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Phillip

arlington, TX, United States | Member Since 2012

57
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 70 ratings
  • 372 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
32

  • The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Ann Rule
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (156)

    Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends. Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast.

    La Becket says: "Embarrassingly terrible narration"
    "Just OK."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had always heard that this book was a classic of true crime. I am by no means an aficionado of the genre but I thought this was a rather boring book. It read a bit like a text book and had no real narrative flow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Troop

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Nick Cutter
    • Narrated By Corey Brill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (124)

    Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip - a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfre. The boys are a tight-knit crew. There’s Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well-liked and easygoing; then there’s Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there - which makes Scoutmaster Tim’s job a little easier.

    Kim Venatries says: "Seriously Messed Up Gruesome Horror"
    "Solid horror from start to finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have always been a huge fan of the horror genre--be it book, film, or tv--but good horror, especially good horror literature, can be hard to find. When it comes to film, there are horror movies that are so bad they're good. This does not hold true for horror novels. Bad horror novels are just bad, they cannot be redeemed.

    Luckily, The Troop is one of those rare finds, a horror novel that entertains and terrifies from beginning to end. Cutter's description of the adolescent state of mind, their hopes, fears, insecurities, etc., is perhaps the best I've read since "It" or "The Body." And Corey Brill does a great job narrating the story and giving each boy his own voice.

    I recommend this novel to any horror fan. It's a gory mess from the first to last...and I mean that in the best way.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Red Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Pierce Brown
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (214)
    Performance
    (202)
    Story
    (205)

    Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

    Hanjoy says: "Fantastic..."
    "Unmistakable brilliance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is, by far, the best YA book I've encountered. I've seen it compared to Divergent, a society with stratified classes each serving a specific purpose, but the similarities end there. Divergent is as far from Red Rising as Plan 9 from Outerspace is from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    The complexity of story and characters that Brown has created makes it difficult to pigeon-hole Red Rising as a YA fiction. It is simply a great novel that can be appreciated by anyone of any age. It avoids the angst filled love story, ever present in YA fiction, and instead focuses on the inner turmoil of a young man born into near slavery who has a chance to save his class and his society from the tyrannic rule of a master race.

    Brown has penned a novel that transcends genre and should be read by all.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (581)
    Story
    (575)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Amanda says: "SHOCKED!"
    "Works as starting point for series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Pines" works well as the starting point for the Wayward Pines series. I would have actually given it a 3.5 were the option available plus, the book is an entertaining read on its own.

    In "Pines,"We are introducted to Ethan Burke, the story's protagonist, as he awakes in the hospital, delirious and confused, in the town of Wayward Pines. As his memories slowly return, we learn that Ethan is a special agent in the Secret Service and has come to town in order to investigate the disappearance of two of his fellow agents a month earlier. But something is off in Wayward Pines. Speakers hidden in bushes play the sound of crickets chirping. All food is sold fresh, nothing pre-packaged. And most disturbing, an electrified fence encircles the town trapping everyone within its borders...or perhaps keeping something else out. And for some reason the people of Wayward Pines seem to be conspiring against Ethan, seemingly in an effort to drive him mad. Or, perhaps he is simply a paranoid delusional personality?

    "Pines" is certainly worth a credit if no other reason than it is necessary in order the read its fantastic sequel, "Wayward." As I said, the book is an entertaining enough on its own but the follow-up is certainly superior. Read this...so you can read that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Laurence Maslon, Michael Kantor
    • Narrated By Laurence Maslon
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, the Avengers, the X-Men, Watchmen, and more: the companion volume to the PBS documentary series of the same name that tells the story of the superhero in American popular culture.

    Phillip says: "Superlative overview of superhero comics history"
    "Superlative overview of superhero comics history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Companion books for PBS documentaries are often utilized more as decorative pieces for a coffee table rather than books to be read cover-to-cover. I remember a friend whose parents had the companion book for Ken Burns' The Civil War and thumbing through it when I was in high school. It was a beautiful book with great pictures but I don't think I ever read an entire page of the text.

    I'm glad I took the plunge with this companion book. Maslon and Kantor have done a great job presenting a concise overview of the history of comics publishing in the United States. Both informative and entertaining, the book tells the story of superhero comics from their antecedents in the pulps of the early 1930's all the way through the current DC and Marvel Universes and the creator owned imprints.

    As some have stated in Amazon reviews, there are a few discrepancies concerning the exact dates of origin for some creations. And no, it does not delve into all the smaller publishing houses that have produced superhero comics. This really doesn't detract from the book's overall effect though. You can't cover every aspect of the history of superhero comics in 300 pages and that is not what the authors intended to do.

    For someone with Ph.D. level knowledge of comic history, "Superheroes!" will not offer any information you do not already know. For fans whose experience only stretches as far back as when they began reading comics, and for those with little to no knowledge of comic books at all though, it provides a great overview in an entertaining fashion that will hopefully spark further investigation of this thoroughly fascinating literary form.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2407)
    Performance
    (2029)
    Story
    (2032)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Arken says: "Great storytelling"
    "Masterful work of historical fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the top 5 Audible books I have read/listened to. Wouk does a masterful job of creating fully realized characters who are geographically positioned in such a way that we are offered an almost comprehensive view of the years leading to the outbreak of World War II in both the West and the East. The only aspect that we are not privy to is that of the Sino-Japanese front.

    The majority of the story is told through the eyes of the Henry and Jastrow families. The patriarch of the Henry family, Victor, is a high-ranking Naval officer and is thus able to traverse the globe in his military duties from Germany to Washington to London, the Soviet Union and Hawaii and so offer the reader a glimpse of the unique situation in each of these locales from 1938-1942. In addition, his son, Byron, and the Jastrow family give us an eyewitness account of both Italy under Mussolini and the outbreak of the war in Poland. And the Jastrow's also offer a Jewish point-of-view of the series of events leading up to World War II and the beginnings of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.

    Between sections of the main narrative, Wouk also adds excerpts of a book he titles "World Holocaust" which was written by the fictional General Armin von Roon, a Wehrmacht officer, and translated by Victor Henry. These excerpts give the battlefield conditions of each theater of operations as we progress through the years of World War II. It is a brilliant device that ties the story of the main characters and their narrow scope of events to the broad, global scope of the war that threatens the entire globe.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Summer of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (214)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (181)

    It’s the summer of 1960 and in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, five twelve-year-old boys are forging the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break. From sunset bike rides to shaded hiding places in the woods, the boys’ days are marked by all of the secrets and silences of an idyllic childhood. But amid the sun-drenched cornfields, their loyalty will be pitilessly tested.

    Jeff says: "Excellent well-developed thriller / youth story"
    "Where's the editor?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is actually not bad and could certainly make for a great book. What it needs is a good editor to trim the excess fat. At over 500 pages (or 22 hrs.) the story becomes bloated and rambling at times. With a good editor this could have been 4 or 5 stars. As it stands, I have given it 3 stars, but much of it only deserves 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Guns of August

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (352)
    Performance
    (297)
    Story
    (300)

    Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman here brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, The Guns of August will not be forgotten.

    History says: "Best history on the origins of WWI"
    "The most pivotal month of the 20th Century"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The events that unfolded in Europe during July and August of 1914 would decide the fate of the world for the remainder of the 20th Century. The fall of the monarchies of Europe, the Russian Revolution and rise of the Soviet Union, the Second World War, and the Cold War - all these events have their root in the summer of 1914.

    Barbara Tuchman's account of the opening days of the First World War is a great read, whether you are seasoned in the history of the period or coming to the subject cold. In fact, it is probably the best starting point for those with little to no knowledge of the Great War.

    She begins the book with a description of European society at the dawn of the 20th century, the colonial and arms race of the preceding century, and the various treaties that tied the Allied and Central Powers to one another. Focus then shifts to the assassination in Sarajevo, the diplomatic mishaps that followed, and finally mobilization of the armies and the first shots of the war.

    This book, along with "A Distant Mirror," "The Zimmerman Telegram," and "The March of Folly," make Barbara Tuchman one of the more remarkable popular historians of the last hundred years. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

    Solid 5-stars

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Krampus: The Yule Lord

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Brom
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (160)

    One Christmas Eve in a small hollow in Boone County, West Virginia, struggling songwriter Jesse Walker witnesses a strange spectacle: seven devilish figures chasing a man in a red suit toward a sleigh and eight reindeer. When the reindeer leap skyward, taking the sleigh, devil men, and Santa into the clouds, screams follow. Moments later, a large sack plummets back to earth, a magical sack that thrusts the down-on-his-luck singer into the clutches of the terrifying Yule Lord, Krampus.

    colleen says: "5 stars"
    "Okay...that's all."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As the header says...this book is okay. It's not particularly exciting but not entirely boring either. The characters aren't particularly captivating nor are they completely uninteresting. I can't highly recommend it but I know there are many out there that will like the story if the user reviews can be trusted.

    If there is one bright spot in Krampus, it is the narration by Kirby Heyborne. His tonal shifts and accents are great and specific for each character. I would gladly listen to him in future audiobooks.

    That's really all I can say concerning Krampus: The Yule Lord. I just don't have any strong reactions concerning the book, pro or con. It's like an action movie...not great but decent entertainment if there's nothing else to do.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren - The True Accounts of the Paranormal Investigators Featured in the film 'The Conjuring'

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Gerald Brittle
    • Narrated By Todd Haberkorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (315)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (298)

    If you think ghosts are only responsible for hauntings, think again. The Demonologist reveals the grave religious process behind supernatural events and how it can happen to you. Used as a text in seminaries and classrooms, this is one book you can't put down. For over five decades, Ed and Loraine Warren have been considered America's foremost experts on demonology and exorcism. With over 3,000 investigations to their credit, they reveal what actually breaks the peace in haunted houses. Don't miss the Warrens in the new blockbuster movie The Conjuring.

    eric says: "WARNING!: THIS IS BASED ON REAL CASES,TERRIFYING!"
    "Charlatans...or perhaps simply delusional?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me preface this with an admission: I am a Catholic, a practicing one, and I believe that the possibility of possession exists. That being said, I also believe the stories in this book are just that...stories. While possession by demonic forces is possible and has happened, I also believe that such cases are extremely rare and the vast majority can be explained by mental illness or deception.

    As for Ed and Lorraine Warren, theirs may certainly be a case of chalatanism but I'm not convinced of this, at least not in all cases. It is possible that they began their career with the belief that they bore some esoteric gift for discerning demonic forces and that they could use this gift to help free people under the influence of such forces. This would certainly predispose them to see supernatural forces at work in what were, in fact, mundane events.

    However, while they may have begun career with wide-eyed naivete, at some point they must have either seen the reality of the situation or else were so truly deluded as to see themselves as modern day crusaders in a personal army at war with Satan. If the first is true, then they are charlatans worthy of our scorn. If the second is true, then they are mentally unstable people worthy of our pity.

    At one point in the book, Ed Warren asks a demon to describe himself. The demon says, and I am quoting:

    "I have a horrible face, I have much gross hair on my body. My eyes are deep sunk. I am black all over. I am burnt. I grow hair. My nails are long, my toes are clawed. I have a tail. I use a spear."

    This is such a cartoonish description of a demon, like something pulled straight from the pages of a cheap pulp or comic book. If Ed Warren truly believes such things, then he must truly be naive and simple of mind. Unfortunately though, he is more likely just giving us a portrait of the devil quite prominent in the 1970's and thus playing to the gullibility of the masses.

    I bought this book after watching The Conjuring, whichis a great haunted house tale and succeeds as a horror movie. The main characters are Ed and Lorraine Warren and I wanted to get an idea of who these people were, or at least who they claimed to be. Unless you are similarly curious though, I would skip this book. It is wholly unbelievable.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Me Doing Stand-Up

    • ORIGINAL (59 mins)
    • By Norm Macdonald
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Get ready, because Norm Macdonald, one of the world’s funniest and most subversive comedians, is letting loose in his first-ever one-hour stand-up special, titled "Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Stand-Up". Norm Macdonald, the iconic anchor of SNL’s “Weekend Update” and star of the cult classic Dirty Work, is back with a vengeance. This time he serves up a hilarious hour of stand-up comedy, covering everything from cheating death, 24-hour news stories, shameful sex, serial killers, and cheese sandwiches.

    Phillip says: "Gotta Love Norm"
    "Gotta Love Norm"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not much that needs saying here. If you love Norm MacDonald's style of comedy then you'll love this. If you don't like then you won't.

    I think it's genius.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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