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Phillip

Arlington, TX | Member Since 2012

135
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 33 reviews
  • 92 ratings
  • 494 titles in library
  • 95 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
32

  • Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Laurence Maslon, Michael Kantor
    • Narrated By Laurence Maslon
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, the Avengers, the X-Men, Watchmen, and more: the companion volume to the PBS documentary series of the same name that tells the story of the superhero in American popular culture.

    Phillip says: "Superlative overview of superhero comics history"
    "Superlative overview of superhero comics history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Companion books for PBS documentaries are often utilized more as decorative pieces for a coffee table rather than books to be read cover-to-cover. I remember a friend whose parents had the companion book for Ken Burns' The Civil War and thumbing through it when I was in high school. It was a beautiful book with great pictures but I don't think I ever read an entire page of the text.

    I'm glad I took the plunge with this companion book. Maslon and Kantor have done a great job presenting a concise overview of the history of comics publishing in the United States. Both informative and entertaining, the book tells the story of superhero comics from their antecedents in the pulps of the early 1930's all the way through the current DC and Marvel Universes and the creator owned imprints.

    As some have stated in Amazon reviews, there are a few discrepancies concerning the exact dates of origin for some creations. And no, it does not delve into all the smaller publishing houses that have produced superhero comics. This really doesn't detract from the book's overall effect though. You can't cover every aspect of the history of superhero comics in 300 pages and that is not what the authors intended to do.

    For someone with Ph.D. level knowledge of comic history, "Superheroes!" will not offer any information you do not already know. For fans whose experience only stretches as far back as when they began reading comics, and for those with little to no knowledge of comic books at all though, it provides a great overview in an entertaining fashion that will hopefully spark further investigation of this thoroughly fascinating literary form.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Spandau Phoenix

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (434)
    Performance
    (259)
    Story
    (256)

    The Spandau Diary -- what was in it? Why did the secret intelligence agencies of every major power want it? Why was a brave and beautiful woman kidnapped to get it? Why did a chain of deception and violent death lash out across the globe, from survivors of the Nazi past to warriors in this new conflict about to explode? Why did the world's entire history of World War II have to be rewritten as the future hung over a nightmare abyss?

    Corinne says: "Excellent and intense"
    "HIGHLY ENTERTAINING"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd read a few of Greg Iles' Natchez series of books before picking up "Spandau Phoenix" and was not disappointed with the change of subject matter. Iles definitely did his research on the history of the Third Reich and the strange flight of Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess to Britain in 1941. And, while the story here is fictionalized, it offers a version that, while fanciful, fits the evidence on hand to Iles in 1993.

    While it may be looked down on by those who believe "great" literature the only type worth reading, if you are looking for a gripping tale of the most horrific and intense periods in all of human history then you this won't disappoint. It's a solid 4-stars and DIck Hill's narration is amazing as usual.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow Out of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By H. P. Lovecraft
    • Narrated By Mike Vendetti
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Another H. P. Lovecraft masterpiece. We have all heard of alien abductions, but what if the alien forces only exchange the mind of the abductee with a mind to occupy that of the abductee's body while the mind travels in the body of an alien to be mined for information concerning the abductee's world? The mind then travels to a place in the earth where it mingles with not only with the aliens, but minds from other planets and other ages on this Earth.

    Phillip says: "Awe inspiring science fiction"
    "Awe inspiring science fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While H.P. Lovecraft is primarily know as a horror, or weird fiction, author, I would place "The Shadow Out of Time" squarely in the realm of science fiction. If you enjoy Lovecraft's work, as I do, then this will be right up your alley. For those unfamiliar with the author, this is not the ideal starting point for discovering his large body of work. I would suggest starting with "The Call of Cthulhu" and then moving on to some stories with a more traditional setup, perhaps "The Dunwich Horror" or " The Shadow Over Innsmouth."

    In believe "The Shadow Out of Time," "The Colour Out of Space," and "At the Mountains of Madness" to be Lovecraft's masterpieces. Thus, I would save them for later, both to ensure that you get a proper basis in the Mythos before reading them and to save the best for last.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Hellfire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By John Saul
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    The day that the iron doors of the old mill in Westover, Massachusetts, closed forever is a day that still haunts the sleepy town’s residents. On that fateful day 100 years ago, 11 people died in a fearsome fire, and since then, no one has dared to revisit the mill or the dark secrets locked inside it. Now, a member of the once-powerful Sturgess family has aspirations to reopen the mill. Little does Philip Sturgess know that by unlocking the padlock he is also unlocking horrible secrets from the past. There are forces at work that will do their best to see the mill doors stay tightly closed.

    Phillip says: "Mediocre...across the board"
    "Mediocre...across the board"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is mediocre in every way. The characters are without nuance and completely two dimensional. Every good guy is completely good and bad guy, completely bad. The narrator, while adequate, becomes grating when performing the parts of the teenage girls, especially the character of Beth. The story itself was okay. I made it through the entire book, though never listening with bated breath. I can't recommend this book but, at the price I paid, it wasn't a complete rip-off.

    2.5 stars

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Everlost

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (115)

    Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to go, either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.

    Word Nerd says: "Interesting concept"
    "A Surprise Gem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I must say that when I first read the synopsis for Everlost I wasn't sure it would be in my literary wheelhouse. All this talk of "bands of lost children" brought visions of children's literature à J.M. Barry. Turns out, it is much deeper and multi-layered than I could ever have guessed.

    My nieces and nephews have me on a YA fiction reading marathon and I loved Shusterman's "Unwind" books so much that I wanted to try out some more of his works. I found "Everlost" to be a creative take on the afterlife theme with the various factions of rogues (both obvious and clandestine) and heroes vying for control of the hearts and minds of its departed minors.

    I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series and recommend it to any YA fan.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (967)
    Performance
    (821)
    Story
    (823)

    Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

    SoCalBonnie says: "It won me over completely"
    "Wickedly twisted tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have nieces and nephews in the 13-20 years old range that have been raving about the YA novels they read for a few years now. So, recently, I have begun trying them out and I have to admit that some are very good and Unwind is among the best. I would give it 4.5 stars if it was allowed.

    Among the various dystopian trials and tribulations thrust upon the protagonists of YA fiction, being unwound has to be the most harrowing. In practically all novels of this genre young people face a daunting future that will require a Herculean effort to overcome. But, while death is ever-present in all of these scenarios, at least when a character dies, he is dead.

    Not so in the world of "Unwind." In this world an agreement has been reached, after a sort of pro-life/pro-abortion conflict, that makes abortion illegal but allows parents the right to unwind their children between the ages of 13-18. Unwinding is a process by which a person's body is disassembled system-by-system, organ-by-organ, and over 99% of their parts are then transplanted, grafted, etc. into other people who need them. This allows the unwound person to remain alive in a divided state. And they do remain alive (at least in a way) as becomes obvious when we meet a character who has received the frontal lobe of an unwound teen and the consciousness of the unwound frontal lobe takes over from time-to-time.

    "Unwind" follows a group of teens set to be unwound, for various different reasons, as they try, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, to avoid the authorities and remain alive in a whole state. Shusterman developed a great idea with "Unwind" and has penned a great story in which to carry it out.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Troop

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Nick Cutter
    • Narrated By Corey Brill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (355)
    Story
    (356)

    Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip - a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfre. The boys are a tight-knit crew. There’s Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well-liked and easygoing; then there’s Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there - which makes Scoutmaster Tim’s job a little easier.

    Kim Venatries says: "Seriously Messed Up Gruesome Horror"
    "Solid horror from start to finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have always been a huge fan of the horror genre--be it book, film, or tv--but good horror, especially good horror literature, can be hard to find. When it comes to film, there are horror movies that are so bad they're good. This does not hold true for horror novels. Bad horror novels are just bad, they cannot be redeemed.

    Luckily, The Troop is one of those rare finds, a horror novel that entertains and terrifies from beginning to end. Cutter's description of the adolescent state of mind, their hopes, fears, insecurities, etc., is perhaps the best I've read since "It" or "The Body." And Corey Brill does a great job narrating the story and giving each boy his own voice.

    I recommend this novel to any horror fan. It's a gory mess from the first to last...and I mean that in the best way.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Red Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Pierce Brown
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (621)
    Story
    (627)

    Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

    Charles says: "It Got Better and Left Me Wanting More."
    "Unmistakable brilliance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is, by far, the best YA book I've encountered. I've seen it compared to Divergent, a society with stratified classes each serving a specific purpose, but the similarities end there. Divergent is as far from Red Rising as Plan 9 from Outerspace is from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    The complexity of story and characters that Brown has created makes it difficult to pigeon-hole Red Rising as a YA fiction. It is simply a great novel that can be appreciated by anyone of any age. It avoids the angst filled love story, ever present in YA fiction, and instead focuses on the inner turmoil of a young man born into near slavery who has a chance to save his class and his society from the tyrannic rule of a master race.

    Brown has penned a novel that transcends genre and should be read by all.

    20 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2071)
    Performance
    (1885)
    Story
    (1881)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "Works as starting point for series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Pines" works well as the starting point for the Wayward Pines series. I would have actually given it a 3.5 were the option available plus, the book is an entertaining read on its own.

    In "Pines,"We are introducted to Ethan Burke, the story's protagonist, as he awakes in the hospital, delirious and confused, in the town of Wayward Pines. As his memories slowly return, we learn that Ethan is a special agent in the Secret Service and has come to town in order to investigate the disappearance of two of his fellow agents a month earlier. But something is off in Wayward Pines. Speakers hidden in bushes play the sound of crickets chirping. All food is sold fresh, nothing pre-packaged. And most disturbing, an electrified fence encircles the town trapping everyone within its borders...or perhaps keeping something else out. And for some reason the people of Wayward Pines seem to be conspiring against Ethan, seemingly in an effort to drive him mad. Or, perhaps he is simply a paranoid delusional personality?

    "Pines" is certainly worth a credit if no other reason than it is necessary in order the read its fantastic sequel, "Wayward." As I said, the book is an entertaining enough on its own but the follow-up is certainly superior. Read this...so you can read that.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2705)
    Performance
    (2281)
    Story
    (2285)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Robert says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Masterful work of historical fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the top 5 Audible books I have read/listened to. Wouk does a masterful job of creating fully realized characters who are geographically positioned in such a way that we are offered an almost comprehensive view of the years leading to the outbreak of World War II in both the West and the East. The only aspect that we are not privy to is that of the Sino-Japanese front.

    The majority of the story is told through the eyes of the Henry and Jastrow families. The patriarch of the Henry family, Victor, is a high-ranking Naval officer and is thus able to traverse the globe in his military duties from Germany to Washington to London, the Soviet Union and Hawaii and so offer the reader a glimpse of the unique situation in each of these locales from 1938-1942. In addition, his son, Byron, and the Jastrow family give us an eyewitness account of both Italy under Mussolini and the outbreak of the war in Poland. And the Jastrow's also offer a Jewish point-of-view of the series of events leading up to World War II and the beginnings of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.

    Between sections of the main narrative, Wouk also adds excerpts of a book he titles "World Holocaust" which was written by the fictional General Armin von Roon, a Wehrmacht officer, and translated by Victor Henry. These excerpts give the battlefield conditions of each theater of operations as we progress through the years of World War II. It is a brilliant device that ties the story of the main characters and their narrow scope of events to the broad, global scope of the war that threatens the entire globe.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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