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Doug

Member Since 2010

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 89 ratings
  • 228 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Ricks
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (208)
    Story
    (203)

    A widening gulf between performance and accountability has caused history to be kinder to the American generals of World War II than to those of later wars. In The Generals we meet leaders from World War II to the present who rose to the occasion - and those who failed.

    Arnold says: "Explains much about US military commanders"
    "Excellent but disturbing critique of US military"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Generals again? Why?

    Yes. There is a great deal of condensed military history that is easy to forget but deserving remembering.


    What did you like best about this story?

    An inside look at a culture most of us never consider even existing: The US military.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are no scenes.Once the author passes World War 2 he reveals a lot of history and politics that are rarely thought of or discussed.


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

    Not applicable.


    Any additional comments?

    Concise, prepared and backed with as much evidence as you are likely to find. The author seriously critiques the strengths and weaknesses of military culture while taking us along its development for the last 60 years. He supplements solid fact with anecdote and information that we know about human sociology in general to form a compelling tapestry explaining political and military struggles from the 60's onward.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11674)
    Performance
    (10885)
    Story
    (10894)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "One for the 30-somethings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Wil Wheaten's voice acting is charming and engaging. The story is a classic trope of hope and youth against cynicism and greed. Fundamentally this is Star Wars with a ton of fun, geeky references to 80's pop tropes designed to please people in their 30's and early 40's with nostalgia laden winks.If nostalgia and geeky reminiscence are not your cup of tea then you should look elsewhere. However, if those things excite you then you are in for a pretty great ride through a pulpy future.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    He is charming and engaging with all the right energy for this story.


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

    Not really.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tigana

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (956)
    Performance
    (608)
    Story
    (618)

    Tigana is the magical story of a beleaguered land struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the black sorcery of a cruel, despotic king that even the name of their once-beautiful homeland cannot be spoken or remembered.

    But after years of devastation, a handful of courageous men and women embark upon a dangerous crusade to overthrow their conquerors and bring back to the dark world the brilliance of a long-lost name: Tigana.

    Robert says: "Says a lot about who we are."
    "A strong piece of a intelligent fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Tigana?

    The story features a classic scenario of outcast heroes on their way to free their society from tyranny. However, this story is not the point of the book. The book is about memories, self and identity. What composes these things? Choices and how the effect the world around us.


    What other book might you compare Tigana to and why?

    There are some similarities to the Game of Thrones series in style, but Guy Gavriel Kay writes in a unique manner that I haven't seen reproduced by any other author. There are a dozen similar plot lines, but few go beyond the swashbuckling aspect like Kay chooses to. The closest similar series I can recall are Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Luther: The Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Neil Cross
    • Narrated By David Bauckham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (92)

    Meet Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. He’s a murder detective with an extraordinary case clearance rate. He’s obsessive, instinctive, and intense. Nobody who ever stood at his side has a bad word to say about him. And yet there are rumors that Luther is bad - not corrupt, not on the take, but tormented. He seethes with a hidden fury that at times he can barely control. Sometimes it sends him to the brink of madness, making him do things he shouldn’t - things well beyond the limits of the law.

    David says: "Scapegoat"
    "As good as the show"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Luther?

    The tone and atmosphere of the book is a perfect match for dark, unpleasant subject. You live inside the tragic, claustrophobic mind of Luther during his chapters, creating an unbearable tension similar to what Luther himself must feel.


    What other book might you compare Luther to and why?

    It is similar to the Millennium series by Stieg Larsen. Both are crime series and both feature bleak worlds, both feature smart and iconoclastic protagonists.


    Have you listened to any of David Bauckham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


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

    There is little to laugh about in this book. There is a lot to cry about if a person is given to it.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is based on the British show of the same title, written by the man who created the drama originally. It is just as good as the excellent program whose namesake it shares.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4103)
    Performance
    (2646)
    Story
    (2669)

    The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
    "Workman-like and not really related to the title"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World? What did you like least?

    A thorough, easy to understand biography of one of the most important figures in history. Not really very much information on the 'Making of the modern world' part. The ideals the author credits Temujin and his successors with are abstractions that come from a very idealized view of the culture.While the Mongols have an excessive reputation for brutality, they were not the noble and fair-minded people the author would have you believe either.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jack Weatherford? Why or why not?

    No. The writing is drab and he shows incredible bias in his opinions.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jonathan Davis and Jack Weatherford ?

    No.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Jack Weatherford’s life?

    Nothing.


    Any additional comments?

    The biography is very lop-sided and presents an incredibly biased view of all the positive things about the Mongol culture. It ignores or minimizes many of the negative aspects of their way of life.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Civilization: The West and the Rest

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Niall Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (848)
    Performance
    (713)
    Story
    (707)

    The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed unlikely to achieve much more than perpetual internecine warfare. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations.

    F. Ribeiro says: "Niall Ferguson's Most Enjoyable Book"
    "The usual inciteful and challenging Ferguson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Civilization rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the better overall studies of history.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Challenging thoughts and theories that support his conclusions and play to my personal bias in many areas.


    What about Niall Ferguson’s performance did you like?

    Perhaps a better narrator than he is an author. In reading his own work we know that the tone is perfect.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anathem

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and others
    Overall
    (1961)
    Performance
    (954)
    Story
    (965)

    In celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected". But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the perilous brink of cataclysmic change.

    Brandon Barton says: "All hail Oralow"
    "Unreptenantly Intellectual"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Anathem the most enjoyable?

    The story is one of the deepest and most engrossing pieces I have ever read. It has tremendous power throughout with exquisite character, carefully studied academics and sharp timing. His 2nd best work in a line of excellent work.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The intelligence.


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

    Quality voice acting and proper sense of emotion.


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

    Jad near the end, in the space station.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The World Is Flat: Further Updated and Expanded

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (567)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (168)

    With the "flattening" of the globe, has the world gotten too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner? Now in a third edition with a new preface, Friedman's account of the flattening of the earth is a modern classic.

    Paul W. Johnson says: "worth the listen"
    "Insightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The World Is Flat the most enjoyable?

    The author presents a smart, insightful look at the challenges of an integrated world. The writing is not dry or bland, but engaging and human.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There is no story.


    What about Oliver Wyman’s performance did you like?

    Steady and stable.


    If you could give The World Is Flat a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The challenges we are facing today in an integrated world.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (1430)
    Performance
    (1197)
    Story
    (1198)

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Robert says: "My favorite book this year."
    "Lives up to its legend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Once and Future King?

    Excellent performance by the narrator. A clear predecessor to some of the great modern authors, such as Pratchett and Adams.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Smart, insightful and cutting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The finale, where Arthur talks to Mallory.


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The subject matter may feel dated. The book occasionally veers into silliness that I found unnecessary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angelmaker

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Nick Harkaway
    • Narrated By Daniel Weyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (309)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (278)

    Joe Spork repairs clocks, a far cry from his late father, a flashy London gangster. But when Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. Joe's client, Edie Banister, is more than just a kindly old lady - she's a former superspy. And the device? It's a 1950s doomsday machine. And having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator, Edie's old arch-nemesis.

    Maine Colonial says: "A cure for the modern cynic"
    "A good showing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Angelmaker?

    Lush writing draws you into the characters mind, life and emotions. This makes a great ride for fans of strong, sympathetic characters with cheeky, yet believeable, personality.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Angelmaker?

    The prison sequence.


    Which character – as performed by Daniel Weyman – was your favorite?

    Joe Spork


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    A bit predictable if you've read his first outing, Gone Away World. Seems to have a very specific pattern to his themes and storytelling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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