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Mike Schnoll

Gadget Hound

Danville, CA USA | Listener Since 2002

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 307 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Pity the Billionaire: The Unexpected Resurgence of the American Right

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Thomas Frank
    • Narrated By Thomas Frank
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (87)

    From the best-selling author of What's the Matter with Kansas?, a wonderfully insightful and sardonic look at how the worst economy since the 1930s has brought about the revival of conservatism. Economic catastrophe usually brings social protest and demands for change - or at least it's supposed to. But when Thomas Frank set out in 2009 to look for expressions of American discontent, all he could find were loud demands that the economic system be made even harsher on the recession's victims....

    EC says: "another outstanding book by Thomas Frank"
    "Intelligent analysis of a stupid phenomenon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pity the Billionaire to be better than the print version?

    How would I know? The audio edition is moving and insightful, but I haven't read the print version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Pity the Billionaire?

    Understanding how citizen outrage at profligate government/corporate corruption morphed into the Tea Party reality-rejecting echo chamber. It's a remarkable story of money and manipulation. You certainly can fool some of the people all of the time.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The CEO of Massey Energy (multi-millionare beneficiary of lax safety practices that killed dozens of miners) rallying a crowd of middle class idiots with anti-government rhetoric.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Self-reinforcing nature of faith and politics, not blatant stupidity, precludes people from questioning the beliefs that lead to this mass crazy. Joe the Plumber really believes he's better off under Bush/McCain no matter the evidence to the contrary.


    Any additional comments?

    Both entertaining and thoroughly depressing to think that so many American voters lack the critical reasoning skills see through the mendacity of the monied leaders of this Astroturf movement. Our public education system has failed us.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1432)
    Performance
    (1305)
    Story
    (1297)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "Entertaining and extraordinarily well-researched"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Must reading for anyone interested in foreign or domestic policy. Simply put, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Maddow captures the broad trend in American military policy with amazing clarity.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The top brass in the military are talking about this book and the themes Maddow focuses on. If civilian political leadership gets the message, it could have a profound positive impact on our national trajectory.


    What does Rachel Maddow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her delivery is professional and compelling.


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

    Her coverage of the Iran Contra affair, focusing on the policy implications rather than the Fawn Hall/Olllie North personality sideshow that the congressional hearings are remembered for, was amazing.


    Any additional comments?

    Should be required reading for every high school senior in America.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Poison Flower: Jane Whitefield Series # 7

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (124)

    In this exciting seventh entry in Thomas Perry's Jane Whitefield series, Jane spirits James Shelby, a man unjustly convicted of his wife's murder, out of the criminal court building in downtown Los Angeles-but the price of Shelby's freedom is high.

    John says: "Non-stop action all the way"
    "Not his best, but pretty damn good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Poison Flower?

    The Jane Whitefield character is heroic and wonderfully drawn.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The action's fast paced and clever, as always in a Perry novel. But the bad guys are cartoonish, even by the standards of the genre.


    What about Joyce Bean’s performance did you like?

    Joyce did a fantastic job of covering the many characters and accents, with warmth and consistency. It was a pleasure listening to her.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    More sequels than Rocky!


    Any additional comments?

    Sadly, it''s probably time to retire Jane.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Penn Jillette
    • Narrated By Penn Jillette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1559)
    Performance
    (1411)
    Story
    (1411)

    From the larger, louder half of the world-famous magic duo Penn & Teller comes a scathingly funny reinterpretation of The Ten Commandments. They are The Penn Commandments, and they reveal one outrageous and opinionated atheist’s experience in the world.

    Stevan says: "Stevan"
    "Outrageous in every aspect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to God, No! the most enjoyable?

    Penn pulls no punches in this string of stories. At times laugh-out-loud funny and always challenging, God, No! is perfectly consistent with Penn's larger-than-Vegas persona.


    What other book might you compare God, No! to and why?

    Howard Stern meets Richard Dawkins, with a dash of Sam Bush.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Spoiler alert - Penn hosting a pool party with a naked Extreme Elvis on his shoulders.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not many books made me stop and laugh out loud, but this one did.


    Any additional comments?

    If you''re easily offended by casual sex or blasphemy, this is a MUST READ.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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