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Calliope

  • 393
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  • 1,125
  • helpful votes
  • 404
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  • A Clockwork Orange

  • By: Anthony Burgess
  • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,029
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,558
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,552

A vicious 15-year-old droog is the central character of this 1963 classic, a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. In Anthony Burgess' nightmare vision of the future, where the criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, great narration, but not for everyone

  • By Steve on 06-28-09

This book is too much work for too little benefit

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

This book isn't written in English - not English as anyone I know speaks it - and so trying to figure out the secret language and rhyming slang of Alex, the young protagonist, and his gang was possible, but tiring. It was all apparently to have Alex tell us his version of his psychopathic violent exploits in his "mother tongue", but I just don't see the benefit. At least not for as long as it did! I don't really want to listen to hours and hours of him talking about his gang fights, murders, robberies, and rapes, no matter where the story will go in the end, and it's even worse when I have to figure out the phrasings and slang. (The story does go where the movie didn't, as the final chapter was never included in the US version of the novel, nor in the movie.)

Absolutely not worth the time or the credit.

  • The Martian Chronicles

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,002
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 937
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 933

Bradbury's Mars is a place of hope, dreams, and metaphor - of crystal pillars and fossil seas - where a fine dust settles on the great, empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn - first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The Earthman conquers Mars...and then is conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Original. Great Stories, Great Narrator.

  • By Troy on 04-05-16

A great collection of connected short stories

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

These stories are all connected with a common theme and time line, but they're too far separated to really be part of the same novel, in my opinion. It's episodic looks at humans exploring and then conquering Mars, dating from 1999 to 2026. I really enjoyed the characters and the stories, and thinking about how the stories changed from first explorers to colonized towns to recolonization after a nuclear war on earth.

  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 87,764
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 81,350
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 80,973

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book and perfect narration

  • By Marilyn Armstrong on 12-15-16

Interesting & engaging, and well performed

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

Typically I don't like authors reading their own books, and sometimes even excellent actors are not very good audiobook performers, but Noah hit the mark perfectly. Five stars all 'round!

I was not aware of Noah's history, other than he was South African from parents of different races, and so this story was a bit of a revelation to me. How his mother would pretend to be his nanny when out walking, so as not to draw attention to the fact that she had a mixed-race son. How he grew up speaking a wide variety of local languages, using that ability to help him socially fit in where he otherwise might not have. And so much more.

I put off getting this audiobook for a while, but I'm glad I finally got it and listened. It's wonderful!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • IQ

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,605
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,312
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,296

A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores. East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IQ way better than OK

  • By green ice cream garden on 12-21-16

Great characterization, but weak plot

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

Reviewed: 05-30-18

It's promoted as a kind of "Sherlock in the 'hood", where the central character - Isaiah Quintabe - uses his observational skills and intuition to solve problems (and/or crimes) in his neighbourhood of East Long Beach. The language is, well, um, not what I'm used to.......there's a lot of motherfuckin' this and nigga that, but it all sounded perfectly in character when read by this narrator. I think if I'd read the print version I couldn't make those words and that patter sound right to myself, so I'm glad I listened to the audiobook. Ide did a great job with the characters, but the story itself wasn't well done - I guess this book is really an introduction and back story of IQ and some other characters, and the actual plot (about a rapper, money, and attempted murder) was just a minor player. Too bad; I wonder if the next will be better.

If you're wondering why a Japanese American author wrote a novel about black folk in the 'hood, he grew up as the only Asian in the 'hood of South Central LA. I looked it up, because I wondered ;)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bluebird, Bluebird

  • By: Attica Locke
  • Narrated by: JD Jackson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,016
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 935
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 932

When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules - a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the Lone Star State, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home. When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders - a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman - have stirred up a hornet's nest of resentment.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good but very irritating

  • By Tunde on 01-15-18

Good sense of place, good sense of history

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

It's my second Attica Locke audiobook (the other was The Cutting Season), and I really like the way she creates her characters and space. That one was in the South, this one is set in East Texas. The main character is a Texas Ranger, and there's two bodies pulled out of the bayou in a small town, but this is as much about society and race relations as it is about a mystery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Long Fall

  • By: Walter Mosley
  • Narrated by: Mirron Willis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 369
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 237
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 239

His name is etched on the door of his Manhattan office: LEONID McGILL , PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. It's a name that takes a little explaining, but he's used to it. Ex-boxer, hard drinker, in a business that trades mostly in cash and favors: McGill's an old-school P.I. working a city that's gotten fancy all around him. Fancy or not, he has always managed to get by - keep a roof over the head of his wife and kids, and still manage a little fun on the side - mostly because he's never been above taking a shady job for a quick buck.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I am N love!

  • By Nicole on 03-31-11

Not as good as Easy Rawlins

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

I'm a fan of Walter Mosley and his Easy Rawlins novels, so I was looking forward to a new character in a new mystery......Not as good, in my opinion. Good but not great - I just didn't feel as interested in Leonid McGill.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Caesar's Last Breath

  • Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us
  • By: Sam Kean
  • Narrated by: Ben Sullivan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 868
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 794
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 791

The fascinating science and history of the air we breathe. It's invisible. It's ever present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell. In Caesar's Last Breath, New York Times best-selling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • vastly entertaining

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-11-17

Fairly interesting, but disjointed and uneven

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

An examination and explanation of air and the chemical composition of the gaseous mix that keeps us all alive. Occasionally interesting, occasionally didactic, and occasionally boring. All-in-all good, but not great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Missing Ones

  • Detective Lottie Parker, Book 1
  • By: Patricia Gibney
  • Narrated by: Michele Moran
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,532
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,211
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,218

When a woman's body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It's clear the pair are connected, but how? The trail leads Lottie to St Angela's, a former children's home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Too Long and Too Dark

  • By Lia on 03-03-18

I'm trying to like it, but it's hard.....

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

I'm not even sure what the plot is here, even though I'm already a quarter of the way in. The writing is melodramatic and overwrought, and I really don't like the primary character Lottie Parker. It was recommended to me by someone in a discussion about strong female protagonists, but I'm just not liking it.

  • The Terror

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Simmons
  • Narrated by: Tom Sellwood
  • Length: 28 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,776
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,665
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,668

The men onboard HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the Terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear there is no escape.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very good then, NOT

  • By Randall on 07-24-18

Great historical fiction about HMS Terror & Erebus

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

I'd heard of Franklin's Lost Expedition to complete the Northwest Passage through the Arctic, but it was just an abstract historical oddity. This is a compelling and interesting fictionalized account about a possible scenario regarding the two ships - the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus - who set out together on the expedition. There's a side-plot about a demon/god of the ice, but to me it was a minor side-plot that was really an add-on to the natural, not supernatural, terror and danger of the arctic in the mid 19th Century.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • We Shall Inherit the Wind

  • Varg Veum
  • By: Gunnar Staalesen
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 171
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 156
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 156

It's 1998. Varg Veum sits by the hospital bedside of his long-term girlfriend, Karin, whose life-threatening injuries provide a deeply painful reminder of the mistakes he's made. Investigating the seemingly innocent disappearance of a wind-farm inspector, Varg Veum is thrust into one of the most challenging cases of his career, riddled with conflicts, environmental terrorism, religious fanaticism, unsolved mysteries and dubious business ethics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Crazy about this series!

  • By Jill on 01-12-17

it was just OK, nothing special

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

Reviewed: 04-01-18

The idea of centering the action on an island is an oldie but a goodie, and using the local and international politics of a wind farm could be interesting, but all-in-all, I found it rather average. I'm not dissatisfied, but I don't think I'll continue in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful