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  • Fear the Sky

  • The Fear Saga, Book 1
  • By: Stephen Moss
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 20 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,074
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,039
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,998

From the Audie-nominated narrator of The Martian. In eleven years' time, a million members of an alien race will arrive at Earth. Years before they enter orbit, their approach will be announced by the flare of a thousand flames in the sky, their ships' huge engines burning hard to slow them from the vast speeds needed to cross interstellar space. These foreboding lights will shine in our night sky like new stars, getting ever brighter until they outshine even the sun, casting ominous shadows and banishing the night until they suddenly blink out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly Enjoyable

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 01-17-16

The narrator was the best part.

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

Reviewed: 10-31-15

Without R.C. Bray reading this, I would have given up on this story, but he really put in a lot of emotional interest by keeping the characters as "real" as possible. One peeve I do have... that the description of the story has little to do with the actual book! There is no sighting of the incoming ships, no lights in the sky, no anticipation by mankind. It's all undercover, spy stuff, and intrigue - things I have little interest in. When I pick a Sci-Fi book, I expect Sci-Fi content throughout, not just bits here and there. I also found the pacing very frustrating. The first two-thirds of the story are well detailed, albeit a bit slow, and then the final third goes along at break-neck speed and it's hard to keep track of who's where and what is going on. All in all, not a very satisfying experience.

  • I, Claudius

  • By: Robert Graves
  • Narrated by: Derek Jacobi
  • Length: 5 hrs and 8 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133

The politics of empire-building and the hypocrisies, back-stabbings, and corruptions of Rome's first family come to light. First published in 1934, the book retains a marvelously modern and often comic tone, and is written in the form of Claudius' autobiography. This is gripping stuff, read by one of our finest actors, who also starred as Claudius in the classic television series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Derek Jacobi IS Claudius

  • By T on 09-15-09

Very much abridged, but still good

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

Reviewed: 08-05-15

Derek Jacobi performs this well, and made it a pleasurable listen. Being an abridged recording, it does leave out a lot, but covers the story up until Claudius is made emperor, which is where it stops. That was my only disappointment. The unabridged story continues on quite a bit longer, and I was hoping this recording would cover that material.

I suppose Derek Jacobi would have been too expensive to have perform the unabridged version, but I think it would be worth any extra expense to have it.

  • Foreigner

  • Foreigner Sequence 1, Book 1
  • By: C. J. Cherryh
  • Narrated by: Daniel Thomas May
  • Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,220
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,099
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,108

The first book in C.J.Cherryh's eponymous series, Foreigner begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient alien race. From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the Foreigner series has become a true science fiction odyssey, following a civilization from the age of steam through early space flight to confrontations with other alien species in distant sectors of space. It is the masterwork of a truly remarkable author.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • struggled to relate to human

  • By kesia martin on 11-07-16

Good story, but some technical faults in recording

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

Reviewed: 08-05-15

Very character driven, and living inside someone else's head (several someones at that), so be prepared to backtrack and relisten to several portions of the story so you can be sure you understand who is "talking." Reminds me of "Pride of Chanur" and "Cuckoo's Egg" both of which were written by the same author.

As for the "technical faults" - there are portions with a slight echo and some stuttering in a number of places within the recording. These can be very distracting at times, but if you can ignore them (and they don't last too long) just concentrate on the story unfolding. A mystery, intrigue, and sci-fi, all rolled into one. Some action, chases, violence, and much confusion for the human in the story.

You are very much in the dark, as is the protagonist, so the conclusion will come as a bit of surprise, as it is for the protagonist. Definitely worth the time and money. :)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Christmas Story

  • The Book That Inspired the Hilarious Classic Film
  • By: Jean Shepherd
  • Narrated by: Dick Cavett
  • Length: 3 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 611
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 444
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 453

The holiday film A Christmas Story, first released in 1983, has become a bona fide Christmas perennial, gaining in stature and fame with each succeeding year. Its affectionate, wacky, and wryly realistic portrayal of an American family's typical Christmas joys and travails in small-town Depression-era Indiana has entered our imagination and our hearts with a force equal to It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Poor Jean Shepherd

  • By Jimmy on 05-28-11

Much more to it than the film ever showed

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

Reviewed: 01-31-13

I didn't like the film, and was surprised that the book had a lot more in it than what was in the movie. An interesting listen for any time of year.

  • Dodger

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,702
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,546
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,537

A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's...Dodger. Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl - not even if her fate impacts the most powerful people in England.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Narrator, Great story

  • By Easy Reader on 01-18-13

Not Discworld, but it doesn't matter!

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

Reviewed: 01-31-13

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book. Very reminiscent of Discworld, including the irreverence and humorous character portrayals. A sort of alternate-history version for our world. Very true to the times and circumstances of the Victorian era. Gritty, grimy, and squelchy -- you can feel for Dodger in a very real sense. LOVED Stephen Briggs's narration and characterizations - top notch!

Another great Pratchett novel! :D You will not be disappointed.

  • The Stand

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 47 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,716
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,715
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,718

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well worth the credit

  • By Hunter on 03-27-12

Good story telling!

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

Reviewed: 01-31-13

I haven't read this in years and it was great being able to listen instead. Good narration makes it easy to drift into the world and imagine how everything appears. I did find myself remembering scenes from the TV mini-series, including the various actors who portrayed the significant characters instead of "seeing" who they were, as described.

Still, a very compelling "what if" tale with some interesting supernatural connotations added for good affect. Randal Flagg is even scarier in the story than he was ever portrayed in the mini-series and I love the epilogue and final scene of the book. :D

This story was originally inspired by "Earth Abides" (also available in audiobook), which I've also listened to. Its story takes place over MANY years and is an excellent read, very factual, and less "dramatic." Mr. King took that and added an interesting twist and some villains that sped up the pace. I definitely recommend listening to both books and the order won't matter as they are still so different.

  • The Haunting of Hill House

  • By: Shirley Jackson
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,025
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,662
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,669

Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well written horror tale

  • By Crystal on 02-11-14

Was she crazy or did it happen?

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

Reviewed: 01-31-13

For those who have only seen the original "the Haunting" (Hollywood film), the original story is much more about what is happening inside the mind of the main character. Julie Harris portrayed her very well, and her unbalanced mind came through in the film, but the book is able to better convey the mental issues that the character was dealing with, without being able to differentiate between reality and what was happening inside her own mind.

The story leaves you wondering what actually happened, and what was merely a reflection of the character's perceptions only.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Shark Trouble

  • True Stories About Sharks and the Sea
  • By: Peter Benchley
  • Narrated by: Peter Benchley
  • Length: 5 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

Master storyteller Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, combines high adventure with practical information in Shark Trouble, a book that is at once a thriller and a valuable guide to being safe in, on, under, and around the sea. Booklist calls this "a suspenseful and resonantly informative overview."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Before diving with sharks be sure to read this...

  • By Amazon Customer on 05-08-05

Mending Bridges, really.

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

Reviewed: 01-31-13

I really got the impression that Peter Benchley wrote this book to repair the damage that his book JAWS did to the image of sharks. Now, of course, the book wasn't nearly so bad as the film (I've read the book, and seen the film) at portraying sharks as fishy devils.

This endeavour is setting the record straight. He is telling how he came to write the JAWS novel and then finally actually meeting the animal that was so affected by both his book and the Hollywood production of the same.

Humans ARE the problem, not the sharks. Humans have always been the problem, and he makes no bones about saying so and illustrating the fact with many observations from many different sources.

Very informative and eye-opening - worth the time and thought.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nothing's Sacred

  • By: Lewis Black
  • Narrated by: Lewis Black
  • Length: 5 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 833
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 243

You've seen him on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart offering up his trademark angry observational humor on everything from politics to pop culture. You've seen his energetic stand-up performances on HBO, Comedy Central, and in venues across the globe. Now Lewis Black's volcanic eruptions can be found in Nothing's Sacred, a collection of rants against stupidity and authority, which oftentimes go hand in hand.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Unusual Black?

  • By Doing-fine-in-FLA on 10-24-05

I'm not sure what others were listening to...

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

Reviewed: 01-31-13

I enjoyed this! I was like being at several back-to-back Lewis Black rant performances. There were funny moments, maddening moments, and heart-felt moments, but it was all Lewis Black. How could anyone be disappointed!

  • The Android's Dream

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,399
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,542
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,539

A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams

  • By James on 07-26-11

Pleasantly surprised!

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

Reviewed: 01-31-13

I've never read this book before, and will recommend this to anyone who enjoys their sci-fi with a touch of humor and action. Love the twists and turns the story takes. Contains protagonists you can sympathize with as well as villains you can hate, and even "bad guys" that you can like and respect! It's got everything.

Excellent narration by Wil Wheaton, with just the right amount of irreverence.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful