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Toivo

Fairbanks, AK, USA | Member Since 2008

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 102 ratings
  • 956 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Mirror of Her Dreams: Volume I of Mordant's Need

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Donaldson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (190)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (166)

    The daughter of rich but neglectful parents, Terisa Morgan lives alone in a New York City apartment, a young woman who has grown to doubt her own existence. Surrounded by the flat reassurance of mirrors, she leads an unfulfilled life - until the night a strange man named Geraden comes crashing through one of her mirrors, on a quest to find a champion to save his kingdom of Mordant from a pervasive evil that threatens the land.

    C. Lunde says: "Scott Brick+Donaldson=Winning Combination"
    "Donaldson's best work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book and its sequel are the most captivating that the author ever wrote. I absolutely recommend this book and it's sequel for anyone who enjoys fantasy novels. I think very highly of the first Covenant series, but for purely enjoyable story telling this is his best.

    First things first- this book has a lot going on. The main character is involved in lots of plots and sub-plots and had many very interesting interactions with many vivid characters. The book is a fantasy/mystery. The climax is absolutely great.

    My only real complaint about Donaldson is that his characters are so damned frustrating. In other books, after restating every problem a hundred times they often do little or do something weird or simply wait for someone else to do something. This book has some of that, but I believe that he handles it much better than in the Covenant novels. As I said, there is a lot going on and many times the character has good reason not to act.

    Unfortunately the reader is the patron saint of frustrated narration and I think he was a terrible choice for any Donaldson novel. Technically he's is very good reader, but for my money he was a bad choice here.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Six Degrees of Assassination: An Audible Drama

    • ORIGINAL (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By M J Arlidge
    • Narrated By Andrew Scott, Freema Agyeman, Hermione Norris, and others
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (222)

    On a sullen, cloudy July day ten years since 7/7, the happy, confident and optimistic British Prime Minister is visiting a charity in East London. It’s just two months after the general election which saw John Campbell's government returned to power with a clear majority, the economy is on the mend and the coalition is fast becoming a bad memory. Suddenly, a man appears out of the crowd and shoots him three times in the chest.

    Amazon Customer says: "Like listening to an episode of MI5 - love it!"
    "I hope we get more of these"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not an audiobook. I grew up listening to CBS Radio Mystery Theater, and this play made me immediately nostalgic for the gold old days. Its a fast moving thriller with good voice acting. I docked the story a star, but I'd have to give out some spoilers to tell you why. It was totally worth my money in any event.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fall of Hyperion

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2829)
    Performance
    (1848)
    Story
    (1880)

    In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention. Onthe world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening. And the secrets they contain mean that nothing - nothing anywhere in the universe - will ever be the same.

    Darwin8u says: "Hyperion is FALLEN, am I too to fall?"
    "The author pulled off an amazing second act"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked Hyperion, but I didn't believe that the author could tie all the sub-stories together and bring it to a satisfying conclusion. He pulled it off in a way that was good enough for me. In the final analysis there may be some dropped threads or inconsistencies, but I'll never know. I was swept along at a fast enough pace to not really notice or care. This book did the impossible.

    It kind of goes without saying, but listen to Hyperion first if you intend to consume this. They are both worth a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bellwether

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (897)
    Performance
    (580)
    Story
    (582)

    Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions - with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.

    Charles says: "The Lone Naysayer..."
    "I was sucked in."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This looked "just okay" to me when I was perusing. I didn't know the author. The description sounded dubious. I think I bought it because it was on sale. Well lucky me because this was easily in my top-five for 2014.

    This book is quirky and totally enjoyable. It took about two or three chapters for me to get into the rhythm, and it was a roller-coaster of humor from there to the end. I will definitely seek this author out in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs)
    • By Harry Markopolos
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Harry Markopolos, Frank Casey, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1503)
    Performance
    (799)
    Story
    (795)

    No One Would Listen is the exclusive story of the Harry Markopolos-lead investigation into Bernie Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme. While a lot has been written about Madoff's scam, few actually know how Markopolos and his team - affectionately called "the Fox Hounds" by Markopolos himself - uncovered what Madoff was doing years before this financial disaster reached its pinnacle. Unfortunately, no one listened, until the damage of the world's largest financial fraud ever was irreversible.

    Brendan says: "Shocking, terrific"
    "Interesting story that should have been shorter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this kind of true story. I wanted to love Harry M., and I sort of managed to, but it would have been a lot nicer if he'd had an editor with his best interests at heart. The story gets sidelined with an awful lot of Harry's feelings. He should have left himself out at least half the time and told the riveting story of the investigation straight. It's a great story, and he'd have come off better in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Oath

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Frank Peretti
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (418)

    National best-selling author Frank Peretti is an undisputed master of supernatural thrillers. The Oath has sold nearly a million copies and won the ECPA Gold Medallion Award for best fiction. When a nature photographer is killed and mutilated while camping, common sense points to a rogue bear on the prowl. But the search for answers uncovers a century of sin-and a beast of ghastly power. Filled with chilling suspense and unforgettable imagery, The Oath is an epic tale of good versus evil.

    Jeff A says: "The worst ending since "Lost"."
    "wretched"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This isn't a horror novel. It's a feel smug about yourself if you're a Christian novel. Start with William Blatty if you want religious horror fiction. The Exorcist is terrific, and it shows infinite more understanding of our relationship with God than this book. I can't believe I made it to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Proof: The Science of Booze

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Adam Rogers
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (262)

    A spirited narrative on the fascinating art and science of alcohol, sure to inspire cocktail party chats on making booze, tasting it, and its effects on our bodies and brains. Drinking gets a lot more interesting when you know what's actually inside your glass of microbrewed ale, single-malt whisky, or Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. All of them begin with fermentation, where a fungus called yeast binges on sugar molecules and poops out ethanol. Humans have been drinking the results for 10,000 years. Distillation is a 2,000-year-old technology - invented by a woman - that we're still perfecting today.

    Atila says: "Great listening to all about booze"
    "Trivial pursuit level science."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to like this, but got turned somewhat off when the author went nuclear pompous in the first chapter (or maybe the prologue?). To his credit, he didn't maintain that tone, but for me the flavor lingered. There are a lot of interesting stories compiled here, and many involve science, but it is the sort of regurgitating facts kind of science and not any kind of trye understanding that you'll get out of this. It reads (mostly) like a series of fun stories about booze and the booze industry made to fill 2000 words of an in-flight magazine. The author use of generalizations of the "physicist think so-and-so" variety.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don'ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Charles Murray
    • Narrated By Charles Murray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (213)

    Best-selling social historian Charles Murray has written a delightfully fussy - and entertaining - book on the hidden rules of the road in the workplace - and in life - from the standpoint of an admonishing, but encouraging, workplace grouch and taskmaster. Why the curmudgeon? The fact is that most older, more senior people in the workplace are closet curmudgeons. In today's politically correct world, they may hide their displeasure over your misuse of grammar or your overly familiar use of their first name without an express invitation. But don't be fooled by their pleasant demeanor....

    Thug4life says: "Good Book: From one curmudgeon to another"
    "The first half is great."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the first half. The writing is beautiful, the explanations are elegant, and Mr. Murray reads his own work really well. I recommend it to my step-daughter and all other young people.

    The second half gets all metaphysical and feels self-indulgent. Quit before you get there is my advice. Do that and you probably got your money's worth already.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robert E. Howard
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (133)

    Robert E. Howard, renowned creator of Conan the Barbarian, was also a master at conjuring tales of hair-raising horror. In a career spanning only 12 years, Howard wrote more than 100 stories, with his most celebrated work appearing in Weird Tales, the preeminent pulp magazine of the era.

    Jim Lloyd says: "If you like Lovecraft"
    "Conan, just like you expect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These aren't brilliant literature, they're pulp stories. If you never read one, they might be better than you think. Taste vary. I'd love to give 5 stars for being classics (in my world) but pulp is necessarily pulpy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Roadside Picnic

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky, Olena Bormashenko (translator)
    • Narrated By Robert Forster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (176)

    Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a "full empty", something goes wrong.

    Ryan says: "Gritty, resonant sci-fi classic"
    "Hypnotic, captivating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had no idea what to expect from this story. The title seemed far less than promising. I picked it up because it was enthusiastically recommended to me by a Russian friend. In my opinion, this should be considered one of the classic science fiction books of all time.

    The story is captivating. The characters are phenomenal. I think that the translator deserves some sort of award because it comes across as if it were originally written in English.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    Overall
    (2645)
    Performance
    (1499)
    Story
    (1492)

    The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

    Bill says: "Excellent!"
    "Tedious until you get past the first half"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first half of this book is a sort of autobiography. I can't imagine why it was included. I did learn that his brother is a super-genius or something like that. I am sure he is a wonderful guy and I admire King a hell of a lot, but I just didn't have much interest in the beginning of this book.

    The rest is, as the title says, more of a memoir on the craft of writing. I do not believe that it is particularly helpful to a writing student. It isn't much in the way of instructions on how to write (for that see Lawrence Block or, better, Sol Stein) as mostly just what King does. But what works for King might not work for others.

    King has an amazing talent for characterizations that draw readers into his stories. I think he could write a book using any technique imaginable and it'd come out pretty good because of his characters. I was hoping to learn something about how to do that or at least get a glimpse of the master at work, but I don't feel I got that.

    For anyone interested in writing, I'd recommend this. It is always interesting to see the creative process at work, a topic about which writers are traditional secretive when it comes to the details. On the other hand I have gotten more helpful writing advice from online writer's blogs than I did from this book. That doesn't mean it wasn't a good book, but my expectations were at odds with my experience.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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