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Erik

Sooke, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2011

41
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 101 reviews
  • 101 ratings
  • 224 titles in library
  • 54 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
4

  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Neil Hunt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (150)

    Eight hundred women and children begin a 1,200-mile journey on foot across Japanese-occupied Malaya. At journey’s end, only 30 will still be alive. This is the story of one woman, of her ordeal, and of how she was saved by the sacrifice of an Australian soldier. It is a story of rare individual courage in the face of certain death, and hope in the face of despair.

    Jean says: "Historical Novel"
    "Enjoyable from start to end!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I saw this title in a "top 100" list somewhere and thought I'd give it a run. I'm glad I did. Others have criticized the use of an intermediary in the story (the lawyer), and indeed the novel could have been written without him, it certainly doesn't detract from the story. It's just how the author chose to present it.

    The novel is dated in it's perspective. If you are one of those who must layer modern thinking and conventions on top of works written years ago, you will likely be offended by some of the perspectives presented in this novel.

    If you are mature enough to be able to realize that this story reflects how it was when written (and be glad you don't live in that period), then you should find this book very rewarding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (846)
    Performance
    (710)
    Story
    (710)

    Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

    SoCalBonnie says: "It won me over completely"
    "Very appealing for the YA audience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was very enjoyable story that kept me entertained, had some unique concepts embedded, yet went too far in demonizing adults and in the idea of body parts retaining a "soul". These later two points detracted from the story somewhat, leading me to drop my rating from 4 stars to 3.

    The concept - unwanted teenagers are eligible to be used for body parts under the authority of uncaring and unfeeling adults. This part overlooks paternal instincts and makes victims of teenagers; hence the large appeal to the YA audience this book holds.

    This being said, the concepts were unique, the writing good, and the narration complemented the story. The result was a very acceptable listen that I can recommend to those with a good imagination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1024)
    Performance
    (947)
    Story
    (940)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Melinda says: "Heavy Load"
    "A powerful and dark message"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This work should be consulted by everyone before considering war as a means to an end. On completion, there should be self reflection and that important question "is this what we want to subject our citizens to".

    An interesting collection of stories, I was never really certain if all of them were real or not, bu,t as the author points out, they are all real on some level. The net effect is an stunning and dark portrayal of conflict post WWII.

    This book takes it's place among other great stories, such as All Quiet on the Western Front, and, on reflection, it's interesting to note how war has changed over the past 100 years. If the brutality described in this book is true, then I would have to say that modern war has taken a turn for the worse, if that is even possible. Having recently read "Generation Kill", it certainly seems that this trend of brutality continues.

    Read this book. Struggle through it if you must. As a citizen of a democracy, whether British, American, Canadian, etc., it is your responsibility to be educated as to the impact of war before routinely accepting the political and media hype surrounding key issues of conflict. If only for that, this is a must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Run: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (320)

    Five days ago a rash of bizarre murders swept the country. Senseless. Brutal. Seemingly unconnected. A cop walked into a nursing home and unloaded his weapons on elderly and staff alike. A mass of school shootings. Prison riots of unprecedented brutality. Mind-boggling acts of violence in every state. Four Days Ago the murders increased ten-fold. Three days ago the President addressed the nation and begged for calm and peace. Two days ago the killers began to mobilize. Yesterday all the power went out. Tonight....

    Jacqueline says: "Violent, Depressing, Mostly Sci Fi"
    "Not the best story line"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked this up after exploring Crouch's series of Whispering Pines. Bottom line up front, this book wasn't as good, and I can see a pattern developing in his work that could get repetitious.

    First off, the basis of the story: an aurora appears over the USA (and only the USA, of course), turning those who saw into fanatical killers who work together against anyone, including their own family members, who didn't see it. Unfortunately, that's the only explanation for what then becomes a "preppers" (those who constantly prepare for the collapse of society) wet dream. Even the ending is quickly explained away. All of a sudden, the effects of the aurora vanish. Come on Mr. Crouch, you can do better than that!

    Other similarities to the "Pines" series: The nearly failed marriage with disloyal spouses, one of the spouses lovers being a "bad guy", and, in the end, the crisis drawing the family back together again.

    There are some good points to the story. Mr. Crouch is an accomplished wordsmith. His character portrayals and scenario set-ups are executed well, and the action scenes draw you in. Unfortunately, all this can't overcome the thin plot line.

    So, I really can't recommend this book to someone looking for a story that isn't just an excuse for action scenes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dog's Run

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nick Russell
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Life is good in Elmhurst, Ohio. The war is over, the economy is booming, and the future looks bright. But just across the deep ravine known as Dog's Run is a different life, one where times are always hard and dreams seldom come true. When Wanda Jean Reider, a beautiful young woman from the wrong side of town, is found dead in Dog's Run secrets begin to come out. Secrets that will expose hidden sins and a dark side of life carried on behind the manicured lawns and inside the back rooms of the stores along Main Street.

    Aaron says: "A captivating mystery in a captivating town"
    "A dark version of the Andy Griffith show"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author did a great job in painting and developing the atmosphere and characters in small town, backwoods USA following on the heels of the second world war. This allowed the reader to be immersed in the division of societal classes that is at the root of a murder that occurs. Combined with the slow drawl of the narrator, it was easy to fully engage in the story for a most enjoyable experience.

    The only detraction was that it was a touch predictable in places, and I was able to foresee some upcoming developments, but that is a minor criticism. Don't let this deter you, as the places, character, and atmosphere all make for a very worthwhile read.

    Well worth a credit for this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (604)
    Story
    (605)

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "A wonderful tale of a simple yet brilliant man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I acquired this book after being amazed at Nevile Shute's most famous work "A Town Like Alice". I'm glad I did, as Mr. Shute once again drew me into a simple tale through masterful story telling.

    Although somewhat dated, as transoceanic air travel is no longer the wonder it was when this work was penned, the sense of adventure is still there. Mr. Shute's attention to detail is marvelous, and his description of ocean voyaging is very well done.

    Of course, it is once again his characters who steal the show. As in "Alice" the subjects are simple people but, as you get know them, they are incredibly complex and, in their own ways, kindhearted.

    Frank Muller did a great job narrating the book. He definitely added to the experience and brought the characters to life.

    I'll be exploring some of Nevile Shute's other works now, and I highly recommend you give this work a try if you enjoy great story telling about people that are not larger than life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • METAtropolis

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, and others
    • Narrated By Michael Hogan, Scott Brick, Kandyse McClure, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1337)
    Performance
    (580)
    Story
    (588)

    Armed camps of eco-survivalists battle purveyors of technology in this exclusive, original production featuring five sci-fi masters and five all-star narrators.

    Karen says: "Fascinating stories"
    "Future World fiction that is really out there"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a tough one to review, as there are a few stories in this compilation that really stood out, and few that we so convoluted and odd that it detracted from the story line. In the end, I gave a middle of the road rating, as I think that reflects the sum total of the book.

    There are some unique ideas in this book, and there are some ideas that are too complicated and/or odd. Narration, conducted by a variety of authors, is well executed and adds to the work.

    In summary this is an odd book. I can recommend it if you like fiction that explores how our world will look in the not to distant future. If this isn't your thing, then you may just find this book a little too weird.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: The Feast Of The Drowned

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen Cole
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (524)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (376)

    When a naval cruiser sinks in mysterious circumstances in the North Sea, all aboard are lost. Rose is saddened to learn that the brother of her friend, Keisha, was among the dead. And yet he appears to them as a ghostly apparition, begging to be saved from the coming feast... the feast of the drowned. As the dead crew haunt loved ones all over London, the Doctor and Rose are drawn into a chilling mystery.

    C. Call says: "Creepy, but good!"
    "B-Flick cinema brought to your headphones"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've never experienced Dr. Who before, you may wonder what the heck this audio book is about. Rest assured, Dr. Who always comes with a pinch of cheesiness and a dollop of the ridiculous. It must be a recipe that works, as the series has a cult following the world over.

    I won't describe the story, as it is typical Dr. Who, but I will applaud the production and performances. BBC, as usual, does a top-notch job of making this an entertaining and well produced version.of the TV series.

    So, if you like Dr. Who on TV, don't be afraid of trying out this format. It 's almost as good as watching it on the tube.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mutiny On The Bounty

    • UNABRIDGED (42 mins)
    • By James Norman Hall
    • Narrated By Orson Welles
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Captain Bligh leaves London for Tahiti in charge of his crew on the Bounty. At sea he shows himself to be a brutal tyrant and cruel whilst enforcing discipline which includes flogging the men, cutting rations and over zealously working them too hard. On the return voyage, first mate Fletcher Christian, wonderfully played here by Orson Welles, leads the crew to mutiny and sets Bligh and his supporters adrift on a boat. What they did not count on is the Captain's return in this gripping tense drama.

    Erik says: "Excellent Performance!"
    "Excellent Performance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had no idea what I was getting when I decided to give this a try, but it turns out this is the an early radio series work remastered for the audio book format.

    This was a trip down nostalgia road. As with many of those early radio broadcasts, it is as much audible-theater as it is the reading of a novel. As such, this really was a performance that was ell engineered and directed.

    Be advised, however, that this novel doesn't cover all aspects of the movie. It only touches on the relationships the crew developed with the islanders, and doesn't follow the ship once Bligh is deposed.

    Of course, the performance by Wells is first-rate, as he is perhaps the first master of the audio format.

    Get this book for your morning commute. It's short enough to finish in one sitting and will certainly show you the power of audio performances as they were in the past.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Terms of Enlistment

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Marko Kloos
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (633)
    Performance
    (588)
    Story
    (589)

    The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth.

    DAVE says: "Solid military sci-fi."
    "Testosterone fueled junk"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don't believe some those reviews comparing this favorably with works such as Enders Game, The Forever War, or Starship Troopers. This is what drew me in and I ended up very disappointed.

    Whereas the works referenced above take the time to develop the background of "future society" in which the events take place, in this novel the author jumps right in without any explanation of how society ended up as it did, or even how that society functions. The result is a novel that follows the worn script of basic training description-first unit description-combat description-combat description, etc. I could deal with this if there was background to work from, but there was none.

    As an example, the hero's first combat mission is against an embassy taken over by civilians. The author takes pains to note that the civilians have military grade weapons and training. The hero's win the fight, and are extracted. There is no follow on or speculation as to how or why the civilians acquired the weapons, or their motivations for taking the embassy. In short, the author needed a scenario for combat and an explanation for how the heavily armored soldiers could be harmed in combat.

    So, if you enjoy description after description of squad level combat, then this may appeal to you. If you are looking for some deeper sci-fi, then look elsewhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivals That Ignited the Space Age

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Matthew Brzezinski
    • Narrated By Charles Stransky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (280)

    On October 4, 1957, a time of Cold War paranoia, the Soviet Union secretly launched the Earth's first artificial moon. No bigger than a basketball, the tiny satellite was powered by a car battery. Yet, for all its simplicity, Sputnik stunned the world.

    Thomas says: "awesome"
    "Much more than space and satellites"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was impressed with various topics covered within this book. While the central theme revolved around the launching of the first satellite, this book touched on topics such as the relationships within the Kremlin, the White house, and between the USA ans Germany post-WWII. This is not the limit of those topics, but just a sampling.

    As such, this is an excellent read for anyone who grew up in that era or who can recall the cold war. Of course, if you're young enough to have heard of these things and are curious, this book will be of interest. It should be of interest to everyone, as it shows how politics and personalities can, and still do, drive national policy.

    The author managed to weave all of these elements into a well paced and flowing work. The material in this work could have been very dry if presented wrong, but Mr. Brzezinski managed to breath much life into this book. He's the type of history teacher I wish I had.

    If you read just one book about cold war history, make it this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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