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Claremont, CA, United States

  • 5 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 191 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • Casino Royale

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Introducing James Bond: charming, sophisticated, handsome, chillingly ruthless, and licensed to kill. This, the first of Ian Fleming's tales of secret agent 007, finds Bond on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called "Le Chiffre" by ruining him at the Baccarat table, forcing his Soviet spymasters to "retire" him. It seems that lady luck has sided with 007 when Le Chiffre hits a losing streak. But some people just refuse to play by the rules.

    Pork C. Fish says: "Ouch!"
    "Enjoyable but uneven"

    I was pleasantly surprised by how good a writer Ian Fleming was. The first half of the book is very good. Among other things, James Bond is different from the James Bond of the movies, and that makes for added interest. The second half of the book is not bad, but odd. Fleming sets things up for a final twist, like most thriller writers, but readers will see the twist coming a mile away. Worse yet, you have to wonder why Bond doesn't see it coming. Despite that problem, this is a solid read.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Sparrow

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Mary Doria Russell
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Emilio Sandoz is a remarkable man, a living saint and Jesuit priest who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God. This experience - the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life - begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe.

    Yvette Flores says: "Far fetched book but good summer listen."
    "Fine, not good, not great"

    Labored, often cliche, and completely implausible. The book is so overwritten that you can space out from time to time and not miss anything. The lead female character is incredibly annoying -- you would hate her if you had to have dinner with her -- and the book often creates tension by using the cheap trick of withholding information from readers with the hope that they'll keep going just to find out what they haven't been told. Despite these and many other flaws, the central idea is intriguing enough that you can stick with the book and be mildly entertained.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brain Wave

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Poul Anderson
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For millions of years, the part of the galaxy containing our solar system has been moving through a vast force field that has been inhibiting certain electromagnetic and electrochemical processes and, thus, certain neurotic functions. When Earth escapes the inhibiting field, synapse speed immediately increases, causing a rise in intelligence, which results in a transfigured humanity reaching for the stars, leaving behind our earth to the less intelligent humans and animal life-forms.

    Joel D Offenberg says: "Interesting "what if..." and speculation about us"
    "I love Anderson but this book is bad"

    I love Anderson, and the premise is great, but this book is just awful. This book has none of the standard fiction elements like tension, conflict, character development, and so on. Instead it's one of those scifi books where the author had an idea and then just uses fiction to tell us about what he thinks about it. (Characters sit around and expound their philosophies to each other, etc.) Also, at times the book seems to be premised on the odd idea that anyone who does manual labor for a living must not be very intelligent, and that intelligent people would refuse to do that sort of work. That's factually incorrect (didn't Anderson know that large numbers of people work for money?) and on the verge of being offensive.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Journey into Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Eric Ambler
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is 1940, and Mr Graham, a quietly-spoken engineer and arms expert, has just finished high-level talks with the Turkish government. And now somebody wants him dead. The previous night, three shots were fired at him as he stepped into his hotel room, so, terrified, he escapes in secret on a passenger steamer from Istanbul. As he journeys home he enters a nightmarish world where friend and foe are indistinguishable.

    John says: "Another solid book from Ambler"
    "boring -- couldn't finish it"

    I listened for two hours, but this was just plain boring and I couldn't finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ricky Gervais Guide to... MEDICINE

    • UNABRIDGED (53 mins)
    • By Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, & Karl Pilkington
    • Narrated By Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, & Karl Pilkington

    Here's the first in a series of in-depth discussions on a variety of subjects relating to humanity's greatest endeavors. Around the table, Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, and the glabrous luminary Karl Pilkington. In this episode, MEDICINE, we explore the treatment of human ailments through history - from trepanation (or 'oles in the 'ed) in early tribal societies right through to the possible, if improbable, future of medical technology.

    Wilson says: "Best there has been for a while"
    "Disappointing for a Gervais fan"

    I'm a huge fan of Ricky Gervais's shows and stand-up. Since the "Guide to..." series has 4+ stars on Audible, I was sure I'd like it. Unfortunately, it's really disappointing. One problem is that there just aren't that many funny moments compared to the length of the recordings. A bigger problem is that it's mean spirited. The recordings are conversations between Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington. When Pilkington says something weird or dumb, Gervais and Merchant don't just needle him good-naturedly about it. Instead they say really rude things. The recordings are like listening to two guys tell another guy "you're stupid" and "you're an idiot" over and over. A third problem is that, even though Pilkington sometimes says bizarre things, a lot of what he says isn't a dumb as Gervais and Merchant say it is. Instead they come off like two school bullies who are determined to pick on the little guy no matter what. An example: on the "Medicine" recording, when Gervais and his crew are having a discussion about sci-fi medical techniques, Pilkington says it would be nice to have a device that would allow doctors to experience their patients' feelings. Gervais asks why. Quite sensibly, Pilkington says that sometimes people get used to their aches and pains and don't report these as symptoms of a problem, even though the doctors should know about them. Gervais and Merchant can't seem to grasp this simple point. Instead they start doing their bully act, just saying over and over that Pilkington is stupid.
    Since my review is just one among many, and since the series has 4+ stars, the Gervais fans will probably download this anyway. At the very least, I suggest buying only one of the series at a time. You can listen to it and make sure it doesn't repulse you the way it repulsed me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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