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cort

Kensington, CA, United States | Member Since 2005

44
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 49 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • What Is the What

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (792)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (340)

    Valentino's travels, truly Biblical in scope, bring him in contact with government soldiers, janjaweed-like militias, liberation rebels, hyenas and lions, disease and starvation, and a string of unexpected romances. Ultimately, Valentino finds safety in Kenya and, just after the millennium, is finally resettled in the United States, from where this novel is narrated.

    Susan says: "A Story Aching to be Told"
    "Outstanding story"
    Overall

    This is an outstanding story about a courageous human and his drive to survive in a world everybit as hellish as the halocost. The narrator is superb with an ability to seamlessly jump between an east African accent to one from the American ghetto.

    If life seems to be a bit too difficult read this and it will make you appreciate how good a life you have.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (730)
    Performance
    (600)
    Story
    (595)

    The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career - 1958 to 1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark.

    Abdur Abdul-Malik says: "From Powerful to Powerless"
    "Outstanding biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an outstanding biography of a fascinating, complex, and important President. Caro is objective and avoids the "hero" worship that other biographers sometimes fall into.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Time's Eye: A Time Odyssey, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (259)

    For eons, Earth has been under observation by the Firstborn, beings almost as old as the universe itself. The Firstborn are unknown to humankind - until they act. In an instant, Earth is carved up and reassembled like a huge jigsaw puzzle. Suddenly the planet and every living thing on it no longer exist in a single timeline.

    Tim says: "A nice road to nowhere"
    "Definitely worth listening to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A nice combination of science fiction and history. As ususal with Clarke's books, he does not develop a compelling central character but the other factors more than make up for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dune Messiah

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Katherine Kellgren, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2105)
    Performance
    (1123)
    Story
    (1138)

    The second Dune installment explores new developments on the planet Arrakis, with its intricate social order and strange, threatening environment. Dune Messiah picks up the story of the man known as Muad'Dib, heir to a power unimaginable, bringing to fruition an ambition of unparalleled scale: the centuries-old scheme to create a superbeing who reigns not in the heavens but among men. But the question is: DO all paths of glory lead to the grave?

    Andrew says: "A nice continuation"
    "A big step down from the first book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the first book in the Dune series has lots of action, intrigue, and philosophy, this 2nd book is far to heavy on the latter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1: The Complete and Authoritative Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (505)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (215)

    The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death. In celebration of this important milestone, here, for the first time, is Mark Twain’s uncensored autobiography, in its entirety, exactly as he left it. This major literary event offers the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain’s authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave, as he intended.

    Susan Holland says: "Not what I was expecting..."
    "An academic document"
    Overall

    The book starts with a long preface on the Mark Twain project that I found very academic. The actual biography shows little of the wit and wisdom of Twain's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3520)
    Performance
    (2134)
    Story
    (2154)

    The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
    "Challenges long-held perceptions of the Khans"
    Overall

    A well written book with excellent naration that challenges the long-held belief that the Monguls were barbarians. I learned a lot though I think Weatherford pushes the case a bit too far that the Khans set the stage for the modern world.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Wallace Stegner
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (33)

    Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner recounts the remarkable career of Major John Wesley Powell, the distinguished ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the homeland of the Southwest Indian tribes. This classic work is a penetrating and insightful study of the Powell’s career, from the beginning of the Powell Survey, in which Powell and his men famously became the first to descend the Colorado River, to his eventual expulsion from the Geological Survey.

    Roy says: "History repeats itself."
    "Excitment followed by a slow slog"
    Overall

    The first few chapters describing Powell first descent are incredibly well written and exciting but then Stegner turns his descriptive prose to a discussion of the ethereal beauty and geography of the plateau country. For those who delight in details, the time may be rewarding but for me, it goes on far too long.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Santini

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (361)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (232)

    Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He's all Marine -- fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife -- beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben's got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn't give in -- not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son.

    cort says: "an excellent book"
    "an excellent book"
    Overall

    An insightful and moving story of the coming of age of a young man whose life has been dominated by a complex and violent father. The narration is one of the best I've heard.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2239)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (498)

    In 1993 Greg Mortenson was the exhausted survivor of a failed attempt to ascend K2, an American climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan's Karakoram Himalaya. After he was taken in and nursed back to health by the people of an impoverished Pakistani village, Mortenson promised to return one day and build them a school. From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time: Greg Mortenson's one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban.

    Karl says: "An education and inspiration"
    "Story of a remarkable man"
    Overall

    Well written and well read. Fascinating story about a remarkable man but it sometimes borders on a bit of hero worship.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2006)
    Performance
    (1332)
    Story
    (1351)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Owl says: "Timely, beautiful, terrible and haunting"
    "slow slog"
    Overall

    When Mark Twain came up with the basic idea of taking a modern person back to medeval times in "A Yankee in King Author's Court" it was not considered science fiction and it was fast paced and humorous. Willis book on the other hand is full of repetition and no insights into anything we didn't already know about human nature, history, etc.

    5 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba...and Then Lost It to the Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By T. J. English
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (161)

    Havana Nocturne takes listeners back to Cuba in the years when it was a veritable devil's playground for mob leaders Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Thanks to strong ties with the island's brutal dictator, President Batista, the mob soon owned the biggest luxury hotels and casinos and launched an unprecedented tourist boom. But their dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and others.

    Paul Abbott says: "Not for reactionaries"
    "An excellent history lesson"
    Overall

    Offers a fascinating look into an interesting and important period, and provides a real challenge to those who think Castro is evil.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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