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John

Puckapunyal, Australia | Member Since 2008

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • Childhood's End

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3023)
    Performance
    (2052)
    Story
    (2083)

    The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

    A User says: "Food for Thought"
    "Showing its age"
    Overall

    I wish I'd checked the original date of publication before downloading---its more than 50 years since this book first appeared! It might have been ground-breaking in the 1950's but it is creaking with age now. Computers are "electric brains" and fax machines are the absolute cuttng edge in technolgy. The story has some resonance still, but it's hard to overlook the archaic technology references and the simplistic narrative at times. Clarke has much better to offer, with less of the musty smell of a museum.

    5 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Five Skies: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ron Carlson
    • Narrated By Ron Carlson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Five Skies is the story of three men gathered high in the Rocky Mountains for a construction project. Having participated in a spectacular betrayal in Los Angeles, the giant, silent Arthur Key drifts into work as a carpenter in southern Idaho. There he is hired, along with the shiftless and charming Ronnie Panelli, to build a stunt ramp beside a cavernous void. The two will be led by Darwin Gallegos, the foreman of the local ranch, who is filled with a primeval rage at God, at man, at life.

    Andrew says: "A first-rate audio experience."
    "Subtle, well written, insightful"
    Overall

    A simple yet engaging story of three men rebuilding their lives, set in a tough but beautiful desert wilderness. Carlson's dialogue is spare but clever, while his characters are interesting and carefully drawn although all would have benefited from further development. This doesn't detract from the enjoyment of this methodically paced and evocative story of heartbreak, recovery and friendship. Some beautiful turns of phrase and great descriptions of the high desert environment. Carlson narrates his own story, and gets the mood right. Recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Appaloosa

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert B. Parker
    • Narrated By Titus Welliver
    Overall
    (292)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (97)

    When it comes to writing, Robert B. Parker knows no boundaries. From the iconic Spenser detective series and the novels featuring Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone, to the groundbreaking historical novel Double Play, Parker's imagination has taken readers from Boston to Brooklyn and back again. In Appaloosa, fans are taken on another trip, to the untamed territories of the West during the 1800s.

    Jeffrey says: "One of the Best Old west tales"
    "Tough characters, tough talk, tough country"
    Overall

    An engrossing (if rather short) story, with gritty non-nonsense characters and some clever dialogue. Mercifully free of the usual Western cliches and central-casting characters, the two lead figures are interesting and well described. A longer book would have allowed more development of their characters and the supporting cast, but its still satisfying. I'll definitely look for more like this.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Heroes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (716)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (140)

    Stewart Dubinsky knew his father had served in World War II. And he'd been told how David Dubin (as his father had Americanized the name that Stewart later reclaimed) had rescued Stewart's mother from the horror of the Balingen concentration camp. But when he discovers, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancee, and learns of his father's court-martial and imprisonment, he is plunged into the mystery of his family's secret history.

    Janet C. Walker says: "Excellent"
    "Superbly written and read"
    Overall

    It would be hard to overstate the quality of this wonderful story. The characters are beautifully drawn, the dialogue is deep and intelligent, while the settings are dramatic and evocative. Turow writes with great skill and a sure touch. The narrator, Edward Herrmann, is outstanding. With a great gift for different voices, he delivers the story at a pace and intonation which perfectly matches the thought provoking storyline. This is one of the best books I've encountered for a long time, a real gem. You won't be disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • March Upcountry: Prince Roger Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By David Weber, John Ringo
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (1393)
    Performance
    (727)
    Story
    (727)

    Roger Ramius Sergei Chiang MacClintock was young, handsome, athletic, an excellent dresser, and third in line for the Throne of Man. So it wasn't surprising that he became spoiled, self-centered, and petulant. After all, what else did he have to do with his life?

    Euryleia says: "Lots of fun!"
    "Guaranteed to lower your IQ"
    Overall

    Avoid this book if you have an IQ even slightly above room temperature. Adolescent dialogue, ridiculous caricatures as central characters, childish plot, flawed details, utterly lacking in any merit. I can only wonder at the high ratings of other reviewers. Best suited to people whose normal literary diet is restricted to comic books. The narration is over the top and irritating. This is unsalvageable trash, destined for the two dollar bargain bin at a gas station near you. Total waste of a download credit. Is it possible to give a minus rating?

    11 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Heartsick

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Chelsea Cain
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (597)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (224)

    Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent 10 years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer. But in the end, she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for 10 days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go.

    Karen says: "Entertaining Listen"
    "Confronting, well written"
    Overall

    A well paced and absorbing book, and confronting in the details of the torture suffered by the lead detective at the hands of the deeply disturbed female serial killer, it avoids gratuitous gore by evoking the horror of the experience rather than depicting every gruesome detail (but it's still pretty tough). The dialogue is clever and convincing, the central characters have some depth, and the story draws you in. For some reason the author insists on describing every item of dress of every character, which seems pointless, but otherwise the writing is crisp and entertaining. The narration of this audiobook is excellent; just be ready for lots of colourful language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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