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Gary Denton

Liberal Anti-Authoritarian

Pasadena, Texas USA | Member Since 2014

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 82 purchased in 2015
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  • Existence

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Brin
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins, Robin Miles, L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (497)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (444)

    Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an "alien artifact".

    A. Massey says: "Big ideas, good science fiction, frustrating style"
    "Epic ideas, so-so-execution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can only give David Brin's latest a 3.5 - It models itself on John Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar as a near future exploration of vital topics but the very long mixed together narratives with no character as a central focus for long ended up often putting me to sleep.

    Love the ideas, the near-future forecasts, the characters individually, but it doesn't quite become the epic it should be. Most of the threads are amazing, the ideas are amazing, the whole not so much. Disentangling this book might have helped, I would like to hear "Pandora's Cornucopia" and "Aliens, Choose Why You are Silent" and some of the characters stories all in one block. The last third of the book, once people go out into the belt, could also be a great stand alone.

    If you like your SF on the intellectual and hard side and are curious about Fermi's Paradox you should really get this book. Not for casual readers or listeners.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America’s Radical Right

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Claire Conner
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Evans
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Wrapped in the Flag chronicles the radical right-wing world of the 1960s, when conspiracy ruled and the John Birch Society made national headlines. The daughter of a John Birch Society leader, Claire Connor introduces us to the extreme ideas of a powerful political fringe group dispensing radical solutions to America's problems. Following in the footsteps of its hero, Senator Joseph McCarthy, the John Birch Society believed that an international Communist conspiracy was on the verge of taking over the government of the United States.

    James says: "Where the Tea Party got their crazy ideas"
    "Excellent if a bit depressing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the story of growing up in the household of two of the first members/leaders of the John Birch Society. While the daughter was able to move out of her views her parents remained devoted fanatics to the cause to the end. It was depressing to realize that this hateful, conspiracy-filled worldview never goes away but just varies in the amount of influence it has in the political system. And shortly after the election of Obama it may have returned to a new peak.
    The narration was very good, similar to the author's voice which you can hear in speeches on YouTube.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gods of Risk: An Expanse Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By James S. A. Corey
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (75)

    As tension between Mars and Earth mounts, and terrorism plagues the Martian city of Londres Nova, 16-year-old David Draper is fighting his own lonely war. A gifted chemist vying for a place at the university, David leads a secret life as a manufacturer for a ruthless drug dealer. When his friend Leelee goes missing, leaving signs of the dealer's involvement, David takes it upon himself to save her. But first he must shake his aunt Bobbie Draper, an ex-marine who has been set adrift in her own life after a mysterious series of events nobody is talking about.

    David says: "Breaking Bad on Mars"
    "Short cyberpunk noir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Teenage bright chemistry student gets himself in over his head after he starts producing drugs part time and meets a beautiful dame with a problem.
    Well developed background on the gritty underbelly of Mars. Young naive protagonist and interesting characters stand out but not a classic.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Off to Be the Wizard

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Scott Meyer
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4062)
    Performance
    (3745)
    Story
    (3753)

    It's a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble. Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.

    Charles says: "Fantastic"
    "Lightweight but fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fun and nerdy wish fulfillment story of amateur hacker who finds a file that enables him to hack reality. He decides it might be safer with those abilities back in the past passing as a wizard. In Merry Olde England he runs into more nerd hackers who also had discovered the master file.
    The performance artist can get annoying in a few parts while handling the voices.
    The style is something like the Warlock of Gramarye series but more humorous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yesterday's Gone: Season One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sean Platt, David Wright
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray, Chris Patton, Brian Holsopple, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (248)

    Can humanity Survive what it never saw coming? On October 15 at 2:15 a.ms Earth vanished. A scattered few woke alone in a world with no rules, other than survival at any cost. A journalist wanders the wretched reality of an empty New York, searching for his wife and son. A serial killer must hunt in a land where prey is now an endangered species. A mother shields her young daughter from danger through every terror-filled breath.

    justin says: "WOW...do not miss this start to an AMAZING series!"
    "Fast paced TV series style story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are a big fan of Lost and Walking Dead this series about what happens to various scattered individuals in the U.S. after the night 99.99% of humanity is mysteriously taken would be right up your alley. The survivors of varying types including one quite unpleasant serial killer cope and seem to be gradually coming together from all across the country. This is only the beginning of the series with some big reveals only near the end. For this type of thing it is done well in the style of several recent cable TV series. This is first developed in online podcasts if you prefer to consume it that way.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23380)
    Performance
    (21496)
    Story
    (21504)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Macgyver on Mars"
    "Wow - highest recommendation."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Best hard science fiction book I've read in years and I try to read all the Hugo nominees. Very smart and funny and sarcastic botanist/mechanic is trapped alone on Mars after an accident and must survive for many months fixing one problem after another. Impressive that there were never any false notes and the story swept you along and accept for one small detail at the beginning the science and mechanics and equipment and jargon are perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Oren Klaff
    • Narrated By Oren Klaff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (978)
    Performance
    (816)
    Story
    (805)

    When it comes to delivering a pitch, Oren Klaff has unparalleled credentials. Over the past 13 years, he has used his one-of-a-kind method to raise more than $400 million - and now, for the first time, he describes his formula to help you deliver a winning pitch in any business situation. Whether you’re selling ideas to investors, pitching a client for new business, or even negotiating for a higher salary, Pitch Anything will transform the way you position your ideas. According to Klaff, creating and presenting a great pitch isn’t an art - it’s a simple science.

    Alex Wiltsey says: "Excellent... period."
    "A great pitchman tells you how to sell anything"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this on sale because of a meeting I had planned with higher ups where I worked. HR was refusing to compensate me for benefits and pay I was due, which legally they could do as they are a public college and cannot be sued for labor violations which are not based on discrimination.
    The book was useful for a strategy. Klaff has been very successful and tells interesting stories, although like a lot of salesmen he has an oversized ego.
    The secrets have been mentioned before:
    Setting the Frame
    Telling the Story
    Revealing the Intrigue
    Offering the Prize
    Nailing the Hookpoint
    Getting a Decision
    The book was useful and probably the right length.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rule Golden

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Damon Knight
    • Narrated By William Coon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    As a newspaper publisher, Robert James Dahls found the news disconcerting; in fact, inexplicable. News items like two boxers simultaneously knocking each other out, prison guards sick and unable to guard the prisoners, policemen shooting fleeing culprits and collapsing themselves, battered wives with husbands suffering the same injuries that they inflicted.

    Linda B says: "Loses its way..."
    "Classic, important"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Damon Knight is one of the masters of the short stories and short novels from the Golden Age of science fiction. His best work like this takes simple bold ideas, what if's, and anchors it in the mundane and practical.
    An alien arrives on our plant and injures himself and is captured. What is he doing here? How is he treated? And is there a connection to the strange incidents and possible diseases that are starting to occur. A small newspaper owner is drawn into the story while investigating what is the military doing in a locked down isolated faculty.
    This is a classic story for those who think about government and religion and big ideas and what the world would be like if one simple change were made.
    Other stories by Damon Knight include Why Do Birds, A For Anything, and The Man in the Tree. He is also known for the short story To Serve Man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Back to the Bedroom

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By C.J. Critt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (78)

    She was the mysterious woman in the long black cloak. He was the sexy guy next door. They shared a common wall between their Capitol Hill townhouses and not much else...until disaster scored a direct hit on the mystery woman's bedroom and the sexy guy's heart. He baked her a cake, she learned to throw a football, there were some misunderstandings in the living room, some mishaps in the yard, and some romantic moments everywhere.

    Blandina says: "SO SO"
    "Light and Fun Romp"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Possible spoiler - this is a screwball comedy romance with all that implies.

    In most romances the characters seem made for each other. Here the two leads have very different outlooks and goals in life which makes for a more interesting story and creates problems until the end. This is light weight funny fluff and you know it is going to be wrapped up at the end but there is some funny romance and banter along the way.

    Katherine Finn is a recently divorced, dedicated, serious and very time-stressed musician, and David Dodd is a handsome, fit and very easy-going hunk who loves cartoons and toys. He has won the lottery and doesn't have to work but draws cartoons. They live in adjoining townhouses. Something falls out of the sky and smashes through the roof and the third floor to land in Kate's bed on the second floor. Elsie Hawkins shows up from moving out of a nursing home to rent a room.

    The chapter about dinner with the parents needs to be on the big screen.

    C.J. Critt reads this book and it took me a couple chapters to get into her style. It improves.

    As a bonus for Stephanie Plum fans this is the first of four romances to feature Elsie Hawkins, the prototype for Grandma Mazur. The next is Smitten.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3429)
    Performance
    (2586)
    Story
    (2615)

    Victorian romance mixes seamlessly with elegant prose and biting wit—and werewolves—in Gail Carriger’s delightful debut novel. Soulless introduces Alexia Tarabotti, a parasol-wielding Londoner getting dangerously close to spinster status. But there are more important things than finding a husband. For Alexia was born without a soul, giving her the ability to render any vampire or werewolf completely powerless.

    Pamela I Greene says: "Amelia Peabody has competition"
    "Steampunk and Werewolves and Vampires, Oh my"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a paranormal steampunk set in London with a clever premise and much wit. A fun listen.

    Alexia has no soul, a rare condition which enables her to negate the powers of other supernaturals. She also has little prospects being a spinster with a dead Italian father which makes her nose a bit too big and her skin a bit too swarthy . She is also a bit too curvy and much too independent and smart. This is a romance, although this mixes in a lot of genres, that starts when a vampire oddly loses his manners and tries to make a meal of her in the drawing room at a party. She is soon drawn into the mystery of why vampires and werewolves have been disappearing around London and into contact with an annoying Alpha werewolf leader in charge of the investigation and Lord Akeldama, who as a vampire knows more than just the latest styles. The different societies, werewolf, vampire and upper crust Victorian human, are well depicted.

    Settle in for some comfortable fun listening and learn why a lady is never without her parasol.





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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