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The Man in the High Castle audiobook cover art
  • The Man in the High Castle

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 830
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 614
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 621

It's America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. It's all because, some 20 years earlier, the United States lost a war - and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Meta before meta was cool

  • By Julie W. Capell on 02-10-13

What the world might have been...

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

Reviewed: 12-29-15

This is an alternate-history novel with a sprinkle of sci-fi. Germany, Italy, and Japan win WW2 and carve up the US. Democracy is gone and the remnants of US culture are sold in antique stores. Some Americans are still bitter many years after the war but there is no organized resistance and for the most part people accept the new way of life. Most people use the I Ching as an integral part of their lives. A key part of the novel centers around an increasingly popular book written by an American called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy which is an alternate history novel describing what the world would be like if the axis powers had lost the war.

The novel explores people's view of themselves and their culture, and the associated prejudices.

Narration: I did not enjoy Tom Weiner's reading of the novel. He does a good job of character voices, but the basic narration is mechanical and rigid which was distracting. He did not sound like this in A Canticle for Leibowitz.

  • Slade House

  • A Novel
  • By: David Mitchell
  • Narrated by: Thomas Judd, Tania Rodrigues
  • Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,034
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 961
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 957

Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you'll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won't want to leave. Later, you'll find that you can't. Every nine years, the house's residents - an odd brother and sister - extend a unique invitation to someone who's different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it's already too late....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping Horror with an Weak Conclusion

  • By Tom on 12-18-15

Awsome book

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

Reviewed: 12-02-15

A short, easy read and very enjoyable. It is not horror and not scary like some reviews make it out to be. You do not need to read The Bone Clocks first. Mitchell ties all of his books together in subtle ways, so you may miss a couple of references, but the book stands alone. A good example of Mitchell's superb writing. The story? Very simple: Twins Nora and Jonah live in a mansion off Slade Alley and need a little boost every nine years.

Great narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Axis

  • By: Robert Charles Wilson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,155
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 685
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 687

Lise Adams is a young woman attempting to uncover the mystery of her father's disappearance 10 years earlier. Turk Findley is an ex-sailor and sometimes-drifter. They come together when an infall of cometary dust seeds the planet with tiny remnant Hypothetical machines. Soon, this seemingly hospitable world will become very alien indeed - as the nature of time is once again twisted, by entities unknown.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • From Hypothertical to Pathetic , let down!

  • By Jason on 08-30-08

OK but not terribly exciting

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

Reviewed: 12-02-15

3, maybe 2.5 stars. I had difficulty maintaining my interest in Axis. It just seems very slow and tedious. I often felt like saying, "Enough already with everyone's thoughts and feelings, tell me more cool sci fi shit." (But I never actually said that out loud.) RCW has ideas. I would like a novel from him that is a little shorter and loaded with cool, weird ideas. Despite my low/avg review, I will read Vortex some day.

Scott Brick is an OK narrator, but his phrasing can be a little monotonous and irritating at times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Dune

  • By: Frank Herbert
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
  • Length: 21 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46,576
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,301
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,355

Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful production!

  • By Joshua on 03-22-09

One of the must-read SF classics

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

Reviewed: 12-02-15

I had forgotten how strange this book is. And it's not as well written as I remember. However, I have to give it four stars (and I'm feeling a touch guilty about not giving it five!). Just compare it to other SF novels written in the same era (1960s). It is really quite big and mind-opening and has that overall good versus evil thing going on. A classic, despite its little flaws.

  • The Mechanical

  • The Alchemy Wars
  • By: Ian Tregillis
  • Narrated by: Chris Kayser
  • Length: 15 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 907
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 830
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 825

Soon after the Dutch scientist and clockmaker Christiaan Huygens invented the very first Clakker in the seventeenth century, the Netherlands built a whole mechanical army. It wasn't long before a legion of clockwork fusiliers marched on Westminster, and the Netherlands became the world's sole superpower.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great book that goes nowhere.

  • By Eric Kimball on 07-07-16

Creative and thought-provoking

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

Reviewed: 12-02-15

Alternate history sci fi novel. Mechanicals (Clakkers, Servitors) were invented by a Dutch inventor and made the Netherlands a superpower. Members of The Guild called Horologists fix and maintain the clakkers and protect the secret of their inner workings. Clakkers are smarter and stronger and are controlled by a pre-programmed hierarchy called the gesha. There is a way for them to gain free will and be free of the gesha, and the novel tells the story of Jax, how he obtained free will, was considered a rogue, and ran for his life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 14

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,205
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38,201
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38,202

There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Meh

  • By AprilBCortland on 07-17-18

Mysterious beginning, fantastical ending.

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

Reviewed: 09-07-15

Clines takes his time building characters and building the mystery surrounding a tenant building in Los Angeles. The mystery is resolved near the very end and is quite imaginative. It's an easy read and hard to put down. Yes, it's a bit fantastical and some elements are not resolved, but overall it's a simple and fun story that will keep your attention.

Ray Porter does a pretty good job narrating. I am bothered by many male narrators' inability to perform female voices (I think because they try to sound like a female, and with Porter's masculine voice that doesn't work) so I can't give him 5 stars, but overall he's good.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Nexus

  • Nexus, Book 1
  • By: Ramez Naam
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 13 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,242
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,034
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,050

In the near future, the nano-drug Nexus can link mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it. When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage, with far more at stake than anyone realizes.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This guy might be great one day

  • By Daniel on 05-14-14

Starts good, ends poor.

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

Reviewed: 09-07-15

This book is about a drug called Nexus and its ability to alter the human brain to make it function better than a normal brain. People on Nexus can network and communicate with each other (like Bluetooth), memories can be uploaded and downloaded, and functions can be programmed. The opening chapter was hilarious. The first half of the book was interesting and filled with character development, friendships, loyalties, threats, and scifi concepts. The scene was well set for a showdown. Unfortunately, the second half of the book was nothing but sentence fragments, gory fighting, and a platform to preach free expression and personal freedom.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Confederacy of Dunces

  • By: John Kennedy Toole
  • Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,940
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,634
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,642

The hero of John Kennedy Toole's incomparable, Pulitzer Prize-winning comic classic is one Ignatius J. Reilly, "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter". His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well Done

  • By Jon on 09-18-05

American classic. Great humor.

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

Reviewed: 09-07-15

This an American classic and on my list of must-read. It won the Pulitzer in 1981. A sort of Don Quixote set in 1950s/1960s New Orleans, the story wittily reveals the complex social structure of the time. You could also say it is a mimic of Huckleberry Finn, just with very different characters and setting. In fact, Toole references Twain's work two or three times in the book. Tool doesn't hold back in Dunces. He goes after every group he believes is judgmental and hypocritical, and that's pretty much everyone. I love Tools's sense of humor which is sometimes displayed in outrageous scenes, but more frequently is subtle and understated.

Narrator Barrett Whitener is awesome. Several times while listening I wondered how one person can perform so many voices so effortlessly. He is one of the few male narrators that can portray a female character without making me grit my teeth.

  • Armada

  • A Novel
  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,291
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,005
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 34,948

It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom - if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great unless you are expecting Ready Player One

  • By Tyler J. on 02-11-18

Amateurish.

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

Reviewed: 07-28-15

Armada fails to reach the bar set by Ready Player One (a five star), but more than that, it just isn't good at all. First, the book reads like a YA novel (which you might be fooled into thinking until you hit the "fuck"s, "shit"s, and "holy fucking shit"s). Second, the book needs a thorough workover by a professional editor to get rid of clichés, sentences that start "it", etc. Third, the dialogue is some of the worst I've ever read. Fourth, the cast of characters -- which is supposed to be the best gamers in the world -- is ridiculous (but thank god it is comprised of all the token races and homosexuals...that made me feel better). Fifth, one unbelievable thing after another keeps happening (oh no, my dad is severely injured, but fortunately the little escape pod he's in has a full automated medical suite!). I would keep going but I need to cut my toenails.

Narration: Wil Wheaton is OK, but he can't handle a book like this with lots of characters. The listener can't distinguish between characters much of the time.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Quantum Lens

  • By: Douglas E. Richards
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 966
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 866
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 862

Omar Haddad is a brutal jihadist in Syria who appears to be invulnerable and capable of supernatural feats. But is Haddad divine, as he claims? Is he a gifted magician? Or is he making use of a stunning scientific breakthrough? And what, exactly, is keeping him from unleashing the global apocalypse he’s so eager to bring about? Brennan Craft, a quirky quantum physics genius, has the answers, and the US military is desperate to capture him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting premise

  • By Jonathan Smith on 05-01-15

Classic good versus evil.

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

Reviewed: 07-15-15

I wanted to give this book three stars but decided on 4 since it kept my attention all the way through. I'm not terribly impressed by the writing and characters (there is one abused female and a large cast of very important and powerful men), but the story is one that I'll probably remember for a while, and that's saying a lot these days. The science that justifies the action in the book requires quite a bit of suspension of disbelief, but I just let that go and tried to imagine how fun it would be to fly around the world by just thinking about it. This is not a great literary work, but its a fun read if you like the classic good versus evil plot.