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Mika Sorvari

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  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 9
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  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 116,463
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 107,806
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 107,288

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Expecting something else

  • By Betsy S. on 10-15-17

Fascinating stories of a strange land

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

Reviewed: 03-09-18

The Apartheid regime was an insult to humanity, and it can be hard to listen to the stories of injustice from that era. It is a little easier when you have a funny guy telling them to you though.

People will generally get this book because they are fans of Trevor to begin with, and I am
no different myself. His stories of his early life in South Africa are often funny, sometimes absurd, and sometimes tragic. He doesn't just dwell on the bad times, even when the good times were rare, but gives you a fairly broad view of his own life, as seen through his own eyes.

Naturally he narrates this book himself, which gives it an immediate leg up, allowing him to put his own intonation at work and really owning the text.

My only gripe is with the chronology. Obviously the aim here wasn't to give a linear year-to-year account, but a major event is somewhat passed by and then returned to for a proper telling late in the book, which throws a bit of a wrench in the works.

Perhaps to those who do not know about Trevor's past in SA it is no biggie, but those who have heard him speak of this before will be waiting for a big turning point...which doesn't come when it is supposed to, and they are then left hanging.

Aside from this though, I really quite enjoyed Trevor's stories. He is a funny guy with a big future still ahead of himself.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Matter for Men

  • The War Against the Chtorr, Book 1
  • By: David Gerrold
  • Narrated by: John Pruden
  • Length: 16 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 142
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 139

With the human population ravaged by a series of devastating plagues, the alien Chtorr arrive to begin the final phase of their invasion. Even as many on Earth deny their existence, the giant wormlike carnivores prepare the world for the ultimate violation--the enslavement of humanity for food!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 20 years and no book 5, be warned

  • By Shane on 09-18-14

A pulpy romp with unnecessary lectures

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

Reviewed: 03-09-18

Humans fighting giant worms in a post-apocalyptic setting is a premise that leads you to expect certain things from a book: action, monsters and macho humor. It's all here, but surprisingly there are also some fairly progressive values and unusual character choices, which put this tome way ahead of its times (1983).

The writing is mostly solid, but the author has a soft spot for endless libertarian screeds, which take up such a wide swathe of the book that they can no longer be considered world building. They hold up the plot and are left to hang like some strange, randian appendix from the rest of the story.

Outside of those this is an interesting, pulpy adventure with a solid reader.

  • Reamde

  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 38 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,257
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,388
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,428

Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not perfect, but worth a listen.

  • By ShySusan on 10-01-11

Stephenson at his most bloated

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

Reviewed: 03-09-18

Stephenson has never been known as a compact writer, but whereas his meanderings into the workings of physics and monastic orders in Anathem might have had certain merit to them, his long-winded explanations of (for example) how a MMO works in Reamde is anesthetic of the highest order.

This is a man totally unhindered by any kind of editor who would hit him repeatedly with a stick when he literally loses the plot in what is in essence a very pedestrian thriller with a side-serving of computer culture thrown in to spice things up.

Really, this is the only time I've cursed myself for buying the unabridged version of anything, because this behemoth of an ego exercise should have been maybe a third of its length, at best.

Stephenson is a completely competent author, don't get me wrong. He is not a bad writer, but he desperately needs an editor to keep him focused and stop him from going down sidepaths that do not add to plot nor characterization.

The reading of the book is a good, stable effort, and I want to give props to Hillgartner for not starting to hit his head against the microphone after a certain point. Or maybe he did and they just edited that part out.

  • True Porn Clerk Stories

  • By: Ali Davis
  • Narrated by: Ali Davis
  • Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 594
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 553
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 551

Queue up these hilarious real-life stories from the video clerking trenches. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll wash your hands. No rewinding required!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sad has never been so hilarious

  • By RMB on 10-07-14

An Amusing Little Collection

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

Reviewed: 08-15-17

A light listen, True Porn Clerk Stories delivers what it says on the cover. A lot of those stories have to do with people wanking in the store though.

You shouldn't expect anything too insightful here, but if you are in a situation where you can't really be bothered with any deep literature, and just want something to chuckle mildly at, TPCS is a good buy, just make sure to get it on sale or discount or something.

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,017
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,030

A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun, Frightfully Fun

  • By Andre on 10-23-15

A Wonderful Classic

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

Reviewed: 08-15-17

It had been years since I had read this book, and somehow I had managed to forget how utterly brilliant it is. Rummel's reading of it brought back every ounce of its greatness to me.

This story of two small-town boys - one light, one dark - is a classic tale of the weird, a masterpiece in its poetic but intense use of the English language. I think Bradbury came up with most of the metaphors in there himself, and they all strike clear and specific notes.

Rummel is great as the reader, perfectly capturing the wonder of the boys, and the world-weariness of the older-than-most father. He matches the language with real passion without getting silly about it.

There's just nothing bad I can say about this one. Both the book and the performance are of the highest quality, and I can not recommend them enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • NOFX

  • The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories
  • By: NOFX, Jeff Alulis
  • Narrated by: NOFX, Jello Biafra, Tommy Chong
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,385
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,272
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,268

NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories is the first tell-all autobiography from one of the world's most influential and controversial punk bands. Fans and non-fans alike will be shocked by the stories of murder, suicide, addiction, counterfeiting, riots, bondage, terminal illness, the Yakuza, and drinking pee. Told from the perspective of each of the band's members, this audiobook looks back at more than 30 years of comedy, tragedy, and completely inexplicable success.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • *%#!

  • By Jonas on 10-10-16

At times dumb, at times touching, always real

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

Reviewed: 08-15-17

With a title like this, you know the contents of this book are going to be pretty interesting.

The Hepatitis Bathtub could be just a collection of dumb road-stories, but it transcends in covering decades of the bandmembers' lives, following their transformation from crazy kids to parents, business owners and semi-mature human beings who are interested in much more than the next lay or the next fix.

Narrated by the guys themselves (and by special guests Biafra and Chong), The Bathtub is a very real read/listen. This is a tell-all book in the truest sense of the word, with many of the stories really being confessions, the guys revealing things that not even their bandmates knew about before now.

You get to hear the lowest of the low points and the highest of the high points. Sex stories, love stories, and some really dark stories. Punk is not a glamorous enterprise.

The only weakness of the book is that some of the events are covered by all of the guys one after the other, and at times they have pretty much the same perspective on what happened, so the end result is repetition. More editorial discipline should have been exercised there.

I have to say though, that The Bathtub is probably the best band-biography I've read or listened to, and I wager there's a few life lessons in there for all of us among the entertaining craziness.

  • Digging Up Mother

  • A Love Story
  • By: Johnny Depp - foreword, Doug Stanhope
  • Narrated by: Doug Stanhope and Friends
  • Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,054
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,838
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,831

Doug Stanhope is one of the most critically acclaimed and stridently unrepentant comedians of his generation. What will surprise some is that he owes so much of his dark and sometimes uncomfortably honest sense of humor to his mother, Bonnie.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exactly what I hoped for!

  • By jeff adams on 08-20-16

The full Stanhope experience

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

Reviewed: 07-23-17

This book is rude, crude and full of morally dubious activity. As a Stanhope fan, that is of course exactly what I wanted and expected too.

This audio version has the pro and con of commentary from the people involved in the stories. These bits tend to be kinda rambly and closer to Doug's podcast. Many of the stories have also been told on said podcast, but never in this coherent a form.

So, if you want the strange life of Doug, here it is in one convenient, profane package, narrated by the man himself in various stages of drunkennes or just hung over.

  • Metro 2033

  • By: Dmitry Glukhovsky
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 20 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,780
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,446
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,440

The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct and the half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind, but the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory. Man has handed over stewardship of the earth to new life-forms. A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on Earth....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A bit tedious

  • By Checkers on 03-30-17

Why the comedy accents?

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

Reviewed: 07-11-17

In a book where all the characters speak pretty much the same language, in this case Russian, what is the point of having the reader inject Cold War spy movie accents in all the dialogue?

Would these producers also portray Asian characters by mixing up their L's and R's? It is pretty much the same thing.

Despite the odd choice I enjoyed the book, though the author is in the habit of getting lost in monologues that often fail to lead anywhere, and the plot feels unplanned, wandering along in the dark much like the lead character. The scenes, splintered as they are, can be quite powerful though.

Not sure if I will continue to the sequels, but if I do, it won't be for a while.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful