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Brian

Las Vegas, NV, United States | Member Since 2001

43
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 866 titles in library
  • 46 purchased in 2014
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  • I'm a Stranger Here Myself

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (572)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (101)

    Cather says: "Enjoyable"
    "Poor Bryson"
    Overall

    Even if you are a Bryson fan, I would pass on this book. Bryson explains (warns) at the begining that this is just a collection of weekly columns that he wrote for a British magazine, and that he often did not really have much to stay. I am a fan of his work, and thought he was being modest - he wasn't. It is very clear that most of the columns were written at the last moment and based on what he did that day or is seeing out the window - and those are the good ones. For the others it seems that he just picked an article out of the paper, grabbed a few facts (usually getting them wrong) and then get sanctimonious about the subject he clearly does not have any clue about. Perhaps he felt that his British readers would not know any better. Imagine if you took Seinfield's "observational humor", removed ALL the humor and then even botched most of the observations. Extremely disappointing.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Four: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    Framed in the doorway of Hercule Poirot's bedroom stands an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man stares for a moment, then he sways and falls. Who is he? Is he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what is the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a worldof international intrigue, risking his life - and that of his twin brother - to uncover the truth.

    Linda says: "Reviewers Must Be Mistaken"
    "Like a bad, less realistic James Bond book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was not like any of the other Poirot books - no real mystery to solve, just running from place to place encountering "villains" that are more ridiculous than any Batman or Bond flick. I can't believe anyone who liked the earlier books - or mysteries in general - would like this.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11982)
    Performance
    (10378)
    Story
    (10355)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Jeanne says: "Interesting man"
    "Pretty Shallow for such a long book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author does not delve very deep. The begining is the best part, but that is based on older (better) books. The second half, where the author needed to do the work himself, is a bland surface treatment with little insight. You will get a LOT about how some people found him to be a dirty hippy when he was young, but almost nothing to explain why he was such a critical part of Apple or how he did all that he did.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Stainless Steel Rat

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Harry Harrison
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1089)
    Performance
    (857)
    Story
    (859)

    DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable. DiGriz' hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who his planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds.

    SFF11C says: "Awesome"
    "book is better than narration"
    Overall

    The story is an old one - breezy adventure, not too good but somewhat fun - a "popcorn" book. The narration is not very good, however, due to a real unfortunate choice by the narrator. About halfway through the book, the main character undergoes a radical change of appearance, and the narrator therefor decided to do the halves of the book in a different "voice" (even though most of the book is internal monologue, which should not change in plastic surgery). The second half of the book is the narrator's real voice - the first half is in an affected swishy voice that just offends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Talent for War: An Alex Benedict Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Gregory Abbey, Jack McDevitt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (316)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (169)

    Everyone knew the legend of Christopher Sim. Fighter. Leader. An interstellar hero with a rare talent for war, Sim changed mankind's history forever when he forged a ragtag group of misfits into the weapon that broke the back of the alien Ashiyyur. But now, Alex Benedict has found a startling bit of information, long buried in an ancient computer file. If it is true, then Christopher Sim was a fraud.

    Brian says: "Very good - but the cover and title are deceptive"
    "Very good - but the cover and title are deceptive"
    Overall

    This is NOT a book about war, or fighting in space, or action of any kind. You should NOT judge the book by it's cover or title or you will be disappointed (as several reviewers were), but if you know going in that it is more of a detective story (where the detective is a librarian type) you will like it. I would actually compare it to "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" or the other George Smiley spy books - there is very little action currently happening (but past action is discovered and discussed by the protagonist). That is not a bad thing (John La Carrie sold millions of those books, and they are great), but if you are expecting the protagonist to have a "talent for war" (he doesn't) or men in spacesuits (the cover depicts a man dead for a hundred years) you will be disappointed. If you want an interesting future mystery with some science fiction (it is the future, but that future is 90% like the present) and several very interesting "twists", give this a try.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Colin G. Calloway
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (23)

    In February, 1763, Britain, Spain, and France signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the French and Indian War. In this one document, more American territory changed hands than in any treaty before or since. As the great historian Francis Parkman wrote, "half a continent...changed hands at the scratch of a pen."

    Brian says: "Poor account - there are better"
    "Poor account - there are better"
    Overall

    If you want to read about the French and Indian War and the aftermath, skip this poor book and instead get "The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War (Unabridged)", also on audible and with the same narrator. This book is very poorly written and constructed, and treats the Indians as a bunch of cartoon "noble savages" rather than examining the different tribes as different people (who often fought each other). The first 45 minutes is just telling you (twice!) what the next 5.5 hours will hold (and then it doesn't deliver). No narritive structure, no compelling story, nothing worth listening to.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Mark Kurlansky
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (116)

    Talk about a fish story! New York Times and Harper's columnist Mark Kurlansky offers "history filtered through the gills of the fish trade." David McCullough, the historian behind John Adams, says Kurlansky's "charming tale" of a "seemingly improbable idea" will change the way people think of the fish and the history.

    Karen says: "A great fish story"
    "boring"
    Overall

    One of the worst written books I have heard or read, and the worst I have downloaded from audible in 2 years. The story: for hundreds of years there were a lot of people catching and eating cod, but then they were overfished and there are no longer giant stocks of cod. Now you have no reason to get this book, as the author does not add much to that sentence ? but drags it out for hours. A bunch of relatively unrelated fish facts and boring details of random fish stories ? but no storytelling ability is present. Dull and repetitive.O

    2 of 15 people found this review helpful

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