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DARRELL

Washington, DC, United States | Member Since 2011

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Role Models

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Waters
    • Narrated By John Waters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (178)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (99)

    Role Models is filmmaker John Waters's self-portrait told through intimate profiles of favorite personalities---some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some surprisingly middle-of-the-road.

    Nanci says: "Smutty But Funny"
    "Just like having a ticket to Mr. Waters' show"
    Overall

    If you have been to one of John Waters' talks you have heard some of these stories before. He is just as animated and enthusiastic on this reading as he is on stage. The characters, almost all real people, are fascinating. And getting a glimpse into the author's brain, with his own voice, is both scary and amazing. Though my personality is nearly the opposite of his, I have always seem him as something of a hero. I enjoyed listening a whole lot and will probably do a repeat sometime. (Be prepared for some raunchy stuff, though not much cursing.)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Oliver Sacks
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (927)
    Performance
    (762)
    Story
    (766)

    Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

    Darwin8u says: "A Clinician's eYe, but a Poet's HEART"
    "Good stories, but some exotic, scientific terms"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had read one of Dr. Sacks books years ago, so I knew what I was in for. The stories of the people he has examined are fascinating and unusual. But when the discussion starts, the terms being used lost me sometimes. And without a printed copy to check spelling, they are difficult to look up for definition. Still, it is quite an enjoyable listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Christopher Hitchens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2628)
    Performance
    (1370)
    Story
    (1362)

    In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris' recent best-seller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos.

    ben capozzi says: "...Though Hitchens Is!"
    "My first Hitchens book and I loved it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't say I understood all he wrote, but enough to admire his insight into religion and the human mind. The chapter on "Is Religion Child Abuse?" is extra-special. Confirms things I have thought about before. There are things in this book that will make some people's head explode.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tropic of Cancer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Henry Miller
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    Overall
    (240)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (133)

    Now hailed as an American classic, Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller's masterpiece, was banned as obscene in this country for 27 years after its first publication in Paris in 1943. Only a historic court ruling that changed American censorship standards, ushering in a new era of freedom and frankness in modern literature, permitted the publication of this first volume of Miller's famed mixture of memoir and fiction.

    Darwin8u says: "A madman who dances with lightening in his hands"
    "So much poetry, so little plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had read this decades ago. I wasn't all that impressed. But hearing it read aloud makes the poetry come through. There is a lot of musing on life and Paris and friends: and that is lovely to listen to. There really isn't any plot, just some extended narrative and a few anecdotes. I thought the narrator did a good job of playing the observer that Henry Miller was. My only complaint was that it needed more chapter breaks.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Just Kids

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Patti Smith
    • Narrated By Patti Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (716)
    Performance
    (619)
    Story
    (612)

    Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late 60s and 70s and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.

    Rick says: "Exceptional. Deeply honest and thoughtful."
    "What a friendship Patti & Robert had!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Much of this book is wonderful and unusual. The friendship, love affair, whatever it was, between Patti & Robert is strange but lovely. The major part of this book is about their lives as they struggled to live in NYC and become artists. The stories of the NYC art scene in the 70's are interesting. But as they got more into it all, the name dropping became kind of tedious and I found the narrative getting less compelling. Still I would recommend the book to anyone with any interest in that era. Patti Smith tells a good story, with a rather sad ending for many of the people involved.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Journey into Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Eric Ambler
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (20)

    It is 1940, and Mr Graham, a quietly-spoken engineer and arms expert, has just finished high-level talks with the Turkish government. And now somebody wants him dead. The previous night, three shots were fired at him as he stepped into his hotel room, so, terrified, he escapes in secret on a passenger steamer from Istanbul. As he journeys home he enters a nightmarish world where friend and foe are indistinguishable.

    John says: "Another solid book from Ambler"
    "An exciting period piece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A friend read several Eric Ambler books and raved about them, with this being his favorite. The situation seems strange from the perspective of 2011, but my knowledge of wartime Europe is only from history class. The plot is unusual, but it all seemed plausible for the times. I did think it could have used a bit less dialogue, but it was far from boring for me. And the introduction helped my understanding. Not for someone who likes fast-paced detective stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Invisible Life

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By E. Lynn Harris
    • Narrated By Michael Boatman
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    Law school, girlfriends, and career choices were all part of Raymond Tyler's life, but there were other, more terrifying issues for him to confront. Being black was tough enough, but Raymond was becoming more and more conscious of sexual feelings that he knew weren't "right."

    Michele says: "Excellent"
    "Apparently VERY abridged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I missed that this was an abridged version. And it is only about 30% of the full version. No wonder it seemed like things moved very fast. Nonetheless it was a pleasant listen for 3 hours. Much of it seems dated in this era of more openness for gay people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 33 Men: Inside the Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franklin
    • Narrated By Armando Valdez Kennedy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Having had unparalleled access to the Chilean mine disaster, award-winning journalist Jonathan Franklin takes readers to the heart of a remarkable story of human endurance, survival, and historic heroism. 33 Men is the groundbreaking, authoritative account of the Chilean mine disaster, one of the longest human entrapments in history.

    Karla Huntsman says: "Amazing story"
    "You know the ending, but getting there is intense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I went to see the rescue capsule at the Smithsonian and had seen some one-year later interviews on TV. I wanted to learn more about the men involved and what they went through. This book tries to make you understand and mostly succeeds. A great account of the entrapment and the rescue. The author does a decent job of mixing the two venues: the tunnel with the 33 miners and the mountaintop with the hundreds of rescuers, government officials, journalists and family members. There was a lot going on in both places. And the TV news didn't come close to telling the whole story. Here are many more details, along with some of the individual human stories. I found it quite enjoyable and exciting and emotional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Penn Jillette
    • Narrated By Penn Jillette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1531)
    Performance
    (1383)
    Story
    (1382)

    From the larger, louder half of the world-famous magic duo Penn & Teller comes a scathingly funny reinterpretation of The Ten Commandments. They are The Penn Commandments, and they reveal one outrageous and opinionated atheist’s experience in the world.

    A User says: "Stevan"
    "Like going to the Penn Show in your home"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With all the swearing (really too much of the "F" word), I cannot imagine anyone but Mr. Jillette reading this book. It is a real performance from beginning to end. And I really enjoyed it. I was not expecting so much about his life, but they was really the best parts of the book. He is a great storyteller. And has some stories to tell, many with a lesson to be learned.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12499)
    Performance
    (4884)
    Story
    (4921)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    Joseph says: "Good historical setting, but loose story."
    "Too Long & Too Plain"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel was recommended by several friends who read it and loved it. I was tired of it long before it came to the end. The style is so plain and unadorned. It is just plot, and nearly endless plot. I did want to find out how it all ended, but so much simple, unadorned language is tedious to listen to. I did think the performance was excellent. If it hadn't been I probably would have abandoned the book without knowing how it all worked out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson, Jonathan Davis, Christopher Ryan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1585)
    Performance
    (1066)
    Story
    (1065)

    Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science - as well as religious and cultural institutions - has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing....

    Mark says: "too much focus on academic in-fighting"
    "A Serious Subject Made Interesting"
    Overall

    This is the first somewhat serious scientific book I have listened to. A different experience from fiction or memoir. And this book is still written for a general audience, not a scientist, so it wasn't difficult to understand. It has some humor, which the reader was very skilled at presenting.

    The subject is certainly controversial, but I thought the authors did a great job of making their point. They include many quotes from other scientists, both to support their theory, and from the other side. Then they point out the errors, or inconsistencies from the contrary position. Anyone with an interest in human sexuality would find this book to be interesting.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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