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Dave Cole

Member Since 2005

69
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 100 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 43 purchased in 2014
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  • Lucifer's Hammer

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2826)
    Performance
    (1508)
    Story
    (1521)

    The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....

    DJM says: "Good story from front to back"
    "Great book, great narrator."
    Overall

    plot: comet hits earth, civilization crumbles.

    definitely among niven/pournelle's best, and if you like the genre (end of the world) it is a classic. originally published in 1977, some aspects are understandably dated (cold war still in full swing, 'pocket computers'-i.e. calculators-are the height of technology) but it still feels relevant.

    the narration is very good also, well-paced and inflected without being melodramatic and annoying.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Anderson Tapes

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Lawrence Sanders
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    This novel represents the first appearance of Lawrence Sanders' most famous character, Edward X. Delaney, and the masterpiece of murder and suspense that launched Sanders' career. This suspenseful classic is brought to life by a full cast, including L. J. Ganser, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett, Zoe Hunter, Gabra Zackman, Lauren Fortgang, Kevin T. Collins, Josh Hurley and Peter Ganim.

    Dave Cole says: "Poorly Suited to Audio Format"
    "Poorly Suited to Audio Format"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A decent enough story, but the format--supposed excerpts from surveillance tapes--is a bad match to the audio format. The story is dated, it was written several decades ago, when new york was a war zone, and the idea of civilian surveillance was a fresh one. But it's hard to hold that against it. it's more just an issue of the awkwardness of all the steps of listening to someone reading written transcripts of someone supposedly speaking. I never thought i would write these words, but i almost think this one needs a *shudder* dramatic performance with an ensemble cast in order to get the authors story across.

    IMHO, skip this one, and go right on to 'The First Deadly Sin' an excellent novel well performed.

    This book, although listed as first in the series by audible, is not needed to understand the series.

    Hope that helps.
    dave

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Summer Isles

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ian R. MacLeod
    • Narrated By Steve Hodson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In this fine work of full-length fiction by award-winning author Ian R. MacLeod, a chilling alternate history unfolds.... An elderly English historian, swept along with the rest of his country by the march of history, sways between reminiscences of his life's true love and his efforts - in his own fumbling way - to change his nation's course. In this tale, Britain has lost the First World War and turned to fascism.

    Dave Cole says: "5??? Story, With Perfect Narration & One Caveat."
    "5??? Story, With Perfect Narration & One Caveat."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The caveat first: the protagonist of this magnificent alternate history--set in a world where England rather than Germany suffered humiliating defeat in The Great War and subsequently descends into fascism--is a homosexual. There is some description of sexual acts between two men in this book--and also of absent longing of one man for another. This is not the focus of the book--and the protagonists homosexuality really serves more than anything to emphasize his alienation in a fascist state, but threre it is. if you are very uncomfortable with/have no desire to read about/cannot accept the idea of 'the gays' you should read no further, but mark this review as helpful and move on to find a more suitable book.

    That said, I am so glad that this was not enough to scare me off. Because it is without exaggeration that i say that this is possibly the most literary entry in to the genre of mid-century alternate history since Dick's 'Man in High Castle'. I love this genre and i have read all of them that i can find, and this is by far the best that I have read recently. Is it on par with orwell? probably not. But it is on par with 'Man in High Castle' and 'American Pastoral'. Blows out of the water anything that the pulp authors in the genre-turtledove and the rest--have ever written. (And i love and read those as well.)

    What truly made this book a treat though was the narration. Steve Hodsons slow British accent was so perfectly suited to the story that it felt more like listening to the protagonist speak than like being read a book. The narration is so perfect, in fact, that i am almost hesitant to suggest the print book to anyone because i don't know how much my sense of the quality of the writing comes from the flawlessness of the narration.

    Hope this helps.
    Dave

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sixth Column

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (201)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (180)

    The totalitarian East has triumphed in a massive invasion, and the United States has fallen to a dictatorial superpower bent on total domination. That power is consolidating its grip through concentration camps, police state tactics, and a total monopoly upon the very thoughts of the conquered populace. A tiny enclave of scientists and soldiers survives, unbeknownst to America’s new rulers. It’s six against six million - but those six happen to include a scientific genius, a master of subterfuge and disguise who learned his trade as a lawyer-turned-hobo, and a tough-minded commander....

    J says: "Childhood favorite"
    "Mediocre 1941 tale full of VERY dated language."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Formulaic and mediocre tale of rebellion against the Pan-Asian Alliance, which has invaded and subjugated the American people. I listened all the way through--I was on a long road trip--and it had some okay points, but i would strongly suggest against this title.

    The narration was quite good, showing a pretty good dramatic range--more than the story itself, actually. It was enough to keep me listening, but not enough to make me glad I had.

    Please do yourself a favor and read (or re-read) either 'Starship Troopers' or 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress' instead of this one. Your time and money will be far better spent. Heinlein, at his best, transcended the time he was writing from and portrayed the universal. He just didn't do that here. At all.


    Lastly, I would especially warn off those who might find it objectionable to listen to Asians being referred to (often and throughout the book) as "flat-faced monkey-men" or "slanty-eyed baboons".

    This (overly forgiving IMHO) discussion of race in the book is from the Wikipedia entry on The Sixth Column:
    --------

    "The book was written in the same year as the attack on Pearl Harbor, while its hardcover publication coincided with the Communist victory in China; with the PanAsians being both Chinese and Japanese, it had a direct topical relevance in both cases. It is notable for its frank portrayal of racism on both sides. The conquerors regard themselves as a chosen people predestined to rule over lesser races, and they refer to white people as slaves. "Three things only do slaves require: work, food, and their religion." They require outward signs of respect, such as jumping promptly into the gutter when a member of the chosen race walks by, and the slightest hesitation to show the prescribed courtesies earns a swagger stick across the face. One character is Frank Mitsui, an Asian American whose family was murdered by the invaders because they did not fit in the new PanAsiatic racial order. The Americans in the novel respond to their conquerors' racism by often referring to them in unflattering terms, such as "flat face", "slanty" (a derisive reference to the look typical of Asian eyes), and "monkey boy".

    ------

    The only thing would add is that Heinleins understanding of the 'Asian world-view' is so stereotypical and dated (remember: 1941) that it is laughable where it isn't tragic--or horrific, considering what was just a few years away.

    Hope this helps,

    Dave Cole

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Shivers

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Robert Jackson Bennett
    • Narrated By T. Ryder Smith
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Robert Jackson Bennett makes a stunning debut with this deliciously dark tale sure to hold readers in its menacing thrall. The grinding poverty brought on by the Great Depression is nowhere more apparent than in the untold thousands looking for work along America’s railroad system. But one man haunting the rail camps has been moved by an entirely different brand of desperation: revenge.

    Jason G. Cons says: "From the Cormac McCarthy Playbook"
    "a darn good book."
    Overall

    If you like Cormac McCarthy, Steinbeck, and Stephen King you will probably not regret shelling out a credit for this one. don't get me wrong, it ain't Steinbeck or McCarthy (IMHO), but it has the flavor of both--as for king, well...yeah, both better plotted and more thoughtfully written than anything King has done for a long long time.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Time Travelers Never Die

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (136)

    When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son Shel discovers that he had constructed a time travel device. Fearing his father may be stranded in time---or worse---Shel enlists Dave Dryden, a linguist, to accompany him on the rescue mission.

    Dave Cole says: "meh."
    "meh."
    Overall

    just not that good. tagline for this could read 'an exceedingly dull romp through time' two guys bounce through time, hitting all the high-spots in history, but never with enough happening to make it interesting. at all. seriously. not interesting at all. when the climax in the story comes, it induces a yawn and some gratitude that the book must be coming to an end.
    the narrator gives it the college try, but without much to work with, he comes off as trying too hard. don't waste your time or credit.
    i suppose this book might be interesting to very young readers, or if it were still 1952 and time travel were a brand new idea in fiction. but it ain't.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Year of the Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne, Katie MacNichol, Mark Bramhall
    Overall
    (914)
    Performance
    (468)
    Story
    (470)

    The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life - has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life.

    Melinda says: "thought-provoking, engaging dystopic fiction"
    "meh."
    Overall

    I bought and enjoyed oryx and crake, and am generally a fan of Atwood, and dystopic/post-apocalyptic fiction is by far my favorite genre, but i was seriously disappointed with The Year of The Flood. It was slow as hell, and even a top quality narration could not rescue it for me--although it is why i was able to listen through to the end. Only buy this one if you are a truly die-hard Atwood fan and will read anything she has written regardless of quality or if you were so utterly enthralled by everything about Oryx and Crake that any trip back to that world would be worthwhile for you. There is less of a story here than there is a meandering struggle alongside a handful of characters--and what little story there was is unresolved at the end.

    33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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