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Matthew

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada | Member Since 2006

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 72 ratings
  • 149 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • Me the People: One Man's Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Kevin Bleyer
    • Narrated By Kevin Bleyer
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (42)

    The United States Constitution promised a "More Perfect Union". It’s a shame no one bothered to write a more perfect Constitution - one that didn’t trigger more than two centuries of arguments about what the darn thing actually says. Until now. Perfection is at hand. A new, improved Constitution is here. And you are about to listen to it. So prepare yourselves, fellow patriots, for the most significant literary event of the 21st, 20th, 19th, and latter part of the 18th centuries. Me the People is about to save America.

    Fifty-One says: "Skip it."
    "Too much filler"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Me the People the most enjoyable?

    The information and how it was presented


    Would you be willing to try another book from Kevin Bleyer? Why or why not?

    yes


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Bleyer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Good book, but I there was too much fluff. I was pleased with the amount of information, but the other half of the book was just distracting fluff. For example, his description of his lunch with a member of a supreme court, he fills the transcript with so many useless and annoying comments it's hard to not just shut it off.

    Also, it was my impression that he was going to develop a better and more informed proposal for a new constitution, and despite being very informative about the origins and consequences of most articles in the constitution, the good journey doesn't culminate in a good destination.. The constitution is essentially a jestful rant with all the "u"'s removed from words like "behaviour."

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (1193)
    Performance
    (978)
    Story
    (969)

    We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

    Teddy says: "Excellent Book All Over"
    "So much info"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Better Angels of Our Nature?

    So much info, so interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    His depth is great. Though I'm not interested in psychology (chapter 9 or something focuses on this), the amount of novel and non-intuitive info he presents make it worth listening to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Atul Gawande
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (834)
    Performance
    (423)
    Story
    (430)

    We live in a world of great and increasing complexity, where even the most expert professionals struggle to master the tasks they face. Longer training, ever more advanced technologies - neither seems to prevent grievous errors. But in a hopeful turn, acclaimed surgeon and writer Atul Gawande finds a remedy in the humblest and simplest of techniques: the checklist.

    Rebecca says: "not his best"
    "So much better than expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The title, though apt, suggests a boring read.. A smart business book at best. Instead, the book does a brilliant job of engaging the listener through exciting case studies (mostly medical or aviation in context.)

    Plus, the narrators voice sounds like a cross between Michael Dorn and Jonathan Frakes, so there's that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On the Map

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Simon Garfield
    • Narrated By Simon Shepherd
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    Maps fascinate us. They chart our understanding of the world and they log our progress, but above all they tell our stories. From the early sketches of philosophers and explorers through to Google Maps and beyond, Simon Garfield examines how maps both relate and realign our history. His compelling narratives range from the quest to create the perfect globe to the challenges of mapping Africa and Antarctica, from spellbinding treasure maps to the naming of America, from Ordnance Survey to the mapping of Monopoly and Skyrim and from rare map dealers to cartographic frauds.

    Joanna says: "If you like maps & history, get this book!"
    "I enjoyed it, but wouldn't re-listen to it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to On the Map again? Why?

    Perhaps some book marked sections, or chapters, but not in it's entirety. I just didn't care about some sections in the book, while others were fantastic.


    Would you recommend On the Map to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes. It's super informative


    What about Simon Shepherd’s performance did you like?

    Good to listen to, accent, clear, lively


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

    No.. I listened to it while travelling and sleep deprived, and though listening to it's section on the Drake Passage while I was literally on a boat crossing the Drake Passage was interesting, there are long long drawn out sections that made it hard to stay awake.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Debt: The First 5,000 Years

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By David Graeber
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (396)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (344)

    Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems - to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods - that is, long before the invention of coins or cash.

    E. J. Ford says: "Stands Economics on Its Head"
    "Could be shorter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Debt?

    Lots of great info, but some chapters take forever to get through...


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    A much better understanding of what money actually is.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • QI: The Sound of General Ignorance

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Lloyd, John Mitchinson
    • Narrated By John Lloyd, John Mitchinson
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    Listen and Learn! The Sound of General Ignorance brings you all the best bits of the number one bestseller The Book of General Ignorance in handy audio form.Allow yourself to wallow in the misconceptions, mistakes and misunderstandings in 'common knowledge'. Your new-found wisdom will help you to impress your friends, frustrate your enemies and win every argument.

    Matthew says: "Awesome, but most of it was already in QI"
    "Awesome, but most of it was already in QI"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up QI: The Sound of General Ignorance in three words, what would they be?

    Awesome, but I remember a large amount (60%) of the book from stuff that was on QI. Will likely listen to it again.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The info


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    QI


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert D. Kaplan
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (129)

    In The Revenge of Geography, Robert D. Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world's hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands.

    C. Telfair says: "Why Don't They Teach This Stuff?"
    "Slow to pick up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I can only think of a very select few who'd be interested in this material.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Revenge of Geography?

    Learning modern military national strategy


    What aspect of Michael Prichard’s performance would you have changed?

    It could have been more lively


    Any additional comments?

    I think another review I read on this book nailed it. The book was slow to pick up, the first half was pretty boring and read like a dry text book, but after that it got more interesting.

    Learning about why Russia, Turkey, China and some other nations did X, or what some of China's actions say about it, or the importance of Mexico was really interesting. Long detailed summaries of academics was... dry..

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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