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GILROY, CA, United States | Member Since 2005


  • The 48 Laws of Power

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert Greene
    • Narrated By Don Leslie

    Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills 3,000 years of the history of power into 48 well-explicated laws. This bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers.

    Ricardo L. says: "Not a how to guide .."

    The narrator is really smarmy and the whole thing seems to be written and recorded for the misfit adult that is desperate for power. ie.the adult that played too many hours of Dungeons and Dragons as a kid and feels the need to be superior to the world. The narration should have been done straight to be taken seriously at all.

    Another downside is that the stories have been abridged and the whole thing comes across as a put on.

    Last downside: I went to the author's website to see what his background was. I wish that I went there first. This guy is marketing himself to the hip hop/gangsta rap community. In other words: Desparate people with destructive lives.

    33 of 52 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.

    Melinda 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.

    Tony says: "Easy Introduction to Linguistics"
    "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.

    7 of 21 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.

    0 of 1 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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Eating the Dinosaur

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Chuck Klosterman
    • Narrated By Chuck Klosterman, Ira Glass, Errol Morris, and others

    In Eating the Dinosaur, Klosterman is more entertaining and incisive than ever. Whether he's dissecting the boredom of voyeurism, the reason why music fan's inevitably hate their favorite band's latest album, or why we love watching can't-miss superstars fail spectacularly, Klosterman remains obsessed with the relationship between expectation, reality, and living history. It's amateur anthropology for the present tense, and sometimes it's incredibly funny.

    Mark says: "Enlightening, entertaining and very well produced"
    "Enlightening, entertaining and very well produced"

    Chuck breaths humanity and wit into his essays. He also cleverly has his interview pieces with the actual interviewees and other clever pieces are performed with actors. Chuck uses pop culture to delve deep into the human psyche, finding existential truth in the oddest of places. This book made my two hour commute seemingly fly by in minutes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Downtown Owl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Chuck Klosterman
    • Narrated By Phillip Baker Hall, Lily Rabe, Wiley Wiggins, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Somewhere in North Dakota, there is a town called Owl that isn't there. Disco is over, but punk never happened. They don't have cable. They don't really have pop culture, unless you count grain prices and alcoholism. People work hard and then they die. They hate the government and impregnate teenage girls. But that's not nearly as awful as it sounds; in fact, sometimes it's perfect.

    Harry says: "A Great Listen"
    "Fantastic and original novel"

    I enjoy Chuck Klosterman's essays on music and culture, but didn't know how he would do as a novelist. Each character intertwines in small town life only to reveal epiphanies that reflect the human condition. It did help that I was the same age as the characters at the same time period in the early 80s, but the story stands on its own. The narrators bring this narrative to life and give it a depth that will stay with you for some time.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • From Russia with Love

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By Simon Vance

    Every major foreign government organization has a file on British secret agent James Bond. Now, Russia's lethal SMERSH organization has targeted him for elimination. SMERSH is the Soviet organ of vengeance, interrogation, torture, and death. James Bond is dedicated to the destruction of its agents wherever he finds them.

    Pork C. Fish says: "The Best of Them All"
    "well written and well performed"

    The narration is perfect for Iam Fleming's work. I have discovered that Ian Fleming was a great writer that didn't waste a lot of words to tell a story. I am now going to the beginning of the Bond series and will listen them from the beginning to the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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