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Member Since 2015

  • 4 reviews
  • 96 ratings
  • 220 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015

  • Gulag: A History

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Anne Applebaum
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Gulag - a vast array of Soviet concentration camps that held millions of political and criminal prisoners - was a system of repression and punishment that terrorized the entire society, embodying the worst tendencies of Soviet communism. In this magisterial and acclaimed history, Anne Applebaum offers the first fully documented portrait of the Gulag, from its origins in the Russian Revolution, through its expansion under Stalin, to its collapse in the era of glasnost.

    E. R. Rothenberg says: "Riveting story, flawed performance"
    "Avoid This Experience"

    I honestly tried, very hard, to appreciate this large chronological history of the Russian Gulag. However, the content always seemed disjointed and even irrelevant. It just dragged on and on and on. I could take no more and stopped shortly before the end of the first downloaded volume. I came to this history very receptive to the content, but was met by THIS instead of what could have been an interestingly presented chronological history replete with anecdotal commentary.

    The narrator was brutally dry, and I felt she was pausing very imperceptibly before pronouncing the Russian vocabulary and placenames. It could be me, but the pattern entered my mind.

    I'm a tight-wad, so this purchase was a total waste of money.

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Janet Reitman
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals.

    Matt says: "My cup of tea."

    Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology is a fascinating, detailed chronological history of Scientology. The reader does not gain an understanding of the doctrines of Scientology that are so much bandied about in the popular media. It is clear one must buy the Scientology courses to learn these, and hence perhaps become a Scientologist. Instead, Reitman presents an overview of the tech-based, acronyms of Scientology.

    The history is important because for the first time, as Reitman states, Scientology has permitted an author access to its people, many of whom have been shunned and maybe even physically harmed; locations, many secretive and outlandishly plush; and doctrines, many so far out of the realm of traditional thought that one wonders how Scientology could be classified as a religion in the United States, yet banned in some other countries. The reader gets a clear picture of the negative side of Scientology, its leaders and how they maintained control. One should also be prepared for an occasional step into science fiction.

    I won't be a spoiler and divulge the conclusion to this history. Yet Reitman asks a seminal question as to how Scientology could have ever gotten started and permitted to flourish.

    Stephen Hoye does an admirable job as narrator with a nice pace and great listening voice.

    An excellent purchase for me!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Leonard Mlodinow
    • Narrated By Leonard Mlodinow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Leonard Mlodinow, the best-selling author of The Drunkard’s Walk and coauthor of The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), gives us a startling and eye-opening examination of how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world and how, for instance, we often misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and business associates, misunderstand the reasons for our investment decisions, and misremember important events.

    Gretha says: "All Around Good Book"
    "Pretty Good"

    I was curious about the impact of our unconscious minds on our everyday behaviors, having come to this subject from an interest in non-verbal communication. Leonard Mlodinow does, to this novice, a great job of explaining the unconscious mind. He goes on to give numerous examples, many humorous or otherwise entertaining, of the impact of the unconscious over our thinking, sometimes rationalizing, part of the mind. He also narrates his book and does an admirable job. His voice is easy to listen to, and he keeps a good pace.

    Subliminal was given a four star rating because I began to get bored, but that is not on Mlodinow. It is on me. I found out some of the things I wanted to know about the importance of the unconscious and kept thinking of what else I could be listening to. So many books, so little time!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Melvyn Bragg
    • Narrated By Robert Powell

    This is the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion, and trade, but also the story of people, and how their lives continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

    Amazon Customer says: "Many Of Course monments"
    "Excellent Listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is an excellent book that traces the development of the English language from its earliest times to current. The subject matter is excellently put together, but can actually be found in any number of other books. However, this is a book clearly meant to be listened to, and the strongest feature of this book is that the narrator skillfully pronounces the vocabulary and syntax as it was initially. You will not go away uneducated and bored.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Adventure of English?

    Clearly the narrator's ability to speak English as it was spoken.

    What about Robert Powell’s performance did you like?


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

    No. It would not be possible if one wanted to think about the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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