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John

Interested in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Biographies and great oratory.

VALLEJO, CA, United States | Member Since 2013

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • You

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Austin Grossman
    • Narrated By Will Collyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (49)

    When Russell joins Black Arts games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly, he needs to know what happened to Simon, the strangest and most gifted friend he ever lost, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit.

    Tango says: "YOU might want to try a different book"
    "Faithful to its gaming roots, story is erratic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    YOU was a bitter-sweet experience for me. On one hand, it revisited a period of video gaming that was exciting to be a part of, and having been in the gaming industry at the time, it was certainly faithful to the game design process and mentality. The author clearly has a reverence for 90s gaming, and that was enjoyable to discover.

    The characters and story, however, were completely forgettable to me. Even as a self-identifying geek gamer of the era, I never attached myself to anyone in the story, and found it very hard to care about them or what they were doing.

    An attempt is made to bridge the real world and the game world by means of some clever computer code (and possible mental trauma) that never quite defines itself and ultimately goes nowhere. It's a safe book that explores some quaint what-if scenarios surrounding a game franchise's evolution, but as for thrills and suspense, I felt neither.

    I loved Soon I Will Be Invincible by Grossman and would definitely read anything by him going forward despite my tepid experience with YOU.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Of Mice and Men

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Gary Sinise
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (747)
    Performance
    (645)
    Story
    (647)

    While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing Of Mice and Men (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal: a friendship and shared dream that make an individual’s existence meaningful.

    Jenny says: "The reader alone is worth it"
    "This classic never lets me down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read the paperback at least a dozen times. The story permeates me on so many levels that each read leaves me emotional despite knowing what will happen.

    Gary Sinise does a masterful job with pacing and accent, such that I am further propelled into the land of 1920s migratory workers and their curious interactions.

    From start to finish this story is a wonderful trip back to a time long past. The interaction of George and Lennie is iconic, touching and tragic. The era and the industry depicted may be gone, but the concepts of loyalty, friendship and the American Dream are transcendent and are what the book ultimately rests on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shining

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2035)
    Performance
    (1893)
    Story
    (1913)

    Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote...and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

    Kristin says: "Don't expect the movie..."
    "A welcome departure from the film"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    King's Shining is far and above the story presented in the film adaptation. With this version you are provided with context and an opportunity to relate to the main characters. Jack's slow decline into madness is written (and narrated) in such a way where I felt right there with him at times.

    My only gripe is that the genuinely horrific parts were too far between. My suspense level was allowed to drop to zero a few times while we were taken back to discover the history of the hotel or the exploration of character back story. All of it necessary to provide framework and explanation, but it didn't serve the thrills and chills aspect for me.

    If you're looking for a great depiction of someone slowly going mad and possibly homicidal due to cabin fever and how that works out for him, his wife and their gifted son while they purposefully lock themselves in a confined space over the winter... this book is for you.

    If you're looking for a 16-hour Jack Nicholson impression because you liked the movie's one-liners, you won't be pleased.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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