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Dennis Frank

djarchivist

ratings
68
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • The Social Conquest of Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Edward O. Wilson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (178)

    Edward O. Wilson is one of the world’s preeminent biologists, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and the author of more than 25 books. The defining work in a remarkable career, The Social Conquest of Earth boldly addresses age-old questions (Where did we come from? What are we? Where are we going?) while delving into the biological sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts.

    Gary says: "Wow, Wilson has a lot to say and boy can he write."
    "Sociobiology from one of its creators"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wilson's book is an accessible presentation of current thinking in sociobiology. He presents his views on the state of the science clearly, fairly representing varying viewpoints, though, of course, his own ideas prevail in this book. It is an interesting review of the evolution of his own thinking as various hypotheses and theories have risen and themselves evolved over the past half century. It is a wonderful explication of the process of science at the same time that it describes one aspect of science.

    I particularly appreciated Wilson's hope that the sciences, humanities and social sciences will find more mutual understanding as they all seek to describe and improve the human condition.

    Hogan does a masterful job of presenting Wilson's work. I suspect that if I heard Wilson speak, I would be surprised that he didn't sound like Hogan.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Science News

    • NONE (1 hr)
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    Science News, the United State's only weekly newsmagazine of science, is your source for the latest coverage of everything from biology to technology. Now available in audio exclusively at audible.com® - you can buy one issue at a time or sign up for a 1-month, 6-month, or 12-month subscription.

    Dennis Frank says: "Excellent resource, mediocre reader"
    "Excellent resource, mediocre reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always enjoyed subscribing to the paper version of Science News, but end up letting it slide because I don't have time to read it. The audio format is perfect for me as it takes less than one day's commute to listen to an issue. In fact, I usually end up listening to it while doing chores over the weekend, so the commuting time is left for other periodicals, books and podcasts.

    The only downside for Science News is the reader. It seems like he's reading it cold and his emphasis on sentences and understanding of the rhythm of punctuation throws me off over and over. Sometimes it's hard to tell that he's started a new article, even when he says he's doing it, since there's no perceivable gap at a period. I've had to rewind on a number of occasions to make sure I understood a sentence or paragraph because his reading slurs parts of it together. Longer articles do seem to be better and I wonder if he previews them before reading. In any case, I'd like to subscribe to Scientific American but with the same reader I'm reluctant to do so. With so many great readers in the audio community, it's unfortunate that Science News isn't up to snuff.

    The reading isn't a deal killer, but every week there are times I'm inclined to let this subscription expire, too. That would be a real shame because Science News continues to provide an excellent resource for keeping up with the world of scientific research.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Why Evolution Is True

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jerry A. Coyne
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (699)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (351)

    Why evolution is more than just a theory: it is a fact. In all the current highly publicized debates about creationism and its descendant "intelligent design", there is an element of the controversy that is rarely mentioned: the evidence, the empirical truth of evolution by natural selection.

    F. E. Sparrow says: "Perfect !! Just what I was looking for."
    "Marvelously therapeutic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Promoters of creationism make me crazy and Coyne's book is a wonderful antidote to their misrepresentations of modern biological science. I will be listening to this one again soon.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (3552)
    Performance
    (2585)
    Story
    (2595)

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "Tour de force"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first read this book over 40 years ago and it left a strong impression. Nonetheless, I was pleased to discover that it still tells a powerful story of the insanity that was Nazi Germany. So many details had slipped away over the years, that listening was a very fresh experience.

    The author's on-site presence for many of the early events in the narrative provided a unique view of the rise of the Nazi's and his access to many of the main players and their records, so soon after the war, provide an historical view that holds up surprisingly well 50 years after it was written. It is definitely a book of its time and the politically correct will find fault with the author's views on a couple of sensitive issues.

    The narration is excellent, entirely appropriate to the subject and easy to listen to for the many, many hours it takes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Julius Caesar
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The Civil War is Julius Caesar’s personal account of his war with Pompey the Great - the war that destroyed the five-hundred-year-old Roman Republic. Caesar the victor became Caesar the dictator. In three short books, Caesar describes how, in order to defend his honor and the freedom of both himself and the Roman people, he marched on Rome and defeated the forces of Pompey and the Senate in Italy, Spain, and Greece.

    Jean says: "Caesar vs Pompey"
    "Excellent reading of a classic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Civil War the most enjoyable?

    I've enjoyed reading Caesar's works for decades. This let me revisit it while on the road and puttering at various tasks around the house. It is a story I'll return to.


    What other book might you compare The Civil War to and why?

    The obvious example is the Gallic War by Caesar. It is also a well told story written by a major participant. Like this one, it's entertaining to look for Caesar's self aggrandizement, though he hides it well.


    Have you listened to any of Robin Field’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I chose this version of Caesar because of Robin Field's reading. Once again he makes me feel that I'm listening to the author. I'll be looking for more of his work.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Caesar's generosity to his opponents, particularly to the legionaries, but also to their commanders, is a stark contrast to the massacres of his followers by those same opponents. Undoubtedly there's some exaggeration on his part, but his popularity with the common Roman soldier and man in the street is more understandable from seeing his approach to the conflict.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Scott Aiello
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1286)
    Performance
    (1199)
    Story
    (1200)

    Emperor Mollusk. Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth. Not bad for a guy without a spine. But what's a villain to do after he's done... everything. With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel aliens invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course. Retirement isn't easy though.

    Kat Hooper says: "Hilariously wacky!"
    "Wonderfully entertaining!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this on a whim from one of the sales and was delightfully surprised. The story is hilarious as it marvelously twists from one crisis to another. The denouement did catch me by surprise.

    The reader gave a great rendering of the story adding to its already obvious charms.

    Emperor Mollusk is a great character and his author does him justice in this tale.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Battle Royale

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Koushun Takami, Yuji Oniki (translator)
    • Narrated By Mark Dacascos
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (183)

    As part of a ruthless program by the totalitarian government, ninth-grade students are taken to a small isolated island with a map, food, and various weapons. Forced to wear special collars that explode when they break a rule, they must fight each other for three days until only one "winner" remains. The elimination contest becomes the ultimate in must-see reality television. A Japanese pulp classic available in English-language audio for the first time, Battle Royale is a potent allegory of what it means to be young and survive in today's dog-eat-dog world.

    TCL says: "Not for those with a weak stomach!"
    "Teen angst and murder!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked up this book after watching the movie and was pleased to recognize the story and characters. The author gives a convincing portrayal of mid-teens caught in a horrible situation, all reacting in different ways. The characterization helps us to understand the individuals reactions even with the large cast. I did feel that I knew most of the characters at least a little by the time they died.

    The author also does an excellent job of set the stage for his tale. There is enough background to understand the society in which the events take place and he delivers it at appropriate times during the story. There is a bit of repetition in a few places, usually as we move from one chapter to another which could have used some editorial trimming, but the narrative moves along so quickly that it's soon forgotten.

    The map and list of characters to print out was helpful. Like the students I was keeping track of the forbidden zones and the casualties. The Japanese names weren't an issue for me, but there were so many to keep track of!

    There were a few technical issues with the recording with small skips but they were only minor annoyances. Likewise, the translation had a few odd moments and the reader, who did very well with the Japanese names, flubs coop (i.e., co-op) consistently. Again, minor issues with an otherwise excellent reading.

    After watching the film and listening to the book, I doubt I'll bother with The Hunger Games.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ulysses S. Grant
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (134)

    Among the autobiographies of great military figures, Ulysses S. Grant’s is certainly one of the finest, and it is arguably the most notable literary achievement of any American president: a lucid, compelling, and brutally honest chronicle of triumph and failure. From his frontier boyhood, to his heroics in battle, to the grinding poverty from which the Civil War ironically rescued him, these memoirs are a mesmerizing, deeply moving account of a brilliant man told with great courage.

    Robert says: "What makes a great commander?? Read this book"
    "Wonderful telling of a fabulous story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant?

    The writing and reading went together seamlessly. It felt as if I was listening to Grant tell his own story.


    Have you listened to any of Robin Field’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to other performances by Field, but I will be!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    With a story as grand and terrible as that of a civil war it's hard to choose one moment. Grant's dismay at the loss of life at Cold Harbor is particularly poignant as he recognized its futility and his responsibility for it.


    Any additional comments?

    To get the full picture of Grant's story, be sure to listen to the Appendix. These official reports offer insight into his decision making process that is sometimes missing from the narrative in the Memoirs proper.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Orphans of the Sky

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (212)

    The Jordan Foundation sponsored the Proxima Centauri Expedition in 2119, in attempt to reach the nearer stars of the galaxy. But that was far in the mythic past. The original purpose of the Ship's epic voyage has long been forgotten, and for generations the giant spaceship, lost between the stars, is the only world that the people aboard have known. A strange civilization has evolved, with its own superstitions, savage religion, rigid class structure and mutant outcasts.

    Noe says: "Our world is a spaceship."
    "Great performance of good Heinlein"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Anyone who likes Heinlein's work should enjoy this story. It's not one of my favorites, but it _is_ Heinlein and that is always worth a read/listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This tale deals with throwing off the myths and stories of youth and taking healthy skepticism in appropriate directions.


    What about Eric Michael Summerer’s performance did you like?

    I'm familiar with the reader from his work on The Dice Tower podcast but this was my first encounter with his professional life. I was very pleased with the variety of voices he used. He captured the flavor of Heinlein's work very successfully, making the story flow effortlessly.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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