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  • 19
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  • 66
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  • The Death of Grass

  • By: John Christopher
  • Narrated by: William Gaminara
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

A viral strain has attacked rice crops in East Asia causing massive famine; soon a mutation appears which infects the staple crops of West Asia and Europe such as wheat and barley, threatening a worldwide famine. Christopher's classic post-apocalyptic novel follows the struggles of architect John Custance and his family as they make their way across an England that is rapidly descending into anarchy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • superb, but grim

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-07-2019

superb, but grim

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

Reviewed: 06-07-2019

This remains a genuinely frightening book. The story is spare and perfectly plotted. A minor weakness that is not of it's own making, is that when written the war was recent history that would be expected to shape the responses of people at large. It is harder to feel confident in how groups would respond today. A closer to this day analogue is The Road, but it really dodges the question of the first day, which this book fearlessly tackles

  • The Zap Gun

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Mel Foster
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

In this biting satire, the Cold War may have ended, but the eastern and western governments never told their citizens. Instead they created an elaborate ruse wherein each side comes up with increasingly outlandish doomsday weapons - weapons that don’t work. But when aliens invade, the top designers of both sides have to come together to make a real doomsday device - if they don’t kill each other first. With its combination of romance, espionage, and alien invasion, The Zap Gun skewers the military-industrial complex in a way that’s as relevant today as it was at the height of the Cold War.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • One of the better PKD books

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-07-2019

One of the better PKD books

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

Reviewed: 01-07-2019

Thoroughly enjoyable, but not a PKD classic. It contains many themes from his short stories, and some of the structure of other novels, but is not a direct rewrite of any in particular

  • The Three-Body Problem

  • By: Cixin Liu
  • Narrated by: Bruno Roubicek
  • Length: 14 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 320
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 290
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 291

Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilisation on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them or to fight against the invasion.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Amazon Customer on 29-11-2016

Failed hard sci-fi

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

Reviewed: 28-06-2019

There are 3 notable aspects to this novel: it's setting, it's sociology, and it's fictionalisation of future physics.

The first is it's most successful, and likely explains its great success in China. However, for most readers, I expect we would be better served reading a novel that deals foremost with the setting of China before and after the cultural revolution.

The sociology is very weak. It is adequately replaced by reading Philip K Dick's short story Null-O.

The fictionalisation of physics fails to suspend disbelief, and is often delivered in uninteresting slabs of exposition. Isaac Arthur does a great job of poking holes in most of the ideas expressed. it may have worked better 10 years ago.

A reader looking for a novel of this type in English would do better reading Neal Stephenson or William Gibson

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Odyssey

  • By: Homer, Stanley Lombardo - translator
  • Narrated by: Stanley Lombardo, Susan Sarandon - introduction
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

The Odyssey tells of the heroic journey of Odysseus after the Trojan war. In his attempt to return home to Ithaca, this ancient hero is faced with obstacle after obstacle, mythic creature after mythic creature. This is an epic poem encompassing an epic journey as famous as it is classic. Translated by Stanley Lombardo.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is a superb translation and performance

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-11-2018

This is a superb translation and performance

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

Reviewed: 11-11-2018

There is nothing I need add about why the Odyssey is the masterpiece that is

  • Iliad

  • By: Homer, Stanley Lombardo - translator
  • Narrated by: Stanley Lombardo, Susan Sarandon - introduction
  • Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

The first of Homer's great epic poems, the Iliad portrays the final days of the Trojan war. The Iliad has stood the test of time and is still one of (it not the) best depictions of ancient warfare. It is an essential precursor to the infamous journey of Odysseus. Translated by Stanley Lombardo.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • translation and performance are superb

  • By Amazon Customer on 15-10-2018

translation and performance are superb

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

Reviewed: 15-10-2018

I have found the Iliad hard work on previous reads, and never sure that I had absorbed the key moments. this translation is so direct in it's choice of words and rhythm, I found myself moved to tears at several points

  • The Penultimate Truth

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4

In the future, most of humanity lives in massive underground bunkers, producing weapons for the nuclear war they’ve fled. Constantly bombarded by patriotic propaganda, the citizens of these industrial anthills believe they are waiting for the day when the war will be over and they can return above ground. But when Nick St. James, president of one anthill, makes an unauthorized trip to the surface, what he finds is more shocking than anything he could imagine.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • similar to the Simulacra

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-10-2018

similar to the Simulacra

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

Reviewed: 08-10-2018

Post world war 3, robots called leady, and manufactured reality. This story expands the earlier short stories The Defenders and The Unreconstructed M and incorporates elements of The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike, Dr and The Mold of Yancy

  • The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

  • The Untold Story of a Lost World
  • By: Steve Brusatte
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 32

Sixty-six million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the earth. Today a new generation of dinosaur hunters, armed with cutting-edge technology, is piecing together the complete story of how the dinosaurs created a hugely successful empire that lasted for around 150 million years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So good!

  • By Will on 13-06-2018

A summary without a thesis

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

Reviewed: 17-07-2018

This book is recommended as a summary of the current thinking on dinosaurs organised around a timeline of their time in Earth. Beyond this it, it had very little to say. Unlike the Robert Bakker book of the 1980s, it advanced no interesting new thesis. Furthermore, it was peppered with pastiche descriptions of characters from paleontology that made me cringe. By the end, it had undermined my interest in dinosaurs, since it indicated no current debates and read like an apologia for a discipline that had slipped into dullness

  • The Game-Players of Titan

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Years ago, Earth and Titan fought a war and Earth lost. The planet was irradiated and most of the surviving population is sterile. The few survivors play an intricate and unending game called Bluff at the behest of the sluglike aliens who rule the planet. At stake in the game are two very important commodities: land and spouses. Pete Garden just lost his wife and Berkeley, California, but he has a plan to win them back. That is, if he isn’t derailed by aliens, psychic traitors, or his new wife.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Familiar elements but less sustained

  • By Amazon Customer on 30-06-2018

Familiar elements but less sustained

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

Reviewed: 30-06-2018

The story has many of my favorite PKD elements, including a post apocalyptic and depopulated world, psionic talents, aliens from within the solar system, and questions of reality. However, unlike most other titles with these elements, it seemed to provide canned answers, rather than sustained disorientation

  • We Can Build You

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

In this lyrical and moving novel, Philip K. Dick intertwines the story of a toxic love affair with one about sentient robots, and unflinchingly views it all through the prism of mental illness - which spares neither human nor robot. The end result is one of Dick’s most quietly powerful works. When Louis Rosen’s electronic-organ company builds a pitch-perfect robotic replica of Abraham Lincoln, the firm is pulled into the orbit of a shady businessman, who is looking to use Lincoln for his own profit.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Android or human?

  • By Amazon Customer on 21-06-2018

Android or human?

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

Reviewed: 21-06-2018

A prequel to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep that manages to write Philip K Dick into the timeline be reference to my favorite short story Nanny

  • The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Phil Gigante
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

This novel, Dick said, is about Leo Runcible, "a brilliant, civic minded liberal Jew living in a rural WASP town in Marin County, California." Runcible, a real estate agent involved in a local battle with a neighbor, finds what look like Neanderthal bones in Marin and dreams of rising real estate prices because of the publicity. But it turns out that the remains are more recent, the result of an environmental problem polluting the local water supply.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Read Confessions of a Crap Artist first

  • By Amazon Customer on 30-04-2018

Read Confessions of a Crap Artist first

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

Reviewed: 30-04-2018

While it shares the setting and many concerns of Confessions of a Crap Artist, I did not find it as compelling