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Jake McKracken

San Francisco, ca United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
238
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
0

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4955)
    Performance
    (4574)
    Story
    (4586)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "A story where nothing much happens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A better story


    What could Neil Gaiman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Neil Gaiman often tells stories which have a new idea or two within them, beautifully presented like chocolates in a fancy box. I'm afraid that this is just not one of them. A man reminiscing about something mystical that happened to him a long time ago that he never really understood and won't remember after he leaves.... it just didn't keep me interested.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The one scene where the youngest fate forces an ocean into a bucket and brings it to the main character's location sticks in my mind, but only vaguely.


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

    His prose and performance were as wonderful as always, but it was a bit like opening a beautiful chocolate box to find nothing within it.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11788)
    Performance
    (10814)
    Story
    (10876)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Wonderfully written, but depressing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Green and/or Kate Rudd?

    "An Abundance of Katherines" by John Green had some of the best teen dialogue I've ever read and the story was interesting and fresh, so yes, I'd read more by John Green.


    What was most disappointing about John Green’s story?

    It was very well written, wonderfully performed and excellent in every way, except it was depressing. Dying teenagers finding love and adventure might be uplifting for some people, but I was just depressed by the story material itself.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The tour of Ann Frank's house.


    Could you see The Fault in Our Stars being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I'm sure it could be made into a movie, but I have no idea who would star in it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Some Remarks

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (80)

    One of the most talented and creative authors working today, Neal Stephenson is renowned for his exceptional novels - works colossal in vision and mind-boggling in complexity. Exploring and blending a diversity of topics, including technology, economics, history, science, pop culture, and philosophy, his books are the products of a keen and adventurous intellect. Stephenson ponders a wealth of subjects, from movies and politics to David Foster Wallace and the Midwestern American College Town; and more.

    Duncan says: "Worth a revisit"
    "Nuggets of Neal Stephenson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Some Remarks in three words, what would they be?

    Idea tourist's guidebook


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Neal Stephenson wins in the end


    Any additional comments?

    I've always enjoyed Neal Stephenson's insights into the greater supporting structure of the internet, thoughts on the future in general and wild dips into cyber punk nerd humor. This series of short essays by Neal provides lovely little bites of intelligence for those who consider themselves "action nerds", folks who can crawl through mud with a laptop in their teeth, have a nice discussion over tea with Richard Feynman and then restart a data center taken over by terrorists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (943)
    Performance
    (848)
    Story
    (861)

    Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. Cousin to imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, Ivan is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere, leaving Ivan to enjoy his life on Komarr, far from the Byzantine court politics of his home system. But when an old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman who may be on the hit list of a criminal syndicate, his chivalrous nature takes over. It seems danger and adventure have once more found Captain Vorpatril.

    Barbara M. Sullivan says: "We are finally allowed to see Ivan without Miles."
    "Meet Cute"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Captain Vorpatril's Alliance?

    Captain Vorpatril's Alliance is a light, easy read. The reader can predict what's going to happen next, but the writing is funny and cute enough in places that you don't really mind.


    If you’ve listened to books by Lois McMaster Bujold before, how does this one compare?

    I've never listened to any books by Lois McMaster Bujold, but I've read a few and am a little disappointed. Her writing is as clever as always, but this story is just so-so. I'm not the romantic type, so perhaps this story would appeal to other readers more.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    He's got a wonderful way of reading in a smart-ass, likable way that makes you hang on every word he speaks as if the next thing he says is going to be a real zinger. I recognized his voice from "Play Dead" by David Rosenfelt, and he was the perfect narrator for that book's main character, a smart ass little lawyer.


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

    This was a pleasant book, it didn't cause any extreme emotions.


    Any additional comments?

    I probably wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who hasn't already read the Vorsokian saga.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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