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Jeff Xilon

Gimhae, South Korea
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Guardians of the West audiobook cover art

A good beginning to the Second Half of the Story

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

Reviewed: 06-21-12

Would you consider the audio edition of Guardians of the West to be better than the print version?

It's been a long time since I've read the Guardians of the West but I think I'd say yes to this. It's an easy read and it makes for an easy listen as well. Having the various characters' dialogue come alive is quite nice. The dialogue is probably the best part of Eddings' writing so it really works well as an audio experience.

What other book might you compare Guardians of the West to and why?

Well let's be honest - The thing about David Eddings is that one book is pretty much like another. If you've read or listened to the Belgariad well then, here's more of the same. If you've read or listened to his Sparhawk books then here's more of the same - only more young adult than adult (not that that's a bad thing) and more side stuff going on (because the series is 5 books instead of 3).

What about Cameron Beierle’s performance did you like?

There comes a point in a book like this where you realize - wow there are a huge number of characters in this book and the reader is doing all of them by himself. He also does a good job of defining accents for each of the various peoples of the world. It's not perfect - in particular the voices of Belgarion and Errand often sound the same to the point of confusion - but it's not a huge problem.

Any additional comments?

Eddings' fantasy series are, above all else, fun. This is his second seriers with these characters and could more rightly be considered book 6 of 10 instead of 1 of 5, though you could start here if you wanted to. On problem for some could be that at this point in the story some old characters you may love have to fade into the background and some new ones step forward to take their place. I personally miss some of the old characters who are relegated to bit parts, but the new characters Eddings gives us do tend to be far more interesting than what we had in the Belgariad and add a lot in diversity to the cast.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

Fifth Business audiobook cover art

A Very Nice Audio Version of a Great Book.

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

Reviewed: 06-20-12

What did you love best about Fifth Business?

This is a hard question for me to answer because Fifth Business may be my favorite book of all time. I have read it on numerous occasions and enjoying it as an Audiobook just added more to my ongoing and probably never ending experience with the book. It has many wonderfully developed, interesting characters chief among them being the narrator and protagonist Dunstan Ramsay. The story is king though and includes many fascinating subjects in its tapestry: stage magic, love, war, siants, pre-WWI small town Canadian life, Jungian psychology. Just great.

Which character – as performed by Marc Vietor – was your favorite?

Marc Vietor really does a good job with the general narration which means does a good job with our protagonist Dunstan Ramsay who is the teller of this story. I also really enjoyed his Padre Blazon.

Any additional comments?

It's a truly wonderful book. The only book I had to read in high school that I was thankful for. If you've never read it I can't recommend it enough. If you've read it and are wondering if it's worth listening to as an audiobook I'd say yes, yes it is.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

God Is Not Great audiobook cover art

Whatever Your Personal Beliefs its Worth a Listen

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

Reviewed: 06-20-12

Where does God Is Not Great rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I'd say its one of my favorites and definitely my favorite non-fiction so far.

What did you like best about this story?

First, Hitchen's just had a wonderful voice for talking. Listening to him present his case is quite a joy. Second, whether you agree with his positions or not it is very apparent that Mr. Hitchens attacks on religion do not stem from simply being anti-religious but are based upon solid moral ground. In many cases I think even religious folks would have to put aside any indignation they may feel at his attack and acknowledge that he has some important points that need to be addressed.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it was not. Bu I don't think that's a bad thing. This is the sort of book I want to listen to some of and then think about before moving on to more. I didn't want to be overwhelmed by an onslaught of different arguments but take each one in turn to be considered carefully before moving on to the next.

On Writing audiobook cover art

Great Memoir, Ok Book on Writing

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

Reviewed: 06-20-12

Would you listen to On Writing again? Why?

Yes, some of it. I would probably never listen to the whole thing through again. It's the kind of book you might revisit parts of, but not feel the need to re-experience in full.

What did you like best about this story?

The best thing about On Writing as an Audiobook is getting to listen to Stephen King read it himself. As the book is written as a sort of talk to the reader this works fantastically. It's like having Mr. King sitting beside you telling stories about his experiences and his beliefs about writing.

Which scene was your favorite?

I found the part of the book where Mr. King discusses how he felt he had spent a lot of his career being made to feel guilty about what he wrote very inspirational. As a fan of genre fiction and someone trying to write such things myself I worry I'll look silly to some. This made me rethink those feelings.

Any additional comments?

I do think it is important to realize that most of this book is not really a guide to writing. It's not a complete autobiography either but it is more memoir than guide. Also, most of what Mr. King does give as writing advice is fairly standard stuff. Not that that's bad, it's standard stuff because it works. For many people having Stephen King say it right to you himself though might help it have more impact. I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the parts on writing. But, I didn't find it profound in anyway. This is not "Stephen King Teaches You How to Write". Which is fine, but folks should know that going in.

Redshirts audiobook cover art

A Book any SF TV Fan is Probably Going to Love

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

Reviewed: 06-20-12

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Without a doubt. This was such an enjoyable book. I worried at first that it was just trying to be a silly parody, but it reached way beyond that low-hanging fruit. This is probably the most enjoyable audiobook I've listened to from Audible so far.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Redshirts?

I don't want to give any spoilers away, but I'll say that the scene where Ensign Dahl first encounters The Box was quite good.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Opinion seems to be split on the "Three Codas" that accompany the novel itself, but I think they were wonderful and beautifully finished off the experience of Redshirts. The third and final coda is actually really lovely and it is there that it really hit me just how good Whil Wheaton is as at this. In fact, I just bumped my rating of his performance from 4 to 5 stars thinking back on it.

Any additional comments?

I listened to this audibook in one day, and that's a day I actually spent about 5 hours teaching. I've never even come close to doing that with another audiobook. They are usually what I listen to when walking, or doing house chores, or shopping or exercising. When I have longer periods to spend on a book I'll usually pull out an actual book or my kindle. Redshirts was such a joy though that I had no interest in stopping. I can't recommend it enough.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Mechanique audiobook cover art

As any good circus: Both Beautiful and Terrifying

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

Reviewed: 06-20-12

If you could sum up Mechanique in three words, what would they be?

Beautiful, Sad, Memorable

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character would have to be Stenos for his complexity and strangely broken angst filled nature.

What about Scott Aiello’s performance did you like?

What didn't I like! It is one of the real joys of Audiobooks to hear such a great reader not simply read the words of the book but actually embody each character in a different voice. With the constant shifting POV of Mechanique I think this enhanced the experience of the story itself.

Any additional comments?

Mechanique is beautifully written and beautifully performed. I keep mostly to ebooks and audiobooks nowadays but this is one I'll probably purchase a physical copy to read again, glad to have come to it through this excellent audio version first.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful