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Consumer extraordinaire

ratings
92
REVIEWS
16
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
35

  • A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (439)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (203)

    The international best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa vividly brings to life the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion. Simon Winchester has also fashioned an enthralling and informative look at the tumultuous subterranean world that produces earthquakes, the planet's most sudden and destructive force.

    Drayton says: "This Book Delivers"
    "I love Winchester!"
    Overall

    I thought this was a great book, and well read by the author. He does go off on tangents, but I find them all interesting. He combines history, natural science, and a breezy, almost gossipy tone that make for a fun listen. It's educational too, but that's really not the point.

    Simon Winchester is someone I always enjoy spending time with!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Colin Woodard
    • Narrated By Lewis Grenville
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1716)
    Performance
    (1558)
    Story
    (1545)

    In the early 18th century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates - former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves - this "Flying Gang" established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote.

    Abbie says: "Reads like a novel"
    "The lives of a few pirate captains"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Republic of Pirates? What did you like least?

    This had a lot of detail, but no big picture. It was really just the life stories of several men who were pirates. There was not much of an overview of piracy, not even just that of the Caribbean for that time.


    What was most disappointing about Colin Woodard’s story?

    The title was Republic of Pirates, but there was very little of republicanism or democracy in evidence. What little there was the author really stretched to try to make more widely applicable, but failed.


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

    The narrator was fine, and did a good job.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7311)
    Performance
    (6571)
    Story
    (6557)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
    "Inspirational!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Incredible story of an amazing human being. Great job by the narrator as well. A must read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (14640)
    Performance
    (13408)
    Story
    (13387)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    Tracey says: "Made Alligator Alley fly by"
    "Great story, uneven narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have enjoyed the first two books in this series, and look forward to more. I liked the narrator in the first book, but in this one he overacts, especially in the first half of the book. The coughing and wheezing of one character is so overdone, I almost stopped listening. It was painful to hear and slowed the pace down way too much. The director should have realized it was too much and added nothing to the story. Otherwise, a good listen. I hope for future books the narrator keeps to his excellent character voices and avoids the sound effects.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jeff O'Connell, Joe De Sena
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1003)
    Performance
    (895)
    Story
    (897)

    Twenty-six point two miles isn’t enough anymore. Obstacle course racing, which combines the endurance challenges of a marathon with the mind-bending rigors of overcoming obstacles along the way, is taking the world by storm. At the center of this phenomenon is Joe De Sena, the driving force behind the enormously popular Spartan Race. De Sena offers a simple philosophy: commit to a goal, put in the work, and get it done.

    Barbara says: "A different type of mindset"
    "Poor narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Decent but short motivational book. I had to play at a faster speed; his slow drawl isn't appropriate for this kind of book at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lock In (Narrated by Amber Benson)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Amber Benson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2316)
    Performance
    (2094)
    Story
    (2116)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Anthony says: "Love Amber's Narration"
    "Fun, light read with good narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Lock In (Narrated by Amber Benson)?

    This was an easy read (listen), a fun story with an imaginative universe, without being too technical like some sci-fi can get. Also, as much a mystery as sci-fi, and I enjoy both.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't sure which narrator to get, so listened to samples of both and decided on Amber Benson. She did a great job, and made it easy to distinguish dialog from narration. She has a soothing voice, and no grating or irritating qualities; something which is surprisingly rare in audiobooks. I will look for more narration from her in future.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Gregory Maguire
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6639)
    Performance
    (4114)
    Story
    (4160)

    Heralded as an instant classic of fantasy literature, Maguire has written a wonderfully imaginative retelling of The Wizard of Oz told from the Wicked Witch's point of view. More than just a fairy tale for adults, Wicked is a meditation on the nature of good and evil.

    Kathleen says: "It's not easy being green"
    "pointless book, horrible narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Gregory Maguire and/or John McDonough?

    No!


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Poor pronunciation, way too slow.


    Any additional comments?

    I expected to love this book, but it is not the musical by any means. Poor storytelling sets up subplots that never pay off, but the biggest problem is there is no ending, it just stops. I kept waiting for the main character to go somewhere, but basically the plot is: she goes through life, people are mean to her, she is mean back, and then she dies. I can't believe I wasted hours of my life listening to this whole thing, waiting for it to get better. It never does!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Bruce Catton
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (72)

    For a person seeking a single volume to serve as a captivating introduction and a dependable guide through all the maze of battles and issues of the Civil War, this is an audiobook without parallel. Bruce Catton understood the Civil War - its participants and battles - and he unfolds it with skill and simplicity.

    Keith says: "The American Civil War"
    "Totally pro-southern account"
    Overall

    I was looking for a one-volume intro to the civil war, and sadly "Battle Cry of Freedom" does not seem to be available in audible. So I tried this one. I wish another reviewer had mentioned that this is a one-sided account. I could give endless examples but I will just summarize: Every northerner is described in completely negative terms. Southerners are described in a much broader range from neutral to glowing. Slavery is barely mentioned, and then mainly as objectionable to European allies.

    I know some people may only want to read pro-southern accounts, but let's at least let people know up front before they spend their money that this is what they're getting.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror, 1801-1805

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Joseph Wheelan
    • Narrated By Patrick Cullen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (130)

    Two centuries ago, without congressional or public debate, a president who is thought of today as peaceable, Thomas Jefferson, launched America's first war on foreign soil, a war against terror. The enemy was Muslim; the war was waged unconventionally, with commandos, native troops, and encrypted intelligence, and launched from foreign bases.

    Donald says: "A Great Read"
    "for hardcore history buffs only"
    Overall

    This book was just OK, and probably only worth it for hardcore history buffs. I found it hard to get through, even though the events should have made for an interesting book. Not sure how much to blame the reader vs. the author, but it was not in the same league with many of the other authors I have tried.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (263)

    In 1793, William Smith, the orphan son of a village blacksmith, made a startling discovery that was to turn the science of geology on its head. While surveying the route for a canal near Bath, he noticed that the fossils found in one layer of the rocks he was excavating were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following these fossils one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped, rose and fell, clear across England and clear across the world.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Who knew rocks could be so deceptive?"
    "Another great Simon Winchester!"
    Overall

    I greatly enjoyed this book. Winchester is a fantastic writer, and is one of the few people that actually do a decent job reading their own work. He does go off on tangents, and is a bit redundant, probably so you can remember where he left off when he gets back from his little sidetrips, but I enjoy most of his diversions so I don't mind.

    Fun for fans of history, geology and geography, and just plain good writing!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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