LISTENER

SAMA

  • 370
  • reviews
  • 1,748
  • helpful votes
  • 443
  • ratings
  • Villains Rule

  • The Shadow Master, Book 1
  • By: M. K. Gibson
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,078
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,074

Hi, how are you? Yes, I am talking to you, the reader of this book's description. Okay, I get it, fourth-wall breaking is overdone. Get over it. This book, Villains Rule, is a fantasy action-comedy which you have to hear. Not because it redefines the genre, far from it. But rather for what it contains. A villain's tale. How often do you get to listen to a story where the villain is the protagonist? No, not an anti-hero, or a brooding monster, nor a hero thinly disguised as a villain. And not evil. If you want evil, take that nonsense to therapy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the cover art.

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-12-17

Caught me by surprise

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

Reviewed: 03-02-18

This book was hilarious, exciting and extremely satisfying. Strongly recommended. You have to give it a shot.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Food: A Love Story

  • By: Jim Gaffigan
  • Narrated by: Jim Gaffigan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,758
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,743

Stand-up comedian and author Jim Gaffigan has made his career rhapsodizing over the most treasured dishes of the American diet ("choking on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover") and decrying the worst offenders ("kale is the early morning of foods"). Fans flocked to his New York Times best-selling book Dad Is Fat to hear him riff on fatherhood but now, in his second book, he will give them what they really crave - his thoughts on all things culinary(ish).

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Funny, but read more like a series of jokes

  • By Adam Shields on 10-24-14

A Foodie's Journey

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

Reviewed: 12-27-17

This book describes the history of the foods we love, the people that hate it, and why it's far better and has greater depth than we expected. A fun book.

  • Renegades

  • By: Marissa Meyer
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittner
  • Length: 16 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,061
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 981
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 980

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies - humans with extraordinary abilities - who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew. Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice - and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Like conclusions? This book isn't for you...

  • By Guarding Cross on 11-21-17

Perfect Superhero Suspense

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

Reviewed: 12-27-17

I love a good superhero story, and this doesn't disappoint. The conflict is there, both within the two protagonists of the story and among different characters. There is spectacle, there are memorable scenes you will remember long after you finish the story, and compelling characters.

Two problems exist, each costing this story a star:

1. The handful of unresolved and critical storyline threads, a couple of which absolutely need to come to fruition.
2. A brand new conflict is introduced almost immediately after the inevitable final showdown ends. This could have easily been left for the prologue of the next book.

  • Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

  • The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made
  • By: Jason Schreier
  • Narrated by: Ray Chase
  • Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,855
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,695
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,695

Developing video games—hero's journey or fool's errand? The creative and technical logistics that go into building today's hottest games can be more harrowing and complex than the games themselves, often seeming like an endless maze or a bottomless abyss. In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier takes listeners on a fascinating odyssey behind the scenes of video game development, where the creator may be a team of 600 overworked underdogs or a solitary geek genius.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Behind the Scenes

  • By SAMA on 11-27-17

Behind the Scenes

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

Reviewed: 11-27-17

The stories in this book are:

1. Pillars of Eternity: How crowdfunding changes the rules, and changes the priorities of the developer who promised backers certain gameplay features, against deadlines and a limited budget. This story provides a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of crowdfunding.
2. Uncharted 4: How too much success affects a studio, and how to successfully end a successful series. It is also the story of The Last of Us, which nobody expected to be successful early on. I enjoyed all the possibilities of how different this game could have been.
3. Stardew Valley: The great risks and heartwarming payoff of going solo. The ending made me want to play this game.
4. Diablo 3: The troubles of online-only games, and the angst and pressures of racing against time to meet player expectations. In the end, it is a success story that had a lot of challenges and frustrations along the way.
5. Halo Wars: How games are transformed in the middle of development, and the pressures of working against a deadline. The Age of Empires developers are behind Halo Wars. Who knew?
6. Dragon Age: Inquisition: How EA corporate politics and poor can slow down game development and creates a large degree of developer frustration. After reading this, I have a better understanding of why EA is a blight on video games.
7. Shovel Knight: The quest to create an iconic character inspired by classic NES games and characters. It provides an insider look into an indie game team and the challenges they face.
8. Destiny: The challenges of combining multiple genres and trying to create something that's never been done before, and how past successes tend to dictate what the next success would look like. It is also the story of how a developer matures.
9. The Witcher 3: The reason for the volume and quality of content is revealed, in one of the most fascinating and enjoyable chapters of this audiobook.
10. Star Wars 1313: How a game that can do no wrong ends up being buried due to corporate politics. Delayed because of Disney and canceled outright by EA, this is the game that makes you wonder, what if? Also, f*ck EA.

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • The Ten-Cent Plague

  • The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America
  • By: David Hajdu
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 624
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 443
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 442

In the years between World War II and the emergence of television as a mass medium, American popular culture as we know it was first created in the bold, pulpy pages of comic books. The Ten-Cent Plague explores this cultural emergence and its fierce backlash while challenging common notions of the divide between "high" and "low" art.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art can't hurt you

  • By Don M on 05-03-08

Fearmongering going out of control

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

Reviewed: 11-26-17

This is what happened when the cave men argued against fire, or when technophobes riled against the Internet. It's another instance of the backlash against anything new, and it will unfortunately continue in a series of generational battles as long as people are around.

Listen to this, and promise yourself that you won't be part of the problem when a new technology emerges.

  • Unfu*k Yourself

  • By: Gary John Bishop
  • Narrated by: Gary John Bishop
  • Length: 3 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,830
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,666
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,450

Are you tired of feeling f*cked up? If you are, Gary John Bishop has the answer. In this straightforward handbook, he gives you the tools and advice you need to demolish the slag weighing you down and become the truly unf*cked version of yourself. "Wake up to the miracle you are," he directs. "Here's what you've forgotten: You're a f*cking miracle of being." It isn't other people that are standing in your way; it isn't even your circumstances that are blocking your ability to thrive. It's yourself and the negative self-talk you keep telling yourself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Now I'm F'd for sure!

  • By Kerry Strong on 08-24-17

Gary John Bishop tells it like it is

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

Reviewed: 11-26-17

Finally, a book that tells you to stop screwing yourself up with what-ifs and why-nots and instead do something good. It challenges you to stop listening if you're unsatisfied with what's being said, but you know you can't. It is profound.

  • The Vacation Guide to the Solar System

  • By: Olivia Koski, Jana Grcevich
  • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney, Olivia Koski, Jana Grcevich
  • Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Imagine taking a hike along the windswept red plains of Mars to dig for signs of life or touring one of Jupiter's 64 moons, where you can photograph its swirling storms. For a shorter trip on a tight budget, the moon is quite majestic and very quiet if you can make it during the off-season. Packed with real-world science, The Vacation Guide to the Solar System is the must-have planning guide for the curious space adventurer, covering all of the essentials for your next voyage, how to get there, and what to do when you arrive.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting

  • By Rebecca on 07-13-17

Thoroughly researched, wonderfully written

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

Reviewed: 11-26-17

Once in a while, a unique audiobook comes along that's just a joy to listen to. This is one of them. It goes through all the planets and major celestial bodies (even Pluto), and explores what it takes to get there, how to survive and what to expect. This is a work of genius.

  • Fight and Flight

  • Magic 2.0, Book 4
  • By: Scott Meyer
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,693
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,192
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,170

Martin and his friends discovered that their world is computer generated and that by altering the code they could alter reality. They traveled back in time to Medieval England to live as wizards. Almost everything they've done since then has, in one way or another, blown up in their faces. So of course they decide to make dragons. It does not go well.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Major stumble in a great series

  • By Virgil on 05-11-17

Tired

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

Reviewed: 11-26-17

At this point of the series, one has to wonder if there's any reason why I even bother. The characters are caricatures of themselves, the story is going nowhere and the next book had better be the series finale.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Life in Parts

  • By: Bryan Cranston
  • Narrated by: Bryan Cranston
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,784
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,485
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,463

Bryan Cranston landed his first role at seven, when his father, a struggling actor and director, cast him in a United Way commercial. Soon Bryan was haunting the local movie theater, memorizing and reenacting favorite scenes with his older brother. Acting was clearly the boy's destiny - until one day his father disappeared. Suddenly destiny took a backseat to survival. Seeking something more stable, perhaps subconsciously trying to distance himself from his absent father, Cranston decided on a career in law enforcement.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • They're all good parts.

  • By kelli mcgourty on 10-23-16

Heisenberg

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

Reviewed: 11-26-17

Bryan Cranston provides a rich and captivating autobiography, detailing his beginnings, his successes and his failures. This is a story worth listening to.

  • The Antidote

  • Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
  • By: Oliver Burkeman
  • Narrated by: Oliver Burkeman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,969
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,741
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,734

The Antidote is a series of journeys among people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. What they have in common is a hunch about human psychology: that it’s our constant effort to eliminate the negative that causes us to feel so anxious, insecure, and unhappy. And that there is an alternative "negative path" to happiness and success that involves embracing the things we spend our lives trying to avoid.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Antidote explores the negative path.

  • By Bonny on 05-15-14

The best way to be happy is not to try to be happy

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

Reviewed: 11-26-17

"Are you happy?" is a question that kills any joy most of us have. In our hopeless and endless pursuit to find happiness, we miss out on the happiness and positivity we might otherwise enjoy.