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Larry

Ancient Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor

Prairie Village, KS, United States | Member Since 2002

ratings
89
REVIEWS
40
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
189

  • The Divine Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Dante Alighieri, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (translator)
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (92)

    Dante's Divine Comedy is considered to be not only the most important epic poem in Italian literature, but also one of the greatest poems ever written. It consists of 100 cantos, and (after an introductory canto) they are divided into three sections. Each section is 33 cantos in length, and they describe how Dante and a guide travel through Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

    Larry says: "Not for listening."
    "Not for listening."
    Overall

    Longfellow was a wonderful poet, but the linguistic hoops he jumps through to preserve the form of the cantos leaves comprehension in the dust for the listener. Charlton Griffin can't save this muddle. It is almost incomprehensible at times. Almost everything in Italian rhymes, not so with English. One thing that is missing is comprehensive footnotes on the political background and personalities that Dante meets. Still, the language is beautiful, just don't expect to follow it in your car.

    27 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jeffrey M. Schwartz, Sharon Begley
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (186)

    Conventional science has long held the position that 'the mind' is merely an illusion, a side effect of electrochemical activity in the physical brain. Now in paperback, Dr Jeffrey Schwartz and Sharon Begley's groundbreaking work, The Mind and the Brain, argues exactly the opposite: that the mind has a life of its own. Dr Schwartz, a leading researcher in brain dysfunctions, and Wall Street Journal science columnist Sharon Begley demonstrate that the human mind is an independent entity that can shape and control the functioning of the physical brain.

    Douglas says: "Do Not Mistake The Message Here For Dualism!"
    "Free Will Makes a Comeback"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tired of being told that you're just a wind up toy in a wind up universe? Break out of the causal universe into the realm of the empowered soul with the help of objective data and proven results. You have nothing to lose but your Newtonian shaclkles! Take up arms against the inevitable and embrace the possible!. This well written exposition of the power of intention will make everyone who regrets the loss of personal accountability in the social sphere glad and will point you in the direction of changing your concept of will and empower you to exercise it. Great listen, also. Arthur Morey keeps it interesting.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume I, Fort Sumter to Perryville

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Shelby Foote, Ken Burns (introduction)
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1624)
    Performance
    (731)
    Story
    (736)

    Here begins one of the most remarkable works of history ever fashioned. All the great battles are here, of course, from Bull Run through Shiloh, the Seven Days, Second Manassas to Antietam, and Perryville in the fall of 1862, but so are the smaller and often equally important engagements on both land and sea: Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, Island Ten, New Orleans, Monitor versus Merimac, and Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, to mention only a few.

    Jeanne says: "The best"
    "We are made mad by war"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would advise anyone interested in US history and freedom, as an ideal, to read listen to this entire series. Shelby Foote has done all of us a great service in making this huge, complex, sad and sanguinary period of history come to life and take on a coherence not found in many other books covering this material. I would recommend a good Civil war atlas to keep handy for reference so the geography doesn't overcome you. After you recover, I'd recommend The Republic of Suffering, by Drew Gilpin Faust, to understand the profound effect that the Civil War has had on this nation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In One Person: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By John Benjamin Hickey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (515)
    Performance
    (434)
    Story
    (436)

    A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love—tormented, funny, and affecting—and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a “sexual suspect,” a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of “terminal cases,” The World According to Garp.

    Ella says: "Literary Porn"
    "Being human is not strange"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Irving treats his characters with respect. This is not voyuerism or sniggering in an alley at outrageous behaviour, it is an honest, funny and human treatment of a life that needs to be met on its own terms. I love this author and Mr. Hickey does a great job with the material. This is a great an worthwhile listen.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Leslie T. Chang
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (121)

    A book of global significance that provides new insight into China, Factory Girls demonstrates how the mass movement from rural villages to cities is remaking individual lives and transforming Chinese society, much as immigration to America's shores remade our own country a century ago.

    Roy says: "Cumulative Effect"
    "Poignant, heartbreaking and hopeful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here is the human face of Chinese success. These girls are cast adrift in a Kafkaesque landscape of out of control croney capitalism and socialist sloganeering. Some of these girls have had no contact wtih the State in their entire lives. It sort of gives the lie to the all encompassing and omniscient State in China. There is a bomb ticking in China, but it is not the one everyone thinks it is. This is an important book and you should read it if you want to understand what is going on in China. Susan Ericksen give it a heartfelt and warm reading.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, The Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Edward Dolnick
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (996)
    Performance
    (741)
    Story
    (753)

    The Clockwork Universe is the story of a band of men who lived in a world of dirt and disease but pictured a universe that ran like a perfect machine. A meld of history and science, this book is a group portrait of some of the greatest minds who ever lived as they wrestled with natures most sweeping mysteries. The answers they uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world.

    Alison says: "The Royal Society comes alive."
    "The Unseen Hand."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In a world of chaos and uncertainty, a small group of men formed a society that plumbed the deepest secrets of the known universe and discovered an underlying order that astonished and amazed them. Follow the stories of Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and Leibniz as they wrestle with new and unfamiliar concepts and joint them in wonder as a toatlly different sort of universe emerges before their eyes. This is a very exciting read and Alan Sklar does it justice. I listended to it twice in a row.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • True Grit

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Charles Portis
    • Narrated By Donna Tartt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1889)
    Performance
    (1055)
    Story
    (1062)

    Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie, as vital as she is innocent, outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.

    Tommygaus says: "So worth it!"
    "Great Listening Experience!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You know what the book is about. You know how it ends. You know Charles Portis is a rustic, comic genius. Donna Tartt brings this book to life. The Coen brothers' movie is great, however, I'd listen to Donna Tartt read this book as soon as see the movie again. She is that good!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Terror: A Reassessment

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Robert Conquest
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (56)

    The definitive work on Stalin's purges, The Great Terror was universally acclaimed when it first appeared in 1968. While the original volume had relied heavily on unofficial sources, later developments within the Soviet Union provided an avalanche of new material, which Conquest has mined to write this revised and updated edition of his classic work.

    Matt says: "Compelling and Devestating"
    "A voice in the Wilderness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Robert Conquest fought a guerilla war against totalitatian communism in the halls of acedemia after the Second Word War. The academinc establishment was giving a free pass to monstrous regimes because they happened to seated on the correct side of the aisle. In the first edition this book was seen as blatantly slanted and misguided. His sources suspect. After the fall of the Soviet and access to the KGB material and other secret archives was available, Mr. Conquest was vindicated, but the event was marked by mostly silence from the left.

    This is an updated edition, taking full advantage of all the material that came to ligtht when the KGB archives were opened. You owe it to yourself to read this book. Remember what can happen when you lose trust in your neighbors and the State holds all the cards. Remember what results when madmen are allowed free reign in the name of 'progress'.

    This is a big book. It needs to be. The sheer scale of what happened is difficult to comprehend, even today.

    Frederick Davidson gives a clear and crisp reading. I can hear Conquest's humanity come through. Nicely done!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (25032)
    Performance
    (18926)
    Story
    (18987)

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "Winter is Coming!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After the HBO series everyone should know this. This is a great yarn! The characters are fully and completely developed. You care about these people. You understand their motivations. The sense of impending doom that hangs about the entire procedings lends a piquancy to their stories that is almost heartbreaking. You just feel that something... enormous, scary, inevitable... is about to happen and throw everything into chaos. The book is the first in a series, fine. It doesn't drop you on your head. The end feels right. A place to pause and reflect before continuing. Its a huge book, again, fine. It needs to be huge. There are a lot of moving pieces, many plots, much double dealing and wheels within wheels. It's daunting and embracing. The narration is first class. Roy Dotrice seems to be having the time of his life energizing this reading. Seriously, get this audio. It is superb. Just a couple of retraces, but no one is perfect.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ransom Riggs
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (780)
    Performance
    (674)
    Story
    (675)

    A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets 16-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

    FanB14 says: "Just Missed the Mark"
    "Mildly Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Highschool level plot and dialogue. If that's the audience then, fine. The physics is Dysney, the story is bad Stephen King but the narration was well voiced and Jesse Bernstein carried the book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6289)
    Performance
    (5589)
    Story
    (5585)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "Otherworldly, Beautiful and Strange"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Reminiscent of Jonathan Strange & Mister Norrell. You need to pay attention to the dates because you're bounced around a bit. Erin Morgenstern builds a compelling world within a world and Jim Dale does a fantastic job of narration. He gives voice and character to the people populating the novel and went above and beyond expectations. Great listening. I may buy the book and read it in order to appreciate the timeline more fully. The ending was a bit of a comedown, but the high tension level throughout may have more to do with that feeling than any real shortcoming.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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