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Erik

Sooke, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2011

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 123 reviews
  • 123 ratings
  • 259 titles in library
  • 76 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
5

  • EMPEROR: The Gods of War, Book 4 (Unabridged)

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Conn Iggulden
    • Narrated By Paul Blake
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (109)

    The fourth volume in the acclaimed Emperor series, in which Conn Iggulden interweaves history and adventure to recreate the astonishing life of Julius Caesar - an epic tale of ambition and rivalry, bravery and betrayal.

    Konrad says: "Interesting novel series. Bad bad Audible service!"
    "Wow!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Emperor?

    A complete package, but this narrator is excellent! Obviously classically trained, he manages all voices most expertly. The story is good, and it must be remembered this is fiction. Die hard historians should look elsewhere.


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

    The best narrator I have listened to so far. I will take notice of any other work he takes on.


    Any additional comments?

    Again, this is fiction. I love "true" Roman history as much as the next person, so I had to remind myself those times the story wandered from actual events.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • All Quiet on the Western Front

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erich Maria Remarque
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (872)
    Performance
    (761)
    Story
    (766)

    Paul Bäumer is just 19 years old when he and his classmates enlist. They are Germany’s Iron Youth who enter the war with high ideals and leave it disillusioned or dead. As Paul struggles with the realities of the man he has become, and the world to which he must return, he is led like a ghost of his former self into the war’s final hours. All Quiet is one of the greatest war novels of all time, an eloquent expression of the futility, hopelessness and irreparable losses of war.

    Alan says: "My Choice for Frank Muller's Best"
    "Best medium for this classic story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read the book and I've seen both versions of the movie (the classic one and the 1970's version). Without a doubt, the audio version beats the movies. This is because so much of the novel is an inner dialogue and descriptive passages that link the loss of a young generation to the experiences of warfare. While the movies capture the visuals of the battlefield, it cannot adequately show the impact.

    I won't review the novel itself, as that has been done by many a better a reviewer than I. Suffice to say, this novel is approaching 100 years old and is still as fresh and pertinent today as then. If you aren't familiar with the story, then this is a "must read". There are few books that are it's equal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3403)
    Performance
    (3115)
    Story
    (3141)

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....

    Darwin8u says: "Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured"
    "I can see why this is a Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I went into this work with fresh eyes. I have never seen a movie adaptation and really had read nothing about the story beforehand. I was in fact, a bit skeptical, if only because of so many other "classics" that to me, fell short.

    This story however, was truly remarkable and deserves to have stood the test of time. It's not filled with violence, sex, or any of the other attributes of many modern stories, but it does have a tension between characters throughout that draws you in.

    Written at the beginning of what could be called "the century of wealth" for America (which continues into the present), it offers a window into a world of money and privilege. The view presented, however, is one where not all is happiness and roses.

    So, if you've never read this book, or wold like to experience a classic you've read but in an audio format (the narrator was excellent), then this work is highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Garrison Keillor
    • Narrated By Garrison Keillor, Tim Russell, Sue Scott
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (115)

    On the 12th floor of the Acme Building, on a cold February day in St. Paul, Guy Noir looks down the barrel of a loaded revolver in the hands of geezer gangster Joey Roast Beef, who is demanding to hear what lucrative scheme Guy is cooking up with stripper-turned-women's-studies-professor Naomi Fallopian. Everyone wants to know, and Guy faces them one by one, as he and Naomi pursue a dream of earning gazillions by selling a surefire method of dramatic weight loss.

    Darryl says: "funny noir spoof"
    "Tired too hard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I understand the aim of the author, and that was to spoof the detective noir genre of yesteryear. In some aspects this aim is met, with plenty of tongue-in-cheek lines and ridiculous names. Unfortunately, there isn't enough meat in this story to fill out 5 hours of narrative. Numerous times the story went off on unrelated tangents that grew annoying.

    I wanted to give the performance 4 stars, as the narrators did a great job. Production was also quite good with the one exception; the incessant music in the background. Used properly, it can enhance a story. Here, it was just annoying.

    In the end I can't really recommend this audio book. I think there are better stories out there also having some fun with this genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kill the Dead: Sandman Slim, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Richard Kadrey
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1064)
    Performance
    (899)
    Story
    (904)

    James Stark, a.k.a. Sandman Slim, crawled out of Hell, took bloody revenge for his girlfriend’s murder, and saved the world along the way. After that, what do you do for an encore? You take a lousy job tracking down monsters for money. It’s a depressing gig, but it pays for your beer and cigarettes. But in L.A., things can always get worse. Like when Lucifer comes to town to supervise his movie biography and drafts Stark as his bodyguard.

    Mike Naka says: "good enough for me to buy book 3"
    "Dark, irreverent, and silly, but very entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As the second of the series, you could probably read this as a stand alone novel, but having the background given in the first book will certainly help understand the silliness that goes on here.

    And silly it is. Talking severed heads, Satan at Hollywood parties, etc. It is also very dark; much darker than the first novel. Whereas the first book could be recommended to a mature YA audience, this book sits right in the mature zone.

    If anything, Kadrey's humour and one liners are even better here, and I was always amused by his quirky dialogues. Elite prose it is not, but it is damned entertaining.

    Highly recommended if you like comic books, the horror genre, and comedy.

    Not for the easily offended.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1380)
    Performance
    (1146)
    Story
    (1143)

    Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

    Beverly says: "Narrator choice inspired"
    "Makes Macbeth accessible to everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was surprisingly good. Given the expert execution of the story by Shakespeare in his play, I was betting that the novelized version wouldn't be able to do as well. I was wrong.

    In the preamble the authors explain their reasons for expanding the story into a novel. In this, they do very well and round out the characters and back stories even more. I think the characters to most benefit the story are the 3 hags, as they are really brought to life in this book.

    The other benefit of this version of Macbeth is the ease of reading/listening. If Shakespearean prose has kept you away from these works before, have no fear here and experience why this story has such power even after all this time.

    The narrator was ideally suited to this book. His accent, inflection, and cadence made the experience very pleasurable. All this make this book highly recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bloody Jack

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By L.A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1561)
    Performance
    (1044)
    Story
    (1036)

    Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of 18th-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas. There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret.

    Terry says: "Sometimes it clicks"
    "A wonderful surprise!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I figured I give this a try based on the excellent reviews this work has received. I must admit that as an older male I had some trepidation. After all, this is a story about a girl and with a female narrator, which to date have not been spectacular.

    What a pleasant surprise! The story was enthralling and covers various aspects of late 1700 England. The narrator really was excellent. She brought the characters to life through what can best be described as acting. She is the best female narrator I have encountered yet.

    The story does have it's dark parts, and some material that would best be suited to the mature YA audience. There are also a few sillier parts, but hey, it's fiction, and these parts weren't too over the top.

    This audible book comes with my highest recommendation if you enjoy great fiction coupled with outstanding narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Man

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (172)

    On a freezing February day, a stranger emerges from out of the gray to request a room at a local provincial inn. Who is this out-of-season traveler? More confounding is the thick mask of bandages obscuring his face. Why does he disguise himself in this manner and keep himself hidden away in his room? Aroused by trepidation and curiosity, the local villagers bring it upon themselves to find the answers.

    Brian says: "Way ahead of its time!"
    "Dated, but still entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was good story and, even though it was already only about 5 hours of listening time, could have been a short story. It does suffer from the overly described writing fashion of the Victorian era. Perhaps we are just less patient as readers.

    The narrator was well matched to the story and enhanced the experience. He brought to life the expressions and inflections of the era.

    Give this one a read, even if just for the historical place this story holds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lieutenants: Book One of the Brotherhood of War Series

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (593)
    Performance
    (521)
    Story
    (532)

    They were the young ones, the bright ones, the ones with the dreams. From the Nazi-prowled wastes of North Africa to the bloody corridors of Europe, they honorably answered the call. War - it was their duty, their job, their life. They marched off as boys and they came back - those who made it - as soldiers and professionals forged in the heat of battle....

    Rochelle says: "Not just a Novel about War"
    "Left me feeling unclean"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let start by admitting that I am a naval officer, albeit of a nation other than the US.

    For me, the characters of this story displayed an elitism and arrogance that was disturbing. These traits, coupled with racism and a sense of entitlement paint a disturbing picture of the US officer corps in late WWII and the decade afterword. I'm hoping that, as a work of fiction, the author has it wrong, but knowing human nature, he is probably right on the mark.

    The story itself is well crafted and held my interest. The characters are interesting, but I don't think there's a single one I would like to personally know. They are too self serving.

    For those seeking an action oriented novel, look elsewhere. This book is about the politics and social structure of the officer corps. It is a good read though, and I will continue the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Glengarry Glen Ross

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 22 mins)
    • By David Mamet
    • Narrated By Gordon Clapp, Kyle Colerider-Krugh, Richard Dreyfuss, and others
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (173)

    A group of low-ranking real-estate salesmen are trying to survive in a cut-throat office culture. But when two of them devise a plot to redress the company's wrongs, the resulting turmoil increases the pressure to unbearable levels. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance.

    Nothing really matters says: "Top notch, dramatic acting in a great story."
    "Good, but leaves you hanging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First up, the performance was excellent. I wish I could have seen the stage production after listening.

    As for the story, that suffers from the time constraints that a play imposes. It seems like the book is just getting going when it ends. The subject matter itself is a little on the week side. It highlights the cut-throat atmosphere of high pressure salesmen, but this is a segment of society whom with anyone would have a hard time empathizing.

    A short listen, I recommend you give this version a try even just to experience the full cast performance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sandman Slim

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Richard Kadrey
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1762)
    Performance
    (1485)
    Story
    (1493)

    When he was 19, James Stark was considered to be one of the greatest natural magicians, a reputation that got him demon-snatched and sent downtown - to Hell - where he survived as a gladiator, a sideshow freak entertaining Satan's fallen angels. That was 11 years ago. Now, the hitman who goes only by Stark has escaped and is back in L.A. Armed with a fortune-telling coin, a black bone knife, and an infernal key, Stark is determined to destroy the magic circle.

    Mike Naka says: "jack bauer + spawn = sandman slim"
    "Dark and irreverent - a good combo!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book/series is not for those easily shocked, especially those with a pious background. If, however, you enjoy stories of the touching on the occult then this should appeal to you.

    The hero of the story is indeed a dark hero. How else would you describe a character that is basically the spawn of Satan? This brings me to second observation: familiarity with Christian concepts and mythology is almost a must. I can't see someone from Tibet understanding the religious references in this book.

    The irreverent part is the dry humor suffused throughout. This was one of my favorite aspects of this book, as I have a bit of a penchant for dark humor myself. Some one liners are true "groaners", but there are also some pretty good ones in there. The book is a bit silly in places, but hey, this is a story about someone who returns from hell and moves into a video store.

    Give this a try if you enjoy the fringe. This is like a dark adult version of Harry Potter that is centered around Christian lore, but with much more humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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