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Ace

Pittsburgh | Member Since 2008

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 206 ratings
  • 548 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2014
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  • First Comes Love: Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Scott Hahn
    • Narrated By Robert O’Keefe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (9)

    Scott Hahn is an internationally recognized Catholic lecturer and theologian. His books Hail, Holy Queen and Publishers Weekly best seller The Lamb's Supper began Hahn's examination of the Catholic faith. With First Comes Love, he thoughtfully focuses on the connection between the Church, the Holy Trinity, and the family.

    Amazon Customer says: "Good Apologetics, Not what I expected"
    "Good Apologetics, Not what I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I was looking for a good Christian book on the foundation of marriage and got a book steeped in examples of God's Covenant Love (which is a good topic, granted, but I have read other Hahn books regarding this topic). I'd like a personal, more pratical book, I suppose.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    More peronal. More Pratical


    What about Robert O’Keefe’s performance did you like?

    It was a good reading. He stopped at the right positions, read withthe correct expressions. Not much more I could have asked for.


    Was First Comes Love worth the listening time?

    Yes. I try with every chance I get to grow closer to God. This was another oppurtunity. It was just too similar to other Hahn books that i have listened to or read. I was looking for the basis of human marriage - the good and the bad. I was hoping ot deepen my existing marriage (which is a sacramental blessing from God, we both believe). Knowing that our relationship is a covenant between us, is something we both already understand. Still seeing hte historical and scholarrly basis for marriage still helped me grow and learn in my faith. So, while it wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't a great book.


    Any additional comments?

    Scott Hahn is a brilliant man. In this book, his brilliance gets in the way of the message, or so I believe. I don't necessarrily disagree with anything in these pages, it's just a very slow and tedious ride through the Old Testament. I was looking for something a little more pratical out of this particular book.

    I do understand Scott's points, however, and I believe I'm a better person for having read this. I was just looking for something else when I chose this book.

    Still I do have to wonder (not argue, but wonder) about some of the conclussions that Scott arrives at in this book. He takes Genesis to heart a lot to arrive at a lot of them (even most of them). I always thought the church ruled Genesis was not necessarrily to be taken literally according to the Catholic Church. I may be mistaken here, however. Again, I don't doubt, Mr. Hahn. He is brilliant and I am humble enough to understand when someone is gifted with more intellect than I am. This is definitely one of those cases. I still have to wonder at some of the drawn out conclussions though (one being based on another)

    Over all, this was a mediocre read in my opinion.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    Overall
    (2432)
    Performance
    (1256)
    Story
    (1283)

    A striking red-head, 20-something Jody is attacked and transformed into a vampire while walking home one night in downtown San Francisco. Befriending 19-year-old Tommy, Jody tries to understand her new undead life, but trouble finds her when the cops start suspecting Tommy of being a local bloodsucking serial killer.

    SHEILA says: "Bloodsucking FUN!"
    "Typical Vamp Story meets Moore's brand of comedy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Bloodsucking Fiends in three words, what would they be?

    Gothic, Funny, Sarcastic


    What other book might you compare Bloodsucking Fiends to and why?

    Interview With a Vampire meets Zany Comedy with a good dose of Great (well-defined) characters mixed in.


    Which character – as performed by Susan Bennett – was your favorite?

    C. Thomas Flood, despite the fact that C means absolutely nothing. His oung naivety mixed with his good heart and sense of sarcasm come together to create a great character.

    Jodi, however, is also a great character for completely different reasons. She's a very strong female lead that grew upon me more nad more as the boook went on.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Quite a few moments made me laugh out loud.

    The way the book ends, however, absolutely shocked me. Not what happens to flood, rather what Flood does to Jodi in order to keep her... That part cracked me up and kind of disturbed me...


    Any additional comments?

    Blood Sucking Fiends doesn't add any real originality to the Vampire story as far as Vampire stories go. BUT, this book is squarely a situational comedy more than it is a vampire story. The Vampire story simply serves as a fram in which to introduce these great characters, crazy situations, and laugh out loud moments.

    If you're in the mood for some "light" listening that won't make you think too much, but will keep you smiling, look no further.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12899)
    Performance
    (11299)
    Story
    (11340)

    Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

    Ryan says: "Enjoyable, but a lot of setup"
    "Better Than a Feast For Crows...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from George R. R. Martin and/or Roy Dotrice?

    Absolutely. I like Martin as an author, but I used to love him as an author. While his craft has kept up with him, his storytelling has slowed to the point that not much happens.

    Roy Dotrice is a decent narrator (better than the guy that narrated a Feast for Crows), but some of his performances on this book weren't as good as the job he did on the first three. ESPECIALLY his women.


    Would you be willing to try another book from George R. R. Martin? Why or why not?

    I've read just about everything that Martin has written. I will read him again. I'm just not crazy about the direction he took this series af of the last book. Everything has just become so mundane...


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Better women voices... Roy wasn't bad on the first three books, but his female voices on this one (especially Danerys) leaves much to be desired.


    Could you see A Dance with Dragons being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    HBO seems to have that one figured out already.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was an improvement on the last one. (maybe because I like the characters better in this one) But really, from the point at the beginning of the book until the very last page, what has really changed? Not too much. It's like Martin is taking us into the Mundane duties of every day life in order to get us to the REAL events which will eventually occur.

    I feel (very strongly) that this book and the last in the series (Feas for Crows) could have been skipped altogehter and Martin could have brought us up to speed quickly on events that we have not been around for. There is nothing in this book or Crows that needed to be expanded upon the way that it is...

    Still, Martin is good at what he does. He is a great writer and is good at putting us in the shoes of his characters. Despite nothing happening, I still was interested through most of the book. That's the sign of a truly great author... Now if Maritn could learn to edit a bit quicker and just get to the darn point :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith
    • Narrated By Scott Holst
    Overall
    (6841)
    Performance
    (5214)
    Story
    (5295)

    While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

    Haden says: "My friends thought I was crazy."
    "Good History, Mediocre Vampire Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Seth Grahame-Smith and/or Scott Holst?

    If the concept sounded interesting enough.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Needed a bigger Emotional pay-off. In the end, the history was great (learned a good bit about Lincoln, believeit or not), but the plot just meandered until Lincoln beat the evil. No real emotion behind it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Lincoln's first kill.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It's scheduled to be a movie this summer. I'll probably see it on DVD/Blu-Ray.


    Any additional comments?

    With a little more plotting and emotion, this book really could have worked. As it is, it's a worthwhile read, but more for the histroy and character of Abe than the actual story. You could figure out the plot before beginning this book. I just feel it could have been better constructed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elantris

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4419)
    Performance
    (2895)
    Story
    (2940)

    Legendary science fiction author Orson Scott Card calls Brandon Sanderson a writer to watch, and Publishers Weekly says his debut is "outstanding." Once the godlike rulers of the capital of Arelon, the inhabitans of Elantris have been imprisoned within themselves, unable to die after the city's magic failed years ago. But when a new prince falls victim to the curse, he refuses to accept his fate.

    Lore says: "What if your body could never heal?"
    "Unique Stand Alone Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Elantris to be better than the print version?

    I have never read the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Raoden was my favorite character. I enjoyed his ambivalance to the people. You hear all of these tales where the King treats the citizens of their kingdoms like bugs to be tramped upon, or tools to be used, and then you see a (fictional) leader of men like Raoden who wont even use his princely name to lend power to his word. His ambivalance is refreshing, and somehow believable.


    Which character – as performed by Jack Garrett – was your favorite?

    Raoden.


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

    Probably too long for that... But it was good and there was never a point that I was not interested.


    Any additional comments?

    For those of you not in the know, this was Sanderson's first novel. I am a fan of Sanderson and enjoy his way of the kings and mistborn series. It's no wonder why Jordan picked Sanderson to finish the wheel of time for him. This guy is a genius and a writing machine.

    Okay enough praise for Sanderson as a person. The truth is that I never read this, becaue it was stand alone and I had other things to read. Not sure why I passed it up for so long, but this book is really good. I simply can not believe it is a FIRST novel!!!! It's written like a pro, and kept me interested through out the entire read.

    As Sanderson fans have come to expect, the "magic system" is unique (unlike anything written by any author I have ever read). Also the characters are interested, especially the dual protagonists. Sarene is a strong female lead who deserves her part of the narrative.

    Maybe the most interesting thing about this book is it's world. A place where a powerful religious sect is beginning to pratically enslave everybody becasue of the fall of the past regime. Essentially, Elantris used to be a perfect city where its citizens wielded almost God-like power. One day, the source to that power is cut off, and those unlucky enough to be Elantrians (picked by fate at random, and still happening in the active world) are cursed to face eternal suffering. Every injury will resound with its initial pain for the rest of that persons life. After sustaining too many injuries the poor souls will loose themselves to the agony and pass away. The worst part..they can not die... Great set up. When our hero gets turned into one of these Elantrians, the conflict begins...

    Overall, I'd give this a 4.5/5 I just rounded down for the actual score...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • St. Thomas Aquinas: The Giants of Philosophy

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Kenneth L. Schmitz
    • Narrated By Charlton Heston
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    St. Thomas Aquinas is known for producing history's most complete system of Christian philosophy. In the late 13th century, this quiet, reflective Dominican scholar combined the work of Aristotle with Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and pagan thought to reconcile reason and faith. For Thomas, intellectual knowledge is a sign of the spirituality that energizes the human center. He believed we can know that God exists, but not what God is like.

    Candice says: "Mostly on the Summa"
    "Worth the time if you don't already know who he is"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about St. Thomas Aquinas? What did you like least?

    Best:
    It is a very sterile way to learn a little about this famous philosopher and Saint. It was concise.

    Least:
    Not enough detail, you can find out everything in this book in any longer book about him.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Well, since he died in 1274, I knew how this book had to end... It's still sad to me however to hear of his reaciton to his own work at the end. After all of his arguing with people over the existance of God, it turned out that Thomas was a very humble man after all...


    Did Charlton Heston do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    N/A


    Did St. Thomas Aquinas inspire you to do anything?

    Pray.


    Any additional comments?

    This isn't a bad book. If you know nothing about St. Thomas Acquinas, this is a good way to make an introduction. Thomas was one of the ssmartest men to ever live, but in the end he realized that his intellect and defense of God was nothing compared to the love and inteligence of God. If you want an introduction into St. Thomas, listen to this. If you're looking for a more detailed version of his works or life (this sort gives an overview of both) read a different book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12569)
    Performance
    (10198)
    Story
    (10313)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "This is my favorite book...ever..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Name of the Wind the most enjoyable?

    Okay, first off, I read this book before I listened to it... So, I had a better chance to listen to the narrator than I normally would.

    SO, that being said, I believe the the thing that I most enjoyed about LISTENING to this book is how the narrator added even MORE character to Kvothe, the best written protagonist I have yet to read. Perfect narrator + perfectly written character + a perfect story = highly enjoyable.


    What other book might you compare The Name of the Wind to and why?

    While this is a high fantasy novel, it is very unique. I can't think of any books to compare this to one on one. Actually, I not compare OTHER books to this one as a comparison...

    I'd say it's 1 part Song of Ice & Fire, 1 part Harry Potter, 1 part Oliver Twist, and 1 part Wheel of time...


    Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    To my knowledge I have not listened to Nick's other work. But his reading here is superb.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I can not narrow down 1 momen that narrowed me, because there are dozens of moments. Kvothe on the street, Kvothe getting whipped, Kvothe meeting Denna, Kvothe trying to find Denna, Ambrose's many encounters with Kvothe (this book made me angrier at a character than any other book I've ever read), Kvothe taking care of Denna after she accidently eats the ressin, Kvothe saving Fela, the list goes on.

    This book is the real deal. Want moved? Read it.


    Any additional comments?

    WOW, I have hundreds. No character has ever resonated with me more than Kvothe. I want to know his entire life. The story is superb. The situations interesting. The plot, spectacular. Above all of that, however, is Kvothe. I have read this book twice, and listened ot it once. I've also read a whole lot of fantasy. This book takes the cake and doesn't leave a crumb behind.

    All I can say is, despite the length, you will not regret the time spent with Kvothe in his world. It will resonate with you for a VERY long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Scott Hahn
    • Narrated By Scott Hahn
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (68)

    Of all things Catholic, there is nothing that is so familiar as the Mass. With its unchanging prayers, the Mass fits Catholics like their favorite clothes. Yet most Catholics sitting in the pews on Sundays fail to see the powerful supernatural drama that enfolds them. Pope John Paul II described the Mass as "Heaven on Earth," explaining that what "we celebrate on Earth is a mysterious participation in the heavenly liturgy."

    Viet says: "The Lamb's Supper"
    "This is the best book I've read on Catholic Mass"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Lamb's Supper in three words, what would they be?

    Intelligent, Faith, Revealing


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is kind of a silly question since this is a non-fiction, religious book. But my answer would be God. Why? God became man and sacraficed himself for m sake, and not matter what I do, he loves me as his child. Who do you think my favorite character is?


    Which character – as performed by Scott Hahn – was your favorite?

    himself...


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The entire book moved me. In the end, Scott is a very educated and studied Christian. When he explains the Mass as heaven on earth, they open things inside myself, allowing me to more fully participate (and understand) the mass on each and every Sunday. If growing your understanding of God (and by doing such groing your faith) doesn't move you, I'm not sure what will.


    Any additional comments?

    Scott Hahn is an intellectual writer. Still, he has a knack for connecting with us "ordinary folk". Scott puts his years of study together into a solid explanaiton of wha the mass is, how the early Christians initially organized it, and what it means. The last place you might look would be the book of Revelations, but Scott goes into great detail into his journey of trying to decipher that most cryptic of books. He has spent a large portion of his life researching that book and what it may or may not mean. He explains how little satisfaction he gained from the simple explanations repeated over and over in his calvanist origins. By joining the Catholic Church, more things opened up to Scott in his studies. Coming to understand the mass and map it to the book of revelations helped him to understand John's writings. He then came to explain the mass through the book of Revelations (or vice versa, however you want to view it). The academic process and pure logic utilized here is astounding.

    The book goes much deeper into the Mass than just hte book of revelations, but by the time you finish listening/reading you will have a much better understanding of what it means to participate in our Mass.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steven Sherrill
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (798)
    Performance
    (750)
    Story
    (750)

    Five thousand years out of the Labyrinth, the Minotaur finds himself in the American South, living in a trailer park and working as a line cook at a steakhouse. No longer a devourer of human flesh, the Minotaur is a socially inept, lonely creature with very human needs. But over a two-week period, as his life dissolves into chaos, this broken and alienated immortal awakens to the possibility for happiness and to the capacity for love.

    Cathy says: "Full of surprises, delightfully unexpected"
    "Well written, poorly told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel?

    Well... In my humble opinion this isn't a story. I mean it's a situation, but not a story. What really happens? Sure there are events, but what is the central conflict that M must overcome? Isn't that the first part in the definition of a story. There must be conflict. The only conflict I see here is a mythical creature living in the American South trying to keep his job and get a girl. No event sends things into motion. It's just a series of everyday things that sometimes embarasses M and sometimes makes him happy. In the end, he is miserable...just like he was in the beginning.

    I'm okay with a literary novel that is slow through out, but the novel has to go somewhere. This thing doesn't in my opinion. And in general, I got bored several times. (mostly during the tons of introspection that occurs in between actual events)


    What was most disappointing about Steven Sherrill’s story?

    The fact that he crafted such a detailed character...and went nowhere whith him...


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

    He was a natural fit for the voice of this particular minotaur.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was well written. The guy (an English professor at Penn State, I believe, but don't quote me on that) obviously understands prose and how to construct beautiful sentences. And he obviously understands characterization. I understood M better than I ever wanted to by the end!


    Any additional comments?

    I just want to state that I know there are people who love htis book. I can even understand it from a purely technical perspective. It is well written. It just doesn't tell a story. A story resolves something in the end (usually the conflict mentioned above). This "story" doesn't go anywhere in my opinion, and as clever of a situation as putting a minotaur in current society is...and as clever as the athor is at using a mythological creature to point out short-comings in today's society, you need to give M something to do...something to solve before I will enjoy it.

    Again, this is all my humble opinion and take it for what it is worth. If you disagree and enjoy the book, then I am happy for you!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fool: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Euan Morton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2274)
    Performance
    (1081)
    Story
    (1096)

    Pocket has been Lear's cherished fool for years. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege's side when Lear demands that his kids swear to him their undying love and devotion. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of...well...stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.

    Michael says: "Mr Moore does it again."
    "Good for a laugh or sixty..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Fool in three words, what would they be?

    Naughty, Hilarious, "Fool"ish


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oh, come on, what kind of question is that? The fool of course! Pocket is naughty and derisive, yet his wits pull you into the character. You can't wait to find out who he will insult next.


    Which character – as performed by Euan Morton – was your favorite?

    Same as above. Pocket. I have to take a moment here to convey the best part about this audiobook. The narrator does an amazing job. Pocket's character is complex and almost always sarcastic. The narrator reads the lines purposefully to capture the essence of what Pocket is saying each and every time. Sometimes he's serious, and it can be unexpected, yet the narrator lets us know at the beginning of EVERY dialogue how we should take the words being read to us (as well as in the narration). Comedy books can be the hardest of all types of books to narrate, but this narrator nails it perfectly.


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

    I'd have to say no... Only becasue humor is usually more throughouly enjoyed in smaller courses. Or maybe I'm just making this up as I go...


    Any additional comments?

    This book was hilarious...but very naughty. How else can I explain the human found within? It's funny, sure, but raunchy as all get-out... I only mention this so that the readers of this review know what to expect from the book. There is swearing aplenty, and quite a bit of inappropriate sexual content.

    As a matter of fact it got to be too much at points. Normally, I try to avoid such "base" stories, but Moore is such a master of character that I had to "read" it. Esepcially, when it was a blatant spoof on Shakespeare's King Lear.

    I do have to mention one other little negative that may bother some readers (including myself). The book pokes fun at the Catholic church quite a bit. At times it goes beyond poking fun and turns into Making fun of Christianity as a whole. As believer, this did bother me more than it should have, but I tried not to let that slant my review in anyway. If you can take this stuff as a joke and understand it wasn't meant seriously, then you can ignore it without too much trouble.

    If you're in the mood to laugh at some "inappropriate" humor, this is the book for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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