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John

Fairfax, VA, United States
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 33
  • ratings
  • Chasing the Signal

  • By: J Fitzpatrick Mauldin
  • Narrated by: J. D. Ledford
  • Length: 1 hr and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 6

A cunning young girl comes face to face with an interstellar threat when her mother and grandfather are murdered aboard their ship while making contact with a mysterious entity. Alone, and with no way home, Bellamy makes a deal with an alien intelligence to chase the signal of her mother's soul to a facility light-years away, in the hope she might be resurrected and the two of them reunited. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deeply vivid imagery

  • By TheMsBurkhead on 09-09-18

A delightful Scifi short - can't wait for more!

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

I normally save credits for novels and history I can get lost in for hours, but this book was a wonderful surprise. The basis is that idea that some of us think is not that far in the future: that humans will get a sign of alien life, build spacecraft that can reach it, and find the galaxy is teeming with everything we expect. Ancients, enemies, technology beyond our imagination, and still, we experience what it's like to be human. Even in short story format, I was pleased with the depth of the characters, the writing that was sharp, visual, emotive, and well-paced. The narrator brings the characters to life and made the scenes pop in to my head as if I were there on the ship, chasing the signal. I hope this collaboration continues, there's certainly a strong foundation for a series and these two have a talent for taking our imaginations to the stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Fall of Heaven

  • The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran
  • By: Andrew Scott Cooper
  • Narrated by: Assaf Cohen
  • Length: 22 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113

In this remarkably human portrait of one of the 20th century's most complicated personalities, author Andrew Scott Cooper traces Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He highlights the turbulence of the postwar era, during which the shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world's top five powers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent account of a pivotal and sad time

  • By Guerin Shea on 09-05-16

Long on quotes, short on narrative

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

Reviewed: 02-18-17

This book was informative but cumbersome due to the minutiae of quotes, asides, and dialogue.

  • Sea of Glory

  • America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition 1838-1842
  • By: Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 422
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 290

In 1838, the U.S. government launched the largest discovery voyage the Western world had ever seen; six sailing vessels and 346 men bound for the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Four years later, the U.S. Exploring Expedition, or Ex. Ex. as it was known, returned with an astounding array of accomplishments and discoveries: 87,000 miles logged, 280 Pacific islands surveyed, 4,000 zoological specimens collected, including 2,000 new species, and the discovery of the continent of Antarctica.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good solid voyage of discovery

  • By Ken Sundermeyer on 06-18-05

When Leaders Fail

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

Reviewed: 07-29-16

A gripping story of exploration, conflict and a flawed leader. Anyone interested in history, science and exploration would enjoy this book.

  • All the Pretty Horses

  • By: Cormac McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Frank Muller
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,460
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 764
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 779

All the Pretty Horses, the first volume of the Borders Trilogy, tells of young John Grady Cole, the last of a long line of Texas ranchers. Across the border Mexico beckons; beautiful and desolate, rugged and cruelly civilized. With two companions, he sets off on an idyllic, sometimes comic adventure, to a place where dreams are paid for in blood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Super-Listen

  • By Gene on 01-15-05

Fantastic love story

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

Reviewed: 05-28-15

This was my first read of Cormac McCarthy, and it was uplifting, enjoyable and moving. Frank Muller did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life.

  • Seveneves

  • A Novel
  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal, Will Damron
  • Length: 31 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16,237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,076
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15,070

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • So Much Potential

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 06-08-17

A bloated, ponderous tale full of dull characters

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

Reviewed: 05-28-15

I wanted to love this book. The first line could be one of the best in this genre. The book started out as exciting, interesting and unpredictable but after a couple of hours it became overblown. Too many details about the "science" of what they were doing. Too many characters that lacked depth, expression or interest. The plot plods along at speeds that are cosmically slow.

Space nuts might be able to get past all this, but I found it to be a literary Big Mac - after two bites I regretted it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Death by Black Hole

  • And Other Cosmic Quandaries
  • By: Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,189
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,258
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,252

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for guiding readers through the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics. Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great for an introduction to space and astronomy

  • By Charles on 10-01-08

Pop science - not interesting

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

Reviewed: 03-07-14

I found the narrator on this recording to sound sanctimonious and condescending, like "science guy" at a cocktail party doing his best to sound interesting but really droning on and on. I couldn't even finish this since it was so annoying.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Freddy and Fredericka

  • By: Mark Helprin
  • Narrated by: Robert Ian Mackenzie
  • Length: 25 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 444
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 159

Best-selling, critically acclaimed author Mark Helprin's work has drawn favorable comparisons to an elite group of literary legends, including James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe, and Thomas Mann. Helprin's sheer comic brilliance shines in this ingenious farce.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Freddy and Fredericka

  • By Julie on 08-16-05

Fantastic and fun - a work of art!

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

Reviewed: 10-14-13

I've been through this book three times now, it's a wonderful performance. Helprin's work is insightful, elevating and this - his only comedy, is also big fun. I highly recommend it.

  • Winter's Tale

  • By: Mark Helprin
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 27 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 942
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 711
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 726

One night, Peter Lake - orphan, master-mechanic, and master second-story man - attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the affair between the middle-aged Irish burglar and Beverly Penn, a young girl who is dying. Because of a love that at first he cannot fully understand, Peter, a simple and uneducated man, will be driven "to stop time and bring back the dead".

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book and narrator - bad technical glitch

  • By David on 04-11-11

Fantastic, poetic novel and a fine performance

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

Reviewed: 05-18-12

This novel is delightful, the author is an unbounded genius. The reader was fantastic and brought the story to life. I highly recommend this novel for people who enjoy real literature.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Glass Castle

  • A Memoir
  • By: Jeannette Walls
  • Narrated by: Jeannette Walls
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,951
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,616
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,630

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination. Rose Mary painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family; she called herself an "excitement addict."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • What's normal?

  • By Kmrsy on 11-30-13

Can this be True??

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-26-11

One of the best stories ever. Took me awhile to get use to the voice, but once I did, I really loved it and even got her other book. What a life and very well told. Can picture everything. Would love to meet Jeannette Walls.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Winter Garden

  • A Novel
  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 14 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,848
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,155
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,142

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard: the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father fails ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I thought I made a mistake

  • By A. Musser on 11-29-17

Took Awhile

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-26-11

It took a third of the book for me to get interested, but then I could not stop listening. When the Mom started telling her real story....WOW... gripping