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A Learning Experience, Book 1 Audiobook

A Learning Experience, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Earth is not alone. There is a towering civilization out in the galaxy, far greater than anything we can imagine. But we are isolated from the galaxy...until now.

When a bunch of interstellar scavengers approach Earth intending to abduct a few dozen humans and sell them into slavery in the darkest, they make the mistake of picking on Steve Stuart and his friends, ex-military veterans all. Unprepared for humans who can actually fight, unaware of the true capabilities of their stolen starships, the scavengers rapidly lose control of the ship - and their lives.

To Steve the captured starship represents a great opportunity, one to establish a new civilization away from Earth and its increasingly oppressive bureaucracy. But with the aliens plotting their revenge and human factions suspicious of the new technology, it will be far from easy to create a whole new world....

©2014 Christopher G. Nuttall (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (16 )
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3.9 (15 )
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4.6 (15 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Harrison 19/10/2016
    Harrison 19/10/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intresting book"

    Really liked it
    The storyline was well made to make me want to keep listening
    The narator was exellent too

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 24/09/2016
    Daniel 24/09/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "someone get this guy a science book"

    nothing against the narration that was sweet, the story however is easily rednecks in space and not like firefly more.like swamp people

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Perth, Australia 14/09/2016
    Amazon Customer Perth, Australia 14/09/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    203
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Basic story is fine but lots of politics"

    Found the premise of the story to be fine but at times the book felt like a vehicle to present right wing politics. Very simple solutions to complex world problems. I found this distracting from what the story was. Enough here to get me on to the next in the series though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james olive 06/09/2016
    james olive 06/09/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "cliche but original"

    a book about every space cowboys dream of alien technology making life better. great listen. a number of typical ideas but mostly original in ways. Although lacks details about the technology itself. Book just says "its a laser rifle" and thats it...
    otherwise its great fun listening to. A big space strategy game in book form.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Carrie
    Dallas, TX, United States
    19/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mary Sue, we're so lucky we have you."

    Luckily for the human race, Steve Protagonist is the one who encounters the aliens and is able to come up with a plan to save us all.

    The main character at least does have a bit of an arc. The things that annoyed me the most about him in Chapter 1 are the self-revelations that change his way of thinking (a little) during a few of the Pivotal Conflicts at the end of the book.

    Secondary characters change their personalities to fit the story, For example, the wife who is fierce and independent... except when suddenly she's not. The protagonist's children are also very convenient non-entities who disappear entirely for most of the book.

    Events happen in far too short of a timeline to seem realistic. Spaceships and tech, sure. Unrealistic human interactions...? Nope.

    Oh, well. It's a fun enough romp, I guess.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Alton J Henley
    Washington, DC United States
    12/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great concept / Hated the prosletyzing"
    What would have made A Learning Experience, Book 1 better?

    I wanted to love it I really did, the concept is awesome. But the endless prosletyzing was exhausting. Everytime I was getting into the story, I was pulled out of it about by the author talking about the MSM, the uslessness of the government, and the rapaciousness of lawyers. Topics I at least sympathize with him on, but MAKE IT INTEGRAL TO THE STORY. Just mentioning the character hated working in medicine because (insert political viewpoint here) is jarring.

    Whew.

    Sorry about that.


    What was most disappointing about Christopher G. Nuttall’s story?

    the preaching


    32 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Trudy Owens
    Orem, UT, US
    20/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "THE very beginning to Stocker's Empire's Corps"

    If you didn't get Nuttall's politics and opinions in The Empire's Corps, you can't miss it in this. Nuttal uses a 2x4 to get it into your head. By the end of the book, you will know where Col. Stalker (Stocker?)'s Empire came from. We sort of knew it anyway, but here's the tale to tell it.

    You will learn how the usually exemplary Nuttall feels about politics and politicians, society, the military and U.S. actions in the Middle East, law and justice, and several other things. Even if you agree with him on every point, you will tire of the lectures.

    Then there're the problematic literary aspects that detract from your reading enjoyment. Steve's death was absorbed, and they moved on. Later they name a ship after him, but that is about all the emotion invested there. There are some kids among the brothers, but we don't even remember their names, and they never figure into the story. Thank goodness there is tech to take care of them, since the parents are not around. The entire story took place in less than 2 months. Thank goodness the aliens are morons and could easily be overpowered by 3 of 'Murika's finest. And thank goodness the moronic aliens had neural interfacing headbands so our heroes could link to the computer system to run the ship and access all the tech that allows them to accomplish in 45 days what should have taken 10 years.

    We who love this genre love references to all our other beloved works, but there are just too, too many references to Star Trek especially, but also Babylon 5, Harry Potter, Atlas Shrugged and more. Naming the moon base Heinlein should have been a grin for us, but it became just another eye roll.

    This back story is so childish and amateurish that you'd think Nuttall had written it in high school after having read all the above literature. The only reason any of us will go on to the next volume is to get the history that led to the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire so we can get to the really good stuff in The Empire's Corps. And I guess we end up soundly defeating all the thousands of alien species mentioned in this book, since there are none by Ed Stocker's time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Timothy D Robinson
    Lake Oswego, OR, US
    19/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lost Oppertunity"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Mr Nuttall is a powerful storyteller. The narrator has a strong alpha male delivery and I am normally a big fan.The storyline had the opportunity to be insightful on a wide range of current and relevant social, political and science issues. It passed on those opportunities.I would actually like to see this book(series?) researched and rewritten with some depth that would add credibility and dimension to the story. The characters must have real struggles and more complex emotions than are expressed. The science for what they are doing has a lot of interesting nuance, drama and history. The backdrop of a citizenry defined by a long series of wars in foreign lands would be compelling. Those intrigues combined with the exploration of the wide disparities in experience between rural and urban America would make this book award winning. That dichotomy of urban versus rural or the impacts of culture and politics in a dense population(like in space) or a dispersed population seems to particular relevant for this work of fiction.


    Any additional comments?

    If this book was a dinner it was boiled with no seasoning, herbs or spices... Since I like meat and potato I would eat it but be looking for the salt the whole time.

    23 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Jerome
    5/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Libertarians take over the universe"
    What did you like best about A Learning Experience, Book 1? What did you like least?

    It was interesting to see a sci-fi story told from such an extreme libertarian point of view. Though I found many viewpoints grating ("ethnic" entitlement, women studies, health care), preposterous (collusion between environmentalist and oil producers), and condescending (gun rights, Edward Snowden, muslim countries is general), they weren't actually a big part of the story and the author seems to be socially liberal (gay marriage), and in spite of enormous moral blind spots, could actually hold balanced opinions on many issues.

    So what happens if a bunch of ex-servicemen find all the technology to actually create their libertarian utopia? Certainly not a whole bunch of realistic stuff. Nevertheless, I wanted to know the end and, perversely, wanted to see if human reality would knock some sense into them.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I wish the author had delved a little deeper about the social and political issues that would be big problems in such a gun-totting libertarian society. Every one was a little too agreeable. There was one "right" point of view and anyone with "common sense" agreed with it. Unavoidable, I guess, otherwise the whole society would have collapsed half-way through the book.

    There's also the fact that they get a machine that can almost instantly heal anything at apparently no cost, but then set-up a system that only rich people can afford, 'cause, you know, socialism is bad.


    What about Christian Rummel’s performance did you like?

    I liked his strong American accent. Completely appropriate for the characters.


    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Greg Costello
    3/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Trying so hard to finish"

    well the whole idea of the story was awesome and I couldn't wait to dig in, then it became very clear very fast that Nuttell was instead of writing a great sci fi novel, he was writing his anti establishment, anti American,anti everything manifesto disguised in a sci-fi story. It just got worst and worst to the point that I could almost picture him just writing away with a pissed off look on his face & it completely took away from what could have been a really fun story. Also, the repetitive he said,she said,Steve said,she said,Steve said... geeze. I'm really dissapointed, I was really looking forward to this story. Do yourself a favor & skip to last chapter & the prologue literally sums up the book without Nuttall's personal gripes,hate & reasons why he lives on an island far from Western ideology. Overall I'm very dissapointed.

    35 of 44 people found this review helpful
  • Edward
    Richmond, VA
    31/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Had to return it. Could not finish."
    What would have made A Learning Experience, Book 1 better?

    This was just so mixed with political and government hate that it got ridiculous. It was just so over the top.


    Has A Learning Experience, Book 1 turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. I actually like many of Nuttall books.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    It felt like he was in a race to finish. Not a presentation I could listen to for long.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I felt the under lying story was a decent concept.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Charles E. Richardson
    bink
    10/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Almost a good start on a new series"

    If you don't want to listen to propaganda on how all conservative and libertarian ideas are good and all liberal and progressive ideas are bad made up by little sexless assholes, don't buy this one. I have listened to all of his books on Audible and I like all of them, solid 4.5s, but the presidential election year must have filled his brain. I do have to say my eye's are at full fitness from all the eye-rolls at the bursts of self contradictory crap.

    Once you get by the self-important insights into philosophy, he does a good job of developing his characters and the overall setting. It's easy to accept and follow. It is about the Earth at the very door step of interstellar flight and the choices and the precipice before us with aliens all around us and a slippery road ahead. In this case there are some not-so-diabolical crab aliens, but they are well drawn if a bit sketchy, too.

    I plan to listen to the next one, too. I am just hoping he has his tv off and does explode with a conservative/libertarian orgasm of words. (Okay, I stole that last bit from this book.) Nuttall lke Heinlein are at their worst when they are preachy. On the other hand, if he doesn't get bogged down he writes well craft, fast paced books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • E. Atkinson
    CA United States
    23/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Politics in Space (Libertarian style)"

    This book was not what I was expecting, I am used to a conservative viewpoint with a Libertarian bend in military Sci Fi. From Heinlein to Ringo (nice Maple syrup reference in the book) even L. Neil Smith, This book read more like world building with a few characters thrown in for fun. An occasional political rant is expected, but the space battles are described in a paragraph with pages and pages going to establishing the underlying politics. Bring on the Space Battles! They appear with the space marines in the second book. Hang in there it gets more space opera.

    On the positive, the world is interesting and the with a few interesting characters, and the exploration of the problems in implementing a libertarian world is fascinating. Whenever I find myself talking back to the book I know that I am engaged.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Philip D. Mann
    Oklahoma City, OK, United States
    4/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brain-Dead Libertarian Secessionist Claptrap"

    First, the narration is great; no problems there.

    I've listened to many of Nuttall's military scifi books, and I have always enjoyed the tales of fragments of military units grasping for life amid the death throes of a huge galactic empire collapsing under its own weight. This one is not that sort of book, and I wish I'd read some of the other reviews first instead of just trusting in Nuttall's work.

    Here, the otherwise good storytelling can't mask a fundamentally flawed story. Maybe the stories set in the more distant future make up for or render irrelevant poor assumptions about military knowledge and functions that this book, set in the present, means that my own knowledge of military training and capabilities keeps coming up. For example, some future combat engineers might be experts in space and naval architecture and working with unintelligible technologies to produce works in months that would take civilian engineers years just to design, but present-day combat engineers are high school educated technicians more skilled in breaking things than building them. But that's only a small piece of what's wrong, and is only bolstered by the ex machina -- I control it with my brain because technology and my shiny headband -- solutions to everything.

    The main characters are all right-wing, secessionist sovereign citizens (look it up), who think their perusing of a few online constitutions prepares them to rewrite society in an afternoon. They are full of anger about how things are, while simultaneously demonstrating fundamental misunderstandings about both the facts and the history of their points of contention. Likewise, while complaining about wealth and corruption, they put "those who can pay" at the front of the line for cancer treatments and the like, while making everyone else wait. Oh, and not to forget the constant referrals to only allowing people those who agree with their laws and rules to live in their new nation, and then talking about how they haven't gotten around to getting even the most fundamental laws codified. However, they did build a city on the moon, complete with a carefully screened population, wide-ranging economy, and a school system, in just two months through heaps of jury-rigging and 'Merica-isms from a group of what amounts to Montanan hillbillies in a space ship.

    I'm totally willing to ignore the storytelling conveniences, such as the super doctor/vet girlfriend who can't be older than 40, somehow is a master of both disciplines -- I guess she went to college when she was six -- but whose only medical practice is the family farm. Totally good with that (really). Likewise, the I know this world class so-and-so in every single field imaginable and can convince them over coffee to give us their products, conduct illegal trade in a dozen, and fix their product lines to make everything possible immediately. Likewise, totally good with that too (really).

    Everything in the book is anti-government, anti-big business, anti-large city, anti-rules, anti-taxes, etc., all while using bribes, spies (nanodrones), lie detectors, arbitrary powers, and bullying willy-nilly. Every time there is just the briefest note of sanity from one of the main characters, it just stops cold. Another reviewer called it something like right-wing militia masturbation, which is about how it works out in the end.

    In general, I recommend Nuttall's books, but not this one. Stick with the Empire's Corps series and similar.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
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  • andrew bentley
    14/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A morons book."

    Couldn't finish it, clearly written by an pro gun American nutter with a limited imagination.

    Poorly narrated by a gentleman with a droning voice and difficulties with his pronunciation.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • C Dunkley
    21/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rednecks in space!"

    I found the opening scene of country guys from Montana being abducted by aliens initially amusing and initially thought that the story was being told with a heavy dose of irony. It dawned on me that the libertarian and reactionary views being espoused were meant in all seriousness! The narrative took on ridiculous proportions when we were asked to believe that a small group of gung-ho gun-toting guys could capture space ships, establish colonies on the Moon and Mars, defeat the Taliban and contact other galactic species all within the space of a year! I only persisted to the end ( increasingly irritated) because I'd paid for it! I shall not be purchasing the sequel!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tim Fitzgerald
    6/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Moroninc, red neck dross."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different book.


    What was most disappointing about Christopher G. Nuttall’s story?

    This is a cringe worthy crawl through a red neck teenager's mind.
    Let me count the offences it caused me.
    1. It’s full of anti gun control crap.
    2. Every leader in the book is male, even the sodding aliens are patriarchal.
    3. Brothels seem to be an acceptable solution to calm male troops. Quote "there are plenty of desperate women on Earth" oh that's ok then!
    4. Being Islamic or from a country where Islam is predominant is, out of hand, grounds for suspicion.
    5. The idiotic idea that all politicians are liars and full of self interest is, again out of hand, bounded about.
    6. The idea that all lawyers are evil is given the same childish treatment.
    7. The biggest female character is a doctor but not really because all doctors are so terrified of being sued (by the evil lawyers and the evil families of the deceased) that they hate their jobs, so she decided to become a vet! I'm not joking it's really in the book.
    8. Anyone who dares to protest about anything is a whiner.
    9. The idea of political correctness is made out to be some kind of great evil, dividing society.
    10. All forms of law enforcement are nothing but a hindrance to the gun totting good ol boys who make up the main characters.
    I could go on, and there is a lot more, but what's the point.


    Which character – as performed by Christian Rummel – was your favourite?

    Does it matter, the fact that he managed to keep his voice straight was quite an achievement, unless he came from the same special community as the author. But he did manage to make them all sound a bit stupid which was, in hindsight, genius.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The actual story wasn't terrible, it got 2 stars for a reason.


    Any additional comments?

    Please listen to something intelligent, or just take this as the comedy, red-neck, self congratulatory, rubbish it really is.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Jan
    United Kingdom
    26/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another disappointment"

    I was hoping for escapism with this book but it was not going to happen. I put up with the glaring lack of depth of character for the protagonists and kept hoping things would improve. Unfortunately when the story started involving the Taliban and Afghanistan I lost the will to listen. I wanted escapism not realism mixed with a badly written story. I listened for nearly five hours before giving up so I think I gave it a good try before deciding it was rubbish.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Douglas Hallam
    Garmany
    11/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange and incongruous usage of words."

    While I am aware that the work is a piece of fiction, it does often seem difficult to find it believable.
    Good performance, although a wee tad strong on the Silvester Stallone impression.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    15/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bit too right wing for my taste"

    Didn't actually finish this because, frankly, I found its obviously right-wing, gung-ho, gun loving attitude offensive.

    Story was pretty weak too, but maybe that picks up later on. Couldn't stomach it myself though and returned it. Not for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • L. O. Shea
    Italy
    1/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "rampant libertarianisn

    "

    the heavy handed pulpit thumping against all things government added to the complete lack of even a vague scientific framework made this a perfect Trump manifesto.. only finished it to have the chance to review it and warn the unsuspecting away.. stay away!!!!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    Stewartby, United Kingdom
    8/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good fun"

    A few massive plot holes gleefully ignored, and you have to like libertarianism Montana-style, but an enjoyable and rather addictive listen based on wish fulfilment if nothing else! Will buy the second instalment, just to see if the main characters grow a little depth now that they are effectively immortal...or are they?

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Stevo
    16/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Okay and enjoyable but not a masterpiece."

    fast paced, decently read and some good humour at times although it does feel it is quite rushed at times.

    if you like military sci-fi then it is worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • P. Sleet
    18/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good old fashioned space opera"

    Another likeable thread from Christopher Nuttall. Drawing on several well known Sci Fi themes the story weaves and builds at a fair pace. This is an entertaining series opener, just hope those that follow are as good.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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