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Peter

Guelph, Ontario, Canada | Listener Since 2003

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 268 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Charles C. Mann
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (705)
    Performance
    (571)
    Story
    (573)

    More than 200 million years ago, geological forces split apart the continents. Isolated from each other, the two halves of the world developed totally different suites of plants and animals. Columbus’s voyages brought them back together - and marked the beginning of an extraordinary exchange of flora and fauna between Eurasia and the Americas. As Charles Mann shows, this global ecological tumult - the “Columbian Exchange” - underlies much of subsequent human history. Presenting the latest generation of research by scientists, Mann shows the creation a worldwide trade network....

    Amazon Customer says: "fasinating new perspective on history"
    "Had to abandon ship"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about 1493?

    Great concept but the writing plods along and the monotonous narrator only made it worse. I abandon very few books but this one just didn't live up to the billing. The author wastes a lot of time listing the achievements and affiliations of everyone cited or quoted. He should have left it for the footnotes and focussed on bringing the story alive. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this was a PhD thesis and if so, the book editor should have been more assertive about trimming the fat. I wondered at times what the content - such as the interminable description of Chinese commerce - had to do with the Columbian Exchange. If you like books of this nature, try Guns, Germs and Steel instead.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17322)
    Performance
    (15427)
    Story
    (15470)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    FanB14 says: "Amazing Amy"
    "A Little Overhyped"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was drawn to Gone Girl by the listener and critical reviews and because I love a good plot. It helps to keep me engaged. Still, the book didn't live up to my expectations. I guessed some of the key plot developments before they unfolded and the ending seemed like a cop-out. No issue with the read and if you like mystery, Gone Girl certainly has it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Einstein: His Life and Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3782)
    Performance
    (1718)
    Story
    (1730)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: You thought he was a stodgy scientist with funny hair, but Isaacson and Hermann reveal an eloquent, intense, and selfless human being who not only shaped science with his theories, but politics and world events in the 20th century as well. Based on the newly released personal letters of Albert Einstein, Walter Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos.

    Henrik says: "Surprise: Two books in one!"
    "I still don't understand relativity ...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ... but that doesn't matter. Einstein was such a creative thinker and such a humanist, a term many people abuse. He was the real deal. I let some of the long scientific explanations wash over me but those shouldn't be a deterrent to anyone who considers reading the book. Excellent narration and a well-told tale. I was truly sad when it ended. I chose Einstein because it was written by Steve Jobs biographer and that was a good call.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1984: New Classic Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3968)
    Performance
    (2521)
    Story
    (2551)

    George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

    Mehra says: "A must read!"
    "Great narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about 1984? What did you like least?

    The first half of the book was so exciting - great plot, evocative description, fascinating characters. The second half of the book (spoiler alert!) left me cold with its seemingness endless scenes of torture. We get it already, George! Beautifully read by Simon Prebble


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (832)
    Performance
    (540)
    Story
    (550)

    The China Study offers conclusive evidence that a change of diet can dramatically reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. The book is based on the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted, a 20-year joint project between Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. The study surveyed the eating habits of 6,500 adults from all over China and Taiwan and found a direct correlation between diet and disease.

    James says: "Deserves a second listen"
    "5 words say it all"
    Overall

    "Plant-based whole food diet." This is the message of this book. While the author does have plenty of data to support his advice and the book did influence my diet, much of The China Study revolves around settling scores with other scientists and refuting other studies. I checked out with an hour left, something I do only rarely.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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