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Slinger of code. Eater of sushi.

Member Since 2008

  • 12 reviews
  • 170 ratings
  • 377 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015

  • The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Eric Ries
    • Narrated By Eric Ries
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

    Taufiq says: "A great read!"
    "Great book, fascinating ideas"
    What did you love best about The Lean Startup?

    Really enjoyed the content of the book. Exciting stuff. Can't wait to put what I learned here to use. The author (and narrator) was very good as well. Very well read.I ended up having to buy the book as well. While listening was nice, it was the sort of content that I really needed to think about and ponder. While I thought and pondered (ok, maybe daydreamed...), the book played on. I found myself having to stop, back up, and play stuff again a number of times. For content like this, I find that reading the book is necessary for it to sink in. Your mileage may vary. :)

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Existence

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Brin
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins, Robin Miles, L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an "alien artifact".

    A. Massey says: "Big ideas, good science fiction, frustrating style"
    "Ok overall with good chunks"

    A bit of a fragmented story. Story arcs start but never resolve. Characters are the focus for a long period and then not mentioned again. I'm a Brin fan, but this really wasn't his best work. Worth a read/listen but likely won't blow you away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mako: The Mako Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ian J. Malone
    • Narrated By Andrew Wehrlen

    A down-and-out history professor leads a team of old friends to virtual glory as the first-ever group to beat Mako Assault, a revolutionary new game that has emerged from nowhere to take the online world by storm. As a reward for their achievement, and under the guise of publicity, the group is flown to meet the game's mysterious designer, only to learn that Mako's intent was never to entertain its players…but rather to train them. An epic science fiction thrill ride of action, suspense, laughter, and romance, Mako is the story of five ordinary people rising to the challenge of extraordinary events, driven only by their faith in one another.

    Zed says: "Predictable and shallow. Written for young adults?"
    "Predictable and shallow. Written for young adults?"
    What disappointed you about Mako?

    The premise had potential (even though it was 'The Last Starfighter' reboot), but the story ended up just replaying set pieces of a dozen other books. Don't expect any depth to the story. Ridiculous things take place and the best rationale the author could come up with was "science & stuff happened". The characters were satisfied with the ridiculousness of it all, but I was not.

    What was most disappointing about Ian J. Malone’s story?

    About halfway through the book I found myself checking (hoping) if it was close to being done. If you like mildly entertaining stories, with little explanation of events or circumstances, and no attempt to make things even slightly plausible, you might enjoy it. For me the incongruities built up to the point where I could barely finish the book.

    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Performance was average. Nothing special, but not bad either.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Mako?

    The beginning was ok, but as soon as the author started attempting to paint a view of the future, the silly explanations made the story fall apart for me. A space fighter was described as rolling down the tarmac... out of another space craft. Personally, I'm not sure nasa would approve of using tarmac as a building material within a spacecraft. An alien race that evolved to be nearly 100% genetically identical to humans was interesting... who all have western names and everything from every day life we have (newspapers, bacon, beer, etc.) but they were fascinated by our music. The author made no attempt to create another culture, etc. Humans just got stamped all over the universe conveniently. I guess it would save on costume costs for the tv movie version.

    Any additional comments?

    This could be a series created for the early sci-fi channel. It would of been cancelled after 4 episodes however. Could also work as a cartoon mini-series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On the Edge

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Richard Hammond
    • Narrated By Richard Hammond, Mindy Hammond

    Richard Hammond describes his childhood and adolescence and the emergence of the adrenalin junkie, the first ridiculous stunts on his tricycle, and an increasing and near obsessive attraction to speed and the smell of petrol. He finds an attractive girl, Mindy, who shares his interests and helps him organise his high-speed life.

    Cindy says: "A bit disappointing!"
    "About the accident, but mostly about his recovery"

    This was a brutally honest and very intimate book about Richard Hammond's accident and especially, his recovery from severe brain damage. He did have me laughing at times, but this book is not a reflection of the silliness that is at the forefront in Top Gear. That being said, it was a very enjoyable read. I gained many insights into what suffering and recovering from a brain injury may be like. This book would be helpful for anyone with loved ones who have suffered similar injuries. It would enable them to understand what they are going through a bit better.

    In the end I would have to say this is also a love story. You could really feel the emotions from his wife's voice, and could appreciate the love, support and patience exhibited by everyone involved. This was a very candid, intimate, and touching story.

    Richard himself narrated the chapters in the book that were from his perspective, but the vast majority of the book was read by his wife Mindy. (And very well narrated at that).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Footfall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews

    They first appear as a series of dots on astronomical plates, heading from Saturn directly toward Earth. Since the ringed planet carries no life, scientists deduce the mysterious ship to be a visitor from another star. The world's frantic efforts to signal the aliens go unanswered. The first contact is hostile: the invaders blast a Soviet space station, seize the survivors, and then destroy every dam and installation on Earth with a hail of asteriods.

    Flatlander says: "Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle at Their Best"
    "Solid classic scifi, but not the best"

    I read the story ages ago and with an upcoming road trip decided to re-read it via audio book. The story itself is quite unique, and while the science in it seems strong, the story felt a bit thin and jumpy. Not my favorite from these authors, but still good. The narration was excellent. If you are a Niven and Pournelle fan and can't find anything else that excites you, this would be a worthy listen. The story however isn't nearly as satisfying as Mote in God's Eye or Lucifer's Hammer.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Barbara Demick
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years - a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung and the unchallenged rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape never before seen, Demick brings to life what it means to be an average Korean citizen, living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

    Gohar says: "The man who wants to be GOD"
    "Interesting portraits of life in North Korea"

    This book contains a bit of background history on North Korea, as well as a number of portraits into the difficult life there. Hard to imagine what the people went through, but this book provides vivid descriptions of the harsh and tragic life people there are forced to endure. The material can be a bit dry at times, but overall was very interesting. Amazing places like this can still exist today. North Korea was never high on my list of places to visit, but I had no idea how bad it was. So sad.

    As a number of reviewers have mentioned, the narrator is a bit breathy, but it didn't take much away from my enjoyment. Overall an interesting book, with good narration.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Gathering Storm: Book Twelve of the Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward - wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders - his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.

    D. Ramirez says: "I normally wouldn't, but..."
    "New life in an already amazing story"

    I have enjoyed the WOT series, but honestly, I felt it was starting to drag in the last few. However, this latest one was amazing. Without question a WOT book, but with wall to wall action, insights, and ever building action (with less ramble). This was my first audiobook of the series and it was excellently read. One of the top books of them all.

    The series had started to wear me out, but this book re-engergized me, I can't wait for the next ones. Brandon Sanderson is the man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!"
    "Great technical, mystery, thriller"

    Great book, especially if you are an IT geek. It is very refreshing to have a technology intense book where the author actually has a clue that doesn't make you cringe every time they mention something technical.

    Interesting story that gets you interested and keeps you there for the full story. All in all a great technical/mystery/thriller with compelling ideas, interesting (accurate) technology, and interesting characters.

    It was very well read using a number of voice actors. Highly recommended in audio or paper form.

    Note that the language in this book is pretty coarse, and things get fairly graphic at times.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Windup Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

    Marius says: "Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner."
    "Just OK"

    Not much happens until about half way into the book. The first half is a series of disconnected vignettes with no obvious protagonist, storyline, etc. Some of the ideas presented are interesting, but not really explored or developed.

    The story picks up eventually, with a series of protagonists emerging, and something approaching a story line. All in all it was just ok. It was well written, but suffered from just dropping us readers into the middle of events and a world without any kind of explanation or discussion on why we should care.

    If you enjoy eclectic writing and obtuse plots and characters, you might enjoy it. For me, it was just 'meh'.

    4 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Venita says: "Lenghtly but good, ending was rushed"
    "Great character story, very well read/performed"

    Not much to add about the story. Very good character story. Odd situation, people behaving badly, etc. As per usual King creates terrific characters and great dialog. This audio book stands out because of the excellent reader/performer. This isn't your typical boring read of the book... the story is performed! The reading really made the story come alive. Highly recommended, even though it is pretty long.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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