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Douglas

Madison WI, WI, United States | Member Since 2007

24
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 77 ratings
  • 455 titles in library
  • 68 purchased in 2014
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  • The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (676)
    Performance
    (499)
    Story
    (492)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great way to read Homer's The Odyssey. Ian McKellen was wonderful. The story is one of the greatest in world history, in fact, it is the story that most other good stories borrow something from.

    The only issue with this recording (which is why the overall is missing a star) is there are some brief glitches and then starting around Audible chapter 9, the voice is really slowed down for about two or three chapters. It was annoying but I simply used my Audible App speed feature and sped through those parts.

    If you've always wanted to read the Classics, but felt intimidated, this is an excellent place to begin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stranger

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Albert Camus
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (999)
    Performance
    (582)
    Story
    (583)

    Albert Camus' The Stranger is one of the most widely read novels in the world, with millions of copies sold. It stands as perhaps the greatest existentialist tale ever conceived, and is certainly one of the most important and influential books ever produced. Now, for the first time, this revered masterpiece is available as an unabridged audio production.

    Rolando says: "Is amorality bad?"
    "The Golden Man with a Gun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The performance was adequate but the story was dismal.


    What was most disappointing about Albert Camus’s story?

    It is just a bunch of words strung together by a affect-less character. It does not depict amorality so much as it encourages it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I suppose bits of the trial approached interesting but since everything comes from the narration of a flat, disembodied character it made no difference.


    What character would you cut from The Stranger?

    I would replace it entirely with Philip K. Dick's The Golden Man which tells the story of an amoral character that, by mutation, is fecund and irresistible to women and thus the amoral animal ceaselessly reproduces itself threatening the existence of human life only that story doesn't come from only one perspective as this one does which is, no doubt, why this story is successful at creating monsters while Philip K. Dick's story was destroyed by Nicholas Cage in the obscure movie adaptation known as Next.


    Any additional comments?

    It is because the world makes banners out of, and marches behind books such as these that the world can never extricate itself from the mire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2596)
    Performance
    (2349)
    Story
    (2355)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "One of the best action/adventure novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pines to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version. Why would you ask this question as a default? Well, I'll answer the questions I wish you would have asked like a politician at a debate:

    Pines is hands down the best action/adventure story I have ever read. I was hooked from the very first. While the story shared some similarities some TV shows I had liked, most of them either died before they could go too far or just decided to go all in for a totally surreal ending. Pines is both enthralling and logically consistent with the world and characters Blake Crouch created.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ethan Burke, hands down. The greatest action hero of all time! To be fair to the other characters, Ethan dominates the pages of this book. I guess he is part Jason Bourne and part Ethan Hunt and part Number Six. He is the indestructible man who's mind hungers for the truth and his body is strong enough to seek it out. No other man nor any monster is his match. His intellect and brawn are integrated and support each other.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Well, this book was a real page turner and I don't want to give too much away. The reader should find this novel on his own and devour it. Each scene either builds upon or gives detail to support the entire structure of the novel.


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

    The major emotions I experienced while reading this book were wonder and curiosity. I moved through the book relatively quickly because I wanted to know, just like Ethan.


    Any additional comments?

    I see they are making this into a TV show. Well, we have had so many good TV shows lately I hope the TV show makes the grade and whatever changes are made to the source material I hope I can recognize the underlying world an characters that were written about in the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Eternal: Book Three of the Strain Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan
    • Narrated By Daniel Oreskes
    Overall
    (1269)
    Performance
    (1136)
    Story
    (1147)

    It’s been two years since the vampiric virus was unleashed in The Strain and the entire world now lies on the brink of annihilation. There has been a mass extermination of humans orchestrated by the Master - an ancient vampire possessed of unparalleled powers. The future of humankind lies in the hands of a ragtag band of freedom fighters - Dr. Eph Goodweather, Dr. Nora Martinez, Vasiliy Fet, and Mr. Quinlan, the half-breed offspring of the Master who is bent on revenge. It’s their job to overturn this devastating new world order.

    Melinda says: "When Good Ghouls Go Bad"
    "World creation at its finest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Night Eternal again? Why?

    Yes, as well as the first two books. I bought the books because of the TV series and even though the TV series made numerous changes they kept true to the characters and the world of the books so that I could enjoy both. All of the characters remained true to their character and the book world remained true to itself.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I would say Fet the rat catcher was my favorite character. In a sense, he is like Roddy Piper's character in They Live in that once he knows what his mission in life is, he throws himself fully into it.


    What does Daniel Oreskes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Daniel was a good reader I think much better than Ron Perlman did for the first book. At the same time, the characterization the authors did helped both the readers.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "Face the world with open eyes."


    Any additional comments?

    Finally a good scary nonredeemable vampire story. I'm so sick of romantic vampires.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eerie

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch, Jordan Crouch
    • Narrated By Karen Chilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    On a crisp autumn evening in 1980, seven-year-old Grant Moreton and his five-year-old sister Paige were nearly killed in a mysterious accident in the Cascade Mountains that left them orphans.It's been 30 years since that night. Grant is now a detective with the Seattle Police Department and long estranged from his sister. But his investigation into the bloody past of a high-class prostitute has led right to Paige's door, and what awaits inside is beyond his wildest imagining.

    Douglas says: "Probably would work better as a cable mini-series"
    "Probably would work better as a cable mini-series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would turn it into a cable mini-series. In the novel format, I had trouble staying interested. None of the characters really resonated nor did I have a sense of the world the story took place in but as an episodic television show there are plenty of places to leave the viewer with cliffhanger. In the right hands, this property would be better in the visual media.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have made this a smaller subplot in a bigger world. A building block of a larger story instead of a story within itself.


    What does Karen Chilton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She was a very good voice actress for this story. Her voices were distinct enough most of the time that I knew who was speaking.


    Was Eerie worth the listening time?

    It was okay. If you are a fan of some of Blake Crouch's other work, you're probably going to want to listen to this one no matter what the reviews are but I would say this is a lesser Crouch work.


    Any additional comments?

    The story was interesting enough, if this is your first Blake Crouch novel you might enjoy it more but after reading Pines and the Thicker Than Blood trilogy, there isn't enough world creation that I look for in my fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1189)
    Performance
    (1019)
    Story
    (1027)

    Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

    SoCalBonnie says: "It won me over completely"
    "Thought provoking and good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Unwind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've listened to a lot of audio books. It certainly isn't the top but the story was compelling and I was interested in the characters and the plot all the way through and I'll get the rest of the series at some point.


    What other book might you compare Unwind to and why?

    I read a book in high school called House of Stairs which has stayed with me all this time even though I only read it once. That book was complete in one novel and was a story of conforming to authority versus the ultimate rebellion. This story is similar.

    Also, Philip K. Dick's short story The Pre-Persons is what this story reminded me of the most. Although Dick was far less ambiguous.


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

    I did find it to be a real page turner and did read through it quickly. I don't think I would have wanted to do it all in one sitting as there is something to be said for the cliff hanger that real life brings to the enjoyment of a good book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thicker Than Blood: The Complete Andrew Z. Thomas Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Andrew Z. Thomas is a successful writer of suspense thrillers, living the dream at his lake house in the piedmont of North Carolina. One afternoon in late spring, he receives a bizarre letter that eventually threatens his career, his sanity, and the lives of everyone he loves. A murderer is designing his future, and for the life of him, Andrew can't get away.

    Carolyn L says: "Well written but... yuck!"
    "Hard, gritty, horrifying read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Thicker Than Blood the most enjoyable?

    It was well written but there really is no light here.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Andrew Z. Thomas even though he does some really stupid stuff but he's the only character you can really identify with. You just wish he had a little more ruthlessness. Even though he's not a New Age male he's certainly not enough of a man.


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

    I was moved negatively. It is a very dark book. Kind of hopeless, really. Whatever universe this is taking place in, I hope i never go there.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book because I really liked Pines and it is well written, only, I cannot really recommend it. It is dark, it is almost like a ritual to draw the reader into the world of the serial killer. The first two books, I guess you could get away with saying it is entertainment. But taken as a whole, the whole experience is pretty mean-spirited.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10652)
    Performance
    (9633)
    Story
    (9719)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "Rehabilitation for the Eugenicist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Progressive Era and the Eugenicist movements were so horrible it has taken 100 years for someone to write an apologia for it. That is pretty much what Dan Brown did in Inferno, the latest, and perhaps the weakest of the Robert Langdon series.

    The story is typical of Dan Brown. History grafted onto a clockwork plot with clockwork characters coming out and hammering the clockwork bell at times set by the Great Windup Spring of Plot.

    If you've read Dan Brown before, you've read this book before. Lots of historical exposition and a story with all the emotional impact of a Vulcan opera.

    All this and some agitprop for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    If you thought Brown's writing was weak in his previous outings and are only still reading trying to determine the appeal, this book could put you off the author forever. Enjoy!

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Gilgamesh: A New English Version

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen Mitchell
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (634)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (288)

    This brilliant new treatment of the world's oldest epic is a literary event on par with Seamus Heaney's wildly popular Beowulf translation. Esteemed translator and best-selling author Stephen Mitchell energizes a heroic tale so old it predates Homer's Iliad by more than a millennium.

    George says: "A defense of this "translation""
    "The Gligamesh story is most immersive."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved finally being able to read Gilgamesh. I appreciate that the author had taken existing translations and made a story out of them without having to be distracted by the fragmentary nature of what has been found so far.

    From the very start of the story, I was captivated. My imagination was immersed in a long passed civilization existing in a world unimaginably ancient. Gilgamesh was relevant to my life. More so than much of the books and stories, told as movies, produced today.

    There is so much depth here. So much intellectual wealth. If you have always wanted to approach Gilgamesh, this may be one of the best ways.

    The only downside is the commentary after the epic. For one thing, it is so much less compelling than the epic that I went back and listened to the epic once again before finishing the slog through the commentary. There were some edifying moments but it would have been much better if the author didn't feel the need to get across just how much he disapproved of George W. Bush and the Iraq war. I got it in one. I was also annoyed at how he assigned certain motivations and insights to the poet which he couldn't possibly be able to prove. At times it seemed as if the author was attempting to turn this treasure of the world into some trite piece of propaganda.

    But Gilgamesh prevails in the end and Stephen Mitchell should both be congratulated and rebuked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Iliad & The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Homer
    • Narrated By John Lescault
    Overall
    (646)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (296)

    Little is known about the Ancient Greek oral poet Homer, the supposed 8th century BC author of the world-read Iliad and his later masterpiece, The Odyssey. These classic epics provided the basis for Greek education and culture throughout the classical age and formed the backbone of humane education through the birth of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity.

    Sam says: "Worth the price, worth the time"
    "Incredible value, one of the greatest stories ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an incredible value for the two stories that invented literature. And still serve as the basis for most of our modern day adventure stories.

    I don't really know what else to say about this great work. It has been around for thousands of years and has had an impact on your life in some way whether you are aware of it or not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brave New World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aldous Huxley
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2927)
    Performance
    (2150)
    Story
    (2175)

    When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Jefferson says: "“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
    "The "Brave New World" is our world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very good novel and the reading was well done.

    I found Huxley's thesis very interesting and even a little confusing from the standpoint of, well, wouldn't I want to be beautiful and happily stupid?

    But no. Not really.

    One of the classics of speculative fiction and definitely less oppressive than 1984.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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