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C. Hartmann

New York, NY | Member Since 2014

163
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 320 ratings
  • 783 titles in library
  • 81 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
10
FOLLOWERS
42

  • Man in the Empty Suit

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Sean Ferrell
    • Narrated By Mauro Hantman
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    Say you're a time traveler and you've already toured the entirety of human history. After a while, the outside world might lose a little of its luster. That's why this time traveler celebrates his birthday partying with himself. Every year, he travels to an abandoned hotel in New York City in 2071, the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and drinks 12-year-old Scotch (lots of it) with all the other versions of who he has been and who he will be.

    Frederik says: "Up there with the best."
    "GREAT Listen...but you have to work for it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the things that makes it hard to write book reviews is that there is a conflict between wanting to express your own views and a duty to readers. My view is that this is maybe one of the best books I've read. It is Pynchon. It is one of a limited number of science fiction books that qualifies as literature. The author clearly worked this manuscript until it was perfect.
    Ok....That was for me -- this is for you. Do not listen to this unless you really want to work on it. There are times it repeats. There are times it is relentlessly dystopian. There are times it is just plain sad and heartbreaking.
    It is set in a not too distant post-something New York. Life is hard and not entirely well-balanced. There is a mystery, there is a dark humor. There is aggressive time-loopery. If you get to half way and think you want to kill this reviewer -- stick it out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Heartsick

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Chelsea Cain
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (617)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (243)

    Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent 10 years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer. But in the end, she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for 10 days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go.

    Karen says: "Entertaining Listen"
    "How Did I Miss This Series ?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK....I admit it, I'm more likely to read Sci-Fi or Non-Fiction history than mysteries. But I have read all of the Dexter/Hannibal Lechter/Scarpetta books. And every Summer I take some time off to try to find a few non-Sci-Fi audiobooks. How did I miss these? What a clever premise. What a smart writer. I guarantee you will like this if you can take the rough imagery (it is a sadistic serial killer after all.) Just try the first hour....hooked. Good narrator as well !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4134)
    Performance
    (3682)
    Story
    (3680)

    LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well, not since a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. The German shepherd survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before she lost her handler to an IED and sniper attack, and her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance.

    Jacqueline says: "Gripping Page Turner!!"
    "Unexpectedly Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to take some time off from science fiction -- so I went to the "police procedurals" list on Audible and looked for the highest rated book with more than a few ratings. This was it -- and for good reason. I've read Crais before, but this seemed to be particularly good. Do not read it if you don't like dogs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Out of the Black: Odyssey One, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Evan Currie
    • Narrated By David deVries
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (388)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (366)

    The wreckage of the starship Odyssey, once Earth's greatest guardian, lies strewn across New York City. Abandoned by all but its captain, Odyssey's sacrifice covered the withdrawal of countless troops as the Drasin assault ravaged the planet. When Captain Eric Weston finally emerges from the rubble, impossibly alive thanks to the mysterious "Gaia", he knows with the Drasin it's kill or be killed.

    SteveK says: "Unworthy of Series"
    "Reviewing the 4th Book in a Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    By Book 4, it should be assumed that readers like the characters and the series -- and pretty much know as much as possible about the premises. So this is for those folks. I start by noting that I was been a big fan of this series from the onset. Thus, I was horrified in the first 50 pages. I thought: "He's ruined it." It was ground-based and felt like a Captain America cartoon. I almost stopped listening. Then, just as suddenly, the majority of that stopped and we were in space and things were fine. The on-the-ground sub-plot even improved once it was fitted into the story.

    In the end I enjoyed the book and look forward to #5. Part of what makes this series interesting is that the characters think their way through situations -- any moron can pull the trigger on a super-gun and survive catching bullets in their teeth while delivering pithy platitudes.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ark Royal

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Christopher G. Nuttall
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (388)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (369)

    Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons.

    C. Hartmann says: "TWO (!!) audiobooks this year get SIX stars"
    "TWO (!!) audiobooks this year get SIX stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the past I have suggested that every Audible.com subscriber who listens to more than 50 books per year should be allowed to award a SIXTH STAR just once per year. Sort of a frequent flyer club for hardcore listeners. This year would be hard -- I would have to give out two, and they could not be more different books. Silkworm, a detective novel by J.K. Rowling (writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith) and the military sci-fi story Ark Royal by Christopher Nuttall, a Brit living in Malaysia.

    First, both remind me that these are audiobooks, and that involves either a reading or a performance of the book. These are performances. I have told everyone I recommend these books to make sure to listen to them rather than read. The performances are wonderful. There are a dozen books I've listened to where the narration makes the book even more......these go on that list.

    Second, both are excellent writers staying within the bounds of their genre. Rowling is like a vacuum cleaner -- it is as though she read every single detective procedural from 1920 to present and decided to write the best one of that school. (One reviewer criticizes her for not using the "Harry Potter" imagination -- but that totally misses the point of what she has done.) It is not derivative, it is just really proficient. Similarly, Nuttall writes the quintessential military space opera. He does not try to go outside of the genre or beyond it.

    Third, in both cases I feel sad that character development, language and sly intelligence are so sadly missing in many books. When I read these two, I realize how much you miss that when its not there. I won't give away either plot -- but I hope you take the time to listen to these as they are fun, interesting, smart and satisfying.

    Finally, I know.....it is only July. But I feel pretty sure that these won't be topped this year, although there is a second book following Ark Royal.

    20 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Claire North
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (213)

    No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now.As Harry nears the end of his 11th life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

    C. says: "Well read and written, just not my cup of tea."
    "A Very Tough Read -- but perhaps worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a tough book -- there is a lot physical and psychological torture. The idea is not new, but it is well-done. Excellent narration. That all said, I enjoyed the intellectual challenges. It was like reading Kafka -- a book that ends up being as much about you as it is about the character. More literature than Science Fiction despite the excellent time-travel "rules." It put me in mind of "the Man in the Empty Suit".

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Forever Watch

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Ramirez
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, The Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer.... As a city planner on the Noah, Hana Dempsey is a gifted psychic, economist, hacker, and bureaucrat and is considered "mission critical". She is non-replaceable, important, essential, but after serving her mandatory Breeding Duty, the impregnation and birthing that all women are obligated to undergo, her life loses purpose as she privately mourns the child she will never be permitted to know.

    C. Hartmann says: "An Interesting and Ambitious Effort"
    "An Interesting and Ambitious Effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Forever Watch in three words, what would they be?

    interesting, unique perspective


    What did you like best about this story?

    I don't usually review books I can't recommend without reservation. But this is sufficiently good that even with a few reservations, it is worth the read. It takes a rather old meme (generation colony ship with "something going on") and infuses with a new perspective and a variety of unique ideas. Take a chance and read it -- it has twists and turns that I was not expecting.


    Have you listened to any of Dina Pearlman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. She is always very good.


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

    It isn't what it seems to be


    Any additional comments?

    I'll remember this more than a lot of other books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Aurora: CV-01: Frontiers Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Ryk Brown
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (311)
    Performance
    (290)
    Story
    (290)

    world recovering from a devastating plague. A brutal enemy threatening invasion. A young man seeking to escape the shadow of his father. A ship manned by a crew of fresh academy graduates. A top-secret experimental propulsion system. A questionable alliance with a mysterious green-eyed woman. What destiny has in store for the crew of the UES Aurora is far greater than any of them could ever imagine. And this is only the beginning....

    Joki says: "Decent Modern Military Sci Fi"
    "A Series of Books which Glories in its Being One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Let me say that I am up to "Episode 8" and greatly enjoy the series. This is (by the author's own admission) neither deep nor wildly original SF. So what? Though I read and enjoy both historical non-fiction and science fiction -- some of it VERY complex -- this is like return to my youth of reading Heinlein, Tom Swift, Ric Brant. Most people don't know that Charles Dickens sprang to fame with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humor, satire, and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most published in monthly or weekly installments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication.The installment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback (His wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities.) This series is what Star Wars was originally intended to be -- what it would have been if it didn't take 5 years an $100 million per episode. It is fun, sufficiently geeky, story-driven westerns in space with just enough science to make it smart.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Probably Loki. He is the long-suffering everyman who gets dragged to hero-dom despite his common-sense.


    Which character – as performed by Jeffrey Kafer – was your favorite?

    I like the narration. It picks up the nature of the books well. You've gotta love his reluctant captain.


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

    I thought the battle scene at the end of Book 5 (which ends the first "cycle" was a hoot. It didn't move me deeply -- it was just a lot of run-on fun!


    Any additional comments?

    The Author's Webpage states "The Frontiers Saga is a series of Science Fiction novels that covers a century of human adventures in space. Part one is 15 episodes, with each episode being released at regular intervals. All story arcs begun within a part are concluded during that part. There will be 5 parts to the series, with 15 episodes per part, for a total of 75 episodes." NOW WE'RE TALKING.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (6598)
    Performance
    (6002)
    Story
    (6009)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Clever, clever writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I normally review SF, although I do read a good bit of detective and spy fiction. (I don't feel I have the breadth to comment on those areas.) But this book is so completely peculiar that I doubt anyone has the right background to provide expert commentary.

    My wife insisted I listen to it. I really didn't want to read a Rowling romp. What a moron I am at times. I could not disagree more with those who suggest this is a great "first" effort in the genre. It is a really good book. Period.

    This is clever and VERY "meta'" -- brilliantly narrated. It is as though someone had reviewed all detective stories from Chandler on, sat a LONG time digesting the body of work and then written what was supposed to look simple but was really a sly book. The author covers every single base on the "tough but scruffy British police/detective" checklist right out in the open....no pretending it is something else. But each is addressed in new and interesting ways -- and the author supplies all of the mandatory snappy patter. But in the end it becomes just a good story.

    It is fun and self-deprecating. It delivers completely I thought.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The January Dancer

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Michael Flynn
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Starting with Captain Amos January, who quickly loses it, and then the others who fought, schemed, and killed to get it, we travel around the complex, decadent, brawling, mongrelized, interstellar human civilization that the artifact might save or destroy. Collectors want the Dancer, pirates take it, rulers crave it, and all will kill, if necessary, to get it. This is a thrilling yarn of love, revolution, music, and mystery, and it ends, as all great stories do, with shock and a beginning.

    Geoff says: "Excelent space opera"
    "A Big Idea Space Opera - Epic but not overly epic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of my favorite series of books is Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos, reflecting the poem by John Keats first published in 1818. They are a sweeping, sometimes tortured but epic space opera.

    January Dancer is akin to an abridged version of that type of epic. That is not a bad thing....as I wonder how many people actually finish the Cantos. While long and winding in epic style, it is one book. A story within a story, it starts with three themes and uses a good deal of analogy to music. I liked it. A number of clever side trips add to a great ending.

    The narration is also quite a bit of fun. Rudnicki's heavy Irish efforts are worth the listen alone.

    There are new ideas here -- but it is not so bizarre that it become inaccessible.



    .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fall of Hyperion

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2308)
    Performance
    (1378)
    Story
    (1408)

    In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention. Onthe world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening. And the secrets they contain mean that nothing - nothing anywhere in the universe - will ever be the same.

    Darwin8u says: "Hyperion is FALLEN, am I too to fall?"
    "One of the Best 3-4 books I've ever Listened to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Can't put it more clearly than that. It is long, requires a good deal of work and is very tough on the reader in parts. (The Hyperion Cantos include several books.) But you get out what you put in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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