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  • gilwilson 5:35 PM on March 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , oregon files, philadelphia experiment, scott brick,   

    Mirage- The Oregon Files, Book 9 By: Clive Cussler, Jack Du Brul 

    Mirage- The Oregon Files, Book 9 17707498
    By: Clive Cussler, Jack Du Brul
    Narrated by: Scott Brick
    Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
    Release date: 11-05-13
    Publisher: Penguin Audio

    Once again I am exploring the action that is a Clive Cussler novel. I’m not sure if it is that my experience in the Navy keeps my interest piqued when it comes to ocean bound adventures that dominate Cussler’s books or just that I’m a sucker for a good action story. No matter what the reason I ventured into the world of the Oregon Files once again.

    The Oregon Files are just one of several series of books Cussler writes, they all seem to be tied together in some way or another, you’ve got the Dirk Pitt stories, the Fargo Adventures and the NUMA files which all create action and adventure. Sometimes the stories are an adventure like an Indiana Jones story, sometimes they have some great espionage like a Tom Clancy novel, and sometimes both. No matter what your preference if you ever need a respite from your everyday life, Clive can help. You’ll be on the edge of your seat and biting your nails (that’s the beauty of audiobooks, hands are free for the nail biting) and getting your adrenaline pumping. They are always an exciting adventure.

    This book is one of the tales of the ship the Oregon. The Oregon stories feature a ship named the Oregon which Cussler introduced in the Dirk Pitt Adventure “Flood Tide.” While appearing to be a rus-bucket freighter, it’s actually a high-tech advanced ship used by an unnamed and mysterious “Corporation” under the leadership of Juan Cabrillo. The ship is run like a business, with its crew being shareholders, taking jobs for the CIA and other agencies to help stop crime and terrorism. The crew is adept at disguises, combat, computer hacking, and more, to aid their missions.

    This time out The Oregon is on the trail of a super weapon developed by Nikola Tesla developed out of the hoax of the Philadelphia Experiment. Or was it a Hoax? The Russians don’t think so. Traveling from Russia to Shanghai to Uzbekistan, the crew of the Oregon know how to follow leads. Throughout all of this creating more and more mystery the story will have you involved and helping to solve the clues yourself. From the beginning of the book to the last page you will be on the run with the crew. In fact the beginning is a breakout from a maximum security Russian prison, and the book starts right in the middle of the breakout.

    One of the things I like about Cussler’s novels is that all the team members seem to be best of friends. They rib each other, brag on themselves but at the end of the day they always have each other’s backs. The friendships make these books so real.

    Scott Brick as usual gives the listener a reading that will draw pictures in your mind as you listen to the excitement. This makes the experience of the audiobook feel as though the listener is part of the story. Again, I’m a huge fan of Scott Brick, so I’ll never turn down a book read by him.

    Publisher’s Summary

    In October 1943, a U.S. destroyer sailed out of Philadelphia and supposedly vanished, the result of a Navy experiment with electromagnetic radiation. The story was considered a hoax – but now Juan Cabrillo and his Oregon colleagues aren’t so sure. There is talk of a new weapon soon to be auctioned, something very dangerous to America’s interests, and the rumors link it to the great inventor Nikola Tesla, who was working with the Navy when he died in 1943. Was he responsible for the experiment? Are his notes in the hands of enemies? As Cabrillo races to find the truth, he discovers there is even more at stake than he could have imagined – but by the time he realizes it, he may already be too late.

    ©2013 Clive Cussler (P)2013 Penguin Audio

  • gilwilson 3:34 PM on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , book lovers, , gabrielle zevin, , , scott brick   

    Audiobook Review: “The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin 


    Audiobook Review: “The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry”
    by Gabrielle Zevin
    Read by Scott Brick
    Published by Highbridge Audio
    approx 7 hours

    I have always loved books. I used to look forward to the “Weekly Reader” news back in grade school so I could beg my mom to order more books. I would constantly scout yard sales in search of a book that would strike my fancy. For the most part my tastes ran in the Sci-fi and Horror genres. I hated the books that I was made to read (at least until I was older and could actually appreciate them). I once attended a high school in Oregon that each semester the student chose the classes and one semester there was a reading class. This class was unique in that it wasn’t assigned reading, but rather books the students chose. We’d spend that hour of the day reading, we kept track of the daily pages read to show progress, and as we finished each book we would discuss with the teacher on a one-on-one basis the book and what our next book choice would be. I loved those discussions, the teacher seemed to have read almost everything and each session the teacher would always steer me toward another book in that area, but I would still choose my own. During that semester I read, “Night of the Living Dead” (I was testing the limits with this), “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “On the Road,” “Flowers for Algernon” and a couple of Stephen King novels.

    This freedom allowed me to branch out from my horror and sci-fi novels and find other fun books. The problem was I was only at that school for one semester and soon moved on to being assigned, “Moby Dick,” “Catcher in the Rye” and the rest that everyone “must” read. While in the Navy I was constantly reading every chance I could, which there were many chances when out to sea. What this all boils down to is that reading is a major part of my life and has become even more so in my later adult years, now I can again read whatever I want, and with the addition of audiobooks into my selections, I absorb books at an even higher pace. This book by Gabrielle Zevin is written just for me. Okay, maybe not specifically for me but people like me. In “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry,” Zevin has shown how books are not only a major part of peoples lives but how each person’s life is like a collection of books and makes it fun to connect people with books. Even better is that this book not only shows why we read but why people come and go in our lives and why we love them and love in general. The book is full of literary references that are just as fun to discover as the listening to the audiobook itself.

    I chose the audiobook version of this book for several reasons, but the main reason was that it was read by Scott Brick. Scott Brick is one of my favorite audiobook narrators. I’ve always enjoyed his readings because he is able to capture all the emotions and characters of every book he reads. This book, however, had even more of a pull, in that the press release had a quote from Brick stating that this book is one that made him cry. Knowing that Scott Brick has read thousands of books for the audiobook market, one would think he would be immune to those sad moments while reading. Without giving any spoilers, I would say that I could hear the moment that hit him hardest. Brick was perfect in the reading of this book and along with him, I found myself tearing up through out.

    A.J. Fickry is a grumpy old bookstore owner. He has recently lost his wife to an auto accident, which he blames himself for. Her loss has made A.J. even grumpier. A.J. has a rare copy of “Tamerlane” by Edgar Allen Poe, and plans on selling that at auction and moving off of Alice Island. One morning after waking up hungover, A.J. discovers the book missing. After months of investigation the book is never recovered and A.J. must continue running the bookstore.

    What happens next turns A.J.’s life around and he discovers the answers to several of life’s mysterys. A young woman leaves her baby in the children’s books section of the bookstore and tells A.J. through a note attached that she wants her daughter to grow up well read. The woman’s body later washes up onshore leaving more of a mystery. At first A.J. is confused and annoyed, after all what is he going to do with a baby? A.J. soon grows fond of the two year-old with a surprising vocabulary, and works to get her adopted.

    The rest of the book is about learning about life and love through A.J. and his living through his daughter, Mia Tamerlane Fickry. The many lessons learned involve the differences of race and how people perceive that, how love comes to you when you least expect it, and the meaning of life. If you are ready for a book that runs the entire emotional gamut that is life. At the end of the book you can’t help but feel satisfied with just having read / listened to a great story and peek into someone’s life. All told through the shared experiences of books, book discussions, book clubs and A.J. Fickry pick out the books for his shelf.

    If you have ever made friends with a book this one will easily become your new best friend.



  • gilwilson 3:45 PM on January 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: air force, , , , nuclear accidents, nuclear weapons, , scott brick   

    Audiobook Review: “Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety” by Eric Schlosser 


    Audiobook Review: “Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety”
    by Eric Schlosser
    read by Scott Brick
    published by Penguin Audio
    Approx 20.5 hours

    Investigative journalist, Eric Schlosser is at it again. This time around he tackles the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. I had previously read Schlosser’s taking on of the fast food industry in his book “Fast Food Nation.” After reading that book, I was totally disgusted by not only the fast food industry, but also America’s handling of the meat industry. For a long time I had a hard time eating fast food and when I went shopping I would steer away from the meat department. I admit, I found it hard to stay away completely and so now and then I’ll eat something Eric Schlosser discussed in that book and will either get a little nauseous or shiver a bit, but at least he did open my eyes on a very lucrative industry that preys on its employees and customers. So what was I in for thist time?

    Seeing as how the subject is nuclear weapons, I thought well this will probably give me some good information and I’ll want to go out and start protesting nuclear war, like a hippie. Well, yes and no. Yes this book goes into depths unimaginable about how the world and America have mishandled nuclear weapons since the the bombs were dropped on Japan. So now I’m thinking of building a bunker, but wondering how deep to go.

    Before I go into too much detail on this book I want to talk about the reader of the audiobook, Scott Brick. I have been a fan of Scott Brick ever since I heard him read the Truman Capote book “In Cold Blood,” and through the audiobook productions of all of the Dune books by Frank Herbert, and the prequels and sequels by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. In fact it was those mentioned books that got me addicted to audiobooks. Brick has a way with his delivery in any audiobook he reads that sucks the listener in and once absorbed can barely tell whether it is a single voice or multiple voice performance. Brick can deliver emotions and ideals that are implied through the overall book within just a few sentences. Being read by Scott Brick sealed the deal in this audiobook. Eric Schlosser’s in depth investigative journalism attracted me to the book , but Brick made sure I listened now.

    Schlosser has used his gift for writing to create a fact-filled documentary which reads like a thriller novel. The sad thing is that this is a true story. The main story is about the “Damascus Accident,” an accident that occurred in Damascus, Arkansas at a Titan II missile silo. The story begins with the Air Force personnel preparing for routine checks and maintenance on a Titan II missile (carrying a nuclear warhead). One of the crew drops a wrench which strikes the side of the missile causing a severe fuel leak. As the story is being told the reader/listener learns that through a series of mishaps and ignored safety procedures that leads to a major disaster.

    Interspersed between the events that follow the dropped wrench and lead to a major explosion at the missile silo, Schlosser gives a history of the world’s, focusing mainly on the United State’s involvement in creating nuclear weapons. From the first atomic bomb building and testing all the way through nuclear disarmament and leading to this disaster, Eric Schlosser deals out facts that will scare you. The facts are all there, the danger exists, where do we go now?

  • gilwilson 4:07 PM on August 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , australia, , graham brown, nikolai tesla, , scott brick, ,   

    Audiobook Review “Zero Hour” (a novel from the NUMA files) By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown 


    Audiobook Review “Zero Hour” (a novel from the NUMA files)

    By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

    Read by Scott Brick

    Published by Penguin Audio

    Approx. 10.5 hours


    I still can’t believe it took me this long to get hooked on Clive Cussler’s novels.  His novels are so much fun, great escape from reality, full on action and adventure, and great characters.  This is what books are all about, and with Scott Brick bringing the characters to life in this audiobook it makes it that much more enjoyable.


    First allow me to praise the reader, Scott Brick.  I’ve been a fan of his for many years now, back when I listened to “In Cold Blood” with him doing the narration.  He is able to capture voices and emotions in his presentation that is extremely rare in a single reader audiobook.  His inflection is always just right for the subject, whether it is a dark murder mystery, a science-fiction novel or in this instance an action/adventure novel.   His voice is unmistakable, yet each book he reads he creates a completely different audio aura.


    As for Clive Cussler, well the best way to sum up his novels is pure fun and adventure.  This book, “Zero Hour,” is from “The NUMA Files” series of novels.  This series  focuses on Kurt Austin, Team Leader of NUMA’s Special Assignments division and his adventures. Some characters from the Dirk Pitt novels appear such as Sandecker, Rudi Gunn, Hiram Yaeger and St. Julien Perlmutter. Even Dirk Pitt makes brief appearances in some of the books.  NUMA is The National Underwater and Marine Agency, which was originally an organization within the fiction of author Clive Cussler.  Now it is a private non-profit organization in the United States. Cussler created and leads the actual organization which is dedicated to “preserving maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts.”


    As is true with most of the “NUMA files” books there is some fact that the fiction is based on.  This time that fact is a form of energy that surrounds us all the time, it is called zero point energy and is pretty much unlimited.   Nikolai Tesla had theories about it but nobody has ever found a way to tap into it, until one scientist discovers a way, but the energy is relatively untamable, the problem is, his machines also cause great earthquakes, even fissures in tectonic plates. One machine is buried deep underground; the other is submerged in a vast ocean trench. If Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala and the rest of the NUMA team aren’t able to find and destroy them, and soon, the world will be on the threshold of a new era of earth tremors and unchecked volcanism.


    Soon the NUMA team, led by Kurt Austin, goes on a race against time to find the machine and save the world.  Through Austin’s quick action and even quicker thinking he leads the team in their effort to save the world.  All told in non-stop action through this thrilling book.

  • gilwilson 4:20 PM on June 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , climate change, , , indian ocean, kurt austin, , , scott brick,   

    Audiobook Review: “The Storm” By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown 


    Audiobook Review:

    “The Storm”

    By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

    Read by Scott Brick

    Published by Penguin Audio

    Approx. 11 hours


    Whenever you are looking for a good suspenseful action/adventure novel go out and grab one of my newly found guilty pleasures, Clive Cussler.  I have only recently started on the novels by Cussler but I have been having fun listening to them in audiobook form.


    So far all the ones I have heard have been read by Scott Brick, and if any of you are familiar with audiobooks you have probably ran into something read by Brick.  Scott Brick has a style of reading audiobooks that is unmatched.  His voice is perfect in every way, from simply relaying the books text to applying subtle vocal changes that never leave a doubt as to when the dialogue changes between characters.  He is also able to relay the emotions and drama experienced by all the characters as needed throughout all the books he reads.  He is the reason I started listening to Clive Cussler books, because I knew with Scott Brick reading, it would stay interesting.  I’m pretty sure I would listen to Scott Brick read the dictionary.


    As for this book, it is a novel from the NUMA files by Clive Cussler.  NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency), originally an organization within the fiction of author Clive Cussler, is a private non-profit organization in the United States. Cussler created and leads the actual organization which is dedicated to “preserving maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts.


    The NUMA adventures started with the novels featuring the lead character, Dirk Pitt, but the author has branched out to where the employees of NUMA now have their own adventures.  They still contact Dirk for important matters, but for the most part, they are able to have their own adventures and if this book is any sort of reflection of the other 10 books in the series, they are some fun adventures that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


    Cussler is able to create not only a great plotline but the characters are all very unique and make for a great combination to push the plot along.  The plot of this story is introduced as a NUMA ship is doing routine testing in the Indian Ocean and discovers water temperature anomalies.  Just as the crew of the ship sends their information and settle down for a meal, the ship is attacked by what appears to be an oil slick, but that oil slick then sort of resembles an attacking swarm of insects.


    The fire-scorched ship is soon discovered drifting without a crew.  When the folks at NUMA hear this they are dispatched to find what has happened to the crew.  They soon discover a plot to change the climate of the great desert area of Northern Africa by a “terrorist” using micro-bots.  The crew is then split and some are held captive on an artificial island, some arrive in Egypt trying to save the Aswan Dam and some are marooned on island with a tribe of Cargo Cult natives loyal to President Roosevelt.  The race is on to save the world from micro-bots built to attack and change the climate.

  • gilwilson 8:56 PM on April 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , audioboks, , , , , , early 20th century, germans, hollywood, isaac bell, justin scott, , , scott brick, van dorn, world war I   

    Audiobook Review: “The Thief” (An Isaac Bell Adventure) by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott 


    “The Thief” (An Isaac Bell Adventure)
    by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott
    read by Scott Brick
    published by Penguin Audio
    Approx. 10 hours

    I have only recently discovered the adventure novels from Clive Cussler and am sampling each of the different lead characters. Cussler writes a few different adventure types revolving around different lead characters. While most of these take place in the present, the stories with Isaac Bell take place in the early 20th century.

    This story, “The Thief,” takes place in 1910, as the world is moving toward war. Several Van Dorn detectives, lead by Isaac Bell, are on the ocean liner Mauretania escorting a prisoner from Europe to New York. By accident Bell interrupts the attempted kidnapping of two scientists, who, it turns out, has invented a completely functional talking picture machine. A group of Germans desperately want this machine for use in their propaganda efforts, and their leader will stop at nothing to seize it, including killing one of the scientists while aboard the Mauretania.

    The only working machine is destroyed in a fire aboard the Mauretania. Bell’s new wife (they marry onboard the Mauritania) sees the potential for this invention and with Isaac’s help manages to convince the Van Dorn detective to invest in the invention and the surviving scientist. The rest of the book covers the Bell and the scientist trying to break the Edison trust and create a talking pictures machine as an independent. The problem is the Germans follow and the murder and mayhem ensue. Bell spends his time uncovering the plot to steal the machine.

    Through the many twists and turns in the plot and discovering who the real spies this book will keep you involved in this book. At times I would think I wasn’t interested too much in the story and was going to stop listening, but then something would happen and I just had to keep listening to find out what happens. While at first the subject matter didn’t interest me the writing would be enough to keep me hooked.

    What also helped was the outstanding performance by Scott Brick. Brick’s ability to narrate an audiobook goes beyond description. His vocal gymnastics are enough to give each character a voice that would reflect all the goings on in the story and their psyche. Brick is an award winning audiobook reader and every time I hear his voice I can hear why. His voice alone was a reason to listen to this audiobook, but teamed up the Cussler’s skills at writing a story that keeps you hooked makes the audiobook of “The Thief” worth putting on your to-read list and soon.

  • gilwilson 8:32 PM on March 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , attila the hun, , , , , globe trekking, , scott brick, thomas perry, treasure hunting   

    “The Tombs” by Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry 


    “The Tombs”
    by Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry
    read by Scott Brick
    published by Penguin Audio
    11 hours and 21 minutes

    When it comes to global trekking adventures I have found a new favorite author in Clive Clussler. This is the second book by him I’ve heard, and it will definitely not be my last. If you are a fan of the world-travelling, clue-solving, treasure-hunting adventure novels (which made Dan Brown famous) then check out this thrilling author and especially this novel.

    Clive Cussler has several adventure novels and from the two I’ve read they are a thrill a minute ride into mystery. The one I read before this was in the world of Dirk Pitt and the NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) personnel. The Dirk Pitt novels run more along the line of a detective stories where as this novel, “The Tombs,” is the fourth in the adventures of Sam and Remy Fargo.

    The Fargos are world renowned treasure hunters who spend their time not hunting treasure for profit, rather, they hunt the treasure for the thrill. They also have a penchant for running into egomaniacal evil men seeking the same treasures. This time around they run into not one but two evil egomaniacs all while hunting for the treasures of Attila the Hun.

    Legend has it that Attila was buried in a gold coffin which was surrounded by jewels then placed in a coffin of silver surrounded by the treasures of many kings conquered by the Huns and then that coffin was placed in a coffin of iron. The final resting place of Attila is a mystery and lost to the ages, until a German Archaeologist discovers a massive burial site with a thousand Hun warriors that may contain a clue to the final resting place of Attila the Hun.

    Along the way Sam and Remy Fargo must battle a group of thieves wanting to jump any treasure claims, a Hungarian crime lord who believes himself to be a direct descendant of Attila, and a Russian mob boss bent on kidnapping Remy for the treasure. This adventure takes the reader/listener on a clue-solving treasure-hunting trip through Eastern Europe. Along the way they will be riddles and digging up tombs while dodging bullets and bad guys.

    The book is read by Scott Brick, who is one of the best audiobook voices available. Brick’s talent for bringing out all the emotion and portrayal of various characters makes this book come alive. This performance from Brick combined with the writing from Cussler creates a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and hammering out clues until the very end.

    As a bit of a side note, I’ve discovered that Clive Cussler writes himself as a character into each novel. Each time the Clive Cussler character is a bit of a Deus-ex-Machina character providing help for the hero when the reader/listener thinks there is no hope. This time around he just happens to be at the right place when all chips are down and is able to help Sam and Remy escape. This makes for a fun piece in the books that also is a bit of comic relief in the form of an inside joke.

  • gilwilson 9:51 PM on January 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , dirk cussler, , high seas adventure, , , rare earth, scott brick, submarines   

    “Poseidon’s Arrow” Book #22 in the Dirk Pitt Series by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler 


    “Poseidon’s Arrow”
    Book #22 in the Dirk Pitt Series
    by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler
    Read by Scott Brick
    Published by Penguin Audio
    Approx 13 hours

    I have to start this review off by saying; I have never before read a Clive Cussler novel. Yes, this was my first Cussler novel and I now have to admit, this guy can write a thriller. If all his novels are like this, (which I’ll be finding out soon) this is the author to go to when you want a non-stop, action hero, suspense story. This book not only kept me on the edge of my seat, but while listening to the audiobook while commuting to and from work I kept having to take my foot off the accelerator pedal because I would get so caught up in the action I would find myself driving 65 or 70 mph on a rural highway marked for  55 mph.

    I have had several people tell me I would like Cussler, but I’ve never been completely sold on the idea. I saw the movie “Sahara,” which was based on the Cussler novel of the same name but was not really impressed. Maybe that is why I have never tackled one of his novels. With that in mind you may wonder what made me want to give this latest novel from Clive Cussler a listen. When Penguin Audio sent out their list of new releases I saw this novel listed and at first just skimmed over it but when I saw who was doing the reading of the book, I did a double take and put the book on my list.

    There are many audiobook readers that I really enjoy hearing and this book’s reader, Scott Brick is one. I think the main reason I like Scott Brick is that through his voice alone it can sound like a multicast performance. Brick is able to present each character vocally in such a manner that there is no question as to who is speaking and when. Brick’s vocal talent not only can let the listener know the difference between character’s voices but he is also able to bring out the emotions and intensity of the story through his voice. I’ve heard him read science-fiction, murder mystery and now an action/suspense story and I will definitely be keeping him in my top 5 audiobook readers. If nothing else, he definitely sold me on this story and made me want to seek out other books by Clive Cussler.

    If you are a fan already of Cussler then you probably know about Cussler’s way of weaving several subplots together into one big story and by the end of the book they all come together to form the story. I did not know this and just thought it was unique to this story, but after doing some research before writing this review, i realized this is his way of working. That is also another reason I am going to be reading some more from Clive Cussler. It was really interesting to hear sections introduced that didn’t seem to have anything to do with the main story but as the book came along they all fit in perfectly.

    “Poseidon’s Arrow” opens up with three events that seem unrelated; one is of a rare earth mineral mining company being blown up by what seems to be terrorists another event takes place during World War II onboard an Italian Submarine working for the German army under attack and sinking. Finally the third event is that the U.S. Navy has just unveiled an experimental submarine that even the President is just finding out about. This sub is a completely different design which uses an undetectable engine that is capable of propelling the sub underwater at a couple of hundred knots and stealth underwater technology that makes this sub a threat to any nation. These events do eventually fit into the story but before that all happens we have to be introduced to the hero of the story, Dirk Pitt.

    In this book the intro to the hero finds him and his wife enjoying some time on the ocean. As Dirk dives down for a couple of lobsters for dinner, a wayward cargo ship is on a course to collide with his boat, his wife signals him by tapping out a crude S.O.S. as he comes out of the water he sees the ship and realizes it is too late to maneuver out of its way so he and his wife dive into the water and fight to avoid being sucked into the ship’s propeller. When they surface they find their boat intact and race to keep the ship from doing further damage. Seeing that the ship is unmanned and on a collision course with a cruise ship, Dirk rams his boat into the ship’s rudder to make it change course.

    Once the ship is grounded a new mystery is uncovered. The ships rare earth minerals cargo is mostly missing and there are dead crew members onboard, and so the adventure begins.  From this point on hang on to your seat, because this thrillride doesn’t stop until the end of the book.

    When a rich mine owner wants to destroy America he does so not with bombs but by piracy on the high seas. In a series of ships gone missing, all carrying rare earth minerals, the murder of a man who has the only plans for a new design of a stealth submarine, and the destruction of an American mining site, all signs point to the mine owner and it is up to Dirk Pitt, with the help of some federal agents to solve this mystery and stop the collapse of the world’s supply of rare earth minerals and the theft of one of America’s greatest secrets in submarine technology.

    This high seas and even some land-locked adventure is a thrill-a-second ride that will keep your rooting for the good guys and on the edge of your seat for the entire book. Dirk Pitt is the action hero we’ve always wanted.

  • gilwilson 10:35 PM on November 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , jekyll and hyde, philosophy, , , scott brick, , the strange case of dr jekyll and mr hyde   

    “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson 

    “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”
    by Robert Louis Stevenson
    read by Scott Brick
    Produced by Tantor Media
    Approx 3 hours

    Like I say, every so often you have to go back and revisit the classics.  This time around I decided to listen to a tale that has been portrayed as a horror story, but in reality it is the exploration of man’s darker side.  I’ve seen the 1931 film starring Frederick March as the lead and while the movie focused on the horror side of things they did a pretty good job of showing the duality of man.  But the idea of drinking a potion to become a monster has been the bulk of what popular culture relates back to the Robert Louis Stevenson tale.

    One of the reasons I decided to give this book a listen was two-fold; 1 – because it was an audiobook and I could listen while I worked around the house, showered and commuted to work, after all a good audiobook can make a great soundtrack.  2 – because this book was read by Scott Brick.  I’ve always enjoyed listening to Scott Brick narrate books, he puts emotion into the readings that are subtle yet effective.  This time around, Brick brings to life the many aspects of late nineteenth century London.

    The book covers the piecing together of the story of how Mr. Edward Hyde can be so ruthless and yet be the man the Good Dr. Jekyll has bequeathed everything to through his will, and then through written correspondence from Dr. Jekyll is fully realized as he confesses to his exploration of the split personality through chemistry.  Hyde is observed brutally knocking over a child and when confronted offers no apology, instead he buys his way out.

    The problem arises when Jekyll discovers his original formula was tainted and after ordering the chemicals for more of his personality splitting concoction, finds they are pure and he cannot repeat the original without first finding what was the impurity in the original.  The original formula allowed him to shift back and forth at will between the two personalities.  The later formulas allow Hyde to take over without ever getting control of his situation.  But Jekyll has a plan and will sacrifice himself to save humanity from his dark side.

    Hey this novella is not too long of a read or listen, so do yourself a favor read a classic and enjoy some mystery with a little philosophy thrown in.

  • gilwilson 3:04 AM on March 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , duncan idaho, , , harkonnen, house harkonnen, , , , scott brick,   

    House Harkonnen Book 2 of the Prelude to Dune series by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson 

    House Harkonnen
    Book 2 of the Prelude to Dune series
    by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
    Read by Scott Brick
    Produced by Tantor Audio
    approx 26.5 hours (unabridged)

    After the death of his father,Frank Herbert,  Brian Herbert discovered some manuscripts left behind with more information on the universe of Dune. Teaming up with Kevin J. Anderson they began a quest to add more stories to the “Duneverse” based on these manuscripts and their own talents in writing Science Fiction. The first was the “Prelude to Dune” series. This book “House Harkkonen” was the second in this series.

    Tantor Audio has re-released these books in audio book form and this time they aquired the award winning voice of Scott Brick. Back when I first started listening to audio books Scott Brick was the first reader I heard. After hearing his performance I became a huge fan of audio books. There’s a reason Mr. Brick has won so many awards. His voice is completely adjustable to any genre and his talents are fully expressed when reading a book with multiple characters. When expressing the voice of another speaker in the dialogue in the book he can, with the subtlest of changes, change characters so the listener is treated to what nearly sounds like a multi-cast performance. At the same time he can add the characters emotions into the voice to the utmost perfection. Scott Brick is no stranger to the “Dune” series, he has voiced many of the audio books so he knows the material and I would have to say he is the perfect choice for the re-issue of these books.

    “House Harkkonen” gives even more information on the buildup of what created the situations leading to the epic novel “Dune,” by Frank Herbert.

    This book takes place approximately 20 years after the Book “House Atreides” and about 30 years prior to the original “Dune” series.  Shaddam Corrino IV is the emperor and his Bene Gesserit wife, Anirul produces only daughters, leaving him without an heir to the throne. The emperor is aware of the Bene Gesserit ability to determine the sex of their children and grows annoyed at Anirul for not giving him a son. Along with this stress factor for the Emperor the Tleilaxu have yet to produce a synthetic equal to the Spice Melange. This was the reason the planet of Ix was taken over and House Vernius went renegade.

    Dominic Vernius is still in hiding as a renegade but his children, Kailea and Rhombur, are living with Duke Leto Atreides on Caladan. Leto arranges fro Rhombur to take in a concubine from the Bene Gesserit, and Kailea becomes Leto’s concubine. Kailea gives birth to Victor the son of Leto and heir to House Atreides, but due to politics and the fact that Kailea is considered renegade Leto cannot marry her. Besides, the Bene Gesserit have other plans with Jessica, the daughter of Vladimer Harkonnen and a Bene Gesserit witch. Leto does arrange to have a lady-in-waiting to help Kailea. Kailea’s lady-in-waiting, Chiara, is actually a Harkonnen agent sent to poison Kailea’s mind against Leto. Kailea and Chiara scheme to assassinate Leto thus making Victor the Duke and Kailea a Regent. But the plan backfires and the planned explosion kills young Victor and mutilates Rhombur. Kailea then kills Chiara and commits suicide unable to face what she has done.

    The Tleilaxu offer to make a ghola,a clone, of Victor in exchange for the barely alive body of Rhombur Vernius. Leto ultimately refuses, after much soul-searching, knowing that the Tleilaxu intend only harm towards House Vernius. Instead, Leto hires Dr. Wellington Yueh, an expert in the field of cybernetics, to fashion a cybernetic replacement body for Rhombur. Leto and Jessica fall deeply in love, leading Jessica to decide to conceive a son for Leto’s sake, directly disobeying the Bene Gesserit’s order that she have a daughter.

    Baron Harkonnen grows weaker due to his disease, but he becomes more vicious, destroying his half-brothers life (figuratively first then literally). A Suk doctor determines the cause of the illness is from the Bene Gesserit he raped. Harkonnen seeks reveng on the witches but through mind tricks they show him who is really in charge. Meanwhile, the Baron’s brother, Abulurd, uncovers an illegal stockpile of spice on Lankiveil. Rather than turn his brother in to the Emperor, Abulurd, a benevolent ruler and the polar opposite of his brother Vladimir, uses the stockpile to benefit his people. Upon discovery of this, Glossu Rabban, Abulurd’s firstborn son, strangles his father to death, an act which earns him the nickname of “Beast.” Baron Harkonnen also kidnaps Abulurd’s other son, Feyd-Rautha, and tries to raise him as his own.

    We are also introduced to Gurney Halleck. Gurney’s village is raided and his sister is taken away. He later finds she is forced to work in a “pleasure house” for the Harkonnen military. He tries to rescue her but is capture and made a slave. He then tries to attack Rabban, but is outnumbered and Rabban punishes him by killing his entire family. Gurney escapes to Salusa Secundus to help Dominic Vernius with his attacks against the empire.

    Dominic learns of the atrocities going on on Ix and gathers all his stockpiles of atomics to the south polar region of Arrakis in order to deliver them to the homeworld of the Emperor and destroy the House Corrino. But his plan is discovered and the Sardukar guards are sent to stop him. Instead he detonates the atomics destroying most of the south pole area of Arrakis.

    On Arrakis it is learned that the Bene Gesserit have been mixing with the Fremen in order to blend prophecies of the Qwissatz Hadderach and the myths of the Missionaria Protectiva.

    And this is only scratching the surface of this wonderful adventure into the Duniverse.

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