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Sam

Sydney, Australia | Member Since 2009

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 173 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Dark Matter

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michelle Paver
    • Narrated By Jeremy Northam
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (172)

    January 1937. Jack Miller has just about run out of options. His shoes have worn through, he can't afford to heat his rented room in Tooting, and he longs to use his training as an specialist wireless operator instead of working in his dead-end job. When he is given the chance to join an arctic expedition, as communications expert, by a group of elite Oxbridge graduates, he brushes off his apprehensions and convinces himself to join them.

    Madeleine says: "Incredible!"
    "Ominous, dark, creepy and wondrous"
    Overall

    This is a grand and at the same time deeply claustrophobic adventure. The setting, between the great wars, is perfect for the precise and scientific exploration of haunting and horrid, menacing presence.

    Dark Matter succeeds as an intelligent, evocative and visceral ghost story and its central metaphor remains strong and intact, evolving and gaining depth as the deeply personal narrative unfolds.

    Jeremy Northam is superb and reveals how great and majestic a craft narration can be.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Zone One

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Colson Whitehead
    • Narrated By Beresford Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    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
    (177)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (80)

    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.

    S. Kozlowski says: "The Copenhagen Interpretation Resurrected"
    "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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3144)
    Performance
    (2239)
    Story
    (2235)

    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
    (30)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    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
    (5310)
    Performance
    (3573)
    Story
    (3583)

    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
    (4187)
    Performance
    (2357)
    Story
    (2358)

    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
  • 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
    (2241)
    Performance
    (1567)
    Story
    (1567)

    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.

    RGH says: "For Zombie Lovers"
    "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
  • Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Z. A. Recht
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (1816)
    Performance
    (1286)
    Story
    (1289)

    The end begins with a viral outbreak unlike anything mankind has ever encountered before. The infected are subject to delirium, fever, a dramatic increase in violent behavior, and a one-hundred percent mortality rate. Death. But it doesn't end there. The victims return from death to walk the earth. When a massive military operation fails to contain the plague of the living dead it escalates into a global pandemic.

    Big Art says: "Makes my top 10 Zombie Stories of all time!!"
    "Rot"
    Overall

    Apparently you have to give at least one star, but make no mistake, this is a deeply awful piece of writing and narration - haggard, cliched characters and scenarios, poorly conceived and unimaginatively rendered. The zombie/apocalyptic/dystopian/super-vius genre is amorphous and full of so much possibility, but in the hands of Z. A. Recht it dies and I wish it had remained dead. Oliver Wyman's narration is equally awful, offering us up movie character parodies (Bill Paxton's chr in Aliens is abused the most), and generally killing an already dreadful piece of writing. I'm not sure it could have been worse. This genre badly needs resuscitation. Zero stars.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Brideshead Revisited

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Evelyn Waugh
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (48)

    Written at the end of the World War II, this work mourns the passing of the aristocratic world which Waugh knew in his youth and recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by the austerities of war.

    Sam says: "Perfect"
    "Perfect"
    Overall

    This is an even more sublime experience than the outstanding BBC television drama, and it's difficult to imagine that the other audio versions could come close to Jeremy Irons' rendition. At once deeply personal and epic in its execution, this is a perfect match between writer and narrator, greatly enhanced by Irons' long and brilliant relationship with the text.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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