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funkyman33

funkyman33

Ottawa, Canada | Member Since 2007

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 163 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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  • Ex-Communication

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder, Khristine Hvam, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1335)
    Performance
    (1237)
    Story
    (1237)

    In the years since the wave of living death swept the globe, St George and his fellow heroes haven't just kept Los Angeles' last humans alive - they’ve created a real community, a bustling town that's spreading beyond its original walls and swelling with new refugees. But now one of the heroes, perhaps the most powerful among them, seems to be losing his mind. The implacable enemy known as Legion has found terrifying new ways of using zombies as pawns in his attacks.

    Lore says: "Corpse Girl for the win!"
    "Much better than the first!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Much better than the first Ex-Heroes book - this one expanded on what was missing in the first: in-depth characterization, with less descriptive action scenes. Lots of fun!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agent to the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3509)
    Performance
    (3031)
    Story
    (3035)

    The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

    C. Paget says: "excellent"
    "Interesting, fun book - great narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like most of John Scalzi's books, and this was no different. The concept is very funny, and the execution is good. The characters are interesting, but we never completely get a full feel for their qualities. For example, why was Tom's grandmother thrown in there, other than to move the plot forward? We never got a sense that his grandmother was important to him.

    Overall, the book is entertaining and typically (for Scalzi) very funny. But, it was a very light read, and not quite as interesting as Red Shirts or Androids Dream.

    Wil Wheaton's narration is brilliant as usual - he's rapidly becoming one of my favourite narrators!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fall of the Governor: The Walking Dead, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (285)

    The Walking Dead original novel series, set in the universe of Robert Kirkman's iconic universe, continues with The Fall of the Governor. From co-authors Kirkman, creator of the Eisner Award-winning comic book and executive producer of AMC's blockbuster TV series, and Jay Bonansinga, Stoker Award-finalist and internationally acclaimed author, comes the gripping third novel in this richly woven, literary saga, which began with The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.

    Robert says: "Warning: Not the Complete Finale"
    "Fills in holes in the comic, but not as compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a Walking Dead fan - I've read the comics in trades, watch the show, and thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series. This was seemed superfluous, however. While it fills in some of the holes from the comics (it is set in the comic world, not in the TV show world), there was a lot of overlap. I felt this really made the book less compelling and interesting. It's worth a read, but I'm not sure I can highly recommend it if you've already read the first 50 issues of the comic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Year Zero: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Rob Reid
    • Narrated By John Hodgman
    Overall
    (1210)
    Performance
    (1106)
    Story
    (1104)

    Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it's a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity's music ever since "Year Zero" (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang.

    Robert says: "Fantastic Performance by Hodgman"
    "Fun, satisfying book, amazing narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fun little book with a great concept. I would highly advise the audio book, read by John Hodgeman - his narration really adds to the humour and absurdity. Overall, it was very satisfying and fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1005)
    Performance
    (914)
    Story
    (924)

    When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity.

    Darwin8u says: "A solid, just not great social network dystopia"
    "Like a prequel to 1984, if Big Brother was Google."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is like a prequel to 1984, if Big Brother was Google (aka The Circle). It's an interesting-enough concept, but the book simply isn't fantastic. It hits you over the head with its message (which is very alarmist), and it's predictable (who DIDN'T know who her love interest was?). It's exciting at times, and repetitive at others. It's worth reading, but it's just not an outstanding book.

    The narration was fine, but I felt distracted by the male voice to the female protagonist. Many main characters were female, so I felt as though perhaps the narrator should have been female.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Chelsea Handler
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1055)
    Performance
    (544)
    Story
    (552)

    You've either done it or know someone who has: the one-night stand, the familiar outcome of a night spent at a bar, sometimes the sole payoff for your friend's irritating wedding, or the only relief from a disastrous vacation. Often embarrassing and uncomfortable, occasionally outlandish, but most times just a necessary and irresistible evil, the one-night stand is a social rite as old as sex itself and as common as a bar stool.

    Kathryn says: "Chelsea, You are HYSTERICAL!"
    "Not funny. Not even a chuckle."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got about halfway through this book. It's just not funny. At all. I stopped.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    Overall
    (8543)
    Performance
    (8129)
    Story
    (8144)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "One of the best books I've read in the past 5 yrs!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's literally science-fiction. This is not laser battles and spaceships science fiction. This is science fiction based on science which could happen in the near (next 50-75 years) future. Multiple people have called this Apollo 13 meets Cast Away. There's a healthy amount of McGuyver mixed in here.

    The lead character is extremely compelling, smart, and funny - which is good, because much of the book takes place with him stranded alone on Mars. The description of how he survives is very detailed and obviously well-researched. It's very scientific, but never gets boring. The book builds in excitement, and I was on the edge of my seat for much of the last 1/4 of the story.

    The writing is exciting and fast-paced, yet never dumbs things down. The narration is fantastic as well - exciting, crisp and funny. I would highly recommend this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Calculating God

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2050)
    Performance
    (1437)
    Story
    (1450)

    In this Hugo-nominated novel, an alien walks into a museum and asks if he can see a paleontologist. But the arachnid ET hasn't come aboard a rowboat with the Pope and Stephen Hawking (although His Holiness does request an audience later). Landing at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the spacefarer, Hollus, asks to compare notes on mass extinctions with resident dino-scientist Thomas Jericho.

    Ione says: "Interesting book, very enjoyable narration"
    "Interesting, but sometimes preachy."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The theme of this book is very unique and interesting - aliens who arrive to Earth believe in God, and try to convince us that God exists (with scientific evidence). I enjoyed the characters in the book (at least the human ones) and how they interacted with the aliens. The ended was particularly strong and really developed the protagonist's character.

    However I found the writing distracting. The author refers extensively to Toronto and Canadian politics, which (as someone who grew up in Toronto) distracted at times and felt unnecessary. In addition, I found the book got preachy at times, and descended into long diatribes about religion and god. This took me out of the story (which is fundamentally fiction, but with a strong argument).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1431)
    Performance
    (1290)
    Story
    (1281)

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Charles says: "Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
    "Interesting, but not earth-shattering"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While there were times when this book provided interesting insight into the life of Jesus, the majority really drew heavily from the New Testament, and what was already printed in those pages. As a non-Christian, I was certainly unaware of some aspects of the story, but I wonder how much extra was gained beyond what has already been written. Interesting, and worth reading, but not earth-shattering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Nick Bilton
    • Narrated By Daniel May
    Overall
    (535)
    Performance
    (476)
    Story
    (475)

    Twitter seems like a perfect start-up success story. In barely six years, a small group of young, ambitious programmers in Silicon Valley built an $11.5 billion business out of the ashes of a failed podcasting company. Today Twitter boasts more than 200 million active users and has affected business, politics, media, and other fields in innumerable ways.

    Ann Magor says: "A Shakespearean Drama"
    "Engaging and addictive!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Amazing story of an amazing company. It's hard to believe this type of drama happens at successful companies, but this book is so meticulously researched and the stories are so detailed that it's completely believable. And, completely addictive and engaging. If you are interested in tech and Silicon Valley, this is a must-read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ari Shavit
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (217)

    Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts.

    Chaim says: "Important book; unfortunate narration"
    "Not history, but very valuable opinion."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Any review on this book should preface it by saying that it is truly an opinion piece, based on history - not a historical document. This took me by surprise at first. There's no doubt that the initial chapters of the book, focusing on early Zionism and the founding of Israel focuses heavily on the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli conflicts. It focused so heavily on these issues, I initially felt the book ignored the many other components contributing to Israel's creation and the success of the Jewish state. However, this gradually subsided with later chapters, as the author focused more on why the state is successful economically, culturally, and (less so) politically.

    There's no doubt the author would be considered left-centre in political affiliation in Israel, and is staunchly anti-settlement and pro-peace. However, he does present a balanced view in the context of the history of the Jews, Arabs, and Palestinians. There's true insight here from someone who deeply cares about Israel as a Jewish state, and has clearly studied it in detail for years.

    While I was expecting history, I got a very interesting, and insightful opinion. I would recommend this book!

    Regarding the narration, I also was annoyed by the fake Israeli accent put on by the narrator. Having grown up with Israeli teachers, it was clearly not a truly Israeli accent. However, you do get used to it, and the narrator is otherwise very skilled and interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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