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Michael

Valencia, CA, United States | Member Since 2003

30
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 392 ratings
  • 723 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • The Last Oracle: A Sigma Force Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By James Rollins
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (542)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (225)

    In Washington, D.C., a homeless man dies in Commander Gray Pierce's arms, shot by an assassin's bullet. But the death leaves behind a greater mystery: a bloody coin found clutched in the dead man's hand, an ancient relic that can be traced back to the Greek Oracle of Delphi.

    Ed says: "Maybe an OK book if you like the word 'feral'"
    "1 Star is way too generous"
    Overall

    Three Problems with this book.

    1) Bad Writing. James Rollins tries to write a Clive Cussler-type novel, but because this book is so poorly written it makes Cussler read like Hemingway. The only character that seemed real was the monkey; the rest were so contrived it was embarrassing. Rollins needs to study real conversation between real people and write dialog that matches it. The dialog in this novel was straight out of the Batman TV series.

    2) The narrator didn't help. His "voices" were right out of Rocky and Bullwinkle and I found them irritating. I have listened to biographies that were more exciting to listen to than this. This narrator is better suited to nonfiction and should avoid novels. I do not mean this as an insult.

    3) I am amazed that a publisher thought that this material was good enough to publish. Not just good, but so good it should be an audiobook. So good, in fact, that it should have cheesy music play between random chapters to add drama.

    After 13 hours, just one hour before the climactic ending, I finally couldn't take any more and stopped listening. They finally wore me down and I just didn't care anymore.

    If you like a book that will continually insult your intelligence then this is the book for you.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Alan Turing: The Enigma

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Andrew Hodges
    • Narrated By Gordon Griffin
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (62)

    It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades--all before his suicide at age forty-one. This classic biography of the founder of computer science, reissued on the centenary of his birth with a substantial new preface by the author, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life.

    michael says: "Disappointed"
    "Really well done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Alan Turing was the most significant scientific mind of the 20th century, so were his accomplishments. I want to know as much as possible about this great mind. To say that this is too long and too detailed is idiotic. The narration is top notch and worthy of the subject. It is a tragedy for the human race that this great mind was crushed by ignorance and arrogance. If given his full life his accomplishments and the benefits to scientific knowledge would have matched or exceeded Einstein.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (6752)
    Performance
    (6144)
    Story
    (6153)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Great Detective Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you love believable detective stories then buy this book. If you love intelligent detective stories then buy this book. If you love gripping, addictive detective stories then buy this book. I just hope that author Robert Galbraith follows this one up with a sequel. Hey, Robert, did you hear me?

    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
    (7911)
    Performance
    (7523)
    Story
    (7532)

    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 plain old "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"
    "Great Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, if they are interested in technology, and if they have a sense of humor.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Log entries and the sarcastic dialog. BTW, all of the dialog was very well written.


    Which character – as performed by R. C. Bray – was your favorite?

    Mark Watney, hands down.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud many times. I also came to care about him and many of the other characters.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10145)
    Performance
    (9189)
    Story
    (9269)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "Seriously?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story is not believable. Professor Robert Langdon would need a stunt man to do the things he did - and they don't have stunt men in books! With the endless locale detail, Inferno reads more like a tour guide for Italy than a suspense novel. I just wanted it to be over.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Dan Brown again?

    Probably not.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Paul Michael?

    I don't remember his performance so he must have been good.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Inferno?

    I don't want to type that much.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Woman: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (735)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (343)

    In an African convent, four nuns and an unidentified fifth woman are brutally murdered, and the death of the unknown woman is covered up by the local police. A year later in Sweden, Inspector Kurt Wallander is baffled and appalled by two strange murders with an elusive connection to the fifth woman.

    Rebecca says: "A new Henning Mankell fan is born"
    "Dick Hill is a fish-out-of-water as Wallander."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Fifth Woman? What did you like least?

    I liked the realistic police work, lack of cliche chase scenes and gun battles. I least liked Dick Hill's interpretation of Wallander.Dick is good as the tough, grizzled cop like Harry Bosch, but he is nowhere capable of doing a character like Kurt Wallander. Dick also could not do a woman's voice or a European accent if his life depended on it. When I saw that the entire Kurt Wallander series was on Audible I was excited. I started with The Troubled Man and loved it (read by Robin Sachs). After hearing Dick Hill on The Fifth Woman I'm shaking my head. His interpretation of Kurt Wallander is unlistenable. What a shame.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Sure, many times. Mankell is an excellent author who knows how to build tension.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dick Hill?

    Robin Sachs.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It is. They, the BBC, have done six of the books and they are all excellent. They're on Netflix, check them out. Kenneth Branagh plays the ideal Kurt Wallander, brooding, intelligent, tortured soul. That's why Dick Hill was so disappointing. It's like Harvey Keitel doing James Bond.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Odd Apocalypse: An Odd Thomas Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2255)
    Performance
    (1987)
    Story
    (1987)

    Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogul during the Roaring ’20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, for the moment, it’s also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria. In the wake of Odd’s most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor’s comforts should be welcome. But there’s far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven.

    D says: "Odd Apocalypse; Oddly Great"
    "Once my favorite character is now a Vaudeville act"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Odd Apocalypse better?

    First off, the story is more complex than it needs to be. I didn't get a chance to care about the people. The mystery lady from the previous book gets lost and she could have been a treasure.

    Odd's dialog is contrived, vaudevillian and tedious due to too many forced jokes. His constant barrage of one-liners became irritating and I started expecting him to end each one with a "Badoom bum bum". This may sound strange, considering this character talks to the dead, but Odd and the story didn't seem believable.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The latest Jim Butcher book. Thank goodness that Jim Marsters is back.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by David Aaron Baker?

    Sure. He did fine, it was the writing that was poor.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not when compared to previous Odd Thomas books. Maybe that's what made this book so disappointing.


    Any additional comments?

    If you love Odd Thomas I'd stay away from this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All Clear

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1596)
    Performance
    (1046)
    Story
    (1068)

    Three time-traveling historians are visiting World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler's bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Rescued by the second half"
    "Could not be more disappointed"
    Overall

    WWII and SciFi are two of my favorites so maybe my expectations are too high but I'm about two hours into book two and I'm getting close to turning it off. The endless, pointless, whining dialog combined with the narrator's idea of an English accent is not story telling but racket, irritating racket.

    Book one should be one fourth its length considering all of the riveting adventure that has not taken place. As for stereotyped characters, I am expecting one of the street urchins to walk up with an empty bowl and ask for more food.

    I have no idea how the author plans on making the rest of the story enjoyable or exciting, or even interesting. I do know that there is absolutely nothing she can do that will make me not regret that I bought this book.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Your Heart Belongs to Me

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (963)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (172)

    At 34, Internet entrepreneur Ryan Perry seemed to have the world in his pocket - until the first troubling symptoms appeared out of nowhere. Within days, he's diagnosed with incurable cardiomyopathy and finds himself on the waiting list for a heart transplant; it's his only hope, and it's dwindling fast. Ryan is about to lose it all...his health, his girlfriend Samantha, and his life.

    Serra55 says: "Dangerous Waters"
    "Very Disappointing"
    Overall

    I love Dean's work, but it seems like he mailed this one in. I'm tired of stories with mega-rich main characters who can use their private jets, and use money-is-no-objet means to solve problems. I can't relate to them (put myself in their shoes) which makes it hard to care what happens to them. At no time did this become a page-turner for me. If this book is classified as a "thriller", I was not thrilled.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Daniel H. Wilson
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (65)

    How do you spot a robot mimicking a human? How do you recognize and deactivate a rebel servant robot? How do you escape a murderous "smart" house, or evade a swarm of marauding robotic flies? In this dryly hilarious survival guide, roboticist Daniel H. Wilson teaches worried humans the secrets to quashing a robot mutiny.

    Gurmukh says: "Funny and Interesting Book"
    "Could not finish this book"
    Overall

    I have never resorted to an insulting review, but in this case it is appropriate. The best description I can find for this book is stupid. The author is all over the place, but he goes nowhere with this material. I'm not sure, but I think he thinks that he is funny, but he is not and it makes listening to this very frustrating. Save your credits.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (513)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (173)

    It's 1939, in New York City. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat: smuggling himself out of Hitler's Prague. He's looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a partner in creating the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book.

    Charles says: "Great book, lousy abridgment"
    "Buy This Book"
    Overall

    I found this book so much fun that I wished it had been twice as long. It is an adventure.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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