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neil

FORT PIERCE, FL, United States | Member Since 2008

290
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 50 reviews
  • 147 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
14

  • I Am Charlotte Simmons

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (708)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (179)

    Dupont University: the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition....Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

    Eric says: "Decadence through the eyes of a ?good girl?"
    "An American Classic"
    Overall

    This wasn't the easiest book. At some points, I
    felt rather uncomfortable with the story. Just goes
    to show you...the generation gap is real. Especially lately. But, discomfort and angst, nowwithstanding, this book seems to me to be very important, a literate chronical of its time.
    If you hate hearing foul language, think twice before you listen to it. The "f" word and its
    siblings seem to make up 20% of the dialogue.
    But, Wolf said he tried for authenticity. What
    is more painful, if the writer is accurate, is
    how our poor English language has been reduced
    and mangled in, of all places, our palaces of
    "higher learning". Anyone who thinks today's
    kids are smarter than ever should read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Human Division

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1086)
    Performance
    (971)
    Story
    (984)

    The people of Earth now know that the human Colonial Union has kept them ignorant of the dangerous universe around them. For generations the CU had defended humanity against hostile aliens, deliberately keeping Earth an ignorant backwater and a source of military recruits. Now the CU’s secrets are known to all. Other alien races have come on the scene and formed a new alliance - an alliance against the Colonial Union. And they’ve invited the people of Earth to join them. For a shaken and betrayed Earth, the choice isn't obvious or easy.

    linda says: "A Middling Position"
    "Decent In Parts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think this could have been a pretty good audiobook. Mr. Dufris' narration is fist rate, throughout. Having said that, in my opinion, the author fails on two levels. First, it is too "cutesy". The dialogue used by all the characters smacks of a tv sitcom...maybe even not a bad one, by today's standards. But I can't take it very long. And, it never stops.
    My 2nd dislike...overt and overwhelming "political correctness". One can call me a "male chauvinist pig" or something similar, and I won't argue the point. But, the idea of portraying all female characters acting like tough guys, and espousing violence and, in general, acting just like egotistic, alpha males minus the anatomical trappings doesn't seem to serve either the story line or provide any human insights of worth. It's just a form of social pandering that seems to be in vogue, I guess. So as to sell more books of this kind to women? I don't know. Scalzi has talent. Mostly, here, its wasted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Excalibur

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    In Excalibur, we follow Arthur and Derfel to that enormous struggle and incredible victory. It not only throws the Saxons back, but reunites Arthur and Guinevere. He might hope now to be left alone, to have a time of peace after gaining a great victory, but new enemies arise to destroy all he has achieved. First is Mordred himself, the crippled king who owes everything to Arthur and now tries to kill his benefactor. Mordred's ally is Nimue who has come to hate her mentor, Merlin.

    neil says: "The Best Of Its Kind"
    "The Best Of Its Kind"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cornwell is a very good writer of historical fiction. Not only is this book and the trilogy the best work he's done, its the best working of the Arthurian legend I have ever come across.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter King

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (60)

    The tale begins in Dark Age Britain, a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared, where a child-king sits unprotected on the throne, where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people. It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns, a man at once utterly human and truly heroic: a man of honor, loyalty, and amazing valor; a man who loves Guinevere more passionately than he should; a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant.

    Laurel says: "The Legend of Arthur - More Real & More Heroic"
    "As Good As It Gets"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The best Cornwell has done. More than that, the best take on the Aurthurian legend that I have ever read or heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Enemy of God

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (34)

    At the end of The Winter, King Arthur fought the battle that forces unity on the warring British kingdoms and now he sets out to face the real enemy - the English (it is one of the great ironies of the Arthur stories that he should have become an English hero when, if he existed at all, he was a great war-leader who opposed the invading Sais). First, though, Merlin leads a perilous expedition into the mysterious west to retrieve a cauldron, one of the treasures of Britain.

    neil says: "The Best of Cornwell"
    "The Best of Cornwell"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a major Cornwell fan, although I don't feel everything he's done...and I've read and/or listented to 95% of his work...is worthy of high praise. As a writer of action packed historical fiction, he is peerless, in my opinion. This trilogy, the Warlord trilogy, is his best work, I think. Not only does it completely refresh the Arthurian legend and give it more credence than anything I have read before or since, but, it should rank as a honest to goodness, major "classic". It is every bit as much a real classic as Mallory's work. Cornwell exhibits as much and more wit in these 3 books than anything he's done before or since. His insights into the age and the individual lives of of the characters in that time are without parallel...no one I've ever read has done this better. Each of the books, "The Winter King", this one, and "Excalibur" is, in terms of quality, the equal of the other two.
    Either reading them or listening to them being read has given me immense pleasure and
    more food for thought than was easily digestible. There is no better means of immersing oneself in the legend of Arthur, the King, than reading Cornwell's Warlord trilogy. .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prefect

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1331)
    Performance
    (1070)
    Story
    (1069)

    Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the multifaceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that left 900 people dead, a crime that appalls even a hardened cop like Dreyfus.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Best yet of the Revelation Space series"
    "Good Til The End"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, I am a fan of Reynolds and I like John Lee's narration. I have listened to almost everything he's done and Lee's narrated, until Reynold's came up with "Blue Remembered Earth" and its sequel. The former, I despised. I did not bother with the latter.
    "The Prefect" is a very good example of Reynold's writing, and included good characterization, effortless descriptive power and able fostering of my desire "to know what comes next". John Lee did well with it.. I have read it twice and listened to it, once. The ending did not ring my chimes, but it was alright. The rest of it was very good to excellent.
    It helps if one is familiar with the setting which Reynold's created over several novels to place the story in. But, even those who are not familiar with that setting will enjoy this work, I think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Country

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1138)
    Performance
    (1019)
    Story
    (1016)

    They burned her home. They stole her brother and sister. But vengeance is following. Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

    Kristina says: "Freakin' Awesome!"
    "Another Great Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Joe Abercrombie is a master of the genre. And, I've thoroughly enjoyed this whole series. Steven Pacey is, as usual, superb. This work and series,, in my view, is fantasy writing at its very best. I've praised other books in this series as well as the writer and the reader. This book is just as well written and read as the others. I think it would probably benefit the reader who has never read Joe Abercrombie, before,to begin with "The Blade, Itself".
    I would love to see this series go on for a long while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Knight

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Miles Cameron
    • Narrated By Matthew Wolf
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (704)
    Performance
    (636)
    Story
    (646)

    Twenty-eight florins a month is a huge price to pay for a man to stand between you and the Wild. Twenty-eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern's jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men - or worse, a company of mercenaries - against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder. It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.

    Michael says: "I Love Rolling The Dice Here At Audible!"
    "About Par For The Genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fantasy novel which was hard for me to finish. Although I listen to a lot of SF and Fantasy, I usually find that good writing in the latter category is hard to come by. I've found that most of the posted reviews I which rave about this or that fanatasy novel are not to be trusted. Because when I try most of these highly rated books, they give me literary indigestion. Most are just awful...poorly written rehashes of hackneyed themes which were, in most cases, handled a lot better by earlier writers. Still, I keep trying them out, looking for the few that might just be gems. And, I've found a few...a few.
    The Red Knight is an example of another disappointment. In some parts, near the beginning, it even showed flashes of the start of something really good...the single reason I gave it more than 1 star. But, the flash dies off quickly, each time, and the reader is forced to continue to trudge on along the book's prosaic path to its mundane conclusion. I guess this kind of over worn, comic book, style of writing appeals to a lot of readers, like the ones who rate unimaginative, poorly written fantasies with 5 stars. But, for me, its just another "fantasy" novel I wasted my time with.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Red Square

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (167)

    In the summer of 1991, Arkady Renko has returned from exile and is back on the homicide squad in a newly democratic Moscow. When Arkady’s informant, Rudy Rosen, and his underworld bank-on-wheels are consumed in a ball of fire, Arkady finds himself in an investigation that points to the heart of Russia’s decaying infrastructure.

    janncam says: "Frank Muller is Arkady Renko"
    "Fine Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, I admit that I am a genuine fan of the writings of Martin Cruz Smith. He has always done a masterful job of writing fiction. I have read or listened to each novel in the "Arkady Renko" series several times, and was highly entertained each time. The same holds true for me with his other works, as well. Like all first rate writers, no matter in what genre they write, there is nothing "artificial" in their work. So it is here The story flows, the drama unfolds from the basic human nature of the characters and they remain true to those natures. Every word seems finely crafted to fit where it should and enhances the storyline.
    Frank Muller's job was well done. Someone new to Smith's writings and this series, might do well to start with "Gorky Park", which is the first in this chronological series. But, by itself, this is a good book to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7636)
    Performance
    (3378)
    Story
    (3384)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "Just Good Stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author can make very entertaining stuff out of the seemingly non grandiose. He's done that repeatedly in (what I'm able to recall of) his non fiction books. In this one, he takes a big bite of "...Nearly Everything", thoughtfully chews on it and and cleverly reports how it tastes. This report, read out loud, with exquisite pacing and wit, by Richard Mathews, actually becomes more entertaining when listened to a 2nd or 3rd time...when one picks up the bits and nuances they've missed during earlier readings. The book seems seriously factual and intellectually sound. But, contrary to the usual lack of humor most often found in such writings, this book is a hoot. It is slyly witty and darkly humorous. The narrator is superb in bringing out these qualities. And by doing so, this reading does a great job in helping one gain a bit of honest perspective of one's actual place in our universe, I believe. Very enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ash

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By James Herbert
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (61)

    David Ash, detective of the paranormal, is sent to the mysterious Comraich Castle, secluded deep in the Scottish countryside, to investigate a strange, high-profile case. A man has been found crucified in a locked room. The reports suggest that the cliff-top castle is being haunted.... Who or what is the reclusive hooded figure that Ash has seen from the window walking across the courtyard in the dead of night? What are the strange, animal-like sounds that come from the surrounding woods? And why are the castle's inhabitants so reluctant to talk about what they have seen?

    Unzipt says: "What A Mess!"
    "Not even Pacey could save this turkey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I managed to get through to Chapter 7 and couldn't listen any further. Stephen Pacey is as good a British narrator as I've ever heard...but even his credible narration could not make this awful novel into something entertaining, mildly interesting or enjoyable. The author should do "graphic novels" and forget any literary ambitions, at least, in this genre. Listening to this brought back the memory of listening to another audiobook wherein the author attempted to describe his characters almost entirely, by describing or mentioning, the popular music they liked. This author, though, uses a very different method to achieve the same effect... by using untold billions of descriptive adjectives and adverbs to "flesh out" his characters, settings, etc. But every word "picture" he tries to paint seems drawn, in sets, from previous material that is ever so familiar. His literary "inventions" are so trite, so hackneyed, that, although one may not remember the exact,original source(s), one already knows them by heart, long before this author ever pasted them in. Like, "the castle". Think about every popular image you have of a dark and brooding manse, all the images that one has ever heard about, read about, seen in movies or tv, or video games, even. Now, if one selects the image one has encountered most frequently, that seems to be the most popular, the one that just pops up first, that's the one the author uses. He applied that method to the first 7 chapters of this book, at least. Call the method "Write By Numbers". The novel is supposed to be a mystery, I think. This author does not know a mystery from a flight of migrating Canadian geese.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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