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Erik

Sooke, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2011

59
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 126 reviews
  • 126 ratings
  • 263 titles in library
  • 79 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
5

  • EMPEROR: The Gods of War, Book 4 (Unabridged)

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Conn Iggulden
    • Narrated By Paul Blake
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (112)

    The fourth volume in the acclaimed Emperor series, in which Conn Iggulden interweaves history and adventure to recreate the astonishing life of Julius Caesar - an epic tale of ambition and rivalry, bravery and betrayal.

    Konrad says: "Interesting novel series. Bad bad Audible service!"
    "Wow!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Emperor?

    A complete package, but this narrator is excellent! Obviously classically trained, he manages all voices most expertly. The story is good, and it must be remembered this is fiction. Die hard historians should look elsewhere.


    What does Paul Blake bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The best narrator I have listened to so far. I will take notice of any other work he takes on.


    Any additional comments?

    Again, this is fiction. I love "true" Roman history as much as the next person, so I had to remind myself those times the story wandered from actual events.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Return Man

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By V. M. Zito
    • Narrated By Bernard Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (109)

    The outbreak tore the US in two. The East remains a safe haven. The West has become a ravaged wilderness, known by survivors as the Evacuated States. It is here that Henry Marco makes his living. Hired by grieving relatives, he tracks down the dead and delivers peace. Now Homeland Security wants Marco for a mission unlike any other: He must return to California, where the apocalypse began. Where a secret is hidden. And where his own tragic past waits to punish him again.

    Mike Naka says: "wtf a zombie assassin? yes, but much more!"
    "Can't believe this isn't a video game!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yet another Zombie novel. That's OK, because I like the genre when I'm in the mood for some light reading. This one fit the bill nicely.

    This book didn't revolutionize the gene in any way, but it did provide some interesting ideas on post zombie society and how one survivor continued. As with many US stories, I always cringe when the story is exclusively American. Really, an outbreak of this magnitude is contained to the USA and stops at the Mexican and Canadian borders? As I said, it's entertaining, but not brilliant.

    The narration was well done, and enhanced the story. In fact, with the narration making the story a bit better than it ought to be, I couldn't help thinking that taking it one step further and making it into a video game would make the story even better.

    I can recommend this book if you like the zombie genre and aren't expecting too much. It entertained me, but it certainly didn't give me any "wow" moments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Selfish Gene

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (1708)
    Performance
    (1287)
    Story
    (1268)

    Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

    J. D. May says: "Better than print!"
    "Put your thinking cap on!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First published in 1976, this edition has updates that amplify or correct some of the original work. The author also explains certain challenges to his theory and counters those challenges in his precise fashion.

    I can only recommend this book if you have an interest in the origins of life and are curious as to how the sub-cellular world works. Having this curiosity is all you need, as the author does an excellent job in describing his theories in terms that even a layman like myself can understand.

    I've experienced narration duet of Dawkins and Ward in another work, so I knew what to expect, but the switch between the two very different voices can catch the new comer off guard. I does work though, and doesn't detract from the work at all.

    At 16 hours, this is by no means a quick or easy listen, but it does deliver a lot of information to think upon and does so in an easy to understand and enjoyable format. The introduction, at the end, of the "Extended Phenotype" is an excellent introduction to another of Dawkins' theories, and may wet your appetite for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heroes and Legends: The Most Influential Characters of Literature

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas A. Shippey
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (261)
    Story
    (260)

    Odysseus. Robinson Crusoe. Harry Potter. What do these memorable characters have in common? Why do we turn to certain stories again and again? And what impact have they made on world history? These 24 eye-opening lectures give fresh insight into some of the greatest heroes in world literature, from warriors such as Beowulf and Odysseus to unexpected heroes such as Uncle Tom and Sancho Panza. Professor Shippey gives you an inside glimpse into the writer's process.

    SC in SC says: "Outstanding! Myth, Legend & History Come Alive"
    "Worth Investigating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first "Great Courses" listen, and it was worth the credit and time. What I did like about it was that, much like a course, you could take it one chapter at a time over a few weeks without feeling like you needed to read on all the time.

    It was fun to look at the characters from the perspectives Prof. Shippley proposed. This brings me to the one recommendation I have, and that is to try this course only if you are reasonably well read in most of the classics presented within. Being closer to the grave than the cradle, I have had the time to have read almost all of the works discussed in the course.

    Prof. Shippley did indeed sound like a Professor. This was a bit disconcerting at first, as he has slightly nasal drawl and an English accent, but this distraction soon passes and enhances the illusion that you are participating in a lecture at school. This may be good or bad, depending on your perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All Quiet on the Western Front

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erich Maria Remarque
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (908)
    Performance
    (795)
    Story
    (800)

    Paul Bäumer is just 19 years old when he and his classmates enlist. They are Germany’s Iron Youth who enter the war with high ideals and leave it disillusioned or dead. As Paul struggles with the realities of the man he has become, and the world to which he must return, he is led like a ghost of his former self into the war’s final hours. All Quiet is one of the greatest war novels of all time, an eloquent expression of the futility, hopelessness and irreparable losses of war.

    Alan says: "My Choice for Frank Muller's Best"
    "Best medium for this classic story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read the book and I've seen both versions of the movie (the classic one and the 1970's version). Without a doubt, the audio version beats the movies. This is because so much of the novel is an inner dialogue and descriptive passages that link the loss of a young generation to the experiences of warfare. While the movies capture the visuals of the battlefield, it cannot adequately show the impact.

    I won't review the novel itself, as that has been done by many a better a reviewer than I. Suffice to say, this novel is approaching 100 years old and is still as fresh and pertinent today as then. If you aren't familiar with the story, then this is a "must read". There are few books that are it's equal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3468)
    Performance
    (3175)
    Story
    (3201)

    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"
    "I can see why this is a Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I went into this work with fresh eyes. I have never seen a movie adaptation and really had read nothing about the story beforehand. I was in fact, a bit skeptical, if only because of so many other "classics" that to me, fell short.

    This story however, was truly remarkable and deserves to have stood the test of time. It's not filled with violence, sex, or any of the other attributes of many modern stories, but it does have a tension between characters throughout that draws you in.

    Written at the beginning of what could be called "the century of wealth" for America (which continues into the present), it offers a window into a world of money and privilege. The view presented, however, is one where not all is happiness and roses.

    So, if you've never read this book, or wold like to experience a classic you've read but in an audio format (the narrator was excellent), then this work is highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Garrison Keillor
    • Narrated By Garrison Keillor, Tim Russell, Sue Scott
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (161)

    On the 12th floor of the Acme Building, on a cold February day in St. Paul, Guy Noir looks down the barrel of a loaded revolver in the hands of geezer gangster Joey Roast Beef, who is demanding to hear what lucrative scheme Guy is cooking up with stripper-turned-women's-studies-professor Naomi Fallopian. Everyone wants to know, and Guy faces them one by one, as he and Naomi pursue a dream of earning gazillions by selling a surefire method of dramatic weight loss.

    Darryl says: "funny noir spoof"
    "Tired too hard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I understand the aim of the author, and that was to spoof the detective noir genre of yesteryear. In some aspects this aim is met, with plenty of tongue-in-cheek lines and ridiculous names. Unfortunately, there isn't enough meat in this story to fill out 5 hours of narrative. Numerous times the story went off on unrelated tangents that grew annoying.

    I wanted to give the performance 4 stars, as the narrators did a great job. Production was also quite good with the one exception; the incessant music in the background. Used properly, it can enhance a story. Here, it was just annoying.

    In the end I can't really recommend this audio book. I think there are better stories out there also having some fun with this genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kill the Dead: Sandman Slim, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Richard Kadrey
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1085)
    Performance
    (920)
    Story
    (925)

    James Stark, a.k.a. Sandman Slim, crawled out of Hell, took bloody revenge for his girlfriend’s murder, and saved the world along the way. After that, what do you do for an encore? You take a lousy job tracking down monsters for money. It’s a depressing gig, but it pays for your beer and cigarettes. But in L.A., things can always get worse. Like when Lucifer comes to town to supervise his movie biography and drafts Stark as his bodyguard.

    Mike Naka says: "good enough for me to buy book 3"
    "Dark, irreverent, and silly, but very entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As the second of the series, you could probably read this as a stand alone novel, but having the background given in the first book will certainly help understand the silliness that goes on here.

    And silly it is. Talking severed heads, Satan at Hollywood parties, etc. It is also very dark; much darker than the first novel. Whereas the first book could be recommended to a mature YA audience, this book sits right in the mature zone.

    If anything, Kadrey's humour and one liners are even better here, and I was always amused by his quirky dialogues. Elite prose it is not, but it is damned entertaining.

    Highly recommended if you like comic books, the horror genre, and comedy.

    Not for the easily offended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Macbeth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1397)
    Performance
    (1162)
    Story
    (1159)

    Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

    Beverly says: "Narrator choice inspired"
    "Makes Macbeth accessible to everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was surprisingly good. Given the expert execution of the story by Shakespeare in his play, I was betting that the novelized version wouldn't be able to do as well. I was wrong.

    In the preamble the authors explain their reasons for expanding the story into a novel. In this, they do very well and round out the characters and back stories even more. I think the characters to most benefit the story are the 3 hags, as they are really brought to life in this book.

    The other benefit of this version of Macbeth is the ease of reading/listening. If Shakespearean prose has kept you away from these works before, have no fear here and experience why this story has such power even after all this time.

    The narrator was ideally suited to this book. His accent, inflection, and cadence made the experience very pleasurable. All this make this book highly recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bloody Jack

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By L.A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1613)
    Performance
    (1094)
    Story
    (1088)

    Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of 18th-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas. There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret.

    Terry says: "Sometimes it clicks"
    "A wonderful surprise!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I figured I give this a try based on the excellent reviews this work has received. I must admit that as an older male I had some trepidation. After all, this is a story about a girl and with a female narrator, which to date have not been spectacular.

    What a pleasant surprise! The story was enthralling and covers various aspects of late 1700 England. The narrator really was excellent. She brought the characters to life through what can best be described as acting. She is the best female narrator I have encountered yet.

    The story does have it's dark parts, and some material that would best be suited to the mature YA audience. There are also a few sillier parts, but hey, it's fiction, and these parts weren't too over the top.

    This audible book comes with my highest recommendation if you enjoy great fiction coupled with outstanding narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Man

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (196)

    On a freezing February day, a stranger emerges from out of the gray to request a room at a local provincial inn. Who is this out-of-season traveler? More confounding is the thick mask of bandages obscuring his face. Why does he disguise himself in this manner and keep himself hidden away in his room? Aroused by trepidation and curiosity, the local villagers bring it upon themselves to find the answers.

    Brian says: "Way ahead of its time!"
    "Dated, but still entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was good story and, even though it was already only about 5 hours of listening time, could have been a short story. It does suffer from the overly described writing fashion of the Victorian era. Perhaps we are just less patient as readers.

    The narrator was well matched to the story and enhanced the experience. He brought to life the expressions and inflections of the era.

    Give this one a read, even if just for the historical place this story holds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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