Bikram Agarwal

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-23-18

Hilarious without trying too hard.

I had requested and received audiobook version of this book for free from the author, in exchange for an unbiased review.

I am always on the lookout for any genuinely funny story, which just doesn't depend on crass humor. Satire books are a risky bet in that quest. When they work, they are fabulous. But when they fail, they bomb. Thankfully, "Orconomics: A Satire" is the former. It is full of very cleverly written story sequences and intelligent humor. The well written characters and their antiques kept me thoroughly entertained for the whole duration. It is funny without trying too hard to be funny. I was laughing out loud in my room. I had to stop listening to it during my commute, because I didn't want to grin like an idiot in public. Listen to it to know what I'm talking about.

The narration by Doug Tisdale Jr. works so very well for this book. The different voices used were marvelous and kept me engrossed in it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-15-18

Makes me sad about our past.

All of this is real...!!!?? I somewhat knew about the atrocities committed on Indigenous people, and yet, reading this book made me sick to my stomach. How can people be so cruel...!! And all for just money..! And then they have the audacity to act all high n holy and lecture others on human rights.

In chapters where the FBI investigations were unraveling twists of the murders, it read like a newbie thriller writer throwing in "twists" just for the sake of. And to think that it all really happened... Truth is really stranger than fiction.

This is the kind of non-fiction book I like; not the self-help books that sound all preachy and don't really help me in anyway.

This book is divided into three broad sections and each of them are narrated by different narrators. I think that was a wise choice.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-04-18

More of Comey's journey, less about Trump. Good.

I read some news articles that people are actually feeling let down that this book is not entirely (as in, cover to cover) about Donald Trump. Really? People actually want to read an entire book on him? On top of the trump-flood that MSM is drowning in? I in fact liked that the book isn't constantly going trump, trump, trump, trump. I liked that Mr. Comey described different major cases of his life, in order to make us understand his values etc. I hadn't known about the Martha Stewart case before this (I am not American) and that was new to me. It was also good to learn how Comey dealt with the surveillance program and the torture regimen. I now know more about Mr. Comey and few other political players than I knew before. So, I would say this book was beneficial to me.

The book does have its flaws. To begin with, it did sound to me like Mr. Comey was trying to paint a very righteous image of himself. The few self-criticization that he has added in the book were there just so that he can say "no, see I criticized myself too" when confronted. I was expecting there will be at least one chapter on the Snowden leak. But apart from mentioning him in the passing, Mr. Comey didn't broach the subject. Of course there's the Stellar Wind chapter. But even there, we get no justification on how did they think any of those mass surveillance were justified. Bradley Manning gets no mention either. He also quickly wrapped the topic of encryption. Topics where he probably knew that his views are counter to public opinion. All that said, I do believe that Mr. Comey is a stand-up guy and did his best for the country under a very difficult situation. Being fired by Trump should be further proof of that and be worn like a badge of honor.

On the topic of Trump, yes, I'm a little disappointed. I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know. Every single thing related to Trump mentioned in this book was already part of msm news articles before this. Other than the still classified / unverified material implicating Lynch. Wonder what that is.

I'm glad that Mr. Comey himself narrated this book. Anyone else doing it wouldn't have been appropriate.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-02-18

Softcore porn where "plot" is afterthought.

I had heard so much praise for this book but it turned out to be such a disappointment. I listened to first four stories and couldn't go on anymore. None of the stories have anything coherent or important to say. All of them are just f*ck-fest with a "plot" woven in as an afterthought.

Story #1 - The girl f*cked the guy here, there, everywhere. And oh, here's the mystery behind her ribbon.

Story #2 - The girl f*cked guys and girls and everything in between... and oh, the world's ending and she's on an island, making lists.

Story #3 - Two lesbians somehow made a baby.. and oh, twist, it's someone else's baby.

Story #4 - No idea what's even going on here.

It looks to me like the high praise for this book is PC affirmative action. As in "A woman talking about sex....!!! 5 stars." I just wasted hours n hours of time on this. Utter rubbish.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-30-18

Great little thriller. And brilliant narration.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I was reluctant to buy this audiobook because of its short length. But I finally caved and bought it only because of Sylar err.. Mr. Zachary Quinto. And boy... was I blow away. I'm now seeing the short length as a plus point of this book since I finished it in a single day during my short commutes and evening leisure time. The concept itself is intriguing and the story built around is very well done. The variation Zachary Quinto brought to different character voicess... I had to double check whether he was the only narrator in the credits. I would definitely recommend it.

Which character – as performed by Zachary Quinto – was your favorite?

Elaine. Maybe just because of the content of her message. I had headphones on during that section and Zachary Quinto's rendition of the msg broke my heart. Every shortness of breath, every gulp, every sound made during that passage was so raw.. One of the best things I've heard in recent times.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Same. The msg reading part.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-29-18

Love the twisty tales.

This is the second short story collection that I've read in recent times and I loved this one too. (I guess I should pick up more anthologies.) Some of the stories truly have unexpected twists (first and fourth story, both involving time machines, ) that blew my mind, while others' twists were kinda apparent (story #2 about the superhero, #6 about resurrection, and the last story.) from the very beginning. Couple of stories were simply good because of their content, without needing any twists - story #7 about the student studying zombies, the story about a robot finding Man and the title story. The other 3 of the total 11 stories were meh. Not boring or bad; just not as good as the others. So, overall a pretty good book.

The narration was top notch too. I was drawn into each of the story and it was like watching a netflix series.

Definitely would recommend.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-25-18

Dunno what I was expecting..!

What disappointed you about Kent Montana and the Really Ugly Thing from Mars?

The book's old movie voice-over trailer kind of synopsis had pulled me in. I guess I was expecting some "cozy" sci-fi, if that makes any sense; like cozy mystery. But as I listened to the book, I realized I'm not into whatever the book was trying to be. The book's story telling style just didn't work for me. The writing sounded pretty amateurish. The characters were cartoonish and were trying too hard. All of it was pretty eye-roll inducing for me.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Narration was alright. But since the story itself wasn't engaging to me, that didn't make much difference.

Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-25-18

Didn't pull me in.

What would have made Leader of Battles (I): Ambrosius better?

Even though the book is based on legends and there was a lot of potential in its retelling, the author failed to do it in effective way. The characters didn't get all that interesting to me. Most of them felt pretty one dimensional and lacked depth. This being a book on battles, I was expecting spectacular battle scenes. But I was let down there as well. It wasn't as gritty as I had expected. I didn't enjoy it.

Would you ever listen to anything by David Pilling again?

Probably not for historical books. If he ever writes in any other genre, maybe I'll check that out.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-25-18

A lot left unanswered.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I have a split-opinion about this. The book certainly has entertainment value. But it has a lot of stuff which we have already seen in other such "survive the trial" stories like Hunger Games. And then at the end, a lot of questions are left unanswered. Is there going to be a sequel? Definitely.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The author tried to wow us with bunch of twists in the book. Some of them were really surprising while others were fairly obvious.

What three words best describe Paul Jenkins’s performance?

Soft, monotonous, could-have-been-better.

Do you think The Selection needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes, definitely needs follow-up book. A lot of questions are left unanswered in this book.

Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-25-18

Poorly written

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Adolescent / teenagers maybe. I guess even they will read this ironically.

What was most disappointing about L. Sydney Fisher’s story?

The story is written very poorly and lacks a strong plot. The characters aren't fleshed out properly and aren't relatable. Dialogues are poor. Situations created aren't thrilling or real creepy. I wasn't freaked out for even a second. It was like watching a B-grade movie, shot on a budget phone.

What character would you cut from The Devil's Board?

I mean, all of them need much more depth in them to be worth anything.

Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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