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David

Port Charlotte, FL, United States | Member Since 2005

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 447 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • "Negro President": Jefferson and the Slave Power

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Garry Wills
    • Narrated By Garry Wills
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    New York Times best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Garry Wills, a two-time National Book Critics Circle Award winner, takes a bold and fresh look at Thomas Jefferson. Negro President reveals just how strong slave influence was on determining Jefferson’s policies. Through thorough research Wills shows precisely how this “slave power” helped shape the course of a fledgling nation.

    David says: "Interesting Book with a Misleading Title"
    "Interesting Book with a Misleading Title"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What aspect of Garry Wills’s performance would you have changed?

    The reading is competent, but contains odd pauses and cadences. Although Gary Wills wrote the book, he reads it like the text is unfamiliar.


    Any additional comments?

    The book covered an aspect of American history unknown to me. I had not realized how important the slave count was in determining representation, and hence votes in Congress. Wills does a reasonable job of making this point.

    However, the title is misleading. Thomas Jefferson is not a major figure in the book. Much more time is spent on his opponents and opponents of slavery, such as Timothy Pickering. Since these are interesting men, I did not mind the odd title.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hardwired

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Walter Jon Williams
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    Ex-fighter pilot Cowboy, "hardwired" via skull sockets directly to his lethal electronic hardware, teams up with Sarah, an equally cyborized gun-for-hire, to make a last stab at independence from the rapacious Orbitals.

    Jonathon says: "Good Listen"
    "The Best Cyberpunk I Have Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    I generally don't like cyberpunk. Gibson's Neuromancer left me cold. But Williams, in my opinion, is a better and more versatile writer. I listened to this book because he wrote it.

    I was not disappointed. The cyberpunk aspects of the story serve to enhance the characterization and the setting and do not dominate.

    The story is told from the perspectives of Cowboy and Sarah. Both are interesting characters and I never found myself wanting to finish one POV so I could get to the other, which sometimes happens when the story is told from multiple viewpoints.

    The conflict with the orbitals is resolved in a way that flows naturally from the story and does not feel forced. A poor resolution could have wrecked my view of the book no matter how good the rest of the story.

    Finally, Stefan Rudnicki does an excellent job of making the various characters distinct. I have not read the print version, buit I suspect the audio version is a better experience because of Runicki's narration.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Caliban's War: The Expanse, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By James S. A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1027)
    Performance
    (947)
    Story
    (949)

    James S.A. Corey’s best-selling hit Leviathan Wakes earned Hugo and Locus Award nominations. In Caliban’s War, the second chapter of Corey’s Expanse series, a desperate Earth politician works tirelessly to prevent war from reigniting. Meanwhile, upheaval takes root on Venus and Ganymede. And amidst this tumult, James Holden and his crew on the Rocinante are charged with the impossible task of saving humanity from a terrifying fate.

    Ethan M. says: "No sophmore slump as both plot and writing improve"
    "Gritty Space Opera"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These are the main reasons I like this book.

    1. The characters are distinct, as well as their motivations, and the actions they take are consistent with the characterizations. In particular, James Holden grows into more than the idealist we saw in the first book.

    2. Although this is a story with a lot of politics and a lot of room for gray areas, I still think there are choices between right and wrong that characters must make. I like that. I find that moral relativism is less satisfying; that is one reason I am sometimes disappointed with A Song of Fire and Ice, even though Martin is a better writer.

    3. I've never been a big fan of cyberpunk. It's nice to read about a future not dominated by people with massive hardware augmentations.

    Like the first book, this one is concerned with the ramifications of the protomolecule, and hints at big things to come in future volumes. I hope the payoff in the later books will be worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Digging Leviathan: Narbondo, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By James P Blaylock
    • Narrated By Christopher Ragland
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Southern California - sunny days, blue skies, neighbours on flying bicycles ... ghostly submarines ... mermen off the Catalina coast ... and a vast underground sea stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Inland Empire where Chinese junks ply an illicit trade and enormous creatures from ages past still survive. It is a place of wonder... and dark conspiracies. A place rife with adventure - if one knows where to look for it. Two such seekers are the teenagers Jim Hastings and his friend, Giles Peach.

    Rowan W. Smith says: "Blaylock is a marvel"
    "Boring, Boring, Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of the more boring audiobooks I have purchased. I tried to like it, but I couldn't get more than 2 hours into the narration. I wasn't sure whether the author was attempting humor on purpose, but I did not find any of it funny. The characters were not interesting. Nothing much happened in two hours, and I had no reason to think it would get better if I could force myself to listen longer.

    For the most part, the reader was OK. Perhaps I can't evaluate him fairly because I disliked the book so much, but some of the voices were as annoying as the book was boring.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Bart D. Ehrman
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (134)

    Large numbers of atheists, humanists, and conspiracy theorists are raising one of the most pressing questions in the history of religion: "Did Jesus exist at all?" Was he invented out of whole cloth for nefarious purposes by those seeking to control the masses? Or was Jesus such a shadowy figure - far removed from any credible historical evidence - that he bears no meaningful resemblance to the person described in the Bible? In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible expert Bart Ehrman confronts these questions, vigorously defends the historicity of Jesus, and provides a compelling portrait of the man from Nazareth.

    Jacobus says: "Vintage Ehrman"
    "Jesus Did Exist, But Not the Jesus We Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Did Jesus Exist??

    The author followed the evidence wherever it led. He was very convincing and his arguments were clear.


    What three words best describe Walter Dixon’s performance?

    The reader did a fine job. However, 30+ minutes were inexplicably repeated near the end, which was quite jarring. I was not sure where the repeat ended and the new material began. That is why I did not give the performance a higher rating.


    Any additional comments?

    Although Ehrman concludes that a historical Jesus did live and was crucified by Pilate, he also concludes that this Jesus did not espouse many of the things we have been taught. For example, Ehrman concludes that Jesus was a Jewish apocalyptic who believes the Kingdom of Heaven would arrive in his lifetime, and so urged people to forsake their families and livelihoods in preparation. This is not the Jesus who values marriage and the family.

    I am glad that I heard this side of the story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Founding of New Acadia: The Beginnings of Acadian Life in Louisiana, 1765-1803

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Carl A. Brasseaux
    • Narrated By Aaron Henkin, Aaron Henkin
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    In this penetrating study, Carl Brasseaux looks beyond long-standing mythology to provide a critical account of early Acadian culture in Louisiana and the reasons for its survival. He convincingly dispels many received notions about the routes Acadians traveled from Nova Scotia to Louisiana, their original settlement sites, and the patterns of their subsequent migrations within the state, and closely examines the relations of Louisiana's Acadians with their black, Spanish, Indian, and Creole neighbors.

    Thomas says: "Good overall review"
    "Origins of the Cajuns"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    I already knew that the French has colonized the area around northern Maine and that it was called Arcadia. I did not know that many of the Arcadians emigrated to Louisiana in the mid 1700's after the British took the territory from the French. The book carries the story into the early 1800's.

    Sometimes history seems like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces always missing. I enjoyed having some of the empty spaces filled by this book.


    What about Aaron Henkin and Aaron Henkin ’s performance did you like?

    The reader spoke precisely and I believe he did a good job pronouncing French and Spanish words.


    Any additional comments?

    At the end of the book, the author explains his own Cajun background. I had already suspected this was true but it really helped complete the book by hearing some of his own experiences.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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