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Alan Rither

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Fascinating story brilliantly performed

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

Reviewed: 08-16-19

Creative premise well executed with believable characters. Just enough action without being over the top. Lots of profanity but character-appropriate. Can't wait for the next book. If you liked the 'Bobiverse' you'll appreciate the wit and plot twists in Outland. Highly recommend.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good Story but Great Narration

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

Reviewed: 08-05-19

As another reviewer observed, this book might be considered a Young Adult story in some ways because the bad guys are thoroughly bad and they do bad things while the good guys and gals are pretty much just plain good. While the moral qualities of the story are high, the language used by the characters contain a liberal dose of 'F-bombs' so don't be surprised. I've heard it compared with Ready Player One and it has a lot of gamer vocabulary. The writing style is also a bit simplistic such as, 'Sam said ____________.' followed shortly by 'Then Abdul said ___________.' However, it is the narrator who really carries the book. Colin Morgan has a wonderful Gaelic accent when he is speaking as narrator but he manages to create distinct voices for all of the other major characters. The characters are likable and the plot -- though predictable -- has some clever aspects that I hope will become more important in subsequent volumes. As it is, this is the beginning of a new series and I'm looking forward to subsequent installments, but the writing is not on the same level as Peter Clines, for example. If you want to listen to a good story told by a great narrator, I think you'll like this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Superb narration by Elijah Wood

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

Reviewed: 01-12-19

A rollicking parody of don Quixote, The Man in the Iron Mask and similar books.
Incredible talent by Elijah Wood.

Before Cornwell's Viking Hero

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

Reviewed: 10-01-18

This story predates Bernard Cornwell's stories by more than 50 years. but is a classic

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Clever Stories becoming Decidedly Darker

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

Reviewed: 07-29-18

Beginning with an excellent tale of a parallel world with a clever twist (or two), this collection of short stories descends into some decidedly darker and much less enjoyable ones that became too macabre for my taste. Be prepared, fellow listener, for a descent into darkness as you move through these stories. As always, Ray Porter does a superb job voicing the characters and Ralph Lister is perfect for those he reads.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

One of the poorest narrators that I've ever heard

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

Reviewed: 04-05-18

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes, get a different narrator.

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

The text was really okay, although it wasn't great so I gave it three stars. The author goes into a long discussion about why he wrote the book orginally in the 1980s and why he updated it in 2009. After skipping over that, he basically repeated a lot of 'tried and true' arguments why there is no real conflict between science and religion provided that you recognize that each sphere of knowledge has its own aspect of truth. Nothing original but certainly okay.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He sounded like he was reading from the book without any inflection except, perhaps, surprise at finding the next word in the sentence. It was so bad that I turned it off after a couple of chapters and couldn't continue.

Do you think One World needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Hopefully not.

Any additional comments?

If you decide to purchase the book, be prepared for tolerating the narrator and don't say you weren't warned.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

Inspirational Look-back in Time

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

Reviewed: 03-17-17

What did you love best about Up from Slavery?

It was like watching an old movie about a bygone era after the Civil War when relations between whites and African-Americans were particularly raw. Dr. Washington was able to navigate between the twin risks of not alienating the disaffected, white Southerners while not discouraging the New England donors to the Tuskegee Institute who were hoping to see more rapid change in race relations. By his skillful diplomacy and his self-effacing manner, he was able to reach out to both without alienating either. His earnestness and his faith were strong components of why he was able to succeed.

What other book might you compare Up from Slavery to and why?

None other that I have read. It is important to keep in mind that this was written in 1901 when modern attitudes on race were just beginning to emerge. Therefore the listener should expect to hear archaic terminology to discuss current issues. I'm sure that an autobiography of Malcolm X would sound a lot different.

Which scene was your favorite?

When he told about seeking admission to Hampton Institute. He wanted to prove his value to the schoolmaster by sweeping and dusting the room several times.

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

Not really because it was conveniently broken into chapters that were somewhat self-sufficient.

Any additional comments?

This was the first audiobook that I have heard read by Noah Waterman and I hope to hear others. His clear enunciation and the enthusiastic, but not overstated, emphasis in his voice made it especially pleasant to listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great introduction to Chinese

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

Reviewed: 01-04-15

The instructor's lively style makes it fun learning. He approaches the subject with phrases that an absolute newcomer will need to survive not with grammar and word lists to memorize. Highly recommend..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

His hypothesis is interesting for the first 10 min

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

Reviewed: 05-05-14

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Probably not unless they are inveterate anglophiles who care about such arcane matters as why English has an unnecessary "do" or why we use the "-ing" to indicate present action. This is NOT a book for the fainthearted who want to hear all sorts of interesting facts about English words. The author has a thesis that he is trying to prove about the origin of those two peculiarities and he presents cogent arguments in support of his position, but it seems inconsequential.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The author's kaleidoscopic knowledge of many languages was interesting. The least interesting was how he kept piling on argument after argument to support his thesis.

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

He seems to be able to pronounce a wide variety of words in many languages.

Did Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue inspire you to do anything?

Unfortunately no. I was hoping that it would.

The Holocaust from Inside the Death Camp

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

Reviewed: 04-19-14

If you could sum up The Auschwitz Escape in three words, what would they be?

Magnificent -- Moving -- Memorable

What did you like best about this story?

The author tells the story through the life of one man whose experiences in Auschwitz, and escape from it, make it more real. It was like listening to "the other side" of what happened to the Jews who were not rescued by Oscar Schindler.

What about Christopher Lane’s performance did you like?

His performance was outstanding. His mastery of so many accents and characters, his nuanced reading and his measured pace were brilliant.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me pray for those who didn't escape, for those who allowed it to happen, for the survivors, and for the millions of people all around the world who continue to suffer tyranny on a smaller scale, but just as cruel. The question of why nothing was done to stop the mass killing of millions of Jews even after the truth was known continues to trouble me.

Any additional comments?

This is not a 'typical' book by Joel Rosenberg in that it doesn't have a lot of action. It is a book to listen to and contemplate. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to understand how terrible the Nazi philosophy really was.

22 of 31 people found this review helpful