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Bruce

Poet, Writer, Novice Planetary Scientist, Musician, Hooligan, Audience Guy, Protector of Stupid Princesses.

Knoxville, MD, United States | Member Since 2007

370
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 98 reviews
  • 535 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
20

  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Edward Gibbon
    • Narrated By Bernard Mayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (206)

    Considered one of the finest historical works in the English language, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is lauded for its graceful, elegant prose style as much as for its epic scope. Remarkably accurate for its day, Gibbon's treatise holds a high place in the history of literature and remains an enduring subject of study.

    Gibbon's monumental work traces the history of more than 13 centuries, covering the great events as well as the general historical progression. This first volume covers A.D. 180 to A.D. 395, which includes the establishment of Christianity and the Crusades.

    William Penny says: "What an age we live in"
    "Do not drive or operate heavy machinery"
    Overall

    This is going to take some time. -- The recording is old-school, and the narrator is very British and I found his voice soothing and calming. This helped me relax, but I couldn't remember what I was learning. If you want an audio recording of this book, it isn't bad, but I couldn't use it to pass time while driving. It made me sleepy. I'll finish it, but slow and steady in bits and pieces. I wish I hadn't used my credits on this one, but I will finish it and be glad when I am done.

    18 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Wizard's First Rule: Sword of Truth, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Terry Goodkind
    • Narrated By Sam Tsoutsouvas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4419)
    Performance
    (2786)
    Story
    (2821)

    In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, Richard Cypher encounters a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, in his forest sanctuary. She seeks his help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

    Andrew says: "Better than the show"
    "They are long and there are lots of them"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is interesting, the supporting cast is full of entertaining characters, the pace of the action is good. If one ignores the near-complete lack of original ideas you will be happy with this book. If you read lots of Epic Fantasy... you will wonder WHY the author borrows SO MUCH instead of creating. It never stops, but so far I'm entertained. The narrator does struggle, but I did not find that to be as big a problem as some reviewers did. I'm on book 4 now, and these books are getting me through a series of winter storms. They are long, and there are lots of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Necroscope: The Mobius Murders

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Brian Lumley
    • Narrated By Nick Santa Maria
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Harry Keough is the greatest Necroscope in the world. Harry Keough always considered himself a master of the Mobius Continuum - another dimension existing parallel to all space and time. It served as his personal instantaneous gateway to anywhere in the known universe, past or present. But Harry's knowledge was not unique; two other intelligences, with powers similar to his, existed.

    Bruce says: "For 'Necroscope' readers, not a good introduction"
    "For 'Necroscope' readers, not a good introduction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a nice re-visit to Lumley's world. I was happy to listen to it. It will not be much fun for people new to 'The Necroscope' series. Not Lumley's best work, and the narration is rushed, perhaps for Radio. The novels would be popular, I would love to hear them read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Necroscope: The Plague-Bearer

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Brian Lumley
    • Narrated By Nick Santa Maria
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Harry Keogh is moving on. Though the search for his missing wife and child continues, his heart now lies in Edinburgh with Bonnie Jean - a beautiful Scottish werewolf whose friendly pack and flourishing pub have given him a place he can almost call home. But from the rocky heights of Sicily, the diabolical Francezci brothers plot the wolf-pack's destruction; and down in the terrible Pit beneath Le Manse Madonie, an ancient evil schemes. The vampires conspire. They reach a decision. They choose a vector. Mafia thug Mike Milazzo is no good to anyone, anytime, anywhere…which makes him perfect. Disposable.

    Typhas says: "Finally!!!!!!"
    "Only worth it if you have read Necroscope or more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a nice re-visit to Lumley's world. I was happy to listen to it. It will not be much fun for people new to The Necroscope series. This is NOT Lumley's best work, and the narration is fast, I think rushed, perhaps for Radio. The novels are not available, they would be popular. I would love to hear them in audio format.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Echo of the High Kings: Eoriel Saga Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Kal Spriggs
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    In Eoriel, the High Kings are legend: rulers who once stood against the darkness and ruled the world for two thousand turns of peace and prosperity. In the long turns since their fall during the Sundering, Eoriel's civilization has faded. Dark men and darker beings have torn down and destroyed the old works. While some have held out against the grind of history, other places have been reduced to primitive tribes of savages, worshiping dark spirits and demons as their gods.

    Atli says: "I want more!"
    "What? This got published? Warning!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first chapter is so full of novice level writing flaws that I am returning it. Was this self-published? This writer did not even correct Grammer or language errors in Chapter 1. This is a first draft quality manuscript at best. A bad first draft. Character name hell, Cliche after cliche, *sighs.* You have been warned. Sutek Press is the publisher. It actually reads, "Provider." The book is worth 0 stars, the narrator tried to do his best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wise Man's Fear: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12874)
    Performance
    (10923)
    Story
    (11009)

    "My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep...."

    Joe says: "Excellent, Imaginative, Beautiful, Page Turning!!!"
    "Five stars he earned for seven words."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    (I took the author’s advice in the afterword of the “Slow Regard” 2.5 Novella.) Patrick Rothfuss’ wrote that many of his stories get better with a second reading. This proved true in both “The Name of The Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear.” I am patiently waiting for book 3. “The Wise Man’s Fear” provides a tremendous amount of back-story. I am glad it is in one large book, not several. I re-read both books back to back. I missed a lot the first time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15503)
    Performance
    (12891)
    Story
    (13014)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "Once is Good - Twice is better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    (I took the author’s advice in the afterword of the “Slow Regard” 2.5 Novella.) Patrick Rothfuss’ wrote that many of his stories get better with a second reading. This proved true in both “The Name of The Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear.” I am patiently waiting for book 3. “The Wise Man’s Fear” provides a tremendous amount of back-story. I am glad it is in one large book, not several. I re-read both books back to back. I missed a lot the first time.

    0 of 0 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
    (299)
    Performance
    (267)
    Story
    (267)

    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.

    Amazon Customer says: "increadable Series!!!!"
    "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
    (1394)
    Performance
    (1282)
    Story
    (1290)

    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.

    Derek says: "Just awful"
    "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.

    2 of 5 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
    (127)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (115)

    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.

    2 of 2 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
    (542)
    Performance
    (505)
    Story
    (504)

    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.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful

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