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Greg Becker

Member Since 2001

  • 4 reviews
  • 80 ratings
  • 657 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2015

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Maxine Fuentes says: "Wonderful"
    "One of the best audio books ever"

    At first I found the narrator's voice annoying when he did his version of Owen's voice, but eventually it was essential to the story. I kept thinking the book was almost over (according to the story line) but it went on and on -- and I was very happy that it did. I was in tears when the book ended. One of the very best audio books ever.

    39 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Charles says: "Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
    "An amazing piece of scholarship"

    I now understand so much of what was distorted by the influence of Paul from Tarsus. I must now read the Epistle of James the Just. The absolute mandate to serve the poor is something worth believing in - unlike the "faith is all you need" doctrine that took over many of those who claim to follow Jesus of Nazareth.

    Thank you Reza Aslan for this amazing piece of work. Unfortunately, I fear for the safety of the author as some fundamentalists might issue an evangelical "fatwa" (in the commonly understood meaning of the word rather than the Arabic "opinion") because he is a Muslim. So sad that this brilliant work will be judged by some through this distorted lens.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn Richardson says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "One of the best books of all time"

    CUTTING FOR STONE by Abraham Verghese
    I have just finished one of the greatest books I have ever experienced. I place it along side "Moby Dick" and "Cold Mountain" in terms of great literature. It is especially effective as an audio book as the narrator (Sunil Mahotra) is gifted and delivers a reading performance that brings out the best in the book. I was enthralled, touched, moved and repeatedly brought to a place of inner joy from beginning to end.
    The story is that of twins born to an Indian nun and a British surgeon at a hospital in Adis Ababa in the 1950s. The birth is horrific, the mother dies and the surgeon leaves for parts unknown. The boys are raised by Indian physicians who also work at the mission hospital and are blessed with parents who are the embodiment of love and dedication. The story of the boys growing up at the hospital during the most turbulent time of Ethiopian history continues through to their adult work as gifted healers (in Adis and at a New York charity hospital). As interesting as the cultural and historical setting and story are, they pale in comparison to the author's exploration and revelation of the deepest nature of love, teaching and mentoring, pain, fear, human frailty and redemption. The characters with the greatest failings are examined with compassion - perhaps the best lesson of the book.
    It is also the best exploration of healthcare as service to humanity. An amazing first novel that stands shoulder to shoulder with the classics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Assault on Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Al Gore
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Here is a visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith have combined with the public sphere's degradation to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason. Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from national security to the economy, from issues of health and social welfare to the environment. As The Assault on Reason explains, we have precious little time to waste.

    Walter says: "Partisan but Valuable"
    "Please read this book"

    The introduction alone is worth the price of the book. I have studied cognitive and behavioral sciences as part of a doctorate and found Mr. Gore’s presentation of these subjects in relation to our response to fear and the manipulation of that response to be state of the art and highly fluent. It was so well done that I felt like I gained understanding in areas I know quiet well. My respect for the man’s intellect, integrity, and gift of communicating went up substantially.

    The middle chapters were a bit repetitive, and I did get a little weary of the well documented but restrained presentation of Bush Administration actions. The accounts of activities that resulted in needless death and destruction were so numerous and so well founded that Gore’s anger was not up to the level of the offenses.

    I was disappointed that Mr. Gore did not project on likely long term damages that will come because of the war in Iraq and the willful destabilization of an already perilous environment. Having done substantial work in the Middle East over a long period I fear that we do not yet appreciate the long term harm that will continue to spiral upwards for years to come.

    The final recommendations of the book calling for increased and deeper use of the Internet as a way of recapturing some political and informational balance are personally inspiring. As a way of broadening the content of media information and mitigating the near monopoly of a small number of corporations that control the news, Gore’s call for the production of video “content” by broader and more diverse voices is critical. I plan to make the soon to be completed video version of my own book available through his web service.

    Altogether this is a well researched and literate book that is an essential read. Although I am liberal and proud to be so, I was previously lukewarm to Mr. Gore as a presidential candidate. I now pray that he will run in 2008.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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