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Casper Paludan

New York | Member Since 2013

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 96 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
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  • The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

    • UNABRIDGED (66 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (370)
    Performance
    (305)
    Story
    (314)

    Robert Caro's monumental book makes public what few outsiders have known: that Robert Moses was the single most powerful man of our time in the City and in the State of New York. And in telling the Moses story, Caro both opens up to an unprecedented degree the way in which politics really happens - the way things really get done in America's City Halls and Statehouses - and brings to light a bonanza of vital new information.

    jeff says: "AMAZING read"
    "Cannot say enough positive things aboit it..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Power Broker?

    One word summarizes my experience: rich. This book covers so many aspects of not just Robert, but of New York history, American history, American politics, the mechanics of achievement, morals, public opinion, the human psyche, and of course transportation.

    The reader finds himself drawn to Moses, then repelled by him; rooting for him, then anticipating his downfall; marveling at his unshakable faith in his own ability, then wishing for his detractors to put a stop to his bruising our city.

    There are 30 minute passages in this book that read as completely life-like descriptions of life in the tenements, the general state of disrepair of New York's parks pre-Moses, his genius in scraping together, almost dollar by dollar, the financing for the Henry Hudson Highway, the inexorable destruction of a Bronx neighborhood, and more; passages you will bookmark and return to.

    I cannot imagine a person who would not find this incredibly valuable. I certainly do.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love how long and detailed it is. I felt like I lived this book more than read, or listened to it. If you believe that we create our own reality by what we give thought to, a powerful testament to how gripping this book is that after finishing it, I saw that the author is due to speak at my university in a couple of months.


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

    A sense of drama and ease of narration. He makes the waves go deeper, and higher, than I have experienced in a long time.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The description of the lack of recreational facilities for the city dwellers, is very powerful. The reader knows that Moses will fix the picture, or dramatically improve it, but no mention is made of him for about 30 minutes, as the horrible reality pre-Moses, is described in vivid detail.


    Any additional comments?

    Parts of this book are very uplifting, as Moses was a man who, for a long time, did many good things for the city's poor. Other parts makes the reader cringe. Whatever the final verdict on Moses is, and it is a very negative one these days, I find it uplifting to dwell on the positives. There are many, and they are magnificent.

    This book will make you interested in many subjects, so be ready to become a (more) voracious reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (126)

    Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson continues - one of the richest, most intensive, and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer/historian carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundation of his long-concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it. But the explosive heart of the book is Caro's revelation of the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election.

    Abdur Abdul-Malik says: ""If You Do Everything, You'll Win""
    "Another majestic feat!"
    Overall
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    I can't imagine anyone having read the Path to Power who wouldn't automatically get this but for the sake of the ultra cautious: this one is also fantastic and if you haven't read Path to Power, it' fine to start here, because you will want to read this again, after you ultimately read Path to Power. I've read the entire series, as yet incomplete, three times and I'm about to again. It's that good.

    I just finished reading Ready Player One, one of the most entertaining and immersive books I've ever read. But the thrill is just about gone on the second listen. Not so with the world's best biographies, and this is surely one of them: they get better with each listen because they're so packed with information and perspective, that you just become more and more thrilled each time.

    I can't wait for the next volume, and I wish they would clone Mr. Caro so he could write twice as fast!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11597)
    Performance
    (10813)
    Story
    (10821)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "Very entertaining"
    Overall
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    Story

    Good natured sci-fi is what this is. I'm a long time lover of Sci-Fi but I've grown to want literature to be uplifting, inspiring, and deep, all at the same time. This book is funny, endearing and of course full of 80s nostalgia but I don't think the reader needs to be a child of the 80s to like it.

    My only criticism is the needlessly dystrophic backdrop: wars have ravaged earth, most people live in dangerous slums etc etc and virtual reality is so popular because of all this. In my view, the world is just fine, and VR is just another add-on to make things more interesting. VR and games are popular right now because they offer great entertainment and as VR gear gets better, the green grass and sunshine outdoors will face ever stiffer competition. No world wars needed.

    Jane McGonical explains, in her Reality is Broken, that games seek the virtual world because of the allure of the many game devices such as power-ups. She suggests the education system mimmicks this structure to make learning more exciting, and offers an example of a school where just this principle is used, apparently with success.

    It's interesting that the fully virtual learning environment in Ready Player One does not use any such devices.

    Anyway, this is part romance, part thriller and part sci-fi, and it is thrilling and exciting so I thoroughly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Fisher Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2907)
    Performance
    (1456)
    Story
    (1464)

    Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more (except maybe "Maggie," Mary of Magdalan) and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.

    Hope says: "A Worthy Book, indeed"
    "Beautiful, entertaining, and funny!"
    Overall
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    Story

    I got this, and The Good Omens, from a list of books suggested to be uplifting, in contrast to many otherwise excellent books, who are not. I mention The Good Omens here because it's similar to Lamb in that it deals with religion in a light hearted, tongue-in-cheek way, uses humor to entertain and sometimes educate, and is well-written and well performed.

    Lamb has two things Good Omens doesn't have: sex and violence. Well, Omens has a few very brief passages but nothing too graphical. Lamb, on the other hand, has at least one passage evoking very disturbing images. I subtract one star for this even though to most readers it won't be a problem. The sex isn't graphical, only suggested, and, while occasionally evocative, is presented in such a tasteful and light manner, that I doubt it would offend most people.

    Lamb is longer and also more breezy than Omens, which is extremely dense and may require two listens to even get the nuances of the story. Fisher Perkins does a great job with the acting; however, nobody could top Martin Jarvis' split-17-ways-personality tour de force in Omens.

    Lamb does a fine job of soothing the mind and transporting the listener from the present, to a different time and place. I recommend it very much, and together with Omens, you will have a treasure trove worth several listens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4471)
    Performance
    (2920)
    Story
    (2952)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "Funny and uplifting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was looking for truly positive and uplifting fiction, and was recommended this. After about 5 minutes' listening, I was laughing out loud which showed me I had taken really good advice.

    Good Omens tells the story of two agents, an angel from Heven, and a demon from Hell, who, much like Cold War spies, end up working together to thwart the more destructive forces they represent. It is hysterically funny in many places, and furiously inventive and sprawling.

    When the Antichrist is born to human parents, the angel and the demon agree that the child's satanic sides will probably manifest mainly from nurture, so they enlist a saintly and spiritual grartner who teaches the child to look out for others, love the Earth and plants; and a dark and evil nanny who tries to get the kid to take the role of ultimate evil-monger, seriously. The result is a more or less well balanced youngster, who nevertheless possesses powers to end the world, or not.

    Martin Jarvis handles the multiple characters with genius and I'm especially impressed by how well he does female voices, and even more especially children. He is a real master of the voice!

    This is sure to get worn, oh wait, it won't be!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A History of Rome, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Cyril Robinson
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (80)

    A History of Rome is the story of a tiny market town on the Tiber, its rise to world domination, and then its slow, terrible plunge to utter ruin. It is the single greatest event in all human history.

    Mark Grannis says: "A superb survey of Ancient Roman History"
    "Good and brief, very dense"
    Overall
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    I bought A History of Rome because I found I needed a primer before getting full value from Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The latter starts at about 200 AD and makes many references to the times before, so it's very valuable to have at least a brief understanding of the material covered here.

    Rather than just getting through it quickly and then returning to Gibbons, I find myself with many more questions about, and a strong interest in, the beginning of the Empire. Especially the description of the times when Rome was a mere city state among others, is fascinating. One gets a sense of a world with much space between budding cultures and peoples, a world where borders and identities were not yet fixed and where history could be changed by the fortunes of a brief moment.

    Rome suffered huge, crippling, and seemingly fatal blows to her power on her way up, and sometimes could easily have been destroyed by a resolute opponent, such as the Cimbri. this barbarian tribe more or less wiped out Rome's army about 105 BC. At that point, had the Cimbri gone south, they could have taken all of the peninsula easily. but they were more interested in Spain, and so went west. And Rome had time to recuperate, and was ultimately victorious. Fascinating story. And there are many more like it.

    I recommend this fascinating tome to anybody interested in ancient history. Do not miss Gibbons though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (217)

    This is the story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country. The Path to Power reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy, and ambition that set LBJ apart. It follows him from the Hill Country to New Deal Washington, from his boyhood through the years of the Depression to his debut as Congressman, his heartbreaking defeat in his first race for the Senate, and his attainment, nonetheless, at age 31, of the national power for which he hungered.

    David C. Daggett says: "The Best of all Biographies"
    "Just fantastic..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Path to Power in three words, what would they be?

    Riveting, dramatic, instructive. The story really is riveting. The initial description of the Hill Country in Texas is so fantastic, petic, dramatic, revealing, evocative, and rich, that I have gone back several times to listen to it . And I will do so again.

    The description of Lyndon's childhood, his fathers travails, rise, and demise and the effect on the family and the boy, are utterly unmatched in contrast and drama. Finally, the way Lyndon copes with it all, using his bright and dark sides to get ahead, ingeniously in both, is very instructive. I believe one can learn as much if not more from the 80% successes than the 100% successes, because their moral or other failings make them come alive more and even a sleazy scheme should be learned from, in that it took drive and courage to perform it, and THAT is never a bad trait to have.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mr. Sam, Lyndon's dad, is a very powerful and tragic figure and as he falls from grace, and we witness it by painstaking degrees, we develop a love for this character that makes us think of him long after the book is done. I find myself wondering what would have happened if he hadn't done that last unadvisable thing, made that last unsound investment....could he have swung back from failure?...


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I won't give away the plot by giving a thorough description. It feels like a novel eventhough it isn't..so I know it's silly but I think you should have the pleasure of discovering it yourself.

    Lyndon was courting a young lady and her dad didn't think Lyndon a suitable husband for his daughter. the way he tried to humiliate Lyndon is very dramatic. And the way Lyndon got back at him and the family years later, even more so.

    Enjoy!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made my eyes go wide and it made me shake my head and it moved me.


    Any additional comments?

    Totally get this, you won't regret it! Also, read The Power Broker

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (243)

    Titan is the first full-length biography based on unrestricted access to Rockefeller’s exceptionally rich trove of papers. A landmark publication full of startling revelations, the book indelibly alters our image of this most enigmatic capitalist. Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to become the world’s richest man by creating America’s most powerful and feared monopoly, Standard Oil. Branded "the Octopus" by legions of muckrakers, the trust refined and marketed nearly 90 percent of the oil produced in America.

    Rick says: "He makes Bill Gates look like a Pauper!"
    "Fascinating portrait of a powerful man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Titan in three words, what would they be?

    Contrast, legacy, power.
    I chose contrast because Mr. Rockefeller undeniably did many fantastic things for humankind. For example, he founded The Rockefeller University which I attended and which changed my life forever. His Standard oil also did many good things in that it brought the benefits of oil to many people. At the same time, some of his business practices were very crude (no pun intended) and unnecessarily harsh. I chose legacy because his legacy is one of the most powerful ones and his achievements touch us every day. Power because of the focus and perseverance that marked his existence.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The description of his extremely colorful family background was so surprising to me that I feel the first two hours are easily worth the entire book.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    His second cousin Clive. No, seriously, this is not a good question for a biography. Obviously the main character...


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me smile many times and laugh a couple of times.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very useful book for everybody who is interested in history and/or business and/or oil etc etc. there are many reasons to get it. I recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mark Lewisohn
    • Narrated By Clive Mantle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (275)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (260)

    Tune In is the first volume of All These Years - a highly-anticipated, groundbreaking biographical trilogy by the world's leading Beatles historian. Mark Lewisohn uses his unprecedented archival access and hundreds of new interviews to construct the full story of the lives and work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

    Tad Davis says: "Insanely great"
    "Like being there yourself..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Tune In again? Why?

    I am an avid Beatles fan and listening to TI, I feel like I'm in Liverpool in the 50s. The book is read with a great English accent and the narrator does a great job of lending distinct voices to men and women alike. Just priceless...


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite Beatle? Probably Paul, and you can hear him speaking when the reader quotes him.


    Which character – as performed by Clive Mantle – was your favorite?

    Clive does a superb job of the girls, for example Cindy, John's one time gf. A little innocent, and totally star struck.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It's Beatles history so the most moving part has to be when John and Paul first meet. I really felt history being made in that moment...


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone who loves the Beatles will LOVE this book. It is so packed with everything you could wish for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By W. Timothy Gallwey
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (79)

    The Inner Game of Tennis is a revolutionary program for overcoming the self-doubt, nervousness, and lapses of concentration that can keep a player from winning. This classic best-seller can change the way the game of tennis is played.

    Amazon Customer says: "Could be better if shorter"
    "For anyone who wants to perform"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Inner Game of Tennis the most enjoyable?

    I was surprised at how spiritual it sounds to me. It's there, right underneath the surface. The ending anecdote about being stranded in a snow storm, actually brought tears to my eyes, it was really moving...


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Inner Game of Tennis?

    Apart from the above mentioned passage, the description of his teaching style vs the traditional one. So eye opening, gentle, and powerful.


    Have you listened to any of Dan Woren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not but for a while, I thought it was the author reading it, he commanded the material so well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The description of self I and self II are so recognizable that it feels like meeting an old friend...yourself, that is.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the original inner game and I have heard people say that it's the most powerful one. the principles described here are universal to all sports and all activities where performance and pressure play a part, such as for example music. I'm a musician and I'm not going to get the Inner Game of Music. This is the root and the original!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Andrew Carnegie
    • Narrated By Antony Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    Andrew Carnegie was an immigrant, a poor boy who worked in a cotton mill, a man who amassed a great fortune as a steel baron and then became one of the most generous and influential philanthropists the world has ever known. His famous dictum, that he who dies rich dies disgraced, has inspired philanthropists and philanthropic enterprises for generations. During his own lifetime, he put his ideas into action by creating a family of organizations that continue to work toward improving the human condition.

    Sami says: "The narration ruined it!!"
    "The world's richest man..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie to be better than the print version?

    I don't see why anyone would read print anymore but if you're looking for a good reason to switch to audio, certainly having this book read in an awesome Scottish accent is worth it...


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved hearing about his very humble beginnings. Very inspiring...


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Andrew has a lowly post at the PA railroad and there is an emergency when he is by chance, and not by design, the only one in the shop. He takes it upon himself to deal with the crisis instead of waking up the manager. This taking of initiative is thrilling...


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I wouldn't call the book moving, just solid ,entertaining, instructive and sort of endearing.


    Any additional comments?

    This title is on several success literature classics lists and it's very clear why. AC seems very level headed, humble, and well able to write. I recommend this title!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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