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Paul

Pitman, NJ, United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
16
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
36

  • Little Green Men

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Buckley
    • Narrated By Mark Linn-Baker
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (28)

    After the success of his highly-acclaimed Thank You for Smoking, Buckley returns to the strange land of Washington D.C. in a millennial comedy of manners about aliens and pundits...and how much they both have in common."

    Anthony says: "Laughing Gas"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall

    After all the great reviews I was expecting a really great audiobook, you know, a couple witty jabs at politicians, the US. Government, and of course lots of fun stuff about aliens. The main running joke about the government was that it was filled with stuffy, pompous, fat cats who only cared about their careers. That?s not sidesplitting humor. That?s not even that funny, its just truth. The characters in the book were all one-dimensional clich?s, the sexy blond, the loony UFO fans, and the nerdy government recluse. The only exception to this might have been Banion, the main character, who had two one-dimensional personalities that appeared in different scenes and contradicted each other. One moment he was a politically savvy pundit, the next moment he was a raving lunatic. Admittedly Rush Limbaugh, who Banion is possibly modeled after, possesses both these character traits, however it just wasn?t funny in the book. I think the problem was that Christopher Buckley did such a good job making Banion look like a stuffy jerk, that I was honestly hoping he would be assassinated by the end of the book. Then there is the plot. Yes, a humorous book should have a ridiculous plot, but the plot of Banion immediately rising to power over a politically persuasive mass of UFO nuts seemed, to me, to be unbelievable, not in that, ?Oh that?s so off the wall!? laugh out loud way, but in that ?Gosh that?s so dumb.? way. Finally, the ending looks as if the author just got bored with writing and tried to end the book in five pages or less.
    The one good thing I will say is that this was an excellent production. The musical cues were well placed, and the narrator, Mark Linn-Baker, did a wonderful job.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bigipedia: The Complete Series 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 48 mins)
    • By Pozzitive Productions
    • Narrated By Neil Edmond, Nick Doody, Matt Kirshen, and others
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    WARNING: some listeners may find this content offensive. Welcome to Bigipedia - the omniscient friend you know from your computer and laser watch takes over for 30 minutes in a unique experiment in broadwebcasting. Bigipedia - a world of knowledge at your fingertips brought direct to your ears unless you're listening online, in which case it's been brought from your ears back to your fingertips and thence, into your ears again.

    Die Falknerin says: "Hivemind: why would you dissent?"
    "Spectacular! Hilarious! Audio Crack!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Bigipedia again? Why?

    This was literallly one of the funniest things I programs/books/media I have ever listened too. It is very funny and very fast paced so I will have to listen to it a few times in order to squeeze every drop of comedic goo out of it.
    Bigipedia is a combination of Monty Python, Hitch Hiker's guide to the Galaxy and Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert, satire all aimed at our moder media experience and presented in a very creative and unique radio format! You will be a poorer person if you DON'T listen to this book. ITS THAT GOOD!

    ps. I am not being paid for this review, though I probably should be!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bigipedia?

    The snakes, the wine, and the never sleeping, never blinking, omniscient servant that is bigipedia.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Wonderful! Enthusiastic! and Diverse!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Vatican's Exorcists: Driving Out the Devil in the 21st Century

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Tracy Wilkinson
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    It is one of the most ancient, arcane, and to some, embarrassing rites of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet the number of priests in Italy trained as exorcists has risen tenfold over the past decade - and they are still unable to keep up with the skyrocketing demand for their services. Award-winning foreign correspondent Tracy Wilkinson reveals that "devil detox", as some call it, is a booming industry, complete with motivational speakers, international conventions, and plenty of controversy.

    Michelle Le says: "Makes a sham of the priesthood and beliefs."
    "Best Broad and Balanced Audio book out there!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Vatican's Exorcists?

    The author gave you a variety of perspectives profiling different types of exorcists from the reluctant, to the conservative, to the charismatic. She also covers the criminal, psychological, and eccelesiastical dimensions of Catholic Exorcism. She is obviously a skeptic herself and possibly non-Catholic, but she is careful to let the Exorcists and possesed people speak for themselves. (like a true Journalist should.) I STRONGLY DISAGREE with the other reviewer who says this book disparages priests, and I would point out that the other reviewer recommends a book by Father Amoreth who is a top exorcist and extremely biased!
    This book was a very fun and interesting read. It included several case studies, interesting scenes, and chilling descriptions. At the same time it gave a segnificant amount of detailed information so that I walked away feeling entertained and informed; a rare combination! I only wish that this book was longer!


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I loved the case studies, profiles, and biographies of different priests, patients, and officials. And of course the vivid exorcism scenes, which the narrator read in just the right tenner of drama without over doing it.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Without Words: A Fable of Medieval Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Avi
    • Narrated By John Curliss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Hiding from a cadaverous stalker in 1046 England, Thorston races to unleash the magical charms from the diabolical Book Without Words. Suddenly, with success almost in his grasp, he slumps to the floor, muttering cryptic words. Newbery Award-winning author Avi adds this jewel to his many literary gems.

    Paul says: "Not what I expected"
    "Not what I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Avi and/or John Curliss?

    maybe


    What could Avi have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The world he created was to small and uninteresting, and the charecters were to stereotpical and flat. They didn't go anywhere.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    He Did teach me a latin phrase through constant (too much) repetition "Dura Lex, said Lex" the Law is hard but it is the law.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    mild amusement and disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    From the description of a story set in 1048 England, I expected a historically based fantasy novel. Instead this book could have been set at any time or place. There was little description of the town, kingdom, and country. Though "God" was mentioned a lot by the characters, and one of the characters was a monk, there was no presence of Medieval Christianity or any religious system at all. In fact I think the "saints" may have been made up. Similarly, the "black" magic lacked an origin and explanation.
    The characters similarly lacked backstory and complexity. The badies were bad the goodie was good, the orphan was weak and the annoying kid was annoying, and they all wanted gold, even though there was no proof or evidence of existing gold from page one.
    I'm not trying to be nit-picky, but many of the story elements that moved the plot were just stupid and went against common sense. Forexample, the Reeve/Policeman was planning on storming the house executing the occupants, and stealing their gold from day one, but he never decides to force his way in, until 3 days later when the goodguys have escaped, or when the goodguys search the house for gold they ignore the mysterious locked chests in the basement. Overall it read like a rough draft with an amusing plot and avenues for sub-plots, but nothing was ever developed and there were wholes and inconsistencies a plenty. In my opinion not worth the time and money.
    One good thing: the narrator did do a good job with the material he had.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Amy Stewart
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (277)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (196)

    In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes - creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world's most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of many-legged creatures

    Paul says: "fascinating and creepy"
    "Too Many Bugs not Enough History"
    Overall

    Though the introduction claims this book is NOT a reference guide or to be used as one, that is how it is written and how it reads. It reads like an arbitrarily put together reference guide on "bugs," (in the broad sense), written by a non-scientist/non-doctor.
    The book is long and gives a survey of hundreds of "bugs," to the point where they blend together and get confusing. As one reviewer said it would be better on paper.
    As a result the individual entries/chapters are short and often contain only basic information.
    From the title "The Louse that Conquered Napoleon." I was expecting detailed and interesting histories highlighting 10 or 20 bugs, and how they have changed human history.
    Instead the chapter on the louse was only a few minutes long and simply said that Napoleon's army may have been weakened by Louse and the diseases they carried, so that they were overcome easily by the Russian winter. Then she moves on to another bug.
    The narration was great! And the information was interesting if a little repetitive, so I give it two stars for that. But in general this book is a short bug encyclopedia written by someone who professes not to be qualified for such an endeavor and so it is not worth it.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Seven Ages: An Anthology of Poetry with Music

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
    • Narrated By Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (51)

    This highly entertaining anthology of verse is the comic, tragic, tender, and telling story of life's seven ages, from childhood to old age. Within the framework of Shakespeare's speech, "The Seven Ages of Man," performed by Sir Ian McKellen, are 150 great poems from all ages, from Chaucer to Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and many others. The poem are presented by the finest cast ever assembled on one recording and includes Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Caine, and more.

    ESK says: "The Anthology of 'Music-Makers'"
    "Excellent Collection!"
    Overall

    This is a wonderful collection of poetry about the stages of life and death. Many of the poems are classics, but some are unfamiliar. They are all read by different narrators who use expression and skill. Highly recommended for anyone looking for some good soul moving poetry.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Affinity Bridge: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By George Mann
    • Narrated By Simon Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (50)

    Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by unfamiliar inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, while ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen, and journalists.

    Doug says: "nowhere near as bad as reviewed"
    "Great Reader, Ameteur Writer and Horable Editer"
    Overall

    Judging by the reviews this book is enjoyed by some and hated by others.
    However, even the positive reviews, justify it on the basis that it is a first book. {Which it is NOT}.
    In my opinion the reader was excellent! He had a great British accent, and did different voices for every character; unfortunately the material he had to work with was not expressive enough to fit his style of narration.
    The story itself is a jumble of cliché’s crammed together into a mystery/occult/steampunk novel. But none of the clichés are fully developed so the whole story suffers. It is riddled with contradictions (Newberry is pinned as a rational Sherlock Holmes, who also believes in the occult?), Odd and contrived situations (the detectives persistently pursue criminals without bringing weapons and are often, "out gunned"), superfluous plots (Veronica's sister is in an asylum, because she can see the future, but her future predictions do not help solve the mystery), and inconsistencies (a feminist character who hardly ever fights).
    Also, the pacing of the story is terrible. The internal timing of the story is so off kilter that it is often hard for the reader to tell whether it is morning, noon, or night, or if events have happened on the same day or days apart. Many chapters abruptly end with the characters giving up for the day in favor of dinner or lunch.
    Finally, I counted at least 6 sound editing errors, where the narrator repeats himself, or it seems like a small piece of the story was missing.
    The Text editor allowed Mann to make several plot errors, and the sound editor did a bad job putting the story back together. The reader was good, and the story was entertaining for all its flaws. If it were only $10 it would be worth it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Song of Roland

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Unknown
    • Narrated By A Full Cast
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Since his youth, living in poverty in a cave in Italy, Roland's mother has taught him that someday he will be a brave hero like his father, Milon, and serve with the great army of Charlemagne. He learns from her that he is descended from great heroes of old and that his mother is Charlemagne's sister, the Princess Bertha.

    D. B. Mann says: "The Song of Roland"
    "Surprisingly Excellent!"
    Overall

    I am not a medieval scholar so I cannot comment on the translation of this epic poem, but its quality and style are superb. I have been dabbling and downloading medieval literature lately and found most of it to be rather dull. I do not doubt that I would have found the Song of Roland to be as equally dry if it had not been presented in such a lively dramatic manner. (In fact in the introduction they say that this song was originally chanted in such a way that it would mesmerize or hypnotize the audience).
    Fortunately this audiobook is not read in monotone, or chanting verse. The poem is read, word for word, but different actors read the lines of the various characters, and sound effects are added to enliven the action. I was surprised and delighted by how much I enjoyed this audiobook, and would recommend it for anyone interested in Medieval Classics.
    Additional note: As a side thought, it was interesting to see how similar Roland was to the character of Boromir in The Lord of the Rings. Both characters fell because of their pride, and both redeemed themselves with their last breathe by blowing on a horn to call for help.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Grown-up's Halloween: Fantasies and Fables for the Philosophically Fiendish

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By various
    • Narrated By Full Cast
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Blackstone Audio presents an eclectic mix of stories, plays and sketches dedicated to the thinking paranoiac. Gore, sex, horror, literature and edifying morals - what more could you want from an audiobook?

    Paul says: "Good Collection! Horrible Title"
    "Good Collection! Horrible Title"
    Overall

    This is a very good and diverse collection of Audio stories by many authors, some well known and some not well known. Some of the stories are read, and some are radio dramas, some are funny, some are spooky, and most are thought provoking. But to call this a collection of Halloween Stories is grossly inaccurate. The majority of stories have little to do with Ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night and can only be associated with Halloween through a huge stretch of the imagination. It would be more accurately titled, "A Grown-up Story Time: A Collection of fictions, fantasies, and fables, for the philosophically inclined. So if your looking for some good thought provoking stories that are well produced this is the collection for you. If you’re just looking for a collection of good horror stories I suggest you look elsewhere.

    The stories in this collection include:
    “For whom the Bell Tolls” John Donne
    “In a Grove” Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
    “The Garbage man and the Noble Lady of Bagdad” The Book of A Thousand Knights in One Night.
    “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte P. Gilman
    “The Adding Machine.” Elmer Rice
    “The Grand Inquisitor” Theodore Dostoyevsky.
    “Josephine the Mouse Singer” Franz Kafka
    A short story by Ambrose Bierce
    “The Sultan and the Wazir’s Wife” The Book of A Thousand Knights in One Night.
    “Interview in a VA Hospital” Yri RasResovsky
    “It came from Outer-Pinsk”
    “The Ugly Duckling’ A. A. Milne
    A Short Story by Ambrose Bierce
    “The Moon maid: A True Story, A Correction of the fictional version.” Edgar Rice Burroughs
    “The Man of Destiny.” George Bernard Shaw



    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Entering the Castle: Exploring Your Mystical Experience of God

    • ORIGINAL (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Caroline Myss
    • Narrated By Caroline Myss
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (63)

    This audiobook is a poweful program that will give you a deeply personal, revelatory experience of your soul. What is required is that you "enter your castle" and explore with great intent the contents of your "seven mansions" and their many rooms. You'll be introduced to a new spiritual renaissance as Caroline Myss explains the nature of mysticism and its experiences.

    A User says: "This is not the Audiobook . . ."
    "meditation for the spirit not the soul"
    Overall

    First, as everyone else as stated this is an audio lecture and not a book. Myss uses St. Teresa of Avila's metaphor of an interior castle to create a series of meditation on personal growth. But besides the metaphor that is all this book has in common with St. Teresa. Myss rarely quotes Teresa, and does not talk about how to establish a practical devotional life style. Though she often rails against New Age Spiritualists, her lectures and meditations are not much different. She cuts out Jesus, prayer, and just about every other traditional aspect from Teresa's Christian mysticism, and offers instead a buch of self help lectures and meditations. The meditations are good, if a little fast. But this book has very little educational, and I would argue, practical merrit. I would suggest listening to Tessa Bieleki's series, "Wild at Heart," for something more substantial.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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