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Finance Guy

Member Since 2010


  • A Wizard of Earthsea: The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Sparrowhawk casts a spell that saves his village from destruction at the hands of the invading Kargs, Ogion, the Mage of Re Albi, encourages the boy to apprentice himself in the art of wizardry. So, at the age of 13, the boy receives his true name - Ged - and gives himself over to the gentle tutelage of the Master Ogion. But impatient with the slowness of his studies and infatuated with glory, Ged embarks for the Island of Roke, where the highest arts of wizardry are taught.

    Finance Guy says: "Elegant & unique fantasy, deliciously performed"
    "Elegant & unique fantasy, deliciously performed"

    I can't believe I didn't listen to or read this book sooner. Ursula K. Le Guin has rekindled my believe that fantasy can be a legitimate literary genre.

    Charming and entertaining like a fairy tale but simultaneously dripping with the suspense, drama, and authenticity of a Viking Saga or Epic Poem, A Wizard of Earthsea (the first of the series) cannot be ignored by any serious fantasy reader. So much sub-par fantasy is written in this, age of World of Warcraft and Eragon, that it's refreshing to have Ursula K. Le Guin to discover and delight in.

    The narrator of this book makes it sound like he is recounting an ancient tale around some campfire in the Iron Age. Amazing!

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Charm School

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Something very strange -- and sinister -- is going on in the Russian woods at Borodino. In a place called Mrs. Ivanova's Charm School, young KGB agents are being taught by American POW's how to be model citizens of the USA. The Soviet goal -- to infiltrate the United States undetected. When an unsuspecting American tourist stumbles upon this secret, he sets in motion a CIA investigation that will reveal horrifying police state savagery and superpower treachery.

    Char says: "Incredibly Good"
    "Scott Brick Sing Song Ruins Great Novel"
    What did you like best about The Charm School? What did you like least?

    Awesome Cold War Plot, even with dated 1980s themes/stereotypical characters.

    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Great plot. Typical cold war tension.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Russian pronunciation is good, but TERRIBLE intonation. Every sentence read in the same cheery sing-songy voice despite the tone of the book or what's going on in the plot. This is a book about the Cold War, not a pop culture science book or a business book. It's like the narrator has no idea what the book is about and is just reading it slowly for the first time to get a clean cut and avoid retakes. I really want to complete this book, but Scott Brick is just ruining it for me. I'd pay 4 times as much to have a narrator that didn't ruin it.

    Was The Charm School worth the listening time?

    Forcing myself to listen to it while I run. It's painful and barely worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Gyles Brandreth
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    London, 1889. Oscar Wilde, celebrated poet, wit, playwright, and raconteur is the literary sensation of his age. All Europe lies at his feet. Yet when he chances across the naked corpse of sixteen-year-old Billy Wood, posed by candlelight in a dark stifling attic room, he cannot ignore the brutal murder. With the help of fellow author Arthur Conan Doyle he sets out to solve the crime - but it is Wilde's unparalleled access to all degrees of late Victorian life, from society drawing rooms to the underclass, that will prove the decisive factor in their investigation....

    connie says: "needs glue"
    "Delicious Story of a Decadent Hedonist"

    In this delicious mystery, the flamboyant author Oscar Wilde and his friends (including the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) explore 1890s London in search of a murderer. Wilde's powers of observation hint that he is clearly the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, and is perspicacity and wit pepper the book.

    The story is littered with the quirky peculiarities of the 1890s culture, and stuffed with the gluttony of Wilde's endless train of Champagne, Pouilly Fuisse, Claret and oysters. When he's not solving the mystery, Wilde is having a good time or eating another course.

    The narrator sounds a little too old and stuffy to make this book sing in audio format, unfortunately. Alan Cumming would have been perfect.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor

    Before cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand and slim laptops that fit snugly into briefcases, computers were like strange, alien vending machines. They had cryptic switches, punch cards, and pages of encoded output. But in 1975, a young engineering wizard named Steve Wozniak had an idea: What if you combined computer circuitry with a regular typewriter keyboard and a video screen?

    Anthony says: "Best of the Best"
    "Great stories about a geek's life"

    Steve Wozniak's geeky, almost-asperger's-sydrome-like personality shines through in this story about the life of the creator of the first PC, the Apple 2. The underlying text was clearly written in a series of interviews with a ghost-writer, as the biography is entirely told in the 1st person. Fortunately, the narrator makes good use of this and brings Steve Wozniak's quirky personality to life.

    The story can get slow at times because Woz tends to dwell on some topics, but it's worth listening to if only to understand Steve Job's polar opposite.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "Fascinating Story, Irritating Narrator"

    A fascinating story about erratic Jobs' quixotic rise to power, unfortunately undermined by the irritating narrator and his sing-songy nerd voice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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