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Andrew

Madison, WI, United States
  • 13
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  • 111
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  • 29
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  • Norse Mythology

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,238
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 34,061
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,896

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Comedy-Tragedy of Gods Giants Dwarfs & Monsters

  • By Jefferson on 02-24-17

Great

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

Reviewed: 04-27-17

Real fun, Neil reads well in general but occasionally skims fast over a really crunchy phrase where an actor might savor it.

  • The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England

  • A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century
  • By: Ian Mortimer
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,215
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,035
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,031

Imagine you could travel back to the 14th century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? And what are you going to eat? Ian Mortimer shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. He sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you to the Middle Ages. The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: evolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Detailed, Interesting and Entertaining

  • By Marc-Andr? on 05-13-10

A nice introduction to Medieval England

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

Reviewed: 03-27-15

I enjoyed the interesting details of the times that I got from the book and had a lot of my own myths corrected. The framing device of being a tour guide for time travelers was fine, however the author seemed to feel the need to justify the device repeatedly, as if he was an academic wary of being accused of engaging in 'popular' writing without the most noble of intentions. All that was boring and pointless, but only made up a small portion of the book. Occasionally the narrative lapsed into lists and dates that were not very useful in an audiobook.

I listened to the whole thing in 2x time and didn't feel like I missed anything as the reader was very clear and easy on the ears.

  • The Sirens of Titan

  • By: Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,238
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,886
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,889

The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course, there's a catch to the invitation....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely Outstanding

  • By Robert on 01-07-12

Stands the test of time

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

Reviewed: 03-15-15

The performance was good and the story was pretty classic Vonnegut. Maybe not the dimensionallity of character we expect from great modern authors but full of creativity, wit and ideas far ahead of his time. I find a lot
Of great classic sci fi impossible to read because it's so stuck in the social times
In which it was written (the tech is futuristic but the sexual, racial, religious politics are super backwards) but I did not get a lot of that from this book. Some of the tropes are from a world that is gone but the personalities do not seem alien. Well with the credits and the time for a classic that would stand up if released today.

  • Red Country

  • By: Joe Abercrombie
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 19 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,905
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,587
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,571

They burned her home. They stole her brother and sister. But vengeance is following. Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Justice can have what's left when I'm done.

  • By Lore on 10-02-13

Abercrombie does Wagon Train

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

Reviewed: 11-29-13

I liked Joes First Law books and this one was decent but once I was firmly into the story I lost interest. It became apparent that this was a try to stretch the low fantasy genera towards a western theme, with a new frontier, restless natives, caravans of settlers, wide open spaces and various dastardly villains and somewhat dastardly heroes.

But there was still something kind of British about the approach to this very traditionally American genera that I suppose was origonal but made it seem like it was written by someone who had read about or heard second hand about the American west but not been there.

Maybe I am just not interested in westerns but this did not hold my attention though it was somewhat memorable.

  • Consider Phlebas

  • By: Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 16 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,497
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,241
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,253

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Culture is a magnificent and enticing vision.

  • By Hyacinth on 04-20-12

Good universe, crummy story

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

Reviewed: 11-29-13

I listened to this because it was included on several lists of the best sci-fi of all time. The world building was amazing, consistent and interesting space-opera setup.

The main character was pretty interesting too, at least at the start getting into all sorts of scrapes and meeting interesting people (and killing them).

The problems kicked in about half way through. The super-proficient cyborg mutant killer suddenly becomes plot-blind to EVERYTHING. I was thinking he might die by peeing in the fusion drive because his brain fell out. And then a suuuuuper forced plot point involving a pregnancy that I think was supposed to make the characters seem more likeable but just made them seem like simpering idiots all of a sudden. Every chance to let the antagonists continue to be antagonists it taken gleefully. Every chance for the antihero to make terrible choices is also taken. Oh, and the primary driving question for our antihero (why does he work for who he does, and is he right to do so) is dealt with vaguely and unrealistically until a postscript that basically says "Oh yeah, the right answer to that complex moral question was X because it was not actually complex I was just wasting your time".

I don't know the rest of the authors work but based on this book I would say he can make a kick-ass worlds but can't plot/character his way out of a wet sack.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  • A Novel
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,956
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,763
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,745

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gaiman delivers an intimate masterpiece

  • By Talia on 08-07-13

Neil Gaiman writes a Gaimanesq book

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

Reviewed: 11-29-13

I liked this but it has the positives and negatives of most of Gaimans work. The mythology is interesting and the childs point of view effective but the characters have a strange sort of autistic feel similar to his other books. It's not that they don't have feelings, it's just that they feel more like animatroinc puppets than people.

But that should not dissuade you unless you are new to Gaiman, if you are then you should read American Gods (the full cast recording) first as that is stronger and more fresh than this book.

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 199,050
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 185,857
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185,459

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

Nostalgia by the bucket

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

Reviewed: 06-18-13

This book made me feel funny. Like I was being pandered to as a demographic but enjoying the pandering none the less. I guess it is possible it was a study in niche marketing wherein a lot of my youthful nostalgia as a Commodore 64 owning, D&D playing, Rush listening atheist was precisely targeted like one of those magazines that your grandma got that just talked about how things were back in the good ol' days. I'm going to assume that is not the case and the author just REALLY loves old nerdy stuff.

And this book has it. If you are old enough to start going bald but young enough to wear cargo shorts there is probably something in here to be nostalgic about. A younger person might just be bored/confused though.

The story is decent, post apocalyptic virtual mcguffin hunt vs. evil slave-owning megacorp. Characters are varied despite all having a baffling obsession with the 80s as the peak of human experience. A few are pretty flat, the Gandalf stand in notably though weather that is a matter of narration, characterization or lack of screen time I dunno.

Some of the negative happenings that establish the bad guys badness lead the protagonist and others to have an almost ausbergian lack of emotional response but I think that may be a choice of tone and trying to keep things moving forward. In general the protagonists geek guy exemplar is quite believable although frustratingly shallow at points.

Narration was pretty good. Wills range is not up to some of the real heavy hitter readers but he obviously fit the subject matter perfectly and at least for the younger characters got the nuance right.

Still not sure how I feel about it. Guess I shouldn't worry.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Daemon

  • By: Daniel Suarez
  • Narrated by: Jeff Gurner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,084
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,683
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,725

Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Possibly The Best Techno-thriller Ever

  • By Erica on 01-22-09

If you like stuff more than people

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

Reviewed: 06-18-13

This book was not terrible but it seemed like it was written by/for IT professionals (and I am one). The tech is deeply fetishised, sometimes this is interesting like when discussing hacking etc in a semi-realistic way but other times it is just name-dropping brand names of watches and cars. I think I learned more about the characters accessories than their feelings. It holds together mostly on a smaller scale but as the plot widens it goes off the rails a bit in believability and in the characters ability to carry it.

Oh, and there are two girls in it that I can recall, one is a bitch and the other is a two dimensional love interest who gets rescued despite at least giving her an interesting job.

I dunno, maybe I expected a good sci-fi novel and got a 'techo-thriller' instead.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • The Wise Man's Fear

  • Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 42 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 48,464
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 44,069
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 44,118

"My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well worth your time

  • By Robert on 09-08-11

Great book, ok reading.

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

Reviewed: 02-12-13

Both of Pats books are amazing, transcending the genera to create something that has more than earned much praise. But if you are thinking about listening to this then you have already read Name of the Wind and know that.

It's not perfect, main issue is pacing. If it was a graph there would be big spikes of action with long troughs of slow meandering inbetween. Sometimes we get minute detail about long stretches of backstory, world building and training montage, other times huge events go by in a few pages or even happen off-screen. The good bits though, they are very very good.

I read the first book on paper and listened to the audiobook as well and found that the audiobook glossed over some of the the most choice turns of phrase. The speaker seems young, and so is Kvothe of course but this lends an unfortunate modern cadence to the speech. Someone old and gravely would lend it a more touching, heartfelt gravitas in keeping with the writing I think.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Among Others

  • By: Jo Walton
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,268
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,113
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,115

Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Subtle Character Piece

  • By Eoin on 09-15-11

Great tone and voice, mediocre ending.

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

Reviewed: 02-12-13

Don't want to get spoilery so I'll just say that I loved the narrator and thought the coming of age story was interesting, but the plot was not very satisfying. I guess I was hoping there was something more interesting going on than the actual story. The reader is amazingly good, I'm not a native but the accents seemed spot on and shifted over time as the characters changed. Still recommend it as a listen.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful