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Cliff

I write reviews to help readers, not to win votes. My reviews are my honest opinion whether popular or not. I hope they help you. ;)

madison, MS, United States

428
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 162 reviews
  • 195 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 37 purchased in 2014
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17

  • Dating a Stripper is A Recipe for Perspective: An Essay from Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Patton Oswalt
    • Narrated By Patton Oswalt
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    An essay from Things I've Learned From the Women Who've Dumped Me.

    Cliff says: "Freaking hilarious!"
    "Freaking hilarious!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Dating a Stripper is A Recipe for Perspective rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It isn't really an audiobook, more like a comedy bit.


    What other book might you compare Dating a Stripper is A Recipe for Perspective to and why?

    None.


    Have you listened to any of Patton Oswalt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is an essay, but it pretty much is a stand-up bit. If you like Oswalt this is really funny.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed... A lot...


    Any additional comments?

    This is funny and if you are a hard core fan get it. The problem is that it is incredibly short (8 minutes). So, don't waste a credit. It is less than $2 to buy. If you don't like Patton Oswalt pass on this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Eye of the World: Book One of The Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (8209)
    Performance
    (4319)
    Story
    (4358)

    When their village is attacked by trollocs, monsters thought to be only legends, three young men, Rand, Matt, and Perrin, flee in the company of the Lady Moiraine, a sinister visitor of unsuspected powers. Thus begins an epic adventure set in a world of wonders and horror, where what was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

    Greg says: "This Series Rocks"
    "An epic fantasy classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you haven't read this one you should. That being said, Robert Jordan's work is highly polarizing. You either love his books or hate them. The books are all very long. His works read similar to historical fiction in that he can get deep, some say bogged down, in minute details of his world. That being said this is one of the most popular epic fantasy books of all time.

    The story isn't anything new, in fact it is the same old boy on the run from the bad guy finds himself and his power that every other book uses. He also borrows a lot from Dune, the Annals of the Black Company, Thomas Covenant and more. The difference is in the details. The world is so intricate and well designed you feel like you could go there. The heroes are likeable and the villians are really easy to hate. in short, you get sucked in and really start to care about the characters.

    This series is really long, 14 books long and each is the size of a dictionary .In fact the author died before the series was completed and Brandon Sanderson wrote the last 3 books using Robert Jordans notes. I started reading this series when I first started college and it just finished last year (I'm 43 now). The good news is that the series was originally written as a trilogy which expanded due to popularity. You could theoretically stop at 3 and have pretty good closure. Then again if you made it to the third book you are probably hooked. If you didn't like it you probably didn't make it that far anyway. If you do decide to continue with series be aware that the books hit a patch around the middle (3 books) that weren't that great. You have to get through these to continue on with the series.

    The narraration is done by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer. They do an awesome job considering the unbelievable number of characters in this series (read so many I would have to go read up to remember who some folks were when the next book came out). The series sticks with the same narrators throughout so the continuity helps alot. All in all, you should try this one if nothing else so you can say you read it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mentats of Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    In Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Mentats of Dune, the thinking machines have been defeated but the struggle for humanity’s future continues. Gilbertus Albans has founded the Mentat School, a place where humans can learn the efficient techniques of thinking machines. But Gilbertus walks an uneasy line between his own convictions and compromises in order to survive the Butlerian fanatics, led by the madman Manford Torondo and his Swordmaster Anari Idaho.

    Cliff says: "Ok story, but very flawed."
    "Ok story, but very flawed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall, this is a decent book but is in no way is up to the level of Frank Herbert. The novel is entertaining and it was worth reading to see how the story plays out. Especially since the previous novel was left on a complete cliff hanger and nothing was resolved. It's worth a listen if you are a hardcore dune fan, but be prepared for a long slog (23 hours). If you aren't a major Dune fan or seriously invested after the previous novel pass on this one.

    Not to nerd out, but I did have some problems with factual inconsistancies in the story, for example, Dortea finds out information about herself from genetic memory despite the fact that it occurred after a point at which it would have been in her genetic memory from mom or grandma.

    Plus, the level of cunning and intelligence just isn't there for the characters. The story is chock full of points where you go , man that is just stupid. I could give quite a few examples but I don't want to spoil anything. Still I am invested enough from the previous book to carry on. This is defintiely a step backward from the quality of books in the machine crusade series.

    The pacing is slow.. Glacier slow.. I've had to put this one down and come back several times. The novel is also very repetative, repeating the same facts about the characters over and over again almost like the authors were padding the book to make it longer. It is decently written but I don't know if I will be willing to continue on with the series after this one. Still if you liked the first novel you will get closure on most major issues.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The New Watch: Watch, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Sergei Lukyanenko, Andrew Bromfield (translator)
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Walking the streets of our cities are the Others. These men and women have access to the Twilight, a shadowy parallel world of magical power that exists alongside our own. Each has sworn allegiance to one side, fighting for the Light, or the Darkness. But now, beyond the continuing struggle comes a peril that threatens their very world....

    Cliff says: "A must for fans of the Night Watch series"
    "A must for fans of the Night Watch series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the 5th book in the night watch series. If you are a fan you definitely want to spend a credit on this one. While not as epic in scope as the previous books, it is a solid read that is thoroughly enjoyable.

    You can really tell the difference that this is a Russian author as opposed to the British and American authors I normally read. The book and series is quite dark in places, often with a strong streak of nihilism included. The endings in this series are usually not "happy" but are satisfying.

    The world and characters are well developed to the point you almost feel like if you were in Russia you might run into them. The stories in this series are compared to chess matches between the higher powers with the protagonist trying to find his way through and survive. He never really knows what is going on for certain until the endgame. I really like that level of mystery.

    The narrarator does a great job, but moves between Russian accents in conversation and a standard almost monotone English even though all the characters are Russian. This takes a bit of getting used to and leads to adding and dropping of accents at times. It doesn't impact the performance but it was noticable to me.

    This novel could be read stand-alone but the reader will enjoy it much more and get a fuller experience by listening to the books in order. This one is definitely worth spending a credit on and I hope the author keeps the series going.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sixty-One Nails: The Courts of the Feyre, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Mike Shevdon
    • Narrated By Nigel Carrington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    There is a secret war growing beneath the streets of London. The immense Sixty-One Nails follows Niall Petersen, from a suspected heart attack on the London Underground, into the hidden world of the Feyre, an uncanny place of legend that lurks just beyond the surface of everyday life. The ancient peoples are at war - but is Niall really the one who can wield the dark magic of the Untainted, and save them all?

    Tango says: "Urban Fantasy with a Gothic Flavor"
    "Good book for Neil Gaiman fans."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has a lot in common with the Neverwhere novel from Neil Gaiman. If you liked Neverwhere you will like this novel as well. The world is dark and rich. I am not a fan of books about faeries but in this case the author makes it fun and interesting.

    It is a novel that is operating on two levels at once. On one hand you have the protagonist trying to deal with all this life changing supernatural drama while dealing with mundane problems such as a shrill ex-wife and a teenage daughter. This is much the same way the supernatural world works alongside and under the real world of London.

    There is also a nice romance that occurs throughout the novel. It is well done and adds to the story rather than taking away from it. The narrarator has a pleasing voice and a decent range, but he over emotes a good bit and thus 3 stars instead of four for the narraration. It really doesn't harm the experience and it is more of a personal pet peve more than anything.

    One thing to note is that this is the first of several books in this series. The problem is that currently the number 3 book is due for release in audio format soon but the second novel is nowhere in sight. This is a good series, but if you want to listen to this one rather than read I would wait until the second novel is on audio as the books build on each other and should be read in order.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • With Silent Screams: Hellequin Chronicles, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Steve McHugh
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (111)

    His name is Nathan Garrett, but he’s also known as Hellequin. And murdering one of his friends and trying to blow him up is a good way to get this centuries-old sorcerer’s full attention… An old friend’s dead body, a cryptic note, and an explosion that almost costs him his own life propel Nate headfirst into a mystery involving a new threat from an old foe. Now he must piece together the connections between a grisly series of tattooed murder victims, an imprisoned madman, a mysterious alchemist, and a deranged plot to usurp the throne of the hidden realm of Shadow Falls, rival to the power of Avalon

    Cliff says: "Action, Adventure, wizards and even trolls!"
    "Action, Adventure, wizards and even trolls!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the third book in the Hellequin series by Steve McHugh. This is a tightly written, action filled novel. The story hits the ground running and doesn't let up until the end. With Silent Screams is a stand-alone novel but will mean more if you have read the previous books first.

    As with the other novels, this book moves between the current time and an event in the past related to the current issue. Think highlander but with wizards. It is easy to like the main character and there is enough mystery about him to keep you engrossed throughout the story. He's definitely a guy you'd like to buy a beer and listen to his stories. The magic system, while a bit vague, is fun, structured and makes sense in it's own way.

    James langston performs this story and does an admirable job. Admittedly, he took a bit of getting used to, but by the third book it is like revisiting an old friend. I was eagerly awaiting this novel and Mr. McHugh definitely did not dissappoint. If you are fans of urban fantasy series like Dresden Files, Iron Druid, Alex Versus or Peter Grant you will enjoy this one as well.

    Please note that for the most part this one is friendly to younger readers but he does throw in a sex scene or two that may be deemed too explicit for younger listeners.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Chosen: Alex Verus, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Benedict Jacka
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (76)

    I don't publicly advertise that I'm a mage, but I don't exactly hide it either, and one of the odd things I've learnt over the years is just how much you can get away with if you're blatant enough. Hide something behind smoke and mirrors and make people work to find it, and they'll tear the place down looking for what's there. Alex Verus is a diviner who can see probable futures-a talent that's gotten him out of many a tough scrape. But this time, he may be in over his head. Alex was once apprenticed to a Dark mage, and in his service he did a lot of things he isn't proud of.

    Cliff says: "best on in the series so far"
    "best on in the series so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great series. I like this one because it is more gritty and real than others of the same genre. There isn't a lot of snarky humor, pop references or wacky side-kicks. When Alex Verus says leave me alone or else, he means or I'll see you die horribly. He's still a decent guy but has no problems doing what needs to be done to ensure his survival.

    This book gives a lot of the backstory on Alex Verus. it is a fun story and action packed to boot. I haven't been sleeping much lately as several of my favvorite authors put books out at the same time. I definitely enjoyed staying up late to finish this one. Plenty of time to sleep when I am dead. I can't wait for the next one as he leaves it on an awsome cliff-hanger.

    This one is definitely worth listening to and the narrarator is great. you can't go wrong with this one. If you like Dresden get this one, Verus is the dark tough guy Harry D. thinks he is.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Homes: A Rivers of London Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (168)

    My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame - whatever that is. Truth be told, there's a lot I still don't know. My superior Nightingale, previously the last of England's wizardly governmental force, is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician's apprentice. But even he doesn't have all the answers. Mostly I'm just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends and a well-placed fire blast.

    Cliff says: "Finally, it's out!"
    "Finally, it's out!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had been really looking forward to this one for a long time. Just the facft that I read this one so soon after it came out should tell you something. This book goes a long way towards moving the over-arching story of the series forward. It is good, but is different than the oteher books. The story is less focused, more of a day in the life with a lot of what appear to unrelated instances tying together at the end. I didn't care for the style as much as the prior books. The thing is there is a twist at the end that makes this one totally worth it. The narrarator is top notch. If you like the others in this series you will like this one though it may take a little bit of getting used to.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Pyramid: The Kane Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Kevin R. Free, Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3219)
    Performance
    (2089)
    Story
    (2089)

    Since his mother’s death six years ago, Carter Kane has been living out of a suitcase, traveling the globe with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane. But while Carter’s been homeschooled, his younger sister, Sadie, has been living with their grandparents in London. Sadie has just what Carter wants — school friends and a chance at a “normal” life.

    Heather says: "Rick Riordan does it again..."
    "A solid novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a well written and solid novel. It is great reading for young adults and I enjoyed listening to this audiobook with my 12 year old daughter. The plot was good and the use of Egyptian mysticism was a refreshing change. I think this is a better read for kids than adults but I still liked it myself. It isn't a complex book and the characters are a bit on the 2D side but I am sure that will improve as the series progresses. I really enjoyed the narraration of this novel as well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5405)
    Performance
    (4740)
    Story
    (4775)

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Meaghan says: "My First Completed Stephen King Novel"
    "Steven King's Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not a huge Steven King fan, but this is by far his best work in my opinion. The story is gripping and keeps you wanting more throughout. Those who are not King readers should note that he is big on detail and his stories move pretty slow. It is just that the world is so interesting and you learn to care about the characters that you are willing to overlook the spots where his writing becomes ponderous. This is a great story and the narrarator does a bang-up job for a book with so many characters. Defniteily worth the credit.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sisterhood of Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (321)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (297)

    It is 83 years after the last of the thinking machines were destroyed in the Battle of Corrin, after Faykan Butler took the name of Corrino and established himself as the first Emperor of a new Imperium. Great changes are brewing that will shape and twist all of humankind.

    Clydene says: "This is the First Need to Listen for 2012"
    "Don't compare to dad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you compare this to Frank Herberts work you will of course be dissappointed. Frank Herbert was one of those once a generation authors and basically the Tolkien of sci-fi. Brian Herbert is not his father. He writes good solid fiction but Brian's writing obviously does not have the character development or depth of his father's work. Does this make the book bad? No, it doesn't. Taken On it's own it is a decently written interesting book.It won't wow you, but it is a solid read and it is cool to get more back story on the Dune universe. if you love Dune and want to learn more aout the universe you will like this. If you are expecting Frank Herbert level writing you will be dissappointed. Still, all in all it's a good read and worth a credit in my opinion.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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