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GILROY, CA, United States | Member Since 2006

  • 35 reviews
  • 70 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2015

  • Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

    • HIGHLIGHTS (4 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By David Foster Wallace
    • Narrated By David Foster Wallace, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Cerveris, and others

    David Foster Wallace made an art of taking readers into places no other writer even gets near. In his exuberantly acclaimed collection, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, he combines hilarity and an escalating disquiet in stories that astonish, entertain, and expand our ideas of the pleasures that fiction can afford.

    Mark says: "This is ABRIDGED"
    "This is ABRIDGED"

    I love David Foster Wallaces' work and was looking forward to a remake of this audible with so many great actors stepping in and performing some of the interviews. They leave out large sections of this book. I already heard the abridged edition of this that DFW did back when the book came out. I don't understand why this is labeled UNABRIDGED when it should be labeled ABRIDGED. That has been happening with all of his works. Why can't fans of DGW have all of his works available UNABRIDGED. I know the arguments regarding the footnotes, but DFW was able to employ them effectively with his reading of the Lobster essay.
    With the talent that is available for these recordings, it would be fantastic to have Infinite Jest unabridged. That would resurrect that classic.

    26 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Mastery

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert Greene
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force's last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene's fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world's masters.

    Gare&Sophia says: "Mastery is both a goal and a destination..."
    "Focus on passion=Less stress and more success"
    If you could sum up Mastery in three words, what would they be?

    Clarity of purpose

    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Being great at something and to truly arrive at being great takes 10,000 hours or more. This is a message that is not being presented in today's age. Students think that they can cheat their way to greatness or be distracted by their phones and think that they can delve deep enough into a subject matter to earn a great job. Shortcuts are preached by many in education and politics. We are not meant to multi-task. Success is not a quick-fix away.

    What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

    Fred Sanders is the best narrator of a Robert Greene book. He tells the stories well and with just enough passion to keep the listener engaged. I wish that the other books were also available unabridged and read by the same performer. The reader of the abridged Power and Seduction books was too smarmy and took away the credibility of the text.

    If you could give Mastery a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Master your passion, or be mastered by others.

    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book and I will read it again. I also purchased the print copy. It is easy to become sidetracked by the media and all of the various forms of entertainment and news that is "so important." Even at work, it is easy to major in the minor things and fall prey to the tyranny of the urgent. This book encourages a person to focus on one thing. To do that separates you out from the 99.999% who dabble and waste their potential and their lives never accomplishing anything worthwhile. What sounds like sacrifice actually is a gift of time and clarity of mind. It takes less time to prioritize when there is a singular goal and less time is needed when the goal is so clear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tony Robbins
    • Narrated By Tony Robbins, Jeremy Bobb

    Tony Robbins has coached and inspired more than 50 million people from over 100 countries. More than four million people have attended his live events. Oprah Winfrey calls him "super-human". Now for the first time - in his first book in two decades - he's turned to the topic that vexes us all: How to secure financial freedom for ourselves and our families.

    Dennis J. Taylor says: "All hype and sales pitch for stronghold"
    "Healthy perspective on building sustainable wealth"
    Would you listen to MONEY Master the Game again? Why?

    Yes. I actually purchased the hardcover after I started listening. The pdf file was a great addition, but I found that there is so much here that the audio helps me plow through tons of great information and I am reinforcing that information through notes in the text. I have already taken steps that will save me on my taxes this year and dedicated more to my tax deferred plan with lower fees.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of MONEY Master the Game?

    I need to read the fine print of financial plans and that I will only get what I tolerate. The author does not assume that the reader knows the definition of the terms and takes the additional step of clearly communicating the ramifications of those terms. I honestly feel that this last week was a semester course in finance. It isn't just dry financial charts and terms. It has a healthy blend of applicable finances blended with crystalizing examples plus the author's take away insights from a variety of people that have been successful for themselves and their clients. He doesn't just tell the listener that "success leaves clues." He goes to the source of success and distills those clues.

    What does Tony Robbins and Jeremy Bobb bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I prefer Tony's voice. He delivers his words with greater passion and humor than Jeremy. Jeremy was "suitable" (to borrow a term from the book). At first, Jeremy sounded like my Kindle's male voice. His voice does pronounce the financial terms well and delivers at a speed that is easy to hear and understand. Am I glad that this is available in the unabridged version? Absolutely! I wish that Robbin's other books Unlimited Power and Awaken the Gian Within were also available unabridged even if that meant an outside reader.

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

    No. I did listen to and from work and then in the evening. The audio helps to push through financial scenarios and terms in a way that helps me get through more information that if I sit with a financial book. I am then going back over the text, which is easier to comprehend since I have already been through it once and can now deepen my comprehension and make notes and plans on my own finances.

    Any additional comments?

    After 2008, I became too conservative with my finances. This book helped me to take immediate action and take advantage of a tax-deferred program offered at work. It passed the litmus test that the book laid out and was actually more conservative than my approach with much more upside.

    19 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Maureen Corrigan
    • Narrated By Maureen Corrigan

    Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, it's now a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. But how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald's masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.

    LaurieLW says: "Interseting and engaging"
    "Reading Gatsby as an adult reveals its greatness!"
    Would you listen to So We Read On again? Why?

    I recently returned to The Great Gatsby and was shocked by its greatness and relevance that I did not appreciate when I first read the novel as a younger man. Like the author states, The Great Gatsby reveals something new every time that a reader reads it again.

    I will return to this book again after reading Gatsby again.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The author brings in her own experiences of reading and seeing Gatsby performed on stage, as a movie as well as a teacher. This brings a dimension to the analysis that is usually lacking in literary analysis.

    Have you listened to any of Maureen Corrigan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I did not know Maureen Corrigan before purchasing this audio. I was surprised by the enthusiasm of the performer and checked who she was. Ah, the author is the performer which is absolutely perfect because the enthusiasm and delivery is so pitch perfect for this book. It is rare to find a commentary on a work to be as lively, intelligent and insightful as this. (Other great commentaries on classics: Professor Drout's work on Tolkien and Chaucer are great, Harold Bloom's "How to Read and Why")The passion of the performance comes from the passion for The Great Gatsby. The research done on Fitzgerald, the 1920s and the novel itself were all obviously done out of a love of the book, so it never feels like an imposed dry and didactic thesis paper.

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

    The portions of Fitzgerald's life story that reflect elements of the book make the book even more poignant.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Mel says: "Heavy Load"
    "This is more than a book about Vietnam...."
    Where does The Things They Carried rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is in the top ten. The stories circle back and are retold with new details, new perspectives, new perspectives that reflect on life, death, friends, relations, and memory. It is not just a Vietnam/war book. It is a book on life.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tim O'Brian: both the fictional one and the real one.

    Have you listened to any of Bryan Cranston’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Bryan Cranston has the perfect world weary voice that reflects the humanity of the primary character as well as being adaptive to perfectly bring the other characters to life. He is a great actor. I do hope he narrates more books. Wow. I would give him more than five stars if possible.

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

    Everything. The end was so perfect. I didn't see it coming as the end, but it hit home.

    Any additional comments?

    The final hour is the author speaking. This is the most honest and raw reflection on life that only makes the novel more powerful and real. Everything reflected in the book about truth and story are manifested in Tim's brutal truth and reflection. I am going to listen to this book again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Four Loves

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By C.S. Lewis

    In this remarkable recording, C.S. Lewis shows why millions of readers have acclaimed him the greatest spokesman for Christianity in the twentieth century. In a resonant, baritone voice, Lewis explores the nature of the four Greek words that are translated love in English: "storge" (affection), "philia" (friendship), "eros" (sexual or romantic love) and "agape" (selfless love).

    William says: "Insightful Views on Love"
    "I didn't know C.S. Lewis has such a dry wit."
    Would you listen to The Four Loves again? Why?

    Yes. Love is a mystery and Lewis is able to make the subject tangible and relevant. By breaking the concept into distinct categories, he gives the reader ways to enhance their participation and appreciation of this distinctly human experience.

    What does C.S. Lewis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is knows for his scholarly approach to spiritual topics. His reading brings in the humanity and really makes me wish that there existed more of his recordings.

    What did you learn from The Four Loves that you would use in your daily life?

    Realizing that there is a lot to love in this life. I liked his reference to recognizing love in just hearing your dog wag its tail and appreciating the sound of it hitting the floor. In this life, sometimes I miss noticing how much I am surrounded by the things I love because I am too consumed by the demands of the day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John McWhorter
    • Narrated By Professor John McWhorter

    Conventional wisdom suggests English is going to the dogs, that bad grammar, slang, and illogical constructions signal a decline in standards of usage - to say nothing of the corruption wrought by email and text messages. But English is a complicated, marvelous language. Far from being a language in decline, English is the product of surprisingly varied linguistic forces, some of which have only recently come to light. And these forces continue to push English in exciting new directions.

    Quaker says: "This course will turn you into a linguistics fan!"
    "Defense of dumbing down America"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The core philosophy is wrong. He finds an excuse for undermining finding a unifying way to communicate. Yes, language changes, but we, as a diverse culture, need to find common acceptable rules to communicate. McWhorter's philosophy is one that will give reason to those that do not wish to participate in elevating their language and communication skills and only widen the achievement gap between socio-economic groups.

    Has Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage turned you off from other books in this genre?

    The Great Courses refer to workbooks and come with them in the CD editions. Audible has provided the PDFs for other productions, but not for The Great Courses series.

    What aspect of Professor John McWhorter’s performance would you have changed?

    He makes statements without connecting the dots and then rambles on with bullet lists of historic information. It is clear that his tactic is to overwhelm the audience with so much information that they will submit to his greater knowledge of linguistic facts and then buy his thesis that we really should look the other way with essential communication standards and skills. His shotgun approach to gathering and distributing linguistic slugs works if the audience doesn't apply any critical thought to them. He would be more effective if he took the time to connect his examples to commentary and connection to his thesis. He does not scaffold the particulars into an organized framework very well.

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

    I will look for some.

    11 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • VangoNotes for Prehospital Emergency Care

    • ORIGINAL (17 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Joseph J. Mistovich, Brent Q. Hafen, Keith J. Karren
    • Narrated By Amy LeBlanc, Charles Barnett III

    You're busy. We get it. With VangoNotes you can study "in between" all the other things you need to get done. VangoNotes gives you the confidence you need to succeed in the classroom. They're flexible; just download and go. And, they're efficient. Use them in your car, at the gym, walking to class, wherever. Get yours today and start studying.

    Mark says: "A complete waste of your time and your money"
    "All I remember is "Joseph J Mistovich" because..."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This isn't a reading of the text, but a bunch of quizzes. Each chapter is a reminder of the author which is drilled into you more than content.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Nothing by VangoNotes. They have so much potential for today's student that is needing to take advantage of all down time to go back over important content.

    How could the performance have been better?

    Present the text and give more information.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from VangoNotes for Prehospital Emergency Care?

    Each chapter does not need to be a reintroduction to the name of the audiobook and author. The chapters are so short already and are made even choppier by the production.

    Any additional comments?

    There needs to be more complete textbooks on Audible. I read texts, but spend time on the go and like to hear the text. I purchased this hoping for a more complete refresher course.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Rings, Swords, and Monsters: Exploring Fantasy Literature

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Michael D.C. Drout

    In this course, the roots of fantasy and the works that have defined the genre are examined. Incisive analysis and a deft assessment of what makes these works so very special provides a deeper insight into beloved works and a better understanding of why fantasy is such a pervasive force in modern culture.

    Jefferson says: "An Informative, Stimulating, and Enjoyable Class"

    I cannot oversell the powers of Drout to be able to convey academic information in a very relative way. Drout has cost me money and time because he has been so effective in teaching the importance of the works that he discusses that I have gone out and purchased them. His informative and enthusiastic lectures makes me want to be a student again. This is not the geek speak that I was concerned that it would be. Great analysis of the genre and the works discussed.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Youth in Revolt (Compilation): Youth in Revolt, Youth in Bondage, and Youth in Exile

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By C. D. Payne
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    As his family splinters, worlds collide, and the police block all routes out of town, Nick Twisp must cope with economic deprivation, homelessness, the gulag of the public schools, a competitive Type-A father, murderous canines (in triplicate), and an inconvenient hair trigger on his erectile response, all while vying ardently for the affections of the beauteous Sheeni Saunders, teenage goddess and ultimate intellectual goad. He's smart, he's horny, he's resourceful, and he's on the loose.

    MullaHVC says: "True Story"
    "Horrible narrator for this book"

    The book is supposed to be about the awkward transition of a straight adolescent and yet the book is read as though it is a stage play of La Cage aux Folles. It completely changes the subtext of the novel. The narrator gushes virtually every last word of every last sentence. I am sure that for certain books with very flamboyant lead characters, this narrator would be perfect. Unfortunately, this narrator ruins the book.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow Divers: Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of WWII

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Kurson
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1991, acting on a tip from a local fisherman, two scuba divers discovered a sunken German U-boat, complete with its crew of 60 men, not too far off the New Jersey coast. The divers, realizing the momentousness of their discovery, began probing the mystery. Over the next six years, they became expert and well-traveled researchers, taught themselves German, hunted for clues in Germany, and constructed theories corrective of the history books, all in an effort to identify this sunken U-boat and its crew.

    Douglas says: "GRIPPING!"
    "This took me diving"

    The research and writing that went into this book makes it more than an adventure book, more than a history book and more than a great scuba diving book. Yes, I remained in my car and didn't mind traffic, because I wasn't in traffic. I was diving off the east coast on a U-boat in 200 feet of water. The narrator's delivery was pitch perfect. This has motivated me to get back into scuba, but I will not be going to the depths of these individuals. Great book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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