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Jan

Raleigh, NC, United States | Member Since 2012

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 47 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • On Call in Hell: A Doctor's Iraq War Story

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Richard Jadick, Thomas Hayden
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (56)

    Cdr. Richard Jadick's story is one of the most extraordinary to come out of the war in Iraq. At 38, the last place the Navy doctor was expected to be was on the front lines. He was too old to be called up, but not too old to volunteer. In November 2004, with the military reeling from an acute doctor shortage, Jadick chose to accompany the First Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment (the "1/8") to Iraq.

    Amazon Customer says: "What a story!"
    "Deeply Regret This Purchase"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author does himself no favors by admitting, early on, that the Hippocratic oath's "do no harm" mandate doesn't apply to him. That he volunteered for service just as his wife was having a child, while making it sound to his wife like he had no choice, also was kind of reprehensible. I guess we should appreciate his honesty -- the author definitely doesn't try to make himself likable. It comes off as if he just doesn't understand that this is how he seems to readers.

    There is very little of substance here. There is plenty of discussion of the quality of latrines, and mundane military bureaucracies. Maybe 20% has to do with the actual war experiences; the rest is full of every sleep-inducing detail of the author's educational and military career history. Anyone picking up this book would rightfully expect it to contain more of the "Iraq war story" promised on the cover. Most of the book is not about Iraq, not about war, and doesn't make up anything like a coherent story.

    I appreciate the author's service to his country. It would be an injustice for me to give this book a positive review just for that reason. This book is an unbelievably huge disappointment.

    (Credit where it's due: the narrator did very well with such shoddy material.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Your First Listen

    • ORIGINAL (4 mins)
    Overall
    (22175)
    Performance
    (8862)
    Story
    (9068)

    Your Audible adventures begin right here.

    aareal says: "It was great"
    "Makes Charles Dickens Sound Like an Idiot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is easily the greatest artistic creation in the history of humankind. It makes A Tale of Two Cities read like the scribblings of a brain-damaged infant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Carlos Castaneda
    • Narrated By Luis Moreno
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (183)

    Carlos Castanada was a student of anthropology when he met Don Juan Matus, a Yaqui shaman and the inspiration for Castanada’s The Teachings of Don Juan. In this controversial work, Castanada relays his experiences being challenged by his mentor on his perception of the world and all living things in it.

    Curtis says: "Journey To Ixtlan"
    "Nothing here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd heard so much about Castaneda, I thought I'd give this a shot. I'm an open-minded person, exactly the audience I think this work is intended for.

    After Castaneda's endorsement of the beating of children, I started to have my doubts. The immaturity and idiocy that followed shocked me to my core. This was a very very self-obsessed guy, full of preconceived notions about himself, about others, and about the world around him. The experience of listening to this was disturbing and sad.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Running for My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Lopez Lomong
    • Narrated By Brandon Hirsch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (187)

    Running for My Life is not a story about Africa or track and field athletics. It is about outrunning the devil and achieving the impossible: faith, diligence, and the desire to give back. It is the American dream come true and a reminder that saving one can help to save thousands more. Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong's incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable.

    AudioAddict says: "Interesting and Inspirational"
    "A worthy listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lomong's story makes a great listen. It fizzles a little toward the end, but I guess that's to be expected; it's really his childhood experiences that will hold the most interest.

    The narrator has a sort of fairy-tale storytelling style that wouldn't work for most audiobooks, but which is very appropriate for reading this story.

    Lomong is a religious guy; I'm not. But he doesn't beat you over the head with his beliefs. It's just who he is, and that's cool. He's not the fastest in the world. He's not the most brilliant guy in the world. He has an interesting story worth hearing, that's all. This audiobook does a good job of delivering on that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tread Lightly: Form, Footwear, and the Quest for Injury-Free Running

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Bill Larson, Peter Larson
    • Narrated By Richard Allen
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    Humans evolved over the millennia to become one of the most exceptional distance-running species on Earth. So why are injuries so common? Are our shoes to blame, or is it a question of running form, training, or poor diet? In this groundbreaking book, Peter Larson and Bill Katovsky explore the reasons why runners experience injuries and offer potential solutions to the current epidemic of running-related injuries.

    Jan says: "Too many lists, phony-sounding narrator"
    "Too many lists, phony-sounding narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is a lot of dull detail in this book, and a lot of lists. Mostly, it's "book report" -- a regurgitation of material from other books. Meanwhile, the narrator is trying his best to inject drama into every sentence. The combination produces a peculiar mix of irritation and boredom.

    If you are this interested in the minutiae of footwear, then the written copy is probably a better bet for you.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Living with the Himalayan Masters

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Swami Rama
    • Narrated By D. C. Rao
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    In this inspirational collection of stories, Swami Rama relates his experiences with the great teachers who guided his life, including Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo, and Ramana Maharshi. It documents Swami Rama's spiritual quest, which showed him that direct experience is the source of real knowledge.

    Tony says: "A very good book"
    "In Its Own Little World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author claims all kinds of physical miracles, and does not come across as believable or wise. A lot of what he says is very dogmatic, and seems focused on proving that his particular branch of practice is best, and his masters are the greatest. He decries ego while demonstrating ego on every page. It's terribly disappointing, but I did learn much from reading it -- however, the lessons I learned probably were not the ones the author thought he was giving.

    The narration is in a strong British-Indian accent, by the way. The narrator is competent much of the time, but does mispronounce several words in ways that can be very distracting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ex-Patriots

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder, Khristine Hvam, Mark Boyett, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2001)
    Performance
    (1783)
    Story
    (1792)

    It’s been two years since the world ended. Two years since the dead rose and the plague of ex-humanity decimated mankind. For most of that time, the superhero called St. George, formerly known to the world as the Mighty Dragon, has protected the people of Los Angeles at their film-studio-turned-fortress, The Mount. Together with his fellow heroes, he’s tried to give the survivors hope and something like a real life. But the swollen population of The Mount is becoming harder and harder to sustain....

    Ryan David Bedford says: "Best worst book ever!"
    "The Fun Continues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've read Ex-Heroes, and are wondering whether to give this one a try, just do it. It's a little better written than the previous book in the series, and is at least as entertaining. The voice acting is similar to that of the first book as well.

    Warning: the "bonus" short story at the end is kind of shockingly bad, and is totally unrelated to the "Ex" world; you may want to skip it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Adharanand Finn
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (132)

    Whether running is your recreation, your religion, or just a spectator sport, Adharanand Finn’s incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya will captivate and inspire you. Part travelogue, part memoir, this mesmerizing quest to uncover the secrets of the world’s greatest runners - and put them to the test - combines practical advice, a fresh look at barefoot running, and hard-won spiritual insights.

    Sharlene says: "His Curiosity is Contagious"
    "Well Done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a great listen for my long weekend runs. The author explores the topic thoroughly, humorously, and warmly, while avoiding the "look at me, I'm oh so special" vibe that plagues baby-boomer memoirs.

    The narrator was pitch-perfect, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Morton Sellers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1266)
    Performance
    (1131)
    Story
    (1121)

    A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than 200 personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists - both famous and less well known - and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

    Chris Reich says: "Scared the Hell Out of Me"
    "Well-Researched, But Pointless"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's a collection of memoirs, interviews and diary entries, stitched together with little in the way of narrative, or common thread. There are a lot of incredibly trivial details of the lives of minor celebrities and other people associated with Scientology, tangentially or directly. There is certainly a wealth of "information" here, but very little of it is enlightening, and even less is entertaining, especially in the audiobook format. The reader's delivery is competent but very dry. I found myself skipping entire chapters, which I seldom do.

    I guess I learned something, and Scientology remains a peculiar and elusive topic. This book could have been perhaps a third of its current length, added some sort of consistent narrative thread, and have handled the topic just as well while being a better book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ex-Heroes

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder, Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3076)
    Performance
    (2766)
    Story
    (2777)

    Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes. Vigilantes. Crusaders for justice, using their superhuman abilites to make Los Angeles a better place. Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Despite the best efforts of the superheroes, the police, and the military, the hungry corpses rose up and overwhelmed the country. The population was decimated, heroes fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland like so many others.

    Aser Tolentino says: "Superheroes vs. Zombies? Sure, why not..."
    "Fun fluff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's garbage, but very entertaining garbage. Clines slips up a few times, and his phrasing is pretty groan-worthy at times. But he keeps the storyline moving. Listening to it is like watching a B movie, which I think in this case totally is a compliment, since that's really what the author's going for.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16350)
    Performance
    (12821)
    Story
    (12899)

    As opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others, a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords.

    Troy says: "Chapter and part breaks are incorrect"
    "Amazing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not much to add to other reviews. The book has everything: honor, betrayal, intrigue, love, and great battles.

    The narrator took a few minutes to get used to. Soon, I realized that he is using a different voice for each character. And that there are many, many characters. And that he always goes back to the correct voice for a given character throughout the long, long book. Stunning, really. That Mr. Dotrice can do this a any age, much less well into his 80s, is downright inspirational.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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