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Michael Gates

Jersey City, NJ USA
  • 18
  • reviews
  • 59
  • helpful votes
  • 35
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  • Room to Dream

  • By: David Lynch, Kristine McKenna
  • Narrated by: David Lynch, Kristine McKenna
  • Length: 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 403
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 373
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 371

An unprecedented look into the personal and creative life of the visionary auteur David Lynch, through his own words and those of his closest colleagues, friends, and family - adapted by David Lynch from the print book especially for this audio program. In this unique hybrid of biography and memoir, David Lynch opens up for the first time about a life lived in pursuit of his singular vision, and the many heartaches and struggles he’s faced to bring his unorthodox projects to fruition.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Room to Dream is peachy keen!

  • By The Walking Dude on 07-04-18

Dream on!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

This unique biography/autobiography hybrid provides both the facts about and the personal insights of Lynch, described by The Guardian (UK) as "the most important director of this era". After the opening chapters about his childhood and time as an art student and painter, the book is organized into time periods that correspond to the major films and TV projects -- Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, etc. McKenna provides the biographical highlights, including commentary from Lynch's friends and colleagues, alternating with Lynch's personal recollections about the same periods, which often veer off on interesting tangents. There's information here that hasn't been shared much or at all before -- about his marriages, for example. There's also just a bit of proselytizing about Transcendental Meditation; however you feel about that, it goes by quickly. Lynch's consuming commitment to creativity, not just film-making but painting and photography, comes through strongly. It inspired me enough to start drawing again, a hobby I hadn't pursued in years. That's a sign of a powerful book, I think.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Higher Loyalty

  • Truth, Lies, and Leadership
  • By: James Comey
  • Narrated by: James Comey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 23,117
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21,106
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21,012

In his audiobook, A Higher Loyalty, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of powe, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good book, fairly bi-partisan if you're into that.

  • By Alex Fuller on 12-11-18

Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity

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

Reviewed: 05-06-18

Comey is an excellent narrator, which one can't say about all authors who read their own books. He comes across as admirably ethical and resolutely professional, without seeming self-righteous or defensive. Let's hope there are still sufficient people like this in government during this bizarre and troubling period in American history.

Much of the book has nothing to do with Trump or Clinton, as this is in many ways an autobiography. Comey was involved in many interesting cases during this career, including the Martha Stewart scandal.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • West Cork

  • By: Sam Bungey, Jennifer Forde
  • Narrated by: Sam Bungey, Jennifer Forde
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24,016
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,462
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21,465

This much we do know: Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered days before Christmas in 1996, her broken body discovered at the edge of her property near the town of Schull in West Cork, Ireland. The rest remains a mystery. Gripping, yet ever elusive, join the real-life hunt for answers in the year’s first not-to-be-missed, true-crime series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ENTERTAINING AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING

  • By Ann on 02-13-18

The Wrong Man?

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

Reviewed: 03-17-18

Any additional comments?
A mystery without solution is -- almost by definition -- endlessly fascinating. This excellent true-crime podcast is both an in-depth character study of the man who may or may not have committed the crime and a trenchant investigation into how an unsolved murder can drive a community mad. The field recordings of interviews with the eccentric British suspect and his suspicious Irish neighbors make for a compelling listen.

  • Fire and Fury

  • Inside the Trump White House
  • By: Michael Wolff
  • Narrated by: Michael Wolff, Holter Graham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,228
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,023
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,925

With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country—and the world—has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not as credible as one would like.

  • By Jerry R. Nokes Jr. on 01-29-18

Ire and Folly

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

Reviewed: 03-01-18

Any additional comments?
It would be funny if it was not so sad, laughable if it was not so terrifying, farcical if it was not so tragic.

  • Men Without Women

  • Stories
  • By: Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel - translator, Ted Goossen - translator
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 461
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 418
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 418

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all. Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Murakami Being Murakami

  • By Jay Quintana on 05-10-17

Middling Murakami -- but that's not a bad thing

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

Reviewed: 07-09-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?
Compared to, say, "The Elephant Vanishes", the quality of the stories here are more variable. Some of them are fascinatingly odd, some are just minor studies of eccentric characters. To me, even the latter are worthwhile, and I think Murakami fans will agree.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
I enjoyed it. Just wished there were more of the top-notch stories.

What about Kirby Heyborne’s performance did you like?
Heyborne clearly "gets" Murakami's narrative voice and the cadence of his prose. I felt like I was listening to Murakami himself.

Was Men Without Women worth the listening time?
Yes, for this Murakami fan.

Any additional comments?
Not the best introduction to Murakami for neophytes, but most devotees of the author will want to hear this collection.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer (Twin Peaks)

  • By: Jennifer Lynch
  • Narrated by: Sheryl Lee
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 665
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 627
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 622

Lifeless and wrapped in plastic. This is how Sheryl Lee was first introduced as "Laura Palmer" in the cult television classic, Twin Peaks. Now, Sheryl returns to voice Laura's darkest secrets in the audiobook event that fans of the show have long awaited.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wrapped in plastic

  • By Phillip Frangules on 05-08-17

One of the best TV tie-ins ever

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

Reviewed: 07-08-17

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

Yes. For anyone who is a fan of the landmark TV series, this is a must-listen.

What did you like best about this story?

Jennifer Lynch does an excellent job of bringing the voice of a troubled adolescent to authentic life. The book stands on it's own as a novel, apart from the TV series, which is rare for a TV tie-in.

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

She convincingly ACTS the text -- she doesn't just narrate it. And Lee has intimate understanding of this character.

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

Hard to select just one moment. The ultimate "secret" here, as those who've seen the TV series know, is incest. It's a disturbing story, told with both drama and sensitivity.

Any additional comments?

When originally published, this was a New York Times bestseller.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Jellyfish Dreams

  • By: M. Thomas Gammarino
  • Narrated by: Richard Allen
  • Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5

Since losing his fiancée some years ago, atheist biologist Sam Rogers has blazed a trail in immortality studies. He's learned an awful lot about life and death. But when he discovers a mysterious hole beneath his sofa one morning, he's forced to reckon with all that is unmasterable about the universe - and some of it has tentacles.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gelatinous Nightmares

  • By Michael Gates on 02-10-14

Gelatinous Nightmares

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

Reviewed: 02-10-14

Any additional comments?

M. Thomas Gammarino here packs a wide-ranging meditation on life, death, and the end of world (or at least the end of the world as humanity knows it) into little more than a three-hour listen that seems to fly by in one. It's a feat immensely aided by the late Richard Allen, a melodious, basso profondo narrator who hits just the right notes of earnestness and wonder for this satirical story of a man who finds a small, inexplicable black hole under his sofa. It's a discovery that leads inexorably to a world-wide cataclysm for we humans, a tragic love story, and an evolutionary dawn for, of all things, jellyfish. Allen helps us to suspend disbelief, and in so doing, brings Gammarino's sci-fi musings down to earth.

  • Neverwhere

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,256
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,424
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,415

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

Richard in Wonderland

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-08-08

I wouldn't call this great literature, but it is great entertainment. Neverwhere began as a British TV series -- the book is essentially a novelization -- and it does feel a little too episodic at times, with some characters not fully fleshed out (something the actors presumably did). Nevertheless, I was sucked into its world, much as the central character, Richard Mayhew, is hoovered into a fantastic underground (literally and figuratively) society. Credit that to Gaiman's gifts as both a writer and a narrator. He's that rare author who reads his own work quite well.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Dandelion Wine

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: full cast
  • Length: 1 hr and 53 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

Twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding knows Green Town, Illinois, is as vast and deep as the whole world that lies beyond. It is a pair of new tennis shoes, the first harvest of dandelions for Grandfather's renowned intoxicant, the distant clang of the trolley bell on a hazy afternoon. But as young Douglas is about to discover, summer can be more than the repetition of established rituals that hold time at bay.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Time capsule..

  • By J B Tipton on 07-15-07

Drink Up

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-03-08

This is a lavish production that will bring Bradbury's pleasantly nostalgic (if occasionally too sentimental) mix of reminiscence and imagination to your mind's eye.

The Illustrated Man audiobook cover art
  • The Illustrated Man

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Paul Hecht
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38

A hiker meets a man whose upper body is covered with illustrations so vivid and beautiful that they literally come to life. One by one, the images quiver with fantastic tales guaranteed to stir your imagination. The illustrations tell tales of a future where space travel is commonplace and technology has a tendency to turn sinister. Full of realistic details and dialogue, the stories make what was unthinkable believable, blurring the fine line between reality and fantasy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Nice Tattoos

  • By Michael Gates on 12-02-08

Nice Tattoos

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-02-08

These are classic science-fiction tales from a more innocent time, when a sense of wonder was perhaps easier to feel. Yet there are thought-provoking ideas here (still), as well as psychological insight. Bradbury is something of a prose poet, as Hecht's narration makes clear.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful