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M. Clipper

Phoenix, AZ | Member Since 2018

40
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 94 ratings
  • 183 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2018
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • 21: Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ben Mezrich
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (801)
    Performance
    (349)
    Story
    (356)

    In the midst of the Go-Go '90s, the culture of greed infused the MIT campus. A small blackjack club sprang up, dedicated to counting cards and beating the house at major casinos around the country. The Club grew slowly at first, but by the late 1990s, the right people had come up with the right system to take some of the world's most sophisticated casinos for all they were worth.

    Julie says: "Good Book.. HORRIBLE Narrator"
    "Liked the movie, loved the book."
    Overall

    I had wanted to read "Bringing Down the House" before the movie "21" came out, but Audible didn't offer it as an audio book until then. So I saw the movie first. I liked the movie so much, that I immediately downloaded the audio book as soon as I could.

    Just like many books made into movies, there are numerous differences between the two, but they are both very enjoyable. However, I preferred the book over the movie just because of how much more detail is provided regarding the card counting techniques and team play. Even though the book lacked the cheesy romance (as played out in the movie), it more than made up for it by being more realistic and believable.

    A lot of other reviewers noted the narration was sub-par. While the narrator wasn't the best I've heard, he certainly wasn't the worst. (Although he did sound a little like Casey Kasem.) If you're listening to this in your car, you most likely won't notice the recording flaws. However, they will become apparent when listening to it with headphones.

    If you're interested in seeing the movie and reading the book, go see the movie first. I think if I had read the book first, I would have been more disappointed in the movie.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34831)
    Performance
    (32242)
    Story
    (32255)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Don't Get Killed By This Place"
    "Similar to "The Fold", but better."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to "14" after listening to another one of Peter Clines' books -- "The Fold". Both books have similar plot-lines, so unfortunately, if you read / listen to one of the books, then it will spoil the ending a bit for the other book. It annoys me a bit that Peter Clines did this, as each story is quite compelling, and they really deserve their own unrelated plot-lines.

    In any event, I found "14" to be the more interesting of the two books. If you haven't read "The Fold", then start with "14", and you won't be disappointed. The story is about a group of people who live in a low-cost, but nice historic landmark in Los Angeles. After a new tenant moves in, the formerly unsociable neighbors begin to bond over the strange things they notice in the apartment building. The newest tenant becomes the unofficial leader of the group as they try to uncover the mysteries about the building. What unfolds is a fascinating story that blends steampunk, science fiction, and a lot of suspense.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Accidental Time Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Joe Haldeman
    • Narrated By Kevin Free
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (786)
    Performance
    (615)
    Story
    (621)

    Joe Haldeman is the esteemed Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Forever War. Things are going nowhere for lowly MIT research assistant Matt Fuller - especially not after his girlfriend drops him for another man. But then while working late one night, he inadvertently stumbles upon what may be the greatest scientific breakthrough ever. His luck, however, runs out when he finds himself wanted for murder - in the future.

    Ted says: "Cool idea. Tediously told."
    "A Unique Take on Traveling Through Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked up this book as a freebie in an Audible buy one get one free sale, and I didn't have high expectations for it, but I ended up enjoying it a lot more than the other book that I paid for in the sale.

    I'd say the only downside to the book is that the writing and narration are both a bit amateurish, but once you get past that, the book is quite enjoyable. What unique about the time traveler in this book is that he has no idea how his time machine works, and he can't really control the points in time that he travels to, but through experimentation, he's able to predict where in time he will end up.

    If you have the opportunity to pick up this book on sale (or as a freebie like I did), I would definitely recommend doing so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Andromeda Strain

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By David Morse
    Overall
    (5556)
    Performance
    (5155)
    Story
    (5166)

    The United States government is given a warning by the preeminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Clarkenesque"
    "The Andromeda Strain: A Cure for Insomnia"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to several of Michael Crichton's books, but I found The Andromeda Strain to be the least interesting of them all. The main concept (a deadly strain of bacteria from space) seems interesting enough, but the audio format does not lend well to the reading of lab reports and technical manuals listed in the book, which if you were reading with your eyes in a physical book, you would skim over. Also, the narrator is sub-par compared to most of the other talented narrators I've listed to. All of the character's voices seem older than they should be, and it's hard to distinguish one old voice from another old voice to keep the characters differentiated. Another drawback of this book is that there just isn't that much action or suspense within the vast majority of it, with the only exceptions being the very beginning and the very end. Combine all of this and you'll find that the Andromeda Strain is a good cure for insomnia. Seriously... Don't listen to this while you're driving.

    With all that said, it's actually pretty amazing how well this book holds up, technologically speaking, for having been originally released in 1969. A lot of the technology mentioned in the book may not seem new or ground-breaking now, but it's still relevant today, and no technology mentioned jumped out as being out-dated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep: A New Way of Getting Children to Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (31 mins)
    • By Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin
    • Narrated By Monte Reid
    Overall
    (959)
    Performance
    (789)
    Story
    (771)

    The bedtime story The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep has been called an entirely new type of sleep method to get children to sleep and has quickly become a success. Translated into several languages​​, this revolutionary story has helped thousands of parents around the world to put their children to sleep. By using psychological techniques and the specific way the book is written the children will often fall asleep, even before the story ends.

    Jen S says: "Edit the beginning!"
    "May not work for all kids, but it does for mine."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I read an article about this book, I was skeptical, but for its low price I was willing to give it a try. My 11-year-old daughter has bad anxiety about going to sleep at night. Over the years, it has gotten worse, and bedtime has become a real chore with her. She mainly gets herself worried that she will still be awake after my wife and I fall asleep, and the thought of that scares her and eventually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    We have now used this audiobook for over a week straight with 100% success thus far. There was only one night that she managed to stay awake through the entire 30-minute reading, but she quickly fell asleep upon a repeat play.

    The story itself isn't very interesting, but that's kind of the point, and it really doesn't even matter. The book uses a lot of techniques that you might recognize if you're familiar with relaxation techniques (repetition, soft voice, decreasing pace, yawning, etc.). It's almost hypnotic. The narrator is fantastic. He has a very calming voice, which makes the audiobook far better than the standard print version, which the parent would have to read / act out.

    If your kids have trouble getting to sleep at night, I'd definitely recommend giving this a try.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21687)
    Performance
    (19493)
    Story
    (19572)

    Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in a hospital in the middle of the night. Disoriented and suffering from a head wound, he recalls nothing of the last 36 hours, including how he got there...or the origin of the macabre object that his doctors discover hidden in his belongings. Langdon's world soon erupts into chaos, and he finds himself on the run in Florence with a stoic young woman, Sienna Brooks, whose clever maneuvering saves his life.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "Better than The Lost Symbol"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed "Inferno". Normally, I'll just listen to audiobooks in the car during my commute. With this book, I found myself putting on the headphones at home just to listen to more.

    I never listened to The Davinci Code or Angels and Demons, but I did listen to The Lost Symbol when it was first released. I liked The Lost Symbol, but in my opinion, Inferno is even better. I especially liked the end of Inferno, where I was somewhat disappointed with the end of The Lost Symbol.

    If there was one aspect of this book I did not like is that Dan Brown purposely tries to deceive the reader in several areas in order to surprise you later on. In fact, there's one particular scene that's played out where you think it pertains to one character, and then later in the book the same scene is played out where it pertains to a different character. It was so strange, that I almost thought my audio file was corrupt, until a friend who also read the book confirmed the repeated scene.

    Aside from that minor complaint, it's a very enjoyable book to listen to, and I highly recommend it.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Power Switch: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Patrick Lee
    • Narrated By Charles Hield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In 2000 corporate powers in Butte, Montana dismantle and sell a 90-year-old Fortune 500 Big Sky Power Company to allocate funds to their new fiber optic enterprise Connect West. The venture horrifically fails, and a popular fiber optic company board advisor disappears under dubious circumstances. At the insistence of deputy county attorney Maggie Lester, local law enforcement agencies and the FBI begin an intensive search for the missing advisor.

    M. Clipper says: "This is not the Patrick Lee you're looking for..."
    "This is not the Patrick Lee you're looking for..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If you loved the Patrick Lee novels The Breach, Ghost County, and Deep Sky, then DON'T get Power Switch, as you'll be sorely disappointed. Power Switch is written by a different author than that of the Travis Chase trilogy, who happens to have the same name.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Patrick Lee? Why or why not?

    I actually contacted the Patrick Lee who wrote the Travis Chase trilogy, and he confirmed that Power Switch is not his. However, he did say that he has the first book of a new trilogy coming out in early 2014.


    What didn’t you like about Charles Hield’s performance?

    Even though I bought this book mistakenly, I tried to listen to it to get my money's worth. Unfortunately, I could only make it about a third of the way through due to the poor performance of Charles Hield. His reading voice makes every character in the book sound as if they're at least 70 years old. Sometimes that can be amusing, like when he's trying to portray a couple women in their mid-twenties, but usually is very tiresome to listen to. As for the book Power Switch itself, it's okay. The story isn't terrible, but it didn't really grab me either. If you read the publisher's summary for this book, you will have gathered everything I was able to get in listening to the first third of the book. Maybe something exciting happens in the later two-thirds, but I wasn't willing to find out.


    Did Power Switch inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to go back to listening to podcasts until I had another Audible credit available for use.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're still interested in this book, be sure to listen to a sample before buying.

    6 of 6 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
    Overall
    (167058)
    Performance
    (156192)
    Story
    (155869)

    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.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "The Most Enjoyable Book I Listened to in 2011"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    Ready Player One was so enjoyable to listen to that I would definitely listen to it again. It has similar elements to the techno-thriller Daemon, but with a much happier and hopeful premise.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I absolutely loved the 1980's pop culture references that are present throughout the book. Having been born only a couple years after the fictional Halliday was born, I could relate to many of the references, even to the extent that they brought back memories long forgotten.


    What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Wil has just the right amount of geek cred to really bring this book to life. He did surprisingly well at portraying the different voices throughout the book. And being a geek himself, it was nice that he pronounced all of the tech terms correctly.


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

    I primarily listen to audiobooks while commuting to and from work in my car. This is just the kind of book that made me sit in my car minutes after arriving at my destination, just so I could get a few more minutes of listening in.


    Any additional comments?

    Supposedly this book is being made into a movie. Unfortunately, I don't think the movie will be able to pull off all the great aspects that are present in this book. I really believe that by listening to the audio version of this book, you will be getting the best possible presentation of this story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Country

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Patrick Lee
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (365)
    Story
    (360)

    What Paige Campbell saw when she opened a door into 70 years from now scared the hell out of her. She and her Tangent colleagues brought their terrible discovery to the President and were met with a hail of automatic gunfire after leaving the White House. Only Paige survived.

    crazybatcow says: "Only wish I had known this is book 2 in a series"
    "Disappointing follow-up to The Breach"
    Overall

    First off, don't even consider listening to this book unless you have listened to The Breach. In my opinion, The Breach is a vastly better book, and Ghost Country would spoil many important elements if you were to listen to it first.

    As a sequel to The Breach, I was pretty disappointed in Ghost Country. The basic plot was interesting enough, but it lacked the excitement, variety, and twists that were present in The Breach. One of the things I liked so much about The Breach was the various use of the "entities" and their mysterious origins, uses, and consequences. In Ghost Country, the story focuses on just one type of entity, and while it does offer some potentially interesting uses, you'll pull your hair out listening to the characters go through some long, drawn-out sequence of events before they finally realize how to use the entity to their advantage.

    On the bright side, Jeff Gurner gives another solid performance in his reading of the book. (If you're unfamiliar with his work, you must check out Daemon and Freedom(tm) by Daniel Suarez.) His narration makes almost makes up for the mediocrity of Ghost Country.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7221)
    Performance
    (5839)
    Story
    (5908)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    Claudia H says: "A blast from the past"
    "Pleasantly surprised"
    Overall

    My wife has been using this book in her 8th grade language arts curriculum for several years now, but I only recently decided to give it a listen. I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. For a book that's intended to be read by young adults, it deals with some fairly mature topics but does so as eloquently as possible. Overall, I thought the story was extremely interesting, but it left too many unanswered questions in my opinion. I would have thought this was an abridged version, because I felt this story could have gone much more in depth regarding the giving and receiving, as well as the history of the community. I also would have preferred a less ambiguous ending, but I guess that's part of what makes this book great for classroom discussion and interpretation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sh-t My Dad Says

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Justin Halpern
    • Narrated By Sean Schemmel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3190)
    Performance
    (2127)
    Story
    (2133)

    After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, 28-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his 73-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is “like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair,” has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him.

    Michael says: "Really Funny! Should Be Up for an Audie Award"
    "A must listen for @sh*tmydadsays Twitter followers"
    Overall

    I've been following @sh*tmydadsays on Twitter for some time now. I knew that the author had signed a TV deal based on his Tweets, but I had no idea that he had a book until I was browsing around on Audible one night. I'm glad I found this book because I enjoyed it immensely. In following the @sh*tmydadsays tweets, I just thought the author's dad was just a crazy old coot, but after listening to this book, I realized just how wise the dad is. If I had just one complaint, it would be that this book is too short, but I guess there's always that TV series to look forward to. I just hope it's half as good as the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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