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Bill

Manassas, VA, United States | Member Since 2007

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 119 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2605)
    Performance
    (2330)
    Story
    (2336)

    Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

    Madeleine says: "What's that droning sound?"
    "A gripping modern thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very enjoyable book, a modern thriller. I had listened to Daniel Suarez's previous two books and loved them. This book has similar elements while being a separate story. The central mystery are drone attacks that occur and the team that is dispatched to find out who is responsible. It is a roller coaster ride with strong characters. There were great sequences where the action was intense. In addition to the great action there is the whole question of drones, especially autonomous drones which is raise but the answer is left for us to work out.

    The narration was excellent, Jeff Gurner narrated Suarez's previous two books and does and excellent job here with different and distinct voices for the characters which does a good job in bringing out their personalities. He also does a bang up job with the action sequences.

    The only weakness with the books is a couple of scenes of awkward dialog and a romance angle that I think might have been better left for the end of the book. But these are minor and do not really detract from the story. I was also not a fan of the profanity but that is the way many people talk today.

    While not as great and inventive as his first two books, I loved the book and would listen to it again. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Les Misérables: Translated by Julie Rose

    • UNABRIDGED (60 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo, Julie Rose (translator)
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (874)
    Performance
    (745)
    Story
    (753)

    One of the great classics of world literature and the inspiration for the most beloved stage musical of all time, Les Misérables is legendary author Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. This extraordinary English version by renowned translator Julie Rose captures all the majesty and brilliance of Hugo’s work. Here is the timeless story of the quintessential hunted man—Jean Valjean—and the injustices, violence, and social inequalities that torment him.

    Darwin8u says: "!"
    "It is the best of books, it is the worst of books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Les Miserables is more of a quest than a book. It is a huge book that meanders along taking many long detours but eventually arriving at its destination. You must be prepared for a long journey, don't be the child who continually asks "are we there yet?"

    The narrative of this journey follows Jean Valjean an ex-convict who finds redemption, love, and seeks to do good. Along the way we get long discourses on slang, politics, the street urchins of Paris, the sewers of Paris, and the Battle of Waterloo to name a few (there are many long detours). There are also many subplots and stories, such as the Bishop of Digne which opens the book. There are many long detours, many.

    Is the book worth the time? I think it is, it is a wonderful story and the long detours add much to the experience. It is named Les Miserables for the portrait of the poor that it gives, but it does not idolize them, it shows the good and the bad, the weak and the strong. It should encourage you do go out and help some one.

    This particular translation is advertised as being more earthy and closer to the French of Hugo than the more staid traditional translations. It is more earthy, more sprightly and not academic, but not knowing French I can't say if it is actually closer to Hugo or not. Some translation choices seem odd to me (clink for jail) but once you get into the flow of the story it works.

    The narrator is one of the best in the business and he does a commendable job here.

    So, should you read this book? I think so, I highly recommend it.

    Would I read it again? Yes I will, in a while, when I'm ready for a long, long journey.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Around the World in 80 Days

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (60)

    When an eccentric Englishman named Phileas Fogg makes a daring wager that he can circle the globe in just eighty days, it’s the beginning of a breathlessly-paced world tour. With his devoted servant Passepartout at his side, Fogg sets off on an adventurous journey filled with amazing encounters and wild mishaps. Pursued all the way by the bumbling Detective Fix, who believes the two travelers are bank robbers on the run, Fogg and Passepartout must use every means of transportation known to 19th-century man - including a hot-air balloon, a locomotive, and an elephant - to win the bet.

    Darwin8u says: "A straightforward adventure/exploration story"
    "A delightful read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jules Verne was an excellent writer and this is one of his great, classic stories. It is a fun romp around the world and the characters are very engaging, especially Passepartout who provides the main point of view for the reader as well as a catalyst for a lot of the action. The book builds to an exciting and satisfying conclusion.

    It is read by the great Patrick Tull who is famous for reading the Patrick O'Brien novels (which is why I chose this particular book). Tull imbues each character with their own personality, he really was one of the best readers.

    I highly recommend this book, it is also a great family book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Ebenezer le Page

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By G. B. Edwards
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    Ebenezer Le Page, cantankerous, opinionated and charming, is one of the most compelling literary creations of the late 20th century. Eighty years old, Ebenezer has lived his whole life on the Channel Island of Guernsey, a stony speck of a place caught between England and France yet a world away from either. Ebenezer himself is fiercely independent, but as he reaches the end of his life he is determined to tell his own story and the story of those he has known.

    Kathy says: "My favorite audiobook of all!"
    "Very enjoyable story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very delightful book. It recounts the life story of Ebenezer le Page, a confirmed resident of the Guernsey Island. It follows Ebenezer from his early years through World War I and World War II, but those are mostly backdrops for a recounting of life on the Island and his relationships with his family and friends. The voice of the book is that of an old person telling their life story, if you have spent time with the very old and heard their stories the author gets this just right.

    The discussion of the relationships of family and of men and men and women has a very good depth of thought and gives something to think about.

    I enjoyed this book greatly and would highly recommend it.

    The reader does an excellent job of giving voice to this old man and was a true delight.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By David Bayles, Ted Orland
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (108)

    Art & Fear explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way. This is a book about what it feels like to sit in your studio or classroom, at your wheel or keyboard, easel or camera, trying to do the work you need to do. It is about committing your future to your own hands, placing free will above predestination, choice above chance. It is about finding your own work.

    Inga Ladd says: "Amazing!"
    "Great meditation on the making of Art"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this meditation on what it means to be an artist and to make art. The authors try not to have it be specific to one type of art and are generally successful. While I found the section on art school interesting it was not particularly useful to me for the making of art. The book is a good encouragement to create the art you have the desire to make.

    The performance was excellent. A very good and engaging reader. This book could have come across as dry or tedious but Arthur Morely brings the book to life.

    If you create any kind of art I recommend this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • 1984: New Classic Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3742)
    Performance
    (2308)
    Story
    (2341)

    George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

    Jay Stone says: "Enduring Classic"
    "A classic book well read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    1984 is a classic book that should be read by everyone. Orwell was a wonderful writer and creates a consistent, frightening world. We see many of his ideas in play in our current culture and an understanding of this work helps to see what is going on around us.

    All that aside, this is a very good story, well written with strong characters. I have read this story several times and have always enjoyed it. The performance by Simon Prebble is top notch and only adds to the enjoyment of the work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Podkayne of Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (124)

    Podkayne Fries, a smart and determined maid of Mars, has just one goal in life: to become the first female starship pilot and rise through the ranks to command deep-space explorations. So when she is offered a chance to join her diplomatic uncle on an interstellar journey to distant Earth via Venus, it's a dream come true - even if her only experience with diplomacy is handling her brilliant but pesky younger brother, Clark.

    Jack Ketterer says: "A Smart Kid"
    "Great fun, wonderful reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Podkayne of Mars again? Why?

    I have always enjoyed Heinlein's stories. This is an interesting study of a young girl. I listened to it with one of my daughters and we both loved it. The story has a great voice in the heroine. The reader does an excellent job in bring the book to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Home: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Marilynne Robinson
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (33)

    Glory Boughton, aged 38, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father. Soon her brother, Jack - the prodigal son of the family, gone for 20 years - comes home too, looking for refuge and trying to make peace with a past littered with tormenting trouble and pain.

    S. Elder says: "Wish that I had read this one"
    "Great book, poor reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Based on the book Gilead, which I loved, I was looking forward to this book. The content didn't disappoint. It is a wonderful, complex, and bittersweet story. A retired minister at the end of his life dealing with the black sheep son whom he loves. Told from the point of view of a daughter who has moved back it deals with love, loss, hope and that strange relationship of love and fear that parents sometimes have with their children. As I read I could certainly identify with certain aspects of the characters and will revisit this work again. I think Gilead was the more powerful of the two work but both are wonderful.

    The flaw in the book is the reader. At times she comes across as beyond bored and it is all she can do to get to the next word. She does better when doing the character voices but she really doesn't do the book justice. I almost stopped about an hour in. I am glad I persevered, the book is worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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