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Old 05-03-2021, 08:20 PM   #3136
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My understanding is that the early novels were first a podcast, then ebooks. If you like the podcasts, go with them. You'll be good for several novels worth, at least.
yea, I went ahead and downloaded the books that were available as podcast. I also decided to buy the audiobooks of those books so he gets paid. I figure for an author like Lowell it makes a difference.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:23 AM   #3137
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yea, I went ahead and downloaded the books that were available as podcast. I also decided to buy the audiobooks of those books so he gets paid. I figure for an author like Lowell it makes a difference.
Agreed, 100%. There are some authors that I absolutely pay for, and he's one of them. Others I might just be patient and wait for a library copy.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:02 AM   #3138
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Agreed, 100%. There are some authors that I absolutely pay for, and he's one of them. Others I might just be patient and wait for a library copy.
I do have a lot of his books as eBooks as well. He's one of those writers that I have seen a lot over the years, a talented writer whom I like, but seems unlikely to make it big. The question is can he make enough money to keep him writing.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:28 AM   #3139
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I do have a lot of his books as eBooks as well. He's one of those writers that I have seen a lot over the years, a talented writer whom I like, but seems unlikely to make it big. The question is can he make enough money to keep him writing.
He seems to be doing OK. Not going to have homes in SF and Paris, but enough to keep writing. His biggest limitations appear to be his own medical issues.
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:12 AM   #3140
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He seems to be doing OK. Not going to have homes in SF and Paris, but enough to keep writing. His biggest limitations appear to be his own medical issues.
Yea, at 68 I suspect writing is more of a hobby for him.
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Old 05-05-2021, 11:58 AM   #3141
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Finished A Robot Named Clunk by Simon Haynes. Funny, but not hilarious. I have two books left for the omnibus audiobook, but setting it aside for now.

Currently listening to In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen. I read it before about 2 years ago through Kindle Unlimited and so enjoyed it that when I had the opportunity to get the ebook for $.99 I bought it and then the audiobook was offered for $1.99 so naturally, I got that as well. WW2 Code breakers (think Bletchley Park) and a dead German dressed up as a local soldier.
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Old 05-05-2021, 01:45 PM   #3142
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Finished A Robot Named Clunk by Simon Haynes. Funny, but not hilarious. I have two books left for the omnibus audiobook, but setting it aside for now....
I really like that series. I've been a fan since A Robot Named Clunk was sold under its original title, Hal Spacejock.

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Old 05-06-2021, 12:52 PM   #3143
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The newest books by three of my go-to suspense authors have been huge disappointments.

Harlan Coben's Win is awful. I feel like Coben's been going downhill for a while, but this was like a rollercoaster drop. The protagonist is apparently a character in Coben's Myron Bolitar series--which seems like a cheat; I've read only the Coben standalones and had no interest in Myron Bolitar. If this book is a window into that series, I've been right to steer clear. The plot is boring, and the protagonist is an amoral ass--and not in a fun way.

Peter Swanson's Every Vow You Break has a decent if fairly familiar premise--new bride's one-night stand stalks her--but a twist turned it into an unrealistic mess. I like twists, but not when they morph a domestic thriller into something else entirely.

But I still had Linwood Barclay's latest to look forward to; surely he at least would come through, I thought. Alas, no. His Find You First is implausible and dull--a terminally ill millionaire/former sperm donor searches for his now-adult biological children, both to leave them money and to warn them that his illness might be genetic; meanwhile, someone else is looking for them too.

What all three novels have in common are filthy-rich men as heroes and/or villains; the power they wield and the resources they are able to employ make the stories improbable and ultimately unrelatable.

The narrators are all good--Steven Weber, Karissa Vacker, and George Newbern, respectively--but narrators can't save these stories.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:23 PM   #3144
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I had started Christie's Death on the Nile, not really liking Suchet's narration. Abandoned that for putting myself in the library queue for Kenneth Brannaugh's instead.
I started listing to Brannaugh's narration of Christie's Death on the Nile. He is incredible. I really liked his Shakespeare movie adaptions back in the late 80's and early 90's, but didn't expect he his very expressive voice for narration. This is the difference that a world class actor can make. The book itself is interesting, but a product of it's time. If racial and sexual stereotypes bother you, this might not be the book for you. I suspect that jazz lovers would be even more offended by her description of a band playing jazz music.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:28 AM   #3145
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Realizing I had let the library due date creep up on me, last night just before retiring I binge-listened to the remainder of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (audiobook read by various readers). Had some interesting dreams, but as I've gotten out of the habit of writing them down upon awakening, I can't remember any of them.

A very entertaining book.
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Old 05-15-2021, 03:32 PM   #3146
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I started listing to Brannaugh's narration of Christie's Death on the Nile. He is incredible. I really liked his Shakespeare movie adaptions back in the late 80's and early 90's, but didn't expect he his very expressive voice for narration. This is the difference that a world class actor can make. The book itself is interesting, but a product of it's time. If racial and sexual stereotypes bother you, this might not be the book for you. I suspect that jazz lovers would be even more offended by her description of a band playing jazz music.
I finished up Death on the Nile. Highly recommended, if only from the stand point of showing how big of a difference top voice talent can make.
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Old 05-18-2021, 05:19 AM   #3147
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The Solar Clipper audiobooks actually dropped off of KU while I was finishing Half Share, and I wasn't feeling the re-listen by the time I got to the end of that book, anyway, so I went with another random Audible sale selection: The Elementals, by Michael McDowell.

The good news is, I finally got a good narration - R.C. Bray did a great job with both the characters and the languid atmospherics of this Southern Gothic haunted house story. Those atmospherics were the book's strongest suit, and worth the ticket price.

But. This book also featured the most egregious "magical negro" I have ever encountered in any medium. Odessa Red is a borderline mammy caricature, the sum of whose character is that she knows stuff - spooky stuff. When not referring to her by name, she is always "the black woman." When moving her limbs, it is always a "black hand," a "black arm," her "black skin." Her blackness is treated as alien and borderline supernatural at roughly 15 minute intervals. She's part of the main cast of about half a dozen characters, all the rest of whom have actual character traits (except possibly "the wife," who gets much less page time), but her sole character traits are that she's black and spooky and takes care of all the white folks. It's ugly. It's kind of nuts that this book from 1981 got an audio production as recently as 2016.

Not sure where I'm heading next. For the most part, I'm still more caught up in eyeball-reading Olan Thorensen's Destiny's Crucible series.
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:01 AM   #3148
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But. This book also featured the most egregious "magical negro" I have ever encountered in any medium.
That's a term I had never encountered before seeing it on Youtube this weekend.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jInl...el=Key%26Peele)
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Old 05-18-2021, 01:56 PM   #3149
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I listened to So Big by Edna Ferber, narrated by Cassandra Campbell. I read this way back in high school and remembered it only vaguely; I didn't remember loving it, but I absolutely loved it this time around.

I also listened to The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz, narrated by Kirby Heyborne--another winner. I had the broad outlines of this one figured out fairly early on, so the surprises weren't always surprising, but it was still engrossing.
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Old 05-19-2021, 06:52 AM   #3150
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Right now, I'm listening to Swords of Night and Day, the last book in Gemmell's Drenai series. For some reason, I like the Drenai series a lot more than the rest of Gemmel's books. There were a couple of stand alone books that I liked, some series that I thought were ok and a couple that for some reason, I simply couldn't get into them.

I think that if I were to suggest the Drenai series, I would recommend reading them in publishing order rather than chronological order. The first book to be published Legend was in the middle of chronological series, but I thought it was the best of the series and really set the mood for the rest of the series.
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