Walnut Creek, CA, United States | Member Since 2002
Western histories tend to avoid this bit - this book fixes that big time. It is a history, but with about as much characterization as is possible. It is filled with details and I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in history. The story is filled with action and intrigue, technology and religion, war and even a little peace. It is more than just the novelty that makes this a wonderful listen, it is the story and the characters.
This is a single review of all 13 episodes. The narration is very good throughout all the episodes.
I really enjoyed Old Man’s War and several other Scalzi novels, but The Human Division stories left me a bit unsatisfied. These were not at all bad stories and included pleasant story elements, humor, and sarcasm but lacked the touching aspects and strong story that made Old Man’s War more fulfilling. The Human Division was 13 short stories weakly bound together, lacking the character development and cohesion of a novel. This felt a little like a bunch of episodes of a TV series with a strong world framework and continuing characters, but lacking a strong continuing story. I was quite annoyed using the iPhone Audible app where titles are shorted excluding the episode number, and the episode details don’t include the episode number, so I had to query the internet to figure out which title to listen to next.
Most of this book (the actual science) was very interesting, with a lot of valid and important ideas about neuroplasticity.
If you have OCD or know someone who has read the same author’s Brain Lock (which has much of the practical information without the metaphysics). This book is good. the narration excellent and there is a short PDF is available with diagrams of the parts and uses of the brain and nerve cells if you are not already familiar with these.
The book is largely conversational and easy to listen to, but from time to time drops into metaphysical discussions. The last third the book takes off to a somewhat unscientific path attempting to demonstrate that the soul must exists and connects to the body via quantum effects. Having such ideas is not inherently unscientific, but, to be science a clear hypothesis should be stated along with an experiment differentiating the cases. Here the book is quite weak. The logic seems to be 1) We don’t understand consciousness 2) We don’t understand quantum effects 3) Quantum theory has elements of consciousness and randomness 4) The author’s religion (Buddhism) supports the idea of a non-brain mind learning to control the brain. Thus) mindfulness must control the brain via quantum effects through randomness. Now I believe consciousness is a product of quantum effects (as is everything else) but that does not imply the mind is separate from the brain. The brain seems quite capable of changing itself and capable of all the practical aspects of OCD treatments without resorting to magic.
I really love Chekhov but horrific narration and poor sound quality renders this almost un-listenable. The narration itself is slow and stilted. There is background echo and an annoying hiss. Finally these are two Chekhov stories that are not his best. All together you couldn't pay me to listen to these again. Even for 63 cents this is not worth it. So far everything I have heard from Roberson Audio Publications has very poor overall quality.
I love Steinbeck and this has, for many years, been my favorite and was not available on Audible until recently. This early Steinbeck has exceptional writing and numerous elements appearing in his later works, in a pure, condensed, and powerful form. This novel has potent mystical imagery which might not sit well with some religious folks. Perhaps that is why this novel does not get the attention I think it deserves. The excellently narration complements the intensely beautiful and terrible writing. Like the Grapes of Wrath, this is an intense read without a lot of fun but with a thoughtful concentrated unflinching examination of life and death.
This is a good story but is a bit predictable, simple, and preachy. The narration is solid and pleasant. This is far from a great short story, but is still worth the short time it takes and the one buck cost (don’t use a full credit).
These are all fine stories, but not among my favorite Chekhov shorts. The narration is OK but does not add much to the stories. Four of these stories are childhood slices of life but seem to lack the darker humor I especially enjoy in Chekhov. A Trifling Occurrence was my favorite of the five and is the only one that feels like good Chekhov, yet even that is not a personal favorite. Overall I would only recommend this collection if you really want to get a taste of this particular Chekhov sub-sub-genre.
This is the best Maupassant short story I have listened to so far, and it is quite good except for a boring philosophical preach in the middle of the story. Otherwise I really enjoyed the characters, prose and narration. This particular story has aged very well and with 46 minutes at 95 cents I would recommend this one.
This is a strange short story not quite allegorical, not quite a character piece, not quite a slice of life, not quite a philosophical statement. This is not one of my favorite stories but it is a bit interesting and the writing is excellent. Unfortunately the narration is really quite bad. The narrator stumbles over words and names, has a dreadful tempo. Although it is only one buck, I can’t say this is worth even that.
This is an excellently supported book that goes into extraordinary detail of the US economy from the period leading up to the great depression to the present. This is not a quick or easy listen. The author may be an expert in economics but he is not an expert writer. The book is very long and filled with annoying mixed metaphors (that are sometimes so bad they are funny), cliches repeated ad nauseam, and jumps wildly between temporally distant causes and effects and from one subject to another. Thus I can’t say this was a pleasure of a listen. Nevertheless the author makes quite a few really excellent points. The author shows extreme political independence casting blame and praise regardless of party. The book is also quite a downer, filled with doom and gloom with almost no way out. This book is filled with facts and statistics that are key to understanding our economic past and future. I did not agree with everything the author proposes (the gold standard), but I was surprised by how much I found quite convincing. Clearly this tomb is not for everyone. This is more than a bit dry and detailed oriented, yet I found it a very rational alternative view of modern economics,
These are two very good Chekhov short stories with acceptable narration. Both of these are wonderful examples of Chekhov shorts. They both show dramatic character change through internal dialog. The only downside is the narration, which is better than most of the Roberson Audio Publications titles I have listened to, but it is still not great narration. At just 63 cents this was definitely worth it (don’t use a full credit), but these stories deserve a better presentation.
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