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John

United States
  • 28
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 91
  • ratings
  • Cloud Atlas

  • By: David Mitchell
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
  • Length: 19 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,106
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,126

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I laughed often with the kindly Mr. Cavendish

  • By Aaron on 08-23-12

Brilliant Book; great narration!

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

Reviewed: 06-29-18

I only recently discovered David Mitchell, and i regret it took me so long. I consistently find him to be the best writer i've encountered in a long time. And this is really kind of his magnum opus. Treat yourself and listen to it slowly; enjoy every sentence!

  • The Buried Giant

  • A Novel
  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: David Horovitch
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,840
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,681
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,684

"You've long set your heart against it, Axl, I know. But it's time now to think on it anew. There's a journey we must go on, and no more delay..." The Buried Giant begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in nearly a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge, and war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The beauty of the reveal

  • By Pete on 03-17-15

Heavy on the allegory

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

Reviewed: 06-29-18

I tend to like Ishiguro's slow pacing, but this one is not a winner for me. The allegory is pretty thick (even if it's unclear what exactly he's allegorizing - other than the aftermath of war and the repression of memory).

  • And Again

  • A Novel
  • By: Jessica Chiarella
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Joy Osmanski, Rebekkah Ross, and others
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 317
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 289
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 289

Would you live your life differently if you were given a second chance? Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda - four terminally ill patients - have been selected for the SUBlife pilot program, which will grant them brand-new, genetically perfect bodies that are exact copies of their former selves - without a single imperfection. Blemishes, scars, freckles, and wrinkles have all disappeared; their fingerprints are different; their vision is impeccable; and, most importantly, their illnesses have been cured.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I hoped

  • By Alice on 01-15-16

basically a whiny dockers commercial

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

Any additional comments?

each of the characters seems to overlook the fact that they'd be dead were it not for body transfer in this whiny story about how hard it is to adjust to a new body.

  • Dark Matter

  • A Novel
  • By: Blake Crouch
  • Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,273
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,023
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,022

"Are you happy with your life?" Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend."

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Schrödinger's box gets opened. Meh steps out.

  • By Darwin8u on 09-19-16

basically a thriller

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

Any additional comments?

i think this book would make a good sci-fi tv series. lots of basis for recurring episodes, but nothing really compelling or interesting. you'd only watch to see what different world they'd stumble into today.

  • Lincoln in the Bardo

  • A Novel
  • By: George Saunders
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,166
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,790
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,760

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • George Saunders answer to Dante's Inferno

  • By Betty Vance on 10-02-17

shocked this won anything

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

Any additional comments?

the narrators make this book tolerable. it is otherwise a grad level history paper.

  • Semiosis

  • A Novel
  • By: Sue Burke
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Davies, Daniel Thomas May
  • Length: 14 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 455
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 434
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 435

Forced to land on a planet they aren't prepared for, human colonists rely on their limited resources to survive. The planet provides a lush but inexplicable landscape - trees offer edible, addictive fruit one day and poison the next, while the ruins of an alien race are found entwined in the roots of a strange plant. Conflicts between generations arise as they struggle to understand one another and grapple with an unknowable alien intellect.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Weird. But good. But weird.

  • By Lilyn G. on 03-20-18

the plant talks: enough said

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

Any additional comments?

the idea here is great: what might intelligence look like in a plant? and could humans ever hope to communicate with it? well, the answer is yes because the plant thinks in internal monologues and just has to figure out a way to convert that to words. narrators do a perfectly fine job with what is basically a kind of early-civilizations-learning-to-get-along (one just happens to be a plant) story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Circle

  • By: Dave Eggers
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,623
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7,003
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7,016

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrifying look at a techno-destruction of privacy

  • By FinanceBuzz on 01-20-14

Don't bother

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

Any additional comments?

The setup is perfectly interesting (although kinda trite by now): big tech company with hands in everything might actually be more devious than even they know. but the plot of playing that out is very predictable and the narrator just ends up sounding like a moron. it kinda reads like a MadLibs done by a really smart person - not so much a book or a novel, but just a series of thought experiments.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ghostwritten

  • By: David Mitchell
  • Narrated by: William Rycroft
  • Length: 15 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 409
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 365
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 364

Oblivious to the bizarre ways in which their lives intersect, nine characters - a terrorist in Okinawa, a record-shop clerk in Tokyo, a money-laundering British financier in Hong Kong, an old woman running a tea shack in China, a transmigrating "noncorpum" entity seeking a human host in Mongolia, a gallery-attendant-cum-art-thief in Petersburg, a drummer in London, a female physicist in Ireland, and a radio deejay in New York - hurtle toward a shared destiny of astonishing impact.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Journeys of connectedness

  • By Ryan on 07-27-13

Best book I've read in a decade

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

Any additional comments?

First, I like his writing. it's so meticulous but gentle. in any case, this, i think is far better than bone clocks (with its whole back story of good v. evil). the plot is intricately interwoven but not easily disentangled. This, to me, is the prefect combination of conceptual bravery and brilliant craftsmanship. the single narrator can make things confusing at times in transitions but if you know that going in, it won't be a problem.

  • Borne

  • By: Jeff VanderMeer
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 647
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 600
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 599

In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company - a biotech firm now derelict - and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Rough Narrator

  • By Guitarist of the Midwest on 07-13-17

his books always disappoint (they promise so much)

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

Would you listen to Borne again? Why?

no

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

bored

Any additional comments?

The novel starts off very interesting with lots of curious and inventive components of this apocalyptic world. But the story quickly devolves into...well...an obvious narrative about humans and monsters. and then just becomes a kind of (maternal and then romantic) love story. it's like he gave up after chapter 2 and decided to stop making things and start telling a story. this seems to me to recur (having read the southern reach). i find it incredibly disappointing, but only because it seems to have so much interesting potential.

  • Station Eleven

  • By: Emily St. John Mandel
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,718
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,160
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,160

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Symphonies, Caravans, Comics, and a Plague

  • By kurdis teed on 03-21-18

remarkable remake of the post-apocalyptic narrativ

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

Reviewed: 12-20-16

Any additional comments?

The book took me an unusually long time to get sucked into - it starts with several very disparate narratives only tenuously connected through what appears to be a gimmick (a comic book that the narratives have in common). However, as it developed, i began to see that it was a really imaginative and provocative way to remake the usual desolate post-apocalyptic narrative. I'd now say its one of the best books I've read this year.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful