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Graham

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Member Since 2006

ratings
537
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (1275)
    Performance
    (1065)
    Story
    (1060)

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
    "Hit and miss"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Once and Future King is in places a great book but definitely could have benefited from a thorough application of "less is more". I was enthralled in places and then bored or frustrated in others. Here perhaps is the first book I've read that I might actually prefer a well abridged version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The French Revolution: Kings, Queens and Guillotines

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Encyclopaedia Britannica
    • Narrated By Peter Johnson
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    The editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica are pleased to present the world of Marie-Antoinette and the French Revolution - from the grandeur and opulence of the French régime to its chaotic downfall and the new order that rose from its ashes. Here you will learn about the extravagant history of the royal Palace of Versailles with its Hall of Mirrors and extensive gardens, and the lavish court style of Louis XVI.

    Monica says: "Comprehensive"
    "Not so good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It seems that audio isn't the best format for this style of book -- basically a collection of short essays about events and people around the time of the French Revolution. This was another problem, many of the essays were in the same period but seemed to have no other connection to the French Revolution, the supposed topic of the book. I'm a little sympathetic to the narrator who can't totally be blamed for the dry reading, because he was essentially reading an encylopedia -- probably not the easiest material to turn into riveting audio.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brave New World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aldous Huxley
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2511)
    Performance
    (1789)
    Story
    (1806)

    When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Jefferson says: "“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
    "Better after a second thought"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first listened to this reading of A Brave New World -- not having read it in 20 or 30 years -- I was actually very disappointed. Later, I stumbled upon some comparisons of ABNW and 1984 and was confused a bit by the possibility that some people consider the former the "better" book. So, I tried again and I realized that it was totally the preformance of the book that put me off. The narration of this edition comes across as too much Monty Python for my tastes and I wanted a darker more ominous delivery.

    I don't think there is anything necessarily wrong with the narration, many reviewers have raves for Michael York. It just isn't what I imagine in my own mind and it bothered me and threw me off for most of the book. So I came away thinking ABNW was a really bad book but it isn't, it is a great book, just delivered here with, to my mind, a grating style.

    The interesting take away for me is understanding the impact a narrator has on the quality and feel of a book, kind of obvious really. The difference for me is that the quality of the narration is good but it just does't suit the book -- if that makes sense. Maybe I'm just a dummy for having to listen to 800 books before realizing that :D

    Still, I highly recommend this wonderful book with its "interesting" choice of narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rebel Buddha: On the Road to Freedom

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Dzogchen Ponlop
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Dzogchen Ponlop
    Overall
    (374)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (266)

    There's a rebel within you. It's the part of you that already knows how to break free of fear and unhappiness. This rebel is the voice of your own awakened mind. It's your rebel buddha - the sharp, clear intelligence that resists the status quo. It wakes you up from the sleepy acceptance of your day-to-day reality and shows you the power of your enlightened nature. It's the vibrant, insightful energy that compels you to seek the truth.

    Glenn says: "Buddhism for the Western World"
    "An enjoyable listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To be honest there isn't anything very special about Rebel Buddha. The main reason I personally enjoyed it as much as I did was because of the ideas and philosophy of Buddhism more than the writing or performance of the book. Rebel Buddha is just another retelling of teachings and stories of the Buddha, only somewhat modified with a pop culture flavour -- for example relating chewing gum to the understanding of emptiness. For anyone interested in learning about Buddhism Rebel Buddha is very pleasant and understandable and there are many wonderful ideas contained in its pages for those prepared to go to the effort of becoming "enlightened".

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By W. Bruce Cameron
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2079)
    Performance
    (1381)
    Story
    (1383)

    After a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey is surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy. Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of eight-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures, Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?

    Blythe says: "Best dog book ever!"
    "Ahhhhh, its so sweet .... Zzzzzzzzz"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A dog's purpose was a lot like reading a series of short anecdotes in Readers Digest as written by a personified dog. It was cute and relatable and anyone with a dog at some point in their life will recognize every moment as one they shared with their dog. The twist in the story adds a bit of interest for awhile.

    Overall, it reminded me of being curled up on the floor being read to by my elementary school teacher and of what it might be like to sip an entire container of maple syrup.

    There isn't a lot of depth but it obviously fills some sort of need for people based on the glowing reviews. I found it pretty flat and requiring no effort on the part of the reader -- which is good if that is what you're looking for.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Day By Day Armageddon

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By J L Bourne
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3143)
    Performance
    (2238)
    Story
    (2234)

    In your hands is the handwritten journal depicting one man's struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them. Enter, if you will, into the world of the undead.

    rob haight says: "Great book! More more more!!"
    ""No Joy""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Zombie novels are a favourite of mine but I found Day by Day Armageddon rather dull -- nothing new to be found here, and what is here is basically average. It was more of a manual on the logistics of survival among rampant Zombie hordes than a novel with well developed characters and an interesting plot. I think part of the problem was the first person narrative/journal format. Aside from being kind of gimmicky, I found it made it really difficult to get to know any other characters. An author digs a big hole for themselves to get out of when they go with this kind of format unless the work is really focused on getting deep in the thoughts and experiences and feelings of the character, which didn't happen here.

    I thought Jay Snyder did a good job narrating until it came to characterizing voices -- which he didn't really need to do because the story was delivered as a journal so would have been better read using the one voice of the main character writing the journal. But maybe that is nitpicking. The point is, he has a great reading voice and pace but fails miserably when it comes to voicing certain characters.

    In a way maybe I don't actually like zombie novels as much as I think I do because the majority are essentially the same and I feel the same way. What I actually like are different, "literate" zombie novels with well written characters and a solid plot -- for me, this is not one of those.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Company: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (4956)
    Performance
    (2067)
    Story
    (2059)

    "If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).

    Cynthia says: "Hang on to your Hat"
    "Good but not my cup of tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not sure why I keep doing this -- wanting to like books in certain genres, for example, spies and espionage. The Company is probably a great book in its genre but it didn't really do it for me. Although very well written and researched and well performed by Scott Brick I wanted to really love it but rather found it kind of cliche and predictable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jim Gorant
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (52)

    Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick’s brutal dogfighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case.

    Kim says: "Great Book!!!"
    "A bit over the top for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not sure what I expected, but I found this book to be cloyingly sentimental and saccharine. Though certainly ugly in parts it still managed to be continuously and relentlessly sweet -- pitting flawless, angelic rescurers, fighting impossible odds against pure, totally perfect, irredeemable badness. Probably that says something more about me than about the book, but I just found it only vaguely interesting and predictable. My bias is toward books -- fiction or non-fiction -- about imperfect people, with all their flaws, that struggle and in the end become somewhat better. Mind you if you are looking for a basically uplifting, hopeful book then you'll probably really enjoy this.

    0 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
    (8872)
    Performance
    (4950)
    Story
    (4990)

    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"
    "Follows the standard fantasy formula"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would have really liked this book when I was 14. Not so much now, but I can understand how fantasy genre fans would really enjoy it. It never strays from the basic swords and creatures fantasy formula in any respect -- the characters are generic, the world is generic, the dilemmas and challenges are generic. Definitely nothing new or interesting here in my opinion, but fun nonetheless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chariots of the Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erich von Daniken
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (325)

    Erich von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods is a work of monumental importance---the first book to introduce the shocking theory that ancient Earth was visited by aliens. This world-famous best seller has withstood the test of time, inspiring countless books and films, including the author's own popular sequel, The Eye of the Sphinx.

    Neal says: "Answers? No. But if you wish to think it's great!"
    "Silly theories to explain genuine mysteries"
    Overall

    The book is written well enough but I find the implausible, speculative conclusions rather a stretch -- interesting and relatively fun to listen to though.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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