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George H.

ratings
327
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
93

  • The Crying of Lot 49

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Thomas Pynchon
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (415)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (290)

    Quite unexpectedly, Mrs. Oedipa Maas finds herself the executor of the estate of Pierce Inverarity, a man she used to know in a more-or-less intimate fashion. When Oedipa heads off to Southern California to sort through Pierce's affairs, she becomes ensnared in a hilarious and puzzling worldwide conspiracy.

    James says: "Good book, Average recording"
    "Someone please record Gravity's Rainbow!"
    Overall

    This book is boring - just a bunch of random silliness with no plot-connection, just some talk about "coincidences". By halfway, I just couldn't make myself listen to any more. Won't someone please record Gravity's Rainbow so we can enjoy Pynchon?

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Capital: Volume 1: A Critique of Political Economy

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Karl Marx, Samuel Moore - translation, Edward Aveling - translation
    • Narrated By Derek Le Page
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (3)

    It can be said of very few books that the world was changed as a result of its publication - but this is certainly the case of Capital: A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx (1818-1883). Volume 1 appeared (in German) in 1867, and the two subsequent volumes appeared at later dates after the author's death - completed from extensive notes left by Marx himself.

    George H. says: "Classic Economics Text - A Good Listen"
    "Classic Economics Text - A Good Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Capital is one of the half-dozen key economic texts of the past 200 years - and perhaps the most readable. Volume One contains the key material. How great to settle into a good reading.

    Marx takes the labor theory of value as developed by Adam Smith and others and shows its implications for workers, managers, and owners - a worthy goal, and critical reading for anyone interested in economics regardless of your outlook.

    No, Marx can't "prove" that labor is the basis of all economic value. That's because you can't prove ANY theory of value - you always wind up assuming what you set out to prove. All you can do is show the implications of starting from a particular theory.

    What Marx shows is, IF you accept that labor is the core of economic value, here is how capitalism structures economic relations. He shows the source of profit (from the exploitation of productive labor, he famously concludes), how banks, insurance companies,and other non-productive firms fit into the picture, the role of management - and most of all, how working people are getting ripped off by owners, stock-holders, etc.

    Big surprise, eh?

    Basically, the labor theory of value makes sense to those of us who work for a wage or a fixed, contracted salary with no "stock options". For the managing and owning classes and those who dream of joining them, there are obvious incentives NOT to accept this theory. Suit yourself.

    Have Marx's economic ideas ever been applied by "communist" countries? For the most part, no - so-called socialist countries have mainly applied totalitarian capitalist methods, with mixed results. Russia, China and the rest have been state-capitalist, not popular-socialist, systems.

    We're still waiting for the world's first workers' democracy. The first steps include grasping how capital functions and how it structures our world. This recording is a welcome contribution.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Joseph Campbell
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey, John Lee, Susan Denaker
    Overall
    (1076)
    Performance
    (979)
    Story
    (973)

    Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell's revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In this book, Campbell outlines the Hero's Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world's mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction.

    Learner says: "Meaningful and thought-provoking"
    "Trivial and Vastly Overrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Campbell is well-read, but this book is a trivial Freudian reduction of all global mythology to the dominant Western psychological paradigm. Campbell draws worthy attention to the basic structure of myths, but his overriding concern is to fit every myth into his pre-conceived model.


    What was most disappointing about Joseph Campbell’s story?

    Too often Campbell's examples don't obviously illustrate his points, and seem chosen mainly to show off his wide reading. Many of the myths seem forced into pigeon-holes rather than read and explicated in their own right. Myths are unique. living entities, not exemplars of a universal (Freudian) structure.


    Any additional comments?

    The introductory chapter, which lays out the Freudian paradigm Campbell employs, is actually a very honest and open revelation of his (simplistic, reductionist) method. Read that chapter first, and then see if you think this book is so brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Dan Jones
    • Narrated By Dan Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (458)
    Performance
    (412)
    Story
    (409)

    In 1307, as they struggled to secure their last strongholds in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Templars fell afoul of the vindictive and impulsive king of France. On Friday, October 13, hundreds of brothers were arrested en masse, imprisoned, tortured, and disbanded amid accusations of lurid sexual misconduct and heresy. They were tried by the Vatican in secret proceedings. But were they heretics or victims of a ruthlessly repressive state?

    Protogere says: "Unexpected"
    "Readable, Not Too Deep"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Templars again? Why?

    Probably not - it's a good book, but once was enough. I'd be more inclined to read something else about the period.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Along with the narrative of the crusades, I appreciated the occasional sections on economics - how the Templars raised, stored, and used their vast income. The one thing I missed was an discussion of how the Templars and other Orders built the huge castles and compounds along the Mediterranean shore. Did they import European masons? Hire a master and train local workers?


    Any additional comments?

    Dan Jones does a good job narrating his own text in an understated manner. This is a crisp and informative book, a good overview of the Templars.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Beatleness: How the Beatles and Their Fans Remade the World

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Candy Leonard
    • Narrated By Tamara Marston
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Beatleness explains how the band became a source of emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual nurturance in fans’ lives, creating a relationship that was historically unique. Looking at that relationship against the backdrop of the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War, political assassinations, and other events of those tumultuous years, the audiobook critically examines the often-heard assertion that the Beatles changed everything.

    George H. says: "Important But A Bit Tedious"
    "Important But A Bit Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    OK, this book fills an interesting niche - interviews with original teenage Beatles fans. But Leonard manages to make the whole thing sound like a very long term paper. Each point is interesting and well-documented. But there's a difference between documenting the Beatles experience versus conveying the thrill of being there. Chalk this up as good research and let's hope other writers can build on it.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Candy Leonard? Why or why not?

    Depends on the topic - I'd expect it to read like a term paper.


    What aspect of Tamara Marston’s performance would you have changed?

    Less chirpy - just relax and read - no need to pump your voice up.


    Did Beatleness inspire you to do anything?

    One guess!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Worst. President. Ever.: James Buchanan, the POTUS Rating Game, and the Legacy of the Least of the Lesser Presidents

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Robert Strauss
    • Narrated By Tom Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (123)

    Worst. President. Ever. flips the great presidential biography on its head, offering an enlightening - and highly entertaining - account of poor James Buchanan's presidency to prove once and for all that, well, few leaders could have done worse. But author Robert Strauss does much more, leading listeners out of Buchanan's terrible term in office to explore with insight and humor his own obsession with presidents, and ultimately the entire notion of ranking our presidents.

    Jean says: "Intriguing"
    "Enjoyable But Lightweight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Worst. President. Ever.? What did you like least?

    Breezy overview of a disastrous presidency. Little insight as to larger factors leading to the Civil War. The Impending Crisis by Potter & Fehrenbacher covers Buchanan's term with more insight and depth.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rockets and Revolution: A Cultural History of Early Spaceflight

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Michael G. Smith
    • Narrated By JJ Langan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Rockets and Revolution offers a multifaceted study of the race toward space in the first half of the twentieth century, examining how the Russian, European, and American pioneers competed against one another in the early years to acquire the fundamentals of rocket science, engineer simple rockets, and ultimately prepare the path for human spaceflight.

    George H. says: "Fascinating and Difficult"
    "Fascinating and Difficult"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Fringe science, sci-fi, futurism, and a dash of radical politics c. 1880-1940 - the precursors of rocket science. A strange and fascinating melange of virtually unknown scientific sources, marginal novels, etc, with a special focus on the USSR.

    On first listen I found this book nearly incomprehensible, it was throwing so much unfamiliar material at me. On second listen, the outline was clearer, and the research seems thorough and even-handed.

    Little actual science or politics - mainly a review of fringe literature that laid the groundwork for the development of rockets.

    Not for everyone, but on its own terms, an outstanding book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pursuit of Power: Europe: 1815-1914

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Richard J. Evans
    • Narrated By Napoleon Ryan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (298)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (272)

    Richard J. Evans's gripping narrative ranges across a century of social and national conflicts, from the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 to the unification of both Germany and Italy, from the Russo-Turkish wars to the Balkan upheavals that brought this era of relative peace and growing prosperity to an end. The first single-volume history of the century, this comprehensive and sweeping account gives the listener a magnificently human picture of Europe in the age when it dominated the rest of the globe.

    Awake Tex says: "Terrific comprehensive history"
    "Great book - gimmicky narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    40 hours of well-documented nineteenth century European history? Nuff said.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Narrator, who is otherwise fine, has a very distracting way of emphasizing the inline quotes by raising the urgency of his voice. It's an annoying gimmick that sounds like the quoted speakers are constantly interrupting his reading to yell at you from the past.Let us get the print edition to track the quotes. After all, the audio doesn't integrate the references, so it doesn't really matter whether something is narration or quote. In short - just read the book.


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

    40 straight hours of European history? Sounds like fun!


    Any additional comments?

    Someone tell Mr Ryan to dump the yelling trick and just read. He's a fine narrator in his own right. Lose the gimmicks.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Live at the Fillmore East and West: Getting Backstage and Personal with Rock's Greatest Legends

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By John Glatt
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (78)

    John Glatt tells the story of the Fillmores through the lives of Bill Graham, Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Carlos Santana, and an all-star supporting cast. Chronicling the East and West Coast cultures of the late 1960s and early 1970s-New York City with its speed, heroin, and the Velvet Underground versus San Francisco with the LSD-drenched Summer of Love - Glatt reveals how Graham made it all possible. But why did Graham shutter both Fillmores within weeks of each other in 1971, during the height of their popularity?

    Jason S Howell says: "great story, narrator a bit grating"
    "Vapid and Meandering"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People with lots of time on their hands and no other resources.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Peter Berkrot’s performances?

    No - phony delivery.


    What character would you cut from Live at the Fillmore East and West?

    How about Bill Graham?


    Any additional comments?

    I listened up to the point - quite early - when Graham, his wife 8 months pregnant, takes up with an underage hippie chick. Considering this was part of the Fillmore ambience, it's probably fortunate for Graham that he died before this book was published, or there might be a follow-up report a la Jimmy Saville.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Economic History of the World since 1400

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Donald J. Harreld
    • Narrated By Professor Donald J. Harreld Ph.D.
    Overall
    (1036)
    Performance
    (920)
    Story
    (919)

    Most of us have a limited understanding of the powerful role economics has played in shaping human civilization. This makes economic history - the study of how civilizations structured their environments to provide food, shelter, and material goods - a vital lens through which to think about how we arrived at our present, globalized moment. Designed to fill a long-empty gap in how we think about modern history, these 48 lectures are a comprehensive journey through more than 600 years of economic history.

    Tristan says: "Slightly incoherent"
    "Wish I'd Taken This Class As an Undergrad!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Excellent introductory survey. The half-hour lecture format limits in-depth discussions, but the author packs a lot into each session. Some coverage of non-Euro cultures such as China and Japan as well as the expected chapters on the textile industry, Industrial Revolution, Finance Capitalism, etc.
    This is an inspiring undergrad-level course I wish had been offered when i was in school.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • A Doll House

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Henrik Ibsen
    • Narrated By Calista Flockhart, Tony Abatemarco, Tim Dekay, and others
    Overall
    (989)
    Performance
    (906)
    Story
    (900)

    A new recording of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, starring Calista Flockhart. Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora's well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen's play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.

    Renee says: "Independence"
    "Grating Performance Obscures Play"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Doll's House?

    Well, it is Ibsen, after all - thanks for that.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Doll's House?

    I mainly remember my ears hurting from the grating voices - this sounds like a Midwestern stage cast brought to radio, blasting our ears with eager overacting.

    Sadly this highlighted the staid qualities of much of the play - not exactly a thrilling listen - maybe I need to get the Audio Cliff Notes version.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

    Actual audio actors, not stage actors moonlighting


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Bring Your Own Earplugs!


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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