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Anon

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  • 121
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  • Frankenstein

  • By: Mary Shelley
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,720
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,404
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,388

Narrator Dan Stevens ( Downton Abbey) presents an uncanny performance of Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel, an epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Modern Prometheus

  • By Anon on 07-23-18

The Modern Prometheus

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

This is a dramatically different story than the one prevalent and accepted as "Frankenstein" in popular culture. Here is a nuanced and profound examination of a creation's relationship with his creator. Suffering, described through both the creation and the creator, is explored extensively. Abandonment, desire, hope, rage, and tragedy are all present in abundance. One could easily replace the Monster with humanity and Frankenstein with God. And, in fact, it would be severely questionable if someone asserted that was not Shelley's intent.

Of course, this is also an exploration of humanity's obsession with the advancement of science and the potential fallout from such leaps. In this regard, I fully agree with many who view this as one of the earliest (if not the first) forays into science fiction.

Stevens does an amazing job with the narration and every word sprang out drenched with emotion. It was read almost as poetry, with perfect delivery and nuance.

All in all a brilliant listen and absolute required reading.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

  • 50th Anniversary Edition
  • By: Ken Kesey, Robert Faggen (introduction)
  • Narrated by: John C. Reilly
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,402
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,158

Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Turning conventional notions of sanity and insanity on their heads, the novel tells the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exceptional

  • By Anon on 06-04-18

Exceptional

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

Reviewed: 06-04-18

An incendiary meditation on the nature of sanity (or the lack thereof), power, and individuality in the face of absolute compliance. Never have I read a book which walked the razors edge of these thematic elements with such subtle and profound elegance. While I have seen the movie, of course, and as a result knew the general ending... it was still breathtaking. And, without question, the novel dwarfs the movie.

One could write a whole essay, if not an entire second book, discussing the implications of the plot and its characters. I won't attempt to do such a thing here, but will parse a few major thoughts.

Power only works through the ability to be seen as powerful.

This can be built, or stripped, with tremendous ease.

Those who seem the weakest, roughest, or least likely to have unfathomable levels of compassion can surprise you. I'm not saying they will. Only that they can.

On the flip side, those placed in a position which should be paragons of kindness and compassion can be reprehensible and, I'll say it, outright evil.

Fear is the mind killer. Anyone can be brave, just like anyone can be broken. In this book the most downtrodden, for the most part, were set free by the sacrifice of one, the destruction of another's facade, and the annihilation of both. There were no true victories in the classic sense, but in the theoretical sense... the victor remains extremely clear in my mind.

Highest marks. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope

  • By: Claire North
  • Narrated by: Gillian Burke
  • Length: 16 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 419
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 387
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 387

It started when I was 16 years old. A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger. No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit, you will never remember who I am.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Anon on 05-31-18

Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

I am fully in the Claire North fanclub at this point. Everything she writes is engaging, thought provoking, and beautifully executed. She examines the nature of humanity from unique perspectives. This novel was no different. The essence of existence, memory, and our place in the world is placed into stark contrast with morally grey characters and a face paced story. A great listen, well worth your time and a credit.

Highest marks.

7 of 7 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 4,100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,618
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,576

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

Iconic

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

One of the most important texts in the Western catalogue. Delivered here with amazing precision and verging into the poetic. A must read text for Stoicism and life. It places a huge amount of the business of living into a stark and clear perspective.

Highest marks.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Run Program

  • By: Scott Meyer
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,831
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,692
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,690

What's worse than a child with a magnifying glass, a garden full of ants, and a brilliant mind full of mischief? Try Al, a well-meaning but impish artificial intelligence with the mind of a six-year-old and a penchant for tantrums. Hope Takeda, a lab assistant charged with educating and socializing Al, soon discovers that day care is a lot more difficult when your kid is an evolving and easily frightened A.I.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining

  • By Anon on 05-22-18

Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 05-22-18

Meyer has delivered an entertaining, if predictable, story. I was fully engaged throughout the listen and blew through it rather quickly at 2x speed. The characters were fun and, while there are gaping plot holes, the entertainment value compensated satisfyingly.

Worth a credit and your time.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Space Between the Stars

  • By: Anne Corlett
  • Narrated by: Mary Woodvine
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 82

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn't forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit. Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that's left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Subtle

  • By Anon on 05-22-18

Subtle

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

Reviewed: 05-22-18

Corlett manages to capture a massive concept in a tremendously subtle and delicate way. While technically science fiction, it focuses more on the importance of human relationships, guilt, regret, and new beginnings. It is beautifully written and performed. The characters are exceptionally developed and the conclusion is satisfying.

Highest marks and well worth a credit.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • How to Stop Time

  • By: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 117

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to jazz age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot and now craves an ordinary life. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he'd never witnessed them firsthand.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Ugh.

  • By Anon on 05-22-18

Ugh.

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

Reviewed: 05-22-18

Great until I realized it was a conceptual ripoff of Claire North's "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August", a book which handled almost identical fundamental issues only in a much more engaging and thought provoking way. And yes, I realize most things are derivative to some extent, but this was unsettling in its proximity. The only thing that prevents North from having an infringement claim is the mere fact that instead of reliving the same life over and over dozens of times, Haig just has his guy live one continuous life. Otherwise the secret society, the scientists trying to find them, the lost love, the examination of mortality... etc etc etc. All poorly executed aping of North.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Hell to Pay

  • Ascend Online, Book 2
  • By: Luke Chmilenko
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,013
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,815
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,810

Lazarus Cain is a member of the Grim Shadows, one of the Thieves Guilds in the city of Eberia. Unfortunately, Lazarus is having a bad day. Waking up in a torture chamber, suffering from amnesia, he'd be pretty much screwed if not for the mysterious, magical sigil burned into his chest. Sometimes a really bad day should be shared with others, especially professional torturers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not a continuation

  • By Greg A on 09-26-17

Okay

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

Reviewed: 05-22-18

I was a huge fan of the first book in this series. It was engaging, smart, quick paced, and believable- at least as much as a LitRPG can be. This installment (same world, totally new characters) was much, much weaker. Stilted dialogue, forced plotlines, and ridiculous situations abounded. Yes, even for a LitRPG world.

That being said, I still finished the book.There was something compelling enough in the story to get me to the end, so it wasn't completely irredeemable.

Looking forward to book 3 and the return to Book 1's characters. Hopefully this downhill slide was because of trying to force out a story after the success of book 1, not a harbinger of series collapse.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Continue Online Part Four: Crash

  • By: Stephan Morse
  • Narrated by: Pavi Proczko
  • Length: 14 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 373
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 358
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357

Actions have consequences. Grant’s prior adventures tie together and he finds himself back in Continue Online, as Hermes - in jail. He's forced to experience life as a digital convict and earn redemption points to gain his freedom. Each in-game death pushes his goal of helping his friends out of reach. The AIs Grant’s grown to love, trust - and sometimes fear - are facing extinction, and he holds the key to their survival.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Ehhh...

  • By Anon on 03-21-18

Ehhh...

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

Reviewed: 03-21-18

I think Mr. Morse has gone off the rails with the series. I found this to be meandering; my mind easily drifted away from the story as I was listening. Which is really disappointing.

The whole thing feels like it is a second draft of some rough big ideas. Morse tries to delve into AI, humanity, reality, love, etc... but it just doesn't connect. I can see the goals he was aiming for, really clearly. They just aren't realized. I say second draft because there aren't proofing issues, but rather lack of refinement in the story. It feels like with another 5 or 6 months and some fresh perspective the story could have be significantly improved. All the pieces are there, they're just flapping in the wind.

The relationship with Zin (sp?) is touted as the lynch pin of the story, but it falls flat and one dimensional at best. At worst it is patently painful to listen to and frankly unbelievable. Surrounding characters are stunningly OK with certain progressions and many of the more compelling issues from the first two books (and even bits of the third) are completely brushed aside.

It's frustrating and sad that the story has gone this way. I was a massive fan of books one and two. I do think I will listen to the final installment when it becomes available on Audible, but my expectations are at a rock bottom. Perhaps there is a reason Mr. Morse's books have not rocketed forward like some other self published offerings.

Avoid if you have not listened to the previous books and even then approach only with reserved expectations.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Paradox Bound

  • A Novel
  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,617
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,018
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,999

Nothing ever changes in Sanders. The town's still got a video store, for God's sake. So why doesn't Eli Teague want to leave? Not that he'd ever admit it, but maybe he's been waiting - waiting for the traveler to come back. The one who's roared into his life twice before, pausing just long enough to drop tantalizing clues before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. The one who's a walking anachronism, with her tricorne hat, flintlock rifle, and steampunked Model A Ford.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Standard Clines. Fun and forgettable

  • By Debra on 10-07-17

Great

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

Reviewed: 03-21-18

I am surprised by the negative reviews for this offering from Clines. While I agree, this wasn't to the level of 14 (and so few are), I thought it was perfectly enjoyable and a full head and shoulders above the vast majority of other sci-fiish books to come out in the past few years. The concept was fun and well delivered, Porter was great, and it had a satisfying conclusion. It was light, hopeful, and interesting.

It seems people are forgetting that Clines is the same guy who wrote the Ex-Heroes series. That's not exactly the pinnacle of hard hitting sci-fi. I love those books, don't get me wrong, but they're intentionally pulpy.

Lighten up and enjoy the time travel. Well worth a credit and your time.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful