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Dr. Curmudgeon

Cow Hampshire
  • 31
  • reviews
  • 146
  • helpful votes
  • 573
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  • Twain’s Feast

  • By: Audible Originals
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,090
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,439
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,412

Mark Twain, beloved American writer, performer, and humorist, was a self-proclaimed glutton. With the help of a chef and some friends, Nick Offerman presents the story of Twain’s life through the lens of eight of Mark Twain’s favorite foods.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Audible Recycling

  • By Greg Hill on 11-17-18

A side of Clemens I never knew

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

There's a lot of mythology built around Mark Twain, the author/performer, but so much of it seems to be almost as inflated as the stories he'd tell. This gave me a better look at the man behind Twain, his life, and the context in which he wrote so much.

  • Red Moon

  • By: Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Narrated by: Maxwell Hamilton, Joy Osmanski, Feodor Chin
  • Length: 16 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 193
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 182

It is 30 years from now, and we have colonized the moon. American Fred Fredericks is making his first trip, his purpose to install a communications system for China's Lunar Science Foundation. But hours after his arrival, he witnesses a murder and is forced into hiding. It is also the first visit for celebrity travel reporter Ta Shu. He has contacts and influence, but he, too, will find the moon can be a perilous place for any traveler. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Murder and politics on the moon

  • By Michael G Kurilla on 01-25-19

So much Chinese influence in Modern SciFi: Good

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

Reviewed: 11-09-18

I am really enjoying the greater participation of Chinese culture in SciFi. It both more accurately reflects the direction the 21st century seems to be taking and gives us insight into an entirely different (from western norms) culture. Or maybe I was just spoiled by The Three Body Problem trilogy.

Robinson always seems to manage to write a ripping great yarn when it comes to space colonization, which is a genre I very much prefer to space ship battles, space monarchies and space kitties. It is so much more grounded than the sort of space opera that somehow manages to completely miss the sense of scale involved in interplanetary travel. Rather than patching over plot holes with Treknobabble and magic FTL, Robinson leaves us with something that sounds like a plausible near future.

I loved Ta Shu, but was kind of annoyed by Fred and Qi. (Guessing at the spellings as I did not visually read the book). Still, most characters in the book served a useful function and both explained and enabled the story, and were therefore necessary.

I very much enjoyed the story, although I couldn't quite figure out the inconsistent narrators (seems to me, any one of them would be fine, but for a single character to have multiple voices was a bit jarring). My one major complaint is that the ending isn't really. There's obviously a "Green Moon" (if Robinson's naming convention can be predicted) coming, and since this book is so new, I'm probably going to have to wait a year or more before getting the rest of the story

3 of 4 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 5,201
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,847
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,832

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

Love Scalzi. Love Wheaton. Near Ideal combinatio

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

Reviewed: 10-24-18

A new John Scalzi book usually finds its way onto my "Insta-buy" list. A new John Scalzi book performed by Wil Wheaton is the sort of thing that would cause me to stop listening to just about anything else so I could listen to it. I know that some people prefer to read books by themselves, but the Wheaton performance definitely makes the audio book superior in this case. I just loved it.

I also very much liked the first book in this series, so I was happy to see the second book. But, while this book did a nice job of advancing the series plotline, and advancing the development of some characters, I feel as if it suffers a bit from the "OMFG, everything's about to go to shit; then a miracle happens" disease.

The ending of the book was thus a bit of a disappointment to me, partly because "then a miracle happened" and partly because I just wasn't ready for it to be over. In terms of straight up quality, Peter F. Hamilton, performed by John Lee, might be slightly better fiction, but it's a total slog compared to this in terms of sheer storytelling enjoyment.

The biggest problem that the ending of this book poses for me is that after enjoying it so much, everything else in my queue just seems like a letdown.

  • The Runabout

  • Diving Series, Book 6
  • By: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck
  • Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

A graveyard of spaceships, abandoned by the mysterious Fleet thousands of years earlier. Boss calls it "the Boneyard". She needs the ships inside to expand her work for Lost Souls Corporation. Yash Zarlengo thinks the Boneyard will help her discover if the Fleet still exists. Boss and Yash, while exploring the Boneyard, discover a small ship with a powerful and dangerous problem: the ship's active anacapa drive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thrilling ride

  • By Mark on 09-03-18

The Boss is Back!

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

Reviewed: 10-05-17

I love Boss! I love Jennifer Van Dyck!

I have one major gripe with this installment: It's way too short. Not that there'd be any way of making it longer without adding significantly to the plot.

Having said that, I really enjoy how this book, along with the previous non-Boss book expand the questions of the Diving Universe, what the heck the Anacopa drive is and in fact, where the whole series is headed.

This was, for me, another one of those "drive around the block a few more times" books.

  • Red Rising

  • By: Pierce Brown
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,015
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,973

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow, what a performance and what a story

  • By Jared G on 08-27-16

YA Book

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

Reviewed: 04-01-17

Finished this book. Slightly rewarding read, but mostly YA fighting/justice/hunger games. Started the next one. After about a chapter, it seemed like it was going to be just like this one, but IN SPACE!, so I dumped it. I hope I'm wrong about that, but after this first one, it started feeling tedious.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fluency

  • By: Jennifer Foehner Wells
  • Narrated by: Susanna Burney
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,761
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,605
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,611

NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960's. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it. Dr. Jane Holloway is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. But when NASA recruits her to join a team of military scientists for an expedition to the Target, it's an adventure she can't refuse.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I "drug" myself away as quickly as possible.

  • By Aurochs on 08-10-16

Nice enough story, but

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

Reviewed: 03-09-15

Obviously a setup for a sequel or probably a whole series.

Enjoyed the story in almost every respect, except:

If I want to read bodice rippers, I'll buy bodice rippers. Fortunately, limited to only a few scenes, but they did almost nothing whatsoever to advance the story or plot.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Murder of Clones

  • Anniversary Day Saga, Book 3 (Retrieval Artist Universe)
  • By: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 154

The Anniversary Day bombings on the Moon sent shockwaves throughout the Earth Alliance. No one knows who created the clones responsible and turned them into ruthless killers. No one knows where or when they'll strike next. The bombings compel Earth Alliance Frontier Marshall Judita Gomez to launch an unauthorized investigation into a case from her past involving the murder of clones. An investigation that might cost Judita not only her career but the lives of her crew.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Required reading if you're already into the series

  • By Dr. Curmudgeon on 03-09-15

Required reading if you're already into the series

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

Reviewed: 03-09-15

But to tell the truth, I'd like the original gang of characters back.

Good branch for the story, but it just seemed a bit long for what's essentially back story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Wormhole

  • The Rho Agenda, Book 3
  • By: Richard Phillips
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,525
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,280
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,276

When the Rho Project’s lead scientist, Dr. Donald Stephenson, is imprisoned for his crimes against humanity, the world dares to think the threat posed by the Rho Project’s alien technologies is finally over. The world is wrong. In Switzerland, scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider have discovered a new threat, a scientific anomaly capable of destroying the earth - and only Rho Project technology can stop it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • James Bond Meets Witch Mountain

  • By Cliff on 06-05-15

Stick a fork in it

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

Reviewed: 03-09-15

The best I can say is that the trilogy is done.

Not that there's anything wrong with the book. It's just that there's nothing particularly right. All the same characters are back doing the same things, and to tell the truth, it has the ring of doneness to it.

I've enjoyed this series, but I'm ready to be done.

  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,738
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,957
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,933

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun! Things you might want to know:

  • By Alexis on 08-29-14

Love Scalzi; love Wheaton; love this book

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

Reviewed: 09-04-14

This is an excellent novel in its own right. My only complaint is that it's too short!

And there are reasons why Wheaton has become my favorite lector, and this is certainly one of them.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Dangerous Animals Club

  • By: Stephen Tobolowsky
  • Narrated by: Stephen Tobolowsky
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290

If you ran into Stephen Tobolowsky on the street, you would not be mistaken: Yes, you’ve seen him before. A childhood dentist? A former geometry teacher? Your local florist? Tobolowsky is a character actor, one of the most prolific screen and stage presences of our time, having appeared in productions that range from Deadwood to Glee, from Mississippi Burning to Groundhog Day. But Stephen Tobolowsky, it turns out, is not just an actor; he is also a dazzlingly talented storyteller and writer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Will Rogers, Spalding Gray, Alexandre Dumas HACKS!

  • By HB Radke on 09-27-12

I'm a regular Tobo fan

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

Reviewed: 04-11-14

I've always really loved Tobolowsky as one of the nation's preeminent "It's that guy!" actors. Now I love him as a great storyteller, with a really interesting life.

I also never had a fan that the group "Radio Head" ultimately owes Tobo for their name. But that's another bit of trivia.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful