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J.B.

Economic litigation attorney. Reading, the arts and physical activity are all necessary.

Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States | Member Since 2004

ratings
19
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
1

  • One Summer: America, 1927

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1215)
    Performance
    (1099)
    Story
    (1083)

    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
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4227)
    Performance
    (2393)
    Story
    (2395)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "Hands Down, Best Degradation of War - Ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Avid Audible/Kindle reader/listener of literature for over ten years. Yet have only been providing written reviews on Audible since March of 2014.

    I read the Matterhorn two years ago this month, and many great books since that time. Yet, I just had to reach back and add my praise to the work; the Matterhorn. 24 months have passed and almost daily images of the Matterhorn’s tales and tragedies continue to reflect in my mind. His stories and the calamities suffered by Marlantes’ characters, our Viet Nam marines (my contemporaries), to this day make me shiver thinking of the horrors that come with war. Marlantes just doesn’t shock you though, but rather gives you the opportunity to think through the awfulness and determine what is really important in the momentary lives we are given. I.e., straighten out your values and how you spend your time because its all serendipity but a good portion of those chance discoveries are not fortunate opportunities but gateways into the nine circles of Dante’s purgatory.

    Inter alia, I have read all of Shelby Foote’s Civil War, Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage, Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, and of course, Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front. All Quiet, prior to the Matterhorn, being the most demonstrative depictions of the dreadfulness. Until the Matterhorn I had to rate All Quiet as the most effective communication of war’s lottery wheel of evil. Now it is the second on my list. I have read nothing more unrestrained than the Matterhorn. If you need to know . . . you need to read the Matterhorn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3991)
    Performance
    (3489)
    Story
    (3456)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "No Need to Write the Review, Dr. Oswego's Said It!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was going to write my review and then read Dr. Lake Oswego, of Oregon's review, and thought that's it, that is what I have to say. I want to make two distinguishing points from his comments though. I read 1Q84 about three weeks ago, and unlike Dr. Oswego, I have been thinking of it a lot. Like all Murakami tales the heroine/hero is on a journey to find who they are and what they are to be in society; that is the Japanese society of the last 20 years of the twentieth century. (Remember, statistically it has been shown that the people of Japan are amongst the unhappiest of peoples in modern day societies.) Murakami never fails to give one guidance on what is the true value in life; with a little smack across the face to let us know we have happiness if we only accept our lives and stop putting the “heebie jeebies” into our thoughts. Oh yes, and I gave the read a higher rating than Dr. Oswego. P.S. Thanks Dr. Oswego for making this a shorter write up than I had anticipated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the King's Men

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert Penn Warren
    • Narrated By Michael Emerson
    Overall
    (703)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (333)

    The fictionalized account of Louisiana's colorful and notorious governor, Huey Pierce Long, All the King's Men follows the startling rise and fall of Willie Stark, a country lawyer in the Deep South of the 1930s. Beset by political enemies, Stark seeks aid from his right-hand man Jack Burden, who will bear witness to the cataclysmic unfolding of this very American tragedy.

    Eric Berger says: "Marvelously written and read"
    "Great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy writing reviews but an effort here would be superfluous. Just read the 10 reviews that preceded mine. They are wonderful descriptions of all the book has to offer and how you will enjoy reading, learning, and having an opportunity to consider the value of life and all the things we seem to do to diminish its beauty.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Down the Darkest Road: Oak Knoll, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (403)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (347)

    Deeper Than the Dead introduced Tami Hoag's millions of fans to Oak Knoll, a small California town that, in the mid-eighties, seemed as idyllic as any . . . until the See-No-Evil killer shattered that notion. It took FBI agent Vince Leone and a new technique called profiling" to put an end to the trauma. Now Hoag returns once more to Oak Knoll for the third installment of this best-selling series.

    caitlyn says: "Not Worth It"
    "All Three Oak Knoll Get the Same Review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All three Oak Knoll stories are good get away from everyday life and loose oneself in a mystery thriller. Not the best mysteries, always about a horrid subject; but Hoag knows how to entertain.

    Book One was very good, Book Two as good, and Book Three was not bad. By the third in one week though, I had enough. Good characters in Books One and Two. Less so in Book Three but the read does not disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Secrets to the Grave

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (728)
    Performance
    (427)
    Story
    (437)

    When Marissa is found brutally murdered, with her young daughter, Haley, resting her head on her mother's bloody breast, she sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See- No-Evil killer, residents are shocked by reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days had it not been for a chilling 911 call: a small child's voice saying, "My daddy hurt my mommy."

    Judy Ford says: "Totally superior!!"
    "All Three Oak Knoll Get the Same Review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All three Oak Knoll stories are good get away from everyday life and loose oneself in a mystery thriller. Not the best mysteries, always about a horrid subject; but Hoag knows how to entertain.

    Book One was very good, Book Two as good, and Book Three was not bad. By the third in one week though, I had enough. Good characters in Books One and Two. Less so in Book Three but the read does not disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deeper Than the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1389)
    Performance
    (784)
    Story
    (778)

    Three children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn't yet realize is that this will mark the end of innocence for an entire community, as the ties that bind families and friends are tested by secrets uncovered in the wake of a serial killer's escalating activity.

    John says: "A pleasant surprise"
    "All Three Oak Knoll Get the Same Review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All three Oak Knoll stories are good get away from everyday life and loose oneself in a mystery thriller. Not the best mysteries, always about a horrid subject; but Hoag knows how to entertain.

    Book One was very good, Book Two as good, and Book Three was not bad. By the third in one week though, I had enough. Good characters in Books One and Two. Less so in Book Three but the read does not disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3999)
    Performance
    (2966)
    Story
    (2969)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "And in the End, is there an End?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A story of nuclear war. A story of the apocalypse by humankind. A story that could have occurred in 1959; and a story of living in the aftermath of wide spread annihilation. I profoundly remember seeing a Playhouse 90 adaptation of the tale in a 1960 episode. The story, simple in its telling, has prophetic pronouncements of human fashioned horror and of human resiliency; at least now in retrospect having spent 50 years in human interaction.

    The story never left my mind and I have used the title Alas Babylon dozens of times to explain a world suffering holocaust. (And usually those around me never understood what I was talking about.) The other night my cousin (also and Audible devotee) told me he was listening to a great story – Alas Babylon.

    I had just the prior week downloaded the story to listen to. I went right to the listen and am not disappointed. It is a book of human triumph notwithstanding hominoid demoniacs. It is a book one wants to read (listen to) in one sitting.

    By the way, Playhouse 90, Omnibus and of course, the Twilight Zone, have left me with tale after story after literary portrayal that have echoed in my memory all my 67 years. Wish we had them still. The Playhouse 90 stars were Burt Reynolds and the GREAT Rita Moreno (who I earlier saw in my first Broadway Play; By By Birdie.) Memory Lane.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Pastoral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Ron Silver
    Overall
    (853)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (300)

    Seymour "Swede" Levov is a prosperous, hard-working family man who comes of age in America's triumphant postwar era. But when the country begins to run amok in the 1960s, Swede's perfect world crumbles.

    Thomas says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Ode to What is Wrong with Us"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is not a novel, but rather more akin to a Greek ode to a high school superstar not having the gumption to handle life’s oddities. It is a deep look into middle class northeast Jewish middle class values, and therein a look at America’s middle class values. It does not leave one too proud of who we were and who we may continue to be. I think of an ode as, a lyric poem, typically addressed to a particular subject, with lines of varying lengths and complex rhythms. American Pastoral is more poetic than a dramatization. Not quite to the beat of the Invisible Man, but not too bad nevertheless. Yet it has a fault: as Roth progresses the story he will provide a stanza to deliver a concept. He is excellent in getting his concept across. Then he will nail you with the same communication 17, 19 or 23 more times in case you did not get his message as originally delivered. It became difficult to hear the arguments (the character’s complaints) over, and over and over again, and again and again.
    Yet, if one can handle that one fault, the story is a tortuous and yet, enlightening look at who we were and who we may remain being.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2001)
    Performance
    (1070)
    Story
    (1084)

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "If You Believe You Are Insane Then You Are Sane"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you want out of the war, you must demonstrate you’re insane. But just the fact that you want out of the war demonstrates your sanity. Youssarian, the hero of the book, wants out of the war. So our setting for all the misanthropy and obtuse logic. The story is not a novel; it is a suave to ease the pain from societal absurdities. Oh yes, and a very enjoyable read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Graham Farmelo
    • Narrated By B. J. Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (153)

    Paul Dirac was among the great scientific geniuses of the modern age. One of the discoverers of quantum mechanics, the most revolutionary theory of the past century, his contributions had a unique insight, eloquence, clarity, and mathematical power. His prediction of antimatter was one of the greatest triumphs in the history of physics.

    Eileen says: "Excellent biography of great physicist"
    "Could Have Been Done in Five Hours not Nineteen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So the author, Graham Farmelo, has a suspicion why Paul Dirac was such a brainiac of a mathematician and theoretical cosmologist but only provides his suspicion in the last 40 minutes of the story. The story itself lays down no foundation for the speculation - it just comes out of left field - but would have provided more of a plot if woven into the story that was told. Yes, you are informed how essential this emotionally damaged man was for the progress of the study and development of quantum mechanics but to get there you need to listen to endless tales of how this bore of a man made it through life; i.e., his family were generally hobbled humans, and because he caught a lucky drift and he had truely genius ingitht in foreseeing into sub-atomics, life took him for a good ride - he made no choice just drifted to where we find him - a distinquished scholar. There is some intrigue as we learn about all the faulted personalities that shaped his life but none of it was told in a manner to give oneself a true learning experience nor will I recollect any of the happenings as guideposts in making my life decisions.

    If one needs a very long compendium of the progress of quantum mechanics from the 1910s throught the early 1980s, this may be a good road map.

    Please don't blame me if I said anything in this review that encourages you to read or listen to the biography

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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