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gerry

milton, ON, Canada | Member Since 2010

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 72 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • A Rumor of War

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Philip Caputo
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (141)

    When it first appeared, A Rumor of War brought home to American readers, with terrifying vividness and honesty, the devastating effects of the Vietnam War on the soldiers who fought there. And while it is a memoir of one young man's experiences and therefore deeply personal, it is also a book that speaks powerfully to today's students about the larger themes of human conscience, good and evil, and the desperate extremes men are forced to confront in any war.

    Howard says: "Howie"
    "You have to stay with it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first half of the book documents the boredom of the war in painful detail and makes it difficult to stay with the book. The second half is much better as more incidents and action occurs. Philip's insightful commentary about the limits of man's endurance and the uselessness of the war is quite unique and while the concepts are far from new, he presented them in a unique & honest perspective of someone who lived the experiences.

    I was less than impressed with the narration and, while his delivery was good, the tone of L.J. Ganser's voice was not appealling for me. Others may not share my view and I suggest you sample it first. Finally, the frequent, silly, vocal war noises do not help the book and are distracting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Economics, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Timothy Taylor
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (93)

    Economic issues are active in our lives every day. However, when the subject of economics comes up in conversation or on the news, we can find ourselves longing for a more sophisticated understanding of the fundamentals of economics. These 36 lectures will help you think about and discuss economic issues that affect you and the nation every day-interest rates, unemployment, personal investing, budget deficits, globalization, and many more-with a greater level of knowledge and sophistication.

    Linda Chan says: "Econmics, 3rd Edition"
    "Economics Could be more Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had fair understanding of economics before reading this based upon a lot of loose ideas gained through years of general knowledge of the world, but no formal structured understanding. This book does provide a solid foundation for the subject and it structures it in a way that provides rationale for this important the area of study..... but it is quite boring to listen to. Unfortunately that is the nature of the subject and I am not sure how to rate this as the"story". Nonetheless it is the reason for my 2 stars and the second half was better.

    The professor obviously has a mastery and a love of the subject matter but you can tell that he is a 'wet talker', where he tends to build up saliva in his mouth and it trips up his word delivery. This is just a natural way that some people talk and is no big deal, but since I had to listen to him for 18 hrs, I am also just stating the fact that it was annoying. I have listened to other Learning Company lectures and understand the charm of having the raw performance of a professor delivering material. It actually has provided a more interesting experience than a polished narrator, but in this case I did not enjoy the professor's performance flaws.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Wallace, Henry Robert Schelsinger
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (538)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (213)

    Now, in the first book ever written about this ultrasecretive department, the former director of OTS teams up with an internationally renowned intelligence historian to give listeners an unprecedented look at the devices and operations deemed "inappropriate for public disclosure" by the CIA just two years ago.

    Richard says: "Unique, informative history of the CIA"
    "Too Many TLA's"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is quite dry and unexciting. To be fair, it never pretends to be anything else. It does provide quite intriguing facts on what CIA Techs developed and provides some intriguing stories of exploits that CIA spies had to carry out during the cold war. One main frustrating part is the endless TLA's or three letter acronyms which may work better if you were reading rather than listening. I gave up on most except the main one for the branch that makes the spycraft (can't remember it already). The book also is a combinations of at least 2 but maybe 3 authors and thus is bit disjointed with definitions of some terms not coming until the end. The material at the core is actually quite fascinating - as an example they were using texting devices back in the 70's. One author is too caught up in trying to also provide a chronological history to the dedicated staff in his department, and causes it to read a bit like a retirement speech at times. It is a suitable memorial to the great work the staff did for the country's security, but does not translate well to a book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise of the Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jim Marrs
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (102)

    Throw out everything you think you know about history. Close the approved textbooks, turn off the corporate mass media, and whatever you do, don't believe anything you hear from the government---The Rise of the Fourth Reich reveals the truth about American power.

    James says: "The Rise of the Fourth Reich"
    "Made to Order for Conspiracy Buffs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed this piece of work. Jim Marrs has assembled an impressive variety of conspiracy theories that span across (and above) science, politics, business and society in general, while managing to connect the dots between them. The amount of references quoted could likely fill another book as he attempts to mesh his findings with that of many other writers. The result is an attempt at an objective analysis of the organized forces manipulating our economies and societies. Whether you believe the stories or not does not really matter as the shear amount of evidence and presentation of how the puzzle pieces work together is, to me, an amazing piece of detective work or creative writing - take your pick - but it sure was entertaining. Jim did manage to make me think twice about buying products with Aspartane last week and we took solace that our town still does not florinate water. I cannot forget the narration which was also very good as the extensive german words and names were pronounced professionally.
    The sign of a good book is the amount of fun you get out of it and this one gave me many entertaining discussions with friends. To be sure, I am a skeptic, but I still intrigued enough to want to hear more - please Mr. Marrs give us a sequel!
    P.S. He forgot to mention Mengele's role in the UFO thread - ok next book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unfettered: Tales By Masters of Fantasy

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Terry Brooks, Patrick Rothfuss, Robert Jordan, and others
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim, Marc Vietor, Bronson Pinchot, and others
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (203)

    You define life or it defines you. In Shawn Speakman’s case, it was both. Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That’s when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story that Shawn could sell to help alleviate those bills—and suggested he ask the same of his other writer friends. Unfettered is the result: An anthology built in order to relieve that debt, featuring short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the genre.

    GLENNO says: "Excellent writing. Great cause."
    "Great Crash Course on Fantasy Writers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed Shawn's assembly of writers and as an added benefit I hope I was able to assist him in beating his illness. My best buddy is recovering from Leukemia and I know the challenge - GodSpeed!

    Glenno's review was very helpful as well. and for efficiency, I will use his as a reference. I am a huge Rothfuss fan, but he is correct - what the??? I will read it again but I don't think it will help. I generally agree with Glenno except for Orullian. I see his point as I am not a band geek either, but the musical references add a unique perspective to the story, are easy to understand and add a fresh creative touch to the struggles(for me). I want to highlight these other writers` outstanding material:
    - Tad Williams - Quaint, quirky and fun
    - Todd Lockwood - Simple story made into an enticing journey of a young loyal disciple.
    - Eldon Thompson - My favorite but he has nothing on audible to follow up with.
    - Michael J Sullivan - I love the moral choice dilemna and will be looking for more thoughtful stories.
    - Speakman - Amazingly creative story that held me the entire 2 hrs.
    Lastly, on a negative note, I could not finish Michael Stein`s inane story of a dead cat - maybe I am a dog person, but this one stretched my patience - others seem to like it though so it is a matter of perspective.

    As far as the the narration, they were all amazing, but again Bronson Pinchot blew my socks off. His variety of voices was impressive as usual!

    Great Job Shawn - I will look for your next book!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Civilization: The West and the Rest

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Niall Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (753)
    Performance
    (631)
    Story
    (625)

    The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed unlikely to achieve much more than perpetual internecine warfare. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations.

    F. Ribeiro says: "Niall Ferguson's Most Enjoyable Book"
    "Hail Britannia - If You're a Brit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first read of a book by Niall. He certainty has a wide knowledge of history and other social sciences as evidenced by the countless anecdotes and references to historical events from all over the world. His research and analysis is truly insightful and most of it could be seen as supporting his thesis of why the West has dominated the world, although he strays quite a bit from his 6 principles of the west's success and flow of arguments could be better assembled.

    I am far from knowledgeable on the history of the world, but find the subject fascinating. Hence my reservations about the thesis is the viewpoint from Niall's apparent British background. Niall portrays an overt dedication, infatuation and awe for the success of the British society (i.e civlization) and liberal criticism of others. He seems almost like a cheerleader for the Empire and raises my doubts on his objectiveness of his presentation (British slavery was bad but others did it too). It would interesting to read a counter point to his interpretation how the western world evolved to its predominance.

    As noted by others, he erred in bringing in the annoying the 'other' voices who try to speak english with various accents. This occurs frequently and actually detracts from the narrative rather than helping it.

    Being a native of a country with a British tradition, I find myself lucky to have benefited from the British influence of the country and I did enjoy reading Niall's arguments and trip through history. Despite my criticism, it is a well researched book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Daniel Kahneman
    • Narrated By Patrick Egan
    Overall
    (2333)
    Performance
    (1824)
    Story
    (1805)

    The guru to the gurus at last shares his knowledge with the rest of us. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman's seminal studies in behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, and happiness studies have influenced numerous other authors, including Steven Pinker and Malcolm Gladwell. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman at last offers his own, first book for the general public. It is a lucid and enlightening summary of his life's work. It will change the way you think about thinking. Two systems drive the way we think and make choices, Kahneman explains....

    Mike says: "Difficult Listen, but Probably a Great Read"
    "Good but a Difficult Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an intriguing book on human decision making. I recommend it as a read rather than a listen. It was a difficult listen because there are many examples that require careful comparisons between items that are close in meaning. For me, rewinding was often needed to ensure I understood the concept being explained through the example. The narrator was ok, but neither great nor poor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Bucholz
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (63)

    During the 229-year period from 1485 to 1714, England transformed itself from a minor feudal state into what has been called "the first modern society" and emerged as the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world.Those years hold a huge and captivating story. The English survived repeated epidemics and famines, one failed invasion and two successful ones, two civil wars, a series of violent religious reformations and counter-reformations, and confrontations with two of the most powerful monarchs on earth.

    E. Stein says: "Old-fashioned and inaccurate"
    "I don't usually give 5's"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a Canadian I thought we would be taught about the history of our colonial masters, but somehow I slipped well into middle age without learning any of this fascinating info. The professor delivers it in a passionate and compelling manner that makes the 48 hrs fly by.
    It is hard to critique the factual nature of the subject, but the analysis of the competing social forces made me wish I read this type of insight in our common social fabric years ago. It does shed light on how the political system works even today. I just wish he was able to explain more about Canada during that time. This is my 2nd learning company lecture and I hope to buy more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Medieval England: From King Arthur to the Tudor Conquest

    • ORIGINAL (19 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jennifer Paxton
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (108)

    These 36 lectures tell the remarkable story of a tumultuous thousand-year period in the history of England. Dominated by war, conquest, and the struggle to balance the stability brought by royal power with the rights of the governed, it was a period that put into place the foundation of much of the world we know today. As you journey through this largely chronological narrative you'll see key themes emerge, including the assimilation of successive waves of invaders, the tense relationship between kings and the nobility, and the constant battles over money and taxation.

    Benoibe says: "Absolutely OUTSTANDING!!!"
    "The Real Game of Thrones"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I never had an interest in the history of England until, per my headline, I was introduced to Game of Thrones, Pillars of the Earth and other medieval books. The (his)story in itself is fascinating and Dr. Paxton filters a 1000 years of history in a very informative and succinct way. Given that she is delivering a lecture series, I guess this what she is trained to do. Regardless, as a non-fiction work, it is highly entertaining and it moves very well. My only caution is to be ready for endless royal family tree connections that become confusing, but that is the essence of the subject and it is necessary. Also, Dr. Paxton does not make any pretensions about being a great narrator but her enthusiasm for the subject make up for the delivery.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Dragon's Path: Dagger and Coin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Daniel Abraham
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (713)
    Performance
    (644)
    Story
    (644)

    Popular author Daniel Abraham’s works have been nominated for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. In The Dragon’s Path, former soldier Marcus is now a mercenary—but he wants nothing to do with the coming war. So instead of fighting, he elects to guard a caravan carrying the wealth of a nation out of the war zone—with the assistance of an unusual orphan girl named Cithrin.

    Kristin says: "Epic Fantasy and Something Else"
    "A Little Overrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Move it along much faster. Make the names easier to remember.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Disappointing. Since it is series,I had guessed there would be loose ends, but there were far too many and I wondered what was the purpose of reading this - just go straight to book 2. I will not be reading book 2.


    Did Pete Bradbury do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Many people gave him a great review which led me to hold him to a higher expectation and I was disappointed. To answer the question, he did some characters well and some sounded like others - he was average.


    Could you see The Dragon's Path being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I am an old fart, so I don't know the young actors very well. Here's my guess
    Getter - Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Dawson - Al Pacino
    Marcus - Russell Crowe
    Sythrin - Renee Zellwegger
    Master Kitt - Anthony Hopkins


    Any additional comments?

    Very slow moving and confusing at the start. One reviewer stated that he gave up after 2 hrs so I tried to be patient. It did pick up and about the half way mark I was more interested in the stories. The comparison to Game of Thrones is ridiculous - not even close.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Solaris: The Definitive Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston (translator)
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    Overall
    (2130)
    Performance
    (1722)
    Story
    (1740)

    At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation - complete for the first time, and the first ever directly from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

    Burns says: "A comment on negative reviews"
    "Misleading as Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book started with immense potential as a unique sci-fi story, but a some point it turned into a love story and philosophical treatise. I would have enjoyed it more if he finished any one of these genres but it just ended with a thud and many loose ends. I agree with many others that although written 50 years ago, Mr. Lem was ahead of his time and despite some outdated technical items, the book shows excellent technical creativity. I was also impressed with extensive descriptions of this fantasy world. Although in the end, his complex ideas and descriptions of the alien life forms built expectations of some unique world which would leave me dumbfounded - then nothing... As for the narration, Allesandro was great and I now I want to watch BSG again to see his other work. I thought about returning it but then again maybe I have to read it again to see what I missed, since others went gaga over it - maybe not! Come on Rothfuss and GRRM - we can't wait forever!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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