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Wras

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  • Solaris

  • The Definitive Edition
  • By: Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston (translator)
  • Narrated by: Alessandro Juliani
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 605
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 477
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 478

At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation, unabridged for the first time, and the first ever direct translation from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani ( Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Blown away!

  • By Peter on 16-07-11

Defining reality when illusions become flesh

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

Reviewed: 16-05-18

Reading this book for the second time made some things more clear and also more in depth, my expectations and time have placed me in a better place to appreciate this novel more. I would recommend not watching any of the film versions they are all deeply flawed.

This is a book that explores several concepts profoundly and intelligently. What is reality and how do you know or test your perceptions of it? What is human and what makes it human? Can a world be a life form a consciousness? Can intelligence manifest in incomprehensible ways? Is matter a definition of what we, are or do we become more when we acquire consciousness and memories?

It is one of those works that at first seems about individual struggles, but in reality, is touching in very profound questions of exploration an understanding of what we confront in an alien environment and alien intelligence.

A book that gets better with time.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

  • By: Stuart Turton
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 16 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 215
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 203

'Somebody's going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won't appear to be a murder, and so the murderer won't be caught. Rectify that injustice and I'll show you the way out.' It is meant to be a celebration, but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden - one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party - can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself over and over again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

  • By Allison on 21-03-18

A very hard to sustain conceit or device.

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

Reviewed: 16-05-18

Here is a story that is a kind of science fiction, come detective story, come horror tale but not any of them, in the end, it is just a writers device to spice up a story of redemption and forgiveness. It felt contrived and claustrophobic and repetitive (but that was the warning the title gave), I kept on thinking let's get to the point, and I and the character would be taken back to the same point of the story viewed from a different angle, which did not open any new understandings.

Too much like as nightmare and too long within a conundrum that has no logic except for the one given by the author. It may be fascinating to create this world as a writer, but as a reader, I found it frustrating and without much reward, because in the end, everything had to be explained by one of the characters for it to be understood and have a logic that explained what had happened repeatedly.

Too stylized to feel connected to the character and too repetitive to care for the final outcome. I do not mind putting a bit of hard work for literature, but entertainment should not be this difficult.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Sirens

  • By: Joseph Knox
  • Narrated by: Lewys Taylor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 122
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 106

Isabelle Rossiter has run away again. When Aidan Waits, a troubled junior detective, is summoned to her father's penthouse home, he finds a manipulative man with powerful friends. But retracing Isabelle's steps through a dark, nocturnal world, Waits finds something else: an intelligent 17-year-old girl who's scared to death of something. As he investigates her story and the unsolved disappearance of a young woman just like her, he realizes Isabelle was right to run away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Manchester at its darkest...

  • By Mr. A. James on 22-01-17

Finding secrets can kill your soul

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

Reviewed: 16-05-18


A dark, brooding story with a dark, brooding character that looks for the truth no one wants to find, in a world where good and evil are hard to discern, no heroes but plenty of villains and victims.

A bleak modern detective story told in black and white, that is never boring and full of turns and twists to create a world where corruption is the norm.

Noir of the darkest kind.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • White Tears

  • By: Hari Kunzru
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18

Two 20-something New Yorkers: awkward Seth and Carter, the trust fund hipster. They have one thing in common: an obsession with music. Rising stars on the producing scene, they stumble across a blues song long forgotten by history - and everything starts to unravel as they are drawn down a path that allows no return. Trapped in a game they don't understand, caught between performer and audience, righteous and forsaken....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Generalities this big are racist in themselves

  • By Wras on 15-05-18

Generalities this big are racist in themselves

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

Reviewed: 15-05-18

The title is the most significant pointer of its message it equates white peoples tears with crocodile tears, would that be permissible to do to any other people? How dehumanising of and an entire group of people.

A book that could have been better if it staid in a microcosm or a personal arena, but no, it intends deliberately and insidiously to paint all people of a race as racist by nature or condemned by the action of their ancestors to be racist. That in itself is the problem with racism, the tarnishing and blaming of an entire race on the bases of skin colour, and perceived shortcomings; and that in my eyes makes this book a racist book.

Seth and Carter the main characters of the story are two very different persons, that happen to be white but are both condemned equally by the writer because they are white. Here is the litmus test; if the two characters were black and under a similar set of circumstances this book would not be published, or all would vilify it.
When did it become permissible to be racist to one set of people? Or are people incapable of reading the subtext and consequences of this kind of hate? When will we learn?

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Beside the Syrian Sea

  • By: James Wolff
  • Narrated by: Guy Mott
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 2

Jonas is a British spy out in the cold. When his father is kidnapped by ISIS in Syria, he heads to Beirut and recruits a Swiss priest named Father Tobias. Tobias agrees to travel into the heart of the Islamic State and inform the kidnappers that Jonas is willing to negotiate for his father's life. British intelligence agents try everything in their power to stop Jonas, and he finds himself tested to the limit as he fights to keep the negotiations alive.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not Bond but son Jonas son.

  • By Wras on 15-05-18

Not Bond but son Jonas son.

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

Reviewed: 15-05-18



A very entertaining spy story without the usual formulaic, the setting is contemporary, and the paranoia is eternal. Jonas wants to save his father, but the government he works for will not negotiate with terrorist, the dilemma is simple for him, he will rescue him at any cost, you never quite know how far Jonas will go because Jonas is making it up as he goes along.
Smart and human, with the cunning use of knowledge and strategy against larger forces, a good read.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • 12 Rules for Life

  • An Antidote to Chaos
  • By: Jordan B. Peterson
  • Narrated by: Jordan B. Peterson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,636
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,370
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,338

What are the most valuable things that everyone should know? Acclaimed clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has influenced the modern understanding of personality, and now he has become one of the world's most popular public thinkers. In this book, he provides 12 profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticising others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to Heaven

  • By Matthew on 04-02-18

Religion as metaphors, archetypes, and allegory

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

Reviewed: 28-04-18

A dissertation that is trying to reestablish our understanding of our culture so we may save our souls. Not the ghost of us but the purpose in us, creating a connection with our very humanity by using the thousands of years of inner knowledge we have stored in stories, and the millions of years the very nature of our biology gives us as it shapes us.

“In the West, we have been withdrawing from our tradition-, religion- and even nation-centred cultures, partly to decrease the danger of group conflict. But we are increasingly falling prey to the desperation of meaninglessness, and that is no improvement at all.”
― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Culturally profound, politically irreverent, painfully truthful, a dare to confront life with eyes wide open and the chest bared to take all the arrows life will give, a celebration of our mortality by assigning meaning to our very short lives.

Beautifull and mining full even when you do not agree because it has the force of a man that loves life, his culture, the truth, and humanity.

This is a book that is even better when heard because Jordan Peterson himself gives the dissertation, the eloquence, and the passion only the author can provide, you hear how much emotion there is in his words, and sometimes you listen to a man moved to tears by this words.

“To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended. It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality (it means acting to please God, in the ancient language).”
― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • All the Beautiful Lies

  • By: Peter Swanson
  • Narrated by: Lance Fuller
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

On the eve of his college graduation, Harry is called home by his stepmother, Alice, to their house on the Maine coast, following the unexpected death of his father. But who really is Alice, his father's much younger second wife? As her past entwines with Harry's in the present, things grow increasingly dark and threatening - will Harry be able to see any of it clearly through his own confused feelings?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave

  • By Wras on 28-04-18

Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave

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

Reviewed: 28-04-18


A well-developed plot and characters that seem real and compelling, but a bit disturbing, as the theme is paedophilia and relationships like Lolita, where love and prohibited erotism are a poison that spreads from one generation to the next.
The writer and writing are not exploitative, but the subject is what it is and feels a bit icky; so be warned.
It also works as a murder mystery that is a bit more of a psychodrama.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Higher Loyalty

  • By: James Comey
  • Narrated by: James Comey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 621
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 578
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 576

In his forthcoming book, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listened to it in a couple of days!

  • By Chappers on 23-04-18

Trying to stay clean, when touched by garbage.

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

Reviewed: 23-04-18


A book that shows a man that is puritanical and dedicated to his nation, a man that follows the rules even when it is not convenient or very challenging; a man that believes in honour and duty.

He wants us to know how he has lived his life and what his aspirations are, he wants us to understand that the president of the United States is a danger to his nation, a bully, that soils the country this man loves.

For me, the most memorable story in the book is the loss of his son and also the most telling in his humanity. I did not agree with him when he reopened the investigation on Hilary Clinton, but he had real reasons that and no good options, sadly he derailed an election and was one of the victims of his action; hopefully, this idiocrasy will end soon, and no greater harm is produced.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Road to Unfreedom

  • By: Timothy Snyder
  • Narrated by: Timothy Snyder
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 20

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Road to Unfreedom, written and read by Timothy Snyder. The past is another country, the old saying goes. The same might be said of the future. But which country? For Europeans and Americans today, the answer is Russia.Today's Russia is an oligarchy propped up by illusions and repression. But it also represents the fulfilment of tendencies already present in the West. And if Moscow's drive to dissolve Western states and values succeeds, this could become our reality, too. In this visionary work of contemporary history, Timothy Snyder shows how Russia works within the West to destroy the West.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well worth the time spent

  • By izabelski on 24-04-18

From Russian communism to Russian fascism & chaos

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

Reviewed: 22-04-18


Essential and a must read, the best nonfiction book of 2018

A nation that has never had actual freedom grows to create a culture that distrusts the very idea of democracy and individual rights; it has no place in its soul or in the very institutions that hold it together, and such a nation has been an empire it sees this very fact as a successful formula, a reason to conquer to dominate.

This book is the best book I have read about modern Russia aspirations and the philosophy that propels fuels its motivations. It will appear entirely alien to a western mind as it grows out a totalitarian logic and has been rumbling better minds than mine from the beginning of the century. We have never understood the power of a culture too reshape an ideology into its own soul and how that influence acts like a prism that separates and reconfigures the source. Marx had an idea, and it was implemented in Russia, and it mutated by Russia and its imperial past into a nightmarish totalitarian view that we in the west call Stalinism, but it was Russian communism; lamentably it was the only example of communism that spread through the world with the same nightmarish consequences. Now we have a Russian version of fascism inspired by the motherland and by Ivan Ilyin and put to practice by Putin, some of you will have spotted the similarities to the old Russian Soviet similarities and thought that you were looking for a continuation; the only continuation here is the Russian justification to grow in power and the nationalistic need to impose it.

The book deals first with the philosophy and the adoption of it into Putin's new Russia; we move into the history of it's in implementation and how it has been utilised in various military conflicts and how it has developed into an asymmetric form of warfare with the west and its institutions. The penetration of the American model and the destabilisation of Europe are discussed and explained in chronological order.

Russia does not need to win a conventional war if it can destabilise our nations from within by supporting the extremes and the growth of conspiracy theories that make impossible, ordinary logical discourse or understanding of reality, the examples and proof have all been provided in smaller conflicts and are described in greater detail, including cyber attacks to entire nations that have been very effective.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Standing Chandelier: A Novella

  • By: Lionel Shriver
  • Narrated by: Lionel Shriver
  • Length: 3 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

When Weston Babansky receives an extravagant engagement present from his best friend (and old flame), Jillian Frisk, he doesn't quite know what to make of it - or how to get it past his fiancée. Especially as it's a massive, handmade, intensely personal sculpture that they'd have to live with forever. As the argument rages about whether Jillian's gift was an act of pure platonic generosity or something more insidious, battle lines are drawn....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The complexities of sex and friendship dissected

  • By Wras on 13-04-18

The complexities of sex and friendship dissected

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

Reviewed: 13-04-18


An excellent novella that covers more territory than most 500 page books, and makes you take sides like you do when a couple splits.

I loved the writing; the characters felt real, and the plot was well constructed without being obvious. I was surprised how involved I was, I laughed and felt sad for them; what more could you ask from a book.

A real find that left me thinking.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful