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John

Staten Island, NY, United States | Member Since 2009

32
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 222 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang, Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (491)
    Performance
    (445)
    Story
    (444)

    Chronicling his embodiment of the American Dream, Total Recall covers Schwarzenegger's high-stakes journey to the United States, from creating the international bodybuilding industry out of the sands of Venice Beach, to breathing life into cinema's most iconic characters, and becoming one of the leading political figures of our time. Proud of his accomplishments and honest about his regrets, Schwarzenegger spares nothing in sharing his amazing story.

    Russell says: "Totally Worth It"
    "The Authornator hits a home run!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Although this book follows the life of this amazing person, it's much more, it explains why Arnold made all of the major decisions in his life. He is extremely fair pointing out all of the both his bad points as well as the good. Here is a man who came to the United States with next to nothing and became a successful business person, the world's best bodybuilder, one of the world's top grossing actor, led the nation in a push for physical fitness and became the governor of California. He has mingled with Presidents, business giants and celebrities and yet in his mind he is still a regular guy who just worked extremely hard and did well. It's truely the best example of the American dream. You can't listen to this book and not be motivated. Arnold did more than say that the United States of America was the greatest country in the world he proved it.


    What does Stephen Lang and Arnold Schwarzenegger bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The book is read by both Arnold and Steven Lang. It's a great mixture. It's great to hear Arnold tell his story and Lang jumps in for the bulk of the book.


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

    I was so impressed with a young Arnold buying an apartment building when most everyone else would have waited until they were better suited. He did plenty of research and began his empire when the rest of us would have still been dreaming. He is a man of action and this more than all of his other accomplishments demonstates this fact.


    Any additional comments?

    As Arnold indicates, don't copy all of his actions, learn from his example and improve your life and the lives of those around you. He gave up countless millions to be governor of California so he can give back to the country that allowed him to be such a success, we can all learn from his example.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Billy Crystal
    • Narrated By Billy Crystal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1070)
    Performance
    (978)
    Story
    (977)

    Billy Crystal is 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like ""Buying the Plot"" and ""Nodding Off,"" Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, and his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Listeners get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever ""test positive for Maalox""), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (""the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac""); grandparenting; and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

    Pamela says: "Growing up with Billy Crystal"
    "Funny, Informative, Good Advise, and Funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I started this book I was concerned it was just going to be a long stand-up act. Then I thought, well how bad could that be if it were? As it turns out, Crystal brilliantly mixes the story of his life, with humor and some good advice. This is a book where the audible format far out performs the printed word. He keeps you on your toes all the time, chapters vary widely in length which I liked because he spent whatever time necessary to convey a thought. I laughed through the entire book but in the end I realized that I knew so much about Billy Crystal. I would summarize him as a bright man with all the insecurities of most comedians, who loves his wife, children and grandchildren deeply, he looks for humor in everything that happens and is an expert in finding it.
    I read many good books but this is the first one that I said to myself that I needed to listen to it again in a year.
    Good job Billy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shirley Jones: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Shirley Jones
    • Narrated By Shirley Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (71)

    For those who only think of Shirley Jones as the prim and proper Marion the librarian or the chaste and demure Mrs. Partridge, a massive surprise is in store. In this hilarious and heartwarming, shocking and intimate memoir, Shirley dishes the raw truth about her own highly charged sexuality, her two husbands - the charismatic and deeply troubled Broadway star Jack Cassidy and the wacky TV comic Marty Ingels - her legendary Hollywood costars, and her interactions with the cast of The Partridge Family, including her rock star stepson David Cassidy.

    Jeffrey says: "A Rare Gem!"
    "Slightly interesting."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Shirley has a wonderful voice and this book is a very pleasant listen. The content however is often uninteresting. Much of the book she describes her relationship with her first husband Jack Cassidy, she always claims he was the love of her life but really cuts him to shreds. He seems to have had many affairs with both men and women, ignored his wife and children and was very jealous of their accomplishments. Shirley on the other hand did everything to please him from ignoring his affairs to participating in a threesome. That's basically the book. She often goes into lists of movies that either she or Jack had acted which are very long and boring. I found it strange at first that she would quote things she had said to others or letters that she had written but when I realized she is essence is an actress and probably have scripts for everything she ever said I guess it is to be expected. Shirley claims to still be that small town girl and I challenge anyone who listens to this book to agree with her at the end. She seems to be a very self centered person who was very superficial in all of her relationships. The men in here life were all successful perhaps the least of which is her current husband Marty, whom she has no trouble debasing by declaring that Jack Cassidy is still the only man she truly loved. One line stuck in my mind in it she says Jack and I knew our son was on drugs but weren't sure what specific drug it was. Yikes, a normal person would certainly find out.

    With all of the recent biographies like Steve Jobs and Carson which really let you know the person this is more like sitting in the living room having Shirley tell you her version of her life.

    I think the die hard Shirley Jones fan would like this book otherwise I would pass it by.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5906)
    Performance
    (5347)
    Story
    (5340)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "One of his best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read (or listened to) almost all of John Grisham's books and I found Sycamore Row to be one of his best. It was easier to follow than many of his books with only one character with two different names. This book really dove into the inner legal proceeding of a contested will. The characters were interesting as well as the social issues addressed.
    Michael Beck uses different accents throughout the book to distinguish between characters, at first I thought this was a little corny but I soon learned to appreciate it because it really helped me keep track of the characters. I found his reading excellent.
    This would be a great place to start for someone who has not read Grisham.
    Maybe the best indicator of a great book is how you miss it after you have finished, I really felt a void for a few days after this novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Johnny Carson

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Henry Bushkin
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (182)

    From 1962 until 1992, Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show and permeated the American consciousness. In the ’70s and ’80s he was the country’s highest-paid entertainer and its most enigmatic. He was notoriously inscrutable, as mercurial (and sometimes cruel) off-camera as he was charming and hilarious onstage. During the apex of his reign, Carson’s longtime lawyer and best friend was Henry Bushkin, who now shows us Johnny Carson with a breathtaking clarity and depth that nobody else could.

    Pi says: "Not for the uninitiated"
    "Here's Johnny!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Growing up watching Johnny Carson gave me a quest for more information about him. This book certainly provided an insight into the very private Johnny Carson. Henry Bushkin is fair in his comments on Carson, he certainly credits him for making his career and describes the wild ride they took together. I don't know if I should envy Bushkin or pity him and that's is exactly what Bushkin was trying to explain. Imagine you're just a regular person who happens to a an attorney and at a very young age you are thrown into the deep end of the pool rubbing elbows with television and movie stars, jetting around the world with Carson as his best friend/personal assistant, it was certainly a 24/7 job.
    I was very interested in the deals Johnny turned down regardless of money either because he didn't feel it was worth the trouble. At the end of the book I didn't think any less of Carson if anything I learned just how generous he was which in a strange way balanced, in my mind, the many mood swings his followers had to endure.
    The book moves very quickly and I was sad when it ended. It is easy to follow. It took a short while to get use to the narrator's voice but once I did he was fine, he was easy to understand but his voice is a bit scratchy.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (10548)
    Performance
    (9098)
    Story
    (9060)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "I know Steve Jobs!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Steve Jobs again? Why?

    This book is easy on the ears. It really lets you know this man flaws and all. Biographies are usually written slanted one way or the other but not this one. Leave it to Jobs to change the way biographies are written. It was the perfect length not too long or too short. After listening to it you will know Steve Jobs too.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Washington: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1524)
    Performance
    (1023)
    Story
    (1018)

    In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. This crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

    ButterLegume says: "A sad day when my book was done!"
    "Great book!"
    Overall

    At first, I was concerned that a book of such great length would too quickly loose my attention. I was surprised how interesting the book remained throughout the many chapters. Washington was such an interesting person. The author takes us through his life, exploring both his many accomplishments and the man himself. I have to admit that after listening to this book, my admiration for our first president grew quite a bit. The narrator has a clear and pleasant voice. I highly recommend this book.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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