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Edward

Brooklyn, NY, USA | Member Since 2010

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 456 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2018
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  • Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Paul Johnson
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (151)

    Beginning with May 29, 1919, when photographs of the solar eclipse confirmed the truth of Einstein's theory of relativity, Johnson goes on to describe Freudianism, the establishment of the first Marxist state, the chaos of "Old Europe", the Arcadian 20s, and the new forces in China and Japan. Also discussed are Karl Marx, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Roosevelt, Gandhi, Castro, Kennedy, Nixon, the '29 crash, the Great Depression, Roosevelt's New Deal, and the massive conflict of World War II.

    Pork C. Fish says: "The Anti-Howard Zinn"
    "The purpose of history is to inform."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Modern Times again? Why?

    M. Times is a course of study rather than a story. It focuses deeply into the numbers and data that build conclusions so that one reading is not enough. It is a refereence that should be revisited often.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author does not accept widely held beliefs. He goes out and does his own research and challenges the Zinns and Schlesengers who intimidate the main stream of modern history.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There can be no primary scene in an epic but personally I like the author's contrast of production capabilities among Soviet, Axis, British and American economies during wwii.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    One is not moved by the catastrophe that was the 20th century. One is numbed by it.


    Any additional comments?

    The author must be a very brave man.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Under Fire: The Corps Series, 9

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (694)
    Performance
    (620)
    Story
    (612)

    Korea, June 1, 1950. Captain Ken McCoy's report on probable North Korean hostilities meets with so much bureaucratic displeasure that not only is it promptly suppressed, but McCoy himself is kicked out of the Corps. At least two outfits, however, are not impressed by such infighting: the fledgling CIA, which promptly hires McCoy; and the North Koreans, who on June 25th invade across the 38th parallel.

    Robert says: "OK - Big gaps between Book and this one"
    "We Try to Glean Something, Even From Hogwash."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Under Fire? What did you like least?

    The only insight beyond a few incidental facts is the clear view of how Marines like to see themselves. The characters were idealized. The relationships had all the subtlety and wit of a made-for-tv docudrama. Worst of all is the failure to provide usable historical information.


    Would you be willing to try another book from W. E. B. Griffin? Why or why not?

    Never! WEBG has a rep as a military authority but it doesn't show here. The description "based on real events," leaves a lot of room to just make stuff up. If you like predictable characters you might get off on the plot. Writing was bland. In its favor it introduces a little-known event connected with the Inchon landing.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Typical second-rate job. Nice voice but that's only worth 2 stars. He does women badly, making them sound like screechy old grannies. He should study his art or stick to doing straight history.


    Could you see Under Fire being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, and that's why it falls short as a book. Cast a bunch of unknown pretty faces.


    Any additional comments?

    Writers of military fiction do their best work at the extremes: Either be historically scrupulous or go complete comic book with lots of bang-bang and kissing on the battlefield.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Abulafia
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (110)

    Ranging from prehistory to the 21st century, The Great Sea is above all the history of human interaction across a region that has brought together many of the great civilizations of antiquity as well as the rival empires of medieval and modern times.

    Roger says: "Impressive and Accessible History"
    "American Narration at it's Most Disapointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Great Sea again? Why?

    Yes, because it's dense with new information. If it was a text I would fill the margins with notes. It covers 6,000 years and details the rise and fall of empires we never hear of.


    Would you recommend The Great Sea to your friends? Why or why not?

    To my friends--certainly but my friends tend to have appetites for information. This is a book of research on a set of topics unified by location, not entertainment value. You read this book so you have background if, say, you read about Anthony & Cleopatra or the siege of Malta or the Catalonian separatist movement in the future.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jason Culp?

    Culp has a nice voice. That only gets you two stars. One wonders if he could find the Mediterranean on a map. A narrator should at the very least, know how to pronounce everything. Vizier is not pronounced viz-ee-yay, not even in French. (Google Translate) Give me John Lee or Wanda Mccaddon. American narrators seem to be failed actors while at least some of the Brits give the impression that they love narration and are willing to work hard at it.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not that kind of book.


    Any additional comments?

    A book for those who want to know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Smiley's People: A George Smiley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (633)
    Performance
    (586)
    Story
    (585)

    A very junior agent answers Vladimir's call, but it could have been the Chief of the Circus himself. No one at the British Secret Service considers the old spy to be anything except a senile has-been who can't give up the game - until he's shot in the face at point-blank range. Although George Smiley (code-name: Max) is officially retired, he's summoned to identify the body now bearing Moscow Centre's bloody imprimatur. As he works to unearth his friend's fatal secrets, Smiley heads inexorably toward one final reckoning.

    Darwin8u says: "NEAR Perfect Ending for One Best Trilogies Ever"
    "A performance worthy the text he is reading."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Smiley's People the most enjoyable?

    Plot as complex as a double agent's address book involving wonderful characters like the multi-dimensioned Toby, the tragi-comic Connie and the under-estimable George Smiley. It is a trip through the dirty places of the cold war.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I like the secondary players with whom I can identify. John Le Carre has them in plenty and in depth. A scoundrel named Otto adopts "Leipzig" as his second name because the prison in that city was the best he'd ever stayed in.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Jayston’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Jayson's George Smiley makes you think you might be listening to Alex Guinness. When he does women he doesn't go into a screechy falsetto but renders femininity within his own register. He uses at least ten different voices consistently. In particular his Peter Guillam sounds familiar and if you root around you discover that he played Guillam in the BBC production of the book.


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

    Moscow rules; I have two proofs.


    Any additional comments?

    I have no patience with fiction. This though, is a book I can listen through multiple times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1497)
    Performance
    (1353)
    Story
    (1354)

    The man he knew as "Control" is dead, and the young Turks who forced him out now run the Circus. But George Smiley isn't quite ready for retirement-especially when a pretty, would-be defector surfaces with a shocking accusation: a Soviet mole has penetrated the highest level of British Intelligence. Relying only on his wits and a small, loyal cadre, Smiley recognizes the hand of Karla - his Moscow Centre nemesis - and sets a trap to catch the traitor.

    carl801 says: "Le Carre remains the gold standard"
    "The narrator says it all."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?

    For the Anglophile or the cold war patriot this is one of the great stories of the good guys winning.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters make the book and here we have them in multiple dimensions, warts and all.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Jayston’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    When you hear the book you might wonder where you heard narrator Michael Jayson before. If you google around you'll discover he played Peter Guillam in the 1979 BBC production of Tinker. He can sound just like Alec Guinness when he wants to and his Connie Sachs is amazing. He understands that you needn't go into a falsetto to do a female voice.


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

    This is the cold war in all its squalid glory.


    Any additional comments?

    If you were rooting for Brezhnev in the 70's you might not like Tinker all that much. Otherwise it's a great work of the written spoken word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Werewolf of Bamberg: The Hangman's Daughter, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Oliver Pötzsch, Lee Chadeayne - translator
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (509)
    Performance
    (463)
    Story
    (461)

    In 1668, hangman Jakob Kuisl, his daughter Magdalena, and her husband Simon are traveling to the town of Bamberg. But what was planned as a family vacation soon becomes a nightmare: there is a murderer in Bamberg leaving the severed limbs of victims in the trash outside the city. When rumors quickly spread that the murders are the work of a werewolf, Jakob Kuisl must prove the superstition wrong and embark on a search for the "devil of Bamberg".

    Cheri says: "A Great Historical Thriller!"
    "A 20-hour comic book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Quality writing, 3-D characters, believable situations


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Wolff Hall


    Would you be willing to try another one of Grover Gardner’s performances?

    Yes. Grover is great when he does Will Durant's stuff. He has no range of character though. His women sound like he's trying too hard.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Werewolf of Bamberg?

    Many, but the endless irrelevant jabbering during the climactic chase scene stands out.


    Any additional comments?

    Rather than twists and turns the plot reads like an elaborate lie. The flat predictable characters talk too much, like the two brothers who argue all the time. The situations are frequently implausible, like servants who blab information about their masters to complete strangers. The translation is poor, using words like "snuck." The verbs are easy to read as in juvenile literature. The adjectives are cliche--jet black, razor sharp, bone-chilling cold. Bone-chilling prose is more like it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tontine

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Thomas B. Costain
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (39)

    Tontine is a form of gambling - part lottery, part insurance. It begins with the Day the Battle of Waterloo was fought and ends at the closing of the 19th century.

    Sarah says: "Sprawls Over Most of a Century"
    "19th century, 2d rate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Tontine?

    The beginning looked rather good and David Case commands the twelve most interesting voices in narrative art.


    If you’ve listened to books by Thomas B. Costain before, how does this one compare?

    His best work is his non-fiction.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The early chapters, while the author had energy and imagination firing on all cylinders and while the characters were believable.


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

    Hardly, at 41 hours.


    Any additional comments?

    It not only evokes 19th century literature; it copies it. It parades one super-human after another, all making speeches to each other that no one would actually recite. Everyone is just too wonderful for words in this world of loves at first sight and over-blown pledges of eternal loyalty. It would be quaint if it was actually written in the 1800's. As it is though, Costain has managed to re-create the worst traits of the period. Compare with Jane Austin, whose characters are conflicted, wonderful, awful, strong and weak at the same time. Compare with Patrick O'Brien for whom the most heroic characters have the most gaping flaws. On top of it all, there is hardly a chuckle per chapter unless it is provided by the narrator, David Case, whose name drew me to the book in the first place.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Everything That Rises Must Converge

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Flannery O’Connor
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Karen White, Mark Bramhall, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (805)
    Performance
    (678)
    Story
    (690)

    This collection of nine short stories by Flannery O'Connor was published posthumously in 1965. The flawed characters of each story are fully revealed in apocalyptic moments of conflict and violence that are presented with comic detachment.

    Ryan says: "Pride goeth before the fall"
    "Are these all the same story?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Everything That Rises Must Converge?

    Everyone's right. Oconnor is a great writer. She peers into the details of her characters with such detail and plausiblity you can't stay uninvolved. And her use of language is great.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's an anthology and I don't remember the titles. There was a story that takes place in a doctor's office and it was an amazing contrast of characters.


    Any additional comments?

    She falls back on killing those characters with traditional values, be they flawed values or not. You know who's getting snuffed by the end of the first paragraph.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Christmas Carol [Audio Connoisseur Version]

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (70)

    The spirit of Christmas has never been captured better than by Charles Dickens' masterpiece about Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and all those wonderful spirits, especially the ghost of Jacob Marley. It can be fairly stated that Dickens was so successful with A Christmas Carol, that his characters have become more well known than the title itself.

    Mary says: "Prefer this to the other version I own"
    "What the Dickens?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Everyone should read this among all the other classics.


    If you’ve listened to books by Charles Dickens before, how does this one compare?

    I am not a Dickens follower, but I find this typical of his other books in that he identifies a personality or type and tells us we should try not to be like that.


    Which character – as performed by Charlton Griffin – was your favorite?

    Griffin is wonderful. You don't realize that one person is doing all this. I like the voice of naration best. Scrooge was also outstanding.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    One has seen it so many times--


    Any additional comments?

    I think Dicken's message is that if we dislike someone he must be bad. I don't buy it. I don't think a real Scrooge could be as flat as C.D. makes him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ludwig Von Mises: Fountainhead of the Modern Microeconomics Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eamonn Butler
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (47)

    The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises is increasingly recognized as one of the most important originators of modern economic thought. This book studies his ideas in a clear and systematic way and pulls out from Mises's own writings the main themes of his work. Mises's central theme is an emphasis on microeconomics. All real economic decisions, he insists, are taken by particular people at particular times and places; the motivating forces, therefore, are personal and psychological.

    Kent says: "An economic giant for the rest of us..."
    "It's all here."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it to a studious intgeligent friend because it gets right to the kernal of how society is motivated or restrained.


    What other book might you compare Ludwig Von Mises to and why?

    This book is unique in my experience. I wanted to read about the man but instead I discovered the idea. The idea is more powerful than the man, even though the author does not hesitate to point out flaws.


    What about Jeff Riggenbach’s performance did you like?

    Riggenbach has a wonderful voice and comprehension of the subject.


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

    I listen to parts of this book over and over to build my undrstanding of those parts that contrast with popular opinion.


    Any additional comments?

    Mises was a slave of truth. He was incapable of adjusting to popular trends.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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