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harry

PLEASANTON, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

110
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 319 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
18

  • Guns

    • UNABRIDGED (49 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (936)
    Performance
    (849)
    Story
    (833)

    In a pulls-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion, Stephen King sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Anger and grief in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are palpable in this urgent piece of writing, but no less remarkable are King's keen thoughtfulness and composure as he explores the contours of the gun-control issue and constructs his argument for what can and should be done.

    Daniel E. Jacobs says: "putting his voice on what people have been saying"
    "Very Well Disguised Liberal Agenda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of this essay -- a sober and cogent look
    and gun violence and the media's love affair with it.

    Mr. King's thoughts are particularly interesting given his own "connection" to gun violence with young people and his book Rage.

    Just as I was beginning to think that I was going to continue to receive a thoughtful and balanced conclusion to this essay Mr. King takes a decided left turn and suggests that the answer to this societal ill is to ban the ownership of certain forms of firearms and high capacity magazines.

    How disappointing that this entire essay, which offers such a brilliant personal reflection on the subject of gun violence, ends with the parroting of the standard liberal mantra of banning guns. I was hoping for more.

    45 of 69 people found this review helpful
  • How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Diana Rowland
    • Narrated By Allison McLemore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (510)
    Performance
    (469)
    Story
    (466)

    It’s zombie versus zombie as the Saberton Corporation declares war against the Zombie Mafia, kidnapping several of their party. It falls to Angel to lead the remnants of her gang halfway across the country to claw their way through corporate intrigue, zombie drugs, and undead trafficking to rescue her friends - and expose the traitor responsible for their abduction.

    Marci says: "Can I give it six stars?"
    "Angel is Back !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Angel Crawford and the Zombie Tribe are back in the fourth WTZ installment from Diana Rowland.

    I am always cautious when a book series begins to stretch past two or even three novels as plot lines usually begin to lose credibility and character development often stalls.

    Fortunately for WTZ fans this is not the case with Groove! If anything, Rowland deepens her development of Angel and the main characters from the first three books and introduces us to a few interesting new ones.

    As before, driving Groove is Allison McLemore's outstanding narration. At this point in the WTZ series McLemore IS Angel Crawford.

    Although Groove does a good job of bringing a listener new to the WTZ series up to speed regarding important previous events, I would really recommend that any listener new to the WTZ series begin with the series' first book, "My Life as a White Trash Zombie", to get a good background on Angel and the locals in St. Edwards Parish.

    The WTZ series continues to be really fresh take on Zombies in modern life and Groove is a great addition the Diana Rowland's series.


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Counselor

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Along the gritty terrain of the Texas- Mexico border, a respected and recently engaged lawyer throws his stakes into a cocaine trade worth millions. His hope is that it will be a one-time deal and that, afterward, he can settle into life with his beloved fiancée. But instead, the Counselor finds himself mired in a brutal and dangerous game - one that threatens to destroy everything and everyone he loves.

    harry says: "A Screenplay Not a Novel Better than the Movie !!"
    "A Screenplay Not a Novel Better than the Movie !!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a big Cormac McCarthy fan so I decided to give this audiobook a try.

    This audiobook is a narrated screenplay, not a narrated novel or short story.

    The format and tempo of the content is different. Once you settle into following the dialogue and script notes this is a very good listen.

    I want to mention that I found the screenplay narration far more enjoyable than the recent movie. The movie is a jumbled mess of characters and lacks the nuance that was needed to make the film truly effective.

    Like all of McCarthy's books The Counselor is rich in dialogue as it probes the darker corners of the human condition.

    The movie version of The Counselor an over-acted mess. This screenplay will give you an idea of what might have been.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Old Man's War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4122)
    Performance
    (3056)
    Story
    (3083)

    John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

    Michael says: "As good as Heinlein"
    "Brilliant at all levels!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really loved this audio book. This was my fourth Scalzi audiobook, and by far his best.

    What set's Old Man's War apart from most science fiction is the way in which Scalzi creates a complete universe of characters and consequences, so well integrated that you do not find yourself even wondering if you are suspending your disbelief. You are simply fully drawn into the story.

    If I were to point a listener to one audiobook by John Scalzi this would be it.

    William Dufris's narration is absolutely pitch perfect and seamless, which only adds to the enjoyment of listening to this audiobook.

    Well worth your time and credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1244)
    Performance
    (1049)
    Story
    (1035)

    A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns – this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.

    Ramon says: "Feels like Jules Verne"
    "Tim Curry is Masterful !!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a classic Jules Verne story brought to brilliant life through Tim Curry's narration.

    Any minor criticisms I might have with the story line of "Journey" are completely swept aside by the wonderful pitch-perfect narration of Tim Curry. As others have mentioned, it's like settling down in a large leather chair in Verne's study as he reads to you.

    I can almost smell the cigars and brandy! Fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Graham Nash
    • Narrated By Graham Nash
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (198)

    From Graham Nash - the legendary musician and founding member of the iconic bands Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Hollies - comes a candid and riveting autobiography that belongs on the reading list of every classic rock fan.

    James says: "A Great Story for fans of the Hollies and CSN!"
    "Just OK as Rock Star Bios Go..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was somewhat disappointed in the content of this audiobook. It's like a never-ending story of a dysfunctional family. CSN / CSNY get together and make great music...do tons of drugs, fight and go their separate ways only to come back together to repeat the cycle over again...

    Don't get me wrong, there are some real gems on information such as how the Hollies got their name as well as some great anecdotes such as how "Just A Song Before I Go" was written, but overall this bio is just not in the same league as those by Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend for example.

    Not sure I'd recommend this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor David Christian
    Overall
    (251)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (225)

    How is it possible for the disciplines of cosmology, geology, anthropology, biology, and history to fit together? These 48 lectures answer that question by weaving a single story from accounts of the past developed by a variety of scholarly disciplines. The result is a story stretching from the origins of the universe to the present day and beyond, in which human history is seen as part of the history of our Earth and biosphere, and the Earth's history, in turn, is seen as part of the history of the universe.

    John P. Gillespie says: "The Big Picture of Big History"
    "A Great Lecture Series !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been wanting to try one of the "Great Courses" lecture series for some time. I had a little working knowledge of the Big History concepts so I decided to use a credit on this audio course.

    Initially I was a little concerned about whether or not these lectures would hold my attention for nearly 25 hours that would be required for the entire course. This concern turned out to be totally unfounded as I was completely taken in by the end of the very first 30 minute lecture!

    The scope of the material is vast and wondrous: From the Big Bang to our present technology driven civilization. Throughout the entire series of lectures David Christian moves just fast enough to instill excitement, always reviewing the material every few lectures and previewing what's to come.

    Because these lectures are only about 30 minutes in length they offer nice sized info-bites for the listener to digest. You can have as much or a little Big History as you want in nicely packaged increments. In fact, I think that the organization of the lectures in these easily digested increments is one of the more impressive elements of this audiobook as a whole.

    The narration is also absolutely first rate. Christian is a practiced speaker and this really shows in his wonderful delivery.

    If I have any criticism to offer it is on just two points:
    First, these lectures were obviously recorded in a studio environment so I don't see why Great Courses saw the need to dub in the same applause sound track at the end of each lecture. It's distraction and not necessary. Likewise the trumpet fanfare that precedes each lecture is completely unnecessary and artificial.

    My second criticism is aimed at the tact that I felt that Christian gets a little too "preachy" when discussing his ideas surrounding global warming. This is limited to only elements of one or two lectures but I did think that it marred an otherwise completely politically neutral outlook.

    On balance these are very very minor points of criticism. This is a masterwork that is matched with a flawless delivery and format and well wort one credit!

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mark Lewisohn
    • Narrated By Clive Mantle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (257)

    Tune In is the first volume of All These Years - a highly-anticipated, groundbreaking biographical trilogy by the world's leading Beatles historian. Mark Lewisohn uses his unprecedented archival access and hundreds of new interviews to construct the full story of the lives and work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

    Tad Davis says: "Insanely great"
    "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although "Tune In" is only the first volume of Mark Lewishon's three volume Beatles biography it stands alone as the best of all the "Rock Bios" I have read or listened to!

    Lewishon carefully takes the listener through the history of all the key players in the early formative period, most especially Brian Epstein and George Martin along with the cast of music personalities, promoters, club owners and family members that surrounded John, Paul, George, Ringo, Pete and Stu.

    The research is exhaustive; so much so that the casual fan may feel overwhelmed. For true fans, however, Tune In is a treasure trove of connected dots. From their Hamburg days to the formation of the Beatles Fan Club and their first mention in the Mersey Beat, it's all here to be devoured. The detail that Lewishon brings to Tune In only adds to the texture of the Beatles' story.

    Adding to the wonderful narrative of Tune In is Clive Mantle's brilliant narration which brings to life all the verbatim dialogue.

    I had great fortune to see the Beatles' final performance at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966. It was my first rock concert. listening to Tune In I now am beginning to understand how the Fab Four made the trek from Liverpool to the world's stage.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (684)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (309)

    "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" So goes the signature introduction of New York Herald star journalist Henry Morton Stanley to renowned explorer Dr. David Livingstone, who had been missing for six years in the wilds of Africa. Into Africa ushers us into the meeting of these remarkable men. In 1866, when Livingstone journeyed into the heart of the African continent in search of the Nile's source, the land was rough, unknown to Europeans, and inhabited by man-eating tribes.

    Gene says: "Riveting"
    "A Great Story and Equally Great Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I only knew of Martin Dugard as the co-author of the "Killing" books written with Bill O'Reilly, and did not know that Martin Dugard was a highly regarded author in his own right.

    When I came across Into Africa I was intrigued by the story and also by the sample narration I listened to. Knowing really nothing of the true story behind the famous quotation; "Dr. Livingstone, I presume ?" I wanted to learn more used a credit for the audiobook.

    Into Africa was easily my favorite non-fiction audio book of all I listened to in 2013. Supported by John Lee's wonderful narration this audiobook is equal parts a biography of the explorers Stanley and Livingstone as well as a story of exploration and survival.

    Having been to Africa four times on safari I simply can not imagine setting off on a quest that would take me half-way across a vast and dangerous continent completely devoid of roads and with no methods of reliable communication.

    Nevertheless, this is exactly what Livingstone did in his bid to locate the source of the river Nile. The story of how Stanley and Livingstone would ultimately meet equals any real life adventure I have ever read. As an audiobook the story of their lives and adventures come to life. I highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Double Down: Game Change 2012

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Mark Halperin, John Heilemann
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (533)
    Performance
    (475)
    Story
    (480)

    Drawing on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Heilemann and Halperin deliver another reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, Double Down offers a panoramic account of a campaign at once intensely hard fought and lastingly consequential. For Obama, the victory he achieved meant even more to him than the one he had pulled off four years earlier.

    Tony says: "Game Change 2.0"
    "Good Companion to Game Change"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed Mark Halperin and John Heileman's Game Change so I decided to use a credit on Double Down. It was a credit well spent.

    Let me say that once again Halperin and Heilemann takes the listener deep inside the real mechanics of political campaigns at the highest level.

    Carefully researched without being at all dry, Double Down's insider's view reveals the miss-steps, slip-ups, and dumb luck that can doom or lift a presidential race.

    Presidential campaigns are a lot like making sausage. Don't listen if you don't want to know what really goes on.




    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3103)
    Performance
    (2739)
    Story
    (2738)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "A Rolicking Fun Ride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book !

    Propelled by Wil Wheaton's outstanding narration The Android's Dream was one of those audio books that I just wanted to listen to every chance I had.

    This book is not Scalzi's best, nor is it in anyway serious science fiction. This being said, I can't think of an audiobook I listened to this year that was more fun !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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