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Dan

Auckland, New Zealand | Member Since 2007

ratings
144
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
14

  • The Boat of a Million Years

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Poul Anderson
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (68)

    Others have written science fiction on the theme of immortality, but in The Boat of a Million Years, Poul Anderson made it his own. Early in human history, certain individuals were born who live on—unaging, undying—through the centuries and millennia. This story follows them over two thousand years, up to our time and beyond—to the promise of utopia, and to the challenge of the stars.

    Michael says: "Long winded and boring..."
    "A wonderful idea, but hard to follow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Poul Anderson has a wonderful imagination and doesn't hesitate to go into accurate detail of historical periods. The overall concept of the book is sound but the story does drag on at times.

    Although I've enjoyed the narrators work before, this is not Tom Weiners' best work and unfortunately it does detract from the overall experience.

    If you've liked Anderson's previous work I can still recommend this, but it'll be hard going for those not already a fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5054)
    Performance
    (3059)
    Story
    (3084)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "A dark reminder of how vunerable we are"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cutting to the chase this is an enjoyable read and well worth having in your library especially if you are new to the genera. If you are looking for a technically deep abnd scientifically accurate read this is not for you. Much of it is conjecture and postulation but it's enjoyable none the less.

    That said it's one of many in the genera and nothing in particular makes this one stand head and shoulders above the rest apart from the rather unique look at EMP weaponry. The performance is excellent and the characters are easy to relate to, as are many of the problems they face.

    The problem I had with this book was that I kept comparing it to Jerry Pournelle's - "Lucifers Hammer" which although not technically about the same topic shares a similar premise and storyline but delivers it with far more drama, variety and at a faster pace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Lyndsay Faye
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1346)
    Performance
    (1005)
    Story
    (1000)

    Breathless and painstakingly researched, this is a stunning debut mystery in which Sherlock Holmes unmasks Jack the Ripper. Lyndsay Faye perfectly captures all the color and syntax of Conan Doyle’s distinctive nineteenth-century London.

    connie says: "the best of both Holmes"
    "A nice piece of fiction for the Ripper genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An extremely entertaining story focusing on the characters and lives of those living in Whitechapel at the time of the Ripper murders. Watson, the narrator, describes his experiences along with his view on the investigation being conducted by Sherlock Holmes.

    Although the killings are covered they are not the focus of the story and the gore is not overstated. The book didn't need it either because it stands well on it's own without unnecessary focus on the details of the killings.

    For those familiar with Jack the Ripper, the killings and the events you'll be glad to know they are covered in full as part of this story. Only at the end does the book take you down the path not known to history and... I won't ruin it for you.

    Well worth the credit/purchase. This is a superbly presented and narrated work. I challenge you not to start speaking like Dr Watson as you listen to it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By E. B. Sledge
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (381)
    Story
    (392)

    This modern classic of military history has been called "one of the most important personal accounts of war that I have ever read" by distinguished historian John Keegan. Author E.B. Sledge served with the First Marine Division during World War II, and his first-hand narrative is unsurpassed in its sincerity. Sledge’s experience shows in this fascinating account of two of the most harrowing and pivotal island battles of the Pacific theater.

    Kent Valandra says: "The Best"
    "Gut wrenchingly real"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this book after watching the TV series "The Pacific" on the understanding that the book was one of the major influences of the series. After reading this book I'd say most of the series is base on Sledge's experience and this book.

    This is by far the most real and gut wrenching piece of literature I have ever read. Without drama or embellishment, Sledge walks you through his very steps from Boot Camp to battle. You can't help but fall into moments of pensive reflection as he describes his surroundings his harrowing experiences and those of his fellow marines and the enemy.

    I would happily have swapped this book for all the education I received at school on WWII for it gives a far more realistic portrait of war itself and the brutal reality faced by those on the front line.

    This book leaves "The Pacific" tv series behind on any conceivable measure and I assure you that you will not be disappointed. A highly recommended read which I must publicly thank E.B. Sledge for taking the time to share with the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3490)
    Performance
    (1970)
    Story
    (1985)

    For two thousand years, cadavers have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

    Matthew says: "Darn funny if you're open to the idea."
    "Everything you wanted is right here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A fascinating read delivering all the blurb suggest and a little humour to boot, tastefully of course. In fact it's worth reading this book just to see how the author manages to broach this sensitive topic in such detail and not offend.

    I've learned a huge amount about cadavers, death, and the future of body disposal. I've even been inspired to go off and read more about specifics mentioned in this book.

    If you want to know more about death and what can happen to you after you die, and even more about your choices after you die, then you are in the right place in these pages.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Life as a White Trash Zombie

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Diana Rowland
    • Narrated By Allison McLemore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1723)
    Performance
    (1602)
    Story
    (1601)

    Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She's a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she's made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay "alive".

    Marvin says: "New diet trend, become a zombie!"
    "Not your average Zombie novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you follow the Zombie genre you will no doubt be aware of the rules; infection occurs due to bites or ingestion of body fluid, death occurs followed by reanimation, zombies are alerted by sound, aim for the head etc. I was surprised and grew to enjoy this books detour from the established 'facts'. Although many holes remain in the how and why in this book I think it's fair to say this is a commentary true to all Zombie stories.

    The narrator's delivery in her southern drawl is enchanting and you really feel like you are living the life of the main character. That said this is not a literary masterpiece more of a trashy novel (as the title perhaps eludes to). Secondary characters lack depth and I would have enjoyed more of an insight into some of them. Perhaps the other books in the series answer some of the questions raised above?

    I'm glad I purchased this book and will most likely listen to more in the series. The new take on Zombies and the delivery make it well worth the credit and I'd happily recommend it to Zombie genre fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Indian Business: The East India Company: The World's Most Powerful Corporation

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Tirthankar Roy
    • Narrated By Vikas Adam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    For over 200 years, the East India Company was the largest and most powerful mercantile firm in Britain and Asia. Set up to procure Asian goods for British consumers, the Company's business network spanned Persia, India, China, Indonesia, and North America. In the late 1700s, its career took a dramatic turn as the Company lost ground as a trading firm, but founded an empire in India. Why did a merchant firm end up being an empire builder? Why did politics mesh so closely with the conduct of business in this time? This new account of the East India Company answers these questions by taking a fresh look at the world of Indian business.

    N. S. Desai says: "A novel approach to a complex subject"
    "A broad perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was both more and less than I expected. More in that the views presented were combined from a plethora of sources of Hindustani origin, and less in that I expected it to cover the Sovereign Rule of India too. It takes you right up to that point and that's where this story ends. I can't complain though as the title makes it clear what it does and does not cover!

    This book is very well balanced and tells the history of the Company from the point of view of it's merchants, Indian Traders and Kings. It's told more from the perspective of the effect the company had on India and Great Britain and makes it quite clear that there wasn't really a driving force or goals being the Company any different from any other company i.e. to make money. The fact that Hindustanis adopted british law as defined by Company contracts is a quirk of the relationship not a master plan by the UK to rule India.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this broad and insightful book and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang, Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (534)
    Performance
    (485)
    Story
    (484)

    Chronicling his embodiment of the American Dream, Total Recall covers Schwarzenegger's high-stakes journey to the United States, from creating the international bodybuilding industry out of the sands of Venice Beach, to breathing life into cinema's most iconic characters, and becoming one of the leading political figures of our time. Proud of his accomplishments and honest about his regrets, Schwarzenegger spares nothing in sharing his amazing story.

    Russell says: "Totally Worth It"
    "Such a human story - but what a human!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this autobiography. Arnold is candid about his experiences, goals and how he achieved what he set out to achieve. He narrates the first and last chapters, I just wish he could have done more because it's all the more real in his iconic accent.

    This incredibly driven man shares his life from his starting out body building, doing time in the army as a tank driver, moving to America, getting into real estate, becoming an action movie actor and defining the genre, to becoming governor of California.

    This was money well spent. I've complimented my reading by watching all of his movies in chronological order which is also quite a ride!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War History

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By T. R. Fehrenbach
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (125)

    This Kind of War is a monumental study of the conflict that began in June 1950. Successive generations of U.S. military officers have considered this book an indispensable part of their education. T. R. Fehrenbach's narrative brings to life the harrowing and bloody battles that were fought up and down the Korean Peninsula.

    Charles Fred Smith says: "Korean War Classic - The Good, the Bad, the Ugly"
    "A Grizly Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is part history part personal story collection. Very well read and compiled, I would call it enjoyable but for the horific contents and details of one of the most bloody conflicts of our time.

    I'd recommend we all know more about this war before making further decisions on North Korean and China in modern times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By David R. Montgomery
    • Narrated By Tim Lundeen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    Dirt, soil, call it what you want - it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are - and have long been - using up Earth's soil.

    Dan says: "Turns out there's a lot to learn about dirt"
    "Turns out there's a lot to learn about dirt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dirt is both a facinating history of the stuff under our feet and a good education about how it's created, weathered away, drained or suplimented with nutrients and how human horticultural practices have effected it throughout time.

    There are 3 clear sections to the book, the middle of which did seem to drag on repeating the same story over and over again. In fairness to the author though this is more an inditement of our farming practices over the centuries than to his writing style.

    Well read and well researched this book is a great starting place for anyone interested in soil. You may even develop some enthusiasm on the subject and go and build yourself a Worm Farm and a compost heap!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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