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Stuart

QUINCY, MA, United States | Member Since 2008

ratings
82
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
57

  • Johannes Cabal the Detective

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jonathan L. Howard
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    Overall
    (251)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (155)

    In this genre-twisting novel, infamous necromancer Johannes Cabal, after beating the Devil and being reunited with his soul, leads us on another raucous journey in a little-known corner of the world. This time he’s on the run from the local government.

    Ryan says: "Not as good as the first Johannes Cabal novel"
    "Very fond of the first, but the second drags"
    Overall

    I'll put it concisely: this was just a boring story. The first novel seemed a nonstop cadence of one creative character or event after another. This book lacks the creative supernatural flair, instead hinging upon the author's development of the main character's persona...which is not enough to drag the story through a series of events and settings that can best be described as stale and claustrophobic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Worst Ideas Ever: A Celebration of Embarrassment

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Kline, Jason Tomaszewski
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (578)
    Performance
    (531)
    Story
    (531)

    From memorable disasters such as New Coke, the XFL, and Tiger Woods’ marriage to less-remembered failures such as Yugo, Cop Rock, and Microsoft’s BOB, Worst Ideas Ever revisits history’s biggest blunders. Whether it’s a pop culture failure or a political one, Worst Ideas Ever uncovers the ridiculous stories behind mistakes so huge, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself that they actually happened.

    Stuart says: "Incorrect facts, idiotic conclusions, bad humor"
    "Incorrect facts, idiotic conclusions, bad humor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Anyone who has an ounce of marketing or product knowledge will have their stomach turned by the lack of research and stupid conclusions drawn for the sake of flat humor in this book.

    I mean, yeah, it's fine to point out that the "new coke" roll out was botched, but to not point out that coke had years of taste panel data saying that the new coke was wildly preferred over classic coke is a little disingenuous (not to mention that coke was losing ground to Pepsi very fast). To say that customer base dropped during the Taco Bell dog adverts is just wrong...yes it fell in the last couple of quarters before the ads were discontinued, but skyrocketed before then. To call the Dominos Pizza "Noid" add a mistake is just idiotic...given that it was wildly successful, so much so that the company has brought the character back in limited ways multiple times...including an arguably very successful Facebook push in 2011.

    I'll stop there. Even at a 99 cent special, this book was a waste.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • One Shot: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (2434)
    Performance
    (1699)
    Story
    (1717)

    Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: "You got the wrong guy". Then he says: "Get Reacher for me". And sure enough, from the world he lives in - no phone, no address, no commitments - ex-military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. In Lee Child's astonishing thriller, Reacher's arrival will change everything - about a case that isn't what it seems, about lives tangled in baffling ways, about a killer who missed one shot - and by doing so gives Jack Reacher one shot at the truth.

    Carol says: "Reacher said..."
    "This is a prime example of the series? I'll pass.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First of all, I think Child has a tick where he has to write "[character] said nothing" at least once every five lines. The author spends a painful amount of time describing meaningless scenery and events. This is poor, sloppy writing with painfully slow pacing.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Skinny Bitch

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Rory Freedman, Kim Barnouin
    • Narrated By Renee Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (439)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (125)

    Not your typical boring diet book, this is a tart-tongued, no-holds-barred wakeup call to all women who want to be thin. With such blunt advice as "soda is liquid Satan" and "you are a total moron if you think the Atkins Diet will make you thin", it's a rallying cry for all savvy women to start eating healthy and looking radiant. Unlike standard diet books, it actually makes the reader laugh out loud with its truthful, smart-mouthed revelations.

    Erica Marie says: "I stopped drinking soda immediately after"
    "Please skip this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been a science journalist specializing in medical reporting for the last 15 years...and, I also happen to be a vegan (for ethical reasons that stem from a former employment with Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences).

    I'll sum it up: this book infuriated me. It basically comes from the same position I do with regard to diet and governmental overview of the food industry--but does so with nothing but a barrage of incorrect information, misinterpretations of facts, faulty assumptions, and a complete lack of perspective. And all this under the guise of giving "bitchy," humorous advice (which it basically fails at).

    I'm not going to even begin to try to address any of the entirely wrong scientific or historical inaccuracies--there are just too many. I would just want warn people that this is not the place to start if you want to learn about the vegan lifestyle or perspective on the food industry. Try "Vegan for Life" by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina (actual dietitians) and "Eating Animals" by Johnathan Safran Foer (a great listen here on Audible).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Trapped: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4652)
    Performance
    (4261)
    Story
    (4283)

    After 12 years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave. Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge - but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief.

    Katherine says: "Trapped"
    "Fix iPhone Preorders!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a little miffed that I preordered so that I could make sure that I would have the book immediately with no trouble, but the only way I could get the preordered book on my iphone audible app was to reinstall that app (and lose my place in my other books). Until audible puts out a message saying that the issue has been resolved, I won't be doing that again.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Last Apprentice: Night of the Soul Stealer

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Joseph Delaney
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (146)

    Thomas Ward is the apprentice for the local Spook, who captures witches and drives away ghosts. As the weather gets colder and the nights draw in, the Spook receives an unexpected visitor. Tom doesn't know who the stranger is or what he wants, but the Spook suddenly decides it's time to travel to his winter house, Anglezarke. Tom has heard it will be a bleak, forbidding place, and that menacing creatures are starting to stir somewhere on the moors nearby.

    Brian says: "Left Me Wanting More"
    "Repetitive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The series has a great premise and had a great start...but a lot of the tropes just get old and tired by the third book. The spook is grouchy and makes hateful decisions, Tom has to come through when the Spook gets hurt/sick/captured, etc....and I swear to god, if this author uses the phrase "My heart sank into my boots" one more time, I'll burn the next hard copy of this series I find.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Fallout: Zombie Fallout, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2953)
    Performance
    (2759)
    Story
    (2769)

    This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends: a band of ordinary people trying to get by in extraordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike, a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book one of the Zombie Fallout Trilogy follows our lead character at his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road, always skirting the edge of insanity.

    Teddy says: "Hooked!"
    "I thought I was burnt out on zombies, I was wrong"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hesitant to listen to this because, although I love the category, I thought I had listened to too much of the zombie genre of literature. But, because of the great reviews, I gave it a try...and I'm glad I did. There are two reasons, both entirely unexpected.

    The first (the book's place among zombie literature): the piece is written from a Joss Whedon-esque first-person perspective of someone who is familiar with the zombie genre and gives an entirely entertaining account of the zombie apocalypse. Despite the tired tropes of the genre, this had me laughing out loud while commiserating with the real-life issues that the situation would cause. It's both completely realistic, gut-wrenching, and hilarious.

    The second (which has to do with how zombie literature can comment on society): I'm a hard-core gay liberal, but most of my family is boiled-down southwestern conservative Republican, and that conservative perspective is shared by the narrator. There is even a part three-quarters of the way through the book where the narrator compares a nauseating zombie scene to the sight of two guys kissing. But, the writing captures something so much more complex and appreciated. Your neighbor is your neighbor, no matter who they are. The main character is a father of a traditional family--but everyone around him are also potential family, no matter who they are. I kind of feel like this captures the true spirit of most loving conservatives I know. It's touching to see a book like this reveal the a true nature of an average american in that way.

    Listen for 15 minutes, and you'll be hooked. The best part is: you'll appreciate it 10 hours later.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Survivors: The Morningstar Strain, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Z. A. Recht, Thom Brannan
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (801)
    Performance
    (724)
    Story
    (729)

    Survivors is the all-new soul-shattering climax to the postapocalyptic trilogy, featuring a deadly virus, military action, global devastation - and zombies. A lot can change in three months: Wars can be decided, nations can be forged...or entire species can be brought to the brink of annihilation. The Morningstar Virus, an incredibly virulent disease, has swept the face of the planet, infecting billions. The infected hosts rampage, attacking anything that remains uninfected.

    Ben says: "Good. But could have been so much better"
    "Meh...at least it's done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It's worth it to finish out the series if you've read the first two. This series wasn't the best of the military-esque zombie survival genre to begin with (WWZ is probably the pinnacle, and Day-by-Day Armageddon was considerably more compelling until it went off the rails)...but it was enjoyable enough. Part of me really thinks that the original author would have had some decent twists that would of upset the predictability carried out in this story line. But, it is what it is. You live with characters through two books, you want to find out what happens to them.


    Have you listened to any of Oliver Wyman???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Slightly sub-par...but not bad.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Selected Shorts: Even More Laughs

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By T. Coraghessan Boyle, Jonathan Lethem, Miranda July, and others
    • Narrated By Jerry Zaks, Alec Baldwin, Christine Baranski, and others
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    From silly chuckles to rueful ironic glee to deep cosmic laughter, this new volume of humorous tales samples the best of recent seasons of the popular public radio series Selected Shorts.

    Michael says: "Even more laughs than what?"
    "Just...just bad"
    Overall

    I'm a lover of dry, wry wit...but for god's sake, this is horrible. This is the sort of dribble you dread sitting through at a boring friend's dinner party.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Hero

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Perry Moore
    • Narrated By Michael Urie
    Overall
    (824)
    Performance
    (580)
    Story
    (586)

    In the story comic book legend Stan Lee calls "spellbinding" and "totally original," Thom Creed has secrets. For one, like his father, he has super powers. Also, he's been asked to join the League—the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. Then there’s the secret Thom can barely face himself: he's gay. But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, Typhoid Larry, and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide....

    Robert says: "Give it a listen!"
    "One-night "read""
    Overall

    This isn't the most original writing in the world of unconventional superhero novels...and, quite frankly, Mur Lafferty ("Playing for Keeps, among others), Matthew Wayne Selznick (Brave Men Run), and Jeffrey R. DeRego (Union Dues) have done it better. Nonetheless, there is something just so implicitly honest in the writing that makes it an extraordinarily compelling story. I started listening on a morning run, and finished around 4 in the morning. I haven't gone through a book (audio or print) that quickly in several years.

    Of course, the content and conflict of this novel is now made especially pertinent by current events (gay teen suicide, the "It Gets Better" project, and Don't Ask Don't Tell). Undoubtedly, this went into Audible's decision to pick up the 2007 book now. What can I say...good timing.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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