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Jim

MOUNT DORA, FL, United States | Member Since 2008

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 515 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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  • Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Charles P. Pierce
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (152)

    The culture wars are over and the idiots have won. This is a veteran journalist’s caustically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States. The three Great Premises of Idiot America: · Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units; anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough; "fact" is that which enough people believe. And "truth" is determined by how fervently they believe it.

    Vargas says: "You Get What You Paid For"
    "Hilarious and Insightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Charles Pierce has given us a book citing virtually hundreds of society's foibles and foolish manifestations. It's brilliantly written, astute and very funny. Moreover, it's astute food for thought. It's well worth repeated listenings. Excellent job by Bronson Pinchot as well.
    Jim Carlton

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The English Girl: Gabriel Allon, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1124)
    Performance
    (971)
    Story
    (971)

    Daniel Silva delivers another spectacular thriller starring Gabriel Allon, The English Girl. When a beautiful young British woman vanishes on the island of Corsica, a prime minister’s career is threatened with destruction. Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, is thrust into a game of shadows where nothing is what it seems...and where the only thing more dangerous than his enemies might be the truth.…

    Janels says: "Gabriel's story takes huge strides"
    "Another engrossing and exciting story from Silva"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The English Girl?

    The story is well-plotted and I admire how politically astute and up to date Daniel Silva is and how prescient are his predictions about Syria, Hezbollah, Iran, chemical warfare et al., but George Guidell brings the story to life. His reading is flawless and his talent for interpreting a story evidently limitless.


    What other book might you compare The English Girl to and why?

    Any book in this series by Silva will be rewarding for the listener.


    Have you listened to any of George Guidall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He's batting a thousand. Brilliant talent.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Moved me where?


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2748)
    Performance
    (2324)
    Story
    (2328)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Robert says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Captivating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Winds of War?

    I loved Kevin Pariseau's extraordinary reading. Every character came alive - and he had no shortage of characters and accents to portray. Yes, the story was engrossing and this is Wouk's Great American Novel, but he couldn't have asked for a better reader. Pariseau is among the top two or three readers I've enjoyed listening to in more than 30 years of listening to audio books. He's a brilliant talent.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Winds of War?

    Several characters being caught in Poland and barely escaping during the German invasion.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    See above, but it's a long book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Practically impossible.


    Any additional comments?

    Just another endorsement for Pariseau. With all due respect to Herman Wouk's fine writing, Pariseau makes the story so enjoyable for the listener. The producer(s) were smart in finding the right actor because the wrong person reading such a long work would have been potentially disastrous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1959: The Year Everything Changed

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Fred Kaplan
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (64)

    Acclaimed national security columnist and noted cultural critic Fred Kaplan looks past the 1960s to the year that really changed AmericaWhile conventional accounts focus on the 60s as the era of pivotal change that swept the nation, Fred Kaplan argues that it was 1959 that ushered in the wave of tremendous cultural, political, and scientific shifts that would play out in the decades that followed.

    James says: "Facinating look at a neglected moment in history"
    "Extraordinary Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of 1959 to be better than the print version?

    Yes, because Joe Barrett's reading is exceptional. The timbre of his voice is very pleasing and his inflections are pitch perfect. I can't think of anyone who could have delivered a better performance.


    What other book might you compare 1959 to and why?

    Good question. This work is so comprehensive that it's difficult to compare to another book that isn't a straight-ahead reference. It addresses the political and geopolitical issues of the era, the space program and the important changes in jazz, literature and art. Simply, it's the most engrossing and informative non-fiction book I've read in years. Fred Kaplan had a great idea and employed a brilliant angle. I've listened to this book several times and learn something new with every listen. This work is for anyone interested in a complete (if there is such a thing) education. It's quite impressive and I was delighted to discover it.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Never, but very pleased with Joe Barrett's excellent performance.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It's engaging and engrossing, but who has that kind of time? One looks forward to earmarking the time to listen.


    Any additional comments?

    Five stars! Eagerly await any other works by Fred Kaplan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Scotty Bowers, Lionel Friedberg
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (59)

    Newly discharged from the Marines after World War II, Scotty Bowers arrived in Hollywood in 1946. Young, charismatic, and strikingly handsome, he quickly caught the eye of many of the town's stars and starlets. He began sleeping with some himself, and connecting others with his coterie of young, attractive, and sexually free-spirited friends.

    Kimberly Brooks says: "My ears!"
    "Candid, Compelling and Creepy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If only ten percent of Bowers' stories are true it's still a fascinating and frank look at an era in Hollywood when certain activities and attitudes were sequestered and secreted from the public at large. Bowers names names and reveals the alleged sexual activities of many of our most famous celebrities. He seems to have known everyone and been a touchstone (no pun intended) for hooking people up. Just the vast number of vignettes causes one to ponder his verisimilitude. But I'm not casting aspersions because so many of his recollections have a ring of truth and seem plausible. And I'd think Gore Vidal would not endorse this book flippantly. But who knows? As always, Johnny Heller's reading is perfect.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (257)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (157)

    When James Bond rescues a beautiful, reckless girl from self-destruction, he finds himself with a lead on one of the most dangerous men in the world: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE. Blofeld is conducting research that could threaten the safety of the world. To thwart this evil genius, Bond must infiltrate Blofeld's base of operations while avoiding the agents of SPECTRE.

    Adam Shields says: "Ernst Bloefeld (of SPECTRE) is back"
    "Uncommonly Sluggish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Simon Vance, as always, gives a superb reading but has to wrestle with a plot that sometimes doesn't move for an hour. I listen as I walk and that's how I know. I love and admire Fleming and the Bond character, but this one moves slower than the last day of school. Despite my being a fan, I couldn't get through it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Associate: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1805)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (392)

    Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father's small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential. But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn't want, even if it's a job most law students can only dream about....

    JoAnn says: "Good, but not nearly as good as The Firm""
    "What about an ending?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Grisham had a good story going. Just wish he'd have ended it. He left so many loose ends it seems like he abandoned the project. He could written another fifty or hundred pages and wrapped it up. Yes, there is an ending but not a satisfying one. I feel like I've read a book with the last two chapters missing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jeffery Deaver
    • Narrated By Toby Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (552)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (372)

    Fresh from Afghanistan, James Bond has been recruited to a new agency. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of Five, Six and the MoD, its very existence deniable. Its aim: to protect the Realm, by any means necessary. The Night Action alert calls Bond from dinner with a beautiful woman. GCHQ has decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack scheduled for later in the week: casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.

    britishbob says: "Worth The Time"
    "Superb in Every Way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Toby Stephens delivers Jeffery Deaver's 007 novel with flair and conviction. Deaver's story is typically brilliant and riveting with its twists and unexpected plot points. This is perhaps the best and freshest 007 novel ever. This presentation was a pleasant surprise and an engaging and rewarding experience. Highly recommended from and audio book veteran. This is the kind of story and performance that we search for and has one longing for time with his iPod. More please, Mr. Deaver. Bravo! Five stars all around.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Sam Harris
    Overall
    (833)
    Performance
    (477)
    Story
    (466)

    In this explosive new book, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge. Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being, viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a "moral landscape".

    gerald says: "The book says what many feel, but fear to say"
    "Five Stars for Content"
    Overall

    I admire Harris' philosophy, research and writing. But this book could benefit from a professional narrator.
    In an interview, Harris claimed that "read by author" was desirable because one can hear the writer's inflection and intent. IMO, that's quixotic. "Read by author" has always been a red flag for me and this book proves my point. Harris is a brilliant man and this audio book is well worth having but he doesn't sustain the narrative the way a pro could. After a while, he's just reading aloud. He's not really telling us what he wants us to know. His narrative lacks the passion of his words and ideas. Alas. I, nevertheless, recommend it.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization's Best Bits

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Steve Wiegand, Erik Sass
    • Narrated By Johny Heller
    Overall
    (311)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (144)

    About 60,000 years ago, the first Homo sapiens were just beginning their move across the grasslands and up the ladder of civilization. Everything since then, as they say, is history. Just in case you were sleeping in class that day, the geniuses at mental_floss magazine have put together a hilarious (and historically accurate) primer on everything you need to know---and that means the good stuff.

    A. Hochberg says: "This was just great!"
    "Breezy, but Fascinating and Informative"
    Overall

    I've listened to this recording repeatedly and always pick up new and interesting information. Its style is friendly, accessible and never tedious. Moreover, Johnny Heller has become my favorite reader. He has real flair and a tremendous delivery. I wish I could find other things he's read, alas. For history lovers, this recording makes the subject fun and appealing. I love this audio book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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