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Kevin P. Gibbs

Chicago, IL United States

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 62 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • A Salesman's Guide to Hunting: The Deer/Dear Hunt, Book 1

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs)
    • By Alan Oberdeck
    • Narrated By Mark McDevitt
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Veteran salesman Peter Waldmann is on a routine sales call when he is surprised to find that the new purchasing agent he is calling on is none other than John Stemple, his very best friend from high school, 40 years earlier. When John invites him to come on a deer hunt with him in Edgerton, Wisconsin, a place Peter hasn't returned to in 40 years, he embarks on a journey to the past that will forever have a lasting effect on his future.

    Kevin P. Gibbs says: "A story about the lives of people across time"
    "A story about the lives of people across time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    After listening to the audiobook Deliverance I really wanted to find something else on par with that genre as Deliverance is a darn good story with excellent narration. Or at least something that focused on the outdoors and hunting. This desire led me to this book.I would say the book isn't much about hunting. It's more about a romantic coincidence in the life of an average Joe. Usually, in these sorts of stories the hunting theme is used as an analogy to some trigger event in the life of the protagonist. I suppose if I thought hard enough I might find such a linkage in this story but in general I think it's fairly weak. That said the story is entertaining. It just isn't a macho manly man hunting story.I think the author would have benefited from better editing. I got used to hearing the same descriptive words used in the same sentence or in two sentences next to each other. For example the author might have used the following types of wording choices: "It was a rather strange thing for her to say but he paid the bill and strangely enough he had the exact change." These sorts of word choices are littered throughout the book. It doesn't ruin the story but it is a little annoying.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character simply because he and his love interest were really the only 2 people the reader could possibly care about and we never really get to know the love interest all that well.


    What about Mark McDevitt’s performance did you like?

    Hum, this is a tricky one. Mark sounds like an everyday average joe but slightly on the wimpy side. It sort of fits the inexperienced hunter persona the author is trying to portray and it also fits the inexperienced lover he is also trying to portray. There I go using the same descriptor in the same sentence. But my point is that I don't really buy it that such a wimp would travel across the country to hunt with someone who stands him up. Maybe it's that Mark's performance is wimpy but a little happy go lucky at the same time? I just don't believe such a combination would be a person who goes out and buys a shotgun never having shot a gun before and then decides to attempt to hunt even though his best friend who was going to show him how it's done bails on the vacation. I also don't buy it that such a character could be a successful salesperson. Now that's just my stereotyping but aren't most performances characterizations of something believable? I think the narration is a little too happy go lucky and perhaps the character would have been better served as someone depressed who discovers something on this trip which saves his soul. I just didn't get that impression but I thought that's where this story was heading at least that's usually where it goes in this lost love coincidence style genre.


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

    OK, maybe. It was entertaining. It could have used more drama in the hunting aspect of the story to link to the romantic drama. Some sort of foreshadowing. I guess that might have been there but it wasn't as stark as it was in Deliverance. In Deliverance, the main character is shown to be a flawed hero early on in the story when he wakes up early, sneaks out of camp to shoot a deer and misses because he gets a case of jumpy nerves. This drama is used later in the story when the main character is the only able bodied survivor who can end the potential murder of his friends by himself murdering his enemy. In the back of the reader's mind we are thinking he might not be up to the task because he's the same guy who couldn't shoot a deer. If he can't shoot a deer, he certainly won't be able to kill a man.I guess with A Salesman's Guide to Hunting there isn't any foreshadowing in the deer hunt that leads us to suspect something will happen to the blossoming relationship. In fact, I felt the hunting element of the story was fairly divorced from the relationship with the exception that hunting created a space for the author to describe the past and fill out the relationship story. This was good for the relationship element of the story but it came at the expense of the hunting element which is a reach anyway for the reader to make. My main point is that I just can't see why hunting had to be a part of this story. The hunting trip itself is so unrealistic that I just didn't buy it. And if the guy was a travelling salesman why couldn't he have just been sent on business to this town. I suppose a better editing might have linked the hunting as an allegory to the relationship and not just to create a space for the author to fill in the background of the main character's life. I would have liked a dramatic link in the hunting story which affected the character's decisions in the romance and it wasn't clear to me that such an epiphany occurred.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fatherland

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    Overall
    (325)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (213)

    Fatherland is set in an alternative world where Hitler has won the Second World War. It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler’s 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin’s most prestigious suburb. As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Gripping from start to finish"
    "Great Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Fatherland?

    Well written and exciting although the premise that the Germans didn't know what happened to the Jews is a little far fetched.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boys Adrift: Factors Driving the Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Leonard Sax
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (829)
    Performance
    (463)
    Story
    (462)

    Something scary is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, they are less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere 20 years ago. Fully one-third of men ages 22 to 34 are still living at home with their parents, about a 100 percent increase in the past 20 years. Boys nationwide are increasingly dropping out of school; fewer are going to college. Family physician and research psychologist Dr. Leonard Sax presents practical solutions.

    Kirt says: "Startling, well-researched view..."
    "Excellent read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Boys Adrift rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A great book. Very insightful. I'm not sure everything in it is 100% backed up by peer reviewed journal research but I don't think that's the point. It's more of an awareness book rather than a scientific study. In audio form it's difficult to convey foot/end notes which may link to published research so I can't comment about the cited studies.

    The author does point us towards the website when giving information, although this starts about 50% through the book. It would have been helpful to have this information earlier and to organize the website better (perhaps coordinated by the books chapter headings?).

    Oh, and it sounds like this book (and the website) deserve an update. I think the most recent dates in the book refer to 2006 and that was over a half decade ago. Since then we've had Sandy Hook shootings, Facebook, No Child Left Behind has matured, the whole mental health discussion, and more published research has been done on the subject. I only say this because the book is getting somewhat dated in regards to recent events and left me wondering where we stand today. The author says that children in Kindergarten are the best population to target for reform and if written in 2006 those children are now in middle school.


    What did you learn from Boys Adrift that you would use in your daily life?

    Stay off the drugs, get kids outside, learn through experience with parents to counter balance the memorization learning taught in schools.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5237)
    Performance
    (3234)
    Story
    (3261)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "Solid story, good characters, exclt performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of One Second After to be better than the print version?

    ?? Didn't read the book


    What other book might you compare One Second After to and why?

    Disaster fiction in general.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Never listened to him before but I liked what he did. The only thing I thought was difficult for him to do is speak like a woman or girl. He just sounds silly like any man. Someone should tell the narrators to do something else when speaking from a child or woman's perspective. My vote is for them to deadpan or simply dictate the words and not to say them in an overly masculine way but also not to say them in a child or woman's voice.

    The listener usually understands that a child or woman is speaking anyway because the author often attributes who is saying what in the text such as "blah blah blah," said Susan. We don't need the narrator to say these words in a high pitched voice to know that Susan is saying them.

    Usually in a macho male centric story the narrator will speak in a gritty voice otherwise the protagonist comes off sounding like a wimp. This doesn't work though when children or women speak. I simply suggest the narrator drop the gruff voice of the protagonist and simply say what other characters are speaking. As is stands many narrators actually try to speak the words in a woman or child's voice and for voice talent hired to match a macho manly character this doesn't sound right.


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

    Yes, very entertaining.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guns

    • UNABRIDGED (49 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (909)
    Performance
    (824)
    Story
    (810)

    In a pulls-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion, Stephen King sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Anger and grief in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are palpable in this urgent piece of writing, but no less remarkable are King's keen thoughtfulness and composure as he explores the contours of the gun-control issue and constructs his argument for what can and should be done.

    Daniel E. Jacobs says: "putting his voice on what people have been saying"
    "Decent Centrist Viewpoint, Excellent Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Guns?

    The passion and performance. Nice to hear a centrist opinion


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The personal story behind King pulling the Rage story.


    Have you listened to any of Christian Rummel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, this is the 1st time I've listened to him


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

    Yes. That was the point of a 99 cent listen


    Any additional comments?

    While I don't agree with King's opinion that "assault rifles" and high capacity magazines should be banned he is at least man enough to admit he's a gun owner and sees some value in the 2nd amendment. However, I'm concerned about celebrity figures clouding the truth about semi-automatic firearms. They simply aren't all that bad. Banning one will likely mean a short road to banning them all. When hunting squirrels it actually is beneficial to have a semi-auto 22 because if they are in trees you might need to take a few shots in quick sequence to hit such a small target. Also, when hunting ducks and geese it's extremely helpful to have a semi-auto shotgun. The birds simply don't want to wait around for you to pump and no animal will wait for you to reload a single shot breech load.People forget that hunters actually perform a ecological benefit by reducing animal populations where few predators exits now days. Living in northern IL the geese have really taken over with the expansion of water retention ponds on corporate lands. Recently, coyotes have made themselves known in N IL. With this animal you actually do need more than a few rounds ready because if you stop to reload you'll take your eyes off them and they are gone.King also says semi-autos are only best for the shooting range where you can rapidly get off 10 shots without reloading and practice your shot control better. I disagree. Sure it's fun to shoot endlessly at the range but it's really like wasting money on fireworks. However, there are other active shooting sports that are much more challenging and rewarding with an AR platform rifle. These courses are outdoor ranges and require you to run and engage targets, stop, control your adrenaline/breathing, acquire target and shoot again. There is nothing criminal about these sports and the basic concepts of such sports have been a part of the Olympic games for years.I also think King would have been better off as a centrist reminding gun owners that safety begins with them. Safes, trigger locks, ammo storage, etc would have been a better argument than a ban. I respect the opinions of others and King's writing is passionate. As for pulling Rage, I think many of us look back at our high school classmates and think about that one odd guy who once made an off color comment or perhaps a sketch in a notebook that made us wonder.I think in any gun free zone, security needs to be regulated and mandated. Every school should have a shooter incident plan and every movie theater should have a security plan where exit doors are secured and not propped open. If not to prevent another Aurora, CO event but simply to deter theft of a movie seat. Even King admits these shooters are singling these places out for the impact they will net.As a centrist I think the worst enemy of the 2nd amendment is the rogue shooter or criminal use of a firearm. I only wish persons convicted of weapons violations were held more accountable. In Chicago, they give gangbangers 60 days probation and GPS monitoring sometimes even if they've had multiple violations. That element is the enemy of the 2nd amendment.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Robopocalypse: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Daniel H. Wilson
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1448)
    Performance
    (1068)
    Story
    (1072)

    In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans - a single mother, a lonely Japanese bachelor, and an isolated U.S. soldier....

    Raxxillion says: "OMG! The hyperbole is the GREATEST EVER!!!!!"
    "Great build up, End was a little abrupt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Robopocalypse?

    Overall entertaining story.


    Any additional comments?

    Lots of decent subplots but the author decided to abandon them about 2/3 of the way through and wrap up the story somewhat quickly. This story is a lot like World War Z in it's construction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deliverance

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By James Dickey
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1379)
    Performance
    (1221)
    Story
    (1222)

    The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the state's most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.

    karen says: ""A river runs through it...""
    "By far the best read audiobook on my list."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Deliverance the most enjoyable?

    The story is excellent. This is the foundation of the success. Even if you've seen the movie a dozen times give this story a try. The book is a fast paced thriller but it's also a wonderfully described story of the outdoors with beautifully written descriptions of nature and man's perception of a natural world. If you are a hunter you'll love this book. If you are a backpacker, canoe/kayak fan, outdoorsman, weekend camper, or naturalist you will love the author's descriptions of the the environment.If you are a fan of thrillers, then this book should be on your shelf. It's a very introspective thriller. The action occurs in your mind as you place yourself in the situation. Sure there is "THAT" scene but this is a minor part of the book and it was written in such a way that we get the point without excessive details.I simply can't say enough about how much I liked this audiobook.Like I said, even if you've seen the movie a dozen times read this book. It's excellent.


    What other book might you compare Deliverance to and why?

    It's an introspective thriller. The author wants the reader to think about what they would do in the same position as the main character. It's an outdoors book as well and I don't think there are many novels which feature nature as the supporting character.


    Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

    Ed the main character followed closely by Luis. Will Patton was excellent to say the least. The story is written in the 1st person which is really suitable for audiobooks in general, at least in my opinion. You feel like the story is being told to you 1st hand and that's a real treat.Will Patton is 100% believable as the main character, who is a southern city boy. He has the accent but it's not country lax. The dictation is superb. If you are concerned that you won't be able to follow the southern accent, have no fear, the dictation by Patton is VERY clear. It contains all the struggle, horror, pain, anticipation, and love for nature that I would envision the main character having in the same situation.This is by far the BEST audiobook dictation I have experienced. Kudos to Patton and all the production staff for turning this into a real gem.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Waiting in the tree. That and climbing the rock face are defining moments in the book. Much better done than in the movie.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    Overall
    (2927)
    Performance
    (1751)
    Story
    (1773)

    In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.

    Peter says: "Heinlein's Masterpiece"
    "Always Wanted to Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress in three words, what would they be?

    This is less a book about science fiction and more a story about a revolution.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have pitted Mike against a similar Earth bound computer as was suggested could have been a possibility. It would have added a little more drama. Similarly, Mike could have been playing tricks with the lunar revolutionaries which would have also gone along with his initial character construction.

    In any event, I wish the story had been told from Mike's perspective.


    Which character – as performed by Lloyd James – was your favorite?

    Mike


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Fallout: Zombie Fallout, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3003)
    Performance
    (2806)
    Story
    (2816)

    This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends: a band of ordinary people trying to get by in extraordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike, a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book one of the Zombie Fallout Trilogy follows our lead character at his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road, always skirting the edge of insanity.

    Mike Naka says: "bucket full of zombie juice"
    "Disapointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Page after page of corny one liner jokes delivered by a narrator without sense of timing wore on me. The main character alleges to be a self anointed survivalist from page 1 but all it seems he does is store a bunch of guns in the house. Did he ever go hunting, no he says but he'll ride around in his car shooting stop signs, nice what an idiot. Add to this his Marine experience stealing a truck. I've been in the service and if I'd stolen a truck with C4 in it (unguarded somehow) my butt would be making big rocks into little ones. How he ended up as an HR specialist I'll never know but the company that fired him made the right decision. I just don't have much to care for in this fool. His kids are annoying and the relationship he has with his wife is just silly.

    The thing that irked me most was that one day this guy wakes up and the whole world is undead. The author tries to set up the story with a preface but in chapter one he's introduced the main character who isn't aware of what's been apparently going on for months. It's like he's been in hypersleep. If you are going to write a trilogy take time to set up the downfall part.


    Has Zombie Fallout turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I'll still read zombie books but this one is a dog.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Sean Runnette?

    Someone with a little emotion and the ability to deliver the author's punchlines. However, that being said, I've heard all these one liner jokes either in the army or the bowling alley. They are the types of one liners that you think are lame the 1st time you hear them and they certainly don't need to be collected into a novel. Some don't even make sense.

    One thing that really eats me up is the narrator's vocalization of the term "zombie." God it's annoying.


    What character would you cut from Zombie Fallout?

    Everyone but the zombies.


    Any additional comments?

    I know that people who read zombie novels find the genre endearing but come on this story is just bad and the characters are simply flat and not believable. A good zombie story can stand on it's own and this one can't.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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