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Applecross, Australia | Member Since 2011

  • 5 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014

  • Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Greg Smith
    • Narrated By Greg Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On March 14, 2012, more than three million people read Greg Smith's bombshell op-ed in the New York Times titled Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs. The column immediately went viral, became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, and drew passionate responses from former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Mostly, though, it hit a nerve among the general public who question the role of Wall Street in society - and the callous "take-the-money-and-run" mentality that brought the world economy to its knees a few short years ago.

    Michael Moore says: "Engaging Story; Raises Highly Important Issues"
    "I Wish I Could Like Him"
    Would you try another book from Greg Smith and/or Greg Smith?

    Not a chance

    What aspect of Greg Smith’s performance would you have changed?

    He has a very annoying accent but I guess that is not his fault.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It is an interesting story and all points of view are valid- he is a credible insider to a world that is unfairly reviled by mainstream society.

    Any additional comments?

    I am not an investment banker, but I do know some, have worked with some and considered becoming one when I left Oxford. Let us be under no illusions, investment banking is not exactly a client focussed game, nor does it give a lot back to society but it is far from the evil that society (especially Brits) seem to suggest these days.

    Greg Smith is obviously very smart, probably credible and he has definitely been close to the centre of one the greatest/ largest investment bank in the world during some pretty major events. However, boy does this guy love himself. Some of the quotes and passages are just cringe worthy- apparently he never put a foot wrong, or if he did it was only once and he learnt from his mistakes. He was the 'go to guy' for just about everything and the greats within the bank showed him enormous respect. I'm just not sure I believe all of that. He just doesn't come across as very likeable.

    Not coming across as very likeable would be fine if the book were a well written, well argued insight into the real workings of Goldman Sachs. Sadly, it isn't. The book is basically a life story, rarely exciting, occasionally interesting but mostly just one low level guy's story of working in an investment bank. Most of the book seems to state the obvious- would you have guessed that the recruitment process is tough and stressful for a job that pays 250k a year to 22 year olds or that once you get said job you would be expected to work long hours or pass exams first time?

    This book could have been so much more, an academic, well reasoned argument about why Goldman Sachs is bad/ evil/ changed from good to bad. What you get is mostly a whinge from a low level guy who didn't make it. He is clearly in love with the bank and fell out of love when it didn't give him exactly what he wanted.

    He maybe right- I just don't know but after sitting through 10 hours of the book, I'm not sure I care. Greg may have a wonderful future ahead of him, he may even be a great guy but he certainly doesn't have a future in writing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Tooth

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge, and finds herself being groomed for the intelligence services. The year is 1972. Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism and faces its fifth state of emergency.

    Christopher says: "Superb and surprising"
    "Superb and surprising"
    If you could sum up Sweet Tooth in three words, what would they be?

    Clever, empathetic and intriguing

    What other book might you compare Sweet Tooth to and why?

    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes- they are both brilliantly observed memoirs that utterly capture the essence of youth and early love affairs. Sweet Tooth is, however, vastly superior in my opinion with a more interesting story.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The ending is superb.

    If you could rename Sweet Tooth, what would you call it?

    I couldn't/ wouldn't.

    Any additional comments?

    Great narration and delivery and a thoroughly enjoying listen. Just the right length, tense, taught and interesting.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Slater
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

    Margaret says: "Wolf Hall"
    "Like taking a bath in words"
    Where does Wolf Hall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A great book, beautifully written by an author at the top of her game. What is utterly striking is the way that some of the most dramatic events in history are portrayed through everyday life seemingly without the curse of hindsight. You feel like you are really living the events side by side with Cromwell.

    Have you listened to any of Simon Slater’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Simon slater must be one of the best narrators anywhere, his staging,voice and delivery are beyond gorgeous.i loved every minute of his performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Novel Writer's Toolkit: From Idea to Best-Seller

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Bob Mayer
    • Narrated By Martin Gollery

    Writing a novel and getting it published: That's your goal. And nothing will keep you from making it happen. Such a goal, of course, presents a number of challenges. Make sure you have the tools you need to overcome them and succeed. In The Novel Writer's Toolkit, New York Times bestselling author Bob Mayer shares a veteran writer's hard-won advice with a style that's straight from the hip. He lays out the nuts and bolts of novel writing, along with guidelines for starting, finishing and revising your work.

    Pam says: "Lots of good information; hard to listen to"
    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Terrible narration, sounds like a robot- hated it. However, the content is so good it is worth dealing with.

    Any additional comments?

    Really well written, thoroughly enjoyable and clear style. The writer has amazing credibility and has really been there. This has helped me enormously, a superb book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Colin Powell
    • Narrated By Colin Powell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It Worked for Me is filled with vivid experiences and lessons learned that have shaped the legendary career of the four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. At its heart are Powell's "Thirteen Rules" - such as "Get mad, then get over it" and "Share credit" - that introduce his principles for effective leadership: conviction, hard work, and, above all, respect for others. A natural storyteller, Powell offers warm and engaging parables with wise advice on succeeding in the workplace and beyond.

    Jean says: "Great Story Teller"
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I don't really like his politics or what he seems to represent in terms of the Bush administration but he is clearly an incredible man, an incredible leader and a brilliant role model. This is an inspirational and uplifting book from someone who has really done a lot in life and got there through hard work and decency. Highly recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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