The main point of this book is a contemplation of life in a zero gravity environment - no ground, just sky. On that mark, the story has some wonderful descriptive parts. However, the story's environment is so different that it takes the listener longer to visualise the scene than the spoken narrative allows. As a result, the listener has to concentrate very closely to the tale, and may have to back up and re-hear parts to fully understand them. In Niven's other books, like the Ringworld series, this happens rarely. Here, though, it occurs often enough to interrupt the flow of the story.
On the spoken side, the narrator does a decent job with most of the story, but the characterizations don't have much distinction, so some dialog is hard to follow. Worse, the editing style allows no pauses at all. Scene changes are completely lost, leading to immense confusion when the narration shifts.
Overall, the story is a good one, but it doesn't lend itself well to the audio book format. You're better off reading this one.
This book is much less a military tale than a treatise on military life and related social philosophies. In between lengths describing a young man's reshaping from newly graduated civilian into a veteran military officer, Heinlein gives a number of views, ideas, and commentary on social/political setups, including voting, evolution, and military service in general. Putting this book's viewpoints side by side with "Stranger in a Strange Land" leads to interesting thoughts about our modern society.
The reading is excellent. There are a few mis-pronounced words here and there in the first half, but the vocal tone is varied and engaging. Recommended reading/listening!
This book is a compilation of many of the later stories and records from Richard Feynman's career. Some, like "Los Alamos from Below", are retellings of stories from other books. Some, like the Space Shuttle Challenger Minority Report, are transcriptions of Feynman's writings that are more thorough than other accounts. And some, like the 1979 Omni Magazine interview, are brand new listings.
The audio version is very well spoken, always clear, and the chapter breaks are in their proper places: between chapters.
For the Richard Feynman fan, this is a decently collected book, though it varies considerably in tone and narrative. For others, they should reach instead for Feynman's two main books, "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and "What do You Care What Other People Think?"
For Asimov fans, this collection is a nice group of stories. However, this edition is only HALF of the original book, and the other half of this edition was never published in that way. The listed description is actually from the original book, so some of the stories mentioned in the description are not included in this audio collection.
If you are wanting a good sampling of Clarke's short stories, this is one to buy. If you're wanting the complete collection of Clarke's short stories, you should instead purchase the five-volume set sold separately: The Lion of Comarre, Earthlight, The Nine Billion Names of God, Songs of Distant Earth, and The Shining Ones.
Dan Brown does a good job of weaving historical information with fictional elements to generate a thrilling suspense novel. Brown has a tendency to use small chapters, which is good for short reading sessions, but it's unlikely you'll be able to stop with just one chapter. I do find Brown's style of keeping the suspense by denying you one crucial fact in each scene to be annoying after a while, but it certainly does keep the suspense going, and there are enough twists in the story that it's hard to predict where it's headed.
Richard Poe's narration is good, and keeps excellent characterizations without resorting to the foreign accents that Paul Michael uses in the sequel book, The DaVinci Code. I quite enjoyed listening to this book.
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