Davis, CA, United States | Member Since 2008
Reminiscent of original Star Trek--light and fun listening. You will find yourself rooting for Little Fuzzy!
I haven't been really fond of Scalzi's more humorous science fiction, but this book sounded REALLY interesting. I am so glad I got it!
This is a more serious type of story. Scalzi has created a nightmarish future world where a new disease "locks in" a significant percentage of human beings to total paralysis, while their brains are still fully functional. The story is actually a crime mystery and a well-crafted one at that. People with the disease are called Haydens, named after the first lady who was afflicted early on with the disease. (She abhorred the disease being named after her but had no choice in the matter.) Aside from the mystery, there were issues of disabled rights, robotics, and corporate bullying, among others. Scalzi created a very plausible scenario, chilling in its believability.
This is a somewhat short audiobook with a satisfying ending. Attached to the end of the book is what is being called a "novelette." It is what I think of as an in-depth "documentary" on Hayden's Disease consisting of commentary from many health professionals and politicos, etc, on remembrances of the origin of the disease and also many disease factoids. It is just as compelling as the original audiobook. In a way, I wish it came before the original story, as knowing about Hayden's would have helped at the start of the story when I had some confusion.
Will Wheaton did a great job of narrating, as usual, and he is one of my favorite narrators. As someone else pointed out in their review, he doesn't do different voices. I hadn't even noticed until it was pointed out. Yet, it really works for him. I can't think of any other narrators who could get away with that.
And now, I am wondering about the other narration of this book, and what it is like . . . and wishing I had pre-ordered and gotten both.
Over all, this is a compelling and often sad story of the actor's early family life at the hands of a hateful and brutal father along with the unfolding of his family's genealogical past only recently discovered. If you are a fan of Alan Cumming, as I am, you should enjoy this very different celebrity memoir.
It is a fast and easy (although very emotional) listen; it is evident that the unfolding of the story and past events evoked a great deal of angst from the author. Alan is very forthcoming, brave, and honest about himself and his family. You can only imagine that many people in Alan's situation would want to keep this information hidden from the public, as much of it is not pretty at all. Yet, I got the feeling that for Alan, this was a largely therapeutic endeavor. He had his fill of family secrets and felt that bringing them out in the open was a very healthy option for him. I admire him for this and I hope that once and for all, he can let go of the weight of a very dysfunctional childhood/family life and continue soaring to greater and greater heights.
This was a no-brainer for me. I spent 20 plus years in Child Protective Services, many as a social worker. And, one of my most trusted reviewers loved it. How could I not get this book?
There were some things in this story that made me want to shout, "That just could not have happened!" Yet, I don't know how other locations run their children's services. Who knows, maybe it could have happened. It was in the realm of possibility, I acceded to myself.
At first, I was put off by the second thread, the 10-year old runaway girl. As I continued to listen, that thread grabbed me. I realized that it broke the tension of the main story. I really came to like the little girl character and that of the main character's mother, who befriended the child.
What really bothered me about this book was the terrible narration performed by Kate Rudd of the social worker, Ellen. I certainly do understand that the social worker/mother would have been near hysterical and unnerved by what happened to her own child at her own hands, but Rudd overplayed this to the point of distraction. Her hysterical voice was really unpleasant, and it seems she has no idea how to modulate her voice. The ugliness of the social worker's voice detracted from the story, for me. What was even worse--really worse--was her portrayal of male voices. They all sounded alike and did not fit the characters' personalities at all. I have heard other female narrators use those throaty, odd male voices before and I absolutely HATE it. The totally incompetent narration of male voices, actually by both narrators, took away from the seriousness of the content and made some of the men sound like buffoons. Over all, a very serious subject was made to sound almost silly at times. (Some women do male voices so well and others have a terrible time as here. I would be so disappointed if I were the author.)
So, if you aren't as bothered by poor narrations as I am, I would recommend this book, particularly if the subject matter interests you. This is for me, one of those rare and infrequent times that I would have preferred to read a book on my Kindle.
And wouldn't it be great if Audible provided a forum for us to discuss books like this?
Misogynists, beware! This is a sci-fi story written by a female with a female narrator and two major female characters. If you find that threatening, just skip the book and save yourself having to write a scathing review.
That said, on to my review. I really enjoyed Foehner Wells' first book. I am always looking for a great first contact story, and so many seem to disappoint me for one reason or another. This one had an entirely different feel to it and it gave me much to think about in between listening sessions. The storyline has been well-summarized in the book description and in other reviews. I will forgo doing it again.
While this story has some flaws, I feel that I can forgive these, as it is Wells' first book. With its current success, I feel she will read her critical reviews and acquire some more knowledgeable go-to folks for more detailed scientific and maybe even weapons info. I tend to give a fiction story a bit of leeway and don't get really picky, if I really enjoy the story line and come away satisfied. After all, it is FICTION.
Some reviews have warned of an abrupt, unsatisfying ending but oddly enough, I really liked the ending and the twist that came with it. I am certainly open to a sequel! I also want to add that I did not find an exceptional amount of swearing, as some reviewers did. As for the sexual thoughts, at first I was a bit put off. But I began thinking of what a two-year space mission would be like. I just cannot imagine folks turning off their sexual feelings and needs for that period of time. So after some thought, I realized this was pretty realistic. For me, it did not add to or detract from the story. As for the other characters, I would have liked to see a tad more character development and am hoping it will come with the author's next book.
The narrator did a good job and gave me no complaints. All in all, I found this an enjoyable, satisfying listen and I look forward to a lot more from this author.
I had no idea if I would like this audiobook--but the description, the idea of an accompanying pdf file, and the reviews made it difficult to resist. I found it truly a fun and engrossing listen, unlike anything I have come across before.
Firstly, the pdf. It added a great deal to my enjoyment of the book but it is by no means a necessary component. This file is used mainly in the beginning of the story and basically, the narrator reads the documents as part of the book. While they are fun to follow along with, they are not necessary. So if you listen only on the go, don't worry about not being able to follow along. But when you have more time, do look at the realistic accompanying documents. Pure fun!
I found this book extremely well written. Pessl has a gift for intriguing descriptions and this makes the book an easy candidate for a second listen. However, the story was what really grabbed me. I would think about it before falling asleep and before I got out of bed in the morning. The characters were well-developed and believable in their motivations and behaviors and were all interesting and mostly likeable. While this audiobook could be described as very dark, it was not TOO dark, I am thankful to report. While at times it seemed to veer off into a fantasy-like state, it always came back to believable reality which I appreciated. Reading this book was more like an "experience" for me, almost like a trip in the dark. I really loved it and would recommend it to mystery fans who enjoy the unusual.
As for the narrator, I loved him immediately. There is something unique about his voice and he put in a great performance. He is ideal for this type of strange, quirky book. I was so surprised to realize I knew him from the television show, Medium, which I watched years back. At that time, I was not so fond of the character he portrayed. I think, however, he was in his element with Night Film. He definitely added to the listening enjoyment for me.
So there it is! Will you or won't you?
I imagine this audiobook is as close as one can get to a peek into a doctor's world. Dr. Brendan Reilly has written an intensely personal and honest book. This is no light-hearted or fluffy read. It covers serious issues that are difficult to talk or even think about.
A large part of Reilly's story involves a personal case of his in which he questions if his oversights played a role in the patient's death. You can clearly see how he agonizes over the details of the case and what he might have done differently. I find it very brave of him to admit possible errors in treating this elderly couple who were more to him than just his patients. I felt that perhaps writing of their story was somewhat therapeutic for Dr. Reilly.
The book covers many other topics that are relevant, hot issues in modern medicine. Such issues include but are not limited to end of life decision-making, unnecessary waste of hospital resources, and the impersonality of current medical care. He discusses other difficult and interesting cases whose outcomes caused him concern and worry.
Add to this fascinating and moving book a narrator you won't soon forget and this becomes a must read. It is hard to imagine that narrator Rob Shapiro is not the actual author of the book. He becomes Dr. Reilly and gives an amazing performance.
I don't think my review even does this book justice. If any of what I have written spikes any interest for you, I highly recommend you get this audiobook. I believe I can safely say, "You won't be sorry!"
This book was a daily deal and it was Matthew's review that clinched it for me to take a chance. I am so glad I did. It certainly is not a genre I usually would pick as a listen, but maybe I should rethink that.
I really enjoyed this book--it was pure easy going fun for me. I didn't have a moment of boredom and I really liked the story line. Agutter is a very good narrator and captured the voice of the younger teen sister, Cassandra, perfectly. Cassandra is the speaker, the story taken from her journals which are ongoing and a constant in her life.
In summary, Cassandra and her slightly older, very pretty sister, Rose, live on an estate in England. The family should be paying rent to the estate owner but are sinking into serious poverty having been arrears in rent for a long time. Their father, who had fabulous success with his first book, has taken to reading novels, doing puzzles, daydreaming, and hasn't worked or written a thing in years. The estate falls under ownership of two dashing and very pleasant young men, brothers, who were raised in separate households in the US. It seems the girls' romantic dreams may be answered. Or maybe not . . . ?
If this sounds at all interesting, look at some of the other many positive reviews and dive in. Hopefully you will find it as fun as I did!
My third Robotham novel and not the last! It was a very good story and it kept me in suspense 'til the very end, which is what I usually hope for. I find Robatham and narrator, Sean Barrett, an unbeatable combination, as I have said before. I don't think I would even listen to a book in this series that was not narrated by Barrett. He seeps into the characters and becomes a necessary element.
This story had a certain "uneasiness" quality for me, a sense of dread and worry. My fears were allayed at the end, happily for me. It seems that for me, there is a fine line between enjoyment and discomfort. While this book came close to that line, it didn't jump over the line and cause too much anxiety for me.
What really surprised me is that I shed a few tears at the very end, at an unsuspected moment of kindness. I really like books that evoke strong feelings and this book did not disappoint.
So, while I really liked the book and do recommend it as a great listen, I have a few caveats I need to make. This book is not for the faint of heart, as you can see from the very few less than stellar reviews. Also, I would recommend you not read this book first, as it is 5th in the series. Make it a bunch more enjoyable for yourself and get to know the main characters a bit, those being psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and ex-cop Victor Ruiz. A little knowledge beforehand can make a book much more enjoyable, I have found.
This book did not disappoint on any level. I couldn't wait to get back to it and finished it in a few days. I think it will remain hovering in my mind for a long while.
Buckle you seat belt, put on your headphones, grab a few tissues, and prepare for a ride you will likely not forget. 13 year old Jenna cannot imagine how her mother, Alice Metcalf, could have abandoned her as a very young child. A long-term employee at the elephant sanctuary was trampled by elephants and her mother, Alice, was injured. Subsequently, Alice disappeared from the hospital mysteriously leaving Jenna to grow up in the care of her grandmother.
In an attempt to obtain some closure, to find out if her mother was actually alive, and to learn why she was left behind with an unstable father, Jenna enlists the help of two very unlikely advocates. She secures help from a disgraced psychic and an alcoholic ex-cop and begins her journey to clarify exactly what her mother's motives were when she abandoned her 3 year old daughter. In addition to Jenna's current day search, this book is to a large extent derived from Alice Metcalf's journals of her days at the New Hampshire elephant sanctuary that she ran with her husband, Thomas, and several close associates.
Throughout the book, we are educated on the plight of elephants. Picoult's elephant stories and educational information are true, many of the anecdotes coming from events at an actual elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. The stories of the elephants and the plight of Jenna and her friends tears at your heart. The ending was totally unexpected and demands that you let loose your preconceived notions and stretch your imagination a bit.
I was emotionally drained at the end of this book but somehow, it was a satisfying and appropriate ending. A tad bittersweet, you can imagine, as you cannot read about elephants and not feel heartbroken for them. For Jenna, however, there was a satisfactory resolution.
So, prepare yourself to be surprised and impressed. I loved this latest Picoult story--the author really outdid herself this time. Highly recommended!
Who would thought an audiobook on language could be so utterly compelling and interesting! I enjoyed the other Great Course I listened to, so I thought I would give this one a try. What a great decision on my part!
I know almost nothing about the subject nor was I ever interested in it, yet I was entertained for the entire 18 hours. What made this book so fascinating was Professor McWhorter's obvious love of his subject, Linguistics, and his wonderful, humorous, and dynamic personality. He is a pleasure to listen to--he makes a subject that could be very dry really come alive. I can certainly imagine listening to this book again.
McWhorter answers so many questions about the development of language. If you are at all like me, you may have never had any deep thoughts about language. I have only been frustrated by my difficulty in learning a foreign language. If you listen to this book, you will find out like I did just why it is so very difficult, if not impossible, to learn languages as an adult. You will learn, among other things, how languages develop and how they become extinct, why there isn't a universal language, what is the difference between a language, a dialect, and a creole. You will also be amazed at how few of the world's 6000 languages have been written down. You will most likely be very amused at the mostly unsuccessful attempts to create artificial languages, as McWhorter had such a fun time describing the musical language Solresol. No matter how boring my description sounds, McWhorter makes it all amusing and very interesting.
If you are wanting to break out of the escapism of fiction for a moment, I highly recommend this Great Course. I promise you will learn a great deal, you will be entertained, and maybe you will even be inspired to try another in the Great Courses series of audiobooks. I know I will.
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