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J. Klinghoffer

Salt Lake City, UT
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 140
  • helpful votes
  • 9
  • ratings
  • The Fold

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,175
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28,128

The folks in Mike Erikson's small New England town would say he's just your average, everyday guy. And that's exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he's chosen isn't much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he's content with his quiet and peaceful existence. That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fun premise, great performance, weak story

  • By J. Klinghoffer on 08-06-15

Fun premise, great performance, weak story

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

Reviewed: 08-06-15

Have seen quite a few reviews praising this as being an original and even "out-of-the-box". It's not. It borrows heavily from the plot lines of several 1990's video games and ends with a scene ripped straight from a 1997 blockbuster sci-fi movie.

What it is, however, is a great opener, with an interesting mystery and a couple of initially intriguing characters. The setup is sort of trope-y (secret govt science, ominous signs of something going wrong, super competent hero-protagonist), but the prose, banter and character development of a genius English teacher are slick enough to make you feel that anticipation you get as you slowly climb to the first apex of a roller coaster.

Unfortunately, for me, it was all anticipation and no rush. The plot was close to transparent from outset, which of course dims the payoff, but it was really the characters themselves that really irritated me.

First, the protagonist was never really developed beyond the opening chapters. All we ever manage to learn about him is that: a) he likes being an English teacher, b) he's really, really smart and c) he has a perfect memory, which can be a burden. We are given the barest glimpses of the internal workings of a mind that, by all rights should be running NASA, but instead chooses to be a high school teacher.

Second, the conclusions and decisions of the characters do not prove out the premise that they are extremely intelligent scientists and a super-genius. With my middling IQ, I sorted out what was happening to the science team in the first chapter with little more than the title and cover graphic to go on. Yet, the super-genius protagonist couldn't rationalize it with several traditional clues, even as a far flung possibility, until much later on. This theme would run throughout the book, with the protagonist failing to make connections and manage obvious risk until it was too late to prevent bad things from happening. It started to feel like a Hollywood action script where characters are forced to make poor decisions for no better reason than to expedite the plot. Indeed, there were times when I actively disliked the characters I was supposed to be rooting for because their obviously terrible decision making was putting billions of fictional lives at risk.

If you are someone who easily suspends disbelief and don't get too wrapped up in the logic of how a story progresses, this could be a fun, fluffy, sci-fi romp. If you are looking for something equally lightweight and fun, but with intelligence, check out John Scalzi.

P.S. Vocal performance was excellent!

123 of 146 people found this review helpful

  • If Ever They Happened Upon My Lair

  • A Tale from The Legend of Drizzt
  • By: R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 1 hr and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 276
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278

Celebrated nerd hero Wil Wheaton ( Star Trek: The Next Generation; The Big Bang Theory) brings R.A. Salvatore's only Forgotten Realms novella to audio. If Ever They Happened Upon My Lair is a story of the Bloodstone Lands that deals with a contested issue of the Forgotten Realms: the mortality of dragons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wil Wheaton is bad ass!

  • By rob on 08-19-14

Not impressed

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

Reviewed: 02-19-15

This is a handful of generic fantasy tropes wrapped up into an hour and a half of mediocre prose, uninspired characters and cringe worthy dialogue. Have no idea why this was so highly rated. On the plus side, Wil Wheaton is a great reader.

Definitely NOT worth a whole credit.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Beyond Outrage

  • What Has Gone Wrong with Our Economy and Our Democracy, and How to Fix Them
  • By: Robert B. Reich
  • Narrated by: Robert B. Reich
  • Length: 3 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172

Robert B. Reich urges Americans to get beyond mere outrage about the nation’s increasingly concentrated wealth and corrupt politics in order to mobilize and to take back our economy and democracy. Americans can’t rely only on getting good people elected, Reich argues, because nothing positive happens in Washington unless good people outside Washington are organized to help make those things happen after the election. But in order to be effectively mobilized, we need to see the big picture.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good, quick overview of our troubles

  • By Staceghost on 02-13-15

Falls short

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

Reviewed: 11-04-13

I was looking for some insight on economic and social inequality after seeing a clip of Robert Reich speaking about the topic on a news program. I bought this without knowing much about the author, but he didn't sound like a demagogue and the reviews are so glowing that I thought it would be an interesting listen. The last 3 hours of listening to semi-hysterical talking points have proven me wrong.

This book is probably well regarded on Audible for the same reason that Ann Coulter's toxic brand of punditry get high marks - most people who buy Beyond Outrage are the proverbial choir.

The three part book can roughly be summed up as:

Part 1: Big business and it's senior leadership are wealthy sociopaths.
Part 2: The republican party lacks compassion.
Part 3: Get out and demonstrate/debate

As a left of middle moderate who understands our financial system reasonably well, I found Reich's arguments to be fairly standard Democratic rhetoric. I did not hear technology, globalization, or economic efficiency mentioned at all. As huge contributors to the current state of the world's economies, these are usually central concepts when discussing long term solutions to US economic woes. Additionally, Reich is strangely mute on the rising bar of entry for would be entrepreneurs and how that impacts economic and social inequality by closing the door on the traditional American method for bootstrapping out of poverty.

Ultimately, this book addresses a really complex set of issues in a short period of time. The approach means that a lot of things are going to be rolled up into oversimplified sound bytes, but it doesn't mean that the material has to come across as political propaganda. Unfortunately, I can't help but feel like I've been at a three hour Occupy Wall Street rally. If you are looking for intuitive, insightful commentary on the current state of the US economy and its challenges, you might want to look elsewhere.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • The Prefect

  • By: Alastair Reynolds
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,406
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,059
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,061

Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the multifaceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that left 900 people dead, a crime that appalls even a hardened cop like Dreyfus.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best yet of the Revelation Space series

  • By Michael G Kurilla on 04-03-11

Subpar for Reynolds

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

Reviewed: 07-19-13

This is a bad detective novel lent credibility by Reynolds ability to write good speculative fiction. At times, the writing feels lazy and contrived, forcing characters into situations through auspicious circumstances or really poor decision making that fulfill the literary checklist for writing fiction novels. While this may be because Reynolds got bored writing the book and just wanted it to conclude, it feels more like he lacks any real understanding of how large organizations operate, replete with politics and how senior executives operate in their lofty positions. Thus the human side of the story suffers from amateurish over-simplicity while the sci-fi elements try to rescue an increasing irritating plot that was seemingly written for the sole purpose of setting the final chapter's stage.

On the plus side, John Lee's reading was excellent. He delivers his usual range of characterizations, which are both pleasant to listen to and provide a clear picture of whom is speaking and when.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • V Is for Vengeance

  • A Kinsey Millhone Mystery
  • By: Sue Grafton
  • Narrated by: Judy Kaye
  • Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,078
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,763
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,747

A woman with a murky past who kills herself-or was it murder? A dying old man cared for by the son he pummeled mercilessly. A lovely woman whose life is about to splinter into a thousand fragments. A professional shoplifting ring racking up millions in stolen goods. A brutal and unscrupulous gangster. A wandering husband, rich and powerful. A spoiled kid awash in gambling debt thinking he can beat the system. A lonely widower mourning the death of his lover, desperate for answers that may be worse than the pain of his loss.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A credit well spent...

  • By Kitty on 11-23-11

Couldn't finish the book

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

Reviewed: 04-20-13

The narrator for this book was so difficult to listen to for my husband and I. I can't help but conjure an image of a chain smoking Angela Lansbury. Not the image I had in my head for Kinsey Malone and her attempts at male voices made the men in the book sound pretty effeminate. Especially distracting when the men are supposed to be hardened types. So..disregard the overall and story ratings (couldn't write a review without them), the narrator just didn't seem right for the part.

  • Inheritance

  • The Inheritance Cycle, Book 4
  • By: Christopher Paolini
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 31 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,586
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,411
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,485

Not so very long ago, Eragon - Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider - was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All the reviews had me worried for nothing!

  • By Robert on 05-10-12

Frustratingly cliche

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

Reviewed: 02-01-12

The reading is great, but the story itself is so drawn out with fillers and the scenes of the final confrontation with Galbotorix are so mind bendingly cliche I wish I hadn't spent the money.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful