The title is spot on when is says algorithms "rule our world." The scope, extent and impact of algorithms is mind-blowing.
I expected this book to be about 3 Americans in London during WWII (Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman and John Winant), but it ended up being more than that. Maybe too much more because, although I liked the book, at times it felt unfocused.
The stories about Murrow, Harriman and Winant are fascinating and well worth the listen--and if you like reading about London during WWII, you will probably enjoy this book. Just know that the book veers off course at times.
Is a fire in which the soon-to-be ex-wife of Russian emigre and business tycoon dies an accident or is it murder by arson? Jack Wade, a "claims dog" fire investigator for California Fire and Life, investigates and in the process the listener learns a lot about fire and Winslow presents it in a very engaging manner.
Winslow is a really good story-teller and I found this book to be a compelling listen with some great twists and turns in the plot. I've also listened to "Savages" and "Kings of Cool" by Winslow and enjoyed them as well. In each case the narrator has been a terrific complement to the story.
This is a nice historical fiction novel about a series of crimes in ancient Rome. The story is not going to rock anyone's world, but it was well done and Simon Vance turns in a good performance. I'll probably listen to more in the series although I don't feel compelled to start the second entry right away.
Multiple factors led to an opiate epidemic in the United States and Sam Quinones tells the story in an engaging and fast-paced manner.
For example, it explains how a one-paragraph letter to the editor of a medical journal was misinterpreted when it was cited in subsequent journal articles (in a pre-internet era where it was difficult to read the original sources) and ultimately characterized as a "landmark study" saying that opiates were not addicting. This error made its way to medical school textbooks.
Dream Land also recounts how pharmaceutical companies ramped up their sales forces to sell these new miracle pain relieving drugs and how physicians felt almost compelled to prescribe these drugs expansively least they be sued for causing their patients to suffer needlessly or get bad marks in patient customer satisfaction surveys.
It also tells of the brilliant--business school brilliant, but totally evil--middle market selling strategies employed by the friendly and likeable Mexican farm boys who sold black tar heroin to parts of the country that had already been "tenderized" by years of opiate abuse. In one case an addict told her dealer she was ready to quit and was going into rehab. The dealer congratulated her on making a healthy choice and wished her well. Thirty minutes later he showed up at her house with a "going away present": free black tar heroin. She went back to using.
These are just a few of the contributing factors to the opiate epidemic. This is an informative, well written and very powerful story that was an eye-opener. Highly recommended.
The pairing of McKinty and Doyle is compelling and transformative. Let's hope there are more entries in the Sean Duffy series.
This is a informative and engaging inside look at the financial crisis that almost tanked the global economy.
Geithner provides a well-written and accessible look at the many factors that contributed to the crisis and made it difficult to combat.
An in depth look at what may have been the first cyber weapon. Unfortunately, it won't be the last. This book provides a good overview of cyber weapons and the challenges they present to nation states.
An OK book with some interesting ideas. IMHO this is a popular self-help book...but without much depth.
This is a pleasant enough time travel book with a good narrator and an interesting protagonist, but it's nothing special.
The plot struck me as weak and at times I felt like I was listening to an abridged version (but I wasn't). IMHO it pales in comparison with some of Connie Willis's books which have more well developed characters and feature plots with much more tension and drama.
This book is excellent on so many levels: an erudite but very accessible history of pre-war America; a feels-like-you-are-there view of jazz bands battling for supremacy at the Savoy; a phenomenal account of what its like to hop a train in Kansas City and ride to New York City (and how that train ride is a metaphorical change...not just a geographical one)...and so much more.
This is volume 1 of what will be a 2 volume biography of jazz great Charlie Parker. Author Stanley Crouch does an amazing job of describing the social, political and musical context that influenced Parker. He makes the reader (or, as the case may be, listener) feel like they are there. The only other author I encountered who has done as good a job of providing absolutely fascinating context to help drive a biography is Robert Caro, author of the multi-volume biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson.
The performance by Kevin Kenerly is superb and he is up to the task of performing a wide variety of material--whether it be describing the love story between Charlie Parker and his first wife Rebecca, the evolution of jazz, the sociopolitical condition of African Americans in the 20s and 30s, or dialog between a drug addict and an hobo.
This is much more than a niche book for jazz fans; it's highly recommended for all Audible members who enjoy engaging biographies supported by outstanding narration.
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