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Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor

Florida | Member Since 2002

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • The Devil in the White City

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4268)
    Performance
    (1987)
    Story
    (2001)

    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

    D says: "A Rich Read!"
    "Blah Blah Blah"
    Overall

    The author either had a page quota or a fascination with historical detail that exceeded mine.

    This book tells a fairly interesting story, and provides a lot of the background information about the Chicago Fair which was also interesting. In my opinion, though, a good editor could have greatly improved this book by cutting out around 25% of it.

    It was an OK read -- and I didn't have anything else -- but many of the long and rambling introspections of the main characters could have been omitted. I kept saying to myself, "Get on with it! You've already told me what they thought and how they felt. I don't need to hear it over and over again."

    Not a bad book. Not a good one, either.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Altered Carbon

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3253)
    Performance
    (1469)
    Story
    (1477)

    In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

    Jake Williams says: "Altered Carbon"
    "What happened to you, Richard?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    IMHO, Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies (The "Altered Carbon Trilogy") are still the best hard, dark, violent, fun, and thought provoking sci-fi books ever written.

    I've listened to each of them around 5 times. Then Richard dropped Tak Kovacs and the whole altered carbon theme and wrote a sappy fantasy story. Then he disappeared.

    I couldn't believe how bad the fantasy book was after the *great* other books Richard had written. I didn't even finish it. I got about halfway through and then threw it away.

    Maybe Richard was burned out? Or ashamed? Or maybe the other books had been ghost written?

    Whatever it was, Richard, do whatever you have to do and start writing about Tak and Altered Carbon again. I'm sure I'm not the only reader who loved those books and misses them. So if you start writing about Tak again, your readers will be happy and you'll make lots of money. Better than a sharp stick in the eye, right?

    You found a winning formula Richard. Most authors would kill for one. Why did you abandon it?

    Bring Tak Back!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Warrior's Heart: The True Story of Life Before and Beyond 'The Fighter'

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Micky Ward, Joe Layden
    • Narrated By Mickey Ward, Bill Lobley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    With the success of the critically acclaimed, Academy Award-winning film The Fighter, the world stood up and cheered for the inspiring true story of Micky Ward - a heart-and-soul warrior who overcame the odds to make history in the ring. But that was only part of the tale.… Now, in his own words, “Irish” Micky Ward tells his inspirational life story as only he can. From his first bout at the age of seven, Micky Ward was known first and foremost for giving as good as he got, and for leaving absolutely everything he had in the ring.

    Eric Taylor says: "A good story for one listen."
    "A good story for one listen."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a feel good story and it made me feel good.

    I enjoyed listening to it once, but I wouldn't want to listen to it again. It held my interest all the way through -- more than a lot of books these days -- and the end was interesting. But that's it. One time was enough.

    This review made me think about how I "star" a book for the "overall" category:

    Would I want to listen to it over and over again? That's a 4 or 5 star book.

    Made it all the way through one time but that's all? 3 stars.

    Put it down before I got to the end the first time through? 1 or 2 stars, depending on how far I got and what else I didn't like about the book.

    So Micky and "Warrior's Heart" gets 3 stars overall. The performance was very good. I gave it 5 stars. But performance can't replace story. And for me, the book overall can't be better than the story. So if the "Warrior's Heart" story gets 3 stars, then the book overall gets 3 stars, too.

    There's nothing that stands out, got me excited, or makes me want to tell you about it in this review.

    I'm guessing it will be sitting on my hard drive for a long time before it gets played again. Maybe when my kids are older they'll enjoy it. I'll probably save it for them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Drowned Cities

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Joshua Swanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (358)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (324)

    In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man - a bioengineered war beast named Tool - who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses.

    Ryan says: "Another grim, gripping collapsed-world adventure"
    "It's from Paolo Bacigalupi! Read it!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm retired, so I have time to read a lot of books. Sometimes the stories and authors kind of run together. Then there's PB (and a few other authors**) whose books and stories are in a whole different class.

    I think PB is a genius. I'd bet his IQ is right up there with Einstein's. These days, PB is my favorite author. My only complaint is that I haven't seen any new books from him for a while.

    Most of the other "Drowned Cities" reviews nail the specifics of this book. There's no need for me to rehash what they've already written, so I'll just add a few comments:

    Great book!

    Great story!

    Great character development and story arcs!

    Great ending!

    Grabbed me and held me all the way through.

    Not always fun to listen to. Some of the suffering is pretty graphic, but it's necessary and makes the rest of the story work.

    Tool and Sgt. Ocho were my favorite characters.

    I cheered when the bad guys finally got theirs.

    It's from Paolo Bacigalupi! Read it!!

    P.S. I kept seeing "dystopic" in the other PB reviews. I didn't know what it meant, so I looked it up. It means a society in which there is something frightening or undesirable, like depression, oppression or terror. OK. Now I get it. And I agree. Most of PB's stories are set in dystopic societies, including "Drowned Cities".

    -----------------------------

    ** The lists of my other favorite authors are in my reviews of "Tough Sh*t" and "Winter of Frankie Machine".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tough Sh-t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Kevin Smith
    • Narrated By Kevin Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1143)
    Performance
    (1068)
    Story
    (1071)

    Take one look at Kevin Smith: He's a balding fatty who wears a size XXL hockey jersey, shorts, and slippers year-round. Not a likely source for life advice. But take a second look at Kevin Smith: He changed filmmaking forever when he was twenty-four with the release of Clerks, and since then has gone on to make nine more profitable movies, runs his own production company, wrote a best-selling graphic novel, and has a beautiful wife and kids. So he must be doing something right.

    Pamela says: "Such a likable slob!"
    "Worth A Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting listen. Held my attention all the way through, but I don't want to listen to it again, which is my way of distinguishing a good listen from a great listen.

    I don't know what this book is missing. It's good. Anyone interested in how films get made should buy it. It's just not a great listen like the ones from some of my favorite authors like Michael Connelly, Alistair Reynolds, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ken Follett, Michael Crichton, Peter Hamilton, Richard K. Morgan (Altered Carbon trilogy), etc. The books they write I can listen to over and over again. And I do.

    So 4 stars, Kevin. And good luck on your next projects.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (104)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Johnnie Walker says: "A new favorite author"
    "Five stars straight across the board"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an understated but GREAT story. Also a subtle and insightful look into the people who make up "organized crime".

    I enjoyed this story all the way through, but I only realized how good it was after I finished it the first time. It kept coming back in flashbacks to this scene or that scene, as well as the overall mood and feel. Winslow says a lot without saying it all the way through the story, and for me, that's one of the marks of a good writer.

    I've listened to "Winter" 3 times now and plan to listen to it again soon. I've also read all of Winslow's other books and keep watching for new ones. If the values of people who live on the edge bother you, this isn't a book for you. Otherwise, enjoy!

    P.S. I don't know whether I'd put Don Winslow at the top of my favorite writers list, but he's close. Maybe other people would enjoy listening to these writers, too. Here's a short list:

    Don Winslow (everything),
    John Grisham (before Theodore Boone),
    Peter Hamilton (complex and interesting hard sci fi),
    Michael Crichton (books like "Prey" make learning fun and scary),
    Nelson DeMille (especially "By The Rivers Of Babylon"),
    Christopher Reich (especially "The Big Short"),
    Greg Bear (long, complex, fun hard sci fi stories),
    Alastair Reynolds (great hard sci fi),
    Richard K Morgan (Altered Carbon trilogy and Thirteen. After that he seemed to lose it.)
    Paolo Bacigalupi (Windup Girl, Ship Breaker, Pump Six etc). Paolo is great!
    Michael Connelly (just about everything he's ever written).
    Lee Child, Lincoln Child, & Ken Follett

    Hope you find some authors here you enjoy. And hope I got my spelling right. :)
    Cheers --

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Whale Warriors

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By James Boles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    For two months, journalist Peter Heller rode aboard the vegan pirate ship Farley Mowat as it stalked its prey, a Japanese whaling fleet, through the storms and ice of Antarctica. The ship is black, flies under a jolly roger, and carries members of the Sea Shepherd Society, a radical environmental group who are willing to die to stop illegal whale hunting.

    Eric Taylor says: "A book everyone needs to read!"
    "A book everyone needs to read!"
    Overall

    I thought I knew something about ecology and whaling until I read this book. I didn't. I had no idea of how brutal whaling is and how much we've already damaged the oceans. But the author lays it out clearly. "Gripping" is kind of overused, but it's the word that comes to mind when I try to described this book. After finishing it, I looked up the Sea Shepherd web site and became a supporter. I hope other people will enjoy this book and perhaps also become supporters of Captain Watson's organization.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Woken Furies

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1254)
    Performance
    (516)
    Story
    (521)

    Richard K. Morgan has received widespread praise for his astounding 25th-century novels featuring Takeshi Kovacs, and has established a growing legion of fans. Mixing classic noir sensibilities with a searing futuristic vision of an age when death is nearly meaningless, Morgan returns to his saga of betrayal, mystery, and revenge, as Takeshi Kovacs, in one fatal moment, joins forces with a mysterious woman who may have the power to shatter Harlan's World forever.

    Jeri says: "I should have known better..."
    "The Best Book I've Read!"
    Overall

    "Woken Furies" is the best book I've read. I've listened to it 3 times, and each time there's more to enjoy and think about.

    I think the author is a Philosopher-Poet -- and great story teller -- with provocative views on religion, God, politics and philosophy, and he expresses those views eloquently through the voices and comments of his characters.

    His dark visions of the Universe of the future will fascinate anyone who has thought about what the future might look like when we link computers directly into our nervous systems, and that technology meets cloning and advances in molecular biology. They definitely fascinated me!

    Read this book!! (And all 3 books of this trilogy!) It's great fun, it tells a great story, it will make you think, and it will give you grist for lots of interesting discussions with your friends. I'll bet they want to read it, too.

    Please, Mr. Morgan, write more books about Takashi Kovach. Don't leave us with just three!

    Eric

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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