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new york, NY, USA

  • 3 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 91 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Dune: The Butlerian Jihad

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Frank Herbert's Dune is one of the grandest epics in the annals of imaginative literature. Now Herbert's son, Brian, working with Kevin J. Anderson and using Frank Herbert's own notes, reveals a pivotal epoch in the history of the Dune universe: the Butlerian Jihad, the war that was fought ten thousand years before the events of Dune - the war in which humans wrested their freedom from "thinking machines."

    Brian says: "enoyed premise but not execution"
    "Astounding bad, but still Dune..."

    I really wanted to like this book, being a huge Dune fan (I've read Dune at least four times now, and I'm sure I'll read it again) but this book was painful. Still, despite the amaturish writing and obvious plotting, it's still good to learn more about the universe of Dune.

    A few bits stood out -- the writing appears not to be able to think of alternative phrasing, so the book is extremely repetitive. This might not be as annoying in written form, but after you hear the phrase "thinking machines" fifty times in an audio book, you want to scream at the author to exert a few neurons. There's no reason that the cyborgs would make their single most vulnerable component easily externally accessible in combat -- they're suppose to be smart, not suicidal. And the number of "coincidences" that occur is absurd -- most of the important inventions of the next 10,000 years occur during a few years, because the author wanted to be able to write about the origin of various interesting plot devices. To me, it looked like the editor decided that it didn't matter what they printed -- if it said "Dune" and "Herbert" on it, people would buy it.

    And, damn them, it worked on me.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Town Around the Bend: Bedtime Stories and Songs

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 1 min)
    • By Bill Harley
    • Narrated By Bill Harley

    Bill Harley's 2003 recording is a very special collection of songs and stories for bedtime about a wonderful and wacky imaginary place, The Town Around the Bend. Harley's long-established humor, meaning, and music are toned down for the quiet time right before the eyes close and the world rests.

    Kimberly says: "Nighty Noodles..."
    "I've head this every night for months..."

    I've heard this album almost every night since I bought it from Audible. It's a perfect mix of fun and relaxation. The kids insist on us playing it every night, and we (parents) enjoy the stories and songs as much as they do. Most books that Audible sells are long, but you only listen to them once. These stories are perhaps an hour long, but if you have kids (or are very silly) you'll listen to this over and over again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dune: The Machine Crusade

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    More than two decades have passed since the events chronicled in The Butlerian Jihad. The crusade against thinking robots has ground on for years, but the forces led by Serena Butler and Irbis Ginjo have made only slight gains; the human worlds grow weary of war, of the bloody, inconclusive swing from victory to defeat. Get ready for Dune: The Machine Crusade.

    Jr says: "Dune - How We Love Thee!"
    "Much less bad than Butlerian Jihad"

    The writing is still nowhere near as good as the real Dune books, and the phrasing is annoyingly repetitive. Still, Dune is a wonderful thing, and even a so-so Dune book is worth listening to while stuck in a subway.

    To elaborate on the repetition: once the author hits on a phrase for a thing, he uses that same phrase mechanically for hundreds of pages. For example, this book is about the war between humanity and the AI's, which are referred to hundreds of times as "Thinking Machines" -- it would have read much more naturally if the author had put a little more effort into his writing.

    To be fair, the book has a lot of interesting things going for it. The humans aren't the generic "good guys" that they could have been -- in the midst of a war to save humanity from being crushed by the "Thinking Machines" the humans are corrupt, greedy, cruel and self-destructive and also clever, dedicated, and noble. So it's not as two-dimensional as the earlier faux-Dune books.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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