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Dean

KoolMoeDean

Charlottesville, VA, United States | Member Since 2008

44
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 138 ratings
  • 556 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2014
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  • 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
    (1149)
    Performance
    (957)
    Story
    (969)

    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."
    "Pretty dull, more biography than sociology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted this to be a sociological look at the growth of a science fiction story into an international religion, but it was more of a slow-paced biography of L. Ron Hubbard and dull hashing-out of the "secret" ideology (which was not very surprising or interesting). Really, the South Park episode was more informative on that point, and hilarious. I like books about cults, and books critical of religions, and I found this fairly boring. Sorry. I wanted to like it.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Yes Please

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Amy Poehler
    • Narrated By Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, and others
    Overall
    (1567)
    Performance
    (1503)
    Story
    (1503)

    Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

    S.F. says: "Listen to this book for sure"
    "Amateur self-help"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was concerned when the book started with an hour of drivel about how hard it is to write a book, and hoped it would pick up, but it only got worse from there. The whole book feels like a very long, mediocre state college application essay, full of hollow platitudes and shallow self-reflections. I liked Amy Poehler before this, and I love Parks and Recreation, but this book actually made me dislike her. It's neither funny nor insightful; it's the complete opposite of Tina Fey's "Bossypants." She actually spends nearly an entire chapter talking about how bothersome it is for people to recognize her or dare to speak to her in public, as she's cashing checks for selling the public this crappy unfunny book. She has about a hundred chips on her shoulder about men, fans, people who don't find her funny, etc.

    I stopped listening with an hour left in the book because I was starting to dislike her so much it was going to ruin Parks and Rec reruns for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Glenn Greenwald
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (213)

    In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security....

    Dean says: "Excellent! Engaging, thoughtful, and illuminating"
    "Excellent! Engaging, thoughtful, and illuminating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very well-written book, that works well as an audiobook as well because of its fast pace and engaging material. I followed the NSA revelations closely, but this book gives more depth and context. It's as much a book about the fragile state of journalism as it is about the pervasiveness of surveillance. A no-brainer for a download, and one of the five-star audiobooks that also justify a print version in my home library.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Star Trek: Into Darkness: Star Trek Movie Novelizations, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Alan Dean Foster
    • Narrated By Alice Eve
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (190)

    Pioneering director J. J. Abrams has delivered an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek into darkness. When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

    Elizabeth says: "Horrible narrator, great story"
    "Dynamic story, but subpar narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good book, worth a credit, but it could have been better. The narrator from the first Star Trek movie tie-in was great, but then they switched over to this woman. It was not a good move. She has a small, mousy British voice, which really doesn't work for a story with mostly strong, masculine characters. She struggled to differentiate the different characters, and had issues pausing at the right time. The story would say "Kirk shouted..." and she would whisper the next line. Also, when there was action taking place in two different settings, she wouldn't pause effectively to differentiate the plot lines, so I found myself rewinding a lot after figuring out that the scene had shifted without any pause or cue from the narrator. It seemed as if she just read it out loud in one take, straight through, without any kind of notes. She also had an annoying habit of trailing off at the end of every sentence. She's just a bad voice actor. I guess the fault lies with the director or producer of the audio book as well.

    Despite that, I still enjoyed the book. It's based on the movie script, so it has the feel of an abridged book, where the action moves quickly, but they still managed to put more character development and detail than was present in the film version.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Extinction Machine: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1361)
    Performance
    (1283)
    Story
    (1272)

    The president of the United States vanishes from the White House. A top-secret prototype stealth fighter is destroyed during a test flight. Witnesses on the ground say that it was shot down by a craft that immediately vanished at impossible speeds. All over the world, reports of UFOs are increasing at an alarming rate. And in a remote fossil dig in China dinosaur hunters have found something that is definitely not of this earth.

    Karen says: "Another Amazing Entry in the Series"
    "Awesome story, best in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very compelling listen. It's been a while since I've heard a book that captured my attention so completely. I've listened to the rest of the Joe Ledger books, and enjoyed them all, but this is the best in the series. It's an interesting mix of science and science fiction, fast-paced, with well-written dialogue and a fascinating plot. I was sorry when it was over, and it's going to be tough to find another book to follow it up with.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Assassination Vacation

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Conan O'Brien, Stephen King, Dave Eggers, and others
    Overall
    (2051)
    Performance
    (537)
    Story
    (529)

    Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other, a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

    Rachel says: "extremely entertaining and informative"
    "Interesting book, annoying author narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an interesting quasi-history book. I say "quasi" because it is not a dry, objective history, but more of a narrative of the author's experience learning the history of some presidential assassinations. She infuses a lot of her personality into the history, which is generally interesting, funny, and mostly witty, but gets a little annoying toward the end. She also has a really annoying voice, and despite the "full cast" badge, she narrates 99.9% of it personally with a tiny smattering of the other credited narrators here and there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I, Robot

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1664)
    Performance
    (630)
    Story
    (652)

    They mustn't harm a human being, they must obey human orders, and they must protect their own existence...but only so long as that doesn't violate rules one and two. With these Three Laws of Robotics, humanity embarked on a bold new era of evolution that would open up enormous possibilities, and unforeseen risks.

    Herb says: "Forget the violence - Read this one for the humor"
    "Not at all like the movie, but still interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I actually saw the movie before I listened to the book, and while there are some intersections between the movie and the book, they are basically completely different. That said, I like both. The book basically a series of vignettes that show technological progress and its societal implications, through the eyes of a robo-psychologist who watched their development. It comes together a bit in the end.

    It's definitely not a thriller like the movie, but it was very interesting and also very thought provoking about technology and human nature.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Full Black

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Brad Thor
    • Narrated By Armand Schultz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1726)
    Performance
    (1393)
    Story
    (1404)

    Born in shadow and kept from heads of state, there are some missions so deadly, so sensitive, that they simply don't exist. so deadly, so sensitive, that they simply don't exist. When one such mission goes horribly wrong, a wave of dramatic terrorist attacks is set in motion. Their goal: the complete and total collapse of the United States. With the CIA's intelligence abilities hobbled, former Navy SEAL Team 6 member turned covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath launches an audacious plan to infiltrate the terrorists' network and prevent one of the biggest threats the U.S. has ever faced.

    Sean says: "More More"
    "Poorly written, cliche, political polemic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was terrible. Brad Thor basically recycled some Mitch Rapp plot lines and mashed them together with huge, boring portions of inane political philosophy, with a constant vein of racist stereotypes running throughout. The action sequences, which are pretty dull and cliche to begin with, are broken up by twenty minute-long rants about globalism and political philosophy that sounds like it came from a developmentally challenged hybrid of Ayn Rand and Ann Coulter.

    Even aside from the offensive and boring political content, the book is just poorly written. I've read quite a few books in this genre - from Flynn, DeMille, Clancy - and this was so inferior that it is hard to compare them. Characters somehow manage to be one-dimensional and discordant at the same time. I wanted to turn this book off about halfway through, but I actually listened to the whole thing for the sole reason that I wanted to be able to give a comprehensive review of how terrible it is.

    Let me emphasize one point: I find this book to be amoral and irresponsible from an ideological standpoint BUT I also find it to be a terrible work of literature, from an objective standpoint. Even if you like Jack Bauer and endorse torture and think every Muslim is a bomb and hate the United Nations, etc. etc. I think you will still find that this is cliche, poorly-written rubbish.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mount Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1454)
    Performance
    (730)
    Story
    (746)

    Guy Carson is a brilliant scientist at GeneDyne, one of the world's foremost biochemical companies. When he is transferred to Mount Dragon, GeneDyne's high-security genetic engineering lab, his good fortune seems too good to be true.

    Carson soon finds that it is. He learns that GeneDyne geneticists are tinkering with a common virus with an eye on the enormous profit to be had from a cure for the flu. Their cure involves permanently altering DNA in humans. What's more, Mount Dragon harbors another secret that puts the world at horrifying risk.

    Kathy says: "Great grab-you-in-plot!"
    "Crichton-esque, pretty decent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK story, reminded me of Andromeda Strain. It's a beach book, not much substance, but it was entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Timothy Ferriss
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (2702)
    Performance
    (1701)
    Story
    (1706)

    This expanded edition includes dozens of practical tips and case studies from readers who have doubled their income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book. Also included are templates for eliminating email and negotiating with bosses and clients, how to apply lifestyle principles in unpredictable economic times, and the latest tools, tricks, and shortcuts for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either.

    suzanne says: "Step 3: PROFIT!!!"
    "JUST DO STUFF AND YOU'LL GET RICH!!!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book, like its author, lacks substance. It is an autobiography of a shameless self-promoter, not a guide to self-improvement. It has no useful ideas or inspirations for business or life. He alienated me quicker than an Amway salesman. His life plan:

    (1) Start crappy supplement company
    (2) Find some obscure "records" that require no effort to pursue, and break them via some sort of loophole. BRAG ABOUT IT!
    (3) Sell book.
    (4) *Forthcoming* Realize life consisted of an aggregation of resume entries that lack meaning or substance.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life with Crows: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1986)
    Performance
    (1697)
    Story
    (1686)

    For the first time in unabridged audio! A small Kansas town has turned into a killing ground. Is it a serial killer, a man with the need to destroy? Or is it a darker force, a curse upon the land? Amid golden cornfields, FBI Special Agent Pendergast discovers evil in the blood of America's heart.

    Polly says: "SCARY, WEIRD, ENGAGING"
    "Not their best, not even in the top five"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't very impressed with this one. Their books are starting to get a bit formulaic. It's like Scooby Doo: start the book with some intrigue and a hint that something paranormal is happening, then the good guys catch the bad guy and they realize the prosaic, pseudoscientific reality. A bit bland overall.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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