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Luke

In sales and on the road a lot. Love SciFi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional Non-Fiction. Funny. Opinionated.

Albany, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 92 ratings
  • 256 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Michael Moss
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1056)
    Performance
    (927)
    Story
    (921)

    Every year, the average American eats 33 pounds of cheese (triple what we ate in 1970) and 70 pounds of sugar (about 22 teaspoons a day). We ingest 8,500 milligrams of salt a day, double the recommended amount, and almost none of that comes from the shakers on our table. It comes from processed food. It’s no wonder, then, that one in three adults, and one in five kids, is clinically obese.

    Michael says: "This is all too real, and YOU are the victim."
    "I don't even know where to start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Well, that's not entirely true. I should start by saying that I don't read many non-fiction or health books. However, I saw the author on Jon Stewart or Colbert a few weeks ago and then I saw the book was selling well on Audible so I figures I'd give it a shot. To my surprise I found myself engaged and invested in the book, from examples of corporate greed to studies on human nature. The writing is phenomenal and comes at you like the good, hard-hitting journalism that it is. My initial criticism was the repetition of certain key words and phrases, however I came to feel that this served to hammer home points and familiarize the reader with certain industry vocabulary. I also developed a new way of looking at the nutrition information and ingredient list on my food. The narration keeps pace with the writing without sounding flat, and that is all you can really ask of a book like this. 5 stars does this book justice, it is not an inflated score. I would rank Salt, Sugar, Fat as one of my top books of 2013 without hesitation.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Beat: The Dresden Files, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5340)
    Performance
    (4051)
    Story
    (4047)

    When a killer vampire threatens to destroy head of Special Investigations Karrin Murphy's reputation, unless Harry delivers the powerful Word of Kemmler to her, he has no choice. Now Harry is in a race against time to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead.

    A User says: "I wish it was about 20 hours longer"
    "love the series, needed a Dresden fix"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    ok, I love the series but this deserves 4 stars because after the "big reveal" of what the numbers mean, the BIGGEST mystery of the book mind you, my brain stopped working. The sheer stupidity of the characters/author in that plot point were just unforgivable. So many good things in the book and series so far but I can never list Butcher among my favorite authors because of small things that consistently irk me, lapses in common sense, etc.
    Still worth the credit and I'll keep reading the series, just had to get that off my chest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11177)
    Performance
    (10143)
    Story
    (10165)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "What a surprising read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    In a heartbeat. I think that I came in with such low expectations that the book caught me off-guard. It a a solid and entertaining time-killer with decent and authentic characters. When things get crazy the book really takes off.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 14?

    How to say this without ruining anything? The airlock.


    Any additional comments?

    This book flows well. It is a good spring/summertime read and you should be able to knock it out in 2 or 3 days. If I could change anything it would be towards the end when things get "other-worldly," I would have reined that in a little. It's a good 4 star book that I would recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carrion Comfort

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Mel Foster, Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (412)
    Story
    (412)

    The Past...Caught behind the lines of Hitler’s Final Solution, Saul Laski is one of the multitudes destined to die in the notorious Chelmno extermination camp. Until he rises to meet his fate and finds himself face-to-face with an evil far older, and far greater, than the Nazis themselves...

    Robert says: "Simmons at his best"
    "Great take on an old story, Engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This novel is long, let's get that out of the way first. That being said, it is well worth the investment. I read this over a year ago and it still sticks with me. Very good narration overall, very good characters, and as stated in the title, ENGAGING. You will stay wrapped up in the storyline, even if some scenes drag on for a while. The characters are, as another review has already said, uni-dimensional... but you'll get over it. I think Simmons has a truly unique take on "Vampires" to the point that the term doesn't even really describe the monsters of this story. This is not for fans of Twilight, then again neither is any decent "literature." This is not exclusively for fans of the monster genres either. I would even dare to say that some of the purists wouldn't like the direction the author went in this novel.

    Bottom line: For 1 credit this book is well worth your investment. Enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Intelligence: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Susan Hasler
    • Narrated By Susan Hasler, Joe Barrett, Rachel Butera, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (191)

    Maddie James and her colleagues are terrorism experts working in a crumbling intelligence agency. They are certain another terrorist attack is coming, but in a post-9/11 election year the Administration is stressing its victories in the War on Terror - and few want to hear the team's warnings. Reluctantly, Maddie's given a team of five analysts to focus on the impending threat. The crew labors through bureaucratic obstacles, personal problems, and a blossoming romance between its senior members. They come heartbreakingly close to stopping the attack....

    Julia says: "Not your typical spy novel...."
    "Seriously? You People LIKED This????"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Intelligence: A Novel of the CIA?

    Put simply? It sucked. Hard. Like a million-dollar space-age vacuum. Suuuuuucked. I like thrillers; this isn't thrilling. Spy novels? Sure. This is not a spy novel. This is a former employee bitching about her former employer. If I wanted that I doubt that I would be buying an audio book which implies spy-stuff. False advertising.


    What was most disappointing about Susan Hasler’s story?

    Uhm, there was no story. The main character was worthless and has a miserable life and hates her job. The end.


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    Possibly, the narration wasn't terrible itself. It's just hard to separate the performer from the material.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Absolutely none. Not one. And the fact that there are so many 4 and 5 star reviews SHOCKS me. This is a waste of time, pure and simple.


    Any additional comments?

    If you haven't gotten the picture yet: This is bad. Avoid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5782)
    Performance
    (5388)
    Story
    (5387)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "Solid Effort to Please Any Fanboy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Redshirts?

    Obvious homeage to old-school Star Trek hooked me (as you apparently) and got me to buy the book. Past experience with Scalzi/Wheaton in Agent to the Stars left me expecting decent, but fun, writing and top-notch narration. That was basically what I got. You'll see that there are some cool formatting things that Scalzi does to break up the story and show various perspectives and not just once you'll think "Oh, there's more?" It's fun but does slow down at times and never has you at the edge of your seat. Worth reading to say you read it; you won't regret spending the credit.


    What other book might you compare Redshirts to and why?

    Ready Player One comes to mind because it too takes it's material from nerd history/culture. This is not Ready Player One however and could not hold a candle to that marvel of modern nerd writing. Seriously, if you are reading THIS and have not read THAT just stop right now and go check it out.

    OK, still with me? Cool. Now go ahead and read Redshirts and forget that I ever compared the two. You're welcome.


    Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favorite?

    That's a tough one. I will say that undoubtedly I enjoyed him reading from the Blog-rant section the most. That was good satire.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agent to the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3428)
    Performance
    (2960)
    Story
    (2964)

    The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

    C. Paget says: "excellent"
    "Not a great book... But fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Agent to the Stars again? Why?

    You know what? Just maybe. As someone who doesn't reread books (exception: Ender's Game) that would normally be a straight no. As the title says though, the book was fun.


    What other book might you compare Agent to the Stars to and why?

    Scalzi has his own style, which is a solid plus. Wheaton narrating is another plus. I've read two more collaborations between them since and I'd recommend them to any nerd/geek out there.


    What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wheaton is solid. I'd have to say he's one of my top 2 or 3 narrators. Digging deeper into that, maybe it's confidence or comfort? The stories he reads go down smooth like Guinness and leave you wanting one after another.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    It would be indy and low budget with unknown or small time actors. Can't think of a good tagline though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rant

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Narrated By various
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (197)

    Chuck Palahniuk, the author of the New York Times best-sellers Fight Club and Lullaby, is known for his edgy novels, and Rant is no exception. Palahniuk presents this fictional biography of Buster "Rant" Casey in a series of vignettes told by the people who knew him best. As intricate as a spider web, Rant succeeds in recounting the story of one man's life only through the eyes of others. But the question remains, "Who was Rant Casey?"

    Michelle says: "dark and disturbing"
    "Honestly? I quit about an hour in."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Chuck Palahniuk and/or various?

    See, that's the thing. I've read three others: Fight Club (obv), Survivor, and Diary. I loved them.


    What aspect of various’s performance would you have changed?

    Didn't care for the performance but the material was pretty rough so that probably didn't help.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Uhm... not really. It didn't catch me at all. I just found myself thinking: This is dumb. This sucks. What? Why am I listening to this? Oh look, something shiny! It's a quarter! Wow, this is an interesting quarter. Why is there talking in my ear? Oh well, must not be important...


    Any additional comments?

    Sorry to anyone that loves this book, but it just wasn't for me. Waste of a credit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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