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Michael Hall

  • 25
  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 75
  • ratings
  • Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge

  • By: John Ringo, Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,164
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,827
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,812

When marine private Oliver Chadwick Gardenier is killed in the marine barrack bombing in Beirut, somebody who might be Saint Peter gives him a choice: Go to heaven, which, while nice, might be a little boring, or return to earth. The Boss has a mission for him, and he's to look for a sign. He's a marine: He'll choose the mission. Unfortunately, the sign he's to look for is "57". Which, given the food services contract in Bethesda Hospital, creates some difficulty. Eventually it appears that God's will is for Chad to join a group called Monster Hunters International.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • This Abomination Broke My Heart

  • By Tracie on 10-02-16

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 12-04-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Regrettably no. I absolutely love the Monster Hunter books and this one - I suppose because of the additional author - was a tremendous disappointment. Just not as good, not the same - weak plot, way too much time describing uninteresting characters.

What did you like best about this story?

The narrator! Oliver Wyman is always great!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He didn't, he was the best part

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Definitely - if it were a movie, all of the boring material could go and it would be more like the MH books I have enjoyed.

Any additional comments?

I'll stick with this series but not forever if the books don't return to form.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Life We Bury

  • By: Allen Eskens
  • Narrated by: Zach Villa
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,947
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,457
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,375

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran-and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good listen!

  • By Lori on 12-14-15

Perfect start to finish

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

Reviewed: 04-28-16

What did you love best about The Life We Bury?

The complexity of the main character - his life, his experiences, his thoughts - was perfectly portrayed.

What did you like best about this story?

It was the perfect story for this length - the twist is expected but when it is explained it makes sense.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene in the woods, especially (strangely?) the description of the snow.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Trigger Warning

  • Short Fictions and Disturbances
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,024
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,011

In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction--stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013--as well as "Black Dog", a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It Triggered Me to Stay Up Late and Listen

  • By Jan on 02-10-15

Couldn't finish, what a disappointment

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

Reviewed: 02-10-16

What disappointed you about Trigger Warning?

Primarily Gaiman's narration - he's moved from a fascinating & suspenseful reader to twee, slow, and dull. I own every Gaiman book and have listened to several; with this book I wanted to punch my computer. :(

What could Neil Gaiman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Many of the stories seemed meandering and pointless, sort of musings and stray thoughts instead of actual narratives. I ended up wondering if this was just a set of cast-offs and side projects that didn't work.

Did Neil Gaiman do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Not especially; other than male vs. female, most of the characters sounded the same.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Very much disappointment.

Any additional comments?

I'll try the next Gaiman book but if it's as twee (sorry to use this twice, it's just the perfect word) as this one I might give up. (Definition of "twee": "Something that is sweet, almost to the point of being sickeningly so. As a derogatory descriptive, it means something that is affectedly dainty or quaint, or is way too sentimental.")

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • In the Kingdom of Ice

  • The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
  • By: Hampton Sides
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,294
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,092
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,093

In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: The North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever." The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Took a long time to develop

  • By Brandon on 02-20-15

A brilliant book of arctic exploration

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

Reviewed: 11-16-15

If you could sum up In the Kingdom of Ice in three words, what would they be?

Man versus ice.

What other book might you compare In the Kingdom of Ice to and why?

The obvious one is Endurance, about Shackleton's heroic Antarctic adventure. There are many similarities but there are meaningful differences, too (besides the outcome). Shackleton and DeLong were very different leaders and it manifested itself in their men.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I WISH I had the time - the picture of the history, the detail of the crew selection, outfitting, and travel, the side stories of the more minor characters, but more than anything the geographical details (and the nutty idea that sent them on this terrible trip) were incredible.

Any additional comments?

I loved this book, but I think you would need to be an exploration buff to really get into it. I gave the narration only four stars because of the large number of inexplicable mispronunciations. I think that's more the editor's fault, but it was jarring.

  • Unleashed V Plague Book One

  • By: Dirk Patton
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 531
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 497
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 496

John Chase has just arrived in Atlanta on a business trip when America experiences the worst attacks in history. Nuclear bombs destroy cities and the widespread release of nerve gas sends the majority of the surviving population into a murderous rage. Rescuing a woman who survived the attacks he must lead her to safety as Atlanta burns, raging infected roam unchecked and society disintegrates into savagery.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Junk food for the mind

  • By James Ball on 04-24-15

Standard "zombie" fare

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

Reviewed: 11-16-15

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I guess.... like eating cotton candy, I suppose. Appetizing and tasty but nothing interesting or nutritious, and you feel guilty after eating it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Dirk Patton again?

Probably not. I've read dozens of zombie books that are basically the same as this one: disease, person needs to get somewhere; luscious woman; they keep getting attacked along the way but, miraculously, they make it. Oh, and a 10x dose of testosterone to go, please.

Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Kafer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Haven't, but I thought he did a nice job. I like his gravelly voice and the intonations fit well with the story.

Do you think Unleashed V Plague Book One needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Anyone who listens to the end (or the beginning) knows one is coming. Does it need one? Hardly.

  • The Chaplain's War

  • By: Brad R. Torgersen
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 552
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 513

The mantis cyborgs: insectlike, cruel, and determined to wipe humanity from the face of the galaxy. The Fleet is humanity’s last chance: a multi-world, multi-national task force assembled to hold the line against the aliens’ overwhelming technology and firepower. Enter Harrison Barlow, who like so many young men of wars past, simply wants to serve his people and partake of the grand adventure of military life. Only, Harrison is not a hot pilot, nor a crack shot with a rifle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent in every way

  • By Paul on 05-22-15

Slow and predictable

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

Reviewed: 09-20-15

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The book is a routine culture clash novel. I suppose people who are fascinated by the possibility of other life and what it might look like, although these insects end up being an awful look like people.

What was most disappointing about Brad R. Torgersen’s story?

Here is the story: groups of beings (read: people) who don't understand one another fight. Then they don't, so one can (implausibly) study the other. Then they fight again. Then there is a "surprise" that forces a few individuals from each group to learn about one another. Then - wow! - they discover that they're not that different after all! Peace in our time!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of George Newbern?

Someone who could (a) do women's voices non-ridiculously, (b) handle accents consistently, and (c) voice any excitement at all. The Queen Mother ends up sounding like a cross between Mary Poppins and Mrs. Doubtfire; the (very few) "battle" scenes are narrated clinically and in the same near-monotone as the rest of the book.

What character would you cut from The Chaplain's War?

There are very few primary characters and I suppose they're all necessary for the story to work (to the extent that it does). But even the one conflict character is dull and predictable, so I'd toss him.

Any additional comments?

Surprisingly boring; I had to work to get to the end. Change the location and you have most of the culture clash books out there.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Fold

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,145
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,130
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28,083

The folks in Mike Erikson's small New England town would say he's just your average, everyday guy. And that's exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he's chosen isn't much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he's content with his quiet and peaceful existence. That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fun premise, great performance, weak story

  • By J. Klinghoffer on 08-06-15

Interesting, fun, and superficial

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

Reviewed: 09-15-15

Would you try another book from Peter Clines and/or Ray Porter?

I like Peter Clines & have read a number of books by him.

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

Like any time travel story, if you look at it too hard it collapses. There isn't a fix for this; efforts to solve the paradox never work, not even in The Terminator.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Ray Porter?

I enjoyed the narration although I don't really choose books that way.

Could you see The Fold being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Ab-so-lute-ly!

Any additional comments?

The book starts out fun & progresses into silly and then a bit annoying. To enjoy this book my biggest recommendation is, don't think about it too hard. It doesn't work.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Metro 2033

  • By: Dmitry Glukhovsky
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 20 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,047
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,776
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,773

The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct and the half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind, but the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory. Man has handed over stewardship of the earth to new life-forms. A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on Earth....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Almost gave up, glad I finished

  • By Amazon shopper on 05-04-17

Tried 3 times, quit 3 times. Awful.

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

Reviewed: 06-06-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I don't think the book works as an audiobook because of all the long russian names that I couldn't keep straight. Much worse, however, was the narration. The "Russian" accidents were indistinguishable between characters, AND were not consistent within any particular character. No idea who was talking, no idea what they were saying.

Has Metro 2033 turned you off from other books in this genre?

Depends on what you mean by genre. I wouldn't listen to a book with a lot of russian and i certainly wouldn't listen to one by this reader. Post-apocalyptic monsters, of course, are always good!

Would you be willing to try another one of Rupert Degas’s performances?

Not in a million years.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment, frustration, a bit of anger.

Any additional comments?

Don't do it. The story sounds good and maybe it is, but don't listen to this performance.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Severed Streets

  • The Shadow Police, Book Two
  • By: Paul Cornell
  • Narrated by: Damian Lynch
  • Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 233
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211

Summer in London: a city in turmoil. The vicious murder of a well-known MP is like a match to tinder but Detective Inspector James Quill and his team know that it's not a run-of-the-mill homicide. Still coming to terms with their new-found second sight, they soon discover that what is invisible to others - the killer - is visible to them. Even if they have no idea who it is. Then there are more deaths.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Supernatural copper

  • By Juan on 01-27-15

Another brilliant tale

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

Reviewed: 06-03-15

Where does The Severed Streets rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Definitely in the Top 10 (out of dozens); in the top 3 or 4 of fiction books. What a treat to listen to these books.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Severed Streets?

How to answer without spoiling..... I will say, "when the gang escapes certain death in the Keel brothers' pub using only a phial and a very unexpected consequence."

What about Damian Lynch’s performance did you like?

Every bit of it. He is the perfect narrator for these books of occult London - perfect pauses, perfect diction, perfect accents.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Ripped."

Any additional comments?

I don't normally go for series but I am absolutely loving the characters, the plots, the writing, and the narration of these books. Downloading the next one the moment I post this review.

  • Other Side of the Night

  • The Carpathia, the Californian and the Night the Titanic Was Lost
  • By: Daniel Allen Butler
  • Narrated by: Paul Heitsch
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 435
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 415

A few minutes before midnight on April 14, 1912, the "unsinkable" RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage to New York, struck an iceberg. Less than three hours later she lay at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. While the world has remained fascinated by the tragedy, the most amazing drama of those fateful hours was not played out aboard the doomed liner. It took place on the decks of two other ships, one 58 miles distant from the sinking Titanic, the other barely 10 miles away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ridiculous: I never thought about It before now

  • By laurie on 05-18-15

Thrilling AND educational!

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

Reviewed: 05-26-15

If you could sum up Other Side of the Night in three words, what would they be?

see headline

Who was your favorite character and why?

Probably like everyone else, Cpt. Rostron. I had no idea what a hero this man was.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Rostron learns the Titanic is sinking & tries to do the impossible.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me gasp - the author obviously has an agenda (I'll try not to spoil it) but the amount of detail, the excitement of the sinking, and the hearings about which I knew nothing, were thrilling.

Any additional comments?

Other sources tell me that this is a rather one-sided book, so I'll be reading more about the three captains to try to get a more rounded experience. But just for learning about events this was an incredible book.