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Niels J. Rasmussen

  • 145
  • reviews
  • 697
  • helpful votes
  • 297
  • ratings
  • Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

  • Horror Stories
  • By: Stephen King (introduction), Richard Matheson
  • Narrated by: Julia Campbell, Paul Michael Garcia, Malcolm Hillgartner, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 192

Much of Richard Matheson's work has found its way into pop culture: the title story became a memorable episode of television's The Twilight Zone, and more recently, Will Smith starred in the blockbuster movie I Am Legend. Stephen King has declared Matheson to be one of his favorite writers. Find out why as you listen to the classic horror story of a man who peers out of his airplane window to see a gremlin destroying the wing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Excellent Collection

  • By Skeezix on 07-01-09

the highest caliber storyteller of his generation

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

Reviewed: 01-08-18

Richard Matheson is Stephen Kong's favorite writer for a very, VERY good reason.
I have always leaned more towards sci-fi as opposed to horror or suspense, especially in the medium of the short story but Matheson is as good a writer as anyone else in either field.
Amazing collection of stories.

9.4 / 10.0

0 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Metamorphosis and Other Stories

  • By: Franz Kafka
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 108

In the bizarre world of Franz Kafka, salesmen turn into giant bugs, apes give lectures at college academies, and nightmares probe the mysteries of modern humanity’s unhappiness. More than any other modern writer in world literature, Kafka captures the loneliness and misery that fill the lives of 20th-century humanity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Translation, Excellent Narration!

  • By Ryan on 03-24-13

Too Kafkaesque For Me

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

Reviewed: 03-15-17

My title, as I pray you guessed, is a bad joke.
This audiobook is as close to a perfect execution as is possible when having to make editorial decisions left and right due to the author being dead for .... Well he has been dead for a long time. No one can dispute that.

The artistic liberties that had to be forcefully undertaken in each of the included story's translation (German & Belgian to English) were flawless. I haven't seen as good a job in that respect since the audiobook incarnation of The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem (available on Audible too).
Both works left me scratching my head trying to figure how such beautiful alliteration and pun could have POSSIBLY been kept in tact while still holding true to the original works. REALLY GREAT listen. Top marks.

10.00 / 10.00

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Elements of Eloquence

  • Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase
  • By: Mark Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Don Hagen
  • Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,344
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,220
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,198

In his inimitably entertaining and wonderfully witty style, he takes apart famous phrases and shows how you too can write like Shakespeare or quip like Oscar Wilde. Whether you’re aiming to achieve literary immortality or just hoping to deliver the perfect one-liner, The Elements of Eloquence proves that you don’t need to have anything important to say - you simply need to say it well.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who knew rhetoric could be so much fun?

  • By Philo on 10-30-14

* 10/10 *

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

Reviewed: 12-11-16

entertaing informative, funny, smart and engaging. a must read for all aspiring authors or writers.

  • This Crowded Earth and Other Stories

  • By: Robert Bloch
  • Narrated by: William Coon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

Life changes on Earth when the population tips the scales at over X billion people. Harry lives in a single room without a window and hates the commutrain ride, which is like the black hole of Calcutta on wheels. If he can get his private car out of commugarage, he might be able to get to work on time. If only it wasn't for his headaches....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Author of PSYCHO is a Sci-Fi Master Too

  • By Niels J. Rasmussen on 03-12-16

Author of PSYCHO is a Sci-Fi Master Too

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

Reviewed: 03-12-16

I purchased this book knowing nothing of Robert Bloch's work aside from the classic Hitchcock film, Psycho.

Saying that I was pleasantly surprised would be a gigantic understatement. His talent in the field of science fiction is unbelievable. After doing some research on Bloch in my spare time after listening to this audiobook, I discovered that the majority of Bloch's writing WAS sci-fi. It's strange that he isn't grouped in with the forefathers of classic science fiction considering the amount of work he contributed in the early years of the genre.

Grab this title if you're a fan of Asimov, Sheckley, Ellison, Bradbury, PKD, or any other of the classic sci-fi masters.

8.98 / 10.00

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How Great Science Fiction Works

  • By: Gary K. Wolfe, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Gary K. Wolfe
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,614
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,446
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,414

Robots, spaceships, futuristic megacities, planets orbiting distant stars. These icons of science fiction are now in our daily news. Science fiction, once maligned as mere pulp, has motivated cutting-edge scientific research, inspired new technologies, and changed how we view everyday life - and its themes and questions permeate popular culture. Take an unparalleled look at the influence, history, and greatest works of science fiction with illuminating insights and fascinating facts about this wide-ranging genre.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deserves a Hugo of Its Own

  • By Carol on 02-01-16

Just a Bunch of Name-Dropping & Plot Summaries

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

I couldn't listen past the 6th hour of this course. I have never felt so blatantly patronized by an AUDIOBOOK in my life...

Gary Wolfe spends 90% of his speaking time dedicated to showing off how much he has researched the field of science fiction. Now, at first, that sounds great if you want that person to be teaching you a course... but it's not the right KIND of research you want to help lead you in understanding the mechanisms of a literary genre as unique as sci-fi. If he isn't busy name-dropping authors, he is busy wasting the listener's time by summarizing every single novel's plot if he happens to mention it. At first, I expected him to be leading up to something that tied all these together. But... nope. He just likes you to know that he has read a lot of science fiction.

Usually The Great Courses series on Audible is fantastic, but this one missed the mark by a mile.

Skip it.

2.72 / 10.00

10 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • The Deathbird & Other Stories

  • The Voice from the Edge, Volume 4
  • By: Harlan Ellison
  • Narrated by: Harlan Ellison, Theodore Bikel, Stefan Rudnicki, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80

In a prolific career spanning more than 50 years, Harlan Ellison has been the acclaimed master of speculative fiction. In fact, a 1999 Locus poll named him the all-time best writer of short fiction as well as the editor of the all-time best anthology (Dangerous Visions). In addition to his dozens of Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards, Ellison has won two Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, and multiple Bram Stoker Awards from the Horror Writers Association (including the Lifetime Achievement Award).

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Muscular, poetic, weird stories by master

  • By Roger on 08-06-12

I Was BLOWN AWAY...

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

Reviewed: 03-03-16

It's rare nowadays to find a piece of fiction that can smack me two days of Sunday but this collection of Ellison's short stories did just that...
The story in particular that has stuck with me since I finished this collection is "The Deathbird". It was the obvious choice to pick for lending its name as a representation for this entire volume. The Deathbird, although only a short story, packs more punch than 99.99% of GOOD novels do. I finished this with a genuine feeling of inspiration. I write science fiction as a hobby in my spare time and, once again, I cannot stress it enough, how humbling of a listen this was for me. I would die a happy man if I ended up writing a story that was even a tenth as good as Deathbird. One of Ellison's main talents as a writer, and what I believe his fans find so addictive, is his unabashed refusal to follow any rules as far as what one might expect from an author of his caliber. He doesn't just break the rules, he shreds them, burns them, kicks them into the gutter, spits on them, and then spends the following week spreading horrible rumors about whichever rule he has just destroyed.

Do yourself a huge favor and buy this NOW.

9.89 / 10.00

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • City

  • By: Clifford D. Simak
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 263
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 269

Jenkins was a robot. He was built to be the perfect worker, tireless and uncomplaining. But, quite unexpectedly, he also became a close companion to generation after generation of his owners as the human race matured, moved beyond the confines of its once tiny planet, and eventually changed beyond all recognition.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Disturbing

  • By Holly Helscher on 06-14-10

*Beautiful Example of Classic Sci-Fi*

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

Although it took two chapters before this novel really got its legs, I can't say enough great things about it.
I have read a lot of Simak's other works, and City is, BY FAR, his best.
It's really a shame that science fiction of this high caliber no longer exists as plentifully as it did during the 1950's & 60's.

Pick this one up if you are a fan of Robert Sheckley, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, or Ray Bradbury.
Really, really excellent listen.

9.37 / 10.00

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • 23 Minutes in Hell

  • One Man's Story About What He Saw, Heard and Felt in that Place of Torment
  • By: Bill Wiese
  • Narrated by: Bill Wiese
  • Length: 3 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 186
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185

In 23 Minutes in Hell, Bill Wiese describes a horrifying and life-changing encounter with death and the powers of darkness. This audiobook is his personal account of an experience fraught with true fear and evil - his struggle with the devil's disciples faced during his 23 Minutes in Hell.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thank you

  • By Barbara on 07-30-15

Weise= Either a Terrible Liar or Completely Insane

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

Reviewed: 12-02-15

This audiobook was very difficult for me to listen to.

It is merely Christian propaganda in the guise of an audiobook.

Not only is it horribly AND clumsily written, it is extremely patronizing to the reader, (or, in this case, the listener).
As I said in the title of this review, the author is either a very poor liar, or, far more likely the case, completely bonkers.

I bought this purely as a curiousity, in order to hear a modern description of what he'll might be. Instead, what I got is pretty much exactly what you might expect a very staunch Christian to have been taught to expect. Almost zero imagination. Fire, brimstone, and gnashing of teeth. That's about it.
Dont buy this book.

3.31 / 10.00

4 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Robot Visions

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Graham Winton
  • Length: 16 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151

From the writer whose name is synonymous with the science of robotics comes five decades of robot visions - 36 landmark stories and essays, plus three rare tales - gathered together in one volume.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Minor Spoilers Ahead

  • By Craven on 12-30-16

3 Laws of Robotics

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

Reviewed: 11-25-15

As far as I know, this collection features ALL of Asimov's short stories that involve robots asand Asimov's "3 Laws".
The book actually OPENS with a "new", previously unpublished story. It's actually one of the best in the entire collection, so it's nice to see that old Ike hasn't lost his touch.
Isaac Asimov's HAS published hundreds and hundreds of robot sci-fi, but a good majority of those works aren't actually WRITTEN by Asimov, he was only the editor.
"Robot Visions" is a collection of ONLY the stories that were penned by the author himself. None of any of the stories in which he merely edited appear within its pages.

I had read MOST of these stories in previous robot collections released under Isaac Asimov, but it was really great to find a few that I was previously unaware of.

The narrator does a bang-up job too. The voices he gives to each of the robots is pretty much petfect. Even "Bicentennial Man", a story by Asimov that I had never really cared for before, comes through with shining colors, all thanks to good narration.

Definitely pick this title up if you are ANY format of science fiction fan.

9.10 / 10.00

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • The Ambulance Made Two Trips

  • By: Murray Leinster
  • Narrated by: Phil Chenevert
  • Length: 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

Big Jake Connors is taking over his town through violence, intimidation and bribery but Detective Sergeant Fitzgerald can only grind his teeth in frustration. The gangsters seem to have everything going their way until the day that a little dry cleaning establishment declines their offer of 'protection' and strange things start to happen. Murray Leinster gives us another wonderful product of 'what if' from his limitless imagination to enjoy in this gem of a story. Listen and smile.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Decent, But Not Great

  • By Niels J. Rasmussen on 11-24-15

Decent, But Not Great

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

Reviewed: 11-24-15

Murray Leinster wrote one of my favorite novellas of all time, "First Contact".

I went into this short story KNOWING that it wouldn't be as good, but I was hoping for at least somewhat better than what it was.
Leinster has an odd manner of writing that seems to work perfectly in stories set in space, which most of his stories are, but it somehow doesn't translate to a story from the viewpoint of the average Joe. I WISH I could put it into words, but I honestly can't quite put my finger onto the exact reason for this oddity. This story wasn't bad by any means, but there wasn't much about it to make it special or memorable.

I liked the narrator's voice but there were a few times where I found myself confused as to which of the characters was speaking. I think fault for this lies somewhere in between the actual way the text is written and the lack of dynamic from the narrator in performance.

6.88 / 10.00

1 of 3 people found this review helpful