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Troy, MI, United States | Member Since 2003

  • 19 reviews
  • 58 ratings
  • 506 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015

  • The Contortionist's Handbook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Craig Clevenger
    • Narrated By Ray Porter

    John Dolan Vincent was born with an extra ring finger on one hand. He was an abnormally gifted child with a proclivity for mathematics beyond his years, but he lacked social skills. Childhood ridicule and a difficult family life led him to use his talents in adulthood for criminal acts of forgery. When he starts getting untreatable migraines, his self-medication results in overdosing which sends him repeatedly to the emergency room.

    K. Burch says: "Not for Me"
    "I am Jack's utter lack of imagination"

    I enjoy Palahniuk's work so I should be the target audience for this book. The author has cribbed CP's style but there isn't much else going on here. If you are in the mood to be lectured by another hipster, bad boy savant with substance abuse problems for a few hours, have at it. The book is dull and aimless but the real crime is the pedantic tone which Ray Porter takes every opportunity to underscore with a snide, heavy handed reading. The bulk of the tale is given over to detailed descriptions of how to change your identity; the book might have been salvaged if the protagonist had some original or clever tricks to teach us. If you are looking for something in this vein try CP's Salvation - it is underrated.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Parmy Olson
    • Narrated By Abby Craden

    In late 2010, thousands of hacktivists joined a mass digital assault by Anonymous on the websites of VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal to protest their treatment of WikiLeaks. Splinter groups then infiltrated the networks of totalitarian governments in Libya and Tunisia, and an elite team of six people calling themselves LulzSec attacked the FBI, CIA, and Sony. They were flippant and taunting, grabbed headlines, and amassed more than a quarter of a million Twitter followers.

    Adam K says: "Awesome book. Felt like a hacker fiction novel!"
    "Excellent read, terrible narration"
    If you could sum up We Are Anonymous in three words, what would they be?

    Parmy Olson does an excellent job of wading into the shady world of anon and lulzsec - there are plenty of flaws, however, it is definitely worth the time and far better than I anticipated.
    The narrator, Abby Craden, on the other hand, is awful. She finishes every sentence with an affected, snide lilt and she mispronounces words on a regular basis. The worst distraction, however, are the array of dreadful accents she employs to differentiate the characters. It just about ruins the story.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Logically Fallacious: The Ultimate Collection of Over 300 Logical Fallacies

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bo Bennett
    • Narrated By Bo Bennett

    This book is a crash course in effective reasoning, meant to catapult you into a world where you start to see things as they really are, not how you think they are. The focus of this book is on logical fallacies, which, loosely defined, are simply errors in reasoning. By listening to this book, you can make significant improvements in the way you reason and make decisions.

    Aaron says: "Don't bother"
    "Don't bother"
    Would you try another book from Bo Bennett and/or Bo Bennett?

    First, it is a reference book, so it is really ill suited to the audio format. Second, and more importantly, the author is a terrible narrator. Generally speaking, authors ought to leave the narration to the professionals. This author/narrator actually mixes in lame impressions (like Yoda - no, seriously) into his performance. I had to turn it off.

    What could Bo Bennett have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Hired a professional narrator, skipped the cutesy examples (it is 2012 - Yoda impressions aren't amusing anymore), thought about the format and how to structure his book in such a way that it would work audiobook.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    In every way

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "junk culture"

    Even for a young adult novel, there isn't much here - essentially one very long "Hey, remember that one time when...". Imagine a world where you are are rewarded for your love of trashy popular culture and video games - without so much as a hint of satire or irony. Ready Player One = (((Diamond Age + Charlie and the Chocolate Factory + VH1's I Love the 80's) - humor) - brains). About 70% of the book amounts to little more than detailed descriptions of Pac Man, Blade Runner, Dungeons & Dragons, War Games, Joust, Zork, etc. - no analysis or interpretation, just straight descriptions. The writing is so lazy at times you wonder if the author isn't simply quoting from the back of a video tape or game cartridge. I know the reviews make it look promising, however, unless you are the kind of nerd who wants nothing more than to reminisce about sitting in front of screens, this is a real waste of time.

    32 of 101 people found this review helpful
  • The Four Fingers of Death

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Rick Moody
    • Narrated By Chris Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Montese Crandall is a downtrodden writer whose rare collection of baseball cards won't sustain him, financially or emotionally, through the grave illness of his wife. Luckily, he swindles himself a job churning out a novelization of the 2025 remake of a 1963 horror classic, "The Crawling Hand." Crandall tells therein of the United States, in a bid to regain global eminence, launching at last its doomed manned mission to the desolation of Mars.

    Jack says: "I loved this book!!"
    "Like Pynchon, DF Wallace, PK Dick, Palahniuk?"

    Then you will probably dig this. If you are looking for your standard "Book 9 in the Adventures of Space Captain Whatever" then skip it. This is what I would call "fatigue lit" - Moody, like the others mentioned, is exhausting and at times waaaaay too clever for his own good. That said, there is far more substance and charming insight to be found here than in, say, William Gibson's last few books combined. Also, the narrator is pitch perfect (including his brief slip around mid way). My advice is to listen to books like this one on double speed - it is too long and exasperating to slog through at standard speed.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Philip Kerr
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht

    The best-selling author of 20 novels, Philip Kerr has won a devoted following - and there are none more ardent than those who devour his Bernie Gunther series. In 1934, Bernie found himself in Berlin, where he was caught up in intrigue surrounding Hitler, America, and the upcoming Olympiad. Two decades later, Bernie surfaces in Havana. But an old associate has appeared there as well - and might spell trouble of a decidedly deadly nature.

    Michael says: "Not the same w/o John Lee narrating, but ok story"
    "Best Noir/Mystery writer since Jim Thompson"

    Kerr is a wonder - the Bernie Gunther books are in an entirely different league; literate, stylish, historically intriguing. Skip M. Connelly and J.L. Burke - this is the best you will find. I only wish Audible would get around to adding in the "The Quiet Flame" (not to mention all of Jim Thompson's work).

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Harry Bosch Box Set: 'The Narrows', 'Echo Park', and 'The Overlook'

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou

    Here are three award-winning Harry Bosch thrillers, all voiced by standout Broadway veteran Len Cariou: The Narrows, Echo Park, and The Overlook.

    Jami says: "nice collection -- one missing in the order though"
    "Like reading a movie of the week"

    This is really bland stuff. There isn't a single distinguishing characteristic to any of the characters in these "stories". I'd heard about this series and thought I'd give it a try. It is nice of audible to provide a three book set, but honestly - how is it that this stuff is so popular? The banter is bone dry and the characters all speak and act as though they stepped out of an episode of Law and Order. Don't bother.

    7 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Zero History

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean

    Hollis Henry worked for the global marketing magnate Hubertus Bigend once before. She never meant to repeat the experience. Milgrim is even more thoroughly owned by Bigend. He's worth owning for his useful gift of seeming to disappear in almost any setting. baked into bone, entirely experimental, to show for it. Garreth has a passion for extreme sports. Garreth isn't owned by Bigend at all.

    Aaron says: "Bigend needed a little more Blomkvist"
    "Bigend needed a little more Blomkvist"

    The Bigend trilogy could have been a smarter version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - essentially this is that series if Delillo (circa White Noise) had been at the keyboard. They are both fun and sharp, but what one lacks in sticky insights the other lacks in action, and each (like the reader) suffers a bit. Bigend is a great idea for a character, but there isn't much "there there" - HH's endless soul searching is fatiguing and Milgrim (who ought to be a little more like Bourne, imho) just comes across as muddle minded. All that said, it is filled with good stuff about what would best be characterized as a long rumination on the nerd hive mind. If you are interested in memes, gear/fashion fetish culture and corporate design espionage, this is the only game in town.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Tree of Smoke: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Denis Johnson
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is the story of William "Skip" Sands, CIA, engaged in Psychological Operations against the Vietcong, and the disasters that befall him. This is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert and into a war in which the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away. In its vision of human folly, this is a story like nothing in our literature.

    MadMadeleine says: "Moby Redux"
    "Well crafted; perfectly realized"

    Big and challenging and expertly narrated. One of the better books I've downloaded.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • I Drink for a Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Cross
    • Narrated By David Cross

    After a decade spent in isolation in the Ugandan jungles thinking about stuff, David Cross has written his first book. Known for roles on the small screen such as "never-nude" Tobias Funke on Arrested Development and the role of "David" in Mr. Show with Bob And David, as well as a hugely successful stand-up routine full of sharp-tongued rants and rages, Cross has carved out his place in American comedy.

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "Huge Fan of Cross But Extremely Disappointing"
    "Oh, David"

    I've purchased David's albums and sought out his performances on tv, film and at live venues. I've sympathized with him when he complained that Fox failed to promote Arrested Development and when he complained that Patton Oswalt had unfairly picked on him for taking soulless gigs like Alvin, even as he peddled his relentlessly pedantic anti-corporate point of view. I love and believe everything David does, No, wait - sorry, not everything. I don't dig it when he sh*ts on his audience, repeatedly, for choosing to listen to, rather than read, his book. Specifically, I despair a bit when a guy who has made his living doing stand up and voice over work in kid flicks like "Kung Fu Panda" and "Alvin and the CGI Money Things" berates his audience for wanting to hear, rather than read, his book. It is an amusing book - some great stuff. What David fails to appreciate, however, (perhaps willfully) is that his delivery brings something unique to his work. Wait, did I say work? Sorry, I meant shtick...or bits. David's bits are so inexorably tied to his delivery, I can't imagine reading his work. Like Sedaris, it loses around, I don't know...half? Let's say half the entertainment value. When Sedaris does his Billy Holiday impression in his story about confronting homosexual bigotry while taking guitar lessons as a teen, the content is elevated by the performance. So too when Cross did his gay black assistant to OJ Simpson bit back on Joe Frank's show (long time ago). Neither would have translated well to the printed page. Hey, did I mention I paid for this audiobook? Yeah, I did. Did I mention that I read more books than the two to which I listen on a monthly basis? I do. Did I mention that many folks listen to books on their commute, trapped in their cars or crammed into subway trains? Have you ever tried to read a hardback on an NYC subway during rush hour? No? Well, try it, I'll wait...Way to lose a fan, jerk.

    33 of 53 people found this review helpful

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