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The Definitive Discussion: Evolution Mechanistics

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-07-28

Dawkins tackles the questions: "Why are Genes preserved and passed on to Descendents? How does that work?"
He presents an exploration of the packaging of Chromosomes ("Replicators") into Organisms ("Vehicles"), presented in a way that's convincing. He presents a brilliant argument that Altruism is eminently rational without using Group Selection theory. He breaks down concepts like 'Evolutionarily Stable Strategies' into basic easily understood models.
This treatment is, in my opinion, much better than his dicussions of atheist principles. Dawkins sticks to Nuts & Bolts in this one, including 'End Notes' added throughout the text where he responds to criticisms and points out where newer research/theory added to (and sometimes countered) his thesis.

The tandem of readers (Dawkins himself and Lalla Ward) trade off description frequently - a nice format for a book like this (where a single voice could easily become difficult to concentrate on). Neither are particularly engrossing and despite the frequent novelty I lost interest at points.

This most informative exploration is worth 4 out of 5 stars

Classic Fantasy

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4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-07-19

This first book in the Wheel Of Time series has everything Fantasy is supposed to have...Good & Evil; Monsters, Demons & Mystical Creatures; Swords & Shields; Magic & Wizardry. It introduces intriguing characters (including Kings in disguise and reluctant heroes), pulse-pounding action, and stunning settings. There is an epic climactic battle. Every chapter introduces more intrigue and delightful (if a little dark) plot twists.
Robert Jordan is an imaginative writer with vivid descriptions. Character dialogue is emotional and name drops mysterious people/places (that the characters know..the reader does not) - I'm left wanting to know more.

The nature of the book (intent on some first-class World-Building) means that it spends a lot of time on character development...and consequently there are interludes where nothing much happens, and it has a pretty slow start.
Additionally, it's not really gritty enough. There are events that could have been gut-wrenching in impact and jarring in realism, but Jordan opts for a more milquetoast approach. It's not sophomoric..but lacks in maturity. It has the feel of Young Adult fiction. It holds back a little. Still Great.

Michael Kramer (Male perspective chapters) and Kate Reading are exemplary narrators, who have improved..they are excellent but not at their best yet in this recording (they get better).
[The duo's reading in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive (also on Audible), for example, is Top Notch].
It's just Not quite 5/5 here.

This recording of a brilliant first book in a truly great series is worth 4 stars out of 5.

Very Good. Not for Me

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-06-27

This book was a 'Daily Deal' offer, I like books about History, and the Reviews are really good so I took a chance. I'm glad I got it.
The book is packed with mind-blowing events surrounding the East India company in India during the 18th/19th century...corporate military mercantilism - Fascinating.
Dalrymple writes really well - interesting and authoritative, without being overwhelmed by direct quotes from period documents, as so many academic works are. Historical dates and events are brought to life through Dalrymple's style.
The only real drawback is that I wasn't engrossed by the subject material - and got lost frequently...with my mind wandering. Repeatedly giving monetary conversions IN THE TEXT gets annoying, too.

Sid Sagar is an excellent narrator. Pronunciations loyal to the subject.

I hope I don't bring down the rating - it’s likely worth 4.5 stars, but I can't give it that. Just not my topic. 3 stars out of 5.

Swashbuckling Fun

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-06-18

This is a very fun novel, and a great continuance of the Icewind Dale trilogy. It really builds on the Artemis Entreri character, Drizzt Do'Urden's Moriarty. Salvatore spends quite a bit of effort on character development, but still entertains while following a pretty standard rescue plot.
The Encounters and Battles are brilliantly choreographed, and location descriptions enliven Fäerun - even extending into another Plane of Existence.
The only drawback is the immaturity of the subject matter. It is a D&D world, afterall. Salvatore starts to fall victim to self-congratulation. At times he takes himself too seriously. Still, an enjoyable distraction.

Victor Bevine does a very good job in this recording.

I give this lively novel 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

Weird But Enjoyable. Bad Narration

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-06-11

This book - following a Time-Traveling American soldier from his time as a German POW, witnessing the Fire-bombing of Dresden, surviving a Plane Crash post-war, and being kidnapped by Aliens - jumps into and out of timelines. Somehow, it's still pretty easy to follow and is an engrossing tale.
Vonnegut is a brilliant author with truly crazy characters. The plot is bizzarre and tbh, reminded me of 'Donnie Darko'. The prose is excellent, with a nice mixture of vivid mental images and brutally realistic dialogue.

James Franco is an indifferent narrator at best. He slowly plods his way through the text with a strikingly monotone delivery. I had to speed the Recording up to 1.25x.

I give this recording 3.5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly Mature

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-06-06

R.A. Salvatore will never find himself in the Pantheon of Fantasy greats...RR Martin, Tolkien, Jordan. His subject Matter - Dungeons & Dragons encounters - is too Juvenile. Faërun is a YA world, created by teenagers as a forum for their make-believe entertainment. As an adult, I still regularly join some friends to roll some dice, but the Forgotten Realms are a construction of gamers. Within it, Salvatore plays. His events are action-packed, exciting, and wildly entertaining.

In 'Streams of Silver', Salvatore adds psychological angst, political maneuvering, prejudice, emotion, and treachery to an enjoyable Quest backbone. It's still an adolescent distraction, but it has some weight.

Victor Bevine is a Professoonsl reader.

This action-packed narrative fits best as part of the Icewind Dale Trilogy, leaving quite the Cliffhanger, but is worth 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I Miss Hitch

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-05-28

This book is typical of Hitchens...well-reasoned arguments, dogged confidence in his position, and a spectacular vocabulary. Hitchens makes solid points in this book about the Clintons, but his antipathy is clear. Disdain for the Clintons shows through in this damning text. It's clear that Hitchens is attacking, but still somehow does it without coming across as venomous.
His intelligence and painstaking word-choice risks crossing over into pretension, but he does, for the most part, a fair job of straddling the line. Hitchens is clearly well-read, and eloquent beyond the norm. But the verbosity and unrel3nting scorn does get a little annoying at times.

Simon Prebble is a fair reader at best, but his accent, while a bit prissy, fits the material well.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stare.

Solid Entertainment

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-05-24

Along the Spectrum of Fantasy literature, Salvatore is a lightweight. His stuff has nowhere near the engrossing immersive aspects of RR Martin, Jordan, Sanderson, or Rothfuss. But damn, it's fun.
Salvatore touches on weighty issues like Good vs Evil and Discrimination, but it's a light touch. He clearly recognizes that Faërun is a place to escape to for a few glorious hours, and he populates it with Wizards, Demons, Dwarves, Dragons, Elves, and Barbarians.
Maybe immature, but I love it.
The descriptions of large-scale sieges and wars, as well as one-on-one fights are vivid, although painstakingly scripted. The flow could be better, but it's still quite good. The level of sociopolitical discussion by the characters between encounters/battles is surprising, but not overpowering (it gets worse in later Salvatore novels).

Victor Bevine is, as always, one of the best in the business.

This recording of a D&D-based romp is easily worth 4 stars out of 5

Brilliant Novel. Brutal Narrator.

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-05-18

This novel is rightly celebrated as a great example of thought-provoking dystopian literature. Bradbury tackles censorship, psychological angst, overbearing government, war, and societal misinformation. The prose is fantastic, with phrase choices that show Bradbury's wordsmith genius.
Dialogue is powerful, plot events are gripping, and characters are remarkably memorable. Unfortunately, the text is a little too dramatic/poetic at times for my tastes

Tim Robbins is a brilliant actor with incredible range and a distinctive voice.
He sucks at reading.
He takes poorly-timed deep breaths and frequently runs out of breath before he runs out of sentence. He nearly shouts and annoyingly races through some passages. His choice of voices for some characters (e.g. Mildred) are nails-on-blackboard grating. Beatty morphs into an impression of Rush Limbaugh by Part III.

This amazing novel has a justified 'Classic' designation. It should easily be worth 5 out of 5 stars. I give this recording 2.5.

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Worthy Prequel. Read it Fourth.

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-05-16

If you are a fan of the series, this book takes us back to when Zombies first showed up in all their full-speed, homicidal glory. They have inhuman ferocity and strength initially, gradually turning into the slower, vicious mindless cannibals we all know and love. Blackmore writes fantastically vivid, descriptive, and horrifying scenes. Then he adds flat-out funny dialogue. Best line: "Her boobs were perked up like two puppies smelling barbecue". Describing Zombie brains as "Head-Cheese and Bad Jam" is gloriously repulsive, but somehow humorous. It's clear Blackmore understands how silly this premise really is, and doesn’t take himself TOO seriously. Gus, an obese house-painter, makes you realistically ask the question "What Would ^I^ do if this crazy sh*t happenned?" It's not 'Shaun of the Dead' parody, but attains a nice balance of scary and ludicrous.
Later books in the series shift from Zombie threats to Undead Animal threats to Human threats. This one is a good refresher...straight-up Zombie menace. It breaks up the plot progression in the 'Mountain Man' series nicely.

R.C. Bray is...well...R.C. Bray

This is a 5 out of 5 production from one of the best collections in the genre.