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Keith

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  • Evolving in Monkey Town

  • How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
  • By: Rachel Held Evans
  • Narrated by: Rachel Held Evans
  • Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170

Having grown up in a town famous for its commitment to conservative fundamentalism, Rachel Held Evans nearly loses her faith when rehearsed answers to tough questions aren't enough to satisfy her growing doubts about Christianity. Evolving in Monkey Town is a story of spiritual survival that challenges listeners to reassess their approach to Christianity in the context of a postmodern environment, where knowing all the answers isn't as important as truly asking the questions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simply amazing. A must.

  • By NewForm Design on 01-07-13

Incomplete (May she RIP)

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

Reviewed: 05-08-19

While I was truly inspired by Rachel’s story, as I am by anyone’s who questions and is skeptical of conservative/orthodox religion, I felt her story here was incomplete. She did not provide the closure I wanted, particularly with regard to the one question that I believe Christianity must but won’t answer: What is the destiny of the in unevangelized and those who have heard of Christianity but have serious misgivings with the conservative Church’s views.

Basically, I thought the memoir was too short and that she, like most authors, should not narrate their own work.

I am also writing this just a few days after her tragic passing. She is, in my opinion, living a perfect afterlife just like the Muslim woman who was executed by the Taliban, one where she has been reunited with the joy of the universal consciousness that permeates time and space and thought.

  • The Unusual Second Life of Thomas Weaver

  • Middle Falls Time Travel series, Book 1
  • By: Shawn Inmon
  • Narrated by: Johnny Heller
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 280

All Thomas Weaver wanted was death. What he got was time travel. Thomas Weaver, haunted by a teenage tragedy, lived a wasted life. He closed his eyes for what he believed was the last time in 2016, but opened them again in his teenage bedroom and body in 1976. Now a middle-aged man in his teenage body, he sets out to fix everything he did wrong in his first life. A budding serial killer in home room, a possible new romance, and high school algebra complicate his plans. What would you do, if you could do it all again?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Familiar Premise, but Superb !! Great Performance.

  • By C. Hartmann on 05-06-18

Great character-driven time travel

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

Reviewed: 03-11-19

This novel appealed to me on several levels, not least of which was nostalgia. In 1976 I was the same age as the time-traveling Michael, and I was pleasantly surprised by the way the author captured the culture at the time (he did flub up with respect to D&D, btw. The rulebooks he mentioned had not come out yet).

I think the thing I enjoyed most though was the way that the author put you inside the character’s head. This is a big deal for me: I want to know the character’s inner most thoughts, especially in a coming of age story.

Also, if you’re not a fan of SF, don’t worry. There are few genre elements aside from the actual time travel itself.

The only downside, I hate to say, is that the narrator, who is one of my all-time favorite Audible narrators, read the book FAR too fast. I had to listen to the novel at 0.75x. That sucked. Otherwise, the first in this series would be a 5/5.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dead Moon

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,909
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,781
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,778

In the year 2243, the Moon belongs to the dead. The largest graveyard in the solar system, it was the perfect solution to the overcrowding and environmental problems that had plagued mankind for centuries. And the perfect place for Cali Washington to run away from her past. But when a mysterious meteor crashes into one of the Moon’s cemeteries, Cali and her fellow Caretakers find themselves surrounded by a terrifying enemy force that outnumbers them more than a thousand to one. An enemy not hindered by the lack of air or warmth or sustenance. An enemy that is already dead.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Why did you do this? Just why?

  • By Veronica on 03-02-19

Where did the characters from 14 go?

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

Reviewed: 02-20-19

Oh, Peter. I was sooo looking forward to this third volume of the Threshold series, but I cannot - in good faith - give your latest effort any more than two stars for "story". Where are fascinating, three-dimensional characters we grew to love in "14" and "The Fold", or the originality in your short story collection? Where is the depth of setting that you gave us in 14's apartment building.

Alas, a graveyard on the moon. I almost returned this novel then and there, but you've proven yourself too good of a yarn-spinner for me to do that. So I suspended disbelief and was left with... a zombie novel. I've never read a zombie novel before. And I never will again. Why on earth would you do that to us? You gave us stereotypes instead of characters, and a mishmash of plot points that I never did figure out. The characters were so confusing that I eventually gave up on all of them except Cali, and I suspect that that's only because Ray Porter's performance is so stellar.

Horror... especially Lovecraft-inspired horror... really needs to be set in the present day. This is not a hard rule, but it really does help evoke that sense of cosmic dread that we all know and love.

14" was out of the park, and "The Fold" was an in-the-park homer. Sadly, "Dead Moon" is a strikeout without swinging.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Atomic Marriage

  • By: Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Narrated by: Diane Lane
  • Length: 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10,972
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9,912
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9,891

All marriages are hard. Many of them fail. Brock Lewis, an evangelical businessman turned self-published author, has the answer. Follow his international bestselling book’s 12-point “Atomic Doctrine” - make eye contact with your spouse? Always! Use the bathroom in front of them? Never! - and you, too, can build a marriage that thrives.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable but lacking any real oomp at the end

  • By Kingsley on 01-04-19

If you're not from Alabama...

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

Reviewed: 01-13-19

Pet peeve: If you are not from Alabama, don't try to do an Alabama accent; use a neutral accent instead. The demographics here are too complex for a a single, stereotypical Southern accent.

Now that that's off my chest, my main takeaway from this short novel is that the protagonist, with whom I sympathized, is a genuinely decent person who shakes off what could have been a two-dimensional caricature and develops some depth at the end of the story. The antagonist, on the other hand, appears to have no depth at all. He is simply an object that instigates a change in Heather (is that her name? I've already forgotten).

And while a debate over gay marriage may have be tiresome at this point -- had it been done at all -- the author could have used this subject as a means to add more dimensions to both characters.

Overall, the novel left me puzzled. I liked it, but also didn't like it. It felt shallow, and yet there was something more to it. It wasn't great, but it wasn't awful. Curiously, I may have to sample another of this author's works, which is probably the intent of making it free, and to that end, Audible succeeded.

Given that it's free, and only runs one hour, I recommend it; or, rather, I don't *not* recommend it.

  • The Impossible Fortress

  • By: Jason Rekulak
  • Narrated by: Griffin Newman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,049
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 982
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 981

The Impossible Fortress begins with a magazine. The year is 1987, and Playboy has just published scandalous photographs of Vanna White, from the popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune. For three teenage boys - Billy, Alf, and Clark - who are desperately uneducated in the ways of women, the magazine is somewhat of a Holy Grail: priceless beyond measure and impossible to attain. So, they hatch a plan to steal it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Touching story

  • By solomon d. on 05-31-17

A romp through the 80s

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

With a premise that almost sounds silly on the surface, The Impossible Fortress actually tells the tale of a 14-year-old with heart and passion while being thwarted by bad luck and bad decisions along the way. Against the backdrop of 1980s America, when everything was simultaneously simpler and more complicated, this period piece gives good insight into the life of a kid during that era. Very enjoyable novel, one that I may well listen to again. Magnificent narration to boot.

  • Carter & Lovecraft

  • By: Jonathan L. Howard
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,926
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,809
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,811

Daniel Carter used to be a homicide detective, but his last case - the hunt for a serial killer - went wrong in strange ways and soured the job for him. Now he's a private investigator trying to live a quiet life. Strangeness, however, has not finished with him. First, he inherits a bookstore in Providence from someone he's never heard of, along with an indignant bookseller who doesn't want a new boss.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A mistakes that worked out in my favor.

  • By Frae on 03-06-17

Overall normal weirdness

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

Reviewed: 11-23-18

This is a solid weird tale with two sympathetic protagonists and an unfortunately two-dimensional antagonist. The writing, at times, is engaging and suspenseful, while at other times it’s uneven. I think the author would’ve been better served to stick with strict third POV, instead of his quasi-omniscient POV. As others have said, it’s not pure Lovecraftian, but it is pure weird, and could’ve been penned by any of the Lovecraft circle. I’d give the novel a solid B, and will read the next in the series. The narrator was solid with the exception of the antagonist’s voice, which was very difficult to listen to. Overall, though, I recommend this for fans of the genre.

  • Elevation

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Stephen King
  • Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,960
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,684
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,671

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis. In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low-grade - but escalating - battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Simply awful

  • By wally on 03-17-19

Yet another King narration that should not be

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

Another excellent Castle Rock story, yet again delving into King's mastery of small town America and fantasist fiction, which, yet again, was a ruined by a narrator that should not be - King himself. Slogging through a story told by the master is irritating at best, painful at worst. So, while I give kudos to King for returning us to our favorite town in Maine, complete with a hat tip to Derry, I wish I had bought the dead tree version and allowed my mind to be the narrator.

8 of 63 people found this review helpful

  • At the Mountains of Madness

  • By: H.P. Lovecraft
  • Narrated by: H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society
  • Length: 1 hr and 15 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 54

H.P. Lovecraft's classic tale of a polar expedition meeting unspeakable horrors is brought to life in the style of a 1930s radio drama, featuring a large cast of actors, thrilling sound effects, and original music. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • fantastic, but..

  • By myles mauldin on 12-27-18

Poor radio broadcast

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

I thoroughly enjoyed this dramatization of one of my favorite science fiction stories (complete with the fictional cigarette commercial, which I thought was hilarious), but the "radio broadcasts" from Antarctica to "Wireless News" were too realistic, too garbled, and too low volume to make the story enjoyable. It so happens that I know the plot, so it was not too big of a deal for me, but if you're not familiar with this classic, you might want to be aware of this. Otherwise, a solid and entertaining dramatic performance done in retro-30s' style.

  • The Order of Time

  • By: Carlo Rovelli
  • Narrated by: Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,787
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,633
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,611

In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. For most listeners, this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it appears. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where, at the most fundamental level, time disappears.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brain Workout With A Great Narrator

  • By Raymond on 05-15-18

Boring and Beautiful

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

As a person with a degree in physics myself, I could tell write away that this book was written by a scientist, and that’s not a good thing. While the subject matter, time, is indeed fascinating, the author selves too deeply into technical details that make it difficult to follow. He also suffers from that problem all scientists have: the need caveat everything they say.

If you’re interested in the subject matter, the author has some truly awesome things to say. It’s worth a listen, but at times your eyes are going to glaze over. And while I like Benedict Cumberbatch, his narration doesn’t work wellfor this particular book.

  • The Art of Invisibility

  • The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data
  • By: Kevin Mitnick
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,304
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,979
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,979

Like it or not, your every move is being watched and analyzed. Consumers' identities are being stolen, and a person's every step is being tracked and stored. What once might have been dismissed as paranoia is now a hard truth, and privacy is a luxury few can afford or understand. In this explosive yet practical book, Kevin Mitnick illustrates what is happening without your knowledge - and he teaches you "the art of invisibility".

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Limited value for the average person

  • By James C on 10-14-17

Ray Porter even makes technical stuff sound good

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

Reviewed: 10-27-17

Kevin Mitnick definitely delivers what he promises in his latest book, and Ray Porter (as usual) makes the narrative come alive. I've worked in fields requiring considerable cyber security training, so I know that Mr. Mitnick provides spot-on advice. What I fear, though, is that a lot of his advice is just too much of a burden for most people.. And while this is exactly what hackers want (for us to let our guard down), I felt like there could've been more common sense advice for the everyday phone/tablet/laptop user.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful