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Paul

ratings
58
REVIEWS
53
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
6
HELPFUL VOTES
20

  • Roadside Picnic

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky, Olena Bormashenko (translator)
    • Narrated By Robert Forster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (167)

    Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a "full empty", something goes wrong.

    Ryan says: "Gritty, resonant sci-fi classic"
    "A must-read for SF fans!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Excellent concept for a novel. Superbly written. Mysterious. Suspenseful. What more can you ask for?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Walter Tevis
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    Thomas Newton is an extraterrestrial, one of only 300 left on his home planet. Using his superior intelligence and skills, Newton amasses a small fortune and a business empire, but soon must battle unexpected foes: the CIA, alcoholism, loneliness, himself. An utterly absorbing psychological study of one man's struggle to survive on 20th-century Earth.

    Darryl says: "a deserved classic not just of SF"
    "Not uplifting, but a well told story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't decide between 3 and 4 stars. I liked the novel, but it left me feeling a little down. An alien (Newton) closely resembling a human (in terms of body shape and size, but not all of the details) comes to earth to save the 300 beings left of his species. His species all but destroyed itself in war and ravaged the planet of natural resources. Newton comes to Earth (to save humans from themselves and grab some resources for his species) and is worn down as he begins to realize that all of his efforts are in vain. Also, I can believe that he struggles internally as he begins to realize that he will never see his family again, and that he could never be human.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13722)
    Performance
    (12754)
    Story
    (12756)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Action packed, and nostalgic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't stop reading once I started. This book will appeal to a wide range of readers, but will be especially interesting to gamers, early computer aficionados, and anyone who grew up in the eighties playing D&D and arcade games. The story is about a young man named Wade who battles other "gunters" on a quest to find a valuable prize in a virtual reality.

    Wil Wheaton is a OK narrator, but I found myself wishing he could distinguish his voice more between characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Number9Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By William Rycroft
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    In outward form, Number9Dream is a Dickensian coming-of-age journey: Young dreamer Eiji Miyake, from remote rural Japan, thrust out on his own by his sister's death and his mother's breakdown, comes to Tokyo in pursuit of the father who abandoned him. Stumbling around this strange, awesome city, he trips over and crosses - through a hidden destiny or just monstrously bad luck - a number of its secret power centers. Suddenly, the riddle of his father's identity becomes just one of the increasingly urgent questions Eiji must answer.

    Darwin8u says: "Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé"
    "Great first half, good overall."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mitchell is a master of the written word. Tremendous talent. The first half of this book is moving, exciting, and creative. The second half slowed down a bit and became challenging, and does not live up to the sentence by sentence creativity bar set by the first half. Of course, all is relative. Mitchell's worst sentence is better than the best of the average writer. He remains one of my all-time favorite authors and I wish I could give five stars. How about 4.5?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2097)
    Performance
    (1217)
    Story
    (1232)

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "A real downer."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Warning: Do not walk across a tall bridge while reading this novel. To summarize: Jimmy's parents suck. Jimmy's lovers suck. Jimmy's best friend sucks. The world sucks. Oh, and that little voice in Jimmy's head thinks Jimmy sucks too! I hated all but the last three chapters of this novel, and I didn't like those three chapters except that finally there was some action and story resolution. Much of the book is filled with mundane details of people I have no emotional connection to. Also, there are silly comments: [Oh this word was never any good. But this word is wonderful.] Did I mention the child pornography? This was the first Atwood novel I have read. Are her other novels better than this? It may be a while before I try another.

    Narration: While Campbell Scott is not a bad narrator, his gruff voice and lack of inflection does not help this dreary novel at all. I'll reserve my opinion of Scott after listening to him read a more upbeat text.

    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
    (5765)
    Performance
    (5174)
    Story
    (5205)

    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"
    "Brutish fantasy of gods in modern America"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this unique novel. An ex-con takes a job working for an old god and through his travels meets many old and new gods. These gods are fallible and fragile. There is tension among them and some die while others get stronger. Several stories are woven into this theme. I have no idea if I fully understood Gaiman's point (assuming he was even trying to make a point at all) but the question I was asking myself after finishing the novel was: What "gods" do I "worship" (or what do I spend my resources on and invest my time in and believe in) and how do these "gods" help or hurt myself and others? I think an American-born and raised author would have written a much different novel given the same story idea. Most of the gods seem to be pretty mean and nasty, so I would have liked to see some positive gods that create additional tension in the ranks of gods. Since so many Americans are monotheistic it would have been cool to weave in a story of a mysterious god that the other gods don't understand and don't have access to (or something like that). But at the end of the day I give Gaiman credit for this unique idea, his superb writing, and his "outsiders" perspective.

    The narration is excellent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghostwritten

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By William Rycroft
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (77)

    Oblivious to the bizarre ways in which their lives intersect, nine characters - a terrorist in Okinawa, a record-shop clerk in Tokyo, a money-laundering British financier in Hong Kong, an old woman running a tea shack in China, a transmigrating "noncorpum" entity seeking a human host in Mongolia, a gallery-attendant-cum-art-thief in Petersburg, a drummer in London, a female physicist in Ireland, and a radio deejay in New York - hurtle toward a shared destiny of astonishing impact.

    Darwin8u says: "An Embryonic Version of Cloud Atlas"
    "Great stories. Great writing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ghostwritten will put you in the shoes of characters that find themselves in extraordinary situations. You will feel what the characters feel through David Mitchell's storytelling ability and superb command of English.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Have Space Suit - Will Travel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Mark Turetsky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (359)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (324)

    First prize in the Skyway Soap slogan contest was an all-expenses-paid trip to the moon. The consolation prize was an authenticspace suit, and when scientifically minded high school senior Kip Russell wonit, he knew for certain he would use it one day to make a sojourn of his own tothe stars. But "one day" comes sooner than he thinks when he tries the suit on in his backyard - and finds himself worlds away, a prisoner aboard a space pirate's ship.

    SGL says: "Classic tale, One of Heinlein's best."
    "Fun YA novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As long as you keep in mind that this is a YA novel and was written in the mid-fifties, how can you not like this book? It is a simple story simply told. While perhaps not timeless, the writing style is such that this novel will be around for a long time. My only criticism is a minor one: I prefer that authors air their grievances about society through the story and not directly. Heinlein is bit too direct. But overall I like the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Echopraxia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Peter Watts
    • Narrated By Adam J Rough
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    It's the eve of the 22nd century: a world where the dearly departed send postcards back from Heaven and evangelicals make scientific breakthroughs by speaking in tongues; where genetically engineered vampires solve problems intractable to baseline humans. And it's all under surveillance by an alien presence. Daniel Bruks is a field biologist in a world where biology has turned computational.

    Paul says: "It's OK but it's not Blindsight."
    "It's OK but it's not Blindsight."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting as expected but a bit of a slog to get through. Why? The story doesn't flow and isn't as interesting as Blindsight. There's a lot of dialogue, not much action. Also, I never became a fan of the lead character. He was a wimp and dim-witted at times which I know is a point of the story, but readers want someone smart and strong (like themselves) to root for. A hero. On the plus side, there are a number of ideas to make you think about what may be possible with biology.

    Narration: I wonder how much my opinion of the book was affected by Adam Rough. While Adam is not bad, I do not like his character voices, and I do not think he read parts of the book with the tone and inflection I would imagine Peter Watts wrote them. Too bad.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3452)
    Performance
    (3055)
    Story
    (3054)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "A page turner. You won't be bored."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Strange, I would never call Scalzi a good writer and yet I generally like his novels. His work is filled with clichés and stereotypes, but he throws lots of ideas and humor in a story and knows how to keep the plot moving. I was never bored with The Android's Dream and looked forward to what was coming next. There were a few plot twists that kept me guessing. Recommended for sci fi readers looking for something entertaining and not too deep.

    Narration: I generally like Wil Wheaton because of the energy he brings to Scalzi's novels, but I wasn't impressed with this reading. He just doesn't have the ability some other narrators have to change his voice for different characters which would have been helpful for all of the characters in this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stranger

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Albert Camus
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1166)
    Performance
    (724)
    Story
    (722)

    Albert Camus' The Stranger is one of the most widely read novels in the world, with millions of copies sold. It stands as perhaps the greatest existentialist tale ever conceived, and is certainly one of the most important and influential books ever produced. Now, for the first time, this revered masterpiece is available as an unabridged audio production.

    Rolando says: "Is amorality bad?"
    "A short, simple story that packs a punch."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    On the surface this book seems very simple, but on reflection there are deep questions and messages. Camus delivers, very poignantly, one perspective (or interpretation) of existentialism.

    Narration: Does it get better than Jonathan Davis?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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