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William W. Smith

Bridgewater, NJ | Member Since 2002

  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 364 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014

  • Paul Temple and the Jonathan Mystery (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Francis Durbridge
    • Narrated By Peter Coke, Majorie Westbury, Full Cast

    From 1938 to 1969 crime novelist and detective Paul Temple, together with his Fleet Street journalist wife Steve, solved case after case in one of BBC radio's most popular serials. They inhabited a sophisticated world of chilled cocktails and fast cars, where the women were chic and the men wore cravats, a world where Sir Graham Forbes, of Scotland Yard, usually needed Paul's help with his latest tricky case.

    William W. Smith says: "Dramatizations are a great change of pace"
    "Dramatizations are a great change of pace"

    I loved this mystery. I was on a trip and I set up in my motel room with some portable speakers. It was very well done and just the right mix of period piece and contemporary mystery. There is a "Mr. and Mrs. North" feeling to the characters and a lot of twists and turns along the way.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Open: How Compaq Ended IBM's PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Rod Canion
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Open provides valuable lessons in leadership in times of crisis, management decision-making under the pressure of extraordinary growth, and the power of a unique, pervasive culture. Open tells the incredible story of Compaq’s meteoric rise from humble beginnings to become the PC industry leader in just over a decade. Along the way, Compaq helped change the face of computing while establishing the foundation for today’s world of tablets and smart phones.

    Karen Thompson says: "Great walk down memory lane!"
    "Wrong narrator for this book"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Absolutely. But probably only of interest to those people who lived through the early years of the PC market, when companies like Compaq were trying to compete with IBM.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Open?

    I was always interested in Compaq's decision to move ahead with the 386 before IBM. Canion seems to believe that IBM's hesitation to lead with this chip was due to its concentration on MicroChannel. I worked with marketers from IBM at that time, and they told me the reason was to protect the System/36. They believed that the power and memory management of the 386 would tempt many customers to buy a cheap PC instead of a more costly mini for many applications. Also, IBM had a RISC System 6000 in the works to compete with SPARC and a 386 announcement would have muddied the waters. Their opinion.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Paul Boehmer’s performances?

    Sure, but not for a technical book. I don't know how old he is, but everyone at that time pronounced the IBM PS/2 Pee-Ess-Too, not Pee-Ess-Slash-Too. Say it once or twice and it's merely annoying. But fifty or sixty times and it is truly irritating. Also, the new bus that Compq developed (EISA) was universally pronounced ee sa, not eye-sa. A very quick check on the Internet would have resolved this in a matter of seconds. This is probably the fault of the editor or producer, but the narrator gets the blame. He seemed to have no feel for the material. I can't blame him entirely if the material is not of interest to him. The whole production just seemed sloppy.

    Do you think Open needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, This is basically a CEO congratulating himself for making good decisions. The somnolent narration makes this book sound like a boring guy who lived through interesting times. No question Canion was the right guy at the right time to lead Compaq through a number of critical decision points that could have endangered the whole company. But maybe the story would have been more interestingly told by a third party with a less rosy view of Canion's performance. This particular narrative makes Canion the hero at every turn, The crowds cheer, the gutless competitors flounder. If there is a follow-up, it should be written by someone else.

    Any additional comments?

    Despite its flaws, this is a fascinating book for anyone who was involved in the early days of what has come to be known as the clone wars. It is wonderfully nostalgic for those of us who drooled over the idea of a 10 megabyte hard disk. It made me go and take a look at copies of PC Magazine and PC World that I saved from that era. They were exciting times and Rod Canion was right in the thick of it. I'm glad that he decided to write down his recollection of that time. But it may take another authjor with access to more people to fill out the history that "Open" is trying to tell.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    To survive in a game with no rules at all, John Corey must invent a strategy that includes no luck at all. He and the Anti-Terrorist Task Force must stop "The Lion," an alleged Libyan terrorist with the instincts of a wild animal, the bloodlust of a carnivore, and the boldness and speed of a cat of prey.

    Toni says: "Remarkable!"
    "Where's the Ending?"

    This book starts off quite well, as a plane appears to land itself. The terrorist is wily and unstoppable and the hero is also OK. But a book with a beginning and a middle needs an....

    that's right! an ending. And this book has none. I won't give anything away, but this author apparently just gets tired of writing, or reaches his page quota, and then stops, wrapping things up clumsily in the last few pages. Was someone calling him to dinner? Cop chases terrorist from coast to coast and then... nothing really.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Kill the Messenger

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Erik Davies

    At the end of a long day battling street traffic, bike messenger Jace Damon has one last drop to make. But en route to delivering a package for one of L.A.'s sleaziest defense attorneys, he's nearly run down by a car, chased through back alleys, and shot at. Only the instincts acquired while growing up on the streets of L.A. allow him to escape with his life, and with the package someone wants badly enough to kill for.

    Kathleen says: "Suspense and Action with Great Narration"
    "Dumb kid eludes mean guys"

    I had high hopes for this one. Without giving anything away, the hero is a bike messenger who is portrayed as a contemporary version of the little match girl. He is pure and poor and committed to his little brother. He does three or four incredibly stupid things in a row at the beginning of the book that no one would conceivably do and these things get him into trouble. Co-starring is a slightly narcissistic good cop who tries to track him down before the bad cops get him. Lots of narrow escapes etc. etc. Unlikely ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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