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Phillip

Laramie, WY, United States | Member Since 2012

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • The Visible Man: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Chuck Klosterman
    • Narrated By Annabella Sciorra, Scott Shepherd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (108)

    Therapist Victoria Vick is contacted by a cryptic, unlikable man who insists his situation is unique and unfathomable. Vick becomes convinced that he suffers from a complex set of delusions: Y__, as she refers to him, claims to be a scientist who has stolen cloaking technology from an aborted government project in order to render himself nearly invisible. Unsure of his motives or honesty, Vick becomes obsessed with her patient....

    Amanda says: "Hillarious & Disturbing In (almost) Equal Measure"
    "Reasonably Good For Klosterman Fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Visible Man? What did you like least?

    The best thing about The Visible Man is Annabella Sciorra's narration of Victoria. Sciorra really holds this audiobook together. The character of Victoria is also better written than the character of Y__, so that helped as well. The four-star rating for "Performance" on this audiobook is for Sciorra's reading and not for Scott Shepherd, who I felt really played Y__ as way too angry; also, I do understand that Y__ is an angry character, but I think Shepherd could have used some restraint. My least favorite thing about The Visible Man is Klosterman's inability to remove himself from the story. I am a Klosterman fan, and I do enjoy his writing style quite a bit, so it is always nice to hear his dialogue, even when it is a flawed story, and The Visible Man is definitely flawed. There are several problems with this book, including character development, story structure, meandering monologues, etc. I think the problem Klosterman is going to have as he continues to write fiction, is removing his all too obvious voice and perspectives from the characters he creates; he manages this much better in his first novel, Downtown Owl, which is one of my favorite pieces of writing by him. In The Visible Man, Klosterman's unique attitude toward pop culture, existentialism, and world views is shoved into the mouths of these characters without a lot of finesse. If the listener is already familiar with other Klosterman works, than they will find these Klosterisms easily locatable in the story.


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

    I would have developed the character Y__ differently to demonstrate more sensitivity and empathy. Klosterman piles a lot of issues onto Y__'s character; Y__ is a genius, engineer, sociopath, drug addict, voyeur, burglar, etc., etc., etc. It is too much for one character in this particular story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Victoria is delivering Y__'s joke about the clown.


    Any additional comments?

    To be honest, this book just felt rushed, and seemed like it needed for time for development. There is a great story in The Visible Man, but it just takes too many strange, unfulfilling twists and turns. The first quarter of the story is much more measured, thoughtful, and seemingly worked out than the rest of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5928)
    Performance
    (5633)
    Story
    (5643)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Michael Crichton Meets a NASA DIY Manual"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely a book to recommend. The story is constantly moving forward, without a dull moment. There are plenty of intriguing problem-solving dilemmas that lead to great bits of action. The author does a great job of weaving in humor at just the right moments. Finally, the narrator is perfect for the material.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Martian?

    Anytime the stranded astronaut says something along the lines of "I think I'm going f-ing die!," or, "I think I accidentally just killed myself!" Typically, these funny lines pop up after the astronaut believes he has just solved a major problem, only to realize that he may have caused his own demise. It plays into the constant and unexpected threats that drive the story forward.


    What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Bray seems to really understand the playfulness of Astronaut Watley's dialogue, and delivers it well. Also, considering how much complex, technical jargon is in the book, Bray manages it with ease, which allows the listener to follow it without much of a problem.


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

    What do potatoes, disco, and solitude have in common? Mars.


    Any additional comments?

    This book moves quickly and I think it is great for summer listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17237)
    Performance
    (15310)
    Story
    (15263)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "A Fascinating Look at Another Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does 11-22-63 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the better audiobooks I have listened to. I think King might be best in audiobook form due to his writing style, which is usually slower paced and methodical.


    What other book might you compare 11-22-63 to and why?

    This slightly reminded me of Philip K. Dick's "The Man in the High Castle," although, I enjoyed this much more than that particular PKD book. I suppose it is due to both authors reexamining past events and time.


    Which character – as performed by Craig Wasson – was your favorite?

    His best character is Al Templeton; he conveys the sickly nature and age of that character very well.


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

    Jake's first couple of trips back in time are particularly compelling because he slowly comes to understand the "restrictions" and "laws" of traveling back in time, and this sci-fi element is fascinating.


    Any additional comments?

    While I think Craig Wasson's performance is totally fine, I do not think that his voice matches up very well for the lead character of Jake. Wasson's voice sounds a bit older than that of the mid-30s character. I think this issue is compounded by the way King wrote the character of Jake as well. Once again, for a mid-30s guy who is time traveling, there are a lack of cultural references that someone who grew during the 1980s would make. The character is not written in a manner that even peripherally connects to Generation X, which is what Jake's age would most closely aligned with; instead, cultural references that Jake does make actually make him seem like he was born in the 1950s. By no means does this ruin the book, but it does seem as though King could not separate himself from the character in order to write from the perspective of someone who would be about three decades younger.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By David Miller
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (352)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (320)

    In 2003, software engineer David Miller left his job, family, and friends to hike 2,172 miles of the Appalachian Trail. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is Miller’s account of this thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. Listeners are treated to rich descriptions of the Appalachian Mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the rewards of taking a less conventional path through life. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about hiking gear and planning.

    Phillip says: "Most Informative Book on the AT"
    "Most Informative Book on the AT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    AWOL's experience allows the reader to feel like they are traveling step-by-step with him on his journey.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Christopher Lane’s performances?

    The narrator did not seem like the correct choice for this story. He had little-to-no inflection about any of the experiences on the Trail.


    Any additional comments?

    Any readers/listeners who liked Bill Bryson's "Walk in the Woods" might want to check out this book, but they should also be aware that this is a serious Trail journal. There are humorous moments in the book, but that's not the point of this book. Anyone who is serious about hiking the AT should probably check this book out, it is quite helpful.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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