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Darryl

Cedar Rapids, IA, United States | Member Since 2005

348
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 205 reviews
  • 914 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 47 purchased in 2014
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15

  • The Machine Stops

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 25 mins)
    • By E. M. Forster
    • Narrated By Jim Roberts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    This story describes a world of the future in which humans all remain in their cubicles while all their needs are met by a supercomputer called, "The Machine". They communicate with each other and attend "online" classes and meetings through the Machine and people seldom meet face to face. A problem arises when one man, Kuno, decides he is not satisfied with staying in his room and decides to explore outside.

    Edward says: "Great Story"
    "ok story of the "don't become a machine" type"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this is a classic story of the genre warning of the slowly transforming human race into mindless automaton type. good from that aspect, don't lose your individuality and vigor etc., but narrator not quite the best, in fact I think if there is another version it might play better and be a little more interesting. it is not a real tension type story, but worth the time to see early depictions of this theme, though it is done perhaps more effectively later, at the moment i'm thinking of 2001 in which the people become more and more complacent and unable to physically do much until forced to by dramatic events.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13896)
    Performance
    (12266)
    Story
    (12294)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Beautifully done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tend to avoid pop culture as so much of it is derivative or poorly written, but this is one that stands out. It is a thoroughly enjoyable and fast paced page-turner of a mystery thriller and a lot of fun.

    The rotating narrators is a technique that works perfectly. Hard to say too much without giving something away.

    I liked the "voices" of the characters, especially Amy after the halfway point. I did have a couple of issues with the dialogue in the first part in regards to Nick, both from the author, and from the narrator, that didn't fit, but not worth going into here. If you're listening to this book you're here for exactly what it will give you and not for stylistic/literary crit, and there was nothing here so egregious that I couldn't overlook it and have fun with this.

    Now and then you run across something that is done so well that it's tempting to call it an unrepeatable performance and genre changing, like Hunt for Red October, or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and other standouts. Recommending this to many people.

    Only caveat would be if you're put off by some explicit sexual moments and language.

    I get what I want from Shakespeare, and I got what I wanted from Flynn. Not that this is a literary masterpiece, but it is standing rather tall on the thriller shelf.

    It may be that Flynn is a far better writer than most of the pop mystery stuff that pours out daily and I may look at her others. Hard to beat this one though.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stand on Zanzibar

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Brunner
    • Narrated By Erik Bergmann
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Written in a way that echoes John Dos Passos' U.S.A. Trilogy, Stand on Zanzibar is a cross-section of a world overpopulated by the billions and society is squeezed into hive-living madness by god-like mega computers, mass-marketed psychedelic drugs, and mundane uses of genetic engineering. Though written in 1968, it speaks of our present time and is frighteningly prescient and intensely powerful.

    Michael says: "Quite good, if dated"
    "perfect audio experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this is one of the best novels I've listened to. it is less scifi to me than i would have thought, and not dated and reads more like Pynchon. while it may not be of the poetic density of Moby, this narrator coupled with this material, makes for a superb listen. Great narrator, one of the best. Wonderful slang and word play. This novel is a scattershot type structure, with multiple blasts of images and ideas--more ideas than a dozen current pop novels.

    the story itself involves our near future (written in 1968 it predicts 7 billion people by 2010 and we are near that) and concerns to an extent overpopulation and corporate greed with side stories involving genetic engineering and sterilization and computer intelligence but don't get caught up in arguing whether he got all the "predictions" accurate. He's much more concerned about people existing in such a possible world and what they might go through. Poverty, drug abuse etc.

    it will be helpful to know that it is structured with "rotating" sections, i took this from wiki entry:

    "Continuity" – Most of the linear narrative is contained in these chapters.
    "Tracking with Closeups" – These are similar to Dos Passos's "Camera" sections, and focus closely on ancillary characters before they become part of the main narrative, or simply serve to paint a picture of the state of the world.
    "The Happening World" – These chapters consist of collage-like collections of short, sometimes single-sentence, descriptive passages. The intent is to capture the vibrant, noisy, and often ephemeral situations arising in the novel's world. At least one chapter of the narrative, a party where most of the characters meet and where the plot makes a significant shift in direction, is presented in this way.
    "Context" – These chapters, as the name suggests, provide a setting for the novel. They consist of imaginary headlines, classified ads, and quotations from the works of the character Chad C. Mulligan, a pop sociologist who comments wryly on his surroundings[3] and in one chapter, actual headlines from the 1960s.


    a key line from opening: "A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding." Marshall McLuhan: The Gutenburg Galaxy

    loved it. going on my list of best novels. hoping for Sheep Look Up and Shockwave Rider now, definitely interested in Brunner more.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fragment

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Warren Fahy
    • Narrated By Robin Atkin Downes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    The time is now. The place is the Trident, a long-range research vessel hired by the reality TV show Sealife. Aboard is a cast of ambitious young scientists. With a director dying for drama, tiny Henders Island might be just what the show needs. Until the first scientist sets foot on Henders, and the ultimate test of survival begins.

    Jennifer says: "Pretty Good but not Stunning"
    "fast paced monster type"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i have always liked the alien evolution idea and this is well researched and while it is not ALIENS but rather alternate evolution on an isolated island here on Earth, it is a rather complete ecosystem he's created. I personally liked that aspect of it the best and even though it devolves into the requisite bloodbath & stereotype race against time it is at least fast paced and with enough of the creature elements that it is enjoyable. it may make a good monster movie but much of the actual scientific basis for the creatures would probably be lost. this could very easily have been an alien planet survival type adventure. and if you check Fahy's website you can see drawings of the creatures. in the book some drawings are included as naturalist type diagrams etc.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    Overall
    (1501)
    Performance
    (675)
    Story
    (679)

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "one of Atwoods great novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this is a great book, very well researched and presented. I remember when this first came out there was a web link to info regarding her research and it was rather disturbing how little she altered things. she said she took existing conditions, (like religion in Handmaid) and extrapolated some possible progressions in the near future regarding food and genetic engineering and the internet etc. She was rather accurate in some ways and this is a great book, with lots of excellent word play too regarding names of companies and games and websites and many related developments have actually occurred recently and are becoming of concern. best of the trilogy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Year of the Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne, Katie MacNichol, Mark Bramhall
    Overall
    (914)
    Performance
    (468)
    Story
    (470)

    The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life - has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life.

    Melinda says: "thought-provoking, engaging dystopic fiction"
    "ok sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    my favorite part of this is the Earth religionists and their sermons and songs. & actually I would rather Atwood had lifted that element out and produced a completely unrelated novel of nature religionists, or survival of an isolated cult or something & I think she very well may have given us another masterpiece like Handmaid or Oryx. Unfortunatley it is tied to the Oryx story, which was great, but all we really have here is that same story retold from different characters perspectives until it reaches the same point at which Oryx ended. OK fine, but aside from elements like the religion, or the nature artist who may be my favorite in this book, it is basically the Oryx story but from the city view. If you like Oryx, I think this is worth doing just for the songs and sermons.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • MaddAddam: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne, Bob Walter, Robbie Daymond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (399)
    Performance
    (356)
    Story
    (355)

    Months after the Waterless Flood pandemic has wiped out most of humanity, Toby and Ren have rescued their friend Amanda from the vicious Painballers. They return to the MaddAddamite cob house, newly fortified against man and giant pigoon alike. Accompanying them are the Crakers, the gentle, quasi-human species engineered by the brilliant but deceased Crake. Their reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is recovering from a debilitating fever, so it's left to Toby to preach the Craker theology, with Crake as Creator.

    Tery says: "dystopian heaven"
    "weakest of the trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i'm sorry but for me there is little or nothing salvageable from this one. I had high hopes being Atwood, a writer I have respect for, but unfortunately she is rehashing ground already rehashed to an extent in 2nd one Year of the Flood. Had this novel not gone backwards yet again with the Zeb backstory in detail it may have been better. I had hoped that she was going to go on after the events that ended Flood/Oryx and present the world she created in the next stages. Alas, no. I would much rather she had channeled her efforts toward something unrelated and given us another classic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Finding Shakespeare

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Daniel Fromson
    • Narrated By Daniel Fromson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In 2008, a troubled Vietnam veteran turned struggling actor named Hamilton Meadows became obsessed with a question: What did William Shakespeare's English sound like when the Bard and his actors spoke it? Others had asked the same thing before - the quest to piece together the pronunciation of Elizabethan English, the language as it was spoken during Shakespeare's lifetime, has captivated English scholars, theater directors, and romantic adventurers for two hundred years.

    Darryl says: "not what i thought"
    "not what i thought"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    it's billed as a search to discover what actual Shakespearean language sounded like, and while there is a small bit of it, in actuality it is more a short bio of this Fromson and his attempts to put on plays in the original. while it is interesting regarding that, and in the right hands might make an interesting documentary, that is not why i got it, and there is actually very little of the recreated "sound" of the dialogue. and no large scenes from the plays or speeches at length for comparison.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By E W Hornung
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    By day, AJ Raffles is a debonair man-about-town and one of England's finest cricketers. By night - he's London’s most notorious thief! Classic crime to rival Sherlock Holmes. If you walk down London’s Piccadilly, you come across an elegant Georgian building set back from the constant stream of traffic. This is The Albany, an imposing warren of “bachelor” apartments which has been home to a string of celebrities for over two centuries, from Lord Byron to Terence Stamp. But The Albany was also the address for one of the greatest fictional creations of late 19th-century crime writing, AJ Raffles.

    Darryl says: "lot of fun"
    "lot of fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    a little like a Sherlock as thief idea. he has a cohort who helps much like Watson and who may have written their adventures down later in life. the episodes are fun and suspenseful and having done it shortly after To Catch a Thief found some similarities that make me think Dodge had read this, but both are very enjoyable nonetheless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • To Catch a Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By David Dodge, Randal S. Brandt (introduction), Jean Buchanan (afterword)
    • Narrated By Jeff Loeb
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The story centers on John Robie, American expatriate and skilled gymnast, who once-upon-a-time was Le Chat, the famous and elusive cat burglar who worked the South of France. The legend of Le Chat grew with each crime. Following the war, Robie retires to a quiet life in France and vows to leave his past behind. His retirement is shattered when a copy-cat burglar commits a string of robberies that puts the police on Le Chat's trail again. Robie must catch the phony Le Chat before the police catch him.

    Darryl says: "superior to the film"
    "superior to the film"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    tried this since I was a fan of the Hitchcock film and wanted to hear the original. & actually this is very good and very well narrated and after I finished I rewatched the film and found the book to be far superior, sorry Hitchcock fans. this is a lighthearted (for the most part) mystery/caper love story and i enjoyed it start to finish.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gentlemen of the Road

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By Andre Braugher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    They're an odd pair, to be sure: pale, rail-thin, black-clad Zelikman, a moody, itinerant physician fond of jaunty headgear, and ex-soldier Amram, a gray-haired giant of a man as quick with a razor-tongued witticism as he is with a sharpened battle-ax. Brothers under the skin, comrades in arms, they make their rootless way through the Caucasus Mountains, circa A.D. 950.

    Robin says: "Incredible Story - Fitting Narrator!"
    "oddly boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    for a book presented as a "swashbuckling adventure", "raucous...rank...beguiling", "ridiculously entertaining", i was thankful that this boring book was so short, and even then i was tempted to ditch it. I didn't find the tale to be exciting at all, nor the style to be "sumptuously written". & to draw comparisons with ERB is not really a compliment as, apart from ERB's imagined worlds, (Barsoom Pellucidar Tarzan etc.) , ERB was a terrible stylist. & Braugher is rather uncompelling as a narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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