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T. F. Plona

Plimtuna

Phoenix, AZ | Member Since 2004

58
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 351 ratings
  • 379 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • An Edible History of Humanity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tom Standage
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (114)

    Throughout history, food has acted as a catalyst of social change, political organization, geopolitical competition, industrial development, military conflict, and economic expansion. An Edible History of Humanity is a pithy, entertaining account of how a series of changes---caused, enabled, or influenced by food---has helped to shape and transform societies around the world.

    Eric says: "A big heaping feast of history"
    "An enjoyable bite of history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does An Edible History of Humanity rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Of all the books I have listened to, this is average. But I would like to think that I have listened to some rather good books over the years.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the entwining of food into history. The book touched on many of my favorite reading topics, history, culture, politics, science and economics. It tied in many diciplines rather well.


    What about George K. Wilson’s performance did you like?

    Consistent and unobtrusive.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Francis Fukuyama
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (445)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (361)

    Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.

    blah says: "Best Summary of Political History I've Read"
    "Way too deep for my tastes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Leave out all the first chapters on primates and prehumans, It is all speculation and not based in sufficient scientific proof.


    Would you recommend The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would only recommend this if this was a specific interest to the reader. Even as a poli sci minor graduate, I found this book contained way too much depth.


    Did The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, skip a chapter now and then.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Peter Biskind
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (122)

    Easy Rider, Raging Bulls follows the wild ride that was Hollywood in the 70s - an unabashed celebration of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll (both on screen and off) and a climate where innovation and experimentation reigned supreme.

    Celia says: "If you studied film in the '70's..."
    "It was the 70's and it shows."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Easy Riders, Raging Bulls in three words, what would they be?

    confused muddled excess


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls?

    The back story of the making of Easy Rider.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I found the narrator's heavy gruff voice and accent a bit off putting.


    Any additional comments?

    I love movies, directors and the stories behind the 115 minutes of entertainment we see on the silver screen. I grew up watching many of these movies in the theaters and remember them dearly. In this light, I enjoyed the book.

    However, I found the overall style of writing a bit confusing. Chapter story line were so intermingled at times, with so many characters, that I was at times confused who was who and what movie they were talking about.

    lastly, if everything was true, in terms of personal life choices, by the real life persons in the book, it is amazing anything was every produced and that many of them are still alive. What a hard way to live; careless sex, drugs, alcohol, and back stabbing vengeance should have taken a greater toll.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By Bill O'Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (743)
    Performance
    (682)
    Story
    (690)

    General George S. Patton, Jr., died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost 70 years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident - and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton will take listeners inside the final year of the war and recount the events surrounding Patton's tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.

    Molly says: "Mysterious DEMISE of "old blood and guts" Patton"
    "A soft quick run through the final story of Patton"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Killing Patton in three words, what would they be?

    familiar Patton history


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Killing Patton?

    the various points used to show that Patton had a target on his back due to his loud voice, casuing problems for both the USA and USSR.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Details leading up to the accident and the accident itself were insightful.


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

    Patton: Love him or hate him, he was our hero.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the book a light easy to read (listen) history of the end of WWII. Many chapters in the book seemed to be pulled right out of movies on similar topics. Some stories seemed to be included, not so much for moving the story along, but to make connections with the reader and other media they had previously seen. Some of the stories of Hitler's bunker, Rommel, Bastogne and the concentration camps, while interesting, were only mildly connected to the story

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Fall and Rise of China

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Richard Baum
    Overall
    (332)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (309)

    For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.

    Yu-Chin says: "Offers excellent objective perspective!"
    "A wonderful surprise - Who would have thought?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Fall and Rise of China the most enjoyable?

    This was my first listen to a course serries on Audible. I was unsure what to expect. The author/professor's depth of knowledge and ability to provide details and nuanced meaning of the historical events were invigorating to the topic.


    What other book might you compare The Fall and Rise of China to and why?

    I am a fan of Barbara Tuchman and this narration seemed similar to me.


    Any additional comments?

    great insight into China is today and how they got there. Much ground work is covered to establish what makes the Chinese tick. Wonderful insights.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson
    • Narrated By Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (147)

    Two sisters. Two voices. One Heart.

    The mystery of "Magic Man." The wicked riff of "Barracuda." The sadness and beauty of "Alone." The raw energy of "Crazy On You." These songs, and so many more, are part of the fabric of American music. Heart, fronted by Ann and Nancy Wilson, has given fans everywhere classic, raw, and pure badass rock and roll for more than three decades. As the only sisters in rock who write their own music and play their own instruments, Ann and Nancy have always stood apart - certainly from their male counterparts but also from their female peers.

    Kathy says: "Good Behind-The-Scenes Look At "Heart""
    "A joyful find for a fan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Kicking and Dreaming in three words, what would they be?

    I good clear assessment of who they are, where they wre, and how they got to where they wanted to go.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Kicking and Dreaming?

    For me, the dicussion about their work in the mid 80's was memorable. It was the time when I started to tune them out, the book helped explain how it all happened.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed hearing about the various records and songs. I often paused the book to relisten to an old album or song to tie it well with the book.


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

    Ann's complete honesty about weight, drugs and relationships along the way was quite moving. She was open and frank and honest. Very refreshing to find someone willing to be so open. As I 37 year fan I appreciate the trust she shared with me, the reader.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the book and read through it quite quickly (for me). I found the way that some rather dark areas of the history were shared honestly and reflectively. When certain details came out that could hav ebeen exploited, I found their approach rather clear, frank and honest. This was no gossip rag biography.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10558)
    Performance
    (5444)
    Story
    (5488)

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Russell says: "Glad I Listened to 11-22-63 First"
    "Not nearly his best writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Under the Dome the most enjoyable?

    The main story idea of a gorup of people trapped from the rest of the world under a dome was interesting. I especially found the idea that when consequences were removed (no outsider could affect a person's bad decisions or misdeeds) what people would be willing to do or not do.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Stephen King? Why or why not?

    I have read over 20 books by mr. King over the years. I am a huge fan of the Dark Tower and the Stand. I will read his books again.


    Which character – as performed by Raul Esparza – was your favorite?

    James "Big Jim" Rennie , I really found the breathing and pacing of his voice to work well with this character.


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

    Yes, I laughed at a few points, no tears though.


    Any additional comments?

    I have to say that I was impressed with how much disdain the author must have for Chrisitians. The hate and vitriol seemed to be pervasive throughout the story. While I have read over 20 books by King, it was most evident to me in this story. It was not a simple side bar to the story to have one Chrisitian kook in the story, it was throughout the story. It had seemed to me that there was an axe to grind or that somehow Stephen King had been greatly crossed or offended by the whole religion (regardless of the sect or denomination).

    The Chrisitan bashing was so great in the beginning that I almost stopped reading the story. I stuck with it and did finsih the book, even though the bashind was incessant.

    Lastly, I found the moral conclusion to the story too contrived and childlike. Too Twilight Zone like. A bit too simple for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans and the Battle for Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Andrew Wheatcroft
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (146)

    In 1683, an Ottoman army that stretched from horizon to horizon set out to seize the "Golden Apple", as Turks referred to Vienna. The ensuing siege pitted battle-hardened Janissaries wielding 17th-century grenades against Habsburg armies, widely feared for their savagery. The walls of Vienna bristled with guns as the besieging Ottoman host launched bombs, fired cannons, and showered the populace with arrows during the battle for Christianity's bulwark.

    Shaun says: "Excellent work"
    "Interesting tale with a few asides..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Somewhat well spent. I got the feel in the book that the author was a bit over zealous in his effort to try to be balanced in presenting the two combantants as morally equally corrupt. I often would hear additional negative adjectives tied to the armies of the west and less often with the turks. Almost as though he often over compensated.

    The lead up to the battle of Vienna itself was a bit drier than the rest of the book. I considered stopping about 2 hours in. But I held out and enjoyed the rest of the book.


    What about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance did you like?

    Fine even reading, was not a distraction or a highlight.


    Was The Enemy at the Gate worth the listening time?

    ultimately, it was not time wasted. Just not the overwhelming success I have had with other reads (Try Barbara Tuckman!).


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in Our Nation's History and Future

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Newt Gingrich
    • Narrated By Newt Gingrich, Callista Gingrich
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    A simple walk through Washington, D.C. began a profound journey of personal discovery and renewal for Newt Gingrich, one of America's most influential politicians and commentators. At the National Archives, the immortal words from the Declaration of Independence that we "are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights," jumped off the page and into his heart with the simple truth that from day one in our country's history, the Author of freedom was not the state nor even the Founding Fathers. Our basic human rights and freedoms were -and are - "Creator-endowed."

    T. F. Plona says: "Great content - would have been better in DC"
    "Great content - would have been better in DC"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Sure, time well spent for the content. But it will be much better when I get to listen to it while doing the actuall walking tour in DC. From my point of view, the fact that it is a walking tour book was not clear.

    Having said that, I look forward to listening again in DC, following the map and walking the tour.


    Was Rediscovering God in America worth the listening time?

    Sure, tons of content in a short burst.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a walking tour, I listened while driving in Europe and had regretted not knowing that it would help to actually see what he was describing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Philbrick
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (690)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (332)

    The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the 19th century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the 20th. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with 20 crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than 90 days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival.

    Craig says: "Fascinating"
    "Wonderful sad tale - horrible recording"
    Overall

    I found the narrative from Philbrick quite an wonderful book to read (listen). I felt that in this book I was able to very quickly delve into the history, life and lore of the Nantucket Whaling community. The story is quickly told and apparently well documented. So far I have read two books by Philbrick (this one and Mayflower), both have been very good reads and I will mostly likely get a 3rd soon. This was one of those books that I ended up sitting in the car, having arrived at my destination, just to listen to a few more minutes of this riveting tale.

    My only complaint is with the recording. It is choppy at places, the pitch of the narrator changes from high to higher at many places in the recoring. May be the lowest quality of more than 100 books I have listened to. Note - it was sill listenable, just the worse I have ever heard.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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