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brandon

CONCORD, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • Lord Jim

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    From his many years on the high seas as a mariner, mate, and captain, Joseph Conrad created unique works, including Heart of Darkness, that have left an indelible mark on world literature. First published in 1899, his haunting novel Lord Jim is both a riveting sea adventure and a fascinating portrait of a unique outcast from civilization.

    brandon says: "A Bit of Beauty, A lot of Gibberish"
    "A Bit of Beauty, A lot of Gibberish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Joseph Conrad and/or Steven Crossley?

    My biggest problem with Crossley's voice work, is that he uses virtually the same voice and accent for the narrator as he does for the main character, "Jim". He should have differentiated the two voices, at the very least to show the sizable age difference between the two and to help make this book a little more understandable. This along with the meandering style of Conrad makes it a very hard book to follow.


    Any additional comments?

    There are some nice descriptions of places, people and philosophies but they are brief pit stops in this jerky tail. I expected this to be an action packed story, but any action that took place quickly lost momentum due to Conrad's erratic writing style.
    Also I didn't understand the necessity of using a narrator to rehash Jim's life. There also didn't seem to be sufficient reason for the narrator to have followed Jim around on his various exploits. Often times, I found the motivations of the narrator and Jim perplexing. Whatever point Conrad was trying to make, it surely could have been made in an easier way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Collected Works of Philip K. Dick: 11 Science Fiction Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Kevin Killavey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (25)

    The Collected Works of Philip K. Dick is a collection of 11 science fiction stories by Philip K. Dick.

    cindilla says: "Good Stories...well read."
    "Not to Par with Dick's later works"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kevin Killavey?

    Killavey needs to step up his game if he is serious about a career in narration. He lacks the gravitas of someone like Tom Weiner whose narrated several of Dick's book. There were minor inconsistencies in the different voices he used. The overall audio quality was below standard as well. The audio all sounded like it had a dull reverb on it or maybe that it was a copy of a copy.


    Any additional comments?

    There were a couple of gems in this collection. Mainly the first and last of the 11 stories approached the level of some of his better known works. Hearing the collection gives you some insight as to his obsession with certain themes like space exploration and post-apocalyptic Earth. I would give recommend this collection only to die-hard Dick-heads who have already went through all his better known works.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Trial [Naxos AudioBooks]

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Franz Kafka, David Whiting (translator)
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (37)

    The Trial is one of the great works of the 20th century - an extraordinary vision of one man put on trial by an anonymous authority on an unspecified charge. Kafka evokes all the terrifying reality of his ordeal.

    Alan says: "Slow & calm"
    "A tedious and gloomy journey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Finishing this book was a struggle. I kept listening in hopes that some of the mysteries presented in the book would be resolved in an interesting way. Unfortunately, my hopes were rewarded with continued boredom. There was a lot of waiting for the punch-line but very little pay-off in the end.

    After listening to the book, I researched its origins and learned that when Kafka died the book was still incomplete. This may explain the overall poor flow of the narrative.

    There were a few standout details such as a character known only as "The Thrasher" who refuses to stop his sadistic punishments despite generous bribes. A reoccurring theme deals with the credibility of the officials, judges and lawyers who are working on the trial. The main character is gradually immersed in paranoia as he try to decide who is with him and who is against. Who is two-faced or even three-faced.

    This book could have been great if these moments of "fear and loathing" were interconnected in a coherent and timely way. Instead we are just presented with example after example of ominious but indistinct action taken towards the character. There is an interesting allegory towards the end, but overall the stories length and slow build do not justify any of the possible symbolism contained in the plot.

    If you are interested in older literature involving crime, trials, suspicion or guilt, you would be better served by listening to "Crime and Punishment" by Doestoevsky.


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

    This is my first Degas. I thought he did a good job. However, the plot was so flat and badly timed (by the writer) that I had trouble being sure just how to rate Degas's performance.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Treason

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (907)
    Performance
    (658)
    Story
    (663)

    Lanik Mueller is a "rad" - radical regenerative - a freak who can regenerate injured flesh...and trade extra body parts to the Offworld oppressors for iron. On a planet without hard metals, or the means of escape, iron offers the promise of freedom through the chance to build a spacecraft. But it is a promise which may never be fulfilled, as Lanik uncovers a treacherous conspiracy beyond his imagination.

    Barry says: "Entirely enjoyable"
    "The Mutant Prince's Epic Quest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance did you like?

    His low voice fit the part of what a strapping prince with the ability to regenerate body parts might sound like.


    Any additional comments?

    I will confess to only buying this book because it was in the bargain bin, so to speak. Years ago I had read "Ender's Game" and it was a good read but I was not impressed continually like I was with "Treason".

    "Treason" follows the story of a prince exiled because he has an "incurable" genetic deformity.
    His quest for a cure and reacceptance into his kingdom spans the planet Treason, so named, because all of the original inhabitants had been exiled from Earth, for having committed unknown atrocities. After many generations, the families of these original war criminals have developed in to individual kingdoms that all have a distinct specialty in a branch of science or communication. For example, the main character descended from many generations of geneticist, who eventually unlocked the bodies ability to regenerate limbs. This ability affords his countrymen a powerfull advantage in battle but ultimately turns into a disadvantage when he is exiled and has to face the prospect of fighting members of his own familiy.

    There are a lot of curve balls in the plot and I won't give them up. There were many times when I thought the story was going to settle in to a usual "sci-fi quest story" tragectory, when I was suprised by another twist. I wish that this book, instead of "Ender's Game" had spawned numerous sequels. There is such a variety to the themes and twists in this book that I fealt that anyone of them could have been developed in to its own book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    Overall
    (2820)
    Performance
    (1649)
    Story
    (1672)

    In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.

    Peter says: "Heinlein's Masterpiece"
    "Moon vs. Earth: The Battle for Lunar Independence"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?

    Finding out how a conscious computer might have an orgasm.


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

    He does a good job at making it seem as if the narrator is recalling one of his old war stories.


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

    I wouldn't want to do anything for 8 hours at time except sleep.


    Any additional comments?

    A great piece of hard sci-fi. In a battle for independence the Moon fights the united nations of Earth. The final outcome is obvious and hinted at throughout the book. What makes it an enjoyable listen is watching all the parts fall in to place, starting with a conspiracy by a handful of lunar colonist and eventually blooming into an all out interplanetary war.

    The book mostly takes place on the moon and in the process of watching the conspiracy unfold, we learn alot of detail about customs, taboos and personality traits that might develop in such an environment. So, in a sense it reads like a "Sociology of the Moon 101" with an action story woven through the plot to keep an exciting pace.

    Overall Heinlein presents us with a more optimistic view of space exploration then other top sci-fi writers that I enjoy, such as Philip K. Dick (for planet colonizing suspense, I highly recommend "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch"). The eventual fallout from the conflict is to the mutual benefit of both the Earth and Moon and humankind in general.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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