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Randall

Portland, OR, United States | Member Since 2007

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 418 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jim Lehrer
    • Narrated By Jim Lehrer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    From the man widely hailed as “the Dean of Moderators” comes a lively and revealing book that pulls back the curtain on more than 40 years of televised political debate in America. A veteran newsman who has presided over 11 presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer gives readers a ringside seat for some of the epic political battles of our time, shedding light on all of the critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America’s presidential elections—and with them the course of history.

    carole says: "Jim Leher is a jewel of a journalist."
    "Mildly entertaining series of war stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Maybe an introductory chapter which describes the overall history of debates as a vehicle to political decision making.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Perhaps make it a bit less Lehrer-Centric. The author focusses on his own first hand knowledge of the debates he has been involved in, which includes most of the biggies over the last thirty years or so. The book would perhaps be a better read if it had a broader scope of discussion.


    Did Jim Lehrer do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes--good birds eye view of high-powered politicians.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Perhaps. It would depend on who writes the script, and stuff like that.


    Any additional comments?

    I like the Lehrer News Hour; I liked a Lehrer novel about bus drivers; however this book was kind of a dud to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (783)
    Performance
    (641)
    Story
    (637)

    The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career - 1958 to 1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark.

    Abdur Abdul-Malik says: "From Powerful to Powerless"
    "LBJ as political wizard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Passage of Power again? Why?

    Yes because it explains the nuts and bolts of LBJ's political savvy in an entertaining way.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Passage of Power?

    LBJ's phone conversation with RFK immediately after the assassination.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    On target, well inflected, scholarly without being dry.


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

    If I could sit still that long, I suppose so....


    Any additional comments?

    If you love biography, this is as good as it gets.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By M. L. Stedman
    • Narrated By Noah Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1297)
    Performance
    (1139)
    Story
    (1120)

    In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel.

    Sandra says: "Wonderful story.....terrible narrator."
    "Absorbing and involving, front to back"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Light Between Oceans?

    1. The issues faced by the main character: love of wife, love of child, the desire to be morally upright on a grand scale as well as on a small scale, PTSD, geographic and social isolation, the dilemma of when and how to obey the law when private morality dictates unlawfulness.
    2. The setting of SW Australia in the years immediately following World War I is portrayed very well by Ms Stedman.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character is the most interesting because his sense of morality was the turning point of the plot.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The audio quality was poor. The Australian accent was ok, and actually made the story more interesting.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending was a tear jerker.


    Any additional comments?

    The book makes me want to go on a light house tour.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Marriage Plot

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1743)
    Performance
    (1442)
    Story
    (1435)

    It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.

    FanB14 says: "Esoteric, Vapid, Trite"
    "Chick book scores with this dude."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Marriage Plot to be better than the print version?

    Probably.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Excellent character development, excellent portrayal of mental health issues.


    What aspect of David Pittu’s performance would you have changed?

    Nothing much.


    If you could rename The Marriage Plot, what would you call it?

    Mangos for Maria?


    Any additional comments?

    All around satisfying read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17885)
    Performance
    (15902)
    Story
    (15859)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Dumb"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Make the plot less preposterous.


    What could Stephen King have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Even though time travel is theoretically possible, it seemed absurd as presented in this book.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Craig Wasson’s performances?

    Sure, he is a fine reader.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom, I only listened to about 40 per cent of it and gave up.


    Any additional comments?

    Many other King novels are better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coral Glynn: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Peter Cameron
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Coral Glynn arrives at Hart House, an isolated manse in the English countryside, early in the very wet spring of 1950, to nurse the elderly Mrs. Hart. Hart House is also inhabited by a perpetually disgruntled housekeeper and Major Clement Hart, Mrs. Hart's war-ravaged son, who is struggling to come to terms with his latent homosexuality. When a child's game goes violently awry in the woods surrounding Hart House, a great shadow - love, perhaps - descends upon its inhabitants.

    Bonnie Brody says: ""We All Want More But Few of Us Get It""
    "A sleeper!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This novel starts slowly and as the characters develop, it gathers interest and momentum. The plot starts out as a predictable ho- hum comedy of manners and things spin off in an unpredicted direction. The reader at first sounded hopelessly pompous to me, but by the end, I felt that the reading style complemented the writing.

    I recommend this little jewel for anyone who has a six hour drive or six hour plane flight. Fun, fun, fun.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Coral Glynn?

    The epilogue was quite effective.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    See above. I am not especially predisposed to like this kind of Brit accent.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The two main characters meet in London after some time apart.


    Any additional comments?

    See above.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Biography: Joan of Arc

    • UNABRIDGED (45 mins)
    • By A&E Television Networks
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    This episode traces the life of the peasant girl from Domremy, Lorraine, who heard voices telling her to liberate France from the English.

    Randall says: "Joan in a nutshell!"
    "Joan in a nutshell!"
    Overall

    If you want to learn all the important stuff about Joan of Arc in 45min, this is the way to do it. Fast-paced, entertaining, accurate.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Firestorm: Allied Airpower and the Destruction of Dresden

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Marshall De Bruhl
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (15)

    On February 13 and 14, 1945, three successive waves of British and U.S. aircraft rained down thousands of tons of high explosive and incendiary bombs on the largely undefended German city of Dresden. Night and day, Dresden was engulfed in a vast sea of flame, a firestorm that generated 1,500-degree temperatures and hurricane-force winds. Thousands suffocated in underground shelters where they had fled to escape the inferno above.

    Randall says: "Thorough, interesting discussion"
    "Thorough, interesting discussion"
    Overall

    This book sets forth how the Allies, in response to German air-war atrocities, and in response to widespread British desire of for revenge in the wake of the Blitz, proceeded inexorably toward committing their own air-war atrocities. Carpet bombing, or "morale bombing", is traced from its beginning stages through the fire bombing of Dresden a short time before the end of hostilities. I would have enjoyed some more information on to what extent the huge bombing effort against Germany succeeded in slowing industrial production. I would also have liked a more organized statement of what the historical arguments against bombing Dresden have been.
    All in all, this is a fine book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Wroblewski
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2866)
    Performance
    (774)
    Story
    (778)

    Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents and an unusual breed of dogs on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. But when tragedy strikes the Sawtelle family, Edgar flees to the surrounding wilderness. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him.

    Ella says: "Just OK"
    "None finer"
    Overall

    Perfect combination of adventure, coming of age, animals, rural charm.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lincoln Lawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    Overall
    (6663)
    Performance
    (2965)
    Story
    (2978)

    Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense pro who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, to defend clients at the bottom of the legal food chain. It's no wonder that he is despised by cops, prosecutors, and even some of his own clients. But an investigator is murdered for getting too close to the truth and Haller quickly discovers that his search for innocence has taken him face to face with a kind of evil as pure as a flame.

    Steven says: "Great Legal Thriller, Great Reader"
    "delightful little read"
    Overall

    Fun novel about the rough-and-tumble of criminal law in Los Angelos. Well-developed characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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