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Matt S.

Ohio USA | Member Since 2007

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 85 ratings
  • 176 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By James Gleick
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (744)
    Performance
    (454)
    Story
    (461)

    James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Ge­nius, brings us his crowning work: a revelatory chronicle that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.

    Ethan M. says: "Brilliant book, heroic reader, better in print?"
    "Not for Everyone"
    Overall

    As an Engineer and tech-hobbyist, I have to admit that I found this book challenging to listen to for long periods of time. I'm quite sure many others would never make it pat the first couple of chapters. While never "bad", I found my mind frequently wandering after ~30 minutes or so while listening in the car, on a run, etc. That said, many interesting points are raised (for me, the 1st & last 3rd of the book was more interesting).

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Influx

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2159)
    Performance
    (1987)
    Story
    (1993)

    Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they've been working toward for years: A device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics - the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel Prize. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring.

    Craig says: "Solid to Silly to Inane"
    "Suarez is the Real Deal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like many others, I devoured his first two books ("Daemon" and "FreedomTM") which were essentially a single concept split into books. After being underwhelmed by his third- which struck me as more "Michael Bay Movie" than thought-provoking Sci-Fi- I thought Suarez might have been an author with one great story to tell. Thankfully, I was wrong. "Influx" is very much a perfect Thriller, with plenty of intelligent Sci-Fi and Dystopian elements woven in. I think this is best place for any new Suarez reader to start.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10616)
    Performance
    (9636)
    Story
    (9656)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Like a (Rare) Satisfying Summer Blockbuster Movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As others have said, don't read too much about this book- just dive in, and be prepared for a mystery, thriller, haunted, steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, adult Scooby Doo. I can't imagine any listener not finding something to pull them in.

    Narration is top-notch. I have listened to 70+ Audiobooks, and no other narrator manages to pull off so many characters so well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Open: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Andre Agassi
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (926)
    Performance
    (434)
    Story
    (431)

    From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography. Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned.

    Patrick says: "Just an Incredible Story!"
    "Intriguing & Worthwhile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Open rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I love biographies that don't read like fiction, and this is one of the best. No matter if you're not a huge tennis fan or barely remember Andre- I found myself disappointed that I had been so oblivious to many of these stories (thanks to YouTube, I've been catching up on many of the big events as I listened to this book).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Andre, of course. He's not perfect, and I wouldn't want to be him. His taste is music is awful, and appears to choose to be surrounded by an assortment of eccentric circus-worthy outcasts without even realizing it. Just like all of us, he's weird and flawed, and just trying to live the best life he can.


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

    Narration is clear and well-paced (no need for 1.5x Playback speed here). Only "gripe" is his voice for female characters (it's the same for both of Andre's wives).


    Any additional comments?

    Sat on my Wish List forever- ended up blowing through the 18 hour book in only 2 weeks (while commuting & work-outs). No regrets.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (251)
    Story
    (244)

    On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, deceived the Nazis into believing that the Allies would attack at Calais and Norway rather than Normandy.

    Trip says: "A secret history of WWII crossed with Monty Python"
    "Disappointing following Macintyre's Previous Works"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Agent Zigzag was centered around a single character, and was excellent. Operation Mincemeat was written around a relatively small operation, and I enjoyed it as well. Double Cross attempts to use the similar character-based (fiction-like) writing style, but becomes lost in (what feels like) hundreds of characters throught Europe who are somehow associated with the massive D-Day invasion. "Page after page" seemed to revolve around minute details about individuals- what secretaries looked like, their interests, their demeanor, etc. Just as I began to form a picture of a person, it felt as if we moved on to someone else. In many cases, I feel like I learned details about random people who never were mentioned again.

    Narration was pretty good, although I agree with others who suggest that Russian & German "accents" were overdone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fountainhead

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2968)
    Performance
    (1662)
    Story
    (1684)

    One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, a genius; Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire; and Dominique Francon, a devastating beauty.

    Zachary says: "The Fountainhead"
    "Rough Draft for Atlas Shrugged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I discovered Atlas Shrugged before this earlier work, which (I think) explains my minor disappointment/complaints. There are many similarities here, as a protagonist stands alone from the masses around them and big moments are spoken in court rooms media (Radio in Atlas Shrugged, Newspaper editorials here). Ayn's thoughts are simply better assembled and the story is more worthy of one's time in the later work IMO. Still, "The Fountainhead" is worthwhile read with top-notch narration (although I found 1.5x playback speed to be best using the iPhone App).

    During "Atlas Shrugged," I found the little to support the popular criticism of Rand's philosophy and writing talents. During this work, I found myself frustrated and wanting to echo them at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (712)
    Performance
    (328)
    Story
    (331)

    As plans got under way for the Allied invasion of Sicily in June 1943, British counter-intelligence agent Ewen Montagu masterminded a scheme to mislead the Germans into thinking the next landing would occur in Greece. This extraordinary operation called for a dead body, dressed as a Royal Marine officer and carrying false information about a pending Allied invasion of Greece, to wash up on a Spanish shore near the town of a known Nazi agent.

    Jack M says: "Better than the movie"
    "Glad I Finally Got to This One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I found this to be less enjoyable than "Agent Zigzag," I was truly surprised to learn how effective this well-known operation was. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1905)
    Performance
    (1256)
    Story
    (1262)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    russell says: "Endurance"
    "Incredible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I now think those guys fishing for crabs on the Discovery Channel have it easy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1418)
    Performance
    (1292)
    Story
    (1284)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "Valid points to one-sided view."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here are the valid points discussed in this book: 1. The American military-complex isn't organized, funded, or controlled like it once was (pre ~1980's). 2. There are serious issues to be concerned about with regards to the current system. Here is the author's "leaps" that bothered me: 1. Everything about American Security/Conflict would be OK if things were operated like they used to be 2. Much of our military is comprised of bumbling morons far less intelligent than she is...

    I actually felt the book was a worthwhile read. While the author devoted many chapters to condemning the calculated evil plots of various political figures, I found myself wanting to defend the views of people I have NEVER agreed with in my adult life (that's right, Reagan/Bush/Cheney, I've got your back for this ONE time only!) :)

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3527)
    Performance
    (3086)
    Story
    (3120)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "If Michael Bay wrote a book..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My first Neal Stephenson book, and it's hard to imagine how I might have been more disappointed. Small groups of people inexplicably crossing paths all around the world, endless gun fights with dozens of fatalities (except for any character important enough to have a name). I nearly stopped listening for good when a heroine and Middle Eastern Terrorist meet at gunpoint in the woods- only to have a wild animal come out of the woods during a critical seconds to attack the villain... and this absurdity repeats more than once. As far as the "connection" between the techno-MMRPG and the runaway "24" style terrorism plot... there actually isn't really any. I've give positive reviews to nearly every book I've ever listened too... couldn't force it on this one. REAMDE = Really Not Good.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4488)
    Performance
    (2137)
    Story
    (2138)

    In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

    Marian Hanganu says: "Exceptional!"
    "Not Nearly as Cohesive as Outliers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read this after Outliers- in addition to feeling "dated" (written 10+ years ago), I found many of the examples/stories to feel less connected than the later book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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