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Steven Petersen

Portland, OR United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
50
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
40

  • Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Richard P. Feynman
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1744)
    Performance
    (754)
    Story
    (760)

    With his characteristic eyebrow-raising behavior, Richard P. Feynman once provoked the wife of a Princeton dean to remark, "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" But the many scientific and personal achievements of this Nobel Prize-winning physicist are no laughing matter. Here, woven with his scintillating views on modern science, Feynman relates the defining moments of his accomplished life.

    Steven Petersen says: "My favorite audio book"
    "My favorite audio book"
    Overall

    I love this book - I'm actually listening to it for the second time, which I almost never do. I think the narrator takes the perfect tone for the material, and I found Feynman's stories to be fascinating and quite amusing - especially the parts about Los Alamos. I don't read or listen to many autobiographies, but by the end of this one I found myself regretting that I never met him.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5534)
    Performance
    (4709)
    Story
    (4705)

    When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends - and his own soul - Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic....

    Bill says: "Not the best audio book in the series"
    "Good story - Get over the Marsters thing!"
    Overall

    I might have gone with 4 stars, but gave it 5 to help compensate for all of the people who apparently did not listen to the book before giving it 1 star! I've enjoyed the Marsters recordings, as most people have, but after about an hour I stopped noticing the different voice for Harry and really warmed up to the John Glover version. He is a more expressive reader than Marsters, who can be a bit flat, especially in those longer passages where it is just Harry talking to the reader. Glover does great voices, even throwing in a rather Marsters-like Bob the Skull :-) Quite pleased overall. And this was an interesting direction to take Harry, who was really piling on the super-wizard powers over the last several books. Nicely done by Jim Butcher!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Cryoburn: A Miles Vorkosigan Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1248)
    Performance
    (658)
    Story
    (658)

    Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove—he’s been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp—an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future—attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter, Miles, to check it out

    Kevin says: "Its nice to come Home!"
    "Lois delivers again"
    Overall

    Another great addition to the Vorkosigan saga with Miles back in action in a sort of covert ops role again. And with a poignant ending I wish I had in print to reread at my leisure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Juliet, Naked

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Nick Hornby
    • Narrated By Bill Irwin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (726)
    Performance
    (300)
    Story
    (297)

    Annie loves Duncan - or thinks she does. Duncan loves Annie, but then, all of a sudden, he doesn't. Duncan really loves Tucker Crowe, a reclusive Dylanish singer-songwriter who stopped making music 10 years ago. Annie stops loving Duncan, and starts getting her own life. In doing so, she initiates an e-mail correspondence with Tucker, and a connection is forged between two lonely people who are looking for more out of what they've got.

    Northern Latitude Lagniappe says: "So this is how good an audiobook can be"
    "How to get out of a rut"
    Overall

    Hornby has lots to say about people, life, and screwed up relationships. Perhaps more so than ever in this book. "She was a young woman and as a consequence didn't subscribe to the idea that monogamous sexual relationships between men and women were doomed, pointless, miserable, hopeless; she'd get there, he felt, but not for a while yet." Good story and good narration.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Einstein: His Life and Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3761)
    Performance
    (1701)
    Story
    (1712)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: You thought he was a stodgy scientist with funny hair, but Isaacson and Hermann reveal an eloquent, intense, and selfless human being who not only shaped science with his theories, but politics and world events in the 20th century as well. Based on the newly released personal letters of Albert Einstein, Walter Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos.

    Henrik says: "Surprise: Two books in one!"
    "Well worth the time"
    Overall

    Plenty of insight into Einstein's scientific breakthroughs, his personal successes and failings, his political and social thinking, and what drove him to keep working on an ultimately unsuccessful grand unified theory for over 2 decades. You wouldn't want to have been married to him, but the book does make me wish I could have known him!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anathem

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1860)
    Performance
    (864)
    Story
    (872)

    In celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected". But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the perilous brink of cataclysmic change.

    Richard says: "Tour de force"
    "Great story despite/because of the long dialogues"
    Overall

    I was completely hooked by this book. The lives of monastic academics and their curious place in the broader culture of their world was fully realized and fascinating, as was the overall story line. The gotcha that I'm sure is turning some people off are the lengthy philosophical discussions, ala Socrates, that occasionally seem to bring the plot to a crawl. But if you stick with these, you will find that the subjects of these discussions tend to weave back in to enforce and explain the story line. So, yes, challenging but overall brilliant.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Spook Country

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (589)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (140)

    Bobby Chombo is a "producer" and an enigma. In his day job, Bobby is a troubleshooter for manufacturers of military navigation equipment. He refuses to sleep in the same place twice. He meets no one. Hollis Henry, an investigative journalist, has been told to find him.

    wendy says: "Loved it"
    "Tried twice - couldn't get through it"
    Overall

    This is one of the few audio books on which I have given up about an hour in. I even took a break of a few months and tried to start over to no avail. The story just drones along and I kept tuning out while driving in the car, which is not usually a problem. I have read everything by William Gibson and am thinking this one would be better on paper. Not recommended.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Dead I Well May Be

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1092)
    Performance
    (551)
    Story
    (546)

    Young Michael, an illegal immigrant escaping the troubles in Northern Ireland is strong and fearless and clever, just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a crime boss, to join a gang of Irish thugs struggling against the rising Dominican powers in Harlem and the Bronx. The time is pre-Giuliani New York, when crack rules the city, squatters live furtively in ruined buildings, and hundreds are murdered each month.

    Robert says: "What an amazing book"
    "Immediately downloaded the next two books!"
    Overall

    Yes, both a great story and great narrator. Somewhat violent, somewhat profane, but with an intelligent and likable main character nonetheless.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5772)
    Performance
    (2386)
    Story
    (2416)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Darwin8u says: "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."
    "The book is like the road"
    Overall

    Like the road of the title, at times the story is almost too bleak and painful to keep going, but you can't stop moving forward. Two hours into the story, I considered setting it aside - definitely a darker story than my usual daily commute fare. But McCarthy's prose reads like poetry, and the post-apocalyptic backdrop gives him ample opportunity to reflect on lost dreams and the ultimate generation gap - a father who remembers civilization and a son who has only known a ruined world.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Curse of Chalion

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2123)
    Performance
    (932)
    Story
    (939)

    Amidst the decaying splendor and poisonous intrigue of Chalion's ancient capital, Cazaril is forced to confront not only powerful enemies but also the malignant curse that clings to the royal household, trapping him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death for as long as he dares walk the five-fold pathway of the gods.

    Pete says: "Excellent Fantasy... Epic in feel, finite in pace"
    "Great story - I bought the next one"
    Overall

    Great storytelling and the narrator does nice work. I have not read fantasy in years, but any book by Bujold seems to be a good bet. This isn't swords and sorcery and non-stop action, but I found the subtle interplay of gods and humans to be intriguing. It drew me in. And, yes, I've now gone on to the next book, Palladin of Souls, which I'm also liking very much.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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