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Robert J. Goodsell

Ann Arbor, MI United States | Member Since 2012

  • 3 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 124 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014

  • Detroit: A Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Scott Martelle
    • Narrated By William Hughes

    When we think of Detroit, we think first of the auto industry and its slow, painful decline, then maybe the sounds of Motown, or the long line of professional sports successes. But economies are made up of people, and the effect of the economic downfall of Detroit is one of the most compelling stories in America. Detroit: A Biography by journalist and author Scott Martelle is about a city that rose because of the most American of traits - innovation, entrepreneurship, and an inspiring perseverance.

    Rick says: "...And I'm from Lansing!"
    "Narrator has never been near Detroit"
    What three words best describe William Hughes’s performance?

    Doesn't know Detroit

    Any additional comments?

    The reader's mispronunciation of several Detroit area names is very distracting if you are familiar with the area: "Gratiot" should be pronounced "GRASH-ut", not "GRATHio". And it's "E-corse", not "e-CORSE", and "maCOMB" county, not "MAYcom". He also often puts emphasis in the wrong places in sentences.

    The book itself often diverges into huge amounts of largely irrelevant detail, especially distracting when listening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Russell S. Bonds
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On April 12, 1862—one year to the day after Confederate guns opened on Fort Sumter and started the Civil War—a tall, mysterious smuggler and self-appointed Union spy named James J. Andrews and 19 infantry volunteers infiltrated Georgia and stole a steam engine called the General. Racing northward at speeds near 60 miles an hour, cutting telegraph lines, and destroying track along the way, Andrews planned to open East Tennessee to the Union army, cutting off men and materiel from the Confederate forces in Virginia.

    Arthur says: "Sometimes Facts can be more exciting then Fiction"
    "Pointlessly thorough"
    Where does Stealing the General rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Below average.

    Would you recommend Stealing the General to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. I enjoyed learning more about the Civil War and railroads at the time, but the raid itself wasn't particularly exciting, nor was it in any way successful. It was never really made clear why they chose this particularly obtuse way to try and sabotage a railroad (stealing a train and then destroying the track and bridges behind it as they headed north). And given that they did, the approach they took seemed to maximize the chance for failure. The opportunities to muddle the operation of a single-track railroad seem numerous, especially with 24 men. The chosen method, while daring, seems particularly stupid and unworthy of great attention.

    Also: Bonds rather pointlessly follows every person or object vaguely related to the raid through the following century and even beyond--not just the raiders, but the generals (and the General), the southern railway men and jailers, and medals of honor in general. The details of the survivors' squabbles over the details of the raid made me regret my typical compulsion to read/listen to most books to the bitter end.

    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    Fortunately, he didn't really change his voice for various characters (of course, there's little if any dialog in the book anyway). He got a little over emotional for my taste at times, but in general was quite easy to listen to.

    Any additional comments?

    In the end, the story just wasn't interesting or exciting enough to justify a book of this length.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Mma "Precious" Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country. At first, cases are hard to come by. But eventually, troubled people come to Precious with a variety of concerns. Potentially philandering husbands, seemingly schizophrenic doctors, and a missing boy who may have been killed by witch doctors all compel Precious to roam about in her tiny van, searching for clues.

    Gene says: "Transcends its Genre"
    "Too short!"
    What did you love best about The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency?

    Unlike many detective novels, the cases here seem very real. Rather than uncovering huge organized crime syndicates and such, our #1 lady detective deals with a series of interesting yet mostly simple cases, relying on her knowledge of human nature instead of forensics. It is charming and funny, and a great listen while driving.

    Bad news--it was too short. Good news--it's the first of a series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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