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David

Halifax, NS, Canada | Member Since 2010

775
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 85 reviews
  • 89 ratings
  • 127 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2018
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FOLLOWERS
15

  • 2061: Odyssey Three

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (454)
    Performance
    (413)
    Story
    (413)

    Arthur C. Clark, creator of one of the world's best-loved science-fiction tales, revisits the most famous future ever imagined in this New York Times best seller, as two expeditions into space become inextricably tangled. Heywood Floyd, survivor of two previous encounters with the mysterious monloiths, must again confront Dave Bowman, HAL, and an alien race that has decided that Mankind is to play a part in the evolution of the galaxy - whether it wishes to or not.

    Gary says: "This guy is just phenomenal!"
    "Perfectly OK"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "2061" is a perfectly decent space thriller. The trouble is, one expects more than that. After all, it's a sequel to "2001" and "2010", two of the most brilliant and mind-expanding classics of epic sci-fi ever written. As a result, it feels a lot flatter and more disappointing than it should. The best way to experience it is to forget about its illustrious forbears and just enjoy it as a mildly diverting space thriller.

    It has the usual Clarke failings: cardboard characters and clunky exposition. And this is an old man's novel; it's mostly about amiable old codgers puttering around and dispensing wry comments. Even when the action starts, every character responds to terrifying situations with wry humour, which gets a bit irksome after a while. Everyone's. So. Damn. Wry.

    But the journey to Halley's Comet is interesting (and if you've seen the real-life photographs of comet 67P from the Rosetta probe you'll find Clarke's descriptions of a cometary surface remarkably accurate). The exploration of the revitalized Jovian moons, springing to life beneath their new sun, is fascinating. The mystery of Mt Zeus is intriguing and has a great payoff. And the last few chapters suddenly acquire the level of magisterial profundity that the Odyssey series ought to have, and might even bring a tingle to the spine.

    Scott Brick is a solid narrator. I'm not convinced by his handling of the South African characters. But he captures the wryness perfectly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Nigel Slater
    • Narrated By Nigel Slater
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Britain's most popular cook describes his personal culinary odyssey, from dangerous encounters with his mother's weevil-seasoned cakes to being harangued by readers who think he deliberately styles Yorkshire puddings to look like a woman's private parts.

    David says: "Moving and makes you hungry"
    "Moving and makes you hungry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A superhero origins story of how a lonely boy who lost his mother ultimately became one of the great food writers.

    As expected, Slater writes beautifully concise yet evocative prose, and this book will give those of us who grew up in Britain in the 70s multiple Proustian flashbacks of long-forgotten food items.

    Slater isn't a particularly good reader (too many wrongly-stressed words for my taste), but it doesn't matter too much because his personal stake in the writing makes it extremely moving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Kluger
    • Narrated By Brian Troxell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (579)
    Performance
    (549)
    Story
    (547)

    In August 1968 NASA made a bold decision: In just 16 weeks, the United States would launch humankind's first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy's promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken.

    Julian says: "Great history of NASA and Apollo 8: a must listen"
    "Perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A thrilling story, well-organized by the author and well-told by the narrator. This must be the definitive treatment of this particular mission.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • California: A History

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Kevin Starr
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (107)

    Acclaimed author, historian, and Guggenheim Fellow Kevin Starr is a professor at the University of Southern California. His extensive knowledge shines through this concise, yet comprehensive, depiction of the most fascinating aspects in California's history. From its colonial beginnings through Governor Schwarzenegger's administration, the Golden State has become a uniquely American phenomenon that has enchanted people with the possibility of a better life.

    Theresa says: "Review"
    "Solid information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you want a solid, listenable history of California that's neither too long nor too short, this is what you need. It covers the early history really well. Toward the end, it becomes more thematic than chronological and loses some narrative drive as a result, but it's still interesting.

    The narrator is perfectly decent, and doesn't mangle the Spanish names too much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Joan Druett
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2600)
    Performance
    (2396)
    Story
    (2389)

    Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death. In 1864, Captain Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of the island. Utterly alone in a dense coastal forest, plagued by stinging blowflies and relentless rain, Captain Musgrave inspires his men to take action.

    Tiffany says: "One of the Best Stories Ever Told!"
    "Not enough peril"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I gave up on this one. I usually like books about shipwrecks, discovery and adventure. But these people didn't seem to be suffering enough. They got cast away on a seal-covered island with plenty to eat and the weather wasn't so bad. Maybe things got worse later on, but I got bored and stopped listening.

    Does that make me a bad person?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Mark Frost
    • Narrated By Annie Wersching
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (572)
    Performance
    (521)
    Story
    (520)

    While The Secret History of Twin Peaks served to analyze the mysteries of the town and place the unexplained phenomena that unfolded there into a vastly layered, wide-ranging history, Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier tells us what happened to key characters in the 25 years between the events of the first series and the second, offering details and insights fans will clamor for. The audiobook also adds context and commentary to the strange and cosmic happenings of the new series.

    Amazon Customer says: "Mind blown"
    "Tolerable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This post-show follow-up to the Secret History still has some of the flaws of its predecessor - too many verbose and fanfic-y biographies of characters - but at least it's shorter, and the final chapters are rather beautiful, meshing well with the baffling and bittersweet ending of Season 3.

    The book does answer a couple of questions raised by the TV series, so if you like your Lynchian enigmas pure and unsullied, stay away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blade Runner: Based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4037)
    Performance
    (3411)
    Story
    (3424)

    It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment: find them and then..."retire" them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found!

    Ian C Robertson says: "Asking the important questions 50 years on"
    "Try to forget about Blade Runner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is very misleading marketing, because the film Blade Runner, is very, very, very different from the novel that inspired it. The novel is full of deliberately silly social satire on manners, the media, and the bourgeois desire for status symbols, and it doesn't contain much moody noir at all. The two works do gradually become more similar as the novel progresses, but it takes a long time.

    I could not get Harrison Ford's Deckard out of my head, and my mental images of him behaving like the Deckard in the novel (having a wife, watching terrible TV shows, keeping sheep on the roof of his apartment building) was just too much contradiction for my brain to cope with.

    If I try this audiobook again, I'll arrange a memory wipe first, in order to experience it on its own terms.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orlando

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Virginia Woolf
    • Narrated By Clare Higgins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (247)

    Fantasy, love and an exuberant celebration of English life and literature, Orlando is a uniquely entertaining story. Originally conceived by Virginia Woolf as a playful tribute to the family of her friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West, Orlando's central character, a fictional embodiment of Sackville-West, changes sex from a man to a woman and lives throughout the centuries, whilst meeting historical figures of English literature.

    J. says: "wonderful language, unusual style"
    "Expert reading of a beautiful novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Orlando is not an easy novel to read out loud, due to its deliberately baroque language, but Clare Higgins does a masterful job of making it accessible and enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Doug Stanton
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2215)
    Performance
    (2074)
    Story
    (2068)

    On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact; close to 900 sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they remained undetected by the navy for nearly four days and nights. Battered by a savage sea, they struggled to stay alive, fighting off sharks, hypothermia, and dementia. By the time rescue arrived, all but 317 men had died. The captain's subsequent court-martial left many questions unanswered

    Clarence Sparks says: "Captivating"
    "Pure horror"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An absolutely terrifying journey into hell. The story is expertly told and the narrator is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Waste Land & Four Quartets

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 35 mins)
    • By T.S. Eliot
    • Narrated By Paul Scofield
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (187)

    These are masterly readings, by renowned thespian Paul Schofield, of two substantial works of poetry by T.S. Eliot.

    Louis says: "Help -- I can't stop listening to this"
    "Wise reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Paul Scofield reads the Four Quartets as if he understands every word, and he helps you feel as though maybe you do to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Country for Old Men

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4897)
    Performance
    (3356)
    Story
    (3372)

    Cormac McCarthy, best-selling author of National Book Award winner All the Pretty Horses, delivers his first new novel in seven years. Written in muscular prose, No Country for Old Men is a powerful tale of the West that moves at a blistering pace.

    P. Giorgio says: "Exceptional, engrossing, frightening."
    "Perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tom Stechschulte is amazingly good at reading Cormac McCarthy novels. His voice is like a gravel desert and that's exactly what you need.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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