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Alan Rither

ratings
314
REVIEWS
66
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
19
HELPFUL VOTES
393

  • Men of Iron

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Howard Pyle
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    This is a story of the days of chivalry in England and of young Myles Falworth, son of a lord unjustly disgraced for treason, who was forced to make his fortune as best he might in the days when men seemed made of iron. How he entered the service of a powerful lord, rose to knighthood, defeated his father's old enemy in thrilling combat, and at last won the friendship of the king is told against a background of the dangerous times of the 14th century that makes them live again.

    Alan Rither says: "A great story for younger listeners"
    "A great story for younger listeners"
    Overall

    This is a book about a 15-year old boy who becomes a squire and, eventually, a knight. It was exciting to see him grow and mature. The vocabulary was a bit advanced for the modern teenager. However they can identify with the struggles that the hero goes through with hazing by older boys, secret hideaways with his friends, chaste romance with a young lady who is the daughter of the Earl, who is far above his "station" in life. Throughout the story, the young man behaves honorably and it shows how godly character is rewarded despite great struggles. I would recommend it as a stepping stone for those readers who will go on to more mature stories of knights and ladies.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John McWhorter
    • Narrated By John McWhorter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1079)
    Performance
    (820)
    Story
    (818)

    A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

    Mike says: "Great for casual linguists"
    "His hypothesis is interesting for the first 10 min"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not unless they are inveterate anglophiles who care about such arcane matters as why English has an unnecessary "do" or why we use the "-ing" to indicate present action. This is NOT a book for the fainthearted who want to hear all sorts of interesting facts about English words. The author has a thesis that he is trying to prove about the origin of those two peculiarities and he presents cogent arguments in support of his position, but it seems inconsequential.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The author's kaleidoscopic knowledge of many languages was interesting. The least interesting was how he kept piling on argument after argument to support his thesis.


    What does John McWhorter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He seems to be able to pronounce a wide variety of words in many languages.


    Did Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue inspire you to do anything?

    Unfortunately no. I was hoping that it would.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Auschwitz Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Joel C. Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (468)
    Performance
    (423)
    Story
    (428)

    A terrible darkness has fallen upon Jacob Weisz’s beloved Germany. The Nazi regime, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, has surged to power and now hold Germany by the throat. All non-Aryans - especially Jews like Jacob and his family - are treated like dogs. When tragedy strikes during one terrible night of violence, Jacob flees and joins rebel forces working to undermine the regime. But after a raid goes horribly wrong, Jacob finds himself in a living nightmare - trapped in a crowded, stinking car on the train to the Auschwitz death camp.

    Joel says: "A heart warming read."
    "The Holocaust from Inside the Death Camp"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Auschwitz Escape in three words, what would they be?

    Magnificent -- Moving -- Memorable


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author tells the story through the life of one man whose experiences in Auschwitz, and escape from it, make it more real. It was like listening to "the other side" of what happened to the Jews who were not rescued by Oscar Schindler.


    What about Christopher Lane’s performance did you like?

    His performance was outstanding. His mastery of so many accents and characters, his nuanced reading and his measured pace were brilliant.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me pray for those who didn't escape, for those who allowed it to happen, for the survivors, and for the millions of people all around the world who continue to suffer tyranny on a smaller scale, but just as cruel. The question of why nothing was done to stop the mass killing of millions of Jews even after the truth was known continues to trouble me.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a 'typical' book by Joel Rosenberg in that it doesn't have a lot of action. It is a book to listen to and contemplate. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to understand how terrible the Nazi philosophy really was.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lost on Planet China

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By J. Maarten Troost
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (419)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (192)

    When the travel bug bit, J. Maarten Troost took on the world's most populous and intriguing nation. As Troost relates his gonzo adventure - dodging deadly drivers in Shanghai, eating yak in Tibet, deciphering restaurant menus (offering local favorites such as cattle penis with garlic), and visiting with Chairman Mao (still dead) - he reveals a vast, complex country on the brink of transformation that will soon shape the way we all work, live, and think.

    Dan says: "Funny but harsh with some underlying truth."
    "Funny - Irreverent - Compassionate - Insightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Lost on Planet China the most enjoyable?

    The first-person account of a foreigner visiting China and being assaulted with sights, sounds, culture, cities, people, foods, language and customs that were so totally FOREIGN that it blew away all the stereotypes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It made me laugh a lot as the author got into one awkward situation after another, such as with a Chinese woman who took the American name 'Cinderella' and what the implications might be for him if she thought he was Prince Charming.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Because the author writes in the first person, it has to be him. I don't know how Maarten really sounds but Simon Vance has the perfect inflection to convey a 30-something Dutch-American wandering all over China.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely. I looked forward to the commute so I could hear more and felt disappointed when I arrived at the office and had to turn it off.


    Any additional comments?

    The author uses plenty of profanity, so don't get this if that will bother you. It's done in a cheerful way, but it could offend some people.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Fall and Rise of China

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Richard Baum
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (258)

    For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.

    Yu-Chin says: "Offers excellent objective perspective!"
    "Best of the Great Courses - Top 10 of all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Fall and Rise of China?

    Professor Baum's encyclopedic knowledge of the subject and his personal love for the culture and the people.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The embalmed remains of Chairman Mao looking green from too much formaldehyde. It was an insight 'behind the curtain,' so to speak, that one would never read in a serious work about China but that revealed the humor behind the god-man's image.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Richard Baum’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is his only audiobook that I know of and he died in 2012 from cancer that he thought was gone when he recorded these lectures.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is far too long and complicated to listen to it in one sitting, but I wanted to get back into the car where I keep my player and sometimes went on extended drives to avoid turning off a lecture in the middle.


    Any additional comments?

    The world has lost a great scholar and a generous human. I can only hope that his lectures in this Great Courses audiobook will inspire a new generation of people to learn more about China as the 'Sleeping Giant' takes a leading role on the world stage in this century.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • What Einstein Kept Under His Hat: Secrets of Science in the Kitchen

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert L. Wolke, Marlene Parrish
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (251)
    Story
    (247)

    Have you ever wondered why onions make us cry? Do you believe bananas contain more calories as they ripen and get sweeter? This sequel to the best-selling What Einstein Told His Cook continues Robert L. Wolke's investigations into the science behind our foods.

    Jerker says: "Funny and interesting, but badly edited"
    "This tasty morsel will whet your appetite for more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does What Einstein Kept Under His Hat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    As a student of Science (with a capital 'S') but not a scientist (vocationally) this book was at just the right technical level for me to grasp the author's meaning, but it did not require more than high school chemistry to enjoy. As one of the few non-fiction books that I've listened to over the years, this was clearly at the top.


    What other book might you compare What Einstein Kept Under His Hat to and why?

    I'd compare it to The Bridge to the Future - Understanding Nanotechnology because the author does a good job of taking complex scientific jargon and concepts and explaining them in terms that an educated non-scientist can understand.


    What does Sean Runnette bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Sean Runnette's narration was superb! I kept thinking that this MUST be the author reading his own book because Mr. Runnette flawlessly pronounced even the most complex, polysyllabic names of chemicals, had the precise inflection for telling 'Sidebar Science' with a twinkle in his voice, and a decent accent for French and Spanish words.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not at all. It is composed of a broad array of topics, questions and answers, little vignettes about places visited and meals eaten. It is perfect for listening in 'sound bites' (pun intended).


    Any additional comments?

    It has absolutely nothing to do with Albert Einstein beyond a brief homage to introduce the book, but I'm sure that the great physicist would have loved the book if he had the privilege of listening to it like I did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By William Dembski
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (13)

    Is it science? Is it religion? What exactly is the Design Revolution? This book answers the toughest questions about Intelligent Design. As the Intelligent Design movement has gained momentum over recent years, questions have naturally arisen to challenge its provocative claims. With clarity and concision, William Dembski responds to the most vexing questions and objections raised by experts and non-experts.

    Ernest Gundel says: "Not a natural transition to audio"
    "Profound and didactic, but worth the effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author makes some excellent points as he goes through the arguments for Intelligent Design. It seems like he is making the same point from about 20 different directions, so you may find yourself wondering if he will ever be finished. My feeling is that he realized that the reader/listener would need a lot of repetition to get these concepts into our thick skulls. For those who really want to have an understanding of ID, this is a great book, but it is not for anyone who just wants a general discussion of the subject. If you like to listen to the audiobook, you will probably want to buy the paper copy so you can write in it and dogear the pages.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • In the Hall of the Dragon King: Dragon King Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Lawhead
    • Narrated By Tim Gregory
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (119)

    A kingdom hangs in the balance as Quentin begins his quest. Carrying a sealed message from the Dragon King, Quentin and his outlaw companion, Theido, plunge headlong into a fantastic odyssey that leads them throughout Mensandor. Danger lurks at every turn: from the brutal terrain to deadly encounters with both humans and creatures of unknown origins.

    K. Donath says: "Entertaining"
    "Appropriate for young teens but not adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's hard to imagine Stephen Lawhead writing something this cheesy after years of his hits like the Arthurian series, but the target audience must be young teens and not adults. Add to that one of the most melodramatic narrations that I've heard and add a touch of music for good measure and you have a disappointing story.

    Something that seemed almost like plagiarism was the borrowing of thematic elements from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. There were Ringwraiths (the Legion of the Dead) and even an event in a barrow (like where Frodo rescued his friends after being nearly killed by the barrow wight. I could add more, but it was almost like listening to LOTR - the Classics Comics version.

    On the positive side, it would be a nice story for a young person who is not yet ready for his grown-up stories.

    There are two sequels to this volume and I suppose they follow the development of the protagonist as he grows into manhood and discovers his true giftings. If you like this story, then you'll probably like the others, but I wouldn't be willing to waste my time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jack: C. S. Lewis and His Times

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George Sayer
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    Sayer describes Lewis’ early years, hinting at childhood evidence of the brilliance and eccentricity that would later become Lewis’ hallmarks. He discusses Lewis’ academic career, his life-transforming conversion to Christianity, and the role of religion in his life. With honesty and compassion, he covers Lewis’ controversial relationship with Mrs. Moore and his passionate marriage to Joy Davidman.

    Alan Rither says: "The story of a life told by his friend"
    "The story of a life told by his friend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Other biographies of C.S. Lewis (and I think that I have all of them from Audible) are told from the perspective of the scholar, but George Sayer tells the story of his friend. Because he can share personal details of Lewis' life, this biography is much more intimate. For example, Sayer deals with the matter of Lewis' relationship with Mrs. Moore. Was it based on his sense of duty to her deceased son, Patty, and to her appeal to him as a surrogate mother, or was there some 'purient' motivation that he was ashamed to admit? There is no doubt that Jack was extremely protective of the details of their relationship, but Sayer's insight helps to dispel the confusion around the subject with good, sound reason and facts. The only quibble that I have with this audiobook is that it shows EACH half as being 13 hours whereas the total of BOTH halves is approximently 13 hours. I read an earlier review that pointed out this error and so I called Audible to find out and was assured that it really is 26 hours long -- it's not. But the 13 hours that it is, is worth listening even if you are a Lewis fan like me and think you've heard it all.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • How Great Is Our God: Classic Writings from History's Greatest Christian Thinkers in Contemporary Language

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Ignatius, C. S. Lewis, John Calvin, and others
    • Narrated By Bill DeWees
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    Daily readings drawn from every century and every tradition of the Christian faith. Christianity through the ages... Ignatius, C.S. Lewis, John Calvin, Augustine, Catherine of Siena, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Polycarp, John Wesley, Karl Barth, and Billy Sunday. These names, and so many others, fill the pages of church history. Yet they remain strangers to most of us. How Great Is Our God will introduce you to Christianity’s most influential thinkers from every century and every tradition—modernized for today’s reader.

    Alan Rither says: "Tedious"
    "Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is like listening to someone read from one of those 'Page-a-Day' calendars, but without the passion. The narrator sounds like a pleasant young man who was given a reading assignment. For example, when he introduces each day's reading, he gives a brief biographical note on the author of the quotation and then -- without changing his inflection to indicate that he is now quoting the author -- he instantly transitions into the quotation itself. To say that it is distracting is an understatement. Jarring would be a better word. The quotations are mostly interesting, but the book is not meant to be read (or listened to) for more than about 5 minutes at a time -- the quotation of the day.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Wounded Spirit

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr)
    • By Frank Peretti
    • Narrated By Frank Peretti
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    In Frank Peretti's first nonfiction work, he examines the pain from his past and helps us uncover the scars in our own lives. Drawing from tragic news stories like Columbine, he illustrates how ridicule and rejection can push people beyond the brink. Then, with poignant insight, he shows us the way to heal the wounded spirit that lies within us all.

    Bret says: "Excellent Lessons for us all"
    "A gripping, personal story that will change you"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Wounded Spirit to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version, but hearing the author tell this intensely person story in his own voice makes it even more impactful.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Wounded Spirit?

    When Frank Peretti pleads with his live audience to pledge that THEY will stop bullying others.


    What does Frank Peretti bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I would have missed the passion and the hurt in his voice of growing up with a birth injury that made his face and tongue the object of ridicule by his classmates. It wouldn't have had the same impact if I just read the words on the page.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Look at me -- Look at yourself -- Now look differently at others.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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