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Ken

Alaska | Member Since 2006

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 80 ratings
  • 101 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015
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4

  • Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By William Rosen
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (255)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (78)

    The emperor Justinian reunified Rome's fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals. At his capital in Constantinople, he built the world's most beautiful building, married the most powerful empress, and wrote the empire's most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome's fortunes for the next five hundred years. Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed 5,000 people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself.

    joan says: "More history than Disease"
    "If you want to know..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Justinian's Flea in three words, what would they be?

    Linear Historical Briefing


    What other book might you compare Justinian's Flea to and why?

    Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Outline of History - The Fabric of the Cosmos,because it provides a living, breathing story of Goths, Huns, Romans in a linear story with the precision of a Physicist peeling the mystery of the Universe - from string to that other unseen, a Multiverse.


    What about Barrett Whitener’s performance did you like?

    He knew the story, spoke the language, gave the feel of excitement of a scale of battle we rarely if ever have known, intrigue, and human suffering living in bacterium in the gut of a flea riding the rat from Egypt to every boat, barn and castle across the Roman Empire.


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

    No... maybe respect. Lots of respect and a well done with the weaving of a great unseeable disaster into a story that should teach us what to expect - when we least expect - and to wake up to what we are; as Richard Dawkins wrote, 'self replicating molecules that accumulated survival machines and were emancipated by language... and now we realize we are vulnerable to other self replicating machines... Asimov said it best; We are matter contemplating itself.


    Any additional comments?

    Good story, well told, worth the time to listen and learn from that parallel universe we call The Roman Empire; they were us in another time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Matt Ridley
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (235)
    Story
    (230)

    Referring to Lewis Carroll's Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass, a character who has to keep running to stay in the same place, Matt Ridley demonstrates why sex is humanity's best strategy for outwitting its constantly mutating internal predators.

    Scott says: "Great book!"
    "If I were ten Years Old..."
    Overall

    ... I would want to be a microbiologist! Finished Ancestor's Tale by R. Dawkins and loved it, like the story of asking a fish, how's the water... and the fish answers... water? what water? The chemical world that is us seems far more distant than the edge of the visable universe. I'm reading Red Queen on paper and am now downloading it to my iPOD. The goal is... what/why is sex? It's a better question than it sounds... but I'm still struggling with the Hox gene and how it knows where it is. This is a great mystery and if you liked Ancestor's Tale, you'll find this is a fine trip into that next dimension... water? what water?

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Traitor

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Stephen Coonts
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (99)

    The death of a French intelligence agent on an Air France flight to Amman, Jordan, is the trigger that launches Tommy Carmellini's latest adventure. Within the European Union, the national espionage agencies are fiercely competing for supremacy against each other, and against the CIA. When the Americans discover that the director of the French spy agency has secret investments in the Bank of Palestine, alarm bells go off.

    Gregory A. Pless says: "Funny, entertaining, well read"
    "The Traitor"
    Overall

    The Traitor is fun and fast from beginning to end; especially enjoyed Dennis Boutsikaris and his wise guy inflections of a well written spy novel by a favorite author, Stephen Coonts; my bet is you won't be disappointed. I will be looking forward to more of the same caliber by this reader and author. Ken

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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