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Steve

Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2009

117
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 49 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Seth Godin
    • Narrated By Seth Godin
    Overall
    (1156)
    Performance
    (413)
    Story
    (413)

    There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there’s a third team, the linchpins. These people invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They figure out what to do when there’s no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art.

    Anthony K says: "Like the Muhammad Ali of Seth Godin Books"
    "I was expecting more"
    Overall

    If you went to the bookstore and bought a bunch of books with motivational phrases, took those books home, cut out each phrase and put them in a pillowcase, and then shook that pillowcase, and then pieced each phrase back together at random, you would have something more coherent than this book.
    It's like when you are awake at 3AM and there's nothing on TV except infomercials.
    The idea of being a linchpin is a worthy idea and well worth pursuing. The problem is that this book doesnt even try to understand what exactly a linchpin is. At best, everything is anecdotal, strung together with feel-good hollow statements like 'resist the demon'. I think that was from Rocky III.
    I was expecting something a bit more scientific, maybe a personality exploration of the linchpin in his or her native habitat. Nope. How about a story detailing how a regular Joe goes from regular to linchpin? Nada.
    This book will underwhelm you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17320)
    Performance
    (15387)
    Story
    (15340)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Solid story, great characters."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No one could ever accuse Stephen King of failing to create completely mesmerizing characters. He does it here just as well as in any of his other books.

    Hardcore sci-fi fans take note: this book doesnt get into the hows and whys of time travel, nor does it explore such thought experiments as the Grandfather Paradox, but it does exquisitely illustrate the 'realities' a person may face if they suddenly found themselves travelling 50 years into the past...and the ramifications of altering that past.

    The villians in King's novels always show a little bit of humanity, which blurs the line between good and evil. This too is done here, using a little bit of that Derry, Maine mystique to add a little crazy to the party.

    The narration is top-notch. Wasson's characters are distinct and memorable.

    All in all, definitely worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3525)
    Performance
    (3084)
    Story
    (3118)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "Thrill ride from start to end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a bit put off by Stephenson after Cryptonomicon, but he more than makes up for it in REAMDE. The characters are cerebral and distinct, each with their own quirks that come out brilliantly in the dialog.

    The plot is continuously shifting, and each turn is punctuated by the resilience of the book's primary protagonist. No slow muddled storyline (which was my biggest gripe with Crypto) in REAMDE. Also, Stephenson show off his real 'nerd cred', which is as always technically accurate and non-embellished.

    The narration is second to none. Hillgartner pulls off Russian, English, and CHinese accents with authenticity, and he often does it in the same breath.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • On Basilisk Station: Honor Harrington, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2238)
    Performance
    (1606)
    Story
    (1598)

    Honor Harrington has been exiled to Basilisk station and given an antique ship to police the system. The vindictive superior who sent her there wants her to fail. But he made one mistake: he's made her mad....

    gerry says: "Damn you Steve Gibson"
    "Good story, horrible narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started listening to this on recommendation (of the printed book) from Steve Gibson at GRC, who raved about it. The material seemed pretty good, but I just could not get over how unbelievably bad the narration is. The speaker has a very limited range, and when she tries to emulate male characters, she comes off sounding like Millhouse from The Simpsons. It is very distracting.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3246)
    Performance
    (1037)
    Story
    (1042)

    One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

    Robert says: "A Classic"
    "Character Driven"
    Overall

    This story is very character driven, and you can tell that the scifi sugar was definitely secondary. That doesnt really matter, though, because the narrative moves along just fine without it. The characters' eccentricities are shown in punctuated spurts, and every time they do you end up forming a new opinion about them.
    I definitely wish the author spent more time in One-Ungo-Wen's (sp?) world, but all in all the story was compelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Footfall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    Overall
    (974)
    Performance
    (593)
    Story
    (589)

    They first appear as a series of dots on astronomical plates, heading from Saturn directly toward Earth. Since the ringed planet carries no life, scientists deduce the mysterious ship to be a visitor from another star. The world's frantic efforts to signal the aliens go unanswered. The first contact is hostile: the invaders blast a Soviet space station, seize the survivors, and then destroy every dam and installation on Earth with a hail of asteriods.

    Flatlander says: "Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle at Their Best"
    "Good overall, but narration a bit strange"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was pretty much straight-up scifi. I kind of wish the details of the alien species was fleshed out a little more, but you learn enough about them to create a good mental image.
    I think they should have taken another strategy when trying to emulate the alien voices. There's a multitude of digital voice changers that the narrator could of used, but instead he opted to slur his speech as if he just had all of his wisdom teeth pulled out. You got used to it, but it was still distracting.
    Also, the ending was definitely sequel bait. It's been almost 26 years and no sequel.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Vorpal Blade: Looking Glass Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By John Ringo, Travis Taylor
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    Overall
    (420)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (271)

    he alien Dreen are still a terrifying menace across the galaxy, but Earth has a new weapon - the first human warp ship. Aboard the Vorpal Blade, Americaï¿¿ï¿¿ï¿¿s tough-as-nails Force Recon Marines seek the Dreen, hoping to bring the fight directly to them.

    A User says: "very good"
    "Not written for SciFi fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was very difficult to sit through. From the absolute lack of understanding of physics, to the completely lackluster encounters with alien beings (especially a particularly drawn-out yawn inducer with a giant 'crab-pus'), I have to advise that anyone expecting a solid sci-fi experience look elsewhere.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rework

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1631)
    Performance
    (648)
    Story
    (659)

    With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who's ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs who want to get out, and artists who don't want to starve anymore will all find valuable inspiration and guidance in these pages. It's time to rework work.

    Paul says: "Simple, Quick, Timely, Contrarian Advice"
    "Short and to the point"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There's a little joke in the software development community:

    Q: How many 37Signals' developers does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: F!#k You.

    I always thought that joke was a product of the snobbery that comes out of the RoR community. Now I realize that it's more about a philosophy of keeping things as simple as they need to be.
    This book will get your mind churning, and will make you want to start to de-clutter your work.
    Definitely recommended!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Looking Glass: Looking Glass Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    Overall
    (572)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (363)

    When asubatomic physics experiment causes a massive explosion, interdimensional gateways open in Florida - and aliens pour out. Some intend to bring Earth to its knees. Others seem willing to help, but will annihilate the planet if Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller can't stop the menace from spreading.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Great space opera, but a warning ..."
    "It's OK, but not very memorable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book probably appeals to fans of Michael Bay and Uwe Boll films. There's not much in terms of content or character development. Nor is there much exploration of the world that the author is trying to describe. The depiction of alien species is handled with the scientific understanding of an eighth-grader, and the story complexity follows along the same lines. If you want a world to capture your imagination, you wont find it in Looking Glass.

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Unincorporated Man

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (91)

    The Unincorporated Man is a provocative social/political/economic novel that takes place in the future, after civilization has fallen into complete economic collapse. This reborn civilization is one in which every individual is incorporated at birth and spends many years trying to attain control over his or her own life by getting a majority of his or her own shares. Life extension has made life very long indeed.

    Rachelle says: "Hmm"
    "Good, albeit predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you can make your way through the initial implausibility of the main character's ability to adapt to his new environs, and how he matter-of-factly handles his situation, then you are in for a compelling sci-fi/social commentary.
    It's definitely not the greatest audiobook I've listened to in this category, but it's not bad, either. If you're familiar with the works of Robert J. Sawyer, you would feel right at home here. Dani and Eytan Kollin bring out that same kind of sci-fi folksiness as Sawyer does, which is good if you're not in the mood to have your mind totally blown but still want a compelling story.
    When I read or listen to books about the future, I pay special attention to the uses and abuses of technology, and how probable the author's vision is in comparison with current technologies and trends. I would say that this book does a good job describing a nonotech-dominant future in great detail.
    The human side of the story is unfortunately lacking in originality, but that shouldn't dissuade you from giving it a listen. Most sci-fi stories are inept at character development anyway ;)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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