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Kamawan

  • 15
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 21
  • ratings
  • Cryptonomicon

  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 42 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 787
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 557
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 554

With this extraordinary first volume in what promises to be an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Probably the best way to tackle this behemoth!

  • By Simon on 06-08-14

Great in parts, drawn out in others

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

Reviewed: 15-07-19

There were times when I got bored of overly-complicated, long-winded chapters in which nothing actually happened (I even found myself skipping forward past some of these, a first for me), but I think the problem is that those particular parts were probably written to give the reader a sense of how overwhelmingly complex the background machinations were, but just don't lend themselves to audio when every minutiae of detail is being recanted.
On the other hand, there were parts which really made me sad to see characters go, and elicited a real emotional response.
Think I'll have to listen through again before I get what actually happened with the storyline, but it's definitely a book worth spending your monthly credit on. Brilliantly composed, made me laugh at points, not only because of the situation, but the hilarious manner in which the thought processes were mapped out.
A really good mix of light humour, dark humour, adventure, and emotion

  • The Windup Girl

  • By: Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 19 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 284
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 204
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 207

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story - Narrator on Valium

  • By David on 06-04-14

Unexpectedly brilliant. Didn't see this coming.

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

Reviewed: 08-01-19

What would happen - really happen, not just for the sake of drama or sci fi - when fossil fuels run out, and everyday people can't conceive of money, but trade in and desperately count precious Joules of energy? Some pre-existing ideas given a truly original new foundation. Brilliant reinvention of old ideas. A world I would never have expected when I thought of the term dystopia (or utopia, depending on your outlook). Grim but wholly realistic, a future which I haven't seen explored before, yet manages to simultaneously echo revolutions from the past in a frightening way, and noone is safe. Never heard of it, so glad it was recommended to me.

Jonathan Davis was just a stellar narrator as always. But especially so on this book, best I've heard him - didn't actually realise it was him.

  • Time Out of Joint

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 43

Ragle Gumm has a unique job: Every day he wins a newspaper contest. And when he isn’t consulting his charts and tables, he enjoys his life in a small town, in 1959. At least, that’s what he thinks. But then strange things start happening. He finds a phone book where all the numbers have been disconnected, and a magazine article about a famous starlet named Marilyn Monroe, whom he’s never heard of. Plus, everyday objects are beginning to disappear and are replaced by strips of paper with words written on them, like "bowl of flowers" and "soft-drink stand".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • That's some good Philip K Dick.

  • By Kamawan on 08-12-18

That's some good Philip K Dick.

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

I'm a huge fan of Philip K Dick, but will be the first to say that some of his books are terrible. This is no such book, it's a mind-bender in the classic Dick way, but not over the top or so twisted that it's hard to follow. Absolutely worth a credit. Great easy listen, very good storyline. Reports that it was predictable fail to take into account that it's familiar only because it's good, and the concepts have been appropriated by others over the years. You'll recognise parts which have been reused in modern books and films. This book is one of the founding fathers of modern sci-fi, and I really enjoyed it in the couple of days in which I didn't put it down. Same narrator as The Man In The High Castle, who plays some characters in a really odd way (think of Robert Childen from that very book - that particular voice is recycled here).

  • Rejoice

  • By: Steven Erikson
  • Narrated by: Laurence Bouvard
  • Length: 15 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

An alien AI has been sent to the solar system as representative of three advanced species. Its mission is to save the Earth's ecosystem - and the biggest threat to that is humanity. But we are also part of the system, so the AI must make a choice. Should it save mankind or wipe it out? Are we worth it? The AI is all-powerful and might as well be a god. So it sets up some conditions. Violence is now impossible. Large-scale destruction of natural resources is impossible. Food and water will be provided for those who really, truly need them. You can't even bully someone on the Internet anymore.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A little bit preachy but it's my kind of preachy

  • By krishna a on 29-10-18

Really badly narrated

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

Reviewed: 14-11-18

I've blamed bad narration in more than one review, but this was terrible. The lady was good at narrating female characters, but she tried (and failed) to portray every single male character as either incredibly gruff, or unbearably squeaky, neither of which she could pull off. The result was honestly like listening to a podcast of the Muppets show - even the AI presence, a pinwheel of the plot, was slapstick comedy, which did not fit at all well into the story. Think of a mother reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears to an excited two-year-old. I thought I'd get used to it, but it distracted me from the storyline until the very end. Is this how women mistakenly view men? The narrating of male characters was strongly reminiscent of the writing of male characters in The Virgin Suicides - like someone who has never had a conversation with a male in which they've actually paid any attention, and has no idea what a male is, 'but has, like, totally heard of them in magazines' and believes she has it nailed. It was so bad it was almost sexist (and if read by a male with this drastic slant on the opposite sex, probably would be).

Maybe she was given direction by someone who thought this was a custard-pie comedy.

Story was just okay, great foundation with a strong female lead, but long periods of no actual story, and instead people discussing the socio-philosophical consequences of an alien presence on dinner-table conversations thereafter, which got aaaaagonisingly dull at times.

  • Artemis

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: Rosario Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,995
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,522
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,511

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jazzed Up Sci-Fi Crime Caper

  • By Simon on 15-11-17

Terrible narration

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

Reviewed: 14-10-18

Disappointed. Story was a let down. There was far too much over-explaining in a self-patronising way, made far, far worse by narration so bad it was difficult to become absorbed in the story. Overarching plot was okay, nothing original. Being as optimistic as I can. Wish I'd spent a credit elsewhere.

  • King Rat

  • The Asian Saga, Book 4
  • By: James Clavell
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 192
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190

The time is World War II. The place is a brutal prison camp deep in Japanese-occupied territory. Here, within the seething mass of humanity, one man, an American corporal, seeks dominance over both captives and captors alike. His weapons are human courage, unblinking understanding of human weaknesses, and total willingness to exploit every opportunity to enlarge his power and corrupt or destroy anyone who stands in his path.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ranks amongst the best classic historical novels.

  • By janien on 25-05-16

Not the best in the series, but good enough

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

Reviewed: 29-09-18

Narration was good, story was just alright, no moments that really shocked or amazed but good to read if you're into this kind of storyline. Can't see how it relates to the rest of the Asia saga, it's definitely no Shogun or Gai Jin, but easier to listen to and entertaining enough.

  • A Gift of Time

  • By: Jerry Merritt
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,773
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,682
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,676

When Micajah Fenton discovers a crater in his front yard with a broken time glider in the bottom and a naked, virtual woman on his lawn, he delays his plans to kill himself. While helping repair the marooned time traveler's glider, Cager realizes it can return him to his past to correct a mistake that had haunted him his entire life. As payment for his help, the virtual creature living in the circuitry of the marooned glider, sends Cager back in time as his 10-year-old self.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • OMG the best book EVER!!!

  • By Teri on 15-01-18

Unexpectedly brilliant. Took a gamble, paid off

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

Reviewed: 19-05-18

Had to spend some credits so picked this on a gamble, very glad I did. One of the better books I've had on Audible. The performance was so good that my jaw actually dropped the first time I heard from a new character; how he manages to differentiate entirely between characters is impressive. Some occasional dark humour so unexpected that it made me laugh out loud, a first for any book! Also very sad at times. A book which doesn't pull any punches, though at about 8hrs the story takes a dramatic turn which I felt broke the immersion a bit. Still couldn't put it down, despite trying to make it last

  • Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,590
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,258
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,245

Big Brother is watching you.... 1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party’s power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party’s department for propaganda, Winston Smith’s job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • excellent narration.

  • By Chris on 20-12-16

If only one book ever, this is the one to have

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

Reviewed: 24-03-18

Amazing. The story is so good that I've had three different versions of this audio book over the years, but this is by far the best rendition of 1984, and also the best audio book I've ever listened to. Andrew Wincott not only brings an amazing performance, but he manages to capture the essence of every character and of the dystopian setting perfectly. His voice is also, strangely, so soothing that the wife and I have fallen asleep to it. Listening to this should be compulsory (Ha! That's somehow poetic in relation to this story)

  • Snow Crash

  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 981
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 786
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 789

Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Perfect Blend

  • By R on 23-09-10

Couldn't finish it

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

Reviewed: 24-03-18

Tried a few times. I don't know which came first, but this is definitely the poor man's Neuromancer. The similarities are so blatant that it's terrible because this book does it so badly. It's a lot less grown-up, and seems to focus more on describing the spectacles and contrabulous fabtraptions the characters have stashed up their sleeves, than a story - to the extent that it's juvenile at times. Sorry if that's cruel, but that's how I felt. Seriously, read Neuromancer instead

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Gai-Jin

  • The Epic Novel of the Birth of Modern Japan
  • By: James Clavell
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 50 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 254

The heir to the magnificent English trading company, the Noble House; the direct descendant of the first Toranaga Shōgun, battling to usher his country into the modern age; a beautiful young Frenchwoman forever torn between ambition and desire - their lives intertwine in an exotic land newly open to foreigners, gai-jin, and torn apart by greed, idealism, and terrorism. Their passions mingle with monarchs and diplomats, assassins, courtesans, and spies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely captivating!

  • By Adriano on 11-11-15

The weakest of the saga so far

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

Reviewed: 05-02-18

I loved the first book. Liked the second. Took a lot of work to finish this one. It was just too easy to be distracted by mundane things like street signs and bus shelters, which were comparatively more interesting than pretty much any part of the book which involved the young French lady. Just soooo many hours of talk about how they'll soon be married. Total departure from the grim, cutting reality of the other books. Then after all that, prepare for a sudden and bland ending, with a chapter of story crammed into a sentence. Because hours of young ladies swooning about marriage is more important.