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JCL

JCL

Coarsegold, CA USA | Member Since 2004

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 371 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Footfall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    Overall
    (922)
    Performance
    (551)
    Story
    (546)

    They first appear as a series of dots on astronomical plates, heading from Saturn directly toward Earth. Since the ringed planet carries no life, scientists deduce the mysterious ship to be a visitor from another star. The world's frantic efforts to signal the aliens go unanswered. The first contact is hostile: the invaders blast a Soviet space station, seize the survivors, and then destroy every dam and installation on Earth with a hail of asteriods.

    Flatlander says: "Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle at Their Best"
    "Foot Squish"
    Overall

    This story is a good summer read. Published in 1985, it is dated story of humankind's first encounter with aliens. (It is so dated that in the story a 70 year old human is too aged to drive his own car!) The basic plot involves the American government, a group of survivalists, some hippies (of course), and some non-existent country called the Soviet Union. Written in a flat, expository style, the story at points has a cartoonish character. (The "Star Wars" portion has a lot of "wham, wham" in it.) The tale is basically about the "elephants" from space encountering the "monkeys" from earth; herd mentality vs. troop mentality. If you are interested in a better, more "hard" sci-fi-based imagining of what aliens might be like, then listen to Peter F. Hamilton's wonderful "Pandora's Star" and its sequel "Judas Unchained" or Robert K. Morgan's brilliant "Altered Carbon" and its sequel "Broken Angels", both available from Audible.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Virgin Suicides

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Nick Landrum
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (569)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (330)

    This nationally best-selling novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides was adapted into an acclaimed film by Academy Award-winner Sofia Coppola. A haunting yet wickedly funny tale, The Virgin Suicides has captivated countless readers with its intoxicating portrait of lost innocence. A brilliant fusion of dark humor and tragedy, it is an atmospheric, allegorical masterpiece about five oppressed, suicidal sisters and the boys who dream of rescuing them.

    Lexi Lou says: "Read this if you want to enjoy this audiobook"
    "Depressing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are the type of person who, upon finishing a book, likes to sink back into your chair and sigh, and think that was a great story, and wish it had not ended, then this is NOT the book for you. If, however, you are the type of person who, upon finishing a book, likes to lean forward and hold your head in your hands and think, “Why did this author write this thing and why did I listen to it through to the end?,” then this is the book for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1756)
    Performance
    (1497)
    Story
    (1499)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "Excellent! Well worth the price."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you liked Agent to the Stars, you will like this novel. Snarky dialogue among characters. Well done and funny!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • WIRED

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Douglas E. Richards
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    Kira Miller is a brilliant genetic engineer who discovers how to temporarily achieve savant-like capabilities in all areas of thought and creativity. But what if this transcendent level of intelligence brings with it a ruthless megalomania? David Desh left the special forces after his team was brutally butchered in Iran. Now he has been reactivated for one last mission: find Kira Miller, the enigmatic genius behind a bioterror plot that threatens millions.

    Tommy says: "Good, but not great."
    "Poor production; poor writing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The biggest annoyance with this production by Tantor Audio is that the producer apparently does not know that most audible books are listened to in automobiles that are traveling. This book has a lot of dialogue that is whispered between the characters. In that dialogue, the reader drops the volume of his voice and whispers. The road noise blocks out the whispers. So, if you intend to listen to this work while you commute, you are going to miss lots of passages. Sad. (Can’t Amazon get audio producers who know who their audience is and fix the sound level to accommodate that demographic?) Beyond that, the book is not well-written: the author never met an adverb he doesn’t use rather than showing the reader the action. The work ends with an epilogue where the author disgorges his ideas about quantum physics and cosmology. The sci fi ideas are interesting, but interesting ideas do not make a good book; interesting characters and their story do. When we finished our drive, the audio book ended and I asked my wife what she thought about it. “Blah, blah, blah” was her answer. Exactly!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Officers' Club

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Ralph Peters
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Spring, 1981. Vietnam is over, but the repercussions linger. The military strives to recover as society reels from the excesses of the 1970s. A sinister beauty and a dutiful soldier a Hollywood lawyer running from a dirty past and a cast-off vet who seems to have no future dueling drug gangs along the Mexican border and the mutilated remains of a female lieutenant.

    Stephen says: "Better than I expected"
    "Excellent! Well worth the price."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In spite of the title, this is not an Army story. The Army base is just a backdrop for the action. A well conceived story with some unexpected twists. I should have seen the end coming, but didn’t, which is good. Very enjoyable story and well-read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seize the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (720)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (274)

    Moonlight Bay: a safe, secluded small town that is at its most picturesque in the gentle nighttimes that inspired its name. But now, somewhere in the night, children are disappearing. Christopher Snow believes that the children are still alive. He is convinced the disappearances have everything to do with the catastrophic effects of secret research conducted deep within Fort Wyvern. To keep those secrets, violent and powerful forces are willing to conceal even the most heinous crimes.

    Kim says: "WOWWWW!!!"
    "Interesting story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dean Koonz writes horror novels. Some reviewers have indicated this story is a sci fi story. It isn’t. There are some interesting sci fi ideas and scenarios described in the story, but nothing is made of them except horror. Think “Freddie” from another dimension or another time or another something. No effort is made to portray the sci fi ideas realistically. They just happen, like magic. How can this be? “Paradox,” we’re told. Mongo Jerry thought this was crap. Mongo Jerry is correct. As far as the reader is concerned, he has a nice voice and inflects well, but he reads each sentence too fast. He pauses well between sentences, but reads each sentence so quickly he sometimes slurs his words, especially during exciting narratives. Get ready to slew back to re-listen to what the reader just said to make sure you got it – especially when things get really exciting. That is the very last thing you want to do during exciting scenes. The book is worth the price but don’t be mislead: Dean Koonz writes horror novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Sam Kean
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (1955)
    Performance
    (1194)
    Story
    (1199)

    Reporter Sam Kean reveals the periodic table as it’s never been seen before. Not only is it one of man's crowning scientific achievements, it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

    Ethan M. says: "Excellent, if unfocused"
    "Recommended. Excellent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was so good, I listened to it twice. Another title for it might be “Star Stuff and the Exciting Stories About People Who Figured It Out”. This book should form the nucleus of a class given in every high school in America. It would hook many on basic science. The author has used the discovery of the nature of physical elements and development of the periodic table of the elements as a framework to tell stories about all the strange and exciting human goings-on surrounding the working out of the stuff our world is made of. Great story telling! Well worth the price.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red November: Inside the Secret U.S.-Soviet Submarine War

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By W. Craig Reed
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (150)

    Red November is filled with hair-raising, behind-the-scenes stories that take you deep beneath the surface and into the action of the Cold War. Few know how close the world has come to annihilation better than the warriors who served America during the tense, 45-year struggle known as the Cold War. Yet for decades, their work has remained shrouded in secrecy.

    Rick says: "Blind Man's Bluff meets Cuban Missile Crisis"
    "Excellent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well-written and exciting history of submarine warfare during the Cold War. Describes how Soviet sub commanders during the Cuban missile crisis came a lot closer to firing nuclear torpedoes than we all thought. (Scary!) Many other exciting events are described. If you are former Navy, you will like this book. If you are a submariner or ASW sailor or airman, you will love it! The reader is good, but mispronounces several important geographic names that will grate on you if you are former Navy. For example, Sasebo, Japan, is pronounced “SAS-i-bo”, not “sas-SAY-bo”, and its not “mar-RAY” island in Northern California, but Mare Island, as in the name of a female horse. There are other glaring mispronounciations. (Why don’t producers makes sure their readers have a pronunciation key to the names used in a book?) Aside from that, the book is well worth the price.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13865)
    Performance
    (12236)
    Story
    (12265)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Bleah!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book to listen with my wife on a long drive. I was guided by the reviews. Never again! I suspect the reviews were submitted by author groupies or college students hired by the author’s agent to spam fake reviews.

    First, the hero and heroine in this book reveal themselves to be emotionally about 13 years old. And extremely narcissistic! Who can care about book-length navel inspections by thirteen year olds?

    Secondly, the dialogue is poor. For example, the conversations between police and POIs are unrealistic. In this work, the police talk more like therapy group facilitators than cops. In fact, all the males in this work do not talk to each other like guys actually talk. This is especially true of the hero, and very especially true of the hero’s interior dialogue. (At one point, he thinks that a room’s décor is so 1960’s. I don’t know a single guy whose mind would cross this thought.)

    Thirdly, the author did little or no research in writing this work. For example, no police department in America would launch an expensive missing persons investigation when a wife was missing for (possibly) only 12 hours. Maybe three days. Nothing sooner, absent clear evidence of criminality. They’d tell you to call all your relatives first, then call all the local bars, then call all the homeless shelters, and then to call them back only if nothing turned up. Then they’d get around to your problem a week or so later. Same for TV cable shows. The author has the hero being pummeled on a TV cable missing persons reality show just five days after the heroine went missing. Never happen! Maybe three months; nothing sooner. TV shows are in the can and queued up several weeks before they are aired. The author clearly just wrote off the top of her head with no knowledge and without checking to see how things are really done.

    Fourthly, a press conference about a missing adult the day after they’re missing? This would never will happen. Maybe a fortnight after at the earliest.

    There are few scenes in this book. Most of the book is author summary or author narrative via puppet characters. The device used for the heroine is that she reads from her diary. (Barf!) For the male character, the author narrates via the hero’s inner dialogue. These thoughts are not guy thoughts, not even gay guy thoughts. They are more like teenage girl thoughts.

    Bottom line: If you’re a reader who likes well-researched and realistic fiction, the kind that holds your interest, such as that written by Dalton Fury (Black Site) or Brad Thor (Full Black) or James Lee Burke (Creole Belle) or Robert K. Morgan (Altered Carbon) (all available from Audible), you will not like this book.

    When we arrived at the end of our trip, we were about half way through this book. My wife turned to me and asked what I thought. Not wanting to influence her comments, I deferred to her: “What do you think?” She replied, “I could care less about both of these characters. They are boring. And they are juvenile.” I agreed. We did not finish the book. Beware the reviews. They can’t be genuine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (9779)
    Performance
    (8883)
    Story
    (8895)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Exciting story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an interesting story and I recommend it. It was not written as well as it could have been, but still held my interest – that is, I was able to suspend disbelief up to the point that the machine was messed with by the crazies. But then the author took his story in an implausible direction based on what his characters, given their past conduct, would actually have done. (Bicycles across an extremely hostile territory? These characters?? Naw.) Be that as it may, the book is still worth the money. By the way, it is NOT a haunted house story. More interesting than that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lions of Lucerne

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Brad Thor
    • Narrated By Armand Schultz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (920)
    Performance
    (828)
    Story
    (827)

    On the snow-covered slopes of Utah, the unthinkable has just become a nightmarish reality: thirty Secret Service agents have been viciously executed and the vacationing president of the United States kidnapped by one of the most lethal terrorist organizations in the Middle East - the Fatah Revolutionary Council. But surviving agent and ex-Navy SEAL Scot Harvath doesn't believe the Fatah Revolutionary Council is responsible for the attack.

    Carol says: "Great Scott Harvath"
    "Quick Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is a good beach read. Or perhaps I should say a good quick read in front of the fireplace at Deer Valley after a day’s skiing. Of course, it DOES contain the obligatory evil American capitalist and this made me contemplate downgrading my review. (Are ALL writers socialists?) If you are going to make a plot element an evil capitalist, couldn’t you at least make him a Russian? (Russian capitalists want to protect their petroleum empires, too.) You will not be taxed listening to or following the story of this book, nor particularly regret purchasing it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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