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Sean

Los Angeles, CA, United States

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 73 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • You

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Austin Grossman
    • Narrated By Will Collyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (56)

    When Russell joins Black Arts games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly, he needs to know what happened to Simon, the strangest and most gifted friend he ever lost, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit.

    Tango says: "YOU might want to try a different book"
    "A must-read for gamers."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about You?

    Austin really captures what it's like to be in your late-20s: reminiscing about being "young" while struggling with the idea of still being able to make a change in your life while other peers seem to have already achieved success.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Like Grossman's other book, "Soon I Will Be Invincible," the story jumps around in both time and setting a lot. This book basically presents itself as a series of short stories that intermingle with one another to progress the core narrative. Any time I heard a mention of the plot's core conceit, my ears perked up - I *knew* this part would be important. It was almost as though I wanted to take notes so that I'd be able to solve the puzzle before the main character. I really felt the tension to solve the mystery. It was like being right there with them, no matter what time or space they were in.


    What does Will Collyer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Will Collyer's were really on-the-nose. There were a lot of scenes where 4 or 5 characters would hold an extended conversation, and Collyer's impressions were so distinct that it really felt like 5 separate people were talking. The way he captured each person's level of aloofness was pretty impressive, too.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Is life just a game?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jim Henson: The Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Brian Jay Jones
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (328)
    Performance
    (308)
    Story
    (308)

    For the first time ever - a comprehensive biography of one of the 20th century’s most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters born of his fertile imagination: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just part of his remarkable story.

    Ted says: "Dramatically complete"
    "Inspirational, but low impact."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would. Jim Henson's philosophies on how he treated people and ideas are worth repeating.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Jim's life was very well documented, and Brian Jay Jones clearly did his research. Everything from company memos, letters to friends and even pages from Jim Henson's personal diary are referenced to paint a clear picture of his life. You really get a feel for what it was like to know Jim Henson.


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

    No, but he was quite good. He does an amazing impression of Jim Henson as well as Frank Oz.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I don't think it would make a very good film! He didn't really have a lot of strife, to be honest!


    Any additional comments?

    This one is kind of a slow burn, but it's worth it. It isn't so much a story of one man overcoming obstacles to make it to the top - it's a story of a boy from an upper-middle class home that was always the best at everything and died on top of the world. It's not the type of story I'm really used to, but the ideas Jim had are really worth immersing yourself in. There's a lot to learn here about how to treat people and make the most out of your life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jeff Ryan
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (363)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (330)

    Nintendo has continually set the standard for video game innovation in America, starting in 1981 with a plucky hero who jumped over barrels to save a girl from an ape.

    Steve says: "Great read! Very informative."
    "A poorly told story of popular culture."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Super Mario?

    Jeff Ryan clearly knows how to write about videogames - that is to say that he knows how to spin un-researched anecdotes as probable facts, and how to turn attention to merchandise and pop culture rather than the topic at hand. I learned more about Captain Lou than I did about Nintendo, Miyamoto or Mario.


    Has Super Mario turned you off from other books in this genre?

    If I hadn't already listened to Masters Of Doom, this would have turned me off from videogame nonfiction entirely. It's pretty well-known that games writers are not great nonfiction writers, and the idea of a stack of books of this quality is enough to make me steer clear. Luckily David Kushner has already shown that it is possible to write a compelling, well researched, nonfiction story about game studios, so I remain hopeful that lightning can strike twice.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader seemed bored most of the time, and when he tried to spice things up, it always fell flat. One moment that stuck out was when he described Mario's accent in the cartoons, he said the words "New York accent" in a cartoonish BOSTON accent. It gives me douche chills just thinking about it.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    If you're looking for a more-or-less chronological list of Mario themed merchandise from the 90s, you'll find it here. If you just want to hear someone utter the words "Super Mario Bedsheets" so you can say "HEY! I had those" then you might like this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dad Is Fat

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jim Gaffigan
    • Narrated By Jim Gaffigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1928)
    Performance
    (1792)
    Story
    (1784)

    In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children - everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four-year-olds ("there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor").

    Sean says: "Good for Gaffigan fans - better for expecting dads"
    "Good for Gaffigan fans - better for expecting dads"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Dad Is Fat to be better than the print version?

    Yes. Gaffigan edits a lot of the passages to be unique to the audio book, and his voices are a big part of his standup routine. I would have been reading in his voice anyway, so why not cut out the middleman?


    If you’ve listened to books by Jim Gaffigan before, how does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to a book, but I've listened to his stand-up. This sounds a lot like his stand-up, but at times, it's pretty obvious that he's trying to read word-for-word.


    What about Jim Gaffigan’s performance did you like?

    His voices and his audiobook-only quips.


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

    No. It's almost 6 hours long. I've got things to do.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is really great, but I feel like there are a couple of things Gaffigan fans should know before they start listening/reading:

    1 - This is a book about being a dad. I know that seems obvious, but if you aren't a dad, or aren't thinking of becoming a dad, then you might not really like this book. If you're a college kid that likes jokes about Hot Pockets, you might be able to skip this one. There are a few chuckles in here, but you won't identify with them.

    2 - There's a rhythm to this book that is a little jarring in an audiobook format. Each chapter ends with a joke, which is usually a callback from earlier in the chapter - and then the next chapter just starts. The chapters are very short, and the result is a very jarring transition between chapters. There were times when I would look up to read a street sign, and all of a sudden, Jim Gaffigan was talking about something completely different, and I barely had time to digest what he just started talking about 3 minutes ago. The book took a lot more focus than a normal book.

    3 - This isn't 6 hours of standup. It's Jim Gaffigan reading a book by Jim Gaffigan. A lot of the joke delivery might seem off, especially when he recycles a joke from one of his shows (that happens a few times).

    4 - If you DON'T have kids, expect to be a little baby-crazy by the end of this book. Speaking from personal experience, I had to be talked down from the baby-ledge by my girlfriend after reading this. Luckily, I recovered, and I'm still happily babyless.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jason Vuic
    • Narrated By Erik Synnestvedt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (286)

    Six months after its American introduction in 1985, the Yugo was a punch line; within a year, it was a staple of late-night comedy. By 2000, NPR's Car Talk declared it "the worst car of the millennium." And for most Americans that's where the story begins and ends. Hardly. The short, unhappy life of the car, the men who built it, the men who imported it, and the decade that embraced and discarded it is rollicking and astounding, and it is one of the greatest untold business-cum-morality tales of the 1980s.

    Roy says: "Flim Flam at its Best"
    "Fascinating read - endless conversation material"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Yugo the most enjoyable?

    I'm not a car guy, but I knew the Yugo was a terrible car. I never knew the story, and I couldn't have guessed that there were still elements still left in play! The almost 40 year story of the Yugo was fascinating, and it's a lot of fun to talk about with friends because, let's face it: everybody knows the Yugo was terrible, but not a lot of people remember why.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The....Yugo?


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

    I haven't listened to any of Erik's other performances, but he has a variable enough tone that I always found myself paying attention


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    And you thought your grandmother's car was terrible.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11685)
    Performance
    (10896)
    Story
    (10906)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "Doesn't live up to the hype."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Ready Player One? What did you like least?

    The idea behind Ready Player One was actually a pretty interesting one. Unfortunately, it gets bogged down with reference after reference after reference. None of the characters are likable, and less than one-third of the book is spent telling the story, while the other 66% of the text is spent regurgitating a laundry list of 80s trivia.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ernest Cline again?

    Probably not.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Parzival finds the Lich King to get the first key.


    Was Ready Player One worth the listening time?

    Not really. Had I not been listening to discuss in my audiobook club, I would have stopped listening after the first part.


    Any additional comments?

    I understand why so many people with similar interests enjoy this book, but it really is poorly written. It reads like a subreddit, not a cohesive story.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Dan Ariely
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (3707)
    Performance
    (1222)
    Story
    (1228)

    In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.

    Stephen says: "Well researched, well written, & well read"
    "Very interesting."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Predictably Irrational to be better than the print version?

    Simon Jones is an excellent narrator, and manages to keep things interesting. The print book is probably a better reference, but the ability to hear about the Ariely's studies while working or driving is great.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Simon Jones puts just the right spin on Ariely's topical snark.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The study on priming where Asian American women were asked to answer questions about either their race or their gender before answering math questions. It was a very interesting study!


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    People are more likely to be dishonest when the prize is one step removed from actual cash money.


    Any additional comments?

    As soon as I finish writing this, I'm going to search for more books by Dan Ariely, and maybe even look for more books narrated by Simon Jones.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By David Kushner
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (735)
    Performance
    (686)
    Story
    (685)

    Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to produce the most notoriously successful game franchises in history - Doom and Quake - until the games they made tore them apart. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry.

    Ryan says: "How it was"
    "Really great read - even if you are not a gamer."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Masters of Doom in three words, what would they be?

    Johns are sad.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Masters of Doom?

    When Romero ends a multi-year D&D campaign by essentially ending the world - it was an interesting way to foreshadow the events that were about to happen in the real world.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Wil Wheaton?

    Probably not. Like all things Wil Wheaton is involved in, he really doesn't bring anything interesting to the table. He was inconsistent, to say the least - he only made voices for half of the characters with dialog in the book (which in a biography is strange to begin with) and even then, he inconsistently changes or stops the impressions. I wouldn't avoid a book that I was already interested, just because he narrated it, but it could be the tipping point that keeps me from downloading something I was unsure of.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Two Johns. One Empire.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Austin Grossman
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo, Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1009)
    Performance
    (513)
    Story
    (513)

    Doctor Impossible, evil genius and diabolical scientist, has tried to take over the world in every way imaginable, but this time is going to be different. He'll have to contend with Fatale, however, a rookie superhero on her first day with the Champions, the world's most famous superteam. She's a patchwork woman of skin and chrome, a gleaming technological marvel built for the next generation of warfare.

    Brad says: "Now that I have you at my mercy. . ."
    "Great read that sets up a very detailed universe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Soon I Will Be Invincible rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is my first audiobook (unless you count the Star Wars books-on-tape I checked out at the library in middle school) and I have to say I'm impressed. There are 2 narrators in this book, one for the "Dr Impossible" chapters, and another for the "Fatale" chapters, and it really gives the characters a lot of depth.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Soon I Will Be Invincible?

    During one of the later chapters, the narrators cross-over, and you hear Dr Impossible's voice in one of Fatale's chapters. It was a great moment that really pulled everything together well.


    Which character – as performed by Coleen Marlo and Paul Boehmer – was your favorite?

    Dr. Impossible


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Villain ain't easy.


    Any additional comments?

    The multiple narrator format was really great. It stops just shy of becoming a radio drama, which was very interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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