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John Williams

Charlotte, NC
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  • The Silas Kane Scrolls

  • Authors and Dragons Origins, Book 2
  • By: Rick Gualtieri, Authors and Dragons
  • Narrated by: Matt Haynes
  • Length: 3 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

Upon the shores of an ancient sea in a long-forgotten land, the slaves of Kel - the city of tears - cried out for a hero, one who would save them from their tormented existence. What they got was Silas Kane, the most inept paladin to ever defile a holy symbol. Raised by insane monks, he’s out to spread the love of his god whether or not anyone wants it. With a high tolerance for pain and a dump stat in intelligence, Silas is on a quest to end the suffering of those in need - one way or the other.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • poor everyone

  • By Sandy L on 06-18-18

Authors and Dragons: Keeping and eye out for more

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

Reviewed: 06-02-18

I was pleasantly surprised by this story. I had never heard of the Authors and Dragons Podcast and only picked it up because the price was good and I like humorous fantasy. Also, I have read some of the Bill the vampire series by Rick Gualtieri and while I eventually got tired of the series, I did enjoy the first several books.

This book was hilarious. The main character is a straw man exaggeration of religious extremism, but just seeing how he interacts with the world and how the world reacts to him is great.

As a bonus, I ended up looking up Authors and Dragons and finding the podcast which I've also been now listening to and enjoying and which has introduced me to a few new authors who works I think I will enjoy.

  • Carpet Diem

  • Or...How to Save the World by Accident
  • By: Justin Lee Anderson
  • Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 51

Fifteen years after losing most of his family to a devastating, pudding-related tragedy, Simon Debovar has settled into a life of self-imposed exile from the stinking, selfish morass of humanity. Content that his daily highlights will include hazelnut coffee, a long bath, and the occasional jar of olives, his life is completely upturned by the discovery that his ornate living room carpet is the deciding factor in a bet between God and Satan.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • What the heck did I just read?

  • By Jasmine Wahlberg on 12-20-17

Enjoyable ride

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

Reviewed: 03-05-17

I quite enjoyed this absurdist comedy. The story is satisfying and the humor will bring a smile to your face. The story circles around a man who has absented himself from society until one day an angel and a demon show up on his door step demanding he pick one to give his living room carpet to and thus decide the fate of the world. After that, the story starts to get strange. This wont be your book of the year, but it is fun.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Orconomics: A Satire

  • The Dark Profit Saga, Book 1
  • By: J. Zachary Pike
  • Narrated by: Doug Tisdale Jr.
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,561
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,483
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,477

Professional heroes kill and loot deadly monsters every day, but Gorm Ingerson's latest quest will be anything but business as usual. The adventuring industry drives the economy of Arth, a world much like our own but with more magic and fewer vowels. Monsters' hoards are claimed, bought by corporate interests, and sold off to plunder funds long before the Heroes' Guild actually kills the beasts. Of course, that's a terrible arrangement for the Shadowkin; orcs, goblins, kobolds, and their ilk must apply for to become Noncombatant Paper Carriers to avoid being killed and looted by heroes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Holy shit

  • By EyeDeKay on 02-21-17

A fun romp

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

Reviewed: 12-24-16

There have been a number of this humorous takes on the D&D / Warcraft type universe. Many that focus on the world as a game and others that simple borrow game mechanics but give them a logical consistency in the world of the story. This is one that keeps it own logical consistency. Characters get XP and level up but its done through membership in a guild etc. for example.

I have read quite a few of this general theme, and quite like J. Zachary Pike's take on the sub genre. The story is interesting, the humor is pleasing. There is one seen about "Aggressive sales tactics" that had me laughing loud enough to get funny looks from my wife.

Overall I quite enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun ride.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • I, Humpty

  • By: Eric C. Wilder
  • Narrated by: Bridget Fitzgerald
  • Length: 2 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 1

I, Humpty is a collection of mock-tabloid satire marrying the reality of everyday life with popular elements from fairytales, folklore, and nursery rhymes. Rejoice with the Beast as Belle grants him permission to convert the den into a man-cave. Learn why the third little pig grows weary of his live-in brothers. Follow the courtroom drama of Rumpelstiltskin's indictment in the Straw-To-Gold Scandal. I, Humpty covers all of these stories and more.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Wasn't for me, but ...

  • By John Williams on 11-17-14

Wasn't for me, but ...

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

Reviewed: 11-17-14

I have given this a very low rating, but I want to be fair. I don’t think the content was poorly done and I think the author achieved what s/he intended, I just didn’t find it funny.

This is a collection of mostly unconnected short stories written in the style of tabloid articles where the subjects are various characters from folklore. Things like Cinderella gets google glasses and accidently calls her step mother or the Beat and Bell get into a fight over his behavior.
Each story is about 3-5 minutes long and basically works like setup a slightly odd situation include a fairy tale character, play it out and use sensationalized language.

It didn’t connect with me, I got about half way through and just turned it off. However, I could see people liking it who also like people magazine and similar celeb gossip mags. It did a technically good job of satirizing the writing style and topic selection of such publications.

  • The Lightning Thief

  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1
  • By: Rick Riordan
  • Narrated by: Jesse Bernstein
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,621
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,917
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,970

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, terrible narration.

  • By Ariel on 02-05-14

Wrtten for very stupid children

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

Reviewed: 10-28-13

The book isn't bad. But it telegraphs every reveal so much that I feel like its going. "Hey can you guess what is about to happen, can you? What if I give you a hint? TWO HINTS? Eh? eh? eh? You guest it yet? Don't you feel cleaver? Good for you."

Seriously, I wont give the details exactly in case someone reads my review who would otherwise enjoy the "surprise!"

But if you can't guess who Percy's Jacksons father is long before the book tells you, then you may not be very bright or you are a very young kid with no previous understanding of Greek mythology.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Long War

  • The Long Earth, Book 2
  • By: Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by: Michael Fenton Stevens
  • Length: 13 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 917
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 828
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 832

A generation after the events of The Long Earth, humankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by "stepping". A new "America" - Valhalla - is emerging more than a million steps from Datum - our Earth. Thanks to a bountiful environment, the Valhallan society mirrors the core values and behaviors of colonial America. And Valhalla is growing restless under the controlling long arm of the Datum government.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A bit disappointing after the first book

  • By Anna on 04-05-15

A Long War to Humanity v Next

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

Reviewed: 07-20-13

The Long war continues exploring the universe created in the long world. In this book Baxter and Pratchett explore what happens to human society when the pressures of scares resources and space is removed. Specifically, how old mental paradigms and the people who have lived all their lives with them deal with no longer being valid. The long war is specifically the conflict between those who adapt quickly to the new realities and start taking advantages of the new freedoms and those who want to deny that they need to change to live in a universe that has two new demotions.

Unlike a majority of Pratchett’s works, this is not a comedy. There is humor in it, but this book is more a philosophical exploration of human society, prospecting, exploration, colonization driven through a science fiction setting. There is little attempt to explain jumping, why it is possible, but a lot on the consequences of it. The root appears to be a variation of the multi-world theory based loosely on a branch of quantum theory. This is however, not hard science fiction; more Douglas Adams than Isaac Asimov.

Overall, it was a fun read with an interesting insight into humanity. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves to explore new and interesting worlds.



5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • X Minus One

  • Old Time Radio, Sci-Fi Series
  • By: Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, and others
  • Narrated by: Old Time Radio
  • Length: 20 hrs and 5 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 215
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190

X Minus One was a half-hour science fiction radio series broadcast from April 24, 1955 to January 9, 1958 in various timeslots on NBC. Initially a revival of NBC's Dimension X (1950-51), X Minus One is widely considered among the finest science fiction dramas ever produced for radio. The first 15 episodes were new versions of Dimension X episodes, but the remainder were adaptations by NBC staff writers, including Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts, of newly published science fiction stories.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Dying Art Form: Great Old Time Radio Sci Fi

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-19-13

SciFi Classics in 30 minute segments

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

Reviewed: 04-28-13

X – 1 does a wonderful job boiling down some of the best science fiction of early 20th century into 30 minute dramas. Like with any abridgement, the stories as written by their original authors are almost always better, but this radio series gives you exposure to stories and authors you might otherwise have missed.
Additionally, the show is just entertaining. It was well put together and performed.

Finally, this is an interesting peek into entertainment history. Before the TV was king, these radio shows were are central part of the American persona.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • A Night of Blacker Darkness

  • Being the Memoir of Frederick Whithers As Edited by Cecil G. Bagsworth III
  • By: Dan Wells
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129

EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE IN AUDIONo one else has Dan Wells’ hilarious new novella - it’s not available in print, in ebook, by mobile phone text or Victorian phonograph. Audible is bringing it to you exclusively, for a limited time.The basic premise is this: it's 1817, and a man named Frederick Whithers is wallowing in jail for a crime he didn't commit, desperate to get out so he can go and commit it for real.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A tale of vampires, money, mishap and great minds

  • By Bruce Allred on 03-26-12

Gothic Farce

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

Reviewed: 03-27-13

Pretty much says it all. “A Night of Blacker Darkness,” is a ?fresh? take on the classic genre of the British farce. Set in a world of vampires, vampire hunters, criminals and constables, this book follows the unlucky protagonist as he tries to convince everyone that a he is not a vampire. Overall, it made me laugh and if you are looking for a light read with silly circumstance and a touch of gothic, this may be the book for you.

  • The Gone-Away World

  • By: Nick Harkaway
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 24 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 492
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 492

There couldn't be a fire along the Jorgmund Pipe. It was the last thing the world needed. The Pipe was what kept the Livable Zone safe from the bandits, monsters, and nightmares the Go-Away War had left in its wake. Enter Gonzo Lubitsch and the Haulage & HazMat Emergency Civil Freebooting Company, a team of troubleshooters who roll into action when things get hot.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • i am a worm genetiscist.

  • By Annette on 03-21-10

Good book however, not like Pratchett and Adams

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

Reviewed: 01-07-13

This book is uneven. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t bad. It is in fact very good verging on quite excellent in places. I think I’ll remember Master Wu and his story of hunting ninjas and the secret for quite some time as cleaver, funny, and touching.

However, it starts out as a collection of lightly inner connected pros that could easily be independent and then enters a long story of the core of the book and switches quite a bit. The pacing changes frequently enough to distract from rather than enhance the story telling. It actually reminds me quite a bit of the works Haruki Murakami, however Haruki is more skillful in changing pace.

All that being said there is no page, nor paragraph that I could point to and say that it is not witty, well written and entertaining. I did however at several points have to stop, and listen to or read something else before I could return to this book.

Now, here is the point I really wanted to talk about. I bought this book because when I read reviews here and at amazon.com, I saw several that compared this work to those of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Nope. Not a thing like. Sure there is humor, but this is more like Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut. Which is to say it is honestly and truly well writing and does have a dry and sarcastic wit to it, but it isn’t a thing like the over the top and silly dry humor of Pratchett or Adams. Shame really as I would love to find someone like Pratchett, Adams, Wodehouse, possible more Adams and Pratchett than Wodehouse really. This book is, alas, not it. Eoin Colfer is also quite good though most of his books are targeted at a teen and younger audience.

  • The Folklore of Discworld

  • By: Terry Pratchett, Jacqueline Simpson
  • Narrated by: Michael Fenton Stevens
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 297
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 260

Most of us grow up having always known to touch wood or cross our fingers, and what happens when a princess kisses a frog or a boy pulls a sword from a stone, yet sadly, some of these things are now beginning to be forgotten. Legends, myths, and fairy tales: our world is made up of the stories we told ourselves about where we came from and how we got there. It is the same on Discworld, except that beings which on Earth are creatures of the imagination - like vampires, trolls, witches, and possibly, gods - are real, alive and in some cases kicking on the Disc.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An interesting listen

  • By Sara on 08-27-12

Mostly a very interesting listen

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

Reviewed: 08-23-12

I am a huge fan of Terry Pratchett and I quite enjoyed listening to some the background behind the myths and tales from which the discworld borrows. My only complaint is that is spent far too many chapters talking about the Tiffany Aching novels and not enough time on the earlier works. Further, I would have loved to have Nation and Long earth included in the analysis even though they aren’t discworld books. However, overall it was quite informative, interesting, and entertaining.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful