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Armstrong

Abbott, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 97 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Brian's Winter

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gary Paulsen
    • Narrated By Richard Thomas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (105)

    In Hatchet, 13-year-old Brian Robeson learned to survive alone in the Canadian wilderness, armed only with his hatchet. Finally, as millions of readers know, he was rescued at the end of the summer. But what if Brian hadn't been rescued? What if he had been left to face his deadliest enemy - winter?

    Susan says: "Wonderful survival tale!"
    "Awesome book, decent reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hatchet was so awesome that I had to hear this sequel. At first I thought it was weird that it was an alternate ending to Hatchet, but in the end I enjoyed it even more. The high detail of how Brian learned to survive was realistic and fun. You get a sense of how much the character had changed since the beginning of hatchet, so it's kind of a coming of age book. Anyone that dreams of living off the land will enjoy this. The reader was pretty good too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Remains of the Day

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (536)
    Performance
    (477)
    Story
    (471)

    The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world in postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving "a great gentleman". But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington's "greatness" and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served.

    Dan Harlow says: "Duty, Honor, England"
    "The most boring book in the history of literature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I want to be able to give this review without disrespecting the author; I’m going to try, but I still have to be honest. Kazuo Ishiguro is obviously intelligent and well educated. But for the life of me, I can’t see how anyone would give this book a favorable review, let alone almost everyone that has ever read it. It’s odd that this book is considered a classic and introduced it’s author to the world, and was even made into a movie starring Anthony Hopkins. Potential readers beware; this book is perhaps the dullest story in the history of literature.

    The considerable number of reviews that praise this book mention “an elegance of literature”, or something to that effect. Well, if you mean sounding very British and using three or four large words in every sentence, then yes, it’s elegant. In fact, if someone needed an adviser in how to speak as an intelligent, boring, English butler, I couldn't imagine anyone being as well versed as Kazuo Ishiguro. But what of the story? Isn't that the most important part of fiction?

    This review may seem unfair coming from someone that has never been an author, but I am an avid reader, and one with no need for explosions, romance, or teen heroes that have special abilities and are the only ones that can save the world. I simply need something about the characters and story to be interesting. Nothing actually “happens” in Remains of the Day. If someone was to abridge this book and leave only the most significant thoughts and conversations, my guess is we would only be left with about 3 % percent. Not that the 3% would be entertaining.

    In my abridged version, there would be a very mild chewing from someone that wonders if being the butler of a man that wants peace with Hitler is worthwhile, and the main character would ever so briefly think about it, but come to the conclusion that he’s not the kind of guy to consider such things. He is after-all, a coward who doesn't live his own life or have opinions. Finally, he speaks to a woman that he may or may not have had feelings for a long time ago, and she may or may not have had feelings for him. Like him, she’s soft spoken and would never go against the status quo, so they don’t tell each other except in subtle, polite, boring code. Then she goes back to her life and he sits on a bench and realizes that perhaps his own boring future is enough. The End.

    Literally, all other moments in the book are details about things as trivial as wondering if someone has the skills to be hired on at the manner, making a list of exactly what duties should be given to each person being hired, whether or not someone is or isn't speaking properly, whether or not they dress properly, if there are set standards for all butlers in behavior and in dress, if so who decides those standards and how, or contemplating endlessly over why some people are not afraid to speak candidly or act on things when is action is required, without realizing that it’s actually himself with the problem (hint, it IS him). And yes, there are plenty of memories about things that are just as pointless, and each has it’s own tired, boring ranting about details only someone as dull as our butler could narrate. But wait, did I mention the exciting adventure forced by his employer? That’s right, the main character stresses over change when ordered to drive around to other areas in his immediate area of the country, which only takes four days. Wonder what his opinions are on the rooms he’ll be staying in? Don’t worry, you’ll find out in the exciting chapters to follow!

    Finally the guy climbs a hill and sits on a bench and describes the view, and I found myself proud of him for this because he actually DID something, instead of just pondering about the possibility. A recurring theme throughout the story is that the butler doesn't understand banter. Which is to say, when anyone speaks to him in a joking manner he doesn't know how to react. Yes, the author made the main character that dull on purpose, and then we have to hear that boring character’s reflective dialog for twelve uneventful chapters. You would think the butler’s employer, who forces his banter on others such as the main character, would be entertaining. But alas, he makes an exit midway in the first chapter. At the end, as our uninteresting butler sits on the bench on the hill, we come to understand what the title Remains of the Day is referring to. That is, his future. As he contemplates this, the only change he makes is that perhaps he’ll try to master the art of banter (you know, what the rest of the world understood at age 5). Considering that his is the most boring personality imaginable with no courage to ever take risks or make changes, I think I’ll pass on hearing what remains for him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Darth Plagueis

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By James Luceno
    • Narrated By Daniel Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2506)
    Performance
    (2301)
    Story
    (2300)

    Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. Darth Sidious: Plagueis’s chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor. as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor.

    J. Whitney says: "Easily the best Star Wars audio production"
    "Good enough to be made into a movie!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is as good or even better than the films. It needs to be canonized into the official Star Wars universe and made into a movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robinson Crusoe

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Daniel Defoe
    • Narrated By Denny Sayers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    First published in 1719, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe is commonly considered as the first novel in English. Based on the real-life experience of Alexander Selkirk, who spent four years on a Pacific island, it is the account of the 28-year stay of an English sailor on a nearly uninhabited island near America.

    Rachael says: "Perfect for a 4th grader following along!"
    "This guy shouldn't be allowed to read outloud"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liken the experience to cutting yourself then pouring lemon juice on the wound. I bet the story is good though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hatchet

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Gary Paulsen
    • Narrated By Peter Coyote
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (688)
    Performance
    (444)
    Story
    (454)

    Newbery Award-winner Gary Paulsen's best-known book comes to audio in this breathless, heart-gripping drama about a boy pitted against the wilderness with only a hatchet and a will to live. On his way to visit his recently divorced father in the Canadian mountains, thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is the only survivor when the single-engine plane crashes. His body battered, his clothes in shreds, Brian must now stay alive in the boundless Canadian wilderness.

    Kristi Villani says: "the whole family loved it!!!"
    "Great book - had to listen to the sequels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is so much better than the movie. The details of how badly he failed at the beginning and how much he learned gave me a feeling of a true survival story. Anyone that dreams of living off the land will enjoy this book. It was so good I had to listen to all the sequels. Awesome reader too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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