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Matt S.

Ohio USA | Member Since 2013

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 98 ratings
  • 211 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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  • Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Russell S. Bonds
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (296)
    Story
    (307)

    On April 12, 1862—one year to the day after Confederate guns opened on Fort Sumter and started the Civil War—a tall, mysterious smuggler and self-appointed Union spy named James J. Andrews and 19 infantry volunteers infiltrated Georgia and stole a steam engine called the General. Racing northward at speeds near 60 miles an hour, cutting telegraph lines, and destroying track along the way, Andrews planned to open East Tennessee to the Union army, cutting off men and materiel from the Confederate forces in Virginia.

    Arthur says: "Sometimes Facts can be more exciting then Fiction"
    "Sometimes the Truth can be a Let-down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Make no mistake: this is a complete, thoroughly researched, and well-organized account of one of the most infamous events of the Civil War. The Audible version is also well-narrated by Bronson Pinchot (that's right- "Balki" from Perfect Strangers). Unfortunately, I found myself constantly thinking about how many other Civil War heroes undoubtedly had far greater stories that were never told and/or never achieved the notoriety of this tale. It's not surprising that many of the movies, speeches, and books that previously dealt with this story felt the need to "embellish" the facts.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Pandora's Star

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4991)
    Performance
    (3223)
    Story
    (3257)

    The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over 1,000 light-years away, a star...vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears.

    Ingwe says: "Give it a chance"
    "1st Book in My Library I Might Abandon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    20 Hours in, and I'm just not sure I'm willing to finish this one... This would be the first of 100+ Books (Fiction & Non-fiction) that I will abandon. I'm not a stranger to longer books (Count of Monte Cristo, Atlas Shrugged, The Stand...), but this one feels like suffering due to:
    1. Outright terrible narration/production... Virtually EVERY sentence read begins at double the volume that it ends with... prepare for ears being blown out at each start, followed by inaudible words near the end.
    2. Lack of any "breaks" (such as a Pause) when switching from one "scene" and character to another... it sometimes takes several minutes of reading before you can realize that you're now following some other character in some other storyline in some other part of the universe
    3. The "Universe" & Storyline create moments of interest, but there is also plenty of overly-detailed fiction that just isn't thought-provoking IMO. Obviously, others feel quite different and the author (and this series) seems to have earned the respect of critics, so I'll just have to believe this just "isn't for me."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ghost Brigades

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2781)
    Performance
    (2127)
    Story
    (2141)

    The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They're young, they're fast and strong, and they're totally without normal human qualms.

    Randall says: "If you liked..."
    "Less Enjoyable than "Old Man's War""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While not "bad", I was disappointed by this one. Listened to it immediately following Old Man's War, and found far fewer thought-provoking scenarios and surprises. Also, I was really annoyed by the young girl character that appears near the end of the story- don't think I could listen to the narrator utter one more sentence using his "little girl voice."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Influx

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3511)
    Performance
    (3217)
    Story
    (3227)

    Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they've been working toward for years: A device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics - the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel Prize. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring.

    Sterling Okura says: "Entertaining Physics SciFi"
    "Suarez is the Real Deal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like many others, I devoured his first two books ("Daemon" and "FreedomTM") which were essentially a single concept split into books. After being underwhelmed by his third- which struck me as more "Michael Bay Movie" than thought-provoking Sci-Fi- I thought Suarez might have been an author with one great story to tell. Thankfully, I was wrong. "Influx" is very much a perfect Thriller, with plenty of intelligent Sci-Fi and Dystopian elements woven in. I think this is best place for any new Suarez reader to start.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13164)
    Performance
    (11954)
    Story
    (11983)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Charles says: "Completely Engaging"
    "Like a (Rare) Satisfying Summer Blockbuster Movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As others have said, don't read too much about this book- just dive in, and be prepared for a mystery, thriller, haunted, steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, adult Scooby Doo. I can't imagine any listener not finding something to pull them in.

    Narration is top-notch. I have listened to 70+ Audiobooks, and no other narrator manages to pull off so many characters so well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Open: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Andre Agassi
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1094)
    Performance
    (575)
    Story
    (573)

    From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography. Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned.

    Patrick says: "Just an Incredible Story!"
    "Intriguing & Worthwhile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Open rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I love biographies that don't read like fiction, and this is one of the best. No matter if you're not a huge tennis fan or barely remember Andre- I found myself disappointed that I had been so oblivious to many of these stories (thanks to YouTube, I've been catching up on many of the big events as I listened to this book).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Andre, of course. He's not perfect, and I wouldn't want to be him. His taste is music is awful, and appears to choose to be surrounded by an assortment of eccentric circus-worthy outcasts without even realizing it. Just like all of us, he's weird and flawed, and just trying to live the best life he can.


    Have you listened to any of Erik Davies’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Narration is clear and well-paced (no need for 1.5x Playback speed here). Only "gripe" is his voice for female characters (it's the same for both of Andre's wives).


    Any additional comments?

    Sat on my Wish List forever- ended up blowing through the 18 hour book in only 2 weeks (while commuting & work-outs). No regrets.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (296)

    On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, deceived the Nazis into believing that the Allies would attack at Calais and Norway rather than Normandy.

    None of your damn business says: "A secret history of WWII crossed with Monty Python"
    "Disappointing following Macintyre's Previous Works"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Agent Zigzag was centered around a single character, and was excellent. Operation Mincemeat was written around a relatively small operation, and I enjoyed it as well. Double Cross attempts to use the similar character-based (fiction-like) writing style, but becomes lost in (what feels like) hundreds of characters throught Europe who are somehow associated with the massive D-Day invasion. "Page after page" seemed to revolve around minute details about individuals- what secretaries looked like, their interests, their demeanor, etc. Just as I began to form a picture of a person, it felt as if we moved on to someone else. In many cases, I feel like I learned details about random people who never were mentioned again.

    Narration was pretty good, although I agree with others who suggest that Russian & German "accents" were overdone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fountainhead

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3563)
    Performance
    (2204)
    Story
    (2238)

    One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, a genius; Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire; and Dominique Francon, a devastating beauty.

    Zachary says: "The Fountainhead"
    "Rough Draft for Atlas Shrugged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I discovered Atlas Shrugged before this earlier work, which (I think) explains my minor disappointment/complaints. There are many similarities here, as a protagonist stands alone from the masses around them and big moments are spoken in court rooms media (Radio in Atlas Shrugged, Newspaper editorials here). Ayn's thoughts are simply better assembled and the story is more worthy of one's time in the later work IMO. Still, "The Fountainhead" is worthwhile read with top-notch narration (although I found 1.5x playback speed to be best using the iPhone App).

    During "Atlas Shrugged," I found the little to support the popular criticism of Rand's philosophy and writing talents. During this work, I found myself frustrated and wanting to echo them at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (774)
    Performance
    (385)
    Story
    (391)

    As plans got under way for the Allied invasion of Sicily in June 1943, British counter-intelligence agent Ewen Montagu masterminded a scheme to mislead the Germans into thinking the next landing would occur in Greece. This extraordinary operation called for a dead body, dressed as a Royal Marine officer and carrying false information about a pending Allied invasion of Greece, to wash up on a Spanish shore near the town of a known Nazi agent.

    Jack M says: "Better than the movie"
    "Glad I Finally Got to This One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I found this to be less enjoyable than "Agent Zigzag," I was truly surprised to learn how effective this well-known operation was. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3245)
    Performance
    (2475)
    Story
    (2481)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    David says: "Superb in so many ways"
    "Incredible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I now think those guys fishing for crabs on the Discovery Channel have it easy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1536)
    Performance
    (1395)
    Story
    (1389)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "Valid points to one-sided view."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here are the valid points discussed in this book: 1. The American military-complex isn't organized, funded, or controlled like it once was (pre ~1980's). 2. There are serious issues to be concerned about with regards to the current system. Here is the author's "leaps" that bothered me: 1. Everything about American Security/Conflict would be OK if things were operated like they used to be 2. Much of our military is comprised of bumbling morons far less intelligent than she is...

    I actually felt the book was a worthwhile read. While the author devoted many chapters to condemning the calculated evil plots of various political figures, I found myself wanting to defend the views of people I have NEVER agreed with in my adult life (that's right, Reagan/Bush/Cheney, I've got your back for this ONE time only!) :)

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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