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David S

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  • 12
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  • Star Trek: Captain's Peril

  • By: William Shatner
  • Narrated by: William Shatner
  • Length: 2 hrs and 57 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

The Dominion War is over. The Federation is at peace. What better time for two legendary starship captains to set aside the demands of duty and simply take some well-deserved time off? But when James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard arrive on Bajor to dive among the ruins of an ancient sunken city, conditions are far from what they had planned.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable, if forgettable, Shatner fan-fiction

  • By David S on 15-01-19

Enjoyable, if forgettable, Shatner fan-fiction

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

Reviewed: 15-01-19

I've always enjoyed listening to the "Shatnerverse" series of novels. Shatner isn't the best writer, but he is an excellent narrator and the production values of the audiobooks are impeccable. Plus, Shatner writes Old Kirk like he's a superhuman genius (presumably with a lush and completely natural head of hair) who must explain everything to his new sidekick Picard, which probably isn't meant to be as funny as I always find it to be.

So, what could possibly be next after Kirk has been resurrected by the Borg and taken a trip to the Mirror Universe? Well, how about... a lightweight Bajoran murder mystery and a flashback story with the old crew that would have been an okay-at-best episode of the original series.

...Yep. That's it.

Now, don't get me wrong, neither of the plot-lines are bad, it's the first book in a trilogy where things are being set up, and it's still an enjoyable way to spend 3 hours. However, the two plot-lines are only very loosely connected to each other and, quite frankly, it wasn't clear to me why the flashback story kept coming up. It makes sense at the start because Kirk is telling the story to Picard, but then it keeps going long after Kirk has stopped talking to Picard about it. Maybe the novel is structured differently so that things flow better, but I just didn't think it worked well in the abridged audiobook.

Anyway, if you like Star Trek and you like Shatner, then you should get this. It really is as simple as that. Just don't let this be your introduction to the "Shatnerverse", because The Return and Mirror Universe trilogies are much better.

Oh, and one more thing. Shatner clearly has Picard say "sabotage" while Kirk says "sabataage". If you know why that's so funny, then you should be a big enough fan to already own all the audiobooks.

  • Under the Dome

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Raul Esparza
  • Length: 34 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,244
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,232
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,232

In Stephen King's mesmerizing new masterpiece - his biggest, most riveting novel since The Stand - a Maine town and its inhabitants are isolated from the world by an invisible, impenetrable dome. Celebrated storyteller Stephen King returns to his roots in this tour de force featuring more than 100 characters - some heroic, some diabolical - and a supernatural element as baffling and chilling as any he's ever conjured.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Typical Stephen King

  • By Robert on 01-01-10

Major Dome-o

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

Reviewed: 20-03-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Under the Dome to be better than the print version?

I haven't read it, so I wouldn't know.

What other book might you compare Under the Dome to, and why?

...Did The Simpson's Movie get a novelization?

King sticks to his usual formula, so the general structure of the story is pretty close to things like Salem's Lot or Dreamcatcher.

What does Raul Esparza bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Despite a few moments of care-ful o-ver-pro-nun-ci-at-ion earlier on, I thought he did a brilliant job with the character voices and conveying what was going on.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

"At least this can't be as bad as the TV series."

Any additional comments?

King sets up an interesting scenario and manages to keep the momentum going with enough twists and turns to keep you interested, even though things could occasionally get a bit daft and the dialogue was quite schlocky/melodramatic at times. I definitely was not expecting it to end the way it did and King gets downright sadistic in his habit of randomly killing off characters in this one, so I was guessing right up until the end about who was going to survive.

The only real complaint I have is how there wasn't a single character that I thought stood out as being especially memorable. All the "good guys" were too normal or dull and all the "bad guys" were too obnoxious or cruel for me to get all that attached to. Chef came close, however his character never really gets past "mad druggy".

  • Star Trek: The Ashes of Eden (Adapted)

  • By: William Shatner
  • Narrated by: William Shatner
  • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

One of the most gripping - and personal - Star Trek stories ever told, The Ashes of Eden provides a new understanding of one of science fiction's greatest heroes - as written and read by William Shatner!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Captain James T Shatner

  • By John on 15-07-07

Good fun with demigod Kirk and the old crew

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

Reviewed: 08-06-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. The story itself is a lot of fun, Shatner gives an excellent (and typically theatrical) performance, and I thought that all the music/sound effects worked great in creating a very "Star Trek" experience. It can get a bit ridiculous how Shatner writes Kirk to be this borderline psychic genius, able to pilot a starship on his own, beat up Klingons and bed any woman he wants when he's supposed to be 60+ years old, but I thought that just added to the fun.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Chekov, because of Shatner's hilariously terrible impersonation of Walter Koenig.

Have you listened to any of William Shatner’s other performances? How does this one compare?

It falls somewhere between 'How Insensitive' and 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds'.

Any additional comments?

I'm sure there are some aspects of the book that would make die-hard Trekkies' heads explode, but I would suggest that you just go along for the ride and enjoy the story. Also, oddly enough, the story did at times remind me of the plot for Insurrection, even though I think the book was published a couple of years before the film was released.

  • Dracula [Audible Edition]

  • By: Bram Stoker
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,945
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,714
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,718

The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Kallgren lowers the rating

  • By Amazon Customer on 15-05-16

Good, but some miscast voices and dull chapters

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

Reviewed: 06-06-16

What did you like best about Dracula [Audible Edition]? What did you like least?

The first half, full of the bizarre horrors of Dracula's castle and the slow build towards his journey to England, is great. Even after all these years, it's some really creepy and atmospheric text, which the cast do a very good job of conveying. Unfortunately, I thought that the second half could really drag on at times, with far too much time being spent on long, dull monologues about how lovely Mina is and how everyone loves her for being so lovely. The last couple of chapters seemed to be more concerned with train schedules and further discussion of Mina's loveliness, rather than building up to a satisfying climax.

The cast all does a very good at voicing the various journals, diaries, telegrams, and newspapers that make up the book, however the voice actor for Jonathan Harker sounds far too old for the part. I got used to this and accepted it because he was a great narrator, yet it still felt like an odd bit of casting. Also, you see "Tim Curry as Van Helsing" and think about all the great speeches that Van Helsing has, right? Well, Tim Curry doesn't actually say any of them! I would guess that over half of Van Helsing's dialogue is written in Mina's diary, which means that Mina's actress is the one who has to speak them with a not-quite-the-same-accent-Tim-Curry-is-doing accent. I can't blame the casting for this and the actress is a good enough narrator that you just get used to it, but it's still very disappointing that Curry isn't really given anything interesting to work with.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

The actress foorr. Luu-see. Has a strange-lee hypnotic waay. Of taalk-iing. I doe-n't knooww hooww. Best tooo. Des-cribe iit.

To be fair, I think she's just overdoing the "sweet and delicate" voice early in the story, because she does sound much more natural later on and actually gives a very touching performance by the end. The rest of the cast are far more consistent and I have to give credit to the actress for Mina, because her many chapters include a lot of different characters and she does a great job of managing all of them (except for what I think was meant to be a Yorkshire accent that she tries to do for a character early on, which was absolutely terrible). Also, Alan Cumming deserves top billing for Dr Steward, as his chapters tended to be the highlights.

Did Dracula [Audible Edition] inspire you to do anything?

Talk like Lucy in public places and then get asked to leave by very concerned staff.

30 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Dreamcatcher

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey DeMunn
  • Length: 22 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 483
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 369

Suspenseful, frightening, and sometimes howlingly funny, a story of invasion and battle, survival and heroism. It is a story of how men remember ... and how they love. In Derry, Maine, four young boys once stood together and did a brave thing. Something that changed them in ways they hardly understand. A quarter of a century later, the boys are men who have gone their separate ways. Though they still get together once a year, to go hunting in the north woods of Maine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listen up

  • By MsRanPan on 29-12-12

Stephen's Sickening, Sentimental, Sci-fi Schlock

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

Reviewed: 06-06-16

What made the experience of listening to Dreamcatcher the most enjoyable?

Once you get over how many words are devoted to vivid descriptions of bottoms and foul smells coming out of them, then you've got an interesting and entertaining story about aliens, psychic powers, car chases and the kind of characters that you would expect from a Stephen King story. The descriptions of what the aliens are (or, at least, what the characters think they are) and the escalation of events from "trip to a cabin" to "an alien virus could destroy the world" were both great, even if the plot does run out of the steam by the end.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Colonel Kurtz. He was too ridiculously evil to hate and I thought that he had all the best dialogue.

Have you listened to any of Jeffrey DeMunn’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I knew him as an actor in a couple of different things and he was a great narrator. He managed to handle some pretty ludicrous text and kept the story flowing really, really well. He also gave every character an identifiable voice, but didn't overdo any of the accents (which was a very good thing when it came to all of Duddits' dialogue).

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, I'll admit that most of the parts with Duddits tugged at my heartstrings. A bit. A tiny bit. I also laughed far too much at how THE POWER OF BACON saves the day at one point.

Any additional comments?

I was disappointed by how predictable the last couple of chapters were. Once it got to a certain point in the story I guessed pretty much exactly what was going to happen and then it was just a matter of listening to the end (although, there was some interesting dialogue in the epilogue).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Where There's Smoke

  • Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man: A Memoir
  • By: William B. Davis
  • Narrated by: William B. Davis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Chronicling his own life and times, William B. Davis, the actor who played the notorious villain Cancerman on The X-Files, discusses his loves, losses, hopes, fears, and accomplishments in this unique and engaging autobiography. An all-access look into the life of a versatile actor, this life story includes anecdotes, recollections, and gossip from roles with such greats as Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Martin Sheen, Brian Dennehy, and Donald Sutherland. From theater school in Britain to Hollywood and appearances on Smallville and Stargate SG-1, this memoir recalls one actor’s journey.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Life, loves and dull theatre reviews of The CSM

  • By David S on 11-05-16

Life, loves and dull theatre reviews of The CSM

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

Reviewed: 11-05-16

Where does Where There's Smoke rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Quite highly. Davis gives an excellent reading of his (mostly) very interesting life and it's a shame that he doesn't seem to have recorded any other audiobooks.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Well, finding out why you probably shouldn't shake his hand after he's been alone on a long car journey moved me to tears of laughter...

Any additional comments?

I bought this purely as a fan of the X-Files and of Davis' performance as CSM, but he has led a surprisingly interesting life. He probably could have written a book solely about his numerous relationships with women, but there's enough good material here about his childhood, family life, moving to England, working in the theatre, etc.

The only major problem is whenever Davis starts reading off reviews of his performances, or of theatre shows that he was a part of. At one point he spent what felt like an hour just going on and on and on and on about "So and so found my performance to be... That stalwart of the Canadian theatrical society, Ms. Whatshername, was less impressed... The third performance was received warmly by these critics from some newspaper you've never heard of..." and I could not have cared any less. I know his life has been the theatre and it's his memoirs, but I just felt like they dragged on for far too long.

For other X-Files fans, just be warned that Davis basically saw it as just another acting gig that he had for a couple of years, so he doesn't spend much time discussing it. What he does say about the egos of certain people and what he thought of the overall production is quite revealing, though.