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  • Gnomon

  • By: Nick Harkaway
  • Narrated by: Ben Onwukwe
  • Length: 29 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143

In the world of Gnomon, citizens are constantly observed and democracy has reached a pinnacle of "transparency". Every action is seen, every word is recorded, and the System has access to its citizens' thoughts and memories - all in the name of providing the safest society in history. When suspected dissident Diana Hunter dies in government custody, it marks the first time a citizen has been killed during an interrogation. The System doesn't make mistakes, but something isn't right about the circumstances surrounding Hunter's death. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, challenging, not a “beach read”

  • By Mark Hancock on 12-09-18

Intricate. Erudite. Amazing performance!!!

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

Reviewed: 06-24-19

This book definitely won’t be for everyone. It is the most incredible thing I have read in years. Harkaway is a genius. I adore this book and have reread it three times now. It’s not anything you can go through fast. If you like retreading and piecing things together, you will love this.

Beyond that, Ben Onwukwe should get a medal, a parade, or both for this performance. It is PERFECT. One of the best performances I have ever heard out of over 400 titles now.

  • Gilded Needles

  • By: Michael McDowell
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 317
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 296

Welcome to the Black Triangle, New York's decadent district of opium dens, gambling casinos, and back-room abortions. The queen of this unsavory neighborhood is Black Lena Shanks, whose family leads a ring of female criminals - women skilled in the art of cruelty. Only a few blocks away, amidst the elegant mansions and lily-white reputations of Gramercy Park and Washington Square, lives Judge James Stallworth. On a crusade to crush Lena's evil empire, the judge has sentenced three of her family members to death. And now she wants revenge.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Definitely dark, but engrossing.

  • By CJ Matthews on 08-09-17

Don’t expect another Blackwater

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

Reviewed: 02-04-19

This book is fine, but if you come in expecting the fright and interest associated with Blackwater, you’ll be disappointed.

Still, it’s not bad. Who doesn’t like Rachedrama?

  • Moby Dick

  • By: Herman Melville
  • Narrated by: William Hootkins
  • Length: 24 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,021
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 904
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 901

"Call me Ishmael." Thus starts the greatest American novel. Melville said himself that he wanted to write "a mighty book about a mighty theme" and so he did. It is a story of one man's obsessive revenge-journey against the white whale, Moby-Dick, who injured him in an earlier meeting. Woven into the story of the last journey of The Pequod is a mesh of philosophy, rumination, religion, history, and a mass of information about whaling through the ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, EXCELLENT reading!

  • By Jessica on 02-18-09

Start on Ch 7, 2:12

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

Start on Ch 7, 2:12 to hear the first lines of the book. Performance is beautiful. Glad I figured out how to find the start.

It’s like someone cut the deck of cards in half and started it Ch 47 to end. Then 1-46 (I hope). So glad to find the start.

Enjoy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Annihilation

  • Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Jeff VanderMeer
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
  • Length: 6 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,872
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,506
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4,507

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, bad narrator

  • By Julian P. on 01-26-16

Great!! And Narrator is not as bad as other reviewers led me to believe.

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

Reviewed: 02-21-18

I held off getting this book on 3-4 separate occasions due only to the other reviews citing the narrator as terrible. I know a narrator can make a huge difference.

I didn’t think there was anything wrong with this narration at all. I think the narrator was playing to the otherworldly and somewhat oneiric aspects of this book. She sounds a like a dazed scientist that’s almost wholly lost her sense of self. That is exactly what’s called for! Perhaps if those folks had spent time with high-level scientists out of touch with normal interpersonal nuances, they would appreciate this performance more.

A couple other points in defense of this performance:
1) The experts that enter Area X shed their personal identities and only refer to each other as ‘the psychologist’, ‘the anthropologist’, ‘the linguist’, etc.
2) The biologist and other experts undergo a lot of change even before they enter Area X. Then they must negotiate a great deal of change in a very strange environment.

All in all, don’t let those reviews stop you from getting and enjoying this book as much as I did.

28 of 32 people found this review helpful