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Thor, goT

Member Since 2009

ratings
90
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
48

  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1831)
    Performance
    (1513)
    Story
    (1526)

    The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

    Andy says: "we may not be the most stupid kids on the planet"
    "Another excellent title from Michael Lewis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is done with humor and sarcasm to produce an understandable outline of the current problems faced in the global financial crisis. Lewis breaks down the issues of Iceland, Ireland and Germany...tracking back to the inevitable start of this mess - WE THE PEOPLE OF THE US. This is a mirror that is unpleasant to gaze in, but the presentation will leave you laughing as you shake your head at what all this may mean for our future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jesus I Never Knew

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Philip Yancey
    • Narrated By Bill Richards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (43)

    Best selling author and respected journalist Philip Yancey takes a deeper look at the Christ of the Gospels. From the manger in Bethlehem to the cross in Jerusalem, Yancey reveals a complex character, a disturbing and exhilarating Jesus who aims to transform your life and faith radically. The Jesus I Never Knew is a piercingly honest interpretation of the life and character of Jesus of Nazareth by a writer unafraid to tackle Christianity's most difficult issues in order to enhance our perspective.

    R. Whitten says: "Makes you think"
    "Thought provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Jesus I Never Knew?

    It was thought provoking and Biblically based, but made an effort to distance itself from the cookie cutter, US based worldview of a lot of Evangelical authors. Yancey also willingly points out areas where he struggles and times where he erred in his attempt to apply Christ's teaching to his own life. I thought this was profound and intellectually honest.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Jesus I Never Knew?

    He mentioned some of the Galilean cultural elements and how the area was perceived by those in the rest of the region. I never knew about the accents and regional prejudices that would have existed against people from there, and what that would have meant for Jesus' ministry.


    What does Bill Richards bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He has an excellent voice and he pleasant to listen to. He brings a genuine quality to the material.


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

    No, because I wanted to think about what had been presented in each chapter, and I even listened to a couple of chapters twice.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book without any pat answers or the much overdone "five ways to..." or "10 steps to..." kinds of approaches. I very much look forward to reading more from this author. He is honest, genuine, knowledgeable and very open.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Diary: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Narrated By Martha Plimpton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (77)

    Diary takes the form of a "coma diary" kept by one Misty Tracy Wilmot as her husband lies senseless in a hospital after a suicide attempt. It is a dark, hilarious, and poignant act of storytelling from America's favorite, most inventive nihilist.

    Todd says: "What a trip!"
    "Entertaining, but not Chuck's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, I always enjoy looking through this author's eyes. This is not his best work, though.


    Which character – as performed by Martha Plimpton – was your favorite?

    No character in particular, but she did a great job at what must have been pretty challenging material to work with.


    Did Diary inspire you to do anything?

    Kill anybody wearing cheap costume jewelry...especially if they are from an island.


    Any additional comments?

    I always like Palahniuk's stuff, although my favorite will always be Lullaby. This one was entertaining and had some surreal, dark fantasy elements to it. It centers around the Diary a wife is keeping for her husband, who is in a coma...and she also decides to renew her pursuit of painting amidst small town, psycho weirdness.

    It was a good read and included some of the author's trademark interesting social observations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moby-Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1187)
    Performance
    (914)
    Story
    (918)

    Labeled variously a realistic story of whaling, a romance of unusual adventure and eccentric characters, a symbolic allegory, and a drama of heroic conflict, Moby Dick is first and foremost a great story. It has both the humor and poignancy of a simple sea ballad, as well as the depth and universality of a grand odyssey.

    Alice says: "I felt totally swept up in this world"
    "Rediscovering a masterpiece!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    An interesting symbolic story about a quest for...vengeance...adventure...redemption...profit...knowledge...many things, really. The social commentary and observations on the nature of people and the world were surprisingly spot on for a book that was written prior to the American Civil War. His outlook reflects a very modern world view and the symbolism cuts through multiple levels and issues, which is why it did not gain popularity until after the author's death. How often do we willingly join an ill-fated madman's journey for our own gain and motives? As a society? As individuals? As an economy? Very interesting stuff.

    Even the outdated science he occasionally spends pages documenting is pretty interesting, as it fits with the character of the narrator and helps anchor it in its time. I really enjoyed this and encourage others to read it, removed from the stigma of being "assigned reading" or force-fitted into a public classroom with many people not having lived enough of life to appreciate it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers for Algernon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Daniel Keyes
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1178)
    Performance
    (942)
    Story
    (950)

    Charlie Gordon knows that he isn't very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie's brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon.

    FanB14 says: "Phenomenal Classic"
    "Beautiful narrated classic of American literature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Flowers for Algernon in three words, what would they be?

    Insightful, heartbreaking, life affirming


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Flowers for Algernon?

    When he first gains awareness that those laughing at him are not laughing WITH him...and that those he thought were his friends are not.


    What about Jeff Woodman’s performance did you like?

    I think the narrator did an excellent job of reading this at a good pace and did not overact the portions written to reflect Charlie with a lower IQ.


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

    Yes, but I won't say so I don't drop any spoilers in. Overall, it was sad but beautifully written with a lot of memorable moments.


    Any additional comments?

    This book really moved me and made me think a lot about life, and what I am doing with mine. This book is full of insight and, although it is sad, it is ultimately life affirming... It had been years since I read this book for school and I really didn't remember much about it. Going back through it, I see why this is on the American "must read" lists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelve: A Novel: The Passage Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (2826)
    Performance
    (2496)
    Story
    (2495)

    In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as "Last Stand in Denver", has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin.

    Amanda says: "Expanding The Story In Every Direction"
    "Excellent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book very much. Although I enjoyed "the Passage", as well, I think this book was a little tighter in terms of writing and story-telling. I think the writer struck a better balance between the "slices of life" character development stories and the continuity of the overall storyline in this installment.

    I was especially impressed with how the past and present story-lines tied together in order to give more depth to the motivations of the "adversaries". Cronin is very simply an excellent writer, so he brings life to material that could easily be one dimensional in the hands of another. I am very much looking forward to the next installment of this series, in addition to future projects he undertakes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Very Bad Men: David Loogan, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Harry Dolan
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    David Loogan is living in Ann Arbor with Detective Elizabeth Waishkey and her daughter, Sarah. He's settled into a quiet routine as editor of the mystery magazine Gray Streets - until one day he finds a manuscript outside his door. It begins: "I killed Henry Kormoran." Anthony Lark has a list of names: Terry Dawtrey, Sutton Bell, Henry Kormoran. To his eyes, the names glow red on the page. They move. They breathe. The people on the list have little in common, except that 17 years ago they were involved in a notorious robbery.

    MHL says: "Overall good listen!"
    "Okay, but not as good as Bad Things Happen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This started out well enough and I enjoyed spending some more time with the David Loogan character, but it got a little convoluted toward the end...in fact, I suspected they would when there were several chapters left and the story had already reached the point where it should have logically concluded. Overall, this was still an enjoyable book, but the author tried to connect too many dots as a conclusion to the detriment of the story. I still like the characters very much and will purchase the next installment, but if it is time to end the story...it should end. Occam's razor... : ) Also, I think they can find a better narrator for these, as well. He has a great reading voice, but some of his characters sound a bit like a Carlos Mencia monologue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Things Happen

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Harry Dolan
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    The man who calls himself David Loogan is leading a quiet, anonymous life in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He's hoping to escape a violent past he would rather forget. But his solitude is broken when he finds himself drawn into a friendship with Tom Kristoll, the publisher of the mystery magazine Gray Streets - and into an affair with Laura, Tom's sleek blond wife. What Loogan doesn't realize is that the stories in Gray Streets tend to follow a simple formula: Plans go wrong.

    Fritz says: "Potential, but too mechanical"
    "Great book with solid characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is interesting to watch how various writers take on the "detective genre", which has been so overdone that we all recognize the various elements of these stories: the divorced detective that drinks too much; the hard nosed cop with the heart of gold; the former special forces soldier that somehow works in a small town; the "civilian" that helps the cops through a difficult case; etc. We all recognize these elements so well, that such characters do not even really have to be fully developed anymore.

    In this case, the characters are interesting, fresh and the story is entertaining. Here, the main character is a mysterious guy that is working as an editor for a crime publication, as such he and the various published writers can all put forth theories - and become suspects - based on various plotlines. There is a continual refrain "if this were a story in Grey Streets...", which I think adds to the atmosphere, and really helps convey how the character is trying to deal with the facts of a murder.

    I really liked this and look forward to the next one by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4002)
    Performance
    (3499)
    Story
    (3465)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Slow as molasses..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really do not understand all of the overly positive reviews for this book. There is a creepy and creative storyline, way down deep in this book somewhere, but it is smothered by childish body fixations and overly verbose descriptions of unnecessary details that, ultimately, go no where.

    It seems like a lot of people have been convinced that this is one of those books one "must" like, because I honestly don't understand the appeal otherwise. There are some really creative characters and twists in here, but those are the least described pieces of the book...no joke, it is like 300 words to one in terms of coverage.

    Especially ironic is that he keeps citing Chekov's "one must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it," because he does EXACTLY the opposite throughout this book. A rubber tree here, a goldfish there, spiders over yonder, a piece a celery over there, a crazy drunken foursome sex romp that can't quite be remembered...none of which serve any purpose whatsoever, but take up PAGES.

    If they ever come out with an abridged version, MAYBE go for that...just make sure it is only about 10 hours long, because that is all this "story" actually requires.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sociopath Next Door

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Martha Stout
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    Overall
    (2664)
    Performance
    (1655)
    Story
    (1654)

    We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people, one in 25, has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in 25 everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath.

    Taryn says: "Reinforces what you have already known"
    "Started strong...ended weak"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This started out pretty interestingly, although I thought her definition of what "conscience" influences seemed a little expansive...and I discovered why by the last third of this. She has far too few clinical examples, and then she devolves into why a Buddhist/Hindu global consciousness is the answer to sociopathy... Wow... Not interesting at all, not scientific and not well supported.

    For instance, one of her early examples was that in traditional Inuit (if I recall correctly) society, which is about as communal as you can get, they pitched people like this off a cliff - THAT was their cure and treatment for sociopaths. Yet, somehow when she discusses that in east Asia the rates of documented sociopathy are low, it is not really considered that it might be attributable to something other "they have an ingrained communal, group consciousness"...like in the Inuit society...where sociopaths seemingly occured and where their solution was to pitch them off a cliff... Might these societies in Asia, at least socially, pitch sociopaths off a cliff? Well, that would be up to another author to examine, because this author is too busy using it as an open door to go on and on about the Buddhist or Hindu worldview. I felt like this book was a bit of a bait and switch.

    The author was kind of like the person you meet at a party that initially sounds pretty interesting and intelligent, until you realize they think 9/11 was planned by Israel and the CIA...or that the last four presidents have been Reptile people... What few examples of her actual clinical experience there are in this book were very interesting and thought provoking...but trust me, there were very few of them.

    24 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Dragoons

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Garry Douglas Kilworth
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    South Africa, May 1879. Ensign Sebastian Early of the 24th Foot is warming to his role as the Provost-Marshal in the British army encampment at Landman’s Drift. When an unidentified corpse turns up in camp after a reported hunting accident and is hurriedly buried, Sebastian quickly discovers that the man, a lieutenant, was in fact killed in an illegal duel, which means that his death should be treated as manslaughter, or even murder.

    Thor, goT says: "Excellent bit of historical fiction"
    "Excellent bit of historical fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an excellent story - the author is clearly an expert on the period and location depicted in the book and he is able to weave in those extra details that allow the reader to experience a taste of what the scenes would have felt like. He describes common maladies, attitudes and hang-ups with ease and uses them to take a very good detective story to the next level. Loved it! I plan on reading the first book in the series soon and will then anxiously await another installment with this set of characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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