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  • Oblivion

  • Stories
  • By: David Foster Wallace
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 14 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 204
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 178

In the stories that make up Oblivion, David Foster Wallace joins the rawest, most naked humanity with the infinite involutions of self-consciousness--a combination that is dazzlingly, uniquely his. These are worlds undreamt-of by any other mind. Only David Foster Wallace could convey a father's desperate loneliness by way of his son's daydreaming through a teacher's homicidal breakdown ("The Soul Is Not a Smithy"). Or could explore the deepest and most hilarious aspects of creativity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Just 2 Fast & Huge & ALL Interconnected 4 Words

  • By Darwin8u on 08-22-12

Pretentious and ultimately pointless verbiage

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

Reviewed: 07-22-15

Any additional comments?

I enjoy descriptive, detailed, multi-faceted scenes and characters but found this book an example of the author's pretentious use of a thesaurus. Tangents contributing to the basic story are great, but meanderings in college-level verbiage are another. I listened to nearly all the stories but found them disappointingly boring and pointless as none of them had an ending that I could discern or they made the same repeated point simply using synonyms. This author gets all kinds of awards and acclaims so I may be a Philistine but I know what I like - a well-written, entertaining or meaningful story with an end which justifies my listening to it. Completely unfulfilled I eventually thought the author is just showing off his vocabulary and use of "color" and quit the book.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Edge of Eternity

  • The Century Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Ken Follett
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 36 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,409
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,432
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,409

Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Some good, some bad

  • By Elisa on 09-22-14

Romance novel mislabed as an historical epic.

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

Reviewed: 10-01-14

What did you like best about Edge of Eternity? What did you like least?

Disappointing follow-up to Pillars of the Earth series, but it provided me an adequately long distraction from a boring commute. Fictional characters are predictable and non-engaging. Plot covers huge events in history without any interesting revelations to anyone who's taken a high school 20th century history course - not even the alleged multiple sexual encounters of JFK which are gratuitously described .

What three words best describe John Lee’s performance?

Tested beyond ability. I am a huge fan of John Lee but he couldn't believably do the multiple American, German, Russian, Cuban and Polish accents, much less imitating the well-known JFK, Martin Luther King, LBJ or Nixon voices.

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

Yeah, sure. TV mini series would certainly match the superficial quality and gratuitous sex of this novel series.

37 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 163,827
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 151,215
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 151,054

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

Puts the 'Science' back into Sci-Fi

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

Reviewed: 11-09-13

It's a great thing to discover science still existing in Sci-Fi. No magical 'deus ex machina' solutions here (unless you consider 'duct tape' but it's magical qualities are widely accepted). Everything is plausibly explained with real chemistry, botany and physics and even though we go from one crisis to another it all rang true. The main character is witty with his dialog - both with himself and with others which made for good entertainment. I was unexpectedly engrossed with this novel, anxious and rooting for the hero. Definitely worth your credit, fellow sci-fi enthusiasts.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Les Miserables

  • By: Victor Hugo
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 57 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,433
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 821
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 836

Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love this book - one of the best of all time

  • By Sher from Provo on 06-30-10

Get the abridged version!

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

Reviewed: 09-03-11

I never get the abridged version thinking that if I do I'm missing out on the author's intent, important color and details, or simply because I'm not getting my credits worth. I would make a big exception for this book. V. Hugo apparently didn't benefit from having an editor who would've marked out hours upon hours of needless, tedious prose on so many completely tangential topics. Not just a little bit; HOURS UPON HOURS. I dangerously advanced my IPOD in 10 minute increments while driving because I just couldn't take the insanely obscure and repetitive references (unless you lived in 19th Cent. France) or loosely associated and completely unimportant historical trivia. No kidding, 2 hours on the historical development of European and Paris sewer systems so that Jean Valjean could escape through it. To be fair, I didn't listen to the abridged version to compare, but I wish I had heeded the warnings of others to do so.

Also the narrator constantly made me think of the word "Supercilious" which was a distraction throughout.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Divine Justice

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,468
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,470

Known by his alias, "Oliver Stone," John Carr is the most wanted man in America. With two pulls of the trigger, the men who destroyed Stone's life and kept him in the shadows were finally silenced. But his freedom comes at a steep price: The assassinations he carried out prompt the highest levels of the U.S. government to unleash a massive manhunt. Behind the scenes, master spy Macklin Hayes is playing a very personal game of cat and mouse. He, more than anyone, wants Stone dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Baldacci Does It Again

  • By poeticalbob on 11-20-08

My Last Baldacci Book

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-28-11

I've given David Baldacci several chances but after this one I've given up. Baldacci writes the same mindlessly formulaic pablum of character series which sell but don't inspire. This one Baldacci must've phoned in while on vacation. Incredibly bland, improbable yet predictable plot. Characters as dimensional as a comic book. Terrible dialogue made laughable when actually said out loud. Oh, and by the way, whoever thought to make the occassional, stupid, distracting, sound effects should be sacked. Luckily I paid the bargain basement price for this dog and it took up only about a week of my commutes. I'd have really given a poor review if I'd paid a full credit for it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Directive 51

  • By: John Barnes
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 21 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 49

Heather O’Grainne is the assistant secretary in the Office of Future Threat Assessment, investigating rumors surrounding something called “Daybreak.” Part philosophic discussion, part international terrorist faction, and part artists’ movement, it’s a group of diverse people with radical ideas who have only one thing in common — their hatred for the Big System and their desire to take it down. Until Heather can determine whether these people are all talk and no action, she wants to keep this information from going public.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Very disappointing, don't waste your credit.

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-29-10

Very disappointing, don't waste your credit.

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-29-10

An increasingly common apocalyptic scenario which is poorly played out in the sappy relationships and even worse philosophical meanderings of the cut-out characters. Stilted, unrealistic dialogue, irrelevant plot lines and incredibly unexplained events abound. Spoiler alert: How do robots on the moon ever build fusion bombs to send to earth with technology just a few years in our future, and nobody in the top echelons of government knew about it? I also found myself irritated with the narrator who either over enunciated or tried to mimic voices she heard on cheap sit-coms.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Passage

  • A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy)
  • By: Justin Cronin
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
  • Length: 36 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,883
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,468
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,445

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • get on with it

  • By Eric on 09-27-10

Great story but disappointing ending.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-10

Why is it so many sci-fi writers can't come up with a good ending? It was such a good, engaging story, up until the author abruptly dumped me with no explanation about what happens to characters I'd come to care about. I'm not a reader who needs everything answered but this left me really disappointed. One could tell that he was starting to get tired of writing this when he started to leave major events dangling with no explanation and then changed his mind on a vampire solution that had been protected for all of the book and then provided no other one. Ok, is there a volume two that I'm missing?

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Pandora's Star

  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 37 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,394
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,439
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,456

The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over 1,000 light-years away, a star...vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Have to resort to headphones to listen

  • By Sue Nami on 10-05-16

Go ahead and start it; then on to Judas Unchained

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-10

Peter Hamilton weaves a great sci-fi novel with believable science and characters, including aliens. John Lee has established himself as my favorite narrator. I filled two entire months of commuting hardly noticing the traffic, maybe not the safest option, but that's what I use it for.

2 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Judas Unchained

  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 40 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,563
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,140
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,155

Robust, peaceful, and confident, the Commonwealth dispatched a ship to investigate the mystery of a disappearing star, only to inadvertently unleash a predatory alien species that turned on its liberators, striking hard, fast, and utterly without mercy.The Prime are the Commonwealth's worst nightmare. Coexistence is impossible with the technologically advanced aliens, who are genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Bad narration !! no pauses and change in volume

  • By prashy21 on 08-03-18

Very Engaging

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-10

Peter Hamilton continues what has been a thoroughly engaging sci-fi novel. Plus he does what so few sci-fi writers can: actually wrap up the ends to thier stories. John Lee is perhaps my favorite narrator and so I've spent a couple months now looking forward to my daily commutes. Highly recommended to those who like thier sci-fi believable and intricate.

10 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • One Second After

  • By: William R. Forstchen
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,906
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,805
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,827

Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Realistic Worst Nightmare

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 03-02-17

Disappointing right-wing sentimentality

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-25-09

I suppose I should've expected this from a forward by Newt Gingrich but this book was still very disappointing. The premise of an EMP strike and it's potential effects as well as a description of survival in a post-apocalyptic society was what I was looking for. Instead I was subjected to about 1/5 science and 4/5 blatantly and clumsily pulled at religious, patriotic, sentimental heartstrings. The author couldn't seem to describe the world without using constant film analogy "It was like that movie..." Authentic characters and dialogue were especially lacking. My advice to any followers of the genre: skip it.

15 of 35 people found this review helpful