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Douglas

Whittaker, MI, United States | Member Since 2001

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 94 ratings
  • 585 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • Mr. Peanut

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Adam Ross
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (28)

    David Pepin has been in love with his wife, Alice, since the moment they met in a university seminar on Alfred Hitchcock. After 13 years of marriage, he still can’t imagine a remotely happy life without her—yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she is dead, and David is both deeply distraught and the prime suspect.

    Swad says: "Not Bad"
    "No likeable characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Mr. Peanut better?

    The author's view of people and marriage is depressing and, for me, inaccurate. The book really needed a character that was reasonably likeable. I forced myself to finish it, in hopes it would improve. The end is a bit interesting, but not enough to rescue the remainder. I agree with another reviewer that a stronger editor might have helped the cohesiveness of the novel. It felt rambling at times; I found myself thinking


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was fine.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crooked Little Vein: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Warren Ellis
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (57)

    Michael McGill is a burned-out private detective who suddenly becomes enlisted by an army of presidential goons to retrieve the Constitution of the United States, but not the one we all know about. This would be the real Constitution (the one with invisible amendments), created by some of the Founding Fathers as a fall back for their great experiment.

    A User says: "Ignore the prude"
    "Not sure I get the point of this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Warren Ellis and/or Todd McLaren?

    Yes, I have read good things about Gun Machine and will give it a try. But, if it is equally bad, I won't try any others.


    What was most disappointing about Warren Ellis’s story?

    There did not seem to be much point to the story other than a series of descriptions of intended-to-shock sexual practices. I don't know which are intended to be truthful, and therefore legitimate food for thoughts, and which are intended to be so outrageous as to be shocking within the story. But, a bigger issue is the factual errors. I don't know the facts on much of what he describes, but when he describes accessing an office building by cutting through the floor of a room from the room below, using a kitchen knife, I had to laugh. This is so utterly ridiculous that it makes me question absolutely everything else about the book.

    In the end, I found the book a waste of time. I am not easily shocked, and like authors that attempt to shock (Richard K. Morgan for one), but this book seemed to have no point beyond trying to shock. These attempts seemed laughable.

    I saw the reference to Naked Lunch. If this is supposed to be hallucinatory, it just does not pull it off. Skip it.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It is good that the "hero" is seriously flawed, but then so is the book


    Any additional comments?

    I suggest skipping this one. If you want to feel like you are flaunting the prudes, there are plenty of other books better worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Embassytown

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By China Mieville
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (467)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (349)

    China Miéville doesn’t follow trends, he sets them. Relentlessly pushing his own boundaries as a writer—and in the process expanding the boundaries of the entire field—with Embassytown, Miéville has crafted an extraordinary novel that is not only a moving personal drama but a gripping adventure of alien contact and war. In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak....

    D says: "must hear to fully appreciate."
    "Very imaginative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Embassytown?

    The author comes up with premise that is very imaginative, and therefore thought provoking


    What about Susan Duerden’s performance did you like?

    The double voices were a nice touch


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Artifact

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Patrick Astre
    • Narrated By Patrick Cullen
    Overall
    (749)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (105)

    Deep within a heavily guarded compound of the Brookhaven National Laboratory lies the nation's most protected secret: an active alien artifact. Estimated at several millions of years old, impervious to all efforts to penetrate its secrets, the artifact taunts researchers with bursts of mysterious radiation that may be efforts at communication.

    Richard A. Bamberg says: "Mystery of the Year?"
    "Not good, and Not Science Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Artifact?

    The plot was not believable and the writing relied on cliches and exaggeration. Everything described was over the top. How many times could he say


    What could Patrick Astre have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    If you are going to promote it as science fiction, it should have some science that justifies the action. In this case, the


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Artifact?

    I would have toned down the language and the repetition.


    Any additional comments?

    The description lists it as winning an award. It appears that the award is from the publisher, so is meaningless. Audible should not list this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By S. M. Stirling
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1392)
    Performance
    (889)
    Story
    (889)

    Michael Havel was flying over Idaho en route to the holiday home of his passengers when the plane's engines inexplicably died, forcing a less than perfect landing in the wilderness. And, as Michael leads his charges to safety, he begins to realize that the engine failure was not an isolated incident.

    David says: "Misleading description...."
    "depressing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was most disappointing about S. M. Stirling’s story?

    Not my type of book, and gave up after a few hours. dwells too much on the negatives of human nature.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Supernaturalist

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Eoin Colfer
    • Narrated By Chiwetel Ejiofor
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (66)

    In the future, Cosmo Hill breaks out of an orphanage with the help of the Supernaturalists, a motley crew of kids who all have the same special ability as Cosmo: they can see supernatural Parasites, creatures that feed on the life force of humans. The Supernaturalists patrol the city at night, hunting the Parasites in hopes of saving what is left of humanity in Satellite City. Or so they think. The Supernaturalists soon find themselves caught in a web far more complicated than they imagined

    Stephen says: "lots of conflict, good pace"
    "Note that this is a kids books"
    Overall

    I did not realize this was for "grade 6 and up" when I downloaded it. It is an okay story, but some of the "science" shows that the author has no understanding of science. In good science fiction, something seemingly magical is given a plausible explanation. Here, there are some very basic physics laws that are not respected. The racing scene is one example. If books like this win awards, it is no wonder that the average level of understanding of basic science among children and adults is so poor. The story line could have been maintained without these flaws.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Windup Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3600)
    Performance
    (1981)
    Story
    (1993)

    Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

    Marius says: "Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner."
    "loved it"
    Overall

    Creates a complete future world that was thought provoking.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Spook Country

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (598)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (146)

    Bobby Chombo is a "producer" and an enigma. In his day job, Bobby is a troubleshooter for manufacturers of military navigation equipment. He refuses to sleep in the same place twice. He meets no one. Hollis Henry, an investigative journalist, has been told to find him.

    wendy says: "Loved it"
    "Very enjoyable listen"
    Overall

    I write very few reviews, but felt compelled to do so on this book. I really enjoy Gibson's writing, even if this work is not as "out there" as some of his earlier cyberpunk.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteen

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1097)
    Performance
    (428)
    Story
    (431)

    Marsalis is one of a new breed...literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, Thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public branded the supersoldiers dangerous mutants, dooming the Thirteens to forced exile on Earth's distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip back.

    L. says: "WOW, Morgan Does it again!"
    "I agree with Rusty"
    Overall

    I agree with Rusty. If you like the other books by this author, you will like this one too. His characters are complex mixtures of good and bad.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Next

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1572)
    Performance
    (328)
    Story
    (339)

    Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems, and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn. Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.

    Ronald says: "interesting topic - dull, boring, confusing book"
    "Crighton is slipping"
    Overall

    I have been a fan of Crighton in the past, but Next and State of Fear have both been very disappointing. In both books he seems more interested in preaching his opinions than story telling. Also, his opinions are highly questionable. I don't have enough personal knowledge on some topics he opines on to judge his credibility. But, in Next, and especially in the authors note at the end, he shows his ignorance and lack of judgement. He touches on a couple topics I am very familiar with, including the Bayh-Dole law, which he strongly argues should be repealed. There have been a number of intensive studies of this law and, while it is not perfect, overall it has paid enormous dividends. His criticism are based on a limited understanding and is essentially a knee jerk reaction. This makes me question his conclusions and opinions on areas where I don't have personal knowledge. Read or listen to this one only with a big grain of salt!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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