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David Michael Gregg

  • 15
  • reviews
  • 55
  • helpful votes
  • 191
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  • The Thousand Orcs

  • Legend of Drizzt: Hunter's Blade Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 13 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,340
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,253
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,253

When a blood-thirsty banc of orcs, led by an as-yet-unseen enemy, comes rampaging out of the Spine of the World, it lays waste to everything in its path. Dark elf ranger Drizzt Do'Urden and his most trusted friends find themselves in the path of destruction. As blades slash and feet trample, even the heroes may not survive a desperate stand.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderfully written and performed.

  • By Karina on 12-30-14

Skip this and go straight to 'The Lone Drow'

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

Reviewed: 01-06-16

I read "The Lone Drow" first, by accident, and then went back to read "The Thousand Orcs." But I found that I had the gist of the important events inferred or outright retold in "The Lone Drow."

The only two plot threads worth reading are:

1) the story of Torgar's revolt and exodus from Mirabar (which is well-enough explained in "The Lone Drow," and Torgar turns out to be an unimportant character overall, but this is more interesting than anything else going on), but even this suffers from shallow writing (are there NO dwarven females and children at all in Mirabar? If so, Salvatore doesn't even tell us; he just writes as though all of them are battle-ready dudes, without the slightest hint that he has put thought into society beyond the simplest politics -- where is the world-building?);

2) the antics of Pikel Bouldershoulder wiggling his fingers, giggling, and surprising elves with a High-Priest-level of druidry.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Shadows of Self

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,383
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,187
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,159

With The Alloy of Law, Brandon Sanderson surprised listeners with a New York Times best-selling spinoff of his Mistborn audiobooks, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America. The trilogy's heroes are now figures of myth and legend, even objects of religious veneration. They are succeeded by wonderful new characters, chief among them Waxillium Ladrian, known as Wax, hereditary lord of House Ladrian.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thankfully "Mistborn" Continues

  • By Don Gilbert on 10-09-15

The writing has matured

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

Reviewed: 10-24-15

The story is good. The magic system is explained in much more detail than ever before (new things are revealed here). Best of all: the writing has matured. Sanderson has finally lightened up on the incessant repetition. I nearly put down the series several times during the first trilogy because he insisted on repeating himself so damned often. That wasn't a problem with "The Alloy of Law," as the start of the new trilogy, so here was Sanderson's shot to show off one of the most obvious of all possible improvements—and he did.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Disgraceful Affair: Stories

  • By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Narrated by: Michael Page, Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

The short works of Dostoevsky exist in the very large shadow of his astonishing longer novels, but they too are among literature's most revered works and offer keys to understanding the themes in his longer works. Contained in this volume are the short stories "White Nights", "A Disgraceful Affair", and "The Dream of the Ridiculous Man", three of Dostoevsky's most troubling, moving, and poignant works.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Expect 3 different stories and 3 different moods

  • By David Michael Gregg on 10-24-15

Expect 3 different stories and 3 different moods

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

Reviewed: 10-24-15

Expect three very different stories with very different moods.

There is also a short story in this edition which is not advertised or credited on the Audible page—"St. Luis of Palmyra" from More of This World or Maybe Another by Barb Johnson—tucked in as a surprise at the end, and narrated by Kirby Heyborne. I skipped it, but seeing the reviews now on Amazon, I'll probably go back to it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  • A Novel
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,459
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,170
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,150

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gaiman delivers an intimate masterpiece

  • By Talia on 08-07-13

I want a sequel

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

Reviewed: 10-24-15

There is a hinted twist at the end which makes me even more curious about the goings-on in the Hempstock's world. I appreciated the emotion, as well as the quirky magic. The only criticism I think I could manage to contrive would be aimed at a single sentence I found a bit unnaturally placed in the boy's mouth. It snapped me out of the spell for a moment, but I'm happy to say that I sank right back in, and would quickly indulge in a sequel, should Mr. Neil grant a wish.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Meditations

  • By: Marcus Aurelius, George Long - translator, Duncan Steen - translator
  • Narrated by: Duncan Steen
  • Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,397
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,876
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,826

One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions - a cornerstone of Western thought.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excelent reading of an excellent classic

  • By David on 10-22-16

Needs a better translation

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

Reviewed: 08-06-15

Not the best translation for comprehension, but the material itself is priceless and the performance was acceptable, though a little stale.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Hero of Ages

  • Mistborn, Book 3
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 27 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 34,887
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30,814
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 30,799

The conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy fulfills all the promise of the first two books. Revelations abound, connections rooted in early chapters of the series click into place, and surprises, as satisfying as they are stunning, blossom like fireworks to dazzle and delight. It all leads up to a finale unmatched for originality and audacity that will leave listeners shaking their heads in wonder, as if awaking from an amazing dream.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well concluded!

  • By Julio Marchini on 01-12-09

An Improvement Over the Previous Two Books

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

Reviewed: 10-28-14

The prescripts throughout this entire trilogy are unimaginably repetitious -- though this final book redeems this repetition tolerably. There are a frustrating number of other tiring cases of repetition -- sometimes avoidable reuse of words, sometimes over-reminding the reader of world-facts. There are three or four plot holes/inconsistencies in the first book which surprised me.

I nearly refused to continue the series after the first book. These faults were almost too much for me, but I persevered. The writing in the second book was a little better, and I was pleased with the shift in plot direction, as well as the sustainability of the series through the change of central character. The narrative and world-building throughout the series were creative and interesting. I was pleased by the last book especially. The writing here is noticeably improved over the first book. And the way the author toys with the concept of deity is refreshing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Well of Ascension

  • Mistborn, Book 2
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 28 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,182
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 31,045
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,071

The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler - the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years - has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slower but worthwhile

  • By Jeff on 01-28-10

In Need of an Editor, but Engaging

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

Reviewed: 10-28-14

The prescripts throughout this entire trilogy are unimaginably repetitious. There are a frustrating number of other tiring cases of repetition -- sometimes avoidable reuse of words, sometimes over-reminding the reader of world-facts. There are three or four plot holes/inconsistencies in the first book which surprised me.

I nearly refused to continue the series after the first book. These faults were almost intolerable for me, but I persevered. The writing in the second book was a little better, and I was pleased with the shift in plot direction, as well as the sustainability of the series through the change of central character. The narrative and world-building throughout the series were creative and interesting. I was pleased by the last book especially.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Final Empire

  • Mistborn Book 1
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 24 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45,416
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,201
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,206

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A GREAT TRILOGY!!!

  • By Don Gilbert on 11-12-09

In Need of an Editor, but Engaging

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

Reviewed: 10-28-14

The prescripts throughout this entire trilogy are unimaginably repetitious. There are a frustrating number of other tiring cases of repetition -- sometimes avoidable reuse of words, sometimes over-reminding the reader of world-facts. There are three or four plot holes/inconsistencies in this first book which surprised me.

I nearly refused to continue the series after the first book. These faults were almost intolerable for me, but I persevered. The narrative and world-building were creative and interesting. I was pleased by the last book especially.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Steppenwolf

  • By: Hermann Hesse
  • Narrated by: Peter Weller
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 994
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 778
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 777

Harry Haller is a sad and lonely figure, a reclusive intellectual for whom life holds no joy. He struggles to reconcile the wild primeval wolf and the rational man within himself without surrendering to the bourgeois values he despises. His life changes dramatically when he meets a woman who is his opposite, the carefree and elusive Hermine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hesse

  • By Stevon on 10-26-11

Book excellent, narration notably disappointing

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

Reviewed: 07-17-14

There were a few moments of good narration, but as a whole, this beautifully-written character-rich book was represented flatly and lifelessly. I understand that the main character is in the deep despair of an existential crisis -- I am there myself -- but that doesn't equate to malaise, nor does it justify very nearly interpreting all other characters in precisely the same way. There are several occurrences of awkwardness, as well as oddly too-slow or (more rarely) too-quick readings.

I am certainly not a fan of this narrative performance, and I have little qualm in stopping an otherwise good book for this very reason. But I persisted in this case for two reasons: 1) the text is just that good and I have the imagination to re-interpret the narrative on-the-fly; and, 2) the narrator, though uninterested or incapable of putting humanity and pathos into his narration of this work, does succeed in providing just enough for my attention-span to grip (almost paradoxically). Perhaps again it is the superb writing of Hesse and the book's resonance with a similar struggle in my own life, but I refer you to a few other reviewers who were more than pleased with this narration.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Silence

  • By: Shusaku Endo
  • Narrated by: David Holt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,874
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,688
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,687

Recipient of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, it has been called Endo's supreme achievement" and "one of the twentieth century's finest novels". Considered controversial ever since its first publication, it tackles the thorniest religious issues of belief and faith head on. A novel of historical fiction, it is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Remarkable

  • By Helgi Sigurbjörnsson on 10-12-17

Has a Biblical quality to it.

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

Reviewed: 12-24-13

"Silence" has a Biblical quality to it. I suppose it is the way it raises tremendous difficulties — moral and theological conundrums, and existential crises — and then only subtly, even indirectly, points in the misty direction in which we might find answers for ourselves. This great art, which Scripture does so well, is knowing when to fall silent.

Such silence affects us strongly: it is pedagogically provocative and aesthetically magnetic. It is the silence which challenges us, drives us to reflect upon the "sparks flying upward" and wrestle with an angel in the dark.

When Jesus tells His disciples, "It is better for you that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counsellor will not come to you," He indicates that His tangible presence is somehow less helpful to us than His intangibility. It is better for us if His presence sometimes seems silence, than if His presence were something we could validate by experiment and sensation.

The striving, the reaching, the 'leap of faith', the crisis which requires us at last to rely purely upon our own subjective, soul-to-soul knowledge of Him as a Person — would we ever exercise ourselves in these if He were always within reach of our fingers or our prayers for fire to rain upon the altar? Thus is the silence of God.

And thus, after the Biblical art of silence, Endo's "Silence" reminds us all at once of Job's apparently senseless suffering, of Abraham's moral crisis, of Jacob's embattled renaming, of Judas' pious betrayal, and of Jesus' Ninth Hour.

But, of course, "Silence" is more about God's silence, than Endo's.

And it is just as much about what it means to really admit that we are weak, that we are not courageous, that we sin — it means to participate, not only in the suffering of Christ, but in the infliction of Christ's suffering.

Indeed, "It is for that reason that I am here," He says to us, as He says to the character Rodrigues. We need Him to suffer for us. He knows this and has come for this very purpose. And it is in this sense that we betray Him, and it is in this sense that He opens Himself to our betrayal: "What thou dost, do quickly."

He comes to our door, in our frightened and guilty times, to tell us that we should make Him our scapegoat. "Trample on me," He says, "I will bear your sin. I came to be trampled of men. I am your lamb. I am your sacrifice. Slay me."

"Lord, I resented Your silence," we say with the priest, when at last we feel we are heard.

"I was not silent. I suffered beside you," He replies, as we learn that this is not a God who wields power like a man, or stays distant and wholly apart.

"Then from the lowest, weakest tone of suffering, up to the loftiest pitch, the divinest acme of pain, there is not one pang to which the sensorium of the universe does not respond; never an untuneful vibration of nerve or spirit but thrills beyond the brain or the heart of the sufferer to the brain, the heart of the universe; and God, in the simplest, most literal, fullest sense, and not by sympathy alone, suffers with his creatures." (George MacDonald, "The Marquis of Lossie")

4 of 6 people found this review helpful