LISTENER

Chris Hoffman

  • 14
  • reviews
  • 25
  • helpful votes
  • 36
  • ratings
  • The Darkest Child

  • By: Delores Phillips
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 15 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,761
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,602
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,593

In 1958 Georgia, the shade of a 13-year-old black girl's skin can make the difference in her fate. Tangy Mae is the smartest of her mother's 10 children, but she is also the darkest complected. The Quinns - all different skin shades, all with unknown fathers - live with their charismatic, beautiful, and tyrannical mother, Rozelle, in poverty on the fringes of a Georgia town where Jim Crow rules. Rozelle's children live in fear of her mood swings and her violence, but they are devoted to her. Rozelle pulls her children out of school when they are 12 years old so that they can help support her by going to work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My heart couldn't take it

  • By NIXX1993 on 03-01-18

Great Narrator Got Me Through a Horrid Tale

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

Reviewed: 03-17-19

I didn't enjoy this title. It was a long, drawn out tale of pain, death, emotional, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of a dangerously unstable woman. My main reaction was nausea at a teenage girl being forced to have sex to pay the "family's" rent and then having gashes torn into her back from being whipped. The story ended abruptly with no resolution or sense of justice. Its one redeeming factor was the excellent narration, without which I never would have finished it. I would seek out further performances by this narrator and avoid any more exposure to the author.

  • Cast Under an Alien Sun

  • Destiny's Crucible, Book 1
  • By: Olan Thorensen
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,219
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,034
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,035

Joe Colsco boarded a flight from San Francisco to Chicago to attend a national chemistry meeting. He would never set foot on Earth again. On planet Anyar, Joe is found unconscious on a beach of a large island inhabited by humans where the level of technology is similar to Earth circa 1700. He awakes amid strangers speaking an unintelligible language and struggles to accept losing his previous life and finding a place in a society with different customs, needing a way to support himself and not knowing a single soul.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slowly we turn, step by step, inch by inch...

  • By Ron on 09-18-17

Prime Directive Ignored

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

Reviewed: 03-09-18

I've always hated, or at least been confused by, the categorization of books as SciFi/Fantasy when the two genres are completely different. Here, however, is an example of one book fitting into both categories.

Travis Walton meets Eli Wallace meets Thomas Covenant, who running across Jean Luc Picard would have been berated for completely ignoring the Prime Directive. And having had such adventures doing so, I wouldn't change a thing. Great book. I'm on the fourth in the series now and still enjoying it. Go ahead- if you are familiar with any of the above characters you'll enjoy this one.

  • Artemis

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: Rosario Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,781
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,530
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 59,381

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A ferrari with no motor

  • By will on 11-18-17

Rosario Dawson. Wow.

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

Reviewed: 02-14-18

Big- no- HUGE respect to Rosario Dawson for her performance narrating this book. Believe me, it's worth a credit just to hear her. Loved it. Absolutely loved it. From what I've heard, these narration jobs are hard work, but Rosario made it sound easy. Numerous accents from different languages, shifting back and forth from one to another to another in the same paragraph. Wow. I guess that's what you get when you hire an A-list actress to narrate your book.

The story was mediocre at best, sometimes feeling like a reboot of The Martian with its tedious Macgyver-like cobbling together a plan to save the day. But, the humor was fun and Ms. Dawson delivered it so naturally that I couldn't help but be attracted to the main character. I think she would be so fun to hang out with. Thanks, Rosario. ;-) If you narrate any more books, I'm there!


  • If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

  • By: Italo Calvino
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 360
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 327
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 324

Italo Calvino imagines a novel capable of endless mutations in this intricately crafted story about writing and readers. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler turns out to be not one novel but 10, each with a different plot, style, ambience, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense. Together they form a labyrinth of literatures, known and unknown, alive and extinct, through which two readers, a male and a female, pursue both the story lines that intrigue them and one another.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The position of the feet during reading...

  • By literate rose on 02-09-18

Self-Satisfied Boring Claptrap

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

Reviewed: 02-12-18

In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't get even halfway through this book. I read a review that was so glowing I thought I couldn't go wrong, especially with a daily deal. One of my simple gauges for an audiobook is how much my attention drifts away from it as it develops. A truly riveting story/narration should hold my attention, should it not?

I honestly did not know what was going on after a couple hours of listening to this one because it did not hold my attention. What I do remember is both the author and the reader adopting a self-satisfied, arrogant attitude and telling me - yes literally addressing the reader - how I should be feeling and reacting to the scene they laid out. Much like if the director of a movie decided to save money on special effects and get in front of a blank screen and say "a large explosion just occurred, you should be scared."

Well, I had no such reaction. Sorry, but the writing was just not that evocative. Bored, I move on.

12 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Oathbringer

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
  • Length: 55 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 32,044
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30,160
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 30,107

Dalinar Kholin's Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost. The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Strong Storytelling, will upset Kaladin fans

  • By Deana on 11-16-17

Character Development Goes Astray?

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

Reviewed: 01-12-18

Character development is great, but we should be past that by this point in the story. I have enjoyed this series, even though is is a slow mover. It often takes patience to listen through the slow, methodical soap-opera-like parts, hoping that the payoff will be worth it because of a greater understanding of why the characters do what they do, or why the much anticipated events mean so much to them and the world they populate.

This worked in the first two books, but at approximately 120 hours into this slow moving series I got bored. I found that I hadn't gotten back to it in several days and was no longer interested in doing so. Sadly, the writing lost momentum as what was once good character development turned into contradictory behavior on the part of people I had thought I had gotten to know.

Halfway through, I no longer had the patience to try to figure out why a character began acting oddly, or to rewind the recording to retrace what I had missed. I realized that my mind was tuning out the narrator as I performed my daily tasks, which were becoming more interesting than the book (not that anything in my life had changed). Based on 120 hours of previous experience, any thrilling action that might rekindle my interest could be a long time in coming. I decided that I had invested enough in this series, and it was time to move on.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Mind of My Mind

  • Patternist, Book 2
  • By: Octavia E. Butler
  • Narrated by: Christie Clarke
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 708
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 657
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 659

For 4,000 years, an immortal has spread the seeds of a master race, using the downtrodden as his private breeding stock. But now a young ghetto telepath has found a way to awaken - and rule - her superhuman kind, igniting a psychic battle as she challenges her creator for her right to free her people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The value of diversity in fiction authors.

  • By Michael on 04-29-14

Narration Makes a Difference

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

Reviewed: 08-17-17

I liked the first book in this series a lot. Enough that I purchased the second. I could not, however, get through this second installment. The narrator's style was just... odd. I tried, I really tried. Her voice is not unpleasant, but conversations are difficult to understand when the two conversing characters sound exactly the same. There often was no pause between one character speaking and the next. Very confusing. I got lost enough times that I gave up and returned the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Never Paradox

  • Chronicles of Jonathan Tibbs, Book 2
  • By: T. Ellery Hodges
  • Narrated by: Steven Barnett
  • Length: 20 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,662
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,505
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,497

The Ferox assault has been escalating, drawing Jonathan into combat more and more frequently. With each passing day, he's grown stronger. He can't be certain, but his attackers seem to be getting...more dangerous? ...and, of course, Heyer is gone, again. Then came the glitch. Unexpectedly pulled from battle, Jonathan finds he cannot recall the final moments of his last confrontation. Convinced that his memory loss was no accident, he must uncover the truth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hodges Pulls it off

  • By Scott on 08-30-17

Not as Good as the First Book

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

Reviewed: 07-11-17

I really liked the first installment of this series. I was able to put myself in the title character's place and wonder how I would handle the situation he found himself in. It was exciting, scary, and there was a lot of action. The personal relationships seemed real enough that I could identify with the characters and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how they would respond and what was going to happen to them next.

The second book, however, was mostly dialogue that explained the situation and why any of the action was possible to begin with. Nothing like fictional alien politics to put me to sleep. Over-explaining HOW time travel or other dimensions work so as to justify the story that you are in the middle of- and wish you could get back to- is not good story telling. Also, the introduction of the love triangle seemed forced and contrived.

About halfway through this book I realized that my attention had drifted away from the dialogue often enough that I had no idea what was going on and no longer cared. The good news is that I can return this book and use my credit for something better. I would definitely listen to the narrator again.Thank you Audible.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Return of the Plumed Serpent

  • War God, Book 2
  • By: Graham Hancock
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
  • Length: 21 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 230

Graham Hancock, an expert in ancient civilisations and author of the nine million selling Fingerprints of the Gods, and expert too, on the use of hallucinogens to achieve higher states of consciousness, brings these two interests together in the second volume of the War God trilogy. The conquistador Hernán Cortés is dreaming of Tenochtitlan, the golden city of Aztecs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just Fantastic

  • By Chris Hoffman on 03-26-17

Just Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 03-26-17

I literally have not read a better book than this. It helps that I read the preceding book in the trilogy first of course, so that I was up to speed on what was happening at point in the story where this picks up. The sense of danger and adventure, the feeling of world-changing events evolving in front of my eyes (and ears), the horror of a culture that carried out mass human sacrifice, even the horror of the Conquistadors and their feeling of entitlement as they slaughtered the "Indians" in the name of their king and their god.

Graham Hancock is known for his tireless research in the area of nonfiction, now he proves his skill in the areas of story writing and character development. When these elements all combined, I felt as I was living this grand adventure alongside real people and wondering how anybody lived through it. The world would not be the same without the events that are so eloquently portrayed in War God, and the world of literature would not be the same without Graham Hancock. Bravo Graham!

And, what a cliffhanger at the end! I can't wait for the finale! I couldn't believe the book was over so soon- it just flew by! That feeling of: "Oh no. It's over." When the third installment comes out in Audible form, I'm sure I'll listen to the first two again as preparation. Something to look forward to, for sure! I'll be watching for it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Dawn of Wonder

  • The Wakening, Book 1
  • By: Jonathan Renshaw
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 29 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,935
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32,846
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,764

When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems. The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation's royal academy - a whole world of secrets in itself. But this is only the beginning of his discoveries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Instant Favorite

  • By Joe on 03-21-16

Sequel, Please!

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

Reviewed: 11-03-16

Great story, a few slow parts in this 29 hour saga, but they were not boring parts. I felt as though I was getting to know the main character very well, and was rooting for him. The imagery that formed in my head while listening was crystal clear and captivating.

Also, I loved hearing the narrator of The Riyria Chronicles again. Quite possibly my favorite of all narrators. This book was of similar quality, with a bit less humor.

The Dawn of Wonder left me wondering when the next book in the series is coming out. It certainly set up an introduction for an epic overseas adventure. Can't Wait!

  • Make Something Up

  • Stories You Can't Unread
  • By: Chuck Palahniuk
  • Narrated by: Chuck Palahniuk, Scott Sowers, Rich Orlow, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 386
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 354
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 351

For years Chuck Palahniuk has reserved his best storytelling for his readings, often choosing to read a new short story instead of whatever novel he is supposed to be promoting. Make Something Up compiles these previously unpublished tales for the very first time, plus the Byliner social media insta-classic "Phoenix" and Palahniuk's most notable pieces from Playboy.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Plenty of shock, just not enough Palahniuk awe

  • By Darwin8u on 06-10-15

Stories I WISH I Could Unread

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

Reviewed: 01-13-16

I generally find it annoying when people raise their inflection at the end of their sentences as if asking questions when questions are not, in fact, being asked. The author does this frequently when reading his own stories. I thought I might be able to tolerate his narration if the writing was good enough to compensate. Not everyone who writes well is going to be the best reader. The other narrators were better, although I didn't get very far or hear too many of these short stories.

Well, actually, I DID hear one too many. When I got to the man being sodomized by a horse with said horse's semen running down his leg, I turned it off. That was the fourth or fifth story, and I had had enough. I really do wish I could unread that. I will be returning this book as soon as I'm done writing this.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful