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Henry

ratings
228
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
76

  • Codex

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lev Grossman
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (94)

    About to depart on his first vacation in years, Edward Wozny, a hotshot young investment banker, is sent to help one of his firm's most important and mysterious clients. His task is to search their library stacks for a precious medieval codex, a treasure kept sealed away for many years and for many reasons.

    Diane says: "Mind Games"
    "Video Games as Real Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I loved Codex. I was reading (listening to) a New York Times member one bestseller with a sexy twist when I began reading Codex. I couldn’t stop listening to Codex until I had finished it. It moved along right from the first page. It sucked me into the story and kept me there. I highly recommend.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the way that it kept moving forward without wondering off on needless side trips.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene was when Margaret began assembling the Codex.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Starfarers

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Vonda N. McIntyre
    • Narrated By Gayle Hendrix
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    The starship Starfarer is poised for our first voyage to another star system. The Alien Contact Team - physicist Victoria Fraser MacKenzie, geneticist Stephen Thomas Gregory, geographer Satoshi Lono, and alien contact specialist J.D. Sauvage - and the rest of the faculty and staff prepare for humanity's most ambitious exploratory expedition. But the world has changed. A new regime orders the vessel to be abandoned. It will be turned into an instrument of war. What do the Starfarers do? They do what any red-blooded Alien Contact Team would do. They steal the starship.

    Henry says: "Relations 4 – Technology 1"
    "Relations 4 – Technology 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Starfarers? What did you like least?

    An international collection of scholars and technical experts plan an interstellar voyage. Modeled upon a university, the scholars fawn over research credentials and have an almost universal contempt for authority. Starfarer’s construction reflects the most unusual design I think I’ve ever encountered in a Sci-Fi novel.

    As the story opens, we meet the characters. Vonda notes with some detail what each character is wearing, how they’ve furnished their homes, their relationships, and their status on campus.

    The mission is at most a backdrop to the soap opera of daily existence. We don’t have mission meetings that detail the operational situation. We have discussions of potential sex/family partners. We discuss coffee and art. We get to know the characters as they meet and socialize. We learn of class distinctions on campus, i.e. professors vs. gardeners.

    When the external world does intrude into the story, those bad authority figures want to take over control of Starfarer and change its mission. In response, our heroines and heroes conduct a meeting. The meeting isn’t a clandestine one, but a public meeting. However, it’s more like a meeting of the academic senate in that you have to have status to speak. Never mind that your fate is at stake, common people don’t count much in this world. None-the-less, after much deliberation a plan is developed and anyone who doesn’t like it can leave for Earth. For what happens next, you have to read the book.

    Did I like the book? No I didn’t. I found myself skipping ahead to get past the dull stuff right from the beginning. In that sense it was a fast read, but not in a good way.

    Was there something big and important at stake? You know like finding a new home for mankind before an asteroid destroys the Earth. Well, no. What was at stake was who got to pick which home for their living quarters and what that said about ones ranking on campus.

    Did this story tackle big social issues? Nope. I’d say the status quo was well accepted.

    Are there flowers in the gardens on Starfarer? Yes, and you can read about materials used to construct the gardens as well.

    Does Starfarer have advanced technology? It has a high tech sail, but residents still have to pay a lot to call home. There are coffee pots, but no replicators. There are no weapons. On whole, technology isn’t really a big part of the story.

    Are the characters three-dimensional? Definitely, Vonda spends a considerable time developing the relationships in this story. Frankly, if that doesn’t roll your stockings down and give you a warm happy feeling this might not be the book for you.


    If you’ve listened to books by Vonda N. McIntyre before, how does this one compare?

    This is the only one of her books I've read/listened too.


    Which character – as performed by Gayle Hendrix – was your favorite?

    Gayle Hendrix gets 4-stars. She is versatile and imaginative in her portrayal of the numerous characters in this book.


    Was Starfarers worth the listening time?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kraken Project: Wyman Ford, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (150)

    NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed "Dorothy", a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the Internet.

    webtraverser says: "Computer Professionals Beware"
    "Dorothy takes a while to get to know."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Kraken Project rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At the top of the list.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Kraken Project?

    When Dorothy meets Jacob.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Sowers – was your favorite?

    Dorothy


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not exactly.


    Any additional comments?

    I’m not giving away the ending by saying that we never get to Titan, but don’t be disappointed after page one I never thought about it again. Douglas Preston delivers an amazing thriller that just kept me listening when I ought to have turned the story off and done something else.

    I wanted to know what a Wall Street shark, a young boy all the way across the country, and NASA programing team leader had in common. It wasn’t obvious for a long time. Then in an instant, Dorothy brought them together.

    Dorothy takes a while to get to know. She’s young and turbulent, like a teenager. She has feelings; she has fears, two things your average AI doesn’t deal with. She’s a good girl at heart, but at times, she’s an angry twelve year old with a gun, a scary thing indeed.

    Melissa Shepherd and Wyman Ford chase after Dorothy while the FBI relentlessly chase after them. However, unlike a recent book by Dan Brown, Douglas Preston provides just enough chase to keep it interesting.

    And then it’s over.

    Well, not quite over. I think Douglas has yet another spell binding book on the way and I can’t wait for it to arrive.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Shannara Trilogy

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Theodore Bikel
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (34)

    Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil had ruined the world and forced mankind to compete with many other races - gnomes, trolls, dwarfs and elves. Half-elfin Shea Ohmsford learns that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord was plotting to destroy the world and the sole weapon against this Power of Darkness was The Sword of Shannara, which could only be used by a true heir of Shannara.

    Cindy says: "OK for a catch up"
    "This abridgment doesn't work."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Shannara Trilogy? What did you like least?

    It was quick, Terry's books can go on and on.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    ??


    Which scene was your favorite?

    ??


    Did The Shannara Trilogy inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Abridging any book is a tough act. Abridging a fantasy book is double hard, because the story is about how they get where they are going rather than where they end up. This abridgment converted the book from one of showing the reader to simply telling the reader what happened. It didn't work. I recommend reading (listening to) the full version.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9417)
    Performance
    (8548)
    Story
    (8613)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    linda says: "Well, I don't know what I was expecting"
    "I lost interest way before the chase was over."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Sort of.


    If you’ve listened to books by Dan Brown before, how does this one compare?

    It was not his best book.


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

    ??


    Did Inferno inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Dan is very good, heck maybe great at holding onto a secret. He’s a master at suspense and the action never stops. However, this book would benefit if pages 200-300 disappeared. You’d never miss them. The big secrets come later, much later. By the time I was ready for the climax he wasn’t even close to finishing. So, I put the book down and read three other books before I got back to it. On whole, it was ok, worth the money. However, I expect better writing from a big time pro like Dan Brown.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Red Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Kim Stanley Robinson
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1032)
    Performance
    (462)
    Story
    (475)

    Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, Red Mars is the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's best-selling trilogy. Red Mars is praised by scientists for its detailed visions of future technology. It is also hailed by authors and critics for its vivid characters and dramatic conflicts.

    For centuries, the red planet has enticed the people of Earth. Now an international group of scientists has colonized Mars. Leaving Earth forever, these 100 people have traveled nine months to reach their new home. This is the remarkable story of the world they create - and the hidden power struggles of those who want to control it.

    Paul says: "If you like books with DETAIL not much Action"
    "Exposition Masquerading as Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Kim Stanley Robinson and/or Richard Ferrone?

    Not likely. My time is too valuable to waist on dated science.


    What could Kim Stanley Robinson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He should have remembered that an author never subjugates story to exposition.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    ???


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment for what he might have accomplished.


    Any additional comments?

    In Red Mars, Kim documents in encyclopedic detail his fascination with the ordinary, mundane, and inconsequential details of daily life in space and on Mars. The drama of the first 100 humans establishing a science station on Mars are so completely hidden in the technical details that I recommend you treat their discovery as the books first major subplot. I recommend paper and pen to record the infrequent clues. However, after a second or third reading, the story will become clear. Readers interested in 30-year-old science can skip the story and enjoy what might have been.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gods of Newport

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John Jakes
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    In the late 19th century, Newport, Rhode Island, was a cauldron of money, excess, and unapologetic greed, where reputations were made and lost in a whirlwind of parties and fancied slights. But amid the glamour of yacht races, tennis matches, and costume balls raged undeclared class warfare, scandalous doings, even madness. In 1893, railroad mogul Sam Driver, one of the few surviving robber barons of the lawless years after the Civil War, knocks on the door of fabled Newport with his daughter, Jenny.

    Henry says: "Dazzling Mediocrity"
    "Dazzling Mediocrity"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    My time listening to this book was not well spent. The story moved slower than the Mississippi on a hot summer day and was just a predictable in its flow.


    What could John Jakes have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    John Jakes could have written a better story by dropping the never-ending history lesson. What background I needed should have been included with the story not “told” to me by the narrator. Further, John seems to despise not only the Sam, but all of the wealthy people in the story. I don’t have any idea if that was intentional, but it lowers the story to a diatribe against the rich and famous. It is more than telling that all of the business ventures of Sam’s partners turned out to be failures. It makes one wonder how they ever got so rich.


    Which character – as performed by Jack Garrett – was your favorite?

    None of the characters stand out as particularly noteworthy.


    Do you think Gods of Newport needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, absolutely not.


    Any additional comments?

    While a good narrator can't save a poor book, Jack Garrett made a valiant effort in this case.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew Carnegie

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Nasaw
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (109)

    The Scottish-born son of a failed weaver and a mother who supported the family by binding shoes, Andrew Carnegie was the embodiment of the American dream. In his rise from a job as a bobbin boy in a cotton factory to being the richest man in the world, he was single-minded, relentless and a major player in some of the most violent and notorious labor strikes of the time. The prototype of today's billionaire, he was a visionary in the way he earned his money and in the way he gave it away.

    Peggie says: "Andrew Carnegie"
    "The Best Encore Ever"
    Overall

    Andrew Carnegie was a very interesting man. He worked hard, took chances, and became rich. He then retreated from direct management of his operations, drove his managers relentlessly, and became even richer. He obsessed over his fortune, ground everyone including his partners under his heal, and became the richest man in the world. Then as an encore, he gave it all away. I can't say his moneymaking, made me jealous, but I learned that he was the friend and dinner companion of Samuel Clemens, AKA Mark Twain, and that did make me jealous.

    David Nasaw certainly went through a massive research effort for this book. I wish he had stopped after he had presented three good examples and then moved on to his next point.

    Grover Gardner gave a steady and solid performance despite the length of the book. He deserves high marks for this effort.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9101)
    Performance
    (6629)
    Story
    (6668)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Barbara says: "A feast for the mind and imagination"
    "A new Genre - Scientific Romance"
    Overall

    I like science fiction. I don't usually like Gothic romances. Deborah Harkness has fussed these two genres into a new hybrid that is very interesting. Stir in the blending of two usually hostile and wary families, a little taboo, and you've got a great story.

    Jennifer Ikeda gave a very good performance of this book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregg Easterbrook
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    In The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wide-ranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past century; and yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations. Why this is so and what we should do about it is the subject of this book.

    Eric says: "Don't let the extremists stop you."
    "Right Wing Propaganda"
    Overall

    Mr. Easterbrook's condescension of Liberal/Progressive views is so offensive it made listening to him very difficult right from the first page, none-the-less I persisted. However, I finally had to draw the line at his use of fictitious facts that were so blatantly trumped up as to erode the last vestige of his credibility.

    If you hold Liberal or Progress worldviews and you don't enjoy having your intelligence insulted, I recommend that you pass on this piece of neo-conservative propaganda.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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