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Robert

Carmichael, CA, USA

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 146 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Rabbit, Run

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Updike
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (304)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (138)

    Harry Angstrom was a star basketball player in high school and that was the best time of his life. Now in his mid-20s, his work is unfulfilling, his marriage is moribund, and he tries to find happiness with another woman. But happiness is more elusive than a medal, and Harry must continue to run--from his wife, his life, and from himself, until he reaches the end of the road and has to turn back....

    J. Kovler says: "A Thinking Man's Novel"
    "Reality can be depressing..."
    Overall

    I never read the "Rabbit" series in my youth and am now trying to catch up. I am a 56 year old male whose time frame is just a few years after the setting of this book. I find Updike's perspective to be fairly advanced for it's time, but a bit disturbing today (politically incorrect now). For this reason, I think that it acts as a time capsule, a view into the male psyche of that era for those who didn't live through it. Much classic literature fulfills this role, but I believe that older Americans are still too close to this era to properly convey the atmosphere to today's youth. This series may accomplish that, in the manner of Catcher In the Rye. That said, this is not for "the depressed" as was stated by another reviewer.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Galapagos

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (318)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (134)

    Galapagos takes the listener back one million years to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galapagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave, new, totally different human race. Kurt Vonnegut, America's master satirist, looks at our world and shows us all that is sadly, madly awry - and all that is worth saving.

    thomas says: "The Last Great Vonnegut Novel"
    "Love Vonnegut? Listen to this..."
    Overall

    Kurt Vonnegut was obviously born on another planet, his perspective is so deliciously different. I am very sympathetic to his atheistic world view. He almost heroically presents fiction that tickles my fancy. At the same time, he presents scenarios that are totally grounded in possibility, yanking our minds out of the hum-drum daily grind. If there is a God, Vonnegut must be their favorite creation, he sheds so much light upon the human condition...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Operation Shylock: A Confession

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Fritz Weaver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    What if a look-alike stranger stole your name, usurped your biography, and went about the world pretending to be you? In Operation Shylock, master novelist Philip Roth confronts his double, an impostor whose self-appointed task is to lead the Jews back to Europe from Israel.

    Darwin8u says: "A Jew, a doppelgänger, Israel and the Diaspora"
    "Begin elsewhere?"
    Overall

    I made what I believe to be the "mistake" of making this my first Philip Roth experience. I don't get the impression that this is typical of his work. I found it interesting and somewhat enjoyable, but I felt throughout as though I was missing things that may have been relating to previous works (almost like "in" jokes I didn't understand). Part of this may be that I am not of Jewish heritage and thus cannot relate specifically to the whole Israeli gestalt. Nevertheless, I am not sorry for having listened to Operation Shylock. It held my attention and certainly employed many interesting techniques for telling a story. I will check in with friends and see what they think should be my next Roth listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (963)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (229)

    Friedman brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy - both of which could poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively. His argument speaks to all of us who are concerned about the state of America in the global future.

    Sean says: "Long, Flat, and Boring"
    "Unabridged should be fine..."
    Overall

    I appreciate Friedman's point of view, as I have been an environmental advocate since the early 1970s. The point of this book is to energize the American populace to jump on the bandwagon of becoming "new energy" purveyor to the world. We actually need to do this in order to benefit ourselves, but his approach is a very capitalistic way of going about "doing the right thing". Instead of speaking to us about how profligate our lifestyle has become, he approaches the problem by saying that technology and production will allow us to maintain our position as top dogs. Admirable, in a twisted way. I found that much of this could have been conveyed without so much repetition. For this reason, I recommend the abridged version.

    3 of 4 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
    (3884)
    Performance
    (1806)
    Story
    (1819)

    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!"
    "Great, but long..."
    Overall

    I have absolutely no issue with the details and length of Isaacson's book, but I agree with a few of the other reviewers that it became a slog at times to listen to this. Having not heard the abridged version, I can only say that the Einstein story is worth listening to, but if you have time issues don't go with the unabridged or you will probably not finish it. Perhaps in this case better to hear the story to completion by using the abridged version.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from WW II's 'Band of Brothers'

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Malarkey, Bob Welch
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (79)

    Sgt. Don Malarkey takes us not only into the battles fought from Normandy to Germany, but into the heart and mind of a soldier who beat the odds to become an elite paratrooper and lost his best friend during the nightmarish engagement at Bastogne. Drafted in 1942, Malarkey arrived at Taccoa Camp in Georgia and was the one in six soldiers who earned their Eagle wings.

    Rex says: "Really Rounds out Band of Brothers"
    "No nonsense glimpse into the past"
    Overall

    Malarkey and Welch do a good job of building up to and relating the tension and exhaustion of Army Airborne training and combat. They do this without ignoring the internal social and psychological dialogues Malarkey had throughout his life. I found the overall arc of the story enlightening, tracing the soldier from his boyhood through his old age. Excellent narration also made this an easy and enjoyable listen for someone already familiar with the historical events involved. It's a man's perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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