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Bill

STATEN ISLAND, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (268)

    Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.

    Lee the reader says: "Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
    "Bravo Bob Greenberg"
    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    As someone who has listened to more than 40 courses from the Great Courses series, this one is simply the best. Since music was not my main interest, I was reluctant to invest $100 in this course from the GC website but jumped when I saw it offered by Audible for 1 credit because Prof. Greenberg had been most highly rated (4.8) by those who purchased the course.

    I admit to being initially disappointed by the professor's more informal and expressive approach which seemed geared to college Freshmen accustomed to listening to Hip Hop on their I Pods. But by the second lesson I was hooked for several reasons. First, the man not only knows his music, he loves it and his enthusiasm is infectious. Second, he approaches this course more like a coach than a teacher: leading the listener step by step through the music selections, reviewing main points from earlier lectures to bring the listener back up to speed, and asking leading questions to keep the listener's head in the game. Third, his rants are entertaining whether they are making a point or settling a score with other musicologists and he has some killer throw away lines.

    The bottom line is that I now have the classical station preset on my car radio and, with a basic understanding of the approach of the composer and of the era of the music, I enjoy listening to it. Prof. Greenberg provides the key to understanding this music and I suspect that many of his students at Berkeley have also added Mozart and Verdi to their playlists.

    The only drawback is that the course notes are not included with the audio download. While this is not important for many of the Great Courses, it would be a valuable accompaniment to this course. But then again, with an $85 savings through Audible, this minor complaint, like Beethoven's Fifth, is resolved by Bob Greenberg's major accomplishment.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By John Thavis
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (128)

    For more than 25 years John Thavis held one of the most fascinating journalistic jobs in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. His daily exposure to the power, politics, and personalities in the seat of Roman Catholicism gave him a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on an institution that is far less monolithic and unified than it first appears. Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life.

    Linda says: "A neutral look at inner workings of the Vatican"
    "Timely book with a few great chapters"
    Overall
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    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This behind-the-scene's view of the Vatican is at times at times tedious, and at times intriguiging. Overall it is informative and very interesting. The portraits of the last two popes is most insightful.For those following the the conclave it is well worth listening to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Truth about Obamacare

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Sally C. Pipes
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    In The Truth About Obamacare, Sally C. Pipes - president of the Pacific Research Institute and an acknowledged expert on health care reform - reveals what Democrats in Congress and President Barack Obama don't want you to know: Obamacare is even worse than most critics suspect. Debunking the myths that the current administration has touted, Pipes shows exactly what the new health care law will mean for you, your family, your doctor, and your wallet.

    W. Max Hollmann says: "A summary well worth the read"
    "A Good Review of Obamacare"
    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    This book provides important details that remind us of the inherent problems with Obamacare. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to remain conversant with the actual facts as this issue takes on a new emotional life during the presidential campaign.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dick Van Dyke
    • Narrated By Dick Van Dyke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (235)
    Story
    (235)

    Dick Van Dyke, indisputably one of the greats of the golden age of television, is admired and beloved by audiences the world over for his beaming smile, his physical dexterity, his impeccable comic timing, his ridiculous stunts, and his unforgettable screen roles.

    Richard says: "Still Inspires Me and Funny."
    "Well done, DVD"
    Overall
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    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a light, breezy book in line with the author's own entertaining style. It is made more pleasant by the author reading it himself. What has made Dick Van Dyke such a likeable person is his self-effacement. He really seems to believe that luck rather than talent is the reason for his success. Certainly he was fortunate to team up with Carl Reiner but, viewing his work, one can say that Carl was as fortunate to find him. Surprising was his strong spiritual sense and sincere moral convictions. Unfortunate, in my opinion, was the lack of development in this area. The shallow soil of Tinseltown does seem to make it difficult for genuine spiritual growth. While he occasionally alludes to the demons with which he has dealt, he does not go into details. And that is just as well. Stories of the fall and redemption of celebrities are as boring as they are predictable. In this work one is impressed by the fact that, for the most part, the author has managed to keep these demons at bay. That he has also managed to survive as a genuinely good person in this narcissistic culture is itself impressive. There is hope yet for Hollywood.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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