Monday, January 26, 2015

I, Robot

By: Isaac Asimov

9 Short stories that evolved into a book in 1950 and later into an audiobook, I, Robot is nothing like the movie. What a surprise. This story is narrated by Dr.Calvin as she tells her story through the long history of the rise of the robots; long before her birth, throughout her long career and the happenings there after. Dr. Calvin was the chief robot psychologist at US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc. 

Dr.Calvin was born in 1982 and graduated college in 2003, so you can see that when the author wrote this, he never expected these dates to ever actually arrive. His imagination was pretty great for beginning the series in the late 1940’s, and he wasn’t too far off in many things. The book becomes somewhat based on the following principals and as humans error they must find ways to compensate: A robot may not injure a human being; nor, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law 
I, Robot was an interesting listen when keeping in mind that this book was published in 1950. With the technology we have now and some of the amazing newer writers, this book would not appeal to a really wide modern audience. It has great classical value however. It is still considered one of the top 100 best Science Fiction audiobooks of all-time. This time period’s books seem to all have anti-Russian undertones, I find that pretty interesting as I listen to more classic audiobooks, because it was a major concern of that time. I have a little bit of a hard time relating. Maybe in the year 2040, western people will have no ill-feelings for Al-queda or the Middle East in general. Maybe by 2040 human’s will be deemed obsolete and robots will be in power as audiobook explores.

Audiobook Length: 8 hrs 25 minutes.

Ages 14 and Up.

☆ 3/5 Stars

Fiction, Fantasy, Short Story, Science Fiction, Children’s Literature, Speculative Fiction

Book to Movie Grade: B

Monday, January 19, 2015

Divergent Trilogy

By: Veronica Roth

After seeing the movie I thought well, that was horrible, the audiobook series has to be better. I gave this audiobook trilogy a thorough listen and my initial response is...

In my opinion there is a bit of good and a lot of... this book definitely wasn't written for most 30 year old males. People have very accurately described the Divergent Series as a clash of Hunger Games and The Maze Runner. I say; a clash of those two audiobooks with a 14 year old girls diary and a whole lot of the same exact PG-12 kissing scenes several times in each chapter. I also think the writer tried naming her characters the ugliest names in the English language, and am also pretty sure the readers of these audiobooks were pronouncing a few words wrong/weird. (i.e. Pier)

So that's the bad let's talk about the good. When there isn't the aforementioned kissing and the "feelings-talks" it has all the makings of the shell of an interesting Post Apocalyptic survival story. Basically each person at some age, around 16 I believe, gets tested to decide what faction they will be sent to. Each faction has very unique qualities differing from the others and these factions all work together to live inside a more or less walled-in Chicago. One faction is made for security, one for food, one for thinking about things, I don't actually know what I'm talking about, it wasn't very clear/interesting.
I won't spoil it any more than that because you might run out of audiobooks at some point and decide that this is in the cards. That is where I would recommend this audiobook, and the very bottom of your list. It did entertain me for the better part of a week, but toward the end I just wanted it to be over. If you are a female, especially below the age of 16 I would recommend this much higher than to anyone outside of that demographic.

Series Listing:
(There might be a fourth called "Four")

Approximately 35 hours long, about 11.5 hours each.

Ages 12-16

 2/5 Stars 

Genre: Young-Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia,  Utopian and Dystopian Fiction

Book to Movie Grade: B-

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

By Douglas Adams

This is a series that has been evolving since 1971, as Adams would add to his series, he would go back and modify previous storylines for better sequel cohesion. The basic plot follows Arthur Dent a less than average Englishman as his world, our world, comes to an end, and he travels through the Galaxy on various... well, not missions, not adventures; time-passings and life-extensions? He meets some really interesting people along the way. I enjoy hearing and saying some of the names such as; Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford Prefect, Random Dent, Slartibartfast, and Marvin the Paranoid Android. There is a nice, unique style to this audiobook that I haven’t experienced in any other book.

This series has an immense cult following. It has been adapted through radio, tv, and the movies. One English professor friend told me that it’s one of the best audiobooks he has ever listened to. That all being said; I did not like the series very much. That being said; I did not like How I met your mother and I did not like Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind. Admittedly I may be the only one who did not. It was a pretty good audiobook for work because its nice background entertainment value. I didn’t think I missed a lot when I got distracted by work. It was read by Martin Freeman, so that was cool, anyone with the last name Freeman makes for a good audiobook voice. There are versions with other readers such as Stephen Frye. It had some things that appealed to me as a fan of comedy and science fiction. It was just a storyline that didn’t grab me as much other audiobooks. It has a darker humor that was refreshing, so I wouldn’t not recommend this. I do recommend it because you will probably like it.

Series listing:
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, the Universe and Everything
So long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Mostly Harmless
And Another Thing…

Approximately 32 hours of playtime.

Ages 16 and up.

 3/5 Stars 

Genre: Comic Science Fiction, Science Fiction, Humor, Humour, Speculative Fiction, Humor Novel, Comic Novel

Book to Movie Grade: B