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Old Squid

Los Angeles, CA
  • 26
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 84
  • ratings
  • Columbus Day

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 1
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,181
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 25,863
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,808

The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits. When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sci Fi I didn't know I wanted

  • By Gary Glenn on 06-27-17

What fun!

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

Reviewed: 10-22-18

Alien invasion set roughly in 2015, so fun to see us deal with a Ruha starfleet jump out of hyperspace into rural Maine, and all that follows. Interstellar combat, close quarters combat, wormholes, alien planets, a wiseass super-AI that/who helps our plucky Downeaster to save the planet. Complex, detailed story, which is fun. Bray's reading is superb, especially his subtle Maine accent for our hero and his range of voices for the other characters. I'll definitely read Book 2, after that we'll see. Well done.

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,494
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 59,584
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,470

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you're on the fence about whether to read this, get off and read it!

  • By I Don’t Need No Stinkin Name on 09-15-17

Good sci-fi, fun listen

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

The story is classic sci-fi -- mankind pushing out to the stars -- but with the twist that mankind is a "replicant" -- a person (Bob) who's essence has been converted to a computer program. He thought he was just going into cryogenics, but "awakens" 150 years later to find he has no body, just his original personality, memories, etc as a program residing in a mainframe and owned by a zealous theocracy that wants to use him/it to explore the stars. With a little sci-fi tech hand--waving he has the ability to build copies of himself (itself?), hence "we are legion", but each has a slightly different personality. They are immortal, so they go about their mission of finding suitable places for what's left of humanity (about 15 million people, pretty bleak), to colonize -- Delta Eridani, Alpha Centauri, etc., finding new civilizations and coming back to try to save humanity. Kind of corny, but that same tongue-in-cheek air that, for example, The Martian has, so really a fun listen. Ray Porter does a nice job with the sarcasm and giving each "Bob" a different aural personality.

  • The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

  • By: Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin - essay
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes, full cast, Margaret Atwood
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,953
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,021
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,956

After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost everything, even her own name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT

  • By ambER on 04-20-17

Chilling tale, masterful performance

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

This book was written over 30 years ago, and yet it portrays a totally plausible world of the immediate future, given recent American politics. The world of Gilead is what one imagines to be Mike Pence's idea of a perfect society, one that he may well be working towards. Claire Danes does a beautiful job -- the audio version of Elizabeth Moss' magnificent video portrayal (I listened to the book before I watched the Hulu series). It's long, but not a word is wasted, and you will be riveted (unless you are offended by an unsympathetic portrayal of a brutal, corrupt theocracy, in which case, oh well!).

  • Armada

  • A Novel
  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,335
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,223
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 32,159

It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom - if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Lacked the freshness of Ready Player One

  • By Chad on 01-08-16

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

After enjoying Ready Player One I was prepared to like this one. Unfortunately, the setting — 2018 but with an invasion from a moon of Jupiter opposed by a massive secret alliance of Earth’s governments — is so farfetched that it makes the story ridiculous. The writing seems clunkier than RP1, making the book longer than it needs to be. Wheaton’s good performance makes as much of the material as can be made, but is not enough to save it.

  • The Quiet Gentleman

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Cornelius Garrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 794
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 634
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 630

When Gervase Frant, 7th Earl of St Erth, returns at last from Waterloo to his family seat at Stanyon, he enjoys a less than welcome homecoming.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Love It....

  • By Sharon on 05-27-12

Heyer’s Best, IMO

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

Heyer’s Regency romances are generally fun for men who like Jane Austen, as I do (read nearly all her stuff in my previous marriage) but somewhat lightweight. However, The Quiet Gentleman rises above the rest because it contains a mystery involving attempted murder. In that respect it adds a whole new dimension to the boy meets girl, they loathe each other or one the other, then she captures his heart plot of most of her works. Her writing in this one is tighter than in earlier works, and the story is interesting. It was a pleasure to re-visit in an audio format. Garrett’s performance is masterly, bringing characters to individual life and emphasizing plot points and mood very capably. All in all, a winner.

  • Artemis

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: Rosario Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55,217
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 55,071

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A ferrari with no motor

  • By will on 11-18-17

Definitely worthwhile

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

Reviewed: 12-20-17

First, the performance is awesome. Rosario Dawson has an amazing talent with voices, and within each voice, with tone; I am definitely going to seek out books she reads.
The story didn’t grab me as much as The Martian did, maybe because in a sense it is more of the same — space tech by a wise ass — and so not as fresh as The Martian was. This is essentially Oceans Eleven on the Moon, but with saving the colony as the prize, instead of money, and a whole bunch of really detailed technical minutia instead of bromance. So the story is a little weak, but I really enjoyed the characters, a future-looking assemblage of types from all over. The protagonist, Jasmine (of Saudi heritage) is a huge amount of fun —smart, ballsy, independent, resourceful. So, not The Martian, but definitely worthwhile.

  • Killing Floor

  • A Jack Reacher Novel
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 17 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,756
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,024
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,993

Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He's just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he's arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn't kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn't stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Even if you have it GET THIS ONE!!

  • By shelley on 10-30-15

Pretty good Jack Reacher

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

Reviewed: 10-29-17

The Jack Reacher novels are good beach reading — totally unbelievable plots and characters, entertaining escapist reads. This one is no exception. Childs writes as if he is paid by the word, so this book is way longer than it should be. The performance is quite good, though. A little trouble with Southern accents, but nice pacing and just the right intensity.

  • The Great Train Robbery

  • By: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: Michael Kitchen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,027
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,709
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,693

In teeming Victorian London, where lavish wealth and appalling poverty live side by side, Edward Pierce charms the most prominent of the well-to-do as he cunningly orchestrates the crime of the century. Who would suspect that a gentleman of breeding could mastermind the daring theft of a fortune in gold? Who could predict the consequences of making the extraordinary robbery aboard the pride of England's industrial era, the mighty steam locomotive?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • UTTERLY DELIGHTFUL!

  • By stevenk1155 on 09-20-17

Masterly performance.

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

Reviewed: 01-11-17

The great Michael Kitchen (Foyles War) reads this documentary of the first major train robbery in history. The robbery is a heist story that is used to introduce descriptions of life and times in Victorian England, and it is those bits of commentary, read in Kitchen's distinctive, elegant style, that make this book an excellent read. Well done.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Swiss Spy

  • By: Alex Gerlis
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 425
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 388
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 391

It's not unusual for spies to have secrets, but Henry Hunter has more than most, and after he is stopped by British Intelligence at Croydon airport on the eve of the Second World War, he finds that he has even more. From Switzerland he embarks on a series of increasingly perilous missions into Nazi Germany, all while having to cope with different identities and competing spymasters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great WWII Espionage Story.

  • By Celt on 02-18-16

Not quite Alan Furst, but good

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

Reviewed: 12-06-16

This is a spy story, set right at the outset of WW2, very much in the line of the magnificent Alan Furst novels, although not as carefully and movingly done as Furst's. It's an absorbing story of a reluctant double agent, well read by Perkins, and I recommend it.

  • Men at Arms

  • Discworld #15
  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Nigel Planer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,359
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,351

The town of Ankh-Morpork is in big trouble, and the City Watch is desperate for a few good men to protect it. But all they've got are the dwarves Corporal Carrot and Lance-constable Cuddy; the troll Lance-constable Detritus; Lance-constable Angua, who is believed to be a woman; and, worst of all, Corporal Nobbs, who has been disqualified from the human race for shoving!

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good Pratchett novel, good reader, bad recording.

  • By Eric on 04-15-10

One of the best Discworld books, IMO

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

Reviewed: 12-06-16

The beauty of the Discworld books on audio is Nigel Planer's reading of them. He is a genius at bringing Pratchett's wacky style to life. The lovely pseudo-English world of Pratchett's prose is perfectly rendered by Planer's dry English delivery and his amazing range of voice characterizations. You don't even have to like Pratchett's story line (although I do), to just lose yourself in the sound.
On top of that, this is a fun story. Not so much apocalyptic saving-the-world-at-the-last-moment stuff and more exploring how society works, a military organization (well, police, but so little difference) struggling with affirmative action in the time of political correctness, the role of Machiavellian governance (The Patrician is, of course, The Prince), all with Pratchett's clever humor, unexpected word plays, and so forth. I really enjoyed this one a lot (I'm doing them in order), more than the "Egypt" one or the Holywood one.