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Aurochs

  • 4
  • reviews
  • 30
  • helpful votes
  • 7
  • ratings
  • Bleeding Edge

  • By: Thomas Pynchon
  • Narrated by: Jeannie Berlin
  • Length: 18 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 189
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 176

Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. She used to be legally certified but her license got pulled a while back, which has actually turned out to be a blessing because now she can follow her own code of ethics - carry a Beretta, do business with sleazebags, hack into people's bank accounts - without having too much guilt about any of it. Otherwise, just your average working mom - two boys in elementary school, an off-and-on situation with her sort of semi-ex-husband Horst - till Maxine starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm....

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Genuinely unlistenable

  • By zashibis on 12-06-13

Painful narrator--can't listen for 18+ hours!

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-26-18

I managed 10 minutes, then quit. The narrator is literally painful to listen to. Halts and pauses chaotically. No inflection. No emotion. Apparently reading--if she knows how to read--the words for the first time and doesn't comprehend Pynchon's syntax. I could not listen to her for 18 hours!

Instead of using a credit, I accidentally bought this book for full price. Audible didn't give me the chance to tap "bought this book by mistake" as in the past, so I'm stuck with it. It is not worth the money or the credit.

  • Origin

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,946
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,516
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36,403

In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture in this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind's two most enduring questions - and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Formula over fiction

  • By Evan M Carlson on 11-01-17

Forgettable

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-26-18

A terrible novel. Brown rehashes very old ideas and does so badly. His science is plain wrong except when lifted directly from sources that he obviously cannot understand. Every step of the "mystery" is telegraphed so no tension and no surprises. Do not waste your time, money, or credit. The novel will not challenge your imagination, only your tolerance for utter boredom.

  • Fluency

  • By: Jennifer Foehner Wells
  • Narrated by: Susanna Burney
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,760
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,604
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,610

NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960's. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it. Dr. Jane Holloway is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. But when NASA recruits her to join a team of military scientists for an expedition to the Target, it's an adventure she can't refuse.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I "drug" myself away as quickly as possible.

  • By Aurochs on 08-10-16

I "drug" myself away as quickly as possible.

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

Reviewed: 08-10-16

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

Someone who knows little about SF and doesn't mind horrible grammar.

What was most disappointing about Jennifer Foehner Wells’s story?

The hero, Jane, is supposed to be a linguist. Apparently, Foehner doesn't know that linguistics is an analytical, structural science, not a savant talent. Jane is not a linguist; she is a polyglot. The concept is old: a linguist on a first-contact mission who translates and empathizes with the aliens. But in Foehner's novel, the alien AI communicates psychically--in English! So, a linguist--Jane--is useless; any other character could have filled the hero role. At one point, a character "drug his eyes away from" an instrument panel. I "drug" myself away from this novel by the end of chapter 4, and wish that Audible still allowed returns and refunds.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

An old, but excellent concept. Many SF writers have used linguists for first contact and made the stories exciting. Perhaps Foehner should have read more of them, especially H. Beam Piper who investigated the possibilities of General Semantics for solving human-alien communication problems.

Any additional comments?

I won't be buying the sequels. How could other listeners think that this novel is 5 stars?

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Angles of Attack

  • Frontlines, Book 3
  • By: Marko Kloos
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,738
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,722

The alien forces known as the Lankies are gathering on the solar system's edge, consolidating their conquest of Mars and setting their sights on Earth. The far-off colony of New Svalbard, cut off from the rest of the galaxy by the Lanky blockade, teeters on the verge of starvation and collapse. The forces of the two Earth alliances have won minor skirmishes but are in danger of losing the war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story! Preformance was well done!

  • By Mike Morrow on 04-22-15

Poor continuity and editing.

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

Reviewed: 05-06-16

What did you like best about Angles of Attack? What did you like least?

The best aspects of the novel are the Audible narrator, who is enthusiastic, and the "space opera" story that is an unabashed throwback to the juvenile age of SF. It's as if Kloos recently discovered Heinlein, Dickson, and Herbert, and then said to himself, "I can do that." But, of course, he can't, though he proudly leaves a trail of embedded, unsubtle references to his SF sources. Every scene is derivative. The least appealing aspects of the novel are the poor continuity and editing. I can almost understand a writer failing to keep track of continuity, but the editor's job is to make sure that continuity is maintained. Here are a few examples from the first and second books in the series: Grayson joins the defence forces at age 19 ... later we are told that he was 21 when he joined; the North American Coalition and the Sino-Russian Alliance do not use "nukes" against each other ... the NAC lays a thermonuclear minefield to destroy SRA space ships; a colony constable is (first novel) tall and lanky (think Gary Cooper), and then the same character is (second novel) he is tall and massive (think John Wayne). An editor should have demanded rewrites to eliminate awkward repetitions in sentences; for example, "I felt a presence over my should. I turned around to look over my shoulder. The constable stood behind me looking over my shoulder." Far too many of these sentences, to the point that they become intrusive, distracting, and not at all humorous.
Kloos also doesn't seem to have a firm grasp of basic physics. Communication between the earth and moon follow light speed and have a two second lag time; but the conversations between Saturn and Luna are instantaneous. Apparently mass and weight are interchangeable terms, as are momentum and acceleration.

Has Angles of Attack turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. I'm all for "willing suspension of disbelief," but in SF a story must be bound by its own internal logic and physical laws, otherwise it is fantasy. I know that SF is often the genre in which novice writers first try out themes and styles; Kloos fails to comprehend that it is also the genre that at its best is a demanding literature. These books aren't the best, not the worst. Take them or leave them, just don't expect anything profound or thought provoking.

What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

He's enthusiastic and fairly good at conveying intonations--the voice that carries meaning when printed cues are unavailable. His inability to broaden his range enough to distinguish between male and female characters is bothersome; all the characters who don't have accents sound the same. He does do an excellent performance with regional and international accents.

Did Angles of Attack inspire you to do anything?

You've got to be kidding.

Any additional comments?

For the price and length, worthwhile, especially if you are looking for mindless (in both senses) SF space opera. Fun, but ultimately unsatisfying.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful