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A. Ferguson

Albuquerque, NM | Member Since 2010

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 61 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • Contact

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Carl Sagan
    • Narrated By Laurel Lefkow
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (321)

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1061)
    Performance
    (1003)
    Story
    (1012)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Original story with unusual depth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Revival the most enjoyable?

    Having read eight Stephen King books over the past decade, with the Gunslinger as my all-time favorite, yet this book is a new close second.

    I won't summarize the story or plotline or provide spoilers, others I'm sure are taking care of that, but I will applaud King for some fantastic elements that stood out from this read.

    First of all, King avoids stereotyping characters in this story. There were some tempting opportunities right from the get-go to characterize a a minister, a religious group of people, a junkie, etc a certain way. And I've seen King write into those stereotypes in the past (he's so good he can get away with it). Not so this tale. King takes some bold directions in developing characters against stereotype, particularly the young minister, even though it might have been more popular to write to the stereotype...and I respected that approach King took.

    Second (and closely related to my first point above) King doesn't paint characters as good or bad for the most part. They're more gray ethically. And even when lines are more clearly drawn by the end, the ethics that lead characters to draw those lines involve hard decisions of "right" and "wrong." It makes you as a reader/listener question what you your self would do in a supposedly "evil" character's shoes/circumstances.

    Third, King writes many of this book's "horror scenes" in a sort of postmodern, tongue-in-cheek sense. And I found that fresh and entertaining (as I believe he intended to make it sort of funny this way). The guy has written tens of thousands of pages of horror, and this time around -- instead of trying to be utterly original and serious with every horrifying description -- he names clichés and calls them right out. For example he'll describe someone screaming and say, "like that other girl who open the door in that old horror movie." Or a scary song will play and he'll compare it to "that creepy number popular decades ago". But with actual names and references you'll remember I just don't want to spoil it all here.

    David Morse nailed the narration and I can't imagine anyone doing a better job. Flawless and heartfelt interpretation.

    In summary, this novel isn't content to simply relay a fantastic story. King peels back the delicate skin of the story page by page to reveal a visceral, authentic experience that will challenge your expectations and haunt your thoughts long after the final page. The writing is as polished as King is known for writing, but the details are especially full of grit, spit, and heart this time around.


    What about David Morse’s performance did you like?

    Perfect, superb interpretation.


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Replay

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ken Grimwood
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (1083)
    Performance
    (717)
    Story
    (731)

    In 1988, 43-year-old Jeff Winston died of a heart attack. But then he awoke, and it was 1963; Jeff was 18 all over again, his memory of the next two decades intact. This time around, Jeff would gain all the power and wealth he never had before. This time around he'd know how to do it right. Until next time.

    Jonathon says: "Entertaining and more than worth the price!!"
    "Great read, hokey narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Replay to be better than the print version?

    The story is fantastic with plenty of tension and plot twists and turns. Best time travel story I've read to date.

    The narrator sounds like a hillbilly or woodsman of sorts, and made it difficult for me to enjoy the characters dialogue. Would have been better, for me, without the folksy accent he read the story with.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prelude to Foundation

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (454)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (409)

    It is the year 12,020 G.E. and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future.

    Svenghali says: "Trantor, capital of a galactic empire!"
    "The Verdict"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Prelude to Foundation?

    Ok fellow Foundation fans - this review is not pretty (but, there are also no spoilers), but it's honest. And it's from a fellow Foundation fanatic who LOVED the first five books.

    Plain and simple, there is not story here. Instead of clever plot twists and surprises, you get one straight-forward, predictable read, without the slightest interesting story until the final 30 pages of the book. The last 30 pages contain several large, ingenious surprises. Problem is, none of the previous story was needed to justify the final surprises.

    In the first five books, we have a genius of a storyline with great suspense. In this book, no suspense to speak of. Someone gets left atop a rooftop and almost freezes to death, then someone complains that they have to wear a bald wig on a planet, then someone gets in a knife fight, and really nothing enlightening happens along the way.

    I suggest you read the final 30-50 pages and call it a day. Trust a fan of the first five books, the high ratings this book is receiving would NOT have been provided had this been the first book in the Foundation series. There's no story here.

    Caveat, The narrator did a Fantastic job.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jack Handey
    • Narrated By Jack Handey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (74)

    The legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel - a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale. "Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are re-purposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Jack Handey's exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists. A reliably unreliable narrator and his friend, who is some other guy, need to get out of town. They have a taste for adventure, so they pay a visit to a relic of bygone days - a travel agent - and discover an old treasure map."

    Cathleen says: "Mildly Entertaining, Not a good read"
    "Oh my...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could Jack Handey have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    As a Huge Fan of the following examples of humor...

    - Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey
    - Saturday Night Live
    - Arrested Development
    - It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
    - the deadpan comedy of Steven Wright and Jim Gaffigan (whose humor has been compared to that of Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts)

    ...I found this book entirely unfunny and stale. Unlike Deep Thoughts, this story is not funny in the least. I didn't crack a smile one time.

    That is my opinion.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neil Strauss
    • Narrated By Neil Strauss
    Overall
    (1064)
    Performance
    (675)
    Story
    (680)

    Hidden somewhere, in nearly every major city in the world, is an underground seduction lair. And in these lairs, men trade the most devastatingly effective techniques ever invented to charm women. This is not fiction. These men really exist. They live together in houses known as Projects. And Neil Strauss, the best-selling author, spent two years living among them, using the pseudonym Style to protect his real-life identity. The result is one of the most explosive and controversial books of the year.

    Stephen says: "A Must Read For All Men"
    "Every man should read this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Game?

    Even more than the great story and great techniques he shares, Neil's HONESTY is the best thing about this book. In spite of the amazing highs and fantastic adventures, Neil is brutally honest about the times when he fails, where he misses the mark, and the negative effects that sometimes ensue as well. That HONESTY and down-to-earth authenticity made the book the memorable read that it is.


    What other book might you compare The Game to and why?

    Probably Do They Serve Beer In Hell, although this book is better.


    What about Neil Strauss’s performance did you like?

    Excellent


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Oh yeh. It took me a few days due to other responsibilities but yes one sitting given the time.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wool: Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Amanda Sayle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1784)
    Performance
    (1640)
    Story
    (1656)

    In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Post-apocalyptic life in a silo"
    "Could have been so much more."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who read Popular Mechanics. A huge portion of the book includes lengthy descriptions of the equipment and the work processes and the industrial environment in general in very technical language.


    Would you recommend Wool to your friends? Why or why not?

    No, the premise was extremely good but the story failed to take off or develop. So many amazing directions this could have gone but it did not really go anywhere at all.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Amanda Sayle?

    Someone who doesn't read with silly voices. The voices ruined the characters and made them melodramatic and corny. Amanda's normal reading voice is amazing, Grade A reader; but when she tries those voices of man not good.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Study in Emerald

    • UNABRIDGED (49 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (2354)
    Performance
    (823)
    Story
    (828)

    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
    (5701)
    Performance
    (3637)
    Story
    (3665)

    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
    (1310)
    Performance
    (768)
    Story
    (772)

    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.

    Colin says: "Existential leavings"
    "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
    (1952)
    Performance
    (1199)
    Story
    (1222)

    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

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