You no longer follow Matthew

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Matthew

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Matthew

Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author is Stephen King! Favorite book is Hyperion! (READ/LISTEN to it!)

FORT COLLINS, CO, United States | Member Since 2012

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 44 reviews
  • 72 ratings
  • 184 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
0

  • A Brief History of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Stephen Hawking
    • Narrated By Michael Jackson
    Overall
    (1831)
    Performance
    (994)
    Story
    (993)

    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
  • The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Michael Punke
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (139)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (121)

    The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Trapping beaver, they contend daily with the threat of Indian tribes turned warlike over the white men's encroachment on their land, and other prairie foes - like the unforgiving landscape and its creatures. Hugh Glass is among the Company's finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker.

    Alexandria says: "Surprisingly addictive."
    "Entertaining despite Oversensationalism."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is a fairly straightforward quest for revenge story. Hugh Glass (protagonist) is attacked and severely wounded. He's abandoned by a couple of men who remained behind to care for him. Thus begins the revenge story.
    This fictionalized account of the real Hugh Glass is quite entertaining and well-researched. You feel as though you're back in the 1820s with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company and its men. The writing is vivid and well-paced.

    A few knocks against the story is how often Hugh Glass falls into peril only to be miraculously rescued from that peril by some happenstance or another. It happens so often that these perils/salvations border on contrivances. At eight hours into the story, the author writes "first lucky turn" in describing Hugh Glass's fortunate escape from yet another peril and all I could do was laugh. First? Try tenth!
    There are contradictions as well when Hugh Glass is afraid to build a campfire as it may be seen by enemies, but then is more than willing to build a huge pyre. What?? Of course, such action works in his favor, naturally.

    The narrator is decent and brings different inflections and accents to the different characters. The narrator is especially good at invoking the shaky, tremulous voice of a young man and the broken, harsh voice of Hugh Glass. However, the narrator also can get a bit overdramatic at times suddenly invoking a rough growl at odd points in the narrative. I liked this narrator on No Easy Day. He's not as consistent in this telling.

    Still, an entertaining story and I can see why it'll become a movie. Certainly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mote in God's Eye

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By L J Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4185)
    Performance
    (2590)
    Story
    (2627)

    The Mote In God's Eye is their acknowledged masterpiece, an epic novel of mankind's first encounter with alien life that transcends the genre. No lesser an authority than Robert A. Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read".

    J. Rhoderick says: "A great read!"
    "Maybe it was good back in the 70s."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As the title of my review suggests, perhaps this book was visionary back when it was written in the 70s. Sadly, it is horribly dated in it perceptions and conceptions of that time period. The thing about great sci-fi is that it should TRANSCEND the time period of which it was written. Dune does that. Star Wars does that. Hyperion does that. These are examples of great sci-fi that has transcended the time period (60s/70s/80s) in which they were conceived and still leave us in wonder.

    The Mote in God's Eye is about a spaceship that has journeyed to a far point in the universe and it comes into contact with an alien species called Moties. The moties breed like rabbits, change gender like frogs and are able to mimic/reshape themselves into human copies.

    The "outdatedness" of this book comes from the endless dialogue regarding sexual conventions (of the 70s/80s) and social mores (70s/80s) that the humans attempt to explain to the moties. It's really quite absurd how long this discussion goes on and on.

    The other "outdatedness" is how the men of the ship perceive and act toward the only female (seemingly) that is on the ship: Lady Sally. Really. The men's attitude towards her is a cross between male chauvinism and extreme medieval chivalry.

    The book suffers from an extreme durth of action or anything that might make the story in the least bit interesting. It is very heavy on exposition and nonsense-discussion between the characters in the book.
    I wonder exactly how this book could be rated so highly. I wonder if it's mainly nostalgics who read the book when it first came out and rate it based on how they felt at that time.
    If I never hear the word "fyunch" again, it will be too soon.
    The narrator makes this book even worse with his conceited, imperious-sounding tone of voice.
    Very disappointed in what many have declared as a classic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (20327)
    Performance
    (18094)
    Story
    (18059)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "King at his Masterful Best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    King truly did his research to capture the feel and historical accuracy of the Kennedy assassination in 1963. The story is about Jake Epping who discovers a way to go back in time to a certain point before the assassination of JFK. Jake has made a promise to a friend that he'll do whatever he can to try to stop the assassination.
    Jake goes through multiple iterations of trying to stop the killing of JFK and King expertly, and with great suspense, describes each attempt. At the same time Jake also falls in love with a woman "back-in-time" and his efforts to protect this woman get entangled and mired with his efforts to stop the assassination.
    Action packed and suspenseful. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23361)
    Performance
    (19424)
    Story
    (19410)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Escape into madness and deceit!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a decent enough tale of a woman who's perspective is so distorted that she is uncertain of her own recollection of events. As many reviews have stated - it is Rear Window meets Gone Girl. The story is told from the pov's of three women: Rachel, Ana, and Megan; each of whom have some connection to the other women through a man or the same house in which they have lived at some point. The main plot is a missing person's mystery and who-done-it type.
    The story is well written in describing the distorted recollections of Rachel. While some have said this is a "unreliable narrator", I would more accurately describe her as a somewhat "psychotic" narrator.
    The majority of the plot takes place on a train and the houses in which the characters are living or have lived. This is the weakest part of the novel. It's somewhat limited in its scope (literally limited in the "sets") and characters that comprise the story. I can't see giving it 5 stars as most others have done.
    Nonetheless, a decent story that will keep you guessing till the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susan Cain
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5322)
    Performance
    (4564)
    Story
    (4540)

    At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

    Teddy says: "Thought provoking and Uplifting.... A++++++++!!!!!"
    "Great study on introversion!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Myself being an introvert, I was drawn to this book. I often wonder why I'm reluctant to speak up or why I feel uncomfortable in large group settings. The author (herself an introvert) does an excellent job of analyzing and deconstructing the behaviors and mind sets of introverts. So many times, during the book, I felt like I was reading exactly about myself and my own experiences.
    The author goes into detail on how better to understand introverts and ways in which to use their strengths for greater success.
    The few marks against the book is that there a few areas (very few) where the author seems a tad biased towards introverts (as opposed to extroverts), but overall this was an excellent read.
    Highly recommended for like-minded introverts and people that want to better understand introverts (Perhaps parents of introverted children. Spouses of introverts.).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steel World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2888)
    Performance
    (2668)
    Story
    (2678)

    In the 20th century Earth sent probes, transmissions, and welcoming messages to the stars. Unfortunately, someone noticed. The Galactics arrived with their battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined their vast Empire. Swearing allegiance to our distant alien overlords wasn't the only requirement for survival. We also had to have something of value to trade, something that neighboring planets would pay their hard-earned credits to buy. As most of the local worlds were too civilized to have a proper army, the only valuable service Earth could provide came in the form of soldiers....

    D says: "Classic Space Opera"
    "Starship Troopers rebooted!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My bar for excellent sci-fi is set at Hyperion, so I judge each sci-fi book in relation to that. However, this book very much reminded me of parts of Heinlein's Starship Troopers, just modernized and more expanded upon.

    A recruit, James McGill, joins up with earth's intergalactic army to fight another alien species on a distant planet: Steel World. Things quickly go awry, and James discovers that the conflicts are not entirely as they seem.

    The book is well written, well narrated and keeps the listener in suspense. The cons are that I have yet to find sci-fi where aliens are not depicted as something similar to an earth species: giant insects, giant lizards, strange barking seal-like creatures. I have yet to listen to sci-fi where the aliens seemed truly ALIEN (as in something we have never encountered before or something that is not like another species on our own planet.)
    That is my one complaint in regards to any otherwise solid and excellent sci-fi novel.
    Great, but not excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1877)
    Performance
    (1590)
    Story
    (1596)

    A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.

    Harold says: "From Civilization into Darkness"
    "Proclaiming darkness does not make darkness."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I realize that this book is considered a classic and that it is the inspiration behind the great war film: Apocalypse Now. However, I must have zoned out in listening to this book as all I ever heard was "heart of darkness" many times over. Thus, the title of my review: simply saying "heart of darkness" several times does not provide an understanding of what it means to have a heart of darkness. The movie, Apocalypse Now, did a far better job of imbuing the character of Kurtz with a "heart of darkness" than this book did of imbuing its character Kurtz with the same. Perhaps my expectations of this tale were skewed as I had first viewed the movie before experiencing this tale.

    The narrator, Kenneth Branagh, is excellent, a very distinct voice. I'm also glad that I got this book at steep discount as I cannot consider it worth the list price. It's also advantageous that it's a short tale as I'd rather spend my time on other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4160)
    Performance
    (3735)
    Story
    (3734)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Amazon Customer says: "Spoiler-free review below - Amazing book!"
    "Absolute Gem!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An apocalyptic story, but the zombies have a bit of a twist to them. They are not typical undead, even though they hunger for human flesh.
    The story starts out from the perspective of a young girl, Melanie, and her strange, yet wide-eyed naiveté, existence in this post-apocalyptic world. An excellently written character whom you will feel a connection to throughout the entire story.
    The story switches between the perspectives of Melanie, a teacher, a soldier, and a researcher. Each character has superbly described motivations for their respective roles and are very believable.
    The writing is excellent and the narration is top-notch. Only a few dings in the story where plot convenience marred a few areas of story development, but minor quibbles. I absolutely enjoyed this book! The ending is perfect!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14420)
    Performance
    (11568)
    Story
    (11631)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Katy Crumpton says: "Very enjoyable (but a slight warning)"
    "Bloated. Massively Bloated!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Quantity is not directly related to quality. This book is about several characters in a medieval type/fantasy setting who are fighting an invading force of parshendi. It is written from several perspectives: a prince, a slave, an assassin, and a "priestess". This book is extremely heavy on exposition and very light on any action or anything that might cause you to become interested in the story. I'm surprised that it is by the same author as the lean, mean, enthralling story: Steelheart. I'm convinced that either publishing companies have done away with editors to cut costs, or editors don't bother telling bestselling authors what to cut out of their books. This book could easily be reduced by 75% as only about 10-15 hours were at all interesting in my opinion.

    26 hours into this 45 hour book and the only two characters I found interesting were Szeth and Syl. Szeth has a very cool stormlight lashing ability that I would compare to Spiderman's ability to pull himself onto walls, roofs, etc. and run along those surfaces. It is very well described and easily the best of the action scenes in this book. Sadly, it comes at the beginning and disappears for the great majority of the remainder of the book.
    Syl, a "spren" which I think of as a kind of fairie or sprite, is ironically devoid of personality when first introduced (the irony being that most all of the other characters are devoid of personality) and she gains personality as the book continues. I found her to be the best written of any character.

    Dalinor, the prince, spends most of his time wondering about his honor. The priestess, Shallan, spends most of her time eating bread and jam. Literally eating bread and jam to set up a plot point that....zzzz....oh, sorry fell asleep.

    I'd skip this book and anything else in the series. You could get through 4 great books by the time you got through this one. The one bright spot, the narrators are decent and concise in their delivery.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Richard Preston
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (621)
    Story
    (626)

    A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

    aaron says: "If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction..."
    "Even scarier with the recent Ebola breakout!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! I thought there was going to be a worldwide epidemic with the recent ebola breakout. Listening to this book, it seems all but certain. Not a matter of if, but when. It absolutely fascinating how a strain of ebola broke out right near Washington D.C. in a group of monkeys and yet never infected a single human being. Or did it? That's part of the story that leaves you wondering if this deadly virus is only lying in wait.
    Listen to this book. Period!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.