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Mark

GILROY, CA, United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
68
REVIEWS
33
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
274

  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1227)
    Performance
    (1137)
    Story
    (1127)

    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.

    Darwin8u says: "Grief, terror, love, longing"
    "This is more than a book about Vietnam...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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
  • 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
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    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.

    Mark says: "Reading Gatsby as an adult reveals its greatness!"
    "Reading Gatsby as an adult reveals its greatness!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Four Loves

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By C.S. Lewis
    Overall
    (421)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (184)

    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."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (58)

    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"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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 22 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
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    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..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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
    Overall
    (325)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (208)

    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"
    "Brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    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"
    Overall

    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
    Overall
    (2105)
    Performance
    (581)
    Story
    (584)

    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"
    Overall

    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
  • Eating the Dinosaur

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Chuck Klosterman
    • Narrated By Chuck Klosterman, Ira Glass, Errol Morris, and others
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (119)

    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"
    Overall

    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
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (48)

    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"
    Overall

    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

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