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aaron gilbert

Christian, Texan, electrician, lover of reading-I lean towards Sci-fi/fantasy but enjoy the classics, history, and science titles also.

Pearland, TX United States | Member Since 2012

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 118 ratings
  • 265 titles in library
  • 85 purchased in 2014
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  • Shantaram: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (339)

    Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum-security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

    Mickey says: "Probably the best performance I've listened to."
    "Exactly what I was hoping for."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Shantaram again? Why?

    Yes, I just might. I already miss Lin and Prabu. I really felt immersed in the very real world the author brings to life. I was with Lin in the prisons and I laughed out loud at Prabu's antics as I could see his brilliant smile in my mind's eye. What a pleasure to have stumbled across this instant classic gritty story.


    What other book might you compare Shantaram to and why?

    I have never read a book quite like this so I would compare parts of it to the feel you get from the movie The Beach, some of it to a cross between Goodfellas and the Indiana Jones scenes in Cairo, and maybe a little from The Hangover part two.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Mr. Bower really develops each character into a beloved friend. His accents are amazing his nuance is spot on, and his delivery is perfect. Even after some sixty hours he left me hoping it just wouldn't end.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is a very lengthy title and I still just about read it strait through. I found myself telling my wife some of the crazy things Prabu did as though he were someone I had to deal with daily.


    Any additional comments?

    I read a review that stated if you enjoy the first couple pages you will love the book. This was a true statement in my case so I pass it on here.

    I feel as though I have learned quite a bit about the culture of what was Bombay and noted many of the locations mentioned in the book are real and searchable online such as the horrible Arthor rd prison and the slums that go on and on.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The City

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Korey Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (319)

    There are millions of stories in the city - some magical, some tragic, others terror-filled or triumphant. Jonah Kirk’s story is all of those things as he draws listeners into his life in the city as a young boy, introducing his indomitable grandfather, also a "piano man"; his single mother, a struggling singer; and the heroes, villains, and everyday saints and sinners who make up the fabric of the metropolis in which they live - and who will change the course of Jonah’s life forever. Welcome to The City, a place of evergreen dreams where enchantment and malice entwine.

    justin says: "How exactly a 2-star review with 4 hours???"
    "Come on! Koontz!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    To raise this to a 4 or 5 star level Mr. Koontz would need to quit trying to redefine himself. I bought book after book from him as I loved what he did as an author. If suddenly your favorite restaurant started remaking your tastiest meal in unpleasant ways would you be pleased or miffed? Mr. Koontz had success with the whole Odd thing but he needs to get back to making those delicious main courses we have grown to rely on.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Perhaps something from author Peter Clines. I really enjoyed "14" by him.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    My issue with the narration was that this was told by a 57 year old character from a 10 year old's perspective. I kept waiting for the kid to grow up so the story could start. It just got more and more ridiculous. Especially due to the fact that the narrator kept speaking like a surprised little boy using a vocabulary that could cause a scholar to stumble.


    What character would you cut from The City?

    Maybe the obvious Urkle character named Malcolm. The author even managed to sneak the name Urkle into the story in a way that did not amuse.


    Any additional comments?

    So disappointed. I might as well read Icebound again. I love Dean Koontz. I just can't stand when he tries to get out of his scary little box.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The History of Ancient Egypt

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bob Brier
    Overall
    (311)
    Performance
    (292)
    Story
    (295)

    Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. It lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. Its Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest building in the world until well into the 19th century and remains the only Ancient Wonder still standing. And it was the most technologically advanced of the ancient civilizations, with the medical knowledge that made Egyptian physicians the most famous in the world.

    Nassir says: "Incomprehensibly complete"
    "So well taught! So interesting!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this to anyone who has even a passing interest in the topic.


    What other book might you compare The History of Ancient Egypt to and why?

    This is a series of lectures. I have listened to several such programs. This one is so far my favorite.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Bob Brier’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have heard nothing else by Mr. Brier. I would however like to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The lecturer did an amazing job keeping this interesting. It is broken into half hour lectures and each one was a joy to experience.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are like I was and you keep looking at the Great Lectures wondering if you might enjoy them then this is the perfect place to start.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The God Engines

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (134)

    Captain Ean Tephe is a man of faith, whose allegiance to his lord and to his ship is uncontested. The Bishopry Militant knows this — and so, when it needs a ship and crew to undertake a secret, sacred mission to a hidden land, Tephe is the captain to whom the task is given....

    L. A. Loman says: "I love Scalzi's writing but not this book"
    "This is the elevator music of this genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I'm glad I listened to this in that it shows a darker side of Scalzi that rarely shows in his other works. I felt the story just didn't stand out. I believe the premise could be a great byline to a bigger more epic tale. It's as if we learned all about only one aspect of a potentially fascinating world. Throw open the curtain Scalzi.


    What was most disappointing about John Scalzi’s story?

    Besides what I've already stated I was not fond of where this story left off.


    What three words best describe Christopher Lane’s performance?

    Acceptable, articulate, and like-able


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes, I would. This book would need a lot more substance to make it a film and I would wonder how Hollywood might accomplish it.


    Any additional comments?

    I have enjoyed several of Scalzi's books and consider them very light reading. This one is kinda the exception in that he goes a bit H. P. Lovecraft on his readers.

    I would recommend starting with Android's dream or old man's war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • She: A History of Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By H. Rider Haggard
    • Narrated By B.J. Harrison
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (34)

    Legends tell of an ancient sorceress who has learned the secrets of immortality. She rules over a lost people deep in unexplored Africa. She can slay at a glance, and her beauty is so legendary that no man can look upon her and keep his own will. Leo Vincey learns of a quest that has haunted his family for generations. He is to go to find this all powerful woman, and discover the secret of eternal life.

    Sandy says: "The mystery of 'She' continues"
    "Don't look here if you are wanting criticizem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about She: A History of Adventure?

    I enjoyed the entire book. But I loved how the author's descriptions made me feel like I was in the thick of it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Asher. She was very fascinating and I found myself simply wanting to believe in her.


    What about B.J. Harrison’s performance did you like?

    I like how although he made a wonderful performance he still never got in the way of the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I enjoyed the scenes involving the pillar of fire as these were exciting. There are many exciting moments in this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I passed this book up several times. So glad I read the comments and went for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Two Years Before the Mast

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Richard Henry Dana
    • Narrated By Athur Addison
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    This is the true story of a Harvard graduate who forsook his studies for two years of the grueling life of an ordinary seaman. This exciting tale was the first to realistically describe the lives of the roughly treated, poorly paid sailors of the merchant marine.

    aaron gilbert says: "Interesting, informative, and real"
    "Interesting, informative, and real"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Two Years Before the Mast rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book ranks among my classics near the top of the list. It is not my favorite but I really enjoyed it. I especially liked that this is an actual account of what it was like to be a deck hand so long ago. It truly is a slice of history preserved in time.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Two Years Before the Mast?

    The navigation among the "ice islands" was very memorable. One could almost feel the cold and see the icebergs.


    What about Athur Addison’s performance did you like?

    I thought he did a fine job. He really brought the book to life.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, because of the length but otherwise my attention was caught the entire time.


    Any additional comments?

    I am glad this book is available to us and am saddened by all the accounts of other professions that must have been lost to us over the years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David Copperfield

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Peter Batchelor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (53)

    Dickens called David Copperfield his "favourite child," and many critics consider the novel to be one of his best depictions of childhood. Set in early Victorian England against a backdrop of great social change, Dickens acutely observed the phenomena of the Industrial Revolution and used them as the canvas on which he painted the novel. Many consider David Copperfield to be the author’s finest work.

    Richard says: "Delightful Dickens listening"
    "Wow. Surprisingly boring."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about David Copperfield?

    I hate the thought of giving such a renown classic poor marks but seriously, this book is so dry and uneventful that I just can't understand how Copperfield ever made it to print. We start with David as a child and end with him as an adult. Not much happens but at least every conversation he ever had is chronicled.


    Has David Copperfield turned you off from other books in this genre?

    If this had been the first classic I had every read I just might have never developed a love for them. I am thankful this was not the case. If you are looking for your first classic may I suggest The Mysterious Island by Jules Vern or perhaps Don Quixote?


    Which character – as performed by Peter Batchelor – was your favorite?

    I guess my favorite character was Barkis. He was at least a little interesting in his timidity.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment, I did not start this one with high hopes and it certainly lived up to my expectations.


    Any additional comments?

    I feel like a cold dogging a literary work like this but please understand it's not like I am just some jerk who can't appreciate what it is. I thought Moby Dick by Melville was a wonderful read. This book simply sucked. There, I said it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Torchwood: The Exodus Code

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John Barrowman, Carole E. Barrowman
    • Narrated By Daniel Pirrie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    It starts with a series of unexplained events. Earth tremors across the globe. Women being driven insane by their heightened and scrambled senses. And the world is starting to notice - the number one Twitter trend is #realfemmefatales. Governments and scientists are bewildered and silent. The world needs Torchwood, but there's not much of Torchwood left.

    Bonnie says: "Exodus Code an immortals adventure"
    "Perhaps I expected too much."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman and/or Daniel Pirrie?

    Yes, I would read more from them however I admit probably only because the male author is the actor who plays Jack Harkness in the series.


    Would you recommend Torchwood: The Exodus Code to your friends? Why or why not?

    No, I won't be recommending this to anyone for three reasons, first I did not enjoy this book very much and second because every single male character in the book was gay. I get it Jack is indiscriminate but come on. Not every guy is gay. The third reason is this book can only be considered light reading and as such please don't preach to me about global warming, pollution, etc. while I'm trying to enjoy a little sci-fi.


    What aspect of Daniel Pirrie’s performance would you have changed?

    He did a great job portraying Jack and the other characters. But I have to note that one minute and fifteen seconds in while introducing the star of the book the narrator mispronounces the name "Harkness". He calls him "harness".


    Was Torchwood: The Exodus Code worth the listening time?

    The book was worth the listening time barely. Honestly I believe this story will be forgotten in about a week. I really feel like I wasted a credit.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the Doctor Who / Torchwood tv series and this is my first book on the same subject. I hope they get better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Dale Carnegie
    • Narrated By Andrew MacMillan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9701)
    Performance
    (4381)
    Story
    (4365)

    You can go after the job you want...and get it! You can take the job you have...and improve it! You can take any situation you're in...and make it work for you!

    Ralph says: "This is well worth listening too! Main points are."
    "Manipulation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to How to Win Friends & Influence People the most enjoyable?

    The stories throughout the book used as examples are quite entertaining.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author is the main character and following him in the book makes him automatically my favorite.


    What about Andrew MacMillan’s performance did you like?

    Mr. MacMillan did a really good job. It seemed to me to be that perfect blend of performance and staying out of the way of the content.


    What did you learn from How to Win Friends & Influence People that you would use in your daily life?

    Absolutely. This book is chocked full of useful information designed to make life easier,better, and more fulfilling.


    Any additional comments?

    Mr. Carnegie is really good at what he does. Looking back I noticed that while the book does offer what is promised in the title it is not in my opinion the main punch of the lesson. The content is really more about teaching how to be better to our fellow man. I now see there is a wonderful level of manipulation in just about every aspect of this one. In other words he even manipulated me to pick up this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23271)
    Performance
    (9893)
    Story
    (9964)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Entertaining Filler,"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo again? Why?

    I probably won't listen to this book again for two reasons, first this is a mystery novel and I know "who dunnit" second, this book got a little wordy and began to feel like the author was trying to meet a word quota or something. This being said I very well might listen the the next in the series.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    My reaction to the ending was half surprise and half joy at figuring out a part of the mystery on my own.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Pretty much any scene involving Salander was specifically fun. She is a fascinating character to follow.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    This book did not particularly move me as, looked at this story as entertaining light reading that was comparable to watching a good movie you aren't very interested in.


    Any additional comments?

    While I enjoyed the book There were a couple things that stuck out as odd to me. I noticed that Blumkvist (a fifty something magazine owner) sleeps with everyone in the book, everyone knows this and no one really minds except one person who seems irked that she won't get her turn that week because of another girl. He is no discriminator of age either. He runs the gambit from 24 to almost 60. Maybe that is just how they roll in Sweden. I also felt a couple of the sub plots were really drawn out and did not add much to the story. I purchased this title on the basis of reviews alone. Having read it, my opinion of this book is it was a little better than average and does not justify all the hype.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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