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Glenn

Pacifica, CA, USA

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 52 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Ender's Shadow

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Michael Gross
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (67)

    In Ender's Game, child-hero Ender Wiggin battles a deadly alien race and wins. Now Card tells the story of Bean, the one who became Ender's right hand, his strategist and his friend, the only one who was with him in the final battle.

    Randy says: "Excellent book, poor production"
    "Harsh on the ears"
    Overall

    While I love Orson Scott Card's books, this production, which was recorded in the highest compression--lowest quality audio, is painful to listen to even if the story fills in many gaps that the other Ender series don't. The sound is tinny at best--like listening to it through a cheap phone. Nonetheless, this will set you up for Shadow of the Hedgemon, which was a terrific book that I listened to out of order because I didn't know that this Shadow book existed.

    Until they come out with a version that is unabridged and recorded in higher fidelity, or you want to read the book, this may be the best you can get. I've not completed my listening, but wanted to warn others about the audio quality and not the story itself.

    3 of 3 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
    (4923)
    Performance
    (2035)
    Story
    (2029)

    "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"
    "Long but worth it!"
    Overall

    This book was a journey through time. Extraordinarily well-written, Littel has a way of providing detail and nuance in a way that few others I've read do. The 40+ hours I was very concerned about since I'd never listened to one that long and I was not sure if it could sustain my interest that long. But boy did it. Great characters that I cared about, good history lesson, and an author I will add to my "must listen" list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Da Vinci Code

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6815)
    Performance
    (1577)
    Story
    (1615)

    While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

    Alexandra says: "Incredibly entertaining"
    "Better than I ever thought"
    Overall

    After hearing all the hype about this book (and now the movie), I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I had already heard Bart Ehrman's "Truth and Fiction in the DaVinci Code" and so I was prepared from a fact vs. fiction point of view but I seriously think that this book would be as good as it was.

    It was a first-rate listen and "page-turner". The book takes you for a ride and does not tell you ahead of time the way the movie is supposed to (I've not seen the movie but I think the book may have spoiled it for me). The narrator is truly excellent with his voices and his own background narration was a terrific neutral canvas which he painted his characters. I tip my hat to Dan Brown and hope he continues to write such terrific novels--controversy or not.
    Oh! And in this unabridged version, there is a bonus recording of the author in front of a live audience which is very interesting to hear because it was prior to the opening of the film.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hour Game

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1923)
    Performance
    (770)
    Story
    (782)

    A woman is found murdered in the woods with a very special watch on her wrist, and what seemed a simple case soon escalates into a nightmare. The criminal methods of some of the most infamous killers of all time are being replicated by a new predator who stalks and strikes victims with a cunning brilliance. No one can understand the murderer's motives or who the next victim will be.

    Patricia says: "Disappointing"
    "Twisty plot riddled with cliches"
    Overall

    Scott Brick does a great job with this book, but I don't know how many times Balducci uses the phrase "Shot back" or "shot across" or some other weak phrase. He has too few words for too many scenes and it quickly becomes apparent. The plot twist will keep you guessing, but I found some of the clue threads almost non-apparent; at the "big reveal" the detective goes through a series of explanations that really are a stretch. Finally the differences between what the author can imagine and what the coroner describes are huge. It is too clear that he took notes during his forensic research and wanted to put them on paper to describe every gruesome detail, but his own imagination brings us tired wording.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Fall

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2441)
    Performance
    (927)
    Story
    (929)

    Five years after the crashof TWA Flight 800, the government has declared it a result of mechanical failure. But John Corey, an ex-NYPD detective who is now a contract agent with the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force, is persuaded by Kate Mayfield, his wife and task force partner, that the case deserves a second look.

    Ms Discus says: "Addictive mix of fact & intriguing storyline"
    "The ending is a bit contrived"
    Overall

    Agree with others that after Lions Game, Brick does not continue with as snappy a delivery for this book as he'd already done for John Corey. Still liked him, but it was not as satisfying as Lions Game--even if Lions Game may pick up again sometime in the future. I continue to like his relationship with Kate and there were very interesting moments and theories, but after a big build-up, the final chapter was very much a let-down. Granted that there is an interview at the end with the Author that helps explain his choices, but on balance, a promising book that he should have gone with an alternate ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dance of Death

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1260)
    Performance
    (457)
    Story
    (462)

    Agent Pendergast has become one of crime fiction's most endearing characters. His greatest enemy is one who has stalked him all of his life, his cunning and diabolical brother Diogenes. And Diogenes has thrown down the gauntlet. Now, several of the people closest to Pendergast are viciously murdered, and Pendergast is framed for the deeds. On the run from federal authorities, with only the help of his old friend NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta, Pendergast must stop his brother.

    Lu says: "Need to read earlier books in series"
    "Terrific. A"
    Overall

    First book by this author, but I chose it because of the narrator Scott Brick. It did not disappoint at any level except that now I have to read/get the book which follows. Wonderful cliffhanger situations, twists and interesting characters; all performed wonderfully by Scott Brick--one of the best readers I've heard since George Guidel--Books on Tape knows how to pick great readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Frankenstein, Book Two: City of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz, Ed Gorman
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1183)
    Performance
    (392)
    Story
    (401)

    They are stronger, heal better, and think faster than any humans ever created, and they must be destroyed. But not even Victor Helios, once Frankenstein, can stop the engineered killers he's set loose on a reign of terror through modern-day New Orleans. Now the only hope rests in a one-time "monster" and his all-too-human partners, Detectives Carson O'Connor and Michael Maddison.

    Chris says: "Other Reviewers Are Nuts"
    "Narrator Changed for this Production"
    Overall

    This is a warning to all you who like/love Scott Brick, who narrated (so well) the unabridged version of Book One of this series: John Bedford Lloyd narrates the Audible abridged version of Book One AND Audible unabridged Book Two.

    Why is this? Because Random House Audio has JBL reading the novel for all their publications of this book series, and Books on Tape has Scott reading their production. Audible has Books on Tape as the source for the unabridged version of Book One and then switched to Random House for the unabriged Book Two.

    So when you continue on to Audible's unabridged version Book Two, expecting to hear Scott, what you will instead hear Random House's John Bedford Lloyd reading it. Lloyd is not as good as Scott IMHO, but he does a reasonable job overall, perhaps overdoing some female parts.

    Narrator not withstanding, this is still a good book (bit too much review of Book One though to start) and has me anxiously waiting for Dean to complete the Book Three.

    I hope Audible returns to the Books on Tape version, with Scott Brick, when Dean releases the third book in about a year from now--without a collaborator this time (he admits he is not a good collaborator).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Frankenstein, Book One: Prodigal Son

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Every city has secrets. But none as terrible as this. His name is Deucalion, a tattooed man of mysterious origin, a sleight-of-reality artist who's traveled the centuries with a secret worse than death. He arrives as a serial killer stalks the streets, a killer who carefully selects his victims for the humanity that is missing in himself.

    Chuck says: "Captivating New Twist"
    "Scott Brick Narrates Book One Only, Not Book Two"
    Overall

    This is a warning to all you who like/love Scott Brick, who narrates (so well) the unabridged version of Book One of this series: John Bedford Lloyd narrates the Audible abridged version of Book One AND Audible unabridged Book Two.

    Why is this? Because Random House Audio has JBL reading the novel for all their publications of this book series, and Books on Tape has Scott reading their production. Audible has Books on Tape as the source for the unabridged version of Book One and then switched to Random House for the unabriged Book Two.

    So when you continue on to Audible's unabridged version Book Two, expecting to hear Scott, what you will instead hear Random House's John Bedford Lloyd reading it. Lloyd is not as good as Scott IMHO, but he does a reasonable job overall, perhaps overdoing some female parts.

    I hope Audible returns to the Books on Tape version, with Scott Brick, when Dean releases the third book in about a year from now--without a collaborator this time (he admits he is not a good collaborator).

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Frankenstein, Book One: Prodigal Son

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1396)
    Performance
    (534)
    Story
    (543)

    The first in a mesmerizing four-book original series, Prodigal Son is a brilliant re-imagining and updating of the classic Frankenstein story that only Dean Koontz could conceive. Two hundred years old, the "monster", Deucalion, is a monster no more. Literate and intelligent, he arrives in modern-day New Orleans, where he will join forces with a street-smart police detective and her partner on the trail of a macabre serial killer.

    John D. Grote says: "CSI -Transylvania"
    "What a ride!"
    Overall

    I couldn't wait to find out the next part of this series when this book ended. Koontz, unlike his other books, does not go on and on with extended descriptions, which got annoying fast. This book painted it's scenes so visually and cleanly, I was engrossed from first chapter. The reader is excellent and performs this reading so well, I want to hear other books from him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jester

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Andrew Gross
    • Narrated By Neil Dickson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (598)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (103)

    Hugh De Luc, a poor innkeeper, returns home from the First Crusade wearied from battle and disillusioned by carnage. After journeying from the Holy Land back to his own small village, he finds his nightmare is just beginning.

    Sheridan Race says: "Spellbound and engaged"
    "Like Crusade Period Movies? You'll love this."
    Overall

    I'm a big fan of Patterson. This is a Medieval tale full of knights, damsels, ladies, baddies (noblemen), and village people; all painted with broad, shallow strokes. The performance is great, but the narrator probably should have done it with a French accent rather than English. The story moves like screenplay and is a bit predictable and stereotypical. Bad buys are REALLY bad, good guys REALLY good. To get a sense of how this book plays, think about all Errol Flynn, Robin Hood-Maid Marianne, or Lancelot and Guinevere styled movies and how the acting was there. Very nobel words, black and white emotions, and everything played out with such a staged quality.

    This is how this entire book "reads". If you like this style, you will love this book. If you don't and want more of the old Patterson style, you won't find it here. Even so, this is a "page turner" and I found myself wanting to know what happens next. Definitely different for him (maybe it is the coauthor who gave it this feel), but not bad if you like novels that don't force you to think hard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5265)
    Performance
    (2613)
    Story
    (2665)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "Awesome Alternate Reality"
    Overall

    This was the book where I was introduced to Neal Stephenson and his imaginative, edgy, way of writing. It's fresh, tech-edged, and like a wack upside the head to hear how he has fleshed out this metaverse. I also liked the research and analogies he used to illustrate his points as to how this could happen. Religious references or no, I never felt that this book bashed Christianity, but maybe its theory of the origins of the Bible would surprise some.

    Made me want to look for more books from Neal. "Diamond Age" was on the longish side, but the world there too was very well defined. Neal does tend to get wordy and in too much detail sometimes in order to show you that his ideas are grounded either in science or math or some facts that he's like to use as his springboard. But all in all, I can highly recommend Snow Crash--especially people who like technical-gadgets and an intelligent story.

    Finally: Neal apparently does not believe his readers are stupid, and he does not write that way. This too is another reason I recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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