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Michael Dillon

nearlydowntown

Milwaukee, WI United States | Member Since 2014

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 138 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
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  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jeanette Winterson
    • Narrated By Jeanette Winterson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (180)

    Jeanette Winterson’s bold and revelatory novels have established her as a major figure in world literature. This memoir is the chronicle of a life’s work to find happiness. It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a religious zealot disguised as a mother who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the dresser drawer; about growing up in a north England industrial town in the 1960s and 1970s; and about the universe as a cosmic dustbin.

    glamazon says: "The Title Says It All"
    "Really enjoyed it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 10%


    Any additional comments?

    Some of the philosophical stuff was a little too much. But enjoyed it very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yes Please

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Amy Poehler
    • Narrated By Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, and others
    Overall
    (13903)
    Performance
    (11423)
    Story
    (11385)

    Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

    S.F. says: "Listen to this book for sure"
    "I love Amy Poehler"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Yes Please? What did you like least?

    She's a wonderful person and it starts out with a bang. There are good parts but in the end it just felt like someone told her to write a book. NOW before this memoir craze cools!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Between You and Me: Confessions of Comma Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Mary Norris
    • Narrated By Mary Norris
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Between You & Me features Norris' laugh-out-loud descriptions of some of the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and usage - comma faults, danglers, "who" vs. "whom", "that" vs. "which", compound words, gender-neutral language - and her clear explanations of how to handle them.

    William says: "Surprisingly hilarious"
    "I smiled through the whole thing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Between You and Me?

    She is absolutely engaging. She understands the issues completely, and writes well about them without making anything into life or death. Almost tongue in cheek. I can't imagine that many people would find this all that fascinating. But I did. I'm nervous about my punctuation.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Neil Patrick Harris
    • Narrated By Neil Patrick Harris
    Overall
    (1142)
    Performance
    (1025)
    Story
    (1019)

    This hilarious book has been adapted especially for the audiobook edition so you’ll hear all of the same fun and humor from the printed version but you don’t have to make any decisions or jump around - just kick back, relax and listen. Plus, it features exclusive bonus audio of young Neil delivering an adorable speech! That’s audio you won’t hear in any version of this book other than the audiobook!

    Mel says: "No Magic...just great delivery"
    "Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    He's a good narrator, has a great story but the fictitious stuff, sorta cute, if confusing at first, rapidly became annoying. He needed a better editor. And he's a little to thrilled about his own fabulousness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (foreword)
    • Narrated By Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, and others
    Overall
    (1960)
    Performance
    (1777)
    Story
    (1771)

    From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

    Anne Morris says: "I don't normally write reviews but..."
    "I wish I could say I loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I love everyone in this book (and movie). I love Cary Elwes. I think they are all nice people but the book is flat. It sounds like it was ghost written (which is was), filled with platitudes, repeated stories and saccharine sweetness. It needs better writing and editing.


    Would you ever listen to anything by the authors again?

    Yes.


    What three words best describe the narrators’s voice?

    Pleasant, English, flat. Sorry Cary. He's a good narrator but the telling is flat because the writing is flat.


    Do you think As You Wish needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It was enough.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is written devoid of the cleverness or inventiveness of the movie.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Hunter S. Thompson
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (170)

    “Buy the ticket, take the ride,” was a favorite slogan of Hunter S. Thompson, and it pretty much defined both his work and his life. Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone showcases the roller-coaster of a career at the magazine that was his literary home.

    Shaun says: "Buy the ticket...this is a great compilation."
    "Doesn't translate to this day and age"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone? What did you like least?

    Too much alcohol and drugs. To a point that it becomes unbelievable. (and I have nothing against either of them). I lived through that day and age, although not like that, but it just doesn't really make sense in the 21st century.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Beatles: The Biography

    • ABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Bob Spitz
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (107)

    Even before the Beatles hit the big time, a myth was created. This version of the Beatles legend smoothed the rough edges and filled in the fault lines, and for more than forty years this manicured version of the Beatles story has sustained as truth, until now.

    James says: "Put Away Your, Hunter Davies"
    "Loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Beatles the most enjoyable?

    It was a trip down memory lane. Loved hearing about their lives. Hard to imagine a bunch of poor kids becoming so very famous and rich so fast and not being destroyed by it all.


    What about Alfred Molina’s performance did you like?

    His performance was excellent.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Andrew Graham-Dixon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (56)

    In the tradition of John Richardson's Picasso, a commanding new biography of the Italian master's tumultuous life and mysterious death. For four hundred years Caravaggio's (1571-1610) staggering artistic achievements have thrilled viewers, yet his volatile personal trajectory - the murder of Ranuccio Tomasini, the doubt surrounding Caravaggio's sexuality, the chain of events that began with his imprisonment on Malta and ended with his premature death - has long confounded historians.

    Jean says: "Interesting life"
    "Dreadful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Caravaggio better?

    Apparently the author took art analysis lessons from Sister Wendy because it was floridly narrated, filled with fanciful, over blown descriptions and the book was highly fictionalized.


    What could Andrew Graham-Dixon have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Remove the transcripts of the trials. Or limit it to one. Way too tedious to listen to.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator made every single word sound as if it was the most important word on earth. His elongated sh's were highly annoying. Every Italian word was pronounced to within an inch of its life.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Caravaggio?

    The transcripts from the trials and hearings.


    Any additional comments?

    I recently came from Italy where I saw a great many of these paintings. I studied art history. The author's assumptions about what the artist was thinking when he composed and painted was simply over the top. It is clear, too, that the author's own religious views play a big part in his analysis of the paintings of Caravaggio.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ham: Slices of a Life: Essays and Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Sam Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (49)

    In 16 brilliantly observed true stories, Sam Harris emerges as a natural humorist in league with David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, Carrie Fisher, and Steve Martin, but with a voice uniquely his own. Praised by the Chicago Sun-Times for his "manic, witty commentary", and with a storytelling talent the New York Times calls "New Yorker - worthy," he puts a comedic spin on full-disclosure episodes from his own colorful life. What better place to find painfully funny material than in growing up gay, gifted, and ambitious in the heart of the Bible belt?

    Michael Dillon says: "The show must go on, I guess."
    "The show must go on, I guess."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I thought I was buying a book by Sam Harris the religion writer. But this Sam Harris turns out to be an actor/singer, it is not so much a story as much as a collection of memories that are not really connected in any way except that they are about him. I really enjoyed it but Mr Harris ought to be aware that the people (particularly taxi drivers) who wear turbans are Sikhs not Muslims and the accent he uses as "middle eastern" is, in fact, Indian.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Garland
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland
    Overall
    (1392)
    Performance
    (1250)
    Story
    (1234)

    Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

    Mark says: "Tantalizing time trip"
    "No news here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Robert Garland?

    Great Courses promises more than they deliver.


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

    Not really sure.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not much.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really.


    Any additional comments?

    There is no real history of the common man. And certainly not of woman. It's a waste of time. I got bored and stopped listening after a few hours of nothing interesting.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Manual for Creating Atheists

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Peter Boghossian
    • Narrated By Peter Boghossian
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (268)
    Story
    (265)

    For thousands of years, the faithful have honed proselytizing strategies and talked people into believing the truth of one holy book or another. Indeed, the faithful often view converting others as an obligation of their faith - and are trained from an early age to spread their unique brand of religion. The result is a world broken in large part by unquestioned faith. As an urgently needed counter to this tried-and-true tradition of religious evangelism, this audiobook offers the first-ever guide not for talking people into faith - but for talking them out of it.

    Paul says: "The first atheist missionary"
    "Proselytizing for not god"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about A Manual for Creating Atheists? What did you like least?

    There were some good ideas for talking to people about god and religion.


    Has A Manual for Creating Atheists turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not at all.


    What three words best describe Peter Boghossian’s performance?

    Sounds like George W Bush


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    God no.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure I understood what I was buying but I find the idea of proselytizing for anything to be annoying. Made some good points though. I found the comments on line by religious people who disliked his message hysterical.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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