Springfield, MO, United States | Member Since 2010
I am no writer, but for years, I have had an erotica book going through my head and one of the scenes is one woman and five men playing poker. I am guessing a lot of men have had this fantasy. Women too, maybe since D.P. Backhaus is a woman.
This is not a five star production, but it was still a good story. If D.P. would have made the story a little longer and drawn out the poker game a little more, it could have gotten five stars. There is so much that could have happened at that poker game. Think about it. (after you read my review and hit helpful, please.)
The narrator was pretty good, even though it sounded like this was recorded in somebody's basement.
Tom Godwin was the George R.R. Martin of his day. His stories don't always have happy endings. He could kill off a main character at anytime. He is most famous for the short story The Cold Equation, which some claim to be the number one Science Fiction short story of all time. This is dated and there is no character development, it is an epic and the main character is the human race. I loved it when I read the hard copy and I love the recording. It might seem slow in a couple of places, but the overall story is uplifting. Anyone who wants to claim to be a Science fiction Aficionado must be well versed in Tom Godwin. He is not as well know as Heinlein, Clarke or Asimov, but some may say his small contribution to the genre is more profound.
IF HE COULD ONLY EXPLAIN THE SIMPLE THINGS
Bear took on more then he could write about in this saga. Full of lots of mind blowing physics, math and science, the story was just too broad and complicated for Bear to explain. I first read this over 30 years ago. At the time I could barely understand it, but in my youth I felt compelled to finish every book I started and I did. Now that I am older, more mature, and better read, I thought I would try again with the help of Stefan Rudnicki. I still could not wrap my mind around it or find much entertaining in this future text book. I could blame myself for not being the scientific genius, it takes to enjoy this diatribe or I could blame Bear for not being a good enough writer to give it life. I blame Bear and I am not going to listen to no boring book. I quit early on this and advise you not to start.
IT DOES NOT MATTER IF THE CAT IS WHITE OR BLACK, AS LONG AS IT CATCHES THE MICE.
Okay, I guess I am starting to get it? Short stories don't always have to have a plot. Sometimes it is just a study in characters or in situations. I still prefer a start, middle and ending (a plot). Some of these stories including the story the collection is named after have no plot. She woke up, the world had ended, she traveled and saw the destruction, the end.
IN THE KINGDOM OF THE BLIND, THE ONE EYE GIRL IS KING
Having complained about that, let me say I like MM's writing. The first story of hers I read was The Cost To Be Wise. I have read it a couple of times since then. I thought why have I not heard of her before? So I searched her out and got her book, China Mountain Zhang, a most excellent book. I recommend it. I thought she was from China, since a lot of her stuff happens there. It turns out she was a teacher for one year there. My favorite story from this collection was Special Economics, a future in China where bird flu kills off most of the population. Like a lot of MM's story, this is from the perspective of the people on the lower rung of the social ladder. It is a five star story and worth getting the collection. The first story The Naturalist is a five star story and is also in the collection ZOMBIE, MORE RECENT DEAD. The title story is a three star story and can be found in Kaster's TOP TEN TALES #4. I also really enjoyed Honeymoon. It is kind of a white trash story. Three of the nine stories are five star, one is four star and the rest are 1-3 stars.
The narrators are excellent and add to the pleasure of listening.
I CAN'T READ THAT FOR 12 HOURS
I like the whole concept of this story and I like what happens in the story. I do wish this had been 12 hours instead of 17+, for it really dragged the last five hours. The whole thing was written in a slow, taking for ever manner. It was not overly descriptive, nor was there flowery language, I think we just spent too much time in the minds of the characters, contemplating simple things. Though I am impatient, I was okay (not thrilled) with this, but toward the end it started to ware on me. I am a sucker for books about populations stuck in enclosed environments, generations ships, islands, or even Room by Donoghue.
LATERAL DIGS ARE FORBIDDEN
The whole book is a mystery and the mystery is compelling enough, that you want to listen. I am even going to break a long habit of mine of not continuing a series I can't give five stars too. The next series tells how the silos came about and then there is a third book in the series. A lot in the book is predictable but some things are not and the main mystery keeps you listening.
The narrator is not great, nor is she terrible. When she does voices, they do sound cartoonish or like anime. I have notice this same book is out with a different narrator, you may want check out the reviews on her. I also notice that book two is a different narrator then either of the two versions of one. Her male voices sound like a little girl trying to sound grown up. It was not enough to detract from the story for me and she did not read it slow, it was slow written.
THE OLD ACADEMIC BULLSHIT
This book reads like a diary and each day could start with the words, Oh Woe Is Me. The main character can read minds and this leads to all sorts of problems. For most of his life he knows no one else who can do this and he can not tell anyone else. As a small child, he reads the minds of his parents as they have sex, argue, lie to each other, etc. I had high hopes for this and thought it was going to make an interesting story. The story meandered and sometimes into meaningless side stories. David makes money by doing term papers for college students. In chapter 4 he does a paper on THE NOVELS OF KAFKA, and we get the entire paper in this book. Chapter 14 is THE "ELECTRA" THEME IN AESCHYLUS, SOPHOCLES, AND EURIPIDES and once again we get to read the entire paper.
Evidently there is no upside to reading minds and then when you lose the power that has haunted you all your life, there is no upside to that either. As they say were I live, this guy would bitch if they hung him with a new rope.
TIME FOR MIND MOVIES
HIS STOMACH LOOKED LIKE IT BELONGED TO A COMIC BOOK SUPER HERO.
I did listened to all of this, but I almost gave up several times. This is another book that suffers from Trilogyitists. It also suffers from not knowing what it wants to be. The author writes mostly a YA book and then throws in gory fight scenes. In one scene a guy is strangled with his own intestines. There are also some sexual innuendo's, but not much. All the gory scenes put together could probably fit on two pages, but they are there. The plot is so convoluted that it almost gets silly. Do we need another teenage super hero book? If I heard, I FORGOT TO BREATHE, once I heard it ten times. How original is it to have the cheerleaders and football players be mean and evil? The theme of the book has been done so many times it worn out. The book is not terrible, it is just very common and over done.
The narrator is so bad at voices, that at times I not only could not tell which character was speaking, but I could not tell what gender they were.
Pohl has written some great stuff: Space Merchants, The Tunnel Under The World, Alternation Currents, Man Plus, Gateway, Starburst, The Merchants War, The Coming of the Quantum Cats, and The Voice of Heaven, but this is not one of them, not even close. I already know at least seven people will disagree, as witness by the other reviewer. I Jim the Impatient have spent my money, so you don't have to and don't even download this for free.
This is about some future loser and reads like a travel guide, of some place you don't want to go to. Pohl has plenty of good writings, just pick from the list above.
ALL THE GI JOE'S
As with most King books you get a good flavor of the time it was written. This was written in 1987. Do you remember Art Linkletter, Dr. Hook, Pat Summeral, Allen Ludden (hint: Password), Gary Gilmore or Hill Street Blues? The cars of the time, such as a Valiant are mentioned. The story concept will appeal to Sci-Fi fans, Horror fans and Fantasy Fans. I am not giving away anything by telling you it involves a space ship buried near a small town in New England. You learn that pretty early. Towards the end it gets a lot more complicated then that and sort of has a paranormal aspect to it. It also has the flavor of Dome. A character even mentions at one time that there seems to be a bowl over the city. I also believe that King mentioned he had been working on the idea for Dome for over 20 years.
ALL THIS SH## HAS BECOME ONE BIG DULL BORE
I could not give this five stars, as I have with many King books. I usually like King's long books with character development and little horror thrown in. This one seemed more like a bunch of short stories that were connected. Some stories were real good and some not so good. In part one there is very little scary and we have the development of a character who is an alcoholic. This guy is okay, a little pathetic, but not really someone I grew to care for. I know it is a sickness and I should care, but I have never had much sympathy for alcoholics.
TOMMYKNOCKERS WEREN'T MUCH INTO METAPHORS
In Part 2, we totally forget about the two characters in part one. Each chapter is usually about one person. We get their entire history (rather you want it or not) and usually by the end of the chapter they are done away with and never appear again. We also start getting a ton of metaphors, more then any other book King has written. I often think that over use of metaphors is a writers way of covering up the lack of a plot. King also seems to be preoccupied with semen. MAYONAISE THE COLOR OF BULL SEMEN and WIZARD OF OZ SEMEN.
HER BRAIN HIT THE CURRY AND IVES WALL CALENDAR WITH A SPLAT
Part three is the action packed grand finale. I like the concept that Aliens would not be friendly. In the 80's Carl Sagan and several scientist tried to convince us that any civilization who had conquered space travel will have had to learn to cooperate and get along with each other. A view that still persists today. Yet the only reason we went to the moon, was to show the Russians how much fire power we had. Since the end of the Cold War, we and no nation have done much in the way of space travel. Stephen Hawking has put out the warning that announcing our presence to the Universe, might not be the smartest thing. Competition is what motivates and often that is military.
King uses this book to preach against nuclear reactors, giving some very alarming stats and paints some fairly gross results of nuclear accidents. I agreed with a lot of what he says, but one must be careful, a writer who manipulates both sides of a debate in a book to get the results he wants is not much different then Rush Limbaugh preaching on the radio with no one to keep him accountable.
The narrator has an excellent voice. He is also a fairly accomplished actor. Look him up on the web, you will recognize him. I am not sure, but I believe he was one of the early readers for books on tape. His voice took me back to my beginning days when I first experience listening to books through my car radio. His voice is a treat in it's self and when he reads, ALL THE GI JOE'S, if you don't tear up, you are a robot. I am about to tear up just thinking about it.
King fans will enjoy this book, but it does move pretty slow at times and it is not as good as most of his books. The Shinning, Cujo, Misery, Different Seasons, It, Gerald's Game, Rose Madder, Desperation, The Green Mile, Everything Eventual, Thinner, The Running Man and Cell are all much better books.
WHATS XXXXX XYOUR GAMEX XXXXX
The first time I tried listening to this I did not realize it was four short stories. The first story Gulf, is pretty long and pretty silly. I listened for two hours and deleted it from my player. Later, I found out it was four stories, so I started over. I tried again for over two hours on the first story and ended up skipping to the next story.
This story is better, but not by much. This involves time travel to alternate earths and the different concepts on different societies is interesting. The moral of the story seems to be that you have to believe.
I liked this story, and it seemed to be quite deep. It also seemed a bit liberal for Heinlein, a lot different from the man who wrote Starship Troopers. This group of people try to change the world to make it more peaceful. They use telepathy, immortal god like people and the Boys Scouts. I thought it would make a great comic book.
Jerry Was A Man
This story was excellent. It was a sort of satire on Intelligence, slavery and what it means to be human. It may have been one of the best things I have ever read from RAH.
I am not crazy about the narrator, nothing I can but my finger on, and not bad enough to keep me from enjoying the book, he just ain't my favorite.
Melodramatic, swarmy, silly, not well written. Half way decent concept, just needs a good writer to do justice to it.
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