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Michael Valentine

San Francisco
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 13
  • helpful votes
  • 21
  • ratings
  • In a Sunburned Country

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,542
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,896
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,894

Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion on the Appalachian Trail resulted in the best seller A Walk in the Woods. Now, we follow him "Down Under" to Australia with this delectably funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance that combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. More from Bill Bryson.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Laugh out loud funny

  • By Larry on 06-09-03

Fantastic fun and hilarious!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Bryson does it again. And while at first I kindly wish he had hired a professional narrator, by the third listen I cannot imagine anyone else reading this book aloud.

  • Antidote

  • A Robert Cook Mystery Thriller
  • By: John Patrick Lonergan
  • Narrated by: Dan Lawson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

S group of Soviet Georgians develop a strain of common bacteria and create an epidemic against the Russian High Command. Robert Cook, a microbiologist in La Jolla helps track down the perpetrators through France, Moscow and the Georgian republic. The novel features the sights, sounds and tastes of those lands, while bringing in enough science to interest the lay reader who likes a galloping thriller...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It is a very well written mystery thriller

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 04-02-15

Immersive and Interesting

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

Reviewed: 09-03-15

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

Yes, and I have. You can see Mr.Lonergan's complete understanding of the subject matter (germ warfare) from the beginning.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Antidote?

The crossing into Georgia from Russia.

Which character – as performed by Dan Lawson – was your favorite?

His voices for the computers and his Slavic accents were wonderful, but my favorite was Robert Cook. I could feel his life.

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

It made me a bit nervous.

Any additional comments?

This book started off kind of slow; both the writing and the narration. But once the ground work was laid and the story really got going (around Chapter 4), I felt as though I had been transported to another life. Very good!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Art of Fielding

  • A Novel
  • By: Chad Harbach
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,849
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,581
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,588

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not Quite ~

  • By S. on 03-03-12

An instant classic!

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

Reviewed: 09-08-14

If you could sum up The Art of Fielding in three words, what would they be?

heartfelt, layered, human (as viewed through an American)

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Art of Fielding?

Without giving any spoilers - the entire book

Which scene was your favorite?

Henry arriving at Westish.

If you could rename The Art of Fielding, what would you call it?

Skrimshander

Any additional comments?

I don't want to give too much away. Like all classic literature, Chad Harbach transports us into college life through the eyes of a baseball player. He immerses us in the lives of his characters so richly, that it's as though we lived with them, along slide them, and in between them. We are by turns: parents, teammates, classmates, coaches, and college presidents. I've listened to it three times and read it three times.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Blast from the Past

  • A Mac Faraday Mystery, Book 4
  • By: Lauren Carr
  • Narrated by: Dan Lawson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

In this fourth mystery on Deep Creek Lake, Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents. Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town, things may be hotter than even he can handle.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Who done it? ...and why?

  • By Michael Valentine on 09-08-14

Who done it? ...and why?

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

Reviewed: 09-08-14

If you could sum up Blast from the Past in three words, what would they be?

quick-paced, engaging, fun

What other book might you compare Blast from the Past to and why?

One specific book? That's tough! Blast From the Past follows in the great tradition of pulp page-turners. Their are hints of Patterson, Christie and Grafton

Which character – as performed by Dan Lawson – was your favorite?

Gnarly of course! For humans, I'd have to say Bogie.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Just when you thought you've outrun your past, you turn to find it standing in front of you!

Any additional comments?

This was a fun summer listen. The characters were rich and engaging. The voice talent does not disappoint.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Darmageddon

  • The Living Dead Trilogy, Book III
  • By: Joseph Souza
  • Narrated by: Dan Lawson
  • Length: 14 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

Taking off where Darpocalypse left off, Dar and her weary band of survivors flee Boston in two 18-wheelers in order to meet up with her family in Washington State. Pursued by an army general hell-bent on capturing Dar’s most precious cargo, the group embarks on a cross-country journey through the zombie-infested heart of America.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Author and Narrator on the Rise!

  • By Michael Valentine on 05-11-14

Author and Narrator on the Rise!

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

Reviewed: 05-11-14

If you could sum up Darmageddon in three words, what would they be?

Imaginative. Emerging. Fun.

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

The story is left unfinished. Quite a few questions need to be answered! I'm guessing "Dardemption" is next.

Which scene was your favorite?

Any scene with the character named Brownie was great.

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

Not too extreme. This book has quite a bit more humor than the previous two. Which works well.

Any additional comments?

Now before you listen to this audiobook and start ripping me for the high rating I gave it, know this: This isn't a book by Arthur C Clarke. This book is like a triple "A" affiliate in baseball. As such, you don't go to a minor league game with the same expectations as you do for a major league game. You judge the individual game on it's own merits. Having said that: Souza has grown immensely since the release of his first book. His writing has improved in all areas as he discovers his "voice." Make no mistake, he does have a ways to go. Hiring a competent editor is a must for his next book. I have a bit of OCD, and when I read a book that's part of a series, I must read the entire series! It's a problem, I know (I even slogged through all of the "Wheel of Time" books even though there was nothing new after book four). Souza is going to be a very good fiction writer in the near future, and Darmageddon is another step in the right direction. As for the narrator, Dan Lawson: This guy is amazing! His characterizations are some of the best I've ever heard in audiobooks. Some of the characters (Brownie, General Townsend, Cephus, and Jamal to name a few) are so diverse that I was sure that there was more than one narrator being used. Some of Lawson's earlier audiobook narrations aren't very good; even bordering on terrible. But like Souza, he has gotten better and better by leaps and bounds. This narration is one of his best, and one of the best books I've listened to in the last year (performance-wise). I found myself listening to several chapters multiple times! He has narrated quite a few books that are not available on Audible, but can be found on other sites such as iTunes and Simply Audiobooks. If you're a fan of discovering artists before they blow-up, then listen to Darmageddon. Souza and Lawson are on the rise. And one day you can say, "I knew them when.."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Darpocalypse

  • The Living Dead Trilogy, Book II
  • By: Joseph Souza
  • Narrated by: Dan Lawson
  • Length: 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 6

The second wave of the plague has struck with a brutal vengeance and a full-on zombie apocalypse has spread throughout every corner of the world. Abandoned by her father, Dar has managed to set up a camp in the Boston Common. Surrounded by hordes of ravenous zombies, one person living inside the camp holds the key to their survival. A few lucky people on Earth have developed a mysterious immunity from the plague. Known as ghosts, they are prized for their ability to walk among the dead and gather food and supplies without fear.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • "Mule-Kick" said three times in 20 minute period.

  • By Liquid Epsilon on 03-12-13

Better than the Reawakwening, but still needs work

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

Reviewed: 03-19-13

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The writing needs to improve. Many times you are left pondering the grammar.

Would you ever listen to anything by Joseph Souza again?

In the future,sure. The growth from his first book to the second was huge. But still a ways to go.

Which character – as performed by Dan Lawson – was your favorite?

Brabas had a cool voice. And I like the guys from Boston; they were hilarious.

What character would you cut from Darpocalypse?

Not sure.

Any additional comments?

The only reason I listened to this book was because I bought it in tandem with the first and it was already on my smartphone. I ran out of material and decided to give it a try. I was expecting it to be horrible -and let's be clear, it wasn't very good- but it was much better than The Reawkening by far. Better writing, better character development and better narration. It felt like I was listening to a cheesy Saturday matinee movie. Which made me nostalgic, so I listened to it while eating popcorn :)

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Star Trek Memories

  • By: William Shatner
  • Narrated by: William Shatner
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 344
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241

Boldly going where no audio has gone before, Star Trek Memories is William Shatner's own behind-the-scenes look at the legendary '60s television series that continues to spawn movies, books, and series spin-offs 26 years after the last episode aired. Avid Trekkers are sure to be delighted with this first-hand account from Captain Kirk himself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • good insider view

  • By Barton on 05-11-06

Shatner; Reads. His Own. Book.

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

Reviewed: 03-14-13

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

Yes. It's William Freakin' Shatner!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Star Trek Memories?

Listening to how one of the networks heard all of Gene Roddenberry's ideas about Star Trek. Passed on the idea. Then created Lost in Space from Gene's notes.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Well...it IS William Shatner.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not really a "movie" kind of book

Any additional comments?

If you're curious about Star Trek or are a major fan, this is an awesome book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Reawakening

  • The Living Dead Trilogy, Book I
  • By: Joseph Souza
  • Narrated by: Dan Lawson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 10

A series of terrible things begin to happen when a scientist with a dark past resumes his genetic experiments in a small Maine town. The animals suddenly become aggressive for no apparent reason, attacking anyone within sight, including Rick's wife. After slaughtering his diseased herd, Rick realizes to his horror that they have come back to life. Soon the farm is under siege by the deranged animals, and a small group of refugees who have assembled in the farmhouse must hunker down and defend themselves against the terrible onslaught of cannibals.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Cannot finish due to poor performance

  • By Amanda H. on 02-28-13

Ambition Ahead of Ability

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

Reviewed: 03-14-13

What would have made The Reawakening better?

Editing. The writing was very juvenile.

What could Joseph Souza have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Hired a better editor.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I liked the narrator. Good voice. Dark. It was hard to listen to because the writing was all over the place.

What character would you cut from The Reawakening?

I wouldn't cut him but I'd change the Uncle. He was a walking talking cliche.

Any additional comments?

I'm a sucker for Zombie books. I simply can't get enough of them. This one had some lofty ideas that weren't fully realized. It was really amateur and badly written.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 216,916
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 202,578
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202,166

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

A Wild Ride to the Past from the Future

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

Reviewed: 03-13-13

Where does Ready Player One rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near the top for sheer pop entertainment!

What did you like best about this story?

How creative it was. It was an awesome blend of several great stories from the past.

Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favorite?

Og the Great and Powerful and Sorentto.

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

Pretty much

Any additional comments?

If you love video games, the 80's and movies you'll love this book!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Old Man's War

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,081
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,026
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,036

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun and Witty Military Sci-Fi

  • By M. Spencer on 10-21-12

Teriffic From Start to Finish

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

Reviewed: 03-13-13

What made the experience of listening to Old Man's War the most enjoyable?

The imagination and the writing.

What did you like best about this story?

It's such an interesting take on the Sci-fi genre. Great pacing.

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

It took me a little while to get used to him, but I ended up really liking him.

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

No. just a smile.

Any additional comments?

I'll be checking out John Scalzi again!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful