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Corey

Los Angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 244 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (3921)
    Performance
    (2487)
    Story
    (2513)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Truth is stranger than fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When they say that the truth is stranger then fiction they must have had this book in mind. At times it reads like a Crichton novel, the Andromeda Strain suddenly becoming tame after you realize that The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is non-fiction. The history, life, and events surrounding Henrietta leaves you in awe, makes you frustrated with rage, and tugs at your most empathetic feelings. From the first page, to the epilogue this book had my rapt attention. I found all the lives surrounding the HeLa cells a mix of chaos, miscommunication, good intentions, ignorance, hope, and a longing to understand. There were so many unfortunate events that just continued to over lap that it left the cells in a world similar to where they started. A metaphorical cancer eating away at the lives around it. The history and lives of the Lacks family is tragic and you can not help but feel for them. As outsiders looking in it is easy for us to say, "I understand what is going on, why didn't *insert question". But looking at this from the Lacks point of view is terrifying. The world is out to get them and their suspicions are just reaffirmed by con artists, shifty doctors, and a lack of understanding. At the same time though, you can not lay blame on the original doctors for doing what they did. It was not out of malice that they took the cells, or out of greed. They did it with the best of intentions, but as my mother always said, good intentions pave the road to hell. The doctors/scientists were swept up in a breakthrough and before they knew it it was being produced on a massive scale.

    It is a riveting read and you find yourself learning a lot without even knowing it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crime and Punishment (Recorded Books Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1373)
    Performance
    (578)
    Story
    (574)

    Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is universally regarded as one of literature's finest achievements, as the great Russian novelist explores the inner workings of a troubled intellectual. Raskolnikov, a nihilistic young man in the midst of a spiritual crisis, makes the fateful decision to murder a cruel pawnbroker, justifying his actions by relying on science and reason, and creating his own morality system. Dehumanized yet sympathetic, exhausted yet hopeful, Raskolnikov represents the best and worst elements of modern intellectualism. The aftermath of his crime and Petrovich's murder investigation result in an utterly compelling, truly unforgettable cat-and-mouse game. This stunning dramatization of Dostoevsky's magnum opus brings the slums of St. Petersburg and the demons of Raskolnikov's tortured mind vividly to life.

    Greg says: "Wonderful Book"
    "More relevant now then I remembered"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this about a decade ago and apparently my young, immature, soft mind could not adequately grasp the meaning of this book. Having read it a second time after life has had a chance to have its way with me. I feel that I have matured enough to begin to understand its philosophy. I was very surprised to find that the more things change the more they stay the same in the world. Economy is going to hell, our own "class" system is in the toilet, the poor and impoverished scrape to get buy, and the rich get richer. If this had not been written before the 1900's I would have said someone was trying to cash in on a social statement. As it stands it is a truly, epic, piece of work. Raskolnikov is everyone of us that has suffered and wanted so desperately for a way out that we contemplate the un-doable. Our troubling times now, seem to be reflected in the writing then. At times I felt I was reading about myself as life comes crumbling down around Raskolnikov. His own deeds chase him relentlessly, his guilt and anxiety worse then any sentence another man could lay upon him. It is a deep, albiet wordy philosophical journey. Although do not read too much between the lines. There are too many people trying to find symbols and metaphor where there are only words. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Eternal: Book Three of the Strain Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan
    • Narrated By Daniel Oreskes
    Overall
    (1068)
    Performance
    (956)
    Story
    (964)

    It’s been two years since the vampiric virus was unleashed in The Strain and the entire world now lies on the brink of annihilation. There has been a mass extermination of humans orchestrated by the Master - an ancient vampire possessed of unparalleled powers. The future of humankind lies in the hands of a ragtag band of freedom fighters - Dr. Eph Goodweather, Dr. Nora Martinez, Vasiliy Fet, and Mr. Quinlan, the half-breed offspring of the Master who is bent on revenge. It’s their job to overturn this devastating new world order.

    Melinda says: "When Good Ghouls Go Bad"
    "I really wanted to like this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There was so much promise in the first book. It was as if Del Toro was brought from screen to page. He reinvented a genre that was in bad need of a face lift. Too many sparkly vampires and angst filled cliches are floating around in the media. We really needed a good old Bram Stoker take on it. The first book delivered in spades, the universe they had set up held so much potential. The characters were well developed and the plot clipped along at an entertaining and engaging pace. And then came the second book, while not as good as the first it felt like was reaching for the same goal.

    I really wanted the third book to breath life back into the series. Del Toro is one of my favorite writer/directors and I held faith that the final chapter of his story would offer an original and engaging revival. Instead, as I listened, the atmosphere disappeared, the characters became wooden and shallow, and the plot meandered about as if concussed. I was bored. I am not sure if the story was trying to be too many things at once or just had an identity crisis. Post-apocalyptic/vampire/political drama/world domination/existence of God/whatever. Things were explained too late in the game, or just out right poorly placed within the story. It seemed like this last novel was phoned in, as if the writers just got tired of telling the story and just threw a bunch of fluff at their overall outline.

    I'm sitting here still trying to decide if I liked it or not. As a trilogy I would say it is an ok read. Something to kill time between your favorite series. As the third installment, I would say it is the poorest of the three.

    I really was hoping for something to give vampires back their dignity. Now I dread another "I am legend" abortion on the big screen. Poor Matheson, that poor bastard needs one of his books done properly. As for Del Toro, I think he supplied a solid world and a setting that had vast potential. I am not sure where the break down occurred but something slipped in the second book and fell flat on its face in the third.

    On a side note, while the narrator was solid, you just cannot beat Ron Perlman.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Days of Krypton

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (69)

    Finally, the epic tale that has never been told: the tragic story of the destruction of Superman's home planet. Everyone knows how Kal-El (Superman) was sent to Earth before his planet exploded. Now Kevin J. Anderson unfolds the riveting backstory of this iconic superhero. The Last Days of Krypton is a sweeping tale of the politics and betrayals that blinded both heroes and villains to the disaster that would destroy Krypton.

    MM says: "Great book, Lousy Narrator"
    "Lackluster"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I came into this with only two expectations. I expected to read a sprawling character driven epic by Anderson, and I expected vast political intrigue Donner hinted at in the original Superman movie. I was let down on both counts. KJA's normally well thought out, unique characters were non existent. Names could have been swapped mid story and it would not have made a difference in the character interactions. Two dimensional, cliched, and formulaic archetypes filled the book. Jor-el is supposed to be a stoic, genius who stands firm against the wall ignorance. Instead he is boiled down into a panicky doomsayer that does little more then pour gasoline on an open flame and act surprised when he gets burned. Zod is made out to be a sniveling megalomaniac that is so short sighted that he can not see past his own nose. He starts off with grand plans wrapped around subtly and devolves into a tyrant with an IQ of 50. The rest of Krypton seems to be filled with herds of sheep content with drooling on themselves and following anyone that can string a sentence together. I am not utterly convinced this was written by Anderson, the writing is stilted and juvenile. The plot overly simplified and so shallow that my feet could not even get wet. As for the political intrigue, you might as well ask a five year old about the politics in their favorite pokemon cartoon. I desperately wanted this to be good. Krypton needs a powerful backstory and a rich culture. It needs a grand send off to spawn one of the most iconic heroes of our time. All it received in the end was the equivalent to a popcorn kernel popping. When an iconic statement such as "Kneel before Zod" is treated in such a way that it loses all of its power I weep for what could have been.

    Marlon Brando moved me to tears with his portrayal of Jor-el. Andersons portrayal moves me to tears in an entirely different fashion.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Black: Book One, The Birth of Evil

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ted Dekker
    • Narrated By Rob Lamont
    Overall
    (881)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (287)

    Fleeing assailants through alleyways in Denver late one night, Thomas Hunter narrowly escapes to the roof of an industrial building. Then a silent bullet from the night clips his head and his world goes black. When he awakes, he finds himself in an entirely different reality, a green forest that seems more real than where he was. Every time he tries to sleep, he wakes up in the other world, and soon he truly no longer knows which reality is real.

    Curtis says: "Should be Section One, not Book One"
    "No Love for Family"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have one major problem with this book that completely shatters its already shaky plot. A man that steals 100,000$ from the mob to protect his beloved mother and sister would NOT be confused over what reality is. But through the book he shows nothing but contempt for his family. They are irrelevant to Tom. He could not seem to care about them in the least. He keeps claiming he does but when it comes down to it, when your "beloved" sister says THIS is reality, for me thats the end of the argument. For me my sisters word is gold. There is no other argument. The bats can say all they want, present all the proof they want, but I do not love them. I do not love their land or their people. Sure it may seem "overly" real, but when it comes down to it they are not family. You can make the argument that he thinks one or the other reality is real. But that argument boils down to one thing, who is he going to believe. Tom blatantly shrugs off his family for this alternate reality, he seems so ready to get rid of his family I began doubting his motivation for anything. He seems overly ignorant of the things going on around him and lives in his own little fantasy world outside of the two that he already "exists" in. If Ignorance is Bliss, then Tom is Ignorance and his "dreams" are his Bliss.

    Plus the 50 or so mentions of the "Matrix" within the story made me roll my eyes every time. I mean, honestly, dig up a few more references... maybe some well written literary references, instead of a pop culture hodgepodge of ideas.

    The religious allegories were almost as bad. I would say go back to the drawing board, do some more research, flesh out the characters motivation a little more and try not to ham it up. Reading this book is like watching a Hollywood Summer Blockbuster. Lots of flare and things shoved in your face for shock vale, but in the end the overall story and character development are left wanting.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Exorcist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By William Peter Blatty
    • Narrated By William Peter Blatty
    Overall
    (401)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (92)

    Now in theaters, a re-release of the classic horror flick The Exorcist is promising to be scarier than ever. Restored by the film's director, William Friedkin, the new cut includes a full reel of previously unreleased footage, eliminated before the film's first release. To prepare for the frightening film, listen to the audiobook version, read by the author.

    Parusski says: "Why did I wait so long to read the book?"
    "Whoa"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. I can not go back and look at the movie the same way. I have to say that the book goes leagues beyond what the movie could have. You get a real feeling of psychological drama and uncertainty. The story is not so much about a demon as it is about everyone dealing with their own personal demons. Faith, life, career, family, all pull and tug at the characters to make a truly thrilling tale. If your looking for a book of sword swing demon exterminators, or disgusting gore infused devils, go away. This is much more a psychological book then a "shock value" book. This has a depth with characters and thought that not many get into. So much subtext and emotion in the book was left out of the movie. It really grabs you and does not let go. Much different experience then what I thought it would be. I can honestly say I was not disappointed in the least. A great book.

    =^.^=

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Choke

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Narrated By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (623)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (140)

    Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk's controversial and blazingly original debut novel, introduced a fresh and even renegade talent to American fiction, one who has retooled the classic black humor of Terry Southern and Kurt Vonnegut for the lunacy of the millennial age. In this novel, Choke, he gives listeners a vision of life and love and sex and mortality that is both chillingly brilliant and teeth-rattlingly funny.

    Pamela says: "Oh please, not another abridged!!!"
    "Does not live up to hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off let me start by saying, this book is not offensive, edgy, or even really that "erotic". It is in fact fairly boring and highly uneventful. I was told (when I asked what Palahniuk book to start with) that it had some brilliant subtext and original characters. What I got was subtext that was repeated so much that it was no longer subtext but text written 10 feet tall on a billboard. The sexual acts within the book were some of the most tame, uninspired,snooze fests I have ever read/listened to. Its not even the authors voice that does it in, his voice lends itself well to the story. This book should have been condensed to about half its length. I didn't need a million descriptions of why his mother is crazy/the anti anti hero. I get it, move on with the story. I don't need a million examples of his sex life, he's pathetic, I get it, move on. I don't need a million repetitions of repetitions to make me feel like I'm losing it with the character, I have a better imagination then that, I get it, move on. This story kind of meanders about in a little circle never really speaking out, never really making an impact. The characters seem very forced, like 2D characters bent in half to try to make them somewhat 3 dimensional. Its a book that tries to hard. Its like the kid in grade school you see desperately trying to color inside the lines, nearly shaking with frustration from trying to keep the crayons tip inside the treacherous little black lines. Someone needs to tell that kid that sometimes, its ok to color outside the lines. Don't try so hard, we're not stupid. We get it. Hope his other books don't disappoint.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lian Hearn
    • Narrated By Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5969)
    Performance
    (2126)
    Story
    (2133)

    A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Wonderful epic story"
    "Great Book, Awful readers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had read this trilogy a while back and simply loved it. Seeing that Audible had the electronic versions I jumped at the chance to listen to them while I work. Very colorfully written with poetic descriptions that suck you right into the story. The plot weaves itself back and forth and you really get a sense that there is alot more going on then just above the surface. All in all a great book.

    However, the Narrators are some of the most awful readers I have ever heard. I listen to a good deal of audio books and rarely do I find a narrator that I cannot listen to. Most of the time if I have trouble with a narrator its because I cannot find their rhythm. All narrators have a spaeking rhythm that keeps you listening and keeps you mind working. These two utterly faild at any sort of rhythm. In fact they failed miserably at reading at all. It sounded as if they were a couple of second graders reading their first book outloud. No feeling, no rhythm, no inflection, no care. The man is the lesser of the two evils, he at least is bearable with his monotone voice and direct line reading. You may not get emotion or inflection of the scene from him but at least your ears do not begin to bleed at the sound of his voice. The woman however, is the worst reader I have ever heard. It sounds as if she is reading the lines directly from the page. One of the other reviewers had said that they had thought they were listening to a computer speak when they first heard her. That is an insult to computers. Her voice is very jarring and makes you want to throw the CD/headphones through a wall.

    So in short

    5*s for the Book itself
    -1* for the man
    -3* for the woman

    If you like a good story and dont mind horrible narrators, I highly recommend this book.

    =^.^=

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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