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preston

farmington, NM, United States | Member Since 2009

ratings
133
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
9

  • World Made by Hand: The World Made by Hand Novels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By James Howard Kunstler
    • Narrated By Jim Meskimen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (214)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (144)

    The electricity has flickered out. The automobile age is over. In Union Grove, a little town in upstate New York, the future is nothing like people thought it would be. Life is hard and close to the bone. Transportation is slow and dangerous, so food is grown locally at great expense of time and energy, and the outside world is largely unknown. There may be a president, and he may be in Minneapolis now, but people aren’t sure.

    David says: "A kind of Amish post-apocalypse"
    "A good read (listen)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The pace of the book is good, and without being overly depressing, the author paints a good picture of a world that has run down, where society has had to regroup in small communities and revert to outdated technologies that don't depend on the Internet, electricity, fossil fuels, etc.

    The only mildly annoying aspect is that during most dialogues, the "____ said" gets repetitive.

    For a more fantastical portrayal of a world that has "moved on" I recommend Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Titan: Gaean Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John Varley
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    Overall
    (264)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (126)

    John Varley's monumental trilogy - Titan, Wizard, and Demon - has achieved cult status, hailed as a modern triumph of the imagination by critics and fans. It begins with humankind's exploration of a massive satellite orbiting Saturn. It culminates in a shocking discovery: the satellite is a giant alien being. Her name is Gaea. Her awesome interior is mind-boggling - because it is a mind. A mind that calls out to explorers...and transforms all who enter.

    Ted says: "A good if dated SciFi Story"
    "Yawn...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I gave up after almost two hours. What I read was very similar to C. S. Lewis' "Out of the Silent Planet" (1965). Lewis can be forgiven for writing a slow Sci-Fi book almost 50 years ago. Varley tries to compensate by throwing in some sex scenes, but it wasn't enough to keep me listening. Fortunately, the book only cost me $4.95, so I can't complain....

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Bruce Levine
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    The J. G. Randall Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Illinois and associate editor of North and South magazine, Bruce Levine presents a gripping chronicle of the cultural and economic upheaval the South experienced during and after the Civil War. Drawing upon a treasure trove of diaries, letters, newspaper articles, and government documents, Levine offers a unique perspective on the old South's demise through the voices of those who lived through the conflict.

    Steve says: "Merely ok. . ."
    "I kept waiting to get interested"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once I had gotten half way through the book, I realized it probably wasn't going to get any more interesting. I was hoping to have some new insight offered, but if it was there I missed it. Rather, the author is quite repetitive. Each point has several quotes from contemporary diarists, etc. that confirm/repeat the point. For a great Civil War history, I recommend Battle Cry of Freedom, by McPherson.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere---from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. In this age of terrorism we live in, the role of conspiracy is a serious one---one that can fuel radical or fringe elements to violence. For award-winning journalist David Aaronovitch, there came a time when he started to see a pattern among these inflammatory theories.

    WriterGirl says: "Another debunker of conspiracy theories"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first negative thing about this audiobook is obvious immediately. The narrator feels the need to mimic foreign accents. His is a mild, pleasant British accent. But when quoting Germans, French, Americans, etc. he tries to use the corresponding accent, which is distracting. (And when I, an American, here British people trying an American accent, it's laughable). Anyway, having different voices/accents is helpful for fiction, but for nonfiction the narrator would be better just reading in his own voice.

    My main disappointment was that the material just wasn't that interesting, I'm sad to say. Some of the conspiracies were more interesting than others. Perhaps an abridged reading would have held my interest longer.

    This book might be better to read than to listen to. Reading would avoid the distracting foreign accents, plus a reader can skim and scan when there's more detail than holds the interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17842)
    Performance
    (15867)
    Story
    (15822)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Excellent; complete contrast with Under the Dome"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    Yes, if I had time. The story is just terrific. The characters, the plot, the pace.


    What other book might you compare 11-22-63 to and why?

    I almost didn't buy this book because I was so disappointed with King's last long novel, Under the Dome. Under the Dome would have made an interesting 100 page short story but was expanded to the tedious thing that it is. 11-22-63, by contrast, was terrific as a long novel.


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

    Wasson, who also narrated King's book of short stories "Full Dark, No Stars" is probably my favorite narrator anywhere! Perhaps he was part of why I loved 11-22-63.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9014)
    Performance
    (3241)
    Story
    (3318)

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Frank says: "Not his best"
    "Terrible"
    Overall

    I wish I had read the dozens of negative reviews before wasting my credit on this one. Silly story, flat characters, and annoying gimmicks (Dan Brown is constantly keeping the reader in the dark about what the characters are seeing). By the end I was laughing, it was so bad!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shutter Island

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1035)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (316)

    Summer, 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them.

    But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe's radical approach to psychiatry?

    Barry says: "Outstanding psychological thriller set in the 50s"
    "Better than the movie"
    Overall

    This was a great book. I'm glad I read it before seeing the movie (which was disappointing).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gunslinger: The Dark Tower I

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7066)
    Performance
    (3474)
    Story
    (3527)

    Eerie, dreamlike, set in a world that is weirdly related to our own, The Gunslinger introduces Roland Deschain of Gilead, of In-World that was, as he pursues his enigmatic antagonist to the mountains that separate the desert from the Western Sea in the first volume of The Dark Tower series. Roland, the last gunslinger, is a solitary figure, perhaps accursed, who with a strange single-mindedness traverses an exhausted, almost timeless landscape of good and evil.

    Valerie says: "Just As Wonderful as I Remembered!"
    "King's Opus"
    Overall

    The Dark Tower series is superb. When I read it the first time, I was depressed when it finally came to an end. The second time through, The Gunslinger is still a great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kevin Roose
    • Narrated By Kevin Roose
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (94)

    No drinking, no smoking, no cursing, no dancing, no R-rated movies. Kevin roose wasn't used to rules like these. As a sophomore at Brown University, he spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an a cappella group, and fitting right in with Brown's free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But when Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservative Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, obedience is no longer optional.

    Timothy says: "A good listen"
    "Outstanding"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a great read, for anyone who is either evangelical or knows any evangelicals. Light-hearted, and hopefully a bridge between cultures.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Still Missing

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Chevy Stevens
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1317)
    Performance
    (695)
    Story
    (705)

    On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old Realtor, had three goals: sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she’s about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

    Richard Delman says: "A singular voice; a horrendous story."
    "Disappointing"
    Overall

    I don't know why I expected this book to be interesting. Instead, it was tiresome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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