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David

ratings
261
REVIEWS
35
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
6
HELPFUL VOTES
89

  • Lord, Have Mercy

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Scott Hahn
    • Narrated By Robert O’Keefe
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    Scott Hahn crafts a powerful message that extols the virtue of confession. According to Hahn, the sacrament of reconciliation is the key to spiritual growth. Through each act of forgiveness, we are able to more closely resemble the divine life.

    PPP says: "Bravo!"
    "covenant theology, puns, and analogies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is much like everything else that Dr. Hahn has written or spoken about in conferences or lectures: full of covenant theology, puns, and analogies. A lot of times the puns and analogies are a bit of a stretch. This work is more of a layman's book, and Hahn is very good at bringing theology down to the "Joe Sixpack" level. Those more interested in a scholarly, apologetic, or exegetical work will be disappointed. But since it has been about 15 years since I took one of Hahn's courses, I found the book to be an nice refresher. I hope it will inspire many to take part in the Sacrament and change their lives.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Eye of the World: Book One of The Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9673)
    Performance
    (5708)
    Story
    (5755)

    When their village is attacked by trollocs, monsters thought to be only legends, three young men, Rand, Matt, and Perrin, flee in the company of the Lady Moiraine, a sinister visitor of unsuspected powers. Thus begins an epic adventure set in a world of wonders and horror, where what was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

    Greg says: "This Series Rocks"
    "More for Robert Jordan fans..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If Tolkien were still alive, I'm not sure if he would consider this work as plagiarism or as the highest form of flattery. At about 20% into the story, the amount of influence that Tolkien had on Jordan became very distracting and annoying. Needless to say, there is little creativity here. There were a few things of which I was already tired, especially the number of times that the title "Aes Sedai" is used... I mean, come on, make up a thesaurus in this world or be more descriptive about what an "Aes Sedai" is or does rather than continually using the title.

    I was also tired of the characters not trusting Moiraine and alluding to her as an Aes Sedai and how untrustworthy all Aes Sedai are -how many times does one have to save another person's life before earning a little respect? I think Jordan should have made the Two Rivers folks on the quest a little less dense. It is not that they just lack experience and are naive, they're pretty dumb. By the middle, I felt that they had better wake up soon and realize the gravity of the situation, otherwise I was going to start rooting for their enemy.

    In the end... I didn't find any characters worthy of admiration. I found it rather tedious and boring following characters from town to town to town to town to town without any plot or character development. I can't believe that there are eleven more books following this one, but Jordan obviously had a following. Perhaps Brandon Sanderson was able to add something to the ending of the series worth reading...?

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jonathan Haidt
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1977)
    Performance
    (1120)
    Story
    (1106)

    This is a book about 10 "Great Ideas". Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations - to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives.

    David says: "Exceptional synthesis of psychology and philosophy"
    "Happiness is not found here..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jonathan Haidt is a self professed Jewish, atheist, psychologist. After an existential crisis, he studied philosophy in undergraduate school. Then he went on to study psychology, and then had a hobby of observing morality.

    In The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Haidt attempts to present a series of issues (10) about life from the viewpoint of various religions, philosophies, and psychology. Haidt aims to identify psychological ideas discovered by thinkers of the past - Plato, Buddha, Jesus and others - and to examine them in the light of contemporary psychological research, extracting from them any lessons that still apply to contemporary life. Central to the book are the concepts of virtue, happiness, fulfillment, and meaning. His moral foundations theory looks at the way morality varies between cultures and identifies five fundamental moral values shared to a greater or lesser degree by different societies and individuals.

    Hadit is much better a talking about the brain than religion and philosophy. Unfortunately, he spent more ink on religion and philosophy. He tries to present various religious tenants and philosophical positions, but he does not do a very good job summarizing those views. At times it seems as though Haidt is just presenting a summary of a viewpoint, but too often he offers a criticism or interpretation that misrepresents the viewpoint. He also presents arguments and conclusions that are not logistically sound. Several times he creates self-referential fallacies.

    The most annoying thing is that Haidt is very arrogant. He dismisses the notion of God as a delusion and evil as a myth. Several times he wrongly refers to evil as "pure evil", misrepresenting the religious viewpoint. Because of his prejudice, Hadit's presentation on anthropology and human happiness is underdeveloped to inaccurate. The book is not a complete waste of time, though; I did appreciate the sections that were focused on psychology, especially brain physiology. But he too frequently goes outside of his expertise and comes across as an amateur sociologist and philosopher.

    15 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert S. McNamara
    • Narrated By Robert S. McNamara, Joseph Campanella
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    As secretary of defense for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, Robert S. McNamara was one of the chief architects of American foreign policy, and particularly of the strategy that propelled the U.S. into the Vietnam War. Though he at first firmly believed that fighting communism in East Asia was worth the loss of American lives, McNamara eventually found himself at odds with other members of the Johnson administration when he came to see the ever-escalating was as unwinnable.

    tom says: "What a mess things were..."
    "An interesting hind's sight review."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An interesting hind's sight review of McNamara's memoir/account as Secretary of Defense during Presidents Kennedy's and Johnson's administrations. Some of the details are a bit obscure, so I am not sure why McNamara needed to put so much minutia in the book, but for the most part I think McNamara comes across as genuine. Maybe he wanted to disclose details that had previously been left untold...? I find it amazing that policymakers and military leaders chose strategies but did not follow through with the logistics and tactics to support the operations. I also find it amazing as to how many decisions were made based on fear of hypothetical scenarios rather than known facts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 3: The Last Command

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Anthony Daniels
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (120)

    The embattled New Republic reels from the attacks of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has marshaled the remnants of the Imperial forces and driven the Rebels back with an abominable technology recovered from the Emperor's secret fortress: clone soldiers.

    Brian says: "Great book but poorly preformed"
    "I was hoping for so much more..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At the end of Thrawn Trilogy, I am surprised that these three stories had such an impact on the world of Star Wars publishing. I did not find the stories to be very entertaining or exciting. I think all of the characters are flat, and Zahn essentially depends on everything that Lucas put into the main characters. Some of the ideas that Zahn tried to present aren't too bad, but there were plenty of opportunities to grow the characters and it just doesn't happen. The writing on Leia is the worst, because all of her spunky personality is left out. The next worst job is with Han, and then Leia's and Han's interaction just doesn't have any of the enjoyable banter that every fan came to appreciate. I think that Luke has most of the attention, but even though Luke has most of the focus and action, he is the same from beginning to end. There are so many novels and notelets in the Star Wars' industry that I hope to find some better installments.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 2: Dark Force Rising

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Anthony Daniels
    Overall
    (286)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (150)

    The dying Empire's most cunning and ruthless warlord, Grand Admiral Thrawn, has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the New Republic's destruction. With the aid of unimaginable weapons long hidden away by the Emperor on a backwater planet, Thrawn plans to turn the tide of battle, overwhelm the New Republic, and impose his iron rule throughout the galaxy.

    Cheryl says: "Good, but why waste time creating abridged books?"
    "I was hoping for so much more..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At the end of Thrawn Trilogy, I am surprised that these three stories had such an impact on the world of Star Wars publishing. I did not find the stories to be very entertaining or exciting. I think all of the characters are flat, and Zahn essentially depends on everything that Lucas put into the main characters. Some of the ideas that Zahn tried to present aren't too bad, but there were plenty of opportunities to grow the characters and it just doesn't happen. The writing on Leia is the worst, because all of her spunky personality is left out. The next worst job is with Han, and then Leia's and Han's interaction just doesn't have any of the enjoyable banter that every fan came to appreciate. I think that Luke has most of the attention, but even though Luke has most of the focus and action, he is the same from beginning to end. There are so many novels and notelets in the Star Wars' industry that I hope to find some better installments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pompeii: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1247)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (320)

    All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman Empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared.

    Marty-Seattle says: "Brought my visit to Pompeii back to life"
    "Worth a read but not Harris' best."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was more interesting (earth science) than entertaining, and I think Harris' Imperium and Conspirata were written better on every level. It is still worth a read, but I am betting that the movie will be better than the book, because a lot of the "drama" is more visual than descriptive. I also didn't think that Harris spent enough time developing characters, but the plot moves pretty quickly and I think each act is interesting enough to hold the reader's attention.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition), The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2927)
    Performance
    (2760)
    Story
    (2774)

    Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights. But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords - the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic....

    Ryan says: "It's about time!"
    "I was hoping for so much more..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At the end of Thrawn Trilogy, I am surprised that these three stories had such an impact on the world of Star Wars publishing. I did not find the stories to be very entertaining or exciting. I think all of the characters are flat, and Zahn essentially depends on everything that Lucas put into the main characters. Some of the ideas that Zahn tried to present aren't too bad, but there were plenty of opportunities to grow the characters and it just doesn't happen. The writing on Leia is the worst, because all of her spunky personality is left out. The next worst job is with Han, and then Leia's and Han's interaction just doesn't have any of the enjoyable banter that every fan came to appreciate. I think that Luke has most of the attention, but even though Luke has most of the focus and action, he is the same from beginning to end. There are so many novels and notelets in the Star Wars' industry that I hope to find some better installments.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3683)
    Performance
    (3283)
    Story
    (3294)

    Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable.

    Mikeyxote says: "Great listen for tech fans"
    "How much of this story really happened?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mitnick's story is quite amazing, but it took a little while until it became fascinating. I think it was about a third of the way in, around the point when the FBI steps into his life with undercover operatives, that the story becomes compelling. The writing and storytelling is done well. My biggest concern is about how much detail and how many facts are presented. There are so many occurrences of hacking and "social engineering", and they are all presented as though every detail and fact actually happened. It is hard to believe that someone can remember so many details of exactly what happened, even though Mitnick must have a significant intellect. I don't think he kept a journal along his crime spree path. I guess my concern goes hand-in-hand with the fact that Mitnick is very comfortable with lying in order to attain his own ends that one never really knows when he is telling the truth. I also thought that the "writer" should have come up with alternative terms for "social engineering", like lie, misrepresent, fabricate, impersonate, deceive...etc. I also got tired of hearing him say that "I felt as though someone was watching me" or "I felt that something was going wrong". I wonder what would have happened if the Gov't recognized such talent early on and worked with Mitnick instead of waiting until he became a criminal. What would Mitnick have done if early on the Gov't asked for his help in designing systems or in counter espionage? Let Mitnick loose on hacking our enemies rather than hassling corporations.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fatherland

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (219)

    Fatherland is set in an alternative world where Hitler has won the Second World War. It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler’s 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin’s most prestigious suburb. As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Gripping from start to finish"
    "surprised to be disappointed in a Harris novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was surprised to be disappointed in a Robert Harris novel. I thought that the premise would make for a fascinating story, but Harris did not carry through with being very creative. Harris does show glimpses of brilliance, and I have enjoyed his writing skills in several other novels, but it took over half the book until the story became interesting. The premise is an alternate outcome to WWII -the Nazis have won Europe and are in a stalemate with Russia in the west. The US still nuked Japan and is in a M.A.D. situation with the Nazis, but supplying their enemies with supplies. So Harris essentially borrows the outcomes of the Cold War -not very creative. However, the story has very little to do with any of the premise. It moves into the idea that the world does not know the truth about the Holocaust, and the main characters discover the truth and want to reveal it. First of all, the truth about the Holocaust was known without the concurring of Germany and even before D-Day. Second, even under the M.A.D. doctrine, the Soviet Union still murdered tens of millions of unwanted people and the rest of the world did nothing about it. Therefore, even if the truth comes out, how would it have changed the diplomatic developments between Hitler or the Nazis and the Joe Kennedy administration of the US in this book? This left me wondering where Harris was going with the plot to reveal it to the world, and thus makes it seem as though the novel is unfinished. Really, though, this book is a love story in the midst of a repressive regime and the lovers try to find a way to freedom, but it could have been so much more interesting and creative if Harris tried to deal with some of the more important issues that could have developed if the Nazis really did triumph. If Harris only wanted to write about a love story in a hostile society, then he could have found some more compelling real stories from the Soviet Union, China, Cuba...etc. So in the end, the story did not have enough of anything that Harris brings up and I was left feeling unsatisfied. If you are a Robert Harris fan, and I am, then I think you should go ahead and read this book. If you have not read a Robert Harris novel, then you should try another one of his novels and come back to this one after a couple of other reads.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Four Loves

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By C.S. Lewis
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (34)

    In this remarkable audio, C.S. Lewis shows why millions of readers have acclaimed him the greatest spokesman for Christianity in this century. As in his writings, Lewis doesn't merely tell, he shows the four loves in action with vivid and often humorous illustrations.

    Michael says: "Outstanding"
    "Recording not so good..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is actually a recording of C.S.Lewis, but the recording is not very good. It is interesting, though, to actually hear Lewis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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