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Robert

Carlsbad Rob

Carlsbad, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 30 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 190 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
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  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10348)
    Performance
    (9847)
    Story
    (9866)

    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"
    "Incredibly Satisfying."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Arthur C. Clark is smiling somewhere. I found the story very believable compared to many of the Mars and science fiction books I've read. The main character was both sympathetic, and likable and provided more than one laugh out loud moment. Very enjoyable. I suspect i'll listen to it again in a year or so.

    And the narrator was perfect. The different voices came alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • White Plume Mountain: Dungeons & Dragons: Greyhawk, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Paul Kidd
    • Narrated By Bernard Setaro Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (100)

    A remorseless ranger. A sentient hell hound pelt with a penchant for pyromania. An irksome pixie who sells intrigue and information. Three companions who find themselves trapped in a city filled with warring priestly factions, devious machinations, and an angry fiend. To save the city, they must find three weapons of power, which lie in the most trap-laden, monster-infested place this side of Acererak's tomb: White Plume Mountain.

    TW Brown, Author, Editor, and Reviewer says: "A trip down memory lane...with monsters."
    "Fifteen minutes is all I could take"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I played D&D in the day. I even played DM's White Plume Mountain so I thought hey, I'll give it a shot. Fifteen minutes in I didn't really recognize anything except the name of a type of demon. Nothing happened. No interesting characters were introduced. The book just started off so slow, so dull, so unsatisfying.

    I had a similar reaction to the Drow novels by R. A. Salvatore. D&D novels just don't capture the game for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By David M. Ewalt
    • Narrated By David M. Ewalt, Mikael Naramore
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (105)

    In Of Dice and Men, David Ewalt recounts the development of Dungeons & Dragons from the game’s roots on the battlefields of ancient Europe, through the hysteria that linked it to satanic rituals and teen suicides, to its apotheosis as father of the modern video-game industry. As he chronicles the surprising history of the game’s origins (a history largely unknown even to hardcore players) and examines D&D’s profound impact, Ewalt weaves laser-sharp subculture analysis with his own present-day gaming experiences.

    brenty says: "Interesting...but disjointed"
    "Wonderfully told, wonderfully read, good times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has two narrators, one is the author who provides history of D&D as well as the saga of his own return to role playing. The other narrator reads fictional bits from the authors role playing adventures. The two complement each other very well. The history of D&D and TSR is interesting until it gets to the modern era.

    The only reason this book didn't get 5 stars is it has no real ending. He visits some kind of LARP and then goes into what amounts to an add for D&D Next. Its interesting but not as much as the previous 80% of the book and never feels like it properly wraps up.

    Still as an old role player from the day I highly, highly enjoyed this book and will probably listen to it again at some point when I feel nostalgic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Honor You Call Us: Man of War, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By H. Paul Honsinger
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (705)
    Performance
    (667)
    Story
    (666)

    The Terran Union is engaged in a vast interstellar war against the Krag Ruthless aliens intent on exterminating humankind. In 2315, the wily Max Robichaux is given command of the USS Cumberland, a destroyer with state-of-the-art capabilities but a combat record so bad, she’s known as the “Cumberland Gap.” Capt. Robichaux’s first mission: to take his warship to the Free Corridor, where the Krag have secretly been buying strategic materials, and to seize or destroy any ships carrying enemy cargo.

    Connor says: "Good Military Sci-Fi"
    "Inconsistant but very, very enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator was exceptional.

    The scenes in which the author detailed space combat were all entertaining, believable, and some of the best of the genre. He didn't invent a lot of technobabble but extrapolated current issues into the future in a very believable way.

    The aliens were nice and developed enough to leave the listener satisfied but wanting more. It was nice to not have another all humans vs humans fighting the age of sail on space but something a bit darker. Don't get me wrong, the humans vs humans is interesting and all but its been done and it was nice to see a change with aliens out and about.

    Then there were the bits with the doctor acting as a spy or whatever you might call it. Those felt tacked on from a different book and the idea that some human colonies are hoping to sit out the war after the gynophage (how do you spell that?). Well that seems a bit of a stretch to me, but hopefully the author will explore that sort of thing in subsequent books. I'm prepared to buy the next one, and probably the third whenever its available as an audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • With the Lightnings: RCN Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By David Drake
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine, David Drake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (386)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (245)

    Daniel Leary is a lieutenant in the Republic of Cinnabar Navy with no money and no prospects since he quarreled with his ruthless, politically powerful father. Adele Mundy is a scholar with no money and no prospects since her family was massacred for conspiring against the Government of Cinnabar. Kostroma is a wealthy planet which depends on diplomacy to stay independent in a galaxy whose two great powers, Cinnabar and the Alliance, battle for supremacy.

    E. Atkinson says: "Master and Commander in Space"
    "Two hours in and nothing happened"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I gave up after two hours. This book and series might turn out to be excellent but such a slow start for a military science fiction just doesn't cut it with me. I don't know who many pages that is but really, nothing happened. How dull.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • President Me: The America That's in My Head

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Adam Carolla
    • Narrated By Adam Carolla
    Overall
    (359)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (338)

    In President Me, Carolla shares his vision for a different, better America free from big issues like big government down to small problems like hotel alarm clock placement. Running on an anti-narcissism platform, President Carolla calls for a return to the values of an earlier time when stew and casserole were on every dinner table and there were no “service dogs” on airplanes. President Me hits right at the heart of what makes our country really annoying, and offers a plan to make all of our lives, but mostly Adam’s, much better.

    LE says: "Funny, Truthy, Douchey"
    "Started off a bit slow but picked up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When he got to the UN part it was laugh out loud funny. That alone was probably worth the purchase.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (981)
    Performance
    (853)
    Story
    (855)

    Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    James says: "Even Better than the Movie"
    "Wonderful but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book long ago, before I saw the movie or the play. Its a brilliant book but it starts way, way, before the action does and ends a decent time after it should. The movie covers the dramatic heart of the story and the book would have been better cut down to roughly those plot points, in my humble opinion.

    Having said that it was interesting even the extra fluff that was just whiny Willie Keith being a whiner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Actors Anonymous: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By James Franco
    • Narrated By James Franco
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (93)

    The actors in James Franco’s brilliant debut novel include a McDonald’s drive-thru operator who spends his shift trying on accents; an ex-child star recalling a massive beachside bacchanal; hospital volunteers and Midwestern transplants; a vampire flick starlet who discovers a cryptic book written by a famous actor gone AWOL; and the ghost of River Phoenix. Then there’s Franco himself, who prowls backstage, peering out between the lines - before taking the stage with fascinating meditations on his art, along with nightmarish tales of excess.

    Justin says: "Anonymous"
    "Confused and uneven"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a series of vignettes. I'd call them short stories but they don't have proper endings. Perhaps they come together at the end to provide a proper ending but I didn't get that far so I wouldn't know.

    The vignettes star different folk, but are all told in the first person. The narration is good but its the author and it sound like he's telling us stories of his life which makes for a bit of confusion when suddenly he's a girl and all.

    The first couple of stories flirt with edginess and then it turned into Gay porn. If the book was good I would have continued simply out of curiosity but it wasn't really good enough and started sounding like forced edginess at that point so I put it down (or deleted it).

    James Franco has potential as a writer, no doubt, but it wasn't for me.

    1 of 2 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"
    "Confused narration but otherwise typical Gor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Gor books tend to bi-polar. They alternate between sequences of excellent adventure and sequences of Slave, Sleen! Slave, Master. Generally in the hardcopy form you can skip the repetitive and annoying Slave, Sleen! Slave, Master chunks and get to the excellent adventures (or I suppose you could do the reverse). You can't do that easily with an audio novel.

    Also the book's narration is confused. The narrator goes over large chunks of obsessive details about Gorean slavery but the book sets it up that the narrator is telling his story to other Goreans. That worked when it was Carl Tabot telling us the story but not so well in this context. Also the narration switches between 'the stranger' and the scribe at different times but both speak in the first person and have the same 'voice' as Carl Tabot. Even worse its the tangle created when the narrator related bits they were told by a woman which is also told in the first person and leaves the impression of the dangerous "stranger" relating this tale and acting out the girl parts. Kind of odd.

    Still the action adventure bits were good. He drops you into the action in a way no other writers of swords and sorcery do and I think he could have been one of the greats if he skipped the Slave, Sleen! Slave, Master bits or isolated them to their own book series.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Colour of Magic: Discworld #1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    Overall
    (2618)
    Performance
    (1073)
    Story
    (1081)

    The Colour of Magic, the first novel in Terry Pratchett's wildly imaginative Discworld series, takes the listener on a remarkable journey. The magical planet of Discworld is supported by four massive elephants who stand on the back of the Great A'Tuin, a giant turtle swimming slowly through the mysterious interstellar gulf. An eccentric expedition sets out to explore the planet, encountering dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course "The Edge" of the planet.

    Joel says: "Start in any of seven Disworld books"
    "Reminds me of Douglas Adams"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author has a way with words and the turn of phrase. Interesting characters but really not much of a plot line. The author says he was never one for chapters and it shows. Like Hitchhikers Guide it meanders about from quirky bit to quirky bit. All entertaining but not really getting you anywhere. I'll relisten to this again just for the writing, I just hope later Pratchet books have more of a story. Hated the ending. Had no issues with the recording quality that Audible is clear to mention. Narrator does a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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