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  • Starswarm

  • By: Jerry Pournelle
  • Narrated by: Lloyd James
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 740
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 380
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 380

Kip has a secret. A young boy who lives with his uncle at the Starswarm Station research outpost on planet Paradise, he has heard a voice in his head for as long as he can remember. The voice guides him in all his decisions, helping him through situations with useful information and helpful insight.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Genius

  • By L. on 05-11-07

good 'ol sci fi "juvenile"

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

Reminiscent of Heinlein juvenile genre novels. Adventure, sentient computers, a mystery and plenty of action. Some say it ended abruptly but I think not. I loved it. Excellent reading, a fave narrator.

  • Heretics of Dune

  • Dune Chronicles, Book 5
  • By: Frank Herbert
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance, Scott Brick
  • Length: 18 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,619
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,131
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,137

On Arrakis, now called Rakis, known to legend as Dune, 10 times 10 centuries have passed. The planet is becoming desert again. The Lost Ones are returning home from the far reaches of space. The great sandworms are dying, and the Bene Gesserit and the Bene Tleilax struggle to direct the future of Dune. The children of Dune's children awaken as from a dream, wielding the new power of a heresy called love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Book

  • By steve on 01-10-09

one of the best Dune books

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

Reviewed: 10-03-18

great narration.complex, exciting story. the entire series is excellent. recommend reading after God Emperor and read the entire series

  • Friday

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 13 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 961
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 770
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 775

Friday, a secret courier, is thrown into an assignment under the command of her employer, a man she knows only as "Boss." She operates from and over a near-future Earth in North America, a vulgar and chaotic land comprised of dozens of independent states. In America's disunion, Friday keeps her balance nimbly with quick, expeditious solutions as she conquers one calamity and scrape after another.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun For Heinlein Fans

  • By DGE 2020 on 05-11-14

big adventure

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

Reviewed: 08-25-18

kind of rushed at the end and uneven . wished there was more of Kettle Belly Baldwin and the mission of his outfit. But standard Heinlein.

The Naked Sun audiobook cover art
  • The Naked Sun

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,003
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 541
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 554

On the beautiful Outer World planet of Solaria, a handful of human colonists lead a hermitlike existence, their every need attended to by their faithful robot servants. To this strange and provocative planet comes Detective Elijah Baley, sent from the streets of New York with his positronic partner, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve an incredible murder that has rocked Solaria to its foundations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Science Fiction at it's best

  • By Mark on 07-23-07

classic space opera mystery

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

Reviewed: 09-30-17

companion to Caves of Steel, Lije and Daneel solve a murder on strands Solaria, where online friends are the only socially acceptable friends. Everyone knows who did it, and it is the only possible suspect. So why did Solaria have to bring in an Earth detective?

  • Empress Dowager Cixi

  • The Concubine Who Launched Modern China
  • By: Jung Chang
  • Narrated by: Jolene Kim
  • Length: 16 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 237
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 207
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204

At the age of 16, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor's numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China - behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very Important if flawed history of a leader

  • By Heidi on 01-09-14

Excellent history--different viewpoint

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

Reviewed: 02-01-14

What made the experience of listening to Empress Dowager Cixi the most enjoyable?

I've read almost every bio of Cixi there is since high school, when I studied Chinese history. This bio puts a new and modern spin on how Cixi actually tried to modernize China at the turn of the 20th Century--while maintaining order at home and keeping foreign powers at bay. I knew the players well but the new viewpoint on her reign as empress went contrary to many popular opinions that she was reactionary and a deterrent to modernization. Fascinating! And seeing how Japan, Russia, and the Europeans played their part in disrupting the Ching Dynasty and the entire region is likewise a deep look back into a land of mystery to most Americans.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cixi is one of history's most fascinating women. But Prince Chun, her brother-in-law (doubly so, half brother of the Emperor and married to Cixi's sister) is equally fascinating in this book, where he mostly plays the bad guy but one who reforms in the end.

What does Jolene Kim bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Jolene seems to have good Chinese pronunciation--while I can't be sure, she does seem to do a good job.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Dragon and Phoenix: China's entry into the modern world during the reign of Empress Cixi.

Any additional comments?

highly recommended

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Death in Venice

  • A New Translation by Michael Henry Heim
  • By: Thomas Mann
  • Narrated by: Simon Callow
  • Length: 3 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 180
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104

Published on the eve of World War I, a decade after Buddenbrooks had established Thomas Mann as a literary celebrity, Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • For the Love of Language

  • By William on 10-21-06

A masterpiece from Thomas Mann

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

Reviewed: 01-19-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a great way to read Thomas Mann, who can be long and wordy.

What did you like best about this story?

The descent into lust, madness, obsession and degradation is one of literature's most dramatic scenes. The master artist Aschenbach, restrained, honored, and successful debases himself in a pursuit of beauty. That it is forbidden love makes the debasement more horrifying and sickening. There is always a combination of gorgeousness with absolute ugliness and horror.

What about Simon Callow’s performance did you like?

This is a restrained, refined performance.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The end is one of those passagese in literature that you read and re-read. Though it's inevitable, it still is shocking.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Shadrach in the Furnace

  • By: Robert Silverberg
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

In the 21st century, a battered world is ruled by a crafty old tyrant, Genghis II Mao IV Khan. The Khan is 93 yers old, his life systems sustained by the skill of Mordecai Shadrach, a brilliant young surgeon whose chief function is to replace the Khan’s worn-out organs. Within the vast tower-complex, the most advanced equipment is dedicated to three top-priority projects, each designed to keep the Khan immortal. Most sinister of these is Project Avatar, by which the Khan’s mind and persona are to be transferred to a younger body.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting Silverberg story

  • By Kat Hooper on 05-31-12

Excellent science-fiction

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

Reviewed: 01-19-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you like science fiction, especially Silverberg, this doesn't disappoint. The scientific background is impeccable.

What other book might you compare Shadrach in the Furnace to and why?

It has a flavor of the world of Dune, though it's nothing like it. The blend of an imperial society with a live-giving drug (the vaccine for the organ rot) and the advanced science and enhancement of human capability is reminiscent of the themes in Dune. However, the handling is more inimate and less sweeping--it's all about Shadrach.

What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The light voicing of different characters is handled masterfully. Nothing overdone. This makes the characters come alive.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The end, where Shadrach returns to Ulan Bator.

Any additional comments?

I liked this novel quite a bit--it's not one of Silverberg's top novels but it is amazingly written and though some people do not like the end--l did like it, although Genghis Mao seems to break character a bit.

  • The Mysterious Island

  • By: Jules Verne, Jordan Stump - translator
  • Narrated by: Berny Clark
  • Length: 19 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,379
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,250
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,254

Based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, who survived alone for almost five years on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile, The Mysterious Island is considered by many to be Jules Verne’s masterpiece. “Wide-eyed mid-nineteenth-century humanistic optimism in a breezy, blissfully readable translation by Stump” (Kirkus Reviews), here is the enthralling tale of five men and a dog who land in a balloon on a faraway, fantastic island of bewildering goings-on and their struggle to survive....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful novel, mediocre translation

  • By Tad Davis on 03-26-12

My favorite Jules Verne novel

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

Reviewed: 01-19-14

Would you consider the audio edition of The Mysterious Island to be better than the print version?

The print version is very long. But some translations are better than others. This one is mediocre.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Mysterious Island?

The meeting of the colonists with the mysterious benefactor in the caverns of Lincoln Island. One of science fiction's great moments with one of science fiction's great characters.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The performance was good, except I disliked the reader's voice for Pencroft the sailor. It was annoying--the gruffness was a good idea, but the voicing was forced and positively irritating.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This was one of my favorite books as a child. For some reason, however, the characters came alive more in the written version, especially Herbert, who seems less important in the spoken version. The end does make you cry a bit--it is bittersweet.

Any additional comments?

I still think this is one of Verne's best novels. In a way, it's a sequel to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" which is perhaps a greater novel than this.

  • The Gods Themselves

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,249
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,146
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,148

Only a few know the terrifying truth - an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun... They know the truth - but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy - but who will believe?These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth's survival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Asimov's Best Stand Alone Novel

  • By thomas on 09-02-14

Asimov's most innovative novel

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

Reviewed: 01-17-14

Would you consider the audio edition of The Gods Themselves to be better than the print version?

The audio version may be better than the print version because who doesn't love listening to Scott Brick? The man could read a phone book and I'd be riveted.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gods Themselves?

The second section of the book, taking place in a different universe with the triad of Odeen, Dua and Tritt is amazing. Alien marriage, sex, reproduction and maturation is handled deftly and creatively. The characters really shine, especially Dua.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where Dua attempts to communicate with humans to warn them. Her message is touching and thrilling.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the message from the alternate beings is translated--it's thrilling.

Any additional comments?

This may be my favorite Asimov novel. No robots--but very different and very creative. As usual, Asimov's female characters are better-drawn than his male characters and again, he has a female character play the heroine.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The World Inside

  • By: Robert Silverberg
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 43

Welcome to Urban Monad 116. Reaching nearly two miles into the sky, the 1,000 stories of this building are home to over 800,000 people living in peace and harmony. In the year 2381 with a world population of over 75 billion souls, the massive Urbmon system is humanity’s salvation. Life in Urbmon 116 is highly regulated, life is cherished, and the culture of procreation is seen as the highest pinnacle of god’s plan. Conflict is abhorred, and any who disturb the peace face harsh punishment—even being sent “down the chute” to be recycled as fertilizer.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Could humans live like this?

  • By Kat Hooper on 05-15-12

Missing the last sentence of the book!

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

Reviewed: 12-23-12

Would you try another book from Robert Silverberg and/or Paul Boehmer?

The entire novel is changed by this one sentence or two being missing at the end. Was that an authorized change by Silverberg? Other than that, a good performance of an excellent novella of a very strange dystopia.

What did you like best about this story?

Good narration, interesting dystopia

Which character – as performed by Paul Boehmer – was your favorite?

Mamelon