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Randall

Member Since 2005

ratings
47
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
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HELPFUL VOTES
73

  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    Overall
    (1397)
    Performance
    (1281)
    Story
    (1291)

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "A page turner, if. . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Going Home rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    If audio books had pages, this entire series would be a page turner. I enjoy TEOTWAWKI themed books because they tend to have lots of action plus I like to see/hear how different authors view life on the other side of civilization. The "Going Home" series is one of the best I've read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A. American uses the TEOTWAWKI standard device, an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) to usher in the end of civilization. This quickly gets us to the meat of the story. He introduces plenty of main characters, often developing multiple story lines so we can see each character develop. I think the author does an excellent job of painting what the other side of civilization will look like (since we agree so often, he must be a genius, right?). He weaves in survival tips and strategies, some of which make sense, some I could argue with. It is important to note that nobody really knows how people will react. Any theory posited by an author should be used as a launching point for your own thought exploration. Hence, the reason I enjoy reading this genre.


    Which character – as performed by Duke Fontaine – was your favorite?

    The retired Army Sargent First Class is my favorite character. His role would be useless without his well selected team but together they make a great story. NOTE: I cannot judge the reader's performance because I listen in a fast forward mode which speeds up the beat and changes the reader's pitch etc.


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

    Re: Listening in one sitting. . . .not only did I panic when my battery needed charging, I loaded the other two books on my player so I wouldn't have to stop!


    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Grapes of Wrath

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1494)
    Performance
    (1305)
    Story
    (1310)

    At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

    Dan Harlow says: "Almost more relevant now than when it was written"
    "Stellar delivery of a true classic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Grapes of Wrath?

    "Grapes of Wrath" has a well deserved place among great literature. Dylan Baker surpasses all expectations in his reading of this classic, making this one of the best Audible experiences I have had. Dylan's characters were probably influenced by the movie (channeling Henry Fonda for sure!) but that just adds to the experience. This book will not disappoint.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where the Red Fern Grows

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Wilson Rawls
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (222)

    Since its publication over forty years ago, this heartwarming tale of a boy and his dogs has touched millions. A tale of adventure, special friendship and coming-of-age, Where the Red Fern Grows makes for delightful listening. This unabridged production, featuring a moving performance by Anthony Heald, brings this enduring classic to life and makes a powerful story even more unforgettable.

    Mary A. says: "What a great story!"
    "A masterful story with masterful oration!"
    Overall

    WTRFG was a fairly new book on the market when Billy, Old Dan and Little Ann carved out an everlasting place in my heart. 40 years later, I just finished the Audible version. I have to say that every emotion, every deep thought came rushing back with even more poignance, now that I have a little more life under my belt. I soon will be sharing this with my youngest son.

    Although Rawls' writing need no assistance, Anthony Heald's reading takes the tale to a whole new level. He brought every character to life . . .no, a better way to say it is that he became each character.

    If WTRFG is classic literature, then WTRFG as read by Heald is a classic oration. Wow!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Muhammad Yunus
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (110)

    In 1983, Muhammad Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with miniscule loans. Believing that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a few, Yunus aimed to support that spark of personal initiative and enterprise by which the poor might lift themselves out of poverty forever. Grameen Bank now provides over $2.5 billion in micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh.

    Randall says: "Will change the way you think about the economics."
    "Will change the way you think about the economics."
    Overall

    This truly enlightening account will give you a whole new perspective on giving the poor a hand up instead of a hand out.

    I must have been living under a rock - I picked this book on a whim, not having a clue about Dr. Yunus, who won a Nobel prize for the work he has done in empowering the poor.

    It takes a powerful argument to chance the way I think about a subject. I'm a free market capitalist to the core yet I've always known there were certain weaknesses in the system which could give greed a toe hold. Yunus developed a capitalist economy with a social conscience. If he had outlined his ideas in a presentation I would have rejected them as "blue sky" idealism. But he has several billion dollars worth of credibility. It is difficult to argue with success like that!

    After listening through (twice so far, it's on my regular re-listen list) I'm actually changing the way I view economics and am working to become a part of this solution that he's created.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Stacy Schiff
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    "In December 1776, a small boat delivered an old man to France." So begins a dazzling narrative account of Benjamin Franklin's French mission, the most exacting, and momentous, eight years of his life.

    D. Court says: "Why abridged history"
    "Excellent companion to the print version"
    Overall

    For Christmas I recieved the print version, over 460 pages plus a huge bibliography, index, notes etc. The audio version is an excellent abridgment, providing plenty of the story without bogging down in details.

    This is my second Benjamin Franklin bio (listen to his Autobiography as well). AGI relied upon lots of letters, even some which were un-sent, to re-construct Franklin's life in France.

    I've already started listening a second time, as I usually do with books I feel are important and enlightening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Assault on Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Al Gore
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (968)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (130)

    Here is a visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith have combined with the public sphere's degradation to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason. Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from national security to the economy, from issues of health and social welfare to the environment. As The Assault on Reason explains, we have precious little time to waste.

    Walter says: "Partisan but Valuable"
    "A few good nuggets"
    Overall

    Gore's introduction gives a hint of his animosity towards our current administration but it gave me the impression that he and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to the "dumbing down" of our electorate. His premise is that we, the people, are like putty in the hands of marketing gurus who simply lead us like so many complacent sheep. Based on this introduction I figured I might actually find myself agreeing with someone with whom I rarely share ground. By the time I was into the first chapter I realized that when Al says "Assault On Reason" what he really means is that anyone who isn't on the same page with him has obviously lost the ability to reason. The bulk of the first 8 chapters is little more than taking shots at the Bush administration (it doesn't matter whether it's Bush 41 or 43). He uses various Right Wing bashing points as examples of how gullible the people are and how crafty the power mongers are. I got the point after one or two examples but Al carries on for chapter after chapter about the failings of conservatives, this administration in particular. I did find some enlightening references sprinkled through his diatribe so it's not a total loss.

    Finally, in chapter 9 reason regains it's footing and Al does a fair job of tying up the thread he began in the introduction. The bottom line: The Internet has the potential to enable dialogue between we the people which will help us re-engage our minds with the hopeful outcome that we'll once again hold the government accountable to the rule of law and of reason. If you're a conservative, read the intro, skip to chapter 9 and you'll get the meat of his message. But you may find it very enlightening to hear how a liberal views the world. Of course, if you're a liberal, enjoy the pep rally.

    21 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • The God Delusion

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4446)
    Performance
    (1847)
    Story
    (1825)

    Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

    Rick Just says: "Dangerous Religion"
    "A good read but it won't sway your mind."
    Overall

    I've read a couple of Richard Dawkin's works: The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion.

    First of all, let me praise Mr. Dawkins, and Lalla Ward for a captivating reading of his work. They make a good oratory team, very pleasant listening. I was hoping for a bit more "meat" to chew on in God Delusion but to me, Richard simply sets up straw men then slays them magnificently. Like a skilled surgeon, he seeks out the most tumorous examples of mankind's failures in the name of religion then portrays them as an evil perpetrated by faith in God. I share his disgust for religion as we know it, having been corrupted by corrupt men, but that comparrison is just as useless as blaming a firearm for murdering someone. From a more positive perspective, Christians, especially church leaders and clergy, should read TGD, not so much for what it reveals about atheism but for what it reveals about how religion is perceived by non-believers. It is to their shame the message of The Cross is lost in the cacophony of religious infighting and corruption.

    A reasonable counterbalance to TGD is Ravi Zacharias' Can Man Live Without God?, a collection of speeches given by Mr. Zacharias. Ravi sets up his own straw men for battle and does an eloquent job of doing so. Of course, he's coming from the perspective of one who believes in an almighty Creator so he manages to raise questions that Mr. Dawkins didn't seem to think of. Where Dawkins attempts to appeal to logic, Ravi focuses more on the philosophical aspects of the state of mankind. My personal, and totally biased opinion, is that Zacharias gets a head start in the debate simply because he addresses the heart of man, rather than the mere mind of man.

    To those who are convinced in their positions, whether it be for or against God, neither of these orators will sway you from your stance. If you're genuinely on the fence, read both books.

    24 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1127)
    Performance
    (376)
    Story
    (374)

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    Robert says: "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
    "Hamilton's history reads like a novel!"
    Overall

    I recently completed Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton." In a nutshell: It's a must read for anyone interested in politics, finance, human nature, Americana or even just the trivia of the early history of the U.S.A. Hamilton provides a thrilling subject to be sure, but Chernow did a yeoman's work in sifting through an incredible mound of background literature on this key player in our nation's birth. Scott Brick's narration never bored me (I confess, I often neglected responsibilities during key sections of Hamilton's life.) I never knew about Hamilton's very humble beginnings as an illegitimate child. I was impressed by the role of honor and the importance of a man's word. Witnessing Hamilton's astonishing failures and the the way George Washington helped protect him from his own flaws was also enlightening. For a more complete picture of the era, read David McCullough's "John Adams." It's particularly good to get the difference in perspective both from the author as well as the subject. I would love to sit in a parlour, listening to Adams and Hamilton argue over details as they related the story of our nation's birth!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One Man's War: The WWII Saga of Tommy LaMore

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tommy LaMore, Dan A. Baker
    • Narrated By Patrick G. Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Escaping certain death, not once but several times, lies at the core of this riveting, real-life story of an American soldier during World War II. In One Man's War: The WW II Saga of Tommy LaMore, a B-17 airman vividly details his experiences in war-ravaged Europe, from the horrific to the romantic and beyond.

    Randall says: "Prepare to be engaged"
    "Prepare to be engaged"
    Overall

    Besides being a thrilling account of overcoming incredible odds, this story should be used as a textbook for anyone who wants to engage their readers. I could vividly see, smell, hear taste and feel each scene as LaMore hurt, laughed, loved and cried.

    Warning: You'll have a hard time finding a stopping place with this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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