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John

San Diego, CA, USA

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 131 ratings
  • 230 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • Snark

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs)
    • By David Denby
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Denby has fun snarking the snarkers, expelling the bums and promoting the true wits, but he is also making a serious point: the Internet has put snark on steroids. In politics, snark means the lowest, most insinuating and insulting side can win. For the young, a savage piece of gossip could ruin a reputation and possibly a future career. And for all of us, snark just sucks the humor out of life. Denby defends the right of any of us to be cruel but shows us how the real pros pull it off. Snark, he says, is for the amateurs.

    John says: "Important Book, but must endure poor narrator"
    "Important Book, but must endure poor narrator"
    Overall

    This is the humanities done well. In the tradition of Susan Sontag's essay on the kitsch, Denby succeeds in expanding our consciousness. He identifies a class of communication which is rampant and dangerous, and through its identification and analysis offers some immunization.
    Regrettably, the narrator reads with a sarcastic voice which doesn't fit the character of the essay, (I suppose the casting call was for someone snarky.) The effort of listening through the narrator is well rewarded by the books content.

    Snark is a style of communication which is:
    1) aiming to be humorous
    2) usually forming an invective
    3) invokes knowingness to other: that is it separates an out group ('them') from an in group ('us) by reference to in group knowledge or oblique in group belief proclamation.
    4) And, most importantly, is logically inconsistent, or untrue, or badly evidenced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Falling Man: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don DeLillo
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    In the opening scene of Falling Man, Keith Neudecker emerges from the smoke and ash of the burning tower where he worked, and makes his way to the apartment of his ex-wife and young son uptown. Throughout this bold and haunting novel, DeLillo traces the way the events of September 11 kindled or rekindled relationships, reconfigured our emotional landscape, our memory, and our perception of the world.

    T. C. Pile says: "Since the planes..."
    "Bad narrator"
    Overall

    I Iike Don DeLillo lots, but could not enjoy this audiobook because narrator failed use voices nor other cues to indicate speaker in dialogs, forcing me rewind so often I gave-up half-way.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Coming Economic Collapse: How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Dr. Stephen Leeb, Glen Strathy
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson
    Overall
    (585)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (50)

    In The Coming Economic Collapse, Dr. Leeb shows that the U.S. economy is standing on the brink of the biggest crisis in history.

    As the fast-growing economies of China and India push global demand for oil beyond production capacity, Americans will experience a permanent energy shortfall far worse than the one in the 1970s. The result will be severe financial hardship for most people, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for investors to become incredibly rich.

    This is an urgent call-to-arms to avert an all-but-certain catastrophe and a survival kit for an era that offers us only two financial choices: poverty or wealth.

    Christopher says: "Interesting but painful."
    "Save your time"
    Overall

    Summary: Fuel prices will go up, and if you don't think so, you have succumbed to "group think." Inflation likely up (he hedges). Invest in 1970s winners: oil, alternative energy, oil services, gold, real estate.

    Criticism: Terrible book. Worst of the year, (of about 80+, mostly academic). That fuel prices will go up to $150+ per barrel in ensuing decade is probably true, but in this book you won't find evidence stronger than what you'll get from a hotel bar bull session. Author merely repeats thesis, and disparages those who disagree as succumbing to group think. Scant economic argumentation, and no social psychology evidence presented for relevant “group think” thesis. Transparent and pathetic rhetorical gimmicks, (ad hominem, false modesty, fallacious arguments from authority, unbalanced statistical comparisons, and pretenses of scientific competence, which get rather hilarious when he gets high-school science wrong.) Regrettably, a repulsive personality winds through the patchwork of second rate speeches composing the book. Investment advice only at tail-end, last 10%, of book.
    The prose is business incompetent, the evidence infomercial, the personality egotistical, the investment intelligence, conventional and dull unless contradictory and useless. I fear first that reading the book lowers one’s IQ, and most that its strong sales indicate illiteracy on wall street.

    Note: Do not confuse this book with *Collapse*, Jared Diamond’s brilliant integrated history of failed societies, (also on Audible). Diamond won a Pulitzer for *Guns, Germs and Steel*, and is one of the world’s most distinguished scientists.



    17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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