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Bruce

Houston, TX, United States | Member Since 2009

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 262 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
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  • 1984: New Classic Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4039)
    Performance
    (2586)
    Story
    (2618)

    George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

    Kit McIlvaine (GirlPluggedN) says: "Come one, Come all into 1984!"
    "Still relevant after all these years"
    Overall

    This is my very first review of an audiobook. I needed to write a review and say how great this reading is. I have read this book before and while it was an enthralling read, nothing compares to this audiobook. I agree with others that Simon Prebble adds a fantastic level of eeriness to the story. You are taken to this bleak and dark future of humanity. An excellent cross over between science fiction and political science. I am just as afraid of the possibility of this future as readers were sixty years ago. Don't stick your head down a memory hole -- remember this visionary tale when you see the parallels in today's global societies.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • METAtropolis

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, and others
    • Narrated By Michael Hogan, Scott Brick, Kandyse McClure, and others
    Overall
    (2055)
    Performance
    (1808)
    Story
    (1848)

    Armed camps of eco-survivalists battle purveyors of technology in this exclusive, original production featuring five sci-fi masters and five all-star narrators.

    Anthony says: "Painful"
    "Environmental ruins, the end of civilization, blah"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about METAtropolis? What did you like least?

    I do not normally get into anthology books. I generally prefer books by a single author or more specifically, books centered around a single story arc. The premise of this book is to set a stage in the future and have several writers create short stories that have hardly anything to do with each other except for taking place in the same space of time and a passing reference to a certain place or technology.

    Does anyone notice a preponderence of books about environmental catastrophes and a relating of the downfall of civilization? Well, if that is your cup of tea, this is your kind of book. I understand that climate change is a serious thing and certainly a dalliance into the subject stands to merit but for crying out loud, what happened to humankind rallying around itself in a disastrous turn of events to become a better peoples? Why does every story seem that once we are faced with some massive catastrophe, we become a bunch of animals?

    Anyway, I digress. So here is my point and my problem: I can't stand it when authors use their stories as a soapbox and in my humble opionion, that is what Jay Lake does in the book's opener. OK, Jay, I get it. Republicans bad, environmentalists good! Just get on with the freaking story for gosh sakes. Democrats are comfortable in their trappings of modern living, too. I see lots of Obama/Biden stickers on SUVs. On the positive side, in the middle of all this depressing take on human society, Scalzi really comes through with a great short story. It was worth the rest of the book just to get to his piece. It's the same universe only now I was glad I was there...sort of, anyway.


    Do you think METAtropolis needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    This book definitely does NOT need a follow-up unless the anthology premise is dropped and Scalzi just writes another winner and gets Wheaton or Dufris to read it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Old Man's War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4002)
    Performance
    (2949)
    Story
    (2972)

    John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

    Michael says: "As good as Heinlein"
    "A good start to what could be an excellent series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Old Man's War again? Why?

    I have actually listened to this book three or four times already. I have a lot of time on my hands commuting in Houston and good stories to listen to are hard to find. This is a typical Scalzi book. His stories do not take themsleves too seriously. They are funny and deep and most surprising, you may find Scalzi addressing real scientific concepts every now and again. What I like most is his deference to his characters over the sciency stuff. I love good science fiction but sometimes we forget the best science fiction can take place between two people in a cornfield not just on a space freighter.


    Have you listened to any of William Dufris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    William Dufris is one of my favorite narrators. I first started listening to him on this Scalzi series and have branched off onto other book series specifically for his voice talents.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ghost Brigades

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2236)
    Performance
    (1645)
    Story
    (1658)

    The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They're young, they're fast and strong, and they're totally without normal human qualms.

    wendy says: "Great story"
    "A good Scalzi book, excellent narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, the story is a well thought out sequel. I liked this universe a lot in Old Man's War and Scalzi does not disappoint in the follow-up. I have come to appreciate Scalzi's ability to provide advancement of the storyline through the dialog and not the narration. He manages to get so much natural depth without getting bogged down in one character "telling" another character something in order to get a point across.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ghost Brigades?

    The scene where Jared Dirac a cloned soldier of a scientist met the scientist's daughter , Zoe. Even though Dirac was not her natural father, being a clone of him, he had so much love and concern for her well being. Dufris was excellent in relaying the siginicance of the moment.


    Any additional comments?

    This series is the first Scalzi I have gotten that HASN'T been read by Wil Wheaton, who is one of my favorites. Dufris does a bang-up job on the reading. Voice characters are well done and easy to follow.

    1 of 1 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
    (5962)
    Performance
    (5555)
    Story
    (5554)

    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"
    "Loved it. When;s the movie coming out?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Redshirts?

    Andrew Dahl's time in the bar with his bartending "friend". I thought it was a very poignant moment.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    Wil Wheaton is one of the best out there, in my opinion. I like his style so much that I have sought out his performances directly regardless of the author and subject matter.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to other Scalzi books after getting Fuzzy Nation. I liked his style, mostly, except for his "he said, she said" moments. This book was a great story idea and an excellent nod to the science fiction series of old.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trap Line

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen, Bill Montalbano
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (36)

    Key West is a smuggler's paradise. All that's needed are the captains to run the contraband, and Breeze Albury is one of the best fishing captains on the Rock. He's in no mood to become the Machine's delivery boy, however. So the Machine sets out to persuade him. It starts by taking away Albury's livelihood and his freedom. But when the Machine threatens Albury's son, the washed-out wharf rat turns into a raging, sea-going vigilante.

    S.A. says: "not your typical Hiassen book, but worth it"
    "OK time killer if you have nothing better to do"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    All the plot points you expect in a Hiaasen effort were present however it just didn't come together as seemlessly as many of his books. It seemed to be missing that edge of humor that Hiaasen injects into his novels. I kept expecting the Captain to jump out of a mangrove swamp at any time but was disappointed.


    What does George K. Wilson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Yes, Wilson's read was good for me. He picked up the personalities of the characters. Other reviewers have mentioned his poor accent for his hispanic characters but I did not find that as annoying as others have.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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