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Conrad

Windsor, ON, Canada

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 103 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Lord Valentine's Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert Silverberg
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (88)

    The planet Majipoor is shared by humans and several alien races, including four-armed Skandars, three-eyed Liiman, and the native, shape-shifting Metamorphs. All are watched over by the King of Dreams, the labyrinth-dwelling Pontifex, and the priestess of the Isle of Sleep, while the Coronal officially rules from atop Castle Mount.

    C. Paget says: "Superb"
    "Majipoor"
    Overall

    I have read Lord Valentine's Castle in its print form at least seven or eight times, and it is one of my all-time favourite novels, even though I am a hard core sf fan rather than a fantasy fan. Now that my eyesight is deteriorating, I rely heavily on audio books, and the three audio Majipoor books currently available have added a a new dimension to this wonderful series. Superbly done, beautifully read by Stefan Rudnicki, who brings life to the alien voices. Strongly recommended for new Silverberg fans as well as long-time fans.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Disgrace

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By J.M. Coetzee
    • Narrated By Jack Klaff
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    David Lurie, middle-aged and twice divorced, is a scholar fallen into disgrace. After years teaching Romantic poetry at the Technical University of Cape Town, he has an impulsive affair with a student. Willing to admit his guilt, but refusing to yield to pressure to repent publicly, he resigns and retreats to an isolated smallholding owned by his daughter Lucy. But the balance of power in the country is shifting.

    Conrad says: "A classic of South African literature"
    "A classic of South African literature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Disgrace better?

    No improvement possible. The reading grabs your emotions, and doesn't let go.


    Would you ever listen to anything by J.M. Coetzee again?

    Y es I would love to acquire audio versions of what in my opinion are his greatest works: "In the heart of the country." "Waiting for the barbarians and "The Life and times of Michael K." How about it, Audiobooks?


    What didn’t you like about Jack Klaff’s performance?

    A bang-on performance. As an expatriate South African, I admired the credible and realistic way he handled the various South African accents.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    A harrowing emotional experience, but well worth tackling. I detected a number of nuances that I had missed the first time I read it, when it was initially published. Also, a powerful movie - starring John Malkovich.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a classic of South African literature by South Africa's finest writer, who for reasons known on only to himself has emigrated to Austraiia. - a must read.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tower of Glass

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Silverberg
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Simeon Krug has a vision - and the vast wealth necessary to turn dream into reality. What he wishes is to communicate with the stars, to answer signals from deep space. The colossal tower he's constructing for this purpose soars above the Arctic tundra, and the seemingly perfect androids building it view Krug as their god. But Krug is only flesh-and-blood, and when his androids discover the truth, their anger knows no bounds... and it threatens much more than the tower.

    Kat Hooper says: "Androids are people, too."
    "A mastepiece!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have just finished listening to "The Tower of Glass". and I strongly recommend it everyone, whether a science fiction fan or not. Some time ago I lost myself in the three
    original Majipoor works. I found that I was discovering a number of nuances and
    insights, particularly about the alien characters, from the readings, even
    though I had read the print editions several times (ten-eleven in the case of
    LVC!). Some of RS's books (although not all, unfortunately), are "read" by
    writer/actor/director Stefan Rudnicki, who has a magnificent, booming, rasping,
    gravelly voice that is perfectly suited to RS's prose. Just imagine what he
    could do with "Lord of Darkness," although some judicious editing might be
    appropriate.

    Rudnicki's performances are not simple readings of the narrative, nor are they a
    dramatic interpretation, but something entirely different. I believe that he
    has invented a new vocal art form. I have heard things in "Tower of Glass" that
    I had missed in previous readings, and which interested, fascinated and
    terrified me. For instance, what would happen if God turned his back on
    Humanity, and Humanity turned on God, as this is a story about androids and
    their creator. For God, read Krug the entrepreneurial billionaire who invented,
    manufactured and marketed androids, and androids as the end result of Human
    evolution.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Skulls

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Robert Silverberg
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Seeking the immortality promised in an ancient manuscript, The Book of Skulls, four friends, college roommates, go on a spring break trip to Arizona: Eli, the scholar, who found and translated the book; Timothy, scion of an American dynasty, born and bred to lead; Ned, poet and cynic; and Oliver, the brilliant farm boy obsessed with death. Somewhere in the desert lies the House of Skulls, where a mystic brotherhood guards the secret of eternal life. There, the four aspirants will present themselves - and a horrific price will be demanded.

    Conrad says: "Disappointment"
    "Disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Robert Silverberg is by far my favourite author, but the Book of Skulls wasn't at all what I expected. I thought it had to do with a search for the secret of immortality, but it actually dealt with a bunch of neurotic teenagers in search of some meaning in their useless lives. Along the way they have a number of graphic homosexual experiences that weren't to my taste at all. This is considered to be a classic, but you really have to be in the mood to stomach it. Try listening to The Tower of Glass, Lord Valentine's Castle or anything else by Robert Silverberg instead. However, Stefan Rudnicki does a magnificent job of reading a number of these works. His resonant voice is perfectly suited to Robert Silverberg's prose.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind over the World

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 11 mins)
    • By Steven Utley
    • Narrated By Shondra Marie
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    They had a doorway into the past. But it didn't just open on a specific place on a certain day. There was a sort of flutter, and it caused spatial drift and temporal spread. Two probes might go through together on the 21st-century side but come out miles and years apart on the Silurian side. So, when the second of two people going through a portal into the past is lost, the first feels an abstract guilt that eats into her pleasure at having traveled through time.

    Conrad says: "A very amateurish production"
    "A very amateurish production"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The description of this story sounded intriguing, and it was fairly short (just over an hour) so that it can be completed in one sitting, which I like. However, I could not make head nor tail of it because of the amateurish production. The quality of the sound was BAD, and the reader read at race horse speed, and swallowed many of her words. She sounded like a twittery teenager. For ease of comprehension, the reading should be at a medium pace, with all the words crisply and clearly enunciated, and no fancy vocal gymnastics. Particularly with deteriorating hearing, such as I have, it sounded like a lot of gobbledegook. I don't want to appear sexist, but there are very few women who can do a half-decent job of reading. I gave up listening after ten minutes. Maybe a younger person, used to contemporary youth-speech, would have got more out of this story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Orphans of the Sky

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (316)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (192)

    The Jordan Foundation sponsored the Proxima Centauri Expedition in 2119, in attempt to reach the nearer stars of the galaxy. But that was far in the mythic past. The original purpose of the Ship's epic voyage has long been forgotten, and for generations the giant spaceship, lost between the stars, is the only world that the people aboard have known. A strange civilization has evolved, with its own superstitions, savage religion, rigid class structure and mutant outcasts.

    Noe says: "Our world is a spaceship."
    "An early SF classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an early example of an SF classic, and for that reason alone is worth a listen. The theme is that of a group of people on a Generation Starship, who do not realize that they are in an enclosed metal vessel, nor do they know where they are headed. It is an intriguing concept, although it has been done better by other writers (particularly Brian Aldiss) as this story tends to peter out anti-climactically towards the end.end. The reader did a satisfactory job of narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Solaris: The Definitive Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston (translator)
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    Overall
    (2185)
    Performance
    (1771)
    Story
    (1788)

    At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation - complete for the first time, and the first ever directly from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

    Burns says: "A comment on negative reviews"
    "I'm still scratching my head"
    Overall

    I cannot agree at all with the other reviewers. "Solaris" may be considered to be a classic, but I don't think it should be described as science fiction, just because it was set on some other planet. For me, the theme was the difference between appearance and reality, and how the world is perceived by a disturbed mind. All along I expected an explanation to be forthcoming, like a mind-controlling alien influence, or something in the air, but it just fizzled out into nothing. It brought to mind the movie "Shutter Island".
    However, the narration was the worst I have ever heard on an audio book. It turned a difficult-to-follow plot into an incomprehensible mish-mash. I couldn't understand anything the character Snout mumbled. The narrator swallowed many of his syllables, dropped his voice at inappropriate points, and was unable to articulate letters such as "R", almost as if he had a speech defect. Narrators should be aware that you don't lose the dramatic impact of a story if you e-nun-ciate clearly.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Spindrift

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Allen Steele
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (134)

    June 1, 2288 - Europe's first starship, the EASS Galileo, launches on its maiden voyage to investigate an unidentified object, code-named Spindrift, which is traveling outside our solar system. An object that may be alien in origin. The Galileo disappears soon after...February 1, 2344 - The Galileo's shuttle returns to Earth carrying three surviving expedition members, who still appear to be the same age they were when they departed. They report that they have, indeed, made contact with an extraterrestrial race.

    Ingar says: "Not bad"
    "Aimless story"
    Overall

    Anyone who enjoys sf novels about the exploration of huge and mysterious artifacts from the vastness of deep space, should avoid "Spindrift" and listen to Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama", which is a classic of the genre, instead.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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