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A. Yerkes

Singapore | Member Since 2005

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited (33 1/3 Series)

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Mark Polizzotti
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Between the fitfully brilliant Bringing It All Back Home and the sprawling masterwork that is Blonde on Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited stands as the defining moment in both Dylan's career and the musical evolution of the mid 1960's. But beyond its place in history, Highway 61 works because of its enduring emotional appeal. Few songwriters before Dylan or since have combined so effectively the intensely personal with the spectacularly universal.

    Robert says: "Quote and close quote"
    "Absolutely quote and close quote"
    Overall

    Robert is right. How did this get recorded and released with this major problem? This book needs to be rerecorded. As is, it's unlistenable.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How A Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Kathleen Flinn
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, writer Kathleen Flinn returned with no idea what to do next, until one day at a supermarket she watched a woman loading her cart with ultraprocessed foods. Flinn's "chefternal" instinct kicked in: she persuaded the stranger to reload with fresh foods, offering her simple recipes for healthy, easy meals.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great Motivater for Challenged Home Cooks"
    "Too Much Author in the Recipe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a proficient cook who is over-reliant on Cook's Illustrated, I was hoping this book would help me learn to freestyle in the kitchen, rather than always be chained to recipes. It doesn't provide that kind of information, and I found it lacking in the useful tips that others have discovered here. More damning, the book is bogged down by long passages of personal detail from the author, telling us about her blessed professional career as a chef, her lucky life in Seattle, and her fortuitous luxury cruises. I didn't care. An additional problem is that there's lots of recipes in the audio, so you end up having long lists of ingredients being read to you. The everyday people that she selects to enlighten with her wisdom in scenes of instruction are hot-pocket-heating neophytes with everything to learn. If you have basic cooking competence, I would suggest passing on this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Kushner
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest and most controversial videogame franchises of all time. Since its first release in 1997, GTA has pioneered the use of everything from 3D graphics to the voices of top Hollywood actors and repeatedly transformed the world of gaming. Despite its incredible innovations in the $75 billion game industry, it has also been a lightning rod of debate, spawning accusations of ethnic and sexual discrimination, glamorizing violence, and inciting real-life crimes.

    A. Yerkes says: "Doesn't Get the Creative Story"
    "Doesn't Get the Creative Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While this audiobook provides a brisk, well-narrated history of Rockstar Games' corporate evolution, I wanted to hear a little bit less about the decadent lifestyle and threatening workplace elitism, and more about the creative process of game design and world building. There is some of this, as when we're told of the Scottish engineers driving through the streets of LA with a microphone, recording street conversations to make GTA3 sound authentic, but I wanted a lot more. Sam and Dan Houser are clearly the heart of the story of GTA, but they did not cooperate with this book''s production, and without their perspective, this account is hollow. We don't get enough about Dan's writing process (did his literary studies influence his game scripting?) or the engineering challenges, not to mention there is no commentary or interpretative angle on the various GTA ludonarratives, nor any theorization of the larger significance of these games in the current culture. It's not that kind of book.

    I found the Jack Thompson plot to be diverting and not interesting enough to take up as much space as it did. It could have been effectively edited down, and seems like its there to fill up what is an underdeveloped narrative.

    That said, this book is somewhat enjoyable, and if you are curious about Rockstar, you will probably enjoy is, at least partially. It provided part of the story, but the great account of Rockstar is yet to be written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cane

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jean Toomer
    • Narrated By Sean Crisden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    First published in 1923, Jean Toomer's Cane is an innovative literary work powerfully evoking black life in the South. Rich in imagery, Toomer's impressionistic, sometimes surrealistic sketches of Southern rural and urban life are permeated by visions of smoke, sugarcane, dusk, and fire; the northern world is pictured as a harsher reality of asphalt streets.

    A. Yerkes says: "Well-Executed Classic"
    "Well-Executed Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This audiobook is a perfect example of how to artfully narrate a classic, and I was delighted to see it offered on audio. The reader gets the accents right, can pronounce everything he has to, and more importantly hits the perfect tone, not overacting the dialogue or injecting pathos, which lesser readers would be tempted to do. Instead, there's a restraint to the narration, which makes the few places where he does indulge a character voice, such as the super-bad King Barlo in the "Esther" story, all the more impactful. I found myself easily slipping into Toomer's imagistic trance, not pulled out by any affectations of delivery. Bravo Sean Crisden!

    It should be noted that this is a complex, experimental book that rewards rereading. I'm not sure if listening is the way to go if it's your first time through, but as someone who has read and reread this book over the years, I loved hearing this audio version. It took me deeper into the text that reading alone has. I found the reader especially good with the poetry, where again the reader resisted over-emoting. The last section, Kabnis is a bit plodding, as it is written like a play, and the narrative doesn't always flow. But this is no fault of the reader; it's the text as Toomer wrote it.

    Too often, classic, challenging works are severely botched in their audio versions. I hope producers and actors will follow the example that this one sets.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Douglas Rushkoff
    • Narrated By Douglas Rushkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Douglas Rushkoff, in tracing the roots of corporatism from the Renaissance to today, reveals the way it supplanted social interaction and local commerce and came to be regarded as a preexisting condition of our world, from the history of public relations to the relentless gentrification of America's urban neighborhoods. And he shows us how to fight back: how to de-corporatize ourselves, disengage from branded expectations, think locally, and return to the real world of human activity.

    A. Yerkes says: "Accessible Indictment of the Lost American Dream"
    "Accessible Indictment of the Lost American Dream"
    Overall

    Other reviewers who accuse Rushkoff of whining and calling everything fascist/nazi are disingenuous or haven't read beyond the first chapter. The author acknowledges the perils of a fascist diagnosis of America, and only makes the connection once, and he's no whiner. In fact, he admirably proposes plausible positive action to take to change the situation, and the situation is dire, as the author outlines in a brief history of the development of the corporation from the colonial era to the present. I agree with other reviewers who find him too pessimistic about the internet. In this part of the book, Rushkoff seems to too strongly delineate between profit and human meaning/value, unable to see how the internet might be both. But in general, this book is excellent, critiquing the commodification of human values and the loss of community in ways similar to academic critical theorists, but in a much more accessible way. Loved it.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Visions of Cody

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Jack Kerouac
    • Narrated By Graham Parker
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Hear Jack Kerouac's most radical experiment in language and storytelling - an "enormous paean" to that singular and influential figure Neal Cassady. A fusion of radical improvisation, bold reportage, and oracular voice, it is Kerouac's ultimate version of his ultimate masterpiece, On the Road.

    A. Yerkes says: "Annoying"
    "Annoying"
    Overall

    Why pick a narrator with a British accent to read Kerouac? Why make the jazz background music so prominent and incessant? Why abridge a work whose thorough, thick description is precisely the point? I'm a fan of Kerouac and have loved other readings of his works (I'm partial to Matt Dillon's reading of On the Road,) but I find this one marred by pretentiousness and difficult to appreciate.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • What I Talk about When I Talk about Running: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (481)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (238)

    From the best-selling author of Kafka on the Shore comes this rich and revelatory memoir about writing and running and the integral impact both have made on his life. Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers Murakami's four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon. Settings range from Tokyo, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston, among young women who outpace him.

    Rick says: "It is what it says it is"
    "pretty good"
    Overall

    I had no problem with the narrator -- his reading is unaffected. I loved the first half of the book, as the writer made philosophical connections between running and writing. His claim that writing is like summoning up a toxin from deep inside will stay with me forever. But in the second half of the book, it succumbed to the common error of fitness books by focusing only on the details of his own training, goal-setting, disappointments, and I stopped caring. Still, compared to the jockish egoism of so many running books, I was impressed and identified strongly with Murakami's individualist outlook and will now check out some of his novels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Christopher McDougall
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4605)
    Performance
    (2370)
    Story
    (2405)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

    Corey says: "Amazing read - even for non-runners"
    "Disappointing, surprisingly."
    Overall

    Taste is subjective and reviews vary, but I was surprised to find this a boring read, since I usually am enthralled by this genre -- the novelistic, self-helpish fitness book mixing advice, philosophy, and narration. In this case, I tired of the focus on the wild-n-crazy cast of running rebels, etc., and wished there were more reflective passages, or broader discussions of running in history and physiology. Also, I wanted more on the Tarahumara's history and worldview. The closely narrated description of the many races in the novel bored me.

    7 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • It Can't Happen Here

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Sinclair Lewis
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (63)

    Doremus Jessup, a newspaper editor, is dismayed to find how many people he knows support presidential candidate Berzelius Windrip. The suspiciously fascist Windrip is offering to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press. But after Windrip wins the election, dissent soon becomes dangerous for Jessup.

    Peter says: "Close to Home"
    "Good book; incomplete recording"
    Overall

    I found this book to be a fascinating work of hypothetical historical fiction. It begins slowly, in keeping with the pre-crisis gentility of its bookish, patrician protagonist, but picks up once presidential candidate Buzz Windrip takes over, becoming a vivid imagining of what American fascism might look like if it resembled that of Europe. Lewis wrote the book quickly and presciently in 1935.

    Although there are numerous similiarities between the Corpo government and the Bush administration, Lewis avoids making this a simple trashing of Republicans, showing a Democratic candidate cynically using the leftist rhetoric of class liberation and social justice, only to then betray those ideals and swing hard right, as did Mussolini in Italy. The novel is especially poignant when it juxtaposes the mundane normalcy of smalltown life with the brutal violence of the Corpo regime. One character reflects that "The worst of it was that it wasn't so very bad," and this underscores Lewis's point that Americans are willing to tolerate things such as torture, racial discrimination, and imperial presidential power, so long as our private lives are insulated from them. Lewis champions "the free, inquiring, critical spirit" of classical liberalism as the solution to fascism and communism, which for him are equally totalitarian, but seems to contradict that solution in the book's final revolutionary chapters.

    The narration is good, with variety in the character voices and unaffected delivery. Unfortunately, it stops on the penultimate page, omitting the final four paragraphs of the book.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Against the Day: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Thomas Pynchon
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (76)

    This novel spans the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I. With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.

    Rebecca Lindroos says: "brilliant!"
    "great narrator, okay book"
    Overall

    Unlike other reviewers, I think plot is indispensable for good storytelling. Thus, I found this book frustrating. I listened, following along with the text, and consulting the websites where passionate fans chew on the intriguing set pieces that Pynchon offers. The many settings, characters, networks, and theories never cohere, and most of them never connect into any overall thematic or allegorical meaning. But there's lot of richly ambiguous symbolism, a sort of alchemical semiotic miasma using light, day, gold, silver, abstract math (fourth dimension, quaternions), and doublings (paired characters, worlds, realities). This book seems to be an attempt to tell a story set in the past that is emphatically non-historical insofar as history is defined as a grand narrative. There's no God-like narrator, no attempt to frame the individual stories within a larger sense of the historical moment. Instead, there's an unmasterable heap of details and small plots, similar to the way that life is really experienced. There's a lot of wacky humor, such as an opera entitled The Burgher King, a Middle Eastern assassin named Al Mar-Faud, dressed in English hunting tweeds and a shotgun, ("Gweetings, gentlemen, on this Glowious Twelfth!), and very little of the urgency and tragedy that I need in a novel of this length to keep me interested. I forced myself through this book because I'm interested in the ideas and in the potential of experimental postmodern narrative.
    The narrator is stupendous, bringing this very difficult book to life with an astounding array of accents deployed consistently. He also pronounces the dozens of obscure and foreign phrases accurately, a remarkable feat. Most importantly, he achieves an understated tone of muted irony that perfectly matches that of Pynchon.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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