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Jacksonvilee, FL, USA

  • 6 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 111 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for guiding readers through the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics. Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".

    Lind says: "Well written and well read"
    "Tyson dishes it up and up...good show!"

    Tyson is an authoratative television personality who also has a great grasp of physics and the universe. This book had such a catchy title, how could I have even passed it up?

    While being much more approachable in terms of use of analogy to explain very complex scientific concepts, it is also a sounding board for Tyson to rant on a few topics that drive him crazy about popular culture's views of science.

    That said, it was a very fun book and well worth the money. Tyson is fun to listen to and his thoughts travel smoothly from point to point. He introduced me to some new information that I, even as an avid reader of all things science, had not known.

    The only thing that could have made this book even stronger, perhaps, would be expansion on some of the scientific thoughts for those of us more versed in science. But Tyson's strength is reaching the common man, and so I wasn't surprised that occasionally very in-depth accounting of scientific preceps didn't meet my voracious appetite's needs.

    I'll definitely be re-listening to this every now and again, though. It's wonderful for sitting outside and staring at the amazing sky. Bravo :)

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Agincourt

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Charles Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Young Nicholas Hook is dogged by a curse, haunted by what he has failed to do and banished for what he has done. A wanted man in England, he is driven to fight as a mercenary archer in France, where he finds two things he can love: his instincts as a fighting man, and a girl in trouble. Together they survive the notorious massacre at Soissons, an event that shocks all Christendom. With no options left, Hook heads home to England, where his capture means certain death.

    Andrew says: "Fantastic!"
    "Simply Perfect"

    This was simply the most amazingly written, perfectly narrated tale I've ever surrendered to. Delicious, funny (the first time we meet Sir John is alone worth the entire purchase price), brutal, and detailed. I simply could not ingest the book fast enough.

    I sit here now, basking in the afterglow of a masterful novel. The book is decidedly graphic, but not unnecessarily so: this book entails medieval warfare. In fact, it so captures the horrors of war that it makes me wonder how humanity ever crawled out of the Middle Ages alive.

    The characterization in the novel is brilliant. And the characters are completely engaging.

    Above all, though, I loved Sir John. Not only is he one of the most humorously written historical figures, but the sheer delight of Charles Keating's characterization is stupendous.

    My only regret: you can only hear this "for the first time" once. But I will listen to this again and again in the future.

    Simply brilliant. Simply perfect.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Sara says: "A terrifying story"
    "Preachy, Partisan, Possible, but Preposterous"

    This romp through post-apocolyptic America is a flag-waving preach-fest about our vulnerabilities to a very real threat, electromagnetic pulse.

    The voice acting was well-done considering the sheer breadth and scope of characters, genders, accents, and narrative that needed to be covered. Joe Barrett does an excellent job of this.

    Unfortunately, the novel is chock full of transparent plot points that offer all-too-obvious foreshadowing of the disaster that will unfold. The term "unprepared" recurs ad nauseaum, essentially hammering in the fact we are all ill-prepared for even small-scale (but large impact) terrorism. Our dependence on technology is a verifiable liability and truth be told it's terrifying to me the idea of America being decimated through few, relatively low-tech weapons.

    Here's the problem: the book is all stick and no carrot. The characters all suffer and at many times are insufferable. None of the characters are particularly believable (especially the women in this book, it reads like a masculine fantasyland where women vary between motherly supporting characters, to all-too-stereotype love-interests). OF COURSE the main character has an unfettered experience in the military and understands every aspect of history. OF COURSE the main character, a widower, has no problem befriending and protecting his new love interest found during disaster. OF COURSE all those close to the main character are charmed with negative events that can be envisioned long before the sad events happen.

    The book could have been so much stronger by being subtle. It could have evolved the tragedy with ingeniuity rather than continue to hammer over the head with right-wing flag-waving. There was no room in this book for anything other than a Republican party line. The plot is shallow, not rich and deep. The book was unnecessarily hurtful.

    Not worthy of your purchase.

    56 of 101 people found this review helpful
  • Dracula (Blackstone Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1897, at the age of 50, Bram Stoker was touring manager to the actor Henry Irving and was enjoying a modest success as a journalist and writer. Publication in that year of Dracula was to bring him international and lasting fame.

    Katrina says: "Still Scary Two Centuries Later"
    "Utter Brilliance!"

    I never envisioned myself looking at Victorian literature with much enthusiasm. But I was very glad so many people pointed me toward Bram Stoker's Dracula. I normally am unmoved by vampire stories, but loved Salems Lot by Stephen King, so I thought I'd get to the origin of all vampire lore by hearing this classic.

    The voice acting was incredible. Robert Whitfield, who narrates, does such an incredible job of portraying all of the characters with such adroit voicing that I was enthralled into the story in a way that reading it to myself would have been lacking. Much as Shakespear's plays are very trivial when read to one's self, but become unrivaled triumphs when well-acted (and conversely disastrous when poorly-acted), this audiobook lived and breathed.

    I cannot emphasize how amazing this book is and how well it performs. This will be a story I will listen to time and again. Bravo!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Dark Empire (Dramatized)

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tom Veitch
    • Narrated By full cast

    Six years after the battle of Endor, the fight for freedom rages on. Han Solo and Princess Leia, now married, struggle to protect their twin children from danger. Darth Vader is dead, but a reborn Empire strikes back against the Rebel Alliance, and the Rebels discover that their greatest foe may be their closest friend: Luke Skywalker!

    Daniel says: "Wow... A must hear"
    "A celestial dump far, far away..."

    As a huge Star Wars fan, and a big reader of the extended universe of Star Wars fiction, it was natural that I'd want my children to get giddy with excitement about all things Star Wars. As part of our own nightly tradition, I read them a couple of childrens' stories, and then as they fall asleep we play a CD of other stories to make their sleep time really adventureful.

    Occasionally, Star Wars books have made it into our reading repertoire, but not so with SW audiobooks. This looked like a great kids' book and my sons' love of Luke Skywalker made this a desirable download.

    Bleck...absolutely horrible is the only way to describe this book. While it's exciting to know Mark Hammil and Anthony Daniels appear as Luke and C-3PO, the remainder of the voice actors are pretty awful.

    The narrator is clearly NOT aware of Star Wars or its pronunciations. The butchering of words such as Coruscant (which he pronounces Core-us-Kant) makes this as abrading as Jar-Jar Binks doing Karaoke.

    The whole storyline is truly stupid. Luke gets seduced by a clone Emporer to become a dark sider, Boba Fett reappears from the Sarlaac without any explanation than he's tough to kill (c'mon: tell me HOW you got out..sheesh), and battle scenes sound so artificial and stupid that it makes the TV cartoon Droids (an arguably equally awful set of Star Wars stories revolving around R2 and 3PO that appeared in the 1980s) look downright articulate.

    Bottom line: skip this. Ignore it. It is a blight of a story from an otherwise stellar universe. I really can't wait for the CDs I burned of this tale to be composted in a trashdump far, far away.

    4 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Brian Greene
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard

    Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past?

    Martin says: "Space and Time for the Common Man"
    "Classic Greene!"

    No one in the physics world can bring such a concise yet approachable view to non-physicists like Brian Greene. As a closet astrophysicist, I really enjoy Greene's prose and analogies that allow me to jump into the microscopic and macroscopic universe and understand topics that are very hard to grasp when you're lacking the upper level mathematics about which he speaks.

    The problem with the book is that the last few chapters become very difficult to understand, especially after an exciting and truly riveting first 3/4 of the book.

    Unlike in Fabric of the Cosmos, his first book, a lot of the information is punctuated with good narration rather than a high dependence on diagrams (which is good considering that this is an audiobook).

    I think if you're absolutely shellshocked and intrigued by the way physics has evolved and how it continues to evolve, there is really no other book out there that brings such a friendly and approachable viewpoint as Greene's.

    Excellent narration by Michael Prichard (who even sounds like Greene) makes it a perfect purchase.

    If only I could wrap my brain around branes and such. But that limitation is more mine than the book's.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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