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James

New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.

Springfield, MO, United States | Member Since 2010

682
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 429 reviews
  • 452 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014
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  • Classic Gold

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By George Carlin
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (35)

    This set contains three of George Carlin's classic albums from the 1970s in their entirety: FM & AM, Class Clown, and Occupation Foole.

    James says: "Don't listen and drive"
    "Don't listen and drive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Parts of this are so funny, that if you listen and drive you may be in an accident. It is hard to see where you are going when you are tearing up from laughter. The name says it all this is Classic and it is Gold.

    Carlin has always been my favorite comedian. The wit, the voices, the edge, it is all combined to make you laugh and think at the same time. There is a lot here on words and how we use them, and of course the seven words you can't say on tv. There is a slight bit on politics and he takes us back to our childhood with Class Clown.

    Last year I listened to his biography "Last Words" which came out after his death. It is also a great listen or read.

    Carlin is a legend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Richard A. Muller
    • Narrated By Pete Larkin
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    The near-meltdown of Fukushima, the upheavals in the Middle East, the BP oil rig explosion, and the looming reality of global warming have reminded the president and all U.S. citizens that nothing has more impact on our lives than the supply of and demand for energy. Its procurement dominates our economy and foreign policy more than any other factor. But the "energy question" is more confusing, contentious, and complicated than ever before.

    Neuron says: "Excellent overview over current and future energy"
    "Fracking Shale Gas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Look Mom I Did it.
    I almost want to pat myself on the back, or Muller's back for getting through this. I love science, but I am not that knowledgeable (although I know more then most in the Media). This review is directed at those like myself who just want to know the basics without all the scare tactics.
    The Media and Scare Tactics
    I felt Muller gave a level and mostly unbiased look at Global Warming, man made disasters and our future in energy. Most of the material, I as a normal layman could understand. There were some parts especially toward the end which went over my head, but overall I stayed a float. I first read Muller when he wrote a book several years ago on the Theory of Nemesis, a possible companion star to Sol, which is responsible for the regular cycle of extinctions on our planet. I devoured that book and was glad to see he had something else out. In the past few years I have become more and more angry as the teleprompt readers on the nightly news keep spouting death and destruction for sensationalism. I felt Muller was even tempered, giving the pros and cons on each subject, leaving the conclusions up to us.
    Natural Gas
    In the book Muller warns us against theories that are the end all for all problems, then he keeps slamming Natural Gas in our faces. Every time I turned around he was telling me how great natural gas was and how it was the answer to all our problems. I have a bigger respect for natural gas, but I still have to be skeptical.

    The narrator
    Pete Larkin sounds exactly like the guy who narrated all the science films I watched in high school, or like the guy who does the safety films I listen to at work. Well, that might not be a good comparison as those put me to sleep. I guess I am trying to say he sounds professional. Plus they put me to sleep because I have watched them a million times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deathworld

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Harry Harrison
    • Narrated By Jim Roberts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (35)

    Deathworld is the first in a series of novels begun in 1960. In it professional gambler Jason Dinalt who has "psionic" ability is hired to win a great deal of money for a mysterious and very imposing stranger. When he "breaks the bank" their expertly timed escape gets them off-world just in time. The gambler learns he has helped the dwellers of Pyruss otherwise known as "Deathworld" - a planet that appears to be fighting and trying to destroy its inhabitants.

    Wilbur says: "Great stuff!"
    "MY ARM IS YOUR ARM"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    HE'S A QUAKE MAN
    There were several things I enjoyed about this book. I always like wild biology books. One of the main characters is a strong woman and by strong I mean physically as well as mentally. There are some cool inventions such as transparent metal and a gun I like to call the windows 8 gun (very touchy). What I didn't like were the huge amount of politics and the PSI stuff. PSI was the explanation for most things happening and that just seems like a cheap way out to me. At the time this was written, PSI and telepathy were big in a lot of books, so Harry is just writing what was being written at the time. I also felt that Harry held back on some of the science to make this more pulp.

    I like some of the books Harry wrote later, but audible does not carry these books. His Eden series was excellent and I would love to have that in audible. He also wrote a book called Captive Universe which was pretty cool. If you like the biology gone wild stuff, Audible does carry Neal Asher's books. I have only read one so far, but hope to read more.

    I used to have a problem with Jim Roberts. I mostly connected him to cheaply done stuff, but I have grown used to him for these older books and he has grown on me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swords Against Death: The Adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Fritz Leiber
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (98)

    Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser journey from the ancient city of Lankhmar, searching for a little adventure and debauchery to ease their broken hearts. When a stranger challenges them to find and fight Death on the Bleak Shore, they battle demonic birds, living mountains, and evil monks on the way to their heroic fate.

    Katherine says: "Classical rogue"
    "DAY OF THE TOAD"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The best part of this book was when he gave you dates. The year of the Lion or Behemoth, the month of the Dragon or Hedge Hog, the day of the mouse or Toad, etc... The rest of the book was narration, the main characters barely spoke.

    I knew I was in trouble when Gaiman began the narration. Audible had a project where Gaiman introduced some books that where no longer popular, but he loved and wanted to bring back. A great idea on paper, but there was a reason, these books did not stand the test of time and before you get all cranky with me, do your research. Take a look at the ratings on these books and most of them were bought by fans of Gaiman, who really wanted to like these books. Almost all of these books where failures.

    Since I have already PO'd a few people let me continue with Davis the narrator. I have yet to like a book, he has narrated. I do not like his style, I do not like it with green eggs and ham, I do not like it Sam I Am. It is now to the point where I will not buy a book if he is the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Homeland: Legend of Drizzt: Dark Elf Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By R. A. Salvatore
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (975)
    Performance
    (890)
    Story
    (909)

    This stunning new release of the classic R.A. Salvatore novel recounts the origins of Salvatore's signature dark elf character, Drizzt Do'Urden. This title kicks off The Legend of Drizzt series, which will showcase the classic dark elf novels in these new audiobook editions.

    Pi says: "Among the drow, all trust is foolish."
    "Magical,Enchanted, Elven"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know if it is the author or just this these Forgotten Realm books, but I can't into these. Everything is magical or enchanted, the plethora of adjectives and adverbs are uncountable. To me good writing does not need all of these descriptive narratives. For my fantasy I prefer Robin Hobb, she gets in my head.

    This is very popular with a certain set of the fantasy world. I believe if you like Terry Brooks, you will love this.

    The narrator was good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Glory Road

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (316)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (295)

    . C. “Scar” Gordon was on the French Riviera recovering from a tour of combat in Southeast Asia, but he hadn’t given up his habit of scanning the personals in the newspaper. One ad in particular leapt out at him: "Are you a coward? This is not for you. We badly need a brave man. He must be 23 to 25 years old, in perfect health, at least six feet tall, weigh about 190 pounds, fluent English with some French, proficient with all weapons, some knowledge of engineering and mathematics essential...."

    ShySusan says: "Heinlein's only fantasy"
    "Full Figured Amazon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was published in 1963 and marks the beginning of when RH seems to have one hand on the typewriter and the other. This is nowhere near as bad as what he will write in the future, but you can see it coming. I found this silly and not worth my time.

    I am a fan of the Heinlein of the 50's, I wish I would have never read anything after Starship Troopers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (306)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (148)

    An eerie light proclaims the arrival of a mysterious watcher in the woods. And one solitary man begins a desperate battle against something unknown - and unknowable.

    Sharon says: "A little out there..."
    "Published as Invasion in 1975 by Aaron Wolfe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    EVERY FORTRESS HAD THE POTIENTIAL TO BECOME A PRISON.
    This was originally published in 1975, under the name "Invasion" and Koontz used the pseudonym Aaron Wolfe. This is only scary in the same vein that an Ira Levine book is scary. In one point in the book DK describes the writings of Blackmon and James as, HEAVY ON ATMOSPHERE AND LIGHT ON SUBSTANCE. I chuckled as I thought that was a great description of what I was hearing. In his own words here are some more descriptions of DK's early writing: BY THE TIME SHE ENDED A PARAGRAPH SHE COULD NOT RECALL A WORD OF IT. BEYOND BLANDNESS, NOTHING, NOTTA. EVEN THOUGH IT SEEM LIKE AN ETERNITY ONLY 5 SECONDS HAD ELAPSED.

    Koontz eventually become a great writer, but his early books are just not very good. Any book Koontz wrote after 2000 will be great, but avoid the 1980's and below.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Semper Fi: Book One in The Corps Series

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (662)
    Performance
    (578)
    Story
    (585)

    From Shanghai to Wake Island, the Corps was America’s first line of defense as the winds of war exploded into the devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. This is the story of the men of the Marine Corps, their loves and loyalties, an elite fraternity united by courage and honor, as they steel themselves for battle, prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice....

    Jerome says: "WEB Griffin is a master of this genre"
    "I SPEAK CHINESE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    TAKE WHAT YOU CAN WHENEVER YOU CAN GET IT, I ALWAYS SAY.
    I am not into military type books, but I always say a good writer can make any subject a good listen. I had never listened to Griffin before, but this had such high ratings. The ratings are well deserved. It is a story that flows smoothly, with a main character you can not help, but love. The story starts in 1941, before Pearl Harbor and tells the story of what the Marines were like back then and the people that were in the Marines. I enjoyed the history on China and Japan. The whole book was entertaining with almost no flat spots.

    YOU HAVE A RABBI
    There are some elements to the story that I usually don't like in believable fiction, but for some reason did not bother me so much this time. It is bad enough that it could ruin the story for some others. I mention these things for those, whom it might bother too much. First of all we have this common everyday Joe, coming from a dysfunctional family who speaks, Chinese, Japanese and Italian. We are not told what dialect of Chinese he speaks. I always heard there were two main dialects of Chinese along with several minor ones and that often the Chinese people don't understand each other. The main character in this book never has a problem being understood by any and all Chinese. He speaks Italian so well, that he is mistaken for Italian. Every time in the book, that it seems like he is in trouble, he comes out smelling like a rose. Every time. Griffin plays up all of these episodes, trying to convince you that he is for it now and then surprise you with how well he comes out of the situation. The first couple of times you might fall for it, but by the tenth time it gets a little ridiculous. The book is also very predictable. These weaknesses usually will ruin a book for me, but in this book I was able to look past it. You might get fed up with it. This was a strong five star book for me and I am looking forward to continuing the series.

    Dick Hill is one of my favorite narrators and he did not disappoint in this. He only does a few voices and all his girls sound the same, but his style and knowledge of what he is saying always makes a book sound better then it would read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Burning Chrome

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Dennis Holland, Kevin Pariseau, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (111)

    William Gibson's dark visions of computer cowboys, bio-enhanced soldiers of fortune, and hi-tech lowlifes have won unprecedented praise. Included here are some of the most famous short fiction and novellas by the author of Count Zero and Neuromancer.

    JIMMY says: "Short Stories With some other authors also."
    "abstract art"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    YOUR THE REASON OUR KIDS ARE UGLY
    Gibson starts out with an intro, in which he states that Asimov and Heinlein never did anything for him. He was influenced by Bester, Swanwick, and Sheckley. Another reviewer stated these stories were like abstract art. These statements should tell you how you will feel about these stories.

    I am more of a Heinlein, Asimov person and prefer my art to be realistic, so I was not happy with these stories. If you are in the same camp as me, but want to try Gibson, I would suggest you start with Virtual Light. Virtual Light is my favorite Gibson book and I liked Al Tomorrow's Parties. I did not like this book, Spook Country, Count Zero or Neuromancer. You can not claim to be an expert in Sci-Fi fiction, if you have never read any William Gibson. In the middle 80's he was the hottest author in the field and was the leader in a new wave of Sci-Fi literature. Some of what you read today, you would not be reading if Gibson had never been published. So even though l did not like this, Kudo's to Gibson for having the vision to go a different direction then the norm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1662)
    Performance
    (1044)
    Story
    (1047)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Thomas says: "The best book I've had"
    "Cold"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wherever you are, before listening, put on a heavy coat, it is going to get cold. I don't listen to many history books, preferring to listen to historical fiction. This has enough drama and adventure to not need any fiction. This is a true story written so well, that you will feel you are there. Dan Simmons wrote a similar historical fantasy fiction about a ship trapped in the artic for over two years. It was good, but not as good as this. This was written in 1959 and will be just as good 100 years from now.

    I would like to say this was adventure when adventure meant something, but I was never convinced that crossing the continent of Antarctica was important and it seems they were mainly doing it to be famous and to not have the work the rest of their lives.

    Mr. Prebble is the gentleman narrator and no one else good have been picked to read this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Way of the Wolf: The Vampire Earth, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By E. E. Knight
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, E. E. Knight
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (292)
    Story
    (294)

    Louisiana, 2065. A lot has changed in the 43rd year of the Kurian Order. Possessed of an unnatural and legendary hunger, the bloodthirsty Reapers have come to Earth to establish a New Order built on the harvesting of enslaved human souls. They rule the planet. They thrive on the scent of fear. And if it is night, as sure as darkness, they will come.

    On this pitiless world, the indomitable spirit of mankind still breathes in Lieutenant David Valentine.

    Kevin says: "Its what you expect, and thats not a bad thing."
    "Vampire Earth 101"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I DON'T KNOW WHY, BUT
    Lots of different elements in this book make for an interesting concept. A western with vampires and aliens. Knight says this is the second book he wrote and the first to get published. I wanted to like it as the competing subjects matters, seem interesting when you think about it. I also like that the story takes place in the Ozarks, where I live. My town is even mentioned as a border town. Unfortunately, it does read like a first attempt. The above phrase happens often, a character knows something is going to happen, but he can not explain why he knows. This is a novice way of getting around difficult situations. The world building, which should have been the best part of the book, was done through lecture. It was like sitting in a college class listening to a professor describe Vampire Earth 101. I don't want to be told, I want to be shown.

    THEIR BRAINS ARE AT THE TAIL END, KIND OF LIKE THINNER HERE.
    In different places we see glimpses of Knight's imagination. He has the ideas to put together a top notch novel or series, it is just a shame a publisher or editor did not force him to work harder and longer to come up with it. Hopefully, like many other writers have done, he will get better and better through experience. Sometimes getting published or popular early in your career can be the worst thing to happen in the long run. It could stifle his growth as a writer.

    As far as the narrator, I don't know if it was him or just the way it was written, but at the end of each sentence where these long pauses. The result was to make the book sound like a child's letter. Hi, how are you. I am good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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