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John

Skaneateles, NY, United States | Member Since 2012

72
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 67 reviews
  • 76 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
10
FOLLOWERS
5

  • The Rose and the Thorn: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2140)
    Performance
    (1981)
    Story
    (1986)

    For more than a year, Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner, Hadrian Blackwater, from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception - Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of - but she's about to find out.

    Cecil says: "Great Series but don't start here"
    "What??? No more??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This whole series is great. These are some of the best this genre has to offer. You will not be disappointed. I would recommend reading them in the order of publishing starting with the Ryria Revelations Trilogy. I hope Michael Sullivan keeps writing these because I love his characters, world, and stories. If you haven't read any of this series yet you are in for a treat.

    Enjoy.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Grant Hardy
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (107)

    Western philosophy is a vast intellectual tradition, the product of thousands of years of revolutionary thought built up by a rich collection of brilliant minds. But to understand the Western intellectual tradition is to get only half the story. The Eastern intellectual tradition has made just as important a contribution-and is also the product of thousands of years of cumulative thought by a distinct group of brilliant thinkers. Their ideas demonstrate wholly different ways of approaching and solving the same fundamental issues that concerned the West's greatest thinkers, such as . the existence of God; . the meaning of life; and. the nature of truth and reality.This epic and comprehensive 36-lecture examination of the East's most influential philosophers and thinkers-from a much-honored teacher and scholar-offers a thought-provoking look at the surprising connections and differences between East and West. By introducing you to the people-including The Buddha, Ashoka, Prince Shotoku, Confucius, and Gandhi-responsible for molding Asian philosophy and for giving birth to a wide variety of spiritual and ideological systems, it will strengthen your knowledge of cultures that play increasingly important roles in our globalized 21st-century world.

    Michael says: "Great Lectures among the best of the Great Courses"
    "Not what I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I had signed up for this class in college out of curiosity I would have dropped it after a couple weeks. As it was I made it about half way through before I returned it.

    I was expecting an immersion in the actual philosophical teachings of the great asian minds. What I got instead was a mind numbing rapid fire list like litany of the HISTORY of asian philosophy. After the first few lectures it became very hard to follow and my interest rapidly waned. This lecture series is a shallow skimming of eastern philosophy delving briefly into each the numerous small branches and variations of the major schools of thought.

    The names just flow by and the philosophies begin to blur, then, fade, then........WHOA I'm thinking about what I should be getting at the hardware store and haven't absorbed a word in the last 5 minutes. OK, concentrate, try to pay attention, OK Jong Chi in the time of the Jo Dynasty founded the Jang Xi movement of the middle path existential Buddhists believed in the 5 ways to enlightenment (list them all) which differed from the preceding 6 ways (listed for comparison) which meant he never wore shoes.......duct tape, have to pick up some duct tape......

    oh I give up.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Feet of Clay: Discworld #19

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1001)
    Performance
    (489)
    Story
    (502)

    Who's murdering harmless old men? Who's poisoning the Patrician? As autumn fogs hold Ankh-Morpork in their grip, the City Watch has to track down a murderer who can't be seen. Browse more novels of Discworld.

    Brooke P. Anderson says: "One of the best of the best"
    "Every discworld book I read is great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Master writer. Master narrator. What more can you say? Another sublime listening experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5260)
    Performance
    (4982)
    Story
    (4964)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

    D says: "Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back."
    "Has Dresden jumped the shark?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dare I say it?

    This was a weak effort. Many plot devices and character attributes are getting stale, very stale.

    Lets face it, Harry should be dead. After the millionth Deus ex Machina it gets a very old and extremely predictable and boring. Does every single fight scene have to end in a near death and a miraculously lucky last minute save out of nowhere? Does Harry have to always rashly insult every bad guy he deals making it more difficult for himself? Will he ever get smarter? Will he ever use his wizarding skills in more subtle and creative ways? FORZARE!, FURGO!, and FRIGA! are getting more than a little boring. How about some new stuff? Parkour? Seriously? That was lame, very lame.

    The story was weak. With all the other gears turning in the main plot of the series he writes a heist job? Come on? The main reason I am reading is to see what happens in the grand plot. Well, in this book, nothing! Very disappointing.

    Uber fans will love anything Butcher puts out. The rest will likely be let down by this effort.

    I'll hang in for one more and hope it is better than this.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (4299)
    Performance
    (3218)
    Story
    (3229)

    Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

    Steven says: "Steven Pacey is magnificient."
    "If you like GRR Martin you will probably like this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent first book of a 3 book series. Abercrombie's writing reminds me of GRR Martin. The characters are patiently constructed as such the first half of the book is a little slow going and patience is required but the payoff is worth it. Each of the main characters are complex individuals with good and bad qualities. No stereotypes or wooden characters. Many posses dark secrets and have dark gritty backgrounds which are gradually revealed. The dialogue and inner thoughts of each character are well written with a great deal of dry wit and humorous sarcasm which I find a great pleasure to read. Very few fantasy writers do this well. The story unravels slowly as many questions and mysteries are presented. Not all is revealed as this book is not a stand alone. Good news is the second book is even better.

    There is a lot of blood and salty language but this story wouldn't be as good without it.

    The narration is outstanding. Couldn't be better.

    So, if you like GRR Martin, what are you waiting for? This is your next series to read.

    Big 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Seth Freeman
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (125)

    The course is organized around a mnemonic device, developed by Professor Freeman, that can serve in any negotiation situation. Called "I FORESAW IT," this indispensable framework guides you in assembling the strongest possible case, showing you how to evaluate such factors as creative options, independent criteria, and your best alternative to a negotiated agreement.

    Quaker says: "A master course on negotiation"
    "Didn't find this compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I only made it partway through this before returning it. I didn't care for the narrator's style. It is delivered like a self help infomercial. The material was so-so. Most rather obvious as in "be soft on the person but hard on the issue". Most people with any amount of life experience intuitively know these things. I was hoping for more specific tactics and situations. Maybe that was to come but I couldn't take the cheesey sales pitch delivery any more.

    13 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale)

    • UNABRIDGED (54 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    Overall
    (2013)
    Performance
    (1824)
    Story
    (1842)

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens to them is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive.

    Robin says: "Short story with no shortage of events"
    "Trapped in a tricky dungeon. Will they get out?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The only problem I have with this is that it is not a full book but just a short story.

    Come on Michael Sullivan, write some more books for this series. We demand it!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Reaper Man: Discworld #11

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    Overall
    (977)
    Performance
    (455)
    Story
    (460)

    Edmund says: "The most moving of the series"
    "Death experiences life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another great discworld novel. Death gets fired and interesting things happen as only Pratchett can describe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4493)
    Performance
    (2939)
    Story
    (2972)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "Really really good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like Pratchett a lot better than Gaiman as a writer but together they are a fantastic. This was very entertaining from start to finish and the narration was outstanding. If you are a fan of either writer you will undoubtedly enjoy this combined effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Men at Arms: Discworld #15

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1214)
    Performance
    (569)
    Story
    (574)

    MICHAEL says: "Decent character development, poor audio quality"
    "More incredible Pratchett"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pratchett is one of my favorite writers. This is another masterpiece.

    If new to Pratchett do not start with this one. Read Guards! Guards! first. You will not regret it.

    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
    (952)
    Performance
    (465)
    Story
    (469)

    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"
    "Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pratchett is a genius. You really have to concentrate when listening to get all the satire, comedy bits, and witticisms. There is so much packed in there it can whiz right by you.

    Small Gods is a stand alone book in the series and would be a great starting point for anyone who wants to get into the expansive discworld series.

    Nigel Planer does a masterful narration as always. The variety of colorful british character accents makes this better in audiobook format than written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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