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Brett

That's me!

Charlotte, NC, United States | Member Since 2007

ratings
78
REVIEWS
48
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
19
HELPFUL VOTES
235

  • Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jacob Tomsky
    • Narrated By Jacob Tomsky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (374)
    Performance
    (349)
    Story
    (349)

    Jacob Tomsky has worked in hotels for more than a decade, doing everything from valet parking to manning the front desk. He's checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room service, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late check out, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your mini-bar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. And in Heads in Beds, he pulls back the curtain on the hospitality business.

    colleen says: "credit worthy"
    "Back Office Gossip That You Know You Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book will make you laugh as well as shake your head in judgement. It is a completely engaging memoir of a man's career in (and corruption by) the hotel industry. Its style is profane and the language is foul but this is actually well used here. I honestly felt like I was in a break room listening to author tell his stories to me. Straight junk talk but there is an honesty and a likeability here to keep you reading.

    It might be easy to judge the author poorly for, on the one hand, preaching about service and on the other running scams on the customers, and in many cases his preaching points doubled back on themselves leaving me to wonder which direction his moral compass really pointed. However, in the end I think that this story delivers what it intends to and more. Besides, in the course of this work I saw some glimpses of a really great writer (the description of New Orleans was poetic) and I hope to see more from him in the future.

    Will this book shock you? yes
    Will this book make you mad? yes
    Will this book change the way you see hotels and the employees? yes
    Will this story engage you from start to finish? yes

    You will enjoy this book if you have ever lingered at the water cooler to talk junk about your employer and listen to gossip about the office.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Reality: Exploring Our Everyday Adventures in Wonderland

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jim Baggott
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (29)

    A unique fusion of philosophy and metaphysics set against the backdrop of contemporary culture. Have you ever wondered if the world is really there when you're not looking? We tend to take the reality of our world very much for granted. This book will lead you down the rabbit hole in search of something we can point to, hang our hats on, and say this is real.

    Ohhyesican says: "Somebody... Quick... get me outta the rabbit hole!"
    "More Quantum Physics than I wanted to Hear"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had two distinct parts.

    The first part, which I found very interesting, was a historical account of the philosophical arguments about reality. I think that I had heard most of these at one time or the other, but this author did an excellent job summarizing and tying them together.

    The second part of the book I found less interesting. It was mostly a scientific discussion of quantum mechanics and other theories.

    I suppose that the author intended to show that in these details of science we are back to the same old philosophical arguments that we couldn't answer before. This was an interesting argument but all of the details of all the science (e.g., quantum entanglement) started to bore me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2265)
    Performance
    (2040)
    Story
    (2029)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "For technophiles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you were born after 1980, believe that computers can do everything, and worship Google with awe and reverence then this story may be for you. This novel grew from a story posted on a website.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Not Taco Bell Material

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Adam Carolla
    • Narrated By Adam Carolla
    Overall
    (872)
    Performance
    (796)
    Story
    (791)

    Funnyman Adam Carolla is known for two things: hilarious rants about things that drive him crazy and personal stories about everything from his hardscrabble childhood to his slacker friends to the hypocrisy of Hollywood. He tackled rants in his first book, and now he tells his best stories and debuts some never-before-heard tales as well. Adam Carolla started broke and blue collar and has now been on the Hollywood scene for over 15 years. Yet he never lost his underdog demeanor.

    Ron says: "Must have for any Adam Carolla Fan!"
    "Not bad but uneven and not revealing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An autobiography of Adam's life told in stages, each stage defined by a house he lived in. This book was funny, and at times even smart, but the extent and quantity of the gross-out gags had an overpoweringly negative effect.

    Carolla narrated this book himself which was fine, and it was mostly really good and original in its approach. He didn't read the book but rather told the stories off-the-cuff in a stand-up comedy style. What I found somewhat annoying here was that he would reference an image in the book and then tell everyone to go buy the print book if they wanted to see it. Also he edited the stories from the book and even left out an entire chapter.

    Overall, I wish that I could have learned more about the Carolla from this book. Why are his friendships so enduring? What has his journey from shoe-box apartments to million dollar mansions taught him? Something more than just a bunch stories about guys peeing on one another (or worse - yes, worse).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (958)
    Performance
    (853)
    Story
    (854)

    Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists beyond the airport.

    Melinda says: "Absolutely Stellar!"
    "Wonderful - A Future Classic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Dog Stars was the best book I have read in a long time. A story of loss, rebirth, and growth set in a post apocalyptic world. The author made me feel it all. The loss was painful, the rebirth was confusing and scary, and the growth was sweet and heart warming. I admired the hero who was vulnerable yet strong and innocent yet wise. I was sad to say goodbye to this character at the end of the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All Seeing Eye

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Rob Thurman
    • Narrated By Jeff Hoyt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (86)

    Picking up a small, pink shoe from the grass forever changed young Jackson Lee’s life. Not only did its presence mean that his sister Tessa was dead - murdered and stuffed in the deep, black water of a narrow well - but the shoe itself told him so. Tessa’s death triggers an even more horrific family massacre that, combined with this new talent he neither wants nor can handle, throws Jack’s life into a tailspin. The years quickly take him from state homes to the streets to grifting in a seedy carnival, until he finally becomes the cynical All Seeing Eye, psychic-for-hire. At last, Jackson has left his troubled past behind and found a semblance of peace....

    Tracey says: "Finally on Audible -- GREAT read"
    "Annoying antihero."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All Seeing Eye was a slow to develop story with so much exposition that by the time any action started I hardly cared. The story was told in first person and clumsily tried to sound colloquial by using slang, wisecracks, and sarcasm. This had little effect. I never believed the main character, and I found him annoying (the narrator only made things worse). In my opinion, the world created in this story felt artificial and flimsy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1464)
    Performance
    (1338)
    Story
    (1330)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "Good Enough for TV..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pretty good story with a decent mystery to keep you guessing. The pacing was quick, the depth was shallow, and the story was short. Not bad, good for a quick read or a read at the beach. As I understand it, they are making this into a series for TV.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Necromancer's House

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Christopher Buehlman
    • Narrated By Todd Haberkorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Andrew Ranulf Blankenship is a handsome, stylish nonconformist with wry wit, a classic Mustang, and a massive library. He is also a recovering alcoholic and a practicing warlock, able to speak with the dead through film. His house is a maze of sorcerous booby traps and escape tunnels, as yours might be if you were sitting on a treasury of Russian magic stolen from the Soviet Union thirty years ago.

    David says: "Finally - Magic / Fantasy Novel for adults."
    "Decidedly Worth It!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read his previous two books, I was eager to hear what Christopher Buehlman had in store for his readers in this, his third, novel. A story about witches and warlocks engaged in decidedly human bad behavior but on a scale that make the failings of mere mortals seem trivial.

    I must admit that the style, pacing, and perspective of this story are unlike his other two. This style was off-putting to me at first. I couldn't find the story's rhythm. It had a way of jumping around in perspective, partially introducing things in short bursts – for example like the dialogue from a chat session or a dream. It made me feel like I was missing something, and I had to force myself not to put it down all together. I stuck with it, and I am so glad. There is so much payoff in the second half of this book! Things really get good!

    The Necromancer's House is totally unique and is why I think that Christopher Buehlman is one of the great horror writers of our time. He brings deep thought to the genre and is one of my favorites. I can’t wait for his next book.

    The narrator, Haberkorn, did an excellent job with this book considering the style and the Russian accents. His reading definitely brought the story to life.

    This is book may be an acquired taste but it is taste that will leave you craving more once it gets under your skin.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Virtue of Selfishness

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By C.M. Hernert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (158)

    Ayn Rand here sets forth the moral principles of Objectivism, the philosophy that holds human life - the life proper to a rational being - as the standard of moral values and regards altruism as incompatible with human nature, with the creative requirement of survival, and with a free society.

    Scott says: "Rand Lovers Only"
    "Is it any better than the alternative?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So much of what is presented here means to tear down the ethical standards accepted by generations upon generations and thrust forth a new ethical framework. What rubbed me the wrong way with these lectures is that the new framework offered has the same type inconsistencies and hypocrisies as the old. It is no more practical.

    What is offered is that we should reject the idea that moral supremacy is sacrifice (i.e., altruism) and replace it with an system that values trade - nothing given freely and nothing accepted without cost (i.e., selfishness). Where the author goes wrong in my mind is that, whereas altruism is painted in a stark all-or-nothing way, selfishness is qualified. The new moral framework is to be built around the idea that mankind should be self-motivated but in a way that benefits man. Huh? Isn’t this being altruistic in some way?

    Lot’s of good discussion here but I thought that some of her arguments largely begged the question (i.e., This new moral framework is better than the others because it is superior in this way, this way and this way). I didn’t finish – Still it was very thought provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kent Hartman
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (125)

    If you were a fan of popular music in the 1960s and early '70s, you were a fan of the Wrecking Crew - whether you knew it or not. On hit record after hit record by everyone from the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and the Monkees to the Grass Roots, the 5th Dimension, Sonny & Cher, and Simon & Garfunkel, this collection of West Coast studio musicians from diverse backgrounds established themselves as the driving sound of pop music - sometimes over the objection of actual band members....

    Diana Haynes says: "Fascinating Story Well Told"
    "A little corny but OK."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book reminded me of the Casey Kasem Top 40 count down. In Casey's count down he would introduce an up coming song with a cheesy story - the small town kid that finally made it big or the girl that defied the odds and finally launched a hit after so many rejections. The sappy stories never lasted long and a good song always followed so they were palatable. This book, unfortunately, has none of those redeeming qualities, it is not completely unentertaining, however - especially if you know and like the music described.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the King's Men

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert Penn Warren
    • Narrated By Michael Emerson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (673)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (306)

    The fictionalized account of Louisiana's colorful and notorious governor, Huey Pierce Long, All the King's Men follows the startling rise and fall of Willie Stark, a country lawyer in the Deep South of the 1930s. Beset by political enemies, Stark seeks aid from his right-hand man Jack Burden, who will bear witness to the cataclysmic unfolding of this very American tragedy.

    Eric Berger says: "Marvelously written and read"
    "How Does One Review a Classic? Its a Classic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story told on many many levels. First, it is the story of the rise and fall of Willy Stark - country bumkin turned political king pin. Then it is the story of Jack Burden who is carrying a "burden" of sorts.

    The story is told in retrospect from a Jack Burden that is at peace with his life but this has not always been the case. I think that in Jack's younger days he struggled to know the truth about things, as if by knowing the truth he could control the world or at least understand it better. He digs up a lot of knowledge but all this knowledge becomes too much for Jack, and he checks out. He becomes detached and drinks to escape. Its as if he's had enough of the world and feels that maybe the way to cope is not by finding truth but by not participating in life. The cruel joke is that by not participating, Jack is participating in some way. Nobody can escape the world and the world is often not pretty. In the end when all is laid bare, when people and empires are destroyed, Jack finally comes to terms with the world and his place in it.

    I am trying to encapsulate a huge masterpiece into a tiny review, so I am not giving this story the justice it deserves. It is a Faustian tale that has become one of my favorites. I think that Warren is a great southern writer.

    I enjoyed this audio performance - the narrator is excellent here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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