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Carl Palmateer

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  • Junk

  • By: Les Bohem
  • Narrated by: John Waters
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 8,014
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7,377
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7,363

Set in present-day Los Angeles, Junk explores an epic conspiracy, one at work for thousands of years that involves total takeover of the planet Earth by aliens. In the wild, souped-up vision of Les Bohem - the acclaimed, Emmy-winning writer of the Steven Spielberg miniseries, Taken - the world is at the end stage of long-range plot that involves a gigantic genetic-engineering project. The aliens who have invaded us have no planet. No spaceship is coming. Instead, a small advance force comes, breeds, and dies - thus becoming an anomaly in our DNA that can’t be explained.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Junk

  • By glass1748 on 04-01-19

Good start

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

Reviewed: 04-16-19

The book started well, leaving you guessing at what type of story it would be (I'm terrible at reading book summaries or remembering them). Setting up characters, conflicting actions, problems and the like so it gets to the halfway point and it was time to start the resolution.

The resolution starts with a polemic and the "message"sections get more heavy handed. I realize that books often have messages and more and more its the message rather than the story that's important to the author. But if I'm so stupid you have to spell it out like that I'm probably too stupid to help your cause.

Truly the book started to crash after the sermon. The resolution was sloppy, filled with holes. It hit its message but it missed this reader.

  • Elmer Gantry

  • By: Sinclair Lewis
  • Narrated by: Anthony Heald
  • Length: 15 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 555
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 361

A greedy, philandering Baptist minister, Elmer Gantry turns to evangelism and becomes the leader of a large Methodist congregation. Often exposed as a fraud, he is never fully discredited. Elmer Gantry is considered a landmark American novel and one of the most penetrating studies of hypocrisy in modern literature. It portrays the evangelistic activity that was common in 1920s America as well as attitudes toward it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • How a book SHOULD be written.

  • By Kacy on 08-20-10

There is only one

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

Reviewed: 04-11-19

This is one of the rare times when I like both book and movie even when they have little in common. Two main differences, in the movie the other characters have more to do with the story, in the book its all Elmer and everyone else is but a fleeting page of his life. Also the movie is, comparatively, respectful and deferential to religion. In the book the scorn, disdain, nay hatred drips off each page. Mr. Lewis rails against religion like Elmer rails against sin both condemning their audience to the perdition of their choice. Is that irony?

Elmer, a small town boy without means but with ambition, desires and doubts through thick and thin finally succeeds. Sounds like a typical american success story? The superficial framework helps set up the contrast. Elmer is not a nice guy, not particularly evil but neither a hero or even an antihero. Moving along from compromise to compromise, failure to success trying to overcome the greatest obstacle, himself, falling again. Never truly happy or satisfied Elmer is an indictment of so many things but mainly religion and christianiy rather than a cautionary tale of misplaced ambition and pride.

  • Norse Mythology

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43,870
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 40,135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,954

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As good as it gets without the old texts

  • By William Taylor on 05-10-18

Updated myths

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

Reviewed: 04-04-19

I was expecting more. Basically Mr. Gaiman has taken the old Norse myths, put them in an order that seems logical, updated the language. Neil is a good story teller and the performance is very good but the description going on about his skill as a writer I expected something original. If you don't know the myths and are looking for an intro this is good. If your looking for an example of Neil's skill as a writer or something truly new, pass.

  • Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed

  • By: Edwin Barnhart, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Edwin Barnhart
  • Length: 23 hrs and 15 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,033
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 928
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 929

Centuries ago, Spanish conquistadors searching for gold and new lands encountered a group of independent city-states in Mesoamerica. Sophisticated beyond the Spaniards' wildest imaginings, these people were the Aztecs, the Maya, and related cultures that shared common traditions of religion, government, the arts, engineering, and trade. In many ways more advanced than European nations, these societies equaled the world's greatest civilizations of their time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic, Engrossing & Informative

  • By Cat Morgan on 04-20-16

A Personal Touch

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

Reviewed: 04-02-19

I really enjoyed this lecture series for a couple reasons.

First, I knew very little about the subject matter. This is, like many of the Great Courses, an introductory survey course. For me there was something new and fascinating every lecture and usually many things.

Second, Prof Barnhart has done a lot of field work and still does field work, has made many discoveries himself which brings an immediacy to his presentation as well as a personal touch.

The course covers prehistory to today but centers on the period of about 1500 BC to just after contact with the Europeans, say about 1600. He touches on all the major and some minor groups. The emphasis is on Olmec, Maya and Aztec. The journey is wonderful. Wish I could go do a study tour there.

  • The Demon Next Door

  • By: Bryan Burrough
  • Narrated by: Steve White
  • Length: 2 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15,704
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14,136
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14,067

Best-selling author Bryan Burrough recently made a shocking discovery: The small town of Temple, Texas, where he had grown up, had harbored a dark secret. One of his high school classmates, Danny Corwin, was a vicious serial killer. In this chilling tale, Burrough raises important questions of whether serial killers can be recognized before they kill or rehabilitated after they do. It is also a story of Texas politics and power that led the good citizens of the town of Temple to enable a demon who was their worst nightmare.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Less sensational than advertised

  • By Kingsley on 03-01-19

If only the author had been there

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

Reviewed: 03-19-19

This is an examination of the life and crimes of a serial killer from the hometown of the author. Mr Burrough tries to make its seem far more significant than it is. How did this happen? How could a person do this? How could people, society, not see this coming and prevent it. Then it kind of fades away until we find out at the end that the author can see where the killer was lying in interviews and yada yada. You get the idea. 20/20 hindsight and the like. It would have been better without the hand wringing, brilliant insights of the author, etc.

  • Killer by Nature

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Jan Smith
  • Narrated by: Angela Griffin, Robert James-Collier, Katherine Kelly, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 31 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14,043
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12,930
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12,882

Dr. Diane Buckley, a talented freelance forensic psychologist, is drafted in to examine a grisly murder – a body found in a children's playground. The murder carries all the hallmarks of one of her most famous incarcerated clients, 'The Playground Killer' (aka Alfred Dinklage). In a series of intimate 1:1 sessions, Buckley has to race against time to unpick the facts and delve into Dinklage's often manipulative, complicated mind to understand his past whilst striving to prevent further murders....

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Glad this was free

  • By Tammy on 03-15-19

Standard Fare

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

Reviewed: 03-19-19

A standard, straight forward, crime thriller that is pleasant to while away a few hours. I marked down the performance not because of the cast but because of Audible. It seems this was originally published as a serial, each episode published separately. Now it is allegedly a single story but every 25 minutes or so you have to put up with terrible music and the breathless announcement that this is "Title AN AUDIBLE ORIGINAL by Author, episode n". I don't know why they are boasting about the Audible part because it seems the author did her part, the cast did theirs and Audible is just phoning it in. If it is that far beyond their competence to strip out chapter headings there are plenty of companies that can handle the technical work for them.

  • 1066: The Year That Changed Everything

  • By: Jennifer Paxton, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Paxton
  • Length: 3 hrs
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,309
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,164
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,162

With this exciting and historically rich six-lecture course, experience for yourself the drama of this dynamic year in medieval history, centered on the landmark Norman Conquest. Taking you from the shores of Scandinavia and France to the battlefields of the English countryside, these lectures will plunge you into a world of fierce Viking warriors, powerful noble families, politically charged marriages, tense succession crises, epic military invasions, and much more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • History brought to life

  • By Joshua on 07-10-13

Good Intro

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

Reviewed: 03-06-19

This is a good introduction to the lead up, events and aftermath of 1066. It is, however, a very basic introduction designed for those who have no more than a passing knowledge of the era. You will learn the general background and setting, the main characters and the overall interrelations of the principals and important outside actors. So if you are just starting this set of lectures is for you.

  • Ubik

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,948
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,651
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,650

Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business - deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in "half-life," a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter's face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great performance of an SF classic

  • By Steve on 07-10-16

Another strange PKD tale

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

Reviewed: 03-05-19

Phillip K Dick is one of those authors you like or you hate. His ideas, worlds, stories are often quirky, dark, weird and depressing. This one is no different. An anti-psionic team goes to the Moon, is ambushed and makes it back to a world that seems to be falling apart. There are times when the prose gets over involved and things drag on occasion but these are minor points compared to the story. Remember to stock up on Ubik!

  • The Honest Spy

  • By: Andreas Kollender, Steve Anderson - translator
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 828
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 748
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 750

In the tradition of Schindler's List comes a thrilling novel based on the heroic true story of Fritz Kolbe, a widowed civil servant in Adolf Hitler's foreign ministry. Recognizing that millions of lives are at stake, Kolbe uses his position to pass information to the Americans - risking himself and the people he holds most dear - and embarks on a dangerous double life as the Allies' most important spy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully written and narrated WWII story of...

  • By Wayne on 01-18-18

Uneven

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

I had a hard time getting through this. The book suffers from not being sure if it wants to be a biography, a novel, a history book, a polemic or whatever. The story of Kolbe is compelling and their are parts that are good but it deserves a better treatment. Whether the continual hints of some big unrevealed secret or the author saying all that was foreshadowing it just didn't mesh.

  • The Virginian

  • By: Owen Wister
  • Narrated by: Jack Garrett
  • Length: 16 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 313
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283

Owen Wister’s The Virginian pre-dates the classic novels of Zane Grey and Max Brand and is considered by many to be the original Western. Dedicated to Wister’s friend and fellow outdoorsman Theodore Roosevelt, this timeless tale almost single-handedly established the cowboy archetype in literature. A quiet, noble foreman of a Wyoming cattle ranch in the 1870s, the Virginian falls for pretty schoolteacher Molly Wood. But when a rival suitor challenges his honor, the Virginian struggles to make his beloved Molly understand the harsh justice of the West.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • What a Stunning Surprise this novel is!

  • By Chiwiz on 09-04-12

Early Classic

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

Reviewed: 02-22-19

One of the earliest westerns (1902) which helped launch the genre as people started to look back to a time that had disappeared. Set mainly in the 1880's the story is mainly concerned about "The Virginian" and his life in Wyoming. While it does have some of the tropes that were to become cliche later it does have an authentic feel. Its mainly a character study of the contrast between the settled east and the more open west while drawing a beautiful picture of Wyoming.