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mosselyn

colemanka

Campbell, CA USA | Member Since 2002

48
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 218 ratings
  • 283 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By David K. Randall
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Like many of us, journalist David K. Randall never gave sleep much thought. That is, until he began sleepwalking. One midnight crash into a hallway wall sent him on an investigation into the strange science of sleep. In Dreamland, Randall explores the research that is investigating those dark hours that make up nearly a third of our lives.

    Sean says: "Terrible performance of an average book"
    "Melodramatic narrator and rambling narrative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Though there are some interesting factoids and bits of research in this book, the narrative is not tight enough. I enjoy "pop science" (as well as more serious works), but there was too much pop and not enough science in this book. The author rambles a bit and belabors his points. In the end, I didn't feel I'd learned very much.

    The narrator was very poorly chosen for this book. He would probably be great for a fiction work as he has wide range of character voices. However, he read this book as if it was a drama, every phrase fraught with urgency or conspiracy. And the character voices felt really jarring in a serious book. French accent for the researcher with a French sounding name, a German accent for the German researcher, etc. It was like listening to a parody of a non-fiction book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Matthew Quick
    • Narrated By Noah Galvin
    Overall
    (240)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (220)

    Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol. But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart - obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust.

    L. Gutman says: "Required reading for humans"
    "Entertaining, heart-wrenching, gripping"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've never read Matthew Quick before, and this is not the sort of book I would normally pick up. I've no idea what made me buy it, but I am very glad I did. It's one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's not an easy or comfortable book, but it is a compelling one.

    The main character is very much alive. My heart ached for his pain at the same time I smiled at my own remembered teen melodrama and anomie. That's not to say that Leonard is your average teen with only an average teen's problems. He's not. However the more mundane teenagian tangents in the book are what makes him come alive.

    I cannot say enough good things about the narration of this book. Noah Galvin does an amazing job, so much so that I can't imagine this book being read by anyone else. Just the right amount of bite, pain, anger, and passion in every phrase.

    Get this and read it. It's a wonderful book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wizard's First Rule: Sword of Truth, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Terry Goodkind
    • Narrated By Sam Tsoutsouvas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3602)
    Performance
    (2036)
    Story
    (2064)

    In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, Richard Cypher encounters a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, in his forest sanctuary. She seeks his help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

    Michael says: "A Stereotypical Fantasy Story, But Well-Written..."
    "Juvenile writing, overly dramatic reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really wanted to like this book as it was recommended to me by a friend for whom it is a favorite. Unfortunately, I had to stop after reading a little more than half as I just couldn't stand it anymore.

    Like some other reviewers, I found the writing to be juvenile. The dialog is neither believable nor interesting. Neither, for that matter, are the characters or their attraction. Having the main character constantly filled with (supposedly righteous) rage was tiresome. The rage/magic plot device did not work for me. The bad guys were so mustache-twirlingly evil as to feel like caricatures.

    There is a lot of detail in inappropriate places. That is, places where it contributes no value and just drags things out. There is also a lot of very graphic detail when there's violence involved. I get it, you cut off his head. I don't need a two page description of the bloody stump.

    Last but not least, I couldn't stand the narrator. His voice is very pleasant, but he's a drama queen. Every single word is fraught with meaning and urgency. Even getting on a horse is a matter of high drama. When the fate of the world hangs on every word, then nothing is meaningful. He executes the drama well, but a more balanced reading would have worked better for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spider's Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jennifer Estep
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2296)
    Performance
    (1705)
    Story
    (1719)

    They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South -- when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

    Amazon Customer says: "Love the Jennifer Estep/Lauren Fortgang combo"
    "good narration cannot overcome bad writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator does a great job, but there's just no getting around the poor writing. There is too much description, most of which is dripping with analogies, and the author finds it necessary to constantly remind you of the heroine's tragic past, crushing grief, etc. I get it. I got it 10 repetitions ago. The pacing is also pretty slow for this kind of book. Only the narrator made it possible for me to listen to the whole thing.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • West with the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Beryl Markham
    • Narrated By Julie Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (531)
    Performance
    (333)
    Story
    (331)

    West with the Night is the story of a remarkable woman molded and shaped by many things: the African jungle, a certain dog, horses, airplanes, friendships with white men and black. There is no life, no story quite like it.

    Michael Moore says: "Top Notch Writing; Riveting Stories"
    "interesting but uneven"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Beryl Markham and/or Julie Harris?

    No. The pacing in the narrative is very uneven. Specific anecdotes are great, but they are interspersed with a lot of rambling about the wonder of Africa, which did not appeal to me. Others might find this quite satisfactory.


    Would you recommend West with the Night to your friends? Why or why not?

    Perhaps. Not all my friends would appreciate the introspective rambling, but some would.


    What didn’t you like about Julie Harris’s performance?

    Though the narrator read with much enthusiasm, overall I did not like it. She reads many passages in a rush when the subject wasn't fast-paced. There are unnatural pauses, as if the reader gets to the end of a line or the page. The recording environment is poor - you can hear the reader licking her lips, clearing her throat, and turning pages.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes, since a movie would take out the slow bits and make the most of the interesting anecdotes.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Michael Gurian, Barbara Annis
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    Each of us enters the workplace not only as a human being, but as a woman or man, Leadership and the Sexes links the actual science of male/female brain differences to every aspect of business. Written by the New York Times best-selling author and gender expert Michael Gurian and acclaimed workplace gender consultant Barbara Annis, this groundbreaking audio weaves brain science and gender studies with real life examples from business leaders to provide a new vision of gender diversity.

    mosselyn says: "meh"
    "meh"
    Overall

    The narration style did not fit the material, for me, and made it hard to listen to. The pace was very slow. Either the narrator, or the prose, or both, gave the book a patronizing tone.

    The material was very repetitive. The book is organized as a workshop for executives and their management teams, which was not clear from the description. Not the best format for an audiobook. Frequent references to the authors' workshops and other books made it feel a bit like an ad, too.

    Lastly, the book was not as gender balanced as I hoped/expected. Though it pays lip service to balanced advice, I found it to be much more about how men can understand/accomodate/benefit from women's "brain differences" than vice versa. Perhaps this is understandable but, I would have preferred a better balance. (And I'm coming at this from the female side of the equation).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Boomsday: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Christopher Buckley
    • Narrated By Janeane Garofalo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (65)

    Cassandra Devine, a young Washington spin doctor and blogger, suggests that Baby Boomers be given government incentives to kill themselves by age 75. This proposal catches on with citizens outraged about Social Security debt and a senator seeking the youth vote for his presidential bid. With the help of Washington's greatest PR strategist, Cassandra and the senator try to ride the issue of euthanasia to the White House.

    Lloyd says: "Buckley's a winner"
    "not his best effort"
    Overall

    I enjoy Buckley's books very much, but I struggled to get all the way through this one. It didn't seem as tightly knit as his previous books and became rather boring and repetitive. It also had a rather strident quality about it, possibly due to the delivery of the narrator. That being said, there are very funny bits, and the narrator does a superb job of uniquely voicing all the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Mark Helprin
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (6)

    World-renowned novelist Mark Helprin offers a ringing Jeffersonian defense of private property in the age of digital culture, with its degradation of thought and language, and collectivist bias against the rights of individual creators.

    mosselyn says: "Ranting, raving, and rambling"
    "Ranting, raving, and rambling"
    Overall

    I purchased this book because I'm interested in learning more about the copyright debate. Who better than an author to argue the pro side? Almost anyone, apparently.

    Though Helprin has some good points to make, they're hard to filter out from the stream of invective. In much of the book, he comes across as no better than the "mouth-breather" army of internet "ants" he decries. There are also significant chunks of the book that seem to have nothing to do with the topic, such as a long, rambling discussion of convergence, near the end. Helprin rarely uses one word when 10 will, with a few asides thrown in for good measure.

    All in all, very disappointing. Seek elsewhere for a reasoned discussion of the pro-copyright argument.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Alatriste

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Arturo Perez-Reverte
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Captain Alatriste is the story of a fictional 17th-century Spanish soldier who, after being wounded in battle during the Thirty Years' War, is forced to retire from the army. Now he lives the comparatively tame, though hardly quiet, life of a swordsman-for-hire in Madrid. Approached with an offer of work, Alatriste is told to go with another hired blade to an unfamiliar part of the city at midnight and wait.

    Adina R. Montgomery says: "Good story...reader could be better."
    "Almost a good book, but not quite"
    Overall

    When the story is in motion, this is a pretty good book. Unfortunately, there are many excursions into philosophy, politics, and history which bog the story down. Sometimes, these little side trips occur in the midst of otherwise tense scenes, which I found jarring. The commentary adds nice color to the story, but takes the swash out of the buckle. A word on the narrator: He reads feelingly, but in a way that makes every sentence sound like a profound pronouncement.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Longitudes & Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman
    • Narrated By Thomas L. Friedman
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    In 2002, Thomas L. Friedman won his third Pulitzer Prize "for his clarity of vision, based on extensive reporting, in commenting on the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat" after the attacks of September 11, 2001. This virtually unprecedented recognition underlines Friedman's unique ability to interpret and illuminate the world for American readers clearly, insightfully, and memorably.

    David says: "listen to this book"
    "Though-provoking and interesting"
    Overall

    I cannot say I agreed with all (or even most) of the author's positions. And I found some of them rather disengenuous. But it was well worth reading! Not only were the ideas clearly and interestingly presented, but this book made me think about some things I never considered before and made me want to learn more. What more, really, can you ask of a commentary?

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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