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John Pepin

Raleigh, NC, US | Member Since 2006

  • 6 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2015

  • The Modern Scholar: The Norsemen - Understanding Vikings and Their Culture

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Professor Michael D.C. Drout

    Professor Michael D.C. Drout of Wheaton College immerses listeners in the extraordinary legacy of Viking civilization, which developed in what is now Scandinavia during the early Middle Ages. During the course of these lectures, Professor Drout explores how these peoples conquered all of Northern Europe, traveled as far as Byzantium in the East and North America in the West, and left a literary legacy that includes numerous works studied and enjoyed to this day.

    Margaret says: "Best download in months!"
    "OK, but i wanted history not literature"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes I would, but with the proviso that Dr Drout seems to spend WAY too much time doing detailed synopses of the Viking literature, and far too little time on their actual history. I downloaded the book for HISTORY. While I'm that a goodly part of what historians must draw on is derived from the literature they left to us, the author spends too much time relating what happens in the epicss, which has limited value for someone who wants to know how the people lived, interacted with others, what lands they occupied, and how they impacted history. The book has limited value in that regard, and I'm somewhat disappointed.

    Has The Modern Scholar: The Norsemen - Understanding Vikings and Their Culture turned you off from other books in this genre?

    The aurothor prefaces almost every chapter with a reading in the mother tongue. This is interesting, up to a point. After one round, OK I get it, the language is interesting and unique, but completely unintelligible. Simply not needed every chapter.

    Have you listened to any of the narrator’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The Anglo-Saxon book was better.

    Any additional comments?

    Overall a very good effort by the author, I appreciate the studies and knowledge, I just wish there was less literature and more history.

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters; From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By James Mahaffey
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner

    From the moment radiation was discovered in the late nineteenth century, nuclear science has had a rich history of innovative scientific exploration and discovery, coupled with mistakes, accidents, and downright disasters.

    Jim In Texas! says: "Fascinating Stories, Easily Digested Numbers"
    "I'm a tech guy and this had a little too much tech"
    What did you like best about Atomic Accidents? What did you like least?

    Decent book, covers many of the atomic-related incidents from early days to Fukushima. Only gripe is that the audio version is hard to follow when going between chapters, the narrator does not consistently denote the transition to another chapter. Lots of technical detail, I actually found it a little overwhelming and I'm trained in things nuclear. Worth a listen, but be aware there is an excrutiating amount of technical detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Tourist: Sightseeing in the World's Most Unlikely Holiday Destinations

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Dom Joly
    • Narrated By Dom Joly

    Ever since he can remember, Dom Joly has been fascinated by travel to odd places. In part this stems from a childhood spent in war-torn Lebanon, where instead of swapping marbles in the schoolyard, he had a shrapnel collection -- the schoolboy currency of Beirut. These early experiences left Dom with a profound loathing for the sanitized experiences of the modern-day travel industry and a taste for the darkest of places.

    Amanda says: "Funny and Insightful - Not just for Travelers!"
    "An oddity"
    What made the experience of listening to The Dark Tourist the most enjoyable?

    Good book, funny and a different point of view. But didn't go into the sites he visited deeply enough. Worth using your credits on, fun book.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    North Korea

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, easy listen, author and reader did a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What It Is Like to Go to War

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1969, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his war experience.

    Lynn says: "Destined to become a Classic"
    "Best book I've ever read on the warrior experience"

    I turned 18 in 1973, and Vietnam was not really in-scope for me as it became obvious the war was winding down as I finished high school and I was likely not to get called up. I have always wondered what it was really like for the people who served there. This book is it. The author is a former Rhodes scholar who entered the Marines for reasons he describes and fought well, earning a number of commendations. He is one of our nations best. He went through hell, both physically and emotionally and is very open about his thoughts and experiences, and the guilt and other feelings afterwards. He describes the difficulties in making the transition back to normal life with a number of observations and suggestions which make a lot of sense and are worthy of being acted on. This book is a vital part of our nation???s history. Well-written and easy to follow.

    This is a very important book for anyone who wants to understand what the people who served in Vietnam went through, both in-country and on the home front when they got back. A must listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Charles Fishman
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The water coming out of your tap is four billion years old and might have been slurped by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. We will always have exactly as much water on Earth as we have ever had. Water cannot be destroyed, and it can always be made clean enough for drinking again. In fact, water can be made so clean that it actually becomes toxic. As Charles Fishman brings vibrantly to life in this delightful narrative excursion, water runs our world in a host of awe-inspiring ways, which is both the promise and the peril of our unexplored connections to it.

    Lynn says: "Informative Book"
    "OK, but fizzles at the end"

    Good book, got me thinking about all of the current (and soon to come) issues with water supply. Ending is a disappointment. OK, we need to have a paradigm shift on the "costs" of water, need to charge for it such that it is not considered "free". Ya don't need to expound on that for an hour of book time especially when that point is made several times previously. I skipped the last hour, it got boring!

    But overall highly recommended, the author makes some very good points and is well-written.

    I will be visiting Las Vegas before it dries up.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Tony Horwitz
    • Narrated By Michael Beck

    When prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the Middle East for a peaceful corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he's put war zones behind him. But awakened one morning by the crackle of musket fire, Horwitz starts filing front-line dispatches again - this time from a war close to home, and to his own heart.

    Dianna says: "Not a Book to be Kept in the Attic"
    "Good, not sure about ending"

    I read this book in paper form first, as it was a book required by the U North Carolina required freshman reading (I find that list a very good recommendation of reading material!).
    Then I listened to it on Audible, and was as enthralled with it as when I first read it. Hilarious at times, epsecially with the descriptions of the Jewish author's interactions in the South and with fervent Civil War re-enactors.
    He tries to bring out how we're still effected, and how the war is continuing into modern society, but that's where I lost him. I never got a completed sense of conclusion of what the author learned, but maybe that's the message. Wonderful listen however, and heartily recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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