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ddsharper

Los Angeles, CA | Member Since 2000

120
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 295 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • Stein on Writing: A Master Editor Shares His Craft, Techniques, and Strategies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sol Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (280)

    Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether newcomers or accomplished professionals. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions, how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place."

    ddsharper says: "Excellent Content and Listen"
    "Excellent Content and Listen"
    Overall

    This is, so far, the best book I've consumed about writing. Stein's advice is practical and his experience as an editor shows in every sentence and paragraph - yet he uses a humble tone. He successfully includes plenty of examples to clearly get across each point. The book is interesting, lively, extremely well paced and hard to put down. If you are a beginning writer, in fiction genre or nonfiction genre, Stein has real answers for all. He gives the listener concrete niches in which to place information and lessons about writing. He takes you by the hand and shows, while telling, and instead of creating MORE anxiety and insecurity about writing, which is what I have found many writing books end up doing, Stein eases the effort of creating on the page. I listened to this book every chance I had and have already ordered a hard copy. I also ordered some of his novels because this title was so well done. Finally, I cannot say too much about the incredible narration of the book by Christopher Lane who didn't get in the way of the material but in a professional and sincere voice imparted what was on the pages as though he himself had written the book. You cannot go wrong with this title.

    38 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • The Little Book of Sitcom

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Vorhaus
    • Narrated By John Vorhaus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Writing situation comedies isn’t really that hard. So much of what you need to know is already defined for you. You know that your script needs to be a certain short length, with a certain small number of characters. You know that your choice of scenes is limited to your show’s standing sets and maybe one or two swing sets or outside locations. You know how your characters behave and how they’re funny, either because you invented them or because you’re writing for a show where these things are already well established. Sitcom is easy and sitcom is fun.

    ddsharper says: "Incredible insider information: Great delivery."
    "Incredible insider information: Great delivery."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Little Book of Sitcom in three words, what would they be?

    A refreshing break.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    He read his own book, which most of the time is great, if the book is excellent, as this was, and the author confident in his knowledge, like this guy.


    What about John Vorhaus’s performance did you like?

    Everything. It's non-fiction so the performance was less relevent than a drama.


    What did you learn from The Little Book of Sitcom that you would use in your daily life?

    I don't know- too much to write. I don't like the question.


    Any additional comments?

    Just liked the book a lot. He's straightforward, anxious to share information to find real talent, an knows his field. He is my favorite character. Wish he gave more examples though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Man in 3B

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Carl Weber
    • Narrated By Mike Ray, Shay Moore, King Parker, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (215)

    Meet Darryl Graham, or as his new neighbors call him, The Man in 3B. Darryl's new to the Jamaica, Queens building, but from day one he's made quite an impression on his neighbors. He has made it very clear he greatly values his privacy, but he is the man every woman wants and every man wants to be, so inquiring minds want to know. Unfortunately, in Darryl's world, what you know can hurt you. And when he winds up dead, those inquiring minds become the prime suspects.

    Dream says: "Epilogue brings the story together"
    "Pedestrian and Stereotypical"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I couldn't listen long enough to comment on the entire plot, because the writing was so stereotypical and pedestrian. I am sick and tired of black women being portrayed as desperate whores and sexual animals. When the first character encountered women on the stoop of her complex, they sounded like B in heat. What made it worse is that they were married. Then the married woman climbs stairs, cannot catch her breath, but perseverates on and on about this guy being so attractive and sexy that she was willing to entertain sexual fantasies about him, without knowing him, and go on and on about what she wanted to do with and to him. In the middle of respiratory failure, this guy asks her if she's all-right, and her mind leaves her physical distress as she lusts after some stranger? Please. give me something with plot twists and depth, and dialog between human beings and not people ready to jump into bed with people less familiar than even strangers. How far the mighty have fallen.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Carl Weber again?

    Not at all.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    There were no favorites, at all. No insight, predictable, and formulaic.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Nothing. The narrators are accomplished actors and voice-over-greats.


    Any additional comments?

    It seems like some non-black wrote the book, or some black person who has joined the band-wagon of portraying black women as lust-ridden-animals, abandoning all logical thoughts or action in order to think or act on endless lust. I could not finish the book-junk in, junk out. I am longing to read meaningful stories by substantive black authors, but I suppose such books could never pass the muster of the system of you-know-what, in the West. If you portray all black men as criminals, all black women as sex crazed whores, then I guess you have a best seller. Also, in most black books, black people have miserable lives, etc,, which is why I rarely buy fiction books written by modern black authors. This is my opinion. I have found, with rare exceptions, that nothing in any form of media, save the occasional honest documentary, or actual lectures on YouTube, remotely reflects the real lives and characters of actual black people, who are the most diverse group on earth, Give me something where they aren't criminals, or downtrodden by racism, or sex-crazed-dogs, or on drugs. I guess that's what sells, but I'm not buying.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Monk is Miserable

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Lee Goldberg
    • Narrated By Laura Hicks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (20)

    On a return trip from Germany, Monk and Natalie stop over in Paris. They visit the catacombs - a vast, underground cavern in the center of the city, lined with millions of ancient human bones. Monk picks up a skull and announces that this person was murdered - by a modern weapon made in the last few years. He thinks someone hid a recent murder victim among the old bones.

    Russell says: "Very entertaining"
    "Too much Natalie: Too little Monk"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In my opinion, the strength of the Monk TV series, like the series, "House", is the special skills the main character possesses. I don't want to here from the whiny assistant, nor do I care about her point of view. I expected hard core Monk, spotlighting his point of view and his many skills and special diagnostics of criminals and their acts, which were lacking, as far as I could see. I was so agitated and frustrated with the narrator's voice, as well as the lack of substance of the story, I could not finish. Perhaps if I'd gone further I'd be pleasantly surprised, but I found this to be too great a chore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret History of the World: As Laid Down by the Secret Societies

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Mark Booth
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    In this groundbreaking new work, Mark Booth embarks on an enthralling intellectual tour of our world's secret histories. Starting from a dangerous premise - that everything we've been taught about our world's past is corrupted, and that the stories put forward by the various cults and mystery schools throughout history are true - Booth produces nothing short of an alternate history of the past 3,000 years.

    Robin says: "A unique perspective"
    "For the young, ignorant and impressionable"
    Overall

    New fable, undermining established belief systems, seemingly designed for atheists, youngsters and those who have yet to form their own beliefs about God and Jesus. Propaganda of the NWO in my opinion and I couldn' listen beyond the first 30 minutes. How pathetic. Nothing here less fantastic than the traditional story of creation. Like Greek mythology I suppose. Lots of books like this coming out. Thought this was scholarly. Guess I should have previewed it longer. Beware.

    0 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17209)
    Performance
    (7440)
    Story
    (7466)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "I will sorely miss the series, characters, author"
    Overall

    I am grieving the loss. It has been a very long time, before this series, that I was so deeply drawn into a saga. Consequently, I haven't known how to react now that it's over and I know the author is dead. It's strange. You must read all 3 books in order to appreciate this author's ability to weave a complex tale and create such realistic characters. His prose are great and his style skilled, in every way. I feel as if I am grieving in that I know Steig Larsson is gone and Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander with him. I wish American authors possessed the depth of soul and expression to write as honestly as this Swedish author but I suppose the machismo and warlike attitude of America precludes such a thing. I am at a loss. What to read now? After experiencing such interesting characters and well spun stories I am at a loss. Well, I guess it is back to Alexandre Dumas. In closing, I highly recommend the series. Thank you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • First Degree

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Rosenfelt
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (933)
    Performance
    (389)
    Story
    (384)

    When a cop's body is found burned and decapitated, the last thing Andy Carpenter expected is for a stranger to waltz into his office and admit to the crime. For the wise-cracking millionaire defense attorney suffering from "lawyer's block", the case looks like a no-brainer...until the cops pick up another suspect: Andy's lead P.I., Laurie Collins, who happens to be the love of his life.

    A. Wright says: "Read series in order"
    "Great Listen"
    Overall

    I have come to really appreciate this author. The book has a great plot, all loose ends are tied together and the characters are all memorable. I started with his first book, open and shut, and liked it so much I paid the full retail price for this title. Most of all, I love the author's use of irony and sarcasm. He's a firecracker and demonstrates the author's intelligence. Wholly recommend this book for intelligent readers, especially. Wish there were more titles out there like this one, more authors with Rosenfelt's talents.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A History of the Middle Ages

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Crane Brinton, John Christopher, Robert Wolff
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (589)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (181)

    A History of the Middle Ages is the amazing story of European man in transition. It is a dramatic chronicle of 1,000 years of political, social, and economic transformation beginning with the dissolution of the classical Mediterranean civilization and ending with the first flowering of the Renaissance. It is also the story of two new religions, Christianity and Islam, both of which were destined to dominate the mind of every person in those new civilizations arising in their wake.

    Theresa says: "A Stunning Achievement"
    "Great Material: Hard Listen"
    Overall

    Great information, thorough and power packed facts reside in this book. If you learn best through listening, perhaps this book is for you. If you need to ruminate and grasp facts and concepts before moving on, this book moves way to fast, in my opinion. It is one of the titles I've downloaded that I will listen to when I already have a framework set, and understanding of this period in western civilization, and then I can use this book as a solid review. Now, I use it to help my insomnia.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Bend in the Road

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Nicholas Sparks
    • Narrated By L.J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (112)

    Recently selected Best Author by readers of Entertainment Weekly, Nicholas Sparks is one of America's preeminent storytellers. Now, Sparks spins a tale about a man, a woman, and the devastating secret that threatens to keep them apart.

    Troy says: "Hard not to feel superior to the characters"
    "A tender Story"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this title because the characters were pleasant, the story simple and because it didn't focus on judges, police lawyers and criminal element like many modern novels. This is a good love story. Without spoiling the story, I can say I'd recommend the book as a delightful listen.

    2 of 3 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
    (5911)
    Performance
    (499)
    Story
    (502)

    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."
    "I enjoyed this title"
    Overall

    This was an easy listen and made learning a pleasure: thought behind every sentence. Took what could have been a boring topic and turned it into a real interesting read. Gave me insight into the growing crime rates in the 80's through early 90's America, due to the drug trade, and the reason crime stats are today below some of the stats from the 1960's. Many other explanations of trends that were surprising,logical and supported by reason and numbers. I think all Americans should read this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Harriet Beecher Stowe
    • Narrated By Liza Ross
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    This intensely dramatic and moving novel has remained a best-selling classic since it was first published in 1852. The slaves Eliza and George make a desperate bid to escape to Canada, while Uncle Tom is sold to two successive and very different owners. Abraham Lincoln himself acknowledged the role played by this seminal text in the Civil War, the aim of which was (in part) to emancipate the slaves of the southern states.

    Susan says: "Everyone should read/listen to this one"
    "Stowe's contribution to History"
    Overall

    Josiah Henson was the man who's slave live forms the basis of this book. This book influenced many people to take a stand against "the peculiar institution" and served to give humanity to the slave himself. Anyone interested in reading a book that changed the face of this country should read Uncle Tom's Cabin. Prior to that however a quick google search of the author will give the reader perspective! Because it is a period piece it can be difficult to cherish, or even finish, without understanding the background of the writer and why she wrote it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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