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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

ratings
502
REVIEWS
477
FOLLOWING
26
FOLLOWERS
107
HELPFUL VOTES
800

  • The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (1268)
    Performance
    (1059)
    Story
    (1055)

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
    "People Who Say They are No Good are Always the"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good Ones.
    Since you can get these five books for one credit, go ahead and get it, instead of one book at a time. Believe me if you buy the first book, you are going to want the second and if you buy the second, etc. Since this is five books I will go over each, in case you buy one at a time. I will try an be brief. I mean if if takes you as long to read the review as the book, why not just get the book.

    1, The Sword and The Stone (1938). This is the best of the five and is mostly a fantasy. Wart/Arthur is turned into several animals to learn about life. There is also an interesting part on boar hunting. Did you know on a boar spear there is a cross piece to keep the animal from running up the spear to get to you.

    2.The Witch In the Wood (1939) This is shorter, darker and not as funny, nor as good as the book before and after, but necessary as it explains the origin of the Round Table.

    3. The Ill-Made Knight (1940) This is all about Lancelot. You really get to know his character, matter of fact there is more character building in this book then the others. This is the longest of the books and actually goes on about three hours longer then it should have. Did you know that Lancelot was extremely ugly? This is one of the reasons he became such a great Knight. It is such a big part of his character I can't believe so many movies chose to make him some stupid Handsome Hunk. He is a lot more complicated as an Ugly Man. You are introduced to the tragic character Elaine, who starts out as a trickster, but who you end up feeling strongly sorry for. Guinvere turns out to be one horny queen.

    4. The Candle in The Wind (1958) Does Might Mean Right is the common theme in all these books. It is especially in this one and the book has several long speeches. I myself as a child never understood why John Wayne won ever fight he was in. Until True Grit, John Wayne strongly believed he should never be killed in a movie. Heroes don't die and never lose fights. King Arthur's mother dies at the age of 70, in bed with a young man she seduced. In the original "Once and Future King" this was the last book, as it should have stayed.

    5.The Book of Merlyn (1977) This was published after T.H. White's death. He wanted it in the original (Once and Future King), but the editor would not allow it. That was one smart editor. This book brought the whole series down from Five stars to Four. This book has no plot and is 97% anti-war speeches. There is a part where the King is turned into a ant and then into a goose. Those parts and the end which explains what finally happens to everybody are the only good parts to the book. This is mostly a debate where White argues both sides. I also am aniti-war, but no explanation is given about what to do about people like Hitler. White seems to say let him keep murdering Jews.

    All in all this is very well written, is very entertaining and if you are a fan of the Legend of Arthur, then it is a must read.

    The narrator is excellent.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Douglas Cohen (editor), John Joseph Adams (editor), Orson Scott Card, and others
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl, Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    When L. Frank Baum introduced Dorothy and friends to the American public in 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz became an instant, best-selling hit. Today the whimsical tale remains a cultural phenomenon that continues to spawn wildly popular books, movies, and musicals. Now, editors John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen have brought together leading fantasy writers such as Orson Scott Card and Jane Yolen to create the ultimate anthology for Oz fans.

    James says: "The Many Faces of Dorothy or Dot"
    "The Many Faces of Dorothy or Dot"
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    YOU CAN ONLY FIND OZ WITHOUT A MAP
    Most of these stories are about Dorothy or Dot as she is called in a lot of the stories. There are a couple of stories that don't include Dorothy but most have her in one form or another. Oz is in most stories and usually he is the bad guy. Here are just some of the many faces of Dorothy you will meet. Gay Dorothy, General Dorothy, Nursing Home Dorothy, Sim Dorothy, Techno Mage Dorothy, Dorothy the Witch, Dorothy of the Mental Ward, Chinese Dorothy, Contestant Dorothy, Savior Dorothy, Murderer Dorothy and A Dorothy to end all Dorothys. STORIES ARE MADE UP, EXCEPT WHEN THEY ARE NOT.

    In the fashion of the Bug Eyed Monster, here are the table of Contents, but with the grade I felt they deserved.

    Introductions:

    Oz and Ourselves by Gregory Maguire (B-)
    There's No Place Like Oz by John Joseph Adam and Douglas Cohen (B)

    Stories:
    The Great Zeppelin Heist of Oz by Rae Carson and C.C. Finlay (B)
    Emeralds To Emeralds, Dust to Dust by Seanan McGuire (C)
    Lost Girls of Oz by Theodora Goss (C+)
    The Boy Detective of Oz, An Otherland Story by Tad Williams (C+)
    Dorothy Dreams by Simon R. Green (B)
    Dead Blue by David Farland (B+)
    One Flew Over The Rainbow by Robin Wasserman (A)
    The Veiled Shanghai by Ken Liu (B)
    Beyond the Naked Eye by Rachel Swirsky (D)
    A Tornado of Dorthys by Kat Howard (B-)
    Blown Away by Jane Yolen (B)
    City So Bright by Dale Bailey (A-)
    Off To See the Emperor by Orson Scott Card (B+)
    A Meeting in Oz by Jeffrey Ford (B+)
    The Cobbler of Oz by Jonathan Maberry (B)

    The Narrators are good and the production is professional.

    IT'S HARD WORK BEING OLD.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lonesome Dove

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Lee Horsley
    Overall
    (3058)
    Performance
    (1533)
    Story
    (1560)

    Larry McMurtry's American epic, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, a drive that represents not only a daring foolhardy adventure, but a part of the American Dream for everyone involved.

    Richard Delman says: "A masterpiece. An epic western story."
    "YOU BOYS MUST HAVE BEEN RAISED ON A SATIN PILLOW"
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    THE OLDER THE VIOLIN, THE SWEETER THE MUSIC
    I have not been looking forward to this review. This will effect my standings and maybe lose some followers. I loved the first three hours of this book, because of the setting, characters and anecdotes. After three hours I realized that was it. There was not going to be a plot, goal, quest, hardship to overcome, etc... Oh, some could argue that going to Montana or the relationship between the whore and cowboy would fit the bill, but not for me. I also did not understand why it was okay to steal 100 horses, plus cattle from the Mexicans, when it was a hanging offense in Texas. I love cowboy witticisms, such as in True Grit or Dusty Rhodes books, but I require a story to go with it or at least limit it to 8 to 10 hours. I listened to 10 hours, but could not see going on another 26+. McMurtry can write characters and includes lots of cool sounding cowboy talk and it is one credit for one book, so if that is all you want, you could not go wrong with this book. If your looking for a plot, try Rhodes or Portis.

    PIGS ON THE PORCH JUST MAKES IT HOTTER

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Run: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (306)

    Five days ago a rash of bizarre murders swept the country. Senseless. Brutal. Seemingly unconnected. A cop walked into a nursing home and unloaded his weapons on elderly and staff alike. A mass of school shootings. Prison riots of unprecedented brutality. Mind-boggling acts of violence in every state. Four Days Ago the murders increased ten-fold. Three days ago the President addressed the nation and begged for calm and peace. Two days ago the killers began to mobilize. Yesterday all the power went out. Tonight....

    Jacqueline says: "Violent, Depressing, Mostly Sci Fi"
    "WE BETTER RUN"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    BEETS, THE HAVE NOT EATEN IN A WEEK, STARVING TO DEATH FOOD.
    An action packed thrill ride, a mystery, and very entertaining. It is kind of a Zombie book without the Zombies. After seeing some lights in the sky (Day of the Triffids) most of the population become murdering monsters. They don't become dumb easy to out run, falling apart zombies, they still have their brains, they just want to kill anyone who has not seen the light.

    JUST DO WHAT I BLANKING TELL YOU
    It is also about a family that was dysfunctional, that comes together in tragedy. Those reviewers who concentrated on the gore, seemed to ignored this large part of the book. Is there a lot of gore, well yea!!, it is a horror book, not a romance. I did get tired of the kids always asking why, in the middle of a crisis, but that is how we raise them these days. Finally toward the end of the story the dad, tells them " Just do what I F tell you." When I was a kid my dad said to do it because he said so and he was the boss. We learned early in life not to question dad. This is a good entertaining book and well written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flesh and Spirit: Lighthouse, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Carol Berg
    • Narrated By Allen O'Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    The rebellious son of a long line of pureblood cartographers and diviners, Valen has spent most of his life trying to escape what society - and his family - have ordained for him. His own mother has predicted that he will meet his doom in water, blood, and ice. Her divination seems fulfilled when a comrade abandons Valen in a rainy wilderness half-dead, addicted to an enchantment that converts pain to pleasure, and possessing only a stolen book of maps.

    James says: "FIGHTING TO ADD MORE WORDS TO THIS COLLECTION"
    "FIGHTING TO ADD MORE WORDS TO THIS COLLECTION"
    Overall
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    Story

    ON NONSENSE.
    Buried in the overly descriptive writing and the disjointed happenings, I believe there is possibly a good story here. I am sure there are those who love this style of writing, but since Carol Berg is not a household name, not a whole lot. I think Berg has lots of talent in storytelling and if she quits trying to be so poetic, the story would have a chance to shine.

    I really did not care too much for the narrator. He reads in a sing song fashion and uses a lilt in his voice to show emotion. It reminded me of a junior high kid forced to read a poem in front of class.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dangerous Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2368)
    Performance
    (1077)
    Story
    (1094)

    In 1866 tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School when a mysterious accident takes the life of a student. Among the student's circle of friends are Hugh Pilaster; Hugh's older cousin Edward, dissolute heir to the Pilaster banking fortune; and Micky Miranda, the handsome son of a brutal South American oligarchy. The death and its aftermath begin the spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.

    Rebecca says: "Predictable Fun"
    "BUTTERED BUM"
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    TRUTH IS, HE IS EVIL THROUGH AND THROUGH
    This book is like a mini epic, following a couple of families from childhood to old age, from rags to riches, from riches to rags. If your in a mood for an epic, but don't have the time for three books 20+ hours long a piece, then this may be your answer. It is not great literature, but it kept my attention for 16+ hours. It was predictable, but like a car wreck, I could not quit listening. The evil characters are evil through and through. I like the way they are mostly plotting and conniving. I like how they insult people without making it obvious. I used to work with a woman who would do that all the time. If you called her on it, she would act all innocent, as if she did not know what you where talking about.

    "DO YOU THINK ABOUT FINANCES ALL THE TIME?" NO, HUGH THOUGHT, I THINK ABOUT YOUR BREASTS ALL THE TIME.
    This is only my second novel by Follett, but what I notice is that he does not ignore sex in everyday life. He does not make it the over whelming part or get that explicit, but there is lots of it. Maybe with women it is different, but men think about sex, once every so many seconds (based on age). It is a big part of life and effects a lot of what we do, so to ignore it is to ignore life as it really is. YOU ALWAYS GET PREGNANT FROM ONE F.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jane's Playmates: A Tarzan and Jane Erotic Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Virginia Wade
    • Narrated By Anne Johnstonbrown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Deep in the heart of Africa, Jane searches for her long lost father, the famous explorer, Author Tennent. Her uptight chaperone, Evelyn, is hiding a dirty secret. She's been administering a "soothing technique" to her young ward for years, and society would be scandalized, if they knew what it was. A rough and tumble Texan by the name of Maxwell Collins heads the expedition. He's unabashedly interested in the lovely Miss Tennent and harbors a rather stiff crush.

    James says: "DIRTY WHORE"
    "DIRTY WHORE"
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    WHAT WAS IT ABOUT ME, THAT MADE PEOPLE WANT TO F ME?
    I really enjoyed Wade's Viking series. I felt they were high quality writing and that Wade could have written the stories with out the erotica and they would still have been good stories. This story is based only on erotica and is full of some things I just don't enjoy. This story could have been good if drawn out a little more. The basic story had some real possibilities, but the whole book felt a bit rushed. I like dirty talk, but it was done so often that it lost it's shock value.

    I WAS HELD TO A BODY OF PLIABLE STEEL
    Tarzan has a couple of bit parts, but is barely in this book. In erotic, tastes vary so widely that I am sure plenty will like this book. Wade has made lots of money writing erotica, but I hope some day she writes longer, more in depth novels, it seems such a waste of talent, to not.

    TELL ME HOW BAD I AM

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5880)
    Performance
    (5588)
    Story
    (5599)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "LOOK BOOBIES"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    DAMN IT JIM, I'M A BOTANIST
    Lots and lots of science. Lots and Lots of funny. MacGyver on Mars. I Love Clarke, but even he could not write this well. He would be proud. Who'd Thunk, talking about Night Soil, Math, Chemistry, Biology, and so much more could be so entertaining. Get this book for your teenagers and they will be inspired. Give it to your friends and they will be entertained.

    R.C. Bray just jumped to the top of every bodies favorite narrator list.

    YES, OF COURSE DUCT TAPE WORKS IN A NEAR-VACUUM. DUCT TAPE WORKS ANYWHERE! DUCT TAPE IS MAGIC AND SHOULD BE WORSHIPED!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mercury

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Arte Johnson, Moira Quirk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    Despite Mercury's desolateness, there are still those who hope to find diamonds in the rough. Saito Yamagata thinks Mercury's position will make it an ideal orbit point for satellites that could someday create enough power to propel starships into deep space.

    Daved Baker says: "One of Ben Bova's best"
    "Bait and Switch"
    Overall
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    MORALITY DOESN'T COME IN SHADES OF GRAY
    I got this book for two reasons: 1. Bova's book Venus had a scene in it that actually made me feel that I was in the atmosphere of Venus. 2. Mercury seems to be the forgotten planet, few people ever write about it, so I wanted to learn more about it. As it turns out this book is a soap opera and only about 1% of the story takes place on Mercury. Instead it is a story about a space elevator built on Earth. I guess Bova did not believe Clarke (several times), Robinson, Benford, Fortschen, Reynolds, Steele, McDevitt, Niven, Sawyer, Heinlein, Baxter and many others had done a good enough job writing about space elevators, he had to spend the majority of his book, supposedly about Mercury, writing about a space elevator on Earth. He could not even do like Robinson did and build it on the planet in question.

    IT'S ALWAYS BETTER TO BE LUCKY THEM SMART
    To prove this saying, Bova has one of main characters have so many good luck consequences that have to happen to make the soap opera continue happen that it will make your head spin. He follows this up by making another main character be so stupid it is annoying and he has to be stupid for the so called plot to go forth. He gets an anonymous e-mail from someone about an important science discovery and he does not think twice about it be anonymous. He does not even think about why it was sent to him, a fairly unimportant scientist. His wife says she has gotten a lot of love letters from him, which he sent none, he does not question this either. Most Bova book reviews go on about his science credentials, yet he often writes soap operas instead. Usually there are lots of science to go with the poorly written drama. This book does not even do that. There is some science that is inserted like readings from a dictionary.

    ABSENCE OF PROOF IS NOT PROOF OF ABSENCE
    Having said all this, the book is not a total loss. I did listen all the way through. It has some interesting parts, such as the dictionary inserts and the discussions on science and it's consequences. I was also surprised by a small statement he made which is just glanced over. In his future earth, he has Israel eliminated and he says the Middle East is a lot more peaceful because of it. It is quick and he does not dwell on it, but a pretty brave statement. (Not saying I agree, but always happy to see an author take a chance and do the politically incorrect thing.)

    So, if your interested in reading another book on the space elevator being built on Earth, you might enjoy this or if you like really bad soap opera, you will love this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You're Next

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2584)
    Performance
    (2191)
    Story
    (2178)

    Mike Wingate had a rough childhood  —  he was abandoned at a playground at four years old and raised in foster care. No one ever came to claim him, and he has only a few, fragmented memories of his parents. Now, as an adult, Mike is finally living the life he had always wanted  —  he’s happily married to Annabel, the woman of his dreams; they have a precocious eight-year-old daughter, Kat.

    Janice says: "Edge of my seat."
    "Intense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first 85% of this book is intense. Everything that could go wrong to one guy happens. Starting when he is abandoned by his dad at age four. He is beat up in his foster home and things just never seem to go right. The book keeps your attention and never lets go. After about 85% of the book is over, the mystery is solved. It is not solved slowly, but all at once. Then I felt the book was not as good as it had been, yet it was still entertaining, The book as a whole is five stars, the first 85% could be six stars and the last 15% would be four stars. If you like dark stories, you will enjoy this.

    Scott Brick does an excellent job. He is a little more laid back in his usual over the top drama narration and his high quality voice adds to the intensity and makes the book a better listen then a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Remaining: Aftermath

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By D. J. Molles
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1091)
    Performance
    (1025)
    Story
    (1027)

    To Captain Lee Harden, Project Hometown feels like a distant dream and the completion of his mission seems unattainable. Wounded and weaponless, he has stumbled upon a group of survivors that seems willing to help. But a tragedy in the group causes a deep rift to come to light and forces him into action. In the chaos of the world outside, Lee is pursued by a new threat: someone who will stop at nothing to get what he has.

    K says: "Giving up; can't take the idiocy."
    "Might is Right"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Or Who Cusses The Most
    This book is nothing like the first. First book had a cool concept (The government planned to rebuild society through trained men in bunkers). This book brought no new concepts. In the first book we had people we cared about(the little girl, the little boy, the dog}. No characters of interest in this book. The first book had tense moments, this book was just a shoot-em up.

    I got this book because of the 4.5 rating and I got the third book cause of ratings and it was on sell. I am very disappointed. If you like the same old same old Zombie slaughter stuff, then go ahead. If your are looking for creativity or characters, stop at book one.

    Rummel is great, but he doesn't write them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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