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Great science fiction tells us more about ourselves than works of non-fiction.


  • Childhood's End

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

    Ryan says: "Still a classic of visionary science fiction"
    "Profound, Classic Science Fiction"
    What did you love best about Childhood's End?

    Childhood’s End is a book that provokes thought and wonder in me. I love the dichotomy between the Overlords appearance and actions. I am fascinated by Clarke’s ability to portray them as simultaneously everything humanity strives to be and potential harbingers of doom at the same time.

    What other book might you compare Childhood's End to and why?

    Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. The reason for this comparison is in the way both authors are able to examine humanity and provide their ideas as to how an outside perspective would view our cultures and traditions.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    There a quite a few intriguing scenes in this book but I would have to say that Jan Rodricks’ return trip to Earth. Clarke’s description of humanity’s ultimate destiny is captivating, strangely beautiful and ultimately heartbreaking.

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

    The themes explored in Childhood’s End allow for reflection and create many moving moments. There are a few that stand out to me. First, when the Overlords assume supervision of the planet and provide their instructions as to how we should treat each other. The second standout moment is when Stormgren gets a glimpse of Karellen and how he decides to handle that information. The final standout moment is Rodrick’s return trip to Earth and how Clarke imagines the ultimate fate of humanity in this narrative.

    Any additional comments?

    I find Childhood’s end poignant and timeless. This is a great example as to why Arthur C. Clarke is one of my favorite authors. The narration can be a little robotic at times but it does not detract from the superb story that Clarke has told. I recommend this book to anyone with a love for science fiction.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Indian Hill: Indian Hill, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette

    Indian Hill is about an ordinary boy who grows up in relatively normal times but who finds himself thrust into an extraordinary position. Growing up in suburban Boston, Michael enjoys the trials and tribulations that all adolescents go through, from the seemingly tyrannical mother, to girl problems, to run-ins with the law. From there he escapes to college out in Colorado with his best friend, Paul, where they begin to forge new relationships with those around them. It is one girl in particular that has caught Michael's eye, and he alternately pines for her and laments ever meeting her.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Alternate Reality for Talbot"
    "Fun but Forgetable"
    Would you listen to Indian Hill again? Why?

    I don't think I will listen to Indian Hill again because it lacks the depth required for me to go back. This is an easy read that does not require much thought or contemplation.

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

    I find alien invasion stories endlessly entertaining. The mass abduction storyline was an interesting idea and the idea of having the abductees compete in gladiator style games was entertaining. I enjoyed Tufo’s description of the combat scenes and his ideas regarding the darker side of humanity displayed in the arena were interesting. I am not sure Tufo did a good job of selling me on the motivations for abducting people and having them fight for their amusement (and research). I found the description of the alien race to be a bit uninspired and I don’t feel though they displayed the appropriate intelligence to have accomplished what they were said to have. Their motivations seemed contrived to write about gladiator games with a science fiction twist.

    Which character – as performed by Sean Runnette – was your favorite?

    The only character of consequence in this book is Michael Talbot. I found the character's early years to be very relatable and likeable. His development throughout the gladiatorial games was kind of off putting for me but overall not entirely unbelievable, given the circumstances the character was put in. I am not sure if Tufo was unable to come up with more meaningful character interactions for Michael or if he felt his self imposed isolation was a realistic reaction to the stresses he was under. Either way, I would have preferred more interactions with other characters.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Fight for Humanity!

    Any additional comments?

    I would only recommend it to males in their young adulthood looking for insert themselves into a male power fantasy. The lack of a strong (or even likeable) female character would likely preclude this from being enjoyed by almost any other demographic.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Derek B. says: "A grand literary adventure!"
    "Let Rob Inglis Read You A Story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Hobbit to be better than the print version?

    Rob Inglis does an incredible job narrating Tolkien’s work. His voice work and inflection perfectly match the tone and sentiment throughout the book. The melodies he used in the songs allow your mind to insert yourself into the scene. Truly remarkable.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gandalf is my favorite character through the entirety of Tolkien's work but it is hard not to fall in love with Bilbo. He is such a genuine character with a good heart. His actions and decisions are endearing and will win you over.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    Bilbo and the dwarves journey through Mirkwood is enjoyable for its tension, action and strong character moments. Though longer than a single scene, this section of the book is where I feel Bilbo really comes into his own.

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

    This is a hard book to turn off. Tolkien sets each scene so wonderfully, you simple cannot wait to see what happens next.

    Any additional comments?

    This is a classic made even better by the wonderful narration of Rob Inglis. I highly recommend this to any fans of Tolkien or the fantasy genre. You owe it to yourself to listen even if you have read the book before.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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