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  • The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Heather MacDonald
    • Narrated By Anna Fields

    In closely reported stories from the streets of New York to the seats of intellectual power, MacDonald shows how bad ideas get started and then acquire a life of their own. Her reports trace the transformation of influential opinion-makers and large philanthropic foundations from confident advocates of individual responsibility, opportunity, and learning into apologists for the welfare state.

    Mike says: "Shining the cold light of truth . . ."
    "Intelligent content; so-so narration."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Burden of Bad Ideas to be better than the print version?


    What three words best describe Anna Fields’s voice?

    Flat, unethusiastic, droning

    Any additional comments?

    The content and commentary of this book are not would I would like to comment on. What I want to caution potential purchasers of this audiobook about is the narrator. She is flat and unenthusiastic, does not use inflection well, doesn't appear to have read the book prior to reading it aloud, and her voice is virtually duotonous. Many times she paused in the wrong placed and didn't pause where she could have for emphasis, nor did use inflection on words or phrases or clauses where she could have to better hold the listener's attention and keep him engaged.

    Thankfully, the author of this book has a fluid and clear writing style, so the droning narration did not ruin the book too badly. The narration is not so bad that this audiobook is not worth purchasing, but I found myself buying a Kindle version of the book to follow along with on my iPad when I found myself unintentionally tuning out due to the "Charlie Brown's teacher"-style narration. With non-fiction subjects such as this one that are essentially just long essays, they can be read in a professorial or enthusiastic way that will hold the listener's attention, much as any public speaker worth his salt would do when delivering a long speech. The narration could be worse, but could be much more lively and enthusiastic, too. Based on the numerous errors made when narrating (stopping at commas, e.g.), I don't think the narrator actually read and familiarized herself with the book before reading it--which is inexcusable seeing as how the book is only 235pps or so.

    I would say that I highly recommend this audiobook based on its intelligent content and commentary, and the clear, straighforward, fluid way the book is written, but I would urge caution (and highly recommend trying the sample) due to the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John MacArthur
    • Narrated By Maurice England
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    What would God say about those who blatantly misrepresent His Holy Spirit; who exchange true worship for chaotic fits of mindless ecstasy; who replace the biblical gospel with vain illusions of health and wealth; who claim to prophesy in His name yet speak errors; and who sell false hope to desperate people for millions of dollars? The charismatic movement has always been a breeding-ground for scandal, greed, bad doctrine, and all kinds of spiritual chicanery. As a movement, it is clearly headed the wrong direction. And it is growing at an unprecedented rate.

    kingratt82 says: "Narration is terrible! Buy the e-book or book."
    "Narration is terrible! Buy the e-book or book."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    No because of the narration. I would recommend they buy the book and just read it.

    Here's the thing: I bought the book and the audiobook. I knew I would like the book because I watched and downloaded the Strange Fire Conference, hosted at Grace Community Church where John MacArthur (the author of the book) is pastor-teacher, and I both enjoyed the conference messages delivered by all of the speakers (including those two by MacArthur), and because I'm in the camp of Reformed Christian Theology and Calvinism. I also believe in cessationism. So, I was predisposed to liking the book, since I enjoyed the conference, agreed with the speakers at it, and am in the same theological "camp." I love the book.

    I hate the narration. It's so bad that it's distracting, and I find myself going to the book to read sections of it that I just listened to via audio. I've had to do this so often, I've turned an 11+ hour book into one that is almost 14, and I'm just over halfway through with the audio. I don't know how else to say it, but this guy is not a good narrator: he doesn't read well, he confused several words that dramatically altered the meaning of the sentence ("compromised" in place of "comprised", e.g.), gives accentuation to words in strange places, and at other times is just dry. His narration does not engage me at all, and I think that is telling, because I listen to a lot of audiobooks.

    I really wish John MacArthur, who narrated the unabridged version of his own book "Slave," would have read this book. If I wasn't on-the-go so often, I would have given up on the audio version and just read the rest of the book. But I don't have the time, so I'm slugging through the audio version. And this is really too bad, because I love the organized, very thorough, logical way MacArthur presents his arguments.

    What other book might you compare Strange Fire to and why?

    "Charismatic Chaos," also by John MacArthur.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    See above paragraph for "Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend?".

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?


    Any additional comments?

    Great book, horrible narration. Skip the narration and buy the Kindle or hardcopy of this book and read it. You'll be glad you saved yourself an Audible credit, and you'll get 100% more out of the book/e-book than the narration.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Charlotte Simmons

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker

    Dupont University: the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition....Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

    Eric says: "Decadence through the eyes of a ?good girl?"
    "Excellent, well-narrated story."
    What does Dylan Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator, Dylan Baker, uses a bunch of voices and accents for both the male and female characters. He's a very talented narrator, and he reads the story as if he's talking to you, or narrating your--or someone else's--thoughts. Which is to say that he's very real, down-to-earth, and has no annoying aristocratic or British accent as so many audiobooks narrators seem to have. 5-star narration. He's an excellent reader.

    Any additional comments?

    Beware of the abridged version of this book! I mistakenly purchased the abridged version, but didn't really realize it was abridged until about two hours into the narration when the book seemed to become a bit too fast-paced and too shallow, the characters seemed too under-developed (after all, I thought the book was, at that point, about 1/4 the way through), and the scenes in the plot began to seem disjointed. So I bought the Kindle version of the book to follow along and that's when I realized I had purchased the abridged version (I thought I had purchased an unabridged version).

    As you can tell, I definitely do not recommend the abridged version of this book. This narrator reads at a good rate-of-speed and is, above all, interesting to listen to. The book is good anyway, but a bad narrator can make even the best book a chore, and a good narrator can make a good book better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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