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Houston, TX, USA | Member Since 2012

  • 10 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 342 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015

  • Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Mark Harris
    • Narrated By Andrew Garman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It was the best of times and the worst of times for Hollywood before the war. The box office was booming, and the studios’ control of talent and distribution was as airtight as could be hoped. But the industry’s relationship with Washington was decidedly uneasy - hearings and investigations into allegations of corruption and racketeering were multiplying, and hanging in the air was the insinuation that the business was too foreign, too Jewish, too "un-American" in its values and causes. Could an industry this powerful in shaping America’s mind-set really be left in the hands of this crew?

    Robert says: "Had a lot of fun with this book!"
    "Had a lot of fun with this book!"
    Would you listen to Five Came Back again? Why?

    Isn't the electronic world wonderful. I am 68 years old. Born in 1946, I grew up in the aftermath of WW II in a small rural community. Almost every one of the males over the age of 30 had participated in the war - yet they did not talk a lot about it or if they did discuss it the conversation was very superficial. I also did not have exposure to the prewar or even war movies produced by these five directors. Thus I enjoyed the opportunity to hear their stories and at the same time to view the documentaries produced for the war departments (You Tube) and the movies (YouTube or purchased/rented online), both before, during and after the war. I spent probably 75 hours over a several month period working my way through the book and the movies. It was a most enjoyable experience. I was particularly struck by the psychologic damage caused by war (highlighted in the unreleased Wilder film), most recently highlighted by the long-term studies of Vietnam veterans. I also enjoyed watching the color movies recently released from George Steven's personal collection (History Channel 2 over Memorial and D-day anniversary), but the impact on his health, both psychologic and physical, as he collected these images was sad.This was a good read, but to appreciate it fully you will have to do some work.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Five Came Back?

    There were many. I did not realize John Ford was at the Battle of Midway.

    Which character – as performed by Andrew Garman – was your favorite?

    Billy Wilder. What a story.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Paul says: "In love with books again"
    "Shorten by 40%"

    An interesting and engaging story with historical context. Unnecessarily long. Listened to unabridged version; have not listened to abridged version, but would recommend anything to shorten the story. An average to good read - in fact other than entertainment the book has little merit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Greatest Battle

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Andrew Nagorski
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Based on previously secret documents and eyewitness testimony, this is the shocking account of the most massive and deadliest battle of World War II, which ended in Hitler's defeat and changed the course of the war. Andrew Nagorski, Newsweek's former Moscow bureau chief, reveals that 2.5 million of the battle's 7 million troops were killed, taken prisoner, or severely wounded.

    Shimon says: "Misleading"

    I was expecting a book like "Stalingard" that focused on the events that took place in and around Moscow during the critical fall and winter of 1941. Instead the author provides a detailed discussion of Stalin, his style (or lack thereof), and much information about Hitler and the German Generals. No where does he provide a description of the actual battle of Moscow. I kept waiting for something that would describe the battles, strategy, impact on the population. Instead there are copious notes on Stalin's idiosyncracies and the lack of decisiveness of his couterpart, Hitler. The book is not bad, just misrepresented. Is there a book about Moscow that has the same quality as "Stalingrad"?

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Doris Kearns Goodwin, Richard Thomas

    We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through. This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.

    Anders says: "wait for the unabridged version"

    Anyone who has been involved in office politics will immediately understand Lincoln's dilemma. Not only did he have a union that was dissolving but he also felt the need to keep his enemies (or at least competitors) close. Although his actions seem logical in hindsight, it was my sense that the author overstated the affection between the protagonists and understated the confusion that reigned during the tumultuous Civi War years. Despite the flawed premise of the book, it was a very interesting read (listen). The author imbued each of the main characters with a personality. I will listen to this again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Hermann

    Winner of the National Book Award for history, The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Applying his remarkable gift for writing lucid, lively exposition, McCullough weaves the many strands of the momentous event into a comprehensive and captivating tale.

    Tom says: "Something for Everyone"

    Mr. McCullough does it again. Provides a compelling description of a challenge and how it was overcome. Tight prose, colorful characters, attention to detail but not overly so are characteristics that come to mind. Recommend for the history buff.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The March: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By E.L. Doctorow
    • Narrated By Joe Morton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Almost hypnotic in its narrative drive, The March stunningly renders the countless lives swept up in the violence of a country at war with itself. The great march in E.L. Doctorow's hands becomes something more, a floating world, a nomadic consciousness, and an unforgettable reading experience with awesome relevance to our own times.

    Jim E says: "Uncivil War"
    "It was OK"

    Positive features: A gripping description of how war affected individuals.
    Negative: Feeble attempt to blend fictional characters with historic events. I've read better.

    Not unentertaining; mostly average.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Is Paris Burning?

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson

    Few moments in history are as stirring as the Allied liberation of Paris. Yet few people are aware of how narrowly, and how miraculously, the city escaped Hitler's secret plan to reduce it to ashes. Is Paris Burning? reconstructs, in meticulous and riveting detail, the network of fateful events, day by day, moment by moment, that saved the City of Light.

    David says: "A Heartwarming Story"
    "An outstanding piece of history that I had missed"

    Although this book has been in print for 30 years, I had always assumed Paris was not destroyed because of a decision by Hitler to withdraw his troops, akin to the events in Prague. Perhaps it was my ignorance of the actual events (or was it the excellent narrative) that made this a delightful listening experience. Particularly fascinating was the relationship between the French and American military leadership and the most surprising was the collusion of the German general in charge of Paris with the Allies. Although I was initially put off by the formal British accent of the reader, it grew on me. A great story!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    F says: "Did I read the same book as some of you?"

    Why we have to pay $$ for a movie script is unclear to me. The plot is thin, the prose exceptionally plain, and the dialogue between characters mundane. The pretext that the Federal government would deal with a terrorist plot that would, if it were successful, kill hundreds of thousands of people and cause billions of dollars in damages by sending 2 agents, a lawyer, and an administrative assistant into the field to prevent is preposterous. Save your money!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Fire: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Shirley Hazzard
    • Narrated By Virginia Leishman

    This mesmerizing, poetic novel won the 2003 National Book Award for fiction and has earned universal acclaim. Set against the beautiful but tragic landscape of post-World War II Asia, The Great Fire tells a sweeping tale of the search for new beginnings in a world ravaged by tragedy.

    Margarita says: "Always found something else to do"
    "I tried to listen"

    It was difficult. I listened for almost 4 hours and still did not understand. The individual reading the novel made it even worse. I finally gave up.If this were a real book I could probably sell it for $5 at a used book place. With an audio book it is just unused electrons.
    Bored in Houston

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "Must reading for endocrinologists in training!"

    Imagine the confusion of your own pubertal years. Remember the confusion, the uncertainty, and the highs and lows of exploring sexuality. Now double this confusion by being a genetic male, raised as a girl. A perfectly content young girl is beset by raging hormonal effects that he/she does not understand in this novel about a young man with 5-alpha-reductase deficiency, a condition in which there is block in conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. He had all the attributes of a charming young girl as a child; as he entered puberty testosterone production raged and led to confused feelings and desires out of sync with the the role of a young woman. Jeffrey Eugenides explores autosomal recessive disease in a sensitive and humorous way that mixes tragedy and joy in an effective way. We are left to wonder who "Peter Luce", the eminent sexologist portrays. Perhaps the most educational and entertaining book I have read in several years; a must for anyone who interfaces with pubertal-aged young men or women.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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