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Matthew

Farmington, CT, United States | Member Since 2009

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 64 ratings
  • 163 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Mick Wall
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (119)

    They were the last great band of the '60s and the first great band of the '70s. They rose, somewhat unpromisingly, from the ashes of the Yardbirds to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time - and eventually paid the price for it, with disaster, drug addiction, and death.

    David says: "Must read for Led Zeppelin Fans"
    "Borderline"
    Overall

    Pros: A decent history of the band full of all the necessary highlights. Cons: The flashback sequences are painfully awkward and all over the place chronologically really messing up the whole flow of the book. I don't feel they added anything, and they all have the same tone as if the 4(+Grant) members were the same person. Also, this is essentially a Jimmy bio through the first 2/3 of the book, the other members are virtually ignored and their contributions feel lessened. Lastly, the book is rather objective until it hits the epilogue where it is full of scathing comments and some very harsh words. The change in style is jarring.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Steve Knopper
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    For the first time, Appetite for Self-Destruction recounts the story of the precipitous rise and fall of the recording industry over the past three decades, when the incredible success of the CD turned the music business into one of the most glamorous, high-profile industries in the world - and the advent of file sharing brought it to its knees.

    Todd says: "Awesome Book"
    "Tedious"
    Overall

    This book is only interesting when it talks about technological innovation (namely the invention of the CD, MP3, Napster, and the IPOD). The rest of this book feels like a tedious almanac of the politics, personalities, and mergers at record labels and most of it doesn't really fit into any kind of narrative. There is an insane amount of name dropping of executives and artists and the salaries, bonuses, and sales associated with them, all of which feels like an non stop attempt to shock us with big numbers. We get it... they made a lot of money off cds. There has to be better books on this topic that focus on the real issues and have a decent editor that wont allow the author to just pour out a brain dump of industry anecdotes and trivia.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10549)
    Performance
    (5437)
    Story
    (5479)

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Russell says: "Glad I Listened to 11-22-63 First"
    "Enjoyable but loooooooong"
    Overall

    A great story and well narrated, but this book seriously needed an edit. The pointlessly ornate details of every character's life and thoughts were just tedious and boring. It did nothing to help the plot move along and I still felt like most of the characters were, well... characters, not people. The main players were great though and the first 80% of the tale is riveting, then it fades. Esparza's reading of Renny should get some kind of award, pure genius.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7201)
    Performance
    (2985)
    Story
    (2995)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "Excellent"
    Overall

    Although this book is more aptly titled "A brief history of scientific discoveries and anecdotes about the people who made them", it is in any case an amazing scope for any book. Expertly organized and amusingly written (and narrated), it covers a wide range of topics at a high level. Its no science book but you will learn something, maybe not in great technical detail, but at a very human and very understandable level. Some of it is tedious (like taxonomy and geology) but some of it is downright hilarious.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Columbine

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Dave Cullen
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1884)
    Performance
    (904)
    Story
    (916)

    Over the course of this gripping narrative, Dave Cullen approaches his subjects with unrivaled care and insight. What emerges are shattering portraits of the killers, the victims, and the community that suffered one of the greatest - and most socially and historically important - shooting tragedies of the 20th century.

    Book reader says: "Truth and heartache"
    "Amazing"
    Overall

    The organization of this book is a little confusing on audio. Sometimes as it jumps from story to story within the same chapter with little or no segue. But after the first few chapters you get used to it and then... wow, the details of this event and its aftermath are absolutely fascinating and deeply troubling on so many levels. It will completely change your perspective on this tragedy.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Leonard Susskind
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (478)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (193)

    What happens when something is sucked into a black hole? Does it disappear? Three decades ago, a young physicist named Stephen Hawking claimed that it did - and in doing so, put at risk everything we know about the fundamental laws of the universe. Leonard Susskind and Gerard 't Hooft realized the threat and responded with a counterattack that changed the course of physics.

    Matthew says: "Good, but has its flaws"
    "Good, but has its flaws"
    Overall

    If this is your first layman's physics book you may want to try something else, but those who read about physics often will probably enjoy it. The book contains a lot of fascinating discussions and explanations making the physics of black holes, the holographic principle, and some aspects of string theory a little more graspable. The story is initially engaging but I lost interest toward the end as it delved deeper into string theory. My biggest complaint would be the tone of the book; It can be at times over-dramatic about the "war" and Hawking and physics in general.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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