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Darren

Pasadena, CA, USA | Member Since 2006

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 59 ratings
  • 401 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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  • Dispatches

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Herr
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (66)

    One of the greatest examples of war journalism ever written, Michael Herr's clearheaded yet unsparing retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, finding clarity in one of the most incomprehensible events in our modern era. A National Book Critics Circle finalist and highly acclaimed upon its first publication, Dispatches still retains its resonance as America finds itself amidst another military quagmire.

    Darwin8u says: "One of the GREAT war memoirs of ALL TIME!"
    "A singular piece of work"
    Overall

    I've read dozens of books dealing with war and Dispatches stands apart from nearly all of them.
    This is not meant to be an authoritative historical overview of the conflict in Vietnam. Rather it's a deeply personal account of Herr's time spent with the guys in the mud, doing the fighting, marking their time and hoping to make it home in one piece.
    Plenty of books have been written from this perspective before. But Herr's jazz-like prose, keen observations and raw honesty paint a picture that's so immersive it will be hard to forget.
    Put it in your shopping cart now.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By John Ortved
    • Narrated By John Allen Nelson, Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    John Ortved's oral history is the first-ever look behind the scenes at the creation and day-to-day running of the television phenomenon known as The Simpsons, as told by many of the people who produce it.

    Darren says: "A treat for Simpsons' fans"
    "A treat for Simpsons' fans"
    Overall

    First and foremost this is a thoroughly researched, well written, very detailed account of the how The Simpsons came to be on TV. Beyond that Ortveld clearly has a deep seated belief that:

    1) The Simpsons is the greatest show ever seen on TV
    2) For the first 9 years
    3) And terrible since then

    Of course it's the "why" that makes the book enjoyable to listen to. The author's own ruminations on what makes the show so important to pop culture borders on religious fervor at times. In between those thoughts we get detailed accounts of all the back stabbings, broken promises, out of control egos, strikes, walk-outs, epic temper tantrums and sheer creative nutiness that happened behind the scenes. Honestly, some of it was really quite fascinating. Just to hear Conan O'Brian recount jumping around the writer's room like a "trained monkey" shouting "Jub, jub, jub, jub!" was worth the cost alone.
    In the end it'd be hard to see how this book would appeal to anyone beyond the show's fans. But if you are a fan, lapsed or otherwise, jump in. I think you'll like it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By John Joseph Adams (editor), Robert J. Sawyer, Christopher Roden, and others
    • Narrated By Simon Vance, Anne Flosnik
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (219)

    A modern short story collection featuring the great detective.

    A User says: "Improbable and Incredible."
    "Good when good, bad when bad"
    Overall

    In a sentence this book is waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy too long. It really could have used a tougher editor. Some of these stories are as good as short stories get. Yet, sadly, others reek of ham handed Fan Fiction. It's as if they simply included every story they received without review.
    But you can't argue with value. At 30+ hours it's well worth the one credit. Just keep the skip button handy.
    Oh, and where is the Stephen King story? I could not find it either.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jason Vuic
    • Narrated By Erik Synnestvedt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (468)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (283)

    Six months after its American introduction in 1985, the Yugo was a punch line; within a year, it was a staple of late-night comedy. By 2000, NPR's Car Talk declared it "the worst car of the millennium." And for most Americans that's where the story begins and ends. Hardly. The short, unhappy life of the car, the men who built it, the men who imported it, and the decade that embraced and discarded it is rollicking and astounding, and it is one of the greatest untold business-cum-morality tales of the 1980s.

    Roy says: "Flim Flam at its Best"
    "Definitely not a clunker"
    Overall

    Wonderfully enjoyable in the same perverse way demolition derbies are enjoyable; You know there's going to be mayhem, you're just there to watch how it happens. Vuic does a great job of bringing the whole Yugo story to life with rich detail, and then shows how it all fits in the context of the times.

    The Narrator is a little stilted and it may be a chapter too long but those are nits. In the end it's a great listen for car buffs and regular folks alike.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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