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Jake Barlow

San Francisco, CA United States | Member Since 2013

  • 3 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 28 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Use of Weapons

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks, and military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him toward his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought. The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a lost cause.

    Ken says: "Tips on how to listen to this novel - NO SPOILERS"
    "The plot twist was annoying"
    What did you like best about Use of Weapons? What did you like least?

    As always, Iain Banks creates marvelous world's - although I felt in this book that too much of the world he tried to build felt like the UK.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Iain M. Banks? Why or why not?

    Yes. Iain Banks can be fascinating, even when he falls short on being captivating.

    Which character – as performed by Peter Kenny – was your favorite?

    The drone named Skaffen-Amtiskaw

    Could you see Use of Weapons being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Probably not. The story is too vast, doesn't seem condensible, and the plot twist is too lame.

    Any additional comments?

    While there were some wickedly gruesome elements in this story, elements that really made parts of it engrossing, so much of this story was forgettable. And the plot twist was almost ridiculous.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • John Dies at the End

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By David Wong
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    STOP. You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don't put it down. It's too late. They're watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it's too late. You touched the book. You're in the game. You're under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why?

    Amazon Customer says: "Vulgar Funny. 4.95 Sale Win."
    "Harold & Kumar + Ghostbusters"
    If you could sum up John Dies at the End in three words, what would they be?

    "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" + "Ghostbusters" mashup

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Obviously, John - just because of his one-liners.

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

    Not much. I wasn't too impressed with his character range - not compared to some other actors I've been listening to. But he's infinitely better than that guy who voices "Ender's Game" - ack!

    If you could rename John Dies at the End, what would you call it?

    "David & John Go to Hell and Back then Somewhere Else"

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Susanna Clarke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble

    English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

    David says: "Hang in there!"
    "Great performance for such a dull story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I spent far too much time listening to this book. If it was a paper copy, I would have done away with it.

    Has Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Perhaps. I'm finding Neil Gaiman's latest book much more enjoyable.

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

    No, but Simon Prebble is magnificent. I'd love to listen to his other works. He has an amazing range of characters' voices.

    Did Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell inspire you to do anything?

    Avoid books by Susanna Clarke.

    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps I'm just the wrong audience. This book is incredibly rich, but in the end just seemed pedantic. All of the faux footnotes worked well to create a pseudo-history of English magic, but the overall result was quite dull. One might think that a story about magic would be full of all sorts of exciting "magical" stuff, but there was too little of that in such a massively long book. And like so many stories these days, the villains get off rather easily, never suffering nearly as much as their victims had.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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