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David

Toronto, ON, Canada | Member Since 2008

ratings
105
REVIEWS
17
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
18

  • The Puppet Masters

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (516)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (339)

    At key points throughout North America, an invasion force is taking over communications, government, industry, and people's bodies. And the nation is helpless to stop it, because the invaders multiply far faster than they can be destroyed, controlling the mind of every unsuspecting person they encounter. Enter Sam Cavanaugh, a can-do intelligence officer for the United States' most secret service. Cavanaugh is the only man who can stop the invaders. But to do that he'll have to be invaded himself.

    Mike From Mesa says: "An old favorite, but poorly narrated"
    "A poor performance of a dated story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are claims that it's an allegory. No - it's simply awful. Really - it is poor. The only reason I haven't returned this one is I wanted people to read my review and save their credit. I got it on one of the daily promotions.

    If you really want a glimpse into gender issues in 1951 America, here's an example...
    Spoke by the hero... "She was a better gentleman than I was."

    I suppose some will argue that the performer was trying to capture the 1950's. It just does not work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey
    Overall
    (1240)
    Performance
    (718)
    Story
    (722)

    Wanting to repay a wartime debt to the Malays, Jean Paget returns. There she hears a story which leads her to Australia.

    Barbara says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "A true classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nevil Shute Norway wrote several tales of the Australian outback. This is one of the most inspired, and like many of his works leaves the reader with a little tweak. Very highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • PhiLOLZophy: Critical Thinking in Digestible Doses

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Chrissy Stockton, Sarah Heuer
    • Narrated By Theresa McCarthy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (373)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (333)

    A popular question in philosophy is "How do I know I exist?" That seems really boring, though. How about, "How can I use logic to get over my ex?" If you really love wisdom, you love it in all situations - you don't need to be spoon fed unsolved problems in philosophy, because you're already analyzing the US Weekly you’re reading or your kinda significant other. Sarah Heuer and Chrissy Stockton are writers living in Minneapolis who are determined to do something more interesting with their philosophy degrees than talk about dead white guys.

    John B. Hayes says: "The Worst Example of Critical Thinking I've Seen"
    "I didn't think ladies were quite that crude..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ... so maybe the authors are really former soldiers.

    Even though it gave me some insight into an xyl's mind, it's a good thing this was free. I'd have asked for my money back if it wasn't.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Command Authority

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1824)
    Performance
    (1636)
    Story
    (1640)

    There's a new strong man in Russia but his rise to power is based on a dark secret hidden decades in the past. The solution to that mystery lies with a most unexpected source, President Jack Ryan.

    Marci says: "Great story with a couple of flaws"
    "Poor and badly edited"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's quite clear that this was a work in progress when TC died. Unfortunately, it does not exhibit the polish of his earlier novels. There are many errors of fact, errors of logic, errors of language. These are disappointing and should have been picked up in proof reading.

    The book reads like the last third was in the outline stage and those tasked with making something saleable lacked the ability - or perhaps brief - to complete the novel properly. As a result, the story winds up in a very unsatisfactory way.

    To conclude then, I do not recommend this book - even to TC fans. It is simply poor and completely forgettable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Return to Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (108)

    Six years after the first manned Martian expedition, a second has been announced, this one motivated purely by its profitable potential. Half-Navajo geologist Jamie Waterman, a veteran of the first mission, feels his conflicted soul beckoning him back to the eerie, unforgiving planet. As commander of the new exploratory team, he will have to contend with a bitter and destructive rivalry, a disturbing new emotional attraction, and deadly, incomprehensible "accidents" that appear to be sabotage.

    jsakeo says: "Fun continuation of Mars, but has Editing Issues"
    "Absolutely AWFUL editing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good story but the editing of the audiobook is very poor. There are frequent jumps in level, changes of the readers voice tone and at least one place where the same sentence was read twice.

    There have obviously been a number of attempts at reading the volume and it's a slice and dice - but the recording settings and the acoustics of one of the versions were dreadful. A complete retake didn't stop someone from cobbling together a mess.

    Plainly put, the quality control was non-existant. Someone should be shouted at... which is a pity because Stefan Rudnicki's performance was pretty good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Best Kept Secret: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (545)
    Performance
    (473)
    Story
    (473)

    Best Kept Secret opens a moment after the end of The Sins of the Father, with the resolution of the trial and the triumphant marriage of Harry Clifton and Elizabeth Barrington, finally uniting their family. Harry, now a best-selling novelist; Emma; their son, Sebastian; and orphaned Jessica make a new life for themselves, but all is not as happy and secure as it could be. Emma's brother, Giles, is engaged to a woman who may be more interested in Barrington's fortune and title than in a long and happy marriage.

    cristina says: "Plot without characters"
    "Shades of a soapie..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Best Kept Secret? What did you like least?

    Seriously - I've read and listened to a lot of JA stories. The Clifton Series could have been his magnum opus. Instead it was spun out into a story version of a tv series. Poor. Poor. Poor.


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

    The spoken performance is very good. He does slip accenting on a few occasions but it's not a huge distraction.


    Was Best Kept Secret worth the listening time?

    Nope


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redemption Ark

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (891)
    Performance
    (590)
    Story
    (599)

    Late in the 26th century, the human race has advanced enough to accidentally trigger the Inhibitors---alien-killing machines designed to detect intelligent life and destroy it. The only hope for humanity lies in the recovery of a secret cache of doomsday weapons---and a renegade named Clavain who is determined to find them. But other factions want the weapons for their own purposes---and the weapons themselves have another agenda altogether.

    Michael says: "Stick with this series!"
    "It's good but a minor niggle"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Redemption Ark in three words, what would they be?

    Alastair Reynolds writes a great tale. He's a former physicist and tries hard to keep his yarn consistent with the universe we inhabit... except in one thing. For some reason, he thinks the flow of time increases in a gravitational well... of course it does exactly the opposite (time slows.) It's a weird error and not even necessary as a plot device - so maybe it's better he sticks to writing. :)


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

    JL's performance is excellent - far better than it was in Revelation Space


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Revelation Space

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1492)
    Performance
    (1023)
    Story
    (1027)

    Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason.

    Eoin says: "Defeated"
    "A good story, wrecked by a poor performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Alastair Reynolds and/or John Lee?

    I have bought several books by Alastair Reynolds. I have several performances by John Lee, but this is by far the worst performance by John Lee that I've heard. The sound levels go all over the place, the background changes, his timbre changes. It really detracts from the performance. Put plainly, it's not up to his normal standards.


    How could the performance have been better?

    It was poorly executed - it really needs to be redone.


    Could you see Revelation Space being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, I think the series could be made into a space saga,


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • By the Rivers of Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (381)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (213)

    Lod Airport, Israel: Two Concorde jets take off for a U.N. conference that will finally bring peace to the Middle East. Covered by F-14 fighters, accompanied by security men, the planes carry warriors, pacifists, lovers, enemies, dignitaries - and a bomb planted by a terrorist mastermind. Suddenly they're forced to crash-land at an ancient desert site. Here, with only a handful of weapons, the men and women of the peace mission must make a desperate stand against an army of crack Palestinian commandos....

    Patti says: "A good story, but a lot of characters"
    "Too many silly mistakes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about By the Rivers of Babylon? What did you like least?

    I've read most of Mr DeMille's books. This is an early one - so I expected it to be a little rough around the edges. I wasn't disappointed.


    Would you recommend By the Rivers of Babylon to your friends? Why or why not?

    I'm ambivalent about this. Maybe if they were really desperate but I'd certainly not suggest this over (say) Word of Honour or In Country.


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

    His performance is very good and his mastery of multiple accents makes it easy to distinguish the characters - even when DeMille doesn't spell it out.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not. It's not that good, the plot reads like a film script and the topic is really dated.


    Any additional comments?

    I was annoyed by silly errors - things like expecting the moon to rise and set between sunset and sunrise. This NEVER happens.This might have been necessary as a plot device but it is either sloppy or it shows a lack of inventiveness..

    It's also weird to think that at the time the story was written - 1978 - BAe and Aerospatiale hadn't realised that the Concorde was a technological triumph but a financial disaster.... Trying to convince readers that Israel - the most pragmatic nation on earth - would buy these aircraft is just weird.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4603)
    Performance
    (3866)
    Story
    (3875)

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Jimmy says: "Epic, Remarkable, Easy & Enjoyable!"
    "A good performance spoiled by dreadful editing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Winter of the World? What did you like least?

    The Century series started well. Like Follett's Magnum Opus (Pillars of the Earth and its less wonderful sequel), it chronicles the interaction of a few families and how the world. Some of the story is quite interesting.


    What was most disappointing about Ken Follett’s story?

    The endless repetition, repetition, repetition that's supposed to explain why characters are doing things.. This _might_ be necessary in a thousand page book but it's hardly essential in an audiobook which people might listen to over a week or so.

    I was also disappointed by Follett's inability to capture the true horror of WW2.

    Finally, the audio production had random editing errors where the narrative jumped to a random place then jumped back. Clearly, it wasn't listened to before it was shipped out.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    John Lee is a consumate performer. Like his earlier work, his range of voices makes the series,


    Could you see Winter of the World being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No, I don't think it is movie material - things move way too slowly.


    Any additional comments?

    Please fire the editor.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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