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David

Hoeilaart, Belgium | Member Since 2014

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 323 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Thomas S. Kuhn
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (196)

    Named one of "The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War" by the Times Literary Supplement, and one of the "100 Best Nonfiction" books by the Modern Library, Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a landmark of scientific thought. Written in 1962, Kuhn's book took an entirely different view of how scientists perceived and achieved changes in basic theoretical assumptions - what he termed "paradigm shifts".

    Matthew says: "Better than prior reviews led me to believe"
    "Maybe not for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an important book in 1963 when it was first published. I thought it sounded interesting. Unfortunately, I found it to be a very scholarly work, which overworked it's thesis again and again in fine detail. The author seems to insert a paranthetical comment or subclause into every sentence. I could have gotten everything I needed to know on this subject in a ten-page article.

    I suppose that I should have read reviews beforehand to understand better whether the work would hold my interest.

    At least the narrator makes it easy to follow the author's dense terminology and phrasing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Light in August

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By William Faulkner
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (1840)
    Performance
    (1290)
    Story
    (1293)

    An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities.

    FanB14 says: "Perseverance in Face of Cruelty"
    "Captivating and well-narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first work by Faulkner. His style is gripping and has a genuine feel for the time and place of the story. It does, however, go to an extreme at times.

    The narrator brings the work alive, with distinct voices for each of the characters, faithful accents, and a good pace.

    I will listen to another Faulkner, especially one read by the same narrator. Together, they really know how to tell a story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Rodney Stark
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (110)

    Modernity developed only in the West - in Europe and North America. Nowhere else did science and democracy arise; nowhere else was slavery outlawed. Only Westerners invented chimneys, musical scores, telescopes, eyeglasses, pianos, electric lights, aspirin, and soap. The question is, why? Unfortunately, that question has become so politically incorrect that most scholars avoid it. But acclaimed author Rodney Stark provides the answers in this sweeping new look at Western civilization.

    Philip Daniels says: "Another point of view."
    "Muddled and resentful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high hopes for this book, expecting that it would put forward a clear, compelling arguement for why Western Europe was able to pull ahead of other cultures in the 18-19th centuries. It falls short in many ways.

    Instead of a thematic approach the historian uses a mainly chronological approach that makes it more difficult to see the big picture. There are many interesting facts and some useful insights into the differences between the world cultures, but it is all muddled together. Was it the religion? The Greek roots? The Roman influence?

    Mostly the author resents what he sees as political correctness in historical studies that have diminished the respect for Western Civilization, and he ends up with what seems to be a circular arguement: the West succeeded because it was superior.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Adam Bede

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (63)

    George Eliot’s first full length novel is the moving, realistic portrait of three people troubled by unwise love. Adam Bede is a hardy young carpenter who cares for his aging mother. His one weakness is the woman he loves blindly: the trifling town beauty, Hetty Sorrel, who delights only in her baubles—and the delusion that the careless Captain Donnithorne may ask for her hand.

    C. Telfair says: "First George Eliot Novel and First-Rate!"
    "Very enjoyable!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed this production. The novel is probably one of the ten stories that I have enjoyed the most from the 19th Century. I felt that is was much better than her novel, Middlemarch.

    Some people might be put off by the important role that religion plays in these peoples' lives, but that is a fact of history. This is not a story of fantasy; it is a story about people that might really have lived in 1807, and they are all the more realistic for it.

    Wanda McCaddon does a great job bringing the speech of these people to life. The "performance" is only marred by editing that leaves some uncomfortably long breaks in the naration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crises

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By James Rickards
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (581)
    Story
    (589)

    In 1971, President Nixon imposed national price controls and took the United States off the gold standard, an extreme measure intended to end an ongoing currency war that had destroyed faith in the U.S. dollar. Today we are engaged in a new currency war, and this time the consequences will be far worse than those that confronted Nixon. Currency wars are one of the most destructive and feared outcomes in international economics.

    Roddie says: "Must read, listen too!"
    "Outdated and Doubtful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book, written during the depths of the Great Recession, seems mainly aimed a putting forward a philosophy. In the first part, he gives an account of currency developments and the move from the gold standard to the central bank system of today. But his comments are sometimes hard to believe, like when he claims that the second half of the 1800's were a time of growing prosperity. In fact it was also a time of bubbles, crashes, and periods of depression.

    The second part gives an account of the global economic and monetary system around 2010. Looking back, it is a bit laughable that his doomsday scenarios have not come true. We can now say that the global economy stabilized and is growing again thanks to the efforts of the central banks and their coordination.

    In the third part he argues for a gold-backed currency, but by the time he lays out the case, I was more convinced than ever that it would be a stupid idea. Some people don't believe in global warming even though over 95% of climate scientists say it is true. In the same way, the author does not explain adequately why we should return to a system that almost all economists reject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Gary A. Haugen, Victor Boutros
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (60)

    While the world has made encouraging strides in the fight against global poverty, there is a hidden crisis silently undermining our best efforts to help the poor. It is a plague of everyday violence. Beneath the surface of the world’s poorest communities, common violence—like rape, forced labor, illegal detention, land theft, police abuse and other brutality—has become routine and relentless. And like a horde of locusts devouring everything in their path, the unchecked plague of violence ruins lives, blocks the road out of poverty, and undercuts development.

    Benjamin Harack says: "Thorough, clear, challenging, and timely."
    "An Important Message"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book changed how I view poverty, justice, and development priorities. The author puts forward a compelling case for the need for better criminal justice systems in developing countries. He explains the reasons that prevent it, and lists practical steps to overcome them. It is both a distressing and a hopeful message. From now on, when I am considering a charity to support, I will look into their efforts in this area.

    The narration was smooth, allowing the message to come out clearly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7995)
    Performance
    (3692)
    Story
    (3703)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "Entertaining Education"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very entertaining explanation of the history of science and our world. It is educational, without being boring or too basic.

    I recommend it for the average reader who is not already well-informed about science, but that has some curiosity. Even as someone that knows something about physics, biology, and chemistry, I learned a few things.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • METAtropolis: Cascadia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jay Lake, Mary Robinette Kowal, Elizabeth Bear, and others
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois, Kate Mulgrew, Wil Wheaton, and others
    Overall
    (780)
    Performance
    (516)
    Story
    (514)

    This sequel to the Hugo and Audie Award nominated METAtropolis features interconnected stories by today’s top writers of speculative fiction – performed by a galaxy of Star Trek stars. As the mid-20th century approaches, the Pacific Northwest has been transformed - politically, economically, and ecologically - into the new reality of Cascadia. Conspiracies and secrets threaten the tenuous threads of society. And the End of Days seems nearer than ever.

    Stephen says: "Some good, some bad"
    "Uninspired"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this because I thought that the first METAtropolis was fresh and interesting, and I hoped that this one would take it further.

    On the contrary, although a couple of the stories were intriguing, most were bland and flat. They did not really take the take the METAtropolis forward, but instead seemed to take it back.

    Characters longed for the the good old days of the 20th century, drove "antique pickups", listened to old time rock, and even fired an "antique revolver." Who now listens to music that is 70-80 years old? The authors seemed to have a difficult time dragging themselves into the future world.

    The authors also used trite and stale ideas, bashing Christianity while stealing from it the things that are powerful: Tyger as the new Messiah with a new "Gospel". It was all a bit tired.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Iliad & The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Homer
    • Narrated By John Lescault
    Overall
    (664)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (312)

    Little is known about the Ancient Greek oral poet Homer, the supposed 8th century BC author of the world-read Iliad and his later masterpiece, The Odyssey. These classic epics provided the basis for Greek education and culture throughout the classical age and formed the backbone of humane education through the birth of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity.

    Sam says: "Worth the price, worth the time"
    "Mediocre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This work suffers from using an old translation that has many archaic words, and which fails to bring across the adventure and excitement of the stories.

    The narrator also seems to be merely reading rather than telling a great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince of Tides

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2410)
    Performance
    (1542)
    Story
    (1548)

    Spanning 40 years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born.

    Ella says: "A "Prince" amongst novels"
    "A jewel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a wonderful book. The author brings this unlikely story to life with such care and skill that I really felt for the characters. His knowledge of the way of life in a southern shrimping community gives it all a genuine feel.

    I have rarely read an author with such a gift for the crafting of a phrase. "The funeral parlor smelled like dead flowers and unanswered prayers". Some passages made me laugh aloud, while other moved me to sadness.

    Mr Muller narrates the book in a way that does justice to the work. He really seemed to be the voice of Tom Wingo.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Them: Adventures with Extremists

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (718)
    Performance
    (647)
    Story
    (645)

    Them began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In Them, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and more.

    aaron says: "Dated but VERY Good... and FUNNY!"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is only the second Audible book that I have rated poorly. For one thing, there is hardly any adventure in it. It consists simply of a series of encounters that the author/narrator had with extremists back in the 90's. Some aren't even extremists.

    We get a very small glimpse into the conspiratorial paranoia of these people, but not much. Mr. Ronson is surprisingly uninsightful into what makes these people tick; there is no more information about their inner workings or the shared culture of these groups than you get from popular magazines.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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