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Bob Killian

ratings
38
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
9

  • Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By David P. Clark
    • Narrated By Summer McStravick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (34)

    Again and again, microbes have shaped our health, our genetics, our history, our culture, our politics, even our religion and ethics. This book reveals much that scientists and cultural historians have learned about the pervasive interconnections between infectious microbes and humans. It also considers what our ongoing fundamental relationship with infectious microbes might mean for the future of the human species.

    Tyler says: "Amazing Introduction!"
    "Cheery and chirpy plagues and catastrophes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Perhaps. There are nuggets of information that create interesting speculations on the impact of infectious diseases on the course of history: the rise and fall of civilizations and religions, conquerors and the conquered. Sound science. A little loopy in construction, as some anecdotes make multiple appearances in the text.


    What didn’t you like about Summer McStravick’s performance?

    The narrator went to smile school, and read everything in sing-song cheeriness, as if reading a children's book to a slightly dense toddler. The jarring impact of hearing a voice like that talk about pestilence, cholera, devastation and death is, to say the least, distracting. Also, the mispronunciations made me wonder if there was adult supervision. Honestly, "prelate" is *not* pronounced pree-late.


    Any additional comments?

    On balance, if you're a science fan, grit your teeth and get through it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2987)
    Performance
    (2736)
    Story
    (2735)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Joanne M. McGowan says: "I didn't want to press the stop button!"
    "The perfect book-cub book?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great page-turner with a story cleverly structured: it unpeels. The characters are wryly observed, complex and credible. It's set in suburban Sydney, which feels very much like familiar suburban anywhere, but with plenty of local color. The three women protagonist-besties have interesting relationships and conflicts with their families, the community, and each other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion, Book 1: The Mormons

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By David Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By David Smalley
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (97)

    In this first book of The Complete Heretic's Guide to World Religion series, historian and award-winning atheist author Dave Fitzgerald takes us behind the Salt Lake curtain for a glimpse at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and answers your questions: Where did this multi-billion dollar tax-exempt corporation come from? Did Joseph Smith really sleep with all those women? Are the Mormons going to take over the whole world, and if so, is there any way to stop them? But that's not all!

    Bob Killian says: "Hilarious and disturbing history."
    "Hilarious and disturbing history."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author has an ax to grind, and he sharpens his ax beautifully. It's funny and well documented, full of illuminating history from the goofy and occasionally violent days of the Mormons.

    A less than stellar reading, though. Although the narrator is a likable radio host, he offers many cringe-worthy mispronunciations that detract from the flow. ("Ec cetera" is particularly jarring, as it occurs in the text frequently. If that sort of thing doesn't bother you, then buy the book.) I had to decode "cholera" when it was pronounced ko-LER-uh. I lost half a paragraph figuring that out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Moby Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By William Hootkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (155)

    "Call me Ishmael." Thus starts the greatest American novel. Melville said himself that he wanted to write "a mighty book about a mighty theme" and so he did. It is a story of one man's obsessive revenge-journey against the white whale, Moby-Dick, who injured him in an earlier meeting. Woven into the story of the last journey of The Pequod is a mesh of philosophy, rumination, religion, history, and a mass of information about whaling through the ages.

    Jessica says: "Excellent, EXCELLENT reading!"
    "One of the best audio books ever."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will read it again next year. And every year.
    It was part of my bucket list books-I-always-meant-to-read, but it exceeded every expectation. Wonderful book, great performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Divine Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Clive James (translator), Dante Alighieri
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (98)

    Renowned poet and critic Clive James presents the crowning achievement of his career: a monumental translation into English verse of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy is the precursor of modern literature, and this translation - decades in the making - gives us the entire epic as a single, coherent and compulsively listenable lyric poem. Written in the early 14th century and completed in 1321, the year of Dante’s death, The Divine Comedy is perhaps the greatest work of epic poetry ever composed.

    Tad Davis says: "Brilliant!"
    "Good, but it turned out to be a chore to read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read it as a kind of bucket list obligation. Always meant to read it. So I did. But it was a little like work to stick with it. Paradise, as many readers know, is not nearly as interesting as hell.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Old Curiosity Shop

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Anton Lesser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (79)

    Provoking an unprecedented outpouring of public grief when it was first published, it follows the story of Little Nell and her feckless grandfather. Forced to leave their magical shop of curiosities in London, they are pursued across the English countryside by the grotesquely evil dwarf Quilp. They escape - but at what cost?

    Rosemary says: "Outstanding Narration"
    "Brilliant narration. Splendid acting."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is Dickens at his storytelling best, with loads of colorful characters. But that opens the door for a great actor's tour de force. This is a compelling listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beethoven's Shadow

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 57 mins)
    • By Jonathan Biss
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    Overall
    (562)
    Performance
    (492)
    Story
    (490)

    The American pianist Jonathan Biss is known to audiences throughout the world for his artistry, musical intelligence, and deeply felt interpretations. What is less known until now is that Jonathan Biss writes about music in a most compelling and engaging way. For anyone who has ever enjoyed a Beethoven concert or a Beethoven recording, or one of the many films about Beethoven, this audiobook is an inspiring listening experience.

    Carol C. Buchalter says: "An amazing glimpse into musical interpretation"
    "Excellent for the musically sophisticated ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    IF I were more musically literate and/or sensitive, I think this would be a wonderful book. While I did get a lot from it, some of the subtlety went over my head. There were many references to passages from Beethoven's works, and I simply wasn't familiar enough (not nearly enough!) to understand the commentary. The discussions of his pianist-influencers was educational, and the narrator did a fine job.

    If you're knowledgable about Beethoven's piano works, you'd probably give this 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A History of the Middle Ages

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Crane Brinton, John Christopher, Robert Wolff
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (629)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (209)

    A History of the Middle Ages is the amazing story of European man in transition. It is a dramatic chronicle of 1,000 years of political, social, and economic transformation beginning with the dissolution of the classical Mediterranean civilization and ending with the first flowering of the Renaissance. It is also the story of two new religions, Christianity and Islam, both of which were destined to dominate the mind of every person in those new civilizations arising in their wake.

    Theresa says: "A Stunning Achievement"
    "Dreadful, biased and outdated."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to this terrible book for one dreary chapter after another, I did some research on the authors and was not at all surprised to see that they were born in the 19th century, and died half a century ago.

    This is the 1920s Oxford imperial mindset, cheerleaders for orthodox Christianity, ultra conservative and historically dishonest. This is NOT history.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2577)
    Performance
    (2214)
    Story
    (2202)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    barbara says: "Stunned"
    "Tana French's best so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hope she's working on the next in the series. Each one gets better, and she started on a very high level.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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