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Retired university lecturer. Photographer, writer, voice talent by avocation. Love reading, but sometimes audio is better


  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Morton Sellers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than 200 personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists - both famous and less well known - and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

    Chris Reich says: "Scared the Hell Out of Me"
    "Important Story - The telling gets a little long"

    This story of Scientology certainly needs to be told. The story of L.Ron Hubbard's invention of a religion is as fascinating as the story of Mormonism as detailed in Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven. LRH was quoted, as he contemplated a career, "religion, that's where the money is."

    If anything, Going Clear may be more alarming simply because of its appeal as a success system. Scientology seems only to claim itself as a religion when the tax man comes around. Other than that there is no prayer or actual scripture or claim of having a God, for that matter. Once a prospect signs the contract to be loyal for one billion years and starts investing the money to study the writings of a science fiction author, he/she is hooked.

    Hubbard's claims to have been a war hero during WW2 were so silly. Early on he bragged about his wounds and medals (he was never in battle or wounded and had medals that were not real (Purple Heart with palm cluster??) or even invented until after the war - gee, like no one could check these things.) His claim to having a four year college degree was just as silly.

    Well, all of this is for the reader/listener to think about. The list of celebrities in Scientology is interesting.

    The reader, Morton Sellers, seemed to be plodding through the book with little interest or enthusiasm. Given the subject matter, this is understandable, but it does make the book longer. He was clear and precise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guns

    • UNABRIDGED (49 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a pulls-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion, Stephen King sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Anger and grief in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are palpable in this urgent piece of writing, but no less remarkable are King's keen thoughtfulness and composure as he explores the contours of the gun-control issue and constructs his argument for what can and should be done.

    Daniel E. Jacobs says: "putting his voice on what people have been saying"
    "A must hear"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Essential, thoughtful, important

    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    It was well thought out. King has some excellent ideas about listening to and reading points of view that different from our normal sources. He used statistics like the tremendous decline in gun deaths when Australians said, "Enough" and changed their laws, and examples of unintended deaths from guns that were owned simply for protection (spouses who were shot when they who got up in the night to raid the fridge.) No gun = no death. I was also glad to hear some sensible comments on the number of ACTUAL "home invasions" vs imagined invaders (yes, of course there are anecdotes.) An alarm system probably really does work better than a gun by scaring the evil doer away before he breaks into the residence than having a loaded pistol under your pillow every night of your life.

    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    This was an excellent reading. I have friends who are gun owners, but some are not readers. Frankly, I think those people might be more willing to listen to this essay. They may be arguing all the way through, but they might hear some of it.

    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Not a thing

    Do you have any additional comments?

    I would say that this recording should be offered free of charge, but when I realized the proceeds are going to a worthwhile group, well, I guess 75 cents is a small price to pay.

    5 of 20 people found this review helpful

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