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Steven

Berwick, Australia | Member Since 2010

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 67 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (131)

    Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.

    Andrew says: "New Speaker Needed acquire within!"
    "Informative"
    Overall

    At Home is informative and educational in quirky sort of way, but doesn't deliver on the humour evident in some of Bryson's other works. Well researched, this book explodes the myths of the refined and gentile times of old. Bryson does a good job of narrating the book, although at times seemed lacking in expression, making the narration a little dull. If you've got a desire to learn all sorts of factiods of life in centuries gone by, then you'll probably enjoy At Home.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cryptonomicon

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (1989)
    Performance
    (1349)
    Story
    (1369)

    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.

    flaos says: "Finally Audible"
    "Long and rambling journey but well worth the ride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Cryptonomicon is a rambling story that rewards the listener in many ways. Neal Stephenson has a great imagination and is a very good story-teller, if not concise. Cryptonomicon jumps around between eras and characters at a steady pace, making keeping up difficult at times - especially as sometimes a character tells their story retrospectively. There are many laugh-out-loud hilarious moments which make this an enjoyable listen. Overall if you like techno-thrillers you will probably love this story. Final points: Cryptonomicon is not SciFi as described by some people. The narration is excellent, enhancing the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch Me If You Can

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Frank W. Abagnale
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (2142)
    Performance
    (910)
    Story
    (918)

    Frank W. Abagnale was one of the most daring conmen, forgers, imposters, and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious criminal career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and copiloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as the supervising resident of a hospital, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks, all before he was 21. His story is now a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

    Steve says: "Really entertaining!"
    "Enjoyable story well told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This audible version of the story is well narrated and well paced. Abagnale certainly lived a colourful early life. The book has more depth and feeling than the movie, making it entertaining and enthralling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5048)
    Performance
    (3053)
    Story
    (3078)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "Post-apocalyptic America revisited"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    One Minute After revisits the post-apocalyptic scenario. The story has a transparent political agenda; to raise awareness of a little know annihilation threat, and to educate the western world of what life would be like in a situation when most modern technology was not operating.

    For much of the story this agenda dominates, and it reads/listens as though the concept of the threat and resulting breakdown of food/medical supply chains is more important than the characters - who are just there to experience the impact. Consequentially some of the characters seem clichéd and shallow. Later on in the book the characters have more depth and authenticity and the story more feeling.

    If you liked novels from this genre like Alas Babylon, The Dog Star, The Road, you'll probably enjoy One Minute Afer. Forstchen has done a good job of this novel, but it lacks the difficult to define x-factor of a classic. Very good narration made this book a worthwhile listening experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suttree

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (183)

    No discussion of great modern authors is complete without mention of Cormac McCarthy, whose rare and blazing talent makes his every work a true literary event. A grand addition to the American literary canon, Suttree introduces readers to Cornelius Suttree, a man who abandons his affluent family to live among a dissolute array of vagabonds along the Tennessee river.

    Darwin8u says: "Absurd Gout of Hallelucinationatory Crazy"
    "Beautiful prose, but ultimately disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    As a fan of McCarthy's other work I was looking forward to Suttree. Suttree is an unusual book as much of the content (every second or third sentence!) is comprised of beautiful descriptors, poetic metaphor and simile, most of which is irrelevant to the "story". Which takes me to the big problem with Suttree as a novel. There is no story to tell, no plot. Just a guy wondering through his alcohol-addled version of life. Not much happens. Yes, we do gain an appreciation for the particular subculture that Suttree finds himself within, and for that you can appreciate McCarthy's efforts. The narrative jumps around, reducing any coherent semblance of story that may exist. The ending isn't really an ending but just the point where the author decided to stop writing. I really tried to like Suttree, but this is not anywhere near McCarthy's best work. It comes across as a vehicle for exercising his creating juices, but unfortunately that creativity didn't extend to plot.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (60)

    John Corey, former NYPD Homicide detective and special agent for the Anti-Terrorist Task Force, is back on the trail of Asad Khalil, the notorious Libyan terrorist known as 'The Lion'. Corey and his partner, agent Kate Mayfield, tracked Khalil across the US after his threats to wipe out the US in a horrific wave of terrorism. But after methodically eliminating his victims one by one, Khalil disappeared without a trace. Now, years later, Khalil has returned to America to take care of unfinished business.

    Katherine says: "Loved it!"
    "Satisfying sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Rounds-off of the story started in the Lion's Game. This series of books are reasonably engaging for the type, but lack the depth of characters or beauty of writing to take them beyond the standards of a commercial thriller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4432)
    Performance
    (1733)
    Story
    (1734)

    To survive in a game with no rules at all, John Corey must invent a strategy that includes no luck at all. He and the Anti-Terrorist Task Force must stop "The Lion," an alleged Libyan terrorist with the instincts of a wild animal, the bloodlust of a carnivore, and the boldness and speed of a cat of prey.

    CoCo says: "Excellent and engaging"
    "Reasonably entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The Lion's Game is a commercial detective / thriller. The story is engaging enough, and I particularly liked the NY culture aspect that the main character brings. Unfortunately too much of that character is a cliché; the anti-authority, go by my gut rather than the rule book, macho, street-wise.....cop type character that turns up in dozens of such stories. At least Demille gave his character a sense of humour and plenty of one-liners to add some levity. Scott Brick did a good job of the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3492)
    Performance
    (3054)
    Story
    (3088)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "Rollicking techno thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Plenty of action, good characters, fast passed but detailed. Reamde is an enjoyable listen with very good narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deliverance

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By James Dickey
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1318)
    Performance
    (1166)
    Story
    (1167)

    The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the state's most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.

    Katherine says: "excruciatingly vivid, marvelously written and read"
    "Superbly narrated classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Will Paton is an audio-book legend. Paton's narration of Deliverance is superb. Deliverance is a classic story that is ageing very well. Enthralling and disturbing at the same time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Woodcutter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Reginald Hill
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1125)
    Performance
    (825)
    Story
    (820)

    Wolf Hadda's life was a fairytale - successful businessman and adored husband. But a knock on the door one morning ends it all. Universally reviled, thrown into prison, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven years later Wolf begins to talk to the prison psychiatrist and receives parole to return home. But there's a mysterious period in Wolf's past when he was known as the Woodcutter. Now the Woodcutter is back, looking for truth and revenge...

    Diana says: "One of my favorite Reginald Hill books!"
    "Great British mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Woodcutter again? Why?

    The Woodcutter is an enjoyable mystery novel with a strong English flavour. The characters are interesting and varied, plus the pacing about right. Best of all, the narrator does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2023)
    Performance
    (1346)
    Story
    (1365)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Owl says: "Timely, beautiful, terrible and haunting"
    "Ultimately worth the effort to finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The first ten hours of this book were very slow going, but eventually the beauty of the story and characters unfolded. For much of the story I couldn't fathom why the author gave her characters from the year 2054 the dialogue of English people from the 1950s. Eventually it became clear that it was all part of subtle humour, which probably failed to hit the mark.

    What saved this book is the depth of the characters, and the emotion of the situation they faced. The author deserves praise for the research that obviously went into establishing the context of the story. Overall a worthwhile listen, although it was a ponderous story for many hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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