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Wilson

Lord of petty electronics

Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2006

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 624 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • How to Break a Dragon's Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (127)

    Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was an awesome sword-fighter, a dragon-whisperer, and the greatest viking hero who ever lived. But it wasn't always like that. Hiccup's memoirs look back to when Hiccup was just an ordinary boy, and finding it very hard to be a hero. Hiccup must battle Berserks, dodge Scarers, complete the Impossible Task and save Fishlegs from being fed to the Beast! And all while being hunted down by an old enemy with a dark secret about the Lost Throne. What's a hero to do?

    Hazel says: "How to Entertain Your Family"
    "NOT FOR FIVE YEAR OLDS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about How to Break a Dragon's Heart?

    Audible lists this book in the 5-7 years old age category, and was among the top rated books listed as for that age group. I played it for my 5 year old twins without pre-listening to it. I have had to explain murder, death in childbirth, deliberate infanticide, profanity (mild profanity for me but nothing I say in front of my kids) and various kinds of cruelty. I have to say in all fairness, I listened to it myself and enjoyed it (when I didn't have to worry about the kids), but as a book I bought for my kids to listen to in the car, it gets a bad rating.

    I thought of it as similar to how I think of violent video games. I enjoy them privately, when the kids are in bed but do not think them appropriate for small children.


    Has How to Break a Dragon's Heart turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. I love this stuff. I enjoyed it personally and think the twins will enjoy these books when they are older.


    What didn’t you like about David Tennant’s performance?

    I actually loved the performance. My only objection is the material for the 5-7 age category.


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

    Horror (that my kids were hearing it and really wanted to keep listening). My daughter was frightened for Hiccup and was upset she couldn't finish listening the the death contest between him and the witch, because she wanted to know if she'd be killed.


    Any additional comments?

    Simply remove this as a recommended choice for 5-7 year olds. The books are clearly MUCH different than the movie (as often happens) and clearly are not written for little kids...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Reaper Man: Discworld, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (85)

    In Terry Pratchett's Reaper Man, Death has left Discworld - but that's not necessarily a good thing. After all, chaos always ensues whenever important public services are withdrawn, and Discworld is no exception. Society is suddenly overrun by ghosts and poltergeists, while Dead Rights activist Reg Shoe finds himself busier than he's ever been and newly-deceased wizard Windle Poons rises from his coffin as a living corpse.

    Wilson says: "Finally available in North America"
    "Finally available in North America"
    Overall

    Quite a lot of the Discworld books were only availabe in abridged versions in north america. Was very very happy to see that has been remedied. I enjoyed Reaper Man very much, both the story itself and the Narration by Nigel Planer, whom I have found to be excellent reading these stories. I'm going to be using a lot of credits now....

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (10542)
    Performance
    (8002)
    Story
    (8047)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "Generally good"
    Overall

    I got this book when it was only 1 credit as a promo. Initially it was on the strength of him being the co-author on the last Wheel of time book(s). It was definitely a slow start, he obvious is a long book writer like say Tad Williams. I liked that there was a bit of mystery and a somewhat dystopian world, but was glad it wasn't as thoroughly dark and depressing as say the Game of Thrones books (which I also liked, I will rush to say).

    It is definitely for those who are avowed fantasy genre enthusiasts. You have to love SF/fantasy to love this book I think.

    With those caveats in mind, I'm giving it 4 stars, and would give 4.5 if that was possible. 5 stars IMHO is saved for the exception, and I rarely give it out. The greatest recommendation I can make is that I will willingly spend 1 or 2 credits for the next volume.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ricky Gervais Guide to... MEDICINE

    • UNABRIDGED (53 mins)
    • By Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, & Karl Pilkington
    • Narrated By Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, & Karl Pilkington
    Overall
    (347)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (132)

    Here's the first in a new series of in-depth discussions on a variety of subjects relating to humanity's greatest endeavors. Around the table, Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant and the glabrous luminary Karl Pilkington. In this episode, MEDICINE, we explore the treatment of human ailments through history - from trepanation (or 'oles in the 'ed) in early tribal societies right through to the possible, if improbable, future of medical technology.

    Wilson says: "Best there has been for a while"
    "Best there has been for a while"
    Overall

    Quality has varied since the first, stupendously funny Ricky Gervais show podcasted 13 free episodes. Only the most desperate fans (like me) were happy with Season 5, although it was at least better than the terrible Season 2.

    This installment (call it Season 6, part 1?) is good, and makes me suspect that the upcoming installments in this series on other topics will be equally good stuff.

    If you are new to the Ricky Gervais show, do NOT start with this one. You can pick up the complete Season 1 on Audible for a very reasonable price and it is well worth it, plus you get context that makes later stuff funnier.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ricky Gervais Show: The Complete Fifth Season

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs)
    • By Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, Karl Pilkington
    • Narrated By Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, Karl Pilkington
    Overall
    (435)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (181)

    The record-breaking, chart-topping comedy phenomenon returns for a fifth season - all four episodes are here as a single download. Ricky Gervais, of course, is the award-winning co-creator and star of The Office (upon which the current NBC hit series is based) and HBO's Extras. Steve Merchant, who also stars in Extras, is his long-time creative partner. Karl is a pile of protoplasm that mimics the functions of a human being.

    Jiayun says: "Love it!"
    "Funny but short"
    Overall

    I am perhaps spoiled by the length and fairly consistent humour of the first season of the Ricky Gervais podcast. It was quite lengthy, and fairly consistently hilarious.

    To be fair, Season five is definitely funny, and for those who feel bad for Karl from time to time, it is nice to see Ricky and Steven get their share as well.

    Sound quality, as always is excellent. Generally funny content. Karl seems to be getting wiser, which makes him stand up for himself more effectively even if we do miss his riduculously bizarre ideas and assumptions.

    For those who heard all four previous seasons, I would compare it in quality to Season 3, definitely it is better than season 2.

    Perhaps the most telling line, though, comes near the start of the file, when they are having an abortive start to the recording session and after some discussion about whether people should have to pay for such crap (forget the exact quote, might have been "drivel") Karl says something like "don't worry, we'll leave this bit out if we have enough material. If people are hearing this, then it didn't go well".

    I suspect that about summed it up. They got together, had a few laughs, but whatever tensions have been keeping them out of the studio until now must have limited the amount of content generated.

    Well, that's my theory anyway. Can't complain about the price, only a couple of bucks, but definitely not worth an audible credit.

    Anyone who has never heard them before should start with Season 1, it is their best material and is a lot of content for the buck.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Discipline for Ordinary People

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Ortberg
    • Narrated By Jay Charles
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    The heart of Christianity is about transformation, about a God who isn't just concerned with our "spiritual lives", but who wants to impact every aspect of living. It's realizing that God meets us not in a monastery but on Main Street, and that all of ordinary, daily life has the potential to be lived as if Jesus himself were the one living it.

    Tim says: "Easy to Identify with - Good Practical Examples"
    "Sort of a modern"
    Overall

    I found Celebration of Discipline a great blessing when we did it our our adult small group, and I'm always looking for more edifying content to listen to while driving, at the gym and doing chores. This book is I suppose a bit of a dumbing down compared to "Celebration", but in a lot of ways it will resonate more for people like myself who struggle to integrate our faith daily and are a long way from being able to do spiritual retreats regularly or fasting, etc.

    The author shares a lot of personal examples, which are either very helpful and human or a tad narcissistic depending on one's mood and personality. For me, I found it generally helpful and after having listened to it carefully once or twice, I now listen to parts of it at least once a week so as to remind myself of what I should be working on it my life.

    In short, the book is a blessing for the younger or modern person, as it challenges us to be Christ-like in real, North American day-to-day life.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Light Fantastic: Discworld #2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1556)
    Performance
    (661)
    Story
    (668)

    Carl Cravens says: "Great story, enjoyable British humour."
    "Overall Good"
    Overall

    Basically this breaks down to the difference between the story and narration, which are great, and the sound quality and intro, which are bad.

    Good: Terry Pratchett is dead funny, and the narrator does a great job.

    Bad: I suspect this is a digitization of an older audiobook format. Volumes go up and down from section to section, and they've used a chime noise to designate a change of scene/chapter that's a bit annoying. Listening to the whole book means adjusting your iPod volume up and down every 10 to 20 minutes as the next sections volume will likely be different from the last.

    Worst: Just skip the first minute. Terry Pratchett apparently thinks we're all stupid or criminal and feels the need to have someone nag us for the first minute about not sharing/reselling his work by reading us portions of the Audible liscence we obviously already agreed to.

    Overall: Good book, worth the audible credit and fun enough you can listen to it more than once :)

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Colour of Magic: Discworld #1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    Overall
    (2590)
    Performance
    (1050)
    Story
    (1058)

    The Colour of Magic, the first novel in Terry Pratchett's wildly imaginative Discworld series, takes the listener on a remarkable journey. The magical planet of Discworld is supported by four massive elephants who stand on the back of the Great A'Tuin, a giant turtle swimming slowly through the mysterious interstellar gulf. An eccentric expedition sets out to explore the planet, encountering dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course "The Edge" of the planet.

    Joel says: "Start in any of seven Disworld books"
    "Good book aside from intro"
    Overall

    Generally good (for the good bits, see last paragraph).

    As others have noted, the intro, apparently specifically requested by Terry Pratchett, is pretty offensive. Yes, yes, we get it, you're concerned about your digital rights! I reckon you should just fast-forward the 90 seconds or so right at the start, especially if you don't like being lectured like schoolboy.

    Pauses between chapters are a tad too long, leaving too much dead air. There were quite a few times at first when I had to take my iPod out of my pocket and look at it, assuming that such a long stretch of dead air was my iPod being accidently paused or running out of battery.


    On the up side, this was a good book in print, and is equally good in this format. Takes up a manageable amount of iPod space, sound is generally good and the narrator does a great job of voices, individualizing characters and making the book fun. In fact, I must say the narration absolutely did the book justice, something that can't always be said for books of quality SF/F

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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