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Robin

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Member Since 2005

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 421 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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  • The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By James Gleick
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (793)
    Performance
    (492)
    Story
    (500)

    James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Ge­nius, brings us his crowning work: a revelatory chronicle that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.

    Ethan M. says: "Brilliant book, heroic reader, better in print?"
    "Intellectual Candy"
    Overall

    I listened to this book right after reading Tim Wu's "The Master Switch". Both books are wonderful on their own, but together they are a rare treat. "The Information" covered a lot of familiar ground for me as I read quite a bit of science history. Even then, it was very enjoyable. After that review however it digs into the philosophy of information science and becomes absolutely delightful. I'd recommend this highly, especially if you have time to read Wu's book too.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Titus Groan: The Gormenghast Trilogy, Book 1

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Mervyn Peake
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Deep in the labyrinthine corridors of Gormenghast Castle, a child is born. Titus, 77th Earl of Groan, is heir to arcane and all-embracing rituals that determine the activities of everyone from Lord Sepulchrave, his father, to the vast cook, Swelter, and the irrepressible Dr Prunesquallor. But not the steely and devious Steerpike, who will lie, cheat and even murder to get on. One of the greatest feats of sustained imaginative writing, the world of Gormenghast Castle is brilliantly realised in this darkly fantastic novel.

    C. Paget says: "From the Ministry of Silly Voices"
    "Very Hard to Listen To"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The story might be okay, many have said it is, but this narrator is dreadful.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I didn't get very far into the book before giving up on it so I can't fairly judge the story itself.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator attempts to whisper when it says the character whispers, groan or screech or cackle when it says the character did so. The result is a wheezing, groaning , inaudible mess which would require sitting with your hand on the replay button to decipher. I got half way through and abandoned the attempt to finish this book, something I've rarely ever done. It's quite simply the worst narration I've ever come across.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Wesley J. Smith
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    What is embryonic stem cell research? Why is it so controversial? What is its relationship to human cloning? Events are moving so fast and biotechnology seems so complicated that many of us don't have an informed opinion about issues that are remaking the human future before our very eyes.

    Robin says: "Not At All What I Was Expecting"
    "Not At All What I Was Expecting"
    Overall

    I was expecting a good review of the state of the art in biotech. Instead this is a thinly disguised Catholic manifesto on the evils of abortion and the need to regard a few cells as a "nascent human life". The author comes out against in-vitro fertilization because of the excess fertilized eggs produced, demonizes researchers as motivated by money and the desire to "destroy nascent human life", and praises George Bush's stand against stem cell research. It's pretty much out of date anyway since the current research tends to emphasise induced pluripotent stem cells anyway and the embryonic argument is moot. I suppose the "Brave New World" in the title should have tipped me off to the author's bias... I wouldn't recommend this to anyone interested in a scientific overview. Might appeal to church groups but that's about the only ones I can see getting anything out of it.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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