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Jeff Xilon

Gimhae, South Korea | Member Since 2011

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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  • Fifth Business: The Deptford Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robertson Davies
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (152)

    This first novel in The Deptford Trilogy introduces Ramsay, a man who returns from World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross but who is destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide. As we hear Ramsey tell his story, we begin to realize that, from childhood, he has influenced those around him in a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious way.

    Vinity says: "Been waiting for this"
    "A Very Nice Audio Version of a Great Book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Fifth Business?

    This is a hard question for me to answer because Fifth Business may be my favorite book of all time. I have read it on numerous occasions and enjoying it as an Audiobook just added more to my ongoing and probably never ending experience with the book. It has many wonderfully developed, interesting characters chief among them being the narrator and protagonist Dunstan Ramsay. The story is king though and includes many fascinating subjects in its tapestry: stage magic, love, war, siants, pre-WWI small town Canadian life, Jungian psychology. Just great.


    Which character – as performed by Marc Vietor – was your favorite?

    Marc Vietor really does a good job with the general narration which means does a good job with our protagonist Dunstan Ramsay who is the teller of this story. I also really enjoyed his Padre Blazon.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a truly wonderful book. The only book I had to read in high school that I was thankful for. If you've never read it I can't recommend it enough. If you've read it and are wondering if it's worth listening to as an audiobook I'd say yes, yes it is.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Guardians of the West: The Malloreon, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By David Eddings
    • Narrated By Cameron Beierle
    Overall
    (817)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (457)

    Garion has slain the evil God Torak and been crowned King of Riva. The Prophecy has been fulfilled - or so it seems.

    Robert Eric Koch says: "Fantastic First Rate Fantasy"
    "A good beginning to the Second Half of the Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Guardians of the West to be better than the print version?

    It's been a long time since I've read the Guardians of the West but I think I'd say yes to this. It's an easy read and it makes for an easy listen as well. Having the various characters' dialogue come alive is quite nice. The dialogue is probably the best part of Eddings' writing so it really works well as an audio experience.


    What other book might you compare Guardians of the West to and why?

    Well let's be honest - The thing about David Eddings is that one book is pretty much like another. If you've read or listened to the Belgariad well then, here's more of the same. If you've read or listened to his Sparhawk books then here's more of the same - only more young adult than adult (not that that's a bad thing) and more side stuff going on (because the series is 5 books instead of 3).


    What about Cameron Beierle’s performance did you like?

    There comes a point in a book like this where you realize - wow there are a huge number of characters in this book and the reader is doing all of them by himself. He also does a good job of defining accents for each of the various peoples of the world. It's not perfect - in particular the voices of Belgarion and Errand often sound the same to the point of confusion - but it's not a huge problem.


    Any additional comments?

    Eddings' fantasy series are, above all else, fun. This is his second seriers with these characters and could more rightly be considered book 6 of 10 instead of 1 of 5, though you could start here if you wanted to. On problem for some could be that at this point in the story some old characters you may love have to fade into the background and some new ones step forward to take their place. I personally miss some of the old characters who are relegated to bit parts, but the new characters Eddings gives us do tend to be far more interesting than what we had in the Belgariad and add a lot in diversity to the cast.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • God Is Not Great: The Case Against Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Christopher Hitchens
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (79)

    With robust clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which Hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix. God Is Not Great marvels at the possibility of society without religion.

    Mark says: "God is not great is great"
    "Whatever Your Personal Beliefs its Worth a Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does God Is Not Great rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'd say its one of my favorites and definitely my favorite non-fiction so far.


    What did you like best about this story?

    First, Hitchen's just had a wonderful voice for talking. Listening to him present his case is quite a joy. Second, whether you agree with his positions or not it is very apparent that Mr. Hitchens attacks on religion do not stem from simply being anti-religious but are based upon solid moral ground. In many cases I think even religious folks would have to put aside any indignation they may feel at his attack and acknowledge that he has some important points that need to be addressed.


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

    No, it was not. Bu I don't think that's a bad thing. This is the sort of book I want to listen to some of and then think about before moving on to more. I didn't want to be overwhelmed by an onslaught of different arguments but take each one in turn to be considered carefully before moving on to the next.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    Overall
    (2185)
    Performance
    (1065)
    Story
    (1059)

    The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

    Bill says: "Excellent!"
    "Great Memoir, Ok Book on Writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to On Writing again? Why?

    Yes, some of it. I would probably never listen to the whole thing through again. It's the kind of book you might revisit parts of, but not feel the need to re-experience in full.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The best thing about On Writing as an Audiobook is getting to listen to Stephen King read it himself. As the book is written as a sort of talk to the reader this works fantastically. It's like having Mr. King sitting beside you telling stories about his experiences and his beliefs about writing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I found the part of the book where Mr. King discusses how he felt he had spent a lot of his career being made to feel guilty about what he wrote very inspirational. As a fan of genre fiction and someone trying to write such things myself I worry I'll look silly to some. This made me rethink those feelings.


    Any additional comments?

    I do think it is important to realize that most of this book is not really a guide to writing. It's not a complete autobiography either but it is more memoir than guide. Also, most of what Mr. King does give as writing advice is fairly standard stuff. Not that that's bad, it's standard stuff because it works. For many people having Stephen King say it right to you himself though might help it have more impact. I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the parts on writing. But, I didn't find it profound in anyway. This is not "Stephen King Teaches You How to Write". Which is fine, but folks should know that going in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5310)
    Performance
    (4954)
    Story
    (4948)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Ken says: "It's all about the codas"
    "A Book any SF TV Fan is Probably Going to Love"
    Overall
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    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Without a doubt. This was such an enjoyable book. I worried at first that it was just trying to be a silly parody, but it reached way beyond that low-hanging fruit. This is probably the most enjoyable audiobook I've listened to from Audible so far.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Redshirts?

    I don't want to give any spoilers away, but I'll say that the scene where Ensign Dahl first encounters The Box was quite good.


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

    Opinion seems to be split on the "Three Codas" that accompany the novel itself, but I think they were wonderful and beautifully finished off the experience of Redshirts. The third and final coda is actually really lovely and it is there that it really hit me just how good Whil Wheaton is as at this. In fact, I just bumped my rating of his performance from 4 to 5 stars thinking back on it.


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this audibook in one day, and that's a day I actually spent about 5 hours teaching. I've never even come close to doing that with another audiobook. They are usually what I listen to when walking, or doing house chores, or shopping or exercising. When I have longer periods to spend on a book I'll usually pull out an actual book or my kindle. Redshirts was such a joy though that I had no interest in stopping. I can't recommend it enough.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Genevieve Valentine
    • Narrated By Scott Aiello
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic. That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out, molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape.

    DJ says: "Beautiful, tragic and grotesque"
    "As any good circus: Both Beautiful and Terrifying"
    Overall
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    Story
    If you could sum up Mechanique in three words, what would they be?

    Beautiful, Sad, Memorable


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character would have to be Stenos for his complexity and strangely broken angst filled nature.


    What about Scott Aiello’s performance did you like?

    What didn't I like! It is one of the real joys of Audiobooks to hear such a great reader not simply read the words of the book but actually embody each character in a different voice. With the constant shifting POV of Mechanique I think this enhanced the experience of the story itself.


    Any additional comments?

    Mechanique is beautifully written and beautifully performed. I keep mostly to ebooks and audiobooks nowadays but this is one I'll probably purchase a physical copy to read again, glad to have come to it through this excellent audio version first.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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