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Ben

New York, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 113 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Philbrick
    • Narrated By Chris Sorensen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord.

    Rick says: "Another Fantastic Story by Philbrick"
    "A dull slog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was not very good. The narrative is uninteresting and there is not much fresh analysis. Also, the narrator reads in a dull monotone that makes it hard to follow. I really enjoyed Philbrick's "In The Heart Of The Sea", but I was very disappointed in this one. My advice is to listen to something by McCullough or Ellis instead if you want a good audiobook on the revolutionary period.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Don't Ever Look Back: Buck Schatz, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Daniel Friedman
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Unforgettable protagonist BuckSchatz is back, and once again this 88-year-old retired Memphis cop refuses to go gently into that good night. Having sustained injuries in Don't Ever Get Old, Buck is living at a retirement home with his wife, and he's downright miserable being treated like the elderly person he is. But soon, Elijah, a man from his past, pays Buck a visit. Elijah offers Buck a tidy sum to do him a favor, and Buck is eager to close the book on a series of robberies that he could never solve. But things soon go downhill - way downhill.

    Ben says: "Terrific"
    "Terrific"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Buck Schatz books by Daniel Friedman are two of my all-time favorites on Audible. Great character, really funny, interesting plot and setting. I hope he writes more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Marc Levinson
    • Narrated By Adam Lofbomm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    In April 1956, a refitted oil tanker carried 58 shipping containers from Newark to Houston. From that modest beginning, container shipping developed into a huge industry that made the boom in global trade possible. The Box tells the dramatic story of the container's creation, the decade of struggle before it was widely adopted, and the sweeping economic consequences of the sharp fall in transportation costs that containerization brought about.

    Holland says: "A portrait of disruptive innovation."
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this audiobook with high hopes after I saw that it got pretty good reviews and because I am always interested in a good business/economics story. I was disappointed. The story is straightforward and fairly dry. This felt stretched as a book and would have been a better long magazine article. In addition, the narrator is pretty flat. This one was a bit of a slog to get through.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Don’t Ever Get Old

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Daniel Friedman
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    When Buck learns that an old adversary may have escaped Germany with a fortune in stolen gold, he decides to hunt down the fugitive and claim the loot. But lots of people want a piece of the stolen treasure, and Buck’s investigation quickly attracts unfriendly attention from a Mississippi loan shark, a seven-foot-tall Hasidic Jew, and a bloodthirsty maniac hell-bent on rubbing out everybody who knows anything about the stolen gold.

    Ronna says: "It's a "Buck Schatz"!! And it's great!!"
    "Fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have listened to hundreds of books on Audible and this is probably my all-time favorite. Schatz is a great character and the book is laugh out loud funny. Also, the narrator is very good and a perfect fit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slide Rule: Autobiography of an Engineer

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By James Faulkner
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Nevil Shute was a power and a pioneer in the world of flying long before he began to write the stories that made him a best-selling novelist. This autobiography charts Shute's path from childhood to his career as a gifted aeronautical engineer, working at the forefront of the technological experimentation of the 1920s and ‘30s. The inspiration for many of the themes and concerns of Shute's novels can be identified in this enjoyable and enlightening memoir.

    Ben says: "I love Shute's novels but found this to be dull."
    "I love Shute's novels but found this to be dull."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge fan of Shute's novels and have enjoyed over a dozen. I was eager to listen to this given the good reviews but was disappointed. This is a fairly straightforward recounting of Shute's business career, focusing on his work launching an aeroship in the UK in the 1920's and then his experience helping launch and run an airplane manufacturer in the 1930's and beyond. There is little detail on his personal life. There are some enjoyable tidbits but they weren't nearly enough to carry the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4370)
    Performance
    (4031)
    Story
    (4044)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Dave says: "Oh, the Wondrous Ocean!"
    "Not Gaiman's best work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have loved a number of other books by Gaiman (American Gods, Anansi Boys, Graveyard Book), but I thought this one fell flat. The plot isn't very compelling and doesn't move along like his others and I was not really invested in the characters. I think this would have worked better as a short story and it feels stretched as a novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9795)
    Performance
    (4738)
    Story
    (4766)

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Suzanne says: "The scare is in the human nature under stress."
    "Highly enjoyable yet flawed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen King fans will enjoy this one. The story moves along and there are a number of good characters. There are weaknesses, though. A number of plot points regarding character reactions to Big Jim's machinations are somewhat unbelievable and strained. In addition, as many have noted, the narrator's voices for women and children are terrible to the point of distraction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ian W. Toll
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (260)

    On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.

    BB says: "Superb narrative history"
    "Fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book. I knew little about the history of the Pacific Theater in World War Two and this is an excellent introduction. The author very skillfully weaves together the larger history of both sides with individual stories. The narrator is great. The battle scenes are riveting, as was the account of the initial bombing of Tokyo. This one was hard to put down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen Morris: and Pilotage

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Gordon Griffin
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Stephen Morris has just called off his engagement to the girl of his dreams because he is a penniless graduate with no prospects. He finds a job working as an aircraft mechanic, hoping to make his fortune. In Pilotage, Stephen's young navigator Pete Dennison is struggling with exactly the same problem.

    A User says: "Beautifully read"
    "Pretty dull."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have greatly enjoyed a number of Shute's other works (Trustee From The Toolroom, A Town Like Alice, Round The Bend), but I found this one to be tough sledding. It is not surprising that these are his first two published works. The plots are dull and I found the narration to be somewhat flat; the point of view switches frequently and it's hard which character is speaking. On his Wikipedia page, there is a quote from Shute indicating he thought these two books were not very good and I agree with that sentiment.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Guns of August

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (354)

    Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman here brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, The Guns of August will not be forgotten.

    History says: "Best history on the origins of WWI"
    "Mind-numbingly boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this with high hopes, but found it mind-numbingly boring. Tuchman bogs down in details and doesn't ever really present a good overview.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful

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