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Michael

51 year old electrical engineer who's always got going, one book to inspire, another to learn and one just to escape - ok 2 just to escape

Plymouth, MA, United States | Member Since 2007

ratings
83
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
15

  • Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jenna Miscavige Hill
    • Narrated By Sandy Rustin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (776)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (711)

    Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org - the church's highest ministry - speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

    Tim says: "The Despicable Truth Behind Scientology"
    "An important book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is beautifully written and beautifully told which is fortuitous because everyone should read it. It's not just about Scientology but about how the vast majority of young minds are filled with nonsense and then closed. The methods employed by Scientology are less subtle than other religions, perhaps this is due to it's relative youth. Still, the parallels to all religions are unmistable although they'll predicably not be seen by those still in a state of self delusion.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Code Name Verity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1271)
    Performance
    (1152)
    Story
    (1147)

    Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

    Suzn F says: "Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book"
    "Beautifully written, engrossing and real."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved it. It was well told and had me wanting to know more at every turn. It's real, a work of fiction yes but nevertheless real. It depicts war from the point of view of those who fought it, many of whom could not have felt celebratory when it was over, moving on with their lives, hoping against hope, to forget.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1989)
    Performance
    (1145)
    Story
    (1135)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

    Jim says: "An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
    "don't be afraid to say what you think"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I was a kid, I took piano lessons. Julliard pre-college as a matter of fact. Practiced ridiculous hours, no hanging out with the gang for me, the whole 9 yards of the ostensibly precocious but really one who is living the dream of a parent and pushed to do so. Anyway, one day, after butchering a piece by Bach, my task master teacher gave me one of his signature speeches about the great Bach. In a moment of bravery, I told him that I thought Bach sucked. This did not go over well. In fact it resulted in a domino effect involving more lectures from him and also from my parents after the son of a bitch turned me in for this heinous crime. I'm 51 now, and I've given Bach a fair chance. Honestly, I don't hold a grudge. But you know what? I don't like Bach. I don't enjoy listening to Bach, Bach is like an instant extra strong sleeping pill for me. And for me, though I have no doubt of his genius, for me, Bach really does suck. SO what does that have to do with Lolita. I tell you what it has to do with Lolita. People love to tell us what is supposed to have value for us. When a lot of people agree that something has value, they call that thing a classic. Suddenly, if you don't like it, you're an ignoramus. Having established the fact that I am in fact a big fat ignoramus already, I feel free to tell you that Lolita sucks! It's boring, the main character is demonstrably a perverted asshole and I simply found it to be a miserable, depressing drudgery of a book. It fucking sucks! So there!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16554)
    Performance
    (14715)
    Story
    (14759)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Great great great great great great book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What more do you need to know? Read this book! And I tell you what, I'm a 51 year old guy but this book is not just for 51 year old guys. My 22 year old daughter and I have a bit of a book club thing going. Our taste naturally do no always coincide. But she too loved this book. It's very cleaver, you won't guess what comes next and you will recommend this book to every one you know who loves to read.
    .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5401)
    Performance
    (2737)
    Story
    (2792)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "A lot of work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Loved the characters especially the chic on the souped up, ultra high tech skate board but I found it difficult to follow, lost interest and baled half way through.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ben Fountain
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (319)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (284)

    A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal" - three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew - has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide Victory Tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys....

    Melinda says: "Oh-ooo Say, Can We See?"
    "Unique and entertaining with a few reservations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ben Fountain has written a unique, intriguing and entertaining book. You won't be blown away by it, but nor will you be sorry you gave it a go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hidden Man

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Ellis
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (53)

    On a hot summer night in 1980, two-year-old Audrey Culter was snatched from her bedroom and never seen again. Twenty-six years later, her brother, Sammy, fatefully crosses paths with the man the police failed to convict for her abduction and murder. A few weeks later, that man is dead, murdered. Private attorney Jason Kolarich is engaged to defend Audrey's brother. But can he trust the people who hired him?

    Michael says: "Love this guy"
    "Love this guy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All three of the Jason Kolarich books are excellent. I seldom have this level of enthusiasm for an author. But this one knows how to keep your rapt attention while making you chuckle along the way.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Bill Maher
    • Narrated By Bill Maher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (410)
    Story
    (402)

    A follow-up to the New York Times best-selling New Rules, The New New Rules delivers a series of hilarious, intelligent rants on everything from same-sex marriage to health care, from Republican agendas to celebrity meltdowns, with all the razor-sharp insight that has made Bill Maher one of the most influential comedic voices shaping the political debate today.

    Amanda says: "Audio isn't the right format for this sort of book"
    "Get a new beginning to the joke"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a segment in a show, if you say "new rule" a dozen times, it's not so grating. But for a book in which you start every new joke with "new rule", after a while you want that rule to be "no more saying - new rule". Annoying the point of distraction IMO.

    Furthermore, I simply didn't laugh much at this book!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lian Hearn
    • Narrated By Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6041)
    Performance
    (2192)
    Story
    (2200)

    A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Wonderful epic story"
    "Tales of the Oh Bore Me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I finished it which I don't do unless I'm somewhat entertained. So it held some appeal for me. But I won't be reading the other installments. It was well done and even well written. The story just didn't grab me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelfth Imam: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Joel C. Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (882)
    Performance
    (583)
    Story
    (583)

    Tensions are rising in the Middle East. Iran’s president vows to annihilate the United States and Israel. Israel’s prime minister says someone must hit Iran’s nuclear sites “before it’s too late.” The American president warns against a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and says negotiations are the key to finding peace. And amid it all, rumors are swirling throughout the region of a mysterious religious cleric claiming to be the Islamic messiah.

    Mike From Mesa says: "An almost perfect book, with one caveat"
    "A evangelical christians wet dream"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had no idea the author was a christian fanatic until I was more than half way through the book. It was a great disappointment because it is well written and had my attention. I simply have to give hims that. But unless you are a zealot for his cause, you will find yourself as I did, rolling your eyes as the evil Muslim spirits appear leading up to triumphant return of Jesus Christ to thwart them. The story doesn't assume that Christ is the only or god just that the Muslim god is all evil and the christian god all good.. It's amazing to me that many will read this and think - yes - this could be so. When Jesus makes his appearance in what was to that a point a compelling narrative, you will then know that you are reading a piece of propaganda.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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