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Jason

Morristown, TN, USA | Member Since 2004

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 245 ratings
  • 313 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Understudy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Nicholls
    • Narrated By Tristan Layton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Thirty-two-year-old actor Stephen C. McQueen (no, not that Steve McQueen) is waiting for his big break. His only screen credits so far are playing dead bodies on cop and doctor shows. At the moment, he's paying the rent by understudying hot movie star Josh Harper, who's trying to gain dramatic credibility in a West End play. If only Josh would miss a performance, Stephen-with-a-P-H could prove his talent and redeem himself in the eyes of his disapproving ex-wife and their precocious seven-year-old daughter.

    James Gordon says: "An Actor's Nightmare"
    "Fun Character Study"
    Overall

    As you've probably seen in the other reviews, this novel centers around the life of an understudy actor. Not being an actor myself, the main thing I noted to identify with the character is that he's rather an underachieving slacker who seems to be in one of those "life slumps" that comes to most of us Gen-X'ers (30-somethings) at some point in our lives.

    The difference here is the character is thoroughly likeable. He's a "nice guy" but not in that irritating way. It seems so many novels focus on outlandish characters or people who are unrealistically over-achieving. Or conversely, tragically underachieving to the point of Nil. But the whole tale has a "realistically optimistic" feel that I've only experienced previously in Nick Hornby novels like High Fidelity, About a Boy, and Long Way Down (all excellent, btw). At the end, you really want to know what happens to this guy, Stephen McQueen, in the future.

    I won't go too deeply into the plot, but suffice it to say that there is romance, refreshingly from the male perspective. Conflict of dramatic effect and timing. Angst and very slight touches of despair. The character portrayals are consisten, realistic, and very well done. While Stephen is tame but lovable, he's surrounded by a cast that puts him in sharp contrast to good effect. The whole affair moves along pretty smartly... moreso as the story progresses. I thought the pacing was well done

    British humo(u)r is present in excellent doses throughout and really makes for a wonderful experience. Frequently I found myself laughing out loud with a big grin across my face. Isn't that what we want from a book like this?

    I really want to give this 4.5 stars because it's not QUITE up to the level of High Fidelity or About a Boy, but I'll give it 5 since that's not an option. Definitely worth a listen. Oh, and the quality of the narration is wonderful, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    Overall
    (7502)
    Performance
    (2259)
    Story
    (2250)

    In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

    Liz says: "encore!"
    "When To Trust Your"
    Overall

    What a great book! In addition to numerous interesting examples of the "power" of split second decision-making and time slicing, there is a reasonable discussion of the negative or dangerous aspects of the blink response. That is extremely valuable in everyday use in business and personal life and I've already found it to be immensely useful. Trusting those instincts is a valuable proposition, and knowing when NOT to do so is equally so.

    I'm a bit surprised by the negative reviews, but most of those seem to be related to the length of the book. Personally, I thought the length of the book was reasonable and in no way excessive. The voice skills were also fine.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    Brian says: "State of Fear - A Refreshing Point of View"
    "Entertaining Reading"
    Overall

    Wherever you go on the net, you are likely to see two totally disparate reviews of this book. If you are totally invested in the typical environmentalist dogma, you will not like this book, because it discusses the possibility that the current environmentalist dogma is largely rhetoric-based and sensationalist. If you can keep an open mind, you'll find this an entertaining book much in the same vein of the other Creighton novels. Entertaining plot, world-traveling, adventure, etc. Worth the read, IMHO.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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