You no longer follow Ken

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Ken

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Ken

kberke

METAIRIE, LA, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
7
REVIEWS
5
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (834)
    Performance
    (685)
    Story
    (669)

    The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.

    Eric says: "Challenging textbook more than an enjoyable listen"
    "A Book for Specialists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Blind Watchmaker was read by the author and his spouse—wonderful readers both. The book appealed to me because I had enjoyed The God Delusion and hoped for a similarly enjoyable and educational experience. I had also read The Selfish Gene, which seemed to me harder to read than Delusion. Watchmaker turned out to more like Selfish than Delusion. All good books, but if you don’t come to Watchmaker and Selfish with a burning desire to understand Darwin, you may, by the end of your reading, grow numb, as I did, with the details.

    By way of pointing out the elements I found most enjoyable in Watchmaker:

    1) The author’s reasoning skills are impressive. He has thought and researched deeply about every subject presented. Dawkins plainly announces that he means to convince his reader that Darwinian evolution presents the only rational explanation of the world’s complexity. Dawkins is anything but dispassionate.
    2) Dawkins often presents a view of things that seems to me non-intuitive, yet correct. A brief example: He states that cheetahs are the enemies of gazelles and that gazelles are the enemies of cheetahs. My reaction is, No they’re not. Gazelles don’t hunt cheetahs! Dawkins goes on to say that, from the point of view of the cheetah, if the gazelle can out run the cheetah, the cheetah starves to death. The success of the gazelle, therefore, brings about the extinction of the cheetah, which is the cheetah’s definition of “enemy.” Another: Are cows the enemy of grass? Well, yes, I suppose. In fact, no. Grass has a more formidable enemy than cows—weeds are that enemy. Cows eat grass, but also eat weeds. Voila. I hadn’t thought of that. And on and on.
    3 The description of a bat’s ability to hunt and navigate is worth the price of the book. And then Dawkins postulates humans from the bat’s point of view. Almost laugh-out-loud funny.

    I read Delusion when it was first published in 2008—the first of his books I had read. Perhaps it too had its more detailed elements, now not recalled, elements that I might have found tiresome—not that the fault was with Dawkins, but rather with a reader, not so interested in the details as he might or should be.

    So, a very good book, although not one to be enjoyed in its entirety with a merely passing interest in evolution.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Winston Churchill

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Keegan
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    The eminent historian John Keegan charts Churchill's career, following his steadfast leadership during the catastrophic events of World War II while England was dangerously poised on the brink of collapse. With wonderful eloquence, Keegan illuminates Churchill's incredible strength during this crucial moment in history and his unshakable belief that democracy would always prevail.

    Sabrina says: "A good intro/summary"
    "Churchill Lite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Have you had the experience of reading Dickens’s Oliver Twist and then watching a two-hour theater production of it? If you have, you may recall thinking, "Gee, everything is happening so fast!" You’ll get the same feeling if you’ve read Manchester and Reid on the life of Churchill and then found yourself reading Keegan’s book. "Gee, everything is happening so fast!" To give you a feel for the speed of the thing, notice that years 1941 through 1945 are covered in a single chapter of 20 pages.

    I didn't read the book; rather, I listened to it. The reader, Richard Matthews, did a good job, although, not (in my opinion) the job Clive Chafer, the reader of the third volume of the The Last Lion, did. Chafer was a hard act to follow.

    If you’re looking for a brief overview of Churchill’s war years, this might be the book for you. Having just read the Manchester-Reid volume, Keegan’s book, but for its final chapter (“Apotheosis”) felt like a waste of time. That last chapter, though, was well worth the price of the book. Essentially, it was analysis of the extent to which we ought to admire Churchill. The author concluded that he was indeed worthy of the greatest admiration; most anyone familiar with the great man is sure to agree.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Manchester, Paul Reid
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer, Paul Reid
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (377)

    Spanning the years 1940 to 1965, Defender of the Realm, the third volume of William Manchester’s The Last Lion, picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became prime minister - when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill portrayed by Manchester and Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning-fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A worthy final volume in a great biography"
    "Best of the Three"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having just completed listening to the Audible.com version of this work, I can’t say enough good about either the quality of the book or the quality of the reader. Amazing to me that in the books 1200 plus pages, my interest in the narrative never flagged.Lion is more than a biography; it’s also a detailed history of the Second World War. While listening to Lion, I have been reading No Ordinary Time (Doris Kearns Goodwin, 1995) , which covers roughly the same time and the same characters. I’m enjoying Time, but it doesn’t compare favorably with Manchester-Reid’s book. Surely part of the charm has been the reading. When speaking Churchill’s words, Nelson Runger sounds like Churchill—all you’re missing is the static.

    I can’t help speculating that the publishers made a conscious decision to include in the biography a great deal of peripheral information about the war and the times that Churchill lived in. The only instance I recall in which the authors refrained from inclusion was in following into the future the creation of the European Union—an objective that the great man had in view decades before its birth.

    Finally, and perhaps because this period of time—the war years—were so dramatic, I thought this volume far surpassed in engaging my attention and capturing my imagination the earlier two Manchester volumes on Churchill’s life. Indeed, I next will listen to yet another Churchill biography in the hope that it can approach the quality of this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    Overall
    (7320)
    Performance
    (2096)
    Story
    (2084)

    In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

    Reney says: "Be careful with logical leaps"
    "Fascinating non-fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Blink was an ideal choice for an audio book. Although it presents a central theme—the exploration of thought before consciousness of thought—the episodes of the book are virtually discrete. The reader encounters an ancient item of sculpture that tests well, but that a handful of experts know at a glance is a copy; gamblers who know, before they can say why, that one deck of cards rather than another contains bad news; a fireman who senses that the conflagration he is sent to extinguish is not in the kitchen, as it appears to be, but rather hidden in the basement; a psychologist who predicts with near perfect accuracy on the basis of mere minutes of overheard conversation at the next table, that the marriage between the speakers will not survive. I don’t recall a book that, so often, imparted so many ideas that I had either not thought of or had thought of inaccurately.

    Which isn’t to say that I believed everything I read. In isolated instances, I wondered if all relevant causes of a given phenomenon had been explored; yet, for the most part, I enjoyed lots of how-about-that moments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4449)
    Performance
    (2103)
    Story
    (2102)

    In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

    Marian Hanganu says: "Exceptional!"
    "Stop the Music"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Tipping Point? What did you like least?

    The explanation of non-intuitive causes.


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    Easy to follow.


    What aspect of Malcolm Gladwell’s performance would you have changed?

    The music was annoying and insulting. I didn't need music to tell me that the author was summing up or drawing conclusions. Yuk!


    Who do you think would benefit most from listening to The Tipping Point?

    People who believe everything they think.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.