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Harvey

raleigh, NC, United States | Member Since 2010

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 112 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Steven Pressfield
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (326)

    Gates of Fire puts you at the side of valiant Spartan warriors in 480 BC for the bloody, climactic battle at Thermopylae. There, a few hundred of Sparta’s finest sacrificed their lives to hold back the invading Persian millions. The time they bought enabled the Greeks to rally - saving, according to ancient historian Herodotus, “Western democracy and freedom from perishing in the cradle.” How did the Spartans accomplish this superhuman feat? This is what the King of Persia hopes to learn from the sole Spartan survivor.

    Darwin8u says: "Tell the Spartans, stranger passing by"
    "Outstanding. One of George Guidall's best."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Gates of Fire the most enjoyable?

    I am a fan of the narrator and whenever I read lists of his best work, this is always at the top. I read the book before I found the recording, and sometimes that give me too high of an expectation. George Guidell surpassed my expectations. Without putting on accents or staging elaborate changes in volume or inflection, he give each character a believable and unique voice. Even speaking Greek he fills the characters with emotion and life. Very easy to listen to, very easy to emerse yourself in the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I first read Gates of Fire more than 10 years ago, long before the movie or comic book "300" came out. As much as enjoyed both, I was saddened by its success because I knew many people would take it as the definitive fictionalization of the historical battle of Thermopylae. That title clearly belongs to this book. The story, which we all know the end to, remains suspenseful because of the characters. We as readers become invested in their lives and struggles.


    Any additional comments?

    Things this book is not:-A mystery novel-A romance novel-A spy novel-An exact historical account of the Battle of Thermopylae. -The story of one man/woman struggling to find love in a world of economic oppression and/or vampires.There are some reviewers who have criticized this book for not being "literature." Personally, I read for the stories. This is a great story that runs more to the "epic" than "slice of life." There are curse words used, but used in the context soldiers of all eras would use them. There is great humor. There is tragedy, There is drama. There is adventure. There are characters you cheer for and those you hate. I would add that this is probably a more popular book with men, particularly those who have in one way or another spent time in military service. My wife does not get why the characters (either historical or fictional) would make the choices they do, but to those who have been on the line or in the fight, it's moving to hear our thoughts, fears, and relationships described so eloquently. These are not strictly male concepts, but I have found every guy I have recommended this book to has loved it, and most of the females I lent it to said it was good, but couldn't find a particular character to connect with.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ark Royal

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Christopher G. Nuttall
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (906)
    Performance
    (844)
    Story
    (849)

    Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Riveting military sci-fi"
    "Master and Commander for Space"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    British naval veterans of WWII and people who find Terry Pratchett characters too expresive and interesting.


    What was most disappointing about Christopher G. Nuttall’s story?

    An absolute lack of any sort of humor. Almost every story I've- loved, sci-fi, fantacy, drama, historical novel, or other- has always had a least some element of humor. A little sarcasm here, a comical situation, even a pun; real characters aren't serious and intense in every single scene.


    What didn’t you like about Ralph Lister’s performance?

    Ralph Lister gives a slight, measured pause at the end of every sentence. Some might not notice it, but it drove me crazy. Every line was delivered with equal intensity, every character spoke with the same tone and and only slightly different pitch. As the pauses were so pervasive, I had trouble telling when the narrator was switching points of view. He may be a good actor, or even a great guy, but not a very good narrator.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Ark Royal?

    The sex scenes. I like sex scenes, don't get me wrong. But to hear that dry, pause-ridden, English voice use anatomical nomenclature to describe a body's physiological response sexual arousal, it's... what is the word to describe it? Whatever the opposite of passion is, that's the word to describe it.


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, there are space battles. No high strategy as in Enders Game or even Zahn's Star Wars books, but ships will shoot at each other. Similar in tone to Master and Commander, but without the humor and camaraderie that make that series interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7381)
    Performance
    (6885)
    Story
    (6913)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "60,000 words for 15,000 words worth of ideas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Brandon Sanderson and/or Macleod Andrews?

    No, but really. Brandon Sanderson writes well enough, but is clumsy at story building.


    What was most disappointing about Brandon Sanderson’s story?

    Good core idea, but far too little time building the framework to make the story engrossing. The trick at the end was in Sanderson's mind from the minute he started writing. You can tell because he can't wait to get to it, and we as readers see it coming long before the big reveal. He could have built a better set of rules for how superpowers work. It seemed as though anybody could have any power or any skill if it was convenient for moving to the next plot point.


    Was Steelheart worth the listening time?

    If you have never heard any books dealing with superpowers or post-apocalyptic societies, this is not a bad start. It is on par with Ex Heroes and others like it, so if that is your jam, this might be a worthwhile listen. If you have read and enjoyed Hard Magic, Steelheart is probably going to disappoint you in a lot of ways.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snuff

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1817)
    Performance
    (1608)
    Story
    (1619)

    Sam Vimes is on a well-deserved holiday. But for the commander of the City Watch, a vacation in the country is anything but relaxing. The balls, the teas, the muck - not to mention all that fresh air and birdsong - are more than a bit taxing on a cynical city-born and -bred copper. Yet a policeman will find a crime anywhere if he decides to look hard enough, and it’s not long before a body is discovered, and Sam - out of his jurisdiction, out of his element, and out of bacon sandwiches (thanks to his well-meaning wife) - must rely on his instincts, guile, and street smarts to see justice done.

    Tim says: "Perfect Pratchett"
    "Great start, then downhill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It is funny, particularly to start with, but around the second half there starts to be holes in the narration, scenes that seem to be skipped, characters acting... out of character. Not a good finish. Still, the reading is good and if you just want to hear funny bits without a need for a strong/smooth overall narrative, give it a shot.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Terry Pratchett? Why or why not?

    Absolutely. Great writer and this may be the only weak offering. Please do not judge all Pratchett by this one book!.He is very sick and I am sure he wasn't able to work on the book as he would have liked, but all earlier Disc World Adventures have been a lot of fun.


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Briggs – was your favorite?

    Sam Vimes. There are some very funny (and sweet) lines in the beginning about how he feels about his wife.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes. It might make more sense.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Watch: Discworld #27

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1190)
    Performance
    (647)
    Story
    (653)

    Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he's back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck.

    Terry A. Austin says: "Another brilliant Pratchett"
    "History, mystery, and humor in the Disc World."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Night Watch in three words, what would they be?

    Sam Vimes Adventure


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sam Vimes. If you're a cop, if you know a cop, if you used to think you wanted to be a cop, you'll recognize a bit of yourself in Vimes.


    What about Stephen Briggs’s performance did you like?

    Great reader really hitting his stride.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laughter, as with all Pratchett books, but this one had a bit more emotion, and bit deeper into a character's heart and head than any earlier Disc World adventures. This one is a cop story with a little magic, a little humor, and a chance to explore a familar part of the Disc a bit earlier then we've ever seen it. It's a good read if you haven't read any Pratchett, but much better if you have a background. If you've read enough that you feel as though you could find your way around Anke-Morpork on a sunny day, this will be like a trip through history.


    Any additional comments?

    Ever thought it would be great to get a chance to talk to your younger self?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Small Gods: Discworld #13

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (951)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (468)

    Brutha is the Chosen One. His god has spoken to him, admittedly while currently in the shape of a tortoise. Brutha is a simple lad. He can't read. He can't write. He's pretty good at growing melons. And his wants are few. He wants to overthrow a huge and corrupt church. He wants to prevent a horribly holy war.

    Ursula Krischer says: "The Turtle moved for me"
    "Great Introduction to Terry Pratchett"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Everyone needs to laugh. You don't need any background in the Disc World to enjoy this story. It is close enough to our world to have a relevant point as well as just being an entertaining story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Great characters, great story, great way to get into the Disc World.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laughed out loud.


    Any additional comments?

    Awesome reading. Nigel Planer no longer reads the audiobooks for Pratchett, but this, I think, was his masterpiece and I am very glad it hasn't been redone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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