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Allan

Los Angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • Danse Macabre

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (89)

    The author whose boundless imagination and storytelling powers have redefined the horror genre, from 1974’s Carrie to his new epic Under the Dome, reflects on the very nature of terror—what scares us and why—in films (both cheesy and choice), television and radio, and, of course, the horror novel, past and present.

    Flavius says: "Too Much Information"
    "very wordy but never stops being fun"
    Overall

    There is one instance of the word "zestful" in this book. Steve, you liar! You swore in "on writing" that you had been innoculated against the use of this word due to a bad science fiction book. WTF.
    However, despite this injustice, this is a consistently fun and thought provoking meander through the ideas of horror and what frightens. Also there is a great new and very welcome introduction, in which King, now many years later, briefly talks about modern horror movies. This book contains some great ideas about the genre and is a good listen for those who enjoy time spent there.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Allure of Independent Films: An Idiosyncratic Look at Indie Films, Directors and Genres

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Larry Christopher
    • Narrated By Jessie Goodwin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Independent films are becoming ever more popular, as many movie fans tire of mainstream movie formulas such as sequels, comic book characters, explosions, car chases, romantic comedies and the like. This book explores the world of indie, low-budget and other less mainstream movies. It includes reviews of specific movies, explorations of notable actors and directors as well as essays on recurring themes and genres found in independent films.

    Allan says: "Good, but short and full of recording errors"
    "Good, but short and full of recording errors"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Interesting survey of some independent film directors and films. Worth the low price. Reminded me about a lot of films I'd forgotten about. Enjoyed it as a survey although not super in-depth. And, the recording is full of errors. Every few minutes there is a hard cut in the middle of a word as though this was spliced together out of tape by an amateur, and it seems like there are words or sentences cut out. I don't know how this got past QC.


    What about Jessie Goodwin’s performance did you like?

    The performance is perfectly listenable, although marred by the jarring recording/edit errors.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Directors: Take Three

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Robert J. Emery
    • Narrated By Steven Menasche
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The Directors, Take Three offers dozens of masterful insights on the craft of directing from such renowned filmmakers as Robert Altman, Wes Craven, Alan Parker, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg, and Barry Levinson. Here are details of their experiences making a variety of classic films from Nashville to Nightmare on Elm Street, Rain Man to Raging Bull, and Pee Wee's Big Adventure to Schindler's List.

    Allan says: "Good book, terrible narration"
    "Good book, terrible narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The performance should have been more conversational. It's robotic and patronizing while reading text that is very conversational. English is my first language. I don't need someone to read conversational text this carefully, over enunciating every speck of it. You're not defusing a bomb. Just read it.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Maybe this style of narration works for some people, but it almost wrecked the book for me. The performance is so robotic and over-enunciated that it comes off as patronizing and almost sarcastic. I almost stopped several times because I couldn't stand the performance. It was probably directed this way, which makes me wonder, does the director of this recording ever actually listen to people talk? Can he stand listening to this, and expect listeners to take numerous hours of this over-exaggerated insanity? Was this done on purpose?


    Any additional comments?

    Once I was sufficiently numbed to the performance and resigned to finish the book, the stories in it are actually quite good, and well worth it for those interested in directing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    Overall
    (1376)
    Performance
    (450)
    Story
    (450)

    In lower Manhattan, a charnel pit of horror is uncovered: the remains of 36 people murdered and gruesomely dismembered over 130 years ago by an unknown serial killer. Just as a museum archaeologist and an enigmatic FBI agent begin to unravel the clues to the killings, a fresh spree of copy-cat murders and surgical mutilation erupts around them. Mixing science and terror in a way only they can, Preston and Child deliver a novel that's as gruesome as it is enthralling.

    Dianna says: "This Book is a True Curiosity!!"
    "starts out great and then flops"
    Overall

    This book has a fantastic, creepy-as-hell premise and the first half is great fun.... a hole full of corpses in New York, under the site of an ancient natural history museum, and here appears our friend Special Agent Pendergast of the FBI apparently gone rogue with interest in these ghastly things because of gigantic, hidden implications... nothing but fun and intrigue so far... But then in my opinion it shifts away from a great, creepy finale towards something slightly more convoluted, in a couple of twists that didn't seem necessary to me. Without spoilers I feel that the authors here asked you to accept a pretty large conceit about the antagonist that, in itself, could be the stuff of horror stories, but then they just nonchalantly shift away from this idea without bothering to explain much about it, or "go there" so to speak and move on to some other convoluted twists for some reason, as if they were afraid their original idea wasn't enough. If this was a movie it would just need one rewrite to be fantastic....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gideon's Sword

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1043)
    Performance
    (634)
    Story
    (633)

    At 12, Gideon Crew witnessed his father, a world-class mathematician, accused of treason and gunned down. At 24, summoned to his dying mother's bedside, Gideon learned the truth: His father was framed and deliberately slaughtered. With her last breath, she begged her son to avenge him. Now, with a new purpose in his life, Gideon crafts a one-time mission of vengeance, aimed at the perpetrator of his father's destruction. His plan is meticulous, spectacular, and successful.But from the shadows, someone is watching. A very powerful someone, who is impressed by Gideon's special skills.

    k. says: "Pendergast fans beware"
    "One of their best books"
    Overall

    I have read about 7 novels by Preston and Child, and I have to vehemently disagree with some of the negative reviews I have read of this book. While some reviewers have said "this feels like a movie" in a pejorative way, to me that is a strong point. It feels like a movie: the characters are very clear, they are well developed in lean, crisp strokes, the pace is fast, and the action strong. The story does a great job developing the characters through action, while pushing the story forward without slowing down much. A couple of characters from past books pop up here, and make brief reference to past events, and these said characters have matured and evolved just as you'd expect them to (referring to Eli Glinn and his buddy Garza from "Ice Limit." Having just read that one as well I was expecting Glinn to exert more control in this one). The set pieces are interesting and just like all of their stories, Gideon's Sword does have a some intriguing ideas in it. The protagonist is much more well developed than some of the previous ones I read in other books and the bad guy is fun. Gideon is a great character and it would be fun to see him in another story. As I stated at the beginning of this review, this is my 7th book by these guys and what it feels like is that the things they were doing in earlier books have sort of crystallized in this one, in a story that moves fast and gets better as it goes, and makes some of the earlier ones look like practice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hearts in Atlantis

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King, William Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (972)
    Performance
    (438)
    Story
    (442)

    All the stories in this collection from Stephen King are related to the Vietnam War. King fans will recognize echoes of The Dark Tower series in the collection's first story, "Low Men in Yellow Coats." As the characters develop over the next four stories, King's version of the Vietnam War becomes one of his most frightening tales ever.

    Steve says: "Touching, Funny - Amazingly well written and read."
    "among the best of King"
    Overall

    This is among the best Stephen King books, in my opinion. A fairly sublime blend of magic and melancholy, its an exploration of the 1960s through several intertwining stories with a sort of lyrical sci-fi touch that doesn't disrupt its seriousness (it lightly brushes against the Dark Tower series). Theres a sort of nostalgia and pathos here that you'll remember long afterwards. The movie only covers about 20 % of this. HIGHLY recommend. Not horror, FYI.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Riptide

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1728)
    Performance
    (1038)
    Story
    (1034)

    A centuries-old, cursed pirate's treasure, valued at over $2 billion, lies deep within the treacherous waters off the coast of Maine. Men who have attempted to unearth the fortune have suffered gruesome deaths. Will a high-tech expedition meet the same fate?

    Allan says: "very cinematic. high tech meets pirate treasure."
    "very cinematic. high tech meets pirate treasure."
    Overall

    This novel is centered around a real mystery in Nova Scotia called the Money Pit. The authors have done a great job fictionalizing this real phenom and asking what if some zillionaire with all the most high tech toys and dream-team crew attacked the problem. And then, what might the most awesome truth underneath the treasure actually be, in the most cinematic of circumstances. Well played, I say. My only complaint is that the inevitable "turning evil" of certain people is a touch too predictable, sudden, and extreme. But the thought they have put into the above issues is thrilling in its thoroughness and sophistication. Nice job.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Broom of the System: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Foster Wallace
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (70)

    At the center of The Broom of the System is the betwitching (and also bewildered) heroine, Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman. The year is 1990 and the place is a slightly altered Cleveland, Ohio, which sits on the edge of a suburban wasteland-the Great Ohio Desert. Lenore works as a switchboard attendant at a publishing firm, and in addition to her mind-numbing job, she has a few other problems. Her great-grandmother, a one-time student of Wittgenstein, has disappeared with twenty-five other inmates of the Shaker Heights Nursing Home.

    Darwin8u says: "Evidence I WASTED my College years."
    "what just happened"
    Overall

    This is one of the few audiobooks that had me laughing out loud again and again, yet if I had to explain the story as a narrative and the ultimate meaning of it, I would feel like I was wrong in some way. The relentlessly articulate language is refreshing and enjoyable much of the time but it took some time for me to figure out the essence of the story. The characters are in some ways extremely sad but often hilarious, and again, relentlessly articulate. The book seems saturated with social commentary, some of which is hilarious and some of which is somewhat biting and perhaps melancholy. The setting seems to be a parallel present day in an Ohio of an alternate universe. I highly reccomend this.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Duma Key: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4948)
    Performance
    (1654)
    Story
    (1643)

    A terrible accident takes Edgar Freemantle's right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. When his marriage suddenly ends, Edgar begins to wish he hadn't survived his injuries. He wants out. His psychologist suggests a new life distant from the Twin Cities, along with something else.

    Amazon Customer says: "Play the Book and Let the Book Play You"
    "you need some wet, rotting corpses in your life"
    Overall

    Stephen King has a fascinating obsession with the creation of artwork that I have always enjoyed. This story has an intriguing basic premise- a man using artwork to help recover from a debilitating traumatic accident- in a location that may be haunted. If you are a fan of King you can well imagine how these three elements can combine to create some good spooks. This is the new King- there are subtleties and refinements here as opposed to his earlier work- but he also brings to this story a very brutal look at the painful recovery from real physical trauma and the damage that it can do to human relationships. But he does still have some fun with this one and a few soggy corpses pop up here and there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Full Dark, No Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson, Jessica Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2265)
    Performance
    (1020)
    Story
    (1017)

    "I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922", the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

    Parusski says: "Eerie, honest, frightening!"
    "King still has his muscles"
    Overall

    This was a thrill because it has a fresh hard edge to it that I wasn't expecting. There are some callbacks to other King speckled through here but he tries some interesting twists and turns and it is dark and new. A nice refreshing punch in the face. A+ "and he wished for more"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Anthony Bourdain
    • Narrated By Anthony Bourdain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1774)
    Performance
    (1030)
    Story
    (1009)

    In the 10 years since his classic Kitchen Confidential first alerted us to the idiosyncrasies and lurking perils of eating out, much has changed for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, tracking Bourdain's strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, and even to fatherhood. Bourdain takes no prisoners as he dissects what he's seen.

    Andy says: "entertaining but not as good as kitchen conf."
    "fantastic entertainment"
    Overall

    Anthony Bourdain observes and reports with an edgy wit peppered with just the right blend of erudition and four-letter words. There is not a boring moment in this and you'll easily listen to it twice. It does meander slightly and its hard to discern an overall theme- but you'll be so hypnotized by the stream of ideas and wit that you won't notice this.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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