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thomas

I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.

charlotte, NC, United States | Member Since 2012

73
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 70 reviews
  • 70 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
17
FOLLOWERS
10

  • How Music Works

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By David Byrne
    • Narrated By Andrew Garman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (99)

    Best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the iconic band Talking Heads, David Byrne has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the insightful How Music Works, Byrne offers his unique perspective on music - including how music is shaped by time, how recording technologies transform the listening experience, the evolution of the industry, and much more.

    Daniel says: ""David Byrne is a Human" by a Talking Heads fan"
    "Very Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I am a music fan first and although I really enjoy Talking Heads and David Byrne I would not consider myself a huge fan. With that said this is a very good book for anyone who likes music and want to understand it more. It comes off as thoughtful and well researched, with a point of view. I recommend it highly with those caveats and parameters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well David Byrne is essentially the character here ....his viewpoint is fascinating. I like the fact that he is explaining why his artistic taste and choices are what they are. Whether you agree or not, it's interesting.


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

    No but I thought he did a good job, well done Andrew.


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

    Having been to CBGB's I thought it was funny how he clinically described that down trodden club. His focus on acoustics and performance context was something I never thought of when in that space.


    Any additional comments?

    There have been a few other good music books I have read recently "The Life and Times of Brian Eno" and "Love Goes to Building on Fire"; both were very good. I would put this book on that par. If you are fan of musicology, the process of how art is made, anecdotes about a localized music scene and insight into how music gets made this is a great book. This is not a revealing, personality driven book about the rock n roll lifestyle. It descries music as art. I really enjoyed it, and I am glad I read/listened to it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1488)
    Performance
    (1229)
    Story
    (1232)

    A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.

    Harold says: "From Civilization into Darkness"
    "I am Glad I Listened to It.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh again? Why?

    One of the great things about Audible is that we can get around to reading books we either ignored as younger people or glossed over in school This is a great example. I am glad I read it, and it was well done. I am not sure I would listen to it again, but I rarely do that with Audible titles, there are just so many new ones out there I want to get to...


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well Kurtz is obviously the centerpiece of the story. An enigmatic figure who haunts everyone who meets him.


    What about Kenneth Branagh’s performance did you like?

    Great job, maybe the best I have heard on Audible (Tony Roberts was also great in Cat's Cradle). His reading showed a familiarity with the text that can only come with reading a classic book. This was evident in his performance.


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

    I rarely do that, but this is a very short book, and many readers might do that on a rainy day or on vacation.


    Any additional comments?

    British literature from this time period is very unique. Flowery language where symbolism and description trump the narrative and story line. The enigmatic Kurtz was fascinating, and has become archetypical for many other subsequent characters in literature and popular culture. Overall I highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I, Robot

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1619)
    Performance
    (591)
    Story
    (608)

    They mustn't harm a human being, they must obey human orders, and they must protect their own existence...but only so long as that doesn't violate rules one and two. With these Three Laws of Robotics, humanity embarked on a bold new era of evolution that would open up enormous possibilities, and unforeseen risks.

    Herb says: "Forget the violence - Read this one for the humor"
    "Written in 1950, Still Relevant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I sure would. I would recommend it especially to readers of Asimov who are interested in his early work, which servers as a precursor to the Robot, Galactic Empire and Robot Series. Good stories, that are a foundation (no pun intended) to later work.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Susan Calvin is alluded to in the Robot Series often, here we find out how elemental she was in robot development. The psychology angle plays an important part here and in later works. This thread was fascinating, and is woven through all the stories.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    Scott Brick does his usual fine job. Part of me likes the fact that sometimes he goes a little over the top in his performance. It adds to the Sci Fi Theater element to some of the stories here and in later performances. Well done.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I have said it before...Asimov does not translate well to movies. Many of these stores are "thought puzzles" that are based on interior action. Audible is the right delivery method for this materiel, a movie could never compare.


    Any additional comments?

    There are short stores, hence my 4 star review. This is not to diminish the short story model. But Asimov weaves these basic concepts into later, more complicated and ultimately more satisfying material. These stories are great, and I recommend them to any fan of Asimov or early Sci Fi. But read them as an appetizer to later material, or background information on characters and stores you love in the later works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prelude to Foundation

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (423)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (379)

    It is the year 12,020 G.E. and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future.

    Svenghali says: "Trantor, capital of a galactic empire!"
    "Fits Neaty into the Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Prelude to Foundation in three words, what would they be?

    Harry Seldon Begins...


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Prelude to Foundation?

    This book is consistent with Asimov's writing style throughout his career. There is a nicely tied up ending, that begs another question(s) ... if you liked his other books, you will love this one as well. I would say the ending was terrific, but the scenes in the region where hair was unacceptable were priceless...


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    Scott always does a great job, I wish he did the last 2 books in this series, but that should not stop anyone from reading this book. Scott does great job.


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

    No, too long, but that is not a negative. These books become companions, and spending time with them is time spent well.


    Any additional comments?

    Asimov is a unique writer. There is depth but this is not over philosophical. The characters are developed but these are not character studies. These are old fashion stories, meant to entertain, challenge your ideas and keep you involved. They are based on logic, not fighting or sex or melodrama. The story evolves, reveals itself and enthralls you until the end. I always suspect Asimov wrote these to primarily amuse himself, and the reader is invited into that approach. I highly recommend this book to any Asimov fan or fan of the Foundation Series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Caliban's War: The Expanse, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By James S. A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1044)
    Performance
    (960)
    Story
    (963)

    James S.A. Corey’s best-selling hit Leviathan Wakes earned Hugo and Locus Award nominations. In Caliban’s War, the second chapter of Corey’s Expanse series, a desperate Earth politician works tirelessly to prevent war from reigniting. Meanwhile, upheaval takes root on Venus and Ganymede. And amidst this tumult, James Holden and his crew on the Rocinante are charged with the impossible task of saving humanity from a terrifying fate.

    Ethan M. says: "No sophmore slump as both plot and writing improve"
    "Sophmore Slump"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Caliban's War in three words, what would they be?

    A little more dialogue and space opera elements than previous installment.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Holden. Great character in the Indian Jones vein, good characterization./


    Which character – as performed by Jefferson Mays – was your favorite?

    Jefferson Mays does a great job overall....Holden is my favorite


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

    No way too long....


    Any additional comments?

    This is a solid series, the second book is pretty much a set up for the third installment. Sometimes it gets a bit mired in politics, but the reader should hang in there...there are necessary plot installments here that will pay off in the third book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods Themselves

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (84)

    Only a few know the terrifying truth - an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun... They know the truth - but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy - but who will believe?These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth's survival.

    thomas says: "Asimov's Best Stand Alone Novel"
    "Asimov's Best Stand Alone Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Science Fiction. Asimov is the master and this is him at the top of his game. Intrigue, imagination, cleverly written and thought provoking


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gods Themselves?

    I found the depiction of the creatures in the parallel universe very touching. It was an interesting way to comment on humans, but in an indirect manner.


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

    I enjoy Scott Brick. The Asimov series used William Dufris for the Robot Series and he did a good job as well. Scott has done most (unfortunately not all) of the Galactic Empire and Foundation Series and he does a superb job. His strength is not in performing different characters but in adding gravity to the dialogue. You will have to keep track of the characters closely, but overall Scott is excellent.


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

    No way too long.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my last book in my re-read of the Asimov Series after many years, and it dawned on me why he is not given more credit as a writer. These stories are intended to entertain. They are detailed, clever and help you escape into another world. Although they have commentary on the human plight and our interaction with each other there is no pretension of climax or overly dramatic ending. Unlike much of what we see on TV and movies, the stories are more to be savored than change your life. Asimov wrote these to amuse himself primarily, and as a reader you almost wish they would never end. I cannot recommend them highly enough for someone looking to escape into a place that makes you forget about the everyday. To me that is what entertainment ultimately is, and why I think Asimov is underestimated and not given enough credit. Kudos Audible, great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zen to Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity SystemThe Ultimate Simple Productivity System

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 47 mins)
    • By Leo Babauta
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (99)

    Zen To Done (ZTD) is a system that is at once simple, and powerful, and will help you develop the habits that keep all of your tasks and projects organized, that keep your workday simple and structured, that keep your desk and email inbox clean and clear, and that keep you doing what you need to do, without distractions. This book was written for those who want to get their lives organized and actually execute the things on their to-do list by changing existing habits.

    Miroslaw says: "The simplest and right version of GTD. Recommended"
    "Short and Sorta OK"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Leo Babauta and/or Fred Stella?

    I don't think so. I enjoy Buddhism, Zen in particular. This approach to explaining it's essence was somewhat unappealing. A bit pompous, a bit condescending. This is probably a personal perspective completely, others may find it appealing.


    Has Zen to Done turned you off from other books in this genre?

    There are other books I enjoyed more on the topic. Audible has several good approaches. I would recommend listeners look elsewhere and check the ratings, which I generally find helpful.


    What didn’t you like about Fred Stella’s performance?

    Wooden, laconic.


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

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    No. I think Audible does a good job overall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fahrenheit 451

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Ray Bradbury
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2009)
    Performance
    (982)
    Story
    (994)

    The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires, and he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for 10 years, and never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs, nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames. He never questioned anything, until he met a 17-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid, and a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.

    Casey says: "Still Relevant"
    "Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Fahrenheit 451 in three words, what would they be?

    Knowledge Must be Free


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fahrenheit 451?

    I read it as a young boy, and then read it again as an older adult. I was surprised how much more it resonated. With more information available the need to wall people off from critical information for various reasons has become more complicated, yet the bottom line remains a fascinating point of discussion.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the fireman realized that the implications of his actions go beyond his job. I think every thinking person has a moment of clarity similar to this, a point where there is a realization that some things cannot be rationalized. Behavior must change, and with it the need the be a different person. This type of Sci Fi was popular in the early days of the genre. Today it may seem corny or simple, and I understand that fully. Complex, action based stories are important today in the marketplace. I would suggest however reading these types of stories occasionally as a respite from the prevalent genre. Classic Sci Fi, well done.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Go home and read a book, movies ruin most stories....


    Any additional comments?

    This is a short book. The genre emerged from a short story format and this was written during a transition to the longer, novel form. Some readers might not want to spend a credit on such a short book. But it is well done, and the story is simple and compelling. I recommend it highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foundation's Edge

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (439)
    Performance
    (404)
    Story
    (406)

    At last, the costly and bitter war between the two Foundations had come to an end. Now the two exiled citizens of the Foundation - a renegade Councilman and the doddering historian - set out in search of the mythical planet Earth. Meanwhile, someone - or something - outside of both Foundations seems to be orchestrating events to suit its own ominous purpose.

    chris says: "Enjoyed it as much as the original trilogy"
    "Series Climax"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Foundation's Edge again? Why?

    I might. All of the Foundation books are great, they are a multi-layered set of books that have timeless elements of political intrigue, human frailty and interplay and a story that spans generations. Science Fiction doesn't get much better.


    What other book might you compare Foundation's Edge to and why?

    Obviously the other Foundation books are similiar in tone however there are other books from the time period that I would say are somewhat similar. This era of Sci Fi put value on the importance of the genre beyond pure entertainment. Books that carry that same gravitas are Childhoods End, The Dispossessed, Dune and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. None of these books have the same story line but share with Foundations Edge the over riding concern to combine entertainment with a Sci Fi genre that has something to say about people and what we can become.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    I like Scott Brick, he is very involved in his characterizations. He never seems to be just reading, I think he does a great job. Some reviewers think he is a bit overly dramatic but that never bothers me.For this material, occasional melodrama is not out of place. He is one of my favorite narrators on Audible, and I wish he did the final book in the series.


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

    Probably not. I typically listen to 2 books a month. A lot of times, especially with a great book like Foundations Edge, I don't want to rush through the book. I want to savor it a bit, and I am somewhat disappointed when it is over. This book is an example of that listening experience.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall Audible has done a nice job with the Asimov Series. My only gripe is that Robots and Empire is missing, and the narrator on Forward the Foundation and Foundation and Earth is a bit misplaced. The Robot Series, Galactic Series and most of the Foundation Series is done excellently. Listening to 12 of the overall 15 books will more than suffice in getting a great understanding of what Asimov intended, and the arch of his universe. Well done Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foundation and Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1250)
    Performance
    (876)
    Story
    (883)

    The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. Unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women to preserve humanity's light against an inexorable tide of darkness and violence.

    Lynwood says: "Masterpiece"
    "Sci Fi Classic(s)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would. The audible version is stellar and these books (Foundation Series) are a must read for any fan of Sci Fi or speculative ficiton.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Everyone of them. Superbly done.


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

    I have read some negative reviews of Scott Brick and I don't get it. I think he is terrific, he lends the right tone of drama to material that lends itself to that type of delivery. He was great in the Dune Series and his work here is equally well done.


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

    Not really. These books are logical puzzles, with lots of characters and sub-plots. The fun is in keeping track of it all, in a world that Asimov has built just for you.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must read. Audible has done a great job with the Asimov books. I suggest reading reading the Robot Series and the Galactic Series first, then delving into the Foundation Series. However read Prelude to Foundation last, which is largely background information.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Second Foundation

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1110)
    Performance
    (779)
    Story
    (785)

    The fate of the Foundation rests on young Arcadia Darell, only 14 years old and burdened with a terrible secret. As its scientists gird for a final showdown with the Mule, the survivors of the First Foundation begin their desperate search. They too want the Second Foundation destroyed, before it destroys them.

    Shukhrat says: "Culmination point"
    "The Continuation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Second Foundation rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I consider The Foundation Series, as done by Audible to be one of the best done by Audible. Excellent work on a classic series.


    What other book might you compare Second Foundation to and why?

    The Foundation is similiar in scope to the Dune Series. At the time this was very groundbreaking, a created universe with its own rules.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    Every character is done with Scott's typical panache. He lends an aura of dramatic importance to the text that I greatly appreciate.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Read books, movies are never as good.


    Any additional comments?

    Well Done audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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