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David

Concord, MA, United States | Member Since 2011

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 75 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of the 20th Century

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Greg Bear, Terry Bisson, David Brin, and others
    • Narrated By David Ackroyd, Wil Wheaton
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (100)

    A walk around the block, a quick drive, before shutting down your PC ? these short story collections are perfect for when you only have a few minutes to listen."

    Greg says: "Biased toward the last 20 years of sci-fi"
    ""No soap the radio""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Back when I was a kid, there was a somewhat cruel trick that you used to play on kids who weren't quite cool enough to be in your group. (Of course, I discovered it by having it played on me). One of the cooler kids would tell a joke for which there was an intentionally nonsensical punchline. After the punchline was delivered, everyone in on the prank would laugh heartily causing the victim to (usually) laugh along with them as if they understood the joke. At which point, they would be asked to explain the joke which, of course, they could not.

    That's how I felt about most of the stories here. I found the writing (and, for the most part the performances, very good) But the stories endings always seemed to fall off a cliff. Like the author just ran out of gas, or had to go somewhere and didn't have time to complete the story. Of course, "True" sci-fi fans will take exception to my analysis and insist that I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate the brilliance. Or they will (As they have) list all the awards a story has received. To that, I will simply mention an older "No Soap the Radio" version: The Emperor's New Clothes.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sand: Omnibus Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Karen Chilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (550)
    Performance
    (493)
    Story
    (497)

    We live across the thousand dunes with grit in our teeth and sand in our homes. No one will come for us. No one will save us. This is our life, diving for remnants of the old world so that we may build what the wind destroys. No one is looking down on us. Those constellations in the night sky? Those are the backs of gods we see.

    Étaín says: "New world, not as compelling as Wool"
    "Awful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am very tolerant of mediocre writing if the story is a good one. But I could not get past the grade school prose to find out if there was a story at all. Lazy and hackneyed. I cannot believe this is some kind of series. I cannot imagine suffering through it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John McWhorter
    • Narrated By John McWhorter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1288)
    Performance
    (1000)
    Story
    (996)

    A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

    Cookie says: "Oh the joy!"
    "Interesting but hard to follow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really like the topic but I found the content hard to follow while listening. It would have been nice to be able to actually see and re-read sections. However, I can't imagine not having McWhorter's pronunciations to listen to either.

    All in all I got the point but would have a hard time recommending the book to someone unless they were already interested in learning about the origins and influences on English.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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