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Henry

ratings
221
REVIEWS
20
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
72

  • The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jacob Burckhardt
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    In this landmark study of Italy from the 14th through the early 16th centuries, Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt chronicles the rise of Florence and Venice as powerful city-states, the breakup of the medieval worldview that came with the rediscovery of Greek and Roman culture, and the new emphasis on the role of the individual. All these, Burckhardt explains, went hand in hand with the explorations of science and the more naturalistic depiction of the world in art and literature.

    Henry says: "A Learned Book from 150 Years Ago"
    "A Learned Book from 150 Years Ago"
    Overall

    For a contemporary author of history to write a book of real merit it is required that the author have mastered the material that is the subject of the book, found wisdom in those studies, and most importantly must be able to present his work in a style that renders the material comprehensible and appealing to a wide readership.

    When reading a work penned 150 years ago, one must allow for the change in writing styles from then to now. For example just try reading On War by Carl von Clausewitz or even Geoffrey Chaucer or even William Shakespeare in their original wordings. It should also go without saying that when the author refers to now he means his contemporary now of a 150 years ago, which means, his ideology reflect his era not ours.

    Thus, Jacob Burckhardt's The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy like The Prince by Niccol?? Machiavelli or The Inferno by Dante Alighieri needs some knowledge of the era to be truly appreciated. Because of the arcane style of this book, if you don't already have knowledge of both the Renaissance in Italy and the author's 1800's this work may not be the best place to acquire it.

    Geoffrey Howard did an able job in his narration.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Shannara Trilogy

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Theodore Bikel
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil had ruined the world and forced mankind to compete with many other races - gnomes, trolls, dwarfs and elves. Half-elfin Shea Ohmsford learns that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord was plotting to destroy the world and the sole weapon against this Power of Darkness was The Sword of Shannara, which could only be used by a true heir of Shannara.

    Cindy says: "OK for a catch up"
    "This abridgment doesn't work."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Shannara Trilogy? What did you like least?

    It was quick, Terry's books can go on and on.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    ??


    Which scene was your favorite?

    ??


    Did The Shannara Trilogy inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Abridging any book is a tough act. Abridging a fantasy book is double hard, because the story is about how they get where they are going rather than where they end up. This abridgment converted the book from one of showing the reader to simply telling the reader what happened. It didn't work. I recommend reading (listening to) the full version.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8533)
    Performance
    (7759)
    Story
    (7818)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "I lost interest way before the chase was over."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Sort of.


    If you’ve listened to books by Dan Brown before, how does this one compare?

    It was not his best book.


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

    ??


    Did Inferno inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Dan is very good, heck maybe great at holding onto a secret. He’s a master at suspense and the action never stops. However, this book would benefit if pages 200-300 disappeared. You’d never miss them. The big secrets come later, much later. By the time I was ready for the climax he wasn’t even close to finishing. So, I put the book down and read three other books before I got back to it. On whole, it was ok, worth the money. However, I expect better writing from a big time pro like Dan Brown.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Red Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Kim Stanley Robinson
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (962)
    Performance
    (402)
    Story
    (414)

    Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, Red Mars is the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's best-selling trilogy. Red Mars is praised by scientists for its detailed visions of future technology. It is also hailed by authors and critics for its vivid characters and dramatic conflicts.

    For centuries, the red planet has enticed the people of Earth. Now an international group of scientists has colonized Mars. Leaving Earth forever, these 100 people have traveled nine months to reach their new home. This is the remarkable story of the world they create - and the hidden power struggles of those who want to control it.

    Jacqueline D. White says: "Very Disappointed"
    "Exposition Masquerading as Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Kim Stanley Robinson and/or Richard Ferrone?

    Not likely. My time is too valuable to waist on dated science.


    What could Kim Stanley Robinson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He should have remembered that an author never subjugates story to exposition.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    ???


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment for what he might have accomplished.


    Any additional comments?

    In Red Mars, Kim documents in encyclopedic detail his fascination with the ordinary, mundane, and inconsequential details of daily life in space and on Mars. The drama of the first 100 humans establishing a science station on Mars are so completely hidden in the technical details that I recommend you treat their discovery as the books first major subplot. I recommend paper and pen to record the infrequent clues. However, after a second or third reading, the story will become clear. Readers interested in 30-year-old science can skip the story and enjoy what might have been.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gods of Newport

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John Jakes
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    In the late 19th century, Newport, Rhode Island, was a cauldron of money, excess, and unapologetic greed, where reputations were made and lost in a whirlwind of parties and fancied slights. But amid the glamour of yacht races, tennis matches, and costume balls raged undeclared class warfare, scandalous doings, even madness. In 1893, railroad mogul Sam Driver, one of the few surviving robber barons of the lawless years after the Civil War, knocks on the door of fabled Newport with his daughter, Jenny.

    Henry says: "Dazzling Mediocrity"
    "Dazzling Mediocrity"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    My time listening to this book was not well spent. The story moved slower than the Mississippi on a hot summer day and was just a predictable in its flow.


    What could John Jakes have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    John Jakes could have written a better story by dropping the never-ending history lesson. What background I needed should have been included with the story not “told” to me by the narrator. Further, John seems to despise not only the Sam, but all of the wealthy people in the story. I don’t have any idea if that was intentional, but it lowers the story to a diatribe against the rich and famous. It is more than telling that all of the business ventures of Sam’s partners turned out to be failures. It makes one wonder how they ever got so rich.


    Which character – as performed by Jack Garrett – was your favorite?

    None of the characters stand out as particularly noteworthy.


    Do you think Gods of Newport needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, absolutely not.


    Any additional comments?

    While a good narrator can't save a poor book, Jack Garrett made a valiant effort in this case.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Codex

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lev Grossman
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (89)

    About to depart on his first vacation in years, Edward Wozny, a hotshot young investment banker, is sent to help one of his firm's most important and mysterious clients. His task is to search their library stacks for a precious medieval codex, a treasure kept sealed away for many years and for many reasons.

    Diane says: "Mind Games"
    "Video Games as Real Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I loved Codex. I was reading (listening to) a New York Times member one bestseller with a sexy twist when I began reading Codex. I couldn’t stop listening to Codex until I had finished it. It moved along right from the first page. It sucked me into the story and kept me there. I highly recommend.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the way that it kept moving forward without wondering off on needless side trips.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene was when Margaret began assembling the Codex.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew Carnegie

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Nasaw
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (99)

    The Scottish-born son of a failed weaver and a mother who supported the family by binding shoes, Andrew Carnegie was the embodiment of the American dream. In his rise from a job as a bobbin boy in a cotton factory to being the richest man in the world, he was single-minded, relentless and a major player in some of the most violent and notorious labor strikes of the time. The prototype of today's billionaire, he was a visionary in the way he earned his money and in the way he gave it away.

    Peggie says: "Andrew Carnegie"
    "The Best Encore Ever"
    Overall

    Andrew Carnegie was a very interesting man. He worked hard, took chances, and became rich. He then retreated from direct management of his operations, drove his managers relentlessly, and became even richer. He obsessed over his fortune, ground everyone including his partners under his heal, and became the richest man in the world. Then as an encore, he gave it all away. I can't say his moneymaking, made me jealous, but I learned that he was the friend and dinner companion of Samuel Clemens, AKA Mark Twain, and that did make me jealous.

    David Nasaw certainly went through a massive research effort for this book. I wish he had stopped after he had presented three good examples and then moved on to his next point.

    Grover Gardner gave a steady and solid performance despite the length of the book. He deserves high marks for this effort.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8675)
    Performance
    (6242)
    Story
    (6277)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Liz says: "Not as good as the hype suggests"
    "A new Genre - Scientific Romance"
    Overall

    I like science fiction. I don't usually like Gothic romances. Deborah Harkness has fussed these two genres into a new hybrid that is very interesting. Stir in the blending of two usually hostile and wary families, a little taboo, and you've got a great story.

    Jennifer Ikeda gave a very good performance of this book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregg Easterbrook
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    In The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wide-ranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past century; and yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations. Why this is so and what we should do about it is the subject of this book.

    Eric says: "Don't let the extremists stop you."
    "Right Wing Propaganda"
    Overall

    Mr. Easterbrook's condescension of Liberal/Progressive views is so offensive it made listening to him very difficult right from the first page, none-the-less I persisted. However, I finally had to draw the line at his use of fictitious facts that were so blatantly trumped up as to erode the last vestige of his credibility.

    If you hold Liberal or Progress worldviews and you don't enjoy having your intelligence insulted, I recommend that you pass on this piece of neo-conservative propaganda.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lost Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Clive Cussler
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (627)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (341)

    While scuba diving in Tanzania, Sam and Remi Fargo come upon a relic belonging to a long-lost Confederate ship. An anomaly about the relic sets them off chasing a mystery-but unknown to them, a much more powerful force is engaged in the same chase. Mexico's ruling party, the ultranationalist Mexica Tenochca, is intent on finding that artifact as well, because it contains a secret that could destroy the party utterly.

    Joanna says: "Lost Along the Way"
    "Too Many Coincidences Ruin the Story"
    Overall

    Any mystery Clive develops in chapter 1-he losses by chapter 4. But first, a small peeve: I know this is an action book, so I don't really expect much more than card board characters. But I would have appreciated at least some character development of Sam and Remi Fargo. I guess he assumed that anything I needed to know about Sam or Remi as people I learned in a previous book.

    Now onto the action, we get lots of it. But it doesn't even come close to believable. I'm sorry, but I still think Sam and Remi are bright, but human characters. My problem isn't that they are super smart and that they have one heck of a support team. My problem is that things happen that really ought not to happen. This goes so far beyond good luck that it could only happen in a fiction. The coincidences mount up so fast they are hard to count. For example, let's say you are in the middle of nowhere and things are looking bad because you don't really know where you are going or how to get there. No problem. Poof, an expert on the local area just appears out of nowhere. Further, the guide just happens to know exactly what you need to know and how to get there, gives you gun, and just for good measure rescues you from your next encounter with the bad guys. Or if you need a pilot, one instantly appears ready to not only fly you in, but also risk life and limb to fly a total stranger out of trouble in the middle of the night. Let's just say this book reads best if you assume Sam has super human luck. However, his infallibly good luck deflates any sense of tension. You know that he will always escape every danger unscathed. How boring!

    I recommend that you pass this book up in favor of an author who is at least attempting to write a good story.

    Scott Brick did an able and professional job of narrating this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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