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flossdaily

I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.

Bayonne, NJ, United States

112
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 94 reviews
  • 120 ratings
  • 390 titles in library
  • 78 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
8
FOLLOWERS
6

  • The Practice Effect

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By David Brin
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    Physicist Dennis Nuel was the first human to probe the strange realms called anomaly worlds - alternate universes where the laws of science were unpredictably changed. But the world Dennis discovered seemed almost like our own - with one perplexing difference. To his astonishment, he was hailed as a wizard and found himself fighting beside a beautiful woman with strange powers against a mysterious warlord as he struggles to solve the riddle of this baffling world.

    James says: "My favorite Brin novel. Glad it's now in audio."
    "This book was doomed to fail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author started with an interesting premise, but one which could have no logical solution in the end. Brin wrapped up the book in a hurry and gave us the answers that we were looking for, but it was clear that even he thought they were so lame that they weren't worth exploring.

    I've read two Brin novels now, and both of them had the same problem: Brin has clever ideas, but mediocre follow-through.

    This book was kind of fun, but it also felt a bit unpolished and immature. It would have made for a fantastic episode of Star Trek or the Twilight Zone, where you can forgive some loose ends for the sake of enjoying the thought experiment. It just didn't have enough meat to justify an entire novel.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Moby-Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1217)
    Performance
    (939)
    Story
    (945)

    Labeled variously a realistic story of whaling, a romance of unusual adventure and eccentric characters, a symbolic allegory, and a drama of heroic conflict, Moby Dick is first and foremost a great story. It has both the humor and poignancy of a simple sea ballad, as well as the depth and universality of a grand odyssey.

    Alice says: "I felt totally swept up in this world"
    "Surprisingly funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been working my way through intimidating classics, and Moby-Dick was near the top of the list. I've heard that it was slow and boring. I was prepared for the worst, but I jumped in anyway.

    I was immediately blown away by the prose. Wow, Herman Melville sure could put a sentence together. I mean, you instantly see why this is such a respected novel. And behind all the elegant phrasing, there is such wit!

    I never knew Moby-Dick was supposed to be a funny book, but it is. And I'm just talking about the humor that has stood the test of time. I imagine there were plenty of jokes in here that I totally missed, given how subtle Melville's sense of humor could be.

    Now, the key to listening to Moby-Dick is to forget about the plot. That's not what the book is about. The book is a collection of tangents about the sea and whales in general. If you're waiting for Ahab to battle his whale the whole time, you're going to be bored, and you're going to miss the best stuff. This is why I'm giving the story a 3/5 while I'm giving the book a 4/5. The book isn't about the plot. It's about everything else.

    I'm not giving the story a full 5/5, because even while recognizing that it is brilliant, I have to say that it was still a lot more work to get through than other classics. I enjoyed the book in spite of its meandering, but I need more than pretty prose and wit to be happy. I do need a driving, progressing plot to keep me happy for 20+ hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Neverwhere [Adaptation]

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Christopher Lee, James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, and others
    Overall
    (912)
    Performance
    (868)
    Story
    (863)

    A BBC Radio six-part adaptation of Neil Gaiman's best-selling novel, starring James McAvoy as Richard and Natalie Dormer as Door. Beneath the streets of London there is another London. A subterranean labyrinth of sewers and abandoned tube stations. A somewhere that is Neverwhere....

    Gayle says: "Superb"
    "Overrate like all Neil Gaiman things"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't understand why Gaiman is so beloved. He builds fantasy worlds with no real rules, so basically every plot point is some version of a deus ex machina. The drama is always watered down because the rules of the universe are too amorphous for an peril to feel real.

    I found Neverwhere a bit difficult to follow at first. Once I got into the story I found it to be silly and not particularly compelling. I didn't care about the main character because there was no reason to. He seemed like a nice guy, but he wasn't particularly interesting or likable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shane

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jack Schaefer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (57)

    Shane, the traveller and ex-gunfighter, a mysterious gunman who enters into the life of Joe Starrett and his family and carves a place for himself in their hearts. Although he tries to leave his gunslinging past behind, refusing to even carry a gun, he decides to fight Fletcher and Wilson, the town enemies, in order to save Joe Starrett’s farm.

    Laura says: "typical coming of age western"
    "A fun story about men being men."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Shane is a relic of a simpler time, when men communicated primarily through grunts and head nods.

    In my high school, many students had Shane as required reading. I unfortunately missed out on this, and instead was assigned Ethan Frome. I can't help but wonder if my love for literature was delayed because of this unfortunate circumstance.

    Shane is a really fun book. Its the first Western I've read, and though I enjoy the Western movie genre (somewhat), I never thought I could get the same experience out of a novel.

    Shane gives us heroes and villains, good men and bad men. The world in which Shane exists is not real life. It's the reality of a Western. Shane is not a man, he's a superman. And relationships don't evolve over time. People meet and know exactly how they feel about each other before a word is spoken.

    I went into this book knowing nothing about it. I thought it would be a bit heavier, but was pleased to find that it was a fun read, with just enough subtext and to keep it feeling sophisticated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lock In (Narrated by Amber Benson)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Amber Benson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (134)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Bruce Kent says: "Iconic!"
    "Scalzi being Scalzi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a reluctant fan of John Scalzi. I think he has some of the greatest plots in the genre. Unfortunately his writing talent falls far behind his imagination. I keep hoping with every book that he will develop his skills a bit more, but in the end, he remains the same old Scalzi:

    Every plot point is explained and re-explained. Scalzi doesn't trust his readers to understand subtleties, so there are none. Ever.

    Every character speaks with the same voice. Not literally-- the narrator does a fine job of differentiating the characters... I mean, the dialog itself. The speaking style of any Scalzi character from any of his books is completely interchangeable with any other. I used to think that this was partly because Wil Wheaton narrated most of his stuff, and Wil doesn't attempted to do character voices often. But even with Benson as the narrator here, all the character seem like carbon copies of one another.

    The plot is okay, and maybe in the absence of movies like Avatar and Surrogates, the story would be more interesting. Unfortunately the novelty of people using puppet bodies has been fairly well explored at this point. Lock In covered little new ground.

    I've had my Scalzi fix for the year. I'll probably be back in a year or two to be disappointed in the next one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Her Royal Spyness: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (4471)
    Performance
    (3823)
    Story
    (3802)

    Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

    Alice says: "Happy addition to a difficult genre"
    "A fun read; light and entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was attracted to this book from the title alone. Everything else about it was a bit of a turn-off, from the location, era and even to the genre itself; I'm not one for mystery serials. This book came up during a sale, and I wanted to try something a bit different than my usual fare.

    I was very impressed by the writing and the narration. The prose aren't anything amazing, but the story is nicely paced and the characters are a hoot. I also enjoyed the introduction to the crazy little pocket of humanity on the outer fringe of the royal family. It was educational and amusing.

    The mystery at the center of this plot was very interesting, and did keep me guessing for a while. It wasn't the most logical plot in the world, and if I felt like being nit-picky about it, I could probably find several things to be unhappy about.

    As it stands, the book was just the right sort of light read for me at the time. I have put the sequel on my wishlist and I'll probably pick up more of the series if it goes on sale. That about says it all, doesn't it?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Treasure Island

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Neil Hunt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (125)

    If you happen to find a map in a dead buccaneer's sea trunk, you can't very well ignore it, not if you are Jim Hawkins and his friends Dr. Livesey, Captain Smollett, and Squire Trelawney! But even with a map, buried treasures are not easy things to come by.

    Darwin8u says: "A Pirate's Life Indeed."
    "A fun classic which has aged fairly well"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't exactly captivated by the story. In fact, it took me a few tries before I was able to really get into the book, and even then, it nearly lost me in the middle.

    That being said, I got a huge kick out of finally meeting the character of Long John Silver, who Neil Hunt brought to life masterfully.

    The tale was pretty interesting, and there were parts that were quite thrilling and engaging. I can see how it would have been an absolute gem in its time. Today's audience has been raised on movies full of epic adventures, so we're a little numb to a simple story like this. That being said, the narration helped to make it very relatable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Call of the Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jack London
    • Narrated By Roger Dressler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    In "Call of the Wild", a domestic dog is kidnapped from his comfortable life on a California estate and thrown into the wild north woods. Buck, half St. Bernard and half Scottish shepherd, is a strong dog but not accustomed to the harsh life of the north and he must fight for survival. He learns how to work hard; how to dig a hole in a snowbank to stay warm; how to eat anything no matter how loathsome; how to scent the weather; how to break ice to find water; and most importantly, how to survive cruelty.

    Jefferson says: "A Great Bargain: Four Vigorous Klondike Tales"
    "Did not make a fan out of me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I remembered enjoying White Fang as a kid, and I purchased this book during a classics binge, without reading the description. I was surprised to find I was reading yet ANOTHER Jack London book about a wolf/dog. Oh well.

    I don't think I found this book as engaging as White Fang, but it's been a decade since I read the latter, so I could be warping things in my mind. Either way, I feel I'm a bit too old to be reading stories about anthropomorphized dogs. It just didn't do anything for me.

    Still, I enjoyed the prose, and this audiobook contained one of the greatest short stories of all time: To Build a Fire. So it was worth my time, I think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (175)

    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is both a whimsical fantasy and a social satire chock-full of brilliant Twainisms. Hank Morgan, a nineteenth-century American---a Connecticut Yankee---by a stroke of fate is sent back into time to sixth-century England and ends up in Camelot and King Arthur's Court.

    Ian C Robertson says: "A Classic Yarn"
    "This book has aged remarkably well"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been listening to a lot of classics on audible lately, and while I appreciate their literary value, I find most of them difficult to slog through. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, however, didn't feel like an aged classic. It felt downright modern.

    Dufris narration undoubtedly helped with the modern feel of the book; it was smooth and natural.

    Oddly this production reminded me of "Off to be the Wizard" or a Scalzi book. Except funnier at times, because Mark Twain is a a genius with language. His wit is, if not timeless, than still well before its Use-By date.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Sarah Silverman
    • Narrated By Sarah Silverman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1139)
    Performance
    (658)
    Story
    (649)

    From the outrageously filthy and oddly innocent comedienne Sarah Silverman comes a memoir—her first book—that is at once shockingly personal, surprisingly poignant, and still pee-in-your-pants funny. If you like Sarah’s television show The Sarah Silverman Program, or memoirs such as Chelsea Handler’s Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea and Artie Lange’s Too Fat to Fish, you’ll love The Bedwetter.

    Teddy says: "Adequate but not great..."
    "Okay, but not her best work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sarah Silverman is sometimes brilliant, and often just so-so. This is one of the so-so times.

    I think she's over-done the crudeness. Not because I'm a prude, but just because I'm numb to it from her over-use. Reminds me a bit of Howard Stern in that sense. It's not shocking anymore. Now it's just unfunny and drab.

    I wasn't terribly moved by this book, and having just listened to David Mitchell's autobiography the bar was really, really high for humor.

    I give it a solid "eh".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Time Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By Alan Munro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (271)

    The science fiction classic that coined the term "time machine" and is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel. A must listen for any fan of science fiction!

    Jaq Greenspon says: "One of the worst performances"
    "update the firmware on the robot who narrated this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration is horrible and full of weird pauses that make no sense at all.

    Way to kill a great story, Alan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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