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Justin

United States
  • 17
  • reviews
  • 23
  • helpful votes
  • 72
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  • Gateway

  • By: Frederik Pohl
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman, Robert J. Sawyer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,905
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,531
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,542

When prospector Bob Broadhead went out to Gateway on the Heechee spacecraft, he decided he would know which was the right mission to make him his fortune. Three missions later, now famous and permanently rich, Robinette Broadhead has to face what happened to him and what he is...in a journey into himself as perilous and even more horrifying than the nightmare trip through the interstellar void that he drove himself to take!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A human-focused SF classic

  • By Ryan on 12-05-13

not that good

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

Reviewed: 02-15-19

it was very short, the main character was completely unlikable, the story itself had no substance and almost nothing happened.

it must have been a really slow year it won the Hugo and nebula because this book was borderline bad.

  • Forever Peace

  • By: Joe Haldeman
  • Narrated by: George Wilson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 561
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 425
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 428

War in the 21st century is fought by "soldierboys". Remote-controlled mechanical monsters, they are run by human soldiers who hard-wire their brains together to form each unit. Julian is one of these dedicated soldiers, until he inadvertently kills a young boy. Now he struggles to understand how this has changed his mind.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but not as good as The Forever War

  • By Noah on 08-25-10

pretty bad

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

Reviewed: 04-13-17

the book didn't really have a coherent plot and it seemingly meand ered from plot to plot as if each were just a vessel to explore some scfi idea. the characters weren't really likable and they seemed to spring up randomly and the way by which they achieved "peace" was downright horrible. one of the worst Scfi books I've read in a while.

  • For Us, the Living

  • A Comedy of Customs
  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 97

July 12, 1939: Perry Nelson is driving along the palisades when another vehicle swerves into his lane, a tire blows out, and his car careens off the road and over a bluff. The last thing he sees before his head connects with the boulders below is a girl in a green bathing suit, prancing along the shore.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • The only Heinlein I didn't enjoy

  • By Randall on 07-07-11

Very important and influential book

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

Reviewed: 11-30-16

This is a very interesting book, it has been highly influential on me.

First off the book reads actually more like a play than a book. It would fit more aptly in a category with books such as The Republic, Utopia, Looking Backwards, than science fiction.

There is very little action, plot, or conflict; it is mostly dialog. He attempts to put the characters in a few scenarios purely to illustrate the civics of his utopian society but that is about it for plot. For me personally, reading this unadulterated illustration of his ideas was deeply interesting and unlike others who may read this book I came away questioning everything about where we are today as a society.

The book is also interesting for Heinlein fans for no other reason than it was his first ever book and you can see the seeds of many other stories that he created throughout his career. This is like a master timeline that he used to craft subsequent books. From characters (Scudder) to technology (moving walkways) to philosophy, this book hints at the future work he eventually produced and its fascinating to see how clear his original vision was.

In this book you can clearly see the Libertarian in Heinlein. It takes great courage to question the principles of capitalism and modern economics while simultaneously being an American, and he does so with great acuity. The book appears to portend the flaws in our society and we continue to see the results of these same flaws affecting us to this day. The directness with which he cuts through the problem while simultaneously offering solutions is breathtaking. He leaves you wanting to live in his world, and feeling like for the first time ever its possible.

The sections on the future history of the united states are pretty fascinating as well, especially how he describes the rise of Scudder and predicting it to happen in 2016, the same year as actual populist president Trump rises to power. He describes the constitutional amendments his fictional congress proposes, which are designed to revoke corporate personhood and actually remains a highly topical issue at this time in history. Furthermore he goes on to describe a simple change that would require "damage" to be shown in order for proof of guilt that a crime has been committed, which is a very simple concept with broad reaching libertarian implications. He also goes on to show how a state might treat criminals as patients in need of treatment rather than slaves in need of confinement. The subtlety with which he presents subjects with broad reaching implications necessitates multiple readings of the book.

This book cements the fact that Robert A. Heinlein was a great author, driven by sheer genius. This book is a peek into the inner workings of that genius and the lifelong career that derived from that original beautiful mind.

1 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Jungle

  • By: Upton Sinclair
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,085
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 979
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 982

The Jungle is the story of Jurgis Rudkus, a Slavic immigrant who marries frail Ona Lukoszaite and seeks security and happiness as a workman in the Chicago stockyards. Once there, he is abused by foremen, his meager savings are filched by real estate sharks, and at every turn he is plagued by the misfortunes arising from poverty, poor working conditions, and disease. Finally, in accordance with Sinclair’s own creed, Rudkus turns to socialism as a way out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Real. Revolutionary. Powerful.

  • By Holly on 09-17-15

The better atlas shrugged.

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

Reviewed: 06-09-16

This book is basically what Atlas Shrugged should have been. It is a high impact tale decrying injustices in American culture, but it is well written, well thought out and has the ring of truth to it.

What's amazing is to realize that it was written over 100 years ago yet still perfectly describes the America of today. Different foreign minority groups, same basic exploitation.

It's also striking to hear the moving political oration that the book ends with and realize just how much of our own history we have forgotten. The destruction wrought by capitalism is complete.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Many-Colored Land

  • Volume 1 of the Saga of Pliocene Exile
  • By: Julian May
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 16 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 330
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 249
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 254

This is a spellbinding tale woven of equal parts epic and myth - with a liberal dash of hard science fiction. When a one-way time tunnel to Earth’s distant past, specifically six million B.C., was discovered by folks on the Galactic Milieu, every misfit for light-years around hurried to pass through it. Each sought his own brand of happiness. But none could have guessed what awaited them. Not even in a million years....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • About time - I hope we get the rest of Julian May

  • By Jon on 12-12-10

Pretty far fetched

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

Reviewed: 11-19-15

the story was pretty far fetched in general, the characters weren't super compelling. very interesting universe but with psionics, felt like a little too much. ok story, good writing style.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Scanner Darkly

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Paul Giamatti
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,728
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,373
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,372

Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D, which Arctor takes in massive doses, gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Drugs are bad

  • By Randall on 04-25-09

not good

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

Reviewed: 03-03-15

I couldn't get through this book. the reader did a great job but the story was just a jumble of drugged out nonsense.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • A Sword Into Darkness

  • By: Thomas A. Mays
  • Narrated by: Liam Owen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 206
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 188
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 189

Aerospace tycoon Gordon Elliot Lee cannot stand idly by while a mysterious alien presence from Delta Pavonis bears down upon mankind's only home. Shut out from NASA and military support, Gordon is forced to go it alone, to sow the seeds for an entirely new sort of planetary defense: a space-based naval force.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Audio Rendition of Military Sci-Fi

  • By John R. Monteith on 09-08-14

Indulge in some war sci-fi

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

Reviewed: 01-18-15

It's not a complex story or full of mind bending ideas, but is instead a classic story about human pererverance, ingenuity and blowing shit up. Take a break from the brainy stuff and indulge in some unadulterated space war.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Childhood's End

  • By: Sir Arthur C. Clarke
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer, Robert J. Sawyer - introduction
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,408
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,057
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,115

The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Food for Thought

  • By Kindle Customer on 11-17-08

pretty good

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

Reviewed: 10-24-11

It started out really strong. I thought the ending was a little dissapointing though. It kind of descended into "magic" but perhaps that's what you get when you try to cram that much into such a short book. Overall it was packed full of interesting ideas and vivid imagery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Scourge of God

  • A Novel of the Change
  • By: S. M. Stirling
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 18 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 851
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 581
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 588

Rudi MacKenzie continues his trek across the land that was once the United States of America. His destination: Nantucket, where he hopes to learn the truth behind the Change that rendered technology across the globe inoperable.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well Done!

  • By Chris on 10-03-08

dull

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

Reviewed: 10-24-11

I really liked the premise of the modern quest with these great characters but I just can't help feeling like this book is dull. Maybe it's the authors obsessive need to name everything accurately. Do I really need a complete breakdown of their meals? Do I really need to know the names of all the local flora and fauna? This whole book just felt like a drag on the overall plot.

I did get a kick out of how he used madam blavatsky's religion as the religion of the evil doers though. He had to do a little research into that craziness, which is comendable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Fire Upon the Deep

  • By: Vernor Vinge
  • Narrated by: Peter Larkin
  • Length: 21 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,793
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,510
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,519

A Fire Upon the Deep is the big, breakout book that fulfills the promise of Vinge's career to date: a gripping tale of galactic war told on a cosmic scale. Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit a universe where a mind's potential is determined by its location in space, from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths, where only simple creatures and technology can function.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a wild, wacky, awesome book!

  • By Noah on 06-20-10

Almost awesome.

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

Reviewed: 10-24-11

There really are two stories in this book which don't really intertwine until the very end. The story of the children on the planet and the aliens they encounter there is incredible. It's really a brain bending idea full of very interesting characters and new concepts. But the story of the people in space tasked with rescuing them... well it was kind of lame. Perhaps the first storyline was so compelling that I kept finding myself annoyed when it would switch away to something less interesting. Perhaps separated the two storylines would have been independently awesome. As it is I can really only say that I liked half this book, unfortunately the two halfs are every other chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful