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Andrew

Livermore, CA, USA | Member Since 2005

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 99 ratings
  • 142 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9393)
    Performance
    (5090)
    Story
    (5159)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Great story, recording not so much"
    Overall

    If you've read or listened to Dune you're acquainted with the story. It has all the elements of religion, politics, genetics, economics, and ecology with colonialism, cronyism, and military theory thrown in. The story is especially pertinent today as the Fremen are a direct offshoot of Islamic nomads turned extremist fanatics, and how, because of their solid and unquestioning belief system are able to take down the existing super-power. Don't get me wrong, Herbert doesn't portray the Fremen in a negative light, quite the contrary, as he shows what a people dedicated to a religious belief are capable of achieving.

    Spice=oil, Herbert was clear on this in interviews before his death, and is crystal clear about how all elements of the known universe, CHOAM, Landsraad, the Guild, in fact everybody, are hopelessly dependent on the Spice, and how the empire built on Spice would crumble without it. Interestingly relevant.

    My only complaint is the ensemble cast of narrators. While the different voices lend to character differentiation, there is no semblance of order or structure to them. The main narrator will be reading, then different voices will come in mid-chapter. I counted three different voices for Baron Harkonnen throughout the book. I would have preferred the single narrator, who does a great job. Fair warning; the non-narrator voice of Count Fenring is painfully awful to hear. Not the voice, but the stuttering syntax of his voice, though it is written that way.

    For continuity's sake I wish they had either stayed with the single narrator or stayed devoted to an ensemble cast. Pick one style and stay with it, that is my only complaint about this recording.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow Rising: Book Four of The Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5202)
    Performance
    (2971)
    Story
    (3004)

    The seals of Shayol Ghul are weak now, and the Dark One reaches out in The Shadow Rising, book four of the Wheel of Time, as The Shadow is rising to cover humankind. In the Stone of Tear, the Lord Dragon considers his next move. It will be something no one expects, not the Black Ajah, not Tairen nobles, not Aes Sedai, not Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve. Against the Shadow rising stands the Dragon Reborn.

    Mica says: "The BEST of the Wheel of Time"
    "Powerful historical perspective"
    Overall

    The Shadow Rising includes arguably the best scene of The Wheel of Time. Rand and Mat entering Rhuidean leaves chills on your skin, along with the undescribed journey of Moiraine into the city in the Waste. Jordan weaves an imaginative and amazing string of events, of Rand's ancestors, that ensures his place as the Dragon Reborn. You almost have to read these two chapters in reverse, and note all the references of Forsaken, the Green Man, Ogier, Trees of Life, the later Seanchan, Aiel, and True Power...which leads to the actual series we read. The Shadow Rising adds the most historical perspective to the series, and starts the separation of the Shaido, which in turn leads to The Wells. You really need to read the series several times, and even take notes, but you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Hunt: Book Two of The Wheel Of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6362)
    Performance
    (3602)
    Story
    (3625)

    The Wheel of Time turns and ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the age that gave it birth returns again. For centuries, gleemen have told the tales of The Great Hunt of the Horn. So many tales about each of the Hunters, and so many Hunters to tell of. Now, the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages.

    Tony Deleeuw says: "Great Series, Great Readers"
    "Great continuing intro"
    Overall

    I'm adding my review as a pure review, and to encourage others. I've read the series four times and have just completed the first two audiobooks. Jordan has created a world that is similar to ours in many ways, in fact each 'major' nation is modeled after an actual nation, at some point in history. Jordan does borrow some ideas from other literary sources, but does a better job than other authors of actually explaining aspects of his world. The One Power, the Trollocs, Myyrdraal, Forsaken, and Aes Sedai; Jordan actually lets the reader in on how the Power works, as opposed to just saying, "These people are magicians. Deal with it."
    To David in MA, who seemed a little bored with the series, I have one word of encouragement. Without going into specifics, Matt MUST be hated during the first two books, as you will find out in The Dragon Reborn. Things have happened to him, mostly self-induced, that you won't understand until Book 3, at which point he becomes one of the most interesting and likable characters in the series. If it helps, the first 3 books in the Wheel of Time are essentially foreshadowing the rest of the series. Every dream, side-remark, and ellipsis-ended comment really mean something. Having read the series as many times, I can tell you Jordan has woven so much into each book that I learn something new each time.
    The Wheel of Time is long and not easy to read, but to date the most well thought-out and written series I've ever read. The Great Hunt has the best ending-sequence of any of the books, 1-10 so far. I hope this helps.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Exodus: A Story from Haunted - Free Excerpt

    • UNABRIDGED (44 mins)
    • By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr
    Overall
    (599)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (46)

    Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter, sometimes all at once. They are told by people who have answered an ad headlined "Writers' Retreat: Abandon Your Life for Three Months", and who are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of "real life" that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them.

    William says: "A waste of time."
    "Fantastic, but disturbing"
    Overall

    Palahniuk out-did himself with Haunted. His books have yet to leave me disappointed but Haunted leaves quite an impression. To call it scary or horrific is to understate, but the scares and horrors lie in the frank realism of the stories. The frailties and fears of humanity and society, and the lengths to which people go in search of happiness could be a one-line synopsis of Haunted, but it's much more than that. I found myself equally shocked and intrigued by each story, not by the gore or 'taboo' topics, but that everything Palahniuk covers in this book is the real-life stuff that doesn't make the nightly news, the stuff you don't talk about at parties. Certainly not a book for children or those with a weak stomach, but if you want something scary and beyond a Stephen King, Haunted will suit you. Definitely a 'driveway-moment' book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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