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Pittsboro, nc | Member Since 2010

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 93 ratings
  • 222 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
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  • Midnight Riot: Peter Grant, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1271)
    Performance
    (1159)
    Story
    (1157)

    Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale....

    Nancy J says: "I LOVE this Book!"
    "London Coppers doing Magic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've very much enjoyed the modern London police procedural / weird
    supernatural novels that Ben Aaronovitch, who's written some of the Dr. Who
    episodes has turned out. So far both Patty and I have read Midnight Riot,
    Moon over Soho and his latest, Whispers Under Ground. But now we're
    listening to the audible version of the first in the series, Midnight Riot
    and - the audiobook is better still. There's very much the Dr. Whoish mash
    up of laugh out loud humor, good characterization and dialogue and moments
    of pretty off the wall bits of ..gruesomeness. Kobna Hold-brook Smith does a terrific
    job of handling the wide variety of accents* that a London copper is going
    to encounter. And, just as asides, a lot of background on London
    architecture which is constable Grant's particular hobby. Much cleverer
    and FAR better written than, say, Jim Butcher's stories (which i happen to
    enjoy). And a lot of fascinating background on the history and current state of the London jazz scene (Grant's father was/is a semi-legendary sax player).

    *being an untraveled American i can't speak to the accuracy of the accents beyond what one gleans from Masterpiece theater, etc.


    What other book might you compare Midnight Riot to and why?

    Possibly Neil Gaiman ..if Gaiman was doing police procedurals!.


    What about Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s performance did you like?

    I have absolutely NO complaints. One of the best readings of any of the many audible books we own. In general I much prefer books read by one performer rather that "team" efforts.


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

    No...but we listen, more or less in chapters, while commuting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cryptonomicon

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (2108)
    Performance
    (1451)
    Story
    (1471)

    Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

    flaos says: "Finally Audible"
    "Parallel Lives"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Listening to books often provides a startlingly different perspective than reading. SnowCrash's faults of extreme didactic-ism were highlighted while listening to what seemed interminable lecture after lecture, read, to my ears, in an affected and irritating manner. On the other hand Cryptonomicron, if not improved, was certainly not "diminished" by the narration. It took a while to accept Dufris' sometimes heavy handed characterization of some of the main characters, but as the stories wound on, what seemed affected early on, became less problematic later. As with Snowcrash there's a LOT of lecturing going on; but Stephenson works the lectures into conversations in a far more adept fashion. And the plots, while fantastic, were grounded in lots of solid research...eg there really WAS a German sub, U-234, that was supposed to bring material that might allow Japan to construct an atomic bomb before the war's end.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Gotu's construction of Golgotha.


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

    no way! I actually pulled out the hardback copy to get details straight several times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5467)
    Performance
    (2792)
    Story
    (2850)

    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"
    "Reading >> Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Snow Crash is a book that works much better "read" novel than "listened." Stephenson is VERY discursive; whole chapters are really nothing but lectures - often very interesting when read but very tedious and, really, rather pretentious when listened to. Much of the humor evaporated in the audio version, which I think is primarily the fault of Jonathan Davis whose performance is terrible precious and mannered. Some books reveal more of them selves when read well - I've just listened to Gibson's "Zero History" and appreciated Gibson's ability to sum up salient points in a sharp sentence as opposed to Stephenson's taking chapters to do the same thing. (I've read most of Stephenson - though got very tired of the Baroque Cycle - and all of Gibson).


    What three words best describe Jonathan Davis’s performance?

    mannered., precious


    Did Snow Crash inspire you to do anything?

    well i'm quite curious about how both The Diamond Age and Cryptonomicron fare as audio books. I very much enjoyed both and each has a reader other than Davis.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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