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Judd Bagley

Utah | Member Since 2006

168
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 75 ratings
  • 321 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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11

  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1667)
    Performance
    (1047)
    Story
    (1050)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Thomas says: "The best book I've had"
    "Flawless."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Endurance the most enjoyable?

    The storytelling was flawless. This is a masterfully composed tale that left me awestruck.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This story left me feeling an unusual sense of reverence for the men involved. And from now on, when I go running in the winter, I shall never again complain about the cold.


    Any additional comments?

    I intend to listen to this one again. And I say that about very few books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SuperFreakonomics

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2604)
    Performance
    (996)
    Story
    (1002)

    SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as: How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa? What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common? Can eating kangaroo save the planet? Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else.

    Rich says: "Worth Your Time"
    "Not epic like the first, but a worthy successor."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's hard to follow up on something like Freakonomics, but Super Freakonomics does a good enough job. In the absence of the earlier work, this book would be an unqualified winner, but when compared, it falls slightly short. I simply found many of the "stories" less freaky than the first. Interesting, but not mind-blowingly so. As for the narrator, Dubner does an outstanding job, especially for somebody who does not do that kind of work for a living. Bottom line: worth reading if you liked the first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Botany of Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1431)
    Performance
    (715)
    Story
    (716)

    Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship.

    Teddy says: "If you have an open mind... Give it a listen"
    "30% interesting, 70% blah blah blah"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This title did not deliver on its original promise of a scientific examination of the co-evolution of humans and four species of plant. Not that it didn't make an attempt, because it did. And yet the author seemed to get consistently -- and deeply -- distracted in ways that I could barely abide.
    It's as though the author sold the concept to a publishing house only to discover that there was not sufficient material on the chosen subjects to fill 300 pages, forcing him to compensate with vast spans of particularly annoying and formless (even...Dionysian?) sophistry.
    I usually avoid abridged books but this is one title that, had it undergone an intensive (even...Apollonian?) abridgement, would have merited an additional one or two stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Washington's Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David Hackett Fischer
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (569)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (195)

    This New York Times best seller is a thrilling account of one of the most pivotal moments in United States history. Six months after the Declaration of Independence, America was nearly defeated. Then on Christmas night, George Washington led his men across the Delaware River to destroy the Hessians at Trenton. A week later Americans held off a counterattack, and in a brilliant tactical move, Washington crept behind the British army to win another victory. The momentum had reversed.

    William says: "Particularly Good Military History"
    "Outstanding military history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was among the best works of military history I've encountered. The story unfolded in a focused, intuitive way, with plenty of the sidebar-type extras that add so much enjoyable texture to this sort of work. My only complaint was the Conclusion, which could have been 75% shorter.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn
    Overall
    (299)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (81)

    Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise comes to life. The U.S. government pitted two companies - the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads - against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. As its peak the work force approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as 15,000 workers on each line. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, lived off buffalo, deer, and antelope.

    A. Millard says: "Good Book, Poor Narration and Audio Quality"
    "I really wanted to like this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First of all, I think there was a change of narrators at some point, because my version was superb, while the narration offered in the sample on this page was as terrible as many earlier reviewers suggest. So, for the record, the narrator problem appears to have been fixed.

    Unfortunately, the basic flaws of story telling remain problematic. I've read many works by Ambrose and have adored them all. This book fell flat for me. Thud. Just when it seemed about to get interesting, it diverged into a morass of not-so-consequential tangents that were hard to endure.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Demon Under The Microscope

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1435)
    Performance
    (755)
    Story
    (751)

    The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. This incredible discovery was sulfa, the first antibiotic medication. In The Demon Under the Microscope, Thomas Hager chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine.

    John Mertus says: "A pleasure in listening"
    "I did not see this one coming."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I suspected this would be an interesting work, but was totally unprepared for how shockingly interesting it turned out to be. Having worked in the medical field, I knew of Sulfa only as the poorer cousin of penicillin, and wondered what might be so interesting about the story behind its discovery that would merit an entire book on the topic. Now I know. there are a great many lessons to be considered and internalized in this story. An outstanding work.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1089)
    Performance
    (384)
    Story
    (381)

    This is a sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans, and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

    John says: "Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
    "The rest of the story we all need to know."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a deeply compelling history of radical Islam and the circumstances that led to the events of 9/11. Finally, all the strange-sounding Arabic names that have come up since that day have meaning and context. A very powerful work, which I was sad to see end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Undaunted Courage

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (985)
    Performance
    (349)
    Story
    (354)

    In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River, across the forbidding Rockies, and - by way of the Snake and the Columbia rivers - down to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, endured incredible hardships and witnessed astounding sights. With great perseverance, they worked their way into an unexplored West. When they returned two years later, they had long since been given up for dead.

    Christopher says: "Great detail about this historical event..."
    "Brilliant. Not a wasted word."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rare is the book that could not use even a little abridging. This is just such a book. From start to finish, the narrative was relentlessly enthralling. How did I spend so many years believing this was a dry topic? Ambrose has succeeded where my history teachers failed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Reich at War

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Richard J. Evans
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (361)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (210)

    Evans interweaves a broad narrative of the war’s progress with viscerally affecting personal testimony from a wide range of people - from generals to front-line soldiers, from Hitler Youth activists to middle-class housewives. The Third Reich at War lays bare the dynamics of a nation more deeply immersed in war than any society before or since. Fresh insights into the conflict’s great events are here, from the invasion of Poland to the Battle of Stalingrad to Hitler’s suicide in the bunker.

    Karen says: "Masterful"
    "I give up"
    Overall

    I'm halfway through this epic piece of research, but I can't take any more. I was hoping for the promised "fresh insights into the conflict’s great events" but instead found an impenetrable listing of one Nazi atrocity after another. From time to time the book threatened to become original and interesting, particularly when examining the Nazi wartime economy and internal power struggles, but these gems were so few and far between the vast and gut-wrenching slogs through Nazi horrors I cannot find the will to go on.
    Furthermore, the narrative tying these events together can best be compared to that of a text book (in other words, it's almost absent).
    To experience what this book intended, I recommend The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer.

    8 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Philbrick
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (749)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (189)

    From the perilous ocean crossing to the shared bounty of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim settlement of New England has become enshrined as our most sacred national myth. Yet, as best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick reveals in his spellbinding new book, the true story of the Pilgrims is much more than the well-known tale of piety and sacrifice; it is a 55-year epic that is at once tragic, heroic, exhilarating, and profound.

    John M says: "Fascinating book about a little-understood time"
    "Superb effort"
    Overall

    This was an outstanding look at a key period of American history. The narrative was engaging, the stories were compelling, and the reading was flawless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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