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Bruce

Knoxville, MD, United States | Member Since 2007

361
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 92 reviews
  • 514 ratings
  • 1795 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015
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21

  • In Cold Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Truman Capote
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2561)
    Performance
    (1330)
    Story
    (1331)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s a story that most people know, told here in an unforgettable way – an audio masterpiece that rivals the best thrillers, thanks to Capote genre-defining words and Brick’s subtle but powerful characterizations. On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

    Lisa says: "Still the Best"
    "No Regrets"
    Overall

    Truman Capote accomplishes something timeless and truly valuable with "In Cold Blood." From the very beginning, he paints every character, no matter how minor with loving attention. His story telling makes what could have been just another crime documentary into a tragic tale of humanity. The innocent, the despicable, the strong, the weak, and the forgotten all have their moments in the reader's sun. This book entertains and it educates. It does not form opinions. In fact "In Cold Blood" raises more questions then it answers. The narration is also excellent.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Reishi Adept: Sovereign of the Seven Isles, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By David A. Wells
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (125)

    Isabel learns that Phane can use her link with the darkness for his own, terrible ends. And Abigail rallies the Coven to face the Sin’Rath, a threat now magnified a hundred fold. Battle rages across the Seven Isles, and Alexander Reishi stands at the center of it all. As forces converge on the Nether Gate, he departs on a desperate quest to free Isabel, kill Phane and banish the Shades for all time.

    Jennifer says: "In league with The Chronicles of Narnia"
    "Jumbled, too much for an 1 Audio Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an OK book, but it was an Audio Book Pre-order. The chapters change viewpoint with no warning. The end is a massive car wreck pile-up. After two attempts at the last 45 minutes of the book, I decided I just didn't care. This should have been two books. The chapters should have descriptive names for the Narrator and listener to help with orientation. As a Printed book this review really would not apply. I bought it before it was published and so I feel it needs an Audio Book Review. No more then 3 stars as an audio book, and that is being generous. Derek Perkins is a great narrator. He read what he had in front of him and there were errors for him to read. RUSH to publication is my guess. I would buy another volume, even if the first 1/4 of it were to be the last 1/4 of this book. The challenge of Heroic Epic Fiction, in many people's opinions including my own, includes the transformation of the Protagonist(s) when the epic quest is done. Coming of Age stories end in... can you guess? Coming of Age. The young protagonist(s) grow up, usually too fast, and become adults without much guidance, or the guidance of a Mentor who usually gets killed somewhere along the line and is not there in the end. (That is a formula, I use it as an example, nobody likes a book where the Mentor is a Gandalf clone...... there are way too many of those.) This book fails to do a good job of ending a story, and tries to do too much too quickly at the end. I did not finish the story, I've got about 30 minutes left to go, and no longer care what happens. It may only be me, and I'll give it another try if, and only if, these characters or this setting continue. Bad Editing, and a rush to publication are what I hear.... I have no way to say if that is actually the case. The writing here is good but it could be better, the talent is there. All the other novels are enjoyable. This one is enjoyable until near the end when I simply could no longer suspend my disbelief and lost interest. My other objection is the use of "Huh." Fictional Dialect was not established, so it just got really predictable and irritating. When Multiple characters began to say it, I found this unnecessary and distracting. It made me wonder, "Huh?' Many readers will probably be fine with this novel. I can't give the story more then 2 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2.5

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (901)
    Performance
    (836)
    Story
    (839)

    Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows.... In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.

    Josh says: "But No...."
    "For me, so very much for me. Thank you."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You will love this or hate it. I understand her. She made soap, sometimes that is what one does. Make soap, or a candle, and hope to do some good along the way while still eating from time to time. Give things names (optional.)
    Thank you Pat, you touched a "nerve" I have never been able to explain. Wordsmithery and Objectfreinds? No rule book so you have to make it all up? Yeah.... train wreck. But for those of us who get this, understand her even a little, it is solid gold. I marathoned all the way through. Mesmerized. It IS a vignette. Life isn't a story either. I've tried to outline it (life) and when I get to five minutes ago..... the plot falls apart.... most of the chapters only have one character. I don't have a clue where the plot will go... what is going to happen to me. Take your time with these characters. Be gentle with her in particular. She would be very easy to break.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dreamer's Pool: Blackthorn & Grim, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Juliet Marillier
    • Narrated By Scott Aiello, Natalie Gold, Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (80)

    In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she'll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help. Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais.

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings says: "Beautiful story, pretty solid narration"
    "Five stars for 2 great characters and word craft."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Blackthorn and Grim - Great characters, alternating narration, and the Sidhe. I loved this and enjoyed the style enough to give this first book in a new series 5 stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Anne Rice
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (340)

    The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis… vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned… Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco.

    Bruce says: "There is Wonderous Power in The Blood - I loved it"
    "There is Wonderous Power in The Blood - I loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Vampire Chronicles spans 38 (Real Life) years now. I read borrowed copies of “Interview With The Vampire” and “The Vampire Lestat” (which ended in a cliff-hanger) then waited what seemed like an eternity for “Queen of the Damned.” I read that novel, and the ten subsequent novels and the related Mayfair Witches novels as they were released. After Blood Canticle, I did not expect to ever meet my old fictional fiend-friends again.

    This is the 13th book in the Vampire Chronicles. It is written in mixed 1st Person, and 3rd Person Narration, with Lestat primarily written in First person. It flows together very nicely and I did not initially even notice the change in narration Point of View. I was impressed by this. Often changing of points of view in this fashion jolts me out of the story, and in “Prince Lestat” that only happened once, and only for a few paragraphs. This is not a flaw in the book. I learned something new to me about writing that I need to study further.

    There is noticeable product placement in “Prince Lestat.” Good for Ms. Rice. It isn’t done in a heavy handed way, and in this case (as apposed to some best selling novels where the product placement often is so blatant it seems more important then story,) using product brands enhances the story. This is modern age “Patronage.” Marius would approve. Celebrity Endorsements are more difficult for writers then musicians. The one issued that Ms. Rice doesn’t face with use of brand names is dating the story. Dating the story actually an enhancement when writing about the angst of immortal creatures.

    Simon Vance did an amazing job reading this book. He got to warm up reading the long awaited unabridged version of “Memnoch the Devil.” Bravo Mr. Vance! Lestat’s accent comes and goes, French to American, or a Fusion of both. This was well done and realistic. Marius’ accent must have been a challenge. I would have made his spoken voice more languid and detached, however that is just my personal take on the character. This is also not a flaw. I’m looking forward to hearing him read “Memnoch,” but I’ll wait a weeks or so before taking that journey again.

    I enjoyed every single word of “Prince Lestat.” There were several passages that moved me very deeply. I suspect other readers fill also find bits of their own mortal life’s journey reflected in this novel. If one has read all the preceding books, I believe you will find this 13th a welcome reunion with old friends. To me it felt like, “Putting on my old leather jacket once again, as Winter cold approaches.”

    I do not recommend starting with this novel. If you haven’t read the preceding novels, I suggest that you go back and read “Interview With The Vampire,” “The Vampire Lestat,” and “The Queen of the Damned” before (if you really have to) skipping ahead to “Prince Lestat.” The reader will get the most out of this 13th book by reading all of them in order, as well as “The Witching Hour,” “Lasher,” “Merrick,” “Blackwood Farm” and “Blood Canticle.” I thought until recently that “Blood Canticle” was the end of the story. It most certainly is NOT.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Circle of Reign: The Dying Lands Chronicle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jacob Cooper
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (405)
    Performance
    (385)
    Story
    (387)

    Lands die. The living light fades. An ancient darkness awakens. The Living Light that sustains Arlethia is dwindling. An unknown, vicious enemy approaches in stealth from beyond the northern glaciers, a wasteland of ice that spans hundreds of miles. A clandestine brotherhood of assassins, held in check by the Light for millennia, seeks to break their maledictive shackles and unleash their bloodlust upon the world.

    Ana says: "A rich, exciting fantasy world"
    "Not Worth Continuing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is bad writing, Overly verbose, and often words are mis-used. Michael Kramer tries hard, but there is no way I can get past the quality of the prose, the poor use of point of view, modern slang, Adjective and adverb overload, and no back story to explain all the invented fantasy words and sudden superpowers.... There is a story here, but I am surprised anyone would publish it. It is just plain bad work. I may be pickier then others, some might not care about these issues. I do, enough to review it and lose 1 credit. I would otherwise return this manuscript (as the publisher should have.)

    6 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Smugglers of Gor: Gorean Saga, Book 32

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By John Norman
    • Narrated By Shannon Gunn, Lucky Summer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    In what constitutes as a prequel to Mariners of Gor, we learn that a mysterious cargo, suitably disguised, was covertly placed on the great ship, a cargo that might influence the outcome of the aforementioned gamble. One narrator is a young woman, once a Miss Margaret Alyssa Cameron, and the other is an individual whose name, for reasons that will become obvious, is withheld in the manuscript. It does seem clear, however, that the individual referred to was somehow instrumental in bringing the former Miss Cameron to the height of a large slave block in the coastal city of Brundisium, one of Gor’s major ports.

    Bruce says: "In Which A Slaver Learns Much Of Himself"
    "In Which A Slaver Learns Much Of Himself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This prequel to “Mariners” is the story of a Slaver and one of his Earth Barbarian captures. We learn of secrets and conspiracy before the sailing of the Great Ship With No Eyes. Duel Narrated. I enjoyed this book very much and I didn’t expect to. It contains information that will make events in “Rebels” much clearer, but does not resolve any mysteries. We do learn more of the Panther Girls in the Northern Forests, some of whom we first met in “Hunters.”

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Conspirators of Gor: Gorean Saga, Book 31

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By John Norman
    • Narrated By Emma Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    Picking up where the alien war between Kurii and Priest-Kings left off, a young woman by the name Allison Ashton-Baker, involved in playing Gorean games on Earth, is transported to Ar to become a major witness of the unfolding events. We meet again with Lord Grendal, the result of a failed experiment to mix the genes of humans and Kurii; the Lady Bina, former pet of Agamemnon, she who dreams of becoming Ubara of Ar; and Agamemnon himself, 11th face of the Nameless One, the illustrious mastermind behind the Kurrian invasion.

    Bruce says: "The Further Adventures of Lady Bina and Grendel"
    "The Further Adventures of Lady Bina and Grendel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Told by an Earth Girl Slave, we once again meet Lady Bina and Lord Grendel. I read a really negative review of this book. I think it is very enjoyable. The author seems to have regained his sense of humor, and the story is engaging and well told.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Renegades of Gor: Gorean Saga, Book 23

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By John Norman
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (5)

    The maritime ubarate of Cos, with her allies, is mounting an attack on Ar on two fronts, from the south with a major invasion force, and in the north with an expeditionary force besieging Ar's Station, Ar's base of power in the vast arable basin of Gor's mightiest river, the Vosk. Dietrich of Tarnburg, a mercenary, has seized Torcodino in the south, with its stores of military supplies, to temporarily halt the march of Cos on Ar, to buy Ar time to organize for her defense.

    Bruce says: "In which Tarl Cabot visits Ar's Station"
    "In which Tarl Cabot visits Ar's Station"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first part of two novels, Renegades and Vagabonds. Renegades was not available in audio for a while and I skipped both, having read them years ago, and went on with "Magicians." Once I was caught up with Tarl's adventures in "Mariners," I went back and bought "Renegades" and then listened to them in the right order. I believe the author insisted that they be released unedited and there are some really distasteful Rape comments, (particualarly on in Vagabonds about 15 hours in) that just were not appropriate (my strong opinion) in a work of Fiction. I suspect this is what got him in trouble, cost him his publisher, and ended up in a blacklisting and lecture tour on censorship. I don't think it is Censorship, just editing. This is fiction, and some of the retorical digressions are not even in character. Any editor would have redlined them. I'd have refused to publish Vagabonds with the rape on EARTH passage in it. (It is otherwise a great book.) Just yell "I am quite aware of that..." or "Shut Up!" and ignore these passages. Tarl's journey through Ar's Station, the Vosk Delta, and onward is a turning point in his life and the story is well worth your time. This is a good story and should be read in the right order. Don't go on to Magicians unless you have read this book, and Vagabonds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mariners of Gor: Gorean Saga, Book 30

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By John Norman
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Many on Gor do not believe that the great ship, the ship of Tersites, the lame, scorned, half-blind, half-mad shipwright, originally of Port Kar exists. Surely it is a matter of no more than legend. In the previous audiobook, however, SWORDSMEN OF GOR, we learn that the great ship, was secretly built in the northern forests, and brought down the Alexandra to Thassa, the sea, beginning her voyage to the "World's End," hazarding waters beyond the "farther islands," from which no previous ship had returned.

    Bruce says: "In which we are told a tale of Ships and Far Shore"
    "In which we are told a tale of Ships and Far Shore"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Our Narrator is not Tarl Cabot here, but Tarl is very much present in this story. This is a return to what I expect of a Gor Novel, thorns and all. I loved it, I loved the different narrator, and understand why it was necessary. Comments on the story would all be spoilers,but Tarl Cabot ends going on a grand adventure to the Ends of the World. Enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spider's Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jennifer Estep
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2864)
    Performance
    (2216)
    Story
    (2226)

    They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South -- when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

    Brian Rygaard Jensen says: "How I got to loathe the story"
    "Popular, but not for me. Poor Writing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is badly written and though popular, I gave up and do not intend to finish it. I've read all this before, nothing new, and the writing can't possibly have gotten past any serious editor. It may get better, but I will never know. There are so many good books, and this, in my opinion, is just a re-hash of other people's ideas. Try Nancy Collins if you want to read this done well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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