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Richard

Sarasota, FL, United States | Member Since 2005

30
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 373 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Great Fire of Rome: The Fall of the Emperor Nero and His City

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Stephen Dando-Collins
    • Narrated By John Lescault
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    In A.D. 64, on the night of July 19, a fire began beneath the stands of Rome’s great stadium, the Circus Maximus. The fire would spread over the coming days to engulf much of the city of Rome. From this calamity, one of the ancient world’s most devastating events, legends grew: that Nero had been responsible for the fire, and fiddled while Rome burned, and that Nero blamed the Christians of Rome, burning them alive in punishment, making them the first recorded martyrs to the Christian faith at Rome.

    steve says: "Not bad"
    "Decent book, misleading title"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a strangely-organized book. It starts out as a detailed history of the titular fire, but that has burned its way through the book by the halfway point. The second half of the book is a straight-forward biography of Nero's life from the fire onward, with some flashbacks to his earlier days. It's a little plodding in the second half, and you'll learn a lot of details about how various Roman nobles killed themselves. A lot.

    The narrator is clear and easy to follow, but rather stilted and very dry. Not particularly engaging at all.

    The author makes some interesting deviations from the conventional wisdom on Nero's killing of Christians. I can't judge whether or not he's likely to be right, but he weirdly places the argument for his changes in the introduction and then in the main narrative presets his version as pure fact, without reference to any debate amongst historians. I found that off-putting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2201)
    Performance
    (1751)
    Story
    (1751)

    The Psychopath Test is a fascinating journey through the minds of madness. Jon Ronson's exploration of a potential hoax being played on the world's top neurologists takes him, unexpectedly, into the heart of the madness industry. An influential psychologist who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are, in fact, psychopaths teaches Ronson how to spot these high-flying individuals by looking out for little telltale verbal and nonverbal clues.

    Robert says: "Interesting but wandering"
    "Fascinating stuff"
    Overall
    Performance

    A really intriguing look into the mind of both the psycopaths and the people who study them. Ronson reads his own work here, which is occasionally a little rough but more than makes up for the fact with the added pathos he brings. Great listen.

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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