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Kamran

Minneapolis, MN, USA | Member Since 2007

65
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 44 ratings
  • 83 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Diamond Age

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3136)
    Performance
    (1189)
    Story
    (1204)

    Neal Stephenson, "the hottest science fiction writer in America", takes science fiction to dazzling new levels. The Diamond Age is a stunning tale; set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens what a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.

    Tango says: "The rock could use a bit more polishing"
    "Wow, another excellent book from Stephenson"
    Overall

    Like a lot of good authors, Stephenson has books that aren't as well known but may end up being better or as good as his best-known works. This is one of those.

    It is a different breed than Snow Crash, but I want to talk about this book in its own right. Diamond Age is almost a children's story, with the main character being a child who grows into an adult by the end of the book.

    Here's something you have to keep in mind: Neal's books take about an hour to 2 hours to understand the world they are taking place in. He usually talks a lot and goes into a lot of detail early on, using phrases and names of things that you have no idea. However, by about 2 hours in, you understand where everything is taking place and the world makes sense.

    Since this is naturally important for any book, I didn't take off a star because of it. I really enjoy his introductions to the world that he creates, because I find myself wondering and asking questions about it.

    Here's another thing to keep in mind, this book isn't for everyone... people who like technology and computing might find it more enjoyable than someone who doesn't, but I think that it can appeal to many people since it is grounded in a story about a girl growing up.

    With all that said, Diamond Age is a really, really good book. You get really drawn into the characters and a lot of that has to do with the narrator and how she reads the fairy tales from the Primer, as well as the different voices she uses for other characters. Unlike some other books in Neal's stash, Diamond Age doesn't go off on long tangents about ancient Gods or religions. Some of it is there, but it has a lot more to do with destiny and abuse of technology, or "Unforeseen Consequences."

    If you really liked Snow Crash, just be prepared for something a little more light-hearted and less "kick-ass action" oriented, but still highly enjoyable. 4/5 stars.

    54 of 58 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow Divers: Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of WWII

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Kurson
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2057)
    Performance
    (538)
    Story
    (539)

    In 1991, acting on a tip from a local fisherman, two scuba divers discovered a sunken German U-boat, complete with its crew of 60 men, not too far off the New Jersey coast. The divers, realizing the momentousness of their discovery, began probing the mystery. Over the next six years, they became expert and well-traveled researchers, taught themselves German, hunted for clues in Germany, and constructed theories corrective of the history books, all in an effort to identify this sunken U-boat and its crew.

    Douglas says: "GRIPPING!"
    "Wow"
    Overall

    This is a fantastic book. For a non-fiction account of a seemingly boring subject, it is adventurous and thrilling to read. You get so caught up in the drama of the hunt that it's hard to stop listening. The narrator sets a great mood for the book, I loved every minute of it.

    I would highly recommend this book if you enjoy history, drama, and adventure. I had never heard of wreck diving before but after listening to this I have newfound respect for divers. It's amazing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Fisher Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2705)
    Performance
    (1269)
    Story
    (1278)

    Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more (except maybe "Maggie," Mary of Magdalan) and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.

    Hope says: "A Worthy Book, indeed"
    "Hilarious"
    Overall

    This book is hilarious. It may require some background in the Bible stories, but it's still very enjoyable. I loved the narrator on this, he fits Biff's character perfectly and I could easily imagine him as Biff.

    This was an enjoyable book and highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Junot Diaz
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2172)
    Performance
    (905)
    Story
    (913)

    Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

    Kathleen says: "Fabulous listen"
    "Fantastic"
    Overall

    I love this book. The narrator is amazing and really brings it to life. I don't know any Spanish so some of the phrases were lost to me, but the author does a good job of getting the idea through to you.

    The characters in the story are great and well written. The story is hilarious and sad at the same time. Excellent book, highly recommended.

    Highly recommended.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5031)
    Performance
    (1266)
    Story
    (1265)

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "Excellent read"
    Overall

    This was a very enjoyable audiobook, I loved every minute of it. The author made you feel close to the characters, caring about their lives and sympathizing with their plight. The emotions that are conveyed feel as if you are experiencing them.

    A must buy.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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