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Matthew

FORT COLLINS, CO, United States | Member Since 2012

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 58 ratings
  • 173 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • Everything I Never Told You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Celeste Ng
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (236)

    Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet.… So begins the story in this exquisite debut novel about a Chinese American family living in a small town in 1970s Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos.

    colprubin says: "Character Novel"
    "Tears at your very soul!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a heart-wrenching, soul-devastating story that Celeste Ng weaves together. As the title indicates, the story is very much about how the unsaid things we never mention to one another can cause terrible misinterpretations and assumptions in our way of thinking about ourselves and our relationships with each other. Celeste is a master at describing and fashioning a tragic tell from those nuances.
    An absolute work of art!
    The narration was superb as well, but the story and the writing will knock you flat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10179)
    Performance
    (9315)
    Story
    (9334)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Narrator steals this spotlight!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As I put in the headline, the narrator for this book is an absolute chameleon of a voice actor. His range of voices and accents is by far the best I've heard in any audiobook. The book is worth it just to listen to his mastery.
    As far as the story goes, it is very well written with excellently fleshed out characters. The story of a young boy who hoards a valuable painting for years is realistic and tugs at your heart and soul as you listen to his journey. I could not give the story 5 stars however at it uses a terrorist attack on a New York landmark (overused yet?) and a very improbable meeting in New York between two main characters later on in the story. It's a small world, but not that small.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1336)
    Performance
    (1239)
    Story
    (1231)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Darwin8u says: "Grief, terror, love, longing"
    "Brutal, Honest, and and Uncompromising"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We tend to glorify war. Tim O'Brien tells us how it really is. A must-hear account of a man's time in the hell of the Vietnam War. Bryan Cranston does an excellent job of narration, though I wonder how Tim O'Brien might have done as the narrator as he does provide a personal reading at the end of the book. This book kept me in rapt attention!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pandora's Star

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4382)
    Performance
    (2680)
    Story
    (2718)

    The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over 1,000 light-years away, a star...vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears.

    Devin says: "Great Epic Scifi"
    "Keep this Pandora's box closed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yech! Not a good sign when I get halfway through and don't feel like finishing the book. The only way I finished it was because I felt a sense of obligation to the credit I spent.
    The narrator is an overly dramatic English version of William Shatner if it were possible to get any more overly dramatic. I increased the narration speed and still this book was nearly interminable. It's about 6 good hours lost in 37 hours of convoluted nonsense. The book constantly meanders from this (forgettable) character to that (forgettable) character. It attempts to cram too many characters and too many situations into one story. Oh, and aliens are out to destroy us all. One and done. If you want sci-fi done great (perfect even) get Hyperion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tomorrow, When the War Began: Tomorrow Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Marsden
    • Narrated By Suzi Dougherty
    Overall
    (453)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (237)

    While Ellie and her friends are away in the bush, the world changes. Suddenly they are in the toughest situations humans can confront, facing life and death decisions. They are thrown into a world where they find courage, initiative, spirit and wisdom, or they die.

    Bev says: "Listen, you won't be sorry..."
    "Tomorrow, When I don't read the rest of the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator does a good job with a clear, concise performance.
    However, the plot is flimsy. Australia is attacked during Common Day and they round up everyone I guess.... The logistics of that are astounding. Some unknown attackers who speak a language the main characters have never heard, except at a later part of the book where they speak English...
    I'll move on to some other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Neverwhere [Adaptation]

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Christopher Lee, James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, and others
    Overall
    (1715)
    Performance
    (1616)
    Story
    (1612)

    A BBC Radio six-part adaptation of Neil Gaiman's best-selling novel, starring James McAvoy as Richard and Natalie Dormer as Door. Beneath the streets of London there is another London. A subterranean labyrinth of sewers and abandoned tube stations. A somewhere that is Neverwhere....

    Gayle says: "Superb"
    "Saved me a book credit."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm glad I got this cheap and didn't use a book credit. The story is convoluted. The recording at times is difficult to make out. I can barely remember the plot or the characters. I can't recommend this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman
    • Narrated By Quincy Dunn-Baker
    Overall
    (795)
    Performance
    (720)
    Story
    (730)

    A dominant force in the sport of ultrarunning, Scott Jurek is a seven-time winner of the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run and a two-time winner of the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley. Eat & Run offers an inspirational account of Jurek’s life as a runner and vegan. Regaling listeners with jaw-dropping tales of endurance, Jurek also delivers sound science and practical advice—as well as his favorite plant-based recipes.

    Andy says: "one of the better ultramarathon books"
    "Running must read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An excellent account of the mental aspect of extreme running! If you liked Born to Run, you'll certainly like Scott's tale from another perspective. One of the few drawbacks is that Scott tends to skirt around the question of why you'd run an ultramarathon in the first place. He asks that question in different ways, but never truly addresses it. It may be that if regular jogging/running keeps you in very good shape, then there's no need to run ultramarathons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel Oreskes, Ron McLarty, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5256)
    Performance
    (4723)
    Story
    (4750)

    First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author's preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

    Michael says: "New to Neil"
    "Rambling Road Trip"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just as my review headline states, this books seemed to be more of a rambling road trip than any profound statement on how gods exist in our minds and our belief. Many times during the book I simply zoned out and had no idea where the story had gone or even what the current narrative was - probably similar to zoning out while traveling in a car over longs distances and not paying much attention to the what is around you - a road trip. The plot would have benefited greatly from more cohesion and a main story thread to keep the listener interested. While the narrators were quite talented, the story simply didn't provide me with much to care about.

    I'm surprised at how high this book is rated. It makes me wonder if the 12000 words the author added into this edition would have been better left out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10330)
    Performance
    (9829)
    Story
    (9848)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Non-stop thrill ride!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very exciting tale of one man's effort for survival while stranded on Mars. Absolutely brilliant. Funny, cynical, and rich with space technology/science. There were some points in the book where it just simply became too much to be believed, thus the less-than-five star rating, but overall a great, fun listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Brief History of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Stephen Hawking
    • Narrated By Michael Jackson
    Overall
    (1411)
    Performance
    (624)
    Story
    (623)

    This landmark book is for those of us who prefer words to equations; this is the story of the ultimate quest for knowledge, the ongoing search for the secrets at the heart of time and space. Its author, Stephen W. Hawking, is arguably the greatest mind since Einstein. From the vantage point of the wheelchair, where he has spent the last 20 years trapped by Lou Gehrig's disease, Professor Hawking has transformed our view of the universe. A Brief History of Time is Hawking's classic introduction to today's most important scientific ideas.

    Jeff Parent says: "Great book, but...."
    "Interesting, yet circular."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very fascinating discussion by Stephen Hawking on his theory of time, black holes, relativity, etc. One of the few drawbacks is that his rational/reasoning begins to sound and become circular - which I suppose perfectly describes the theory of time and the universe - how it contracts/expands - unending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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