departments the Commerce Department leadership is almost always awarded based only on political considerations. Ross' predecessor under Obama was Chicago billionaire (through inheritance) Penny Pritzker who was far less qualified based on education and experience than Ross. She was at least as ethically dubious as Ross. Author Micheal Lewis fails to mention that Commerce Secretary has always been filled by unqualified political nominees and that Wilbur Ross is qualified when compared to his predecessors.

As a past fan of books by Michael Lewis (but not his Bloomberg editorial opinion pieces), I now see him as a political hack hiding behind a journalist career. The listeners to this book will either realize this or they will end up as less well informed than before they listened to Lewis' politicized garbage.

Audible: I thank you for selling many books of the range of political and economic opinions. By giving this one away rather than selling it you have done your economically ignorant customers the disservice of deepening their ignorance.

Read More Hide me

15 of 23 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-08-18

Let's discuss the narration!

Young British actress Jasmine Blackborow was selected by author Rhys Bowen to replace Katherine Kellgren who died early in 2018 of cancer at age 48. I love this cozy historical mystery series. I've written in my reviews of this and other Kellgren narrated series on multiple occasions going back several years that I consider her the very best audio book narrator ever. Every book she narrated is a unique piece of audio art. I rate the work of many other narrators 5 stars despite the fact that Kellgren's narrations are better. I believe Jasmine Blackborow deserves 5 stars here even though she is not of the quality and stature of Katherine Kellgren. I'm reminded of the negative reaction of some reviewers three years ago when Robert Bathurst replaced Ralph Cosham in narrating Canadian author Louise Penny's wonderful Chief Inspector Gamache/Three Pines series with Book 12. Apparently the reviewers were not aware of Cosham's death soon after completing Book 11 in 2014.

Oh, the novel? It's wonderful as usual! Lady Georgiana Rannoch, Her Royal Spyness, is happily married in late July, 1935. Her frequently expressed virginity frustrations are finally over.

Each novel in this series is standalone, but to fully appreciate the marvelous characters that are so vivid that the jump off the page and the wonderful mysteries start early in the series.

Read More Hide me

36 of 36 people found this review helpful