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Douglas

Madison WI, WI, United States | Member Since 2007

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 71 ratings
  • 415 titles in library
  • 48 purchased in 2014
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  • Thicker Than Blood: The Complete Andrew Z. Thomas Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Andrew Z. Thomas is a successful writer of suspense thrillers, living the dream at his lake house in the piedmont of North Carolina. One afternoon in late spring, he receives a bizarre letter that eventually threatens his career, his sanity, and the lives of everyone he loves. A murderer is designing his future, and for the life of him, Andrew can't get away.

    Douglas says: "Hard, gritty, horrifying read"
    "Hard, gritty, horrifying read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Thicker Than Blood the most enjoyable?

    It was well written but there really is no light here.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Andrew Z. Thomas even though he does some really stupid stuff but he's the only character you can really identify with. You just wish he had a little more ruthlessness. Even though he's not a New Age male he's certainly not enough of a man.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was moved negatively. It is a very dark book. Kind of hopeless, really. Whatever universe this is taking place in, I hope i never go there.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book because I really liked Pines and it is well written, only, I cannot really recommend it. It is dark, it is almost like a ritual to draw the reader into the world of the serial killer. The first two books, I guess you could get away with saying it is entertainment. But taken as a whole, the whole experience is pretty mean-spirited.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (1011)
    Performance
    (862)
    Story
    (866)

    Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

    SoCalBonnie says: "It won me over completely"
    "Thought provoking and good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Unwind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've listened to a lot of audio books. It certainly isn't the top but the story was compelling and I was interested in the characters and the plot all the way through and I'll get the rest of the series at some point.


    What other book might you compare Unwind to and why?

    I read a book in high school called House of Stairs which has stayed with me all this time even though I only read it once. That book was complete in one novel and was a story of conforming to authority versus the ultimate rebellion. This story is similar.

    Also, Philip K. Dick's short story The Pre-Persons is what this story reminded me of the most. Although Dick was far less ambiguous.


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

    I did find it to be a real page turner and did read through it quickly. I don't think I would have wanted to do it all in one sitting as there is something to be said for the cliff hanger that real life brings to the enjoyment of a good book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10145)
    Performance
    (9189)
    Story
    (9269)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "Rehabilitation for the Eugenicist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Progressive Era and the Eugenicist movements were so horrible it has taken 100 years for someone to write an apologia for it. That is pretty much what Dan Brown did in Inferno, the latest, and perhaps the weakest of the Robert Langdon series.

    The story is typical of Dan Brown. History grafted onto a clockwork plot with clockwork characters coming out and hammering the clockwork bell at times set by the Great Windup Spring of Plot.

    If you've read Dan Brown before, you've read this book before. Lots of historical exposition and a story with all the emotional impact of a Vulcan opera.

    All this and some agitprop for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    If you thought Brown's writing was weak in his previous outings and are only still reading trying to determine the appeal, this book could put you off the author forever. Enjoy!

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Gilgamesh: A New English Version

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen Mitchell
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (615)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (273)

    This brilliant new treatment of the world's oldest epic is a literary event on par with Seamus Heaney's wildly popular Beowulf translation. Esteemed translator and best-selling author Stephen Mitchell energizes a heroic tale so old it predates Homer's Iliad by more than a millennium.

    George says: "A defense of this "translation""
    "The Gligamesh story is most immersive."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved finally being able to read Gilgamesh. I appreciate that the author had taken existing translations and made a story out of them without having to be distracted by the fragmentary nature of what has been found so far.

    From the very start of the story, I was captivated. My imagination was immersed in a long passed civilization existing in a world unimaginably ancient. Gilgamesh was relevant to my life. More so than much of the books and stories, told as movies, produced today.

    There is so much depth here. So much intellectual wealth. If you have always wanted to approach Gilgamesh, this may be one of the best ways.

    The only downside is the commentary after the epic. For one thing, it is so much less compelling than the epic that I went back and listened to the epic once again before finishing the slog through the commentary. There were some edifying moments but it would have been much better if the author didn't feel the need to get across just how much he disapproved of George W. Bush and the Iraq war. I got it in one. I was also annoyed at how he assigned certain motivations and insights to the poet which he couldn't possibly be able to prove. At times it seemed as if the author was attempting to turn this treasure of the world into some trite piece of propaganda.

    But Gilgamesh prevails in the end and Stephen Mitchell should both be congratulated and rebuked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Iliad & The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Homer
    • Narrated By John Lescault
    Overall
    (634)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (286)

    Little is known about the Ancient Greek oral poet Homer, the supposed 8th century BC author of the world-read Iliad and his later masterpiece, The Odyssey. These classic epics provided the basis for Greek education and culture throughout the classical age and formed the backbone of humane education through the birth of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity.

    Sam says: "Worth the price, worth the time"
    "Incredible value, one of the greatest stories ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an incredible value for the two stories that invented literature. And still serve as the basis for most of our modern day adventure stories.

    I don't really know what else to say about this great work. It has been around for thousands of years and has had an impact on your life in some way whether you are aware of it or not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brave New World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aldous Huxley
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2713)
    Performance
    (1961)
    Story
    (1980)

    When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Jefferson says: "“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
    "The "Brave New World" is our world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very good novel and the reading was well done.

    I found Huxley's thesis very interesting and even a little confusing from the standpoint of, well, wouldn't I want to be beautiful and happily stupid?

    But no. Not really.

    One of the classics of speculative fiction and definitely less oppressive than 1984.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (642)
    Performance
    (465)
    Story
    (459)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great way to read Homer's The Odyssey. Ian McKellen was wonderful. The story is one of the greatest in world history, in fact, it is the story that most other good stories borrow something from.

    The only issue with this recording (which is why the overall is missing a star) is there are some brief glitches and then starting around Audible chapter 9, the voice is really slowed down for about two or three chapters. It was annoying but I simply used my Audible App speed feature and sped through those parts.

    If you've always wanted to read the Classics, but felt intimidated, this is an excellent place to begin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Living Proof

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kira Peikoff
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    In 2027, destroying an embryo is considered first-degree murder. Fertility clinics still exist, giving hope and new life to thousands of infertile families, but they have to pass rigorous inspections by the United States Department of Embryo Preservation. Fail an inspection, and you will be prosecuted.

    Deborah says: "Compelling, entertaining and impossible to put dow"
    "Empty, like pretense, personifiled and exposed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Living Proof, the new novel by first time novelist, Kira Peikoff is a, sometimes, valiant effort to express some of the key concepts of rational thinking in a novel format. The problem is the story falls way short of good writing and infinitely short of they hype that preceded my decision to take a chance on a new author.

    The book’s number one sin is it never gives me as the reader any reason to suspend my disbelief. I bought the book, I should be an easy mark as I didn’t buy a book not to enjoy it, and yet, somehow the author failed to convince me that anything in her book bears the slightest relationship to reality.

    The book sets up a straw man argument between scientists who believe that embryonic stem cell research can heal degenerative diseases and less than one-dimensional Christians who believe killing embryos is equivalent to infanticide. And the point of this straw man argument is to advance the teachings of Objectivism.

    The novel fails in its ability to do this in an entertaining way.

    The first few hours, I found the book odious and didn't know if I would be able to complete it in order to do a fair review. Then I discovered the 3X function of my Audible App for the iPhone.

    So, with great trepidation, my second day of listening was at three times the speed. I was impressed at how fast I could go through the book and still follow the story. At times the writing got so silly, I would laugh out loud while walking down the street.

    I wish I would have book marked more example but for the sake of this review I will offer these few:

    "He felt empty, like pretense, personified and exposed." (Which is a good one line review for this novel).

    "He felt trapped in an ethical straight jacket laced tight with emotional strings. And for the first time in his life, he began to have a panic attack."

    "The air felt sapped of all warmth. Trent wrung his hands knowing that the truth was imminent. A truth he didn't know if he wanted to know but he had no power to stop."

    "The report concluded with a paragraph that was painful and embarrassing to read."

    And there are many more painful and embarrassing things to read in this book. I can see it achieving a sort of cult status, a sort of “so bad it’s good” kind of status among hipsters. As for myself, there are too many good books to experience and I would give this one a pass.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Overton Window

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Glenn Beck
    • Narrated By James Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1178)
    Performance
    (420)
    Story
    (427)

    A plan to destroy America, a hundred years in the making, is about to be unleashed. There is a powerful technique called the Overton Window that can shape our lives, our laws, and our future. It works by manipulating public perception so that ideas previously thought of as radical begin to seem acceptable over time. Move the Window and you change the debate. Change the debate and you change the country.

    Ray says: "It Could Happen Soon"
    "An adequate summer thriller"
    Overall

    Glenn Beck's novel is a fun summer thriller. The writing isn't as good as in Stieg Larsson's very adequate trilogy, at the same time, it isn't as merely passable as the exposition laden Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

    If you want to turn your mind off and just enjoy a good thriller, this novel fits the bill. If you want something to think about to think about, this novel will also fit the bill.

    14 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mike Dooley
    • Narrated By Mike Dooley
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (47)

    Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic reveals that our part is the easy part - we need only to provide the spark to light the Universe's powerful fire. In this original audio program, Dooley explains how you can use the gifts of thought, word, and deed to harness the grace of the Universe to help you choose your path, chart your course, and create the life of your dreams.

    Estra says: "Absolutely wonderful!!!"
    "Leveraging my MP3 Player"
    Overall

    This is a very good seminar-style audio program. It speaks of the same principles and subject matters of other classic works like The Master Key and the Abraham-Hicks books but in a sufficiently different style that I take great value from it.

    One night I was fretting and I know I shouldn't. Like this program says, thoughts become things, and I tried turning my thoughts with affirmations or distracting myself but nothing was working.

    I listened to this book again the next day and there was a situation that fit mine perfectly and so I was able to put the same exercise Mike Dooley used prior to giving his seminar in London and found instant relief.

    If you like to leverage your mp3 player with positive messages to play throughout the day, this is a pretty good one to add.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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