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John

Kenmore, WA, United States | Member Since 2002

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 43 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • Railsea

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By China Mieville
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cowley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (65)

    On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one's death and the other's glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can't shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea - even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she's been chasing since it took her arm years ago.

    H James Lucas says: "Talented Mr Cowley a mismatch for Railsea"
    "Giant Moles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Railsea? What did you like least?

    A true world unlike earth, but slightly similar. Plus all the unfinished avenues of thought waiting to be pursued. Really a mind engaging story.


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

    No recommendations.


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

    Not applicable


    Do you think Railsea needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes. To continue the exploration of the unknown parts of that world.


    Any additional comments?

    Very enjoyable book. Would like a series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fear Artist: A Poke Rafferty Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Timothy Hallinan
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    An accidental collision on a Bangkok sidewalk goes very wrong when the man who ran into Rafferty dies in his arms, but not before saying three words: "Helen Eckersley. Cheyenne." Seconds later, the police arrive, denying that the man was shot. That night, Rafferty is interrogated by Thai secret agents who demand to know what the dead man said, but Rafferty can't remember. When he's finally released, Rafferty arrives home to find that his apartment has been ransacked. He realizes he's under surveillance.

    Richard Delman says: "Hallinan is a writer at the very peak of his power"
    "Things to do in Bangkok"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Fear Artist in three words, what would they be?

    Focused; Exciting; Sincere.


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

    Not Applicable.


    What about Victor Bevine’s performance did you like?

    Setting the scene in various parts of the story.


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

    The hidden world of Precious. In the hedge. Very moving. Very touching.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the sights and thoughts of Bangkok.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (5193)
    Performance
    (4702)
    Story
    (4713)

    Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

    Clinton says: "Not what I thought it was going to be."
    "Gradual Appreciation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Would recommend to someone if they are really into fiction and the what if's that are possible in Science Fiction. A history or purely non-fiction reader would probably not enjoy.


    What other book might you compare Hard Magic to and why?

    Woken Furies. Completely alternate world but similar to earth.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    Main character. But Delilah has a certain longing which makes her special.


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

    Tendrils of Power


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Year's Top-Ten Tales of Science Fiction 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By John Barnes, Paul McAuley, Maureen McHugh, and others
    • Narrated By Tom Dheere, Jared Doreck, Adam Epstein, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    An unabridged audio collection of the "best of the best" science fiction stories written in 2011 by current and emerging masters of the genre, edited by Allan Kaster, as narrated by top voice talents. In "Dying Young", by Peter M. Ball, cyborgs, clones, and post-humans collide with a dragon bent on revenge in a post-apocalyptic space western. In "Canterbury Hollow", by Chris Lawson, two lovers on a planet orbiting a killer sun share their few remaining weeks together before they die....

    John says: "Easy Listening"
    "Easy Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Year's Top-Ten Tales of Science Fiction 4 to be better than the print version?

    Not better but more available. I have more time to listen than I do to just sit and read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The varied stories of future / science fiction. Each is a window to watch the story without devoting 12 to 15 hours for longer books.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    The plants which take care of the world are lonely and depressed. And a bit confused. The old human race just does not make sense to them.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No other reaction other than enjoying the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1361)
    Performance
    (1112)
    Story
    (1113)

    A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.

    Harold says: "From Civilization into Darkness"
    "Intense absorption"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh?

    Narrator brought a sense of presence to the story. Subtle but strong. Very much enjoyed the voice inflection and variation of character voices.


    Would you recommend Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes. Time well spent listening to this narration.


    What about Kenneth Branagh’s performance did you like?

    An adult speaking to adults. No kiddy voice or old person voice which is non-inteligible. Just a normal person speaking a story. Very enjoyable.


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

    Apocolypse Now.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Paul French
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (146)

    Peking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner's body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now surrounding the city? With the suspect list growing and clues sparse, two detectives - one British and one Chinese - race against the clock to solve the crime before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever.

    Jeremy says: "When history can be stranger than fiction"
    "A Time Forgotton"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Midnight in Peking the most enjoyable?

    Detailed knowledge of the life and experience living in Peking at that time.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Disappointment. Not neatly wrapped up for reader at the end. But this was true life. Life is not neat.


    Which character – as performed by Erik Singer – was your favorite?

    Not really attracted to any of the characters. More of an "arms length" experience. Watching from afar.


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

    The continued dread of Japanese invasion which held over Peking at the time. And the timid or cowardly actions of the historical figures, Chaing Kai Shiek and Mao Te Sung. Essentially out of sight, out of mind while Peking suffered.


    Any additional comments?

    Book reminded me very much of "Devil in the White City". Details in this book were at times graphic and gruesome. But the historical detail was excellent and made the experience enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scott and Amundsen: Their Race to the South Pole

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Roland Huntford
    • Narrated By Tim Piggott-Smith
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (30)

    This is a brilliant dual biography charting British Robert Scott's and Norwegian Roald Amundsen's race to the South Pole during 1911-12. Huntuford's is the accepted, definitive account of the race and a reassessment of the two men. Thoroughly researched, revealing the adventures and misfortunes that befell them both, he describes the driving ambitions of the era, and the complex, often deeply flawed individuals who were charged with carrying them out.

    Pierre says: "Good but could have been great"
    "Real World of Exploration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Scott and Amundsen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Best of the Arctic Explorers. Great comparison between Amudsen and Scott although author definitely qualifies Scott as a bully and a buffoon. And the author is probably correct. Amudsen is the leader of men and a true hero. Great book to read after reading


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Scott and Amundsen?

    Enjoyed the planned approach of Amudsen. Truly a great project manager.


    What about Tim Piggott-Smith’s performance did you like?

    Excellent word inflection without too much drama. Great narrator.


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

    Goal setting and the process of achievement.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mitchell Zuckoff
    • Narrated By Mitchell Zuckoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1222)
    Performance
    (927)
    Story
    (938)

    On May 13, 1945, 24 American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea. Unlike the peaceful Tibetan monks of James Hilton’s best-selling novel Lost Horizon, this Shangri-La was home to spear-carrying tribesmen, warriors rumored to be cannibals. But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers pulled through.

    Janice says: "Facinating history"
    "Out of No Where"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Lost in Shangri-La?

    Author's effort to establish the setting in and around the time of New Guinnea occupation and World War II. Lots of reseach at the personal level as to how lives were attached before and during the conflict. The unknown blank spaces on a map suddenly became inhabited. By both indeginous peoples and the white caucasions from across the oceans. Lucky that anybody survied.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Maggie, the fearless WAC who kept the pace of the expedition.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Maybe get a better narrrator with better voice inflection. Sometimes I felt the words were delivered a bit dull, like someone who had said the same phrase a thousand times. Not to be surprised since it is the author reading the story. I consider the author a much better writer and researcher than a reader.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction. Just an aching for lost lives, personal beliefs and unexpected actions.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book. Just as much from the story as from the amount of reseach which combined to make the story. A time and experience lost unless someone like the author takes the time and effort to record for all to see. Thank you Mitchell Zuckoff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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