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Acteon

Acteon

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2009

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 59 reviews
  • 59 ratings
  • 408 titles in library
  • 55 purchased in 2014
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  • Da Vinci's Ghost: Genius, Obsession, and How Leonardo Created the World in His Own Image

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Toby Lester
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (91)

    Toby Lester, author of the award-winning The Fourth Part of the World, masterfully crafts yet another century-spanning saga of people and ideas in this epic story of Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic drawing of a man inscribed in a circle and a square. Over time, the nearly 550-year-old ink-on-paper sketch has transformed into a collective symbol of the nature of genius, the beauty of the human form, and the universality of the human spirit.

    Paul says: "Haunting Expierience"
    "A very enriching tour de force"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Da Vinci's Ghost rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the definitely worthwhile though perhaps not at the very top (I've listened to quite a few: let's just say that I would gladly pay twice the price for this one). Lester is great at drawing different elements together in a way that enriches our understanding. I cannot wait for his next book. I don't know what illustrations the paper version contains but if there are some, it might be worth while getting the hard copy. I hope that audible will include more downloadable pdfs.


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Hoye – was your favorite?

    Hoye is a good reader. Names are mostly correctly pronounced, one exception being William of Conches (Conches is in Normandy but Hoye pronounces it as if it were a Spanish name).


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was very excited at certain moments.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely a must for someone interested in the Renaissance or European history/culture in general.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Douglas A. Blackmon
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (142)

    In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history - an Age of Neoslavery that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II.

    Roy says: "Will Take Your Breath Away"
    "Overwhelming, eye-opening, indispensable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Slavery by Another Name again? Why?

    Yes,


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Slavery by Another Name?

    There are some very memorable moments, but what really counts is learning about the situation of blacks in America from the end of the Civil War until World War II and after. This was a part of US history I had not known and it changed my view not only of African Americans but of the country as a whole.


    Have you listened to any of Dennis Boutsikaris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but he is excellent.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, it sure did. I am still reeling.


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot recommend this book too strongly. Anybody who lives in the US or has anything to do with the US (which is just about everyone in the world) must read this to have a better understanding of the country, its evolution, and its people. Foreigners not well acquainted with American history, however, must not imagine that this is all there is to it: there is much in that extraordinary story that people from other cultures cannot imagine, though this book recounts a very important and little known chapter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Leonard Mlodinow
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2387)
    Performance
    (1352)
    Story
    (1327)

    In this irreverent and illuminating audiobook, acclaimed writer and scientist Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, chance, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything from a casual conversation to a major financial setback. As a result, successes and failures in life are often attributed to clear and obvious causes, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance.

    Joshua Kim says: "Very Very Smart"
    "A wonderful book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Drunkard's Walk rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the best (but these are many!).


    What did you like best about this story?

    It puts into perspective what happens in life. And presents much that is stimulating along the way.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Pratt – was your favorite?

    On the whole Sean Pratt does a great job, but his pronunciation of some foreign names leaves something to be desired. Also, I have never heard Newton's 'Principia' pronounced as if it were an Italian word, with accent on -pi and a soft c in -ci; no Latin taught anywhere, despite differences, would support this, nor does common usage. This, however, is without importance; foreign names however is a more serious issue, one which never ceases to concern me (it is very annoying when one cannot identify someone who is mentioned). I urge the producers of audiobooks to provide a pdf with just a list of proper names.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The story of Sabina, the author's aunt who was gassed by the Nazis.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't have time to write extensively but would urge you to listen to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Edible History of Humanity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tom Standage
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (86)

    Throughout history, food has acted as a catalyst of social change, political organization, geopolitical competition, industrial development, military conflict, and economic expansion. An Edible History of Humanity is a pithy, entertaining account of how a series of changes---caused, enabled, or influenced by food---has helped to shape and transform societies around the world.

    Eric says: "A big heaping feast of history"
    "Entertaining as well as enlightening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely. I found this book to be extremely interesting and stimulating. It puts much into perspective and ties together things that deepens one's understanding of history and the world.


    What does George K. Wilson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He allowed me to enjoy the book with my eyes shut as well as walking in the street.


    Any additional comments?

    I do not agree with some listeners here who compare this book unfavorably with Standage's A History of the World in Six Glasses. I loved that work, but found this one just as good. Both have enriched my mind and given me some very enjoyable moments. Both recommended without reservation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (751)
    Performance
    (400)
    Story
    (404)

    In The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan put the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl at the center of a rich history, told through characters he brought to indelible life. Now he performs the same alchemy with The Big Burn, the largest-ever forest fire in America, a tragedy that cemented Teddy Roosevelt's legacy.

    P. Bergh says: "A fascinating history of early Forest Service"
    "Terrific"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Big Burn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Pretty high, though I've listened to many good ones


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gifford Pinchot, one of the truly great men in U.S. history but about whom I knew nothing. Teddy Roosevelt, who this book made me realize was one of America's very best presidents.
    Ed Pulaski, a hero whom the U.S. government treated with shameful shabbiness (as it did other forest rangers).


    What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

    He was great (I don't say this often). You felt as if you were there at the great fire of 1900.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. I was very moved by foresight and public spirit of Pinchot and Roosevelt, and equally disgusted by the likes of mean-minded Senator Weldon Heyburn and the rapacious William A. Clark.


    Any additional comments?

    This book vividly describes a very important episode in U.S. history whose significance is not often recognized.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A History of the World in 6 Glasses

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Tom Standage
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1168)
    Performance
    (988)
    Story
    (989)

    Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period. A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola.

    Stoker says: "Fun and Informative"
    "Delightful and informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up A History of the World in 6 Glasses in three words, what would they be?

    Delightful, informative, stimulating


    What about Sean Runnette’s performance did you like?

    He reads clearly and at a good speed, and has a pleasant voice. An excellent reader.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made my brain feel more alive.


    Any additional comments?

    A must for anyone with an interest in how our most common drinks -- beer, wine, coffee, tea, cola -- came into our lives and their often surprising influence in shaping history. Recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Joyce Appleby
    • Narrated By Joel Richards
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    When Columbus first returned to Spain from the Caribbean, he dazzled King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella with exotic parrots, tropical flowers, and bits of gold. Inspired by the promise of riches, countless seafarers poured out of the Iberian Peninsula and wider Europe in search of spices, treasure, and land. Many returned with strange tales of the New World. Curiosity began to percolate through Europe as the New World’s people, animals, and plants ruptured prior assumptions about the biblical description of creation.

    Acteon says: "Well worth listening to"
    "Well worth listening to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Shores of Knowledge to be better than the print version?

    No. The print version would be better for names, but audio is easier on the eyes.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bartolomé de las Casas, the first to revolt against the atrocities of the Spanish conquistadors and do something against it.


    What about Joel Richards’s performance did you like?

    He spoke clearly and pleasantly. However, he did not do too well with foreign names, especially French.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. It is full of interesting material. I may well listen to it again.


    Any additional comments?

    I am always grateful for books that put historical events into perspective. This one helped me to understand better the development of the modern world. I could have give it 5 stars, but it did not make me quite as excited as some other books I've listened to, so I somewhat reluctantly reduced it to 4 for the sake of making the distinction. However, I do recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Battle Cry of Freedom: Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By James McPherson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (318)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (162)

    James M. McPherson, professor emeritus of U.S. history at Princeton, is one of the foremost scholars of the Civil War. In this informative and meticulously researched masterpiece, he clarifies the differing ways of life and philosophy that led to this shattering conflict. Abraham Lincoln wondered whether "in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government". And Jefferson Davis felt "forced to take up arms" to guarantee states' rights.

    E. Pearson says: "A Rigorous Gift"
    "An excellent account of the Civil War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Battle Cry of Freedom: Volume 2 the most enjoyable?

    I listened to vol.2 immediately after vol.1, so I cannot separate the two. I'm impatient to hear volume 3.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Abraham Lincoln.


    What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

    He spoke clearly and at a good speed, without getting bogged down.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the black troops honoured Lincoln in the ceremony after the war.


    Any additional comments?

    I am always struck by how uncertain war is, and what a horror. People have always clamoured for it, until they really got what they wanted and it turned out to be the last thing anybody could want.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies - How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Michael Shermer
    • Narrated By Michael Shermer
    Overall
    (711)
    Performance
    (504)
    Story
    (502)

    In this, his magnum opus, the world’s best known skeptic and critical thinker Dr. Michael Shermer—founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and perennial monthly columnist (“Skeptic”) for Scientific American—presents his comprehensive theory on how beliefs are born, formed, nourished, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished.

    Leigh says: "Great material. Not-so-great narration."
    "Must read for skeptics of skeptics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Believing Brain again? Why?

    Yes. It is a good book to have solidly present in one's head at all times.


    Any additional comments?

    I (for complex reasons — I suppose they are always complex) had a penchant for being gullible which got worn down through education, but after a crisis in my mid-thrities, I decided to become "open" (thereby casting away deliberately many mental restraints). I decided it was simply better strategy, even if that meant being gullible. However, in time I shifted back to a more critical, intellectually rigorous position. For someone like myself, Schermer's book is just the thing to steady a sometimes vacillating mind.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Simon Baron-Cohen
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cowley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (141)

    Borderline personality disorder, autism, narcissism, psychosis, Asperger's: All of these syndromes have one thing in common---lack of empathy. In some cases, this absence can be dangerous, but in others it can simply mean a different way of seeing the world. In The Science of Evil, Simon Baron-Cohen, an award-winning British researcher who has investigated psychology and autism for decades, develops a new brain-based theory of human cruelty.

    Douglas says: "A fine primer..."
    "Well worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Science of Evil again? Why?

    Probably. To retain some of the details.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me think, which is no doubt more important.


    Any additional comments?

    The subject is an extremely important one that touches us all.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Battle Cry of Freedom: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By James McPherson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (409)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (199)

    James M. McPherson, professor emeritus of U.S. history at Princeton, is one of the foremost scholars of the Civil War. In this informative and meticulously researched masterpiece, he clarifies the differing ways of life and philosophy that led to this shattering conflict. Abraham Lincoln wondered whether "in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government". And Jefferson Davis felt "forced to take up arms" to guarantee states' rights.

    Brian says: "Incredible audio book"
    "Excellent account of the Civil War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Battle Cry of Freedom: Volume 1 the most enjoyable?

    The detailed account of the historical context. The much deeper understanding I acquired of the Civil War and its role in history, of Lincoln, of American culture and society.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Much too long for that! But I did not want to stop listening.


    Any additional comments?

    The first two volumes are long but well worth it. I'm waiting for Volume 3

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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