LISTENER

Austin C. Beeman

  • 6
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings
  • The Facts of Death

  • James Bond Series
  • By: Raymond Benson
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 42

Someone is poisoning British soldiers in Cyprus; the same killer has murdered a British intelligence agent in Athens. James Bond himself barely escapes with his life.... But the secrets behind these and other deaths first start to come to light in Texas, where Bond goes in search of the assassin of M's friend and lover. Fearful of an international scandal that could engulf both his service and his country, he learns instead of the existence of the Decada.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Math, Semen, Biological Terror, and M's Lover.

  • By Austin C. Beeman on 04-07-16

Math, Semen, Biological Terror, and M's Lover.

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

Reviewed: 04-07-16

This is an offbeat James Bond novel that is ultimately very compelling. It suffers slightly in the middle of the book, but is well worth listening to. Simon Vance - as usual - is spectacular. Vance does voices (even female and accents) incredibly well and has no problem with the plethora of foreign words in this novel.

The story opens with biological terror attacks around the world. Quickly, we cut to James Bond in Cyprus where biological attacks are occurring against British and Greek military forces. We learn some Cypriot history, are introduced to a sexy Greek agent, and meet a terrorist cult that worships an ancient mathematician.

Back in London, we meet the (Female) M's lover who is quickly killed by the terrorist cult.

Then the book gets a little weird as we go to Texas. James Bond investigates a sperm bank that Felix Leiter believes is working for both an American arms smuggling ring and the terrorist cult. There are far too many scenes and conversations about semen, sperm donation, and Tex-Mex restaurants. This takes up about 90 minutes in the middle of the audiobook. It makes perfect sense for the plot, but this is weird territory for a Bond novel.

There is also far too much 'explaining personal computers' from a 1990s perspective that is strange to a modern audience. There is a scene where 3 people are in a room and one explains to the other how to copy a JPEG.

I won't reveal more, but rest assured that we return to Cyprus and Greece for an exotic, violent, and action packed last few hours. It also takes breaks for atmospheric 'travelogue' scenes including a memorable casino sequence and delicious dinner in Greece.

Even a weird James Bond novel is still really good and Raymond Benson is the 2nd best Bond novelist. Minus the Texas sequence, this would have been a very great Bond novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Zero Minus Ten

  • James Bond Series
  • By: Raymond Benson
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 94

In the Australian desert, a nuclear bomb explodes. There are no survivors and no clues about who has made it or detonated it. In England, two police officers are shot dead when they apprehend a cargo vessel in Portsmouth dock. Vast quantities of heroin are later found on board.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Benson's first go at 007 - quite enjoyable

  • By Jacobus on 09-27-16

Action-Packed and Entwined with Hong Kong History

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

Reviewed: 12-13-15

Zero Minus Ten is one of the best of the "non-Fleming" James Bond novels and is expertly read by Simon Vance.

This book feels like the novelization of an unused Daniel Craig Bond script. Lots of brutal action that is very visually described, featuring a James Bond that is physically very powerful. The locations are described well (Hong Kong, Macau, and the Australian Outback.) The right amount of leisure and travel-writing occurs with games of Mah-Jong and an Australian Walkabout.

Definitely worth a listen for any James Bond fan.

  • Scorpius

  • James Bond Series
  • By: John Gardner
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

When the body of a mysterious woman is found to be carrying the phone number of James Bond, Bond is called in by M to help the investigation. But before he can even reach headquarters he is nearly run off the road in a high-speed motorway chase. Someone wants Bond dead.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Definitely not the most exciting story featuring James bond I have listened too

  • By Barrett Francescatti on 07-02-17

James Bond vs Suicide Bombings

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

Reviewed: 11-17-15

John Gardner writes spy novels that happen to feature James Bond. This one has Bond going against an arms dealer who also runs a religious cult that produces suicide bombers.

Takes about two hours to get moving but then the horror and suspense starts and you get going to the finish. No luxury or exotic locations, just a macabre and brutal psycological thriller.

One of the better Gardner Bond books and very well performed by Simon Vance.

  • Take the All-Mart!

  • Reprobates of the Wasteland
  • By: J. I. Greco
  • Narrated by: Michael A. Smith
  • Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9

A devastated post-apocalyptic wasteland...a gang of hover-board-riding, cannibalistic bounty hunters...a zombie-filled, world-devouring, sentient department store...and two idiot cyborgs in a 200-year-old mind-controlled Dodge Swinger running from a jilted warlord queen and willing to take it all on for the love of an orgy-loving cyber-nun...and for a reward.... Okay, mostly for the reward.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sexy, Funny, Stupid, Violent, and Kinda Wonderful

  • By Austin C. Beeman on 12-13-12

Sexy, Funny, Stupid, Violent, and Kinda Wonderful

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

Reviewed: 12-13-12

If William Gibson, Kevin Smith, and Quentin Tarantino had sex in the back of Jack Kerouac's car - this book would be the baby.

Mind-controlled cars. Drugged up anti-heroes with lots of hilarious wise-cracking. An all-devouring MegaStore that turns it's customer's into zombies. And lots of beer and lust and other stuff.

Until we get a movie version, this audiobook is a great substitute.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Big Time

  • By: Fritz Leiber
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 4 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 115
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51

Have you ever worried about your memory, because it doesn't seem to recall exactly the same past from one day to the next? Have you ever thought that the whole universe might be a crazy, mixed-up dream? If you have, then you've had hints of the Change War.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • too long to get nowhere

  • By David on 11-04-08

Unique SciFi Novel (Hugo Award Winner) hampered...

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

Reviewed: 12-13-12

What did you love best about The Big Time?

Brilliant and unique story told through dialogue like a stage play. Captures unity of place, time, and theme. Mandatory read for a true science fiction fan

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Big Time?

When a character describes her resurrection into The Big Time.

What three words best describe Suzanne Toren’s performance?

Poor Male Voices.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Anytime Greta (main character) describes her death during the Nazi overthrow of Chicago in the 1950s.

Any additional comments?

Essential reading, but maybe not essential listening. But if you can handle poor male voices from a female narrator, everything else is excellent.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Lullaby

  • By: Chuck Palahniuk
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,129
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 740
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 741

New York Times best-selling author of Fight Club, which was adapted into a major motion picture, Chuck Palahniuk offers a haunting tale. Winner of the Northwest Booksellers Association Award, Palahniuk is one of the rare literary geniuses who has been able to bridge the gap between a cult following and commercial success.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Palahniuk's New Hit

  • By RockyToTheMoon on 01-12-05

Interesting Story. Unfunny Narrator

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

Reviewed: 10-01-12

If you could sum up Lullaby in three words, what would they be?

Dead Baby Poem.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The story was fine for the wacky road trip ride that it was. A little more closure would have been nice, but nobody expects that from a Palahnuik book.

What didn’t you like about Richard Poe’s performance?

He didn't understand that this story was gonzo and supposed to be funny. This book should have been read by a comedian. Poe was too serious and spoke way too slowly.

Who was the most memorable character of Lullaby and why?

The main lady who continually sells Haunted House over and over again to maximize her commissions.

Any additional comments?

If you listen to this book on 2X speed, it will be more that way the narration should have been.