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Vikram

valley stream, NY, USA

ratings
29
REVIEWS
15
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
71

  • Stranger in a Strange Land

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2647)
    Performance
    (1217)
    Story
    (1232)

    Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, an earthling born and educated on Mars, who arrives on Earth with superhuman powers and a total ignorance of the mores of man. Smith is destined to become a freak, a media commodity, a scam artist, a searcher, and finally, a messiah.

    Harris says: "A Parable for the Ages"
    "Wow, this was pathetic"
    Overall

    If this was the 1st sci-fi book I ever listened to Id never listen again. This book was beyond boring, beyond silly, and a total waste of 14+ hours.

    35 of the 36 chapters are useless conversations between the characters talking about religion. Only 2 chapters were sci-fi related. To call this book a "classic" is an embarrasment to the sci-fi community.

    Michael Smith is a human born on mars who returns to earth to learn how to be "human". He learns how humans act and begins to be more human. He then forms his own "church" and tries to teach humans how life and the universe works.

    The idea of the story, I suppose, was for Michael to become a great teacher for mankind. Heinleins poorly written, almost amateur, scifi story of Michael Smith doesnt do a good job of pulling you in to the story. Theres no drama, no plot, and no mystery. The martians are explained in 1/2 of 1 charpter and then no more. There are NO alien life forms in the story except in the short description of them. The 5 main characters essentially talk, and talk, and talk. This story was 14 hours of my life that I will never get back.

    If you're into sci-fi/space stories I highly recommend that you NOT waste your energy on this waste of words. If you're under 40 years old and are familiar with exisitng sci-fi novels you will NOT be entertained by this book of "conversations" between characters. Youve been warned.

    4 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Idlewild

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Nick Sagan
    • Narrated By Clayton Barclay Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (85)

    He wakes alone, nameless, in a strangely bucolic day-after-tomorrow world. His amnesia is near-total; he cannot remember his name and doesn't recognize anything around him, but he knows with absolute certainty that someone has tried to kill him – and will surely try again. As he tries to discover the identity of the person who wants him dead, he quickly begins to unravel sinister truths, which make it clear that the ramifications of his search are far greater than he could ever have imagined.

    Craig says: "Great story"
    "A watered down version of Matrix"
    Overall

    I've listened to this book as well as the second. This story is like a childish version of The Matrix minus the high tech suspense. If you can forget the fact that most 13 year old kids these days know more about computers than the author seems to know, you might be able to enjoy the limited technical details of the story. For me, the poorly written workings of this virtual world sounded like my grandmother was explaining how computers operated.

    Starting the plot with the typical main character with amnesia should have been a warning to me. After that the story gets even more childish and borders on B movie type silly with a plot thats just too improbable to be entertaining. My only reason for not deleting this from my ipod was because I wanted to know how much worse the story could get.

    If you enjoyed The Matrix you will not enjoy this book at all. The only relation between the 2 is a virtual world.

    You might enjoy this book if you're more into fantasy and less into deep scifi.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jeffrey A. Carver
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    For 40 years, the Twelve Colonies of Man experienced peace, united since the war against the man-made Cylons. The Cylons, mechanical beings created to perform the manual labor civilization required, were gone forever...or so humanity thought.

    A says: "The miniseries, written"
    "Robbery"
    Overall

    This version is less content than the first season which aired over 2 years ago. This information was not posted when I purchased it. Be warned, you're only buying 1/5 of the entire series to date. Aside from that, the audio matches the tv series perfectly with a few added emotions

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Lost Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (552)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (166)

    Step Fletcher, his pregnant wife DeAnne, and their three children move to Steuben, North Carolina, with high hopes. But Step's new job with a software company turns out to be a snake pit, and 8-year-old Stevie's school is worse. As Stevie retreats into himself, focusing more and more on a mysterious computer game and a growing troop of imaginary friends, the Fletchers' concern turns to terror.

    Dave says: "A knockout"
    "Horrible waste of drive space"
    Overall

    Wow, I think my review would be more interesting than this excuse of a horror slash fantasy slash 13 hour sob story.

    The best part of this aubile release was the author talking at the end and confirming why the book sucked so much. Card, inspired by Steven King, tried to combine his own life with horror and failed.

    This book was 14 hours long. 13 of those hours were nothing more than us following around a computer programmer with a very boring life. The first 13 hours of this book were about how the main character is struggling financially. What made it even more boring was the fact that the author knew little or nothing about computers or programming so the story was silly and pathetic. The computer lingo used was comical and painful to listen to at the same time. Any child of age 15 knows more than the supposed computer programmer of this story.

    Theres no sci fi in this story what so ever. Theres no fantasy and theres no horror. This is basically something that an amateur would write in an attempt to create a horror story.

    Towards the end theres a mention of a child playing a computer game that didnt exist. The game was never found on a disc and it was never located in computer memory. Note: this is before hard drives even existed so that should give you an idea of how outdated this story is. Thats it. Thats all that is mentioned about this mystery game. If youre confused so am I because the author just dropped that into the story and forgot about it.

    Theres so much about this book that was bad. Poor story, weak characters, weak plot, NO plot, poor, poor, poor. The book is a series of ideas and mini stories dropped into a bowl and mixed together in hopes of creating 1 meal of a story. I think Orson Scott Card got lucky with Enders Game but his stories are pretty bad overall.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • I, Robot

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1590)
    Performance
    (562)
    Story
    (578)

    They mustn't harm a human being, they must obey human orders, and they must protect their own existence...but only so long as that doesn't violate rules one and two. With these Three Laws of Robotics, humanity embarked on a bold new era of evolution that would open up enormous possibilities, and unforeseen risks.

    Herb says: "Forget the violence - Read this one for the humor"
    "No battles, no wars, no man vs machine story"
    Overall

    Overall this book was great but Asimov had very little knowledge about electronics and mechanics so the robots arent described in a believable manor.

    To say that any modern man vs robot books are based on this is incorrect. None of todays man vs machine stories (terminator, matrix, Berserker series by Saberhagen, Dune series) relate at all to this story.

    There is little if any scientific theory or explanation about how the robots really operate and how they?ve increased their ability to learn. Space travel is created within this book and no explanation at all is given. Asimov seemed unable to give a detailed description of how the robots work and was fixated on lines like ?the robots relay circuits? and ?the robots photo electric cells?. Noting more about the functionality of the robots is given. If you ask me, the book was written by someone who had no understanding of electronics or mechanics and was stuck with what he knew at the time.

    Only 1 time in the entire book do humans actually feel that there is any conflict between the robots and that is at the very end. Throughout the book, as the robots act strangely, humans figure out the problem and correct it or just agree that it isnt a crisis. The robots NEVER attempt to harm humans and NEVER do anything more than perform their duties as robots. There are no weapons, no wars, no battles.

    This is a story about the evolution of the robots through the years and how they increase their intelligence and their protection of the human race. The characters are not important but their stories are. This book is somewhat like a series of short stories that involve man and how they interact with robots. Each story is a different place in time and each hints to the evolution of the robots and the devolution of human control over society.

    Excitement level = very low
    Action = very low

    I think everyone should listen to this book to at least say that you read a classic.

    7 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • The Berserker Throne

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Fred Saberhagen
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    When Prince Harivarman discovers an operable Berserker: his first instinct is to turn it in. But then he finds an ancient code that will either allow him to control the dreaded machine or lead him (and everyone else on the Templar Radiant) to certain death.

    Vikram says: "Mystery / suspense, not a man vs machine story"
    "Mystery / suspense, not a man vs machine story"
    Overall

    I had to give this book a lower rating than the other Berserker books because it isnt really a Berserker story. This is a mystery / surprise ending type story. Theres little mention of the Berserker machines other than the ones that are involved in the story as characters. There are no great battles with the machines and the entire story is within the Templar Radiant, which is a man made world if it can be called that, made mostly of metal.

    This book had nothing to do with the overall battle against the machines but it did focus somewhat on how some humans will do anything for power including siding with the machines.

    If you like murder and mystery novels you will really enjoy this. If youre expecting a great Berserker story Id suggest skipping this one.

    The best part of this book was the in-depth description of the Templar Radiant

    The other Berserker stories took you all over the universe and gave you a feeling of massive space and massive machines. This book gave me a feeling of confined space and I was waiting for the Berserkers to just kill everyone and bring excitement to the story.

    Of all the Berserker books Id rate this my least favorite. BERSERKER MAN was by far the greatest of them all. I HIGHLY recommend you download BERSERKERS THE BEGINNING which is a series of collected mini stories.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Berserker Blue Death

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Fred Saberhagen
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    A sci-fi epic of vengeance in the vein of Moby Dick and The Searchers. If you like those stories, and enjoy moviegoing experiences like The Matrix and The Terminator, this is a must-listen for you!

    Vikram says: "Still amazed by Saberhagen"
    "Still amazed by Saberhagen"
    Overall

    I think this is the 5th book Ive listened to in the Berserker series and am still amazed at Saberhagens creativity which is yet unmatched in any of todays man v machine movies. Ive also been unable to find any other books with futuristic machines that are as powerful and believable

    This book has a fantastic battle sequence where you really appreciate the technology of the Berserkers and the human ships. It was great to hear a battle story with weapons that are not the typical lazer or space rocket. Saberhagen has an outstanding understanding of math and physics and this is shown in the way he describes the battle.

    Overall the story was amazing and was essentially a Moby Dick tale in the future.

    A few things really annoyed me with the book. The main character is hunting a Berserker he calls OLD BLUE. It becomes evident that other characters in the book do not call the Berserker by the same name and its silly for him, the main character, to constantly refer to the Berserker as OLD BLUE as if everyone should accept his personal nickname for the machine. While everyone else know the giant machine as THE BERSERKER WITH THE BLUE GLOW AROUND IT, the main character never stops calling it OLD BLUE.

    Most annoying about the story is the fact that its so impossibly unreal. The Berserker OLD BLUE kills entire planets in a few days but the main character hunts him with one ship? I dont think so. Too silly.

    Put aside the impossibility of hunting down a Berserker with 1 human ship and you will really enjoy this story of 1 mans undying revenge.

    Of all the Berserker books Id rate this among my least favorite. BERSERKER MAN was by far the greatest of them all but this book is well worth a listen.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Berserker Man

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Fred Saberhagen
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    To defeat the ultimate weapon, you must become one! Once mankind feared the berserkers, killer machines determined to eradicate all life in the universe. But the Berserker Wars are over and the threat of the sentient doomsday devices is over. Or is it?

    Vikram says: "Amazing story, amazing commentary at the end"
    "Amazing story, amazing commentary at the end"
    Overall

    The end of the story has commentary about the entire Berserker series books as well as this story in great detail. The reader explains the entire story along with the historical events that this story incorporated.

    According to the reader, the Berserker series is NOT like a typical series. Each book is a stand alone story that has little to do with a previous book. Knowing that you can appreciate each story more since it doesnt require a previous book.

    This particular story was so great. I found it to be highly original and would rank it amoung my top 10 favorite books from audible. This story will take you beyond the reaches of space itself and leave you with a smile and a sad appreciation for life.

    I can see from the other Berserker books that this is NOT the last book written. But, it would seem that this book was originally intended to be the last book of the Berseker saga since it ends the story. Im sure the later books find a way to bring the Berserker saga back.

    I highly recommend that you get this book if you've enjoyed any man vs machine fantasies. I always recommend that you read BERSERKERS THE BEGINNING which is a huge compilation of small stories. Each of these stories is described at the end of the BERSERKER MAN book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Matthew Modine
    Overall
    (193)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    Philip K. Dick is a legend as a science fiction author. Imaginative and prescient. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is one of his best. Listen...and try to sleep!

    David says: "Bladerunner and more"
    "Good, worth a listen, but missing something"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this story which varied slightly from the Bladerunner movie.

    An added feature of this story was sad music in the background which did create an emotion.

    The thing that I found missing was the fact that the androids that the main character is hunting are only hunted because they are on earth. New androids are built daily on another world and are welcomed by humans. Its only on Earth that they were not welcomed. With that it becomes hard for you to attach yourself to the androids and feel sad for them. Also, Earth is somewhat in ruin but there are other worlds to live on so it makes it harder to feel sorry for those that stay on this dying planet. How can you get emotionally attached to someone who chooses to live in a dirty place?

    I recommend it as a comparison to the movie. Personally I thought the movie was far better and far more emotional at the end

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Berserker's Planet

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Fred Saberhagen
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Five hundred years have passed since the combined fleets of humanity met and broke the berserker armada at Stone Place. But though the human victory was total, one of the killer machines (weaponless, its star drive a ruin) managed to limp to a secret sanctuary on a planet called Hunter's World. Over the years, a new cult has arisen there, a cult dedicated to Death as the only and ultimate Good.

    Vikram says: "Good but little or no sci-fi action"
    "Good but little or no sci-fi action"
    Overall

    This is NOT the first book in the series. I assumed, by the copyright date, that this was the beginning of the Berserker series. I was wrong. This book has nothing to do with the series other than the mention of 1 characters name. If you skipped this book youd never know you missed part of the overall story.

    Prior to this book I listened to Berserkers The Beginning which was a series of short stories. I HIGHLY recommned that you download that book from audible.

    This book is 1 story of 1 planet, and sadly, there is no mention of the giant Berseker war. The first 4 hours of this 6 hour story are just character buildup and about 5 minutes of the Berserker war story. If you listen to this book prior to any other Berserker books you will have no idea what a Berserker really is and what the war is all about.

    I love the series and dont regret listening to this book. However, this book can be entirely skipped in the series. This book has no relation to the rest of the series at all. It is essentially a short story made longer.

    The man sized Berserker in this story is not mentioned until the very end of the story. That being said, you can imagine how little of a battle there would actually be if theres only 1 chapter to create a scene for you.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Berserkers: The Beginning

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Fred Saberhagen
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (43)

    A gripping collection of stories about machines called Berserkers that are programmed to destroy all organic life.

    Jeffery says: "My Best First Audible Book"
    "Loved it. Great stories, fast action"
    Overall

    This is actually a bunch of short stories which have no relation to the series itself. These are comic book stories that I can only compare the The Animatrix DVD which was a series of stories based on The Matrix series.

    Not worth the original asking price of $50 but well worth the subscription price of audible. I actually listened to this 2 times I loved it so much.

    Within 20 seconds of the first story you are deep in the heart of the Berserker story. There is no buildup. Each 30 minute story takes you directly into a short story involving a battle with a Berserker. These are the stories that a full novel would leave out. For example, the story of a Berserker who wasnt fully completed, captures a human who then tells it that its purpose is to make humans laugh.

    If you remeber the TV series AMAZING STORIES then you will understand this audible release.

    Overall I loved it. Just keep in mind that the characters are not too important but the story is. There is even a sad story which is based on the old Greek legend of Orpheus and his trip to hell to get his lover back.

    You'll get a basic idea of where the Berserkers came from, their size, their power, and the battle that they wage against all life. Not needed to to understand the series but a great set of stories to further advance the concept. Could be read before or after any of the books in the regular series

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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