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alan

north wales, PA, United States
  • 21
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  • 36
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  • 30
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  • The Outcast

  • The Empire's Corps, Book 5
  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,022
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 938
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 936

A new novel set in the universe of The Empire's Corps! When Sameena's brother accidentally annoys a religious leader on her home world, her entire family is targeted for elimination. Forced to flee to save her life, Sameena stows away on a trader starship and is eventually welcomed into the crew, embracing their very different culture and making a new life for herself amongst the stars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • takes the series in a new direction

  • By jordan on 03-19-15

Best one in the series

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

Reviewed: 02-12-19

The series takes a new direction in this volume, written in a different style, largely from the heroine's point of view. A bit more psychological complexity, a Dune-like would-be empire, and more on the problems of running a free interstellar confederation provide more than the predecessor books - with no slackening of the fighting action.

  • The Flowers of Vashnoi

  • An Ekaterin Vorkosigan Novella
  • By: Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246

Still new to her duties as Lady Vorkosigan, Ekaterin is working together with expatriate scientist Enrique Borgos on a radical scheme to recover the lands of the Vashnoi exclusion zone, lingering radioactive legacy of the Cetagandan invasion of the planet Barrayar. When Enrique's experimental bioengineered creatures go missing, the pair discover that the zone still conceals deadly old secrets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yay! A Vorkosigan novella

  • By IreneMBBT on 10-24-18

Still more tales of noble aristocrats

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

Reviewed: 12-24-18

Ekaterin continues the tradition of strong Vorkosigan women, married to men just and wise and generous to their respectful peasants and loyal retainers.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Feral Detective

  • A Novel
  • By: Jonathan Lethem
  • Narrated by: Zosia Mamet
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 63

Phoebe Siegler first meets Charles Heist in a shabby trailer on the eastern edge of Los Angeles. She’s looking for her friend’s missing daughter, Arabella, and hires Heist to help. A laconic loner who keeps his pet opossum in a desk drawer, Heist intrigues the sarcastic and garrulous Phoebe. Reluctantly, he agrees to help. The unlikely pair navigates the enclaves of desert-dwelling vagabonds and finds Arabella is in serious trouble - caught in the middle of a violent standoff that only Heist, mysteriously, can end.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Ugh

  • By Mike in Dallas on 11-17-18

Feel sorry for his editor

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

Reviewed: 12-24-18

Offensive caricature of a simpering New York woman ga-ga for a brawny man who has all the answers - written in the woman's voice.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • On Power

  • By: Robert A. Caro
  • Narrated by: Robert A. Caro
  • Length: 1 hr and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,459
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,210
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,201

From two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and two-time National Book Award winner Robert A. Caro: a short, penetrating reflection on the evolution and workings of political power - for good and for ill.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Could be called 'On Robert Caro'

  • By Anna on 09-04-17

Immersive

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

A wonderful summary of the life of Robert Caro, written and read in the voice of Robert Caro, told as a succession of increasingly affecting anecdotes. A marvelous justification of the long shaggy dog story school of history writing. In the end, you understand why he immerses in his subjects for years, and why you need to immerse in his work in order to appreciate it.

  • Reappraisals

  • Reflections on the Forgotten 20th Century
  • By: Tony Judt
  • Narrated by: James Adams
  • Length: 16 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 129
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64

The accelerating changes of the past generation have been accompanied by a similarly accelerated amnesia. The 20th century has become "history" at an unprecedented rate. The world of 2007 was so utterly unlike that of even 1987, much less any earlier time, that we have lost touch with our immediate past even before we have begun to make sense of it - and the results are proving calamitous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb. Insightful essays, Performance to match

  • By Louis on 05-02-12

Irreplaceable

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

Reviewed: 02-06-17

What did you love best about Reappraisals?

Brilliant analyses, mordant excoriations of the militarists self-justifying their Vietnam war, great critique of Israel

How could the performance have been better?

It's the wrong reader - the plummy British accent makes Judt sound like like a Mandarin, pronouncing disdainfully on mere mortals.His mispronounciation of all the Hebrew names compounds the tone of an authority impossible remote from his subjects.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Pursuit of Power

  • Europe: 1815-1914
  • By: Richard J. Evans
  • Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
  • Length: 41 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 375
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370

Richard J. Evans's gripping narrative ranges across a century of social and national conflicts, from the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 to the unification of both Germany and Italy, from the Russo-Turkish wars to the Balkan upheavals that brought this era of relative peace and growing prosperity to an end. The first single-volume history of the century, this comprehensive and sweeping account gives the listener a magnificently human picture of Europe in the age when it dominated the rest of the globe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific comprehensive history

  • By Awake Tex on 02-02-17

terrible reader, excellent book

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

Reviewed: 01-23-17

What made the experience of listening to The Pursuit of Power the most enjoyable?

A great history of Europe after Napoleon, by a historian of Germany. Unfortunately the reader pauses after every fifth or sixth word for no discernable reason, making this a very rocky choppy ride. Evans' history is best when most detailed, in the period leading up to the revolutions of 1830 and then 1848, followed by more cursory potted treatments of social, artistic, scientific, literary, musical, i.e. "cultural" milestones, and then we're suddenly at the turn of the century, rush through the Balkan wars, and its time for world war I. Nice exposition of some modern historiography - imperial atrocities in the colonies got imported into Europe, women's suffrage, etc.

What didn’t you like about Napoleon Ryan’s performance?

Pauses after every fifth or sixth word; it's like listening to hiccups.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Home World

  • Undying Mercenaries, Book 6
  • By: B. V. Larson
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,659
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,277
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,253

When the Earth is invaded by a rival empire, James McGill's legion must defend the Home World. The top brass has complex plans, but none of that matters much to McGill, who chooses his own unique path. Traveling to star systems no human has ever visited, he searches for a technological edge to beat the enemy before it's too late. Along the way he unleashes new terrors, triggering the biggest battles in human history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Obstinate to the Core

  • By Don Gilbert on 06-04-16

Undying Mercenaries just gets better and better

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

Reviewed: 06-23-16

Where does Home World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best military sci-fi.

Any additional comments?

Witty picaresque romp, starring a good old boy from Georgia who keeps outwitting the brass and the aliens.Well-paced and full of suprises, with much action, military and conjugal. The series just gets better and better - but best to start at the beginning.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Battle Cruiser

  • Lost Colonies, Book 1
  • By: B. V. Larson
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,362
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,075
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,066

One starship will either save Earth or destroy her. A century ago our star erupted, destroying Earth's wormhole network and closing off trade with her colonized planets. After being out of contact with the younger worlds for so many years, humanity is shocked when a huge ship appears at the edge of the solar system. Our outdated navy investigates, both curious and fearful. What they learn from the massive vessel shocks the planet.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Unlikely Hero

  • By Don Gilbert on 12-26-15

Bogus Larson

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

Reviewed: 06-15-16

What would have made Battle Cruiser better?

This ia a fine boy's adventure story about a stiff prig space navy officer whose wholesomeness saves earth, conquers swooning beauties, etc. This has none of the low down cunning, charm, and intelligence of his Undying Mercenaries - its written in a whole different, very crabbed style. Not by BV Larson - written by someone else, a weaker ghost author laboring in the Larson atelier.

Would you ever listen to anything by B. V. Larson again?

Laroson is brilliant - his Undying Mercenaries series is inventive, full of wit, action-packed, with a laugh-out-loud picaresque Georgia redneck soldier grunt outwitting his officers and an imaginative menagerie of aliens.

Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

it is short

Any additional comments?

Even on his worst day, BV Larson is twice as good as this book.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • 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 17,696
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,443
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16,438

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

Weakest book by a great maser

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

Reviewed: 08-03-15

Would you try another book from Neal Stephenson and/or Mary Robinette Kowal and Will Damron ?

Neil Stephenson is best when constrained by history - thus the wonderful Cryptonomicon and Baroque Cycle. Seveneves, though is three separate, unrelated, disconnected books - the end of the world, the next twenty years, and, suddenly, 5000 years later. His recent books successfully managed to keep their continuity across an abrupt mid-course switch (Anathem, Reamde), but this one doesn't - 5000 years is just too long.
I will be first in line for his next books, the promised historical series.

Has Seveneves turned you off from other books in this genre?

Apocalypse, feh.

Have you listened to any of Mary Robinette Kowal and Will Damron ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

What character would you cut from Seveneves?

Neil Stephenson

Any additional comments?

still beats Mongoliad v 1-3

  • The Betrayers

  • A Novel
  • By: David Bezmozgis
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 38

These incandescent pages give us one fraught, momentous day in the life of Baruch Kotler, a Soviet Jewish dissident who now finds himself a disgraced Israeli politician. When he refuses to back down from a contrary but principled stand regarding the settlements in the West Bank, his political opponents expose his affair with a mistress decades his junior, and the besieged couple escapes to Yalta, the faded Crimean resort of Kotler's youth.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible ending...

  • By Ljubica on 08-24-16

Jewish Kitsch

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

Reviewed: 02-22-15

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

my mother

What was most disappointing about David Bezmozgis’s story?

everyone is all strong and good, except for the bad guy

Which scene was your favorite?

the villain, constructing himself as a victim and turning everything to self-pity, even while he is having a stroke

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

it is short, despite the reader's glacial pace.

Any additional comments?

A short and shallow tale of god's justice delivered through Solomonic Israeli politicians, self-sacrificing sabras, resolute Israeli women, self-pitying traitors, etc. Hadassah chapters everywhere will love it, and Bezmozgis will dine out on this little book for years to come.
Now, with this crowd-pleaser behind him, he can resume his insightful accounts of the heartbreaks of immigrant life, their dislocated perspectives on their new homes in the US or Canada, and the casual cruelties they endure.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful