LISTENER

Banyan

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • Hard Luck Hank: Robot Farts

  • By: Steven Campbell
  • Narrated by: Liam Owen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,342
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,269
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,263

Sometimes it's not easy being a mutant thug. The space station Belvaille, once the center of civilization, is nearly deserted because of the new government's policies. Hank makes do by working odd jobs, but he isn't sure how long those, or the city, can last.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • fun as hell

  • By Jeremy on 03-08-17

Sci-Fi comedy at it's best.

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

Reviewed: 03-22-17

If you could sum up Hard Luck Hank: Robot Farts in three words, what would they be?

I'm NOT Fat

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I'm well into middle age and Campbell makes me laugh robustly every time. I don't cheer at sporting events. I don't wave my hands at church. In fact you won't typically know I'm even in the room. But Campbell makes me belly laugh just like the National Lampoon movies did back in the 70's.

Any additional comments?

Campbell is great at this genre. This isn't rocket science. Well, it has rockets and it has science - but they don't go together. And come on - it has "FARTS" right there in the title. If you can't appreciate that - this is not for you. Steer clear and go back to literature. this is meant to be light-hearted humor at it's best. Paraphrasing Hank - "Did she just call me fat with her dying breath? Who does that?"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67,293
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 63,144
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,015

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

  • By PW on 04-12-17

Bobiverse is great fun

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

Reviewed: 12-23-16

What did you like best about this story?

It's a fresh take on an old theme. Taylor captured an excitement in galactic exploration.

Any additional comments?

Sci Fi delivered with a sense of humor. It's not flawless science. Taylor glosses over details but then is he really going to build a real time FTL comm. system? If you're ready to go for a ride and have a laugh - this books for you. If you want to knit pick the science and politics - then pass.

  • The Broke Ass Brigade

  • Living with Asperger's in the Savage Side of the American Dream
  • By: Don Romonov
  • Narrated by: Ron Welch
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2

Don entered the workforce as a young man barely out of high school, full of enthusiasm and idealism. He soon received a reality check about corporate America. Raised in the middle class, he believed in the value system of an honest day's work for an honest wage. That by doing what was "right" and working hard, he would succeed. The Company Store, however, had other plans for him and his coworkers - the American working class.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A stereotype of self-righteousness

  • By Banyan on 06-17-16

A stereotype of self-righteousness

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

Reviewed: 06-17-16

Have you listened to any of Ron Welch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Performance was great - he successfully presented the putrid hatred of humanity as written by the author.

What character would you cut from The Broke Ass Brigade?

The protagonist

Any additional comments?

Asperger's is not an excuse for this vitrioloc putrid hatred of all mankind. The author indulges in non-stop complaining about the actions of others while placing blame on everybody but himself. The writer states that he quits a job he hates - then earns a college degree in History while working as a security contractor: looks like a positive future. Then post degree he agrees to go back to "the company store" that he knows is incompatible with his personality. All the while complaining that he has no options: only a dog returns to its vomit. The writer was single with nothing but freedom. Join the JobCorp, volunteer for something meaningful in your community, there is no debtors prison: it's just a bad credit rating not a character rating. Do SOMETHING: hitchhike to Montana and raise sheep in a lean-to down by the river. The writer had plenty of time for video games, movies, and non-stop complaining - but never anything positive. Repay evil with more evil is non-productive. The writer states that an old military man took him to the side and told him effectively "There's the door - what hinders your freedom?" - he rejects it. Ok - you want to change the corporate world: upgrade that BA to an MBA and Management PhD. I see nothing here but juvenile glee in finding the most negative thing possible to say about horribly broken people. The writer has become a stereotype of that which he hates. Forget finding religion - the writer desperately needs to find humanity.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Three-Body Problem

  • By: Cixin Liu
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,671
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,755
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,763

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • They create a computer using a 30 million man Army

  • By Josh P on 12-07-14

If you love Sci-Fi you're required to read this...

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

Reviewed: 04-27-16

What other book might you compare The Three-Body Problem to and why?

If you like "hard science fiction" space opera authors like Alastair Reynolds and Peter F. Hamilton - you have got to hear this.

Any additional comments?

The fact that this is a translation into English is inspiring. The author captures so much of the Chinese culture from a scientific perspective that is just amazing. I'm math and sciences poor but the author weaves such a profound understanding of fundamental physics into layman terms that you can't help but listen in rapture. I don't know how much of this is due to the translator Ken Liu - but one of the two or both are amazing story tellers. Unfortunately, the only shortcoming is one of my own. I'm so unfamiliar with the sound of Chinese names that I had a problem keeping the names and characterizations in sync. After many hours of listening - I was finally able to properly link characters to the correct names. Once I created a resonant workspace in my head - all was good.

  • Hard Luck Hank: Screw the Galaxy

  • By: Steven Campbell
  • Narrated by: Liam Owen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,887
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,667
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,663

Hank is a thug. He knows he's a thug. He has no problem with that realization. In his view the galaxy has given him a gift: a mutation that allows him to withstand great deals of physical trauma. He puts his abilities to the best use possible and that isn't by being a scientist. Besides, the space station Belvaille doesn't need scientists. It is not, generally, a thinking person's locale. It is the remotest habitation in the entire Colmarian Confederation. There is literally no reason to be there.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A bunch of genres crammed into good fun

  • By Thomas Allen on 09-11-14

Hate turns to lust

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

Reviewed: 04-07-16

Where does Hard Luck Hank: Screw the Galaxy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I truly thought I was going to hate this book after the first 10 minutes. The premise seemed stupid and just unappealing. The narrator sounded less than intelligent. Then I realized I was laughing at 7:10am on the way to work. I never laugh in the morning - especially while driving to work. By 30 minutes I was hooked and wished it wouldn't stop.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Liam Owen expresses Hank as a cross of 3 characters. "Hank Hill" from "King of the Hill", Harry Caray of MLB fame and Sylvester Stallone from movies Demolition Man, Rocky, and Oscar. His ability to personify eloquently all of the characters in a unique fashion is amazing. Even when a mannerism or accent falls a bit flat - he moves so quickly into the next comedic bit that you forget about the problem.

Any additional comments?

Campbell has cornered a unique blend of satire, sarcasm and dry whit that is sorely missing in American writing.

So much written work is overproduced and scrutinized to DEATH! It's apparent that Campbell is just writing to write and you can't help but love it. He's a lot like the Adam Sandler of the book world. People just don't get him. The books are about the Forrest Gump of outer space - not Gandhi and world peace. Why does it need fully fleshed character development and bullet proof plot lines. The only thing that needs to be bullet proof in this book is Hanks Butt. Oh, that's because his butt is bullet proof. Literally. That's what makes this SO funny.

Loved the book and the series. I laughed until I cried.

  • Hard Luck Hank: Basketful of Crap, Book 2

  • By: Steven Campbell
  • Narrated by: Liam Owen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,293
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,166
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,162

Hank was a dying breed on the space station Belvaille. The criminal gangs that had once made their homes there were forced out by the corporations that had taken over since the facility became an Independent Protectorate. Instead of the gentlemanly gang wars that had once dominated the scene, and made Hank's services prized as a negotiator, the city was now plagued by the clash of corporate armies using heavy weapons. Even tanks roamed the streets regularly.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dry noir scifi comedy done right

  • By Jeffrey on 10-28-14

A great follow up to book 1

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

Reviewed: 04-07-16

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

A book where a duo of trained assassins attempt to a stab the bullet impervious Hank to death is hilarious. Effectively, "Are you trying to make me die of embarrassment by cutting my clothes off?" The non-stop deadpan delivery of outrageous statements are just staggeringly funny.

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

Liam Owen expresses Hank as a cross of 3 characters. "Hank Hill" from "King of the Hill", Harry Caray of MLB fame and Sylvester Stallone from movies Demolition Man, Rocky, and Oscar. His ability to personify eloquently all of the characters in a unique fashion is amazing. Even when a mannerism or accent falls a bit flat - he moves so quickly into the next comedic bit that you forget about the problem.

Any additional comments?

Campbell has cornered a unique blend of satire, sarcasm and dry whit that is sorely missing in American writing.

  • Hard Luck Hank: Prince of Suck

  • By: Steven Campbell
  • Narrated by: Liam Owen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,890
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,783
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,784

An increasingly crippled Hank struggles to keep the various factions of Belvaille in check after the collapse of the Colmarian Confederation. Hank, as Supreme Kommilaire and Secretary of City, has several hundred police to try to maintain order among the millions of inhabitants on the space station while simultaneously preparing for Belvaille's first ever election.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ol' Hank Strikes Again!!!!

  • By matt on 04-11-15

Book 3 - Old Hank is still fun Hank

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

Reviewed: 04-07-16

If you could sum up Hard Luck Hank: Prince of Suck in three words, what would they be?

Failure to communicate. Hank as a loveable but corrupt government official is interesting. I keep picturing Stother Martin as the Captain in Cool Hand Luke. "What we've got here is failure to communicate".

What did you like best about this story?

Liam Owen expresses Hank as a cross of 3 characters. "Hank Hill" from "King of the Hill", Harry Caray of MLB fame and Sylvester Stallone from movies Demolition Man, Rocky, and Oscar. His ability to personify eloquently all of the characters in a unique fashion is amazing. Even when a mannerism or accent falls a bit flat - he moves so quickly into the next comedic bit that you forget about the problem.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I just never stopped laughing. I haven't laughed this long and loud in quite some time. Kudos to Campbell.

Any additional comments?

Campbell has cornered a unique blend of satire, sarcasm and dry whit that is sorely missing in American writing.

  • Hard Luck Hank: Suck My Cosmos

  • By: Steven Campbell
  • Narrated by: Liam Owen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,642
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,568
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,563

Life is tough on space station Belvaille - not for the aristocratic nobles that call it home, but for the poor slobs like Hank. Hank is considered a celebrated cutthroat and the oldest living person in the city. His occupation is to be hired muscle for those people who don't want to get their hands dirty but still want dirty things done.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • HLH is my favorite person ever!

  • By Aaron on 09-23-15

Book 4 as much fun as 1-3

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

Reviewed: 04-07-16

If you could sum up Hard Luck Hank: Suck My Cosmos in three words, what would they be?

The fun continues.

What about Liam Owen’s performance did you like?

Liam Owen expresses Hank as a cross of 3 characters. "Hank Hill" from "King of the Hill", Harry Caray of MLB fame and Sylvester Stallone from movies Demolition Man, Rocky, and Oscar. His ability to personify eloquently all of the characters in a unique fashion is amazing. Even when a mannerism or accent falls a bit flat - he moves so quickly into the next comedic bit that you forget about the problem.

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

Hank having a valet is reminiscent of the old British novels by P. G. Wodehouse. Hank is truly the new Bertie Wooster.

Any additional comments?

Campbell has cornered a unique blend of satire, sarcasm and dry whit that is sorely missing in American writing.

  • The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant

  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,599
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,165
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,166

Timid, socially awkward, and plagued by self-esteem issues, Fred has never been the adventurous sort. One fateful night - different from the night he died, which was more inconvenient than fateful - Fred reconnects with an old friend at his high school reunion. This rekindled relationship sets off a chain of events thrusting him right into the chaos of the parahuman world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun for a While

  • By sherri on 09-18-16

A fun diversion for the commute

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

Reviewed: 12-31-15

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant?

Who couldn't love a story that includes a minimizing were-pony?

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

A miniseries on Hulu or Netflix - yes. But not a movie.

Any additional comments?

The episodic nature of the book works for a night stand book or commuter.

  • First to Kill

  • By: Andrew Peterson
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,662
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,414
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,414

When you're the best at what you do, it's not always easy to walk away. Nathan McBride was retired. The trained Marine sniper and covert CIA operative had put the violence of his former life behind him. But not anymore. A deep-cover FBI agent has disappeared along with one ton of powerful Semtex explosive, enough to unleash a disaster of international proportions. The U.S. government has no choice but to coax Nathan out of retirement.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very Good

  • By Vida T. Yancy on 07-12-09

Jack Reachers distant, richer, connected cousin

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

Reviewed: 12-31-15

What other book might you compare First to Kill to and why?

It's not fair to say that Andrew Peterson is a Lee Child copycat. However this sure seems like Jack Reacher had a distant, richer, better connected cousin who at least has a pang of conscience when he pulls the trigger.

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

Dick Hill IS the master of military cadence. His mastery of the pregnant pause and story telling ability is superb.

Any additional comments?

I'm a Dick Hill acolyte and he made this book live for me - but I'm thinking that maybe they should have picked someone else to give Andrew Peterson a chance. I thought it was a new Lee Child character who got his own spin-off TV series. Probably because Dick Hill IS the voice of Jack Reacher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful