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Jeff

Boise, ID, United States | Member Since 2006

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 508 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
10

  • Summer of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (271)

    It’s the summer of 1960 and in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, five twelve-year-old boys are forging the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break. From sunset bike rides to shaded hiding places in the woods, the boys’ days are marked by all of the secrets and silences of an idyllic childhood. But amid the sun-drenched cornfields, their loyalty will be pitilessly tested.

    Jeff says: "Excellent well-developed thriller / youth story"
    "Excellent well-developed thriller / youth story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dan Simmons is one of my favorite writers. I've previously read Song of Kali, the Hyperion Cantos, Carrion Comfort, and Prayers to Broken Stones. I sometimes feel apprehension when reading a previously unread novel by an author I've come to love, because of the potential disappointment when the spell is broken. It's been broken (and redeemed) many times by Stephen King.
    No worries then, on Summer of Night! This is a story reminiscent of two other novels I know, both by Stephen King: It and The Body (which appeared in Different Seasons and was the basis for the movie Stand By Me). I would not say that this is a derivative work, however. Simmons has his own ideas and agendas. The story is thrilling and the characters are rich and diverse, and though it sounds hackneyed, the portrait of small town life is on the money. If you've ever been afraid of your elementary school basement or hung out with a clever group of school kids, this book will resonate with you. Despite the age of the kids in the story, this is not a juvenile work and deserves a mature audience rating for violence (though not really more so than The Illiad), language (though again, probably not more so than Slaughter House Five), etc.
    There may be some in-jokes or nods in Summer of Night. Duane may be a particular version of the detective in Carrion Comfort. I believe that the character Harland is a playful nod to Harlan Ellison, given their similar attitudes and, well, vernacular.
    By way of explanation, I do not practice "inflation" in my ratings. I give the story four stars only because five stars is reserved for excellent works of deep significant: Ulysses, The Grapes of Wrath, Dune, The Name of the Rose, Shogun, and works of this level. Catcher in the Rye would be a four-star by my reckoning.
    The audiobook was among the best performed that I've listened to. It was certainly well above the recording of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (which often sounded like an Al Franken SNL skit).

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Philosophy, Practice, and Science of Crime Scene Investigation, Part 1: The Modern Scholar

    • ORIGINAL (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Robert C. Shaler
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    The director of the Forensic Science Program at Pennsylvania State University, Professor Robert C. Shaler leads a comprehensive study of the intricacies of an intriguing, and always topical, science. In these lectures, Shaler imparts a clear understanding of crime scene investigation, from archiving the scene to the presentation of evidence in court proceedings. Covering everything from fingermarks and bloodstains to 3-D imaging and microbial forensics, the course is an essential guide for anyone intrigued by this riveting subject.

    Ronda says: "Informative and Practical approach"
    "Chloroform"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hate to give a negative review. It seemed like a fascinating topic, but early on this gets very bogged down in terminology and how the investigators need a scientific approach, and who is a criminalist and who is a technician and who was on first, no second base... The work is much like a textbook in which the author wants each statement to be completely accurate without regard for whether anyone is still listening. Was it Samuel Noah Kramer who said archeology should bring the dead to life, not bring sleep to the living...? I gave this one an hour and punted.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Verb: An Audioquarterly, Volume 1, No. 1

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Robert Olen Butler, James Dickey, Thomas Lux, and others
    • Narrated By Robert Olen Butler, James Dickey, Thomas Lux
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Fiction, poetry, and music come together to create something new: Verb. Original stories and poems you won't find anywhere else, by the best writers in the country, brought to you in an innovative format. Verb is the ancient oral tradition and the venerable literary magazine combined into a fresh new package: the audioquarterly.

    Hajro says: "A Great New Magazine"
    "Sharp and Fresh!"
    Overall

    I give this book and it's sequel Vol.1, No. 2, my highest recommendation. The writing is by turns fresh, funny, serious, and whimsical. There is a great deal of variety, and the material is poetic, lyrical and literary. It is this kind of work that got me hooked on audible, along with the wonderful but now defunct (temporarily?) show "Earshot" (formerly "Ear to the Ground"). When I listen to Verb, I get the sense of sitting around a campfire hearing stories, maybe after a day of herding cattle, or maybe we're just a bunch of boyscouts on a camping trip. I get the sense of hanging out with Steinbeck having a couple of beers, or maybe swapping stories with Shelby Foote or Seamus Heaney. Perhaps I'm comparing former girlfriend stories with Updike. I am eagerly awaiting more of this kind of material and if you read this, I hope I've turned you on to something sharp!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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