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Terry A. Austin

Temple, TX United States | Member Since 2000

ratings
62
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
63

  • The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1062)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (323)

    Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century, 1951, in the middle of the United States, Des Moines, Iowa, in the middle of the largest generation in American history, the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, his is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero.

    David says: "Fun, but not for squeamish"
    "Classic Bryson"
    Overall

    Bill's travels have always been a favorite of mine. This one takes us on a journey back in time to a happier, more innocent, yet just a bit more twisted - childhood in a time where our own kids would be lost without the beep-beep of electronic toys. Thank you, Bill for some wonderful memories, and some of your exceptional belly-laughs! Keep 'em coming!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cat Who Walks through Walls

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Robert Heinlein
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (755)
    Performance
    (439)
    Story
    (452)

    When a stranger attempting to deliver a cryptic message is shot dead at his dinner table, Richard Ames is thrown headfirst into danger, intrigue, and other dimensions where Lazarus Long still thrives, where Jubal Harshaw lives surrounded by beautiful women, and where a daring plot to rescue the sentient computer called Mike can change the direction of all human history.

    Christopher says: "Great book, presentation was disappointing"
    "It's a RAH!"
    Overall

    As I write this I'm amazed at this review process. I JUST moments ago clicked on 'Add to cart'. I've not yet even downloaded the audiobook files, yet I'm writing a review. Why you might ask? Simple, it's a Heinlien. For those of you who understand, that makes sense. For the rest of you, read on McDuff.

    Robert A Heinline was my introduction to science fiction, as perhaps he was yours, almost fifty years ago (I'm barely 50). RAH is the standard against which I judge all science fiction. I have read this book many times in pulp, I know what's coming as well as I know my own comfy pillow.

    My sole criterion when a new Heinlein comes out is simple - who's the narrator and can I stay awake through the narration. In all honesty, that always secondary and even a bad narrator rarely keeps me from a RAH classic. This narrator, previewed in the sample seems up to the task.

    If you're already a Heinlein fan, quit reading. My review is already approacing 1000 words and you're wasting your time. You know you will buy. If you're new to Heinlein, have I got a treat for you. Pick ANYTHING with his name on the title and settle in for the ride.

    8 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Making Money: Discworld #36

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1186)
    Performance
    (473)
    Story
    (473)

    The Ankh-Morpork Post Office is running like...well, not at all like a government office. The mail is delivered promptly. Postmaster General Moist von Lipwig, former arch-swindler and confidence man, has exceeded all expectations - including his own. So it's somewhat disconcerting when Lord Vetinari summons Moist to the palace and asks, "Tell me, Mr. Lipwig, would you like to make some real money?"

    Jason says: "Another gem."
    "Could be better, but it's still Terry"
    Overall

    There is not a single Terry Pratchett novel on Audible that I have not purchased. There are darned few that have not made very high marks in my opinion. THIS one however feels like he simply had a contract obligation to meet and 'hammered one out'.

    Don't get me wrong, there are bright moments that sing out "Terry's still got it!". However, this is far from his best.

    A book by Terry though, remains a book by Terry and as such is still, far and away my favorite book of the past few months. It did NOT however meet the expectations that I had when I first saw a new Pratchett on the shelf.

    So be it... listen if you are a fan, you know you'll be sorry if you don't - just don't expect this to be as good as some others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Cafe on the Nile: Anton Rider Trilogy, Book Two

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Bartle Bull
    • Narrated By Fred Williams
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    A nation sits at the brink of war, a city if fraught with conspiracy. It's 1935 in East Africa. In Cairo, at the Cataract Café, they gather: professional hunter Anton Rider, his estranged wife and her Italian lover, the pampered American twins Bernadette and Harriet Mills, an English lord down on his luck, a German freebooter who has stolen a fortune in silver from the Italian army. Under the knowing eye of the Goan dwarf and café proprietor Olivio Alevado, they lay plots and toast alliances.

    Terry A. Austin says: "Unable to listen"
    "Unable to listen"
    Overall

    I based my purchase of this book on reviews of the PAPER book. I should have listened to samples first (almost always do!) but I love the idea of a good adventure that was 26 hours long.

    ABSOLUTELY the worst narration I've ever encountered. Mr Bull made the first 30 minutes agony. I kept hoping it would get better but it did not.

    I took the unprecedented step of calling customer service and asking that this book be removed from my library.

    If you think you might want to listen to this I STRONGLY urge you to listen to the sample first. Proceed with caution.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Says You! Director's Cut, 1-Month Subscription

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr)
    • By Richard Sher
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Bigger and better! Says You! is now a full hour every week!

    Taped in front of live audiences around the country, Says You! is the witty word game that has captured the imagination of loyal listeners who are crossword puzzlers, trivia fans, and just plain intellectually curious.

    Get the latest issue or subscribe!

    Ellen says: "Wonderful for word lovers"
    "Insightful, amusing"
    Overall

    Think of it as tag-team Jeopardy for the thinking human. A can't fail entertaining, fun experience! If you think you might like it, by all means grab it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tyrannosaur Canyon

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    Overall
    (984)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (280)

    What fire bolt from the galactic dark shattered the Earth eons ago, and now hides in that remote cleft in the southwest U.S. known as Tyrannosaur Canyon?

    Peggy says: "A pleasure to listen to"
    "there IS an Abiquiu NM"
    Overall

    I actually liked this one quiet a lot and enjoyed the narrator.

    For person who had such a problem with pronunciation of cities in New Mexico - please be aware that there is more than one town with a similar name... Abiquiu is the town in which the painter Georgia O'Keeffe made her home.

    The narrator's perfect pronuciation of 'that other town' might have been a tip off. Albuquerque WAS mentioned quite correctly a couple of times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Callahan Chronicals

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Spider Robinson
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (575)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (232)

    This omnibus edition contains the trio of books that introduced the world to Mike Callahan, Jake Stonebender, Doc Webster, Mickey Finn, Fast Eddie Costigan, Long-Drink McGonnigle, Ralph Von Wau Wau, and the rest of the regulars of Callahan's Place, in the stories that helped Spider Robinson to win both a John W. Campbell Award and a legion of fans.

    Charles says: "Great listen"
    "Punday Night comes to life"
    Overall

    If you're already a Callahan's regular you don't need any encouragement. If "The Place" is new to you, come on in, we've been waiting for you. What took you so long?

    Barrett Whitener's reading does Spider's creations proud. Audible, thanks for finally getting the right strings pulled to bring Spider's books into the fold - MORE, MORE!

    And, yes, as Spider once told Ben Bova - "apparently it is supposed to hit the fan"

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Night Watch: Discworld #27

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1129)
    Performance
    (592)
    Story
    (599)

    Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he's back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck.

    Terry A. Austin says: "Another brilliant Pratchett"
    "Another brilliant Pratchett"
    Overall

    As usual Pratchett has performed feats with the English language that appear at first glance to be impossible. Words just fit better together coming from him. We're transported back in time along with a somewhat frustrated Sam Vines who's got to save the city with the help of a younger version of himself and, gods help us, a street urchin version Nobby Nobbs. For die-hard Pratchett fans, that's all the information you need to realize that this is a rollicking good read.

    Stephen Briggs performs nicely as narrator and makes the whole trip pleasant. Alas, I'll always be biased - These tales truly ought to be read by Nigel Planer. Nigel's voice will forever and always ring true for me as the 'proper' voice of each of the Disk World folk.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2315)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (399)

    In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.

    Brent says: "This audio edition is abridged!"
    "Bryson does it again!"
    Overall

    Bryson's done it again. His witty and informative travelogue series has provided hours of entertainment.

    A Short History... is defintely a departure from his typical format and that had me a little curious about how he would address these issues. As a working scientist and academic I was quite pleased with his handling of the material. It's a nicely written history of science enlivened quite nicely, thank you very much, with Bill's typical flair for a fine phrase.

    As another reviewer pointed out, Bryson is undoubtedly the best narrator for his own work. He is a prime example of a man who knows his own words and delivers them phenomenally well!

    Get this book! You won't regret it.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Last Breath: Cautionary Tales from the Limits of Human Endurance

    • HIGHLIGHTS (6 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Peter Stark
    • Narrated By Peter Stark
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Stark narrates a series of outdoor adventure stories in which thrill can cross the line into mortal peril. Each death or brush with death is at once a suspense story, a cautionary tale, and a medical thriller. He describes what goes through the mind of a cross-country skier as his body temperature plummets - apathy at 91 degrees, stupor at 90 - and explores the physiology of a snowboarder trying not to panic as he consumes the tiny pocket of air trapped around his face under thousands of pounds of snow.

    Terry A. Austin says: "Marvelously well told physiological tales"
    "Marvelously well told physiological tales"
    Overall

    As a long time biologist and lover of fine words this audiobook is a double pleasure! I share excerpts of these stories with my Anatomy & Physiology classes at appropriate times during my lectures. An added bonus is provided with the author's own voice doing a splendid job on the narration. Great job, Stark! You make me, and my students feel as if we were there with the 'victims' of your examples.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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