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fred

greensboro nc | Member Since 2005

120
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 88 reviews
  • 138 ratings
  • 217 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY and the Lost Story of 1970

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By David Browne
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (200)

    January 1970: the Beatles assemble one more time to put the finishing touches on Let It Be; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are wrapping up Déjà Vu; Simon and Garfunkel are unveiling Bridge Over Troubled Water; James Taylor is an upstart singer-songwriter who's just completed Sweet Baby James. Over the course of the next twelve months, their lives---and the world around them---will change irrevocably.

    Kathy says: "Fascinating information, easy to listen"
    "The Original VH1 Behind the Music"
    Overall

    An insightful look at the classic rock star arc: poor, some success, a bunch of excess then immortality after losing touch. Some B-side and bottom of the album references were meaningless but a real, heavy-duty fan of the bands would understand. There is a bit of innocence throughout and a ton of sex/drugs...did they really not know the long-term effects or did they not care? Well, sex, drugs and rock-n-roll had to start somewhere. I was not aware of the inter mingling between the groups and that made the book even more interesting. Not a short book. The reader does not imitate the singer's voices but does an admirable job of reflecting the intonation. Hard core, classic rock lovers will love it. Casual fans with an interest in history will like it. You'll still enjoy it if you like to hear about rags to riches to not-so rags stories.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17578)
    Performance
    (14644)
    Story
    (14640)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Liked the style. Loved the accents. Kind of gory."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Most of the gory stuff comes at the end, so the style and story will push you through. Written/spoken in the voices of the main characters over a period of time, the book is a mystery wrapped in the unraveling of many people's lives. It is kind of hard to hear the characters spiral but hey, it's fiction. Definitely worth the listen. Because this is a audio book it is hard to keep up with the dates...no biggee.

    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
    (1682)
    Performance
    (1529)
    Story
    (1523)

    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..."
    "Very enjoyable insider view of nice people"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Usually friends don't say bad things about their friend's projects or business. I really believe that nothing bad happened during the filming of PB. About the only negative aspect was the initial reviews. Fun insights interspersed within the recording by the characters in the movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21538)
    Performance
    (19879)
    Story
    (19888)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Macgyver on Mars"
    "Cast Away + Robinson Crusoe + Gravity = Great Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I understand that Matt Damon will be playing the lead in the movie version of The Martian. So we will all say that the book is better than the movie and the book is really good. The difference between this suspense thriller and most others is the detail provided to establish that this could really happen. Yes, the characters are kind of boiler plate...the wise-cracker, the serious one, the intelligent Euro-type etc. but the interactions written by Weir make it interesting and fun. Good, fast read. Also good, interesting read. Also good, fun read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Rob McQuay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (926)
    Performance
    (833)
    Story
    (849)

    The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America - majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaing guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way - and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

    colleen says: "What a treat"
    "Great on a road trip and other times too"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book for a road trip. Aw heck, it's probably a great book for anytime. Bryson has a tremendous whit and lots of information. Spoiler alert...you will find out that bears sometimes eat people and in Bryson dry sense of humor, all the ways that bears eat people. An interesting combination of struggle, triumph, understanding, science, politics and environmentalism, all rolled up in a Brysonesque package for consumption on whatever trail you are taking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Blanding
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (286)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (257)

    Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers - both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects.

    Once considered a respectable antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief - until he was finally arrested slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library.

    Andy says: "with a little charm, you can rob almost anyone"
    "Mundane subject that is not close to mundane"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was admittedly a bit worried about the possibility of dryness for a book about maps, but this was a surprisingly interesting and exciting romp through the world of maps and the person who loves them a bit too much. Crossing many years and the globe, Map Thief starts with the end then explains how they there. Another gem showing that truth is stranger than fiction...who knew maps could be so exciting (and not boring at all).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zoom: From Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees: How Everything Moves

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Bob Berman
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    In Zoom, Bob Berman explores how motion shapes every aspect of the universe, literally from the ground up. With an informative and entertaining style and a knack for distilling the wondrous, Berman spans astronomy, geology, biology, meteorology, and the history of science, uncovering how clouds stay aloft, how the earth's rotation curves a home run's flight, and why a mosquito's familiar whine resembles a telephone's dial tone.

    rich says: "Fact Filled Fun Listen"
    "A bunch of facts and figures"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Probably a better read than listen because then you might remember the facts and figures thrown out throughout the book. An interesting way of researching the subject but a bit dry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2444)
    Performance
    (1725)
    Story
    (1746)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Sara says: "A Haunting First Book in the Series"
    "Kind of the same story but a new time in history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would definitely not recommend listening to Willis' historian stories back to back, because they're somewhat familiar. It has been awhile since I heard one of these entertaining stories, and I thought I had heard Doomsday previously because it is the same setup with the same characters. A very entertaining and thought provoking listen but follows the same storyline as Blackout. The narrator did an admirable job with many different characters and a very different sounding olde dialect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Operation Shakespeare: The True Story of an Elite International Sting

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Shiffman
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    In Operation Shakespeare, investigative journalist John Shiffman traces a high-risk undercover operation launched by an elite undercover Homeland Security unit created to stop the Iranians, Russians, Chinese, Pakistanis, and North Koreans from acquiring sophisticated American-made electronics capable of guiding missiles, jamming radar, and triggering countless weapons - from wireless IEDs to nuclear bombs.

    Andy says: "under our noses"
    "More than just your run of the mill TRUE spy story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Truth is stranger than fiction in this book about arms dealers. There are a whole bunch of crazy characters from the government and in the business. Not the best story ever heard but certainly worth your time. At times a littler boring and very familiar or I would give it a higher score.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Undercover Economist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Tim Harford
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (92)

    Author of the extremely popular "Dear Economist" column in Financial Times, Tim Harford reveals the economics behind everyday phenomena in this highly entertaining and informative book. Can a book about economics be fun to read? It can when Harford takes the reins, using his trademark wit to explain why it costs an arm and a leg to buy a cappuccino and why it's nearly impossible to purchase a decent used car.

    Paul Norwood says: "Everyone needs to know this."
    "The dismal science made a little less dismal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Making the dismal science a little less dismal is something the Undercover Economist has accomplished. As a fan of boring books, I found this one a little less boring. The biggest problem is that the recording was completed in 2005. Many aspects related to economics changed greatly post-recession of 2008 and therefore seem a little less realistic. The reader is excellent. I could listen to him read the phone book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Moon Over Soho: Peter Grant, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (973)
    Performance
    (897)
    Story
    (893)

    Body and soul. The song. That's what London constable and sorcerer's apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho's 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body - a sure sign that something about the man's death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

    Tango says: "Very Entertaining"
    "Sophomore jinx strikes again...still worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed Midnight Riot. The characters continue in Moon Over Soho but they're not quite as interesting. This happens all the time in all kinds of entertainment. The sequel never to equal the original. This may happens more often with complicated characters and that's what we have in the "Peter Grant" stories. Peter is still a non-conformist. He is still struggling with his place in society. But he has figured out a bunch of stuff too. Though I am no prude, I did find the sexual scenes a little too much. I think it is great premise and the narrator is excellent but it is hard to follow up such a good premiere book, movie, television show, album, you name it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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