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Johnstown, PA, United States | Member Since 2005

  • 3 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 408 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014

  • The Rithmatist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings - merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

    Brandon says: "Beware of the chalk!"
    "Great for all ages."
    Would you listen to The Rithmatist again? Why?

    This book was a random pick based on reading a few reviews and an interesting summary. We listened to it on a long car trip and the child would not lets us stop playing it.

    The alternate universe worked quite well and didn't feel forced. You smiled knowingly to yourself when you picked up the historical and scientific divergences that made our earth different from theirs.

    Truthfully, by the end of the book I thought to myself: "That's quite a good introduction. If he works off this material for the second book it could be even better." That's not to say this book isn't wonderful, but that it made me excited for even more.

    What other book might you compare The Rithmatist to and why?

    The Bartimaeus Trilogy.

    What about Michael Kramer’s performance did you like?

    His ability to do voices was much appreciated. His regular talking voice was enjoyable and he read at a good pace. The "formal" chapter heading sections were just diagrams and he even brought those to life.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Very much so. We listened to it 5 hours at a time. Part 1 on the way to our destination and part 2 on the way back.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The World of Byzantium

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl

    Byzantium is too-often considered merely the "eastern rump" of the old Roman Empire, a curious and even unsettling mix of the classical and medieval. Yet it was, according to Professor Harl, "without a doubt the greatest state in Christendom through much of the Middle Ages," and well worth our attention as a way to widen our perspective on everything from the decline of imperial Rome to the rise of the Renaissance.

    collin lau says: "Another piece of the puzzle"
    "it's as if he were paid by how fast he could speak"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    There were many interesting facts presented, but it was such a jumble that I felt like I was being thrown balls of yarn for me to unravel myself, but without the time to do so before he moved onto another topic.

    Would you recommend The World of Byzantium to your friends? Why or why not?

    Possibly. It might be better to get some solid texts on specific eras of the Byzantine world than to try and eat the entire empire whole. It proved an indigestible lump in this format.

    What didn’t you like about Professor Kenneth W. Harl’s performance?

    His pronunciations were all over the place. There was no rhyme or reason to them. He didn't follow the modern Greek pronunciation, certainly not the Byzantine Greek, nor Oxford pronunciation, or even standard American English. His pronunciation of words like caliph, European, and many more were difficult to accept without mental effort.

    Could you see The World of Byzantium being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Far too broad a topic to be a movie. People would be born and then slain horribly by their relatives every 5 minutes.

    Any additional comments?

    It's as if he were given a period of time and only moments to sketch the events. Imagine a man told to draw birds in a nearby park. He half draws them before they fly off and then he starts on another and then it flies off then one comes back and he tries to sketch over his last version of the bird. Many chapters are exhausting and you feel like you don't know where the thread of one topic ends before another begins. He also drops in bits of trivia with little explanation - not enough to make this a good read for collecting trivia and just enough to make you hit rewind to confirm what you heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends - and his own soul - Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic....

    Bill says: "Not the best audio book in the series"
    "Story great. Should have waited for Marsters."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13 to be better than the print version?

    No. I simply couldn't listen to it and purchased the book for Kindle.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    If one voice does 12 books, just wait for him to have time to do the 13th.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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