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John S

Avid audible listener for over 10 years.

MA | Member Since 2005

119
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 76 reviews
  • 79 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
10

  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8537)
    Performance
    (7763)
    Story
    (7822)

    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.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "Last one for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I agree with many of the other reviews. Mr Brown has gone to the well once to many times with this theme. Although set in different places than last books (Florence vs. Rome) other than the travel guide aspects to this book, it was the same old same old. Hidden meanings in paintings, clues that only the Professor can decipher. We have been here before.

    One eye opening aspect about the book is the central theme of overpopulation. The description of what the world is heading for is depressingly quite accurate and one of the reasons you want to put the book down. On the positive side, the book is really fast paced so moves right along and keep you engaged. It's just that you get a deja Vu feeling to the whole thing. As long as Dan Brown's books make the best seller list, however, the more we can expect the same.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2681)
    Performance
    (2462)
    Story
    (2471)

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....

    Darwin8u says: "Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured"
    "A classic that should be read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Regardless of whether this was a recent movie with Leonard DeCaprio or an audio book narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal, this an an all time classic. The writing is impeccable, with each paragraph and page expertly crafted. Although I loved the Audible version, this is a book that should be read, not listened to or watched on the big screen. It's a rather short book that exemplifies the power of the written word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Atlantis Plague: The Origin Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By A. G. Riddle
    • Narrated By Stephen Bel Davies
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (138)

    In Marbella, Spain, Dr. Kate Warner awakens to a horrifying reality: the human race stands on the brink of extinction. A pandemic unlike any before it has swept the globe. Nearly a billion people are dead--and those the Atlantis Plague doesn't kill, it transforms at the genetic level. A few rapidly evolve. The remainder devolve. As the world slips into chaos, radical solutions emerge. Industrialized nations offer a miracle drug, Orchid, which they mass produce and distribute to refugee camps around the world. But Orchid is merely a way to buy time. It treats the symptoms of the plague but never actually cures the disease.

    John S says: "I'm so confused. This is a mashup"
    "I'm so confused. This is a mashup"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I could not make heads or tails from this book. I actually gave up halfway through the book. There are too many story lines. We have aliens from outer space, zombie-like humans, drug companies fighting pitched battles in the streets, humans with super human capabilities, autistic children with special abilities. The list goes on. I would call it a "mash up" of just about every end of the world genre of books. World War Z meets E.T. with a little Hunger Games thrown in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2991)
    Performance
    (2838)
    Story
    (2842)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Get this for any child interested in sceince"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book. I went to local library to get hard copy for my son who loves science and found that there was over 100 people on waiting list. One reviewer said it was similar to McGyver on Mars (TV series we loved), and it is. Besides the science part, the dialogue was great. Sure there are some swears (nothing as a parent we have never heard before), and not that I would condone swearing, but If I was in place of major character I am sure I would say the exactly the same as my Mars vehicle flipped over. As good as Hunger Games. 100% positive rating from me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crusade: Destroyermen, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Taylor Anderson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1326)
    Performance
    (844)
    Story
    (857)

    Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy, along with the men and women of the USS Walker, have chosen sides in a war not of their making. They have allied with the Lemurians - a mammalian race whose peaceful existence is under attack from the warlike, reptilian Grik. The Lemurians are vastly outnumbered and ignorant of warfare, and even the guns and technology of Walker cannot turn the tide of battle.

    Readalot says: "Excellent Listen"
    "I think I will stop here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although many people swear by this series I will stop here. The author seems to slow things down by adding endless details and the plot just grinds to a halt. I looked at the number of books in this series and realized why. Usually I get to the third or forth book in a series before I feel this way. This series only took 2 books. I listened to the first one that was great. I started to lose interest in this one 3/4 the way through. If it was a 3 or 4 book series I would continue, but at 13 hours each, I realize that there are better books to use my monthly credits on. In summary, plan on a long voyage to make it through this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Influx

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    Overall
    (998)
    Performance
    (936)
    Story
    (931)

    Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they've been working toward for years: A device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics - the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel Prize. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring.

    Sterling Okura says: "Entertaining Physics SciFi"
    "Thought it would end in cliffhanger but no"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This a a good story that actually ends at the end of the book. There will be no sequel (Although wasn't that what George Lucas said about Star Wars until Disney bought him out.) It ends with a certain sense of finality. I can't imagine how the author will try to extend this series. I have listened to many books recently that actually don't end. The author just wants to make you buy the next book. Charles Dickens actually wrote his novels as a "series" but each book stood on its own. This a good one book thriller/SciFi novel that is an enjoyable listen. One book in and out. Done.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cairo Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (88)

    Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed. Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated.

    Darwin8u says: "In the widening gyre"
    "Great Narration. Reason we love audio books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This a good "spy" thriller mostly because of the narration and the subject: the Arab spring. Set in Europe and Egypt it involves the revolution in Libya. Although it is sort of "old news" its much more current that anything involving Russia and the cold war. There is also something going on in the "background" that keeps you guessing. I won't give it away.

    The narration is great. You would swear that there are several narrators instead of just Edoardo Ballerini. This is one of those books that is a much better listen than read.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Laura McHugh
    • Narrated By Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Shannon McManus, Sofia Willingham
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (179)

    The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see.

    John S says: "Not too bad but you have to pay attention."
    "Not too bad but you have to pay attention."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good but not great book. There are two major characters and two plot lines so it gets confusing if you do not pay attention. The book jumps back and forth between the two just about every chapter so you have to figure out where you are in time. Since there is one narrator and she does not change her voice that much between the two women characters (mother and daughter) you find yourself trying to figure out what story line you are listening to. They are related but not the same. Most of the other characters are in both so it can be even more confusing. This might be better a better kindle than audible book for that reason.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • City of God: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By E. L. Doctorow
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In his workbook, a New York City novelist records the contents of his teeming brain - sketches for stories, accounts of his love affairs, riffs on the meanings of popular songs.... He is a virtual repository of the predominant ideas and historical disasters of the age. But now he has found a story he thinks may become his next novel: The large brass cross that hung behind the altar of St. Timothy's, a run-down Episcopal church in lower Manhattan, has disappeared...and even more mysteriously reappeared on the roof of the Synagogue for Evolutionary Judaism, on the Upper West Side.

    Kathi says: "Deep and enormous sweep of ideas"
    "Where is the story?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to two hours of this book and there is no story. It seems just a collection of random sentences. It's disappointing because I have read and enjoyed all of the author's previous books. This one made no sense. It begins with a chapter about the beginnings of the universe, then goes on to a chapter about what I guess is the main theme and characters and then diverges from there. The author is a great writer but seems to be wandering all over the literary landscape. I very rarely do this, but I am returning the book to get a credit back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The French Admiral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Dewey Lambdin
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (90)

    1781: Held by the British, the Chesapeake Bay port of Yorktown is under siege. Pounded by the American forces on land and the deadly warships of their French allies at sea, the once-proud city is aflame and near ruin. But on the horizon, the Royal Navy fleet, with heavily armed frigates, is poised to break through the French blockade. Aboard HMS Desperate, Midshipman Alan Lewrie sets his gunners to their lethal work firing broadsides of 24-pound shot at the enemy vessels.

    David says: "Great !!!!"
    "Combines British Navy with American Revolution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In this book, the British come out the losers as they are kicked out of America by the French and Americans. It is a good addition to the series and gives some fairly good historical perspective about the war in Maryland and siege of Yorktown. The British come off as fairly incompetent in their war in America. The Hero, Alan Lewerie manages to escape, just barely. Of course I can't possibly spoil the ending since we all know the British lost the war of Independence. The British Admirals are shown as timid whose ranks are determined by political influence rather than competence. There might have been a different outcome if they had an Admiral Nelson in instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By C. S. Forester
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (516)
    Performance
    (456)
    Story
    (457)

    The year is 1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Horatio Hornblower, a 17-year-old boy unschooled in seafaring and the ways of seamen, is ordered to board a French merchant ship and take command of crew and cargo for the glory of England. Though not an unqualified success, this first naval adventure teaches the young midshipman enough to launch him on a series of increasingly glorious exploits.

    Emrys says: "Superb narration of a great story"
    "Limited Series in Audio Format"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a big fan of this genre, C.S Forester is perhaps the best known, but there are also the Dewey Lambdin series which is also good, Peter Simple, and the Master and Commander Series from Patrick O'Brien. I would rate C.S Forester as among the better, but slightly more serious than the others. For more fun and spice I like Dewey Lambdin. The Bloody Jack Series is also fun although it is aimed at teenagers. This is book 1 (can't purchase book #2), and book # 3 is next one in series on Audible. So if you start listening, you will soon have to transition over to written word because there is limited audio format availability.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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