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  • The Only Rule Is It Has to Work

  • Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team
  • By: Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne, John Pruden
  • Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 276
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 276

It's the ultimate in fantasy baseball: You get to pick the roster, set the lineup, and decide on strategies - with real players, in a real ballpark, in a real playoff race. That's what baseball analysts Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller got to do when an independent minor-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, offered them the chance to run its baseball operations according to the most advanced statistics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrarators have never watched baseball. Ever!

  • By Anon on 06-02-16

Great story, ruined by narration.

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

Reviewed: 08-01-16

Narrator A sounds like a computer, or an AI simulation of a person, or someone who learned to speak English phonetically and does not understand the meaning of the words. Narrator B is a cartoon narrator reject.

Wonderful book; I wish I'd read it. The narration destroyed the joy inherent in this wonderful tale, detailing the fate of baseball dreams.

In the end, I listened to the whole thing. The story is fascinating. But I really wish the authors had just read it themselves...they're daily podcasters, after all.

  • The Atlantis Gene

  • The Origin Mystery, Book 1
  • By: A.G. Riddle
  • Narrated by: Stephen Bel Davies
  • Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,310
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,580
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,599

Seventy thousand years ago, the human race almost went extinct. We survived, but no one knows how.

Until now. The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time. The Immari are good at keeping secrets. For 2,000 years, they've hidden the truth about human evolution. They've also searched for an ancient enemy - a threat that could wipe out the human race. Now the search is over.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderfully Horrible

  • By Laura Roderick on 07-29-17

Disjointed, brutal and unenjoyable.

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

Reviewed: 05-20-16

Perhaps others enjoy this author. My first foray, not a good experience. Initially intriguing concept, but the execution is pure insanity. The sheer volume of blood is enough to disrupt the flow of what is likely a terrible story. I never got to the end.

  • Wool

  • Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5
  • By: Hugh Howey
  • Narrated by: Amanda Sayle
  • Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,521
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,968
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,994

In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent story, ridiculous narration

  • By virginia on 10-26-14

Wonderful dystopian fiction. Worst narrator ever...

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

Reviewed: 03-16-16

I had read this first, before listening. You should too. Narrator essentially ruins the book here. Cartoonish. I have about 50 books in my audible library. This is the poorest performance of a book not read by the author.

However, the story is amazing. If you're into stuff like Blade Runner or Wind Up Girl, you'll love this. Richly detailed, nuanced, very real.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Kill Decision

  • By: Daniel Suarez
  • Narrated by: Jeff Gurner
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,062
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,550
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,556

Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not Daemon/Freedom, but still good Thriller

  • By T. Menefee on 07-21-12

Super fun ride. Suspend disbelief and just enjoy.

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

Reviewed: 11-25-15

Great ideas and imagery. Sure, the "tech becomes self aware" genre is well covered, but this is a different take.

If you're familiar with the author, you'll see progress in his work since Freedom. Better main characters, less heavy handed with the theme.

If you're not, know that you're getting a Michael Bay movie, not a nuanced piece...

  • Where the Hell is Tesla?

  • A Novel
  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Rob Dircks
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,800
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,616
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,607

I found the journal at work. Well, I don't know if you'd call it work, but that's where I found it. It's the lost journal of Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors and visionaries ever. Before he died in 1943, he kept a notebook filled with spectacular claims and outrageous plans.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely hilarious

  • By Lomeraniel on 11-08-17

Good idea, with juvenile execution.

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

Reviewed: 11-25-15

Not sure how this got made, as the author/narrator is clearly neither.

There is nothing creative here at all. Ideas from other books and TV shows, mainly. "Simpsons did it" applies. It feels like a bunch of stoned college kids put this together one night, but one of their dads is rich, so they publish it.

I could forgive all that, since it's clearly meant to just be fun, and it sort of is. But the self-narration...just, wow. If you've always wanted the morning sports talk dj from NYC to read you a story with a bunch of random F-words for no reason, this is your lucky day.

I quit at the 3 hour mark when the "grandma fart joke" showed up, and Tesla had not yet made an appearance. Maybe that's the in-joke which explains the terrible title.

PS. I only got this because I met the author on a plane.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Death World

  • Undying Mercenaries, Book 5
  • By: B. V. Larson
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,946
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,586
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,576

Unknown aliens attack Earth. Their planet is uncharted, mysteriously having avoided detection for centuries. It's a world packed with the most vicious aliens humanity has yet to encounter. James McGill has discovered: Death World.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Plant World

  • By Don Gilbert on 09-06-15

Series is getting repetitive and stale

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

Reviewed: 10-20-15

I love(d)the Undying Mercenaries series; its the first Larson series I read past the first book.

But, at this point, McGill's schtick is getting stale and his motivations questionable. Same tired stuff about Turov and Claver. The squids show up. Larson is running out of material.

The title highlights the lack of effort. "Death World" sounded to me like we were going into the slightly supernatural realm, but no, its just called that because people die a lot there.

I enjoyed the series to this point, but this was my last Larson novel.

P.S. Boyett nails it as always.

  • Lords of the Sith: Star Wars

  • By: Paul S. Kemp
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,028
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,429
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,420

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... When the Emperor and his notorious apprentice Darth Vader find themselves stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely on each other, the Force, and their own ruthlessness to prevail.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not enough Sith

  • By Will Jadick on 07-30-15

Sparse on Sith action, heavy on Twi'lek nonsense.

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

Reviewed: 07-18-15

Terrible trend in the marketing of Star Wars novels: cover art and titles, and even publisher descriptions, meant to mislead customers into purchasing.

Particularly egregious example here, calling the book "Lords of the Sith", when the book's titular characters are present in the scene less than half the time.

If you're interested in a decent side story about a band of rebel guerrilla fighters and a few nice scenes of space opera action, this is a good read, and above average for a Star Wars novel.

But if you want a story about the Sith, perhaps with new information on Sith lore, then skip this one.

Echo Burning audiobook cover art
  • Echo Burning

  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,137
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,141

Reacher is hitching through the heat of West Texas and getting desperate for a ride. The last thing he's worried about is exactly who picks him up.

She's called Carmen. She's a good-looking young woman, she has a beautiful little girl...and she has married into the wrong family. They're called the Greers. They're a bitter and miserly clan, and they've made her life a living hell. Worse, her monster of a husband is soon due out of prison. So she needs protection, and she needs it now.

Lawyers can't help. Cops can't be trusted. So Reacher goes home with her to the lonely ranch where nothing is as it seems, and where evil swirls around them like dust in a storm. Within days, Carmen's husband is dead - and simmering secrets send Echo, Texas, up in flames.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not Lee Child At His Best...

  • By David on 05-12-09

Slow story and grating narration; low end Reacher.

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

Reviewed: 09-08-14

I like Reacher books. They're not literature but they're fun and filled with vengeance fetish. This was my 5th Reacher, first via audiobook.

The story is pretty boring and takes a very long time to get going. Biggest flaw is that unlike in other Reacher books, you never really learn why you should care about the person Reacher is fighting for, other than the fact she's got a kid. But like they say in the book, everybody's got a kid.

The narrator really killed it for me. His female voices are all whiny, and a borderline insulting portrayal of women.

And maybe it's because this is an earlier book, before Child improved his writing. Or maybe it's because my brain is able to skip the phrase when reading it (instead of listening) but...if I hear the phrase "Reacher said nothing" one more time, I'm going to snap. It is spoken literally dozens of times, possibly over 100. Lee, you don't need to tell the reader that the character says nothing, you just don't write them saying anything!

  • Mindstar Rising

  • The Greg Mandel Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
  • Length: 14 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,562
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,408
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,411

It's the 21st century, and global warming is here to stay, so forget the way your country used to look. And get used to the free market, too – the companies possess all the best hardware, and they're calling the shots now. In a world like this, a man open to any offers can make out just fine. A man like Greg Mandel for instance, who's psi-boosted, wired into the latest sensory equipment, carrying state-of-the-art weaponry – and late of the English Army's Mindstar Battalion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Portrait of a SciFi master as a novice

  • By Michael G Kurilla on 01-13-12

Incredibly rich and detailed, and an absolute bore

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

Reviewed: 07-14-14

I made it through all of Pandoras Star and the sequels. The thickness of the prose was daunting in those books, but the universe created was fascinating.

This book has the same dialogue-heavy blandness with no story or characters. I listened for 8 hours and gave up.

  • Ballad of the Whiskey Robber

  • By: Julian Rubinstein
  • Narrated by: Eric Bogosian, Demetri Martin, Tommy Ramone, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 420
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228

Ballad of the Whiskey Robber tells the hilarious and improbable true story of Attila Ambrus, the Robin Hood of Eastern Europe. He's the onetime pelt smugger, goaltender (possibly the worst in the history of pro hockey), pen salesman, Zamboni driver, gravedigger, church painter, roulette addict, building superintendent, whiskey drinker, and native of Transylvania who's decided that the best thing to do with his time is to rob as many banks as possible.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • DUH

  • By Randall on 07-22-07

Like a long "This American (Romanian?) Life"

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

Reviewed: 05-18-14

I was excited, but it's just OK. The narrator's clearly non-professional voice and sporadic snippets of instrumental music made me feel like I was listening to "This American Life". Like that show, this book is interesting but slow and kind of dull.

There is far too much history of the region in the beginning, needlessly extending the length of the book. It is strictly chronological; I feel it would have been far better if it jumped around a bit to keep things interesting. The protagonist isn't really much of a hero, or even an anti-hero: he's a drunken liar with no sense of purpose. His only motivation is money, for spending.

There's an entertaining quality to the story - the bumbling heists, incompetent police - but not much actually happens. He robs some post offices and banks, gets away with small amounts, and is eventually caught.

I stopped listening when my next credit came along and only finished it months later when I ran out of other books.

On a personal note, the historical background on the country helped explain why my Romanian college roommate was such a pathetic loser.

2 of 9 people found this review helpful