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funkyman33

Ottawa, Canada
  • 24
  • reviews
  • 47
  • helpful votes
  • 54
  • ratings
  • American Kingpin

  • The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road
  • By: Nick Bilton
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 10,960
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,105
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 10,074

In 2011, a 26-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine website hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything - drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons - free of the government's watchful eye. It wasn't long before the media got wind of the new website where anyone - not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers - could buy and sell contraband detection-free.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An honest portrait of DPR

  • By Victor on 05-18-17

Suspenseful as a good novel, but real life!

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

Reviewed: 08-01-17

Wow. This was an outstanding and compelling read. It has all the suspense and interesting characters of a good novel. It's easy to understand (even for non-techies) and will appeal to the True Crime fan as well. It took me 2 days to list to this book - I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Narconomics

  • How to Run a Drug Cartel
  • By: Tom Wainwright
  • Narrated by: Brian Hutchison
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,690
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,410
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,386

What drug lords learned from big business. How does a budding cartel boss succeed (and survive) in the $300 billion illegal drug business? By learning from the best, of course. From creating brand value to fine-tuning customer service, the folks running cartels have been attentive students of the strategy and tactics used by corporations such as Walmart, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, miscast narrator

  • By Felipe Alves on 12-15-16

An insightful look into the business of cartels

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

Reviewed: 12-06-16

This was a great book. It provided amazing insight into the drug trade, how it functions, and the problem with our current "War on Drugs". The only major weakness was a minimization of the opioid epidemic currently happening in North America. While opioids were mentioned, they were reduced to a doctor-created problem and the author didn't go into much detail regarding the current steep rise in addiction. This can be excused by the fact that the book was published before the epidemic became widely known. I would highly recommend this book!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Agent to the Stars

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,983
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,003
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,993

The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hollywood Agent Represents Stinky Aliens

  • By Bryan on 04-22-11

Interesting, fun book - great narration

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

Reviewed: 09-07-14

I like most of John Scalzi's books, and this was no different. The concept is very funny, and the execution is good. The characters are interesting, but we never completely get a full feel for their qualities. For example, why was Tom's grandmother thrown in there, other than to move the plot forward? We never got a sense that his grandmother was important to him.

Overall, the book is entertaining and typically (for Scalzi) very funny. But, it was a very light read, and not quite as interesting as Red Shirts or Androids Dream.

Wil Wheaton's narration is brilliant as usual - he's rapidly becoming one of my favourite narrators!

  • The Fall of the Governor

  • The Walking Dead, Book 3
  • By: Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 805
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 729
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 733

The Walking Dead original novel series, set in the universe of Robert Kirkman's iconic universe, continues with The Fall of the Governor. From co-authors Kirkman, creator of the Eisner Award-winning comic book and executive producer of AMC's blockbuster TV series, and Jay Bonansinga, Stoker Award-finalist and internationally acclaimed author, comes the gripping third novel in this richly woven, literary saga, which began with The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I can't wait for the next book

  • By Judy on 03-09-14

Fills in holes in the comic, but not as compelling

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

Reviewed: 09-07-14

I'm a Walking Dead fan - I've read the comics in trades, watch the show, and thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series. This was seemed superfluous, however. While it fills in some of the holes from the comics (it is set in the comic world, not in the TV show world), there was a lot of overlap. I felt this really made the book less compelling and interesting. It's worth a read, but I'm not sure I can highly recommend it if you've already read the first 50 issues of the comic.

  • Year Zero

  • A Novel
  • By: Rob Reid
  • Narrated by: John Hodgman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,622
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,414
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,412

Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it's a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity's music ever since "Year Zero" (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic Performance by Hodgman

  • By Robert on 08-15-12

Fun, satisfying book, amazing narration.

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

Reviewed: 09-07-14

This is a fun little book with a great concept. I would highly advise the audio book, read by John Hodgeman - his narration really adds to the humour and absurdity. Overall, it was very satisfying and fun.

  • The Circle

  • By: Dave Eggers
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,945
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7,300
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7,318

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

Like a prequel to 1984, if Big Brother was Google.

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

Reviewed: 08-12-14

This book is like a prequel to 1984, if Big Brother was Google (aka The Circle). It's an interesting-enough concept, but the book simply isn't fantastic. It hits you over the head with its message (which is very alarmist), and it's predictable (who DIDN'T know who her love interest was?). It's exciting at times, and repetitive at others. It's worth reading, but it's just not an outstanding book.

The narration was fine, but I felt distracted by the male voice to the female protagonist. Many main characters were female, so I felt as though perhaps the narrator should have been female.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • My Horizontal Life

  • A Collection of One-Night Stands
  • By: Chelsea Handler
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,612
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,025
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,031

You've either done it or know someone who has: the one-night stand, the familiar outcome of a night spent at a bar, sometimes the sole payoff for your friend's irritating wedding, or the only relief from a disastrous vacation. Often embarrassing and uncomfortable, occasionally outlandish, but most times just a necessary and irresistible evil, the one-night stand is a social rite as old as sex itself and as common as a bar stool.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Chelsea, You are HYSTERICAL!

  • By Kathryn on 12-10-08

Not funny. Not even a chuckle.

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

Reviewed: 08-12-14

I got about halfway through this book. It's just not funny. At all. I stopped.

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 159,965
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 147,615
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 147,456

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

One of the best books I've read in the past 5 yrs!

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

Reviewed: 07-07-14

This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's literally science-fiction. This is not laser battles and spaceships science fiction. This is science fiction based on science which could happen in the near (next 50-75 years) future. Multiple people have called this Apollo 13 meets Cast Away. There's a healthy amount of McGuyver mixed in here.

The lead character is extremely compelling, smart, and funny - which is good, because much of the book takes place with him stranded alone on Mars. The description of how he survives is very detailed and obviously well-researched. It's very scientific, but never gets boring. The book builds in excitement, and I was on the edge of my seat for much of the last 1/4 of the story.

The writing is exciting and fast-paced, yet never dumbs things down. The narration is fantastic as well - exciting, crisp and funny. I would highly recommend this book!

  • Calculating God

  • By: Robert J. Sawyer
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,591
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,859
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,877

In this Hugo-nominated novel, an alien walks into a museum and asks if he can see a paleontologist. But the arachnid ET hasn't come aboard a rowboat with the Pope and Stephen Hawking (although His Holiness does request an audience later). Landing at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the spacefarer, Hollus, asks to compare notes on mass extinctions with resident dino-scientist Thomas Jericho.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting book, very enjoyable narration

  • By Ione on 05-07-10

Interesting, but sometimes preachy.

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

Reviewed: 05-24-14

The theme of this book is very unique and interesting - aliens who arrive to Earth believe in God, and try to convince us that God exists (with scientific evidence). I enjoyed the characters in the book (at least the human ones) and how they interacted with the aliens. The ended was particularly strong and really developed the protagonist's character.

However I found the writing distracting. The author refers extensively to Toronto and Canadian politics, which (as someone who grew up in Toronto) distracted at times and felt unnecessary. In addition, I found the book got preachy at times, and descended into long diatribes about religion and god. This took me out of the story (which is fundamentally fiction, but with a strong argument).

  • Zealot

  • The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
  • By: Reza Aslan
  • Narrated by: Reza Aslan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,999
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,567
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,558

From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E.

  • By Charles on 07-22-13

Interesting, but not earth-shattering

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

Reviewed: 02-25-14

While there were times when this book provided interesting insight into the life of Jesus, the majority really drew heavily from the New Testament, and what was already printed in those pages. As a non-Christian, I was certainly unaware of some aspects of the story, but I wonder how much extra was gained beyond what has already been written. Interesting, and worth reading, but not earth-shattering.