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Brian

ratings
180
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
10

  • Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Kate Wilhelm
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (178)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (69)

    When the first warm breeze of Doomsday came wafting over the Shenandoah Valley, the Sumners were ready. Using their enormous wealth, the family had forged an isolated post holocaust citadel. Their descendants would have everything they needed to raise food and do the scientific research necessary for survival. But the family was soon plagued by sterility, and the creation of clones offered the only answer.

    Jack says: "Great read!"
    "Ho-hum"
    Overall

    Post-apocalyptic dystopia is one of my favorite subjects and this book is definitely in the genre. Unfortunately it was really a fairly dull listen although there were some portions that were well done. The book was OK, but the audio rendition was pretty rough. Particularly the male voices which were laughable. If you enjoy this genre, listen to The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It is a masterpiece of literature and audible performance.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Z. A. Recht
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (1921)
    Performance
    (1379)
    Story
    (1382)

    The end begins with a viral outbreak unlike anything mankind has ever encountered before. The infected are subject to delirium, fever, a dramatic increase in violent behavior, and a one-hundred percent mortality rate. Death. But it doesn't end there. The victims return from death to walk the earth. When a massive military operation fails to contain the plague of the living dead it escalates into a global pandemic.

    Big Art says: "Makes my top 10 Zombie Stories of all time!!"
    "JV Zombie Effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've already listened to all of the good zombie apocalypse fiction (J.L. Bourne, Justin Cronin, Max Brooks, etc.) you might as well give this a try, but don't expect much more than a second string performance.

    It's not a BAD book and there are some good moments, but overall it's just not that engaging, nor are the characters at all compelling. The character voices are frequently laughable (the goofy private that sounds like a young Gomer Pyle and the soldier who the narrator voices in dead-on, bad Christopher Walken impersonation comes to mind.).

    I won't be moving on to parts two and three of this trilogy because frankly, I just don't care at all what happens to these people or the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Thing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Josh Bazell
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff, Stephanie Wolfe
    Overall
    (286)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (255)

    It's hard to find work as a doctor when using your real name will get you killed. So hard that when a reclusive billionaire offers Dr. Peter Brown, aka Pietro Brnwa, a job accompanying a sexy but self-destructive paleontologist on the world's worst field assignment, Brown has no real choice but to say yes. Even if it means that an army of murderers, mobsters, and international drug dealers-not to mention the occasional lake monster-are about to have a serious Pietro Brnwa problem.

    Edward says: "Disappointing."
    "Such a disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me start by saying that Josh Bazell's first book, Beat The Reaper, is one of the most enjoyable audio books I have ever listened to. Great story, very well acted, incredible action and surprisingly funny in many spots. Essentially, everything that this second work was not.

    The story is slow and ponderous with only a tiny fraction of the incredible action sequences that made Beat The Reaper such a dynamic listen. In fact, the main character seems to be an entirely different person, more involved with voicing flights of sexual and romantic frustration than driving the plot in any meaningful way. He might not be completely to blame however since 'the plot' consists of little more than a reed-thin stage from which Bazell spouts his political, environmental, and evolutionary beliefs, up to and including some sort of progressive/liberal/enviro-whacko laundry list monologue at the conclusion of the story.

    Overally, a complete and utter let-down. If you're a fan of Bazell, don't waste your time on this one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4265)
    Performance
    (3727)
    Story
    (3696)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Still good, but far from Murakami's best."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book is long. Very long. And while that in and of itself is not bad, it was difficult to not notice portions that seemed unnecessary and tedious. It is well written by most standards and an interesting story, but Murakami has set his bar so high with previous works like Kafka On the Shore and The Windup Bird Chronicle, that 1Q84 suffers by comparison. Many questions and plot threads are left completely unanswered or simply swept away in a sentence or two. This is particularly annoying because in a novel that is 46+ hours, it seems more time could have been devoted to wrapping up loose ends and less time toward star- (moon?) crossed lovers narrowly missing each other at various moments.


    If you’ve listened to books by the authors before, how does this one compare?

    It's good, but not nearly as compelling as past works that I have enjoyed.


    Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The narration is good, particularly the male readers.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10541)
    Performance
    (5429)
    Story
    (5471)

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Russell says: "Glad I Listened to 11-22-63 First"
    "A decent story with some distractions..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Under the Dome is far from one of Stephen King's best works, but it is a fairly enjoyable listen and a decently paced story. Unfortunately for me, there were two almost constant distractions.

    The first was with the narrative which often seems to be little more than a vehicle for King to denounce Christianity and evangelicals specifically. I don't know when Mr. King became so enamored of painting such an unflattering and hateful picture of religion and believers, but at times it bordered on being so offensive that I contemplated not finishing the listen.

    The second was with the narrator's interpretation of the primary antagonist Big Jim Renny. Since Big Jim lived his whole life in Maine, why on earth would he have a totally over-acted West Texas drawl?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wake of Forgiveness: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Bruce Machart
    • Narrated By Henry Strozier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    This accomplished debut novel from Bruce Machart has drawn critical raves. In 1895 Texas, Karel Skala enters the world while his mother dies in childbirth. Fifteen years later, guilt-stricken Karel puts his family’s fortunes on the line in a horse race against a powerful Spanish patriarch.

    Brian says: "Machart misses, but not for lack of trying"
    "Machart misses, but not for lack of trying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Wake of Forgiveness is not a horrible book and it's audio presentation is fine, but I don't recommend it. Machart does a fair job of providing creative prose and witty dialogue, I only wish he had put more effort into the story itself.

    For roughly 7/8ths of the book the listener is presented with almost completely irredeemable characters who are uniform in their distastefulness. Then, in the final pages, an attempt is made to turn it all around, but by that point, who is interested in viewing these creatures as the "good guys"? The story drags on painfully while bouncing back and forth through the history of the denizens of Levaca County, Texas. Nothing much happens on the road to the discovery of the novel's mysteries, which are about as mysterious as an episode of Gunsmoke.

    There were two specific scenes, one involving a photograph of the Scala boys' mother, and another at the very end where a wet nurse is brought to care for a newborn, that were both interesting, emotional, and well written. Beyond that, this was a chore to finish. If you are a fan of well-written historical fiction in the setting of the turn of the 19th century American West, look to Charles Frazier or Cormac McCarthy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden City: The Fourth Realm, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Twelve Hawks
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (645)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (252)

    Struggling to protect the legacy of his Traveler father, Gabriel faces troubling new questions and relentless threats. His brother Michael, now firmly allied with the enemy, pursues his ambition to wrest power from Nathan Boone, the calculating leader of the Brethren. And Maya, the Harlequin warrior pledged to protect Gabriel at all costs, is forced to make a choice that will change her life forever.

    Martin says: "Didnt feel like the end of the trilogy"
    "Golden City turns out to be Technibond"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Seldom have I ever gone through a trilogy that got worse with each new installment, but this one manages it. After greatly enjoying The Traveler and moderately enjoying The Dark River, I was UTTERLY disappointed by The Golden City. Talk about an author 'mailing it in'. The book has no energy, does not resolve earlier scenarios, sets up new scenarios that it does not resolve, and ends with one of the weakest wrap-ups I have ever listened to. Overall it was BORING and I forced myself to finish it because I'd already invested the time on the series. Even if you have gone through the first two books, don't feel obligated to waste your time on this one, it is a total let-down.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Company

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Max Barry
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (449)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (111)

    Nestled among Seattle's skyscrapers, The Zephyr Holdings Building is a bleak rectangle topped by an orange-and-black logo that gives no hint of Zephyr's business. Lack of clarity, it turns out, is Zephyr's defining characteristic. The floors are numbered in reverse. No one has ever seen the CEO or glimpsed his office on the first (i.e., top) floor. Yet every day people clip on their ID tags, file into the building, sit at their desks, and hope that they're not about to be outsourced.

    Michael says: "Characters brought to life"
    "A good read ruined"
    Overall

    I started reading a friend's copy of Company randomly. I enjoyed the first 100 pages so much that I plunked down my money on the audible version. What a mistake. The problem was not the book but rather the narration. The voices are so overdone and ridiculous that the book is rendered unlistenable. All of the biting, subtle, satire is completely lost as the reader hits you over the head with his interpretation of the characters. Save your Audible credits on this one and pick up the hardcopy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Kite Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini
    Overall
    (6817)
    Performance
    (2120)
    Story
    (2138)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Never before has an author’s narration of his fiction been so important to fully grasping the book’s impact and global implications. Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of its monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them.

    Joseph says: "A storyteller's story"
    "great story!"
    Overall

    this book was excellent and has characteristics that would appeal to all audiences

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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