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Jim

Lake Forest, CA, United States | Member Since 2006

ratings
187
REVIEWS
15
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
78

  • A Calculated Life

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Anne Charnock
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (85)

    Big business is booming and state institutions are thriving thanks to advances in genetic engineering, which have produced a compliant population free from addictions. Violent crime is now a rarity. Mayhew McCline, a major corporation that analyzes global trends, has hired a genius: Jayna. A brilliant mathematical modeler, she has the ability to produce accurate predictions that are both good for the world and good for the bottom line. Her latest coup: finding a link between northeasterly winds and violent crime.

    Loretta Franklin says: "Very nice book"
    "Confusion leading to Unsatisfaction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Confusion, leading to hope then to unsatisfaction (I know it’s not a word, but it should be in the case of this book). I wasn’t dissatisfied, I was unsatisfied. I liked the premise and I wanted to like the book but there were several things that got in my way.
    First, it was really confusing in the beginning. I thought at first I had started with part 2, but realized there was only one part to the book.
    Secondly, the narrator’s British accent made it really difficult for me to understand what she was saying. I eventually did work through that and came to like her narration by the end of the book.
    My third frustration was the ending. I’m not going to spoil it, actually you can’t spoil something that didn’t really happened anyway. I’ve never been a big fan of books and movies that sort of leave it up to the reader to come up with their own ending. Why would an author invest all that time to develop the characters and leave their fate up to a reader. Thus, the unsatisfaction.
    All in all, this book wasn’t worth the considerable effort I put in to listening to it. There is the seed of a great story here, but unfortunately that seed never sprouted and took root.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Gate: Mithermages, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4531)
    Performance
    (3317)
    Story
    (3339)

    Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different - and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an "outself"....

    joshua says: "Card doing what he does best."
    "Really Good Story... Narration by a relative - not"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another interesting and compelling story from Orson Scott Card. I marvel at his ability to continually come up with fresh stories year after year. The listener might feel a little lost or confused early on and feel the need to go back and listen again to see if you missed something. Avoid the temptation to do that. All the pieces will come together as you listen further. The only real complaint I have about the book, (and it only applies to those of us listening to the audio version) was the female narration. Her name is Emily Janice Card and unless it's an amazing coincidence, she's probably related to the author. Sadly, her narration was not very good. Her inflections and tones felt forced and amateurish. Stefen Rudnicki was outstanding as usual. His voice seems to carry you deeper into the story whereas Emily Janice Card's voice was almost always an obstacle I had to consciously ignore in order to stay involved in the story. I will have to say though, she did a much better job in the sequel, Ruins. It still was far from great, but it was much better than this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tandia

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1163)
    Performance
    (627)
    Story
    (626)

    Tandia is a child of all Africa: half Indian, half African, beautiful and intelligent, she is only sixteen when she is first brutalized by the police. Her fear of the white man leads her to join the black resistance movement. With her in the fight for justice is the one white man Tandia can trust, the welterweight champion of the world, Peekay. Now he must fight their common enemy in order to save both their lives.

    Thomas Andrews says: "Thanks for this wonderful collaboration"
    "Read this review to avoid a SPOILER for this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For some unknown reason, Bryce Courtenay himself does an introduction to this book in the audible version and in the process he reveals things that will happen that I don't want to know about. I would rather discover the story as the author has written it, and you would think the author of the book would want you to do that as well. I'm only about 3 hours into the book so far, but I find myself thinking about this "thing" I know will happen sometime later in this book when I would rather have it unfold within the story line naturally. Yes, I'm one of those people who don't want to know anything about a book or movie before I see it. So, if you don't like spoilers either, FAST FORWARD the first 2:15 of the book to skip over Bryce Courtenay's introduction. By the way, I checked the print version just to see if he did the same introduction there, and he didn't. This is only done for the audio book and for me it was a real bummer... If you're dying to hear what he said, just wait until you finish the book, and then listen to the introduction. What he says, works much better as an afterward than a forward.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2069)
    Performance
    (1388)
    Story
    (1408)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Owl says: "Timely, beautiful, terrible and haunting"
    "Don't let the good reviews fool you!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're forgetful, or you need to be told things over and over again before you get it, you might enjoy this book.
    If you need to know every little detail, no matter how unimportant to the plot it might be, you might enjoy this book.
    If you need to practice being patient while someone rambles on and on without moving the story forward, you might enjoy this book.
    If you need to practice being patient while someone rambles on and on without moving the story forward, you might enjoy this book.
    If you were amused by the way I repeated that last sentence, you will probably enjoy this book.
    If you discount the bad reviews of this book and buy it anyway, you'll probably regret it, just as I regret it.

    I have come to the conclusion that 75% of these reviews must have been written by friends & family of the author. The other 25% were from normal people who found this book to be incredibly bad. Actually, more like painfully, incredibly bad.
    After trying twice before to listen to this book, I fell for one of the reviews that said "Hang in there, this story pulls you in." NOT! On my third attempt, I hung in for almost 6 hours before throwing in the towel for the final time. I knew it was time to quit when I started yelling at my mp3 player to hurry up and get on with it as I was hurling it out my car window on the 5 freeway. (my apologies to the driver of the silver Honda Accord)
    I have been an Audible.com subscriber for more than 6 years and average 2-3 books per month, and I have to say, this is the worst book I have ever listened to. I even thought the narrator was awful, but in her defense, she didn't have much to work with.

    What I don't understand is why there are 3 or 4 good reviews for every bad review? I can't believe the people who gave this book 5 stars were listening to the same book. Before I bought it, I went through the first couple of pages of reviews and they all seemed to be positive. I see now, I should have kept going. For me, this book is just a wasted credit. If you're reading this review, and it is mingled in with a bunch of positive 5 star reviews, trust me, this one is the voice of reason. There is one review that says, "Don't let the bad reviews stop you!", well, I say, "Don't let the good reviews fool you!"

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Wise Man's Fear: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9875)
    Performance
    (8189)
    Story
    (8262)

    "My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep...."

    Geoff says: "I dig it."
    "Can't Wait For The Final Book..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So far, the best fantasy book I've ever read. The narrator was outstanding, and the story was gripping. The first book in the series was also a great read. I am waiting for the 3rd and final book in the series to be released, and will drop whatever I am reading at the time when it does come out. Do yourself a favor and get this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11373)
    Performance
    (9842)
    Story
    (9814)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "Wow! I needed to read this book. So do you!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you thought Steve Jobs was this really cool guy and a great leader/motivator, you might be surprised, (like I was). If you thought he was a cold-hearted jerk who always had to have his way, you might not be as surprised.
    Walter Isaacson does a surprisingly great job writing this book, and presenting a total picture of who Steve Jobs really was. When, at the very beginning of the book, he says Jobs asked him to write this biography, red flags went up for me as I then expected it to be some white-washed, sanitized version that Jobs would approve before allowing it to be published. Not so. I was impressed with Jobs, that he didn't put any restrictions on the author as he gave him pretty much full access.

    Also, as a "raised on Windows" computer guy who has to work on Macs at my job every day, I finally get it. I now understand my love/hate relationship with Apple, Macs, my iPhone, and iTunes now that I sort of understand Jobs. It doesn't really lower my frustration level but at least I know why all things Apple have a tendency to both excite and frustrate me, and I now know who's responsible.

    I also now have a better understanding of the Apple disciples and why they don't mind drinking the Apple Kool-Aid all the time. I'm in no danger of ever becoming one though.

    Re-living that period of history (I'm 5 years older than Jobs, and the same age as Woz), as the author walked us through his life was great fun. The book overall is a great read, and it doesn't matter if you loved Jobs, or hated him, or had no opinion, I guarantee you will find support for that opinion and maybe even change your opinion somewhat after reading this book. Love him, or hate him, he did change the world, and it will do you good to find out how he did it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11803)
    Performance
    (9472)
    Story
    (9585)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "Prepare To Be Whisked Away!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book! Not only is the story line great, Nick Podehl's narration is amazing. This might be the first book I have heard him read but it won't be the last. I was hooked from the beginning because of the reader, and later was glued in place because of the story. Patrick Rothfuss does a great job of introducing the reader to Kvothe's world. So many other fantasy novels overwhelm the reader, (listener in our case), with characters, powers, abilities, places, etc. until it's hard to keep track of who can do what, to whom, in which place and for how long. You know what I'm talking about.
    Rothfuss, like all great storytellers, still keeps you guessing, but feeds you satisfying tidbits along the way as he naturally reveals everything you need to know throughout the journey through Kvothe's (sounds like "Quothe's") fantasy world. I'm now two thirds of the way through the 2nd book and he's just now revealing details of some things he set up in the very beginning of this book. I have found myself thinking, "Oh yeah, that's why he did that", a lot, and I love it. So far, I have found myself often curious, and never confused, which is an excellent formula for a great book.
    Bottom Line: My 2nd favorite fantasy book ever. My first favorite fantasy book ever is actually the sequel, "The Wise Man's Fear", and I'm not even finished with it yet. Get this book, you won't regret it...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing to Lose: A Jack Reacher Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (1527)
    Performance
    (970)
    Story
    (958)

    Two lonely towns in Colorado: Hope and Despair. Between them, 12 miles of empty road. Jack Reacher never turns back. It's not in his nature. All he wants is a cup of coffee. What he gets is big trouble. So in Lee Child's electrifying new novel, Reacher - a man with no fear, no illusions, and nothing to lose - goes to war against a town that not only wants him gone, it wants him dead.

    Ed says: "Least favorite of all the Reacher novels"
    "Well, at least the title was pretty accurate"
    Overall

    This Jack Reacher, had nothing to lose. Actually, this Jack Reacher was a stranger to me. After reading all the other reviews about this book, it is very clear that we, the readers know Jack Reacher better than the author who created him. Lee Child was intellectually dishonest and unfair to his readers by giving Jack Reacher a personality transplant after 11 previous books. I have listened to every previous Reacher book in order, and I know Jack Reacher, and I tell you, this was no Jack Reacher.
    So, to Lee Child I would say, you wasted my time, and caused me to waste my money on this poor excuse for a book. Do us all a favor and kill Jack Reacher off, rather than put him through this kind of humiliation again. The Jack Reacher your readers know would prefer that, I'm sure. It's painfully obvious, that you no longer know who Jack Reacher is.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Balance of Power

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Richard North Patterson
    • Narrated By Patricia Kalember
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (31)

    President Kerry Kilcannon and his fiancie, television journalist Lara Costello, have at last decided to marry. But their wedding is followed by a massacre of innocents in a lethal burst of gunfire, challenging their marriage and his presidency in ways so shattering and indelibly personal that Kilcannon vows to eradicate gun violence and crush the most powerful lobby in Washington - the Sons of the Second Amendment (SSA).

    A. Wright says: "Same as the last book only not as good"
    "Well... Balance is probably not the best word."
    Overall

    Wow! First of all, the WORST narrator ever. Aside from the fact her voice was really hard to listen to, all the character's voices sounded alike so there were times when it was hard to keep up with a conversation because you couldn't tell which character she was reading for. Really Bad!

    Secondly, how many ways can you beat your readers over the had about the evil of guns and the gun industry. I enjoyed the previous stuff, but there is so little substance to this one, the author could have saved us all a lot of time and wrapped it up in one or two chapters. It would have saved me from the pain of having to listen to the narrator for as long as I did. I too, wish I had taken the time to read the reviews on this one. So, be warned, there's not much good about this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10191)
    Performance
    (7661)
    Story
    (7707)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "I Can't Listen To Eleven More Of These..."
    Overall

    Brandon may have saved the Wheel Of Time series, which started bogging down around book 7, and now, he needs someone to save his new series after only his first book. I expected way more from this first book. It really bothers me that an author, planning to force his readers to wade through a 12 book series, can't even tell some sort of story that has a beginning middle and end, (actually there was lots of "middle"), where you feel like something was accomplished and resolved at the end of the book. There was a time where series authors were able to do that so you could put a book down and you could say to yourself, "well, the author definately left the door open for a sequel", I felt like Brandon Sanderson was either too lazy, (here certainly is creative enough), to figure out a way to wrap up a "story within a story" to reward his readers for our efforts, and this was an effort. Or maybe he just takes us, his readers, for granted knowing we'll buy his next book, and 90% will gush about how great the book was, without admitting the obvious lack of a story... Well he did get paid for writing a book... Although I really liked some of his characters in this book and I laughed and cried as I drove through traffic listening to it, I don't have the strength or desire to wait 10 or 12 years to find out how the story ends. I just hope he doesn't decide that WOT actually needs 2 more books to wrap it up. Note to Brandon: "Don't take advantage of your readers. Give us a story with each book".

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful

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