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John

I'm64 years old and a retired design engineer. Rreading audio books since 1954...59 years. Strong interests are music and sf/fantasy, all of which I create myself and enjoy from others.

Sarasota, FL, United States | Member Since 2004

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 656 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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  • Among Others

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (772)
    Performance
    (666)
    Story
    (668)

    Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

    Eoin says: "Subtle Character Piece"
    "Utterly wonderful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, but it would have to be only to certain friends. I'm not sure it is a book everyone would love as much as I did.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The reader took my breath away. She not only read the book as if she understood every word almost as if she had written it herself, but as if she understood every one of the many books this story mentions and precis's in its very illucatable way.


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

    I have never heard any other books read by this reader. I have been listening to talking books since 1954, and if it means anything... which it most certainly does... I will be reading every other thing she has ever done. Soon.


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

    If I could, I would listen to every book all in one sitting. However, as always, I started and just read on every second I could spare for it. Seldom do I look forward to getting back to a book as much as I did this one.


    Any additional comments?

    I recently read a book by Orson Scott Card. (Earth Aware). At the end he metnions his favorite authors and that he loves reading audible books. His notes sounded as if I had written them myself. I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy, the bigger, the more epoch, the more amazing ... the more I like it. The very authors he named are somehow my very favorite authors... it was uncanny to say the least. Of course, I want you to read everything he has ever written so you will appreciatat book as much as I did..and thereby, hopefully, appreciate his short wonderfully "telling" note about his favorites as well. If you are in the same realm as he and me in our love of The Lord Of The Rings... and Science Fiction/Fatasy... then you will simply love this book. It isn't big, and epoch and it didn't seem like something that would be anything other than a nice read... coming from that full depth of grand fiction and Universes that live in the pages of the best SF and Fantasy... I just didn't think it would blow me away... somehow it did.

    I wasn't quite sure all the way through just how much I really loved it... until the end. It was nothing short of one of the best passages and conclusions that I have ever read (or heard...) and remember that note about me listening to audio books since I was 5 years old (circa 1954). If you're counting and calculating... and I am now that I'm thinking about it... that is thousands and thousands of audio books. Yes, you can take it to the bank... this is a great piece of science fiction/fantasy ... The Lord Of The Rings and all the wonderful books beside notwithdatnding. The only thing I could wish for you to make this book the pleasure that it was for me... is that you could *be* me with my memories of he past 63 years of reading and listening before you start it. Too bad.... cant make that happen... but if your love of the genre and reading and of life itself is even one millionth that of mine... this book will bring you great joy. (And if OSC has somehow not yet listened to this production... which I highly doubt... he at least won't have to write a review... my bet is he would agree word for word and thought for thought with this one. I saved him some work. -Esak

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Emily Croy Barker
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    Overall
    (417)
    Performance
    (389)
    Story
    (392)

    Emily Croy Barker’s riveting debut novel is a must-read for fans of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic follows grad student Nora Fischer as she stumbles through a portal into a magical world. Having been transformed from drab to beautiful, Nora finds herself surrounded by glamorous friends. Life seems perfect. But then things take a terrible turn, and Nora must learn magic from a reclusive ally if she is to have any hope of survival...

    Amazon Customer says: "In most ways, this is just the kind of book I seek"
    "Reminiscent of Outlander, but really..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already suggested that my daughter and my sister read it. As aman who they know loves science fiction and fantasy (overmuch perhap), they are sometimes leary of my recommendations. Too much gore, too much war... too much of everything and not enough or even a tinge of love and sensitivity. Not so in this case. LIke TheOutlander (and the rest of that phenomenal series, it has just enough of everything.Outlande0500009+++++++++r08 In fact, almost too much... the love doesn't get rquited... unless in the sequel, which I am now anxiously awaiting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    distinction made between Wizardry and Magic is wonderful to the point of ringing more true than many other schema.09++0


    What about Alyssa Bresnahan’s performance did you like?

    Absoltuely perfect. Great women's voices, men's voices, little girl spirit voices and more... Unbelivably a major character in the book is also name Alyssa... but since I've only listened to the audible version, I don't know if the spelling is the same. :-)


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

    No, it was just a very, very good read... and I've been waiting for one for awhile.


    Any additional comments?

    Okay, so I will make a *man* comment. The fall back to a women's lib version of reality from the pre-70's is overlaid on top of this beautifully constructed "other" world. I did not see the need for doing that. It sort of works, but on the whole I thought that small thread in the book was alittle forced and not supported well enough by the characters or situations. Too much over-reaction and over-dramatizatioin. Still it breezes by, so I suppose it is there for a reason. However, like some of the very minimal (but noticeable) remarks about race/color... it doesn't work for me. I think weas readers of a book like this have moved past that... indeed from ourown upbringings in this country... America.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • By Grace and Banners Fallen: Prologue to A Memory of Light

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (659)
    Performance
    (597)
    Story
    (594)

    Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, fans have been anticipating the finale of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over 40 million copies in over 30 languages. The wait will soon be over. The 14th and final volume, A Memory of Light, will be available in hardcover and audiobook on January 8, 2013. However, you can read the prologue, “By Grace and Banners Fallen”, before the book’s official release date.

    Amazon Customer says: "Worth every penny (but no need for it any more)"
    "No one should buy this book... warning!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Sorry Audible (and Macmillan Audio) but no one should buy this book anymore. While it was wonderful to have this piece released early for us real Wheel Of Time enthusiasts, it no longer has any reason to exist. If I'm wrong, do not print this review... otherwise...

    This book is just the prologue to A Memory Of Light and it is truly (completely and literally) included in the 14th book in the series by that title. Anyone who buys this book and also buys A Memory of Light would (and should) feel cheated. Now that the actual book *with* this prologue is published and released, I think audible.com and Macmillan aAudio should stop selling this item. If someone does not agree with thism please by all means tell me where I'm wrong. Why wouldn't anyone just buy t complete book whicincludes this one i it?Incidentally, to sneakily add to my review of A Memory

    Of LIght... this will tell you a little about it. Most books have a plot. Usually, there is more than one theme or subplot and the book swithes cchapter by chapter or bit by bit amonst these. In A Memory Of Light there are dozens and dozens (and dozens!) of plot threads, and they are all masterfully wowen by Brandon Sanderson into a tpestry of such huge scope and brilliance... well, believe me, you will be flickering back and forth through so many cliff hanging descriptions non-stop... you will be thoroughly satisfied that everyspect of the Wheel Of Time seires was handled and concluded well The Wheel weaves where the wheel wills... and if you like fantasy and war performed at the highest state of the art, buy this book -- A Memory Of LIght that is... skip this Prologue book because you'll find it all word for word in the final release.Audible, if you feel this is not a fair thing to tell people, that is up to you, but somone at Macmillan and n your organization should put this "warning"/advisory *somewhere* fi the Prologue by itsel stays on sale. I think readers will appreciate saving the crdit or the price of this pre-release.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • A Memory of Light: Wheel of Time, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5471)
    Performance
    (4963)
    Story
    (5027)

    Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, listeners have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over 40 million copies in over 32 languages. When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork.

    Amazon Customer says: "End of one of my favorite fantasy series ever."
    "This book was worth an email to my daughter..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Robin,

    Couldn’t sleep, have to tell you about the new audible book I’m reading.

    The 14th and last Wheel Of Time is very, very good. I'm only 1/2 way through the 41 hours, but it is superb. I keep falling asleep because I’m getting so much exercise taking long walks with Dixie each day. What a great dog, and what a nice way to listen to books. But even though at home sometimes I keep dozing off, I always rewind not to miss a single word. You only do that with really good books.

    Of course, it is like any other volume in a series, in that it is horrendously, unbelievably exquisitely tied to the previous books. There is simply no way this book would be even mildly interesting and anything other than totally confusing and full of obscurity to someone who hadn't read all the others in the series first. It always amazes me that anyone might even try to read something like this out of order. That would just simply be... foolish. This is not bad for the publishing company, in fact it’s great for them. It just means smart people will make sure to start at the beginning and work their way up. As you know, I love lonnnnnnng books, and hearing about a good series is like finding a real treasure for me. That’s what Memory Of Light should be for anyone unfamiliar with the Wheel Of Time. They should just get the first book and get ready for hours and days and weeks (and probably even months) of fantastic listening.

    If anyone could ever say that Sanderson hasn't done well by Jordan for these last couple books, they would have to be very unread. It is not only as good as the originals by Jordan, himself, but infinitely better in my opinion. What a great thing to do in not leaving this giant work unfinished. Still, it is not even close to Sanderson's own work in terms of richness and depth, but then again, how could it be? He is constricted by Jordan's existing mechanisms and characters. Still he makes it an amazing look into this world.. I'm sure all the Wheel Of Time enthusiasts will love it, and well, thank God for Brandon Sanderson for doing this so well.

    As with the first 11, the amazing continuity and obvious effort of Kate Reading and Michael Kramer makes this book one of those great reads for audible listeners. I don’t think there are many other books with as many varied and truly different characterizations just in their voices alone. I’m pretty sure Robert Jordan loved their renditions and Mr. Sanderson has got to be exstatic that his additions are so faithfully rendered as well.

    Oh well, don't know why I decided to send you a book review as an email, especially when I haven’t even finished it yet, but what else are daughters for if not listening to the ramblings of their wordy old fathers.

    Yer Pa

    P.S. – Hell, I might as well clean this up a bit and put it up as an actual revue on audible. People need to know how good this book is.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Trapped: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5093)
    Performance
    (4672)
    Story
    (4699)

    After 12 years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave. Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge - but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief.

    Katherine says: "Trapped"
    "Swore I wouldn't read this... but glad I did!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book could actually stand alone, but reading it without reading the first four in the series would be, well... idiocy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Trapped?

    The binding of the apprentice druid to th earth was excellent in its detail.


    What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Daniels has an uncanny understanding of these characters and how they would sound. Better, he has the even more uncanny ability to portray them in what would probably be their true voice as heard by the author himself.


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

    I listened to it straight through with small food breaks and taking my dog for walks... It kept me completely interested and fascinated every minute.


    Any additional comments?

    I swore I wouldn't read this book bedcause in the last two of the series Mr. Hearne made some unbelievably boorish and badly thought out suggestions. These books books abound in myth and legend and current day people, places and things... all beautifully woven into a wonderful story. However, itoward the end of the last two offerings he makes suggestions that people should destory coal mining eequipment and hurt oil companies,etc., in the misguided belief that this would be a conservation of the resources of Gaya, mother earht. He couches this wrongheadedness and hurtful suggestion in the backdrop of how much druids love and honor the earth. There is no reason why we can't harvest and steward the resources of the earth in a thoughtful, efficent and even loving way. It is incredible to me that a n obvious geniuslike Mr. Hearne does not see that the earth is an apple and we are the seeds. We are meant to consume all that the world has to offer us as food... that we may grow as a gtree ito the Universe and beyond. The myth and construct of Igradisl is not a small planetary theme, but a depiction of all life across time and space. It spans the Universes and gives us a plan for all eternity. That is why it is the myth of such epoch proportions th it i

    It is a shme that Mr. Herane fell into the dating of some of his works b with the small thinking of some of today's partisan politic talking points... when on the whole his work is ageless and timeless. He lends an insight into many of the world's pantehons of gods and goddesses, while bringing some funny and meaningful commentary on the world of today. Sadly, by making suggestions that people destory doal ocompany equipment and hurt the work of others... he falls far short of the mark he normally achieves for his literature. Thakfully, this last book, Trapped, was either better eidted or better thought out by himself so tat there was only one offensive (and actually despicalbloe) sentence in the whole book. In it, he suggests, that something heinous be done to her father and his oil company..." This is so sad. The outragethat was committed upon the 20 children of Newtown, CT a few weeks ago was called "heinous". It is our culture that created and allowed that act of evil... It is time that authors as good as Kevin Hearne think very clearly about what they suggest people should do in their books. Goadings of the nature suggesting heinous things be done to people or their work.... not good. Yes, druids love , honor and respect the earth as we all should. Make your political points in a more conscious way that does not add to the sickness of our already stressed to the limit world.

    Thank you for this book. It refers to so many disparate and yet coherently juxtaposed deas and things and entities... al ith great wit and real charm. I will now read all future offerings from you and await each with great anticipation.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Greg Gutfeld
    • Narrated By Steve Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (253)

    Greg Gutfeld hates artificial tolerance. At the root of every single major political conflict is the annoying coddling Americans must endure of these harebrained liberal hypocrisies. In fact, most of the time liberals use the mantle of tolerance as a guise for their pathetic intolerance. And what we really need is smart intolerance, or as Gutfeld reminds us, what we used to call common sense. The Joy of Hate tackles this conundrum head on- - replacing the idiocy of open-mindness with a shrewd judgmentalism that rejects stupid ideas, notions, and people.

    Jerry says: "Indisputable."
    "Finally, a book that speaks truth to the Powerati."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Joy of Hate to be better than the print version?

    Audio books are almost always better than the print version...


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    It is great hearing someone unafraid to dispell commonly accepted twaddle.


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

    I am amazed that Steve Kramer could read this book almost as if he understood Mr. Gutfeld from the inside of his brain. The author read his own intro and I believe I liked his own reading a little more than Mr. Kramer's. However, the two were virutually identical in putting across both the insight and the humor. t's clear that is a difficult thing to do.


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

    As a film? Where would you find an acid head from the 60's who has managed to maintain his faculties and not reacted to the Kool Aid... other than me that iis. I'll star as a Greg just about 15 years older. It would give him gravityas. :-)


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book. Greg coins the word Tolerati. If you read this book, you will become one of the Powerati... after they are all overthrown that is. I can not wait for his next one.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • On Intelligence

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee
    • Narrated By Jeff Hawkins, Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1457)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (356)

    Jeff Hawkins, the man who created the PalmPilot, Treo smart phone, and other handheld devices, has reshaped our relationship to computers. Now he stands ready to revolutionize both neuroscience and computing in one stroke, with a new understanding of intelligence itself.

    James says: "Epiphany"
    "It changed my life!"
    Overall

    Often, we will jokingly say one thing or another "changed our life". Sometimes we say it with real meaning attached when an event or experience actually does impact us profoundly. This is one of those cases. I wouldn't presume to scientifically review this book. I don't have any background or foundation for doing that. I can, however, tell you, that like Dr. Hawkins (and I'm just going to assume he has that title... and if not... watch as the best Universities start clamouring to award him that honorarium, and adjunct him to their faculties), I have always had an abiding interest in how the brain works. However, nothing ever illuminated how it actually functions. Not until now. This book starts out with a clear intention to explain this core mystery... and delivers on the promise. It's not so much a mystery any more.

    On Intelligence describes the indescribable in ways that any reader can relate to immediately. Dr. Hawkins provides analogies and constructs for his ideas that will give you one aha! moment after another. He describes unseeable processes in ways that will make you feel he has experienced the same things you have. You will find yourself mentally agreeing with him over and over, saying to yourself "That's right... that's right..." in much the same way you find yourself laughing when Bill Cosby tells a joke. His approach and examples are simply so universal, one can't help but see his points clearly. What I'm finding best about this, though, is not the fact that I understood them, but that I immediately internalized them and started using these new found concepts to my advantage.

    I wasn't joking, this book has changed my life. It is unfortunate, but during the past five years (and 7 massive eye surgeries) I have essentially lost my sight completely. There are ideas in this book which make me believe for the first time that my brain may actually be able to decode the calamitous light perception with which I've been left. Read this book!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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