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Zachary Craft

Texas, USA
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings
  • Dusty's Diary

  • By: Bobby Adair
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 367
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 364

I played all those cool video games. I watched all those movies. I even read the books. In most of 'em, the hero shoots the bad guys, drives a sweet car, never gets hungry, and always seems to get laid by the end. Yeah. Whatever. I gotta be straight with you about why I wrote this journal, and it comes down to one thing, the apocalypse kinda sucks. It doesn’t meet my expectations at all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great read!

  • By Samantha Lowe on 08-14-18

More Profanity Than Actual Story

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

Reviewed: 08-16-18

I didn't make it to the end of chapter 1. There was far too much profanity.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Socratic Dialogues Middle Period, Volume 1

  • Symposium, Theaetetus, Phaedo
  • By: Plato, Benjamin Jowett - translation
  • Narrated by: David Rintoul, Hugh Ross, full cast
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 33

Here are three important but very different Dialogues from the Middle Period. Symposium, the most well-known in this collection, is concerned with the theme of love. In the house of Agathon, a group of friends - each very different in personality and background - meet to consider and discuss various kinds of love. Each one, Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eryximachus, Aristophanes (the playwright) and Agathon (a prize-winning tragic poet), presents his particular view in a short discourse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Audio Needs a Cleanup

  • By Zachary Craft on 07-18-18

Audio Needs a Cleanup

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

Reviewed: 07-18-18

The full audio of each of the three dialogues is present, however at the end of Phaedo, Theaetetus starts again and plays for a short period before the audio ends abruptly. This needs to be edited out. Other than that, the narration is beautiful and a great listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Priest-Kings of Gor

  • Gorean Saga, Book 3
  • By: John Norman
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 431
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 358
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 358

This is the third installment of John Norman's popular and controversial Gor series. Tarl Cabot is the intrepid tarnsman of the planet Gor, a harsh society with a rigid caste system that personifies the most brutal form of Social Darwinism. In this volume, Tarl must search for the truth behind the disappearance of his beautiful wife, Talena. Have the ruthless Priest-Kings destroyed her?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A challange to the imagination

  • By Craig Walker on 01-29-13

They're Giant Arthropods?!

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

Priest-Kings of Gor makes an excellent third volume in the Gorean Saga. This particular book in the series is much more sci-fi oriented, with high tech alien battle scenes and alien-created synthetic humans. If you’re like me, you didn’t see the revelation that Priest-Kings were giant arthropods coming. I expected them to be human-like in appearance, which made for quite an interesting twist in the story.

Priest-Kings of Gor picks up right where Outlaw of Gor left off. Tarl Cabot arrives at the foot of the Sardar Mountains, releases his tarn, and enters through the gate that allows access to the domain of the Priest-Kings. Once inside, he’s held captive for some time in a special type of prison cell with a slave girl named Vika. Unbeknownst to Tarl, Vika has been tasked by the Priest-King Sarm to woo him in an effort to convince him to kill the Priest-King’s brother, Misk. Vika fails in her task and Tarl is taken in by Misk, where he learns all about Priest-Kings.

Priest-Kings are a technologically advanced race of large insects that brought Gor to our solar system over two million years ago when their sun began to die. Priest-Kings are primarily concerned with technological advancement, particularly as it relates to increasing their longevity. Ironically enough, this has caused their species to dwindle to less than a thousand. Most Priest-Kings in the Nest on Gor are sexless. There is only one female in the Nest, the Mother, and she has supreme authority. That authority, however, is being usurped by her first-born, the Priest-King Sarm. Sarm wants to prevent new male and female Priest-Kings from being born so that he can maintain his political power in the Nest. Human slaves assist the Priest-Kings in their various tasks and are considered part of the Next, that is, easily dispensable parts. It’s not really revealed why the Priest-Kings have populated Gor with various species. What is explained is that they intentionally limit the humans’ technological advancement out of fear for their own safety.

Misk informs Tarl that he was brought to the nest of the Priest-Kings in a secret conspiracy between himself and the Mother to overthrow Sarm. That’s why his city was destroyed and his people scattered, to keep Sarm in the dark about their true intentions. He wants Tarl’s help finding a female egg that was hidden among the Wagon People. Tarl reluctantly agrees, which Sarm suspects, resulting in a war between the two. The human slaves in the Nest revolt during the confrontation and join Misk’s rebellion against Sarm. Sarm is killed and Gor and the Nest are nearly destroyed in the process. With the Priest-Kings temporarily out of commission, Tarl sets out on a new journey to find the egg among the Wagon People.

John Norman is an excellent science fiction writer and the battle scenes in this book leave nothing to be desired on that front. I was on the edge of my seat throughout much of the story as the plot just kept getting more and more interesting. Norman’s humor really shows when he introduces us to pair of synthetically created twins and details their secret shenanigans within the Nest. The low ratings this series has received are simply unmerited and probably socially/politically motivated. Some people just can’t wrap their heads around the concept of fantasy. I’m looking forward to the next book. I also recommend purchasing the audiobook narrated by Ralph Lister. He does an excellent job narrating the various characters and really makes the story come alive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Outlaw of Gor

  • By: John Norman
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 502
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 415
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 420

In this second volume of the Gorean Series, Tarl Cabot finds himself transported back to Counter-Earth from the sedate life he has known as a history professor on Earth. Tarl finds that his name on Gor has been tainted, his city defiled, and all those he loves have been made into outcasts. He is no longer in the position of a proud warrior, but an outlaw for whom the simplest answers must come at a high price. He wonders why the Priest Kings have called him back to Gor, and whether it is only to render him powerless.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun adventure, but Lots of naked women

  • By Craig Walker on 01-29-13

Tarl Returns to Gor

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

In the first book of the Gor series, Tarnsman of Gor, we were introduced to the series’ protagonist, Tarl Cabot, and the world of Gor. In my review of that book, I didn’t provide a thorough synopsis of the story because I didn’t want to ruin anything for a first-time reader. That, however, should not be the case here.

In Tarnsman of Gor, Tarl Cabot, upon arriving on Gor, is trained in the city of his father, Ko-ro-ba, to become a member of the Warrior Caste and a tarnsman. After his training, he’s tasked with stealing the home stone of a rival city called Ar, an act which Tarl’s father knows will result in the overthrow of Ar’s Ubar, Marlenus. Tarl completes his mission in quite an unusual fashion, accidently kidnapping Marlenus’ daughter, Talena, in the process. Through an unlikely course of events, including multiple attempts on Tarl’s life by Talena, the two fall madly in love with each other. Talena is kidnapped by Pa-Kur, Master Assassin of Ar, in the hopes that wedding her will add legitimacy to his reign of Ar once the city falls and he declares himself Ubar in the place of Marlenus. Tarl is able to rescue Talena and kill Pa-Kur (we think; his body is never recovered). Ar’s hold on the region is weakened and a new leader is put into place by the citizens of Ar. Tarl and Talena return to Ko-ro-ba together but for only a single day. Tarl wakes up several weeks later on Earth again, having been cast off Gor by the Priest-Kings, Gor’s thought-to-be divine rulers.

In Outlaw of Gor, Tarl Cabot returns to Gor after seven years to find that Ko-ro-ba has been destroyed and its denizens scattered across the planet. Without a city to call home, Tarl dawns the attire of a member of the Outlaw Caste and vows revenge on the Priest-Kings for their destruction of his beloved city. On his trip to the Sardar Mountains, the home of the Priest-Kings, Tarl visits the Gorean city of Tharna, where he hopes to acquire a tarn to shorten his journey.

Tharna, unlike most Gorean cities, has a female-dominant ruler class. These women wear silver masks and treat the men of Tharna like second-class citizens. Once in Tharna, Tarl finds himself wound up in a plot to overthrow the city’s Tatrix, Lara. For his alleged crimes, Tarl is forced into a tarn’s den to be eaten alive. Fortunately enough for him, the tarn assigned to gobble Tarl up actually belongs to him! He’s able to escape with his tarn and capture the city’s Tatrix, who he hopes to use as a bargaining chip to acquire supplies for his journey. Unbeknownst to Tarl, Tharna’s Second, Dorna the Proud, is involved in the plot to overthrow Lara. During his exchange, both Tarl and Lara are captured and enslaved.

Tarl, now a slave in Tharna’s ore mines, organizes his fellow slaves and leads a successful revolt in the mines. The effects of this revolt ripple across Tharna and many of its Lower Caste citizens begin to rise up against their female oppressors. Tarl leaves Tharna and accidently happens onto a slaver camp where he once again encounters Lara, Tatrix of Tharna, but as a slave girl. Tarl discovers that Lara’s time there has humbled her. He shows great compassion, purchasing her from the slaver and returning her to Tharna where he fights to have her reinstated as the city’s Tatrix. Once Dorna the Proud is overthrown, Lara enacts reforms that remove many of the city’s women from power and allow for the men of the city to be treated fairly.

I found this second book of the Gorean Saga as exhilarating as the first and plan to continue reading the other books in the series. John Norman does an excellent job immersing his reader in the fantasy world of Gor, masterfully detailing its society, flora, and fauna. You can easily get lost in the story, which for me is the hallmark of a great book. You’ll never be bored and you may end up reading the whole thing in one sitting like I did. As stated in my review of Tarnsman of Gor, I recommend purchasing the audiobook narrated by Ralph Lister. He does an excellent job narrating the various characters and really makes the story come alive.

  • Tarnsman of Gor

  • Gorean Saga, Book 1
  • By: John Norman
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 913
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 755
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 763

Tarl Cabot has always believed himself to be a citizen of Earth. He has no inkling that his destiny is far greater than the small planet he has inhabited for the first 20-odd years of his life. One frosty winter night in the New England woods, he finds himself transported to the planet of Gor, also known as Counter-Earth, where everything is dramatically different from anything he has ever experienced.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hemingway of Fantasy

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-28-15

A Sci-Fi Lover's Wet Dream

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

Tarnsman of Gor by John Norman is an adult science-fiction/fantasy novel and the first book in the Gorean Saga. The book begins with the story’s protagonist, Tarl Cabot, discovering a mysterious letter from his father while on a camping trip in the mountains of New Hampshire. The letter is dated three hundred years prior and contains a ring made of some kind of red metal bearing his family crest. Soon after, Cabot leaves Earth in a spaceship and wakes up on the planet of Gor.

Gor, or Counter-Earth, is an Earthlike planet with less gravity, which allows for the existence of large flying animals called tarns. These animals are used by the warrior caste of Gor for transportation and battle. Gor’s human inhabitants reside in city-states, each with its own “home stone”. The home stone, often just a decorated rock, is considered the heart of the city and fiercely protected by its warriors. Gor’s society is male dominated, with women tending to be submissive, roles both sexes perpetuate and generally enjoy. Gor’s High Caste is made up of the Initiates, Scribes, Builders, Physicians, and Warriors. The Low Caste is made up of everyone else, i.e., peasants, slaves, outlaws, etc. Non-human sentient species also exist on Gor. In this novel, we’re introduced to the Spider People, a species of large, intelligent spiders that communicate using a type of universal translator.

When Tarl awakes on Gor, he meets his father, who had disappeared without explanation when Tarl was a young boy. He’s educated about Gor and his caste (the Warrior Caste), and subsequently tasked with capturing the home stone of his father’s rival city-state, Ar. The story details his heroic adventure, and what an adventure it is! From flying beasts and talking spiders to sexy slave girls and intercity warfare resembling that of ancient Greece, you’re sure to be on the edge of your seat throughout the story.

I was introduced to the Gorean Saga through an online roleplaying chat service. It was supposed to be this perverse novel with lots of BDSM sex scenes, but it really wasn’t. It’s remarkably clean and contains very little detail in relation to overt sexual themes. I think the hype really revolves around the gender roles the book ascribes to the denizens of Gor. God forbid men behave like men and women like women! If you get a chance, I’d recommend purchasing the audiobook narrated by Ralph Lister. He does an excellent job narrating the various characters and really makes the story come alive.

  • Mr. Mann

  • The Afterlife and Times of the Devil's Acquisitor Ad Infinitum
  • By: John Byron
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 875
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 822
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 820

My name is Marten Mann. I work for the devil, or the prince of lies, as you people are so fond of calling him. Yes. You read that last line correctly. I am employed by the powers of evil as acquisitor ad infinitum. I did not seek out this job: I was chosen for the position. To put it in simpler terms, I am a broker of sorts - you know, the guy who finds out what it is that you want the most. I make it readily available to you for a price. I think we all know just how costly that one thing that you think you need so much can be.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Angle on an Age Old Story

  • By Aaron Isakson on 06-10-15

Good Fiction, Bad Theology

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

Reviewed: 07-31-17

Any additional comments?

A good overall story, reminiscent of The Screwtape Letters. The narrator was great and really made the story come alive. If you're easily offended by heresy, move on. Otherwise, take this for what it is, good fiction and nothing more.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • In The Darkness, That's Where I'll Know You: The Complete Black Room Story

  • By: Luke Smitherd
  • Narrated by: Luke Smitherd
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 247
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 247

There are hangovers, there are bad hangovers, and then there's waking up inside someone else's head. Thirty-something bartender Charlie Wilkes is faced with this dilemma when he wakes up to find himself trapped inside The Black Room - a space consisting of impenetrable darkness and a huge, ethereal screen floating in its center. It is through this screen that he sees the world of his female host, Minnie.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow - Fantastic Imagination and Gripping Story

  • By Denise Ryan on 02-21-16

Kept me on the edge of my seat!

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

Reviewed: 07-20-17

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

Absolutely. This book was positively riveting and the author's afterword was heartwarming.

What did you like best about this story?

This is the first book I've read in a long time that completely captivated me. The realism of the story truly touched me and had tears streaming down my cheeks at several points as I listened to this audiobook in one sitting. I couldn't turn it off.

Have you listened to any of Luke Smitherd’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've read several other of Smitherd's books, all of which were very well written, but this one has been my favorite thus far.

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

The jealousy and intense emotion that Charlie felt when Minnie went on a date with Chuck and Charlie's love for Minnie could be felt at every turn of the story.

Any additional comments?

Luke Smitherd is definitely a new favorite author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful