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Gerald

SPARTA, NJ, United States | Member Since 2011

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 187 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • King Solomon's Mines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By H. Rider Haggard
    • Narrated By Toby Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (52)

    On board a ship bound for Natal, adventurer Allan Quatermain meets Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good. His new friends have set out to find Sir Henry's younger brother, who vanished while seeking King Solomon's legendary diamond mines in the African interior. By strange chance, Quatermain has a map to the mines, drawn in blood, and agrees to join the others on their perilous journey.

    James C says: "Allen Quatermain=Sean Connery"
    "Return to my childhood"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does King Solomon's Mines rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top but mainly because of the nostalgia of hearing a book I first read in about 1964.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Alan because his character was expanded on more than others.


    What about Toby Stephens’s performance did you like?

    His voice caught the essence of the era.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I ranked this book highly because of the time in which it was written. This is a great story variations of which have been written, made into movies and made into video games decades after this original. The language is charming and even made me chuckle a few times when humor was not intended. The reader has to take the era in which it was written into account and recognise that the term

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (23695)
    Performance
    (17671)
    Story
    (17725)

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "Couldn't listen to the narrator..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I wouldn't recommend the book because I couldn't listen to the narrator. I suffered through about two hours hoping the story line would distract me from the dreadful reading but it didn't. I will be asking for my credit back.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Couldn't tell you because, for me, it was unlistenable due to the boring drone of the reader.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    In every way. For me, he was so bad that I couldn't get past about two hours. I listen while driving 40 miles to and from work but with this book I found I simply stopped listening although it was playing. He bored the pants off me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mockingjay: The Final Book of The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26108)
    Performance
    (20054)
    Story
    (20238)

    Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena live, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge....

    Sue Schreiber says: "A very satisfying ending"
    "Don't be fooled by the hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Mockingjay better?

    I wasn’t going to buy this trilogy because intuition told me this was a childish story that would not crossover to the adult reader in the same way that Harry Potter did. I eventually gave in and bought the trilogy because I watched the first movie and found it to be a lot better than I expected. The first book more or less met my revised expectations, the second, less so. Having invested so much time I forced my way through this third book but almost gave up. In short, looking at the entire trilogy, I must confirm that my initial take was correct. The writing is juvenile and the characters become more whiny and pathetic as the story lengthens. Note I said “Lengthens” not “progresses”. To top it off, the reading is on the same level as the writing. I think girls in their very early teens might enjoy these books but it is beyond me as to why any adult, after suffering through these teen angst books, could sincerely write a positive review. I wouldn't know where to start concerning what would make it better. Maybe if the book was up in flames before I got to hear it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Suzanne Collins again?

    No.


    What didn’t you like about Carolyn McCormick’s performance?

    She just wasn’t a good reader. She read the words, sometimes with the wrong emphasis, but didn’t offer any passion to enhance a story that desperately needed rescuing.


    What character would you cut from Mockingjay?

    Katniss.


    Any additional comments?

    If you enjoy a book that uses language to paint a picture and evoke emotion, that makes you think, “That was a clever use of words”, don’t buy these books. If you enjoy books that you can’t put down or can’t wait to get back to, don’t buy these books. If you enjoy a book that has you seeking more stories from the same author, don’t buy these books. If you enjoy the narration to the point where you look for other books narrated by the same reader, don’t buy these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Song of Susannah: The Dark Tower VI

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3286)
    Performance
    (1592)
    Story
    (1613)

    The next-to-last novel in Stephen King's seven-volume magnum opus, Song of Susannah is a fascinating key to the unfolding mystery of the Dark Tower.

    Daniel F. Webster says: "Undoing the writer's block!"
    "I hope SK can sleep knowing that he stole my money"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Song of Susannah better?

    This part of the saga should have had a conclusion with the cliff hanger being a tease for the next book. I get the distinct impression that the author didn't put his heart into this one, he probably needed more money for his beer. Writting himself into the story was tacky and added to the impression that he wasn't stepping up to the plate. I've enjoyed all the other books even though there were many slow parts but this one took the buscuit... and my money!


    Has Song of Susannah turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, but it has confirmed my suspicion that SK adds lots of superfluous text in order to bulk up the book rather than the story.


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I have a long driving commute so George brings a lot, I can't read while driving! I like his voices and general tone and tempo, he does a very nice job.


    What character would you cut from Song of Susannah?

    Steven King.


    Any additional comments?

    Add the last couple of pages to the start of the next book (The recap is probably there anayway) and this book becomes redundant. It adds nothing to the overall saga and would not be missed. Don't bother buying this, go straight to the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5265)
    Performance
    (2613)
    Story
    (2665)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "A lot of babble from Babel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I didn't "spend" time listening to this book, as always I am a captive of traffic. It was an okay listen.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Abrupt!


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this because I really enjoyed Diamond Age by the same author. The Story was good but the lessons from the “librarian” were too long and repetitive. Worse, the premise is flawed, hackers do not read binary in the manner the story indicates… I wrote my first program back in 1969 and still code today. I used to write in mainframe assembler (assembly) and I was an ace at debugging memory dumps. These are not spewed out in binary, they are in hexadecimal. Unlike decimal which is based on 10, hex is based on 16 with “numbers” ranging from 0 to F with F having a value of 15. A hex value of “10” is sixteen a hex value of “1F” is 31, hex “20” is 32. See, just like decimal but you carry 1 to the left on 16 instead of 10 and this is how machine code is presented. Yes, we also know the binary representation e.g that same “1F” (31) above would be 0001 1111 in binary but I have NEVER seen any type of computer present code or data in that manner, only on TV. Clearly it would be counterproductive to present binary when hex serves the purpose.

    Anyway, enough of the tech lesson, I hope somebody finds it a little interesting. Getting back to the book, the characters were interesting and the story would have been great if it had moved along a little quicker… get rid of the librarian!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17662)
    Performance
    (7873)
    Story
    (7908)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "What a great ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest the most enjoyable?

    Not wishing to give anything away... the great ending.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    His voice was right for the book and although you might expect Swedish accents, his English character voices worked fine. He read with a nice pace and his female voices were excellent.


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

    Well, I can't sit that long but yes. I listen in my car to and from work and never use my iPod anywhere else but this one had me disconnecting the iPod from the car and listening on the PATH train and walk which is the remainder of my commute.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend all three books. The first one started a bit slow but was great. The second one was even better, starting at the pace the first one finished but this one is undoubtedly the best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Michael Hastings
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (116)

    An explosive, behind-the-scenes look into the workings of the U.S. war in Afghanistan that lifts the curtain of the world stage to reveal the devastating greed, waste, and failure surrounding this unwinnable war.

    Professor says: "VERY INTERESTING STORY"
    "Yaaaaaaawn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Michael Hastings and/or Lloyd James?

    No way.


    What was most disappointing about Michael Hastings’s story?

    It is basically a rambling group of what I hesitate to call


    What didn’t you like about Lloyd James’s performance?

    It droned on and was too matter-of-fact with no passion. Actually, forget about passion, it had no feeling at all.


    What character would you cut from The Operators?

    The Author!


    Any additional comments?

    Does Audible give refunds? :-)

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Strangers

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1331)
    Performance
    (569)
    Story
    (569)

    A handful of people. From different backgrounds, living in different towns and cities across America, they had nothing in common - except fear. Deep in the heart of a sprawling desert, a dark memory called out to them, drawing them to the Tranquility Motel - where the terrifying truth was waiting.

    Barry F. Stinson says: "Brilliant"
    "Not one of Dean's best books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Dean Koontz and/or Dick Hill?

    Dean Koonts? Yes, I love most of what I have heard from Dean Koontz. In particular, One Door Away From Heaven and the Odd Thomas books. This one was disappointing. Dick Hill? Not a bad read but his female voices left a lot to be desired, not as good as most male readers that I've heard.


    What could Dean Koontz have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    To make this more enjoyable Dean could have moved the plot along faster and cut out a lot of corn. I just checked and sure enough, this book was written in 1986, almost 20 years before his other books that I've listened to. This does of course illustrate that Dean has grown considerably as an author. I will be avoiding his earlier work.


    What does Dick Hill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I can't read while I drive so Dick Hill brought a lot! As mentioned above, his female voice needs work.


    Did Strangers inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, look into reviews a bit deeper instead of relying on my own experience of other books by the same author. This book is not a total waste of time but of the dozen or so Koontz books that I've listened to, this is the worst. No doubt because it is one of his earlier works. I will now be avoiding his earlier books.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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