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kbreezy

Twin Cities, MN
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 59
  • helpful votes
  • 71
  • ratings
  • Woken Furies

  • By: Richard K. Morgan
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 22 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,678
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,852
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,828

Richard K. Morgan has received widespread praise for his astounding 25th-century novels featuring Takeshi Kovacs, and has established a growing legion of fans. Mixing classic noir sensibilities with a searing futuristic vision of an age when death is nearly meaningless, Morgan returns to his saga of betrayal, mystery, and revenge, as Takeshi Kovacs, in one fatal moment, joins forces with a mysterious woman who may have the power to shatter Harlan's World forever.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • "On Harlan's World...

  • By Danyal on 09-29-08

Bad narration, adequate story

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

Reviewed: 01-12-18

This one's a bit of a letdown compared to the previous two. Altered Carbon and Broken Angels both had a pretty clear throughline to the plot, but this one felt more like a collection of only loosely connected scenes.

The real problem, though, as other comments have pointed out, is the narration and audio production. Dufris is not so much dramatic as he is melodramatic. And while I appreciate the attempt to differentiate internal monologues with an echo, and phone conversations with a muffled mono-signal sound, and so on...it's more distracting than effective, and it actually makes it harder to hear at certain points.

To audio publishers - please. Just hire a quality narrator with good pronunciation and pacing, and skip the audio tricks. Most books don't benefit from sounding like a radio play.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Lancaster and York

  • The Wars of the Roses
  • By: Alison Weir
  • Narrated by: Maggie Mash
  • Length: 22 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102

Lancater and York is a riveting account of the Wars of the Roses, from beloved historian Alison Weir. The war between the houses of Lancaster and York was characterised by treachery, deceit, and bloody battles. Alison Weir's lucid and gripping account focuses on the human side of history. At the centre of the book stands Henry VI, the pious king whose mental instability led to political chaos, and his wife Margaret of Anjou, who took up her arms in her husband's cause and battled in a violent man's world.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Dense, fascinating history...questionable delivery

  • By kbreezy on 10-04-17

Dense, fascinating history...questionable delivery

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

Reviewed: 10-04-17

If you are narrating a brilliant historical tome, and you feel the urge to give the French chroniclers silly French accents, and the Italian ambassador a silly Italian accent, and the Scotsmen a Groundskeeper Willie accent...don’t. Just. Don’t. It’s really distracting.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Myth

  • A Very Short Introduction
  • By: Robert A. Segal
  • Narrated by: Ben Esner
  • Length: 4 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12

A survey of the past 300 years of theorizing on myth, this book takes into account the work of such prominent thinkers as Albert Camus, Claude Levi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud. It focuses on different approaches to myth, from all of the major disciplines - including science, religion, philosophy, literature, and psychology.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not an introduction to Myth

  • By kbreezy on 06-09-17

Not an introduction to Myth

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

Reviewed: 06-09-17

I really like these Very Short Introductions - I'm usually looking for something more substantial than a Dummies guide. But this one isn't really about myths, it's about approaches to the study of myth. And it's not about approaches to the study of myth, it's about modern variations on approaches to the study of myth. And it's not about modern variations on approaches to the study of myth, it's a comparison and analysis of the differences between specific modern authors' theories about the study of myth. That's about three layers too deep for an Introduction. Get one of the other Very Short Introductions instead.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Iron Kingdom

  • The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947
  • By: Christopher Clark
  • Narrated by: Shaun Grindell
  • Length: 28 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 422
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 385
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 384

In the aftermath of World War II, Prussia - a centuries-old state pivotal to Europe's development - ceased to exist. In their eagerness to erase all traces of the Third Reich from the earth, the Allies believed that Prussia, the very embodiment of German militarism, had to be abolished. But as Christopher Clark reveals in this pioneering history, Prussia's legacy is far more complex.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great book, easy to listen to, well written

  • By JCC on 03-24-17

Immensely detailed, poorly narrated

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

Reviewed: 04-25-17

A great, exceptionally detailed breakdown of Prussia's origins and how it became the core of the modern Germany.

However...I agree with some of the other reviews in so far as the narrator is concerned. Politicians Hindenbooorg and Beet Man Hollweg. The Oooder river. The philosophers Heegle and Immanwheel Kant. The cities of Frank Fort and Colonya (Cologne). It starts to grate after a while. If you can get past that, it's worth a listen.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Korean War

  • By: Max Hastings
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 123
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 65

It was the first war we could not win. At no other time since World War II have two superpowers met in battle. Max Hastings, preeminent military historian, takes us back to the bloody, bitter struggle to restore South Korean independence after the Communist invasion of June 1950.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well worth it

  • By David on 11-17-06

Listenable but somewhat lacking

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

Reviewed: 02-20-14

This is a decent single volume on the Korean War, though Hastings' style is a little less to my liking than some of his contemporaries. He tends towards the Stephen Ambrose "history by soldierly anecdote" method of storytelling than the John Keegan "clinical 50,000-foot view" method. But that's just a matter of preference.

I've read one of Hastings' World War II books (Armageddon), and since I was much more familiar with that conflict I didn't notice one aspect of his writing: in some instances Hastings presupposes a knowledge of the topic prior to the reader coming to the book. That aspect comes out listening to this audiobook. If you're marginally familiar with the Korean War prior to this book, it will fill in some details nicely, but if you're looking for a one-volume introduction, there may be better alternatives.

Lastly, Davidson's vocal characterizations seem out of place for a serious history book. If this were a novelization of the Korean War, speaking quotes from the Koreans and Chinese in bad, stereotypical Asian accents might be marginally less jarring. I'd prefer a narrator who read clearly and dispassionately. Save the drama for the Sharpe's Rifles narrations, please.

  • Hyperion

  • By: Dan Simmons
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor, Allyson Johnson, Kevin Pariseau, and others
  • Length: 20 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,362
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,234
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,284

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Shrike Awaits. Enter The Time Tombs...

  • By Michael on 10-13-12

Canterbury Tales...In...Spaaaaaaaaaaaace!!!

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

Reviewed: 06-17-13

Hyperion is the tale of pilgrims on a voyage to the planet Hyperion with the intention of encountering The Shrike, a being of almost godlike power who is said to grant one pilgrim in a group their heart's desire. But as with the Canterbury Tales, this is just the framework upon which to hang six tangentially related short stories - the tale of the Priest, the Soldier, the Poet, the Scholar, the Detective and The Consul.

Each of the individual stories is told by the protagonist in their own voice. The Poet's tale is full of pompous farce, the Detective's Tale reads like a 31st-century Sam Spade mystery, and so on. Hanging over all the stories is the spectre of The Shrike and his mysterious homeworld, which have touched each of the travelers in some way.

Some of the stories are more captivating than the others, but together they weave a mesmerizing whole. And like the Canterbury Tales, the point of the book is not the resolution awaiting the travelers at their destination, but the stories they tell as they make their way. Uniquely structured, captivating, and well worth a listen.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Final Empire

  • Mistborn Book 1
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 24 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,048
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,245

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A GREAT TRILOGY!!!

  • By Don Gilbert on 11-12-09

Ocean's Eleven Meets Sauron

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

Reviewed: 04-17-13

The first book in the Mistborn saga is striking for its unique touches. It follows a lot of the standard fantasy themes - a Hero's Journey for young Vin, who appears to be the Chosen One; a band of adventurers teaming up to save the world; an evil overlord with minions of supernatural power; heroic sacrifice and powerful magic.

But it's the way these standard themes are explored that makes the book stand out. Consider the Lord Ruler's minions, the Steel Inquisitors - robed sorcerers of incredible strength, with steel spikes hammered into their skulls where their eyes once were. Or the magic system, where Allomancers ingest and burn pure metals of various types to produce telekinetic effects, enhance their strength, or bend others to their will. Or our band of heroes - not heroes at all, but highly specialized thieves, coming together under Kelsier to pull a high risk long con on the godlike Lord Ruler himself.

All of these are elements I haven't seen in a fantasy saga before, and it's this wealth of unique details that make the book shine. Well worth a listen.

  • Gun Machine

  • By: Warren Ellis
  • Narrated by: Reg E. Cathey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 443
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 391
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 398

After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for 20 years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose. Confronted with the sudden emergence of hundreds of unsolved homicides, Tallow soon discovers that he's walked into a veritable deal with the devil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect marriage between writer and narrator

  • By JunkyardMessiah on 01-13-13

Hard-edged neo-noir

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

Reviewed: 04-17-13

Gun Machine is an eerie tale of serial murder over several decades, a tale that spins a web of history and police corruption around its protagonist. Warren Ellis is among the smartest and most inventive writers of the new millennium. Here he handles a new genre with his typical ease, with characteristic descriptiveness and intensity. Reg Cathey's gravelly narration is perfect for a gritty noir story like this. If the book has a fault it's that it builds to what feels like something of an abrupt stop at the end, but it'll definitely keep you listening right up to that end.

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 191,645
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 178,957
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178,582

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

Fun, nostalgia-filled ride

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

Reviewed: 04-17-13

Lots of fun wrapped up in a light, geeky package. Kline touches on all the obsessions of an eighties childhood - videogames, bad sci-fi movies, Dungeons & Dragons. The fact that the book is read by Wesley Crusher is just the icing on the cake. Wheaton is a good voice for the material and handles the telling with a light touch.

If this were a movie it would be a popcorn flick, and like most good popcorn flicks it's an awful lot of fun, too.

  • The Hobbit

  • By: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,939
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,706
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,918

Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally! Thank you Audible!

  • By Bryan J. Peterson on 10-20-12

Almost perfect

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

Reviewed: 11-08-12

What can I say? The story's almost incomparable, so let me switch to commending Rob Inglis' performance. I tend to shy away from dramatizations, but Inglis' delivery is mostly narration. He does just enough variation in delivery to make the characters distinctive without resorting to silly vocal tics. It's masterfully done and a great example of how a good narrator can enhance a book just as easily as a poor one can ruin it.

42 of 49 people found this review helpful