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thomas

I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.

charlotte, NC, United States | Member Since 2012

37
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 49 reviews
  • 49 ratings
  • 106 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
16
FOLLOWERS
4

  • How Music Works

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By David Byrne
    • Narrated By Andrew Garman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (75)

    Best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the iconic band Talking Heads, David Byrne has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the insightful How Music Works, Byrne offers his unique perspective on music - including how music is shaped by time, how recording technologies transform the listening experience, the evolution of the industry, and much more.

    Daniel says: ""David Byrne is a Human" by a Talking Heads fan"
    "Very Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I am a music fan first and although I really enjoy Talking Heads and David Byrne I would not consider myself a huge fan. With that said this is a very good book for anyone who likes music and want to understand it more. It comes off as thoughtful and well researched, with a point of view. I recommend it highly with those caveats and parameters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well David Byrne is essentially the character here ....his viewpoint is fascinating. I like the fact that he is explaining why his artistic taste and choices are what they are. Whether you agree or not, it's interesting.


    Have you listened to any of Andrew Garman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but I thought he did a good job, well done Andrew.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Having been to CBGB's I thought it was funny how he clinically described that down trodden club. His focus on acoustics and performance context was something I never thought of when in that space.


    Any additional comments?

    There have been a few other good music books I have read recently "The Life and Times of Brian Eno" and "Love Goes to Building on Fire"; both were very good. I would put this book on that par. If you are fan of musicology, the process of how art is made, anecdotes about a localized music scene and insight into how music gets made this is a great book. This is not a revealing, personality driven book about the rock n roll lifestyle. It descries music as art. I really enjoyed it, and I am glad I read/listened to it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Homeworld: Odyssey One, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Evan Currie
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (469)
    Performance
    (436)
    Story
    (434)

    War comes home to the Sol system when the Drasin track a human ship back to Earth, with devastating consequences. Facing massive force of invading alien ships wielding terrible power, the crew of the NAC spacecraft, their allies, and the people of Earth must mount a desperate effort to stop them. Doomed from the start, but with nowhere to retreat, Captain Eric Weston commits his ship to the defense of the human race even as the human outposts in Sol system fall one by one before the unrelenting Drasin onslaught.

    Joki says: "Satisfying End to an ARC - Ready for Book 4!"
    "Well Done Modern Military Sci Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Homeworld to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version....


    What did you like best about this story?

    This was a combination of several genres including military Sci-Fi, Space Opera and high concept storytelling. I thought it was well done and the the ending surprised me. There is going to have to be a 4th book in the series to resolve the story arch and I will listen to that book when it is available.


    Which character – as performed by Benjamin L. Darcie – was your favorite?

    The Admiral Funny and poignant


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending. I was shocked and fascinated at the same time.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this books. Solid, well written and plenty of action. Good fun!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Heart of Matter: Odyssey One, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Evan Currie
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    Overall
    (649)
    Performance
    (590)
    Story
    (594)

    On her epic maiden voyage, the NAC spacecraft Odyssey introduced Earth to the wonders of an untouched universe - and the unimagined horrors lurking in the black. Now the Odyssey’s second voyage will carry Captain Eric Weston and his crew back to a familiar battlefield, to face an enemy unlike any they have ever known. For on war-torn Ranquil, homeworld of Earth’s newest ally, the Priminae, the invading Drasin are but foot soldiers for a powerful unseen force. Unmasking the mysterious puppet masters means defying orders and venturing into deep space.

    James says: "Another winner"
    "Enjoyed It!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Heart of Matter to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version...


    What did you like best about this story?

    Solid, military Sci-Fi with some larger scientific and political elements thrown in - good story.


    Have you listened to any of Benjamin L. Darcie’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I thought he did a great job, I enjoyed his approach to the material.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I found the discussion of matter and the way it comprises the universe and can be manipulated to be fascinating. This book comes with a mini physics lesson, which is interesting and enjoyable.


    Any additional comments?

    I will read he next book in the series...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Black: Odyssey One

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Evan Currie
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    Overall
    (1023)
    Performance
    (948)
    Story
    (952)

    Captain Eric Weston and his crew encounter horrors, wonders, monsters, and people; all of which will test their resolve, challenge their abilities, and put in sharp relief what is necessary to be a hero. A first-rate military-science-fiction epic that combines old-school space opera and modern storytelling, Into the Black: Odyssey One is a riveting, exhilarating adventure with vivid details, rich mythology, and relentless pacing.

    C. Hartmann says: "Great, Solid Military SciFi / Evolving Space Opera"
    "Good Start to the Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Into the Black the most enjoyable?

    I thought it was a good story, the production was very good and it kept my interest. I recommend this to any fan of Sci Fi.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story is a little more Military Sci Fi than I usually read but it had some solid character development and a back story that served the overall plot well. I enjoyed it and I am going to listen to the remainder of the series.


    What does Benjamin L. Darcie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I thought he did a solid job.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I honestly think that many (if not all) members of the military exemplify the attributes of honor that are depicted in this story. I have a renewed respect for that viewpoint and I am glad I was exposed to it through this fictional story.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend it, somewhat of a light read with an action based plot but sometimes that is what you need to unwind from work and relax. I am going to finish the series and look forward to finding out how the Odyssey One fares in the coming war with the Drassein....good stuff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Way Station

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Clifford D. Simak
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    Overall
    (926)
    Performance
    (541)
    Story
    (548)

    In this Hugo Award-winning classic, Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he had done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.

    Noe says: "A very special novel that will inspire you."
    "How Did I Ever Miss Reading This Book..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Way Station again? Why?

    I would. This is a quiet book filled with some big ideas. Most of the action occurs internally, so in many ways this is both a psychological and anthropological view of man and his place in the world/universe. I loved this book and cannot believe that I never read it before. I am glad I did.


    What other book might you compare Way Station to and why?

    In tone, but not subject matter it reminded me of the works of Ursula LeGuin, particularly The Dispossessed. Different subject matter entirely, but a quiet story where the action takes place within the characters and their relationship to society.

    It also reminded me of some early Asimov and Ray Bradbury. This is an optimistic book and harkens back to an era when Sci Fi was optimistic as well.


    What about Eric Michael Summerer’s performance did you like?

    He did a great job. He let he story unfold without hurrying and let Enoch speak in a contemplative manner that suited him perfectly/


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "Movies Stink Read the Book"

    Seriously .... this is a very well written book. Simak was a journalist by trade and it shows. The story is uncomplicated but it suites the simple nature of the protagonist and his situation. It reminded me of older Sci Fi that was written for the story itself. Devoid of fighting, hyperbolic action the story serves the intent of the narrative arch. This is not an action packed, page turner; it is a simple rumination on the human spirit.


    Any additional comments?

    I have to give Audible credit, they continue to release books that are not only popular, but speak to the rich history of Science Ficiton. I consider this book to be foundation to any fan or amateur student of the genre. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4826)
    Performance
    (4511)
    Story
    (4505)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Cristina Hatfield says: "Quite an enjoyable read"
    "An Existential Meditation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Redshirts?

    Anytime a book gets you to think about what it means to live, I consider it time well spent. This is a creative and ambitious plot and I can understand why it won a Hugo Award. It was entertaining and thoughtful at the same time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Very post modern. It is not only self referential but alludes to tropes outside of the story that any fan of sci-fi will recognize. Parts of the story reminded me strongly of Kurt Vonnegut in the way the characters spoke to each other, and the way characters represented the writer. I thought it was very clever in a way that might not be unique, but is not done that often.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were hilarious scenes in the first section that I really enjoyed. This section draws you into the characters for what is very satisfying end section of the book. The narrator pulls off the Gen X bemusement in a way that added to the plot.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I thought the final coda of this book was excellent, and somewhat unexpected considering how the novel started. What started as a post modern farce concludes as a very touching rumination on what it means to be human. I thought Scalzi was very thoughtful and the work he produced was quite moving. I was somewhat surprised and very happy that I stayed with the story. It was worth it.


    Any additional comments?

    I could see how some people might not like this novel. It was "out there" at times. But if you have read Vonnegut or Swift, enjoyed Space Balls or Barton Fink I think you should listen to this recording. The narrator is outstanding the though the plotting is complex and post modern, the payoff is satisfying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Influx

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    Overall
    (989)
    Performance
    (929)
    Story
    (924)

    Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they've been working toward for years: A device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics - the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel Prize. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring.

    Sterling Okura says: "Entertaining Physics SciFi"
    "Gravity (and Anti-Gravity) Always Wins"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Influx to be better than the print version?

    Yes. The production was great, the narrator superb and there were some audio "special effects" that added to my overall enjoyment. Well done.


    What other book might you compare Influx to and why?

    "Steelheart" by Brandon Sanderson. It is a direct story, with some social commentary. Strong, likeable characters and a mass market style that I enjoy sometimes. I could see his being made into a movie at some point. I view this literary approach as a "beach read" at some level. This is not a criticism. This book was written to be entertaining and Suarez hit the mark.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff Gurner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have never listened to him before, but he did a great job. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to him again. Very well done.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not sure its that type of book, though there were some scenes when the lead character is imprisoned that were a bit uncomfortable. Nothing extreme, or salacious and it is needed to set up the remainder of the plot. Parts of the book felt a little bit like YA (Young Adult) to me. This book is written in a fast paced style, where action is more important than emotional impact at some level.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend it. I enjoy reading contemporary Sci Fi and this is a good example of the current genre. It focuses on physics, which I found intriguing to think about (and do a little physics research on the side), so in that way it was thought provoking.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2972)
    Performance
    (2820)
    Story
    (2824)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Never Give Up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Martian?

    Everything. The story, the characters, the performance, the production. I thought it was one of the best purchases I ever made at Audible.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It just proves that a story does not have to be overly complex to be terrific. This is fundamentally a basic concept, a man is marooned on Mars. But how that simple concept is treated, developed and how the story unfolds is what makes this a memorable SF tale.


    What about R. C. Bray’s performance did you like?

    I think when somebody does a great job you cannot imagine anyone else doing it. R.C. did that in this performance. He "was" Mark, with all the wisecracks and intelligent descriptions of what he was encountering.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Tough question. Overall I had trouble leaving the story, I finished it pretty quickly. Even though the story was contrived (all novels are), I wanted to see how Mark was doing, to check into his status and his challenges. I found myself emotionally invested in something that was fundamentally a fictional story. I think the best story tellers do this; they get you to suspend your disbelief long enough to lose yourself for a while. Overall this was one of my most enjoyable Audible experiences.


    Any additional comments?

    As an athlete and Martial Artist I found The Martian very inspirational. Though a fictional tale it reinforces the basic concept that makes us all human. If there is hope there is the chance that obstacles can be overcome, so you keep trying and keep positive. Mark's unflagging determination is what separates greatness from mediocrity, and its something we all can do to some extent in our everyday lives. You never give up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Caves of Steel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (975)
    Performance
    (476)
    Story
    (475)

    Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, police detective Elijah Baley has little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. Then he learns that he has been assigned a partner: R. Daneel Olivaw. Worse, the R stands for "robot" - and his positronic partner is made in the image and likeness of the murder victim!

    Dionne says: "perfectly executed!"
    "If You are a Fan of Sci-Fi ...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Caves of Steel to be better than the print version?

    Yes. William Dufris is tremendous. I loved his work on the Old Man Series and this is even better.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is a bit quirky but I thought he did Jezebel very well. Jesse is the conscience or voice of reason in the story and as dramatic device he brought out the importance of this character in a clever way. I am always amazed when narrators do a great job, because it just seems so difficult to do. Dufris hit the mark on this and every other character.


    What does William Dufris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    There is an even level of quality that I enjoy from a narrator. I want the entire story to flow together over the life of the novel, Dufris delivers on that fundamental yet important characteristic.


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

    No I typically spend about a week per book, in my car or at the gym.


    Any additional comments?

    If you area fan of Sci Fi Asimov is almost required. Many tout the Foundation Series as his watermark and I am one of them. But the Robot Series, of which this is the first is so clever, so archetypal (in the Sci Fi cannon) that it should not be overlooked. It links the Foundation Series to the novels (Pebble in the Sky, Currents of Space, etc.) and provides insight into Asmiov's Galactic Empire concept. If you are a fan of the genre this is a seminal work. Keep in mind this was written in the early 1950's, but with that context it is even more mind boggling to me that Asimov can weave a story that still stands on technical merit. This series is a link into the past but like all good Sci-Fi it discusses timeless issues and values. This is not Shakespeare or Thoreau, but it is entertaining and thought provoking. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Player Piano

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (156)

    Kurt Vonnegut's first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a super computer and run completely by machines. Paul's rebellion is vintage Vonnegut - wildly funny, deadly serious, and terrifyingly close to reality.

    James says: "Not Vonnegut's best effort."
    "Spectacular"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Player Piano?

    It is hard for me to write a review of a Kurt Vonnegut book, I am clearly not a literary critic, but for me he is the most under appreciated writer in the American literary tradition. This book, his first, is just fantastic.


    What other book might you compare Player Piano to and why?

    Within the Vonnegut library I would say Sirens of Titan, another early book with big ideas.


    What about Christian Rummel’s performance did you like?

    It is interesting that all the Vonnegut books on Audible have been done by different narrator's and all of them have done a great, great job. Rummel handled the material so well I cannot imagine any else doing it better. Just great.


    Who was the most memorable character of Player Piano and why?

    Paul Proteus probably but Kroger and Finnerty really cracked me up....sometimes it is hard to tell (when really Vonnegut) if you are imagining his characters or the subsequent one's that recent writers ripped off from him. These are archetypal characters at times and it is difficult not to love all of them.


    Any additional comments?

    Thanks Audible, well done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Colony

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1196)
    Performance
    (866)
    Story
    (877)

    Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up. That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game.

    Katherine says: "3.5 stars"
    "Entertaining and Thought Provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Last Colony again? Why?

    No, but that does not diminish the fact that this was a very good series. Modern Sci Fi in a Golden Age coat. Great characters, well plotted with big ideas about humanity, relationships and the ability to find truth in a tough universe. I really liked it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John Perry. But I say that with some trepidation. Jane Sagan, Zoe and the rest of the characters were people that I was interested in and to me that is the sign of solid characterization. John Perry here is the character that you came to rely on, both in terms of action, intellect and the emotional arch of the story. I will miss him.


    What does William Dufris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I thought he was spectacular. I don't know honestly how he did it. He brought life to the characters and enriched the story.


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

    No. I typically listen to Audible in my car and at the gym. But if a book really grabs me I will take it home and listen in my office. This book was one where I just did not want to stop listening. This is true about the entire series. A wonderful story with great characters and a clever plot.


    Any additional comments?

    This book has gotten good reviews. I agree with them and highly recommend The Old Man's War Series Books 1-3. Fundamentally however this is classic space opera with some conventional plot devices. So if you are into classic Sci Fi, I think you will very much like it. I am glad I finally got around to it on my Wish List.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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