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Amazon Customer

Walt

Member Since 2009

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 243 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
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  • Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Bill O'Reilly
    • Narrated By Bill O'Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (418)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (170)

    In his latest spirited book, O'Reilly prompts further debate with the president and the American people on the current state of the union. While the changes that took place in America during President Obama's first 18 months in office are dizzying to just think about, their real-life impact on the average American is a helluva lot stronger than that. Tempers have reached the boiling point over the shifts in healthcare, immigration, national security, energy, and the environment.

    Amazon Customer says: "Have you seen the show?"
    "Have you seen the show?"
    Overall

    If you watch the show somewhat faithfully then you have already heard about 3/4 of this book. If you like O'Reilly then you will love this book and you probably aren't concerned about my review. If you like Bill O'Reilly and haven't a chance to watch the show, you'll love the book. It's really very much about Bill O'Reilly and his approach to political ethics commentary, how it applies, and a bit about how his method was developed.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1328)
    Performance
    (1194)
    Story
    (1185)

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Charles says: "Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
    "A novel approach to retreading higher critisim"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Zealot better?

    New discovery or facts. As he actually admits, there is nothing new in this book and it has all been said and debated before. He simply tells us his particular viewpoint of what he accepts from higher criticism and what he does not.


    Has Zealot turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Reza Aslan?

    No.


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

    Nope.


    Any additional comments?

    He claims to have "researched" the book for more than 20 years and is a "New Testament scholar" - then clearly admits he doesn't have a full command of Greek. How can you be a scholar of an ancient text that you don't have a complete grasp of it's original language? He claims to have been a Christian, converted at an evangelical camp around a blazing fire where he heard the story of how Jesus was born in Galilee. What evangelical camp would have introduced him to Jesus born in Galilee? Evangelicalism is steeped in the teaching that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea - a completely different district of Palestine. He says that it was not until college, when he discovered the "numerous errors" and "contradictions" of the Bible that he rejected his faith in anger (the acknowledgement that he is angry at Christianity is a clue). But anyone who has studied the Bible extensively has heard these accusations of supposed "contradictions" and each of them has been laid to rest as rubbish for centuries. As for the errors, there are very few and they are well documented and non-consequential to the story of the Bible; every second year Bible scholar has done this exercise. Therefore, his supposed autobiography of faith is the tell that he clearly has an ax to grind; perhaps he hoped to make a buck in the process. Very sad.

    8 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Captains Courageous

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (24)

    Captains Courageous is Rudyard Kipling’s classic fable of a boy’s initiation into the fellowship of men, played out on the high seas of the late 1800s. When he falls overboard from a luxury liner, Harvey Cheyne, the spoiled son of an American millionaire, is rescued by a small New England fishing schooner. To earn his keep, Harvey must prove his worth in the only way the skipper and his hardy crew will accept: through the grueling mastery of a fisherman’s skills.

    Darwin8u says: "A MINOR sea story and a MINOR Kipling"
    "A case where a good movie ruined a great book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Captains Courageous the most enjoyable?

    I have long loved the Spenser Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew, Mickey Rooney, Lionel Barrymore movie loosely based on this book. And, it's a decent enough movie, and expertly performed, but the story is rather syrupy. If, like me, you think you know the story because you saw the movie - you too are wrong. The book has no such syrup. There are important things about the book that cannot translate to the screen, but additionally, the book is so much more powerful and gritty. And the story is very different. This book should be a must read for every Jr High School student, especially boys. It is not only important literature, it teaches important lessons in character development within ones self, and a lot about the value of work and family. As a father of boys, I enjoyed it also from their minds eye as well as reliving my own boyhood.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Kipling is very courageous in how he deals honestly in a book for children with issues of life and death, personal integrity, religious tolerance, cross-cultural understanding, and what it means to a boy learning what it means to be a man.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    A steam liner is cutting across the fishing channel in the night fog and Harvey is frantically ringing the boat's bell praying to save his life and the lives of his friends when he flashes back to a time when he was aboard a luxury steam-liner cutting through fishing waters and he wished to see the spectacle of a fishing boat crushed under the bigger boat. He is tormented to his very soul for his callous disregard of human life and regrets the arrogant boy he used to be.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I chose this book because I've become such a fan of Guidall's reading that I search now for books read by him. His abilities to bring a book to life are especially highlighted in such a book as this. I have come to think of him as a good friend though he doesn't know I exist.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Les Misérables: Translated by Julie Rose

    • UNABRIDGED (60 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo, Julie Rose (translator)
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (909)
    Performance
    (779)
    Story
    (786)

    One of the great classics of world literature and the inspiration for the most beloved stage musical of all time, Les Misérables is legendary author Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. This extraordinary English version by renowned translator Julie Rose captures all the majesty and brilliance of Hugo’s work. Here is the timeless story of the quintessential hunted man—Jean Valjean—and the injustices, violence, and social inequalities that torment him.

    Darwin8u says: "!"
    "One time the movie was better than the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, I would say that it was well spent in that the musical and the movie touched my life so much that knowing the true way that it was written has enriched my understanding of both of those mediums. But the fact is that Victor Hugo was just not a master author and although this is a "classic" it's just poorly written in a lot of places.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Victor Hugo and Julie Rose (translator) again?

    I did listen to Victor Hugo again - I listened to the Hunchback of Notre Dame and this is the better of the two.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    His characterization is spot on. His consistency in vocalizing the different characters with such accuracy is nothing short of amazing and helps to keep in mind which character is speaking. Guidall is great.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It is a movie and a musical and I did see both - many times.


    Any additional comments?

    See the movie first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9425)
    Performance
    (5120)
    Story
    (5189)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "WOW! I had no idea the book was so good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Dune?

    I have seen both the movie and the miniseries and just thought I knew Dune. I had no idea the vastness, the richness, the texture, and the raw power that was just unable to be conveyed to the screens. This is a true classic and an amazing book. The performances are weird since the characters are played by different actors at different parts, with different interpretations of the role, but with a bit of imagination it is understandable. Do not let that put you off this book. "Wow" doesn't cover it. There is so much more to Paul, the worms, the Fremen, - and Dune - than the movie and miniseries tell.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The omniscient narrator gives us such a raw and textured entry into each of the very livid characters that you feel the story ooze through you as you listen.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Some of the actors really brought their characters to life in ways that were extraordinary.


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

    I was deeply moved many times. The gom jabbar scene is riveting - the war - the confrontation between Alia and the Rev Mother; lots.


    Any additional comments?

    A lot of reviews have talked down this book because of idiosyncrasies and discontinuity in the performances from time-to-time. If you let that stop you from enjoying this book it's your loss.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, Susan Carnicero, and others
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    Overall
    (622)
    Performance
    (540)
    Story
    (548)

    Imagine how different your life would be if you could tell whether someone was lying or telling you the truth. Be it hiring a new employee, investing in a financial interest, speaking with your child about drugs, confronting your significant other about suspected infidelity, or even dating someone new, having the ability to unmask a lie can have far-reaching and even life-altering consequences. As former CIA officers, Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, and Susan Carnicero are among the world’s best at recognizing deceptive behavior.

    Kim says: "Excellent, with one disappointment"
    "A well laid out how to book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Spy the Lie?

    The stories keep it moving from subject to subject and the "how to" part is easy enough to follow audibly. I've listened to it twice and will go through it again soon. A must have for anyone who works with personnel.


    What about Fred Berman’s performance did you like?

    He has such a natural way of reading it felt more like a friend was just talking and explaining things to me most of the time, rather than that he was reading to me. His ability to share the book with me in such a personable way led me to not realizing until this minute that he was not the author. I suppose I did not spot the reader's "lie" there. Well done!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes - both times.


    Any additional comments?

    Makes you realize that more people are lying more often than we think. It's also true that if everyone reads this book it's going be a very good thing to be good and tell the truth.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stein on Writing: A Master Editor Shares His Craft, Techniques, and Strategies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sol Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (691)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (320)

    Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether newcomers or accomplished professionals. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions, how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place."

    ddsharper says: "Excellent Content and Listen"
    "outstanding"
    Overall

    Even if you never intend to write a book, you will read books differently from understanding the process. Stein is a literary genius.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (369)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (103)

    Friedman brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy - both of which could poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively. His argument speaks to all of us who are concerned about the state of America in the global future.

    Terry says: "Where's the beef?"
    "Terrible"
    Overall

    Friedman should know better. You can't win acceptance for your ideas or positions with the majority by flagrantly misrepresenting the views of those who disagree with your position. You can't rewrite history and feed it to those of us who were there; we won't be fooled. Don't try to play off a liberal political agenda as an unbiased business acumen; we're not as stupid as you make us out to be. No wonder Audible has to give it away - who would buy it?!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Dan Ariely
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (3565)
    Performance
    (1102)
    Story
    (1104)

    In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.

    Stephen says: "Well researched, well written, & well read"
    "unfortunately mediocre"
    Overall

    On the whole, his research methods are seriously flawed and his results to conclusions leaps are often gigantic. Still, he manages to come to some very good observations that do need more consideration than we often give them. The hubris behind his recommendations is really uncalled for, though.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The 360-Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By John C. Maxwell
    • Narrated By Wayne Shepherd
    Overall
    (474)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (96)

    In his nearly thirty years of teaching leadership, John Maxwell has encountered this question again and again: How do I apply leadership principles if I'm not the boss? It's a valid question that Maxwell answers in The 360-Degree Leader. You don't have to be the main leader, asserts Maxwell, to make significant impact in your organization. Good leaders are not only capable of leading their followers but are also adept at leading their superiors and their peers.

    Mark says: "Leaders will want their employees to read this"
    "Every middle manager's must-read"
    Overall

    This is an excellent work and needs to be must reading for every middle manager that wants to succeed. Also excellent for front line staff that have views of getting into management.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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