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Patrick Barney

  • 14
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 20
  • ratings
  • Lost Empress

  • By: Sergio De La Pava
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Full Cast
  • Length: 19 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

From the acclaimed PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize-winning author of A Naked Singularity, a shockingly hilarious novel that tackles, with equal aplomb, both America’s most popular sport and its criminal justice system. From Paterson, New Jersey, to Rikers Island to the streets of New York, Sergio de la Pava’s Lost Empress introduces listeners to a cast of characters unlike any other in modern fiction: dreamers and exiles, immigrants and night-shift workers, a lonely pastor and others on the fringes of society - each with their own impact on the fragile universe they navigate.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Bizarre

  • By Larry on 07-08-18

Pretty good, though somewhat puzzling.

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

Reviewed: 04-15-19

Very entertaining novel. Excellent full narration cast. Super puzzling ending. Not sure how it shapes the rest of the novel. But its musings on the criminal justice system and on the nature of time are superb.

  • White Noise

  • By: Don DeLillo
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 255
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 224
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 223

When an industrial accident unleashes an "airborne toxic event", a lethal black chemical cloud floats over the Gladneys' lives. The menacing cloud is a more urgent and visible version of the "white noise" engulfing the Gladneys - radio transmissions, sirens, microwaves, ultrasonic appliances, and TV murmurings - pulsing with life yet suggesting something ominous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator is superlative - danke Herr Prichard

  • By Dee on 08-22-17

Okay, not great.

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

Reviewed: 04-05-19

On some level, I just don't get what DeLillo is doing. He's funny at some points. really funny. at others, he just seems super bland.

  • The Sot-Weed Factor

  • By: John Barth
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pariseau
  • Length: 41 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 191
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 162

Considered by critics to be Barth's most distinguished novel, The Sot-Weed Factor has acquired the status of a modern classic. Set in the late 1600s, it recounts the chaotic odyssey of the hapless, ungainly Ebeneezer Cooke. Cooke is sent to the New World to oversee his father's tobacco business and to record the struggles of the Maryland colony in an epic poem. On his mission, he is captured by pirates and Indians; loses his father's estate to roguish impostors; falls in love with a former prostitute; and meets a gallery of treacherous characters who continually switch identities.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An adventure full of bawdy humour, wit and wonder

  • By Janice on 01-10-12

Pretty freaking entertaining.

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

Reviewed: 03-22-19

This book is hilarious, exciting, and offers an engaging mix of satire and earnestness. It functions on multiple levels: as a parody of historical novels, as a fantastically plotted historical novel in its own right, and as a treatise on the permeability of identity. One would think that, at 41 hours in length, a listener might get bored, but the narrative is enveloping at nearly every moment. Actually a fast listen despite it's length. Narrator is also excellent.

  • To a God Unknown

  • By: John Steinbeck, Robert DeMott (introduction)
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 253
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 225

Set in familiar Steinbeck territory, To a God Unknown is a mystical tale, exploring one man's attempt to control the forces of nature and, ultimately, to understand the ways of God.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Steinbeck; Terrible and Beautiful

  • By Michael on 04-28-13

Pretty Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 02-22-19

An interesting exploration of the pagan roots of Christianity and what has been lost through the demystification of the practice of Christianity. Decent narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Martian Time-Slip

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 105

On an arid Mars, local bigwigs compete with Earth-bound interlopers to buy up land before the Un develops it and its value skyrockets. Martian Union leader Arnie Kott has an ace up his sleeve, though: an autistic boy named Manfred who seems to have the ability to see the future. In the hopes of gaining an advantage on a Martian real estate deal, powerful people force Manfred to send them into the future, where they can learn about development plans.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • best yet

  • By Nate on 08-15-16

Not amazing or anything.

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

Reviewed: 02-19-19

This is the second book I've read by Philip K Dick, and I wasn't really impressed with the first one I read either (The Man in the High Castle), but since people adore him, I thought I'd give him another shot. I searched for a plot that seemed pretty interesting, and it was interesting to some extent. But Dick doesn't really create characters so much as use them ironically for his own purposes, so I didn't find this book too appealing.

  • Zeroville

  • By: Steve Erickson
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

On the same August day in 1969 that a crazed hippie "family" led by Charles Manson commits five savage murders in the canyons above Los Angeles, a young ex-communicated seminarian arrives with images of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift - "the two most beautiful people in the history of the movies" - tattooed on his head. At once childlike and violent, Vikar is not a cineaste but "cineautistic," sleeping at night in the Roosevelt Hotel where he's haunted by the ghost of D. W. Griffith.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow, this book is amazing!

  • By Christina on 07-11-17

Mind-boggling and awesome!

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

Reviewed: 02-05-19

This book is great! I think I'd have to read it again to really figure out what the ending means, but thematically the novel touches on the circularity of narrative, the complexity of reality, and the problem of evil. Really fantastic. Would recommend to anyone interested in a challenging read. Also, Bronson Pinchot as the narrator is fantastic. Best narrator I've listened to on Audible so far.

  • The Dispossessed

  • A Novel
  • By: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,990
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,789
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,799

Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Anarres, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favorite novels of all time

  • By Isaac on 10-09-10

Interesting thought experiment.

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

Le Guin's novel explores the possibilities of anarchism through the juxtaposition of Urras (a capitalist world like our own) and Annares, a moon on which an anarchist colony has been settled for close to 200 years. Definitely worth a read if you're interested in anarchism (as I am). The novel explores both positives and negatives of anarchism, offering a critical examination of its possibilities. So, the thematic level, the novel works very well. Narratively, the novel is less interesting. There was very little tension until the very end, so if you're looking for a gripping thrill-ride, this isn't really the book for you. Le Guin's not that interesting of a stylist either, so don't look for this book to blow you away on the sentence-level. Narrator was excellent. Very soft, calming voice.

  • The Crossing

  • The Border Trilogy, Book Two
  • By: Cormac McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 14 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 472
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 429

In the late 1930s, 16-year-old Billy Parham captures a she-wolf that has been marauding his family's ranch. But instead of killing it, he decides to take it back to the mountains of Mexico. With that crossing he begins an arduous and often dreamlike journey into a country where men meet ghosts and violence strikes as suddenly as heat lightning - a world where there is no order "save that which death has put there".

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not my favorite , But still wonderfull

  • By shane on 06-16-16

McCarthy's best work.

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

Fantastic book and fantastically read. Deals with a host of philosophical problems: the question of truth, the problem of evil, the artificiality of boundaries, the conflicts between self and other. On top of all this, the story is itself engaging and moving. Truly wonderful to see a novel get both narrative and theme correct. Definitely read!

  • The Glass Bead Game

  • By: Hermann Hesse
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 21 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 475
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 355
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 365

Set in the 23rd century, The Glass Bead Game is the story of Joseph Knecht, who has been raised in Castalia, which has provided for the intellectual elite to grow and flourish. Since childhood, Knecht has been consumed with mastering the Glass Bead Game, which requires a synthesis of aesthetics and scientific arts, such as mathematics, music, logic, and philosophy, which he achieves in adulthood, becoming a Magister Ludi (Master of the Game).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of Mankind's Best Books

  • By D. Raynal on 10-30-12

Very challenging but also very interesting.

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

I felt like this was a hard read--or rather, listen. Narration was fine, not distracting, but not brilliant either. Thematically very engaging but also very puzzling. Hesse seems to fully accept two contradictory positions on hierarchy: that it is both problematic and necessary. Then everything is complicated by the fact that the novel is told in the form of a biography, with sources that may or may not be of dubious authenticity. This novel is like a puzzlebox that reveals layers and layers and the layers are infinite and you never find out if they have a bottom.

  • A Naked Singularity

  • By: Sergio De La Pava
  • Narrated by: Luis Moreno
  • Length: 27 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 20

A Naked Singularity tells the story of Casi, a child of Colombian immigrants who lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan as a public defender - one who, tellingly, has never lost a trial. Never. In the book we hear what happens when his sense of justice and even his sense of self begin to crack - and how his world then slowly devolves. It's a huge, ambitious novel clearly in the vein of DeLillo, Foster Wallace, Pynchon, and even Melville, and it's told in a distinct, frequently hilarious voice, with a striking human empathy at its center.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book isn't for everyone! But it is quite good

  • By Matthew Dakus on 07-25-16

Hilarious and moving, with caveats.

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

Reviewed: 11-30-18

This book is truly an entertaining read. Hilarious satire combines with some heart-aching narrative developments. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read an amusing novel with philosophical depth. That being said, this book sits firmly in the poststructural tradition--which is to say, it rarely commits to any definitive theme without then undermining that theme. For example, after a really moving interview with a prisoner on death row, the novel's lawyer protagonist exits the cell only to be confronted by a guard with an anti-sympathy pamphlet showing the prisoner's brutal crime. I'm not saying that this is aesthetic failure. It certainly isn't--but it does follow most postmodern literature in being noncommittal as far as meaning is concerned. First we sympathize, and then we draw back, as if the sympathy should be reexamined. On the whole, I find the poststructural universal skepticism offered in this book to be extremely worn out and a little trite, not to mention unwarranted. Still a very good book on the whole.