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Sam

Sydney, Australia | Member Since 2015

35
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 213 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By J. L. Bourne
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2446)
    Performance
    (1759)
    Story
    (1756)

    The first book of Day by Day Armageddon took us deep into the mind of a military officer and survivor as he made a New Year's resolution to start keeping a journal. The man kept his resolution and brought to us the fall of humanity, day by day. We see the man transition from the life that you and I live to the prospect of fighting for his very survival against the overwhelming hordes of the dead. We see him bleed, we see him make mistakes, we witness him evolve.

    Richard L. Everson says: "Very Much Surprised"
    "The verité of zombie apocalypse"
    Overall

    The 'good' of Bourne's books is found in the continuity of the experience. True to its title this is the blow by blow rendition of an adept soldier's survival in the face of armaggeddon. A good, (if disappointingly simple) man facing almost inescapable oblivion. A survivor's narrative where every mile endured is a minor miracle. Bourne's military experience and balanced, logistical view is the text's best quality. If you enjoy the genre and don't require great writing, this is as good as it gets.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Buried Giant: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (186)

    "You've long set your heart against it, Axl, I know. But it's time now to think on it anew. There's a journey we must go on, and no more delay..."The Buried Giant begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in nearly a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge, and war.

    Omnivorous Reader says: "mysterious, hypnotic, gorgeous book and read."
    "Chaucerian allegory to summon in the Saxon Age"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an intriguing novel, lyrical and repetitive in the telling. I can understand the comparisons to Tolkein's intentions. Old England and its lore is a deep study and there's fascinating aspects and allegories throughout the book. But as a whole it also suffers from its repetitive style and placing vagueness intentionally at the core of its plot.

    A sad, evocative and faulty work, at the same time an endearing and sentimental journey. A road trip that's in some ways reminiscent of the Canterbury Tales.

    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
    (3686)
    Performance
    (3424)
    Story
    (3426)

    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"
    "Depraved and horrible writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So awful that occasionally one liners make you laugh out loud just to release the growing incredulity at how rubbish the whole experience is. Gave up on it, not worth your time even if it were free.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1543)
    Performance
    (1378)
    Story
    (1400)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    Jacqueline says: "A M A Z I N G"
    "Verbose, imaginative journey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But one that never actually communes with the darkness it strives to evoke. That's essentially the problem with the book, which I did enjoy: it's not all there, sparking against your imagination, but then failing to take one into the full darkness it promises. The magical realism of the world and particularly its subject, are left under-drawn and disappoint. The seemingly sophisticated and mysterious Cordova could have been, should have been a great portrait... It's a shame because the flare of the better plot turns are bright, evocative and exciting. But horror is hard, right?

    Excellent narration though and the transmedia collage is quite cool, in spirit more that execution. Too long on balance, a good work that could've been great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By G. J. Meyer
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (783)
    Performance
    (712)
    Story
    (703)

    The First World War is one of history’s greatest tragedies. In this remarkable and intimate account, author G. J. Meyer draws on exhaustive research to bring to life the story of how the Great War reduced Europe’s mightiest empires to rubble, killed 20 million people, and cracked the foundations of the world we live in today. World War I is unique in the number of questions about it that remain unsettled. After more than 90 years, scholars remain divided on these questions, and it seems likely that they always will.

    Andrew Pilecki says: "Excellent Overview of the "Overshadowed" War"
    "Empathetic testament to cataclysmic events"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Our postmodern (whatever that still means) world pivots on the Great War. Four years that replaced the cradle of modernity with a crater, ruined everything and granted everything to come... I greatly enjoyed J.G. Meyer's book, longly and cleverly mixing detail with survey and building to a confident overview of the incredible density of events, and bringing to them a modern analysis, some might say revision.

    Particularly enjoyed the emphasis given to the importance of the strategic and fighting strengths of the Australian and Canadian forces to Entente victory; the incredible description of the German front lines, especially their underground labyrinthine tunnels; the many ironies that colour monumental events... A great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zone One

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Colson Whitehead
    • Narrated By Beresford Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In this wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuild­ing civilisation under orders from the provisional govern­ment based in Buffalo. Their top mission: the resettlement of Manhattan.

    Sam says: "Will make your ears bleed"
    "Will make your ears bleed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The craft of writing is perscuted here. Language is used to nauseating effect in this terrible story that is so caught up in its own attempt to be ironic and cleverly cynical that it kills any sense of craft, bludgeons the reader with such awful metaphors, similes and sentance structure that it hurts the psyche. The narrator, having nothing good to work with suffers with the listener. Don't do it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to the True Nature of the Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Robert Lanza, Bob Berman
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (118)

    The whole of Western natural philosophy is undergoing a sea change, forced upon us by the experimental findings of quantum theory. At the same time, these findings have increased our doubt and uncertainty about traditional physical explanations of the universe's genesis and structure. Biocentrism completes this shift in worldview, turning the planet upside down again with the revolutionary view that life creates the universe instead of the other way around.

    Gary says: "Mystical hogwash, but I loved it."
    "Hmmmm"
    Overall

    This is definitely worth a listen/read. I think a lot of people will dismiss Biocentrism as a mad theory, which is apparently heresy coming from scientists! However, from a philosophical perspective there are some great ideas, fascinating and playful analysis, and profound associations and insights with physics and consciousness research here, and listening to these these is worth the investment of time.

    As exciting a proposition as Biocentrism is, it does not come across as 'true' in the subjective way that Robert Lanza constantly refers to when establishing various arguments and principles. It also lapses deeply into whimsy and subjectivity on occasion to be more than a creative opinion per se. There are some very basic contextual ideas and constructs completely missing, which alongside profound insights, undermines the intellectual rigour of the whole text.

    Unfortunately there's very little accessible criticism of Biocentrism (online) that doesn't instantly dismiss it, or make it seem cultish and simplistic. Other critiques discuss logical misteps, or addressing what seem obvious logical misteps that are present in the text. These need to be addressed. Nevertheless, I definitely recommend listening if you're inquisitive and interested in consciousness research, there's a very creative perspective here... But as Evelyn Waugh warned, beware of charm in all things.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Day By Day Armageddon

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By J L Bourne
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (3453)
    Performance
    (2531)
    Story
    (2526)

    In your hands is the handwritten journal depicting one man's struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them. Enter, if you will, into the world of the undead.

    rob haight says: "Great book! More more more!!"
    "Zombie Verité"
    Overall

    The 'good' of Bourne's books is found in the continuity of the experience. True to its title this is the blow by blow rendition of an adept soldier's survival in the face of armaggeddon. A good, (if disappointingly simple) man facing almost inescapable oblivion. A survivor's narrative where every mile endured is a minor miracle. Bourne's military experience and balanced, logistical view is the text's best quality. If you enjoy the genre and don't require great writing, this is as good as it gets.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Wicked Bestiary

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    The brilliantly quirky David Sedaris returns with a book of acerbic and outrageously funny stories about animals who have unmistakably human failings.This collection of sharply observed animal-themed tales is a delight, told with David Sedaris’s trademark blend of hilarity and goodnaturedness. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of our own everyday interactions.

    Sam says: "Lovely Bestiary"
    "Lovely Bestiary"
    Overall

    Anthropomorphising human emotions and neuroses onto animals may never grow old, but in the hands of David Sedaris, the conceit is heightened into a wonderful, artful group of stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (5738)
    Performance
    (3967)
    Story
    (3978)

    The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

    Steve says: "Good but Too Short!"
    "Dull"
    Overall

    I was fairly gripped by the book. Although by no means great writing and too long, there were enough good ideas on the page to carry through a clever premise. This audio production however is very poor. The style of writing cannot withstand being read out, and the cast taken as a whole, including great actors, come across as flat, overly cynical, bored and uncompelling... which is a great shame.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4696)
    Performance
    (2826)
    Story
    (2827)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "Profound and masterful audio production"
    Overall

    This is one of my favourite books. Just listen to it. Marlantes' took decades to craft this beautifully written story based on his experience in Vietnam, and Bronson Pinchot has rendered the most perfect performance of it. It's a deep and exquisite journey, frequently heartbreaking and beautiful and occasionally tearfully funny. One of the finest audio narrations ever performed, and definitely one of the greatest final paragraphs in literature!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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