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Paul

Media Nerd

New York, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • False Memory

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    Overall
    (831)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (252)

    It's a fear more paralyzing than falling. More terrifying than absolute darkness. More horrifying than anything you can imagine. It's the one fear you cannot escape, no matter where you run...no matter where you hide. It's the fear of yourself. It's real. It can happen to you. And facing it can be deadly.

    Dohna says: "Koontz did it again......."
    "Scared Me!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up False Memory in three words, what would they be?

    Never so emotionally involved in a book. As I write this review a news story on TV shows a kid walking through a mall with a gun which he later uses to kill himself. We all have to worry when the weird part of a Koontz story becomes factual. Let's hope this Koontz plot is impossible.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    There are loads of "don't open that door" scenes in this book. Normally I can read or watch through that type of scary movie action but for some reason Koontz really got me in this story. The bad guy is way, way bad. The good guys are a bit too good.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Susan's scenes.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Koontz drops several paragraphs of exposition in the middle of nail-biting, "don't open the door" scenes so your mind has to stop your visualization of the action as a still frame. While it can build up the suspense, you can't help but scream that this pause is letting the good guy get killed or the bad guys get away. But that's what good writers do. I'm not sure I would get as scared in a movie. Koontz does good suspense.


    Any additional comments?

    Koontz regularly gives the protagonists of his books some supernatural gifts. In this book the scary, bad guy uses technology that may or may not be approaching reality. Science of the mind is great fodder for fiction books because all you have to do is up the known capability of a function like mind control and you are into fiction. As mentioned above, mass suicide killings and unexplained cruelty are becoming all too common in the news. Suddenly this book supplies a scary possibility of a cause with a bit more credence than the usual space alien scapegoat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10564)
    Performance
    (9588)
    Story
    (9608)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Sooooo Good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does 14 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 5 of audio books I've listened to so far.


    What other book might you compare 14 to and why?

    I didn't know what to expect from Peter Clines so the building of the plot from an everyday world to the massive sci-fi crescendo was a wonderful surprise to me. Koontz mixes his weirdness like chocolate ripple all through a vanilla cone. But in Clines, as you eat your vanilla cone you find the last few licks lead to a bottomless pit that pulls you down. I loved it. I am now off to buy another Clines book.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Porter – was your favorite?

    Ray Porter is the kind of actor/narrator who makes going to the movie version of a book unnecessary. Between his masterful application of personalities to characters and the author's perfect descriptions of the scene, I already saw this book on my imagination screen. I applaud Ray Porter for making every character in the book come to life in my mind. He was able to vary his voice just enough to differentiate each individual without over doing it. His talent made this audio book one of my favorites. Even the monster voices were great!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I don't want to see a film of this book. They would never match the images my imagination created from Mr. Porter's reading.


    Any additional comments?

    Once again I have to claim that a good actor/narrator can be the best imagination catalyst for the full enjoyment of an audio book over regular reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2230)
    Performance
    (1996)
    Story
    (1979)

    Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. Reacher is there to meet - in person - the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone. But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.

    DMT says: "My favorite Reacher story yet"
    "Voice doesn't match characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Never Go Back again? Why?

    Being addicted to audio books and an old radio announcer I am super sensitive to the quality of Audible readers. Although Mr. Hill has won a lot of awards and has a great voice, he should never pretend a female voice. And for all the physical strength and prowess written into Jack Reacher's character, Mr. Hill's 1940's tough-guy pretense makes me imagine a over-the-hill detective with a bit of a wheeze. No. I wouldn't want to listen to this again unless the reader was different.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story has lots of great twists and curls but Mr. Hill insists on dragging every fast moving sequence on the same slow pace of the wise-guy cracks.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I said enough above.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I love the plot and wanted to keep listening but not with this narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm sorry Mr. Hill. You have a great voice but Reacher shouldn't sound like Colombo.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Infinite Potential: What Quantum Physics Reveals About How We Should Live

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Lothar Schäfer
    • Narrated By John H. Mayer, Shishir Kurup
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (17)

    In Infinite Potential, physical chemist Lothar Schäfer presents a stunning view of the universe as interconnected, nonmaterial, composed of a field of infinite potential, and conscious. With his own research as well as that of some of the most distinguished scientists of our time, Schäfer moves us from a reality of Darwinian competition to cooperation, a meaningless universe to a meaningful one, and a disconnected, isolated existence to an interconnected one.

    Paul says: "Mixing quantum theory with wishful thinking."
    "Mixing quantum theory with wishful thinking."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would be particular to whom I recommended this book.


    Has Infinite Potential turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. But this book is an example of someone turning science into a belief system or in support of a believe system.


    Would you be willing to try another one of John H. Mayer and Shishir Kurup ’s performances?

    No.


    Did Infinite Potential inspire you to do anything?

    The author starts out as a scientist and then makes monumental jumps in logic and belief. What is mentioned as a scientific possibility early in the book becomes a premise for spiritual assumptions later in the book. Quantum theory is a squishy basis for concluding that the universe is a mind. I love the idea but Mayer is making so many twists of language and scientific theory to make his idea a truth that I find his logic faulty. There is a lot of wishful thinking in his statements.


    Any additional comments?

    You can't jump back and forth from the invisible quantum world to the field of ethics and morality so easily. I would have enjoyed it more if he continued on the scientific side. Actually, he was doing a pretty good job trying to describe quantum theory - - if that's possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Neverwhere

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5786)
    Performance
    (2592)
    Story
    (2614)

    Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but shrewish fiancée. Then one night he stumbles upon a girl lying on the sidewalk, bleeding. He stops to help her, and his life is changed forever. Soon he finds himself living in a London most people would never have dreamed of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels. It is a world that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations.

    Thomas says: "Neverwhere is Great"
    "Author read with gusto and love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Neverwhere in three words, what would they be?

    Adventure, fantasy and fun


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Neverwhere?

    Gaiman word-paints the London under-world with the emotion only the author could present.


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

    I am overjoyed the author read his book. One of my general loves of audio books is the possibility of the reader being able to use the accents of the characters. With Gaiman reading his own words you get the emotion he wrote into the story and characters as well as their accents. He is quite a good actor and enriches the story in ways that a silent book read could never produce. I do hope he alway reads his own books because I felt his presence during the whole story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    We've imagined what is in space above. Now it's time to hear about the mysteries below.


    Any additional comments?

    Living in Manhattan, NYC I just couldn't imagine the same wonderful characters living below me. London has the edge on this kind of fantasy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1485)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (711)

    Twenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered, and the others were never seen again. Four families had their lives changed forever. Now, two decades later, they are about to change again.

    Ted says: "WHOA! This was totally good!"
    "Corben gets C- on this."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Narrator kept me from enjoying the plot.


    What was most disappointing about Harlan Coben’s story?

    This narrator's speaking style made me dislike the main character. Scott Brick spoke like a preacher..overly dramatic all the time. He reminded me of a Capt Kirk impersonator; i.e. putting pauses in mid-sentence for no reason. He seemed to be over acting all the time.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Scott Brick?

    More narrator, less actor.


    Was The Woods worth the listening time?

    OK Nice twists and turns and guesses.


    Any additional comments?

    There were times when the narrator was extra loud when the sound booth seemed to be poorly insulated against echo or bounce.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Inherit the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By James P. Hogan
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (78)

    The man on the moon was dead. They called him Charlie. He had big eyes, abundant body hair, and fairly long nostrils. His skeletal body was found clad in a bright red spacesuit, hidden in a rocky grave. They didn’t know who he was, how he got there, or what had killed him. All they knew was that his corpse was 50 thousand years old - and that meant this man had somehow lived long before he ever could have existed.

    James says: "IT'S TIME FOR LUNCH"
    "SciFi - SciReal mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Inherit the Stars to be better than the print version?

    Either would keep you enthralled.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Charlie - what a ride.


    What about John Pruden’s performance did you like?

    I would have liked the mix a British with American accents to make the international flavor of the characters more obvious.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    OH YES. This is an old fashioned mystery with science as the tool. My favorite kind of mystery whether Sci-Fi or 1920s.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this to anyone who likes to follow the process of investigation through the application of science and imagination.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Enchanted Glass

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (66)

    The mysterious Stalkers show up at almost the same instant 12-year-old Aiden Cain’s grandmother dies. Following his grandmother’s instructions, Aiden decides to seek out a powerful sorcerer at Melstone House. Yet when he arrives, he discovers the man died a year earlier. Melstone House now belongs to the sorcerer’s adult grandson Andrew, who agrees to help Aiden with the Stalker problem.

    Carol says: "Magic and Ordinary Life"
    "Not a Fantasy writer."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Enchanted Glass?

    Even the paranormal should have rules. This is bad fantasy.


    Has Enchanted Glass turned you off from other books in this genre?

    NO. "Dresden Files" is my standard.


    How could the performance have been better?

    No better, no worse


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger.


    Any additional comments?

    And suddenly the big tree saves everyone!!!!!! What the .....

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Thomas Metzinger
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (33)

    We're used to thinking about the self as an independent entity, something that we either have or are. In The Ego Tunnel, philosopher Thomas Metzinger claims otherwise: No such thing as a self exists. The conscious self is the content of a model created by our brain - an internal image, but one we cannot experience as an image. Everything we experience is "a virtual self in a virtual reality." But if the self is not "real," why and how did it evolve? How does the brain construct it?

    Esmeralda says: "non-specialist literature at its best"
    "The Beginning of a Moral Storm"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lots of folks would be really angry if the scientific community said human beings were no more than very exotic machines. Yet as philosophers team up with neuro-scientists they are explaining the formerly unexplainable (perhaps spiritual) with measurable physical processes. To equate feelings with a chemical reaction in the brain is hard for some of us to believe. Yet what many humans believe about reality is also hard to believe. And so I found this book reached out to meet some of my own beliefs by treating philosophy and science less like oil and water.

    It's hard to envision that all your reality is going on in your brain/mind based on a model you have evolved there from the many, many stimuli you've accumulated since birth. I can't share in your model but it's there in a tangible form of chemical and molecular configurations. But in very, very, very tiny ways neurobiologists are beginning to be able to read your mind/brain.

    The Ego Tunnel reminds us that we are really living inside our heads because the flow of sights, sounds, feelings, etc. all end up in our brains where we manage it all into some sense (a model) of who we are, what is all about us and how we relate to it and them.

    At this point in the book it's pretty easy to say, "So what." and switch to a murder mystery to listen to. But what I take away from this book is that you don't need more than a mixture of chemical elements to build a senescent being. This shakes up a lot of philosophical and spiritual thinkers who always added a non-material item to the physical ingredients that make up human beings. Can chemistry do what only spirit was supposed to be able to do?

    Perhaps I am reading too much into the Ego Tunnel but I kinda like the ideas it is investigating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Four Fires

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1055)
    Performance
    (720)
    Story
    (712)

    The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

    Robert says: "Hit in the solar plexus"
    "Best heard to laugh, cry and cringe."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Four Fires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would not have appreciated the Australian atmosphere as much reading this book. The narration brought everything about the story up to 10. It helped to be Irish but more just to be able to appreciate the range of love and hate we humans can express. I really loved this book even though there were parts that I had to skip about the war in the Pacific that hit too close to home. But in total the whole story about familial love with quite a few hot spots thrown in. You will like it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Four Fires?

    I just loved the interaction between the family priest and the mother. True.. true...true.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The reader and the book are forever connected.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Beware - life ahead.


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes words are as strong as a thousand pictures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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