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  • Lock In (Narrated by Amber Benson)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Amber Benson
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,416
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,185
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,207

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love Amber's Narration

  • By Anthony on 09-11-14

Narrator needs a vocal coach

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-17-18

I picked this version because I heard the Will Wheaton narration was not good.
Well..The Narrator has horrible vocal fry - and reads the book like a bored sophomore cheerleader, so all the characters sound like bored sophomore cheerleaders.
Got to chapter 4 and had to give up.

  • The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.

  • A Novel
  • By: Neal Stephenson, Nicole Galland
  • Narrated by: Laurence Bouvard, Shelley Atkinson, Laural Merlington, and others
  • Length: 24 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,275
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,893
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,880

From best-selling author Neal Stephenson and critically acclaimed historical and contemporary commercial novelist Nicole Galland comes a captivating and complex near-future thriller combining history, science, magic, mystery, intrigue, and adventure that questions the very foundations of the modern world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really, really fun

  • By Lovisa on 08-05-17

Ultimately Disappointing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-18

UI struggled to maintain interest during the first 7 chapters - and considered DNF several times, but muddled through.
The book did improve - in both plot and story-telling, weaving an increasingly (and sometimes unnecessarily) complex story,

There is a LOT of extraneous information in the book - and a lot of questionable plot devices (constant switching of tone, and narrator - which some may enjoy) Likewise there is a lot of ingenuity.

But the last act does nothing to tie the complex strands of a plot together. The "What is happening" is overdone in the book - but the how and why (especially the motivations of one of the main antagonist) is never fully explained.

This book had a lot of potential - though the time-travel was hit or miss - both in it's purpose and it's repercussions - but definitely squandered a LOT f story telling potential.

The book ends very abruptly - with no pay-off after 25ish hours of narration. It FEELS like it was leading up to a 2nd part - though I will not waste time with that..

When I ended the book, it was a 3 star. upon further reflection, it is a 2 star book.

One editorial. After the dismal failure taht was REAMDE, I almost didn't pick this one up - I probably should have heeded that feeling - and I won't waste time with another Neal Stephenson book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • After On

  • A Novel of Silicon Valley
  • By: Rob Reid
  • Narrated by: Sean Kenin, January LaVoy, Felicia Day, and others
  • Length: 22 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,409
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,406

Meet Phluttr - a diabolically addictive new social network and a villainess, heroine, enemy, and/or bestie to millions. Phluttr has ingested every fact and message ever sent to, from, and about her innumerable users. Her capabilities astound her makers - and they don't even know the tenth of it. But what's the purpose of this stunning creation? Is it a front for something even darker and more powerful than the NSA?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All-too-real commentary on web culture

  • By Richard W Fronapfel Jr on 08-01-17

22 hours. Much of it filler

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-31-18

I DNF. And I got to chapter 35 of 38.

At the very least I'll leave my review now, because if I do finish, I may be angrier than I am now.

Where does one begin?

I know, how about Character Development (or lack of).
There's a lot of "stuff" about the 3 main characters, but it doesn't equate to much real development.
1. The "Main Character" (presumably our hero) - Has a heart of gold, a debilitating disease that he keeps secret, and we are never sure if he is a genius or an idiot. Though he is inexplicably made the right-hand man of the potentially evil, main Silicon Valley CEO character.
2. Super Smart Polish Super Genius Guy, who adds little to the plot - but boy is he smart and boy can he CODE!. This dude CODES so hard that he can unknowingly make an image library sentient by power-coding on a weekend. He CODES so damn good that even he doesn't know why the CODE is so good.
3. Spunky Coder Girl, who, though she is in her early 20's knows lots about everything, hates men and is (of course) a lesbian - which, although the other 2 main characters - who are her best friends and co-workers and who worked in close quarters with her for years - and they love her and know her so well - are completely unaware of this fact until she asks them (3/4 through the book) "How did you not know?"
Oh and of course she is a former unwilling sex worker. Because why not?

Then, there are lots of other characters who come and go, most of whom are uninteresting and simply extentions (or foils) of the Main 3 characters.

The Author uses sophomoric tricks - such as embedded blog posts - to move the plot/story along instead of actually working apropriate plot devices into the narrative. One such Blogger (Net GRRL) seems to be omniscient - and literally exists to give segues and exposition to the story. Then, inexplicably, even though NO ONE KNOWS WHO SHE IS - she joins the team of the above-mentioned 3 main characters and freely tells them who she is.
For no reason.
And she is, as a character, indistinguishably from "Spunky Coder Girl."

All the characters go off on tangents - completely unrelated to the story - about culture, history or what have you - I think more as a forum for the author to show how smart and culturally sensitive he is, rather than to move the plot along.
This helps fill out the 22+ hours/ 576 pages - most of which IS filler.

For example, the Author includes a series of fake Amazon Reviews - (that are really on Amazon under the name of Charles Henry Higgensworth III) which the author himself wrote back in and around 2002. He includes most of the reviews in the book, and then weaves them into the story in a way that is both tangential and unnecessary - and really comes across only as a nod to himself and his witiness in spamming Amazon.

Likewise there is a terrible Science Fiction story that is presented throughout the book - and then attributed to one of the characters, as a work of "Speculative fiction". I understand that the story is in itself a parody, but based on other material included in the book, I'll assume the story is something the author wrote in High School, and he wanted to air it out as well.

The characters go off on so many unnecessary discussions of culture, sexuality, and other hip culturally sensitive topics, that it feels like it was specifically written to pander to the Millenial crowd - or else, another way for the author to work his own social views into the story.

Well, What is the story?
Presumably, it's about an AI that is created by a FaceBook knock-off - which gains sentience somewhere along the way, although the inception point of this sentience is never explained (but dismissed by a blog post from NetGRRL)
Oh, and the AI has the demeanor and maturity of an angry pubescent girl, for some unknown reason.
But we don't actually get to this until about 75% in.

The book comes across as a YA novel with a lot of cursing thrown in to prove it is not a YA novel.

The big sub-plot - which is the diamond in the rough, is the presumption that the NSA (and deeper Gov't spook agencies) set up a social network under the pretense that by agreeing to the EULA, you grant them the right to farm & use your data. THAT is a brilliant plot - however there is so much unnecessary blah blah blah included in the book, that even that is never as interesting as it could be.

Last Note. The Audible version is a cacophony of voices, sounds, and high school drama club melo-dramatic delivery, (WITH LOTS OF YELLING AND EXCLAMATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) that if you DO decide to read the book, then I suggest you READ the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • How the Irish Saved Civilization

  • By: Thomas Cahill
  • Narrated by: Donal Donnelly
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 605
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 327
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 325

Thanks to Thomas Cahill, the pivotal era called the "dark ages" is brought back to vibrant life, its personages portrayed in all their seemingly contemporary humanity, its issues simply and compellingly spelled out. How the Irish Saved Civilization will change forever the way we look at our past, and ourselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating book

  • By P on 08-15-04

Premature Rating

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-12-18

The audio quality on this recording is really, really bad. Definitely not what I am used to from Audible. Likewise the narrator makes it a little more long-winded than it should be. I may have to return this one and get the Abridged version with Liam Neeson if I want to get through the Audible version.

  • Mindhunter

  • Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit
  • By: John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker
  • Narrated by: Richard M. Davidson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,747
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,487
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,474

Discover the classic behind-the-scenes chronicle of John E. Douglas’ 25-year career in the FBI Investigative Support Unit, where he used psychological profiling to delve into the minds of the country’s most notorious serial killers and criminals - the basis for the upcoming Netflix original series.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Too much ego

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-27-18

Some interesting stories, but...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-14-18

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Change the narrator and get a better editor

Would you be willing to try another one of Richard M. Davidson’s performances?

Absolutely not. This guys weird cadence and 1950's cop show delivery made an already self aggrandizing story even harder to take.

Was Mindhunter worth the listening time?

No. watch the Netflix show. It's all there - almost word for word.

Any additional comments?

The first 20% is just a self aggrandizing Biography of John Douglas. I didn't but the book to learn about him, I bout it to learn about the "FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit."
it never really gets into the formation of the unit, just goes from his stories to some cases.
It's like listening to stories told by you sad old divorced uncle.
While he throws out a bunch of names to show like he shares the glory, it's obvious that he thinks he is a one man show...

And the narrator is horrible - he makes the stories unbearable.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Neuromancer

  • By: William Gibson
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,390
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,979
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,001

Twenty years ago, it was as if someone turned on a light. The future blazed into existence with each deliberate word that William Gibson laid down. The winner of Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, Neuromancer didn't just explode onto the science fiction scene - it permeated into the collective consciousness, culture, science, and technology.Today, there is only one science fiction masterpiece to thank for the term "cyberpunk," for easing the way into the information age and Internet society.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book. Terrible performance.

  • By Denis on 04-08-16

My poor ears - Excruciating performance

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-10-17

After hearing what a great book this was I downloaded it and was very interested in hearing what all of the hubbub was about.
I struggle to get through the first three chapters because the narrator has the most horrible baritone monotone voice.
I could not pay attention due to the delivery for more than five seconds so was constantly confused about what was going on.
I’m going to get the book on Kindle.

  • The Passage

  • The Passage Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Justin Cronin
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
  • Length: 36 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15,104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,904
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,889

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ruined Me...

  • By Calmeridian Tink on 06-25-16

An unnecessary Epic

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-16

What did you like best about The Passage? What did you like least?

I took a second whack at this book. Originally trying to read it when it first came out and stopping 1/3 through when nothing of consequence had happened.
This time I listened to it via Audible, instead of reading it.

While the author is a pretty decent writer, he's really in need of a good editor - and a lot of the book just doesn't need to be there. (Case in point: he takes 5-10 minutes to recite names of the "Many" at the end.)

It seems very arbitrary that the bulk of this book takes place 100 years in the future - especially since things like cars, houses - which likely wouldn't be usable 100 years later (with no maintenance) seem to be plentiful, and in very usable condition.

This points to a lack of research - which is unforgivable. Drive through any derelict neighborhood, and see how houses fare after 10-20 years of neglect.

Not to mention the unbelievable viability of cans of food after 100 years.

Also, the characters seem to understand an awful lot about the "old world" despite being separated from it for the better part of that 100 years. (ie, fixing cars that have been sitting unused for 100 years.

I'm probably too picky, but didn't enjoy this book like everyone else seemed to.

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

The narrator didn't do the book justice either. Every character was read with a cross between a whine a woeful earnestness.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful