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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

ratings
67
REVIEWS
67
FOLLOWING
17
FOLLOWERS
10
HELPFUL VOTES
69

  • How Music Works

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By David Byrne
    • Narrated By Andrew Garman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (98)

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Caliban's War: The Expanse, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By James S. A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (999)
    Performance
    (919)
    Story
    (921)

    James S.A. Corey’s best-selling hit Leviathan Wakes earned Hugo and Locus Award nominations. In Caliban’s War, the second chapter of Corey’s Expanse series, a desperate Earth politician works tirelessly to prevent war from reigniting. Meanwhile, upheaval takes root on Venus and Ganymede. And amidst this tumult, James Holden and his crew on the Rocinante are charged with the impossible task of saving humanity from a terrifying fate.

    Ethan M. says: "No sophmore slump as both plot and writing improve"
    "Sophmore Slump"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Caliban's War in three words, what would they be?

    A little more dialogue and space opera elements than previous installment.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Holden. Great character in the Indian Jones vein, good characterization./


    Which character – as performed by Jefferson Mays – was your favorite?

    Jefferson Mays does a great job overall....Holden is my favorite


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

    No way too long....


    Any additional comments?

    This is a solid series, the second book is pretty much a set up for the third installment. Sometimes it gets a bit mired in politics, but the reader should hang in there...there are necessary plot installments here that will pay off in the third book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods Themselves

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (74)

    Only a few know the terrifying truth - an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun... They know the truth - but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy - but who will believe?These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth's survival.

    thomas says: "Asimov's Best Stand Alone Novel"
    "Asimov's Best Stand Alone Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Science Fiction. Asimov is the master and this is him at the top of his game. Intrigue, imagination, cleverly written and thought provoking


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gods Themselves?

    I found the depiction of the creatures in the parallel universe very touching. It was an interesting way to comment on humans, but in an indirect manner.


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

    I enjoy Scott Brick. The Asimov series used William Dufris for the Robot Series and he did a good job as well. Scott has done most (unfortunately not all) of the Galactic Empire and Foundation Series and he does a superb job. His strength is not in performing different characters but in adding gravity to the dialogue. You will have to keep track of the characters closely, but overall Scott is excellent.


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

    No way too long.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my last book in my re-read of the Asimov Series after many years, and it dawned on me why he is not given more credit as a writer. These stories are intended to entertain. They are detailed, clever and help you escape into another world. Although they have commentary on the human plight and our interaction with each other there is no pretension of climax or overly dramatic ending. Unlike much of what we see on TV and movies, the stories are more to be savored than change your life. Asimov wrote these to amuse himself primarily, and as a reader you almost wish they would never end. I cannot recommend them highly enough for someone looking to escape into a place that makes you forget about the everyday. To me that is what entertainment ultimately is, and why I think Asimov is underestimated and not given enough credit. Kudos Audible, great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zen to Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity SystemThe Ultimate Simple Productivity System

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 47 mins)
    • By Leo Babauta
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (98)

    Zen To Done (ZTD) is a system that is at once simple, and powerful, and will help you develop the habits that keep all of your tasks and projects organized, that keep your workday simple and structured, that keep your desk and email inbox clean and clear, and that keep you doing what you need to do, without distractions. This book was written for those who want to get their lives organized and actually execute the things on their to-do list by changing existing habits.

    Miroslaw says: "The simplest and right version of GTD. Recommended"
    "Short and Sorta OK"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Leo Babauta and/or Fred Stella?

    I don't think so. I enjoy Buddhism, Zen in particular. This approach to explaining it's essence was somewhat unappealing. A bit pompous, a bit condescending. This is probably a personal perspective completely, others may find it appealing.


    Has Zen to Done turned you off from other books in this genre?

    There are other books I enjoyed more on the topic. Audible has several good approaches. I would recommend listeners look elsewhere and check the ratings, which I generally find helpful.


    What didn’t you like about Fred Stella’s performance?

    Wooden, laconic.


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

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    No. I think Audible does a good job overall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fahrenheit 451

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Ray Bradbury
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1996)
    Performance
    (970)
    Story
    (982)

    The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires, and he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for 10 years, and never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs, nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames. He never questioned anything, until he met a 17-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid, and a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.

    Casey says: "Still Relevant"
    "Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Fahrenheit 451 in three words, what would they be?

    Knowledge Must be Free


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fahrenheit 451?

    I read it as a young boy, and then read it again as an older adult. I was surprised how much more it resonated. With more information available the need to wall people off from critical information for various reasons has become more complicated, yet the bottom line remains a fascinating point of discussion.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the fireman realized that the implications of his actions go beyond his job. I think every thinking person has a moment of clarity similar to this, a point where there is a realization that some things cannot be rationalized. Behavior must change, and with it the need the be a different person. This type of Sci Fi was popular in the early days of the genre. Today it may seem corny or simple, and I understand that fully. Complex, action based stories are important today in the marketplace. I would suggest however reading these types of stories occasionally as a respite from the prevalent genre. Classic Sci Fi, well done.


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

    Go home and read a book, movies ruin most stories....


    Any additional comments?

    This is a short book. The genre emerged from a short story format and this was written during a transition to the longer, novel form. Some readers might not want to spend a credit on such a short book. But it is well done, and the story is simple and compelling. I recommend it highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foundation's Edge

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (420)
    Performance
    (386)
    Story
    (388)

    At last, the costly and bitter war between the two Foundations had come to an end. Now the two exiled citizens of the Foundation - a renegade Councilman and the doddering historian - set out in search of the mythical planet Earth. Meanwhile, someone - or something - outside of both Foundations seems to be orchestrating events to suit its own ominous purpose.

    chris says: "Enjoyed it as much as the original trilogy"
    "Series Climax"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Foundation's Edge again? Why?

    I might. All of the Foundation books are great, they are a multi-layered set of books that have timeless elements of political intrigue, human frailty and interplay and a story that spans generations. Science Fiction doesn't get much better.


    What other book might you compare Foundation's Edge to and why?

    Obviously the other Foundation books are similiar in tone however there are other books from the time period that I would say are somewhat similar. This era of Sci Fi put value on the importance of the genre beyond pure entertainment. Books that carry that same gravitas are Childhoods End, The Dispossessed, Dune and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. None of these books have the same story line but share with Foundations Edge the over riding concern to combine entertainment with a Sci Fi genre that has something to say about people and what we can become.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    I like Scott Brick, he is very involved in his characterizations. He never seems to be just reading, I think he does a great job. Some reviewers think he is a bit overly dramatic but that never bothers me.For this material, occasional melodrama is not out of place. He is one of my favorite narrators on Audible, and I wish he did the final book in the series.


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

    Probably not. I typically listen to 2 books a month. A lot of times, especially with a great book like Foundations Edge, I don't want to rush through the book. I want to savor it a bit, and I am somewhat disappointed when it is over. This book is an example of that listening experience.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall Audible has done a nice job with the Asimov Series. My only gripe is that Robots and Empire is missing, and the narrator on Forward the Foundation and Foundation and Earth is a bit misplaced. The Robot Series, Galactic Series and most of the Foundation Series is done excellently. Listening to 12 of the overall 15 books will more than suffice in getting a great understanding of what Asimov intended, and the arch of his universe. Well done Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foundation and Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1209)
    Performance
    (839)
    Story
    (846)

    The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. Unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women to preserve humanity's light against an inexorable tide of darkness and violence.

    Lynwood says: "Masterpiece"
    "Sci Fi Classic(s)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would. The audible version is stellar and these books (Foundation Series) are a must read for any fan of Sci Fi or speculative ficiton.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Everyone of them. Superbly done.


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

    I have read some negative reviews of Scott Brick and I don't get it. I think he is terrific, he lends the right tone of drama to material that lends itself to that type of delivery. He was great in the Dune Series and his work here is equally well done.


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

    Not really. These books are logical puzzles, with lots of characters and sub-plots. The fun is in keeping track of it all, in a world that Asimov has built just for you.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must read. Audible has done a great job with the Asimov books. I suggest reading reading the Robot Series and the Galactic Series first, then delving into the Foundation Series. However read Prelude to Foundation last, which is largely background information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Second Foundation

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1073)
    Performance
    (745)
    Story
    (750)

    The fate of the Foundation rests on young Arcadia Darell, only 14 years old and burdened with a terrible secret. As its scientists gird for a final showdown with the Mule, the survivors of the First Foundation begin their desperate search. They too want the Second Foundation destroyed, before it destroys them.

    Shukhrat says: "Culmination point"
    "The Continuation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Second Foundation rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I consider The Foundation Series, as done by Audible to be one of the best done by Audible. Excellent work on a classic series.


    What other book might you compare Second Foundation to and why?

    The Foundation is similiar in scope to the Dune Series. At the time this was very groundbreaking, a created universe with its own rules.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    Every character is done with Scott's typical panache. He lends an aura of dramatic importance to the text that I greatly appreciate.


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

    Read books, movies are never as good.


    Any additional comments?

    Well Done audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Robots of Dawn: The Robot Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Detective Elijah Baiey is called to the Spacer world Aurora to solve a bizarre case of roboticide. The prime suspect is a gifted roboticist who had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to commit the crime. There's only one catch: Baley and his positronic partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, must prove the man innocent. For in a case of political intrigue and love between woman and robot gone tragically wrong, there's more at stake than simple justice. This time Baley's career, his life, and Earth's right to pioneer the Galaxy lie in the delicate balance.

    thomas says: "Some of Audible and Asimov's Best"
    "Some of Audible and Asimov's Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Asimov is a very underrated writer. The Robot Series are a good example of his early work, Robots of Dawn was written later in the series and you can see how he matured as a writer, thinker and puzzle creator/solver. If you are an Asimov completest, this book represents an important bridge in understanding the connection between the Galactic Empire and the Foundation. Great stuff..


    What other book might you compare The Robots of Dawn to and why?

    It favorably compares to the other Robot novels, but this is a more mature version of the story. The themes are adult and take the story out of its childhood premises of earlier novels. In fact he plays on the theme of the young child and robot fascination with an interesting literary allusion.


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

    I really like the work that Dufris did in this series. Very well done.


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

    The ending to this story is clever, well executed and a bridge to later novels, series and story lines. The intelligence of Asimov in weaving a complex story together is exemplified in how this specific story arch ends. the next book, Robots and Empire is somewhat different since Elijah Baily is only in that story historically. We say good to Elijah in this story as a foundational Asimov character, but it is not done melodramatically, its done in a way that demonstrates his intelligence and tenacity.


    Any additional comments?

    I implore Audible to make available Robots and Empire. I realize digital rights are bit complicated these days but this is an important story and the bridge to Prelude to Foundation. I would like to thank Audible for making the Robot Series available, it was briefly pulled off the Audible shelves, while they fixed an audio problem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Naked Sun: The Robot Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. On the beautiful Outer World planet of Solaria, a handful of human colonists lead a hermit-like existence, their every need attended to by their faithful robot servants. To this strange and provocative planet comes Detective Elijah Baley, sent from the streets of New York with his positronic partner, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve an incredible murder that has rocked Solaria to its foundations.

    thomas says: "A Bedrock of Modern Sci Fi"
    "A Bedrock of Modern Sci Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Naked Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I rank this book very highly. This series was taken off Audible for a few months to correct some audio errors. The series is back, and its spectacular. If you are a fan of modern sci-fi, you owe it to yourself to return to this classic series. It helps to form the foundation of many of the literary conceits common today. Asimov changed our perceptions are the man-machine relationship from Frankenstein to a story about the complexities of life and it works great.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Fundamentally Asimov uses the basis of Kant's logic and weaves it into a detective story. This is somewhat similar to but very different from other stories in the genre. He imbues the characters with humanism and reason to weave a fascinating story that forms the basis for his Galactic Empire and Foundation Series.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Any scene with the the main character(s) and the humanoid(s). I think the clever wordplay is difficult to match in any other author. Finding humanity in the non-human goes beyond personification, its just brilliant.


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

    Asimov is not really that type of author. A common criticism of him is that his characters are not very well developed. Not sure I fully agree, I view them as not having alot of melodramatic emotion. Asimov rarely plays the emotional card. These are books that define logic and complex story telling. I find the entire series the foundation of science fiction and modern literature. Asimov is an under rated author.


    Any additional comments?

    Great job audible. I implore you to get the last book in the series, Robots and Empire. I realize there might be copyright issues since it was written much later, but it is an important work in the Robot/Galactic/Foundation story arch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman
    • Narrated By Quincy Dunn-Baker
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (635)
    Story
    (645)

    A dominant force in the sport of ultrarunning, Scott Jurek is a seven-time winner of the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run and a two-time winner of the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley. Eat & Run offers an inspirational account of Jurek’s life as a runner and vegan. Regaling listeners with jaw-dropping tales of endurance, Jurek also delivers sound science and practical advice—as well as his favorite plant-based recipes.

    Andy says: "one of the better ultramarathon books"
    "An Inspiring Story About a Real Athlete"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Eat and Run to be better than the print version?

    I thought was fantastic, Great narration, well done story. Overall this was a very enjoyable listening experience. At times inspirational, at times moving, and at times I could only listen in astonishment. It is easy to be jaded about the modern athlete today. Endorsement deals, mega contracts, a seemingly lack of interest. Here is a guy who without any future goal of money pursued a dream and focused on the process. If you area weekend athlete you will find this story inspirational.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Eat and Run?

    This is a very honest book. His life was difficult at times, but he overcame the only way he knew how, through hard work and dedication.


    Have you listened to any of Quincy Dunn-Baker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He did a good job. Jurek is a complicated guy. The narration brought come that fact. At times you might not like him in this story, but on balance the way he overcame is difficulties cannot be denied.


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

    I really cannot do that on my schedule, but this is a story that you want to come back to. I had not been exposed to Ultra Running before, being only a marathon runner myself, but the characters in this community were fascinating to me.


    Any additional comments?

    There seems to be a renewed interest today in health, natural eating and grass roots sports. I hope this book helps to fuel that interest and gets more people involved in their local 5k, Spartan Race or marathon. It helped me keep my interest alive and reiterated why I got involved in these activities to begin with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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