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Matthew

Decatur, TX, United States

47
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 121 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
6

  • Star Wars (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George Lucas, Brian Daley (adaptation)
    • Narrated By Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels
    Overall
    (1030)
    Performance
    (706)
    Story
    (707)

    This landmark production, perhaps the most ambitious radio project ever attempted, began when Star Wars creator George Lucas donated the story rights to an NPR affiliate. Writer Brian Daley adapted the film's highly visual script to the special demands and unique possibilities of radio, creating a more richly textured tale with greater emphasis on character development.

    Matthew says: "Beyond the film..."
    "Beyond the film..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm sure you know the story by heart if you are looking at this. What separates this collection of NPR radio dramas? The production is fantastic, even if only a couple of the actors are the 'real' ones in the film. The depth this adds to the familiar story is what makes this stand out. The first two episodes of the thirteen take place before the film opens. A lot of extra dialog and description too. Not only does Han shoot first, he is a very dark character only redeemed by his heroics at the end.

    My only other comment is that I would rate it PG. The film has a few curse words, and this production adds a few. There are also sections that are fairly dark, such as Vader's interrogation of Leia. If you have a younger Star Wars fan I don't think I'd recommend this one.

    37 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • Overcoming Depression: Talks with Your Therapist

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Paul Gilbert
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    In this series of talks, best-selling author and leading expert on depression Professor Paul Gilbert explores how depression affects us in different ways and offers insights into strategies that can help us cope and lift depression. Paul outlines how we can work on our thoughts, feelings and behaviours and try to develop and employ self-kindness when we feel at our worst.

    Matthew says: "Let you "kind self" write you a letter"
    "Let you "kind self" write you a letter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, the book is by a British author and an American author might be unfamiliar with some terms like General Practitioner. Not a big deal and I don't think it will get in the way of understanding it.

    I don't see that this book does much in the way of helping a depressed person because I doubt they will follow much of its advice. Can you see yourself getting in touch with your "kind self" and writing yourself a reassuring letter to be read when you are depressed?

    My recommendation is to get a longer book and more comprehensive book than these overpriced, short "talks".

    The narrator is the author and does about as good a job as most authors... poorly. He stumbles over his own writing at times! He tried to talk in a very soothing tone. There are a couple of times where he will be talking about doing something for 30 seconds as a relaxation technique and there will be a 30 second break in the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Terrence Real
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Psychotherapist Terrence Real offers an important and compelling look at the silent epidemic of depression among men and shows, with compassion and clarity, what can be done to break this vicious cycle.

    Curtis B Thompson says: "Terribly Skewed & Biased - Garbage!"
    "Dated, Freudian take on subject with shock value"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We have gained a great deal of knowledge in the last few decades on the subject of depression. From what I have learned from other sources I think this book is a bit dated in its approach to depression.

    The author takes a Freudian approach to the subject that basically blames depression on your parents treatment of you. The overall theory of the book is that depression in men is rampant, hidden, and passed on generation to generation. The author tells story after story of what seem to me to be "worst-case-scenario" cases that are very extreme. He gets the people in the office with their family, they talk or re-enact, and then a break through happens when the man realizes its all because his dad beat him or his mom was a drunk and now he is hurting his children in the same manner. Oh, and the author admits that the stories are "composite" from various patients, so its hard to tell how much he is sensationalizing. There is a lot of cursing in these tales, such as a son repeatedly telling his dad, "F*** you" in a role play scenario.

    If someone is a hard case that wouldn't read a more traditional self-help sort of book, then this book could possibly scare or shock them enough into reading it. Otherwise I do not see any reason for choosing it above any other book on depression. I don't see how I could recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C.H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, Volume II: The Full Harvest

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By C. H. Spurgeon
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Throughout the autobiography, Spurgeon records those aspects of life that only an autobiography can: his family circle, the daily labor behind his public works, and the feelings which led him to resist the reformation of the Faith of the Churches. Above all, he records his experiences of God's grace.

    Matthew says: "More than just an autobiography"
    "More than just an autobiography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Spurgeon's "autobiography" was compiled from letters, sermons, and other sources after his death. Portions of the book are written by its editors or Mrs. Spurgeon. I don't think that you'll be lost if you do not first read the volume one of this set, but I'm not sure why you would want to skip it.

    This volume deals with the height of Spurgeon's ministry and many of its legendary aspects. There a very intriguing chapters on the Metropolitan Tabernacle, the Pastor's College, and his writing ministry. The only thing lacking, in my opinion, is perspective that only time can give the subject. I'm not sure that when this work was compiled that enough time had passed to adequately understand the items such as the Downgrade Controversy.

    I wouldn't recommend the book to someone who is not somewhat familiar with Spurgeon and his ministry. It was not put together to introduce the subject to a reader.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • C.H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, Vol. 1: The Early Years, 1834-1859

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By C. H. Spurgeon
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    At the age of 17, Spurgeon became pastor to a handful of believers at Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire, meeting in what had been a dovecote. Within five years, he had become the best-known minister in London. Two years later, following the Sepoy Mutiny, he conducted a service of national humiliation in the Crystal Palace that was attended by 24,000 people. But this volume is far from being a record of human fame and success....

    Matthew says: "Not just an autobiography"
    "Not just an autobiography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Spurgeon's "autobiography" was compiled from letters, sermons, and other sources after his death. Portions of the book are written by its editors or Mrs. Spurgeon.

    The book is a wonderful insight into Spurgeon's life and ministry. The first volume deals with his early life and ministry in London. There is a lot of background and reminisces about his childhood, a lengthy defense of his Calvinistic doctrine, and information about his meteoric rise and popularity.

    I wouldn't recommend the book to someone who is not somewhat familiar with Spurgeon and his ministry. It was not put together to introduce the subject to a reader.

    Go ahead and get ready to get volume two if you enjoy this.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    Overall
    (2007)
    Performance
    (911)
    Story
    (904)

    This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

    Frank says: "Choice of Narrators"
    "Curses like a sailor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'll give it credit for historical accuracy, but little else. I listened to the first three hours before giving up on it. The book is tedious and technical in descriptions of nautical topics. There is a lot of vulgarity, and I mean a lot. I quit after the second "F-bomb". It also references such things as "sodomy with a goat". I was hoping for a naval adventure and was sorely disappointed.

    A word on the recording: it is from 1991 and sounds like it was on a cassette tape. The narrator isn't bad, but it is difficult to keep up with the many different characters and their accents.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1103)
    Performance
    (793)
    Story
    (798)

    The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.

    John says: "Priceless! Best book I've read in years"
    "Fantastic Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is wonderfully difficult to describe. It is a loosely connected collection of stories about Americans who spent time in Paris. However the richness of the stories and the power of their personalities shine. I felt a connection with almost all of the individuals.

    Beyond just the biographical vignettes, the book is a wonderful look at life at the time. The chapter on the training of doctors will no doubt make you thankful for our medical advances today. The details that McCullough gives on various topics from transportation to medicine to revolutions are tremendous.

    The first section is narrated by McCullough himself. I love his voice and was afraid the narration would drop in quality, but Herrmann does a spectacular job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    Overall
    (2376)
    Performance
    (1370)
    Story
    (1395)

    Before cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand and slim laptops that fit snugly into briefcases, computers were like strange, alien vending machines. They had cryptic switches, punch cards, and pages of encoded output. But in 1975, a young engineering wizard named Steve Wozniak had an idea: What if you combined computer circuitry with a regular typewriter keyboard and a video screen?

    Anthony says: "Best of the Best"
    "Great listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are a fan of technology this is a must listen. You get to see the personal computer revolution through the eyes of one of its major figures.

    Wozniak's personality shines in this book. I laughed out loud more than once. The story of the TV jammer was hilarious.

    My only real complaint is that the last portion of the book drifts a little. It just didn't seem to have the same energy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution: 1763-1789

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs)
    • By Robert Middlekauff
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (195)

    The first book to appear in the illustrious Oxford History of the United States, this critically-acclaimed volume - a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize - offers an unsurpassed history of the Revolutionary War and the birth of the American republic.

    John says: "Strong History Rich With Behind The Scenes Details"
    "Long, but worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A tremendous effort to cover the formation of the American Republic. At 27 hours it is a very long book to listen to, but I found time flew by as I did. It is a compelling story of the factors and figures that shaped America's independence.

    My only major complaint is that at times the narrative is uneven. Some battles are covered in detail, others are skimmed by. I was looking forward to learning more about the Articles of Confederation but found that the book basically jumped from the War itself to the creation and adoption of the Constitution.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Norman Davies
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (170)

    If history really belongs to the victor, what happens when there's more than one side declaring victory? That's the conundrum Norman Davies unravels in his groundbreaking book No Simple Victory. Far from being a revisionist history, No Simple Victory instead offers a clear-eyed reappraisal, untangling and setting right the disparate claims made by America, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union in order to get at the startling truth.

    Nikoli Gogol says: "The Best Account of WWII in Europe"
    "Not your average coverage of WWII"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a history of the war in Europe. It is a study of multiple facets of WWII. The author attempts to take a very broad overview when looking at causes, factors, and fallout of the war. Very little attention is given to discussing battles.

    One major theme is that what you know about the war is heavily biased and incomplete. It is asserted that Russia is greatly undervalued in its contribution to the war, and also overlooked when it comes to atrocities. The author goes out of his way to shed light on the evils of Stalin's regime. The case he makes is compelling.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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