You no longer follow Angela

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Angela

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Angela

Knoxville, TN, USA | Member Since 2009

77
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 65 ratings
  • 365 titles in library
  • 44 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (116)

    Pop star Jason Taverner is the product of a top-secret government experiment that produced a selection of genetically enhanced people 40 years ago. Unusually bright and beautiful, he's a television idol beloved by millions - until one day, all records of his identity inexplicably disappear. Overnight, he has gone from being a celebrity to a being a man no one seems to recognize. And in a police state, having no proof of his existence is enough to put his life in danger.

    Shawn says: "One of Philip K. Dick's Best"
    "Not Scott Brick's Best Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The novel covers themes that Dick often explored in his writing - the nature of reality and how well we can trust our own interpretations of it, as well as the effect of drugs on our perceptions.

    In this story of Jason Tavener, a celebrity who wakes up in a fleabag motel to find himself an overnight unknown, there are a lot of possible explanations for what happened, and the listener is kept guessing while Dick takes us through all the various characters who might help Jason figure out how to get back to his real life. I wouldn't like to give away too much of the ending, but I'll just say there was a similar denouement in the short story "The Electric Ant," which I personally liked better.

    I think part of the problem for me was that Scott Brick simply wasn't the right narrator for this story. I have enjoyed his narrations in the past, and I bought this story mostly because I am a big fan of Philip K. Dick's, but partly due to the fact that Scott Brick was reading it. Unfortunately, his style just doesn't seem suited to Dick's dark humor. And there is definitely humor in Dick's stories, even though he is usually writing about such topics as drug abuse, police brutality and alienation from society.

    For listeners who want to give a Philip K Dick story a try, I would recommend Paul Giamatti narration of A Scanner Darkly instead. It's grim and tragic, but Giamatti will also make you laugh.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Bellwether

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (827)
    Performance
    (519)
    Story
    (521)

    Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions - with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.

    Charles says: "The Lone Naysayer..."
    "Classic Connie Willis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fun, light story of romance between geeks, with plot complications caused by bureaucratic stumbling blocks.

    Entertaining characters and situations interspersed with interesting details about fads in history. - just the thing if you are feel like a happier-ever-after story that doesn't insult your intelligence.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Stainless Steel Rat

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Harry Harrison
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1088)
    Performance
    (856)
    Story
    (858)

    DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable. DiGriz' hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who his planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds.

    SFF11C says: "Awesome"
    "Hasn't stood the test of time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes classic science fiction is fun just for what it reveals about the time it was written in. You have to put up with the sexism/racism and the total lack of perception that society would ever evolve no matter how many new gadgets were invented or how many new worlds discovered, but it can still be entertaining enough as a trip back through time.

    Not this. There is nothing that makes up for the predictability of the story and the idiocy of the main character. I recommend that instead of wasting your time with this, you go straight for Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon, which is what this story was more or less lifted from.

    The narrator did his best with the material he had to work with, and gave the self-absorbed dunderhead of a protagonist a nice metrosexual little twist.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Language A to Z

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John McWhorter
    • Narrated By Professor John McWhorter
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (472)

    Linguistics, the study of language, has a reputation for being complex and inaccessible. But here's a secret: There's a lot that's quirky and intriguing about how human language works-and much of it is downright fun to learn about. But with so many potential avenues of exploration, it can often seem daunting to try to understand it. Where does one even start?

    Jacobus says: "A genious Miscelany of linguistic topics"
    "A lecture series as entertainment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an interesting topic read by a skilled lecturer. No bad stuff happens in it - you won't cry, although you might laugh - and you can forget about politics and global warming and warfare for awhile - and just learn about something that evolves naturally - language. Each lecture is 15 minutes long, so there are no great demands on your time if you can only listen in bits and pieces. Well worth the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2426)
    Performance
    (1298)
    Story
    (1292)

    The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

    Bill says: "Excellent!"
    "Steven King's Memoirs read by Steven King!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Quite often we encounter in reviews the opinion that writers are not skilled enough to narrate their own work. If that is true, here is the exception that proves the rule! If Steven King had not been a best selling author, he surely could have done this for a living. What a treat to hear him give voices to the various characters he reads for in the writing lesson portion of this work. It surely would have been acceptable for him to read them in his own voice, but he goes the extra mile.

    Witty, self-effacing, not afraid to reveal even the most embarrassing episodes from his youth, he has created a book on writing that is also the story of his own journey to becoming a writer, as interesting as any autobiography out there. He also offers a lot of good advice to would-be writers, useful stuff whether you are actually an aspiring novelist or just have to do routine writing for work.

    I think it's one of his best books, and I will listen to it multiple times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Kim Stanley Robinson
    • Narrated By David Marantz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Adventurers, scientists, artists, workers, and visionaries - these are the men and women you will encounter in the short fiction of Kim Stanley Robinson. In settings ranging from the sunken ruins of Venice to the upper reaches of the Himalayas to the terraformed surface of Mars itself, and through themes of environmental sustainability, social justice, personal responsibility, sports, adventure, and fun, Robinson's protagonists explore a world which stands in sharp contrast to many of the traditional locales and mores of science fiction, presenting instead a world in which Utopia rests within our grasp.

    Angela says: "A nice treat for Kim Stanley Robinson fans"
    "A nice treat for Kim Stanley Robinson fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Each one of these little stories has some theme or reverberation from one of KSR's longer works, and like those longer works, contain a lot of food for thought and a depth that means you can listen again and again and find something different each time.

    I bought this just for the "Escape from Kathmandu" portion, and it is wonderful to hear it read by such a skillful narrator. The full book of four stories is KSR's funniest work, and ought to be an Audible book all on its own. However, all the stories are such little gems, and read with such feeling for the work that now I can't decide which one I like the best.

    This narrator is my favorite of those KSR books I have listened to so far. I wish that Audible would get him to re-do the Climate in the Capital series, which is such a timely work, and would be well worth doing with a narrator who does justice to the emotional feel and depth of the work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • War and Remembrance

    • UNABRIDGED (56 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (1990)
    Performance
    (1691)
    Story
    (1678)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues here in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    aaron says: "What can I say that hasn't already been said??"
    "Magnum Opus"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I believe I downloaded this book and its companion, The Winds of War, from a Audible list called "Magnum Opus" or something of that sort. It was no lie. These two books are among the best Audible has to offer.

    Herman Wouk must have decided to write his own, American, version of War and Peace, and while not many writers could compete with Tolstoy, he had the chops to pull it off. The novels, simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring, have everything a reader (or listener) could wish for: historical research, character development, plotting, great themes.

    Audible chose wisely in getting Kevin Pariseau to narrate these two books. He not only had to be able to pronounce bits of language and place names from locations around the globe, but also to sing songs representing a variety of cultures. Who can do that? Kevin Pariseau can! There are too many examples of his brilliance to list, so I'll limit myself to just one: I'm thinking of a section in which he had to sing an old song from the twenties as one of the characters reflected on the happier days of her marriage - and somehow he managed to give it the scratchy shaky feel of an old 20s record.

    By any measure, these two books and the Audible productions of them are outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael A. Singer
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1205)
    Performance
    (1022)
    Story
    (1021)

    Spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer explores the question of human identity and shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and achieve happiness and self-realization.

    Lea says: "Fabulous!"
    "Deceptively short, good for multiple listenings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book that has the word "soul" in the title and might seem to have an underlying religious theme. It's not really a book just for religious people, and I say that even though the final chapter discusses god. Actually the book is more of a discussion on the nature of consciousness, and how if you understand a little bit about how consciousness works (even though none of us really know what it is), you can allow yourself the freedom to live mindfully and step back from the things in life that trouble you. The book contains very good advice, and the instructions are explained simply so that they are relatively easy to follow. Nevertheless, being mindful is a difficult thing to do and requires practice. This is one of those books in which you get more value from it being short and direct; you can listen to it again and again, and at the very least maintain the goal of working towards living mindfully.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anathem

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and others
    Overall
    (1954)
    Performance
    (946)
    Story
    (957)

    In celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected". But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the perilous brink of cataclysmic change.

    Brandon Barton says: "All hail Oralow"
    "One of Stephenson's Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not sure there is any way to sum up this story that doesn't sound deadly dull, and even though I'm a big Stephenson fan, I put off reading this one for years based on all the reviews and plot summaries that are out there. All I can say is, if you like Stephenson, just forget that this is supposedly set in some monastery for eggheads and have fun with it. This is a big Stephenson-esque tour de force that's part treatise on the nature of consciousness, part social commentary on our own world, and part Heinlein-style adventure story - only the adventure part is better than anything Heinlein ever did, almost as if Stephenson is saying, "Look, this is how you write science fiction adventure stories for teenagers."

    William Dufris was just right for narrator (the others are there to read definitions from the "Dictionary"). I was much happier with him in this one than in Cryptonomicon, in which he made Bobby Shaftoe sound like Gomer Pyle. This time, I think he did an admirable job with most of the character's voices - although Orolo's voice is quite elderly, and if you do the math (not hard the way their world is structured), he could hardly be over 50. Overall, Dufris has a cheerful, slightly ironic way of reading that strikes the right chord for this work.

    Finally, a note on the new vocabulary. It's pretty clear a lot of work went into creating the names for things on planet Arbre. These are not new words for new things, but simply different words for things we already recognize, and a lot of them make sense in context. Jeejah actually isn't a bad word for a cellphone, especially the screeching obnoxious things that are a nuisance at social events, and bullshyt is actually a pretty good word for that particular concept. Among other things, this is a funny book, and the new vocabulary, clever in that way, helps to set the tone.

    Stephenson fans, this is one you will not want to miss.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5687)
    Performance
    (2983)
    Story
    (3042)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "The Nature of Consciousness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Every science fiction story is a reflection of the time it was written, and if it is good, it is a commentary on that time. Snow Crash definitely belongs to the 1990s, even if it is set in the future, and as is usual with Neal Stephenson novels, goes into as much detail as the listener/reader would care to know about how things work. Some of his futuristic technology is already dated, which is not surprising, seeing how quickly the digital world has evolved and mutated since the book was written, but his humorous style still makes it all somehow fresh and new. The social commentary is still relevant, if not more so, as he brings to life an America in which everything has been carved up by special interests into a libertarian fantasy world, where taxes can't be collected and the US government only exercises power over those federal employees who still choose to work for it; former American citizens must choose which special interest group they would like to belong to, and if they want something like protection or a defense system, must hire the Mafia or some sort of corporate police force. Terrorists can bring nuclear weapons and other devices in and out of the former States at will, and it is up to individual groups to try to stop them, if they would care to do so. Stephenson leaves it to the individual reader to decide if this is a dream or nightmare, so the story can be enjoyed by people of all political persuasions.

    Into this setting, Stephenson brings an adventure store that lets him analyze such things as the nature of consciousness and the role language and social connections play in its existence. The nature of consciousness is one of those topics he comes back to time and again, and he developed some of these ideas more fully in Anathem, which is also here on Audible (and which I highly recommend). Snow Crash is definitely one for his fans who are interested in seeing how he developed his ideas over the years.

    Jonathon Davis never disappoints, and he was an excellent choice as narrator of this book. He is able to deliver that slightly ironic edge that the work demands, and is skilled enough to give every character a distinct voice. No matter how many times our hero, Hiro, was described as being a half-African American, half Asian man in his 20s, Davis recognized that in the '90s only one actor would have been chosen to play this part had a Hollywood movie version been made - even if he doesn't match the racial description of the character in the book - and Davis is able to pull off an absolutely flawless Keanu Reeves as the voice of Hiro. A little social commentary of his own, no doubt.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The War of the Worlds

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (492)
    Performance
    (412)
    Story
    (417)

    First published by H. G. Wells in 1898, The War of the Worlds is the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories. The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narrator intones, "No one would have believed in the last years of the 19th century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's."

    Janice says: "Ants"
    "The Definitive Science Fiction Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Science fiction as we know it today would not exist without H.G. Wells, and no science fiction reader's library would be complete without a copy of War of the Worlds. In this version read by the incomparable Simon Vance, Audible has produced a real treasure. The story is first of all a tale of alien invasion, and indeed is so terrifying that no movie version comes close to the feelings of suspense it creates (of course some people found the radio version created by Orson Welles pretty scary too). I can't think of any description concerning the fall of civilization that succeeds as well as that short passage describing the flight from London before the invading Martians. But it's a lot more than just another horror story. Wells offers enough commentary to let us know that the plot allowed for a way of looking at how the British empire treated its subject peoples at the time. It is also a good look at how human beings react under pressure and what coping mechanisms work - and which ones don't - when the unexpected happens. It has as good a description of PTSD as any you'd read in any modern book, and this was decades before the syndrome was even defined. Amazing that we find all this in a compact work that comes in at under 6 hours. As much as I love a good thick novel, I'm really impressed by the succinct style and humanity of H.G. Wells. There are several versions of this classic book, but I can't imagine a better reader than Simon Vance for War of the Worlds, so this is the version I'd recommend to the undecided.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.