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Steve

A well written book is a gem.

Delray Beach, FL, United States | Member Since 2001

ratings
110
REVIEWS
37
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
95

  • The Prefect

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1168)
    Performance
    (927)
    Story
    (927)

    Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the multifaceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that left 900 people dead, a crime that appalls even a hardened cop like Dreyfus.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Best yet of the Revelation Space series"
    "Believable science and very well written."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not a science guy, (English major), but I have become a complete science fiction nerd thanks to Alistair Reynolds. The future he writes about is hopeful and entirely plausible given what we know of the physical world today. In tandem with John Lee's reading this book was a great ride. I read "Pushing Ice" before this one and it's the same high quality read. Give it a shot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Philip Carlo
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (103)

    Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, the boss of New York's Lucchese crime family, was a Mafia superstar, responsible for more than 50 murders. Currently serving 13 life sentences at a federal prison in Colorado, Casso has given journalist and New York Times best-selling author Philip Carlo the most intimate, personal look into the world of La Cosa Nostra ever seen.

    William says: "The author fails the objectivity test"
    "Bad Writing. Lazy And Unimaginative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing in this book is superlatively bad. Was there an editor who read this? I don't think so. An English teacher would have rejected this by the first chapter. Words like trite, and every synonym you can use for trite will dance through your head as you read this thing: cliche' commonplace, hack, tired, stale, stereotyped, boilerplate. In the end just plain lazy and unimaginative descriptions. Several characters are described as shy but well dressed. When I read, "He shot him to death several times." I wondered how bad can this thing get?
    Turns out pretty bad.
    The narration is just ok. I lost faith in the narrator. He should have stopped at several points and said "Are you kidding me?" and then continued. But he plodded through it with a deadpan resolve. I plodded through all it the way to the end too. I suppose the story is interesting, it's just done very awkwardly. Bring your mental highlighter so you can remember the low points - amazing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Empire Falls

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Richard Russo
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (109)

    Dexter County, Maine, and specifically the town of Empire Falls, has seen better days, and for decades, in fact, only a succession from bad to worse. One by one, its logging and textile enterprises have gone belly-up, and the once vast holdings of the Whiting clan (presided over by the last scion’s widow) now mostly amount to decrepit real estate. The working classes, meanwhile, continue to eke out whatever meager promise isn’t already boarded up. Miles Roby gazes over this ruined kingdom from the Empire Grill, an opportunity of his youth that has become the albatross of his life.

    margaret says: "Hugely Enjoyable"
    "Fine wine for the soul. Savor every word."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sip swirl and breath. Repeat. Recharge your soul with this as from a glass dark and deep with all the beautiful truths and failures of being human.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Never Let Me Go

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1716)
    Performance
    (542)
    Story
    (545)

    From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.

    Christopher says: "Moving, haunting, but slow developing"
    ""Never Let Me Know"....What's Going On!!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You won't be told what this book is about until the last hour. And then when you are told, it is definitely not the spine tingling revelation, a la Sixth Sense, you expect but rather a big let down. It turns out to be a very long tedious way to go for a very unsatisfying end. The plot device of the long ominous undertone leading up to a 'great reveal' simply does not work. Implausible, tedious and unsatisfying. Pass.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Absolution Gap

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (731)
    Performance
    (504)
    Story
    (510)

    The Inhibitors were designed to eliminate any life-form reaching a certain level of intelligence - and they've targeted humanity. War veteran Clavain and a ragtag group of refugees have fled into hiding. Their leadership is faltering, and their situation is growing more desperate. But their little colony has just received an unexpected visitor: an avenging angel with the power to lead mankind to safety---or draw down its darkest enemy.

    wendy says: "better than absolution gap"
    "Don't hesitate but listen to the series in order.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is waiting for you as the last of the Revelation Space series. Worth the wait to get to this one - it ties the series together nicely. Again, well written and well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chasm City

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (932)
    Performance
    (677)
    Story
    (679)

    The once-utopian Chasm City - a domed human settlement on an otherwise inhospitable planet---has been overrun by a virus known as the Melding Plague, capable of infecting any body, organic or computerized. Now, with the entire city corrupted - from the people to the very buildings they inhabit---only the most wretched sort of existence remains. The stakes are raised when Tanner Mirabel's search brings him face to face with a centuries-old atrocity that history would rather forget.

    Tango says: "Enter Revelation Space HERE"
    "Ties The Alistair Universe Of Books All Together"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wish I had read this one before his others. It explains the references from his other books and would have made the whole series much easier to enjoy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10456)
    Performance
    (9740)
    Story
    (9740)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Over 50 - You Will Be Lost. Save Your Quarter."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm 56. My teen decade was the 70's. So this book to me was a very long list of 1980's references I did not recognize. Unending and unfamiliar lists of video games, TV shows and characters that just aren't part of the lexicon of my memory from that time.
    There is a lot of fantasy in the book that I'm not a fan of. I prefer more plausibility and reason to fiction. Additionally, there were some clumsy plot devices that spoiled the dramatic tension in the story. Like the late introduction of a hermit benefactor who has private jets, (yes plural), to come whisk away the four protagonists to his Secret Enclave away from the Bad Guys. Ok.....
    Wil Wheaton does a great job.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3540)
    Performance
    (2466)
    Story
    (2467)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Alan says: "Outstanding"
    "A Perfect Confluence of Narration and Writing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I savored every moment of this book. Yes, it's long, but you are listening to the work a master craftsman and it's read to you by Joe Barrett who absolutely nails it. It is also about religion and predestination and I am not at all a religious person. But the story is a great examination on religion or what makes us religious. I was at first put off by the opening chapter and the narrator's easy familiarity with his religion. But while the story at first sounds like an endorsement on religion it reveals itself otherwise as the many elements of the characters and the story unfold. There is a great undercurrent of humor and irony though out this religious examination that made the story compelling to me.
    In listening to John Irving's interview at the end, he says his premise for writing the book was to ask, "What would it take to believe in God? What would you have to witness before you could be a believer?" The character of Owen Meany and his story challenge us with that premise. Enjoy the ride.

    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
    (10808)
    Performance
    (9808)
    Story
    (9828)

    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!!"
    "Please Believe the Bad Reviews!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You've been warned. This is idiot fiction for unsophisticated readers. I am baffled at all the good reviews. Yes, there are a lot of Audible listeners who liked this book but there are also a lot of people who think Rossane Bar and Larry the Cable guy are great entertainment. If you exercise any level of taste or discretion in fiction than you deserve much better for your credit.
    This is a book with an alternate universe premise. That premise is a wild, suspend all reasonable disbelief, diversion in an otherwise B level young adult fiction novel. I finished it wondering what universe I'm living in where there are so many people who've rated this drek so highly.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Astronomy I: Earth, Sky and Planets

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By James Kaler
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (122)

    The heart of this course examines the planets themselves, and reveals how they are constructed and how they differ from one another. By studying the physical astronomy of all the planets in the Solar System, we can attempt to understand their true nature. Ultimately, these lectures will bring us to a greater understanding of the Solar System's creation, which brings us again back to the beginning and what it means to us as we look outward from our rotating Earth.

    Anthony says: "Wow... just wow"
    "Very Good. Easy To Understand."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The last review I had of our solar system was in grade school in the 1960's so this lesson was way overdue for me. This simple review of our neighborhood is what we know about our solar system today, and it's a lot more than we knew 50 years ago. So I was left thinking how exciting it will be to see what's revealed in the next 50 years. Well worth the credit to listen to this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Revelation Space

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1545)
    Performance
    (1072)
    Story
    (1078)

    Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason.

    Eoin says: "Defeated"
    "A difficult storyline to follow... take notes..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You'll need patience for this one. It's a very long read and a difficult plot to follow. I kept asking, "So who's doing what to whom and why, and who are the good guys or the bad guys?" It wasn't until the end of last chapter of the novel that I finally understood the motivation to what had gone on previously. That didn't seem fair to me.
    So is this a bad book? It is bad in that the story is not compelling at any point until the end. It's a loooong time waiting for it all to come together. If I were the editor I would have said, "Alistair, you've got a great story here, but you need to let the reader know more of what it is before the end of the book!". The last chapter finally reveals what the book was all about, but it left me feeling like I'd read an awful lot of exposition that had not enough to do with the most intriguing story elements.
    John Lee: excellent. I question the criticism of him in other reviews. Most of the book is dialogue between at least four characters or more at once with cut scenes to four other characters at once and then back again. Crazy. Yet he pulls it off. The flaw is in the over complexity of the writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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