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John S. Atherton


Portland, OR USA | Member Since 2001

  • 31 reviews
  • 712 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014

  • The Demon in the Freezer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Richard Preston
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "This book will give you nightmares," cautions The New York Times. Richard Preston takes us inside the ongoing war against bioterrorism, investigating the anthrax attacks of October 2001 and the potential for a future bio-attack using smallpox or, worse yet, a new superpox virus resistant to all vaccines. "As exciting as the best thrillers, yet scarier by far, for Preston's pages deal with clear, present and very real dangers," says Publishers Weekly.

    John S. Atherton says: "Pretty interesting listening in a horrific way"
    "Pretty interesting listening in a horrific way"

    If skin sliding off your body in sheets and merging pustules don't bother you, dive in. This is not for the faint of heart or stomach. It does give a clear picture of the effects of anthrax and smallpox, and the results if they were released as a bioweapon.
    If nothing else, do what you're mother told you, wash your hands!
    Also have a listen to In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made (Unabridged). One of the interesting points made was that anthrax was present at the time and oftened mistaken for plague. Not that it made a lot of difference to the victim.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • The Prepper Road Compendium

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Ron Foster
    • Narrated By Duane Sharp

    Join the postapocalyptic adventure as David and the survivors of a solar storm taking out the grid try to find the means to survive another day. Earth and space are about to come into contact in a way that's new to human history.... Are you prepared for the loss of all modern electronic technology? The sun is waking up from a deep slumber. NASA says in next few years we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity and to prepare ourselves for a century-class solar storm event.

    John S. Atherton says: "Horrible Writing"
    "Horrible Writing"
    Would you try another book from Ron Foster and/or Duane Sharp?

    This is almost unlistenable. The narrator does the best he can, but the writing is bad and the situations are laughable. I couldn't get past the first hour.
    I need my money back on this one.

    What could Ron Foster have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Read a different book.

    Did Duane Sharp do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The characters were different grades of cardboard.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment followed by desperation to get the earbuds out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Trip

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Sean Donovan
    • Narrated By Sean Donovan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Duncan brothers just wanted to get away - so they decided to take a stress free trip to the South Pacific Islands. Their six month trip turned into both a blessing and a curse. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, the world turned completely upside down. The events of "The Day" transpired out of their comprehension and control and changed the course of history and the world as they've always known it. Their trip to the remote island of Rahiti seemingly saved their lives, but also alienated them from the life they once knew.

    Kevin Snyder says: "Sum up 'The Trip' in 3 Words: What an adventure!"
    "Bill and Ted's Eco Adventure"
    Would you try another book from Sean Donovan and/or Sean Donovan?

    No, poor writing, bad dialogue, cliches, and naive thought process pretty much kills it. I will probably ask for a refund on this mess.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    On Combat by Dave Grossman

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Sounds like Keanu Reeves channeling Bill and Ted after a long weekend with a hookah. Authors should not read their own books. At one point it sounds like he dropped the book, had to find his place and repeated the last sentence.

    What character would you cut from The Trip?

    All of them. Very one dimensional characters. The main character is the worst. Self absorbed with illusions of altruism.

    Any additional comments?

    Overall it reminded me of an adolescent fantasy about green, eco, island living fueled by to much tofu, yoga and pot. Throw in a bit of end of the world nonsense, pseudo Eastern philosophy and stir in a good shot of stale bong water, surfer lingo and endless reggae references and you have a book barely fit for composting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dinosaur Lake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kathryn Meyer Griffith
    • Narrated By Johnnie C. Hayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ex-cop Henry Shore has been Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake National Park for eight years and he likes his park and his life the way it's been. Safe. Tranquil. Predictable. But he's about to be tested in so many ways. First the earthquakes begin, people begin to go missing, then there's some mysterious water creature that's taken up residence in the caves below Crater Lake and it's not only growing in size, it's aggressive and cunning and very hungry.

    Kim Venatries says: "Good Escape Listening."
    "Wow, just wow"
    What would have made Dinosaur Lake better?

    Writing male characters as males. They run around wrestling with their emotions while making emotional decisions that create ridiculous situations. Basically they appear to be women masquerading as men. The female character makes stupid decisions and puts herself in situations that no sane person would.

    Has Dinosaur Lake turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I like the genre, this just isn't a good example. The science is incorrect or ludicrous.

    What didn’t you like about Johnnie C. Hayes’s performance?

    The narrator's style and voice didn't fit subject well, but it may be more the content than the narrator.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not many redeeming qualities. The premise sounded good, but the direction the book went in and the lack of any basic research or credible situations and writing pretty much killed it.

    Any additional comments?

    Try Relic instead. I'm asking for my money back on this one.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel Oreskes, Ron McLarty, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author's preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

    Michael says: "New to Neil"
    "Well Done Production"
    What did you love best about American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)?

    Once I got used to the different voices I enjoyed this multi-faceted production. It was nice to hear Neil's voice as well.
    I have listened to the original and enjoyed the complex story. This production allows for more characterization imaging as you're listening and to pick up on the story line easier as characters come and go.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Wednesday is such an unrepentant rogue in this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nine Dragons: Harry Bosch, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou

    The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.

    Derek says: "Not Connelly's Best"
    "Not the best, or worst, well worth a listen"

    Interesting plot jumps from local Chinatown crime in LA to Hong Kong and back again. I enjoyed it an pretty much finished it in a few days.
    I like the job that Len Cariou does in spite of negative comments. Please don't let Scott Brick ever near Harry Boch!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Good Book: Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Plotz
    • Narrated By David Plotz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Good Book is what happens when a regular guy actually reads the book on which his religion, his culture, and his world are based. Along the way, he grapples with the most profound theological questions: Does God prefer obedience or good deeds? And the most unexpected ones: Why are so many women in the Bible prostitutes? Why does God love bald men so much? Is Samson really that stupid? Good Book is an irreverent, enthralling journey through the world's most important work of literature.

    Michael Trick says: "Lots of fun!"
    "Not all that interesting"

    A rather smug, self centered and facile attempt to summarize part of the Old Testament from a humanistic viewpoint. The attempts a comedy don't come off well and are often pointless. Pretty much a waste of time.

    7 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • The Historian

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Joanne Whalley, Martin Jarvis, Dennis Boutsikaris, and others

    Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    John S. Atherton says: "I give the book a five but I won't buy it..."
    "I give the book a five but I won't buy it..."

    until it is released unabridged. Come on, leave the abridged books to the Reader's Digest. Give us the whole thing or don't bother.
    This is a well written and very detailed book. The author intended it to be read entirely, don't rip us off by eliminating parts. I'll stick with the paper copy until it is released unabridged.
    OK, I'm off the soapbox now.

    243 of 248 people found this review helpful
  • Skull Session

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Daniel Hecht
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Despite his brilliance, Paul Skoglund hasn't held a steady job for years, partly because of his Tourette's syndrome, a neurological disorder that forces his body into wild swings and to blurt out words that are hilariously, often tragically, inappropriate.

    David says: "Great enough for ME to review!"
    "You're going to like this one.."

    if you like a weird mix of science, science fiction, mystery and good story telling. Hopefully this reading does justice to the creative mind that wrote it. Check out other books by this author too.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Egyptologist

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Arthur Phillips
    • Narrated By Gianfranco Negroponte, Simon Prebble, Gerard Doyle, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Howard Carter has just made one of the great discoveries of all time, the unveiling of Tutankhamun's tomb. At the same time, Egyptologist Ralph Trilipush finds himself in a slightly less spectacular position. He has staked everything on a scrap of hieroglyphic pornography. Halfway around the world, an Australian detective sets off on a globetrotting quest to find a murderer. Or two. Or three. These events, seemingly unrelated, are about to collide in a spectacular yet utterly unpredictable fashion.

    Lea says: "I gave it another chance and WOW."
    "This is a very well read and entertaining book"

    Interesting study into obsession and the time period. This book is very well read and entertaining to listen to. It is long, but that is a good thing, you can immerse yourself in it.
    There is a diverse cast of characters, each with their own problems and issues.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The City of Ember

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jeanne DuPrau
    • Narrated By Wendy Dillon

    The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever! This stunning debut novel offers refreshingly clear writing and fascinating, original characters.

    Jolie Brewer says: "Good story; annoying narrator and background sound"
    "Innocuous and fine for children"

    Not much new here. It's an OK read and would be fine for children though it is a bit preachy in it's behind the scenes agenda. Nothing happens that you can't see coming. Most of the characters are a bit overwrought. It's no Wrinkle in Time.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful

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