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Beau

Husband. Dad. 3D Nerd. Tech Junkie. Saints fan. Part of the Squid clan.

New Orleans, LA, United States | Member Since 2011

46
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 86 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • Joseph Anton: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor, Salman Rushdie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (189)

    On February 14, 1989, Valentine's Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been "sentenced to death" by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being "against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran". So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of a police protection team.

    Lynn says: "Informative, Timely"
    "A Tale of Intolerance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit and I found myself constantly stunned by the lengths to which Mr. Rushdie was forced to live for 13 years after the publication of his novel, The Satanic Verses. This book gives the listener a glimpse of what it takes to survive a situation of that magnitude and gravity, and it definitely showed people in their true light, both for good and bad. It still astounds me that a writer of fictional stories could be forced underground based on his story and shunned so thoroughly; don't people around the globe understand what the word 'fiction' is? In my modest opinion, if a story challenges your perceptions, then that is a good thing. If I don't like a book, I know I have the option to put it down. Joseph Anton was a wonderful read and I applaud Mr. Rushdie (who is not without his faults and which he lays bare in the book), for not sitting passively by throughout the ordeal fighting for the ability to lead a relatively normal life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7040)
    Performance
    (6564)
    Story
    (6589)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Super Villians Beware!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love stories that surprise me and Steelheart was one of those wonderful little gifts. I picked this audiobook up on a whim but was quickly engaged with the world of Calamity, the Epics and the Reckoners. Having read Alan Moore's "The Watchman" graphic novel years ago, I wanted to see how Sanderson handled the tale of unbridled power in the hands of men and woman who have abandoned their humanity. It's a fun, fast-paced story that has more than enough action and originality to keep comics fans engaged, while providing a good dose of character development and moral focus to keep more serious readers from feeling they are in a purely cartoon world. And of course, I found myself guessing (incorrectly in most cases) as to how Sanderson would resolve each confrontation which is all I could ask for here. His imagination definitely is on display and I found Steelheart to be a good start to the trilogy and I look forward to listening to the next in this series.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (18525)
    Performance
    (16488)
    Story
    (16448)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "A Storytelling Masterstroke"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow... wow! What a story. This is King at his peak of storytelling. The world of 11-22-63 is lush, nostalgic and rendered in amazingly vivid and intricate detail. King manages to do something unexpected too - he pulls off a completely new spin on time travel that's placed around one of history's most galvanizing events: the assassination of JFK. Pacing was quick and tight and I found myself immediately rooting for Jake Epping / George Amberson; felt the sheer wonder he did upon entering the past as well as shared his joys, pains, heartaches and inner conflicts over what he was doing from start to finish. There are plenty of unexpected twists and turns to keep the listener locked in as King lays out an "obdurate past" so compelling, I would swear he had to have his own rabbit hole in his basement to experience it first-hand. An absolute treat and must read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (9005)
    Performance
    (7092)
    Story
    (7129)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Amazon Customer says: "Word Thief"
    "Heartbreaking and heartwarming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a stunning rendition of the highly acclaimed novel and it kept me engaged from start to finish. I wasn't sure what to expect when I downloaded this audio book (as I'd done it so I could have discussions with my teenage daughter who had to read it for school), but I quickly realized how much life the narrator breathed into Liesel, Rudy and World War II Germany and how much passion the writer had for the material. Family, kindness, unconditional love and selflessness are all woven through a very rough time in history as we watch Liesel grow and learn, and the end left even me in tears. Moreover, the narrator Allan Corduner should be congratulated for his efforts in making this an emotional and highly satisfying listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (764)
    Performance
    (449)
    Story
    (456)

    The town psychiatrist has decided to switch everybody in Pine Cove, California, from their normal antidepressants to placebos, so naturally - well, to be accurate, artificially - business is booming at the local blues bar. Trouble is, those lonely slide-guitar notes have also attracted a colossal sea beast named Steve with, shall we say, a thing for explosive oil tanker trucks.

    Chris Robbins says: "Very funny, but perhaps not for everyone"
    "Quirky Characters don't Guarantee a Good Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As the title says, quirks don't always make for a good story. Having listened to other Chris Moore books, I was eager to dive back into another one of his humorous yarns that generally leave me satisfied and wanting more. Typically, his characters are offbeat but well conceived. However, I was really disappointed by this outing. I never found myself engaging with any of his band of highly quirky characters (including a stoner constable, a loony B-movie actress, a stereotypical blues player, a reclusive and awkward scientist and cardboard cutout of a sheriff). The story also left me wanting - the "monster" was generally bland, and it's single-minded desires were also never well explained or explored. It seems the author was more intent to give all of his characters as many quirks and odd behavioral patterns as he could, without ever really trying to give them any grounding or plausible existence. As a result, the book lurched around, plodding from scene to scene without ever finding its voice or encouraging the listener to follow along and get involved in the story. I would skip this for other Moore titles like "A Dirty Job".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen
    • Narrated By Roger Wayne
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (129)

    In an unparalleled collaboration, two leading global thinkers in technology and foreign affairs give us their widely anticipated, transformational vision of the future: a world where everyone is connected - a world full of challenges and benefits that are ours to meet and to harness. Eric Schmidt is one of Silicon Valley’s great leaders, having taken Google from a small startup to one of the world’s most influential companies. Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas and a former adviser to secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.

    Mike says: "Disappointing. At once obvious and curious."
    "Too Many "What If" Discussions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I certainly enjoyed some of the concepts that Schmidt and Cohen present, I found myself constantly wishing more concrete examples of how the current tech is evolving would be used to back up their ideas. Several sounded off-base and were just plain hard to believe, several seemed to provide a roadmap for criminals to follow to make our lives miserable, and with the recent revelation of the NSA's PRISM program in the news, several ideas discussed have already proven to be outdated or have set back the digital age pretty dramatically.

    Unfortunately, I just didn't find the information put together coherently, and found the book itself more focused with current politics and more mundane aspects of today's technology. I guess I was looking in the wrong place for inspiration on what the future holds.

    My advice, pass on this one and don't wonder "what if?".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Enemy

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Charlie Higson
    • Narrated By Paul Whitehouse
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    A brand-new heart-stopping audiobook from Charlie Higson, author of the best-selling Young Bond series, read by Paul Whitehouse - the most exciting thing you'll hear all year. They'll chase you. They'll rip you open. They'll feed on you.... When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, politician - every adult - fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused, and hungry. Only children under 14 remain whole, and they're fighting to survive.

    tara says: "Great book! But where are the others?"
    "Lord of the Flies meets Zombies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had no idea that this book even existed until my 15-year old daughter brought a physical copy home and told us how good the first ten chapters had been. She gave us a simple overview, and seeing as both my wife and I enjoy a good zombie book, decided to see if Higson's books were available through Audible. To our dismay, only this first in his series is currently available in audio format, but we figured we'd give his origin story a try anyway.

    We found this to be a new twist on zombie lore. Leaving children to fend for themselves in the midst of adult conversion into sick and twisted monsters that roam the London streets proved to be a good backdrop for his story.

    The characters are fleshed out well (no pun intended) and you find yourself rooting for them as they have to navigate from one creepy and dangerous situation to another throughout the course of the story, and Higson does an admirable job of capturing tween/teen angst and particular brand of defiance that causes conflicts that might not exist for adults. Of course, I found myself on more than one occasion having flashbacks to the original Lord of the Flies story and wish that some of the antagonistic behaviors some of the kids have toward one another felt more original, but it doesn't diminish the overall arc of the story and the reader's investment with the kids.

    The book ends with a couple of great setups for the sequals that I'm eager to follow-up with, but for now, I'm going to have to have to resort to buying the printed copies as no audiobooks exist (yet - I hope) for the other four in the series.

    On a side note, Paul Whitehouse's reading of The Enemy was stellar and really added some authentic British feel (and accent) to the situation, and kept us riveted. My daughter listened after she finished reading her copy of the book and also said that she wished she'd listened instead as the narrator gave such a good performance and made each kid unique and identifiable.

    All I can say is:hurry up Audible and get those others made! :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 12.21: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Dustin Thomason
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders, Noel Rodriguez, Dustin Thomason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (235)

    For decades, December 21, 2012, has been a touchstone for doomsayers worldwide. It is the date, they claim, when the ancient Maya calendar predicts the world will end. In Los Angeles, two weeks before, all is calm. Dr. Gabriel Stanton takes his usual morning bike ride, drops off the dog with his ex-wife, and heads to the lab where he studies incurable prion diseases for the CDC. His first phone call is from a hospital resident who has an urgent case she thinks he needs to see.

    cristina says: "Three stars, but enjoyable"
    "Meh - A Solid Concept, but not well Executed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Given my title, let me first say that this was not an awful book by any means. It had some solid elements to it including the premise and descriptions and insights into ancient Mayan culture. The first couple of chapters were strong and laid a nice foundation that gave me high hopes. But the characters ended up flat and uninspired, and the story didn't really feel compelling in the way the early Michael Crichton or James Patterson novels might. The peril and pacing you would expect in an end of the world book seemed to be missing and it tended to focus on deciphering and interpreting a codex instead of pushing the story in other ways. Ultimately I felt a bit let down by these decisions and this book ends up as a middling effort; not terrible, but certainly not as good as it could have been.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Altered Carbon

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3402)
    Performance
    (1608)
    Story
    (1616)

    In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

    Jake Williams says: "Altered Carbon"
    "This Book has the Density of a Black Hole!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Whoa! Author Richard Morgan has ginned up a massively complex, nuanced future world as well as highly imperfect but incredibly charismatic characters that keep you riveted through this epic story. I have to admit that while I love hard-boiled detective stories as much as anyone, I doubt Altered Carbon could get much more gritty. There is plenty of raw language and imagery (both sex and violence), but I feel it ultimately adds to the story, paints a more vivid picture of characters and isn't provided simply for shock value alone. The only minor complaint I have is that the narrator's voice is SO deep, that it was sometimes hard to understand what he was saying. Not so much as to lose key plot points, but irritating when I was driving and listening. Otherwise, it's s fantastic book and I am looking forward to listening to more from Morgan.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6156)
    Performance
    (5732)
    Story
    (5734)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "Definitely a Light Popcorn Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Haven't you ever wondered what science fiction red shirts do all day BEFORE they get wiped out? This story is a neatly packaged vision of what their lives could be aboard a spaceship and what forces conspire to lead them to their potential deaths. The pacing is quick, the dialog is snappy and not totally over the top, the characters are likeable enough and there isn't too much techno-babble to make your head swim. I wasn't completely sold on the ending, but the book has enough charm to still be worth listening to, especially if you are looking for something that won't require a lot of brain power. Plus, Will Wheaton's performance is spot on (and not just a little ironic given his career). Redshirts will definitely find a place in every Star Trek, TNG and Galaxy Quest fan's collection and makes for a fun, light distraction from heavier sci-fi fare.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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