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Roland

Henrico, VA, United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
93
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
18

  • Portuguese Irregular Verbs

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (33)

    From New York Times best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith, creator of the phenomenally popular No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels and winner of the inaugural Saga Award for Wit, comes the first wonderfully entertaining novel starring Professor Doctor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, distinguished philologist, and frequently inept human.

    E. Pearson says: "A Delightful Read"
    "A Long-time laughing"
    Overall

    Brilliant! Very Funny! I and my teenage children were talking and laughing about the pompous and self-absorbed Herr Professor Doctor Doctor von Englefeldt and his friend and rival, Professor Unterholz long after the book had ended. Kept everyone absorbed for it's entirety on a long drive to Florida down I-95. I chuckle still, writing this.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John Hofmeister
    • Narrated By John Hofmeister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (30)

    As president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister was known for being a straight shooter, willing to challenge his peers throughout the industry. Now, he's a man on a mission, the founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy, crisscrossing the country in a grassroots campaign to change the way we look at energy in this country.

    David says: "Intelligent and Realistic"
    "Some good, some bad"
    Overall

    This author is not completely an apologist for the oil industry, but that's what he does for the first half of the book. The second half is a sensible analysis of our energy sources , how much we need, and honest appraisals of alternative sources, done from the perspective of an engineer. Worth listening to to get a balanced insight to energy policy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kai Bird, Martin J. Sherwin
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (884)
    Performance
    (495)
    Story
    (503)

    J. Robert Oppenheimer was one of the iconic figures of the 20th century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb but later confronted the moral consequences of scientific progress. When he proposed international controls over atomic materials, opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb, and criticized plans for a nuclear war, his ideas were anathema to powerful advocates of a massive nuclear buildup during the anti-Communist hysteria of the early 1950s.

    Christine says: "One of the best books I have read"
    "too much is too much"
    Overall

    The book is written like an English class assignment.."write a very long essay about an important american, minimum length 600 pages." If you want to know what kind of underwear he wore, and what his mother had to say about it, and how his fifth-grade teacher influenced him to change it, and what he packed for lunch, listen to this book. I've had this recording a year now, and keep going back to it, because Oppenheimer's story should be fascinating, amazing. But I can't get through it. Socialist/communist parents, brilliant kid, instrumental in managing the development of the atomic bomb for the defense of the US, an outspoken patriot, then ostracized by a reactive element of the US Govt. (remember McCarthy and the red scare?). How could this story be told in such a way as to be so deadly dull? How could his every encounter with key American figures at such a pivotal time in our history be so anesthetic? The author manages.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Old Man's War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3773)
    Performance
    (2733)
    Story
    (2755)

    John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

    Michael says: "As good as Heinlein"
    "A good story"
    Overall

    Well written, well narrated, unusual take on the psychology of battle, youth, and aging. Not brilliant, but very good. I found myself wanting to stay in the car, to keep listening to the story. A good book for a road trip.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John M. Barry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1244)
    Performance
    (596)
    Story
    (606)

    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

    Nancy says: "Gripping and Gory"
    "I starting to ache...."
    Overall

    Ever have to write a 10 page essay, but said it all in the first page? Well this author had an essay of good material but had to write a book. Long digressions into the celebrations of the first trans-atlantic telegraph cable..the application of science to medical arts..a smug history of "modern" medicine..all tiresomely told. I'm afraid I can't finish this book before I develop a fever myself...If you want to know about the topic, listen to "FLU", much better told, and shorter.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Gina Kolata
    • Narrated By Gina Kolata
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (45)

    Feeling feverish, tired, or achy? Listening to Gina Kolata's engrossing account of the 1918 Influenza epidemic is sure to give you the chills. A gripping work of science writing, Flu addresses the prospects for a great epidemic recurring, and considers what can be done to prevent it.

    L. says: "Disappointed"
    "a-smchoo!"
    Overall

    good topic, bad reader. Sorry Gina, between poor diction and your slight speech impediment, you mess up your otherwise interesting book. Mumbled speech in audio media is like smudged type in a book....not OK. I would read this, not listen to it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By John M. Barry
    • Narrated By Barry Grizzard
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    An American epic of science, politics, race, honor, high society, and the Mississippi River, Rising Tide tells the riveting and nearly forgotten story of the greatest natural disaster this country has ever known, the Mississippi flood of 1927. The river inundated the homes of nearly one million people, helped elect Huey Long governor and made Herbert Hoover president, drove hundreds of thousands of blacks north, and transformed American society and politics forever.

    Mary says: "lessons from yesterday for today"
    "good listen!"
    Overall

    The author brings the reader's interest in right from the beginning, and paints a panoramic picture of the forces, both of nature and man, at play in this stunning event that altered national politics. It's sobering that we (and the media) are so unaware of the regular, catastrophic flood history of the region.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Treasure Island

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    Young Jim Hawkins quiet life as the son of an innkeeper changes when an ancient sailor takes up lodging at the inn. When the old man dies without paying his bill, Jim must search the sailor's one possession, a large sea-chest, for payment. He finds a map that is the key to a fortune. This commences a Caribbean treasure hunt, with pirate Long John Silver only steps behind!

    Richard says: "Truly a pleasure to listen too."
    "Aye Matey, well done!"
    Overall

    Who could not like "Treasure Island", Long John Silver, Jim Hawkins, the Admiral Benbow Inn? The quintessential pirate treasure tale, Stevenson's work is a better listen than read; I've found this true with much late 1800, early 1900 literature (like Huckleberry Finn). The reader does a great job. If your only experience has been printed, try a listen.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Memory of Running

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ron McLarty
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2853)
    Performance
    (1045)
    Story
    (1037)

    In late 2003, in his column in Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King called The Memory of Running "the best novel you won't read this year." This glowing endorsement of the audiobook resulted in Ron McLarty receiving a $2 million two-book deal from Viking Penguin. Also, Warner Brothers has shelled out big bucks for the movie rights to The Memory of Running, for which McLarty will write the script.

    Neal says: "Funny and Fascinating, A Wonderful Book"
    "Take this on a long trip!"
    Overall

    This audio book is remarkably well read, and the story sucked me in within the first chapter. I hated to get out of my car and leave it. My wife enjoyed it as much as me...an unusual occurence. Wonderful. Get it, you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Founding Fish

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By John McPhee
    • Narrated By John McPhee
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    Few fish are as beloved, or as obsessed over, as the American shad. Although shad spend most of their lives in salt water, they enter rivers by the hundreds of thousands in the spring and swim upstream heroic distances in order to spawn, then return to the ocean.

    Cynthia says: "mixed thoughts"
    "asleep in the deep"
    Overall

    John McPhee's books often start slow, but become steadily more and more interesting and informative as you go along. The Founding Fish mixes his obsession with fishing for shad with info on this amazing little fish, and it's importance in American History. Unfortunately the reader sounds like the slow kid in your third grade reading circle, making McPhee's slow story development unbearable. I can't get through it even after 4 determined tries. If you like McPhee, try The Pine Barrens, or Oranges, or Basin and Range, or The Delta Pumkinseed.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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