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Male. Mammal. High school equivalency graduate. I like fruit and I just got a haircut. I would describe myself as somewhere between Christmas and being buried alive.

Cincinnati, OH, United States

  • 11 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 107 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    David says: "Superb in so many ways"

    I was familiar with Shackleton's story, having read Caroline Alexander's book, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition.

    Having read both, I am convinced that Lansing's is far better. If you read only one book on the subject, read this one instead of Caroline Alexander's book [Just to be fair to Caroline Alexander, I loved her book about the Mutiny on the Bounty and I wish that Audible would release it in unabridged length].

    Now on to the book itself. You can read many other reviews if you want a plot summary. In a nutshell, this is a story of survival and endurance nonpareil. I read this book because I was feeling sorry for myself at the time. I just finished the book and I no longer feel that way.

    The writing and narration are superb. I have read many audiobooks and this is one of my favorites. This book flew by and held my interest throughout.

    I am left with a keen interest to see the James Caird boat which is on display in the U.K.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris

    If you are driving, pull over. If you are at work, close your door, unless you don't mind your colleagues seeing you doubled over, in tears, on your office floor. With this recording, taped before a delirious sold out audience at Carnegie Hall, you are there as David Sedaris performs new stories from his upcoming book. A parrot who mimics an ice maker, lovers quarreling over a rubber hand, and a Santa Claus who moonlights from his job as bishop of Turkey, the cast of characters is like no other.

    Richard says: "Material that exists on other books."
    "Way overhyped."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Who cares. All I care about is me.

    Would you be willing to try another book from David Sedaris? Why or why not?

    Book yes. Short performance no.

    Did the narration match the pace of the story?


    What character would you cut from David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall?

    Cut em all I say. Really boring selection of stories. Zzz.

    Any additional comments?

    Ordinarily, I am a HUGE fan of Sedaris books. Just thought this sucked. The hype did not match the short length and story choices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil Wears Prada

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Lauren Weisberger
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, is hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the successful editor of Runway magazine. Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts Prada! Armani! Versace! at every turn. As things escalate from the merely unacceptable to the downright outrageous, Andrea begins to realize that the job a million girls would die for may just kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether the job is worth the price of her soul.

    Howard says: "You won't be able to stop the player"
    "Worst execution of the best idea that I ever heard"
    What disappointed you about The Devil Wears Prada?

    Waste of plot and character space on author and her friends. Author is a nobody. Who cares about her and her friends. MORE MIRANDA IS WHAT I WANT!!!!!!

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The Second World War - Winston Churchill

    How could the performance have been better?

    Have the narrator ready any book but this one. MORE MIRANDA ANECDOTES!!!!!!!!!

    Watch the September Issue on Netflix instead.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Devil Wears Prada?

    Cut all of the nonsense about the author and the nobody boyfriend.
    Cut all of the stuff about the author's family.
    Cut all of the nobody best friend stuff.
    Cut the self serving ending where everything works out great for the author when she finds a supportive fatso to take up her cause.

    Any additional comments?

    Mediocre writing. Flat dialogue. One dimensional cliche characters. Fairy tale self serving ending. Bridge to nowhere characters entering and leaving the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death on the Nile: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By David Suchet

    All the best ingredients are here: an idyllic cruise in an exotic setting, a beautiful young woman on her honeymoon, a shocking murder with suspects galore. Fortunately Hercule Poirot is on the scene, thanks to a cruise holiday on the River Nile, and he exercises all his "little grey cells" in probing the passengers' airtight alibis. This most challenging mystery is known to be the author's personal favorite.

    Ian says: "A fine Poirot mystery"
    "Great writing made even better by narration"

    Some things are just made to go together. Spaghetti and meatballs, peanut butter and jelly, gin and tonic, you get the idea. To that list, I would add Agatha Christie and David Suchet. Sparkling writing and effervescent narration. This is like going to a great movie. VERY entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joseph H. Alexander
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner

    On November 20, 1943, in the first trial by fire of America’s fledgling amphibious assault doctrine, 5,000 men stormed the beaches of Tarawa, a seemingly invincible Japanese island fortress barely the size of the 300-acre Pentagon parking lots. Before the first day ended, one-third of the marines who had crossed Tarawa’s deadly reef under murderous fire were killed, wounded, or missing. In three days of fighting, four Americans would win the Medal of Honor and six thousand combatants would die.

    Iain says: "The Definitive Battle History of Tarawa"
    "With the Marines at Tarawa"

    This is why I listen to books. This little book is densely packed with tons of great research. I tried to read this in print and got stuck. But, on audio, I blew through this book quickly. Terrific history of the nearly 6,000 lives lost on both sides over a couple of days in a fight to the death on the most heavily defended atoll in the Pacific, an island battleground that is the size of the parking lot at the pentagon. Impeccably researched. Well written. Boldly narrated, Very entertaining.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

    Stephen says: "River of Doubt"
    "Good not great."

    Good not great. I wanted to like it a lot more than I did. I'm not really sure why that is. My litmus test for all audiobooks is this: was I entertained? For this book, the answer is no. I was relieved when the book ended. I know this is going to sound like heresy, but I would skip this one. What should be an interesting story is undone by a lot of extraneous filler information and flat narration. The worst offense in this thing has to be the 40+minute epilogue that can be described as a where are they now essay.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Day of the Jackal

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Frederick Forsyth
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble

    One of the most celebrated thrillers ever written, The Day of the Jackal is the electrifying story of an anonymous Englishman who in, the spring of 1963, was hired by Colonel Marc Rodin, operations chief of the O.A.S., to assassinate General de Gaulle.

    Darwin8u says: "Tight & fantastic political/cat-and-mouse thriller"
    "Tour de montagnes russes (roller coaster ride)!!!!"

    Courtesy of Wikipedia, the true historical context on which the novel is based is as follows. The Organisation de l'armée secrète (OAS — or Organisation armée secrète, lit. "Organization of the Secret Army" or "Secret Armed Organization") was a short-lived, French far-right nationalist militant and underground organization during the Algerian War (1954-62). The OAS used armed struggle in an attempt to prevent Algeria's independence. The OAS's motto was "Algeria is French and will remain so" (L’Algérie est française et le restera).

    The OAS was formed out of existing networks, calling themselves "counter-terrorists", "self-defence groups", or "resistance", which had carried out attacks on the FLN and their perceived supporters since early in the war. It was officially formed in Francoist Spain, in Madrid in January 1961, as a response by some French politicians and French military officers to the 8 January 1961 referendum on self-determination concerning Algeria, which had been organized by General de Gaulle.

    After the March 1962 Evian agreements, which granted independence to Algeria and marked the beginning of the exodus of the pieds-noirs (European settlers), the OAS attempted to prevent the on-going political process by a campaign of assassinations and bombings. This campaign culminated in Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry's 1962 assassination attempt against president Charles de Gaulle in the Paris suburb of Le Petit-Clamart.

    The fictional Day of the Jackal novel commences after the failed Petit Clamart assassination attempt. In the novel, the OAS hires a contract assassin to kill de Gaulle. The assassin's planning is meticulous and his execution is daring with the French police in hot pursuit. I was on my feet pacing the room at the end of the book. I blew through this book quickly. It is well-written and the narration is superb.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By William Manchester
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner

    Virtually all Americans above a certain age hold strong opinions about Douglas MacArthur. They either worship him or despise him. Now, in this superb book, one of our most outstanding writers, after a meticulous three-year examination of the record, presents his startling insights about the man. The narrative is gripping, because the general's life was fascinating. It is moving, because he was a man of vision. It ends, finally, in tragedy, because his character, though majestic, was tragically flawed.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great material. Well read."
    "Hail Caesar and Hail Manchester!!!"

    The epic life story of one of the greatest generals in American history as told by a virtuoso biographer and storyteller. You tell me. Does it get any better than this? Well yes, it does. The narration of Tom Parker (also known as Grover Gardner) can best be described as an iron fist in a velvet glove. Parker complements the story with his gravitas and smooth diction. I have listened to about 50 audio books from many genres. I can tell you without reservation that this book is a must in your collection. Buy it. You won't be disappointed. One last thing. This not just a book for those interested in military history. The story covers every facet of MacArthur's life and it should be of interest to anyone. MacArthur was truly fascinating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Charles, HRH The Prince of Wales
    • Narrated By Charles, HRH The Prince of Wales

    For the first time, HRH The Prince of Wales shares his views on how our most pressing modern challenges - from climate change to poverty - are rooted in mankind's disharmony with nature, presenting a compelling case that the solution lies in our ability to regain a balance with the world around us. With its holistic approach, this provocative and well-reasoned book takes the discussion of sustainability and climate change in a new direction.

    X says: "Needs more chapter breaks for my average intellect"
    "Needs more chapter breaks for my average intellect"

    I liked this book. The narration was quite good. The ideas advanced in the book, particularly on all things sustainable and durable, are sensible and timely. At the risk of sounding picayune, I do think the book would be easier to listen to if the chapters were shorter. This is an interesting read. The writing, editing and narration are jolly good.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jacques Pepin
    • Narrated By Michel Chevalier

    In this captivating memoir, the man whom Julia Child has called "the best chef in America" tells the story of his rise from a frightened apprentice in an exacting Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award-winning superstar who taught millions of Americans how to cook and shaped the nation's tastes in the bargain.

    Linda Zimmerman says: "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE RECIPES???"
    "C'est ennuyeux (It's boring)"

    I bought this book for two reasons. First, I am a big fan of Jacques Pepin's cookbooks, his solo TV shows and especially his collaboration with his daughter in the TV program, Cooking with Chlodine. The second reason I bought it is that the reviews and ratings for this book, on both Amazon and Audible, were off the charts. Just take a look at Anthony Bourdain's review on Amazon and you will see what I mean. So far, so good, right? Wrong. This book is just okay. It is average, but not great. I found it boring. The story is rather formulaic; a poor boy from France makes it big in America. Been there and done that. One odd thing in the book is that Pepin had many interesting anecdotes that seemed to end rather abruptly, like a souffle that has suddenly fallen. Another thing that bothered me is that the book employed narrative passages that just are not that interesting to listen to. The book also seemed to lack a story arc. Having listened to this book and Julia Child's, My Life in France, I have to say I much preferred Julia Child's book. I buy and listen to a lot of audiobooks on Audible. My litmus test is very simple. I just ask myself, was I entertained? I have found entertainment in some very odd places in Audible (Jonathon Cecil's narration of the Jeeves canon, Simon Vance's narration of The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Grover Gardiner's narration of American Caesar; you get the idea). But frankly, this book was a disappointment and I think it is mostly due to mediocre writing and storytelling, boring narration (the narrator sounds like a robot with a slight french accent), and way too much hype (come on folks, you really think that this is a five star book?) from other reviewers (both professional and amateur). I do have one suggestion for the publisher. Why not have Jacques Pepin narrate the book himself? He has a charming french accent and I suspect that the book would at least seem more interesting and entertaining if he read his own story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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