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Craig A. Godeke

Montreal, QC Canada | Member Since 2010

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 132 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • Great Blunders in History: Kashmir

    • UNABRIDGED (21 mins)
    • By The History Channel
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Right up to the moment when India and Pakistan became independent, the last British viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, was undecided as to which country should incorporate Kashmir into its borders. It was decided by the Hindu Maharajah that his largely Muslim state should join India. His decision precipitated a virtual state of war between the two countries and a bitter territorial dispute that persists to this day.

    Master Yoda says: "a shallow introduction to the problem"
    "Not really an audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This seems to be merely the audio track from an episode from the History Channel, complete with breaks for commercials and repeated summaries. It doesn't make for a good listen.
    As for the content, in order to conform to the series title they needed to transform a complex situation into a simple blunder, as though everything would have turned out all right in Kashmir if only Mountbatten had been more decisive. In place of information they use silly dramatic gimmicks and repetition.
    I'd go for Mark Tully's India if you want a short short of Indian history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Thomas S. Kuhn
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    Overall
    (321)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (137)

    Named one of "The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War" by the Times Literary Supplement, and one of the "100 Best Nonfiction" books by the Modern Library, Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a landmark of scientific thought. Written in 1962, Kuhn's book took an entirely different view of how scientists perceived and achieved changes in basic theoretical assumptions - what he termed "paradigm shifts".

    Matthew says: "Better than prior reviews led me to believe"
    "Overly Long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really felt this was overly long and should have been edited down by about half. It was hard to stay engaged, and I was questioning whether it was the quality of the reader, or the writing. This is unfortunate, as this is an influential book, and I think Kuhn's claims are very compelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Dave Grossman
    • Narrated By Dave Grossman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (239)

    The good news is that the vast majority of soldiers are loath to kill in battle. Unfortunately, modern armies, using Pavlovian and operant conditioning have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. The psychological cost for soldiers, as witnessed by the increase in post-traumatic stress, is devastating.

    g says: "Adam G"
    "Strong start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Most of the book is very engaging and Grossman is clear and convincing in his defense of his thesis that human's are naturally averse to killing and need to be conditioned to do so effectively in times of war. The anecdotes, mostly from soldiers, are very moving.

    Unfortunately, he relies heavily on S.L.A Marshall's work, and the quality of that work is now seriously questioned. Worse, his final claim that the world is becoming a more violent place seems to contradict a large body of evidence, and goes against recent studies, such as Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature.

    I still recommend it, for it is entertaining, although I'd balance it with some critical reviews.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Between the Assassinations: A Novel in Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Aravind Adiga
    • Narrated By Harsh Nayyar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    Welcome to Kittur, India. Of its 193,432 residents, only 89 declare themselves to be without religion or caste. And if the characters in Between the Assassinations are any indication, Kittur is an extraordinary crossroads of the brightest minds and the poorest morals, the up-and-coming and the downtrodden, and of an India that modern literature has rarely addressed.

    nina says: "Great Listen, wonderful narrator!"
    "Fine Short Stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a collection of short stories, not a novel with a single story line. Some of the negative reviewers seem unable to get over that point. Despite no plot line, the stories are linked together by place -- all are set in the fictional southwestern Indian town of Kittur. In this sense it's not unlike Dubliners or Winesburg, Ohio.

    Aravind Adiga does an excellent job of creating believable and endearing, though not necessarily likeable, characters that represent a cross section of Indian society.

    My only complaint is that it is unrelentingly grim, which again reminded me of Winesburg, Ohio. Nevertheless, I recommend it, especially to anyone interested in modern India.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mark Tully's India

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mark Tully
    • Narrated By Mark Tully
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    This compilation of Mark Tully's acclaimed reports from India includes his specially recorded observations. Sir Mark Tully was the BBC's Foreign Correspondent in India from 1972 to 1994. He has become familiar to listeners around the world for his incisive and thought-provoking reports. On this special recording, he looks back at his career, which coincided with a remarkable period in Indian history.

    Andy says: "less colorful than the dust jacket"
    "For Ears Only"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been going through several books on India's history, and this stands out as a fresh slice of this history. It's great to hear the voices of India's recent past.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Holy Cow!: An Indian Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sarah Macdonald
    • Narrated By Kate Hosking
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (574)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (143)

    After backpacking her way around India, Sarah Macdonald decides she hates the country with a passion. When a beggar at the airport reads her palm and insists she will one day return, and for love, she screams "Never!" and gives the country, and him, the finger.

    Meredith says: "Inspiring and witty"
    "Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an entertaining account of one woman's experience living in India, and the reading is excellent. Macdonald doesn't appear to have any pretenses about being an expert on India, and though she is often brutally harsh in her descriptions, I always felt that they were a reflection of herself, her character and expectations.
    The first half is better than the second, in which she begins a series of explorations into India's many religions. Overall though, these give her an excuse to move about and she does a pretty good job summarizing the different faiths. Finally, her personal growth and ambivalent love of India come across clearly without being over the top.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1816)
    Performance
    (899)
    Story
    (914)

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "Deserves the acclaim"
    Overall

    The insights into human nature are profound and spot on, and a lot of the dialog had my laughing out loud. The narration on this version is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Good Book: Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Plotz
    • Narrated By David Plotz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (301)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (103)

    Good Book is what happens when a regular guy actually reads the book on which his religion, his culture, and his world are based. Along the way, he grapples with the most profound theological questions: Does God prefer obedience or good deeds? And the most unexpected ones: Why are so many women in the Bible prostitutes? Why does God love bald men so much? Is Samson really that stupid? Good Book is an irreverent, enthralling journey through the world's most important work of literature.

    Ron says: "Rollicking trip through the Old Testament"
    "Fun perspective on a serious book"
    Overall

    I found the book to be both insightful and entertaining. The Mr. Plotz never assumes pretenses of being an authority, instead he gives a very honest reaction of a typical layperson encountering the Bible as it is. There may be some current references that will eventually date the book, but at the moment they help add modern perspective.

    He also does a good job reading his own work, adding a bit more emotion or personality to it than would have been the case if it had been read by a professional voice talent.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1191)
    Performance
    (628)
    Story
    (635)

    The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.

    Laurie says: "more than grapes of wrath"
    "Moving history"
    Overall

    This is a very engaging, almost novel-like history of the dust belt during the Great Depression. The characters and places come to life, and the tragedy and stress of the times are really brought out.

    The reading is very well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Anthony Lewis
    • Narrated By Stow Lovejoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    More than any other people on earth, Americans are free to say and write what they think. The reason for this extraordinary freedom is not a superior culture of tolerance, but just 14 words in our most fundamental legal document: the free expression clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

    Anthony Lewis tells us how these rights were created, revealing a story of hard choices, heroic (and some less heroic) judges, and fascinating and eccentric defendants who forced the legal system to come face-to-face with one of America's great founding ideas.

    Roy says: "The First Amendment Lives"
    "Good historical overview."
    Overall

    This is a good introduction to the First Amendment and how it has evolved with the United States. It reveals the fact that the founding fathers were never in complete agreement on major issues and continued to debate them even after inking their historical documents.

    There are perhaps a few too many instances where the author expresses his personal viewpoint, but at least it is done transparently.

    The reading is flat and dull, and I take one star away for that reason.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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