LISTENER

Jonathan

  • 4
  • reviews
  • 26
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings
  • Supermarket

  • By: Bobby Hall
  • Narrated by: Bobby Hall
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,472
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,299
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,302

Flynn is stuck - depressed, recently dumped, and living at his mom’s house. The supermarket was supposed to change all that. An ordinary job and a steady check. Work isn’t work when it’s saving you from yourself. But things aren’t quite as they seem in these aisles. Arriving to work one day to a crime scene, Flynn’s world collapses as the secrets of his tortured mind are revealed. And Flynn doesn’t want to go looking for answers at the supermarket. Because something there seems to be looking for him.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a great performance!

  • By monique on 04-05-19

Too safe for someone like Bobby; disappointing

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

Reviewed: 03-28-19

I picked this up because I like Logic, but this leaves a lot to be desired. There were a lot of moments that were clearly just Logic jumping on a soapbox to talk about things he likes talking about, regardless of whether it had a place in the plot. There's a lot of pointless name-dropping of artists, novels, and other pieces of pop culture that makes it hard to take it seriously as it's own piece of work. There are some bright moments of prose, the premise is interesting, and I think there's some promise here in Bobby as an author, but I really struggled to finish it.

The whole thing felt very amateur. Going in, I realize that he's actually is a freshman author and that you should go in expecting some degree of amateurism, very few authors publish a debut novel that feels completely polished and professional, In light of that, I tried to be incredibly generous about it as I read, and I tried to find things I liked about it. And I found them; but there aren't nearly enough of them to make this worthwhile for me. It relies a lot on tropes, cliches, pop-culture references, and forced, unnecessary fourth-wall breaks that weren't particularly clever or valuable. The plot felt like a fanfic of Fight Club.

I really hope Bobby keeps writing, and I hope he moves a bit further away from the creative well he draws on for his music. Having listened to most of his music and having been to a few shows made it much harder to feel like much of this was very original. Lots of details, references, and ideas could easily be traced to this song, or that interview, that they really felt like recycled ideas. He says in the acknowledgements that the first part of this was written a while ago, in a difficult time for him, so it makes sense that he writes about what was happening at that time in both his music and in writing; it's not his fault that those pieces of media were released at different times. But even then, you'd hope to see a bit more evolution in those ideas in light of his lived experience. The story is about an aspiring author struggling on his first book, and knowing that Logic was also an aspiring author working on his first book was all a bit too on-the-nose for me. I can't think of any safer creative territory than 1) your life and character as it is now, and 2) messages that you've already delivered in other creative media, and this book leans entirely on both of those. I think Logic is very creatively gifted, which is why it was especially disappointing to see him stick to things that are clearly very comfortable ideas and topics for him. I hope these glowing reviews from people that are clearly die-hard fans of Bobby as a person don't encourage him to stay on this comfortable track.

The audiobook version is really good, there's some really clever and creative use of the medium in the form of using the soundtrack, sound-effects, and vocal inflection. Making a soundtrack for a book is a really interesting idea, it works well, and it's stuff like that that makes me feel like Bobby can really make some interesting, fresh literary work someday. I just think this isn't quite it.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • All Systems Red

  • By: Martha Wells
  • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 3 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,728
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,314
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,311

All Systems Red is the tense first science fiction adventure novella in Martha Wells' series The Murderbot Diaries. For fans of Westworld, Ex Machina, Ann Leckie's Imperial Raadch series, or Iain M. Banks' Culture novels. The main character is a deadly security droid that has bucked its restrictive programming and is balanced between contemplative self-discovery and an idle instinct to kill all humans.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I just wish all four stories were one book...

  • By Garrett Stone on 11-05-18

Half of a story

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

Reviewed: 12-26-18

This is a book that asks you to be interested in an alien planet, an expeditionary company, a survey crew, a sentient cyborg, and it tells you hardly anything about them. This book tells you absolutely nothing about what “normal” for this world looks like, and expects you to notice when something abnormal occurs. You’re always asking “is this where the plot starts, or is this still background” until you’re 2/3 through, and then you realize you don’t understand the stakes of the plot right as it’s resolving.

I feel like this whole thing would be a great second half of a book. But there’s no urgency or tension to this expedition-gone-wrong when I’m not told who is involved, what the stakes are, or what a normal expedition looks like.

The protagonist’s thinking and personality is driven by soap operas, and it seems like the author’s is too. Maybe I’d watch this as a TV pilot but it was incredibly, incredibly disappointing as a book.

  • Spaceman

  • An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
  • By: Mike Massimino
  • Narrated by: Mike Massimino
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,964
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,793
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,788

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that's about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour? Or to look back on Earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble Space Telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you're about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind's chance to unlock the universe's secrets? Mike Massimino has been there, and in Spaceman he puts you inside the suit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Likable guy, great storyteller

  • By Joy Woller on 10-09-16

Minor Playback Issues

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

Reviewed: 03-20-18

I experienced some issues with the playback on 1.5x and 2x speeds. Every 5th paragraph or so the last syllable would be missing entirely.

Otherwise nice story. The personal story of how Mike got there didn’t do much for me, but the first-person look at the shuttle era and NASA operations was fascinating and I’m glad to have gone though it.

  • The Wrong Unit

  • A Novel
  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Rob Dircks
  • Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,377
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,321
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,318

I don't know what the humans are so cranky about. Their enclosures are large, they ingest over 1,000 calories per day, and they're allowed to mate. Plus, they have me: an Autonomous Servile Unit, housed in a mobile/bipedal chassis. I do my job well: keep the humans healthy and happy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The kind of science fiction book I search for!

  • By Fascinatingbooks on 07-31-16

Not bad but didn't do it for me

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

Reviewed: 06-30-17

The premise was interesting and that carried me through this, but the humor felt so forced and dry, and it felt like the author leaned on that humor quite a bit.

It all kind of felt like reading a young adult novel. Not to imply that there's anything wrong with that genre, but it wasn't what I was expecting and not really up my alley.

I think it's safe to say that the first 3 chapters are all you need to know if you'd like it. I certainly wouldn't call this a bad book or a bad performance but even as a sci-fi fan, it just didn't work for me at all.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful