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Guillermo

Rochester Hills, MI, United States | Member Since 2007

ratings
374
REVIEWS
28
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
13
HELPFUL VOTES
289

  • The Graveyard Book

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6443)
    Performance
    (3225)
    Story
    (3245)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Gaiman’s not just an award-winning author, but a narrator who earns rave reviews – and fields requests from other authors to perform their books, too! Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead....

    Guillermo says: "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"
    "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just put my finger on why I find Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book and Neverwhere so enchanting. As a kid (roughly age 10 to 13) I used to love reading books like the Sword of Shanara, Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Circle of Light, Elric of Melnibone, Chronicles of Amber, Grey Mouser and Fafhard, The Dragon and the George, The Compleat Enchanter, etc. They were books of a different world with with rules of magic I could believe were real. They had not only villains and heroes, children who became men, and powers discovered, but they made me feel like I could be part of battles between order and chaos, mages and warriors, gods and men, monsters and me.

    Somewhere along the line in the thirty years that followed I gradually lost the desire or will to escape the rules of nature. I gradually lost my passion for fantasy and got drawn more to hard science fiction or murder mysteries or at least stories with a hard basis on reality, even if a reality poetically described.

    When I hear Neil Gaiman's books, however, I am drawn all the way back, full force, into a world of all new rules. Everything becomes possible, and it all feels real.

    I noticed that most of the negative reviews for this book are by people who bought it for their small children. This book is no more for small children than a Tolkien book would be. What it is, however, is for grown ups who miss the magic of childhood.

    This book is magical.

    90 of 91 people found this review helpful
  • Surface Detail: A Culture Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (371)
    Performance
    (256)
    Story
    (255)

    Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right, she will need the help of the Culture....

    Sarah says: "Excellent story, excellent narration"
    "Absolutely Wonderful Audio Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a big fan of the Iain M. Banks, especially his sciencie fiction books including Look Toward Windward, Algebraist and the like. I've listened to a few of his non-sci fi books now, but this Surface Detail (Culture Novel #9) is the first sci fi I've heard narrated.

    And it's absolutely fantastic. The writing is as good as the best of his science fiction, and Peter Kenny is phenomenal as a narrator. I've listened to hundreds of audio books over the last several years, and this is definitely one of my favorites. I love this audio presentation.

    Warning to casual listeners: this has fairly complex plot, so you'll have a hard time if you try to multi-task your attention while listening to this book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Transition

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    There is a world that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, between the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, frozen in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse. Such a world requires a firm hand and a guiding light. But does it need the Concern: an all-powerful organization with a malevolent presiding genius, pervasive influence and numberless invisible operatives in possession of extraordinary powers?

    Kurt says: "Finally an Iain M. Banks book on audible..."
    "Brilliant Science Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance

    I'm so grateful to Iain M. Banks for writing yet another complex, moving, intelligent and well told story and for Peter Kenny for doing such a wonderful job narrating it. Transition is a book worthy of the this same science fiction author who wrong "Look to Windward" and the "Algebraist".

    Please be aware that Iain M. Banks tends to write very richly crafted villains as well as heroes, so if you're squeamish he's not for you. I'm not squeamish, of course, and love his style.

    Finally, part of what makes Transition so rich is that it ties itself obliquely yet solidly to problems we face in our world, and he lets us make judgements for ourselves without telling us what to think. This is a great book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Johannes Cabal The Necromancer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jonathan L. Howard
    • Narrated By Christopher Cazenove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (452)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (246)

    Johannes Cabal, a brilliant scientist and notorious snob, is single-mindedly obsessed in heart and soul with raising the dead. Well, perhaps not soul... He hastily sold his years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. But now, tormented by a dark secret, he travels to the fiery pits of Hell to retrieve it. Satan, who is incredibly bored these days, proposes a little wager: Johannes has one year to persuade 100 people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever.

    Stuart says: "Methadone your Gaiman or Pratchett fix"
    "Masterpiece Comedy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This isn't just a book that has many moments that made me laugh out loud. It's well told narrative with suspense and twists.

    If it was just a comedy I wouldn't give this five stars. But it's clever, passionate, well narrated and beautifully sarcastic.

    I had as much fun listening to this as I had 30 years ago reading Bored of the Rings or in the 80's and 90's reading Good Omens or the first few Xanth novels by Piers Anthony. Also, if you like passionately fun novels like Infected/Contagious you also might like this, too.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Nick Reding
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (674)
    Performance
    (292)
    Story
    (297)

    Crystal methamphetamine is widely considered to be the most dangerous drug in the world, and nowhere is that more true than in the small towns of the American heartland. Methland tells the story of Oelwein, Iowa (pop. 6,159), which, like thousands of other small towns across the country, has been left in the dust by the consolidation of the agricultural industry, a depressed local economy, and an out-migration of people.

    Sean says: "Interesting, then not."
    "Enjoyable Ramble"
    Overall
    Performance

    I enjoyed listening to this tale. Last year I actually took a train to some of the towns mentioned in this story (towns so rural my gps listed 15 of the top 25 points of interest as cemetaries). The narration was perfect, and I estimate that 85% of the writing was perfect, too. But approximately 15% of it digressed pointlessly, and that's why I only give this 4 out of 5 stars. Still, the tale was entertaining and sometimes educational.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow of the Torturer: The Book of the New Sun, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gene Wolfe
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (760)
    Performance
    (467)
    Story
    (470)

    The Shadow of the Torturer is the first volume in the four-volume epic, the tale of a young Severian, an apprentice to the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession - showing mercy towards his victim.

    Gene Wolfe's "The Book of the New Sun" is one of speculative fiction's most-honored series. In a 1998 poll, Locus Magazine rated the series behind only "The Lord of the Rings" and The Hobbit as the greatest fantasy work of all time.

    Darwin8u says: "Original, Difficult and Well-Crafted."
    "I Treasure This Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the early 1980's, almost 30 years ago, I read the four books of the new sun as well as its sequel The Urth of the New Sun. Of the hundreds of books I've read in my life, this series has stuck with me, forming me in many ways.

    I just finished listening to the four books of the new sun, starting with The Shadow of the Torturer, and I listened to 48 or so hours almost non-stop just pausing when I must to sleep or work. I loved this reading and still love the books the second time around.

    This is not so much a plot driven book, though it has a strong plot that it follows in its patient, winding way. It's a book of stories, allegories, compassion, growth and hope. It's a story of pain and loss and change but of humanity and our hope for a better world. I am a richer human for having read the series and richer for having heard it again now that I am older.

    I can't wait for Audible to come out with the fifth book, and I hope they get Jonathan Davis to read it, too.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Vampire$

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Steakley
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (76)

    Suppose there really were vampires. Dark, stalking, destroying. They’d have to be killed, wouldn’t they? Of course they would. But what kind of fools would try to make a living at it? In best-selling author John Steakley's vampire classic, one tightly knit band of brothers devotes itself to hunting down the monsters that infest the modern world—for a price.

    Andrew Pollack says: "Great to see Steakley back - and in good form"
    "Champions Eternal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I very muched enjoyed this John Steakley "Vampires Inc." story narrated by Tom Weiner. The other book "Armor" by the same author and same narrator is one of my all time favorite books and audio books, and Vampire$ brought back that same kind of excitement (perhaps only 90% as much as Armor, but 90% of best is still better than almost everything else).

    I was particularly grateful to John Steakley for bringing to life another incarnation of his Jack Crow and Felix characters. I view them much like the Champion Eternal characters of Michael Moorcock where Moorcock made several incarnations of the same anti-heroes (Elric, Corwin, Hawkmoon, etc.). Vampires is basically a new incarnation of the same wonderful anti-heroes that Armor had but in our world instead of the future.

    At first I thought, "Gosh this sounds a lot like John Carpenter's Vampires" but with much more character development. I looked up imdb and saw that Steakley wrote John Carpenter's Vampires. But as I progressed in this book I was grateful to learn that this is not only more complex, it's a totally different story (and way better). For one thing, John Carpenter's movie doesn't even have the Felix character, and for another thing the this book takes advantage of Steakley's strength which is character develpment and battles with ones self rather than with evil.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies That the Government Tells

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jesse Ventura, Dick Russell
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (133)

    In this explosive account of wrongful acts and ongoing cover-ups, Jesse Ventura takes a systematic look at the wide gap between what the American government knows and what it reveals to the American people. For too long, we the people have sat by and let politicians and bureaucrats from both parties obfuscate and lie. And according to this former Navy SEAL, former pro wrestler, and former Minnesota governor, the media is complicit in these acts of deception.

    Susan says: "Lots of things you didn't know but should"
    "Worth Hearing and Highly Outrageous"
    Overall
    Performance

    The first half of the book was mostly historical, explaining several things that we've been taught wrong. Due to how old the topics were they were interesting to hear but not inflamitory.

    The second half of the book, however, hits closer and closer to current day; and Jesse and Dick cover items I knew in parts (hence know are true) but go much deeper than I ever suspected.

    Thanks Jesse and Dick for writing this.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Death of Bunny Munro: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Nick Cave
    • Narrated By Nick Cave
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Set adrift by his wife's suicide and struggling to keep some sort of grasp on reality, Bunny Munro drives off in his yellow Fiat Punto, Bunny Jr. in tow. To his son, waiting patiently in the car while he peddles beauty wares and quickies to lonely housewives in the south of England, Bunny is a hero, larger than life. But Bunny himself seems to have only a dim awareness of his son's existence, viewing his needs as a distraction from the relentless pursuit of sex, alcohol, and drugs.

    Lauren says: "Brilliant and disturbing"
    "I'm Haunted By This Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For weeks after I listened to this book it stayed with me, haunting me like a true work of art.

    This book is a masterpiece.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dance, Dance, Dance

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (517)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (229)

    Quirky characters, a hotel with a phantom floor, sexy girls, rock music, especially Talking Heads - this gloriously imaginative romp around contemporary Japan defies description. A cult novelist with a huge international following, but also with a serious literary reputation, Haruki Murakami gains more fans with each book. Dance, Dance, Dance is one of his finest and most loved.

    Dr. says: "Another good listen from Murakami"
    "1408-style Detective Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Haruki Murakami is a master of surreal mystery moved forward with interesting characters and dark humor. Rupert Degas is a master of bringing them to life with an enthusiasm more exciting and delightful than we probably would have done even if we read the books ourselves. Haruki and Rupert make a magnificent duo.

    So far I've listened to Kafka on the Shore; Dance, Dance, Dance; and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I really love them all. Dance, Dance, Dance is probably the lightest heart of the three but fun in different ways than the other two.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1326)
    Performance
    (688)
    Story
    (685)

    Toru Okada is going through a difficult time. He is without a job, his cat has disappeared, and his wife is behaving strangely. Into this unbalanced world comes a variety of curious characters, a young girl sunbathing in a nearby garden; sisters who are very peculiar indeed; an old war veteran with a violent, disturbing story. Okada retreats to a deep well in a nearby house. And the story unfolds.

    Shelley says: "Bizarre"
    "Enchanting, Delightful and Suspeseful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So far I've of the Haruki Murakami novels I've listened to Kafka On the Shore; Dance, Dance, Dance; and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I love them all, and I love the audible presentation of them by this narrator.

    Haruki's novels all put character development in front of action, and the action builds up so artfully and surreally that it's always moving and suspenseful at all the right times.

    Haruki is a master author, and Rupert is a master narrator. I honor this book and its narration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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