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San Jose, CA, United States | Member Since 2013

  • 5 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 178 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015

  • American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Colin Woodard
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an "American" or "Canadian" culture, but rather into one of the 11 distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent....

    Theo Horesh says: "One of a Kind Masterpiece"
    "Fascinating audio turns into Obama info-mercial"
    What disappointed you about American Nations?

    The concept of multiple nations within North America overlaying the boundaries of states was interesting and well told. I would have given this audio book about 4 stars if I had stopped before the last quarter of the book. At this point Woodard turned his narrative into an info-mercial for the hard-left. "Republicans are aligned with the Deep South nation (the nation with the most lethal, violent, and egregious slavery practices and the most stratified social structure). They (Republican) are racists and seek to deny health care and hot meals to poor children. Their agenda is to maximize tax breaks to the wealthy and deny services to the 99%." I paraphrase, but you get the idea. If I want to read or listen to this drivel, I can get it for free on the Huffington Post or MSNBC. What a shame, because the first 75% was so good.

    What was most disappointing about Colin Woodard’s story?

    Water carrying for the hard-left. Slandering of the right.

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


    What character would you cut from American Nations?

    The Obama sock puppet.

    25 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • The Higgs Boson and Beyond

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Sean Carroll

    In this 12-lecture masterpiece of scientific reporting, you'll learn everything you need to know to fully grasp the significance of this discovery, including the basics of quantum mechanics; the four forces that comprise the Standard Model of particle physics; how these forces are transmitted by fields and particles; and the importance of symmetry in physics.

    Jerome Robbins says: "Masterfully done"
    "Enjoyable overview the importance the Higgs"

    Why we were looking for it, what it does, and how we found it, told with humor and style. Suitable for general audiences and those who know a bit more. Excellent at providing the big picture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Draco Tavern

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Larry Niven
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When a tremendous spacecraft takes orbit around Earth's moon and begins sending smaller landers down toward the North Pole, the newly arrived visitors quickly set up a permanent spaceport in Siberia. Their presence attracts many, including Rick Schumann, who establishes a tavern catering to all the various species of visiting aliens, a place he calls the Draco Tavern. From the mind of best-selling author Larry Niven come 27 tales and vignettes from this interstellar gathering place.

    D. Arkless says: "A Great Listen"
    "My Favorite Audio Book"
    Where does The Draco Tavern rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    My favorite. I love it. I listen to it whenever I am stuck in traffic without a new audio to hear. My six-year-old son and I enjoy discussing it.Had to skip the Smut Talk story with him.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The bartender, Rich Schuman. His dry humor and quick wit are most enjoyable.

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

    No. He is perfect for Rick Schuman and did other characters very well.

    Who was the most memorable character of The Draco Tavern and why?

    Besides Rick Schuman, the most memorable characters were the aliens called the Chirpsithra. Fascinating, funny, mysterious and scary all at once.

    Any additional comments?

    I wish Niven would write some more of these short stories (vignettes, really). I am hooked.

    1 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

    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"
    "This rocks - I could not put it down."
    If you could sum up 11-22-63 in three words, what would they be?

    King's very best.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of 11-22-63?

    The unintended consequences of trying to change history. Chilling and very believable.

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

    No. The reader was excellent and did justice to the material.

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

    The protagonist's relationship with a woman from the past whom he fell in love with on his way to try and change history. Their relationship was sweet and very well written.

    Any additional comments?

    My favorite Stephen King book was The Dead Zone - this is even better. Would life have been better if JFK had lived? Most of the people from my era (who were kids when he was assassinated) think so. Be careful what you wish for. Fascinating mix of history, speculation and fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pushing Ice

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee

    2057. Humanity has raised exploiting the solar system to an art form. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. And they're good at it. The Rockhopper is nearing the end of its current mission cycle, and everyone is desperate for some much-needed R & R, when startling news arrives from Saturn: Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, has inexplicably left its natural orbit and is now heading out of the solar system at high speed.

    Jesse says: "Proof that a good story doesn't require a trilogy"
    "Avoid this turkey"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The premise is very interesting and is why I got the book. If the writing and performance had lived up to the premise, it could have been five stars. From the get-go I had the feeling I had made a mistake. The coda at the beginning is weird (not in a good way - this is science fiction, after all, and weird is often good) and delays getting to the action. Strike One. I found the reader's accent distracting and his performance affected. His attempts to do character voices were unconvincing. Strike Two. When we finally got to the plot and the action was about to begin, the author went into a bunch digressions about the characters' back stories that were tedious and did not advance the story. The last straw was a sick-making flirtation between two of the characters. Strike Three and I am out of here. First audio book I ever abandoned.

    Has Pushing Ice turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I love science fiction, but I will avoid this author and the reader.

    How could the performance have been better?

    A different reader. The accent, the affected delivery, the poor character voices, would have hurt a much better work.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Pushing Ice?

    Dole out the back story when it is relevant to the action, of which there was about zero in the thirty minutes of the book that I could tolerate. The premise was great, focus on the chase, not all the soap opera aboard the ship. Worse than boring - nauseating.

    Any additional comments?

    How did this get all the stars it did? I am posting this as a public service - don't waste your money like I did.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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