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Christopher Tower

Richland, MI
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  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 3
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  • Central Station

  • By: Lavie Tidhar
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 26

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper. When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris' ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap in to the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik - a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, but I didn't like the reading

  • By Hamutal Yellin on 08-10-17

Great novel; terrible narration

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

Reviewed: 01-14-18

Any additional comments?

Lavie Tidhar’s novel Central Station is well lauded and applauded in SF circles: shortlist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, was a finalist for the Locus Awards, and only two weeks ago has been awarded the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction of the year.

Though there is some legitimacy in the book reading like a series of vignettes due to parts being previously published, the whole does hang together. Readers will come for the inventive world-building and the multi-cultural perspectives. Not many modern SF novels buzz like the eponymous interplanetary hub of the novel's title located between Jewish Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa.

One element that's especially fascinating is the "Conversation": "Billions of humans, uncounted billions of digitals and machines, all talking, chattering, sharing at once. Images, text, voice, recordings, all-immersive memcordist media, gamesworlds spill-over—it came on her at once, and she reeled against it.”

I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys science fiction. The data vampire (Strigoi), the damaged cyborg soldier (Robotnik), and the powerful aliens (the Others) create a rich and engaging tapestry of SF quite unlike anything out there right now.

When I see praise from one of my favorite writers, Warren Ellis, it gives me pause: "It's all of science fiction distilled into a single book." ―Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan and Gun Machine. His recommnedation brought me to the book.

So as just a book, to read, I give it high praise; however, I elected to listen to the audio book. The narration by Jeff Harding is atrocious. I rarely write reviews, and when I do, I am unlikely to be so ruthless in my criticism. I feel compelled to warn people away from this narration. Look at other reviews for the audio. Most of them cannot endure the narrator. I am enduring because I trust Ellis, and I am unlikely to move this book to my reading queue, and so audio is my vehicle to consume this book.

As a vocalist, Harding has a nice, bass voice. But he has no clue how to use it. Most sentences or phrases end on an up pitch, and even when he brings the pitch down to "end" a passage, there's still a hint of a rising note to the tone that makes none of the sentences end effectively. His cadences are repetitive and mind-numbing. It's very difficult to extract meaning from the narration given how he has chosen to read. There's no variation to his rhythms at all, either. If I didn't want to read the book so badly, and already stacked up in my traditional, non-audio queue, I might abandon this audio as many other reviewers have.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Warlord of Mars

  • By: Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Narrated by: Peter Delloro
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 65
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 47

The Warlord of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is the third book in his famous Barsoom series. This novel continues where The Gods of Mars abruptly ended. John Carter's wife, the princess Dejah Thoris, is imprisoned in the Temple of the Sun by the vile pretender goddess Issus. It is said one has to wait an entire Barsoomian year before the room the prisoner is in revolves back to the entrance.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Awful narrator

  • By Christopher Tower on 10-15-10

Awful narrator

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-15-10

I posted my first review ever for _Gods of Mars_ because the Tantor Media narrator was so terrible. I did not think any narrator could be as bad or worse. And then I listened to this book. Delloro's vocal tone makes it seem as if he is shouting through the entire eight hour audio file!! He also cannot pronounce simple words like chasm or stygian let alone the obvious pronunciation of character names, such as Xodar (Zodar not Ex-o-dar). ERB's books are fun, but only a true fan will be able to suffer through this atrocious narrator's work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Gods of Mars

  • By: Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Narrated by: John Bolen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51

John Carter returns to the red planet 10 years after his Martian death in search of his wife, Princess Dejah Thoris. His adventures reveal the truth about the Gods of Mars...This is the second in Burroughs' 11-volume Mars series, a blend of sci-fi and romantic adventure.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Awful narrator

  • By Christopher Tower on 09-29-10

Awful narrator

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-29-10

I love the ERB John Carter books, but after the Princess of Mars (produced by Books in Motion), this adaptation produced by Tantor and read by John Bolen is awful. Bolen's attempt at a southern accent is pitiful, but even worse is his upturned pitch at the end of each sentence. Pitching tones downward suitably concludes a sentence, but Bolen turns up to a high a note, successfully making it seem as if none of the sentences have periods to end them. His diction and articulation are also abysmal. I will suffer through the whole book, but this is one of the worst narrations I have ever heard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful