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augustine

ratings
13
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
28

  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11135)
    Performance
    (9628)
    Story
    (9599)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "At the Crossroads"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bits and pieces of this book have been leaked out and I really thought long and hard about using a credit to buy it. I am happy that I did. If you are a teacher, a geek, an Apple lover, an ex hippy, a Dylan fan, or just a person who appreciates quality, then this is a must read.

    As everything else that Steve Jobs did, he picked the best biographer that he could have gotten. Walter Isaacson has done the biographies of Kissinger, Einstein, Ben Franklin and he is professional in every sense of the word. This is not a PR hack job. This is the real thing, on par with the biography of Winston Churchill by David Manchester.

    The reading could be better, but is by no means poor. As the audio versions of the Churchill biographies have shown, a good Audible biography should incorporate the voices of the characters. The reader makes no attempt to sound like Jobs. It probably doesn't matter to most listeners, since the story takes on a forceful momentum as the history of Steve Jobs and Apple computer unfolds.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Michelle Alexander
    • Narrated By Karen Chilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (290)

    In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans.

    Alisha says: "Great Book a must read for every American!"
    "The Tragedy of the Justice System"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book that all Americans should read. Be prepared to come away feeling ashamed of being American. Well written and researched, Michelle Alexander minutely details the justice system in America in the aftermath of the War on Drugs. Whatever your politics, you owe it to yourself to understand the economic and social price that we are paying for incarcerating so many of our young black population.

    The narration gives the book just the right amount of pathos.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1126)
    Performance
    (600)
    Story
    (601)

    Author of the National Book Award-winning All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy is one of the most provocative American stylists to emerge in the last century. The striking novel Blood Meridian offers an unflinching narrative of the brutality that accompanied the push west on the 1850s Texas frontier.

    Chris says: "Bleak but Fascinating"
    "A Very Violent Parable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece. Having said that, the you must prepare yourself for the violence. If there ever was a parable for the constant state of war in which mankind finds itself in, this is it. The characters and episodes border on the edge of realism / surrealism. If you are a fan of McCarthy because of the "The Rosd", this book is a must read, as it lays the foundation of his world view.

    Blood Meridian is a difficult read under the best of circumstances. Richard Poe's reading captures the spirit of the novel and helps the listener get past the technical jargon that McCarthy uses so well. I had read the novel many years ago and find that it is best not to worry too much about McCarthy's dense language.

    A tough listen, but worth the effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love in the Time of Cholera

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By Armando Durán
    Overall
    (363)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (317)

    From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds two people's lives together for more than half a century. In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career, he whiles away the years in 622 affairs - yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral....

    Darryl says: "Marquez is great, awaiting 100 Years"
    "Magical Realism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tried to like this book. Perhaps it was a poor translation.

    Its a marvelous feat of story telling that flies around leaving bits and pieces of realism amid a chaotic surface of magic, love and passion. Unfortunately, the characters take on these same characteristics and I was left with a feeling of ambivalence about their lives.

    Magical realism is not my cup of tea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Trials of Oscar Wilde

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Gyles Brandreth
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    On 18th February 1895, the Marquess of Queensberry left a visiting card at the Albemarle Club on which he had written: "To Oscar Wilde posing as a sodomite." The accusation led to a series of three trials and the imprisonment of Wilde. This compelling dramatic recreation has been carefully compiled from the original trial transcripts.

    Gwynne says: "Wow! What a performance!"
    "Oscar Wilde dramatized"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What can be said about these trials. Nothing that hasn't already been stated. So this takes the highlights of the trials and the transcripts and gives us a look at the proceedings as they might have occurred. Poor Oscar Wilde.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Isabel Wilkerson
    • Narrated By Robin Miles, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (683)
    Story
    (684)

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

    Lila says: "Superior non-fiction"
    "Desperate Conditions in an Unforgiving Country"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A well researched book about the southern migration north by Jim Crow survivors. Excellent performance by Robin Miles portrays each of the voices succinctly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Suzanne M. Desan
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (112)

    The 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814 is an astonishing period in world history. This era shook the foundations of the old world and marked a permanent shift for politics, religion, and society - not just for France, but for all of Europe. An account of the events alone reads like something out of a thrilling novel.

    Monte Johnston says: "Such a great balance of the big picture and detail"
    "Perfect amount of information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professor Desan has written a narrative that details enough information to give the listener the insights needed to make sense of the French Revolution, the Terror, the Hundred Days and finally the carving up of Europe and the Americas that reveal the reasons that eventually lead to the modern era and its wars.
    The performance is dry. Imagine your favorite professor at the lectern going on about the love of her life. She has real enthusiasm but lacks the inflections of a professional reader.
    If you are a person with a curiosity about history, you should definitely get this course.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Salt: A World History

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mark Kurlansky
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (888)
    Performance
    (378)
    Story
    (382)

    So much of our human body is made up of salt that we'd be dead without it. The fine balance of nature, the trade of salt as a currency of many nations and empires, the theme of a popular Shakespearean play...Salt is best selling author Mark Kurlansky's story of the only rock we eat.

    Karen says: "More than SALT"
    "Like salt, this book continually reshapes itself."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Patience is needed with this book. Like a salt crystal, this book continually reshapes itself and the listener must allow some discretion for the constant reorganization. Is the book a fanciful historical cookbook? Is it a chemistry book for non science majors? Perhaps it is a book of history.

    It is actually all of these, and therein lies the dilemma when trying to listen to it. It is a difficult book to pin down, because like salt it changes and with each change, you marvel for a bit until the next change. You might be glad for the change or you might be left wishing that the author had spent more time on the topic.

    I found the book fascinating and filled with interesting facts. That world history, governmental policy and commerce has been shaped by salt production is a fact that is driven time and time again by "Salt". Much like current day oil policy, salt once reigned supreme.

    The narration is excellent with just the right mixture of nuanced innuendo and dry commentary. It is perfect for a book of this type.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bill Messenger
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    Jazz is a uniquely American art form, one of America's great contributions to not only musical culture, but world culture, with each generation of musicians applying new levels of creativity that take the music in unexpected directions that defy definition, category, and stagnation.

    Now you can learn the basics and history of this intoxicating genre in an eight-lecture series that is as free-flowing and original as the art form itself.

    Saud says: "Get a video course"
    "Like Jazz, this sounds improvised"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professor Messenger is truly a master of jazz. His demonstrations are entertaining and help the listener with jazz and the historical tale that weaves in and out of the demonstrations helps put the various styles into perspective.

    Unfortunately, like the jazz that he is demonstrating, the eight lectures sound improvised.For example, the topics that are covered are many and the argument can be made that not enough time has been given to the topics. Professor Messenger does not deal with the time issues well. Thus we get one half a lecture dealing with one blues artist because she is available, while modern jazz, fusion, free jazz and bebop are all crammed into one lecture.

    Also, many references are made to recordings that are never played. Often it seems as if these examples have just popped into Professor Messengers head.

    In conclusion, a better "road map" is needed, if the time is to be utilized better. OTOH, the historical information is very good.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (302)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (264)

    Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.

    Lee the reader says: "Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
    "Professor Greenberg needs to tone it down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The information presented provides for a good general survey with sufficient depth to give one the knowledge to listen intelligently to great music.

    Unfortunately, Professor Greenberg tries too hard to be funny. This is OK at first, but after about the 15th lecture it begins to wear thin. This series would have been so much better with a less "in your face" attempt at humor. Professor Greenberg needs to tone it down quite a bit.

    I was going to download the more in depth lectures that give further insights into musical styles and composers, but in all honesty, I don't think I could take anymore of Professor Greenberg's artificial attempts at stand up comedy.

    In conclusion, with less schtick, this would have been an outstanding general survey course.

    5 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Stranger's Child

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Alan Hollinghurst
    • Narrated By James Daniel Wilson
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    In the late summer of 1913, George Sawle brings his Cambridge schoolmate—a handsome, aristocratic young poet named Cecil Valance—to his family’s modest home outside London for the weekend. George is enthralled by Cecil, and soon his sixteen-year-old sister, Daphne, is equally besotted by him and the stories he tells about Corley Court, the country estate he is heir to.

    Here-and-faraway says: "I Hated For It To End"
    "A Stranger's Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read Hollinghurst' "The Line of Beauty", I was prepared for the homosexual themes of this book. If that bothers you, then I would stay away from this audible listen.

    I was not however prepared for the sketchiness of the novel. It is done by a master writer, but do not expect a story that reveals itself in any sort of traditional way. What emerges is the broken bits of a life and of the lives that are touched by the poet character.

    Much like life itself, expect a mash up of events, desultory memories and skeletons best left in closets. A masterful work and reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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