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Allan

Los Angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

38
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 249 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • 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
    (1674)
    Performance
    (936)
    Story
    (915)

    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
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    Overall
    (1360)
    Performance
    (434)
    Story
    (435)

    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
    (983)
    Performance
    (581)
    Story
    (577)

    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
    (926)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (396)

    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
    (1649)
    Performance
    (968)
    Story
    (961)

    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
    (109)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (61)

    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
    (4758)
    Performance
    (1459)
    Story
    (1449)

    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
    (2177)
    Performance
    (936)
    Story
    (933)

    "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
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5005)
    Performance
    (2383)
    Story
    (2426)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "why isnt this a movie yet?"
    Overall

    Lots of great ideas and just enough edgy action. This book predicts many many things in the world of technology. I know you have already heard that elsewhere, so here's the meat: this is the same sort of cyberpunk genre as the matrix, and still relevant. Only complaint- some sound effects between chapters that they really ought to get rid of. This would be an awesome movie.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Howard E. Wasdin, Stephen Templin
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1633)
    Performance
    (1188)
    Story
    (1188)

    When the Navy sends their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six—a secret unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue, and counterinsurgency. In this dramatic, behind-the-scenes chronicle, Howard Wasdin takes listeners deep inside the world of Navy SEALs and Special Forces snipers, beginning with the grueling selection process of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL - the toughest and longest military training in the world.

    M. Sholund says: "Could not turn it off"
    "unique among these books"
    Overall

    This book intrigued me because it really puts you into the psychology of the sniper. Its easy to have preconceptions about jobs like that of a sniper or SEALS in general (or team 6 in particular, if you've read certain other books about it) and I found this book to be pretty enlightening as to the human side and the psychology of them. Listening to him talk about realizing the humanity of the enemy, for example, and making real choices about how to best control intensely hostile situations really gives an appreciation for the life of an operator in combat. Great book about overcoming adversity. I highly recommend this.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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