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Hopkins

California | Member Since 2010

0
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 146 titles in library
  • 19 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
    (625)
    Performance
    (571)
    Story
    (570)

    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.

    smartchickdina says: "Read by the author, my eye!"
    "Fascinating and inspiring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK I admit, I am squarely in the target demographic for this book: I love working out, love action movies, and don't know much about politics (I guess some people might say that describes Arnold too!). That being said, this book exceeded my expectations and I loved every minute of it.

    What really struck me was the sheer amount of *stuff* Schwarzenegger has experienced in his life: the Austrian army, hardcore competitive bodybuilding, building a real-estate empire, cavorting with the Hollywood elite, and then (why not?) being Governor of California. He includes a lot of amusing anecdotes especially from his younger years when he first came to the USA. From the tone of the book it seemed like he enjoyed those years of his life much more than his time in office.

    One thing did give me pause: it is pretty clear that this is not the whole story of his life. He relegates his well-known affair to a throwaway sentence, though he does discuss its impact a bit more later on. I guess we will have to wait for his biography rather than autobiography for any other details.

    Stephen Lang did a good job narrating, and as an added bonus Schwarzenegger himself reads the first and last chapters. Overall, inspiring and highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mysterious Island

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Berny Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (371)
    Performance
    (330)
    Story
    (338)

    Based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, who survived alone for almost five years on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile, The Mysterious Island is considered by many to be Jules Verne’s masterpiece. “Wide-eyed mid-nineteenth-century humanistic optimism in a breezy, blissfully readable translation by Stump” (Kirkus Reviews), here is the enthralling tale of five men and a dog who land in a balloon on a faraway, fantastic island of bewildering goings-on and their struggle to survive....

    Tad Davis says: "Wonderful novel, mediocre translation"
    "Fascinating, wonderful adventure novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the best books I've listened to on Audible. The first couple of hours were a little slow but once the castaways began to build their civilization the book just took off. It's 19 hours long but don't let that put you off --- it's packed with action, mystery and humor. I found some of the later parts of the book quite touching and even a little sad.

    The length of the book and its 19th century language will mean it's not for everyone but since it's only $1 to buy it's definitely worth a try. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deep Survival: True Stories of Miraculous Endurance and Sudden Death

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Laurence Gonzales
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (547)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (231)

    After her plane crashes, a 17-year-old girl spends 11 days walking through the Peruvian jungle. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better equipped group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies. What makes the difference?

    Betty says: "I'm not sure it can get better than this"
    "Good narrator, poor book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was fired up to listen to this audiobook. The premise seemed great --- harrowing stories of survival with insights into why certain people (not necessarily the ones you would expect) make it out alive. Sadly the book didn't live up to my expectations. My two main issues were:

    1. The author has some serious father issues which he feels compelled to weave into the narrative. His Dad sounds like an amazing guy but really we don't need to hear about how awesome he is for hours on end. We get it.

    2. The structure of the book is very disjointed. Stories stop and start and take meandering detours into pop psychology. At a couple of points (during the motorcycle chapter, for example) the author goes into a Finnegan's Wake-esque ramble about Hell's Angels, religion, motorcycles and survival. Quite bizarre.

    It's not all bad though. There are some fascinating stories in the book and it did get me thinking about how one should behave (or try to behave) in a survival situation. Overall it was just about worth a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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