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Richard Ames

Pittsburgh, PA USA | Member Since 2005

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 64 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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  • Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James L. Swanson
    • Narrated By Richard Thomas
    Overall
    (963)
    Performance
    (296)
    Story
    (304)

    The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history, the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild 12-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.

    Elizabeth says: "Fascinating!"
    "Blew Me Away"
    Overall

    James Swanson’s “Manhunt” reads like a master thriller, and Richard Thomas absolutely nails the narration of this book. The combination of Swanson’s writing and Thomas’s narration is extraordinary. At times it was hard to remember that what I was listening to was, in fact, historical nonfiction of which I already knew the outcome, because it had all the feel and excitement of an excellent fictional work. The detailed description and account of the attack by assassin Lewis Powell on Secretary of State Seward the same night Lincoln was shot, for instance, just blew me away. This book could be adapted into a wonderful screenplay, it’s that good.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John M. Barry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1217)
    Performance
    (574)
    Story
    (584)

    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

    Nancy says: "Gripping and Gory"
    "Needed an Editor"
    Overall

    This book needed an editor. It could have been much more effective at half its length. In the second half of the book especially, I started to believe that the author was making some of the same points he had made previously in the book. Further, at times instead of letting the story itself invoke the drama, I felt the author was often trying to (unnecessarily) force drama into the narrative. A few chapters sparkled, and most chapters contained something interesting, but overall the editing weaknesses were distracting to me.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner
    Overall
    (5964)
    Performance
    (543)
    Story
    (544)

    Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?

    Timothy says: "Fascinating book, despite the title."
    "Much To Recommend This Title"
    Overall

    This book might just get you to start questioning all the poor "conventional wisdom" floating about the news media nowadays. Very entertainingly educational (and nicely read to boot!), I'm hoping for a Freakonomics II and beyond.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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