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Sal

BROOKLYN, NY, USA | Member Since 2004

24
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 197 ratings
  • 222 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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  • Speaker for the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7977)
    Performance
    (4460)
    Story
    (4512)

    In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. But again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

    Joe says: "The Enderverse"
    "Poor follow-up to Ender's Game"
    Overall

    For those who read this BECAUSE they enjoyed "Ender's Game": Beware, "Speaker for the Dead" is nothing like it. I loved Ender's Game. It was a suspenseful, delightful, innovative journey with the hero as he brilliantly solved the challenges he faced. Author Card kept the surprises coming as he let you in on the inner workings of the mind of a genius child.
    There is none of that in Speaker for the Dead, which is melodramatic without being suspenseful or insightful. Instead, minutia is presented where plot and storyline is what is needed. I never would have made it to the end of the story if I had not read Ender's Game first. On the basis of Ender's Game, I kept reading (listening) hoping that Card would at some point deliver the goods. It never happens.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Bees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    Overall
    (2595)
    Performance
    (337)
    Story
    (341)

    Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating memory - the day her mother was killed. When she and her "stand-in-mother," a fierce-hearted black woman named Rosaleen, are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily enters a secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women.

    France says: "Secret Life of Bees"
    "14-year old's journey to self-reliance/self-love"
    Overall

    Told from the eyes and mind of a 14-yo girl, this is a story about the importance of self-reliance, self-love and the dangers of unearned guilt. It is very uplifting and I recommend it to the parents of pre-adolescent girls, although not exclusively to be sure. This story could make you a better, happier parent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Innocent

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (717)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (239)

    Some mistakes can change your life forever. For Matt Hunter, that mistake came in one terrible moment when his attempt to help a friend and stop a fight resulted in an accidental death. Matt was convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison. Time that his peers spent in college, Matt endured behind bars.

    Amber says: "Exciting!"
    "Intricate fun"
    Overall

    The first half is slow, meticulous development leading to a non-stop second-half roller coaster ride. Definitely worth the buildup. After I finished it, I relistened to it immediately to better appreciate the skill of the author and the detail of the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5376)
    Performance
    (2713)
    Story
    (2768)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "BORING self-indulgent drivel"
    Overall

    Whatever fun and interesting sci-fi creations are present are rendered utterly worthless by the underlying religious mumbo-jumbo PLOT devices. I loved the first hour, but the PLOT--that is the middle four-fifths of the story and the driving power of the story-- was BORING self-indulgent drivel created out of whole cloth in a free-association style that killed my enjoyment for some of the clever sci-fi devices.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tom Robbins
    • Narrated By Barry Bostwick
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (86)

    S Fred says: "wacky and philosophical"
    "Bizarre fun that goes nowhere"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this crazy story while it lasted but felt unsatisfied when it was all over. Just stange in the end, although I did enjoy the ride most of the time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Acqua Alta

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Leon
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Commissario Guido Brunetti of the Venice Questura is shocked to hear that Brett Lynch, a friend since a murder case at La Fenice, has suffered a savage beating.

    Paul says: "A Detective Series in a Strange Old World"
    "Chatty exposition with no active plot development"
    Overall

    This story is all chatty exposition via dialogue interspersed with occasional kidnappings, beatings and hospitalizations. Characters say: "I did this, and then he said that and then I went there and came back here. . . ." and on and on and on.
    All exposition with very few real "situations" or plot turns. Occasionally, the descriptions of Venice life are entertaining.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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