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Matthew

LOUISVILLE, KY, United States | Member Since 2012

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • Childhood's End

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3043)
    Performance
    (2073)
    Story
    (2104)

    The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

    A User says: "Food for Thought"
    "Classic Sci-Fi, but a bit hammy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Childhood's End the most enjoyable?

    Being able to listen to a classic staple of Science Fiction that I'd missed previously.


    What other book might you compare Childhood's End to and why?

    The Giants Series by James P. Hogan. Similar plot structure re: humanity's first contact, although Childhood's End is much more focused on a 'repressive' sort of approach.


    What three words best describe Eric Michael Summerer and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) ’s voice?

    Soothing, over-exaggerated, focused


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

    My listening strategy has been primarily on commutes, so all the books I've listened to have been piece-wise.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Year Zero: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Rob Reid
    • Narrated By John Hodgman
    Overall
    (1020)
    Performance
    (932)
    Story
    (931)

    Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it's a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity's music ever since "Year Zero" (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang.

    Robert says: "Fantastic Performance by Hodgman"
    "A Fun Story With Meaning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, the vocal work. John Hodgman has a wonderfully dry wit to his reading, and it really gives another dimension to the story. By itself, the story is fun and silly and yet makes a cogent point about how ridiculous copyright damages have gotten. With John Hodgman narrating, it becomes a romp through a universe that works surprisingly well as a mirror onto our own struggles.

    The characters are fun and witty, and almost have a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy feel to them. The story is good, but there's really only one part that caught me unexpectedly; the rest is pretty standard in terms of plot progression.

    Not much else to say, really. This is definitely worth a monthly credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Diamond Age

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3133)
    Performance
    (1186)
    Story
    (1201)

    Neal Stephenson, "the hottest science fiction writer in America", takes science fiction to dazzling new levels. The Diamond Age is a stunning tale; set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens what a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.

    Tango says: "The rock could use a bit more polishing"
    "A Great Tale Missing The End"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Similar to other Stephenson books, this one has multiple parallel storylines. Unlike other Stephenson books, these parallel storylines actually start crossing a lot sooner than expected... or else I'm getting better at predicting when they should cross.

    At any rate, Stephenson has worked his world-building magic again in this book, leaving tantalizing hints as to the nature of technology and structure of society without delving too far into the weeds. Most of the characters feel like real people with real motivations, and while several scenes may leave you in a state of confusion as to what exactly happened, it generally feels like that was the effect the author was going for, as context is provided later.

    Most of the time.

    My largest complaint for this story came at the end. I'm not one for putting spoilers into reviews, so I'll leave it that the last 20 or so minutes of the book left me feeling very unfulfilled. The long wind-up to the finale is wonderful; the finale feels rushed. It's especially bad at the end when (in my interpretation, anyway) he essentially unwinds most of the progress that the book had been leading up to.

    1 of 1 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."
    "Another Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Neal Stephenson has only become accessible to me as an author since I joined Audible. So it was with similar trepidation to pulling the listen for Cryptonomicon that I approached Reamde.

    If you like the pacing and methods Stephenson used in Cryptonomicon, where multiple threads run parallel to each other for about 2/3rds of the book before all intermingling together for the last third, you'll like this book. The characters all feel very real, the situations and backdrops stick in your head... I can recall most of what happened in this book, and I listened to it several months ago.

    No complaints to speak of, just a fun book if you can weather the run-time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5381)
    Performance
    (5017)
    Story
    (5012)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Ken says: "It's all about the codas"
    "He Said She Said"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I want to make clear that I had no issue with the book itself, nor with the voice acting. Wil Wheaton has a perfect voice to provide for Scalzi's biting wit. The story itself was well-paced and fun, throwing things together in ways that caused me to chuckle several times at unexpected turns. So... voice acting is top notch, story is top notch... loved it.

    My main point of criticism comes from... I suppose, Scalzi's writing style. For most audio books, I've been able to train myself out of hearing a lot of the "he intoned... she stated... he exclaimed" phrases that are necessary in a book without voices, but not necessary when it's being read to you. But this book... There are numerous times that I just about gave up due to the number of conversations that utilize "he said" and "she said".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foundation

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2258)
    Performance
    (1610)
    Story
    (1630)

    For 12,000 years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future, to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last 30,000 years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire, both scientists and scholars, and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations.

    Alexander T. McMahon says: "The Foundation Trilogy is a True Classic"
    "Odd voice, but it grows on you"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't realize how much I was missing out on classic Sci-Fi until I listened to Foundation. Scott Brick has an odd voice and pronunciation of certain words, but after an hour I was hooked.

    Initially I thought I'd be put off by the independent mini-stories comprising the book, but I've since found that each had a satisfying end that made me yearn to hear more when the next story came up. Definitely going to listen to the sequel now!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ringworld

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Larry Niven
    • Narrated By Tom Parker
    Overall
    (2799)
    Performance
    (1479)
    Story
    (1503)

    Welcome to Ringworld, an intermediate step between Dyson Spheres and planets. The gravitational force created by a rotation on its axis of 770 miles per second means no need for a roof. Walls 1,000 miles high at each rim will let in the sun and prevent much air from escaping. Larry Niven's novel, Ringworld, is the winner of the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 1970 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1972 Ditmars, an Australian award for Best International Science Fiction.

    Kennet says: "Genuinely Creative"
    "Solid Performance, Archaic Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tom Parker is very talented, and this talent shows through as he's reading. From very specific terminology (Tanj and Cziltang Brone come to mind) to the personalities of each character, his vocal work imbues the story with a very memorable feeling.

    My only complaint isn't with the narration, but rather with the story. I recognize that Niven was working to give a bleak sense of hopelessness in certain places in the story, and he does this almost too well. I generally enjoy my stories to end positively, and while there's some hint of happiness at the end, overall it feels like it ends on a downer note.

    0 of 0 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"
    "Couldn't read, but could listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Picking up the book always put me off of diving into this story, as the thickness of the book just made me reflect that I couldn't invest the time necessary to get into it. This made it an excellent choice as my first Audible listen, and I didn't regret it.

    William Dufris does an amazing job capturing the voice of the different characters... the needed character reminders of "Randy said" or "Shafto commanded" start to become noticeable, due to the fact that they don't seem to be necessary... at no point was I confused as to who was saying something, due to Mr. Dufris spectacular voicing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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