A fascinating look at human behavior and the intervention strategies we use to try to modify it. Grover Gardner's narration is, as always, top-notch and thoroughly professional. This book is a must read for sincere parents of children of any age.
I hated this book for so many reasons, not the least of which is that the title is misleading—it's a morality play, not a technothriller.
I got so tired of all the drivel about who's religion is correct, together with all the characters' guilt, remorse, and desiring repentance. That same theme is played out over and over with every single character—far too improbably to represent any real collection of people.
Before the end of the first chapter it became obvious—the book is just a blatant excuse for J. A. Konrath to burden us with his narrow-minded views on religion, Jesus, God, the Devil, God—and Jesus. Sound good to you? Okay—lap it up. For my part, I skipped most of the book to find out if any possible ending could justify all the tedious religiosity that drips from every chapter. And the answer is—NO!
Some folks who reviewed this book seem to be impressed that it was gory, or creepy. For me, it was far less gory or creepy than just about any realistic history of WWI. I can only assume that the people who liked this book are mired in the same kind of religious conundrum that compelled Konrath write the book in the first place.
Oh—Luke Daniels is a terrific narrator.
This is a chilling and superlative insight into the politics of the Third Reich. We've heard of the battles, the bombings, the Holocaust, the slaughter—but this book details the political maneuvering of Adolph Hitler and his gang of pseudo-idealogues in a very unique way.
William L. Shirer was there, and his perspective as a correspondent through the rise, the fall, and the war trials, carries intrigue, adventure, and fascination.
Grover Gardner is, of course, the best at this kind of reading, and is flawless.
Highly disturbing, highly recommended.
This is like listening to a completely disconnected set of phrases. I bet the book is okay, but I can't stand more than a few paragraphs before switching to something else. How is it possible to take a collection of sentences and read them without any of the original meaning intact? Poo!
I found this series of lectures to be enlightening and informative, and Professor Hardy is a very competent narrator and communicator.
The religious texts discussed in this series are treated with the utmost of respect—and, although I suspect the professor could take cheap shots at any of them—perhaps by focusing on some more unusual or arcane aspects—there is a strictly professional approach to them all. In the end, one can only say that the treatment of all the texts is reverential, if somewhat detached.
Not to say that Professor Hardy doesn't love these works—he absolutely does. I suppose it would be a high compliment to say that these lectures helped to dismantle my own prejudices, yet this is not quite true. At the end of the day, the sheer diversity of the texts—and the belief systems they embody, it seems to me—cannot be a recommendation for any one of them
Okay—a decent detective novel, pretty well written, and pretty well read.
Still, there's something old-fashioned about the writing—it's not quite as crisp or as tight as one might like.
That aside, the characters are fun, the situations interesting, and there's enough action to keep it going.
Michael Prichard's reading is mostly inoffensive, which I gather is high praise from the likes of me, but his rich bass voice doesn't match all the characters well. His interpretation of Nero Wolf, however, is spot on.
Overall, this audiobook is a decent companion, as long as there's something else to do while listening to it.
If there were a contest to see how many words could transpire before ANYTHING happened in a novel, this book would certainly be a contender.
Stanislaw Lem is undoubtedly one of the most intellectual and competent of Sci-Fi writers, but in His Master's Voice, it's as though he challenged himself to present absolutely nothing but ideas, devoid of action or physical reality. Unfortunately, this writing style leads to obsolete scientific perspectives in short order. I found I really didn't care about this book, or whether anything was eventually going to happen or not. No characters caught my fancy, no events peaked my interest.
Nick Sullivan's reading is fairly impressive, although I would like to hear him describe some real action, or maybe something funny. There is one down side to the recording—his voice is unnaturally compressed, and the sound of it gets fatiguing after only a short while.
This is my favorite Heinlein book since I first read it in the 1960's. A fun and entertaining story with the kind of snide humor that only first-person telling can capture.
The narration, however, is just not professional quality. Mark Turetsky's voice has an adolescent twang, which is fine, considering the age of the main character, but his inability to read fluently totally trashes some of the best and funniest lines in the book. The narration starts out okay, but seems to become more and more distracted as the book nears the end, demolishing the imagery as it goes.
I guessed all this before purchasing the book, but went ahead anyway. Many parts of it are read just fine, and I can't express any real regret at listening to it—only the regret that they couldn't find a more competent narrator.
The first problem with "Saucer" is its completely predictable plot, which is 100% linear from beginning to end. The second problem is the lack of depth of its characters. None of them come across as very unique or engaging.
On the positive side, the story moves along at a fairly consistent pace, without getting too bogged down in irrelevant details.
And, although Dick Hill is a competent narrator, his nasal, whiny-sounding portrayal of women really gets on your nerves after a while.
Overall, this book doesn't even come up the level of brain candy—more like brain pablum.
Most history is told top-down—giving the reader an overview, then more detail, then another overview, then more detail. "Battle," however, never really re-orients the listener with the perspective necessary to understand exactly what's going on. It's told like a collection of independent vignettes—episodic, and not well connected—like a series of isolated incidents, lacking in cohesive structure.
Furthermore, unless the listener has a fairly detailed map of Germany and Belgium in his head, there's little guidance as to where the action is, or which direction it's headed. There simply isn't enough geographical or strategic detail to help the listener get a handle on why things happened as they did.
Unfortunately, Dan Butler's narration does nothing to improve this. His constant pausing mid-phrase makes it clear he has minimal comprehension of what he's reading. The resulting lack of continuity renders the story quite difficult to follow—and even more difficult to care about. At some level, I'm sympathetic to Mr. Butler's apparent lack of experience, but this is a huge assignment, given his level of talent—and it's clear he's bitten off way more than he can chew.
After "Master and Commander," I looked forward to this book, but it left me feeling unfulfilled.
Not to say there aren't wonderful characters, hilarious situations, true adventures, and tense moments—but there's also a lot of silliness about the marriageability of this or that daughter, some scenes that border on slapstick, and irrelevant detail that doesn't seem to contribute in any significant way.
I still love the characters—not just Aubrey and Maturin, but all the delightful people they encounter. However, there's a pretty large cast of characters, and it's something of a puzzle why some of them are there at all.
Overall, one senses a lack of direction to the plot, leaving the listener completely unaware of what's significant and what isn't. As things begin to drag, the narrator gets stuck with the impossible task of trying to maintain energy.
With very few exceptions, I enjoy Simon Vance as a narrator, but it's hard to believe he found this book any more compelling than I did. I found my attention wandering constantly, waiting for something—anything—to happen that was relevant to the plot.
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