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Ian

Frankston South, Australia | Member Since 2010

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 187 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2259)
    Performance
    (2021)
    Story
    (2020)

    Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

    Mark says: "LEO WAS RIGHT, PART II"
    "Maybe Better In Print"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I quite liked the authors previous books, Daemon and Freedom, but I read them as opposed to listening to them. I'm kind of tempted to read this one but I don't think it will make much difference. It's just not a very good story delivered with not very good narration.

    It's just so very, very average and jammed full of every possible thriller cliche going; tough but sensitive action hero, beautiful but suprisingly capable scientist heroine, a supporting cast of one dimensional stocking fillers of assorted ethnicity. You know one or two of the minor supporting players will die but you also know none of the big ones will. You know it will all be fine in the end, lessons will be learned, love will blossom and any movie adaptation will be terrible and probably star Nic Cage.

    And then there's the narration, which is as one-dimensional as the writing, all chewed gravel and gritted teeth.

    It's just so utterly, depressingly predictable. If you've read/listened to any number of formulaic Michael Crichton-lite action/sciencey books then cross this off your list.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dust: Silo Saga, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (500)
    Performance
    (462)
    Story
    (467)

    Wool introduced the silo and its inhabitants. Shift told the story of their making. Dust will chronicle their undoing. Welcome to the underground.

    Tango says: "Meanders, then races to a satisfying conclusion"
    "Brilliant conclusion to a brilliant trilogy."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Dust?

    Everything.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Juliette, who has every characteristic of the indomitable hero and none of the cliches that usually go with it. Great character and if they ever make a TV series of this (and they really should - it's perfect for the medium), there'll be no shortage of actresses who want the gig.


    Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favorite?

    Juliette. See above.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yup. Couldn't manage it but one day I'll go on holiday and devour the trilogy on a beach whilst cooking in the sun.


    Any additional comments?

    Thanks to the other reader reviews that made me give the trilogy a whirl. Most appreciated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brilliance

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (626)
    Performance
    (554)
    Story
    (554)

    In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in.

    cristina says: "Glued from beginning to end"
    "Just... Average"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Brilliance better?

    An original idea.


    What was most disappointing about Marcus Sakey’s story?

    It was just so formulaic and predictable. Narration was a bit too 'trailer voice-over guy' to give the story any impact, which didn't help, but the characters are just paper-thin. There's treachery, but you see it coming. All is not what it seems, but you see it coming. It's a story that's been done many times and usually better than it's done here.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Luke Daniels’s performances?

    He's a good narrator in that he's clear and his voices are fairly distinct from one another, but he just can't wind in the 'square jawed hero' voice. Like I said, often his narration sounds like an audition for trailer voice-over work; it was a time of warrrrr.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Brilliance?

    Nothing, I just didn't click with the story. Some people probably will.


    Any additional comments?

    At least I listened to the entire story, so it couldn't have been that bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    Stephen King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of The Shining, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special 12-year old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

    Ian says: "King By The Numbers"
    "King By The Numbers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I'm a big Stephen King fan and have very much enjoyed his last couple. While this wasn't classic King, it was certainly an enjoyable listen.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Finding out what happened to Danny Torrance after The Overlook burned down was the most interesting. Find out about The True Knot and, in particular, Rose the Hat, was often dull and predictable.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Will Patton?

    I have; Alas, Babylon (which was fantastic). He's pretty good here and I have no problems with his narration, though he does sometimes get a bit over-wrought.


    Was Doctor Sleep worth the listening time?

    Way more worthwhile than answering the same question you asked first off in this review. Allow me to cut and paste...'I'm a big Stephen King fan and have very much enjoyed his last couple. While this wasn't classic King, it was certainly an enjoyable listen.'There. Happy now? Good. Moving on...


    Any additional comments?

    Not his best but plenty good enough. The middle third especially is outstanding, but the first third is too long and windy and the climax is oddly formulaic for King, something which can arguably said for most of the story. It feels like a good idea not quite seen through, if that makes sense.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One Summer: America 1927

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    One Summer: America, 1927, is the new book by Britain’s favourite writer of narrative nonfiction, Bill Bryson. Narrated by the man himself, One Summer takes you to the summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and changed the world forever. In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day, a semi-crazed sculptor with a plan to carve four giant heads into a mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and a youthful aviator named Charles Lindbergh who started the summer wholly unknown, and finished it as the most famous man on Earth.

    Ian says: "Classic Bryson"
    "Classic Bryson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of One Summer to be better than the print version?

    I've read a lot of Bryson books and the ones he narrates are always a cut above their print versions. His voice is (unsurprisingly) perfect for his books. The audio-books of his work that are NOT read by the man himself, however, are to be avoided at all costs. I'd rather listen to abridged Bryson read by him than unabridged read by someone else.


    What other book might you compare One Summer to and why?

    Really only other books by Bryson. Pick one. Down Under, A Walk In The Woods, Life & Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid (probably closest in terms of painting a portrait of a time gone by), At Home... the list goes on. There's no other author quite like him.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The unfolding story of Charles Lindbergh, how this wholly uncharismatic man and genius pilot was made into an unwilling and often bewildered American legend.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No (it's not that kind of book really) but all of it entertained me.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Bryson, you will love this. If you don't like Bryson, there's no reason to think this one will change your oddly tasteless mind.
    But if you've never given Bryson a try, I genuinely envy you. Start immediately. Buy half a dozen of his non-language books (not my cup of tea) that are read by him (no other narrator is capable of voicing his voice, so to speak), take a long weekend away from distraction, and relax. I very much doubt you'll regret it.
    You see, it doesn't matter what or who or when Bill Bryson turns his gaze onto, what matters is that it's his gaze. He is sublimely gifted at looking at the most mundane or well known of events and showing you that, truth be told, you were almost completely misinformed about it, assuming you were informed at all.
    I'm not American. I have little interest in American history or the 20s in general. I have no fascination for Lindbergh or Babe Ruth or Al Capone or any one of the other characters, big or small, that fill this book. The folly of Fordlandia doesn't matter to me. Baseball and boxing from the 20s is a subject I've never pondered on. The race to be first to cross the Atlantic by plane is a subject I know nothing about other than Lindbergh was first and he was loved for it.
    But all of that changes when it's Bryson telling me about these things. He picks out the most wonderful details and anecdotes, gives them a life of their own and makes you fascinated by the same things you didn't give a hoot about before you started listening.
    He's just a wonderful author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    In June of 1999, Stephen King was hit by a van while walking along the shoulder of a country road in Maine. Six operations were required to save his life and mend his broken body. When he was finally able to sit up, he immediately started writing. This book - part biography, part a collection of tips for the aspiring writer - is the extraordinary result.

    Karen says: "Part 'How to' part Autobiographical"
    "A Must Have"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    That some people still refuse to think of King as anything other than simply a horror writer baffles me. Even at his worst he's considerably more entertaining, inventive and downright readable than most authors are at their best.

    On Writing is simply King advising authors how to improve their skills. It's a nuts and bolts 'how to' guide really but, as with most things King writes, there's way more to it than that. Yes he deals with everything from punctuation and vocab to finding an agent and getting published, but along the way he talks openly about his own journey.

    From his first big payday to alcoholism, from drug abuse to being almost killed by someone who might have been a character from one of his own books, On Writing is tightly written and yet never feels lightweight. And King's account of the aftermath of being hit by a van whilst out walking is some of the most wince-inducing horror I've ever read.

    Faultless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (9771)
    Performance
    (8875)
    Story
    (8887)

    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.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Go in as cold as possible.

    Guy finds an apartment that's too good to be true in a house that gets weirder the more he looks at it. Throw in some terrific supporting characters, a good backstory and some real head-scratching oddities and this is pretty much a must-read. It's just entertaining as hell and the narration is sublime.

    Add it to your library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coyote: A Novel of Interstellar Exploration

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Allen Steele
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim, Allen Steele
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (600)
    Performance
    (305)
    Story
    (312)

    The crime of the century begins without a hitch. On July 5th, 2070, as it's about to be launched, the starship Alabama is hijacked - by her captain and crew. In defiance of the repressive government of The United Republic of Earth, they replace her handpicked passengers with political dissidents and their families. These become Earth's first pioneers in the exploration of space...

    Michael says: "It gets better"
    "Grounded Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always been a big fan of Steele and Coyote was one of his best books. The narration can be. A. Little. Stilted. Sometimes. as Ganim seems hell-bent on turning every word into it's own sentence sometimes, but it doesn't grate as much as you might think.

    The story is familiar enough; the Earth's pretty much given all it has to give mankind and as a result he needs to relocate. A suitable planet is found and a ship built to get there with a hand-picked cargo of settlers. Trouble is said suitable planet will take 300+ years to reach and the crew have other ideas about who should be making the trip.

    The story itself is terrific, with a near-future Earth that feels tangible (and often quite probable) and an alien world that is familiar enough to make sense and alien enough to be compelling. The account of the voyage there is a standout and an early treat in a substantial story.

    Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Down Under

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By William Roberts
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (47)

    Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold, and the sun nearly always shines.

    Ryan says: "A safe bet!"
    "Bryson Books Need Bryson Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Bill Bryson's writing, really I do. His books, audiobooks included, are some of my favourite and most revisited. And Down Under is a great book that is wholly ruined by the narrator, a whiny, pinch-voiced man who manages to take Bryson's wit and give it an air of smugness, sometimes bordering on spite. I don't know if I just despised the narrator because he was awful or because he was so utterly unsuitable to read Bryson. It doesn't help that he attempts accents and can't do them, making both English and Australian voices grating and high-pitched.
    Honestly, the narrator ruins the book, but if you want this or several of Bryson's other, earlier, books, then this is the standard you get. I loathe abridged books but at least they're read by the man himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman, George Guidall
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (89)

    After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in apparently adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr. Wednesday, claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god, and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town.

    Nathan says: "Strange, slow moving, story"
    "A Benchmark Title"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An absolute modern classic book evolves into an absolute modern classic audiobook. Gaiman is one of my favourite authors (write more, damn you!) and American Gods is maybe his finest work. This is pretty much my favourite audiobook thus far.

    Faultless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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