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  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 20
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  • Forward the Foundation

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Larry McKeever
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,255
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,142
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,138

As Hari Seldon struggles to perfect his revolutionary theory of psychohistory and ensure a place for humanity among the stars, the great Galactic Empire totters on the brink of apocalyptic collapse. Caught in the maelstrom are Seldon and all he holds dear, pawns in the struggle for dominance. Whoever can control Seldon will control psychohistory - and with it the future of the galaxy. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love the story. Can't stand the narrator!

  • By Christine on 03-14-12

Listen at 1.25x speed

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

Reviewed: 02-22-19

I recently set out to listen to the entire Robots-Empire-Foundation series from start to finish. Fortunately, Audible has added to the list of available titles.

Asimov did a great job - decades later - of inserting this title as a jumping off point into the classic Foundation Trilogy.

The narrator is decidedly the low point. He reads it as if he were reading to third graders. Also reminds me of the old joke about the letter home: "I am writing slowly, as I know you read slowly... ." I used the iOS Audible app to move the speed up to 1.25x normal. This made the pace tolerable.

  • The Sparrow

  • By: Mary Doria Russell
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 15 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,535
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,207
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,209

Emilio Sandoz is a remarkable man, a living saint and Jesuit priest who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God. This experience - the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life - begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superbly Written and Thought-provoking

  • By Jim N on 08-15-12

Jesuits on Gilligan's Island - In Space

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

Reviewed: 05-21-18

This was a very frustrating story. It's hard to go into much more without risking spoilers. The premise is an intriguing take on first contact stories; but it gets detoured into a crisis of faith.

And veeerrryy sllloooowww to get going. Be prepared to persevere.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Origin

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,892
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,374
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 37,267

In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture in this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind's two most enduring questions - and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Formula over fiction

  • By Evan M Carlson on 11-01-17

Could,,,it...be...any...slower

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

Reviewed: 10-19-17

Did Dan Brown suddenly take writing lessons from George RR Martin?

I like Brown and avidly read DVC, A&D, even Lost Symbol. Honestly, passages of this book felt like he needed to add 20 pages here and there. The narrator made the pace worse through those sections.

I appreciate the history of art and architecture, but the pace of the story suffered for the descriptive density.

Here's hoping for the next one.

  • Crisis of Character

  • A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate
  • By: Gary J. Byrne
  • Narrated by: Brian Troxell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,734
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,467
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,457

Posted directly outside President Clinton's Oval Office, former Secret Service uniformed officer Gary Byrne reveals what he observed of Hillary Clinton's character and the culture inside the White House while protecting the first family in Crisis of Character, the most anticipated book of the 2016 election.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Crisis of Character

  • By Happy on 11-03-16

Only partly about the Clintons

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

Reviewed: 08-06-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Byrne served as a uniformed Secret Service officer on post in the White House during the first Clinton administration. While there are many accounts of actual events, a third of the book involves his testimony to the investigation led by Ken Starr. They put Byrne through the wringer. The balance is largely about his subsequent career as a federal air marshal. Not what I expected based on the title of the book.

  • Scorpions

  • The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices
  • By: Noah Feldman
  • Narrated by: Noah Feldman
  • Length: 14 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177

They began as close allies and friends of FDR, but the quest to shape a new Constitution led them to competition and sometimes outright warfare. Scorpions tells the story of four great justices: their relationship with Roosevelt, with each other, and with the turbulent world of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. It also serves as a history of the modern Constitution itself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scorpians: behind the scenes of the Supreme Court

  • By A. Chalut on 01-17-11

How FDR's created the modern Supreme Court

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

Reviewed: 06-05-16

What did you like best about this story?

This is a fascinating journey through the history of 20th century American jurisprudence. Listeners will learn how FDR met Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Robert Jackson and William O. Douglas in the course of his political career. Those four men set the Court on a path that changed the law -- before they even became justices. Great history lessons here. Very approachable; law degree not required.

  • Five Chiefs

  • A Supreme Court Memoir
  • By: John Paul Stevens
  • Narrated by: Gregory Itzin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 85
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 83

In Five Chiefs, Justice Stevens captures the inner workings of the Supreme Court via his personal experiences with the five Chief Justices - Fred Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren Burger, William Rehnquist, and John Roberts - that he interacted with. He reminisces of being a law clerk during Vinson's tenure; a practicing lawyer for Warren; a circuit judge and junior justice for Burger; a contemporary colleague of Rehnquist; and a colleague of current Chief Justice John Roberts.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Half Biography, Half Memoir

  • By Michael on 03-08-12

Too much "you should've done it my way."

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

Reviewed: 06-05-16

What did you like best about Five Chiefs? What did you like least?

Anecdotes about the inner workings of the court and its insular membership are always enlightening. The book has a disappointing "what a good man was I" tone. Still, Justice Stevens place in history is safe. The narrator was a bright spot. He probably did not attempt to mimic the Justice, but the timber of his voice was pleasantly familiar and appropriate. It was almost as Stevens might have read it aloud himself.

  • Scalia Dissents

  • Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice
  • By: Antonin Scalia
  • Narrated by: Wyntner Woody
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 258
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 233
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 234

Brilliant. Colorful. Visionary. Tenacious. Witty. Since his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1986, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has been described as all of these things, and for good reason.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting insight into Justice Scalia

  • By Jean on 06-10-14

Heavy slog for non-lawyers

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

Reviewed: 06-05-16

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

As a lawyer, I appreciate a well written opinion. Justice Scalia rarely disappoints in print. The selected opinions are substantive and far reaching. The editor(s?) did a fair job of trying to create context since the main opinions are not part of the recording. This will be a difficult listen if you are new to legal procedure and terminology.

Would you be willing to try another one of Wyntner Woody’s performances?

I'm not sure whether to fault the director or the narrator for the performance quality. Vocal range and tempo are important when reading heavily structured material aloud. This performance was uneven and inconsistent. The speed and pitch frequently changed in mid-paragraph. I often struggled to keep listening.

Was Scalia Dissents worth the listening time?

The Justice was psychic. It's eerie how often his warnings about problems with the Supreme Court's decisions become reality.

Any additional comments?

It is a good window into how appellate constitutional law works, and why normal people are frustrated with the legal system.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Fifth Gospel

  • A Novel
  • By: Ian Caldwell
  • Narrated by: Jack Davenport
  • Length: 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,132
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,905
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,904

In 2004, as Pope John Paul II's reign enters its twilight, a mysterious exhibit is under construction at the Vatican Museums. A week before it is scheduled to open, its curator is murdered at a clandestine meeting on the outskirts of Rome. The same night a violent break-in rocks the home of the curator's research partner, Father Alex Andreou, a Greek Catholic priest who lives inside the Vatican with his five-year-old son.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Necessary Review of a Masterpiece

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-25-16

Forget Dan Brown. This is about family and faith

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

Reviewed: 08-28-15

Any additional comments?

The author uses the Vatican and an ancient manuscript as a backdrop for a deep story exploring the tension between three generations of a family stretched between two churches in a test of faith. Good story telling. Definitely not meant to be a Dan Brown style screenplay; more of a playwright. High marks for the narrator as well.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird

  • By: Harper Lee
  • Narrated by: Sissy Spacek
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 27,607
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 24,935
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 24,863

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as a digital audiobook. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by librarians across the country.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning

  • By Alan on 07-08-14

Sissy Spacek's narration is a winner

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

Reviewed: 08-28-15

Any additional comments?

If you grew up in a small southern town, this book resonates in many ways. Sissy Spacek's narration makes it worth another listen regardless of how many times you've read, heard or seen this work performed. Brava.

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 163,075
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 150,508
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 150,346

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

How would you survive stranded alone on Mars?

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

Reviewed: 08-05-15

What did you love best about The Martian?

Imagine waking up alone on Mars and figuring out how to survive with tools and equipment meant for a 31 day mission. No aliens or mystical forces come to save the day. I consider it a paean to human ingenuity and that just won't quit spirit.

What about R. C. Bray’s performance did you like?

The narrator made the hero come alive. It was easy to believe you heard the thoughts and words of a stranded man, with a great touch of humor.