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A. Ferguson

Albuquerque, NM | Member Since 2010

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • Contact

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Carl Sagan
    • Narrated By Laurel Lefkow
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (245)

    The future is here...in an adventure of cosmic dimension. In December, 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who - or what - is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future - and our own.

    A. Ferguson says: "Great book, significant differences from the movie"
    "Great book, significant differences from the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    My favorite book, written by one of my favorite people (Carl Sagan).

    I am writing this review to mainly focus on the major differences between the movie and the book.The book follows the same basic plot as the movie, but with a few exceptions (SPOILER ALERT):

    - Ellie's mother is not dead, as in the movie. While Ellie's father passes away, her mother is around throughout her childhood and her adult life.

    - Ellie and her stepfather (also not present in the movie) have a strained and reoccurring relationship throughout the book.

    - Ellie's childhood, teenage years, and early graduate and internship years are described in a more detail.

    - The President of USA has a more prominent, reoccurring role, and is female.

    - Ellie has many romantic relationships (i.e., sexual relationships with a lab assistant early in her career, and then with Kent the Russian Scientist later in her career; and sexual tension with Drummond and then to an even greater degree with Vagay), albeit not with Palmer Joss who is the one individual she does have a romantic relationship with in the movie.

    - Three machines, not two, are constructed (i.e., in the USA, Japan, and Russia). This was interesting because by the time the story concludes only two machines have been used (or should I say, one has been destroyed and one has been used and possibly is not able to be used again), with the machine in Russia still unused.

    - Ellie is not the only individual who makes the trips; several delegates make the trip with her and have their own unique experiences.

    - The conversation Ellie has with the alien is much, much more detailed and extensive, and for me was a real highlight of the story.

    - Following her voyage in the machine, Ellie learns something interesting about the number for "pi" (i.e., 3.14...) that provides an interesting twist at the conclusion of the story.

    In summary, excellent book, and not only because of the writing but due to the narrator's great performance as well. Lefkow did an outstanding job as a true Voice Actor. Most of the supporting characters are male and the narrator (female) did a superb job rising to the challenge of voice acting each male character without sounding odd or goofy.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Study in Emerald

    • UNABRIDGED (49 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (2286)
    Performance
    (759)
    Story
    (763)

    A Study in Emerald draws listeners in through carefully revealed details as a consulting detective and his narrator friend solve the mystery of a murdered German noble. But with its subtle allusions and surprise ending, this mystery hints that the real fun in solving this case lies in imagining all the details that Gaiman doesn't reveal, and challenges listeners to be detectives themselves.

    M. D. Baines says: "Listen Well"
    "Not a Great Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Neil Gaiman and/or Neil Gaiman?

    Gaiman phoned in the narration and the story wasn't that good either. I like other books by him that I have read/listened to, so this was a surprising let down.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5228)
    Performance
    (3199)
    Story
    (3211)

    In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.

    Mica says: "Hurt version decidedly superior"
    "Epic Read; Life Changing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Atlas Shrugged?

    The book is one of the most inspiring books I've read. I read most of this book, then became short on time and finished it with this audio version.

    Regardless of whether or not you agree with the politics in the book, this books' characters and their resilience will inspire all. It was a life-changing read for me, to be honest.

    The narrator's tone and interpretation were excellent and fit the material well.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1126)
    Performance
    (600)
    Story
    (601)

    Author of the National Book Award-winning All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy is one of the most provocative American stylists to emerge in the last century. The striking novel Blood Meridian offers an unflinching narrative of the brutality that accompanied the push west on the 1850s Texas frontier.

    Chris says: "Bleak but Fascinating"
    "One of the best books of all time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Blood Meridian?

    This was one of the best books I have ever "read". Some have compared the writing to poetry of Biblical proportions. I would say that that genius is readily apparent.

    Content-wise, the material is extremely dark and graphic, however, not for the purpose of shocking. There is a respectable honesty and maturity all the way through.

    The narrator's gritty tone was perfect for the material.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rendezvous with Rama

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1710)
    Performance
    (981)
    Story
    (1001)

    At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence.

    Peter Tersteeg says: "Excellent story, terrible naration"
    "Mediocre ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The hard science discourses and tension that was building seemed a bit long winded for me, considering the payoff was not that grand at the end. The narrator was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Susanna Clarke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (3221)
    Performance
    (1216)
    Story
    (1220)

    English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

    David says: "Hang in there!"
    "First half is incredible, second half not so much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Prebble was an excellent narrator. However, while the first half of the book is some of the best fiction I've ever read, the second half sputtered to a halt and finally concluded in a pathetic denoument. Oh well, the first half was so good that in my opinion the book still deserves 4 stars at least!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Controversy: The Conflict Between Good and Evil

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Ellen G. White
    • Narrated By Eddie Hernandez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    Few people today realize that this earth is the primary battle zone of a cosmic war that erupted years ago. But, after listening to this book, you will know why it is being fought, how and when it will end. The Great Controversy begins at the dawning of the Christian era, traces the rise and fall of nations and religious powers down to our day, then plunges ahead to preview the future. And what this book sees coming is not based on guesswork.

    Hartley says: "historical masterpice"
    "Great Book, Not My Favorite Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Narrator makes the listen unenjoyable. The book itself is very good.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Sounds overacted. Needs to just read, and talk conversationally.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bioshock: Rapture: Bioshock, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Shirley
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (245)

    It was the end of World War II. FDR's New Deal had redefined American politics. Taxes were at an all-time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had created a fear of total annihilation. The rise of secret government agencies and sanctions on business had many watching their backs. America's sense of freedom was diminishing... and many were desperate to take that freedom back.

    Jason says: "YAAY! Finally . . . Wait, What!?"
    "Highly Recommend for Rand Fans Like Myself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Bioshock: Rapture again? Why?

    Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" is one of my favorite books of all time. The philosophy and story are at once complex and exhilarating, and have managed to inspire not only fans but generations of 'believers'. As an accompaniment to that book, I cannot recommend Bioshock: Rapture highly enough.Bioshock: Rapture has similar characters and themes to Rand's classic, albeit the author attempts to illustrate the dark side of how it would be possible for Rand's utopia, if it actually existed, to not work as she so eloquently depicts. And he provides many believable storylines and character developments to illustrate this.The story AS WELL AS the philosophy are very, very good. I will add that the first half was the best part, in my opinion, as the second half seemed to lose momentum and focus. But it was still a great ride.And I'll add that this book did not make me resign all of my affection for Rand's writings, rather, it provided a smart balance to the worldview. Yes, the book is based on a video game, and yes, it has some eccentric sci-fi elements as well, but what the author did with the material is just a few hairs short of what Rand did with books like Atlas Shrugged, and I consider that a surprising and wonderful achievement.The narrator was pretty good, he adopted a "film noir" tone that works for the material and the time period in which the material takes place.


    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Perdido Street Station

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By China Mieville
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (443)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (275)

    Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores.

    James says: "Brilliant, wonderful book -- horrible recording"
    "Incomprehensible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I'm only 45 minutes into hearing this book, however, it has become an absolute chore for listening.

    Thus far, the book is for me like a face that someone attempted to apply makeup to, but they went far overboard ending in clutter and mess and mascaraey chaos. Metaphors and clever descriptions are good, don't get me wrong (e.g., Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite authors). But the tangle of adjectives and metaphors in this book so far is a sheer clutteration to the senses.

    It sounds like incomprehensible poetry versus like a good, solid story.

    I'm going to give it a little longer, fingers crossed that something changes and finds me returning to this review to upgrade this rating.


    What could China Mieville have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Try a little less.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Lee?

    He's good.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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