You no longer follow J.B.

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 J.B.

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

J.B.

Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.

Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States | Member Since 2009

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 34 reviews
  • 40 ratings
  • 827 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
1

  • One Summer: America, 1927

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1622)
    Performance
    (1462)
    Story
    (1449)

    One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country - a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive.

    Mark says: "Why 1927?"
    "Bryson can make any topic capturing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to One Summer again? Why?

    No, the tale is a wonderful listen, and has plenty of content but nothing that needs to be reexamined. Once told and heard is enough thank you.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Done well but letf you with the threat that we, like the story's characters, will all have an end; a passing. Did not leave me threatened. Just in melocholia. Seems like Mr. Bryson is considering the duration of all things human.


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

    He is a very competent reader, yet this book, I suspect, would be a good read as well as being a good listen.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, a little here and then a little more there seemed to be just right. Yet, it wa a pleasant drift into facts and data told in a most charming manner.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume II: Alone, 1932-1940

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By William Manchester
    • Narrated By Richard Brown
    Overall
    (578)
    Performance
    (366)
    Story
    (368)

    This second volume in William Manchester's three-volume biography of Winston Churchill challenges the assumption that Churchill's finest hour was as a wartime leader. During the years 1932-1940, he was tested as few men are. Pursued by creditors (at one point he had to put up his home for sale), he remained solvent only by writing an extraordinary number of books and magazine articles.

    Andrew says: "Worth it"
    "Dapper, Destined and Determined; Churchill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This volume, “Alone,” of the Manchester series on Winston Churchill, tells the story of his life and its interlacing with the (Second) Boer War, WWI and WWII. This is part of a trilogy of editions of the man, referred to in the series title as, “The Last Lion.” The books are, “Visions of Glory,” “Alone,” and “Defender of the Realm,” a magnificent study of Churchill and the eras. They are though a true history, an effort to acquire knowledge about the man and the wars from a British perspective. Nevertheless, this is a well endeavored read or listen but only for those who are history buffs. That is not to say it isn’t a page turner, and hard to let it sit on the bed table. It is such a well done analysis of the epic failures of what lead to the rise of the Nazis and the oncoming of WWII. The book is an artistic compilation of history in the nature of Shelby Foote’s “The Civil War,” although the House of Commons fights are not as dramatic as the Civil War confrontations.

    The same subject, as this title, Alone, can also be read in a more scintillating series by Winston Churchill himself, his four part series the Second World War. That was a more exciting tale. Yes, Churchill has a way not only with governing, giving speeches but writing as well.

    This volume, Alone, is the most complete study into Neville Chamberlain, and the popular British post WWI concept of Appeasement, I have ever come across. I have seen the Newsreel film of Chamberlain holding the treaty in his hand and waiving to cheering crowds in triumph and because I have the advantage of hindsight knew Chamberlain was a fool, and a fool to Hitler. I had no idea how dominant a postulate non-violence was for our forefathers in the 1930s. This book does teach its malfeasance demonstratively well – a probable results of the horrors of WWI’s trench warfare according to this study. Manchester reveals appeasement, at least on the part of Chamberlain, and his predecessor Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, to be a factor of their dedication to capitalism; the appeasers were actually more concerned with unfettered commerce than the growth of the Nazis and the horrors and enslavement National Socialism cast onto others. The continuation of commerce was all the appeasers were concerned with. Thus, how vile the appeasers truly were.

    There has been a lot of criticism about Richard Brown’s reading. (The super great Frederick Davidson read the Visions of Glory telling of the early life of Churchill.) Actually, Brown is a very good reader. His depiction of Churchill though is awful. I remember hearing Churchill in the original (on Newsreels) and his voice was most distinctive. Brown’s depiction doesn’t come close and is actually dreadful. (Unfortunately for Brown, Davidson’s re-depiction was magnificent.)

    . . . and yes I will be listening to the final series, Visions of Glory (which was completed by Paul Reid, as Manchester passed before he completed the war years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Poet

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3932)
    Performance
    (2534)
    Story
    (2521)

    Our hero is Jack McEvoy, a Rocky Mountain News crime-beat reporter. As the story opens, Jack's twin brother, a Denver homicide detective, has just killed himself. Or so it seems. But when Jack begins to investigate the phenomenon of police suicides, a disturbing pattern emerges, and soon suspects that a serial murderer is at work.

    Tom says: "Is Connelly the Best Crime Writer Or What?"
    "A little Connelly, a Little Poe, and Dual Stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Poet tells one tale of an FBI search for a pedophile infanticide; which then morphs into a second story of deception and trust. In the first, one might say the good guys get their man, but not without loss of life and virtue. In the second story, the lack of blind trust in love is the genesis of the tributary tragedy. The book is a page turner as is any Michael Connelly novel. Michael Connelly does not hesitate to bring one to the edge of horror, but thankfully does it with literary panache rather than putrid descriptions. Connelly’s style is the more effective. An extra added excitement in the tale is the interlacing short references to Edgar Allan Poe’s work. Not much, but enough to give the story additional depth, found memories of prior readings of Poe’s poems and stories, and an essential carry through theme between the two tiers of stories. If one wants to be entertained, one can certainly find it in The Poet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oedipus the King

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 40 mins)
    • By Sophocles
    • Narrated By Michael Sheen, full cast
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (27)

    In the hands of Sophocles, the master dramatist, the anguished tale of a man fated to kill his father and marry his mother retains its power to shock and move beyond any Freudian reference.

    Aaron says: "Crackles with Fire"
    "Sophicles - Why Didn't G-d Keep You Hear Forever?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus accidentally fulfilled his prophecy received from the gods. At an early age he learned, that he would kill his father and marry his mother, and thereby bring disaster on his city and his family. He decided to alter his life to cheat his way out of his fate. Despite his efforts, in fact, as a result of his efforts, he met his Democlean destiny.

    This play was written in or about 429 B.C. This story was conceived, created, played and revered by audiences in the gap between the bronze and iron ages. (Wish our society today was as sophisticated as the Greeks were or should have been given the thinking this play generates.)

    Imagine this the Greeks of 429 B.C. had a settled concept of making our living selves distinct from the non-human animals. No longer were we equivalent to any common animal. We had developed an understanding of humanity - the quality of compassion or consideration for others. The play reminds us though, that our assimilation into mortality; comes with a higher degree of horrifics. With increased knowledge we have increased agony. Because we can see deeper we can bleed more vociferously. And just how calamitously will one scream when one learns he is seeding through yourr own mother?

    The given horror and how it torments Oedipus is the makeup of the great play. The audio’s acoustics are bad, the acting is not always great. The story, as difficult as one might believe, is a travel one should not miss out on in his/her life – the voyage through the play not its contents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By William Manchester
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (893)
    Performance
    (558)
    Story
    (560)

    Winston Churchill is perhaps the most important political figure of the 20th century. His great oratory and leadership during the Second World War were only part of his huge breadth of experience and achievement. Studying his life is a fascinating way to imbibe the history of his era and gain insight into key events that have shaped our time.

    Wolfpacker says: "Superb - Review of Both Volume I & Volume II"
    "Churchill: the Man of the Last Century"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Last Lion: It seems impossible that so many pieces of historical minutia, every little dribble of Winston Churchill’s life, from birth to 1932 can so deeply capture one's attention. Not a single iota of data – bored me? No, in fact I waded through this history with eager élan to hear more and more and more.

    I had no idea Churchill’s life was such a struggle from parent neglect to constant antagonism from his House of Common party members, and of course, the opposition. I did not know he was such a war lord, and warrior in many theaters of conflict including the trenches in World War I. Nor did I have an adequate understanding how sharp a mind he had, and how caring he was for the downtrodden, as long as they respected their place alongside but not ahead of the British upper class. In fact, he had prejudices; although there was merely a distinction between peoples, but not a derogation of their humanity. Nevertheless, a prejudice. It was interesting to learn of his disgust of the Mahatma Gandhi – which was nothing compared to disgust at Bolshevism. Nor had I known how he financed his life, or how prolific of a writer he was – Darn! - His productivity makes me jealous. If one wants to learn how to be a real 19th century man; read this book. In short, as paraphrased towards the end of the book from his adversaries: Churchill does not debate, he orates, and he was always sure of his point of view and does not want to hear yours. That would be an indictment, but for the fact that Churchill was almost always correct.

    I have recently read Churchill’s four book series on World War II. He is a very enjoyable writer, balanced but proud of who he was and what he accomplished. He was such a distinct human being it seems an easy task to now add another 137 hours (the length of this Manchester series on his life) to my reading/listening leisure time. Of course, reading a William Manchester biography – makes it easy. (Manchester died before completing the work and Paul Reid, finished the story – to equally great reviews.)

    Finally, at least this first book was narrated by Frederick Davidson. He can read the ingredients on a can of beans and I would enjoy the delivered information. Now just a little more on Davidson. He always sounds too haughty, as though he is over affected with himself, for the first few pages. But no; he masters each topic and delivers with just the right effect, and in relatively good distinct voices – even though he never loses his haughtiness. So far Book One, a great read. I go on from here.

    It’s a tedium but it’s a read well worth endeavoring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What It Is Like to Go to War

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (438)
    Performance
    (387)
    Story
    (390)

    In 1969, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his war experience.

    Lynn says: "Destined to become a Classic"
    "War - Made Subject to Deep Considerations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A philosophy of going to war. Where Sun Tzu teaches how to wage the strategies and tactics of war, Carl Marlantes teaches how to achieve the best state of mind to wage war and, after war how to bring our troops home to be productive members of society. How we need to care for our warriors before, going into, during and coming out of war.

    George W. Bush, please do not read this book, it will make it difficult to swallow. Dick Cheney, don’t worry, you probably won’t care to grasp its logic; it may be antithetic to your perceptions.

    Presuming philosophy means a methodology of addressing problems by critical, systematic and rational argument - this book is a philosophical analysis of the only circumstance in which we may cause violence to achieve a more secure world. (That last statement reminds me of the logic of one of the posters in the Rock Opera “Hair,” “Warring for peace is like f***ing for chastity.”) Marlantis though, sets down a logical path for the former part of the inconsistent syllogisms, while keeping an eye on the veracity of the second deductive synthesis, the chastity part.

    I think, I hope, Marlantes has laid before us a much better way of caring for the men and woman of our armed forces. I think, I hope his theories prove to be justifiable. If so, I think, I hope his thoughts will have everlasting effect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Chris Anderson
    • Narrated By Christopher Nissley
    Overall
    (835)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (170)

    Our world is being transformed by the Internet and the near limitless choice that it provides to consumers; tomorrow's markets belong to those who can take advantage of this. The Long Tail is really about the economics of abundance, an entirely new model for business that is just starting to show its power as unlimited selection reveals new truths about what consumers want and how they want to get it.

    Jim says: "Good Book, Flawed by Repition"
    "A Long (but worthy) Tale, About a Long Tail."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Provides a new component to business analysis; in that the tradition factors of marketing no longer provide a full market view. Sale of limited or unique market products can now be readily presented and supplied alongside dominant market products. Each having equal opportunity to reach and be purchased by other distributors and end market purchasers. The study further demonstrates “tail” products in mass can equal and surpass the dominant market products when conglomerated. Think Amazon.

    A little dated, a little too redundant and a little too long but an essential understanding to anyone who seeks to market in today's arena; and especially marketing via the web. Don’t let my ratings discourage those who need to consider how to sell a product in today's electronic world. It is not necessarily a fun read, but it is an educational read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Have and Have Not

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (111)

    To Have and Have Not is the dramatic story of Harry Morgan, an honest man who is forced into running contraband between Cuba and Key West as a means of keeping his crumbling family financially afloat. His adventures lead him into the world of wealthy and dissipated yachtsmen who throng the region, and involve him in a strange and unlikely love affair.

    Marsha says: "Nostalgic read."
    "Move Over Dostoyevsky, You Have a Comrade:"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Your New Comrade Though Just Writes a Little More to the Point.

    Where have I been? I have read at least six Hemingway novels, and not until “To Have and Have Not” did I ever consider him an existentialist. Harry Morgan suffers through his Hemingway given chores (Morgan’s thoughts and actions in carrying out the story) being totally disorientated by all the absurd and harmful threats the world throws at him. Yet, in an unrelentingly vicious manner he reacts and responds. It is those four or five episodes of Harry Morgan’s venal acts – he will do anything to servive and to provide for his Depression suffering family - that make this novel a bewildering but memorable tale. And yes, there is the Hemingway style of writing. Simplistically poignant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19710)
    Performance
    (14561)
    Story
    (14627)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Janice says: "Indescribable"
    "Previously Unknown, Now Unforgettable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is about an unusually unique man, Louis Zamperini, his internal drive and how that matches up against life, troubles and the horrors of the Japanese prisoner of war system during World War II. It is almost frustrating to read. No fault of Laura Hillenbrand. Wrongs occur and in the end she proves life, even virtuous life, does not balance out.

    Zamperinin suffers more wrongs than good fortunes, and we learn one must live with that imbalance. It is very much a worthwhile read, as it encapsulates you into Zamperini’s life immediately and never lets your interest in hearing more of the story wane. Never once. Cannot imagine a writer doing a better job explaining personalities than Hillenbrand does here. I have not read her prior book, Seabiscuit (only saw the movie), but I will now. . . . and yes, like other readers, I wonder now how I had never heard of Louis Zamperini before?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (625)
    Performance
    (465)
    Story
    (465)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Surf City Swami says: "The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine"
    "A Good Time Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Truly in the tradition of a Raymond Chandler novel on Philip Marlowe - remember Humphrey Bogart. Knock your socks off and get into the story. The character, and the plot move you along nicely. It goes beyond just a good read too. The book gives you an understanding of what the world of being a mafia lieutenant was actually like. Not quite the Soprano legend.

    Don't let the dinky title or book jacket discourage you. It's better than those emblematic representations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Hans Christian Andersen
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    Overall
    (4632)
    Performance
    (4058)
    Story
    (4098)

    This classic tale is a fantastical fable of two dear friends - one of whom goes astray and is literally lost to the north woods, while the other undertakes an epic journey to rescue him. This charming, strange, and wonderful story is a timeless allegory about growing up and the challenges of staying true to one's self, and it served as the wintry inspiration for the blockbuster hit Frozen.

    Sara says: "Strange & Fascinating"
    "Not Very Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thank you Audible for the free gift. The performance, by Ms. Whelan, was not very bad; the story was. Perhaps next time I will pass up the freebees. I did look forward to learning of a new Hans Christian Andersen, but it was not quite the The Emperor's New Clothes.

    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.