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dissipatedfog

San Francisco, CA

44
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 113 ratings
  • 545 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
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  • Hybrids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (219)

    Scientists (and lovers) Mary Vaughan, who is human, and Ponter Boddit, who is Neanderthal, embark on the harrowing adventure of conceiving a child together. To overcome the genetic barbed wire of mismatched chromosomes, they must use banned technology obtainable only from a Neanderthal scientist living in the northern wilderness.

    dissipatedfog says: "Hated it!"
    "Hated it!"
    Overall

    I liked the first book in this series a lot. The second one wasn't as good, but I still liked it. I was hoping that this book would redeem the second, but I thought it was terrible! I had to make myself finish it. There are so many things that were bad it's hard to know where to begin and I certainly can't list them all. The main female character, Mary, is often unreasonably bitchy and childish while the main male character (a neanderthal) is always calming her and being understanding of her petulance- it makes them both kind of boring. The writing was weak, there was hardly any character development. Well, we do learn that Mary seems to be quite the Star Trek devotee, several times connecting something in the story with a Star Trek episode - she knew the names of guest stars and who had directed. Perhaps Mr. Sawyer needed some filler and so he took from his own fanatical knowledge? According to the book, Americans are repugnant, there aren't very many American characters and none of them are good people. Throughout the series neaderthals are portrayed as having taken much better care of their world while we "gliksins" have ruined ours, which we have, no arguement there. But at one point the author compares neanderthals to Canadians and gliksins to Americans. Ok I get it, he hates Americans. Next sentence contains a spoiler: He also doesn't seem too keen on men (homo sapiens that is), so it's no surprise that the big villain in the book is an American male. Lazy, boring writing and I didn't like the narration either. Too bad, it started out as such a promising series.

    24 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Shadows in Flight

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Janice Card, Scott Brick, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1621)
    Performance
    (1462)
    Story
    (1475)

    At the end of Shadow of the Giant, Bean flees to the stars with three of his children--the three who share the engineered genes that gave him both hyper-intelligence and a short, cruel physical life. The time dilation granted by the speed of their travel gives Earth’s scientists generations to seek a cure, to no avail. In time, they are forgotten - a fading ansible signal speaking of events lost to Earth’s history. But the Delphikis are about to make a discovery that will let them save themselves, and perhaps all of humanity in days to come.

    Brittani says: "Great Build Up, and then Just Ends"
    "A novella at best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was fine and interesting, but really not substantial enough to be called a book. Technically it's a novella, but substance-wise it seemed more like a short story. In the afterward he says that it was about making a cheaper novel that could "purchased as an impulse" which is a weird goal. Why would somebody buy the fifth book in a series on impulse? I wasn't looking at price when I bought it and I don't think somebody new to the series would start with this book.
    Anyway, the overall story was interesting but not detailed enough; I didn't care a lot about the kids and Bean wasn't in it that much. It was very disappointing after waiting for it for so long.
    The narration performance was great though.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Wizard's First Rule: Sword of Truth, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Terry Goodkind
    • Narrated By Jim Bond
    Overall
    (531)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (129)

    In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

    In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword - to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed...or that their time has run out.

    A User says: "Horrible Narrator"
    "Story, narration and grammar"
    Overall

    I was entertained by this book. The story wasn't the best I've heard and some of the "twists" were obvious and it was at times frustrating that the heroes of the book didn't figure them out. But I enjoyed it and plan to listen to the rest of the series.
    The narration left a lot to be desired in the first quarter or so of the book, but it did get better. But at the beginning there were times it was laughably bad. His intonation reminded me of how I sometimes speak to my ESL students to be sure they understand every word. Not much fluctuation and ev-er-y syllable enunciated. But as the book progressed the reading became better and I actually liked his reading style by the end.
    As to complaints about grammar, yes there are some passages where the author uses adjectives instead of adverbs (real instead of really, different instead of differently, etc) but these passages are told from the point of view of a young servant girl. They are in the 3rd person, so maybe it's not easy to realize they are from her point of view. But if you notice, the only time these grammar "mistakes" are made is when the story is centered around her.
    Overall the book was fun and I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Junot Diaz
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2259)
    Performance
    (976)
    Story
    (984)

    Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

    Kathleen says: "Fabulous listen"
    "Helps to know some Spanish but not necessary"
    Overall

    Using street slang, geek slang and making literary references a beautiful, grand story is told about a family and a country.
    There are many Spanish phrases used, but not knowing what they mean will not keep you from understanding the book (my level is intermediate - I understood maybe 75%). Understanding them does add some color to the narrative, but they are by no means crucial to the plot. The meanings of most can be figured out from the context anyway. To say that it's mostly in Spanish is ridiculous.
    The book is vibrant and the narration was good. It tells a much larger story than its length indicates.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Humans: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (631)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (301)

    In this Hugo-nominated novel, Neanderthal physicist Ponter Boddit brings Canadian geneticist Mary Vaughan back to his world to explore the near-utopian civilization of the Neanderthals. Boddit serves as a Candide figure, the naive visitor whose ignorance about our society makes him a perfect tool to analyze human tendencies toward violence, over-population, and environmental degradation.

    Guillermo says: "Missed the Mark"
    "Not as good as the first book, almost 4 stars."
    Overall

    I liked this book but thought that the social commentary was at times forced into the story. The narrator did a little better with some of the accents this time, but often times when reading women's lines he made them sound insipid. It was like a man making fun of the way a woman talks. It didn't happen all them time, but there were definitely moments. Again at the beginning was a 2 1/2 minute introduction by the author that was annoying; he really needs to stop selling his books to those who have already bought them. He doesn't have a pleasant speaking voice so it's a doubly bad way to begin a reading. All in all it was enjoyable but not as good as the first book.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1219)
    Performance
    (567)
    Story
    (572)

    Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth. A Neanderthal physicist, Ponter Boddit, accidentally passes from his universe into a Canadian underground research facility. Fortunately, a team of human scientists, including expert paleo-anthropologist Mary Vaughan, promptly identifies and warmly receives Ponter. Solving the language problem and much else is a mini-computer, called a Companion, implanted in the brain of every Neanderthal. But it can't help his fellow scientist back in his world, Adikor Huld, when the authorities charge Adikor with his murder.

    Scott says: "Scicen Fiction Can Be Literature"
    "Great premise, good story, decent reading"
    Overall

    I really liked the premise of this book and thought that the story was told well although there were a few passages that seemed forced. The reading was fine, the Jamaican accent sounded more Scottish or Irish to me, but what does this American know about accents! I didn't like the intro by the author, it was self-congratulatory and also seemed like he was trying to sell me a book I'd already bought. Then the first 5 minutes of the reading were about how the author's decision on which spelling of Neanderthal to use. Start playback at 7:29 and you won't miss a thing from the story.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Study in Emerald

    • UNABRIDGED (49 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (2326)
    Performance
    (794)
    Story
    (797)

    A Study in Emerald draws listeners in through carefully revealed details as a consulting detective and his narrator friend solve the mystery of a murdered German noble. But with its subtle allusions and surprise ending, this mystery hints that the real fun in solving this case lies in imagining all the details that Gaiman doesn't reveal, and challenges listeners to be detectives themselves.

    M. D. Baines says: "Listen Well"
    "Needed to read it"
    Overall

    I had a hard time following this story as it was read. I am a fan of audiobooks, but there were several times that I wanted to refer to something earlier in the story, which is much easier when reading a book than listening to one. In the end, I did enjoy the story and though Neil Gaiman did a good job reading it, I would have liked this one more in print. (although I'm living in Peru, I'm from the US and English is my first language so it wasn't a language barrier)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of the Hegemon

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3157)
    Performance
    (1737)
    Story
    (1750)

    Orson Scott Card tells a tale long awaited by millions of fans: the story of how Bean turned away from his first friend, Ender, and became the tactical genius who won the Earth for Ender's brother, Peter, who became the Hegemon.

    Michael says: "Great book, poor transfer"
    "Good story, bad reading"
    Overall

    As with all of the “Ender” books, I liked this story and if I were rating the book, would probably give it 4 stars. However this is a review of the audiobook and there were elements to the reading that made it awful. One of the main character’s names was often mispronounced by all of the readers. The name, Achilles pronounced as in French “a-SHEEL” because the character is Belgian, is pronounced correctly in the beginning. Then in chapter 7, which happens to be mostly about Achilles, the name is pronounced as in English “a-KIL-ees”. After that it’s back and forth, often pronounced both ways by the same reader in the same chapter. What makes this especially annoying is that the pronunciation of the name is discussed in the book! Also the word “hegemon” is pronounced in two different ways, though thankfully it’s not used that often. At one point two Pakistani characters are described as “having no accent” but their dialogue was read with an accent. Finally some of the musical interludes between chapters were too long. Overall a disappointing reading.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Richie Tankersley Cusick
    • Narrated By Kristy Swanson
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Valley girl meets vampire? Buffy is blissfully unaware that there's trouble brewing, even though 4 teenage girls in L.A. have disappeared in the past 2 months, until she meets a stranger named Merrick. He tells her that she bears the mark of the order, which means she's the only one who can stop the vampires who are terrorizing her city.

    BusyStix says: "good story, bad narration"
    "The movie changed Buffy"
    Overall

    This reading was OK, but I enjoyed both the movie and TV show more.

    Just to clarify the reviewer who said that Buffy was upbeat and silly before TV changed her. WRONG! The TV version of Buffy is actually the "original" version. She was watered down for the movie, but brought back to her original self for the TV series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Da Vinci Code

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (2977)
    Performance
    (209)
    Story
    (214)

    While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

    Jonas says: "Overall Good"
    "Great story, not so great writing"
    Overall

    I thought the story itself was compelling, but I found Dan Brown's writing style to be tiresome. Almost every chapter was a cliffhanger, and the ones that weren't were only two sentences long! If you are at all interested in religion and how powerful it can be and what it can drive people to do, then definitely read this book for its story, but don't expect to be impressed by the writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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