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James

North Hollywood, CA, United States | Member Since 2006

85
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 62 ratings
  • 613 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Man in the High Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (504)
    Performance
    (318)
    Story
    (324)

    It's America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. It's all because, some 20 years earlier, the United States lost a war - and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan.

    Julie W. Capell says: "Meta before meta was cool"
    "Great Book but the worst Narration on Audible!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I’ve tried to finish this book four or five times and never made it. Tom Weiner’s narration makes this book unlistenable; his attempts at accents set the standard for bad narration!!!

    The story is one of PKD’s classics. I’m going to buy the paperback so I can enjoy the story and find out how it ends.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • A Hunger for the Infinite: A Galactic Center Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 46 mins)
    • By Gregory Benford
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    Overall
    (481)
    Performance
    (418)
    Story
    (418)

    A Hunger for the Infinite, which first appeared in Robert Silverberg's Far Horizons anthology, is a novella that takes place in the universe of "The Galactic Center Saga", detailing a galactic war between mechanical and biological life. Here, the pilots had made it to True Center in order to destroy something, anything, important to the Mechs, but Paris had something else on his mind. A story of the Mantis, and the decline of humans beginning in 3600 AD.

    Michale says: "Haunting"
    "Definitely worth downloading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This free 1 ½ hour novella will allow you to decide if the Galactic Center Series is worth perusing.

    Personally I will not be getting any more books in this series but this is a case where you shouldn’t be relying on reviews.

    Go ahead and download it. If you do not like it you are out no money and only a little time.
    However
    If you do like it you not only received a free novella, you now know of a series of six books that are probably your cup of tea.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Island of Doctor Moreau

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By H.G. Wells
    • Narrated By Alan Munro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    A shipwrecked man rescued by a passing boat is left on the island home of Doctor Moreau, who creates sentient beings from animals via vivisection. The novel deals with a number of philosophical themes, including pain and cruelty, moral responsibility, human identity, and human interference with nature. H.G. Wells at his best.

    James says: "Perhaps one of the best bargains on Audible"
    "Perhaps one of the best bargains on Audible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    5 ½ hours of a H.G. Wells classic for $1.95!!!

    The story is told by the nephew of the gentleman scientist that was stranded on the island from his journal years after his death.

    The book became famous in the late 1800’s due to the debate on vivisection and infliction pain on animals. While I agree that it is an important debate between when it is needed for science and when it is just Torture. That is not what I thought the main point of the book was. I came away asking when does something become human? Take an animal that may or may not look somewhat like a man. He can talk do a job, has hopes and dreams, maybe even fall in love and start a family. So now is he still a beast of burden or is he a slave? Some of the Dr. creations are so well done it is not easy to tell by looking and talking the them and some have very little humanity. If you were to give rights the high functioning ones at what point do you take it away when they revert to animals?

    The book is written and narrated in proper English of the turn of the century. I enjoyed the way it read. One of the differences between then and now is where we would say – I said “open the door” the book would say - “open the door” said I.

    The narrator did a perfect voice of the the gentleman scientist. Which was 80-90% of the book. The voices for the Dr. and his assistant were ok.

    Since it is less than $2 do not use a credit. Pay for it and use your credits on $20 books…

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Roger Ma
    • Narrated By Kris Koscheski
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Statistics reveal that during a zombie outbreak, most individuals will have to destroy their undead opponent without the aid of a firearm. To prepare you for the inevitability of hand-to-hand combat with the living dead, The Zombie Combat Manual demonstrates how anyone, from the seasoned fighter to the untrained citizen, can become an effective warrior against the undead.

    James says: "Takeoff (rip off?) of The Zombie Survival Guide"
    "Takeoff (rip off?) of The Zombie Survival Guide"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This had the feel of Max Brooks The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. So much so you could say that Roger Ma ripped off Max Brooks. I am sure Roger feels different since his books deals only with hand to hand and close quarters combat against Zombies and Max Brooks advises against hand to hand Zombie combat. Roger states in the beginning of the book that there is no need to go over tactics using guns since so much is already written about it.

    Personally I would disagree with much of the tactics that are recommended but for the most part the book kept my attention. Which is the reason to read it…. The one thing Ma brought up repeatedly was the smell. This one fact is almost always over looked, putrid, rotting meat stinks!

    You can go on the books website and download a 30 page PDF of diagrams showing how to dispatch a Zombie with an ice pick, ax, knife, sidewalk scraper and other items recommended in the book. About half of the sketches were interesting and the rest were a waste. No need to show pictures of a baseball bat or frying pan.

    If you are thinking – Zombies are not real. Why read a book on how to fight them. Then this book is not for you.

    If you are preparing for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse. Well if you really are, you have issues and should be working on getting better.

    So who would I recommend this book to? Perhaps no one?? Sadly I do not think this book is high on the list of must read Zombie books. Frankly there are many better ones, The Zombie Survival Guide for starters. If you are a Zombie fanatic that must read every one that comes out; you’ve already downloaded the book and are not reading this review.

    Kris Koscheski did an excellent job of narrating. It is not easy making what is basically a how to book fun to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Zombies: The Recent Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Max Brooks, Brian Keene, and others
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, L J Ganser, Josh Hurley, and others
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (121)

    You can't kill the dead! Like any good monster, the zombie has proven to be ever-evolving, monumentally mutable, and open to seemingly endless imaginative interpretations: the thralls of voodoo sorcerers, George Romero's living dead, societal symbols, dancing thrillers, viral victims, reanimated ramblers, video-gaming targets, post-apocalyptic permutations, shuffling sidekicks, literary mash-ups, the comedic, and, yes, even the romantic.

    Amazon Customer says: "Multiple zombie genres - weak storytelling"
    "Not your typical Zombies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first story is about everyone having to take massive amounts of drugs to keep the zombies from attaching you. The harder the drug the better, meth is better than pot. Tommy Lee and Ozzy Osborn are the President of the US. While the idea for the story may have sounded good in between bong hits the author was unable to pull it off. It is not that I am against drugs or I have it in for Ozzy, (Black Sabbath is my favorite band) it’s that the story was boring and made no sense.

    The sad part is the stories get worst as the book goes on. At least the first story was about “zombies”. Many of the stories I do not even consider to be zombie stories. If you like stories about Zombies dating each other, how it is hard being a teenage zombie, falling in love with and having sex with a high school Zombie girl, then this may be a book for you. If it wasn’t for the hard “R” sex parts I would say this would be a good book for teens.

    Even a World War Z story by Max Brookes couldn’t save this book.

    The narrators read the stories in one voice. While not bad I am spoiled by the range of voices many narrators have.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Foundation Trilogy (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov, Maurice Denham, Prunella Scales
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Beevers, Lee Montague, Julian Glover, and others
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (232)

    The opening episode begins on Trantor, capital of the Galactic Empire, with the meeting of Seldon and Dornick, their trial, and their exile to Terminus. The action then jumps forward 50 years, to the first Seldon Crisis, where the repercussions of the recent independence of the Four Kingdoms of the Periphery are being felt on Terminus, and are handled by the first Mayor, Salvor Hardin....

    James says: "How can you go wrong with a must read book for $2"
    "How can you go wrong with a must read book for $2"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well they found a way! This is so over produced with music effects and poor control of the sound volume, the book in unlistenable.

    You get a couple of lines of dialogue then some weird loud music. It is also very hard to follow a conversation because they have one person talking so softly with a low volume and the other one set high. So if you set your volume so you can hear the lows you get blasted when the other guy talks or the music kicks in.

    Someone took this in post production and ruined it!!!!! Luckily Audible has an excellent rendition of Foundation it will cost you quite a bit more but it is worth it; just click on Isaac Asimov’s name above.

    38 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card, David Farland, Tim Pratt, and others
    • Narrated By J. Paul Boehmer, Cassandra Campbell, Emily Janice Card, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (94)

    Best-selling writer Orson Scott Card founded the online magazine Intergalactic Medicine Show in 2006. It has been a big success, drawing submissions from well-known science fiction and fantasy writers, as well as fostering some amazing new talents. This collection contains some of the best of those stories.

    Timothy says: "Varied collection, but overall enjoyable"
    "A must read for any fan of the Ender Series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Five wonderful back stories on players in Enders Game mixed in with short stories from other authors.
    The back stories give an insight on people like Bonzo Madrid, Maser Rackman and Alexandra (the girl and her mother that was on the ship with ender for 2 years) that you can’t get from Enders Game book. We also get an expanded expiation of why Ender couldn’t come back to earth.

    While I didn’t come to like Bonzo or that dominating mother I do have a better understanding of why they are the way they are.

    The rest range from 5 star enjoyable stories to items that should not have made it into this or any book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23195)
    Performance
    (14528)
    Story
    (14679)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "I’m assuming you get and love this book"
    Overall

    Now the question is what order to read the books in. The author, Orson Scott Card recommends reading in the same order he wrote them in.

    The Ender books:
    Ender's Game
    Speaker for the Dead, by far my favorite and could be read and enjoyed without reading any of the others – these next three books happen two thousand of years after all Ender and all the Bean books.
    Xenocide
    Children of the Mind


    The Bean series
    Ender's Shadow
    Shadow of the Hegemon
    Shadow Puppets
    Shadow of the Giant

    A War of Gifts – not part of Ender or Bean series story line. Christmas in Battle school where one of the children solders gives presents. If you loved the dynamics of battle school in Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow this is a good read.

    Ender in Exile – Takes place within the latter part of Ender’s Game to fill in between xxx and xxx, I don’t want to toss in a spoiler. It also encompasses all 4 Bean Shadow books.

    First Meetings: In the Enderverse – 4 short stories including the original short story Ender’s list, a couple back stories on his Parents and one more short about black mail.

    If you wanted to read by time line start with Ender’s Game then the 4 Bean Shadow books. Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide & Children of the Mind could be last. It is worth noting that they are very different form the other books; Battle School is vague memory, grown up ender is no longer the child hero.

    All the books have excellent production and are well read by a full cast.

    One more thing about Ender’s Game; the first time I listened I thought that the book was really over and the author was just filling in time for the last hour. Boy was I wrong and I ruined it for my self. It was only after I started Speaker for the Dead did I realize what Card did at the end.

    I do not believe the series is finished. Hopefully there will be another book that takes place after Children of the Mind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Worldwar: Tilting the Balance

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Harry Turtledove
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (104)

    The invaders had cut the United States virtually in half at the Mississippi, vaporized Washington, D.C., devastated much of Europe, and held large parts of the Soviet Union under their thumb. But humanity would not give up so easily....

    James says: "Easy to tell if you will like this book"
    "Easy to tell if you will like this book"
    Overall

    This is the second book in the World War series. “In the Balance” is the first and you need to read that first.

    So, if the first one gets you hooked and you understand that this has same type of non-ending; by all means go ahead and get this.

    The order of the books are.
    World War Books
    In the Balance
    Tilting the Balance
    Upsetting the Balance
    Sticking the Balance – not on Audible yet

    “Colonization series” Post War books can be read independently if you are not interested in the World War books.
    Second Contact
    Down to Earth
    Aftershocks – not on Audible yet

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • We Could Do Worse: A Millennial Collection of Alternate Histories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Larry Niven, Howard Waldrop, Harry Turtledove, and others
    • Narrated By Richard Gilliland, Yancy Butler
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    Gary says: "Mediocre"
    "We could do better"
    Overall

    I love Alternate History stories and I’m a big fan of Larry Niven and Harry Turtledove!

    Sadly this misses the mark. The stories left me not caring weather or not they could have happened. With the exception of the last story, it wouldn’t make any difference in my life if they happened or not.

    If you get this and decide not to finish listening, skip to the last story it is by far the best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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