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Adam

Medford, MA, United States

ratings
16
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
10

  • Freakonomics: Revised Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner
    Overall
    (2858)
    Performance
    (1323)
    Story
    (1320)

    Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life, from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing, and whose conclusions turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this audiobook: Freakonomics. Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

    Shackleton says: "Good, but be careful"
    "Very Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    I was very happy with this selection. The narration was smooth and conscious of its delivery. Turns out that this book wasn't a mathematical slugfest that I feared it might be.

    By design it was full of interesting stories and observations that were then reinforced with data - rather than the other way around.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1931)
    Performance
    (1590)
    Story
    (1606)

    The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

    Andy says: "we may not be the most stupid kids on the planet"
    "Very Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall, very entertaining.

    The narrator did a very good job conveying the sarcasm, incredulity, and disappointment that Lewis is trying to convey. There were several times I was laughing aloud as I was driving.

    The story itself is a bit disjointed. Lewis is evaluating how the debt crisis is playing out over the world so there isn't a linear story so much as an examination of several case studies. He spends most of the book (rightfully) ragging on Europe and then, out of the blue, ends with a chapter ragging on California. Picking on California is fine and all, but it felt like it was inserted at the end so he wasn't accused of being anti-European.

    That criticism aside, this is a book the translates very well to an audio medium and is worth considering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Lars Brownworth
    • Narrated By Lars Brownworth
    Overall
    (515)
    Performance
    (322)
    Story
    (324)

    In AD 476 the Roman Empire fell - or rather, its western half did. Its eastern half, which would come to be known as the Byzantine Empire, would endure and often flourish for another 11 centuries. Though its capital would move to Constantinople, its citizens referred to themselves as Roman for the entire duration of the empire's existence.

    Cinders says: "Just a delight for anyone interested in history !"
    "Good, but I wish there was more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Similar to the podcast, but enough new material to make it worth buying. I just wish there was a smidgen longer

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2167)
    Performance
    (1218)
    Story
    (1236)

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "Blah"
    Overall

    I'm told if you read a physical copy of this book, it's really quite enjoyable...

    Really, the narrator killed this for me. His impression of every character has the same odd drunken inflection to it. Since the text involves a lot of yelling I found myself turning the volume down repeatedly just to get through a segment. I think multiple narrators would have been needed here for a solid delivery. As is, where Heller is trying to be humorous, only monotoned drudgery comes through.

    That may be a little harsh, but really, I can't say I enjoyed this one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    Overall
    (10222)
    Performance
    (5861)
    Story
    (5944)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Engaging"
    Overall

    The book:
    Very interesting since its Sci Fi written in 1965. Good plot/character development. Author picks up on a lot of the subtleties of human interaction very well.



    The narration:
    Very good. Several people read the text helping you to keep characters differentiated from each other. Music over scores dramatic scenes. Very well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Ethan Hawke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2662)
    Performance
    (1346)
    Story
    (1363)

    Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

    W. Seligman says: "What more can be said?"
    "Very Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some Narrators just read the word in front of them. Ethan Hawke on the other hand, performs. He read every line understanding the inflection and sarcasm that's suppose to be conveyed by Vonnegut's work. Very well done and very entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Edward Gibbon
    • Narrated By Bernard Mayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (193)

    Considered one of the finest historical works in the English language, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is lauded for its graceful, elegant prose style as much as for its epic scope. Remarkably accurate for its day, Gibbon's treatise holds a high place in the history of literature and remains an enduring subject of study.

    Gibbon's monumental work traces the history of more than 13 centuries, covering the great events as well as the general historical progression. This first volume covers A.D. 180 to A.D. 395, which includes the establishment of Christianity and the Crusades.

    William Penny says: "What an age we live in"
    "Better on Paper"
    Overall
    Performance

    I really wanted to like this, but some books just don't translate well to audio. This is one of them.

    The reader is monotoned and the text has many vague descriptions of culture and etiquette that lack of events and characters to anchor the descriptions against. Your sense of wonder turns into boredom, malaise and then confusion as you try and remember what it was that Gibbon was talking about.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Modern China: A Very Short Introduction

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Rana Mitter
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    This Very Short Introduction offers an indispensable starting point for anyone who needs to quickly know the themes and controversies that have shaped modern China. Prize-winning author and scholar Rana Mitter examines the modern history, politics, economy, and thriving cultural scene of contemporary China, and its relations with the wider world.

    Adam says: "Not bad"
    "Not bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a basic overview of China's history. For those who are looking for detailed account of China you will find this a bit shallow.

    While breezing through important points in China's history the author does make an effort to sift propaganda away from fact and gives you the foundation for further research.

    This reads more like a textbook than anything else so steer clear if you're looking for a thrilling epic.

    The book covers events roughly from the Qing dynasty all the way up to the Beijing Olympics.

    All-in-all, not bad.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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