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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

ratings
65
REVIEWS
65
FOLLOWING
17
FOLLOWERS
10
HELPFUL VOTES
69

  • Midnight at the Well of Souls

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jack L. Chalker
    • Narrated By Peter Macon
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (99)

    At the heart of a bizarre planet lay the goal of every being that had ever lived.… Below average in height and unprepossessing in appearance, Nathan Brazil is an unassuming if cynical starship owner, carrying passengers and cargo for a living - hardly the sort of person to hold the fate of the entire universe in his hands. But when Nathan detours from his route to answer a distress call, a hidden stargate hurls him and his passengers to the Well World, the master control planet for the cosmos. Billions of years ago, a godlike race unlocked all the secrets of space and time and remade the universe according to their grand design.

    Michael says: "Step Through The Portal, And Be Changed Forever!"
    "Surprisingly Terrific"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Midnight at the Well of Souls in three words, what would they be?

    Really Good Sci-Fi


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Midnight at the Well of Souls?

    Hard to say...Chalkers' overall writing style was breezy, enjoyable and entertaining. The entire book is part adventure, sci-fi, fantasy and character development. I found myself getting drawn in bit by bit and didn't want it to end. Thankfully there are others in this series.


    What about Peter Macon’s performance did you like?

    At times it was stilted...maybe the performance demanded it..overall I liked him a lot


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

    Yes...I just never do that with audible. I usually listen to books in my car and at the gym.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't understand why Chalker was not more popular and well known. This writing is on par with early Asimov and the style is reminiscent of classic science fiction. This is entertaining, fast paced, and utterly enjoyable. Something that will let you relax and take you out of your every day. Loved it.

    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
    (123)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (98)

    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
    (1995)
    Performance
    (968)
    Story
    (980)

    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
    (416)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (384)

    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
    (1203)
    Performance
    (834)
    Story
    (840)

    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.

    0 of 0 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
    (1069)
    Performance
    (742)
    Story
    (746)

    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
  • The Robots of Dawn: The Robot Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Detective Elijah Baiey is called to the Spacer world Aurora to solve a bizarre case of roboticide. The prime suspect is a gifted roboticist who had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to commit the crime. There's only one catch: Baley and his positronic partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, must prove the man innocent. For in a case of political intrigue and love between woman and robot gone tragically wrong, there's more at stake than simple justice. This time Baley's career, his life, and Earth's right to pioneer the Galaxy lie in the delicate balance.

    thomas says: "Some of Audible and Asimov's Best"
    "Some of Audible and Asimov's Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Asimov is a very underrated writer. The Robot Series are a good example of his early work, Robots of Dawn was written later in the series and you can see how he matured as a writer, thinker and puzzle creator/solver. If you are an Asimov completest, this book represents an important bridge in understanding the connection between the Galactic Empire and the Foundation. Great stuff..


    What other book might you compare The Robots of Dawn to and why?

    It favorably compares to the other Robot novels, but this is a more mature version of the story. The themes are adult and take the story out of its childhood premises of earlier novels. In fact he plays on the theme of the young child and robot fascination with an interesting literary allusion.


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

    I really like the work that Dufris did in this series. Very well done.


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

    The ending to this story is clever, well executed and a bridge to later novels, series and story lines. The intelligence of Asimov in weaving a complex story together is exemplified in how this specific story arch ends. the next book, Robots and Empire is somewhat different since Elijah Baily is only in that story historically. We say good to Elijah in this story as a foundational Asimov character, but it is not done melodramatically, its done in a way that demonstrates his intelligence and tenacity.


    Any additional comments?

    I implore Audible to make available Robots and Empire. I realize digital rights are bit complicated these days but this is an important story and the bridge to Prelude to Foundation. I would like to thank Audible for making the Robot Series available, it was briefly pulled off the Audible shelves, while they fixed an audio problem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Naked Sun: The Robot Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. On the beautiful Outer World planet of Solaria, a handful of human colonists lead a hermit-like existence, their every need attended to by their faithful robot servants. To this strange and provocative planet comes Detective Elijah Baley, sent from the streets of New York with his positronic partner, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve an incredible murder that has rocked Solaria to its foundations.

    thomas says: "A Bedrock of Modern Sci Fi"
    "A Bedrock of Modern Sci Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Naked Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I rank this book very highly. This series was taken off Audible for a few months to correct some audio errors. The series is back, and its spectacular. If you are a fan of modern sci-fi, you owe it to yourself to return to this classic series. It helps to form the foundation of many of the literary conceits common today. Asimov changed our perceptions are the man-machine relationship from Frankenstein to a story about the complexities of life and it works great.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Fundamentally Asimov uses the basis of Kant's logic and weaves it into a detective story. This is somewhat similar to but very different from other stories in the genre. He imbues the characters with humanism and reason to weave a fascinating story that forms the basis for his Galactic Empire and Foundation Series.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Any scene with the the main character(s) and the humanoid(s). I think the clever wordplay is difficult to match in any other author. Finding humanity in the non-human goes beyond personification, its just brilliant.


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

    Asimov is not really that type of author. A common criticism of him is that his characters are not very well developed. Not sure I fully agree, I view them as not having alot of melodramatic emotion. Asimov rarely plays the emotional card. These are books that define logic and complex story telling. I find the entire series the foundation of science fiction and modern literature. Asimov is an under rated author.


    Any additional comments?

    Great job audible. I implore you to get the last book in the series, Robots and Empire. I realize there might be copyright issues since it was written much later, but it is an important work in the Robot/Galactic/Foundation story arch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman
    • Narrated By Quincy Dunn-Baker
    Overall
    (703)
    Performance
    (631)
    Story
    (641)

    A dominant force in the sport of ultrarunning, Scott Jurek is a seven-time winner of the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run and a two-time winner of the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley. Eat & Run offers an inspirational account of Jurek’s life as a runner and vegan. Regaling listeners with jaw-dropping tales of endurance, Jurek also delivers sound science and practical advice—as well as his favorite plant-based recipes.

    Andy says: "one of the better ultramarathon books"
    "An Inspiring Story About a Real Athlete"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Eat and Run to be better than the print version?

    I thought was fantastic, Great narration, well done story. Overall this was a very enjoyable listening experience. At times inspirational, at times moving, and at times I could only listen in astonishment. It is easy to be jaded about the modern athlete today. Endorsement deals, mega contracts, a seemingly lack of interest. Here is a guy who without any future goal of money pursued a dream and focused on the process. If you area weekend athlete you will find this story inspirational.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Eat and Run?

    This is a very honest book. His life was difficult at times, but he overcame the only way he knew how, through hard work and dedication.


    Have you listened to any of Quincy Dunn-Baker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He did a good job. Jurek is a complicated guy. The narration brought come that fact. At times you might not like him in this story, but on balance the way he overcame is difficulties cannot be denied.


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

    I really cannot do that on my schedule, but this is a story that you want to come back to. I had not been exposed to Ultra Running before, being only a marathon runner myself, but the characters in this community were fascinating to me.


    Any additional comments?

    There seems to be a renewed interest today in health, natural eating and grass roots sports. I hope this book helps to fuel that interest and gets more people involved in their local 5k, Spartan Race or marathon. It helped me keep my interest alive and reiterated why I got involved in these activities to begin with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Christopher McDougall
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4686)
    Performance
    (2442)
    Story
    (2480)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

    Corey says: "Amazing read - even for non-runners"
    "Superb"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is not literature, and does not pretend to be. This is a a true life account of some remarkable athletes, and the beginnings of a sport that even today is pretty underground. I enjoyed it tremendously. Interspersed with accounts of the primary races, were short bios of the main competitors, and a thorough (if controversial) treatment of the cause of many running injuries. But fundamentally this is an amateur ethnography of a fascinating people in a remote part of the world that many of us will never travel to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As an amateur athlete I am always impressed about people who play a sport for the pure love of the spore; because it gives them joy and enriches their lives. Ultimately this book describes that approach to athletics, although within the confined of a sport I cannot comprehend. To say that ultra-marathoners are a breed apart in an understatement, this books paints that picture perfectly.


    Which character – as performed by Fred Sanders – was your favorite?

    It would be hard no to select Micah True, a hippie philosopher king who dedicated his life to something so obscure that he becomes the hero to many.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Fist off this is not a book on how to run. There are sections that describe the evolution of running shoes and design influences on training. What I got out of the books was to follow your passion, but make sure that passion is not motivated by money or fame. It you follow that path happiness is yours. This was not approached in a heavy handed way in the book, but McDougal painted this picture with humor and great story telling.


    Any additional comments?

    I have ready some criticism of this book and some of it is fair and some not. Sure, the author paints some characters in a Gonzo style that some might find a bit too much. I personally got a kick out of it. Others have said that some characters like Ann Trason were painted in a poor light. I think the author was fair to all, within the confines of a popular book. I came away with the utmost respect for Ann and others in this book, and lets face it, ultra marathoners can be a little quirky. It all made for a great read. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel Oreskes, Ron McLarty, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4627)
    Performance
    (4145)
    Story
    (4169)

    First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author's preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

    Michael says: "New to Neil"
    "My First Gaiman, and Certanly Not My Last"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production) the most enjoyable?

    A very good ensemble cast narrating this. Very well done. Similar in production quality to Dune, which I still think is the best Audible has done. This book was part horror story, part fantasy, part adult crime noir and part metaphysical treatise on what it means to be an American. This book takes on a lot and delivers. I intend on reading more Gaiman in the coming year, a good writer with big ideas.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)?

    Probably when Laura first encounters Shadow after her....well I will let you sort that out...fellow reader.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Shadow is one of the most memorable characters I have encountered in a while.


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

    The overall tone where Shadow accepts his fate and follows through on his mission/job, I thought that was not only interesting but at times moving.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book. I was looking for something different. I had wanted this year to explore some fantasy novels but a lot of fantasy is targeted to the young adult crowd. This is decidedly not. This is adult fiction, dealing with adult themes within a fantastic, surreal backdrop. At times it reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut, and at other times of Dan Simmons (Hyperion). I would highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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