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George Hancocks



  • A Beautiful Friendship: Star Kingdom, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Stephanie Harrington had always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home - a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie's explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!

    brendanstallard says: "Wow, Weber hits the target."
    "David Weber Nevere Ceases to Amaze"

    I admit I am a Weber fan. Even though I'm 80 and this book is labelled as for young adults, I refuse to be stuck in some publisher-invented category, and more or less told what to read. A good author means good writing, and good writing is precious.

    I wonder what influence Jane Lindskold had on the great Weber? Every once in a while I catch a glimpse of what she contributed to this wonderful story, but it's so subtle it never gosmacks you.

    One thing I did, after finishing this remarkable story of a very young Stephanie Harrington meeting and bonding with an alien species, was to rush right out and visit my local bookstore to buy copies of both this book and the sequel to it. They're for my 13-year-old grandaughter, Roya. I know she will just devour this adventure.

    Still, beneath the young adult label, is a serious story of first contact; of concern for human-alien connections; of deep feeling for the environment; and of the sensibilities of a young girl of great natural intelligence growing up. Although I see the reason for the category label, the Weber/Lindskold collaboration never lets the adventure drop to the mundane level. Occasional "Aw Daaads!" didn't faze me as an adult reader. I recognize them all too well from young adulthood when I was raising my own family. Still, if you're a purist and allow yourself to be put on by publisher's well meaning attempts to categorize you, you might find them a bit off-putting--no criticism of the authors.

    The narration is crisp and clean, and the characterizations drawn beautifully by a feminine voice with a wonderful range, and able to change character instantly. So "huzzah" for David Weber and Jane Lindskold. May they continue to write wonderful adventures in the young adult category for this 80-year-old young-at-heart. And kudos to Khristine Hyam for a wonderful read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunt for Red October

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By J. Charles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A deadly serious game of hide-and-seek is on. The CIA's brilliant young analyst, Jack Ryan, thinks he knows the reason for the sudden Red Fleet operation: the Soviets' most valuable ship, the Red October, is attempting to defect to the United States.

    Christian says: "Audio quality quite poor"
    "More exciting when heard"

    I bought The Hunt for Red October when it was first issued, and loved it. I bought a couple of extra copies for friends, and watched the movie a number of times. I hesitated before I bought the Audible version, but it surpassed my expectations. I find that hearing the book read, as opposed to reading it, is a more exciting experience than I could originally have expected. There is no question that the book itself is a classic of its kind, and one of the best that Tom Clancy has ever written. Hearing it read by J. Charles is an entirely new experience. I find I can let myself go into the drama, and just go with the flow of the book in a far more intimate way than just reading the book involves. What more can I say. A classic read for a classic book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On Basilisk Station: Honor Harrington, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Honor Harrington has been exiled to Basilisk station and given an antique ship to police the system. The vindictive superior who sent her there wants her to fail. But he made one mistake: he's made her mad....

    gerry says: "Damn you Steve Gibson"
    "On Basilisk Station a Weber classic"
    Where does On Basilisk Station rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I purchased the book when it first came out. Then I purchased the paperback. Then I purchased more copies and gave them to my friends. Finally, I chose On Basilisk Station as the first audiobook I ever purchased. I've read the book numerous times, and anjoy it every time. Listening to the book is like lying back and letting it flow into you. I have purchased a number of audiobooks since, but Basilisk is still my favorite, and I don't hesitate to recommend it to others. Of all the Harrington books Weber has written I think it's one of the finest.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Honor Harrington, without a doubt. When I first met her on the pages of Weber's book I thought she represented all that is fine and noble about womens' emancipation. I still find her so.

    What about Allyson Johnson’s performance did you like?

    I loved the way she interpreted the book. For my money, she is the perfect reader and foil for Honor Harrington.

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

    I listened to it in two sittings. I simply can't absorb it all at once, even though I was familiar with the story. But once started, I could hardly stop.

    Any additional comments?

    My son recommended Audible Books to me because he was buying and using them both in the car and on the train in a long commute to Toronto. I resisted the idea at first, because I am an avid reader (a book a day at least), and thought I wouldn't much like just sitting still and listening! How wrong I was! Audible Books have taken me back to my childhood when my mother used to read to me, and to the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Stage series of one-hour dramas. I never failed to listen to those broadcasts, and even today I can remember some of them. They were the beginning of a lifelong interest in literature, and directly responsible for me becoming a writer and editor myself.

    Listening to Audible Books has also made me realize that I learn more, and remember more when I hear the books narrated as opposed to just reading them, especially if I have already read the book. They also allow me to analyze the books better, because the narrator has to read through all the boring bits which as a reader I usually skipped. In skipping the boring bits I almost always missed some important facet of the story. In fact the audiobooks have such a powerful impact on me I often dream whole sequences from them, almost word for word, when I am asleep at night.

    Another factor is that hearing non-fiction books read allows me to understand them better. I have sampled a number of them, not bought any yet , but I am looking at Will Durant's A History of Western Philosophy, which I used as a text in college. I bet I could get straight A's on any exam, oral or written, after listening to that book read to me.

    Which brings me to one other point. Your narrators (even when they make pronunciation mistakes) are able to bring the driest of books alive. That is a great, great talent. Some are better than others, but none are bad. Congratulate them all for me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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