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Walter

Philadelphia, PA, United States

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 12 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015
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  • How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Steven Johnson
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (185)

    In this volume, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes - from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

    Max says: "some interesing history"
    "Interesting look at history with good narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book provides a fantastic and unique look at the history of technology and certain innovations. He follows several broad themes of cold, glass, cleanliness, time, sound, and light. He then traces these from their original to the ubiquitous necessity to our now everyday technology. It was a quick non fiction read that was mostly enjoyable.

    However, Johnson hammered a few ideas over and over again to the point of annoyance. The ideas of simultaneous invention, adjacent possible, long zoom, and hummingbird effect were beat like a dead horse. He even sights the invention of the spectacles three different times in the book, as if insulting the comprehension of the reader.

    The narration doesn't add or detract from the book, it's a very straight forward presentation and easy to listen to.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gilead

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Marilynne Robinson
    • Narrated By Tim Jerome
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (227)

    In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowan preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man in Maine, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition: He "preached men into the Civil War", then, at age 50, became a chaplain in the Union Army, losing his right eye in battle.

    Jim says: "The wonder of retrospect"
    "Heartfelt narrative brings touching story to life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tim Jerome was incredible. He brought so much emotion and feeling to John Ames's story. It definitely added a dimension to the story and enhanced my enjoyment.

    I've read several Pulitzer books, and I probably enjoyed this one the most. The language is so clear, so vivid that it truly brings the characters and story to life. The book was a bit slow in the middle, but the journey through John Ames's life and journey through the last stages of his life are poignant to touching.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Maltese Falcon

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dashiell Hammett
    • Narrated By Eric Meyers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (673)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (623)

    Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, first serialized in a magazine in 1930, is best known through the iconic Humphrey Bogart film of 1941. But it was the book that created the classic "noir" genre with its tough private detective threading his cool way between the criminals and the law. Sam Spade, the private eye solving the mystery of the Maltese statuette, was the template for Philip Marlowe and a host of others…. but they come no more shrewd and cunning with Hammett peppering the text with one-liners.

    Kathi says: "Outstanding American classic!"
    "Excellent performance on a fun noir adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sam Spade is half Don Draper, half James Bond. He character is a real pleasure to follow through this tale. Eric Meyers did a phenomenal job and added to my enjoyment of this book. He used distinct voices for each character and that really added another dimension to the book.


    Hammett is constantly introducing new characters throughout the book the spice up the mystery, and it works for the book. It's not deep, but it is entertaining. The last chapter was a bit weak, and repetitive, and the ending certainly could have been a bit better, but I'd still recommend this as a light, fun read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Paul Collins
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1079)
    Performance
    (890)
    Story
    (893)

    In Long Island, a farmer found a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discovered a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumbled upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime were turning up all over New York, but the police were baffled: There were no witnesses, no motives, no suspects. The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era's most perplexing murder.

    deborah says: "Great look at NYC crime, forensics, and journalism"
    "An Entertaining Performance adds to the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dufris is the star of the show. His reading of Howe, the defense attorney, is amazing. This is a well writing and meticulously research account of a New York City murder and the sensationalist journalism that followed. The plot takes a lot of turns and in enganging thoughout. Once the trial is wrapped up, the book drags on for a few more chapters, and they should be skipped. This was a fun read, but it doesn't educate like most non-fiction. Paul Collins has a gift, but other still master the genre better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Antonio Mendez, Matt Baglio
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (353)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (318)

    On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in global politics still reverberating today. But there's a little-known footnote to the crisis: six Americans escaped. And a midlevel agent named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them. Armed with foreign film visas, Mendez and an unlikely team of CIA agents and Hollywood insiders traveled to Tehran....

    Minta says: "I listened to this twice in a row!"
    "A fast listen, but Baker adds nothing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning the different parts of the operation, comparing it to the movie.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Baker over enunciates words, especially plurals, to a point that is distracting. Another narrator would have been much better.


    Was Argo worth the listening time?

    It was an easy listen, and somewhat entertaining, so it was still worth the time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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