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A Dog

I exist.

USA | Member Since 2011

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 97 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
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  • Spirits of Flux & Anchor: Soul Rider, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack L. Chalker
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (31)

    Cassie did not feel the soul rider enter her body...but suddenly she knew that Anchor was corrupt, and that, far from being a formless void from which could issue ony mutant changelings and evil wizards, Flux was the soure of Anchor's very existence.

    The price of her new knowledge is exile, yet Cassie and the Rider of her soul are the only hope for the redemption of both Flux and Anchor.

    Michael says: "Christmas in February! Chalker's Triumph Arrives!"
    "Bad narration can ruin the best book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different narrator. I read these books years ago & was looking forward to the audio version, but was only able to make about 20 minutes into the audiobook before bagging it. I found the narration unlistenable.


    What didn’t you like about Andy Caploe’s performance?

    Inappropriate and omnipresent emphasis, like every single phrase has a secret meaning. It's annoying as hell. This is the second worst performance I've heard on an audiobook. (The worst was Victor Bevine's performance on _This Immortal_.)


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Motorcycle Diaries

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Che Guevara
    • Narrated By Bruno Gerardo
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    In January 1952, two young men from Buenos Aires set out to explore South America on "La Poderosa", the Powerful One: a 500cc Norton. One of them was the 23-year-old Che Guevara. Written eight years before the Cuban Revolution, these are Che's diaries - full of disasters and discoveries, high drama, low comedy and laddish improvisations.

    A Dog says: "Bevis and Butthead do South America?"
    "Bevis and Butthead do South America?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the first third of the book, Ché kills the dog of one of his benefactors, gets drunk and assaults the wife of another, tries (and fails) to steal five bottles of wine from his employer, and he & his buddy manage to wreck the motorcycle nine time one day. Nothing of any intelligence gets said until they visit a copper mine in Chile about one third of the way thru.

    With a few exceptions, the book returns to stupidity until about half way thru, which is when I gave up on it. Seriously, Ché was an inept coward and murderer and none too bright. He took a good picture, but his travelogue just isn't that interesting. Mind, I was rooting for him & his friend to freeze to death one night & make the world a better place, but that just wasn't in the cards.

    Concerning the production, the narrator grows on you. I'd look forward to hearing him narrate something more worthy of his talents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Joan Didion
    • Narrated By Diane Keaton
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (115)

    Universally acclaimed from the time it was first published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been admired for decades as a stylistic masterpiece. Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, The Family Stone) performs these classic essays, including the title piece, which will transport the listener back to a unique time and place: the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during the neighborhood’s heyday as a countercultural center.

    Victoria Wright says: "Didion deserves better."
    "Meant to be read, not heard; some parts aged badly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have long been a fan of Joan Didion and it was _Slouching Toward Bethlehem_ and _The White Album_ that won me over. It had been some time since I read these books, though, so I was looking forward hearing them. I found the experience quite disappointing.

    Though I certainly was not impressed by the narrator, I can't actually blame her. It's just that some things are far more suited to reading than listening to, and this is one of them. You just don't focus on an audio book the same way you focus on a "printed" (electronic or dead tree format) page.

    It's also true that some of the essays have aged very badly, most especially the title essay. Or maybe my perspective has changed. Perhaps society isn't less atomized in 2013 then it was in 1979 when I first encountered these books; perhaps I'm just used to it and unimpressed, thought it certainly seems less atomized.

    What's aged well? "Goodbye to All That" (AKA: Farewell to the Enchanted City) is worth the price of admission for its poignant tale of staying to long at the fair. "Los Angelas Notebook" still holds up. "Comrade Laski, P.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.)" seems quite a familiar charactor, anymore. "On Morality" is still worth listening to. In general, the second half of the book retains it's interest far better than the first.

    I'm sorry to have to give this audiobook a low rating. I would still buy a Kindle (printed) version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Discount Armageddon: InCryptid, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Seanan McGuire
    • Narrated By Emily Bauer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (368)

    The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity - and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right?

    a says: "I love this book!"
    "A lot to like here, but It just didn't work for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, it was not. There was a lot about this book that worked. When Verity is talking about her work, her interest in dance, her goofy family, or cryptid stuff, that works. Even Verity as over-the-top fighter didn't throw me out of the lightweight fantasy. What didn't work was 1) the plot and 2) the romantic subplot. A shame, because there were a lot of fun background details, but the story and the romantic subplot bored me.


    What about Emily Bauer’s performance did you like?

    I thought she was the ideal narrator for this book and was able to exactly capture the goofy, over-the-top heroine.


    Do you think Discount Armageddon needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, but since it was described as "book 1", you knew darn well it was going to get one, and it already has gotten one.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heart of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    On a becalmed yawl in the Thames estuary, Marlow tells a tale of Africa. His job there is to find the enigmatic Kurtz, but his journey further and further upriver reveals the brutality of the white Imperialists who run the country. Established as one of the great English novels, and a story of mythic power, Heart of Darkness is rich in meaning – allusive, enthralling, and haunting.

    A Dog says: "A Near Perfect Audiobook"
    "A Near Perfect Audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Heart of Darkness?

    I'm not always a fan of Conrad's storytelling; I wrote a one star review of a _Lord Jim_ audiobook based on Conrad's obtuse refusal to get on with the story, but _Heart of Darkness_ is worth the effort, even in book form. As an audiobook, it grabs (and requires) your attention, but is a surprisingly easy listen.

    I first read this book in high school in the 1970s. It was a difficult read, but, even then, I thought it was worth the effort. When I reread it a few years ago, I was surprised by how short it was, and picked up on some things I had missed the first time. Coming back to it on audiobook was great pleasure and, once again, I picked up on things missed the last time. In this book, Marlow's narration works. The story is interesting, and you'll always pick up on new things.

    This is a short book (at 4 1/2 hours, less than a third of the length of _Lord Jim_) but it is memorable. Like _Animal Farm_ and _1984_, this is great, must read novel. Like Captain America in _The Avengers_, it pretty much lives up to it's legend. You will *not* regret getting this audiobook.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lord Jim

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    From his many years on the high seas as a mariner, mate, and captain, Joseph Conrad created unique works, including Heart of Darkness, that have left an indelible mark on world literature. First published in 1899, his haunting novel Lord Jim is both a riveting sea adventure and a fascinating portrait of a unique outcast from civilization.

    brandon says: "A Bit of Beauty, A lot of Gibberish"
    "Conrad Doesn't Always Stink, But Lord Jim Stinks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Joseph Conrad and/or Steven Crossley?

    Oh yes. As noted in my headline, Conrad can be perfectly readable. _Youth_ , for-instance, is an easy enough read. So is, _The Duel_, and _The Brute_. Even _Heart of Darkness_, while challenging, is ultimately work the effort. But then there's _Lord Jim_. Saying it stinks on ice is entirely too kind.

    The first four chapters are told in conventional third person narration. They're perfectly fine. The last part of the book, involving Mr Brown, are very nearly a conventional third person narration, even thought Marlow makes a point of citing his sources. The last part of the book is also just fine and well realized. The middle of the book, however, is unreadable and is difficult going even on an audio book.

    Now, the middle of the book is not worthless. The bit about the Captain who committed suicide is quite memorable. The signal to noise ration is just to low. It's not worth slogging thru the endless bits of people telling Marlow who's telling Conrad who's telling us. It's a gimmick and it works poorly.


    Did Steven Crossley do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Crossley was perfectly adequate. Not great, not bad, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy another book narrated by him.


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

    My principle reaction to the middle of the book was "OMG, will somebody smack Marlow upside the head until he gets to the point."


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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