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  • 10
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  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 160,970
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 148,557
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 148,393

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

Very interesting hero's journey!

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

Reviewed: 10-13-15

I really like the premise of this book. Trapped on Mars, trying to stay alive, conflict after conflict, it was a great book for commuting.

  • How to Not SUCK at Writing Your First Book

  • A Book on Writing for People who Hate Writing
  • By: Chandler Bolt, James Roper, Chelsea Miller
  • Narrated by: Al Kessel
  • Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 49

This audiobook is filled with proven solutions, options, and problem-solving methods that every first-time author needs to know - no matter what writing challenges you face. Follow the advice given in this audiobook and by the end, after putting what I have to say into action, you will have easily written a high-quality book.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good for Organization

  • By Janie E. on 12-18-16

Obvious cash grab

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

Reviewed: 10-13-15

Would you try another book from the authors and/or Al Kessel?

No.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment.

Any additional comments?

I did come away with maybe one thought, so I'll say the small amount I paid for it was OK.
"Done is better than perfect.", at least he practices what he preaches.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Snow & Steel

  • The Battle of the Bulge 1944-45
  • By: Peter Caddick-Adams
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer, Tim Reynolds
  • Length: 31 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 170
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170

Between December 16, 1944 and January 15, 1945, American forces found themselves entrenched in the heavily forested Ardennes region of Belgium, France, and Luxembourg defending against an advancing German army amid freezing temperatures, deep snow, and dense fog. Operation Herbstnebel - Autumn Mist - was a massive German counter-offensive that stunned the Allies in its scope and intensity.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • fascinating and thorough, painful narration

  • By richard on 01-05-15

"And here is the pickup for 581"

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

Reviewed: 02-06-15

That's the phrase that stuck in my head for the last half of this book. It is obviously a cue for the audio editors to edit out when assembling the files.

As others have stated, the narration is a big detractor. It feels as if William Shatner as Captain Kirk is reading this book. The constant pauses continually disrupt the flow of the book.

If you are already a student of WW2, the first third of this book will be mundane, or a refresher for you. Depending on how bad the narrator irks you.

The author seems to slip in and out of the past and present and odd times. He speaks of a battle, the troops involved, the goal to attain, the terrain where it was fought and then out of nowhere says something like "by the way, there is a great coffee house on this street now" or he slips into recollections of his personal travels.

On the bright side, the author is very good at research. There is a massive amount of information in this book. And if you are looking for something to fill holes in your own studies, this may fit the bill.

  • Blackout

  • By: Connie Willis
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
  • Length: 18 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,360
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,519
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,525

In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Double review - Blackout and All Clear

  • By Monica on 06-03-12

Make sure and grab "All Clear" while you're at it.

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

Reviewed: 11-05-14

Would you listen to Blackout again? Why?

Yes, to catch up on missed details.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

There isn't one. This is why I gave this book only 3 stars. It should be labeled as part one.

Any additional comments?

Great story so far, just make sure you grab part two(All Clear) while you're at it.

  • The Art of Storytelling: From Parents to Professionals

  • By: Hannah B. Harvey, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Hannah B. Harvey
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 765
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 692
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 694

An absolute treat for the heart and mind, these 24 lectures demonstrate how to master the art of storytelling, offering insight into the process of crafting and delivering a tale to enhancing the stories you tell everyday-to your children at bedtime, in your conversational anecdotes, and in your presentations at work. Teachers, lawyers, clergy, coaches, parents, and anyone who wants to understand the power of stories to capture hearts and minds will benefit from these lessons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ca'mon Bad Reviews! This course is amazing!

  • By Thomas Meli on 06-06-16

Make you bedtime stories shine.

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

Reviewed: 09-20-14

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

If you are interested in making the stories you tell deeper, and your performance more entertaining while telling them, this may help you.

I do believe this would be much better with a hard-copy of at least a syllabus.

  • The Stand

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 47 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,072
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,955
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,957

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My First Completed Stephen King Novel

  • By Meaghan Bynum on 02-20-12

Started reading this just before ebola broke out.

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

Reviewed: 09-20-14

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The first 44 hours were pretty good.
The characters are given so much conflict on their journey, but to me the climax doesn't live up to the tribulations.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Glen.

Atlas Shrugged audiobook cover art
  • Atlas Shrugged

  • By: Ayn Rand
  • Narrated by: Christopher Hurt
  • Length: 55 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,002
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 845
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 856

In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, not thrilled with production

  • By Jennifer on 06-14-11

Never heard of before listening.

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

Reviewed: 08-23-12

What did you love best about Atlas Shrugged?

To me, this is a story showing how drive and conviction are excellent qualities in human beings. And the characters "personalities" tend to parallel those of today.

What did you like best about this story?

Not quite a saga, but pretty good character development. I only learned of the "controversy" surrounding this book after getting through half of it. While sometimes seeming almost prophetic in nature, one must remember that this is fiction. It is merely a story, not prophecy to be fulfilled someday.

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

Nothing. There is an echo of his narration that is quite annoying. If it weren't for the story, I'd probably have quit listening.

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

Reading about Galt's motor actually working, makes me think of the rumors of the 50mpg carburetor awhile back.

Any additional comments?

The "love triangle" seems a bit off to me. I find it the most uninteresting part of the book for me.

  • Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor

  • By: Dick Couch, George Galdorisi
  • Narrated by: Steven Weber
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,818
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,496
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,501

Act of Valor takes audiences deep into the secretive world of the most elite, highly trained group of warriors in the modern world. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the valiant men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pageturner....you feel like your inside the story

  • By james on 02-06-12

A glance into the life.

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

Reviewed: 08-13-12

If you could sum up Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor in three words, what would they be?

Brotherhood, brotherhood, brotherhood

What was one of the most memorable moments of Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor?

Spoiler-

Falling on the grenade, knowing full well what he was giving up.

Dominion audiobook cover art
  • Dominion

  • By: C. S. Friedman
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 2 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1,500
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,319
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1,329

Four hundred years after mankind's arrival on Erna, the undead sorcerer Gerald Tarrant travels north in search of a legend. For it is rumored there is a forest where the fae has become so powerful that it devours all who enter it, and he means to test its power.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Warning, vampires within!

  • By Darcy Conroy on 07-27-12

Left me wanting more.

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

Reviewed: 08-06-12

Any additional comments?

Literally, it left me wanting more. It was very captivating, held my interest the whole time. Then it ended. I'm going to search through the authors other works now.

The Autobiography of Black Hawk audiobook cover art
  • The Autobiography of Black Hawk

  • By: Black Hawk
  • Narrated by: Brett Barry
  • Length: 3 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,463
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,251
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,246

This story is told in the words of a tragic figure in American history - a hook-nosed, hollow-cheeked old Sauk warrior who lived under four flags while the Mississippi Valley was being wrested from his people. The author is Black Hawk himself - once pursued by an army whose members included Captain Abraham Lincoln and Lieutenant Jefferson Davis. Perhaps no Indian ever saw so much of American expansion or fought harder to prevent that expansion from driving his people to exile and death.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A NO HOLD BARRED and unflinching narrative

  • By Darwin8u on 07-27-12

A little piece of US history.

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

Reviewed: 08-06-12

What did you love best about The Autobiography of Black Hawk?

This was read exactly as if you were reading Black Hawks journal yourself.

What about Brett Barry’s performance did you like?

A pretty good attempt at getting different accents across.