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John Cliver

Raleigh, NC USA | Member Since 2008

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 51 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Brave New World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aldous Huxley
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2776)
    Performance
    (2016)
    Story
    (2036)

    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!”"
    "A remarkable work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Aldous Huxley presents a world so... Sci-fi, it's hard to believe it was first released in 1932. It succeeds in providing a detailed picture of a world where genetic modification is the commonplace way to provide societal stability. We find ourselves outsiders to the morality and values that must be maintained to accept this way of life but I think it's ultimately less a question of right/wrong but more about the nature of humanity, the value of human life and individuality (and yes, our sense of right and wrong).

    Where I feel this book falls short is in the enjoyability of the story. It has been a few years since I read it, so I can't be too detailed here but I definitely remember loving the book through the first half. As I drew near to the end, however, the story lost steam and I found myself trudging through the last chapters. When I finally got to the end, I just felt bad and had lost the enthusiasm for talking about the complex ideas presented by this futuristic society that seemed so interesting when I started.

    I give it 3 stars. Good book not great. Not the kind of book that I'll probably read more than once.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9813)
    Performance
    (5483)
    Story
    (5560)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "You just can't beat Dune"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thankfully picked this book up as my first ever audible book. 22 books later, this still stands up as my favorite audio book.

    Here's why you'll love it too:

    1. The full-cast recording brings you into the story quickly (no stumbling through confusing fast paced explanations of ray-guns and wormholes like a lot of sci-fi books).

    2. Frank Herbert gives us a fully realized and rich universe in which to follow this epic story of Paul Atreides' fulfilling a much foretold (but thinly sketched) destiny.

    3. The audible version is the absolute best attempt to illustrate this story beyond the page. Forget everything you saw in David Lynch's 1984 film (however, it's ok to picture Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck).

    3. As a sci-fi classic and a much beloved book (and at 21 hours long) it's a great value-pick for 1 credit on audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life, the Universe, and Everything: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Martin Freeman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1221)
    Performance
    (715)
    Story
    (726)

    The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads, so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the white killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.

    Dan says: "It's my favorite of the series"
    "Has everything that makes this series great."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not far into the book, I literally laughed out lout wearing my headphones in public and then had to nervously apologize. I embarrassed myself over a very brief description of the wind that I'm pretty sure I would've overlooked in written text yet the line was expertly delivered by Martin Freeman and it made Adam's comedy come alive to me.

    There so many absurd elements driving this story, it takes you by surprise when everything seems to come together towards the end. This one picks up where Restaurant at the End of the Universe leaves off. Although there is a brief recap, you should probably make sure you've read that one first as it leaves the characters separated from each other and doesn't have much of a wrap-up.

    Highly recommend this book, I didn't want to give any book a perfect score but I couldn't help it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ringworld

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Larry Niven
    • Narrated By Tom Parker
    Overall
    (2927)
    Performance
    (1589)
    Story
    (1616)

    Welcome to Ringworld, an intermediate step between Dyson Spheres and planets. The gravitational force created by a rotation on its axis of 770 miles per second means no need for a roof. Walls 1,000 miles high at each rim will let in the sun and prevent much air from escaping. Larry Niven's novel, Ringworld, is the winner of the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 1970 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1972 Ditmars, an Australian award for Best International Science Fiction.

    Kennet says: "Genuinely Creative"
    "Tough Entry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Such a memorable book but I almost gave up. I started this audio book several times and had a hard time "grabbing hold" of what was going on. Maybe it was a little "too sci-fi" for me or maybe Tom Parker just wasn't dynamic enough to help me picture it, but it was really hard to keep names, places, and all the future technologies sorted in my mind.

    I persevered and was glad I did. The scale of the story is epic and I couldn't believe that when it was over, I immediately considered continuing with Niven's next book in the timeline.

    It's that strange book that you can really enjoy but is still hard to recommend. Listen to the sample and if you don't think you can spend 11 hours with Parker, get the paperback.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Sean Williams
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    Overall
    (1349)
    Performance
    (1024)
    Story
    (1023)

    Tassaa Bareesh, a matriarch in the Hutt crime cartel, is holding an auction that’s drawing attention from across the galaxy. Representatives of both the Republic and the Sith Empire are present, along with a Jedi Padawan sent to investigate, a disenfranchised trooper drummed out of the Republic’s elite Blackstar Squad, and a mysterious Mandalorian with a private agenda.

    Karen says: "Unexpected and Enjoyable"
    "Am I reading a book or a movie?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After finishing the audio book, I thought it was pretty good, not great. But the performance (narration/timing and sound effects) really makes the story re-readable. Love that it's a story centered around characters in the star wars canon yet you wouldn't have to know much about the star wars universe to jump into the story. A mysterious non-sith "villain" and a very interesting setting for the climactic battle make it well worth a credit for fans of star wars or other works/games set in the old republic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mass Effect: Ascension

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Drew Karpyshyn
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (253)

    It's humankind versus a race of machines bent on harvesting organic life in this second official novel based on the BioWare video game.

    V. Allen says: "A definite for ME fans!"
    "Adds richness to the game franchise."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to another book narrated by David Colacci?

    Yes, David Colacci's performance brought me into the story. His Illusive Man is perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    Got this book after enjoying Mass Effect: Retribution. Overall, I didn't enjoy it as much but is still worth it for fans of the games and the story does shed more light on the concept of biotic abilities. I haven't read the first book (revelation?) but this one ties in great with Retribution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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