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Uncle Olaf

LONG BEACH, CA, US
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  • 32
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  • Neverwhere

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,304
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,472
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,463

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Vivid, imaginative.

  • By Joseph on 10-29-09

Gaiman writes. Gaiman reads. Perfect combination

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

The story of how this Gaiman wrote this story seems to have come from London Below. The story writer entered the world, then left it to do other things, then realized the beauty and life he’d left behind, Below.

The characters seem familiar, like they are from tales we’ve all known as kids, from stories our parents told. Yet, I’ve never heard of Door, The Marquis, or even The Earl. The beast that prowls the maze Below, is a myth I’ve never heard, but they all inhabit a realm that sounds infinitely more appealing than Above, reality, the mundane world in which we live, especially when their is story narrated by their creator, Neil Gaiman.

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 208,655
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 194,806
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194,401

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

Get a life!

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

Reviewed: 01-02-18

Every kid’s dream, or at least those with vivid imaginations, is to rise from the low station granted each of us by birth, and become rich, important, wise, and powerful. There’s no easy button for that, however, even with money, power, and powerful backers, that allow one to cheat. That’s the wisdom that comes from the struggle, from the journey.

The author makes this so apparent, in generating a utopia, an Oasis, where Wade can grow up to become the spokesperson for anyone who has ever felt the need to surpass the programming given at birth.

If you ever played a video game at an Arcade, in front of a classic CRT tv, or even have a Xbox, you will recognize something in the story, hear the soundtrack of a gamer’s life, and smell the sweat and ozone from that dark mall room where Joust, Qbert, Star Wars (back when there was only ONE), and Pac-Man were battled by geeks and gamers, who spouted lines from Monte Python and War Games, dreaming of someday saving the world and getting the girl.

Ultimately, the message from the Oasis’ creator mimics Shatner’s message on SNL. Oddly, that also occurred in the 1980s (1986), in which Shatner exhorted his ardent followers to “Get a life”. So, too, does Anorak (apologies if I️ have spelled his name wrong. I️ only heard it, never saw it). The outside world is the only real one and is the only place where your experience is real.

This book is brilliant at capturing that moment and feeling. Will does an excellent job narrating. He’s taken a lot of heat, over the years, for being Wesley and having the audacity to live the dream, inside a fantastic fiction. Good choice to tell this story.

Minor spoiler. Stop now to avoid it.




And yet, the hero doesn’t destroy everything, and still gets the girl.

  • Paradox Bound

  • A Novel
  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,110
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,474
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,458

Nothing ever changes in Sanders. The town's still got a video store, for God's sake. So why doesn't Eli Teague want to leave? Not that he'd ever admit it, but maybe he's been waiting - waiting for the traveler to come back. The one who's roared into his life twice before, pausing just long enough to drop tantalizing clues before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. The one who's a walking anachronism, with her tricorne hat, flintlock rifle, and steampunked Model A Ford.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Standard Clines. Fun and forgettable

  • By Debra on 10-07-17

Cliches become reality. Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 11-18-17

The Faceless Men behind the Government operate with Certainty to protect the American Dream . Who would ever believe you could take these terms at face value and make them a physical reality?

But that’s what Clines does. His characters crisscross the country, in pursuit of the elusive American Dream, also a physical reality, a physical thing, not just a concept.

As if that weren’t enough, there are vintage cars, truck stops, historical references, and TRAINS!

Yet, it all fits, including the adage about how easy it is to miss the thing for which you search, sometimes so obvious.

I️ also find it interesting to note that 15’s slightly muffled voice sounds a bit like:

Audible hopes you’ve enjoyed this program.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Collapsing Empire

  • The Interdependency, Book 1
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,234
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,191

Our universe is ruled by physics, and faster-than-light travel is not possible - until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transports us to other worlds, around other stars. Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war - and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I love Scalzi but...

  • By Reece on 04-04-17

Seriously? Wil reads Scalzi?

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

Reviewed: 05-23-17

My sincere apologies, Mr. Wheaton. I never gave you a thought, regarding your ability to sound like anyone other than Sheldon's arch nemesis. I'm an idiot. Seriously.

Scalzi did his usual job, inventing a universe that is almost recognizable as ours, but just skewed enough to allow us to see our own foibles. He writes characters that are human, but represent ideals.

Still, Wil's voice acting brought them to life. He'd better be in the sequels!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Poor Man's Fight: Poor Man's Fight, Book 1

  • By: Elliott Kay
  • Narrated by: Timothy Andrés Pabon
  • Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,173
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,094
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,095

High school senior Tanner Malone has bombed the Test, a high-stakes exam that establishes how much he owes for his corporate-funded education. Burdened by a crushing debt that rules out college, Tanner enlists in the navy of Archangel, a star system with four terraformed worlds. But he hasn't factored in the space pirates.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • DIE HARD…In Space! The student loan wars

  • By Desmond on 10-27-15

Solid space navy fare.

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

Reviewed: 07-30-16

Against impossible odds. The least experienced, lowest rated, usual screwup, sad sack... In WW II, this guy was named Audie Murphy. The author still managed to pull me along and keep me willing to accept the miracles.

The good guys do still win, if not in the end, at least in installments. They don't live happily ever after, but they do win, in short bursts, when it counts.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Lost Starship

  • By: Vaughn Heppner
  • Narrated by: David Stifel
  • Length: 13 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,538
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,264
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,263

Ten thousand years ago, a single alien super-ship survived a desperate battle. The vessel's dying crew set the AI on automatic to defend the smashed rubble of their planet. Legend has it the faithful ship continues to patrol the empty battlefield, obeying its last order throughout the lonely centuries.In the here and now, Earth needs a miracle. Out of the Beyond invade the New Men, stronger, faster and smarter than the old. Their superior warships and advanced technology destroy every fleet sent to stop them.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Old school-style scifi with dreary narration

  • By dtamayob on 03-18-16

I'm spoiled. Even imaginary universes have physical laws.

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

Reviewed: 03-23-16

First: Too much explanation. The author telegraphed his main character's angst over his origins in chapter 1. Nothing left for him to do for the next hours, except action. Like the space battles, 2D.

Second: You can't change the laws of physics. You can create new laws, worm holes, FTL drives, whatever, but if you're communicating by radio, you're limited to light speed. If you're sitting 3 light years away from a planetary system, your sensor data is 3 YEARS OLD. Telling us that you see no sign of the enemy from that distance is bogus.

Third: The author wasted a perfectly good character, the alien AI. Granted, he'll probably be back in the sequel.

I won't.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • The Hunting Dogs

  • By: Jørn Lier Horst
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 840
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 760
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 759

Seventeen years ago William Wisting led the investigation into one of Norway's most notorious criminal cases, the murder of young Cecilia Linde. When it is discovered that evidence was falsified, he is suspended from duty. It looks like a man has been wrongly convicted, and suddenly the media are baying for blood. Wisting, who has spent his life hunting criminals, is now the hunted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, thoughtful police procedural

  • By L. K. on 01-12-15

Not an American story.

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

Reviewed: 09-03-15

Had this been an American story, Visting's daughter would have had her father, they would have been eternally at odds with a journalist daughter that mistrusted the authority of the police and her father. I like it better this way. Father and daughter come at the mystery from two different directions and Horst implies that, while their estates differ - one is governmental authority, while the other is the fifth estate, the Press, individuals still want the same thing, justice. Horst makes the two organizations, often at odds, work together.

Even accused of the crime of planting evidence, the protagonist, Visting, is still focused on getting justice, not on clearing his name. He's no purist and he has his convictions about guilt and innocence, but he still wants the crime solved. His daughter has obviously watched her father work, in the past and pursues her story with the same determination and integrity as her father pursues the criminal. In the end, they both find the truth.

The narrator does a brilliant job, making it easy to follow the different characters, male and female, snooty and helpful. Grandfather would be annoyed at some of his pronunciation of city, state, street, and family names, but they are close enough to follow and would only matter to Norwegian and Swedish and would then be passed off as a difference in accent. The into nations and cadence make it easy to follow characters and events, disappearing into the background of the story.

I will read many others in the series.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Repeat

  • By: Neal Pollack
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 264
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 241
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 241

Through strange metaphysical circumstances, failed screenwriter Brad Cohen finds himself caught in an infinite time loop, forced to relive the first forty years of his life again and again. Each "repeat," Brad wakes up in the womb on what was supposed to be his fortieth birthday, with full knowledge of what's come before. In various timelines, he becomes a successful political pundit, a game-show champion, a playboy, and a master manipulator of the stock market, but none of them seems to lead him out of his predicament.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Similar to Replay - But needs some work

  • By Chris on 04-30-15

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

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

Reviewed: 06-07-15

Like the title, you could see the end of this story coming. From a yoga, Eastern Philosophy standpoint, you can see all stories' ends coming. This one put twists that I wasn't expecting. So many Do-Over stories are neat and clean. This one wasn't. Not only do most of us NOT want to know our parents have sex, we also don't even want to imagine being reborn, literally, head or feet first and don't even get started thinking about nursing!

Neal kept me attentive until the final life, with the classic knowledge that one must accept one's life. Not that one is doomed, but that with proper observation, one can see life for what it is, not for what we wish it could have been.

More of us could benefit from such such inner observation.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Bad Country

  • By: C. B. McKenzie
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,147
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,947
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,953

Rodeo Grace Garnet lives alone, save for his old dog, in a remote corner of Arizona known to locals as the Hole. He doesn't get many visitors, but a body found near his home has drawn police attention to his front door. The victim is not one of the many illegal immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border just south of the Hole, but is instead a member of one of the local Indian tribes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!! Please give this book a chance to knock you off your feet!

  • By DanBudda on 12-24-15

As sere and pure as The Hole on which the story ce

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

Reviewed: 03-19-15

The hero isn't pure. The bad guy isn't who you think it is. The lives that pivot on the story he tells are desolate and etched by the sand of the desert.

The story feels like it is also abraded to only the essentials. It kept my attention and more than satisfied with the train ride to and from work for an entire week. I will be searching for every book he ever wrote.

But it left me thirsty.

34 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • The Lost Fleet: Victorious

  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: Jack Campbell, Christian Rummel
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,704
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,510
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,522

As war continues to rage between the Alliance and Syndicate Worlds, Captain "Black Jack" Geary is promoted to admiral - even though the ruling council fears he may stage a military coup. His new rank gives him the authority to negotiate with the Syndics, who have suffered tremendous losses and may finally be willing to end the war. But an even greater alien threat lurks on the far side of the Syndic occupied space.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Victorious

  • By Jean on 03-16-12

Telegraphed ending.

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

Reviewed: 02-19-15

For those born in this century, that means we could see this coming from lightyears away. The Admiral earned it and so did the Captain. I'm ready for it to all start again.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful