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Thomas More

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  • 263
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  • One Year After

  • By: William R. Forstchen
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,425
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,779
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,770

One Year After returns to the small town of Black Mountain and the man who struggled to rebuild it in the wake of devastation: John Matherson. It is a thrilling follow-up and should delight fans in every way.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I expected

  • By Joe on 04-23-16

A Weaker, More Preachy Brew

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I have a weakness for prepper fiction. This sequel to William Forstchen's 2009 bestseller One Second After continues the story of a small North Carolina collegiate community's struggle to defend itself and rebuild after an EMP attack cripples the United States. Second books in series like this one rarely excite interest like the first, so it isn't surprising that this one drags a bit. In fact, it was downright boring at certain times. A large portion of the story seems to involve the cranky protagonist debating the moral nature of a particular situation with some other poor individual. I don't remember this guy Matheson talking so much in the first book, and I found myself disliking his caustic personality after a while, but eventually, the bullets began flying, and we had a satisfying conclusion to matters.

  • Seven Surrenders

  • By: Ada Palmer
  • Narrated by: T. Ryder Smith
  • Length: 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 188
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190

In a future of near-instantaneous global travel, of abundant provision for the needs of all, a future in which no one living can remember an actual war, a long era of stability threatens to come to an abrupt end. For known only to a few, the leaders of the great Hives, nations without fixed location, have long conspired to keep the world stable, at the cost of just a little blood. A few secret murders, mathematically planned. So that no faction can ever dominate, and the balance holds. And yet the balance is beginning to give way.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • AWFUL Performance, Thought-provoking story

  • By Kevin Elliott on 04-28-17

The plot thickens...

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

Reviewed: 08-01-18

There is no sort of book so intimate, so personally revealing than a speculative fiction like this one. It puts all of a writer's ideas (many of them hopes and fears for the future of our world that you'd otherwise have to pry out of her with alcohol in her neighborhood tavern) on display for readers to sort out and pick apart. I don't know another writer working in the genre who crams more ideas into her stories than Ada Palmer, and this is what I love - the mess of everything brought together into this delicious idea soup.

  • Night Watch

  • Watch, Book 1
  • By: Sergei Lukyanenko
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 14 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,099
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,108

Night Watch is a world as elaborate and imaginative as Tolkien or the best Asimov. Living among us are the "Others", an ancient race of humans with supernatural powers who swear allegiance to either the Dark or the Light. A thousand-year treaty has maintained the balance of power, but an ancient prophecy decrees that one supreme "Other" will rise up and tip the balance. When a young boy with extraordinary powers emerges, will the forces of the Light be able to keep the Dark from corrupting the boy and destroying the world?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lyrical, haunting and engrossing!

  • By 9S on 01-09-11

Something sucks, and it isn't the vampires...

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

Reviewed: 06-29-18

I was really hoping for something better from this book - a Russian vampire urban fantasy. But there was so much clumsy construction everywhere - at first, I blamed the translation (which isn't very good), but it comes down to the fact that Lukyanenko has little sense for developing characters beyond paper cut-outs, developing relationships that are supposed to be worth risking the world for, and brooding (our protagonist is a world-class brooder). Writers need to remember that we can't feel much about character danger or hurricanes or any points of world-altering consequence if we haven't fallen in love with that world. And there's something that's supposed to be a romance here, but it's almost like the part where the relationship is developed has been ripped out of the story to conserve time, the reader being told consolingly, "Oh, it's just like you might expect."

I think my biggest problem with the story, though -the thing that grated the entire time, was the handling of female characters. I don't know anything about Sergei Lukyaneko, and I'm certain there's something to being a Russian male writing in 1998 that fits into all this, but I'm done with books that can't lend dimension to its women.

The narrator Paul Michael does just ok, but he sounds too old for the part of the protagonist, and all his females are the breathy damsel voices. And for some inexplicable reason, Anton has no accent when we hear him narrating, but gains a Russian accent when he speaks aloud - it's very jarring. I so wish that narrators would trust us listeners enough to just lose all the stupid accents - we get it! It takes place in Russia! Everyone's Russian!

  • The Ice Storm

  • By: Rick Moody
  • Narrated by: David DeSantos
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 69

The year is 1973. As a freak winter storm bears down on an exclusive, affluent suburb in Connecticut, cars skid out of control, men and women swap partners, and their children experiment with sex, drugs, and even suicide. Here two families, the Hoods and the Williamses, com face-to-face with the seething emotions behind the well-clipped lawns of their lives-in a novel widely hailed as a funny, acerbic, and moving hymn to a dazed and confused era of American life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Stark and Dormy Night

  • By Dubi on 02-01-14

Excellent, interesting novel!

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

Reviewed: 06-08-18

I've had this one on my to-read list for over five years - the story of a single New England night in 1973 in which an ice storm descends and changes the lives of a group of mixed-up humans doing their best to make a go of it. Now just to be clear - it isn't all about the storm. The storm just comes along and weaves its way through the plot. Think, perhaps, of the rain of frogs in Magnolia, as a comparison. I didn't make a firm count, but I think we spend time with roughly six characters during the novel, whom Moody presents to us cloaked in a wise omniscient narrative voice. With this narration, I was reminded of Ann Patchett's Commonwealth, and also, strangely, of George Elliot's books - she was a big proponent of that "eye of God" looking bemusedly over her characters. The Ice Storm finds some middle ground between humor and drama, which is, I think, where most of life takes place. I enjoyed the story a good bit - liked the tapestry of characters, the messiness of their lives and their desires. There's a great deal of sexual activity and sexual thinking - much of it quite unique and interesting. Wendy was my favorite character - as complex a young woman as I've ever run across in literature. You never hear about this book being mentioned as anything special - like "classic" special, and I'm really not sure why - what it is about the writing that holds it back from packing more power or staying with us as readers - and I guess I come back to that narrative voice, which is the heart of the prose, but conversely, holds it back in some way from conveying the emotion of the characters more potently. Or perhaps too many cultural references? I don't know - we Americans are pretty culture-obsessed, so I couldn't tell after a while. All that being said, there are some brilliant passages that I wish I could share a few of here, but they involve a particular plot point that needs to remain hidden. RECOMMENDED.

  • A Separation

  • A Novel
  • By: Katie Kitamura
  • Narrated by: Katherine Waterston
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 150
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 149

A young woman has agreed with her faithless husband: It's time for them to separate. For the moment it's a private matter, a secret between the two of them. As she begins her new life, she gets word that Christopher has gone missing in a remote region in the rugged south of Greece; she reluctantly agrees to go look for him, still keeping their split to herself. In her heart she's not even sure if she wants to find him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not a Thriller, but Still Great

  • By Michael - Audible Editor on 02-09-17

For Lovers of Hemingway and Bowles...

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

Reviewed: 12-30-17

This is an exquisite book. I sometimes forget in my typical trudge through the brambles of popular fiction that some writers are still interested in probing the enigma of the human condition. It's hard to compare Kitamura's striking tone to anything I've read from recent writers, but after finishing a chapter or two, I knew I would love this book. It tickles those same sensibilities I have in reading Farewell to Arms or The Sheltering Sky - that setting of "foreigner among locals," that interior voice that observes without sentimentality. I never highlight anything in books, but there were some ideas here so finely written and considered that I had to stop and note them. Kitamura's writing seems to compel the reader to stop and ponder all the absurdities we find ourselves in, to think about our own foolish choices.

Katherine Watterson makes all the right choices with her narration - nothing showy, nothing inauthentic - and her quiet storytelling adds to the tension and feeling of the story. She is superb and intelligent. This was a truly special listening experience.

  • Face the Music

  • My Improbable Trip to Saturn (or Close Enough) with Sun Ra
  • By: Michael Lowenthal
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Arthur
  • Length: 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

In 1990, the avant-garde jazz musician Sun Ra arrived at Dartmouth to collaborate with the school's jazz band, where Michael Lowenthal - an anxious, 20-year-old senior - played trumpet. As rehearsals got underway and two musical worlds collided, Lowenthal struggled with the improvisation that Sun Ra's sparse, yet spiritual, melodies demanded. In this essay, Lowenthal recounts his "otherworldly" experience with the famous jazz star who claimed to be from Saturn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mysteries of Youth and Jazz

  • By Thomas More on 12-10-17

Mysteries of Youth and Jazz

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

Reviewed: 12-10-17

For Sun Ra lovers and jazz lovers - this was a fun and fascinating true account of a college jazz group at Dartmouth and their week-long experience of practicing and playing with Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Very well written by Michael Lowenthal - lots of insights into the process of musical collaboration and of being able to let go and live within the music instead of always having to control and drive it in predetermined directions.

I had to go out and buy three of Sun Ra's CDs after listening to this. Three down, 150 or so to go.

  • The Power

  • By: Naomi Alderman
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,338
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,085
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,076

In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: There's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Beginning pulls you in, but end doesn't hold up

  • By Maren M. on 08-06-18

Superb and Thought Provoking

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

Reviewed: 11-27-17

I loved everything about this story, and think it's one of the major works of fiction right now illuminating our society. It horrifies, it thrills, but there are also comic moments that work as clever satire.The narration was superb - I loved Adjoa Andoh's work in listening to Americanah, and she's even better here, juggling a host of characters and accents with consummate skill. Can't recommend more highly - not a single dull moment.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Refugees

  • By: Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Narrated by: Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 650
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 587
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 592

With the coruscating gaze that informed The Sympathizer, in The Refugees Viet Thanh Nguyen gives voice to lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth. From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good collection of short stories

  • By Thomas More on 03-19-17

Good collection of short stories

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

Reviewed: 03-19-17

After reading his award-winning The Sympathizer, I wanted to follow it up by looking at some more stories from Viet Thanh Nguyen. The Refugees is a collection of eight or nine stories that saw original publication in order sources. After the success of The Sympathizer, his publisher brought these works together into this collection. All the stories feature Vietnamese characters and are set either in America as immigrant tales, or in Vietnam, as is the case with the last story of the collection featuring a father who receives a visit from a daughter who has "made it big" in the states as a pediatrician. Themes such as aging, young love, regret, and deceit work strongly throughout the collection. All of the stories are excellent and help to illuminate the lives of Vietnamese immigrants.

The author narrates the collection himself, and as is often the case with such things (SEE "The Lovely Bones," as an example) the results are good, but not great. Great narration is an art in itself, and sometimes the best idea is to bring in a hired gun for the job.

42 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Lincoln in the Bardo

  • A Novel
  • By: George Saunders
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,984
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,555
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,522

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A Mixed Bag

  • By Thomas More on 02-24-17

A Mixed Bag

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

Reviewed: 02-24-17

I found the audiobook to be frustrating, to say the least. I love Saunders' work and know that the printed version of this novel is likely much better than this audiobook version indicates. As is, there are some good narrators (Nick Offerman), some decent ones (David Sedaris), and some utterly terrible ones, who feel like they are reading their lines with a gun to their heads. I think the stilted language of the 1860s was too much an impediment to some of these voices. Another problem is that the actors were not recording a shared experience - in other words, they were not together at the time and were not able to fully feed off each other's lines and work as a true ensemble. Few actors enjoy working under those conditions. The story rambles and ambles about, speakers are interrupted, and there is no cohesive emotional center sustained throughout. I felt at times that I was in the audience of a bad high school play. That said, there are some beautiful moments and funny moments, too. Too bad they're buried amidst the mess.

104 of 112 people found this review helpful

  • The Liar's Key

  • By: Mark Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 19 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,970
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,849
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,847

After harrowing adventure and near-death, Prince Jalan Kendeth and the Viking Snorri ver Snagason find themselves in possession of Loki's Key, an artefact capable of opening any door and sought by the most dangerous beings in the Broken Empire - including The Dead King. Jal wants only to return home to his wine, women, and song, but Snorri has his own purpose for the key: to find the very door into death, throw it wide, and bring his family back into the land of the living.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Never disappoints

  • By charles on 06-28-15

Squandering Good Characters

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

Reviewed: 02-18-17

Mark Lawrence had the idea of squandering all the delight readers found in his fantasy odd couple by taking them on a pointless quest. Bad idea.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful