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  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....

    Darwin8u says: "Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured"
    "Tolerated it in high school. Loved it now"

    I vaguely remember grinding through reading this book in high school. With the new movie coming out and knowing that is one of the great classic American novels, I wanted to give it another chance. This time the experience was so much different and better in every way. The story was fascinating and crisp and the prose was wonderful.

    I won't really review the novel itself since it is a classic and held in the highest regard. I will say that Gyllenhaal did an outstanding job with the narration -- one of the best I've ever heard. The only disappointing thing was learning that this is the only book he has narrated on Audible.

    If you are at all curious about this book, I can't imagine a better way to experience it than this.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus 'Notch' Persson and the Game that Changed Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Linus Larsson, Daniel Goldberg, Jennifer Hawkins (translator)
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis

    Three years ago, 32-year-old Markus "Notch" Persson of Stockholm was an unknown and bored computer programmer. Today, he is a multi-millionaire international icon. Minecraft, the "virtual Lego" game Markus crafted in his free time, has become one of the most talked about activities since Tetris. Talked about by tens of millions of people, in fact.It is the story of unlikely success, fast money, and the power of digital technology to rattle an empire. And it is about creation, exclusion, and the feeling of not fitting in.

    Christopher says: "A decent depiction of a fascinating story"
    "A decent depiction of a fascinating story"

    Full disclosure - I've played Minecraft off and on for years and have dabbled in amateur game programming. That's probably part of why I find the story of Notch and Minecraft so fascinating.

    This book is the telling of Notch's story from his childhood, first jobs, creating Minecraft, and the aftermath. I was already familiar with many aspects of the story, but the book filled in a lot of the details. In particular, the parts about Notch's family and early jobs were completely new to me. The parts about forming Mojang, its financial success, and Notch's evolving role within the company were filled with tons of details I had never heard before. The book seemed sourced from a variety of interviews of the players involved, which added a lot of color.

    The book also unfortunately contained quite a bit of filler. The exhaustive descriptions of other Stockholm based game studios really added nothing. In fact, the book even concluded that chapter with a line about how this story is not about the little guys versus the big corporate giants. Also, all of the needless info from psychologists about online communities and human perception of realistic computer graphics just seemed like filler.

    Overall, I enjoyed the book. The story itself is excellent. The book's telling of it is ok. Together this makes for a decent book. I'd recommend it to anyone who plays MInecraft or wishes to learn more about Notch's story. However, if you aren't already at least somewhat into Minecraft, this book will probably be quite boring.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jonah Goldberg
    • Narrated By Jonah Goldberg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    According to Goldberg, if the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves they’re not ideological. Today “objective” journalists and academics and “moderate” politicians peddle some of the most radical arguments by hiding them in homespun aphorisms.

    Christopher says: "Thought provoking and funny"
    "Thought provoking and funny"

    Jonah Goldberg reads his own book that takes the reader on a masterfully reasoned deconstruction of common liberal ideas and arguments. Not only does the book present numerous well formed and presented arguments against liberal sentiments commonly (and incorrectly) held to be true, but he also provides tons of history and academic papers backing up his argument. Also, Goldberg weaves in quite a bit of humor and geeky movie references to keep things entertaining in the midst of all the serious arguments.

    If you lean hard left, you will probably hate this book. Goldberg absolutely shreds some liberal positions, sometimes several times over. This will either frustrate you or you will totally disagree at such a fundamental level that the book will not be at all enjoyable.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others

    The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

    Steve says: "Good but Too Short!"
    "Quick and entertaining"

    The story is structured as a series of interviews between the "author" and different characters providing unique view points on the zombie war. This provides a unique twist on the typical zombie story. Overall the plot itself is not very unique, but the presentation sets it apart. The production and voice acting are top notch with a full cast acting out the characters. The structure of the story fits perfectly with the audio book format.

    This isn't a great epic with excellent writing and complex characters. However, it is a short, very entertaining book that quickly gets you into the story. It would be perfect to kill time during a road trip.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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