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Todd Albert

Member Since 2015

62
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 653 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 60 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Napoleon

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Paul Johnson
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Paul Johnson's book is a refreshing return to a concept whose time has come once again: the Great Man theory of biography. It serves as "the greatest possible refutation of those who hold that events are governed by forces, classes, economics, and geography rather than the powerful wills of men and women". Napoleon truly was the Great Man of his age, a towering and terrible genius who managed to conquer the Continent.

    Mark Grannis says: "Not your standard biography"
    "Start with this Napoleon Book"
    Overall

    I dowloaded and lsitened to this Napoleon book, and the one by Fischer also available on Audible. I am new to Napoleon, and if you are too, I recommend starting with this book by Johnson first, and the one by Fischer afterwards. Johnson's short book sets the stage for the modern reader and is read is a gripping manner by John Lee. Fischer's book provides sought after detail but loses the novice Napoleon reader because it assumes some familiarity with the outlines of his career.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Memoirs of My Life and Writings

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Edward Gibbon
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Memoirs of My Life, published posthumously in 1796, wholly unveils the character of the world’s greatest historian in full candor and openness. We follow him from birth, through to his education at Oxford, to his time in Switzerland where he met Voltaire and fell in love with a Swiss girl. We accompany him on his travels through France and Lausanne, leading on to his eventual arrival in Rome, where he conceived of his epic Decline and Fall.

    Todd Albert says: "Gets Good after Chapter Five"
    "Gets Good after Chapter Five"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was despairing at having chosen this audio book as I slogged through the first four chapters, which cover his family history, but once he started in on his own life, in chapter five, things started looking up, and in the end, it was a rewarding listen. (There are thirty-nine chapters in total).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Deborah Cadbury
    • Narrated By Deborah Cadbury
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (51)

    With a cast of characters that wouldnt be out of place in a Victorian novel, Chocolate Wars tells the story of the great chocolatier dynasties, through the prism of the Cadburys. Chocolate was consumed unrefined and unprocessed as a rather bitter, fatty drink for the wealthy elite until the late 19th century, when the Swiss discovered a way to blend it with milk and unleashed a product that would conquer every market in the world.

    Jean says: "The World of Chocolate"
    "Note: A Different Narrator is Available Elsewhere"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This title has two narrated versions available. This one, narrated by the author, at over 13 hours, and a second one, narrated by Finty Williams (Judi Dench's daughter) at 10 hours 55 minutes (available on audible.co.uk, audible.de etc.) I found Deborah Cadbury's narration had advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage: she is a very even toned narrator, so I sometimes found myself nodding off, especially in the beginning. The advantage: she inserts noticeable pauses between topic changes, which helped me follow the story line. Finty William's narration, on the other hand, is delivered in a bit more "exciting" manner, but was also a bit harder to follow because delivery was faster and the pauses shorter. I think if you are an American listener, you might do better with Deborah Cadbury's narration, but just try out the audio samples yourself.

    The history is not just U.K. chocolate companies (Cadbury, Fry, Rowntree), but also Swiss (Lindt, Nestle) and American companies (Hershey and Mars) in detail, and all the major players in Germany, France, and Switzerland are at least mentioned (Menier, Stollwerck, Suchard, Callier, Van Houten and many more), and the history goes up through the take over of Cadbury by Kraft in 2010.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emissary

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chris Rogers
    • Narrated By Jeff Hays
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    On a desperate mission to save his entire race from extinction, Emissary Ruell travels to Earth equipped with his two most powerful bargaining currencies - health and longevity - hoping to convince the most powerful leader in the free world that collaboration can save both of their civilizations. Having no way to communicate directly with humans, Ruell must inhabit President Addison Hale's body to carry out his mission.

    Matthew says: "Fascinating read, from big to little"
    "Worth the Credit, I'm glad I Listened"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The is a fun and pretty upbeat* book, with a strong female lead (the President of the U.S. no less!), a Texas cop, and an alien. The alien intelligence can jump from mind to mind of its human hosts, influence their behavior and health, or take them over completely. He jumps around various people in the Oval Office, over to a leader abroad, and after a drama of unfolding events surrounding the President, into the mind of a Texas cop. It is both sci-fi and political mystery-thriller.

    *(Upbeat? Okay, yes, there is The Torture Scene, but the reader knows the alien is going to jump in and save the day, so we can just look forward to the bad guy getting his just desserts as the scene unfolds).

    It put me in mind of "A Warm Place to Call Home: A Demon's Story" by Michael Siemsen, which I also enjoyed.

    The book ends cleanly, no cliff hangers, but leaves the door open for further exploration. If there is ever a book two, I'll buy it on the day it comes out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Time Stopper: Mind Dimensions, Book 0

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 24 mins)
    • By Dima Zales
    • Narrated By Laura Jennings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    I can stop time, but I can't change anything. I can access memories, but not far enough. My name is Mira, and my life is about finding the Russian mobster who killed my family.

    Aleksandra says: "Great read"
    "Start with Book 1 Instead of This Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are thinking of beginning this series, I suggest starting with Book 1 "The Thought Readers". This short story, "The Time Stopper", while it precedes Book 1 in time, has a very unsympathetic main character (Mira, the Russian girl, female lead in books 1 and 2). Her sluttish behavior (in an aside she mentions she has had sex multiple times with Russian gangsters, for pleasure, before turning eighteen), and her childish and violent tantrum with her brother are repellent, and I wouldn't have continued the series had I begun with this story. I imagine she is portrayed so negatively to give the narrative arc of the series a starting point from which we can watch her heal and grow, and cheer her on in her progress. But that all lies in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Our Tour in America and Canada 1904: Including a Visit to the St Louis Exposition

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Marie E. Duncumb
    • Narrated By Rebecca Roberts
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    First written in 1904, the main narrative and text of this incredibly fascinating and rare memoir account - a "travel story" - is by Marie E Duncumb. And like something straight out of a novel; this 110-year-old gem had been hidden away in a chest in the attic of an old country house in Essex, England, until it was recently rediscovered in 2008. You can count yourself among the very first privileged listeners to ever hear Marie's delightful firsthand accounts and experiences of her travelling from London, England and sailing onto New York.

    Todd Albert says: "Raw & Unedited Audio in Chapter 17"
    "Raw & Unedited Audio in Chapter 17"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a short book that delivers exactly what it promises, a report written by a middle-class English woman on a package tour through the U.S. in 1904 to visit the St. Louis Exposition. (Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C. train trip through Virginia, West Virginia, Cincinnati, St. Louis. Return via Niagara Falls, steamer on the St Laurence, and Hudson River, back to New York).

    Listening was worth it to me, just to hear about the Disney World like rides on "The Pike" - the entertainment district of the World's Fair. On the Paris ride for example, guests boarded a submarine, rode underneath the Atlantic Ocean viewing strange sea creatures, rode an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower, boarded an airship, flew over the France viewing the cities below, crossed the Channel, saw London from the air, and encountered a storm over the Atlantic on their return "flight". There were rides depicting visits to Hell, and the Garden of Eden. Their was a Filipino Village with over a thousand residents, a ten acre recreation of the Holy Land, a staged battle from the Boer War was fought on a ten acre battlefield everyday, and on and on,

    This is an amateur narration and their are many and frequent mispronunciations - quay, embankment, apotheosis, Adirondack for example - but the narration is rapid and easy to follow. Until Chapter 17 arrives. The first five minutes is in completely unedited and raw form. The narrator repeats phrases five and six times to get them right, coughs, pauses, etc. The words lost all meaning with all the repetition, so I just skipped through the worst five minutes of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Lena Lencek, Gideon Gideon
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Here for the first time is the full story of the seashore: its natural and social history, spectacles, and scandals. The turquoise surf and sugary sand of the beach make it a favorite retreat today, but this wasn't always so. The oceans of antiquity engendered contradictory feelings. Greek and Roman myths filled it with bellicose monsters and alluring sirens. Medieval Europeans feared immersion in water.

    Todd Albert says: "From Roman Architecture to Coney Island"
    "From Roman Architecture to Coney Island"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed listening to this book and rated it five stars, but I see that the only two other people to rate it so far have only given it two stars. I think the difference may lay in expectations. This isn't light summer reading - it expects the reader to be well educated and well traveled - at least in the mind's eye - with a nodding acquaintance with the beaches of Europe, classical history - and an anglophile. I'm an American anglophile classicist living in continental Europe - so I ticked all the boxes and this book was just my cup of tea. If you know where Scheveningen is, what class of ancient Romans lived on the Bay of Naples, who had his summer residence in Brighton, which famous poet swam across the Dardanelles, have friends with a beach house in New England (or wish you did), and enjoy reading books where rivers "debauch" into the ocean instead of flowing into it - this book is for you. My pro-tip: skip the first chapter about the geology of beaches - the information is outdated and wrong, and the author clearly didn't enjoy writing that chapter. There is a night and day difference between the first chapter and the rest of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Aeneid

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Virgil
    • Narrated By Simon Callow
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (127)

    The publication of a new translation by Fagles is a literary event. His translations of both the Iliad and Odyssey have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and have become the standard translations of our era. Now, with this stunning modern verse translation, Fagles has reintroduced Virgil's Aeneid to a whole new generation, and completed the classical triptych at the heart of Western civilization.

    Rob says: "Fagles is best"
    "The Best Aeneid Translation Ever"
    Overall

    This translation of the Aeneid stands head and shoulders above anything else I have seen in English. It's exciting, to the point, and very very nuanced. The narrator is a fantastic choice too. His voice creates a world and moves you along through it. I put on my earphones just intending to to listen to a few minutes of the beginning the night I downloaded this, and I was pulled in for four hours of adventure before I could finally force myself to click "stop".

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Post Captain: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (509)
    Performance
    (269)
    Story
    (266)

    Post Captain is the second novel in Patrick O'Brian's beloved adventure series. In 1803 Napoleon smashes the Peace of Amiens, and Captain Jack Aubrey, Royal Navy, taking refuge in France from his creditors, is interned. He escapes from France, from debtors' prison, from a possible mutiny, and pursues his quarry straight into the mouth of a French-held-harbor.

    Debbie in Plano says: "Narrator preference"
    "CAREFUL - Two Narrators available for this title"
    Overall

    This is the Blackstone Audio version of the novel. I found that the Recorded Books version, also available here on audible.com, was the narrator I preferred. Both are good, it is simply a matter of taste.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Six Months That Changed the World: The Treaty of Versailles and World War II [Portable Professor]

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Margaret MacMillan
    • Narrated By Margaret MacMillan
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Between January and July 1919 delegates from all over the world converged on Paris to forge a lasting peace in the wake of World War I. Margaret MacMillan vividly portrays the historical events surrounding the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which laid the groundwork for an even more devastating conflict-World War II-by demanding punishing reparations from the defeated nation of Germany.

    Nancy says: "Illuminating"
    "A Fast Paced and Invigorating Listen"
    Overall

    The author of this lecture series speaks quickly and with energy. Her style of delivery pulls you in and carries you along. I've heard five lecture series (two at audible and three from another company) and this was the best in terms of "narration".

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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