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C. White

So. CA
  • 34
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  • 49
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  • Ten Drugs

  • How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine
  • By: Thomas Hager
  • Narrated by: Angelo Di Loreto
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139

Beginning with opium, the “joy plant,” which has been used for 10,000 years, Thomas Hager tells a captivating story of medicine. His subjects include the largely forgotten female pioneer who introduced smallpox inoculation to Britain, the infamous knockout drops, the first antibiotic, which saved countless lives, the first antipsychotic, which helped empty public mental hospitals, Viagra, statins, and the new frontier of monoclonal antibodies. This is a deep, wide-ranging, and wildly entertaining book. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I was hooked

  • By Wendy on 03-17-19

Engrossing to physicians & lay persons alike

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

Reviewed: 03-08-19

As a physician, a scientist, and an all around nerd, my Audible library vacillates between SciFi and Historical non-fiction. Although this book firmly resides in the latter category, I found it completely captivating and engrossing more akin to a good drama. For the most part, the book comes off like a PBS documentary in its audiobook narration, but it is structured more like a dramatic story with you (or maybe I should say "humankind") positioned as the protagonist of this historical exploration drama. Thomas Hagar has done an excellent job in turning what could have been a very dry topic full of dates, names and anecdotal stories, into more of a first person exploration of the topic. I have at least a dozen titles in my Audible library on the topic of science and medicine, and "Ten Drugs" has instantly shot to the top of my list of favorites (in that category). It is easy to listen to, easy to digest, and ultimately very informative (and I'm pretty sure you'll find yourself bring up something you learned from this book the next time you're out with friends).

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • The Sidekicks Initiative: A Comedy Superhero Adventure

  • By: Barry J. Hutchison
  • Narrated by: Phil Thron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 313
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 312

When sworn protectors of Earth, the Justice Platoon, are all horribly killed, their former arch-enemies come crawling out of the woodwork. Outnumbered, outgunned, and out of options, the US government has no choice but to activate the Sidekicks Initiative, dragging the Platoon's middle-aged ex-sidekicks out of retirement. Now these three reluctant, out of shape former child-wonders must work together to stop the rising tide of supervillainy, avenge their former mentors' deaths, and bring the world back from the brink of destruction. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All hail THE Butterfly King! Ummm... I mean Randy😜

  • By C. White on 02-20-19

All hail THE Butterfly King! Ummm... I mean Randy😜

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

Reviewed: 02-20-19

How can you not instantly fall in love with a story that starts with a respectable superhero drop kicking a villain in the crotch and launching them hundreds of meters skyward? ...and it just gets funnier from there. I don't remember the last time I enjoyed (and giggled at) a superhero story as much. A irreverent romp through the world of superheroes that still manages to treat the the world of superheroes with loving reverence.

"The Sidekick Initiative" comes across as a mash up between the "Venture Bros." and "Mystery Men" (with a touch of MIB thrown in). A replacement group of superheroes trying their inept best with their questionable powers to save the world from the rampaging hordes of super villains after the real superheroes are mysteriously killed. More fun than a barrel full of monkeys hopped up on cheap moonshine (although there are a few points where those monkeys do sober up, but don't fret, they quickly fall back off the wagon soon enough)! DONT expect a thought-provoking deconstruction of the superheroes tradition. DO expect a gigglefest of witty dialog and snicker worthy situations. Definitely worth a few repeat listens in the very near future.

I discovered Barry J. Hutchison on a random fluke and was really taken in by his cleaver writing style. I would not consider this a YA story. It's far too nuanced and with too many nods to obscure references to qualify as YA. If you don't love this tail within the first 30 minutes it's doubtful that you will ever warm up to it. But if you're like me, and it immediately tickles your funny bone, you will not be disappointed. It holds its humorous irreverent pace throughout. I also feel I need to give shout out to Phil Thron's excellent and diverse narration style. He manages to imbibe each character with its own unique voice and inflection that enhances the character beyond the written word... (but I'm sure he damaged his vocal chords after any protracted narration involving the Butterfly King... and trust me, I appreciate the sacrifice!)

Be sure to stick around after "The End". I think this is the very first audiobook I've ever heard that actually included a "blooper's reel". This should be a regual feature of all audiobooks. Funny as heck!!!!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Dead Moon

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,549
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,440
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,438

In the year 2243, the Moon belongs to the dead. The largest graveyard in the solar system, it was the perfect solution to the overcrowding and environmental problems that had plagued mankind for centuries. And the perfect place for Cali Washington to run away from her past. But when a mysterious meteor crashes into one of the Moon’s cemeteries, Cali and her fellow Caretakers find themselves surrounded by a terrifying enemy force that outnumbers them more than a thousand to one. An enemy not hindered by the lack of air or warmth or sustenance. An enemy that is already dead.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Why did you do this? Just why?

  • By Veronica on 03-02-19

Hail Cthulhu.. but just hurry up and end the world

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

Reviewed: 02-14-19

Sigh... Peter, Peter, Peter... How is it you can have such cool ideas, great writing, engaging plot development, and then end so many of your stories on a whimper? Don't get me wrong, I actually really like Peter Clines' works (this is the 10th Clines book in my Audible library), it's just that he has a tendency to drag his stories out a little too long, thus making the ending a bit of a chore to reach, rather than a "page turner" (but that's NOT to say the story is poorly resolved). This tendency has been most pronounced in his Threshold series.

As with the other books in the series, you need not to have read the previous books to enjoy the story. "Dead Moon" is a fairly self contained installment to the story arc. "Dead Moon" continues Clines literary contributions to the Cthulhu mythos. Unlike the previous entries in the series (which I think should also include his reimagining of the tail of Robinson Crusoe), "Dead Moon" does a much better job at capturing that edge of the macabre/horror from the onset. The narration of Ray Porter even adds to the feeling of creepiness inching throughout the story.

Although the basic premise that the moon has been turned into a graveyard doesn't seem to make economic sense to me (and is never adequately explained in the story), "Dead Moon" works far better as a straightforward zombie horror thriller than a work of science-fiction. Taken in that context, I felt that "Dead Moon" had a much different tone than the previous Threshold books. Although the writing was still on par with the rest of the series, the character development was very flat and the stupidity of those in denial is often too difficult to ignore (but isn't that often the point in zombie stories? So I don't know if I can fault Peter too much for that particular plot point). I preferred the main protagonist in "The Folder" (Mike) better than Cali Washington... I found Cali a bit too ineffectual as a protagonist. "Dead Moon" still suffers from the needlessly protracted narrative resolution indicative to the previous books in the series. As such, the protracted story did somewhat impact my enjoyment of the story (you need to wade through the first 7 1/2hrs before it gets interesting and begins to tie into the other books in the Threshold series). This is the weakest of the three Threshold books... BUT if you don't think of it as part of the Threshold series, and look at it as a straight up zombie story, it's actually not bad. The relentless zombie bashing pacing gives it a much different feel than its two predecessors. Ultimately I did enjoy the book... it just took a while.

[On a side note for any of you Peter Clines aficionados out there... I was struck by the notion that he might have hinted at the outcome to "Dead Moon" in a fleeting future vision seen in his unrelated book "Paradox Bound".]

37 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Ancillary Justice

  • By: Ann Leckie
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So happy this was re-recorded with Adjoa Andoh

  • By Mireille Charette on 11-13-18

There is a reason this one has won so many accolades!

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

I'm not one to pay much attention to the "awards" any particular book has won (after all, awards are a dime a dozen), but damned if this one doesn't have a hell of a pedigree of accolades that actually mean something! Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice may not be completely unique, but it does combine a lot of interesting SciFi concepts into a new amalgamation that has something to say. Add in a tangible Jane Austen type influence to the character interactions and you've got something that stands out in modern science fiction. Although the story often comes off as kind of a lone space ronin out for justice, it's more or less framed a bit like a '70s grindhouse film (you did catch my earlier assertion that it's a bit of an amalgamation of stories). Over all I enjoyed the story, but I more so enjoyed the actual mechanics of the writing (it had much more of a mature audience feel to it than the typical modern SciFi fanboy writing that is often touted as great science fiction). As for the narration of Adjoa Andoh. I vacillated back-and-forth on it. At times her silky exotic voice was near pitch perfect for the character, but more often than not, Andoh's narration felt a bit flat to me. Although I may not find myself revisiting Radch Empire many times in the future, I did enjoy the trip while I was there!

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Shingles Audio Collection Volume 1

  • Shingles Series, Volume 1
  • By: Robert Bevan, Rick Gualtieri, Steve Wetherell, and others
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Myles, Cal Wembly
  • Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171

The collection begins with "The Ghost of Hooker Alley," which introduces listeners to 10-year-old Sarah and six-year-old Tommy. After a quick bus ride into town to buy a gun, Sarah and Tommy think their problems are all but solved. That is, until a creepy weirdo follows them into an alley. But they aren't the only ones in that alley.... "The Monkey's Penis" features Chris, a teenage boy who receives a birthday gift unlike any other. In "Gary's Children," a man's quest for stress relief leads to terror, and an unexpected kidnapping takes place in "Aliens Wrecked Our Kegger."   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • From most of the creators of Authors and Dragons!

  • By Greg Hill on 10-23-18

I wish I had a Monkey Penis too!!! ...Maybe not ;)

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

Reviewed: 10-25-18

My internal political correctness meter red-lined out and blew a gasket within the first three sentences of this hysterical collection of short "horror stories". Only nominally can you call these horror stories... but you can quite legitimately classify these stories as unapologetic and irreverent romps through off-kilter humor with a nod to the macabre. NOT suitable for younger ears, but a wickedly fun ADULT alternative Halloween treat (not to mention an extra nice treat for all you Drew Hayes fans out there). Not sure how many times I would want to replay this collection, but I did thoroughly enjoy every minute of it the first time around.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Consuming Fire

  • The Interdependency, Book 2
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,006
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,595
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,582

The Interdependency, humanity’s interstellar empire, is on the verge of collapse. The Flow, the extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible, is disappearing, leaving entire star systems stranded. When it goes, human civilization may go with it - unless desperate measures can be taken. Emperox Grayland II, the leader of the Interdependency, is ready to take those measures to help ensure the survival of billions. But nothing is ever that easy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Building upon a collapse, this follow-up exceeds!

  • By C. White on 10-16-18

Building upon a collapse, this follow-up exceeds!

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

Reviewed: 10-16-18

Fine... I'll state it up front. I am an unabashed John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton fan boy! BUT there is a reason why, and the Consuming Fire is just another entry onto that long list of reasons. Given that this is the second book of the Interdependency series, I'm assuming that anyone who is reading this review has already made it through the Collapsing Empire, and you are wondering how this seconded entry holds up to the first. Overall, I actually enjoyed this book better. Whereas the first book focused mostly on the political maneuvering between two families and the physics of the flow. This entry dives more deeply into the Church of the Interdependency and how it is the practical glue that holds the Interdependency together. But just when you think this may turn into a plodding exploration of ecclesiastic devotion within the Interdependency, you are thrust into the politics of treason and outright betrayal across ALL the houses of the Interdependency, and stuck in the middle is Emperox Grayland II. Scalzi does a fantastic job in holding a mirror up to our own society to highlight the tendency of humans to ignore or dismiss inconvenient facts in favor lies that maintain the norm, or the lies that allow those in power to position themselves to take advantage of the chaos of the truth. Although I do not think that Scalzi intended to make a direct passion play to reflect our current debate surrounding global warming, throughout this book, I was forcibly reminded of the direct parallels. Before you get too worried that the book is a bit philosophically heavier than the typical Scalzi offering... fear not. The snarky wit and cleaver dialog that is a hallmark of Scalzi's writing is there from the very first sentence to the last. Throw in a bit of action, a few things blowing up and the unexpected discovery of the fate of Dalicia... you have a great Scalzi space opera. Finally... what John Scalzi review be complete without mention of his other half in these endevors: Wil Wheaton. Over the years, the voice of Wil Wheaton has become synonymous with John Scalzi. I have a hard time imagining listening to a Scalzi read by anyone else (sorry William Dufris, you've done a great job on the Old Man's War series, but Wil is still my goto for the voice of Scalzi).

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Hero

  • By: Perry Moore
  • Narrated by: Michael Urie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,808
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,820

In the story comic book legend Stan Lee calls "spellbinding" and "totally original," Thom Creed has secrets. For one, like his father, he has super powers. Also, he's been asked to join the League—the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. Then there’s the secret Thom can barely face himself: he's gay. But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, Typhoid Larry, and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Give it a listen!

  • By Robert on 10-25-10

YA angst masquerading as a superhero story.

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

Reviewed: 09-21-18

Don't be fooled by the Stan Lee forward. This really isn't a superhero story. It only takes that form in the last 90 minutes of the story. In fact for being a "superhero story" it pretty much ignores all the typical superhero tropes (although it does embrace a lot of typical character clichés). In reality, this book is an exploration into teenage angst and self involved struggles with the oppressive big bad world that seems so overwhelming and important when we are in our teenage years. I know a lot of press has been given to this book regarding the main protagonist's sexuality, but quite frankly that is just a plot device to explore the process we all go through in finding ourselves in this world. Although I did not agree with many of the choices the protagonist made throughout the story, I could still relate to his internal monologues and anxieties he perpetually finds himself struggling through. The bottom line: if you're looking for a superhero story, this really will not be particularly satisfying. Take a listen to Drew Haye's excellent "Super Powered" series. If you find yourself inspired by people working through their own personal demons to come out on the other side with a happy ending, then this would be right up your alley.

  • Willful Child

  • By: Steven Erikson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 606
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 565
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 566

These are the voyages of the starship A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life-forms, to boldly blow the... And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through "the infinite vastness of interstellar space".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If Zap Brannigan were as intelligent as Picard.

  • By Ohtochooseaname on 11-13-14

Think "James T. Kirk meets Zaphod Beeblebrox"

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Oh sure... I like to be articulate when I write a review, but in the case of Steven Erikson's "The Willful Child", I don't think I can do better than the title of the this reviews. The plot and the technical mechanics of the writing are paper thin, but the dialog is sharp and fun (and at times worthy of a legitimate guffaw). Essentially a series of parodies of Star Trek episodes (and a few other classic SciFi tropes), the Willful Child often feels like a bad meme that has taken too many circuits around the Internet, the "story" (if not the premiss) gets a bit tedious very quickly. The narration of MacLeod Andrews essentially saves the overall story. A lesser narrator would have made the Willful Child unbearable. Like its namesake, the Willful Child is cute at first glance but, but after spending a bit more time with such SciFi-Hummor offspring, you will undoubtably come to the conclusion that it is in need of a good spanking.

  • The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope Robinson Crusoe

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 221
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 206

Robinson Crusoe is one of the most enduring adventures of the past four centuries and one of the most well-known works in the English language. Or is it? Recently discovered amidst the papers of the 20th-century writer and historian H. P. Lovecraft is what claims to be the true story of Robinson Crusoe. Taken from the castaway's own journals and memoirs, and fact-checked by Lovecraft himself, it is free from many of Defoe's edits and alterations. From Lovecraft's work a much smoother, simpler tale emerges - but also a far more disturbing one.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Robinson Crusoe is always a tough read...

  • By William J Waite on 09-07-18

A clever hijacked work of adapted fiction... just not a particularly memorable one.

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

Reviewed: 07-19-18

Time and again Peter Clines has demonstrated a remarkable ability to conjure unique and interesting ideas in his fiction, yet sadly the initial premise doesn't always hold up to the final reading. Given the source material (which provides a basic outline which Clines follows in this retelling of Robinson Crusoe), that is not as problematic as in some of his other works. Nonetheless, I found that what started as a somewhat clever idea and a very nice piece of literary adaptation (Clines' continuation of the Robinson Crusoe literary style and feel of the narrative is nearly flawless), soon becomes a bit tedious and difficult to digest to the modern ear. If I had not read the publisher's synopsis describing this as a classic "true found diaries", the entire premiss of the story would have been lost to me. The "found diaries" set up for the entire novel is sadly absent in the audio version of the book (I can only assume it is contained in a foreword or note in the print version that never made it to the audio version). I was so curious as to how closely this adaptation adhered to the original text of Robinson Crusoe, I actually pulled the original text from the library's or comparison. Surprisingly great chunks of the original text are preserved here. I'm not sure if this qualifies as brilliance or lazy writing, but it does serve to blend the two stories nicely. As with much of Clines' earlier works, the macabre slowly builds throughout the story (almost too slowly) and once again pays homage to Clines' love of Lovecraft. Possibly due to the period language or the modern reader's over familiarity with Lovecraft-style horror, there should be no fear of sleepless nights in fear of the Dream Lord. It should be noted that the narration of Tim Gerard Reynolds is pitch perfect for this particular period story (although a bit lacking in vocal inflection beyond the narrator's own voice). Overall, although not an overly memorable outing, Peter Clines has crafted a very serviceable entry into his Lovecraft inspired collection of stories.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • A Mouse Divided

  • How Ub Iwerks Became Forgotten, and Walt Disney Became Uncle Walt
  • By: Jeff Ryan
  • Narrated by: J. D. Jackson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72

Almost everything you know about Mickey Mouse is wrong: He wasn’t Disney’s first star; Steamboat Willie wasn’t his first movie; Mickey wasn’t a nice guy - and Walt Disney didn’t invent him. In 1928, two very different best friends invented Mickey Mouse. And the success tore them apart. Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks’ friendship is a story of betrayal, love, war, money, power, tragedy, intrigue, humor, despair, and hope. You’ll love them both - when you don’t want to drop anvils on their heads.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • And they all lived happily ever after... Not quite.

  • By C. White on 07-05-18

And they all lived happily ever after... Not quite.

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

Reviewed: 07-05-18

Wow... Just when you thought you knew a seemingly public story it's amazing how little we often know. In full disclosure I am a complete Disney fan (heck, in my youth I worked at Disneyland and still live only minutes away), but I found myself completely captivated by this Disney story that has been lost to time and propaganda. Given my lack of familiarity with Ub's story, at first I thought this story was going to be yet another story of the genius of Walt Disney ...but as the complex relationship between Walt and Ub unfolded (often seemingly reflected in the personalities of the characters they created), it became very much a story of an inconvenient truth that never quite fit the narration that Walt wanted to present to the world. Despite the human drama between these visionary men, this is an excellent exploration into the early history and art of animation. The narration of JD Jackson is utilitarian but not outstanding. Given the very dry monologue, this felt like and audio version of a Ken Burns documentary. However, the fascinating seldom told story held my attention with little distraction.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful