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David Ryan

Listener Since 2007

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 205 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015
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  • The Informant

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Kurt Eichenwald
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    From an award-winning New York Times investigative reporter comes an outrageous story of greed, corruption, and conspiracy, which left the FBI and Justice Department counting on the cooperation of one man.

    Phil says: "Great Story"
    "Greed, truly good reading"
    Overall

    I am usually skeptical of true stories knowing that authors and movie producers needing to add drama stray far from the actual dry facts of the story. However, in The Informant I could not stop reading. The characters and their greediness could not have been more interesting if they had been made up. Unaware of the story of ADM???s crimes in the 1990???s I researched the case on the Internet and almost ruined the plot for myself. Eichenwald???s account is pure nonfiction.
    I was amazed at the simplemindedness of such powerful executives. They truly were not much different than the average person (not all of us, thank goodness) who think first of themselves and what they can get. Their high positions belie their basic unsophisticated methods for leading and directing large operations when greed takes over. The surprise was that such an important case as this was not more screwed up by powerful government officials, their political appointees, attorneys, and the FBI. In this story, the FBI were the good guys, as we expect them to be. The writing was not great literature but it was an excellent telling of the facts in the case. The characters had depth. I wondered what each thought of how they were portrayed.
    Now, maybe I will see the movie. Great story!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Steve Martin
    • Narrated By Steve Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3037)
    Performance
    (1602)
    Story
    (1592)

    In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

    Andrew says: "Fantastic"
    "What makes funny? Martin knows."
    Overall

    I enjoyed this short read about those times when Steve Martin was the funniest comedian performing. Talking about his private life at the time and what he went through to be on top, he explained why he walked away from standup comedy and never looked back. I liked how he began with the ???Beforehand??? as he looks ahead and gives a glimpse of the story to come. In the 1970???s I thought Steve Martin???s offbeat comedy was hilarious. As he recalled many of his jokes from that time they barely produced a chuckle in me. His comedy was right for the time but evidently was not timeless. Nevertheless, I believe he was one of funniest comedians, ever, despite the slightly melancholy tone of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Diane Setterfield
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5360)
    Performance
    (2189)
    Story
    (2206)

    All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

    PA Law says: "Haunting and beautiful tale"
    "How can I call it slow when it covered so much?"
    Overall

    Margaret Lee, the protagonist, was bookish and tells her story at an antagonizingly slow pace. Her world was her father???s shop that dealt in rare books until she was compelled by invitation to write a biography for a dying, yet famous author. I have to admit I seldom read stories about women as central characters. I must overcome this limitation, but looking back over the year, John Irving, Richard Ford, and Pat Conroy???s characters were easier for me to comprehend sympathetically. Women live in a parallel world from men. (Thus reveals my narrow perspective.) As an example, Miss Lee??? musings of lost twins never stirred in me the sensation of mystical presence and wordless communication it intended. Nevertheless, as the story reached its climatic end I realized the slow, easy, wandering pace had covered an enormous tale spanning three generations. I fell in love with it. The narrators were excellent. Just as I thought I could predict the outcome, the story would reveal another twist thus, burying the truth a little deeper into the lost past. Repeatedly, the entreaty of the young man in the beginning would point the way with his plea to the dying women to ???tell me the truth.??? The ending was very good and made me want to start the story again from the beginning to better understand Margaret Lee

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21561)
    Performance
    (16139)
    Story
    (16204)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Janice says: "Indescribable"
    "Haunting images, great narration"
    Overall

    Immediately, I loved the narration. Mr. Hermann???s voice made the story flow easily. This was a great story of an American hero. Louis Zamperini was a real person who through determination, perseverance, and a lot of luck had an amazing life. I had not heard of him and was compelled to research the story after I finished reading.

    I re-read parts of the story again after I finished. This story will stay with me for a long time, it made such a strong impression. The images of war and suffering were told well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Intelligent Entrepreneur

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Murphy
    • Narrated By Fred Berman, L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (783)
    Performance
    (490)
    Story
    (489)

    In 1998, three Harvard Business School graduates - two men and one woman - turned down six-figure salaries at big corporations, bet on themselves, and launched their own new companies. By their 10-year reunion, their audacity had paid huge dividends. They'd made many millions of dollars, created hundreds of jobs and left their mark on the world. The Intelligent Entrepreneur tells the compelling and instructive story of how these three young founders did it.

    Lorena says: "HBS promotional material"
    "HBS and Beyond"
    Overall

    A good study of the essential characteristics and skills of a successful entrepreneur. The reading was as much about the Harvard Business School???s curriculum and the influential contacts resulting from attending such a fine institution as it was about actually selling your idea and forming a startup company. It was difficult to separate the two. I often asked myself while reading, how could I do this without having HBS behind me. One of the three protagonists stated the problem early in the book when she wondered how one got on that super highway of business success when you cannot find an on-ramp. The answer seemed to be an MBA at HBS. Of course, Mr. Murphy makes a good case that more is required than education. Good contacts aren???t enough, either. An entrepreneur had to have a drive and passion for starting a successful operation. Entrepreneurship can be learned. He gives his 10 rules of successful entrepreneurship. The book tells the stories of 3 successful entrepreneurs and alternates the odd-numbered chapters telling their stories with even-numbered discussing the principles and applications of building successful companies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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