Call anytime(888) 283-5051

You no longer follow Carl

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.


You now follow Carl

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.



Saint Paul, MN, United States


  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Delightful story (if u r target), great narration"
    Where does Ready Player One rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It may be the most fun I have had listening to an audiobook that was not by Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams.

    What other book might you compare Ready Player One to and why?

    The setting is kind of a sci-fi cyberpunk-lite, but the story structure is really more quest fantasy or action-spy story. In that sense, it is a fairly standard

    What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wheaton's narration is skillful and spot on. I am not sure that he necessarily adds something per se -- he definitely narrates, rather than voice acting (though one of his character voices is still a bit annoying, but there is not much of it). But this book is written to be heard, and is incredibly immersive in that medium, and Wheaton simply gets it right, not detracting from it in any, showing much greater skill than most narrators. Also, when you happened to come up out of the story and notice whose voice it is, his geek chic (from TNG and Big Bang Theory) is just perfect for the book. Indeed, his real-life self makes two Hitchcock-level cameos in the story.

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

    I definitely wanted to listen to the last 1/3 in one sitting. Early on, I was not quite so convinced because a few things were grating on me a bit (see my comments below). Even still, it was captivating. One factor that made it a bit less

    Any additional comments?

    As I noted, I found this completely delightful. I should add the caveat, though, that I am exactly the perfect demographic for this book. I came of age in the same years as Halliday (the character who is responsible for the 1980s pop culture domination of the story); I was the exact type of intellectual-pop, game playing geek; and I even grew up in Columbus! I recognized almost every one of the hundred (thousands?) of references, and figured out most of the clues (and I am not a mystery reader). I even recognized [very minor spoiler of an early event] that the

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan put the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl at the center of a rich history, told through characters he brought to indelible life. Now he performs the same alchemy with The Big Burn, the largest-ever forest fire in America, a tragedy that cemented Teddy Roosevelt's legacy.

    P. Bergh says: "A fascinating history of early Forest Service"
    "wonderful audio experience"

    This is an very good book, but an excellent listen. The story is captivating and uplifting as both success and tragedy. The mix of personal adventure and non-wonky political analysis work very well at oral pace. The flaws in the writing (see, e.g., the New York Times review), such as the author's tendency toward over-dramatic or breathless prose, turn out to be little or no problem when listening rather than reading. (You notice the phrases that seem comical out of context if you look for them, but only if you look for them. Otherwise, they glide right by.) Dean's narration is near perfect, and adds much to what is already a very good book. I would definitely recommend this book, and make the rarely-deserved recommendation that listening is much better than reading. The book is such an inspiration that if it were not winter right now, I would be off exploring the locales from the book rather than taking time to write this.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Persistence of Vision

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By John Varley
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim

    On the surface, this Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic is about a drifter who comes to stay in a New Mexico commune founded by a group of deaf-blind people. But beneath the story, author John Varley examines deep, universal issues. What is the nature of communication? What does an individual gain - or lose - by subsuming himself to the whole? Can an outsider ever truly "belong"?

    Katherine says: "Fascinating!"
    "interesting as history of culture"

    The story is archetype, proto-new-age 1970s socio-political cultural and psychological commentary. Amusing (or at least interesting) if you think of it that way -- not so much if you just want to take the story at face value. The narration is a bit annoying, coming close to monotone. It actually started to work for me most of the way through, but at first I thought it was more like reading the newspaper for the blind than story telling (though given the theme, it might appeal to the blind). The odd thing is that it really deserves a "don't bother with this" recommendation, but somehow the tedious narration and the tedious 1970s self-indulgent culture were amusing enough that I finished it and did not hate it.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Very Bad Deaths

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Spider Robinson
    • Narrated By Spider Robinson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Russell Walker retreats from the shock of his wife's death by becoming a hermit in the woods of British Columbia. There he finds himself thrust into a precarious role as intermediary between a telepath called Smelly, so sensitive he can't stand to be near most people, and Constable Hilda, a skeptical police officer who needs Smelly's insight to track down a monstrous serial killer.

    Native Texan says: "It's a good listen BUT..."
    "a bit unpleasant"

    A reasonably good story, though nothing like you would expect based on the Callahan's tales. Normally I try to review the audio side of things, figuring that there are many reviews of the content at other booksellers. But I have to mention that the content is somewhat disturbing and more visceral due to the audio experience. It is certainly not the nastiest, and certainly not the scariest or most violent, story around, but it has some "I wish I had never heard something that creepy" bits that remind me of wishing I had never seen the movies Seven or 8mm. Fair warning -- be sure you like stuff like that.

    The narration by Spider is a bit weak. Far from the worst around, for sure, and the critics of his narration have gone a bit far. Since it is his story, there is some value added in him narrating it. But you certainly would not want him as a narrator for someone else's work. He really only has three or four character voices, and there are (a few) more than four characters that need voices.

    Overall, I would have to say that this is fine, but there are better choices for Robinson irreverence, for spooky stories, for characterization, and for narrations (though maybe not all four at once).

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Fisher Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more (except maybe "Maggie," Mary of Magdalan) and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.

    Hope says: "A Worthy Book, indeed"
    "Best Narrator Ever!"

    Really. Fisher Stevens's reading is, I think, even better than Nigel Planer's readings of Pratchett's books. I am not entirely sure this would be a great book to read on paper, but it was truly great to listen to.

    Not that the story is bad. Moore does a nice job of weaving various religions/philosophies into Jesus's experiences during the missing decades. It makes for a very entertaining story, and quite a twist on coming-of-age. The humor is definitely laugh-out-loud quality in many places. The quality trends down over time, with the childhood story being best, and the travels as a young adult being good, but the end -- where the story needs to be congruent with the "real" gospels -- being rather weak.

    Oh, and it is definitely just entertainment, with maybe a splash of pointing out how many spiritualities are quite similar at their core. If the author wanted and expected the reader to really think anything new and different after finishing this, I have to admit that the lesson was lost on me.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp, Camille Kingsolver

    When Barbara Kingsolver and her family move from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they take on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally-produced diet, paying close attention to the provenance of all they consume. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle follows the family through the first year of their experiment.

    Sydney says: "Eye opening"
    "good book, especially good audio"

    This is a good book in any form (I have a paper copy too), though it is not a scientific reference manual. Those interested in the details should really read more widely because Kingsolver gets some stuff wrong (including part of her core theses). But the broad sweeps are excellent and she does a good job of painting a picture, and teaching lessons, in terms you will not soon forget. But what really sets it apart as an aural experience is the narration by the authors, which is personable and perfectly recorded and paced. As another reviewer suggested, you really feel connected to them through their narration, bringing another level to the experience of this captivating story and analysis. Without hearing her wax about it, I would never be inclined to plant asparagus! This is particularly good road-trip listening, as you drive through the in-between spaces where most of our food is produced (and also because the radio-style pace is better for driving than some audiobooks which are distracting or sleep-inducing). Even if you have read the paper version, get this and listen to it again in a year, and you will enjoy it again.

    13 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Rules of Enragement

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 5 mins)
    • By Lewis Black
    • Narrated By Lewis Black

    Satirist and stand-up comic Lewis Black rose to prominence in the late 1990s with regular appearances as a commentator on Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Obsessed with human stupidity, Black became one of the show's most distinctive contributors with his weekly "Back in Black" segment. Recorded live June 26-29, 2003 at Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis.

    Carl says: "Black fans: stick to t.v."
    "Black fans: stick to t.v."

    I am a big fan of Lewis Black, but this did not work well as an audio performance. First, the recording mixing was pretty bad, resulting in the laughter from the audience (this was a spoken-word concert recording) being so loud and shrill that it was rather unpleasant to listen to. If you do buy this, I suggest turning the treble way down to compensate, since Black does not have much treble in his voice anyway. Second, listening to a comic read his own book is usually quite rewarding - much better than just reading it. But in Black's case, without the visuals, it is not nearly as funny as seeing him on Jon Stewart or other television performances. As a long-time fan, I could imagine what his face and hands were doing, but it was just not the same.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Douglas Adams

    The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy, the first volume in the five-part Hitchhiker "trilogy" made Douglas Adams a science fiction sensation, and is a must-listen for any and all fans of the genre. Don't forget to bring a towel!

    Victor says: "still a winner!!!"
    "read by the author, as it should be"

    This (and the other books by the author) are either your cup of tea or not, and you probably already know which category you fall into. If you are a fan, no matter how many times you have read them, you should definitely get this audio version (and the radio scripts). The excellent reading by the author adds to the experience and really makes you feel more a part of it. Hearing it (read definitively) is entertaining in ways that reading it cannot be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oh, the Things I Know! A Guide to Success, or, Failing That, Happiness

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Al Franken
    • Narrated By Al Franken

    What does a megasuccess like Al Franken - best selling author, Emmy-award winning television star, and honorary Ph.D. - have to say to ordinary people like you? Well, as Dr. Al himself says, "There's no point in getting advice from hopeless failures." Filled with wisdom, observations, and practical tips you can put to work right away, this is a cradle-to-grave guide to living, an easy-to-follow user's manual for human existence.

    Eric says: "You either have a sense of humor or ..."
    "just fun, no insight required"

    A silly send-up of American self-help books. Unlike Franken's two major books ("Rush..." and "Lies...", which are some of the most insightful political commentary of recent times, there may not be any useful information or analysis in this books. But it's good enough, it's smart (witty) enough, and doggone it, people like it. I know I did. It's really funny. Enjoy it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Short Guide to a Happy Life

    • UNABRIDGED (34 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Anna Quindlen

    'Tis the season for graduations. Download Pulitzer Prize-winner Anna Quindlen's A Short Guide to a Happy Life for invaluable advice and inspiration. Hear an interview with Quindlen - FREE!

    Carl says: "short=thin=not worth the price"
    "short=thin=not worth the price"

    I generally like the author's short works (her old columns), and if this were priced by the word (or minute) on the scale where 20-hour audiobooks cost $30, then I would say go for it. But it is terribly pricey for what seems like an NPR feature segment. I think the paper version of this book sold because it made a great graduation present that could be read completely while standing in line to get into the graduation ceremony.

    I recommend instead This American Life (a whole month -- 4 hours -- of something with a similar mood for only a few more dollars), a deeper self-help book (or better still, literature that really delves into the happy life), or Al Franken's great send-up of this book and its ilk ("Oh, the Things I Know" -- a great audiobook, read by the author).

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.


Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.