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Dan

Indian Trail, NC, United States | Member Since 2008

ratings
88
REVIEWS
5
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
16

  • Mainspring

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jay Lake
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    Mainspring is the story of a young clockmaker's apprentice, who is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. He is told that he must take the Key Perilous and rewind the Mainspring of the Earth. It is running down, and disaster to the planet will ensue if it's not rewound. From innocence and ignorance to power and self-knowledge, the young man will make the long and perilous journey to the South Polar Axis to fulfill the commandment of his God.

    Richard Stufflebeam says: "Journy well started, but unfullfiled"
    "Great premise. Too preachy for my tastes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Mainspring better?

    I was very excited to start this listen. I am a huge fan of steam punk and the notion of a clockwork world made me tick.The first half proved true to my expectation, but the second half seemed to be more about the main character's steadfast adherence to god's will more than anything. It rang hollow to me. Certainly, a clockwork earth implies a designer, but I just didn't really appreciate how much He took over the story. Talk about dues ex machina.Combine that with a villain who only seems to me to appear when the author needs the plot advanced and, well, I was simply underwhelmed.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The librarian


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tamim Ansary
    • Narrated By Tamim Ansary
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (444)
    Performance
    (299)
    Story
    (291)

    Until about 1800, the West and the Islamic realm were like two adjacent, parallel universes, each assuming itself to be the center of the world while ignoring the other. As Europeans colonized the globe, the two world histories intersected and the Western narrative drove the other one under. The West hardly noticed, but the Islamic world found the encounter profoundly disrupting.

    David says: "A history of the world before the West mattered"
    "Helpful to see the story's "other" side"
    Overall

    Tamim Ansary placed me well in the mind-frame of today's Muslim, looking back at nearly 1400 years of proud cultural heritage, and wondering what happened to such a promising place in global development. From the onset, this book challenged my preconceptions of a culture struggling against modernity and an ideology that western civilization is the goal toward which "developing" nations should strive. It defined for me what is Islam and what it means to have one's ancestry in this religion, ideology, and culture.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan: Emperor of All Men

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Harold Lamb
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (75)

    In the early 13th century, a simple nomad chieftain managed to cobble together a powerful kingdom in the highlands of northern Asia, which was subsequently to challenge the greatest powers of the day. He was triumphant in all directions. This leader was Timujin, whose name meant "Iron Man". He became Genghis Khan, "Universal Ruler", the greatest conqueror ever known - a warrior feared from the British Isles to the tip of the Korean peninsula.

    Curatina says: "Fabulous!"
    "a little weighty, but still worth it"
    Overall

    I had trouble finishing this one, but I did. I had purchased this book with no research, so I didn't notice its age. It was only after I got into it, when I realized how weighty the text was, that I went back and researched it to discover when Harold Lamb wrote it--1927. In that perspective, the style makes sense, but anyone like me, used to modern "entertain with science" writing might find it thick.

    Still, I'm glad I bought it, as I know have a much better knowledge of an exciting time.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Aristotle's Children: How Christian, Muslims and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Richard E. Rubenstein
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    Best-selling author Richard E. Rubenstein brings the past to life in this engrossing story of social, religious, and scientific revolution during one of the darkest periods in European history. When a group of Dark Ages scholars rediscovered the works of Aristotle, the great thinker's ideas ignited a firestorm of enlightened thought. This is the endlessly fascinating account of the pivotal period in history when the modern era took root.

    John says: "Interesting story of the rediscovery of Aristotle"
    "Fascinating, but easy to put down"
    Overall

    I'm not a big philosophy buff, but I am interested in the subject, particularly how it impacted theology in this period. I'm also a history nerd, so this tied in well with at least two of my major interests.

    That said, I found myself wanting the book to be over. I'm glad I finished it--academically--but I wasn't as entertained as I am with many audio non-fiction works.

    Still, I enjoyed it. Worth a credit if your interests so lean.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5573)
    Performance
    (2880)
    Story
    (2939)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "Fanastic listen"
    Overall

    The hook of the first chapter is one of the best ever. The rest of thte book doesn't live up to the first chapter, but only just slightly, providing a first rate adventure through a fairly typical cyberpunk universe.

    Some of the history built into the premise is suspect, but this *is* fiction. If you can suspend your disbelief for a minute, it really is fun.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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