Tag Archives: audiobook

The Sheriff of Yrnameer

Yrnameer

The Sheriff of Yrnameer by Michael Rubens

Read by William Dufris

Rating:  * * * *

If the freeze-dried orphans hadn’t gotten me to pick up this book, then IPR (Intergalactic Public Radio) or “Kids…exploding out of the crates like popcorn” or “a dozen ululating marketing trainees” would have.  Sci-fi like you have never heard it before!  I could go on an on, but I won’t.

Let me just leave it at this:  I highly recommend the audiobook when you’re looking for a snort-worthy romp of a story.  William Dufris is a master at reading stories like this one:  wacky, absurd comedy with a plethora of characters, each one more quirky than the last.

 

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The Boy in the Suitcase

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis, narrated by Katherine Kellgren

Rating:  * * * *

Desperation permeates this fascinating, tense thriller that races between Lithuania and Denmark, following the path of a little boy found in a suitcase in Copenhagen.  Where does he come from, and how did he come to be in a suitcase in a train station?

Narrator Katherine Kellgren enhances the intensity of the presentation as she speeds up in tense moments and slows down as realization sets in.  She ably presents accents for each of the multitude of characters of various ethnic and monetary backgrounds.

Every character in this book is desperate:  the women desperately afraid and unhappy and frail, the men self-centered and short-sighted and insecure.  I hung on every word of the narration, rather desperate myself to hear the resolution, while also hoping reality does not include this much everyday despair.

Dead Anyway

Dead Anyway by Chris Knopf, read by Donald Corren

Rating:  * * * * *

Being dead allows a man to investigate his own murder.

This book kept me absolutely riveted.  Each twist and turn was more fascinating than the last.  Consider it a primer on fraud, intrigue, identity theft, and erasing oneself.  To say more would spoil the story.  I highly recommend this book.

Lucky Stiff

Lucky Stiff (Lucky O’Toole Vegas Adventure Series #2) by Deborah Coonts, read by Renee Raudman

Rating:  * * * *

We begin with the buzz of a tractor-trailer load of honeybees overturning on the Vegas Strip.  Then the really bizarre things start happening!

Lucky, head of customer service at a glitzy Vegas casino/hotel, handily deals with the honeybee crisis, then moves on to save hunky P.I. Jeremy Whitlock from a murder rap when local bookmaker Numbers Neidermeyer is discovered in the shark tank.

Blessed with an abundance of eye-pleasing men in her life, Lucky has also earned the friendship, loyalty, and cooperation of a number of colorful characters including her cross-dressing (but only when on stage) boyfriend; flamboyant and effervescent mother, a brothel madam; a local mob boss; and The Big Boss at her own casino, who is currently dating her mother.

Renee Raudman’s narrative style and voice are uniquely suited to stories such as this:  quirky, off-beat, over-the-top, full of backhanded wit.  Few readers could bring this story to colorful life the way she can, exactly what I would have pictured were I reading the written word.

Heartburn

Heartburn by Nora Ephron, read by Meryl Streep

Rating:  * * * *

This is a laugh-out-loud story of surviving the breakup of a marriage.

I highly recommend this recording just to hear Meryl Streep bring it to life.  I wouldn’t have found the story half as funny had I read it in print:  Streep’s inflections and timing bring out humor I would certainly have missed from the cast of self-indulgent characters.

Ephron penned many popular screenplays, including Sleepless in Seattle.  The first print edition of Heartburn was published in 1983.  This audio recording was released in 2013.

If you like this, you may also like Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick, narrated by William Dufris

Rating:  * * * *

Homer, a boy with a talent for telling entertaining stories (some might call them tall tales) sets off on a heck of an adventure when he attempts to save his brother Harold, who was sold to the army during the Civil War.  Homer meets a motley assortment of characters with interesting names like Professor Fleabottom.

William Dufris does an absolutely delightful narration of this story.  All the character voices are distinct from one another, and each voice brings the character to life so that even minor characters become memorable.

Wildly funny and adventurous, the story nevertheless contains an undercurrent of sadness as Homer encounters kidnapping, thievery, war, incarceration, and death.  The journey to recover Harold complete, Homer finishes up his account (mostly true) with humor and optimism, leaving the reader/listener wondering what is next for him – and knowing that whatever it is, it will be entertaining!

If you like this story and/or this narrator, you may also enjoy the Holmes on the Range series by Steve Hockensmith.

Kowalski’s In Love and Other Stories

Kowalski’s In Love and Other Stories, from Thriller:  Volume One, compiled and edited by James Patterson

Rating:  * * * *

This short-story audio collection includes stories by 5 authors, four of whom are new to me.

The Kowalski story is my introduction to James Rollins’ Sigma Force series.  Dick Hill’s portrayal of Kowalski, a man with “the heart of a hero but lacking the brainpower to go with it” (from the cover), is laugh-out-loud funny – it perfectly matches the picture in my mind.  The Sigma Force series has been added to my wish list based on this story.  Kowalski first appeared in Rollins’ novel Ice Hunt.

This collection includes stories by James Rollins, James Grippando, Grant Blackwood, Dennis Lynds, and Christopher Rice.  The narrators are Dick Hill, Michael Page, Joyce Bean, Mel Foster, and Susie Breck.  Based on this collection, I will seek out more by these authors as well as these narrators.

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