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Amazon Customer

beglad

Los Angeles, CA USA | Member Since 2001

50
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 62 ratings
  • 672 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • American Theocracy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Kevin Phillips
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (413)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (72)

    From Ancient Rome to the British Empire, Phillips demonstrates that every world-dominating power has been brought down by a related set of causes: a lethal combination of global over-reach, militant religion, resource problems, and ballooning debt. It is this same axis of ills that has come to define America's political and economic identity in the past decade.

    Miles C. says: "Excellent Work!"
    "Must read if you are concerned about America"
    Overall

    Kevin Phillips writes with the passion of a betrayed lover. He was one of the architects of the Republican Sunbelt Strategy. He has seen the results and he is appalled, with good reason. The book is very well researched and Phillips is a avid student of history. He shows the parallels between what is happening in America today with what happened in 15th Century Spain, 17th Century Holland and 19th Century England. All three were, as America is, the pre-eminent world powers of their times. The book is in three parts: the end of oil, the takeover by the religous right of the Republican Party and the shift of America from actually building things the rest of the world will buy to a country that just manipulates money. This last section describes the growing mountain of debt that individuals, financial institutions and the government have accumulated. Phillips says the confluence of these three major themes does not bode well for America.

    Oh yes, if you had any doubt the invasion of Iraq was about oil, you won't have any when you've finished the first third of the book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Delirium

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    Overall
    (1971)
    Performance
    (1673)
    Story
    (1676)

    "Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

    Joyce E McBride says: "Wonderful"
    "Not Hunger Games"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Could't make a four or five. Premise is way too thin.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Opening scene when heroine is taking her test for the procedure.


    What character would you cut from Delirium?

    All of them


    Any additional comments?

    The premise of the book and I'm assuming the premise of the rest of the series is that society has decided that love is tragic disease that can and should be cured by medical procedures. Essentially love is the root of all evil. Get rid of it and people will be happy and docile. Way to thin a premise for me. Doesn't really hold up since there are evil people in this utopian society who presumably were cured of love and should be docile and not violent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Plain Truth

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Christina Moore, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1193)
    Performance
    (433)
    Story
    (434)

    The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that 18-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn's mother, took the child's life.

    Susan says: "Plain good!"
    "Should not have relied on the ratings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jodi Picoult and/or Christina Moore and Suzanne Toren ?

    I have lost all interest in Picoult.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jodi Picoult again?

    I wouldn't listen to anything by her again. i looked at some of her other titles and see a bunch books about the occult. Doesn't interest me at all.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I had read House Rules and thought it was a fairly good book. So I was quite disappointed in this one.


    Any additional comments?

    My big, big problem with this book came about one quarter of the way through the book. At that point I found out that one of the main protagonists was pursuing an advanced degree in Paranormal Studies. I am a firm unbeliever. So at that point i lost all interest and quit listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Doesn't Kill You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Iris Johansen
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (247)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (198)

    Catherine Ling was abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong at age four. Schooled in the art of survival, she traded in the only commodity she had: information. As a teenager, she came under the tutelage of a mysterious man known only as Hu Chang - a skilled assassin and master poisoner. As a young woman, she was recruited by the CIA and now she is known as one of their most effective operatives.

    barb says: "one of the all-time worst"
    "Ugh, beyond stupid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Iris Johansen and/or Jennifer Van Dyck?

    Never


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    I shouldn't have just looked at the ratings. I should have read the actual reviews. The premise is totally absurd. Mr. Chinese drug wizard has invented a poison so something or other that having it will give Mr. Evil pants world domination. But do not fear our CIA super heroine will ally with Drug Wizard to stop Evil pants. I gave up about a quarter way through.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Tehran Initiative

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Joel C. Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (984)
    Performance
    (849)
    Story
    (866)

    The world is on the brink of disaster. Iran has just conducted its first atomic weapons test. Millions of Muslims around the world are convinced their messiah — known as the Twelfth Imam — has arrived on earth. Israeli leaders fear Tehran, under the Twelfth Imam’s spell, will soon launch a nuclear attack that could bring about a second Holocaust and the annihilation of Israel.

    Susan says: "Rosenberg does it again - couldn't put it down!"
    "Read reviews, ignore overall rating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Joel C. Rosenberg and/or Christopher Lane?

    Absolutely not.


    What was most disappointing about Joel C. Rosenberg’s story?

    It's overloaded with religious and fantasy clap trap.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None


    What character would you cut from The Tehran Initiative?

    All of them


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I had read the reviews and not relied on the overall ratings. We have the 12th imam with supernatural powers, (maybe he's the anti-christ) and the angel Gabriel. Then I'm guessing we'll have Christ too and maybe Armageddon. Don't think I'll listen till the finish to find out. So far seems like a bunch of right-wing religious clap-trap about end times.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4204)
    Performance
    (3050)
    Story
    (3061)

    Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of best-selling author Jim Butcher - a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious.

    Brian says: "Know what sucks about this book?"
    "Suppose if you like Harry Potter you'll like this"
    Overall

    This is pure drivel. I once watched half a Harry Potter movie before giving up. I listened to half of this book before I gave up. My review may be off the mark since I so disliked Harry Potter and Side Jobs that I can't say I really know about either. I can tell you the plot of each of the stories in this book. Dresden meets a goblin, troll, gnome, evil fairy, vampire, or some other evil fantasy character. Dresden is nearly done in by the whatever when by some miracle of magic and strength he overcomes the whatever and triumphs. If you want to have a tutorial on magic powers (good and evil) this is your book, but not mine.

    0 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Jesse Boggs
    Overall
    (4411)
    Performance
    (1876)
    Story
    (1894)

    Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker.

    Jill Pagano says: "Finally, I understand what happened!"
    "Want to understand the sub-prime crisis"
    Overall

    Now i begin to understand the sub-prime crisis. The greed and stupidity of ALL the heads of the major commercial and investment banks is beyond belief. Lewis explains it all in a manner that is easily understood. Every last American should read it. All the bankers, all the government functionaries come out looking like fools.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Alexandria Link: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Steve Berry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (909)
    Performance
    (356)
    Story
    (361)

    Cotton Malone retired from the high-risk world of elite operatives to lead the life of a rare-book dealer. But his quiet existence is shattered when he receives an anonymous e-mail: "You have something I want. You're the only person on earth who knows where to find it. If I don't hear from you, you will be childless." His ex-wife confirms that their teenage son has been kidnapped, and it becomes clear that those responsible will stop at nothing to get what they want: the lost library of Alexandria.

    Glenda says: "Very Entertaining"
    "Preposterous premise"
    Overall

    This was the worst Audiobook I have listened to. And I must have listened to at least forty. The premise of the book is as follows: the library of Alexandria was saved and hidden it the desert somewhere, there is a very early bible in the library that casts doubt on God's covenent with Abraham granting the Jews greater Israel and this doubt will cause the Jews to lose much of their right to Israel. I find the premise perposterous. It requires that the Jews in the modern state of Israel give up some of their claims and lands because of a bible that is over 2000 years old. By that logic all the non-native inhabitants of the new world should all go back to where there ancestors came from. The world doesn't work that way. Virtually no one has clear title to the land they now live on. That's the basic problem, but it gets worse. The heros and villans all make amateurish mistakes. The hero takes his ex-wife on his quest. She constantly refuses to follow his requests and gets them into more trouble. He keeps her on his quest. Why?

    The book has a multitude of groups and individuals searching for the library for a multitude of motives. The hero, the villan, a shadowy group called the Golden Fleece, the US government, shadowy groups in the US government, the Mosad, the Saudi Arabians, and probably more that I never got around to finding since I gave up about a third of the way through.

    This book reminds of a poor version of the "DaVinci Code" and I didn't like the "good" version.

    7 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • Love in the Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Walker Percy
    • Narrated By Tom Parker
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Hans says: "Pathetically Awful Reading Of Great Book"
    "Remarkably Flat"
    Overall

    I just never found I cared about anyone in the novel. The narrator is certainly part of the problem, but so is the constant repetition of phrases and words. I thought if I heard the words "gin fizz" and "albumin dancing in my brain" any more I would have something dancing in my brain.

    Percy also brings in a major event in the novel - the modification to Moore's Lapsometer to make it a theraputic device - straight out of left field. No explanation at all. In addition I found the ending quite weak. The calamity predicted throughout the novel just sort of peters out.

    Given the subject matter and Percy's evident sense of humor and ability with words it should have more gripping and funnier.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Company Man

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Joseph Finder
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (727)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (170)

    Nick Conover, the son of a factory worker, is the CEO of a major corporation in a company town. Nick, once the most admired man in Fenwick, Michigan, is now, having presided over massive layoffs, the most despised. A single parent since the recent death of his wife, he's struggling to insulate his 10-year-old daughter and angry 16-year-old son from the town's hostility.

    James says: "Nail-biting suspense"
    "Mixed feelings"
    Overall

    Very good description of the issues facing the CEO of a modern company. All of the references to technology, accounting, corporate law, board meetings, etc. are very believeable. I have some experience running modern companies so I do know whereof I speak. I don't pretend to know about police procedures, but they seem to have been well researched too. Also the description of the dire effects of outsourcing and downsizing are presented fairly. The author did his research and did it well. The way the book ends is perhaps just a bit too pat. But that's a minor carp.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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