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Christopher

Amherst, NH, United States | Member Since 2005

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 376 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015
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  • Time Will Tell

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Eddie Upnick
    • Narrated By David Doersch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The year is 2133 and the Nazis control the world. Four scientists are pressured to complete a Time Travel project in time for the 200th anniversary of Hitler's coming to power. A plan is hatched to change history, as the four scientists are transported back to Berlin in 1938. Two SS agents from the future chase the scientists back in time, carrying with them the most hideous weapons of the 22nd century. After the war, the lives of everyone on Earth are threatened by powerful aliens with their own designs for our planet.

    Nina says: "Great action packed sci-fi thriller!"
    "Unbelievable... and not in a good way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who has no interest in character development, a semi-believeable plot, or anything beyond a superficial story may enjoy it. The premise is interesting, but the execution is awful.


    What was most disappointing about Eddie Upnick’s story?

    The utter destruction of my suspension of disbelief was the most disappointing part of the story. I love science fiction, but it has to have at least an ounce of plausibility or else the reader (listener) is unable to remain immersed in the story. In addition to that, the characters were one-dimensional, boring, and not memorable. Major historical figures (FDR, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, even Adolf Hitler) were all caricatures that seemed to be created from superficial research of their personalities and histories.


    What about David Doersch’s performance did you like?

    His accents were pretty well done and his pace was good. I especially liked the voice he used for Einstein.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Time Will Tell?

    The main scene that pushed me over the edge from at least still being amused by the train-wreck of a story to actually feeling like I wasted my time listening to the book is when Svetlana, the mother of the boy with cancer, "repays" the main character for helping her son. It was over the top and borderline offensive. I only continued pushing through because I paid for the book, but I wish I had just stopped then.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I had something better to say about this book because I was excited by the introductory synopsis. The premise seemed interesting and had so much potential. There are some interesting ideas in the book, but there aren't many and they are lost in the sprint from one ridiculous scene to the next.

    I take some blame for not noticing the last line of the synopsis when I chose to give this book a try, "After the war, the lives of everyone on Earth are threatened by powerful aliens with their own designs for our planet." I either didn't read it initially or forgot about it because when the aliens showed up, I literally yelled, "What?" It was an unpleasant surprise and just made the story even more ridiculous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2828)
    Performance
    (2542)
    Story
    (2529)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "Fun, light-hearted; one of my favorites"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would absolutely recommend this to a friend. The plot is a bit fantastical but the passion and excitement in the storytelling and the enthusiasm of the characters involved overcomes any immersion issues.


    What other book might you compare Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore to and why?

    I honestly don't have any other books to compare it to and that originality is one of the book's most redeeming values.


    What does Ari Fliakos bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His vocal changes for each character were bright and clear. He added a level of tone and shading to the characters that I could never have hoped to by just reading the book. His voice for Mr. Penumbra was perfect.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I tend to listen to audiobooks as I commute to and from work and the sign of a good audiobook is one where I continue listening for 10-15 minutes after I arrive at my destination. That happened almost every time I listened to this book. So, if I had infinite time, I would have loved to listen to the whole thing in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a software developer by trade, so I have a pretty good handle on a lot of the technical details in this book. My best advice for anyone like me who understands the technology they talk about is to to just let go and try not to pick it apart. This story is a wonderful, optimistic look at the possibilities of the human race's technological advancement and if you spend too much time focusing on inaccuracies you'll miss the point and won't enjoy the story as much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Time Traveler's Wife

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Audrey Niffenegger
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed, Christopher Burns
    Overall
    (2623)
    Performance
    (376)
    Story
    (391)

    Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six. They were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry was thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future.

    Herve Bronnimann says: "My Favorite Audiobook so far"
    "The best audiobook I have ever listented to"
    Overall

    First off, do not listen to this version of the audiobook. Do not walk, RUN to the unabridged version. I listened to this version and my fianc?e read the actual book and we found that I had missed a lot in the abridged version.

    However, I do have to say that the way the book was edited to provide this abridged version was very masterful. Even though I found out later I had missed much, without hearing it from someone else I never would have known. The narration is perfect and the story is riveting. I can't remember the last time I was able to dive so deep into a story and enjoy it so much and I can't wait to see another novel from Niffenegger.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Dogs of Babel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Carolyn Parkhurst
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    When his wife dies in a fall from a tree in their backyard, linguist Paul Iverson is wild with despair. He abandons his everyday life to embark on a series of experiments designed to teach his dog Lorelei to communicate. Is this the project of a madman? Or does Lorelei really have something to tell him about the last afternoon of a woman he only thought he knew?

    Christopher says: "Back-story excellent, present story mediocre"
    "Back-story excellent, present story mediocre"
    Overall

    The format of this story involves a lot of flashbacks to the main character's past with his wife with splashes of the present thrown in to advance the storyline.

    Unfortunately, the actual storyline is not that interesting and I found myself growing anxious waiting to get back to the flashbacks. The flashbacks are wonderful. They are well written and well executed by the narrator.

    Just for the flashbacks/backstory, it's well worth listening to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Historian

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre, Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2924)
    Performance
    (1262)
    Story
    (1275)

    Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    Branden says: "Phenomenallly detailed..."
    "Long winded, but an entertaining story"
    Overall

    It takes a very long time for the story to get going and even then it's still somewhat slow, but it is very charming and entertaining.

    Some of the plot devices are a little too convenient, but it's well worth listening to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cryptonomicon (Unabridged Excerpts)

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (43)

    With this extraordinary first volume in what promises to be an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

    Nicholas says: "Unabridged or bust"
    "The excerpts might be unabridged..."
    Overall

    While I think it's a great story, I would like to warn potential listeners that if they are truly interested in this book, especially if they have listened to another of Stephenson's wonderful creations, that they steer clear of the "unabridged excerpts" audiobook and pick up the real book.

    Basically, the format for the "Unabridged excerpts" is that individual pieces of the story are read verbatim from the book, but then "bridges" are inserted between the excerpts to summarize the story that you're missing between the excerpts. The problem is that the execution of this is awful in this case. There were many significant events that were either glossed over or in some cases outright skipped. This left me confused and lost in a lot of spots and not really caring by the time I got to the end of the book.

    The discontinuity of the excerpts and bridges really ruined my ability to immerse myself in the story and made it really hard to fully enjoy it.

    So, think twice before you listen to this, you may be disappointed.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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