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Robert

Surrey, BC, Canada | Member Since 2011

ratings
47
REVIEWS
45
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
13
HELPFUL VOTES
32

  • This Can Be Easy or Hard: Stories and Essays

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Mike Heppner
    • Narrated By Fleet Cooper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    This collection of five stories and four essays showcases the work of Mike Heppner, the writer whom Entertainment Weekly calls, "A fearsome cultural critic disguised in a novelist's clothing," and whose funny and biting fiction has been praised in Esquire, The Washington Post, and The Millions. Most of these pieces have not been published before. Featured performers include: A deluded Lothario, a man obsessed with corn, Charlie Watts, the dude from Def Leppard, and a sweet old lady who meets her untimely end at a Boston Market.

    Robert says: "A Surprisingly good collection of short stories"
    "A Surprisingly good collection of short stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These are some very accesible and relatively meatty short stories essays. I was impressed with Heppner's observation of culture (a washed up 80s band at a state fair; music videos) and his ability to really capture our times. Sadly many of the stories i did not fully apreciate (or understand what he was trying to do until near the end of some of the work). I will definitely be listening to these stories again. A great buy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Game: 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ken Dryden
    • Narrated By Ken Dryden
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    Widely acknowledged as the best hockey book ever written and lauded by Sports Illustrated as one of the Top 10 Sports Books of All Time, The Game is a reflective and thought-provoking look at a life in hockey. Intelligent and insightful, former Montreal Canadiens goalie and former President of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ken Dryden captures the essence of the sport and what it means to all hockey fans.

    steve says: "Outstanding book for all hockey fans"
    "A Brilliant Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to 'Season on the Brink' I did not think there could be a better sports book but then I heard 'The Game' by Ken Dryden and was blown away.

    Dryden is not only considered one fo the greatest goalies ever (5 Vezina trophies) on one of the best teams ever 1970s Montreal Canadiens (6 Stanley Cups) but he is also extremely intelligent and articulate. A graduate of Cornell/McGill law school Dryden is a jock with an excellent ability to express himself and articulate his views of the game.

    This book is not so much an autobiography as much as a collection of intelligent/articulate/accesible streams of consiousness about The Game of hockey. Dryden goes into great detail about among other things the workmanlike aspect of being a proffesional athlete; the changes to the game and its rules; the influence of the Europeans on what used to be 'Canada's game'; life on the road; the thoughts that go through an athlete's head in the midst of "the game''; the role hockey plays in Canadian identity (especially amongst youth) and why Canada has fallen behind as a hockey power; the business of hockey; and most importantly the colorful menagerie of teammates and locker room shenanigans/memories/camraderie from those great teams from the 70's (Lafleur, Shutt, Robinson, Gainey Lapointe, and of course the legendary coach Scotty Bowman).

    Dryden has a modest view of himself as a player constantly questioning his ability and his need to never let the team down. He gives some honest psychological insight in to the high pressure/eccentric position of being a goalie.

    I would reccomend this book to any sports/hockey fan (even layman) or person that values high quality non-fiction writting. This is not only a great sports book but an excellent piece of non-fiction literature; it is very rare that someone with this level of skill in his chosen field (hockey) is so clear, intelligent, and articulate in giving a first person view of his passion.

    Dryden himself narrates the book and he is not exactly as articulate in his speaking as his writting but he manages to do the job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2996)
    Performance
    (2777)
    Story
    (2781)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "A decent book but a little overlong . . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book starts off well but it just went on a bit too long and had long stretches of action that was not suspenseful or interesting; was Hill paid by the word?

    As a whole this is a good fantasy novel. I would hardly call it a horror (it did not really spook me at all). The less you know about the plot the better, The book has a real 'fairy tale' vibe too it and I really did like the main protagonists but like I say Hill just lost me in his sea of needless action description.

    The narration is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Romance

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 8 mins)
    • By David Mamet
    • Narrated By Fred Willard, Ed Begley Jr., Gordon Clapp
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    In this outrageous new comedy, playwright Mamet skewers everything from sexuality to the justice system to world peace. In a world where nothing is as it seems, prepare to be offended!

    Robert says: "A funny play but a rather forgetable work"
    "A funny play but a rather forgetable work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will say this I laughed lots during Romance and the play is definitely not for the politically correct but I was a bit taken aback that a great dramatist like Mamet would write such a silly and entertaining play with no substance that I could find.

    Mamet has written some great comedies (Speed the Plow) but this is one of the only works I can think of that exists solely to be silly and make the audience laugh. The play is bordering on absurdist in ths structure and dialog but I could not really irk out a real theme or point in this work.

    There is mention of justice, arab/jew/christian relations, and sexuality but I am not sure how Mamet wanted to tie those ends together. But as a whole a real funny (if empty calorie) play.

    The highlight is Fred Willard (Best in Show) as the judge with a bad case of hay fever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Godforsaken Idaho: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Shawn Vestal
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In this stunning debut, Shawn Vestal transports us to the afterlife, the rugged Northwest, and the early days of Mormonism. From “The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death”, an absurd, profound vision of a hellish heaven, to “Winter Elders”, in which missionaries calmly and relentlessly pursue a man who has left the fold, these nine stories illuminate the articles of faith that make us human.

    Audible Greg says: "If you like George Saunders..."
    "A decent collection runs out of gas . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would have given this collection of short stories a better review if the last 3 stories in the collection were not such an ordeal to finish. But the collection starts off great (the opening story is a fascinating/sad/funny vision of heaven) and is followed by some good stories with well realized (sometimes unlikeable) characters.

    The book covers the modern US urban/smalltown west of Idaho and Utah (which is not given much coverage in contemporary literature) and also gives an interesting portrait of Mormons (ex-Mormons) that rarely moves into over characterization or grotesque.

    Hardly in the same league as the latest collection by George Saunders but worth a look if you are interested in the short story genre/stories set in Idaho/the Mormon/ex-Mormon experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Sam Weller (Editor), Mort Castle (Editor)
    • Narrated By George Takei, Edward Herrmann, Kate Mulgrew, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    Ray Bradbury - peerless storyteller, poet of the impossible, and one of America's most beloved authors - is a literary giant whose remarkable career spanned seven decades. Now 26 of today's most diverse and celebrated authors offer new short works in honor of the master; stories of heart, intelligence, and dark wonder from a remarkable range of creative artists.

    Dave says: "The Heirs to Ray Bradbury"
    "A good tribute to a legend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK if you have not read/listened to the work of Bradbury start there. If you still want more this collection is a rather good collection of stories (not as good as Bradbury's classics).

    Most of the stories focus more on his sci-fi/fantasy side rather than his nostalgic small town life side (Dandelion Wine). I would almost say that the Joe Hill story is worth the price of admission; One of the best short stories I have heard in recent memory.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sorry Please Thank You: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Charles Yu
    • Narrated By James Yaegashi, Johnathon Ross, Mark Nelson, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    New York Times Notable Book author Charles Yu wrote the best-selling novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. In his stunning, often humorous, collection Sorry Please Thank You, Yu draws on pop culture and science to make incisive observations about society - and offer touching insight into the human condition. In two of Yu’s remarkable stories, he focuses on a big-box-store night-shift employee with girl trouble and a company that outsources grief for profit.

    Robert says: "A forgettable short story collection"
    "A forgettable short story collection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Charles Yu is trying hard to write in the vernacular of a Philip K. Dick or Kurt Vonnegut (sci-fi as satire) but mostly fails.

    I read this book a few months ago and I have no memory of a memorable story or even anything that made me laugh. With the abundance of quality short fiction out there this is definitely a pass.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mortality

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    During the US book tour for his memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens awoke in his New York hotel room to excruciating pain in his chest. As he would later write in the first of a series of pieces for Vanity Fair, he was being deported 'from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.' Over the next year he underwent the brutal gamut of modern cancer treatment, enduring catastrophic levels of suffering and eventually losing the faculty of speech.

    Robert says: "Hitch leaves on a high note"
    "Hitch leaves on a high note"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hitch leaves on a high note discussing his favorite topics religion (or his problems with it), literature, and life.

    This is actually a real good jumping off point if one is interested in reading further Hitchens at it almost purely Hitchens and his articulate opinions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Astray

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Emma Donoghue
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam, James Langton, Robert Petkoff, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (46)

    The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue's stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They are gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross other borders too: those of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress. With rich historical detail, the celebrated author of Room takes us from puritan Massachusetts to revolutionary New Jersey, antebellum Louisiana to the Toronto highway, lighting up four centuries of wanderings that have profound echoes in the present.

    Doug says: "Great use of historical fiction"
    "A good collection of short stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will just list the strengths of this collection of stories rather than an actual review

    1) Emma Donoghue is a writter that manages to capture interesting literary themes in very accesible readable/page turning stories

    2) The time and place of the stories are clearly set at the beginging so the reader is not spending time figuring what period a story is taking place

    3) All/most of these stories are based on actual events. Donoghue is a real good researcher and historical writer

    4) All the stories have a general theme of people leaving or finding a physical/mental place which ties the stories together well.

    A definitie reccomendation

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Changed the Game of Basketball Forever

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jack McCallum
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (82)

    In Dream Team, acclaimed sports journalist Jack McCallum delivers the untold story of the greatest team ever assembled: the 1992 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team that captivated the world, kindled the hoop dreams of countless children around the planet, and remade the NBA into a global sensation. As a senior staff writer for Sports Illustrated, McCallum enjoyed a courtside seat for the most exciting basketball spectacle on earth, covering the Dream Team from its inception to the gold medal ceremony in Barcelona.

    James T. OBrien says: "Great insight into the great basketball team ever."
    "The golden age of hoops"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is not so much about the US Dream Team as much as it is about a golden age of hoops. McCallum does a good job profiling the personalities of the team and what made the players legends. He also goes into the behind the scenes working (and ego) that went into picking the team and how the players interacted with each other on and off the court. The book has a behind the scenes feel that does not feel gossipy or tabloidy. The only thing this book was lacking was tactics and real good summaries of the games but I was glad that was not in this book because it would have really weighed down the narrative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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