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Ron

Dallas, TX, USA
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 35
  • helpful votes
  • 128
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  • Zero Hour

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 5
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 22,207
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20,899
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,799

United Nations Special Operations Command sent an elite expeditionary force of soldiers and pilots out on a simple recon mission, and somehow along the way they sparked an alien civil war. Now the not-at-all-merry band of pirates is in desperate trouble, again. Their stolen alien starship is falling apart, thousands of light years from home. The ancient alien AI they nicknamed Skippy is apparently dead, and even if they can by some miracle revive him, he might never be the same.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Monkeys kick A**, but......

  • By Beachcombers on 02-14-18

Spectacular!

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

Reviewed: 03-27-18

If your a fan of the banter between Skippy and Joe, this book will get you grinning again. These books are just begging for a movie franchise.

The whole series is awesome and this book is nothing less that super fantastic. It’s a must have.

  • Origin

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,440
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,960
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36,849

In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture in this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind's two most enduring questions - and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Formula over fiction

  • By Evan M Carlson on 11-01-17

Terrible!

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

Reviewed: 03-01-18

Good grief! I can’t even finish this trite garbage. This is the last Dan Brown book I ever read.

What’s wrong with it? Everything. First, I now officially hate the Robert Langdon character. The other characters are also recycled crap from other books. It’s like he only has one formula (miscommunication tempered with betrayal and punctuated by obvious plot twists with an overtone of religious symbology specifically design so only Langdon can smugly discern the significance) and keeps trying to remix it in subtle ways. It’s soooooooi boring!!! I’d rather hammer nails in my feet than to ever discuss this book again.

  • The Schumann Frequency

  • By: Christopher Ride
  • Narrated by: Sean Mangan
  • Length: 16 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

An adventure not only through time and humanity, The Schumann Frequency races through various corners of the globe from the Mayan ruins in Mexico, to the Giza Pyramids in Egypt and finally Stonehenge for the book's thrilling climax. Christopher Ride takes you on a gripping journey that will keep you riveted until the very last page.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • this is a book that begs for a negative rating

  • By Saikungbob on 04-13-11

Complete Crap!

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

Reviewed: 08-25-17

The author must have some compromising photos of somebody high up the food chain at the publishers. There really is no other reason why this book made it to print. Maybe it's the material he had to work with but if there was a way to make this terrible story any more pathetic and painful the "performer" managed it. Audible really needs a return policy when it comes garbage like this.

Anyway, the characters are weak. The dialog reads like English is the authors 3rd language. The science, which the write up tout

  • Superintelligence

  • Paths, Dangers, Strategies
  • By: Nick Bostrom
  • Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,018
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,670
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,640

Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Colossus: The Forbin Project is coming

  • By Gary on 09-12-14

I wish I could make everyone read this book!

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

Reviewed: 02-09-15

Where does Superintelligence rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Lets say that I was a magical genie and that I asked you to list 5 things about your self that you wanted to improve and how you wanted to improve them. Then I asked you to rank them from one to 5. The I took the top one, waved my wand, and POOF that aspect of you was now as you had described.

Then, then next month, I asked you to do it all over again. List 5 things, describe and rank them. POOF! 12 monumental improvements of the span of a year! Now lets imagine that we did this once a week for a year. In the beginning you might say "make me thinner or more attractive". But eventually you will say "make me smarter", "make me faster". "Remove limitation". At the end of the year, how much smarter, faster, stronger... better.... would you be?

Now what if I told you that if you altered your diet you could do this once a day for a year. Alter it still and you could do it once an hour, every day for a year. With each subsequent diet alteration the timespan between iterations of "you" dropped. The speeds at which you simultaneously calculated new improvements and the real world application of those improvements would need a being such as your then self to appreciate.

Lets say that I was a magical genie and that I asked you to list 5 things about your self that you wanted to improve and how you wanted to improve them.

Scary enough right? Well, now lets start taking away a few things from this process. First, lets assume that your physical appearance doesn't matter in the slightest. Perhaps your already an Adonis. Whatever the case, NONE of your rankings ever include physical appearance for the sake of vanity. In fact, take away any biologically originated motivations whatsoever. Also, take away your notions of morality.

I can hear your complaints now, "But those things are a large portion of my motivations for change! if I remove them whats left is cold and largely unfeeling!"

Now assume that we aren't talking about a person doing these things. We are talking about a machine. A machine that we created. That we nurtured from many precognition to something smarter that we.

Superintelligence is what we label something that is smarter that human level intelligence. This means that the level of intelect this thing possesses is smarter than the aggregate of the smartest minds that have ever lived. Smarter than the smartest human that will ever live. Smarter than the biology allows us to get.

Dolphins are smart animals. Very smart! They may even be able to discern that we are smarter than they. BUT, can they grasp how much smarter? Dogs, cats, pigs are all smart. How much smarter than they are we? 10's of times? Hundreds? Millions?

Therein lies the crux of it. The one thing that has literally kept me up at night after reading this book was the notion that a machine would go from a lower than human level intellect to a many times greater that human intellect WITHOUT a detectable stop at the human level. When you think about it this makes sense. Our biology limits us. Evolution combined with the constant vigilance and attention to our own biology limits our potential as much as it feeds it. Why would there be a mandatory stop at the human level?

In practical terms, we would start by being the human in the analogy and end up being an amoeba. So, the questions we have to apply ourselves to BEFORE we achieve super intelligent machines are a) should we want to achieve it? B) If so,how do we ensure our survival? C) How do we give it motivations that are consistent with our, and the rest of the universes continued existence?

The thought that now keeps me up at night is that I now understand that creating a super intelligent machine is inevitable. There are shockingly few technical hurdles left.

Without question this book is one of the most important books written in the last 20 years. I know that is a bold statement but it is exactly the way I feel. This is a huge problem. We must learn how to achieve it safely. The goal of the book is to introduce us to the added difficulties in crating a super intelligence that is safe and doesn't pose both humanity and the universe at large an enormous danger.

Sadly, its clinical voice and technical jargon will see reader/listener abandon by all but the ardent few that already appreciate the problem. I say press on! Once you understand that this is a philosophical, moral, and existential problem and not a technical one it makes the reading/listening much easier.


If you could give Superintelligence a new subtitle, what would it be?

The subtitle of the book is "Paths, Dangers, Strategies". It couldn't be more succinct. This is precisely what is delivered.

Any additional comments?

DO NOT get discouraged by the technical text book voice. Delve into it. re-read/re-listen to a chapter that is not making sense a couple of times. Then move on. I promise that later the concept will become clear and understanding follows soon after.This is one topic that needs as much understanding and applied brainpower as the human race can throw at it.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Moon Wreck

  • The Slaver Wars, Book 1
  • By: Raymond L. Weil
  • Narrated by: Liam Owen
  • Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 411
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 374
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 374

Disaster has struck the first Moon landing to be attempted in years. Commander Jason Strong and his fellow lunar explorer Greg Johnson have become stranded with no way home. In desperation, they set off in their lunar rover to check out an anomaly they discovered on their descent. What they find will shake their beliefs and what they know of human history. It is the beginning of an adventure that will take them far out into the Solar System and to a discovery that is beyond belief.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • "Is this safe," says mission commander too often!

  • By J. Abercrombie on 03-28-15

Complete waste of time!

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

Reviewed: 07-09-14

Would you try another book from Raymond L. Weil and/or Liam Owen?

NO! This author must loath the editing process or the "editor" should be shot. There are so many "WTF" and "Are you serious?" moments that the book was complete unenjoyable.

Has Moon Wreck turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. But if this was one of my first ventures into I would be very concerned about wasting more time.

How could the performance have been better?

Give the performer a better script and I am sure he could have been better. Seriously, there was not much to work with here.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Moon Wreck?

Well, I would have suggested a few things.

1) The premise is pretty good. Begin there and rethink everything.
2) Rethink the characters and their motivations.
3) Stop endlessly reminding people of concepts and events that just happened. It is unnecessary and annoying. People do not want to be annoyed while reading things. So stop reminding then of those annoying things. Like the times that you restate some event or concept that just happened. Those things can be annoying. ;)
4) Spend TIME explaining things like how everyone speaks english, has similar gestures, similar rank structure. Also, come up with a better reason for the similarities and accentuate the differences. (of course you have to actually have differences to accentuate first). This is supposed to be a race of humans that evolved and lived on multiple worlds independently from earth. You might want to spend some time addressing how the hell that is possible.

That would be session 1 of about 50 meetings. This entire book needed 3 more years of development.

Any additional comments?

I don't think I can express in words how bad this entire thing is. I'm not sure what possessed this author to think this was done enough to produce a book or series out of. It is an ill conceived and ill explained nightmare of ineptness. Horrible, terrible, and easily the shittiest attempt at Science Fiction I have had the unfortunate opportunity to witness in at least 5 years.

17 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • A Memory of Light

  • Wheel of Time, Book 14
  • By: Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 41 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 19,717
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18,018
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 18,031

Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, listeners have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over 40 million copies in over 32 languages. When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally we have closure!

  • By Cliff on 08-29-13

A good way to end the series.

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

Reviewed: 03-10-13

What made the experience of listening to A Memory of Light the most enjoyable?

I have physically read the previous books and soon discovered that my internal pronunciation of names and places differed greatly from the official version. Sure I could have looked in the back of each book for the pronunciation guide, but that just never did. At any rate, it took a bit to acclimate myself to the WOT world again. The new names and places I heard made that acclimation take longer but at the same time I enjoyed itall the more.

What other book might you compare A Memory of Light to and why?

It is impossible to view this book on its own for this question. It has to viewed as one small part of a vast universe. So, that being the case, youcan only compare it to other epic series. For me, I see it as a very tame and PG version of the Game of Thrones series combined with unique magical elements. Some things are very naive and exploratory in a way that only young people can view the world. Other parts tackle concepts and plots that surface only after a lifetime of worldly experiences.

Have you listened to any of Michael Kramer and Kate Reading ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

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

There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time.

Any additional comments?

This series could not have ended better. However, I was a bit let down by the Padan Fain characters role. I was also less certain why the fate of some characters ended so. On the whole It was a fantastic end to the series. I think Robert Jordan would have been proud of how it was wrapped up.

  • Amped

  • A Novel
  • By: Daniel H. Wilson
  • Narrated by: Robbie Daymond
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 573
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 518
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 521

In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities - and rights - of "amplified" humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, 29-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world - or destroy it.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • No Michael Crighton but still worth a listen

  • By Don Gilbert on 06-11-12

Awesome book wth great Movie Potential

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

Reviewed: 08-04-12

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes! Action and intelligence combine to make a fast listen.

What did you like best about this story?

The dialog and character depth.

What about Robbie Daymond’s performance did you like?

EVERYTHING!

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

I liked trying to visualize the implanted technologies retinal projections.

Any additional comments?

If this does not become a movie, Hollywood is really missing out!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Art of Intelligence

  • Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service
  • By: Henry A. Crumpton
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 741
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 656
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 648

A legendary CIA spy and counterterrorism expert here tells the spellbinding story of his high-risk, action-packed career while illustrating the growing importance of America's intelligence officers and their secret missions. The Art of Intelligence draws from the full arc of Henry Crumpton's espionage and covert action exploits to explain what America's spies do and why their service is more valuable than ever.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A biographical Text Book.

  • By Ron on 08-01-12

A biographical Text Book.

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

Reviewed: 08-01-12

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The organization. He organizes it in chronological order in parts, intelligence collection methods in others, and in other various ways. It makes allows for too many rapid departures and side stories.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Break it out into clear sections. Only occasionally drift off subject. Do not use the side story as a vehicle to lengthen the book and drive home obvious points. Its a book on Intelligence for the love of Pete! People interested in reading this subject probably have at least the basics down.

Did David Colacci do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Only one Character so hard to say. But he was very dry.

Did The Art of Intelligence inspire you to do anything?

I wanted to know more about some of the key individuals and events talked about. So i wiki'd them. I guess that counts.

Any additional comments?

Though it is informative, it is like reading a text book. 70% of the information you already know or have been exposed to. you have to wade through the personal and political agenda of the author to get at some of the better bits of info though.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Thirteen Reasons Why

  • By: Jay Asher
  • Narrated by: Debra Wiseman, Joel Johnstone
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,246
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,450
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,467

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush, who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice explains that there are 13 reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Ideal Audio Book

  • By Diana on 01-10-11

Frustrating

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

Reviewed: 08-01-12

Would you listen to Thirteen Reasons Why again? Why?

No. I don't like to listen to them twice. nothing against it. There are just too many choices of new material.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jay Asher? Why or why not?

Possibly, if it was reviewed well.

What about Debra Wiseman and Joel Johnstone ’s performance did you like?

they seemed very in tune with the voice of the characters.

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

A cry for help is sometimes never spoken.

Any additional comments?

As a father, it makes me worry that people actually feel this way. Will I know if my child has these thoughts and designs to act on them?

  • A Game of Thrones

  • A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 33 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100,543
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87,004
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 86,934

Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King's Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert's name. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse - unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season. Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Review of First 5 Books

  • By DCinMI on 09-12-13

Remarkable

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

Reviewed: 08-01-12

If you could sum up A Game of Thrones in three words, what would they be?

Classic Epic Story

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tyrion Lanister. He is intelligent and sly.

What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

Amazing!

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

Its not always good to be King!

Any additional comments?

I really like this book. It is a little slow to get started. I think that is because they are setting the stage for the inclusions of a ton of characters. Probably most like the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series in style.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful