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Marc

Eindhoven, Netherlands

ratings
19
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
97

  • War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Douglas J. Feith
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Of all the players in the planning and evolution of the Bush Administration's war on terrorism, few were more integral - or more controversial - than Douglas Feith, the chief strategist on Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon policy team. A highly influential international policy analyst for more than a quarter century before joining the Bush Administration in 2001, Feith worked closely with officials and President Bush in defining the U.S. response to the attacks of 9/11.

    Richard says: "Refreshing perspective"
    "Very detailed insight in the real events."
    Overall

    No matter what your political view:
    Looking back in hindsight on event tends to change the perception of the event. Moreover one is tempted to think that ANY other choice would have been more beneficial that the one's taken. We only experience problems from choices made, not the what ifs!

    This book does give a very detailed perception of one of the players. And yes it is very very plausible. If you are one of those people who think that Bush and his gang was pure evil or like a lot of Germans supported Saddam because he hated jews, maybe this is not for you.

    If you are willing to take a less extreme position, this is definitely a book worth listening too. But warning it is a big work, not a 4 word slogan which sounds good.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, Updated and Expanded

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (747)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (89)

    Friedman brilliantly demystifies the new flat world for listeners, allowing them to make sense of the advances in technology and communications that are creating an explosion of wealth in India and China, and challenging the rest of us to run even faster just to stay in place. For this updated and expanded edition, Friedman has provided more than five hours of new reporting and commentary, bringing fresh stories and insights to help us understand the flattening of the world.

    Gene says: "Great research, good insights, interesting read"
    "Reads like a giant Newspaper Column"
    Overall

    Friedman gives a good account of current developements regarding globalization and the "flattening of the world" and the effect on the economy. The basic point of the book is that America should wake up and get flexible and educated or face doom and gloom.
    What I missed in the book is a certain depth in the discussion (like getting more than one point of view in there). I was surprised at the partisan level of the book "if you want to live like a Republican, vote Democrat". OK if you make this comment please explain??? and don't leave it hanging out there. I agree with a lot what Friedman says, but I expected a good study not a political supernewspaper column. (Before I bought the book I didn't know Friedman worked for the NY times). If you like to read why Bush is a failure, buy this, if you want a real study how to deal with globalization (anybody has tips for me??)


    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Robert D. Kaplan
    • Narrated By John H. Mayer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (40)

    In this landmark book, Robert D. Kaplan, veteran correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and author of Balkan Ghosts, shows how American imperialism and the Global War on Terrorism are implemented on the ground, mission by mission, in the most exotic landscapes around the world.

    Clark says: "completely engaging and informative"
    "Insight in intricate operations"
    Overall

    Excellent book, this book really bring into focus the problems middle management in the current US Army as well of the army of it's friends (my country).

    Kaplan does critically describe the role of the foot soldiers on the ground and what the political/media influence on this.

    I don't think there is another book that goes that deep. It also gives a look how the embedding functions in the US Army.

    Altough political correct the story is not, It does tell a yet untold story.



    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Kurt Eichenwald
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (189)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Say the name 'Enron' and most people believe they've heard all about the story that imperiled a presidency, destroyed a marketplace, and changed Washington and Wall Street forever. But in the hands of Kurt Eichenwald, the players we think we know and the business practices we think have been exposed are transformed into entirely new, and entirely gripping, material. Conspiracy of Fools is an all-true financial and political thriller of cinematic proportions.

    Margaret says: "Congratulations!"
    "Very well researched"
    Overall

    Being a European I never heard of Enron before the collapse, this was very interesting. The book chronicles Lay's en Enron's history from the seventies. It focuses very much on culture, personality conflict and the SEC rules.

    I am really impressed by the ability of the writer to explain the accounting rules like mark to market/raptors in common sense. Altough it still might be bewildering (or boring) if you have no accounting background.

    I personally found the unabridged version a real "page turner".

    The author really proves the point the title makes out, who were you kidding. The author also reevaluates some of the media assertions at the time of the scandal.

    With some of the investigation still proceeding I am really impressed by the excellent quality of the work in uncovering the sources.

    Compared to it's big competitor the Disneywars, this is definately more focused on broader accounting rules and procedural implications. Disneywars is more focused on personality conflicts as such. Both are books I would recommend (if you like the subject).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken is #37)

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Bernard Goldberg
    • Narrated By Bernard Goldberg
    Overall
    (535)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    Bernard Goldberg takes dead aim at the America Bashers (the cultural elites who look down their snobby noses at "ordinary" Americans and detest so much of what this country is about); the Hollywood Blowhards (incredibly ditzy celebrities who think they're smart just because they're famous); the TV Schlockmeisters (including the one whose show has been compared to a churning mass of maggots devouring rotten meat); the Intellectual Thugs, and many more.

    Marc says: "Some good points (really), kinda partisan."
    "Some good points (really), kinda partisan."
    Overall

    Hello,

    Yes, the writer does have some good points, people are not biggots for not liking Janet Jackson desperate attempt to sell a few extra CD's with her superbowl performance. The book is somewhat funny and yes it isn't purely conservative.

    It does point to some people I never heard of and some who for the sake of there career quite happily pretend to be principled.

    The book writing style is like the top 100 music list starting from 100, 5 of these in a row are funny. Listening to the full 100 cast is definately tedious. (the person who thought hurricanes should have more "black" names was funny and insightful, I never knew there was such a thing as a "black name").

    Al in all a great book if you want to work yourself up(being a liberal) or get some cheap shots(if you're conservative). A mildly funny, somewhat informative original list if you're none of the above. Hopefully this helps you on deciding a bit.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Volume 1, Quantum Mechanics

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Richard P. Feynman
    Overall
    (342)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (99)

    For more than 30 years, Richard P. Feynman's three-volume Lectures on Physics has been known worldwide as the classic resource for students and professionals alike. Ranging from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as Einstein's general relativity, superconductivity, and quantum mechanics, Feynman's lectures stand as a monument of clear exposition and deep insight.

    Michael says: "The Voice Of A Giant"
    "Fantastically narrated but a bit outdated?"
    Overall

    Having never heard of Feynman (being an "ignorant" non Physicws European)I downloaded the book anyway based on te brilliant reviews.

    True the lectures are very interesting and absolutely awesome. The lectures do keep you "glued". I did learn a lot.

    One point of critique, these lectures are over a 40 years old, which might diminish some of the value and sometimes Feynman obviously scratches formulas on the board. He speaks out the formula but it is still a bit hard to follow. Thus in my experience some "written" backup material is excellent.

    I very much recommend this book, just keep the limitations in mind when deciding to buy.


    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • To the Nines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (1152)
    Performance
    (466)
    Story
    (461)

    Stephanie Plum may not be the best bounty hunter in beautiful downtown Trenton, but she's pretty darn good at turning bad situations her way...and she always gets her man. Her cousin Vinnie (who's also her boss) has posted bail on Samuel Singh, an illegal immigrant. When the elusive Mr. Singh goes missing, Stephanie is on the case. In a race against time that takes her from the Jersey Turnpike to the Vegas Strip, Stephanie Plum is on the chase of her life.

    Maxine says: "hilarious"
    "Funny fast paced action!"
    Overall

    What makes the Stephanie Plum series excellent is the fantastically funny and wild characters of the series. Plum is a bounty hunter but the kind that keeps a gun in the cookie jar seem to run into accidents.

    As far as narration is concerned, Lorelei King does an excellent job, altough Lori Petty is still my favorite.

    Definately recommended!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Band of Brothers

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Cotter Smith
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (123)

    In the summer of 1942, a band of citizen soldiers were brought together by the desire to be better than the other guy. At its peak, Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 through Utah Beach, Market-Garden, the Bulge, and Hitler's Eagle's Nest, WWII historian Stephen Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company.

    A User says: "Band of Brothers"
    "Angels from the sky!"
    Overall

    This book is definately a classic and tells the story of the men who sacrificed to deliver us from the German occupation. Living in Eindhoven, the Netherlands which was liberated by the 101st this book for me was very touching.

    Well narrated, well written, it tells the personal story of the men who fought and died to fight the Nazis.

    Too bad there isn't an unabridged audio version.!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Blackadder Goes Forth

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard Curtis, Ben Elton
    • Narrated By Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Full Cast
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    With a ya boo sucks to you fritzy, hot tiddly tumble, it's off to Western Front 1917. Captain Blackadder, hero of Mboto Gorge, joined the British Army when it was little more than a travel agency for gentlemen with an abnormally high sex drive.

    Marc says: "Very good Audioproduction of a TV show"
    "Very good Audioproduction of a TV show"
    Overall

    It took me a long time before I decided to buy this book on the assumption that "audioversions" of TV shows don't work very well. How wrong I was!

    The main reason I think is that because of the high focus on textual interaction as opposed to cinametic humour, the jokes do not get lost on the listener. (E.g. with audiobook fawlty towers a "describer" is needed to describe the cinematic situation in order to get the joke through).

    What makes the show fun is the interaction between the very steriotypical characters, "idiot/insensitive general, pencil pusher, gung ho officer and the ultimate cynic who's main objective is "do everything not to get killed"

    This book is very very funny, but also very sarcastic at how it sneers at British history. The TV show was controversial as it obviously doesn't spare British/Allied ignorance to life. "After 17 failed attempts they would never expect us to try an 18th".

    In that aspect the book does have a sad historical value. Rowan Atkinson himself stated that the distance in time to 1917 only made it possible to write a parody about "Flanders Fields".

    The only thing i found a bit annoying was the "canned laughter" but I got used to it after a few minutes.

    Even if you didn't see the original show, I still recommend the book!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • America's Secret War: Inside the Struggle Between the United States and Its Enemies

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By George Friedman
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (141)

    Dubbed by Barron's as "The Shadow CIA", Stratfor, George Friedman's global intelligence company, has provided analysis to Fortune 500 companies, news outlets, and even the U.S. government. Now Friedman delivers the geopolitical story that the mainstream media has been unable to uncover, the startling truth behind America's foreign policy and war effort in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond.

    David says: "The Best"
    "Putting facts in Perspective!"
    Overall

    If you buy this book to discover secrets in the secret war you probably won't find them. The book doesn't really reveal any new facts (read Charlie Wilson's war for that!).

    What the book does is take a step back and examine the motives, tactics and strategies involved. The book does point out the US sucesses AND mistakes as well as the Al-Qaida successes and mistakes. In this sense it is a welcome refresher after the Coulters(liberals =bad) , Michael Moores and German WW2 revisionists (Bush = bad, everybody else is good). In this respect the book did a great job at actually trying to be objective.

    When reading this a lot of puzzles pieces of the last few years fell into place. It offers reflection on all the stacks of "breaking news" we endure every day.

    A point of critique:
    The book does focus very much on 09/11, Afghanistan, Iraq and lacks in describing the other "battlefields". Like the Philippines, Nigeria, Western Europe , Bosnia, Kosovo, Global shipping, global finance etc. etc. In that way the book lacks a bit the unprecedented broadness of the war.

    A good analyses, some more of this is badly needed. (Sorry partisan writers)

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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