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Joseph

East Aurora, NY, USA

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 221 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Susan Orlean
    • Narrated By Jennifer Meyers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (46)

    There is something fascinating or funny or truly bizarre on every page of this true tale of floral obsession: the story of how the head of a famous Seminole chief came to be displayed in the front window of a local pharmacy; or how 700 iguanas were smuggled into Florida; or the case of the only known extraterrestrial plant crime.

    Robert says: "Orchids are just the vehicle."
    "A passionless look at passion"
    Overall

    Driven by a desire to understand great passion, the author delves into a bizarre world where the right plant is worth more than life itself. And yet despite her best efforts, passion exceeds her grasp and she is left to provide only a cold listing of scientific facts, historical essays and bland social interactions.

    The most striking feature of this book is the absolute flatness of its narrative. Each fact is as important as the next and soon you realize that you have stopped listening and are thinking about what you might have for lunch. Fortunately, your lapse in concentration is without consequence as you can easily pick back up wherever in the story you find yourself.

    This endless torrent of meaningless information reminds me of those hundred-word essays you had to write in grade school. You know the one where you might have said, "There were many orchids to choose from, a red one, a blue one, one with stripes, a green one that looked as if it had been made from frog skin, another blue one a little lighter than the first blue one..." Of course your teacher was taking a hundred-word nap, but hey, you did your part!

    The best, and perhaps only, reason to listen to this book is so that you can more fully enjoy the movie "Adaptation".

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • B Is for Beer

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tom Robbins
    • Narrated By Laura Silverman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Once upon a time (right about now) there was a planet (how about this one?) whose inhabitants consumed 36 billion gallons of beer each year (it's a fact, you can Google it). Among those affected, each in his or her own way, by all the bubbles, burps, and foam, was a smart, wide-eyed, adventurous kindergartner named Gracie; her distracted mommy; her insensitive dad; her non-conformist uncle; and a magical, butt-kicking intruder from a world within our world.

    Brad says: "Not The Tom Robbins I Know"
    "Deeply Disappointed"
    Overall

    I couldn’t be more deeply disappointed. Anyone who would read this book to a six year old really ought ought to have his head (and motives) examined. I was hoping to find a book for adults cleverly written in the style of children's books, but sadly that is not the case. This isn't whimsical, it is lazy and misguided. It's a sad day when your loving, eccentric uncle with the fantastic stories ends up being just another burn out who yells rambling, mundanely inappropriate diatribes at kids in the park. At least Kurt Vonnegut was true to the end.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Rhonda Byrne
    • Narrated By Rhonda Byrne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3859)
    Performance
    (1283)
    Story
    (1297)

    It has been passed down through the ages, highly coveted, hidden, lost, stolen, and bought for vast sums of money. Fragments of this Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. In this audiobook you will discover the Secret, and you will learn how to have, do, or be anything you want.

    Elisabeth says: "Good for an intro to the Law of Attraction"
    "Misguided and immoral"
    Overall

    The most insulting aspect of this latest incarnation of the "Name It and Claim It" prosperity preaching is its attempt invalidate the interdependent web of existence upon which all life depends.

    According to this book, everything is between you and the universe. If you want food, the universe gives it directly to you; forget about the farmer who plowed the field, planted the seed, tended the crops and brought them to market.

    If you believe in this book, you are unlikely to be an advocate of social justice. After all, if poor people are poor, people are killed, and people suffer from disease solely because they are thinking the wrong thoughts, they bring their misery upon themselves. As the book tells you, "It's not your responsibility to change the world." Of course, it also says that "Jesus was a millionaire",so don't expect a lot of credability here.

    In fact, the most enjoyable part of the book are the fantastic titles given the "experts". I'm having "Master Life Visionary" added to my business card. I think that I've earned it for listening to this travesty through to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Al Franken
    • Narrated By Al Franken
    Overall
    (2087)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (332)

    Finding logical inconsistencies, factual errors, and doublespeak wherever he looks, Al Franken takes on and destroys the myth of liberal bias in the media, hoists the Bush White House on its own rhetorical petard, and punctures the mean-spirited sanctimony of such media darlings as Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly. Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always uproarious, Lies is sure to raise hackles and spark hilarity inside the Beltway and from sea to shining sea.

    Peter says: "Franken's One Sided View"
    "It Doesn't Take a Genius..."
    Overall

    The fact is, it doesn't take a genius to point out bald-faced lies when they appear in print, but making it interesting, now that's a different story.

    Perhaps the people who should be most embarrassed by this book are not the authors whose lies have been revealed. After all, they knew what they were writing was not true. And in fact, their goal was never to be accurate, but rather, to sell a vision and whip up the zealots. No, the people who should cringe while reading this are the professional journalists who let these lies go unchallenged day after day. Isn't it crazy that a comedian has to be the one who takes on the task of fact checking the public record? Just more evidence of the media's liberal bias I guess.

    I must admit that Franken's justification for appearing at a Clear Channel rally and mocking the Dixie Chicks as "Blixie's Chicks" was deeply disappointing. Can't he just admit that he was wrong and apologize for his lapse in judgement? (Actually, a close listen reveals that it wasn't a lapse in judgement, or fear, that motivated him - it was a desire to advance his career.) Just for the record, as President Bush's own experts have now admitted, Hans Blix and the UN inspectors were right all along. But is anyone ready to apologize for our attacks on them? I won't be holding my breath.

    The book is indeed a great listen and Al Franken is the real deal - a liberal who can articulate our deep moral and ethical convictions while keeping a wonderful sense of humor.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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