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Jay Kuykendall

Houston, TX | Listener Since 2006

  • 19 reviews
  • 180 ratings
  • 293 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015

  • Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Mark R. Levin
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Supreme Court endorses terrorists' rights, flag burning, and importing foreign law. Is that in the Constitution? You're right: it's not. But these days the Constitution is no restraint on our out-of-control Supreme Court. The Court imperiously strikes down laws and imposes new ones purely on its own arbitrary whims. Even though liberals like John Kerry are repeatedly defeated at the polls, the majority on the allegedly "conservative" Supreme Court reflects their views and wields absolute power.

    Jay Kuykendall says: "Recommended reading."
    "Recommended reading."

    Mark Levin treats us to an excellent argument against the subjugation of America to nine Justices. Among his chief arguments are the following: Judges are no wiser than their fellow men; Judges should refrain from making policy decisions because they are exempt from the elective control; and Common Law is a perversion of Constitutional checks and balances.

    Some reviewers are correct: You can have a good sense of this work before hand, but people, who have heard Levin's radio show, will be pleasantly surprised at the calm, rational discussion in the work. A professional reader adds as much, but this work is far from the incendiary provocation that Democrats assert. To them, the real crime is the shattering of the legal analysis (or lack of it) and holding of Roe in "Death by Privacy."

    Would his thesis require releasing some 'rights' acquired in a 'Living Constitution?' Sure, but should we not expect our government to operate within its framework? After all, the Framers provided provisions and methods to amend the Constitution.

    Of course, the Framers of the Constitution were far from a uniform body of people. (Alexander Hamilton sought a strengthened federal government and was deeply opposed by Thomas Jefferson.) However, Levin simply presents the words of Justices to prove his case. Doubt me? Take a look at the online retailers that provide previewable sections.

    It’s a work that I think everyone should “read.” I would also recommend that all political junkies check out the following works:

    Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton (only abridgement I’ve liked);
    Bill Clinton’s My Life;
    Jimmy Carter’s Our Endangered Values (Although you’ll want to read it because apparently chose to read it with a mouthful of marbles. I will never know how it won an audiobook award.);
    Tom Delay’s No Retreat, No Surrender;
    And John Stossel’s Give Me a Break.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Age of Deleveraging: Investment Strategies for a Decade of Slow Growth and Deflation, Updated Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By A. Gary Shilling
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    While many investors fear a rapid rise in inflation, author Gary Shilling, an award-winning economic forecaster, argues that the global economy is going through a long period of deleveraging and weak growth, which makes deflation far more likely and a far greater threat to investors than inflation. Shilling explains with clear language and compelling logic why the world economy will struggle for several more years and what investors can do to protect and grow their wealth in the difficult times ahead.

    Jay Kuykendall says: "Worth a listen"
    "Worth a listen"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It did seem to repeat itself. I at times was a bit unsure if I accidently skipped backwards or the author was stressing a point or simply filling space.

    Would you be willing to try another book from A. Gary Shilling? Why or why not?

    Probably not. He mostly offered his ideas on coming deflation. The actual investing portion was small. It was interesting, but for a book that touted strategies, I think it was a bit thin on how to either look for or exploit investment opportunities. It's probably nearly one of a kind on Audible, so if you are interested in deflation, it is a must.

    How could the performance have been better?

    I prefer faster narration, but the Audible app let me set the speed to 1.5x.

    Did The Age of Deleveraging inspire you to do anything?

    No. The most interesting bit was his exchange with Milton Friedman, but the author comes off rather flat in the exchange.

    Any additional comments?

    This book mostly emphasized long term Bonds which increase in value as interest rates fall because their earlier issue was at higher rates.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Water Mirror: Dark Reflections, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Kai Meyer
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth

    In Venice, magic is not unusual. Merle is apprenticed to a magic mirror maker, and Serafin, a boy who was once a master thief, works for a weaver of magic cloth. Merle and Serafin are used to the mermaids who live in the canals of the city, beautiful creatures with hideous mouths that split their faces from ear to ear, and to the guards who patrol the streets on living stone lions.

    Maarya says: "very enjoyable!!"
    "Consider Yourself Warned"

    I have enjoyed the narration of Toby Longworth in the past, and this audiobook, for the most part, is no exception. His timing and depth are quite good.

    What I did have a problem with was the abrupt and sudden end. The entire work seems like a long setup for a future novel. If you are looking for plot and conflict and resolution, you will be disappointed.

    The work hints at future plot devices which could go horribly wrong or wonderfully right. Without finishing the series it is impossible to say whether this book is a complete waste of time or the beginning of something good-- and currently only offers the first two books.

    Given my lack of fulfillment in the resolution of the Lemony Snicket books, I am more inclined to warn than recommend.

    Good luck with your own decision!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tsar: An Alex Hawke Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ted Bell
    • Narrated By John Shea
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Russia gains a new tsar, a signal to the world that the imperial Russia is back and plans to have her day. In America, a killer known only as Happy the Baker brutally murders an innocent family and literally flattens the small Midwestern town they once called home. Just a taste, according to the new tsar, of what will happen if America does not back down. Alex Hawke is the only man who can stop the madness.

    A User says: "pure masculine entertainment"
    "Despite its charm, the work fails."

    If you like spy works, this book will have its moments. I find the narration gifted, but the beach scene of Dr. No by Ian Flemming is clearly inspiration to at least the opening scene in this book. The similarities were so strong that I purchased the Dr. No audiobook to compare. Homage or plagiarism? I am still undecided on that count, but settling into the work, I let the question fade. No matter the intent, the opening here grabs attention. Some of the premises occaisionally strain credibility, but I was interested throughout until the very end when the work breaks. Several of the last thematic elements seem very forced. Add in free use of rough language and this work is clearly not for everyone.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "A likable work that I can't stand."

    There are several works where the literary genius of the author is never in doubt whether you fully enjoy the work or not. This is true of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and, of course, Joseph Heller. Heller briefly references Dostoyevsky's own Crime and Punishment with a line about the dream of Raskolnikov. This work is lighter than Crime and Punishment (an easy feat) but by no means light-hearted despite some very funny moments. The circular and contradictory humour can lack be tedious, but the world is immersive. The narrator is accomplished, but several volume changes add little annoyances. Humoursly (to me) Doc Daneeka seemed to be voiced by John Madden. Those thinking that the author was critisizing war are probably missing the point just slightly. The work is definitely a biting criticism of unethical actions, but truly knowing exactly the true theme is difficult. Certainly the work does seem to represent the struggle between an individual and institution, but regardless of theme intellectually prone readers will be glad to have finished the work despite their various level of enjoyment. Recommended if you are so inclined.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

    • UNABRIDGED (39 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Sumeet Bharati

    "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", a short story from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, is about the adventures of a valiant young mongoose.

    Yawn20 says: "Very well done"
    "Who doesn't love Rikki-Tikki-Tavi?"

    The work is entertaining and the narrator only falters when attempting a British accent. Given the price and general enjoyment of this work, you'll only smile when she fails at a British accent.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • No Retreat, No Surrender: One American's Fight

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Tom DeLay, Stephen Mansfield
    • Narrated By Tom DeLay

    Very few people are on the fence about Tom DeLay, who was nicknamed "the Hammer" for his hard-charging, take-no-prisoners style of leadership. Liberals despise him, but for conservatives he;s a hero: one of the architects of the 1994 Republican revolution. For 12 years afterward, he was the driving force of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

    Jay Kuykendall says: "Interesting work."
    "Interesting work."

    It fails to achieve its objectives, but the work will still be intesely interesting for political junkies possibly because Tom Delay fails to persuade. Delay speaks relatively well, and the drawl adds interest without impairing communication. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James

    In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.

    Gerald says: "Very Good Interpretation"
    "Great performance, but gruelling story."

    The performance succeeds, but the story fails.

    This book has two narrators; one narrator brings Heinlein's characters to life by giving them voices and accents, and the other narrator is the character Manny. Manny begins interesting, but he experiences no growth. All growth is centered around the funny and intelligent super-computer, but eventually the novelty and charm of the computer wear out, and it becomes a task of listening to the lead character. It simpy felt overly long.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • VangoNotes for Foundations of Economics, 3/e

    • ORIGINAL (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robin Bade, Michael Parkin
    • Narrated By Brett Barry, Alyson Silverman

    Study on the go with VangoNotes. Just download chapter reviews from your text and listen to them on any mp3 player. Now wherever you are--whatever you're doing--you can study by listening to key features for each chapter of your textbook.

    Jay Kuykendall says: "Incomplete, but very helpful."
    "Incomplete, but very helpful."

    These are notes after all; still I wish that audible provided actual audio textbooks. (You couldn't find an audio textbook this cheap.)

    They were excellent supplemental materials though, and I did recommend them to other students in the same class. The examples and way of illustration were helpful. These notes, while incomplete did contribute to my success in the class.

    There are review questions covering material seemingly absent from the summary sections, but the nature of the content lent to more studying in less time. Is that criticism or not?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Amulet of Samarkand: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jonathan Stroud
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Nathaniel is eleven-years-old and a magician's apprentice, learning the traditional art of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells far beyond his years. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, to assist him.

    Randy says: "Terrific Trilogy"
    "Highly recommended."

    This work is great. The narrator delivers the humor and wit. The voices are distinct, and the natural timing and talent are remarkable. Stroud delivers a well written work accessible by adults though clearly intended for children. I often think that many children's books are the best books. This series entertains.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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