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Matthew

Toronto, Canada | Member Since 2006

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 227 ratings
  • 309 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • Panic!: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Blair Hardman, Jesse Boggs
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (35)

    A masterful account of today's money culture, showing how the underpricing of risk leads to catastrophe. With his trademark humor and brilliant anecdotes, Michael Lewis paints the mood and market factors leading up to each event, weaves contemporary accounts to show what people thought was happening at the time, and then, with the luxury of hindsight, analyzes what actually happened and what we should have learned from experience.

    Cash says: "Good - But you need to know what you are getting."
    "Disappointing"
    Overall

    I normally love Michael Lewis, but this book left me short. The problem here is that this wasn't really a Lewis book it is more like a well done journalism thesis or academic work. The comparison of the pieces written at the different times is interesting in a big picture way but reading the articles themselves get a bit repetitive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Shorter History of Australia

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Geoffrey Blainey
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (77)

    After a lifetime of research and debate on Australian and international history, Geoffrey Blainey is well-placed to introduce us to the people who have played a part and to guide us through the events which have created the Australian identity: the mania for spectator sport, the suspicion of the tall poppy, the rivalries of Catholic and Protestant, Sydney and Melbourne, new and old homelands, the conflicts of war abroad and race at home, the importance of technology, the recognition of our Aboriginal past and Native Title.

    Allister says: "Enjoyable chronology of the history of Australia"
    "Just couldn't stand the paternalism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Geoffrey Blainey and/or Humphrey Bower?

    No.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Geoffrey Blainey again?

    No. I was really interested in getting an overview of Australian history. The author indicates that he's attempting to be objective and balanced about the tensions between Aborigines and white Australians, but the paternalism is so thick I struggled to get through the first couple of hours and then gave up. For example the author states that establishing large areas of protected land for the indigenous people of Australia never would have worked because inevitably they would have been drawn away by the bright lights of the big city. Really? Really? That's so brutal, I'm not even really sure how to respond to that. There are many, many other examples. I think the author is genuinely trying to be balanced, he's just coming from a perspective that is already so far gone it's not much help.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Diane Armstrong
    • Narrated By Deidre Rubenstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (62)

    Halina Shore is a Polish born forensic dentist living in Australia. When she travels to Poland to take part in the investigation of a war crime, she finds herself at the center of a bitter struggle in a community that has been divided by a grim legacy. As the investigation proceeds, her professional assignment becomes a confronting personal odyssey as the truth about her own past begins to emerge.

    Sara says: "A great listening experience"
    "starts off okay but then descends into schlock"
    Overall

    Starts off okay but then it gets very predictable and a bit over the top. I was engaged for the first half, but then I just couldn't take it any more and had to put it down

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and Al Qaeda

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Gretchen Peters
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Most Americans think of the Taliban and al Qaeda as a bunch of bearded fanatics fighting an Islamic crusade from caves in Afghanistan. But that doesn't explain their astonishing comeback along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Why is it that eight years after we invaded Afghanistan, the CIA says that these groups are better armed and better funded than ever? Seeds of Terror will reshape the way you think about America's enemies, revealing them less as ideologues and more as criminals.

    Matthew says: "Interesting topic, but an overabundance of detail"
    "Interesting topic, but an overabundance of detail"
    Overall

    The core argument of the book is interesting, but in some places this almost feels like a masters thesis, where the author is just trying to jam in as many facts as possible to support the main argument. As a result the book is repetitive and is downright dull in places.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elmer Gantry

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Sinclair Lewis
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (344)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (163)

    A greedy, philandering Baptist minister, Elmer Gantry turns to evangelism and becomes the leader of a large Methodist congregation. Often exposed as a fraud, he is never fully discredited. Elmer Gantry is considered a landmark American novel and one of the most penetrating studies of hypocrisy in modern literature. It portrays the evangelistic activity that was common in 1920s America as well as attitudes toward it.

    Erez says: "Halleluja, Brother Lewis!"
    "Great book. Great narration"
    Overall

    Even though this was published in 1927, this book is an amazingly current satire of the religious puffery, false piety, and small mindedness of some that still exists today. The narration is pitch perfect.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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