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Seattle, CA, USA | Member Since 2003

  • 9 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 314 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • My Life in France

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia Child embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.

    Sara says: "What a pleasure!"
    "Wonderful story, worth listening to but..."
    Overall mentioned in other reviews, and I almost feel sorry for the narrator, she is not a French speaker, but tries. I cringed most at ca y'est pronounced as "ca y'esT". Yikes. It's still worth it, though. And other than the French, she's actually quite pleasant. The story is second to none if you love Julia Child. I'm grateful she lived long enough to finish the project. It's a gem.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Edward Gibbon
    • Narrated By Philip Madoc, Neville Jason

    Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is one of the greatest texts in the English language. In magisterial prose, Gibbon charts the gradual collapse of the Roman rule form Augustus (23 BC - AD 14) to the first of the barbarian kings, Odoacer (476- 490 AD). It is a remarkable account, with the extravagant corruption and depravity of emperors such as Commodus, Caracalla, and Elagabalus contrasted by the towering work of Constantine, Julian, and other remarkable men.

    Jesse says: "A Triumph"
    "A Triumph"

    How often does one hear of someone admitting to have tried and failed to get through Gibbon's "Decline and Fall"? I have heard it several times and I include myself in the statistic. This abridged audio version is exquisitely done and makes Gibbon accessible enough to enjoy and be inspired by this timeless masterpiece. Philip Madoc reads Gibbon beautifully and earnestly, while Neville Jason provides background and context. Both are first rate. I happened to listen to a sample of the other Decline and Fall version offered by Audible. I respectfully prefer this one (However, I'm intrigued by the other because it looks much less abridged than this one). I would also recommend Cyril Robinson's "A History of Rome" as a companion. Charlton Griffin is an excellent narrator.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Spinoza in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 11 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield

    Spinoza's brilliant metaphysical system was derived neither from reality nor experience. Starting from basic assumptions, with a series of geometric proofs he built a universe which was also God, one and the same thing, the classic example of pantheism. Although his system seems an oddity today, Spinoza's conclusions are deeply in accord with modern thought, from science (the holistic ethics of today's ecologists) to politics (the idea that the state exists to protect the individual).

    Jesse says: "Very Useful for the Beginner"
    "Very Useful for the Beginner"

    It can take a lot to sit down and digest 17th century Philosophy. I was interested in Spinoza because he's often mentioned as a proponent of Pantheism. The narrator is excellent (the same, BTW, as for A Short History of Everything - 5 stars). 90 minutes was just about right. Very useful for getting acquianted with Spinoza for the first time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Al Franken
    • Narrated By Al Franken

    Finding logical inconsistencies, factual errors, and doublespeak wherever he looks, Al Franken takes on and destroys the myth of liberal bias in the media, hoists the Bush White House on its own rhetorical petard, and punctures the mean-spirited sanctimony of such media darlings as Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly. Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always uproarious, Lies is sure to raise hackles and spark hilarity inside the Beltway and from sea to shining sea.

    Peter says: "Franken's One Sided View"
    "The right can't swallow the truth"

    I am a centrist. I have been so irritated by the utterly uncivilized discourse in the mainstream media the last few years. James Carville, Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are equally guilty and do nothing but to fan flames and irritate their enemies. But Al Franken is different. Yes, he is biased and he proudly admits it. But the arguments in this book are, as he very carefully explains, meticulously supported by meticulous research. Notice there are only 5 and 1 star ratings of this book (also notice so many more are 5 stars) on Audible. I submit those who did not like the book are loath to admit some of their political positions are based on lies. I pity them. There are so many infuriating lies uncovered here that anyone with common sense should have no other recourse but to take these revelations very seriously. Ironic, as this is also a very funny and amusing read. I could have done without some of the dramatizations. That said, I could not recommend it more.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • A History of Greece, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Cyril Robinson
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin

    A History of Greece is the thrilling story of the rise to power and influence of the greatest civilization the world has ever known. As Cyril Robinson's exquisite narrative unfolds, we find ourselves plunged into mankind's greatest and most magnificent adventure. Also, listen to A History of Greece, Volume 2.

    Jeff Parent says: "To get the most out of this book..."

    After thoroughly enjoying a History of Rome, I couldn't wait to get to what I think now is Cyril Robinson's equally impressive work on Greece. I love the prose, but it may not be done justice better than anyone but Charlton Griffin. He is narration is crisp, like he memorized the whole book and is reading it as a soliloquy. It wasn't dry to me in any way. If you listen you will find an epic history of a fascintating people who still have a great influence on us today.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • A History of Rome, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Cyril Robinson
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin

    A History of Rome is the story of a tiny market town on the Tiber, its rise to world domination, and then its slow, terrible plunge to utter ruin. It is the single greatest event in all human history.

    Mark Grannis says: "A superb survey of Ancient Roman History"
    "Excellent and Riveting"

    While this is an excellent History of Rome, IMHO , it is even better narrated by Charlton Griffin. I downloaded it partly because I had listened to Hannibal: One Man Against Rome (also great), which was narrated by Griffin. He is a joy to listen to, at least for me. I'm look forward to Xenophon and Histories of Greece as well! A great book and a great listening experience. Now if he were to only narrate A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuchman, I would really be grateful.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Soldiers

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Hampton Sides
    • Narrated By James Naughton

    At once a gripping depiction of men at war and a compelling story of redemption, Ghost Soldiers joins such landmark works as Flags of Our Fathers and The Greatest Generation Speaks in preserving the legacy of World War II for future generations.

    Jesse says: "Beautifully written"
    "Beautifully written"

    Why hasn't Hampton Sides written more? After hearing this book I amazed by his writing talent. His talent reminds me of Barbara Tuchman (whose books should be on!) . And what an awful ordeal these heroes had to endure. In spite of the subject, this book should have much wider appeal for its brilliant description of humanity and evil in war. I look forward to more material from this author.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn

    The very young men who, against terrible odds, flew B-24s over Germany in World War II, were an exemplary band of brothers. Their ranks included one exceptional young man named George McGovern. Best selling historian Stephen Ambrose puts you inside the B-24s alongside McGovern and his mates, as he recounts their extraordinary brand of heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship.

    Jesse says: "Just Fantastic"
    "Just Fantastic"

    I loved this book. Stephen Ambrose was right. The B-24 was grossly underappreciated during and after the war. Not as handsome as the B-17, the Liberator was faster, carried a bigger payload and had fewer losses by percentage. I had no idea that George McGovern was such a great and inspiring war hero. The narration is excellent. It's a shame that it was Ambrose's last book (I think anyway). Think Band of Brothers but in the AAF. Great stuff.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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