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Charles L. Burkins

Bridport, VT United States | Member Since 2005

  • 4 reviews
  • 71 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2015

  • The Ghost Map

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Steven Johnson
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is a thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.

    Matthew Groom says: "It was okay until the end"
    "Dawn of epidemiology"

    This is a well written, well researched history. The author it clear when a point is just not known (this is good), and he makes excellent connections between the epidemic and science of Victorian England and that of today. The epilogue, which is perhaps overlong, is an interesting, well thought out extension of his subject to the world today and in the future. It's well narrated. An interesting 8 hours which might have been an even more interesting 7.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Foreigner: Foreigner Sequence 1, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By C. J. Cherryh
    • Narrated By Daniel Thomas May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The first book in C.J.Cherryh's eponymous series, Foreigner begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient alien race. From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the Foreigner series has become a true science fiction odyssey, following a civilization from the age of steam through early space flight to confrontations with other alien species in distant sectors of space. It is the masterwork of a truly remarkable author.

    Tango says: "A Sci-Fi Neville Chamberlain"
    "Very solid performance of brilliant soft SF"

    I'd first read Foreigner when it was first published 20 years ago. It's lost none of its "charm" for me. It's a complex tense political chiller with a human attempting to navigate the tides of politics of another sentient species. Cherryh does a great job of portraying the Atevi as alien, yet nearly understandable. The narrator did a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shakespeare: The World as Stage

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle to reveal the man himself.

    Charles L. Burkins says: "Too Little, Too Short"
    "Too Little, Too Short"

    Bill Bryson's voice (both actual and literary) shine through in this short work, detailing what is known and knowable about William Shakespeare. Because little is known about Shakespeare, this book has less of the amusing anecdotes that make books like "In a Sunburned Country" such a delight. It's quite frustrating to realize that we know so little about a figure so important to English literature. Still it is an interesting exposition on an interesting man, or rather, what we expect is an interesting man. The audiobook it self is only a little over 5 hours long, but (as of November 2007) there is an interview with Bryson appended on end for another bit. I liked it, but then I expect that I would enjoy Bryson writing about asparagus. The chapter where he discusses the various theories about Shakespeare not actually writing the plays of Shakespeare is the best part; but there the book ends. In the end it is a barely satifying book because of the paucity of the material, but it is a book that is well written and narrated.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Best SF novel ever?"

    Get this book and be the judge for yourself. For me, it probably is. I've read it on paper several times. This recording captures all of the feeling, tension, and complexity of the novel, and the different actors who read some of the parts only help. The main narrator does a terrific job as well. Remember, if you've heard bad things about the long (multi-author) Dune series, that this novel stands on its own. This just may be my new favorite audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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