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Douglas

College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

Auburn, WA, United States | Member Since 2008

1493
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 306 reviews
  • 418 ratings
  • 855 titles in library
  • 47 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
250

  • Vincent van Gogh: A Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Julius Meier-Graefe
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    The lives of many famous artists have been shrouded in mystery and conjecture, but none have been more controversial than the life of Vincent van Gogh. Remembered for his swirling brushstrokes and burning colors, Vincent van Gogh is today one of the best-known painters. Though his career as a painter spanned less than ten years, he produced a body of work that remains one of the most enduring in all of modern art. In his lifetime, however, he received little recognition. Today his paintings sell for countless millions, yet during his lifetime, van Gogh managed to sell just one painting.

    Douglas says: "More Poetry Than Biography..."
    "More Poetry Than Biography..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a bit suspicious of a biography of Van Gogh's life that would only cover seven and a half hours of normally read text, wondering if anything truly in depth could be accomplished in such a relatively short book--and I was right to wonder. The folksy, often poetic language is interesting and gives a peculiar and often pleasing flavor to the text, but much is glossed over--and while Meier-Graefe gets all the big milestones right (his relationship with Theo, the ear, the shooting, and all the junior high school student already knows), he just gets some things wrong. Anyone who could speak of Vincent's late adolescence as "sailing along" or "happy at home with his parents" must never have encountered any facts about the uptight critical father who thought his son a mad fool, the harping mother whose constant refrain rang "why can't you be more like Theo?!" or the crazily intense antics of a young man who just about drove everyone around him nuts with his endless fiery neediness and often with careless thoughtlessness. I expected more here and would recommend a more in-depth biography of the great artist.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Sally

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By P.G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Paul Shelley
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    The arrival of a golf ball on the green at the eighteenth hole at Bingley-on-Sea sets in motion a train of events to cast men everywhere into despondency. For the striker of the ball is not only a woman doctor but beautiful into the bargain. The disease of love in its most virulent strain attacks Bill Bannister; confusion sets in everywhere, and only a prescription of Wodehousian wit and humor can save the situation.

    Douglas says: "Wodehouse Charm And Social Commentary"
    "Wodehouse Charm And Social Commentary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first encountered Wodehouse like most do--through the Jeeves stories, and since those years ago, he has never failed to delight me with the fine British wit and charm that come across in every well-crafted line of his stories and short novels. The real grace of Wodehouse is that his fiction feels light, with its airy little jokes and puns, but there is, in the end, real depth in the social commentary and criticism that is always present, even in the most light-hearted tale. Doctor Sally comes highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doc: The Rape of the Town of Lovell

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jack Olsen
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (87)

    For twenty-five years, the trusted family doctor in a small Wyoming town had been raping and molesting the women and children who most relied on him. Mostly Mormons, the naive victims sometimes realized on their wedding nights the truth about what had happened in Dr. Story's office.

    Jennifer says: "A + for true crime fans"
    "Just Beginning To Read Jack Olsen..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    and listened to Doc after listening to the twenty one hours of Son: A Psychopath And His Victims nearly nonstop. Olsen does in Doc exactly what he accomplishes in Son: in a terse, tight, Hemingway style, he paints a vivid, living background and then peoples it with living, breathing individuals, good, bad, ugly, letting the story come to life of its own, teasing out each fact, each personality, each vital detail. The stories are purely factual, but they are nothing like police reports; they are even less like tabloid stories. They are crime stories, Capote-style, just as they should be. Doc comes highly recommended from this reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Son

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jack Olsen
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (65)

    Recounts the tragic events that followed the arrest of Fred Coe, a conservative, clean-cut young man, for a series of rapes committed in the city of Spokane and led to revenge and murder.

    Douglas says: "A Powerful Psychological Analysis.."
    "A Powerful Psychological Analysis.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    of the schizoid-type psychopath who terrorized an untold number of victims in the South Hill region of Spokane Washington back in the 1970's. The two negative reviews here on this book complain that it is "dry" or "lacking in detail." To begin, I don't know what book these reviewers read, because SON is actually quite riveting and rich in detail, but if one is looking for a story dripping in gore and body fluids, well, okay, one might look elsewhere; if one is looking for a true crime story that is penetrating, psychological, intelligent, and always seeking the truth of the situation, this is the one to get.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kant: A Very Short Introduction

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Roger Scruton
    • Narrated By Kyle Munley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (24)

    Kant is arguably the most influential modern philosopher, but also one of the most difficult. Roger Scruton tackles his exceptionally complex subject with a strong hand, exploring the background to Kant's work and showing why the Critique of Pure Reason has proved so enduring.

    Mark Johnson says: "Excellent Kant summary but horrible narration"
    "Very Fine Introduction..."
    Overall
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    to both Kant the man and his philosophical theories. Entertaining and enlightening stories from what little "personal life" Kant engaged in, and a thorough going-through of his ideas and how they developed. This would be particularly good for someone just beginning to study Kant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hardcore Self Help: F--k Anxiety

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Robert Duff
    • Narrated By Robert Duff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Hardcore Self Help: F--k Anxiety is for those of us who find the prospect of reading a traditional self-help book to be way too boring. How are you supposed to make positive changes in your life if the book itself feels like a chore? This audiobook is definitely not a chore.

    In Hardcore Self Help: F--k Anxiety, I talk to you like a friend. There is lots of swearing and humor but also loads of helpful and actionable information.

    Amanda says: "Loved it!"
    "I Am Not Offended By Offensive Language..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    when it is used with effect, but this is gratuitous and stupid. The author tries to make up for the very ordinary approach to anxiety treatment (nothing new here) with "talking like a normal person" ("normal" if you use empty vulgarity every other word) and trying to seem hip and cool and identifiable. (The tone pretty much runs like this: "You don't need some egghead telling you about those fancy neurotransmitters when I can make it seem much more relatable by referring to your brain as a "douche."--Please!) It's not so much anxiety as the reader here that ends up feeling....well,,,

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Rick Santorum
    • Narrated By Rick Santorum
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    This audiobook addresses the current societal influences of the "Bigs" and relates the importance of the "Littles" in our communities in an incredibly interesting, conversational style. Packed with credibility and information and proven alternatives to our nation's problems, It Takes a Family is a must-listen for understanding and implementing the crucial elements of a successful society.

    Douglas says: "A Well-Written And Important..."
    "A Well-Written And Important..."
    Overall
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    reminder of the vital need for traditional values in a culture drifting ever closer to moral relativism and suppression of traditional values... This book is about the reestablishment of the traditional family as the central element of American culture, but it is about a lot more than that: namely, the need for movement away from the Orwellean, 1984 reliance upon Big Brother government for the establishment of moral value and the common good. It is a call away from the morally relativistic "individualism" of postmodern America to the rugged individualism that put the burden of the common good and social stability upon "the people" rather than on a governing body that could then impose its own system of self-serving values upon the people. It is a call for a renewed sense of responsibility and a holding to the values that have made for a strong America in the past... And should you think there is not an active suppression of traditional values in this country, consider this: today, my wife was giving a taped interview for her workplace concerned with positive activity she was doing in the public sector. During the interview, she stated that she felt her public service was an expression of her Christian faith. At this point, the interviewer/camera person paused and turned to the person in charge of the project and asked sotto voice (but loud enough for my wife to hear): "can we use that?"--that is, "can she say that?" or, more rightly, "isn't anything having to do with traditional religion out of bounds outside of the musty walls of a church building?" Imagine such a question in regard to race, nationality or sexual orientation--the interviewer would have never worked again. But because religion is the current social kryptonite, he felt compelled to inquire as to whether or not its very mention should be censored. And totally without regard to whether or not my wife would be offended by such effrontery. Read this book while you are still allowed to do so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Immanuel Kant: The Giants of Philosophy

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By A. J. Mandt
    • Narrated By Charlton Heston
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    Immanuel Kant's "transcendental" philosophy transcends the question of "what" we know to ask "how" we know it. Before Kant, philosophers had debated for centuries whether knowledge is derived from experience or reason. Kant says that both views are partly right and partly wrong, that they share the same error; both believe that the mind and the world, reason and nature, are separated from one another.

    Smelly Ian says: "Well worth the download!"
    "A Fine Introduction..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    to Kant and his line of reason. I have read Kant and can recommend this book as a good introduction to difficult work for someone who is less acquainted with philosophy. Kant is not at all easy, and reading this book first will make one familiar with the basic premises with which he will be dealing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Immanuel Kant, Thomas Kingsmill Abbott (translator)
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    Immanuel Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, first published in 1785, lays out Kant's essential philosophy and defines the concepts and arguments that would shape his later work. Central to Kant's doctrine is the categorical imperative, which he defines as a mandate that human actions should always conform to a universal, unchanging standard of rational morality.

    James Bath says: "A Pivotal Thinker in the History of Mind"
    "The Heart Of Kant's Thinking..."
    Overall
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    is contained in this short treatise on absolute rational moral value. Kant is one of the all-time great thinkers in the realm of philosophy and morality, and he should be read by everyone. A warning should go with this recommendation, I suppose. One cannot go in with an E.L. James/Stephanie Myers vocabulary and depth of understanding and expect to come away with much. It takes a familiarity with higher language and higher thought. There is no short-cut to excellence or to understanding it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Death of Conservatism

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Sam Tanenhaus
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Sam Tanenhaus's essay "Conservatism Is Dead" prompted intense discussion and debate when it was published in the New Republic in the first days of Barack Obama's presidency. Now Tanenhaus, a leading authority on modern politics, has expanded his argument into a sweeping history of the American conservative movement.

    Douglas says: "Intelligent Indictment..."
    "Intelligent Indictment..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    of the hidebound, ideologically-driven fundamentalism that has made for the wasteful and unproductive political stand-off in the American two party system over the last forty or so years. The book has flaws. For one, its title is far too apocalyptic, and the book itself acknowledges this tacitly, making suggestions for revitalizing the conservative party; and too, it underestimates the stagnation of the liberal party, which has come about for the same reason that the conservatives have become so steadily ossified, that is, the espousal of a hard party line, conformity over consensus. The book's highlights are its reflections on the political theories of Burke and Disraeli, too brilliant men who should be read by all, but are, alas, probably beyond the uninformed and unintelligent masses which have made for the unthinking, unreflective ideological systems we currently have in place. (I will suggest a modern-day Burke/Disraeli, and study him if you have the heart: the vastly undervalued Peter Hitchens, brother of vastly overvalued Chris Hitchens.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Peter Hitchens
    • Narrated By Peter Hitchens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (43)

    Partly autobiographical, partly historical, The Rage Against God, written by Peter Hitchens, brother of prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens, assails several of the favorite arguments of the anti-God battalions and makes the case against fashionable atheism.

    Michael says: "Not at All What I Expected"
    "Hitchens For God!...."
    Overall
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    Story

    Peter, of course, not Chris. A marvelously intelligent and personal counter to his brother's screed against the Christian Faith, Peter Hitchen's Rage Against God is perhaps one of the best apologetics for Christianity for our modern age.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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