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gzl5ry

Always open to something new, but my favorite genres are horror, sci-fi/fantasy with more of a leaning toward fantasy.

Oakland, MI, United States | Member Since 2013

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 86 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • The Books of Blood, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Clive Barker
    • Narrated By Simon Vance, Dick Hill, Peter Berkrot, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (85)

    Weaving tales of the everyday world transformed into an unrecognizable place, where reason no longer exists and logic ceases to explain the workings of the universe, Clive Barker provides the stuff of nightmares in packages too tantalizing to resist. This first volume contains the short stories : "The Book of Blood," "The Midnight Meat Train," "The Yattering and Jack," "Sex, Death, and Starshine," and "In the Hills, the Cities,"

    Steven Savile says: "Everyone's a Book of Blood"
    "Flawless Execution!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    To those who like the horror/weird genres. Clive Barker was one of my early forays into the horror genre when I was but a wee lad of 12 or 13, The Books of Blood being the first stuff I had read of his. And now, some 25 years later, I find this treasure, that 'The Books' are being read into audiobook! I will buy every one, credit or no credit, Audible cannot produce them fast enough, please hurry Audible, four more volumes await!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Each story is unique so there is not a particular character, but one of my favorite stories is The Yattering and Jack, just a fun concept that the demon sent to drive Jack into insanity and submission could in turn be driven into endless frustration by a human.


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

    Every narrator turned out to be excellent for the given story. Pronunciation and character portrayal were excellent. I was only familiar with Simon Vance through his reading of Tigana (which I liked very much) and so was pleased to see him doing Sex, Death and Starshine. He pulled off the characters excellent, he has just the right British accent for the artsy, uppity theater types found in the story.


    If you could take any character from The Books of Blood, Volume 1 out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Oh Audible and your questions... I would say Jack Polo. I would ask him how he knew what was happening and how he could remain so calm and nonchalant in the face of being haunted by a devil.


    Any additional comments?

    I love that Audible has brought these in and thanks to Crossroads Press for producing them, please do the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Darkness That Comes Before: The Prince of Nothing, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By R. Scott Bakker
    • Narrated By David DeVries
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (159)

    In a world scarred by an apocalyptic past, evoking a time both 2,000 years past and 2,000 years into the future, untold thousands gather for a crusade. Among them, two men and two women are ensnared by a mysterious traveler, Anasûrimbor Kellhus - part warrior, part philosopher, part sorcerous, charismatic presence - from lands long thought dead. The Darkness That Comes Before is a history of this great holy war, and like all histories, the survivors write its conclusion.

    Andy says: "Finally in audiobook!"
    "A Slow Starter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Not really. Friends have been after me for years to read this series and I just didn't get around to it. The book is a slow starter, but just good enough to keep the reader going toward the last third of the book or so where things start coming together nicely.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Well, I like philosophy. People should understand before going into this series, Bakker is a philosopher in real life as well as fantasy author. His world is large, complex and the people in it are complex. This is no dragons and magicians' apprentices type of fantasy world. The land Bakker writes in is at war and the magic is nasty, hard. The entire series is about a crusade launched against a "heathen" people who years before had taken over lands that once belonged to one of the empires involved. Many things involved in the series parallel our own earth's history (the Crusades mostly). The series is chock full of philosophy, religion, magic, war, politics and plotting/backstabbing and even tragic love. I liked the level Bakker writes at even though I enjoy more light fantasy too (something like the Wheel of Time).


    Which character – as performed by David DeVries – was your favorite?

    He does a good job with everybody I think. I came into the series blind, not having read any of it, and by the end I think he represented the character's traits pretty well. It was interesting seeing the names in print after hearing them pronounced. I also suggest for anybody coming into the series without a book to go Online and find maps of the world so you understand what nations and peoples Bakker is writing about and where they are from in the world.


    Could you see The Darkness That Comes Before being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    It's probably a little too philosophically deep to make a script and retain all of the plotting and conniving and philosophizing going on. The magic would be really expensive to do effects for also.


    Any additional comments?

    I stated before that the book started slow and dragged a bit. But, I will say that by the end of the first book I was ready to immediately buy the second book because I wanted to hear more of the story. I will also tell you that the rest of the series is definitely not a letdown, the second and third book are definitely better, so don't get discouraged if you decide to dive in and find it a little slow at first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Corners: Twelve Tales of Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Michael Bray
    • Narrated By Frank Wright
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    What lurks within the darkness? What crawls outside of our perception? What happens when the world as we know it stops making sense? When reality isn't what it seems, and the rules no longer apply...

    Amazon Customer says: "what a great find!!"
    "Pretty good, I'd like to read/listen to more."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Dark Corners to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read the print version.


    What other book might you compare Dark Corners to and why?

    That's hard to say, but his style is not really gory or fantastical. He likes playing around in the mind, showing how people think inside their heads rather than outer experiences. So, I imagine the title describes his style best, he looks at the dark corners of the human mind and the human experience.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked all the stories. I was actually impressed with the first story, which in a roundabout way was about zombies. I don't like zombies, I think they are overdone along with vampires, but the story kept me interested even though I knew where it was heading. A few of the stories were fairly predictable, yet Mr. Bray's writing style is strong enough to keep them going on their own merit anyway. Also, I really liked how he ran different stories together, quite interesting and well done. He sometimes leaves something hanging in one story to answer what happened in a later story. Kind of neat and clever.


    Any additional comments?

    To me a 3 star book was ok, but I don't know if I'll check out anything by that author again. A 4 star book was pretty darn good, but not the best and I definitely want to get around to checking the author out again. A 5 star book is one that has blown my socks off and I immediately want to start another work by that author. I gave this book/recording 4 stars. I want to read/listen to more of Mr. Bray, the stories were good enough to want more. A few of the stories even get close to 5 star territory for me. I will definitely be making room on my list for more of his works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Damnation Game

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Clive Barker
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    Marty Strauss, a gambling addict recently released from prison, is hired to be the personal bodyguard of Joseph Whitehead, one of the wealthiest men in the world. The job proves more complicated and dangerous than he thought, however, as Marty soon gets caught up in a series of supernatural events involving Whitehead, his daughter (who is a heroin addict), and a devilish man named Mamoulian, with whom Whitehead made a Faustian bargain many years earlier, during World War II.

    gzl5ry says: "Awesome release, I am a happy man!"
    "Awesome release, I am a happy man!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Damnation Game rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Hard to say, I began my love of reading as a young teen with Stephen King and Piers Anthony, some Dean Koontz, etc. But when I first read Barker, I thought to myself, "You can do that?!?!" I can't express in words alone how please I am that Crossroads Press is releasing new audio versions of Mr. Barker's works, first the Books of Blood (excellent and highly recommended) and now The Damnation Game. Thank you Crossroads Press and Audible!!!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hard to say again, none of the characters are really that likable. Yet, each brings their own personality and flavor to the novel. The novel is very much a story of regret over life decisions. I think we all have some of those, so each character can be identified with to some extent. The only purely evil character in the book must be Anthony Breer, the last of the Razor Eaters, truly as disgusting and vile a character as I have ever read in a novel.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    I actually liked his Whitehead as well as his Mamoulian. He expressed early Whitehead's cleverness well as well as his later cowardice and regret and yet he never took me over into complete sympathy (of which Whitehead really never is a truly sympathetic character), so I think Mr. Vance nailed him. I liked the odd, slow drawl he gave Mamoulian, it made him seem ancient and "Old European".


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but there are some parts that are just downright creepy. Going through the whole story knowing that Breer is "not what he seems" (don't want to spoil anything here) while Breer doesn't even realize what is happening was genius. And just when we think we know how messed up Breer is, BAM! we get to see Mamoulian's basement and what lurks there... Barker hit it out of the park there. The descriptions of the nihilistic emptiness of "the void" is actually pretty disturbing in some respects, it makes one wonder about death and emptiness. The book definitely has it's moments.


    Any additional comments?

    This was Mr. Barker's first foray into a full novel and it differs somewhat from his Books of Blood short stories. The I gave everything only four stars because to get a five stars from me must mean it was some of the best I have ever read. I think this novel really merits maybe four and a half stars but not quite five because of one simple reason, it is quite long and I don't know that it really needed to be that long. Again, I think this was because it was his first novel, really nothing else. As well, I enjoy Mr. Vance, but some of the voices I recognized to be very similar to his reading of Tigana y Guy Gavriel Kay. That was just slightly off-putting to me, but I do believe Mr. Vance was the right narrator for this novel. His English accent matches very well to Mr. Barker's works. Other than that, I highly recommend The Damnation Game for any connoisseurs of the horror genre. You really can't go wrong with Clive Barker. Now, I await Weaveworld!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gardens of the Moon: The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1333)
    Performance
    (1188)
    Story
    (1192)

    The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dreaded Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, their lone surviving mage, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, yet holds out.

    Adnan says: "An engrossing yet demanding high epic"
    "Welcome to Malazan, Prepare for a Brutal Ride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Gardens of the Moon in three words, what would they be?

    1. Brutal - The world the Malazans novels is brutal and hard, there is no black and white here, everybody is a moral shade of gray. 2. Harsh - Conquering armies squashing resistance, coups, set-ups, the world of the Malazans is a no holds barred fistfight of human and non-human races all vying for dominance. 3. Unforgiving - No character is guaranteed a free ride to glory in this world. Every man for himself in a battle royal of human and non-human political maneuvering and warfare.


    What about Ralph Lister’s performance did you like?

    I liked Ralph Lister but I only gave him 4 stars for this book. I felt he had a few characters a little bit off from what I imagined them (I had read six of the books before). I will say that he improves these characters along with adding a few new voice in Book 2 and by Book 3 he is a slam dunk 5 star performer. Book 3 is one of the best performed book I've ever heard. That is why I am saddened that he is not scheduled to do the rest of the series. For those who know who Kruppe is, Lister completely nails his character and had me laughing aloud continually during his parts.


    Any additional comments?

    The Malazan series is not an easy read. You are dropped right into a world in a specific time in its history with no knowledge of how the magic system works, who all the players are, who the non-humanoid creatures are, etc. It takes a while to get the hang of what is going on, but once you do Gardens of the Moon is a tale well worth waiting to see played out. Interestingly, I had read 6 of the 10 books previously and had struggled with some of them. But, I thought Gardens of the Moon as well as Book 2 and Book 3 read in audiobook format much smoother. The jumps between characters and even continents really read well through the audio, much smoother and clearer than what I remember when actually reading them. If you like high/epic type fantasy and aren't afraid of a harsh, unforgiving and sometimes brutal world of injustice and indifference then the world of the Malazans is a worthwhile investment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 20th Century Ghosts

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (416)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (207)

    Imogene is young and beautiful. She kisses like a movie star and knows everything about every film ever made. She's also dead and waiting in the Rosebud Theater for Alec Sheldon on an afternoon in 1945...Arthur Roth is a lonely kid with big ideas and a gift for attracting abuse. It isn't easy to make friends when you're the only inflatable boy in town.

    Kasey says: "Wonderful and recommended"
    "A Very Good Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to 20th Century Ghosts again? Why?

    No, but that is because I don't typically read or listen to books multiple times, too much new stuff to move on to. But, I have recommended 20th Century Ghosts to multiple people now.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tough one because each story is a bit unique. Not all the stories contain actual ghosts but I felt Joe Hill was trying to say that a ghost isn't necessarily an ethereal spirit walking the earth, there are many kinds of ghosts including those that dwell in our memories. Some of the stories are actually quite sweet and some quite creepy. I mean Peter Kilrue... yikes! But the ghost in the theater... awww...


    Have you listened to any of David LeDoux’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. I liked Mr. LeDoux overall but gave him 4 stars instead of 5 because he is a little light in the female voice category. I think with some refinement, Mr. LeDoux is a 5 star performer.


    Any additional comments?

    As I stated before, each story is a little bit different. Some are actually on the sweet side and some just horror story train wrecks on a one way stop to creepville. Having never read/listened to Joe Hill's work before I have to say I am highly impressed. You can see glimpses of his dad's style but at the same time make no mistake about it, Joe Hill is entirely his own man, his own writer. I am looking forward to delving into his novels next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Ken Ilgunas
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    The story of a student who went to extraordinary lengths - including living in a van on a campus parking lot - to complete his education without sacrificing his financial future. In a frank and self-deprecating voice, memoirist Ken Ilgunas writes about the existential terror of graduating from college with $32,000 in student debt. Inspired by Thoreau, Ilgunas set himself a mission: get out of debt as soon as humanly possible. To that end, he undertook an extraordinary three-year transcontinental journey.

    gzl5ry says: "Fantastic Book!"
    "Fantastic Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Walden on Wheels the most enjoyable?

    I loved a lot about it. I could appreciate Ken's passion about paying off his student loans, about not wanting to live in debt, his frustration over the job market and the passion with which he came to embrace the wild. He has a tremendous amount of passion for life.


    What other book might you compare Walden on Wheels to and why?

    None that I can think of. I never read Walden so I can't make that comparison. Maybe I will read it now.


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

    I thought he read it very well. He's a little weak on female voices but overall he was smooth and brought out the emotions felt by Ken, his buddy, his mother and so on. Good choice to read the book.


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

    The entire book was enjoyable, can't think of any particularly dull moments.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book and I highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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