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John J. Niebler

Member Since 2009

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 477 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Mitchell Zuckoff
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    It was a time when anything seemed possible, instant wealth, glittering fame, fabulous luxury, and for a run of magical weeks in the spring and summer of 1920, Charles Ponzi made it all come true. Promising to double investors' money in three months, the dapper, charming Ponzi raised the "rob Peter to pay Paul" scam to an art form and raked in millions at his office in downtown Boston.

    Celia says: "Very enlightening"
    "Crazy rise & fall of ambitious, oddly unaware, man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Story of Ponzi's life is well told, if maybe too briefly, before and after the main days of his Scheme. In the midst of the craziness of the Scheme, when hundreds of thousands of dollars are flowing into Ponzi's company, the author does a very good job of reconstructing. He carries us along as each of the players involved converged on Ponzi's ultimate downfall. As for Ponzi, he was oddly unaware of the harm he was causing. From this author's telling, he could see moral problems in some areas of his and other's lives, but not as much with his Scheme.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mindstar Rising: The Greg Mandel Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    Overall
    (679)
    Performance
    (620)
    Story
    (614)

    It's the 21st century, and global warming is here to stay, so forget the way your country used to look. And get used to the free market, too – the companies possess all the best hardware, and they're calling the shots now. In a world like this, a man open to any offers can make out just fine. A man like Greg Mandel for instance, who's psi-boosted, wired into the latest sensory equipment, carrying state-of-the-art weaponry – and late of the English Army's Mindstar Battalion.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Portrait of a SciFi master as a novice"
    "Good detective story with a SciFi setting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting alternate Earth slightly in the future. The stories in the MindStar series are good, if a little formulaic. From any other Author I would have been impressed more given the scope Hamilton has brought to his other, later books. However, they held my attention throughout. The reader, Toby Longworth, really gives life to the characters. Especially Greg Mandel, the main one. I'm a big Hamilton fan. Where I gave some of his later works 5 out of 5 with no reservations. This gets a solid 4.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Neverwhere

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5396)
    Performance
    (2229)
    Story
    (2247)

    Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but shrewish fiancée. Then one night he stumbles upon a girl lying on the sidewalk, bleeding. He stops to help her, and his life is changed forever. Soon he finds himself living in a London most people would never have dreamed of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels. It is a world that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations.

    Thomas says: "Neverwhere is Great"
    "Good, not great."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved The Graveyard by this author. I've heard, maybe from the author, that not everyone will like every one of his books. This story is well crafted, detailed, and inventive. However, I never attached to the characters. There were moments of humor, but nothing really jumped out. I found myself wishing there was more of a sense of whimsy or a break from the plodding drudgery the main character goes through. Perhaps I was just spoiled by the first book I listened to by the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Graveyard Book

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6044)
    Performance
    (2843)
    Story
    (2859)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Gaiman’s not just an award-winning author, but a narrator who earns rave reviews – and fields requests from other authors to perform their books, too! Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead....

    Guillermo says: "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"
    "Awesome story telling!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I agree with the reviews that say Tweens or older. It is a great story that deals with macabre subjects very lightly and with humor. Great story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Dan Ariely
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (3383)
    Performance
    (948)
    Story
    (950)

    In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.

    Stephen says: "Well researched, well written, & well read"
    "Utterly fascinating book"
    Overall

    Great book. Written in very clear language.

    Example(paraphrased by me):
    In the 80s, the Coke vs Pepsi battle.
    Pepsi said it was preferred in BLIND taste tests.
    Coke said it was preferred in taste tests.
    Niether were fudging the results.

    The amazing result is that in BLIND taste tests people preferred Pepsi.
    When people SAW THE CANS as the sodas were being poured, they preferred Coke.
    Again, well design taste tests in both cases. Since people were not influenced by the testers or the test, it was the Coke Brand that made people prefer the Coke.

    The book is full of these crazy, "Wow, I can't believe that's how our brain works" scenarios.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (1938)
    Performance
    (950)
    Story
    (954)

    "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem.

    Katelyn says: "One word - Awesome!"
    "Needs more zombies."
    Overall

    While the premise is great, the product is still tedious. Granted, I find this kind of literature extremely boring. "Mrs. Merriweather thinks that I thought that this was to be the grandest...blah, blah, blah" Someone lop off her head already. Anyway, more sarcasm and more zombies would have kept me much more interested.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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