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Robert

Pinole, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 692 titles in library
  • 113 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
7

  • Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Ramon De Ocampo
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (307)

    The author of the Mistborn trilogy and Elantris, Brandon Sanderson is winning abundant praise for this rollicking - and unusual - tale. Alcatraz Smedry can’t exactly be described as someone who doesn’t break things. In fact, he breaks lots of things. The truth is, he’s a major klutz. Breaking things, however, might just be the ace in the hole he needs when he goes up against a cabal of nefarious (gasp!) librarians.

    Joe says: "Incredibly good!"
    "not up to the level of Brandon's other works"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians? What did you like least?

    On the positive side, it was certainly original. On the negative side, I didn't feel that I could identify with any of the characters, therefore, I did not get "into" the story


    What was most disappointing about Brandon Sanderson’s story?

    I suppose that the most disappointing part was that the story was not like the outstanding other fantasy books that I have read by Brandon Sanderson. Rather than the self consistent and emotionally appealing fantasy worlds that Sanderson has created, this book was more "comic fantasy". This is fine if that is what one wants to read.


    Which character – as performed by Ramon De Ocampo – was your favorite?

    None of the characters was "real" enough for me to have a favorite.


    Did Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians inspire you to do anything?

    nope


    Any additional comments?

    Brandon Sanderson is truly a gifted author of some really fine fantasy. I am probably not the best person to evaluate a book of his that is not of the type that I prefer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michelle Knight, Michelle Burford
    • Narrated By Maria Cabezas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (255)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (223)

    Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.

    Courtney says: "A True House of Horrors!"
    "A chilling story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Finding Me again? Why?

    Yes. This is a well told account of a true horror story that most of us will never have to face. Even though I have never encountered anything like this, through her telling of the story, I felt that I could understand a little the horror of what the author encountered.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    my favorite character was the author Michelle Knight. It seemed that up until her release from the house of horrors, she had never had a break in life. But despite what happened, she emerged from the ordeal to become a successful author of the story. I wish her only good luck in the future.


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

    She did a good job of reading the book with the right amount of emotion. The story seemed to flow from the mouth of Michelle Knight. I dont like it when readers over-emote, and this book probably had that potential, but Maria did not succumb to that.


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

    Yes, my extreme reaction was of horror at what happened, and greater sensitivity to the women who have suffered similar (though usually much less severe) abuse.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Denise Kiernan
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (172)

    At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians - many of them young women from small towns across the South - were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains.

    CBlox says: "Important story of this secret city"
    "story could have been told better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Girls of Atomic City?

    This book combined two stories. The first was a rather incomplete chronology of the events leading up to the first a-bomb. The second was a rather plodding description of the lives of several ordinary women who led rather ordinary lives.
    I think that documenting this story while the people are still alive is a good thing, but that it was not crafted into a very good book.


    If you’ve listened to books by Denise Kiernan before, how does this one compare?

    I have not listened to any other of her books


    Would you be willing to try another one of Cassandra Campbell’s performances?

    Probably not.


    What character would you cut from The Girls of Atomic City?

    I would not necessarily cut any of the characters.
    I think that there was a mix of character types that is appropriate to this kind of description, but that the describing of them was not so good. For example, a lot of time was spent describing the boyfriends of each of the women, and how their relationships were conducted. This is the same as such relationships any time and anywhere. Why is it part of this book?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rithmatist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1855)
    Performance
    (1699)
    Story
    (1710)

    More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings - merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

    Brandon says: "Beware of the chalk!"
    "Another great original fantasy by Sanderson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it because it is not copycat fantasy, but a well written and performed original.


    What other book might you compare The Rithmatist to and why?

    not sure


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

    As with all good readers, he gives the characters personality. He adds just the right amount of emotion when appropriate. This is critical to a good performance of the book, as some readers over-emote, and some readers under-emote.


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

    I did not have an extreme reaction. It did not make me laugh or cry, but made me feel good.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is typical of Brandon Sanderson's books. It is not a wild ride type of fantasy, but rather a well written story based on a world that is similar to ours, but with a little extra in the form of what we usually call magic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Alexandra Harney
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    To write The China Price, Alexandra Harney has penetrated further and deeper into China's enormous ecosystem of export-oriented industry than any outsider before her. She uncover the disturbing truth about how China is able to offer such amazingly low prices to the rest of the world.

    Alexandra says: "Thoroughly Research, Balanced Account"
    "many mistakes in china's success"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The China Price to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    That there are many human stories behind China's rise in the world. Like elsewhere, China's success was and continues to be built on the backs of the poor.


    Which character – as performed by Karen White – was your favorite?

    N/A


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    That China faces the same problems as everywhere else in the world and that and that they face them with the same political mixture of approaches as any other country.


    Any additional comments?

    I think that western education has given us the impression that China is a one mind totalitarian state. The book makes clear that this is not true.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boston Jacky: Bloody Jack, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By L. A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (186)

    Jacky Faber makes waves, even when docked in her adopted city of Boston to attend to the business of Faber Shipping Worldwide. With big dreams and perhaps too much exuberance for the Puritan populace, she quickly finds herself at odds with the Women's Temperance Union and a town roiling over the arrival of hundreds of Irish laborers, brought in on Jacky's Lorelei Lee.

    Aser Tolentino says: "How Much Farther Jacky?"
    "A very entertaining series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Boston Jacky again? Why?

    The story is fast moving and just an easy and entertaining read. Also, you cant help but feel good about Jacky who despite being persecuted by all of the bad guys, always stands up for those who need help.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Boston Jacky?

    for me, the most memorable thing was just picking up a new story about our hero Jacky and being entertained for yet another 10 hours or so.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked them all.


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

    Bad guys beware, Jacky is in town, and she gets even.


    Any additional comments?

    All of the books have been read by Katherine Kellgren. She is the best reader that I have ever experienced. Her spirited reading really makes the books come alive. Thank you Katherine!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs)
    • By Greta Christina
    • Narrated By Greta Christina
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (312)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (277)

    Why are atheists angry? Is it because they're selfish, joyless, lacking in meaning, and alienated from God? Or is it because they have legitimate reasons to be angry - and are ready to do something about it? Armed with passionate outrage, absurdist humor, and calm intelligence, popular blogger Greta Christina makes a powerful case for outspoken atheist activism, and explains the empathy and justice that drive it. This accessible, personal, down-to-earth book speaks not only to atheists, but also to believers who want to understand the so-called new atheism.

    Erik says: "I didn't need to listen to this book"
    "A nice compilation of reasons to dislike religion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Why Are You Atheists So Angry? rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Perhaps not destined to receive any literary prizes, but a fun read for atheists. Considering the number of books that I wasn't able to finish, or had to struggle to finish, I would have to rate this book in about the 80th percentile.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that it listed all of the diverse reasons that religion has been a bad influence in human society as well as being unsupportable as being true.


    What about Greta Christina’s performance did you like?

    She managed not to make it sound like a rant. Her diction was clear and appropriately paced, with just enough emotion to emphasize her points.


    If you could give Why Are You Atheists So Angry? a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Finally, an objective discussion of religion!


    Any additional comments?

    Most of the arguments and facts that she presented were already known to me, but she put them all together into a clear and compelling book.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John M. Barry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1295)
    Performance
    (642)
    Story
    (651)

    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

    Nancy says: "Gripping and Gory"
    "it could and likely will happen again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Great Influenza in three words, what would they be?

    are we prepared?


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This question is not really relevant


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

    He seems to bring emotion to each sentence. Sometimes it is too much.


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

    The Great epidemic of 1918: will it happen again in 2018?


    Any additional comments?

    Throughout my life I have heard of the killer flu pandemic of 1918, but have known no details of how the pandemic developed and why so many people died. This is a chilling story of how the medical system was completely overwhelmed, resulting in far more deaths than might otherwise have occurred. Although we have more effective medicines for the pneumonia which followed the flu and was the actual major killer, The sheer numbers of people involved would, if it happened again result in many deaths from the same cause. This is because our current ems system does not have the surge capacity to deal with the large numbers of very sick people. After reading this book, my feeling is that eventually another such pandemic is likely to happen again. Do we have a national plan for dealing with it? The book seems to say that the answer is no, and I think that the book makes the point very well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Isabel Wilkerson
    • Narrated By Robin Miles, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (975)
    Performance
    (782)
    Story
    (785)

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

    Lila says: "Superior non-fiction"
    "probably would make anyone uncomfortable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Warmth of Other Suns the most enjoyable?

    The realization of just how bleak the lives of post slavery black people were, especially in the south, and also the realization of just how recently this changed.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story followed the lives of several of the black people who migrated from the south in the early 20th century. The story seemed a little slow and plodding. Sometimes it was difficult to maintain interest. The story could/should have been told in perhaps 1/2 to 2/3 as much time.


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

    This is my first Robin Miles reading


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

    No, it was a story that I listened to for education, not entertainment.


    Any additional comments?

    I think that this is a worthwhile read for white people such as myself as well as Black people. It is about a shared heritage that none of us can be proud of. For a conscientious white person, it is horrifying to see just how cruel other white people were in the Jim Crow south. I am not sure how a black person might react, but I can imagine a mixture of emotions, some directed at white people for their cruelty, and some directed at themselves and other black people for their helplessness in the face of this cruelty.

    I am 62 years old, and it is a bit humbling to realize that many of the abuses that are described were in full force during my lifetime, and indeed that some of this exists today.

    I think that this book would be most valuable to young people of all races. This would help them to understand some of why the older generation acts and thinks the way it does.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By George Friedman
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (872)
    Performance
    (364)
    Story
    (367)

    In The Next 100 Years, Friedman turns his eye on the future. Drawing on a profound understanding of history and geopolitical patterns dating back to the Roman Empire, he shows that we are now, for the first time in half a millennium, experiencing the dawn of a new historical cycle.

    Ryan says: "Take with a few grains of salt"
    "I hope this author is wrong"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from George Friedman and/or William Hughes?

    Yes, because he gives logic and facts to back up his predictions. Whether I agree with his conclusions or not, I have to agree that they are plausible.


    If you’ve listened to books by George Friedman before, how does this one compare?

    This one is my first


    What about William Hughes’s performance did you like?

    He read the book in a voice that sounded as though the author was speaking. Not overly emotional or bored sounding, but as though he believed what he was saying


    Did The Next 100 Years inspire you to do anything?

    No, I didn't see the book as trying to inspire action.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was not mainly about the technical advances of the next 100 years (although there was a little of that there), but was rather about the cyclical nature of political relationships and conflicts, and how they might play out over the next 100 years. In my opinion, the author gives too little importance to the technical advances, but sees these advances as simply adding a new dimension to the same political relationships that have been going on for hundreds of years.

    The author believes that power struggles and wars will be our fate in the future just as in the past. I hope that he is wrong.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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