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Tiburon, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

  • 4 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 160 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • 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

    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"
    "Scientology Clearly"
    What did you love best about Going Clear?

    Entertaining, well written, impeccably researched, this book reports both sides of the story, which makes it extremely clear who is telling the truth, and who is lying. The "Church" of Scientology is a massive fundraising operation skilled in deception, fraud and intimidation. It is amazing to read a book that really gets to the heart of the "religion" from its earliest roots to its present incarnation.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The real biography of L. Ron Hubbard is a fascinating story of a deeply disturbed, but yet enigmatically brilliant mind. It provides a picture of his life you just don't get from reading about him on wikipedia, and while it only forms a part of this in depth story, its an amazingly interesting part.

    1 of 1 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

    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.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Contrived and wordy"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who really love the 1980's and 1980's references, including detailed descriptions of re-enactments of movies from the 1980's, repeated references to other pop culture of the 1980's, repeated lists of things that happened in the 1980's, repeated lists of things that a character obsessed with the 1980's has done or did, and people who like lists. Because there are a lot of lists of things in this book.

    Has Ready Player One turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not science fiction in general certainly not. It's just a terrible example.

    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    Wil Wheaton's performance is great. His reading feels very natural and he does a good job differentiating between characters through tone and inflection.

    What character would you cut from Ready Player One?

    The book contains a bunch of people who's only defining characteristic is an obsession with the 1980's. Since the characters are anonymous, at least through the first half of the book, that's literally all we know about them aside from their names.

    Any additional comments?

    Don't read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Company: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    "If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).

    Cynthia says: "Hang on to your Hat"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    It would not be possible to make this a 4 or 5 star listening experience. For that, you would have to scrap the whole book and re-write it using characters that are more than cartoon effigies of the real people they are meant to represent. This new book would ideally have plots that while using real historical events as backdrops also engage with the moral implications of those events and the background and lead up to those events. Additionally, in order to interest female readers, the author of this new book should consider including female characters that are more than paper thin plot-point motivators.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Adam Hochschild
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard

    In the late 1890s, Edmund Dene Morel, a young British shipping company agent, noticed something strange about the cargoes of his company's ships as they arrived from and departed for the Congo. Incoming ships were crammed with valuable ivory and rubber. Outbound ships carried little more than soldiers and firearms. Correctly concluding that only slave labor could account for these cargoes, Morel almost singlehandedly made this slave-labor regime the premier human rights story in the world.

    Edith says: "Fascinating"
    "Fantastic Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely, the story is moving and entertaining and terrifying and amazing. Even if you have no particular interest in history, colonialism, human rights or the ethics of empire the story told here is fascinating and draws you into the narrative, involving as it does so many people, famous, infamous and unknown.

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

    His diction and elocution is spot on, and he brings an elegant, measured tone to the narration.

    Any additional comments?

    The language is especially wonderful and the author seamlessly integrates source material into and out of the text.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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