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Insomniak1

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  • Thrawn: Alliances (Star Wars)

  • By: Timothy Zahn
  • Narrated by: Marc Thompson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,968
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,437
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,417

On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root - its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fierce rivals for the emperor’s favor, and outspoken adversaries on Imperial affairs - including the Death Star project - the formidable pair seem unlikely partners for such a crucial mission.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Maybe my expectations were too high...

  • By Goggles on 08-29-18

Good but not without issues.

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

Reviewed: 12-28-18

I am always excited to start a Star Wars book written by Timothy Zahn's and performed by Marc Thompson. They never fail to provide an enjoyable experience. This offering was certainly not the best (in my opinion), but I still ended up enjoying it. While I appreciated the dual-timeline take (especially for context) I found that the biggest plot turns and twists were a bit predictable at times but for the most part, Zahn's depiction of Thrawn's thought process made it very interesting nonetheless. There were a couple of glaring issues that made me roll my eyes that did not make sense -convenient plot devices, tropes, illogical decisions, and annoying characters. The action was well directed and Zahn as he always writes great sequences, although I can certainly do without the "double-vison" crap (what the heck was that?). One of my biggest complaints was Padme and Anakin's depiction. Padme came across as a naive do-gooder and both her and Anakin made questionable decisions seemingly based solely on emotions. Marc's renditions of these characters made these issues even more glaring. Padme sounded softly whiny and a bit condescending while Anakin seemed like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's Michaelangelo. Vader appeared like a rookie underling (according to canon, he was known as a wild, highly risky genius tactician). Darth's voice was a bit off but I grew to accept it. Thrawn's the one redeeming character in the whole story. He is the reason I kept up until the end. In the end, this book will end up being another story and probably used for reference, rather than to expand the Star Wars Universe. I still will read the next one though :)

  • Alien: River of Pain

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Christopher Golden, Dirk Maggs
  • Narrated by: Anna Friel, Philip Glenister, Colin Salmon, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,312
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,052
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,039

Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, only to discover that LV-426 — where the crew of the Nostromo first came into contact with the deadly xenomorphs — has been renamed Acheron. Protected by Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet against all the odds. But in the face of brutal living conditions and the daily struggles of a new world, there is humanity and hope.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please make more of these! These are excellent!

  • By Brian on 04-28-17

Thoroughly enjoyable.

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

Reviewed: 09-21-18

While sticking to the tried-and-true formula, I found this production very well done. The story was ok, a bit predictable and and made me roll my eyeballs many times. BUT, the sound effects, the cast, and music provided a complete formula for full immersion. I played it on high on my headphones and car and I felt I was at the movies. Well done! It's for that alone I will recommend this title to Alien(s) fans and casual listeners.

  • Origin

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,946
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,516
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36,403

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

Not the best offering from Dan Brown

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

Reviewed: 10-20-17

Consider that I've been a fan of Brown since the DaVinci Code. I loved the way symbolism, history, and science was used to solve and advance the story. Religion, although being part of the plot, never felt pushed in. That led me to read every novel from him. Some were great and some were just good. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated Origin left me asking myself "What happened?" "Where is the magic?" Although there were lots of information -mostly unneeded to advance the plot, with a couple of light exceptions, there wasn't any "figuring out" or compelling clues hunting this time around. It felt very formulaic. My favorite character has always been Langdon, but ended up being someone, or something else. The big "reveal" was ho-hum and I actually had figured out the end halfway through the novel. The religion aspect felt at times forced and a bit apologetic. While I still consider Paul Michael to be an excellent narrator, I would not recommend this entry. Unless, of course, you're a Langdon fan or a completionist like myself.

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

  • A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
  • By: Mark Manson
  • Narrated by: Roger Wayne
  • Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104,438
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91,578
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91,077

For decades we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F*ck positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is - a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A book for 20-somethings, but not me

  • By Bonny on 09-22-16

I like where this is going...

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

Reviewed: 11-02-16

I actually picked this up because of the title. I mean "why the ***k not? Well, I went into it with the mindset of not taking it too seriously. I ended up liking and, to some extent, agreeing with the subjects matter. This is not exactly the type of book that paints rainbows but it's rather like your friends that tells you things as he sees it -not what you want to hear. A sort of "man up and own your life as it is" kind of book. Although it is definitely not the "end all-be all" and bible of having a nice life, it does make some great points to think about. Highly recommended.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Disciple: Star Wars

  • By: Christie Golden, Katie Lucas - foreword
  • Narrated by: Marc Thompson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,320
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,912
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,898

In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. Despite the powers of the Jedi and the military prowess of their clone army, the sheer number of fatalities is taking a terrible toll. And when Dooku orders the massacre of a flotilla of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council feels it has no choice but to take drastic action: targeting the man responsible for so many war atrocities, Count Dooku himself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Clone Wars Continues

  • By Troy on 07-07-15

A great way to complete a Clone Wars untold story.

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

Reviewed: 08-20-15

I must admit that I went into this story with some reservations. Steeped into the EU, and having read the comics on Voss and watched The Clone Wars, I still was able to submerge myself into it. Character development was very well done, giving us a deep view into every major character. Like any great book, it stirred in me many emotions and I really liked how Voss and Ventress were treated. The story also showed a side of the Jedi that we all know exist, but hasn't been fully explored. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that this could've been incorporated into an episode of Clone Wars before it was canceled. Narration by Marc Thompson was as always superb. My only complaint, and it is a very minor one, was the voice of Mace Windu. He somehow made him into Lando -weird. Undoubtedly, I highly recommend this title.

  • Pickup Lines: Ten Funny Pickup Lines that Actually Work

  • By: Jonathan Green
  • Narrated by: John Oakley
  • Length: 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

Ten amazing pickup lines that start great conversations and are guaranteed to have her laughing. After years of work as a private dating coach, Jonathan Green is finally ready to reveal his secrets to starting a conversation with any woman in any country. Jonathan has trained thousands of me in his secret techniques and now he is sharing them with the world for the first time.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good material if...

  • By Insomniak1 on 06-28-15

Good material if...

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

Reviewed: 06-28-15

These are actually good lines, if they are delivered with confidence, that is. I think working on conversational skill is more important. What if the line works? What to say then? Build on your experience and knowledge so that conversation flows after the pick up.

  • On the Historicity of Jesus

  • Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt
  • By: Richard Carrier
  • Narrated by: Richard Carrier
  • Length: 28 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 523
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 485
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 481

The assumption that Jesus existed as a historical person has occasionally been questioned in the course of the last hundred years or so, but any doubts that have been raised have usually been put to rest in favor of imagining a blend of the historical, the mythical, and the theological in the surviving records of Jesus. Historian and philosopher Richard Carrier reexamines the whole question and finds compelling reasons to suspect the more daring assumption is correct.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well thought out argument.

  • By Insomniak1 on 05-23-15

Well thought out argument.

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

Reviewed: 05-23-15

Being a long-time casual student of religion, legend, mythology and the such, as well as theology from a scholar point of view, I must admit that Mr. Carrier made a well thought out argument for a mythical Jesus. I've always wanted to delve deeper into this matter but dreaded the work. Mr Carrier did most of it for me. Although sometimes he explains things with dizzying analogical intellect, which can get a bit confusing, such as explaining probability equations and numbers, I managed to keep up. I would recommend this title to people with an open mind (religious or not). At the very least, it will spark a hearty repsectful debate, which Mr Carries advocates.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

  • By: Sean Williams
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,529
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,145
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,143

The overthrow of the Republic is complete. The Separatist forces have been smashed, the Jedi Council nearly decimated, and the rest of the Order all but destroyed. Now absolute power rests in the iron fist of Darth Sidious - the cunning Sith Lord better known as the former Senator, now Emperor, Palpatine. But more remains to be done.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Audiobook Unleashed

  • By Alex on 02-27-09

Canon or not, it's a great story

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

Reviewed: 01-25-15

The fact that this is the 3rd time I have listened to this production and that I have read the novel should tell you how much I love it. It has great character development, characters you care about, and action all the way. This story may or may not be canon but it fits perfectly within the movie narratives. I only wish that it would have been the full version and not abridged. PS: it totally makes me play the game every time!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Zealot

  • The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
  • By: Reza Aslan
  • Narrated by: Reza Aslan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,046
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,611
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,601

From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E.

  • By Charles on 07-22-13

Interesting book, from a certain point of view

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

Reviewed: 08-08-13

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

This book is an easy read and rather enjoyable. Gets its point across clearly. While it is informative and provides several good observations, I could not take it too seriously in a scholarly manner as Mr. Aslan tends to embellish and romanticize events, settings and world views using very descriptive and colorful language. As someone who is interested in scholastic works, I know how difficult it is to make objective assertions about matters that happened two decades ago, let alone millenia. However, Mr. Aslan frequently describes matters as if they were facts. Zealot reads like a Dan Brown novel in my opinion. I personally prefer lectures on the subject that present the historical record, give their views and interpretation of such record along with others', and let the reader/listener come to his/her own conclusions. Mr. Aslan quotes the Gospels quite often as references to Jesus and what he might have been like, yet mentions how erroneous and biased they might be. I was a bit confused by this.

If you’ve listened to books by Reza Aslan before, how does this one compare?

Having read "No God but God" I would say that this book is very comparable in writing style as Zealot. However, Zealot is a bit more enclined to tell a story with a view and a certain moral, rather than being more objective.

Could you see Zealot being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

This book could very well be made into a movie. It would be more of a drama than a true documentary. I would definetely go see it.

Any additional comments?

While my inclinations are more towards less subjective works on historical religion, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would definetely recommend it. Although, I would advise to take it with a grain of salt and encourage you to read other publications on the subject.