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Member Since 2005

  • 7 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 258 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014

  • The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Charles Pellegrino
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey

    Last Train from Hiroshima offers listeners a stunning "you are there" time capsule, gracefully wrapped in elegant prose. Charles Pellegrino's scientific authority and close relationship with the A-bomb's survivors make his account the most gripping and authoritative ever written. At the narrative's core are eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand---the Japanese civilians on the ground and the American fliers in the air.

    Daniel says: "Awsome"
    "Hard to Take"

    It would not be my goal to criticize this work. It is a story that needs to be told and that we probably haven't heard well enough, having been on the other side. But in the end it is too much for me. At some point the story and informational value add versus the shock and grotesque balance went awry. I had to stop.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Detroit: An American Autopsy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Charlie LeDuff
    • Narrated By Eric Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the heart of America, a metropolis is quietly destroying itself. Detroit, once the richest city in the nation, is now its poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age - mass production, automobiles, and blue-collar jobs - Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, foreclosure, and dropouts. With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation that only a native son can possess, journalist Charlie LeDuff sets out to uncover what has brought low this once-vibrant city, his city.

    Avid Reader and Listener says: "WOW"
    "Nailed It"
    Where does Detroit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is top 10% experience. The only reason I didn't want to listen to it at times was because it was so real, and so poignant that it would burn you out a bit.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The political operative who characterized the auto execs while asking for federal subsidies. For being so spot on.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It's a pretty sad and disturbing book. But it also has hope. And it is very real. This is the world we live in, whether we "see" it or not.

    Any additional comments?

    Charlie LeDuff should be commended, for the effort he has put back into his community. And for his very basic, down to earth tell it like it is effort. In a weird way, there is one big agenda here, but it isn't any of the agendas that so often dominate our world of discourse today. It is one rooted in realities, and trying to get some, any, concrete results.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Rebecca Goldstein
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland

    Is philosophy obsolete? Are the ancient questions still relevant in the age of cosmology and neuroscience, not to mention crowd-sourcing and cable news? The acclaimed philosopher and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein provides a dazzlingly original plunge into the drama of philosophy, revealing its hidden role in today’s debates on religion, morality, politics, and science.

    ARG says: "Was looking forward to it, can't bear it"
    "Was looking forward to it, can't bear it"
    What disappointed you about Plato at the Googleplex?

    I really looked forward to this. And there are some good parts, leading to introspection and deeper thought. But in some unfortunate convergence of story and narration the result is quite annoying. The voices make me cringe. The characters in the dialogs are horrible. And the overall impression is kinda of well, just downright annoying. Preachy, trite, a bit silly. It is in the end, perhaps just too patronizing. Like the author and/or narrator is "talking down" to the listener.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Rebecca Goldstein? Why or why not?

    Probably not, but can't say for sure.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Dennis Holland’s performances?

    Not so sure about that. I have developed a pretty bad association at this point with some of the voices in this book.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes, the subject matter is potentially interesting, the context is a great idea, and at times it does deliver. It stretches you to think a little more about both yourself, the world around you and your reaction to it. But you pay a high price to get there, too high.

    Any additional comments?

    Don't talk down to your audience!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Entertaining but no masterpiece or deep work"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, good for driving or a summer read. Not a deep work.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Venkat, the realities of being an administrator

    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Read cleanly, but some of the voices did make me cringe a bit, particularly of women.

    Did The Martian inspire you to do anything?


    Any additional comments?

    This is NOT a masterpiece. It is entertaining comic book sci fi adventure done well. It's fun. But some of the characters, and some of the situations and inter-personal stuff made me cringe, as being a little trite or thin, or worse implausible.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    Lora says: "Enzo (because he's so wize) for president."
    What made the experience of listening to The Art of Racing in the Rain the most enjoyable?

    Great performance, great story, entertaining. Sure it was a little cute, but very good. This isn't a story about a dog, it is a story about life. Good characters, believable real world stuff. Insights and observations we all know and share, but packaged and delivered in very entertaining and enjoyable story. Great perspective.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Art of Racing in the Rain?

    There are a number, mostly revolving around the triumphs or critical turning points. Enzo out the window is one. Outside the courtroom is another. The walk to the funeral.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The Zebra!

    If you could take any character from The Art of Racing in the Rain out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Why Enzo of course!

    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend this book. Loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Cynthia says: "Complicated and Not Good for Listening!"
    "Spare me the agenda, show some real insight"
    Would you try another book from David Mitchell and/or the narrators?

    No. My impression is his perceptions are thin, and he is captive to a world view / cultural identity (liberal) which blinds him for truly perceptive and creative work. Nothing wrong with the identity, but the author needs to move beyond it's limitations if he is going to offer anything really interesting, inspiring or creative. Section 3 was so trite I wanted to scream.

    Has Cloud Atlas turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, my assumption is this author is just limited in his abilities.

    Have you listened to any of the narrators???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was multi-narrator book. They all do a very good job.

    What character would you cut from Cloud Atlas?

    The entire 3rd segment is insipid and thin. It relies on superficial tropes about corporate conspiracy and evil doing that is unbelievable. I couldn't bear it. Don't just give me a rehash construct of cultural war perspectives. Give me something that is truly observant of our world, of life, of human nature and of people. I can do with out the superficial rehash of the liberal culture war. It isn't the fact that it is liberal. I would be just as harsh on such a silly effort by someone captive to the conservative agenda. It isn't what I read fiction for. I get enough of this garbage in the news and general media, don't want it

    Any additional comments?

    One of the more disappointing titles I have ever experienced from Audible. Some others have been a little flat or boring, had other limits. But given the reviews for this I expected a lot more. Note sure why people think this one is particularly interesting. Found it quite shallow, predictable, and thin.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    The best-selling author of Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Under the Banner of Heaven delivers a stunning, eloquent account of a remarkable young man's haunting journey. Like the men whose epic stories Jon Krakauer has told in his previous bestsellers, Pat Tillman was an irrepressible individualist and iconoclast. In May 2002, Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract to enlist in the United States Army.

    Daniel says: "Good book, painful narration"
    "Not particularly insightful or objective"

    As much sympathy, empathy and respect I have for anyone and everyone who has served, this book really annoyed me. The author accomplishes little over the first half but to firmly establish he has no intention of doing real research or approaching the questions of what happened objectively. This is a re-hash of a well worn narrative, that at center blames G W Bush for everything from hang nails to global warming and the war on terror. I certainly am not out to defend Bush, but it is oh so intellectually tiring to revisit these old saws.

    Worse, there is something continuously grating and ultimately ironically disturbing about the authors attempt to set Pat Tillman up as a "hero". In the end, we all have qualities to admire. All of us make mistakes. A few make the ultimate sacrifice. It is disappointing that this book is just another shallow contribution to our already shallow cultural obsession with the "soma" that are the NFL and Hollywood celebrity worship in the first place. The thesis is that the Bush administration has committed yet another terrible wrong by highjacking Pat's celebrity. In the end this book is no better. I end up not wanting to even hear about Pat Tillman at all anymore. What must it be like for those that give in obscurity, those that don't get a big break from the juvenile judge and whose life doesn't turn out they way it could have? There is just something silly with the whole premise. It sure isn't Pat's fault. And I have enormous sympathy for his loss. But if we are ever going to truly "move on" we need to get beyond the nonsense that is "celebrity hero worship", in whatever it's form.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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