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irene

Member Since 2013

36
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 95 ratings
  • 286 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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  • Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By David Edmonds, John Eidinow
    • Narrated By Sam Tsoutsouvas
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    In the summer of 1972, with a presidential crisis stirring in the United States and the cold war at a pivotal point, two men, the Soviet world chess champion Boris Spassky and his American challenger Bobby Fischer, met in the most notorious chess match of all time. Their showdown in Reykjavik, Iceland, held the world spellbound for two months with reports of psychological warfare, ultimatums, political intrigue, cliffhangers, and farce to rival a Marx Brothers film.

    Gene says: "Engrossing"
    "If you like chess"
    Overall

    I listened to this book after listening to the "Immortal Game" (excellent. and I very much enjoyed it. Very interesting inside look at Soviet era chess and the length they would go to for victory and the devastation sown after a loss. I knew Fischer to be a bit eccentric but not this over the top. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (275)
    Performance
    (243)
    Story
    (247)

    Titan is the first full-length biography based on unrestricted access to Rockefeller’s exceptionally rich trove of papers. A landmark publication full of startling revelations, the book indelibly alters our image of this most enigmatic capitalist. Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to become the world’s richest man by creating America’s most powerful and feared monopoly, Standard Oil. Branded "the Octopus" by legions of muckrakers, the trust refined and marketed nearly 90 percent of the oil produced in America.

    Rick says: "He makes Bill Gates look like a Pauper!"
    "Detailed which can be good or looooooong"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Too much detail for me.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Hmmm, to the biography of someone passed? I knew the ending.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Not necessarily.


    Could you see Titan being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    A long movie. Long.


    Any additional comments?

    Did I mention this book may be too long. All kidding aside it depends on your taste. The writer certainly did a lot of research. A lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13654)
    Performance
    (9480)
    Story
    (9540)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Annie M. says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "Long and slow to start but worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Unbroken in three words, what would they be?

    Resilience beyond belief.


    What other book might you compare Unbroken to and why?

    No other I've listened to previously.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Drama.


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

    It was all one very moving book.


    Any additional comments?

    This guy was real. In fact he just passed away prior to the movie that will be released. Read this book It is a life that is one remarkable story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rush: America's Fevered Quest for Fortune, 1848-1853

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Edward Dolnick
    • Narrated By Bernard Setaro Clark
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In the spring of 1848, rumors began to spread that gold had been discovered in a remote spot in the Sacramento Valley. A year later, newspaper headlines declared "Gold Fever!" as hundreds of thousands of men and women borrowed money, quit their jobs, and allowed themselves - for the first time ever - to imagine a future of ease and splendor.

    irene says: "Excellent personalization of the gold rush"
    "Excellent personalization of the gold rush"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Rush the most enjoyable?

    Story snd truly magnificent narrator. The Israel Lord character was downright humorous and entertaining unto himself.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The personalization of the story using the 5 main characters with lots of actual diary accounts.


    Have you listened to any of Bernard Setaro Clark’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. But although it would seem odd to choose a book by the narrator I just might try it this time. Hmmmm.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Let those who have water in their basement move HERE.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like history at all give this one a try. You will enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Frederick Lewis Allen
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    In this span between armistice and depression, Americans were kicking up their heels, but they were also bringing about major changes in the social and political structure of their country. Only Yesterday is a fond, witty, penetrating biography of this restless decade, a delightful reminiscence for those who can remember and a fascinating firsthand look for those who've only heard.

    Matthew M. Kayes says: "Loved this book"
    "1920's brought to life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Only Yesterday to be better than the print version?

    n/a


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    n/a


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    n/a


    Any additional comments?

    If you want to feel the 20's this is the book. If I had known it was written in or near 1934 I probably wouldn't have bought it. But, that would have been my loss and incorrect assumption. I find that when I read reviews it is best to also read reviews on books I have already read and liked since that gives me a gauge for future reviews, especially on the negative ones.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2697)
    Performance
    (1993)
    Story
    (2001)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Jennie says: "Unbelievably riveting!"
    "Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Endurance?

    This is a truly magnificent story.


    What other book might you compare Endurance to and why?

    Batavia's Graveyard. The feel of being right there in the story.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Probably.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Professor and the Madman

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (1558)
    Performance
    (742)
    Story
    (751)

    Part history, part true-crime, and entirely entertaining, listen to the story of how the behemoth Oxford English Dictionary was made. You'll hang on every word as you discover that the dictionary's greatest contributor was also an insane murderer working from the confines of an asylum.

    Jerry says: "Perfect example of a quality audible book."
    "Good listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Professor and the Madman the most enjoyable?

    The well-rounded story surrounding the OED.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The title says it all.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Winchester’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I downloaded 3 more of his books since this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economics Die

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Paul Slack
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    Best-selling author and world-renowned historian Niall Ferguson has won widespread acclaim for thought-provoking works such as Civilization and High Financier. The Great Degeneration tackles nothing less than the decline of Western civilization. Ferguson posits that slowing growth, outrageous debt, and antisocial behavior are contributing to the erosion of the West’s once rock-solid foundations. Ferguson excavates the causes and shows how heroic leadership and radical reform are needed to right the course.

    irene says: "Good but short"
    "Good but short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Great Degeneration rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    middle of the pack due to length


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    short


    What does Paul Slack bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    n/a


    If you could give The Great Degeneration a new subtitle, what would it be?

    How Institutions affect a civilization.
    I didn't really find the reasons why they decay.
    More of a case as to the effect.
    Insightful book though.


    Any additional comments?

    Niall Ferguson is good at economic history. No doubt.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • One Summer: America, 1927

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1478)
    Performance
    (1336)
    Story
    (1321)

    One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country - a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive.

    Mark says: "Why 1927?"
    "1927 but really a lot more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to One Summer again? Why?

    The events of 1927 and the history before and after. Bryson is good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    All of the surrounding information.


    What about Bill Bryson’s performance did you like?

    Ordinarily, I find writers should leave narration to the pros, but Bryson was certainly satisfactory. In fact, a good job here.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Would You Eat Your Cat?: Key Ethical Conundrums and What They Tell You About Yourself

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jeremy Stangroom
    • Narrated By Gregory St. John
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Are you authoritarian or libertarian? Are we morally obligated to end the world? And just what’s wrong with eating your cat? Would You Eat Your Cat? challenges you to examine these and many other philosophical questions. This unique collection of classic and modern problems and paradoxes is guaranteed to test your preconceptions. Jeremy Stangroom creates contemporary versions of famous dilemmas that explore the morality of suicide and the ethics of retribution. He then delves into the background of each conundrum in detail and helps you discover what your responses reveal about yourself.

    irene says: "Not very interesting"
    "Not very interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I like information and I especially like compelling and interesting information. This book is neither and reminds me of someone that simply has a weird mindset to begin with which is why THEY find these thoughts interesting. But I also hear there are those that like rope burn, so what can you do?


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jeremy Stangroom again?

    No.


    How could the performance have been better?

    It is okay.


    What character would you cut from Would You Eat Your Cat??

    The writer.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Amy Reading
    • Narrated By Richard McGonagle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    In 1919, Texas rancher J. Frank Norfleet lost everything he had in a stock market swindle. He did what many other marks did - he went home, borrowed more money from his family, and returned for another round of swindling. Only after he lost that second fortune did he reclaim control of his story. Instead of crawling back home in shame, he vowed to hunt down the five men who had conned him. Through Norfleet's ingenious reverse-swindle, Amy Reading reveals the mechanics behind the scenes of the big con.

    D. Littman says: "a scattering of interesting facts"
    "Good insight to how Ponzi came to be"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Mark Inside the most enjoyable?

    At first, I thought this book to be average. But, like a good song it rambles about your brain until you get it. I felt a need to listen to various chapters again and then the excellence of this book sunk in. This book was really well written with great insight and a lot of very subltle tongue-in-cheek when it was called for. If you read about Ponzi thus book fits in very well.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    n/a


    Which character – as performed by Richard McGonagle – was your favorite?

    n/a


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    smiled- quite often


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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