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Doug D. Eigsti

Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).

Colorado Springs, Colorado United States | Member Since 2013

163
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 175 reviews
  • 185 ratings
  • 669 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
10

  • The Ophiuchi Hotline

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By John Varley
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (36)

    The invaders came in 2050...they did not kill anyone outright. They said they came on behalf of the intelligent species of Earth - dolphins and whales. The invaders quietly destroyed every evidence of technology, then peacefully departed, leaving behind plowed ground and sprouting seeds. In the next two years, 10 billion humans starved to death.

    Nigel says: "My Favorite Science Fiction Author"
    "Capstone of the 8-Worlds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An SF classic where Varley deftly combines cloning and memory recording to give a sort of pseudo-immortality to its practitioners. It is a shame that this is the only story from John Varley's 8-Worlds series presently available on Audible. This should be read last. In the earlier stories Varley explores the societal impact of cloning, changing and memory recording through engaging characters and memorable events.

    If this sparks your interest but you find yourself at a loss on some of the issues dealt with in THE OPHIUCHI HOTLINE, go back and read (yes like pick up a book with paper and ink) some of his earlier short stories. For starters try these stories that include Varley's suite of technologies that change human society:

    "Options"
    "Picnic on Nearside"
    "The Phantom of Kansas"
    "Lollipop and the Tar Baby"
    "Beatnik Bayou"
    "Equinoctial"

    Gabra Zackman reads THE OPHIUCHI HOTLINE well. She gets the sarcastic tone of Lilo's voice in her own head just right.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Eifelheim

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Flynn
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (418)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (116)

    In 1349, one small town in Germany disappeared and was never resettled. Tom, a contemporary historian, and his theoretical-physicist girlfriend, Sharon, become interested. By all logic, the town should have survived, but it didn't. Why? What was special about Eifelheim that it utterly disappeared more than 600 years ago?

    Andrew says: "Poignant, Profound, Absorbing and deeply moving."
    "Do Alien Insectoids Have Souls?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonder of a novel. It has many different elements that combine to make it grand. There is a bit of the First-Contact story here, of the clash of two races, and their quest to learn how to communicate with each other. A large portion of the book is set in the medieval period, and the ethical considerations of the devout Catholics encountering an alien race are insightful and respectful to the Christian faith. Michael Flynn’s familiarity with scripture is evident in the number of direst and indirect references throughout. The characters of the Middle Ages are well formed and are good examples of the lofty philosopher combined with the earthy people of that gritty and grungy time of history. People of that era took their religion seriously and the characters of this book do the same. Even when confronted with the threat of the Black Plague and the arrival of strange beings from another world they proceed according to the revelation from Holy Writ. It is refreshing that modern atheistic sensibilities are not imposed on these medieval fictional characters.

    Other sections take place in the present and so we are treated to the biases and prejudices of modern Einsteinian physics. Even in these contemporary sections other scientific opinions are presented, not merely to be laughed at, as is so common in much of Science Fiction, rather they are explored as viable alternatives, as any utilization of the oft quoted but even more often maligned “scientific method” would require. The exploration of the nature of space and time, and especially the accurate portrayal of the subtle considerations on the problem of Variable Light Speed and Quantized Red-Shifts are well integrated into the story and compelling.

    Eifelheim is another installment in the curiously well-populated sub-genre of Religious Science Fiction where Sci-Fi authors—who are exemplary students of the human condition despite being materialists—delve into the conspicuous human, and completely foreign, need for reverence to a higher power. Other note-worthy examples of religious-themed Sci-Fi: A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr., The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell, Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer, A Case of Conscience by James Blish, and Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the Long Sun.

    Anthony Heald gives a portrayal that is well-nigh flawless, handling geeky female scientists, fourteenth-century Catholic priests, and insectoid aliens with equal aplomb.

    This is another title that I acquired based solely on the recommendations of Audible reviewers. I am, once again, in their debt. Eifelheim was my first exposure to the fiction of Michael Flynn. I think his work warrants further investigation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Cross

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1070)
    Performance
    (719)
    Story
    (715)

    It is January 1944 - and as Allied troops prepare for D day, Nazi scientists develop a toxic nerve gas that will repel and wipe out any invasion force. To salvage the planned assault, two vastly different but equally determined men are sent to infiltrate the secret concentration camp where the poison gas is being perfected on human subjects. Their only objective: destroy all traces of the gas and the men who created it - no matter how many lives may be lost...including their own.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "They Might Be Scum, But they were German Scum"
    "How WWII Was Really Won"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Told as a series of long recollections of the exploits of two unconventional, and therefore unexpected and well-suited, black ops agents; this book is like a classic WWII movie. The story is exciting and feels so right that you will want it to be true. As a lover of history I found this to be a rousing adventure and so well produced that its scenes were playing in my mind’s eye like a matinee news reel all the while I was going about my daily routine. This is what I am always seeking in an audiobook.

    Dick Hill has a great voice for WWII stories. I had recently listened to his rendition of BROTHERS IN BATTLE, BEST OF FRIENDS and was impressed at his ability to deliver distinct voices for two very similar personalities in that book. In BLACK CROSS he really gets to stretch his vocal cords; giving voice to a variety of characters, both male and female, and from a broad spectrum of dialects.

    Thanks to all my fellow Audible book reviewers who took the time to recommend this book. Your altruistic efforts caused me to listen to this book and my life is more full and more enjoyable because of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (1113)
    Performance
    (972)
    Story
    (973)

    Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    James says: "Even Better than the Movie"
    "War is Hell, Navy Captains are Worse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tackled this book as preparation for Wouk’s lengthy THE WINDS OF WAR and the even longer WAR AND REMEMBRANCE, of which I am hoping great things, having been enthralled by the television mini-series of the same name. I was amazed at the well-rounded and fully fleshed out characters. None of them are larger than life hero types, but are realistic: self-doubting at times, overconfident at others. These characters make for engaging reading. The book follows the life journey of just a few central characters and is so authentic that I began to care about them. So, when things begin to turn sour the listener is so invested that empathy is assured. Every event the characters go through becomes a crisis. Every injustice, a tragedy. This is a truly grand story filled by real people.

    The book is narrated by Kevin Pariseau who is truly marvel. He handles salty sea dogs and lounge singers with equal mastery. His performance is dramatic without being intrusive, always appropriate, enhancing this already excellent book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gravity's Rainbow

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Thomas Pynchon, Frank Miller (cover design)
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (77)

    Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the 20th century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.

    D says: "Like being belted in the head with a Swiss Alp"
    "No Pot of Gold Just a Collection of Lead Coins"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has a dream-like quality to it—but I am not saying that as an endorsement. Just as a dream is a Technicolor mélange of disjointed episodes that one struggles to fit together upon waking; this novel is elusive and seems to always be just out of reach. I admire the prose style of Pynchon in the same way that I enjoy the words of William Gibson in NECROMANCER. It has an edgy, detached quality to it; one that does not encourage emotional attachment. This book, however has less going on to hold my interest than does the aforementioned cyber-punk classic. No cool characters, no sense-of-wonder to make me marvel at the inventiveness of the fictional invention. What tipped the book against me, I think, was the excessive and emotionally uninvolved over-utilization of explicit sex scenes throughout. These scenes are spaced regularly in the novel, as if they are supposed to fit into some larger story arc. I could not find the interconnection so they just came off as crude assaults on my thought process with no redeeming social value. George Guidall has a fine pleasant voice and allowed me to hand in with this book for six hours before punching out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Godfather

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Mario Puzo
    • Narrated By Joe Mantegna
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (986)
    Performance
    (906)
    Story
    (909)

    More than 40 years ago, Mario Puzo wrote his iconic portrait of the Mafia underworld as told through the fictional first family of American crime, the Corleones. The leader, Vito Corleone, is the Godfather. He is a benevolent despot who stops at nothing to gain and hold power. His command post is a fortress on Long Island from which he presides over a vast underground empire that includes the rackets, gambling, bookmaking, and unions. His influence runs through all levels of American society, from the cop on the beat to the nation's mighty.

    Dana says: "Huge fan of the movie, loved this audiobook!"
    "Business Lessons in Friendship and Respect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is a strange appeal to stories like this; stories that expose the dark underbelly of society. It is somehow fascinating to peek into the violent world of organized crime. I listened to this book after I had already watched the first two movies, so my opinion was already partially formed. The first “book” of the novel was nearly identical to the first movie and, even without Brando, Pachino, Duval and Caan, this is an enthralling story. After this initial sequence the novel expands greatly upon the back-story and we get to know, if not to love, Vito Corleone and the other Siclian Underworld figures.

    This novel reminds me of the Parker novels of Donald Westlake—at least in one sense. The character Parker, a career thief, and Don Corleone both share a sense of honor among thieves. For both, occasional violence is strictly business; a necessary part of the job. It is simply the way things get done. Violence is to be avoided until it is necessary, but then it is to be persued with alacrity and vigor. Strange as it may be for me to say—you may think—in a way this is a humorous story. Perversely, the murder and mayhem become a sort of expected punch-line to every anecdote; the rim shot that punctuates every plot episode. These men feign to be cultured and respectful to each other; family men, business men—men of deep principle, pillars of the community. Yet they are the worst kind of blight on society. Evil masquerading as good.

    Joe Mantegna has a great Italian accent that adds to the verisimilitude of this story of the Mafia. His character voicing is well-suited for each of the people is the story. Without his voice this would still be a fine story. Joe Mantegna makes it truly great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roots: The Saga of an American Family

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alex Haley
    • Narrated By Avery Brooks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2392)
    Performance
    (1469)
    Story
    (1484)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A masterpiece like none other, Brooks’ powerful performance of Haley’s words has been known to leave listeners in tears. It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.

    Danica says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Hoax—With the Ring of Truth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Try to consider this novel on the merits of its drama and story alone and try to ignore, for a moment, the dubious claims by Alex Haley that it relates the actual history of his supposed ancestor Kunta Kinte. This is a fine story and has as much relevance to the human condition and the desire to be free as any Military Sci-Fi Space Opera fighting the tyranny of alien overlords or any Zombie Apocalypse novel resisting extinction against impossible odds. The mini-series enthralled me in 1977, and this audiobook captivated me thirty-eight years later.

    If you are not aware of the controversy surrounding this Pulitzer Prize winning novel consider just these two facts: (1) Alex Haley paid $650,000 after a court judgment against him to Harry Courlander for lifting eighty-one passages from the novel The African in 1978. (2) The slave Toby, the supposed Kunta Kinte in Haley’s genealogy, has a paper-trail in America going back four years before the slave ship the Lord Ligonier arrived on American shores.. While these problems of provenance do lessen the impact of this novel from a historical perspective—and should dampen any social impact of this false narrative— the novel, as a work of pure fiction, still stands on its own. The author’s afterward, detailing Haley’s journey of discovery of his family’s African history, should be treated as a short story; a coda added to give the work a sense of verisimilitude.

    No one questions the horrors of the period of history involving the slave trade between Africa and North America. It is easy to imagine that accounts very similar to those in this book actually did take place. And that is why this book can still have some impact. The actual story may be false as a history but the story reflects a reality that transcends the veracity of the account. I only wish that Alex Haley had chosen to tell this story as a piece of fiction, avoiding plagiarism along the way. It is a shame that such a powerful book must be tainted with scandal.

    Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko on Star Trek Deep Space Nine) narrates this book with just the right tone of voice. The early chapters are told strictly from an omniscient 3rd person narration perspective, and here Avery Brooks does not get much of a chance to display his talents. But once Kunta Kinte gets established in the Plantation system of the Virginia colony, several other characters are introduced and Mr. Brooks begins to shine. He handles the accents of both slaves and the Plantation owners adroitly. He adds greatly to the audiobook experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • East of Eden

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (1614)
    Performance
    (1384)
    Story
    (1401)

    This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

    karen says: "American classic, not to be missed."
    "American Horror Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is Steinbeck’s masterpiece. Here is exposed the evil that is in men’s hearts. John Steinbeck depicts some people as monsters. Not the creepy paranormal monsters of Stephen King but a much more horrifying type of monster; the kind that lives in the head of everyone. The people in this book are complex and realistic, all the more so because their proclivities toward evil are uncomfortably familiar to anyone of Adam’s race. I recommend this as a lofty example of American novel writing, and an engrossing excursion into the true nature of man. Richard Poe narrates in a voice that just seems perfectly apt for that of a young Steinbeck. This is everything I look for in an audiobook: captivating entertainment with a hook that forces your mind to ponder.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lonesome Dove

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Lee Horsley
    Overall
    (3630)
    Performance
    (2055)
    Story
    (2084)

    Larry McMurtry's American epic, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, a drive that represents not only a daring foolhardy adventure, but a part of the American Dream for everyone involved.

    A. Wright says: "Inspired reading of a great book"
    "Death on the Plains"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to this was like reliving the TV miniseries from years ago. Every chapter brought to mind a scene from the video production and I realized that the movie was very faithful to the book. There are very strong influences of the television production evident in this audiobook. Lee Horsley is wonderful as the narrator, and his voicing of the character Gus is a perfect impression of Tommy Lee Jones. There is so much beauty of characterization in this book that one must wonder what cruel intention was in McMurtry’s mind when he penned such fixation on death that pervades every story arc in this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert D. Kaplan
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (163)

    In The Revenge of Geography, Robert D. Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world's hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands.

    C. Telfair says: "Why Don't They Teach This Stuff?"
    "Inside the Geo-Political Think-Tank"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recently concluded listening to several books on various elements of world history and this was the best. At first I thought this was too dry for my taste and the narration by Michael Prichard brought to mind the voice-overs of old Cinema news-reels. But after paying attention for several hours I began to track with the writer and discovered that Kaplan is in touch with current academic thought and is able to distill information from a wide variety of sources and relate it in a fashion that is understandable for the layman. Despite the title, this is not an unmitigated defense of geographical determinism. This books does, however, put forth many examples from history of people groups who—for a time—defy the restrictions of topography, in ambitious exploits of martial glory, only to succumb to the inevitable forces of the lands in which they live. For me, this book was a glimpse into the realm of the political experts that advise the movers and shakers of the world. It is useful for those trying to make sense of the ebb and flow of ancient civilizations—and attempt to predict what may transpire in our own time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1184)
    Performance
    (1025)
    Story
    (1018)

    Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

    Ethan M. says: "Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis"
    "Making the World Safe for Epicurean Atomism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is less a history lesson than it is a worshipful panegyric extolling the virtues of materialistic atheism. I found it to be well written and wonderfully narrated by Edoardo Ballerini. What I did not find it to be was correct. Greenblatt’s premise is that the lost poem of Lucretius, “On the Nature of Things” was instrumental in shaping the modern way of thinking. And what was this great rediscovered revelation so nearly lost to history? “The denial of divine providence and the denial of the afterlife were the twin pillars of Lucretuis’ whole poem” (8:29). I hardly think that atheism was in danger of being forgotten. Greenblatt succumbs to the common error of many who spend their lives in the hollowed halls of higher learning: he fails to consider that the normal state of man is a life lived in rebellion against God. For Greenblatt the recovery of this lost poem of Lucretius was not just a boon to literature but to epistemology as well; for through it we remain connected to our classical atomistic roots. He attributes Lucretius the virtue of restoring our atomistic understanding of the ontological nature of the universe. This was summed up in the words of the modern popularizer of atheistic thought, Carl Sagan, who famously, and nearly reverentially, put mankind in his place with the words, “We are star stuff.” No humanistic, materialistic atheism was never in danger of extinction. That said, this book is an entertaining excursion exploring humanistic thought and Greenblatt makes his case as well as he can considering his presuppositional basis of Godlessness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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