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Matt

Bakersfield, CA, United States

ratings
60
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
46

  • Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Annie Jacobsen
    • Narrated By Annie Jacobsen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1414)
    Performance
    (984)
    Story
    (992)

    Myths and hypotheses about Area 51 have long abounded, thanks to the intense secrecy enveloping it. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems, and nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landing was filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside the base. Until now.

    A User says: "Reality, always more interesting than fiction."
    "Somewhat interesting."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is an overall history of Area 51 and is interesting as such. Some of the more controversial stuff that's been in the press lately, though, is from a single source she interviewed and should be viewed as such. Not saying it's not true. There's no way for me to know that. But that stuff comes from interviewing only a single source and was not corroborated by any other source.

    Anyway, the overall history is pretty interesting despite that.

    The writer does a decent job of reading her own book. Not exceptional, but not annoying either.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • City of Thieves

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Benioff
    • Narrated By Ron Perlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1451)
    Performance
    (718)
    Story
    (714)

    A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself "built for deprivation." He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building.

    Paul says: "Stunning Tale. Great Narration."
    "Great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having just come off listening to a few bad audio books, this was refreshing. The plot and characters are engaging and the use of language is great. Ron Perlman does a very good job.

    This was a pleasure to listen to, all the way through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Growing Up Amish: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ira Wagler
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    One fateful starless night, 17-year-old Ira Wagler got up at 2 AM, left a scribbled note under his pillow, packed all of his earthly belongings into in a little black duffel bag, and walked away from his home in the Amish settlement of Bloomfield, Iowa. Now, in this heartwarming memoir, Ira paints a vivid portrait of Amish life - from his childhood days on the family farm, his Rumspringa rite of passage at age 16, to his ultimate decision to leave the Amish Church for good at age 26.

    Ryan C. Mercer says: "A must read (or listen!)"
    "Ultimately, uninteresting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Throughout, the book hints at heavy trials and tribulations that the writer will experience in his travels away from the Amish, but ultimately the book delivers none of this.

    It is a boring book about the angst and restlessness of youth that finally reveals itself to be a Christian tract.

    Not recommended.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Blackout

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1967)
    Performance
    (1235)
    Story
    (1239)

    In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

    Monica says: "Double review - Blackout and All Clear"
    "Good, a bit slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well written and interesting, but a bit slow to build up and ends without any sort of real ending. Unsatisfying ending. But of course, you have to read the sequel. Should have just been one book. This doesn't feel like a complete book. I realize it's intended as a first part, but it would have been nice if there was some sort of sense that this was the end of a chapter at least, but there wasn't.

    That said, the characterization is all great. And the general premise as well as execution are interesting.

    The reader is really great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Shorter History of Australia

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Geoffrey Blainey
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (70)

    After a lifetime of research and debate on Australian and international history, Geoffrey Blainey is well-placed to introduce us to the people who have played a part and to guide us through the events which have created the Australian identity: the mania for spectator sport, the suspicion of the tall poppy, the rivalries of Catholic and Protestant, Sydney and Melbourne, new and old homelands, the conflicts of war abroad and race at home, the importance of technology, the recognition of our Aboriginal past and Native Title.

    Allister says: "Enjoyable chronology of the history of Australia"
    "Too short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not very interesting. Too short to get into anything in depth, leaving just an overly simple overview making it impossible to get very interested in anything.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Janet Reitman
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1072)
    Performance
    (889)
    Story
    (900)

    Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals.

    Matt says: "My cup of tea."
    "interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    An interesting listen. It's fascinating to hear how a religion can be founded by a pathological liar and loser and become such a huge success. Also fascinating what people are willing to believe in.

    The writer interviewed a lot of scientologists to write this book, and there's a pretty broad perspective here with lots of insider stories. It can be dry at times but I found it interesting overall.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Roots: The Saga of an American Family

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alex Haley
    • Narrated By Avery Brooks
    Overall
    (2030)
    Performance
    (1146)
    Story
    (1165)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A masterpiece like none other, Brooks’ powerful performance of Haley’s words has been known to leave listeners in tears. It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.

    Kevin says: "Powerful"
    "mostly good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The parts with Kunta Kinte and Chicken George are interesting and entertaining. Luckily they take up the majority of the book. The last few hours of the book are rushed as the writer sounds like he's just listing off facts about his family rather than telling a tale. Throughout the book as the writer tries to weave historical events into the book, he doesn't do a very good job of it. Most of that stuff other than the civil war seems to be an afterthought he included to give the reader an idea of what else was going on in the world, but he didn't work it into the story at all. The writing is decent but not great though dialog is very well written.

    All that said, the parts with Kunta Kinte and Chicken George are great overall. The characters are fleshed out very nicely, giving a very deep understanding of them. The other characters in the book are not nearly as well realized.

    Avery Brooks does an awesome job reading.

    Worth listening to. A historically important book for sure. It's a very strong experience but not as amazing as a book as some seem to think.

    Anyway, those are my 2 cents of nonsense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skippy Dies

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Murray
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Fred Berman, Clodagh Bowyer, and others
    Overall
    (1443)
    Performance
    (848)
    Story
    (858)

    This touching and uproarious novel by author Paul Murray made everyone’s best fiction of 2010 lists, including The Washington Post, Financial Times, Village Voice, and others. Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the mystery that links the boys of Dublin’s Seabrook College (Ruprecht Van Doren, the overweight genius obsessed with string theory; Carl, the teenager drug dealer and borderline psychotic; Philip Kilfether, the basketball-playing midget) to their parents and teachers in ways that no one could have imagined.

    Laura says: "Funny, touching, entertaining"
    "slow start, but worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like some others have said, the start's a bit slow in building up. For me, the first 3 or 4 hours were pretty boring and I almost gave up on the book. But I'm glad I didn't. It builds up and builds up, fleshing out all of the characters. Funny and sad at the same time, it's brilliantly read by the various actors. Well worth listening to. Have some patience with the slow start and it'll pay off.

    But, warning. If you're easily offended, turn elsewhere. Drugs and sex abound in this book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Shadow

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir, a Full Cast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4712)
    Performance
    (2683)
    Story
    (2715)

    Andrew "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In this book, Card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean, the one who became Ender's right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers. Bean's past was a battle just to survive. His success brought him to the attention of the Battle School's recruiters.

    L. says: "Totally Card"
    "love it except female reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As with Ender's Game, I love this book but cannot stand the female reader who reads part of the book. She's way too melodramatic and heartfelt, eking her heart out with every phrase whether it's appropriate or not.

    Otherwise, this is great. I actually enjoyed it more than Ender's Game though I suppose if I hadn't listened to Ender's Game first that might not be the case. I was concerned about listening to this when I read what the basic concept was, thinking I didn't really want to listen to a ton of overlap. But this is its own story and well fleshed out. And Bean is a very likeable character.

    Well worth listening to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stranger in a Strange Land

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2648)
    Performance
    (1218)
    Story
    (1233)

    Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, an earthling born and educated on Mars, who arrives on Earth with superhuman powers and a total ignorance of the mores of man. Smith is destined to become a freak, a media commodity, a scam artist, a searcher, and finally, a messiah.

    Harris says: "A Parable for the Ages"
    "pretty boring"
    Overall

    I agree with the reviewer who said that this was like a 16 hour lecture. The first half setup is interesting, but in the second half it devolves into a boring commentary on sex, politics and religion. It was pretty boring to me and if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't listen to or read this book. I understand that at the time it came out, this may have been a very controversial book, but now in 2011, to me, it was just boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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