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Ben

Marietta, GA, United States | Member Since 2009

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 161 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5)

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Minnie Goode
    Overall
    (1427)
    Performance
    (1298)
    Story
    (1296)

    This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

    Charles says: "Unique"
    "Buy the eBook + audiobook for $7.98"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sorry, I actually haven't read it yet, but I just wanted to point out that if you buy the Kindle eBook of this for $5.99, you can add the Audiobook for $1.99. $7.98 is a lot less than $24.95 and less than a credit. And it does WhisperSync, so if you choose to read part of it, it updates the audio bookmark for you, and vice versa. I had that idea years ago, should have patented it or something.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4273)
    Performance
    (2800)
    Story
    (2829)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Fascinating and Thought-provoking Non-fiction"
    Overall

    It's hard to believe that such a momumental discovery in scientific and medical history has such a significant but unknown personal history alongside it. Skloot gives us three themes at once: an unusual and complex ethical dilemma, a thrilling account of one of the greater discoveries in medical research, and a touching, tragic documentary covering several generations of a family in America (including, gratefully, a small measure of redemption). It's hard to even comment on the quality of the writing or the narration - the story is the story, and it's a story that I'm glad I've heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rainbows End

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Vernor Vinge
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (812)
    Performance
    (297)
    Story
    (304)

    Set a few decades from now, Rainbows End is an epic adventure that encapsulates in a single extended family the challenges of the technological advances of the first quarter of the 21st century. The information revolution of the past 30 years blossoms into a web of conspiracies that could destroy Western civilization. At the center of the action is Robert Gu, a former Alzheimer's victim who has regained his mental and physical health through radical new therapies, and his family.

    Steve says: "Great Discovery"
    "Erratic, but enjoyable if you are open to it"
    Overall

    The setting and circumstances are intriguing. Vinge describes a believable, compelling, and fascinating world where a ubiquitous evolution of the Internet has reshaped human existence in the not-too-distant future. Particularly because of its role in education, this new technological medium has catapulted a generation of youth far beyond the capabilities and values of their parents.

    As in other Vinge works, a broad, eclectic array of plot pieces are set into motion in order to arrive at a final climax. One moment you're reading about a miserable old poet who's been given a second chance on life, but must choose between his old talents and the brave new world. Then suddenly it's about children coming of age in a technological utopia. At one point it seemed to veer into a lecture on the merits of libertarian capitalism. For far too long it dwells on an unimportant sub-plot about teaching old dogs new technological tricks. And there's this grad student, desperate to find an original thesis. And then it's about a team of nostalgic rebels who fight against the violently rapid progress around them. Oh, and I almost forgot, there's a worldwide team of secret-agent anti-terrorist saviors who have been infiltrated and manipulated by a villain with a plan for world domination (except they drop that plot for such a long time that you forget if it was this book or another that you remember it from). And a husband-wife team of super military analysts. And a super-powerful AI screwing with all of them, just for fun. Oh, oh, and then there's a huge Pokemon battle! And some Bollywood executives, and some sort of worldwide technological catastrophe. No, I'm *not* making this up!

    While it was never completely ridiculous, it was nevertheless frustrating to be constantly wondering, even well into the final 1/3 of the book, what the heck the main story was supposed to be, and how it all fit together. It does come together loosely, but then rushes into resolution and epilogue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Stephen Fry
    Overall
    (6090)
    Performance
    (3659)
    Story
    (3694)

    Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last 15 years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

    John says: "HHTGH - Lightly Fried"
    "Monty Python in Space"
    Overall

    The title says it all. It is a long, sci-fi, Monty Python sketch. Fry even reads as if he were John Cleese returning a dead parrot. If the idea of that appeals to you, you will undoubtedly love this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Quicksilver: Book One of The Baroque Cycle

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble, Kevin Pariseau, Neal Stephenson
    Overall
    (1758)
    Performance
    (1012)
    Story
    (1039)

    In which Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and courageous Puritan, pursues knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe -- in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.

    David says: "Be aware of what you're getting into"
    "First Audiobook I Ever Gave Up On"
    Overall

    I've liked a lot of his work before, both in text and audio formats. But this was painfully boring. I really tried to get into it, but gave up before finishing. There are a lot of intelligent ideas scattered throughout the work, but it feels as if you have to pry those few ideas free from a wall of repetitive tedium, using a rusty crowbar. I literally could not bring myself to press play anymore.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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