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Hirsch

Bellingham, WA, United States | Member Since 2008

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 368 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Viriconium

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By M. John Harrison
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (118)

    Available to American readers for the first time, this landmark collection gathers four groundbreaking fantasy classics from the acclaimed author of Light. Set in the imagined city of Viriconium, here are the masterworks that revolutionized a genre and enthralled a generation of readers: The Pastel City, A Storm of Wings, In Viriconium, and Viriconium Nights. Back in print after a long absence, these singular tales of a timeless realm and its enigmatic inhabitants are now reborn and compiled to captivate a whole new generation.

    Max says: "Virocon, Virocon, still the ancient name rings on"
    "Artistic, poetic, but not engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I guess that one cannot expect the books Neil Gaiman likes to resemble the books Neil Gaiman writes. I learned that listening to Viriconium. Where Neil Gaiman's work is intellectually stimulating and deeply engaging, making me care about the characters, as a good story should, Viriconium seems like an objet d'art: beautiful in its way, poetic, but not gripping. Because none of the characters knew what was going on in their world, the reader doesn't know what is going on, and the resolutions that occur shed only a little light on the situation. Everything seems to happen in a kind of a dream or a fog both within the story and to the reader as well. Some may find that a virtue; I found it a bore.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Map of Time: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Felix J. Palma
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (135)

    Set in Victorian London, with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H. G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence. What happens if we change history? FĂ©lix J. Palma explores this question, weaving a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting

    CRISTY says: "Langton couldn't have done a better job narrating"
    "Too cute, and less than 1/3 Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read through to the end of this book, and the last part (less than about 1/3) was Sci-Fi. The first two parts are not, although they do in places appear to be Sci-Fi of the most simplistic kind. The first parts are in fact historical drama, concerned with Sci-Fi literature in its infancy (H.G. Wells is a prominent character throughout).

    The Sci-Fi of the last part left me cold. The issues have been dealt with in a far better way in The Time-Traveler's Wife (paradox), The City at the End of Time (multiverse), and The Number of the Beast (fiction as window into multiverse). Although the last part was moderately interesting, it's not worth the effort of slogging through the first parts to get there.

    The narrator occasionally drops into the first person (speaking as narrator, who knows he is omniscient, etc.). This is cute the first time, more than enough the second, and grating after that.

    If you like historical fiction of this period (Victorian London), or are interested in the birth of Sci-Fi as a genre, then get this book, otherwise, give it a pass.

    5 of 9 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
    Overall
    (10219)
    Performance
    (5132)
    Story
    (5165)

    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.

    Suzanne says: "The scare is in the human nature under stress."
    "Great book; great narrator"
    Overall

    This book is very good - engaging as are most Steven King books, but not as outlandish in the SF aspect. More prosaic than most in the details.

    I typically don't notice the narration unless it's poor, but I have to say that Raul Esparza was awesome here. It's hard to describe, but the characterizations were distinct without being silly and over-the-top as often occurs. Mostly though, he used really great vocal inflections: I think that they were those that I would have used mentally had I been reading the text.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Duma Key: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5070)
    Performance
    (1770)
    Story
    (1759)

    A terrible accident takes Edgar Freemantle's right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. When his marriage suddenly ends, Edgar begins to wish he hadn't survived his injuries. He wants out. His psychologist suggests a new life distant from the Twin Cities, along with something else.

    Amazon Customer says: "Play the Book and Let the Book Play You"
    "Great book; great narrator"
    Overall

    I love nearly all of King's work (esp the Dark Tower series). I want to note in particular how much I enjoyed this narrator. Each character was distinct in accent, tone, and emphasis and yet none seemed at all forced. Really nice work.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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