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Jarvis Jones

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 137
  • ratings
  • Three

  • Legends of the Duskwalker, Book 1
  • By: Jay Posey
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,209
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,210

The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.His name is Three, a travelling gun for hire in a dying world. He has no allegiances, no family, no ties.Against his better judgment, he accepts the mantle of protector to a sick woman on the run, and her young son. Together they set out across the plains in search of a mythic oasis, attempting to survive the forces that pursue them, and the creatures of the dark.In these dark times, a hero may yet arise.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I like this book. Never boring.

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-19-14

Cartoonish and shallow

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

The first thing that struck me was the cartoonish, over the top voices Luke Daniels used for the characters. They are clichés: the tough, anti-hero with a heart of gold, the over protective mother, the whiney, emotional child with a "gift."

But that's how those characters are written. Everyone is a cardboard cut out, paper thin character.

There may be an interesting plot and world in this story, but the author refuses to say much about it. He releases small drips and drabs so slowly. Instead he fills page after page with brainless action sequences. I get the feeling he doesn't want to reveal too much, too fast... There needs to be enough story for a half dozen sequels.

Despite the lack of detail on the world, the author telegraphs where his characters are going in such a heavy handed way. I didn't finish this book, but I could tell the child is "special" with some kind of gift, and the romance between the mother and Three is about a subtle as my 6 year old mashing Barbie and Ken together in a kiss.

If you like your Scifi extra pulpy, this book will satisfy. If you, like me, need more than the same old tough guy with a heart of gold protects mother and child, look elsewhere.

  • The Glass Cage

  • Automation and Us
  • By: Nicholas Carr
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 340
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 306
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 304

In The Glass Cage, bestselling author Nicholas Carr digs behind the headlines about factory robots and self-driving cars, wearable computers and digitized medicine, as he explores the hidden costs of granting software dominion over our work and our leisure. Even as they bring ease to our lives, these programs are stealing something essential from us.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A MODERN LUDDITE

  • By CHET YARBROUGH on 01-17-15

One sided analysis of automation

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

Reviewed: 06-04-18

The Glass Cage looks at automation through the viewpoint of what we as humans give up as AI makes our jobs easier. Pilots aren't as expert at flying as pilots used to be without autopilot, people don't get to experience the joy of being proficient at shifting a manual transmission car in the age of automatics, etc.

This is all true, but this book misses several important points.

First, while being an expert at a role is admirable and probably satisfying, that's not a reason not to change how things were done. 150 years ago, people used to be experts at writing long hand. That skill is now a lost art. I'm sure we've all lost something by not knowing how to write cursive, but I'll take the ease of typing and reading typed words over cursive any day. (this from a person that regularly must read 19th century handwritten legal deeds.)

Second, the book focuses exclusively on what the automation does to the experts, and not the benefits it can provide to the rest of us. Sure, autonomous cars may occasionally cause an accident due to software error or drivers that have become too complacent, but it will prevent many, many more accidents caused by human error from inattention, exhaustion, etc. Should we stop autonomous cars because there will be 100 driver fatalities a year attributable to them, and people will no longer get the satisfaction of driving themselves? No, because we have tens of thousands of driver deaths a year caused by humans and many people don't enjoy driving and will never be expert at it anyway.

In the end, the argument the Glass Cage seems to be making is that working at these tasks is the only way we can attain happiness. I would suggest that there are more satisfying ways to spend one's life than driving a truck, flying an airliner, or many of the other tasks people do for money that will some day be done by computers.

  • Way Station

  • By: Clifford D. Simak
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,746
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,758

In this Hugo Award-winning classic, Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he had done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very special novel that will inspire you.

  • By Noe on 08-08-10

Slow story, clunky dialog

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

Reviewed: 04-18-18

This story felt much longer than the stated runtime.
The prose could have used a good editor. The dialog is very stilted, and the narrator brings out all the flaws. This book was not written to be read aloud. By the second hour, I was tired of hearing the word "for." As in, "Enoch was sad, for he could no longer see humanity." A variation of that sentence using the word "for" appears hundreds of times in the book.
The author would often cluster the same word three or four times in several adjacent sentences. I kept wanting to scream "use a thesaurus!"
So much of the dialog was stilted and clunky it reminded me if reading the dialog in the old testament Bible.
The plodding plot and dry characters weren't enough to rescue it for me. The only reason I finished was the story wasn't too long.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ordinary Grace

  • By: William Kent Krueger
  • Narrated by: Rich Orlow
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,598
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,599

Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Wonderful - In Every Way

  • By tooonce72 on 03-29-13

Excellent period story

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

Reviewed: 04-11-18

Excellent combination coming of age story/mystery. Krueger has a beautiful writing style, and the setting and characters are strongly evocative of the late 50s or early 60s.

The characters were well written and complex, neither black or white, but subtle shades of grey that reflect real life.

The meditations on faith will resonate both with the faithful and those inclined not to believe.

The only thing that struck me as out of place was the anachronism of some of themes and attitudes in the story. The attitude of the father of this story toward homosexuality, spanking, etc, speaks more to the values of our time than the values of the early 60's. I understand that the writer was attempting to make him a moral and good man, but even the most progressive and enlightened men didn't hold those values at that time. That portion of the story stuck out as a modern addition to an otherwise solid period tale.

  • Agent 6

  • By: Tom Rob Smith
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 493
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 446
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 444

Leo Demidov is no longer a member of Moscow's secret police. But when his wife, Raisa, and daughters Zoya and Elena are invited on a "Peace Tour" to New York City, he is immediately suspicious. Forbidden to travel with his family and trapped on the other side of the world, Leo watches helplessly as events in New York unfold and those closest to his heart are pulled into a web of political conspiracy and betrayal-one that will end in tragedy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well Executed, (but didn't stick the landing)

  • By Grant on 09-07-12

Agent 6

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

Reviewed: 04-07-18

Agent 6 did not live up to Child 44. The performance was very good. Bye

  • Replay

  • By: Ken Grimwood
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,883
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,169
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,190

In 1988, 43-year-old Jeff Winston died of a heart attack. But then he awoke, and it was 1963; Jeff was 18 all over again, his memory of the next two decades intact. This time around, Jeff would gain all the power and wealth he never had before. This time around he'd know how to do it right. Until next time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Book for the past 10 years

  • By psnorb on 12-29-08

Interesting idea; narration and writing not great

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

Reviewed: 10-12-17

The central premise of the book is an interesting one. Unfortunately the author doesn't follow the writer's dictum "show them, don't tell them." There is a great deal of exposition, narration, and summary of the protagonist's life. Everything is spelled out, the reader doesn't get to arrive at any conclusions alone.

The story begins in the 1960's, and the philosophic musings of the book seem straight of the 60's and 70's.

The narrator doesn't help. He often emphasizes the ends of sentences in ways that make the already sentimental and solipsistic writing seem even more so.

Lastly, he makes the main character sound like a bad SNL imitation of Bill Clinton. I finished the book, but I was ready for it to be over about the half-way point.

  • Pillar to the Sky

  • By: William R. Forstchen
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 349
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 316

Pandemic drought, skyrocketing oil prices, dwindling energy supplies, and wars of water scarcity threaten the planet. Only four people canprevent global chaos.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A big disappointment

  • By Mike From Mesa on 01-12-15

History of a space elevator

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

Reviewed: 01-18-17

This book read more like a history of the construction of a space elevator than a novel. The narrator's gravelly voice, along with the style of the writing, harkened back to something written during the 1960's. If it hadn't been for the appearance of modern technology like iPads, I would have sworn it was written 50 years ago.

The star of this story is the space elevator. Long descriptions are given to the engineering aspects. Actual characters are mostly one dimensional paper cutouts in the mold of "1960s style astronaut," "passionate engineer, " and " clueless bureaucrat."

The writing appears to be lacking an editor, with many situations where the same word would be used multiple times in a single sentence or in a few sentences.

Many of situations seem contrived to be retellings of earlier adventures of the glory years of space flight, like the Apollo missions.

This book is the fantasy of a space elevator enthusiast. Anyone looking for an interesting plot or relatable, likeable characters should look elsewhere.

House Rules
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Jodi Picoult
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Mark Turetsky,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Nicole Poole,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Andy Paris,
    
    
        and others
    


    
    Length: 19 hrs and 55 mins
    5,159 ratings
    Overall 4.2
  • House Rules

  • By: Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by: Mark Turetsky, Nicole Poole, Andy Paris, and others
  • Length: 19 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,171
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,188

One of America’s most popular authors, Jodi Picoult has earned a reputation for crafting riveting, topical fiction. In House Rules she examines how being different can have dire consequences. Teenager Jacob Hunt has Asperger’s syndrome. A forensic science wizard, he follows his scanner to show up at crime scenes and give law enforcement officials his advice.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book until the ending

  • By Charlotte on 03-12-10

Hard listen

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

Reviewed: 11-03-16

The characters were well written, the plot was original. I had a hard time finishing it, however.

The problem was that the characters just weren't likeable.

The book spends a great deal of time exploring how the autistic son doesn't have empathy for the people around him, he is the center of his own universe, an 18 year old toddler. That may be an accurate depiction of how an autistic person thinks, but rubbing his self centered attitude in the reader's face, and then expecting the reader to have empathy for his plight, is a bridge too far.

Other characters are equally unlikeable. The boy's mother is the quintessential overprotective helicopter mom, simultaneously treating her adult son like a child "no violent video games in this house" while single mindedly protecting her son from the consequences of his own actions.

The plot relies on a specific contrivance : that no one understands the autistic kid's motivations, and takes it to levels of absurdity in order to preserve the plot twist at the end.

And, after wading through all these problems, there is no resolution to the primary conflict of the book. What will happen to Jacob? The reader is left hanging

  • The Selfish Gene

  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,323
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,424
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,357

Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Long, but explanitory

  • By William on 03-02-13

Paradigm shifting

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

Reviewed: 10-06-16

The book deserves credit for shifting my understanding of evolution from a focus on the organism to a focus on the genes. Organisms are just "replicator survival machines" in Dawken's parlance. He also introduces the idea of a meme, which has relevance today in our Internet driven society.

These grand concepts were fascinating. Dawkins goes on to explain in extreme detail how his theory applies to many different specific biological situations. These elaborate explanations were much less interesting. His constant footnotes to call out this or that individual who questioned his work was also too in the weeds for my taste.

In summary, the first part of the book, the big idea, was very good. The middle and end parts dealt in detail that would only interest a dedicated student of evolutionary theory.

  • To Honor You Call Us

  • Man of War, Book 1
  • By: H. Paul Honsinger
  • Narrated by: Ray Chase
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,759
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,627
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,624

The Terran Union is engaged in a vast interstellar war against the Krag Ruthless aliens intent on exterminating humankind. In 2315, the wily Max Robichaux is given command of the USS Cumberland, a destroyer with state-of-the-art capabilities but a combat record so bad, she’s known as the “Cumberland Gap.” Capt. Robichaux’s first mission: to take his warship to the Free Corridor, where the Krag have secretly been buying strategic materials, and to seize or destroy any ships carrying enemy cargo.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thoroughly enjoyed the story

  • By Stephanie Pitts on 03-19-14

Unimaginative military space opera

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

Reviewed: 08-23-16

This book would be very familiar to a fan of 1940s and 1950s navy movies. In fact, this story is basically one of those movies transplanted to space.

Good sci-fi explores how humans have been changed by and adapted to technology. That doesn't happen here. Every technology and piece of back story is placed so that we can have a 20th century blue water navy story in space. For example, there are no women on the ships. This is explained by a plot point where the majority of women have been killed by a disease (called the gyno-phage no less).

This genre of fiction has been done better by David Weber in the Honor Harrington series.

The narrator, appearing to sense the pulpy nature of this story, had adopted a very dramatic style. The captain, in particular, sounds like William Shatner acting as Captain Kirk, only three times as bad.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful