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Jared

Oside Surfer

Oceanside, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

46
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 52 ratings
  • 181 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3

  • War and Peace, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (575)
    Performance
    (296)
    Story
    (291)

    War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

    Matt says: "A Truly Great Book and a Truly Astounding Narrator"
    "First 8 hours are torture"
    Overall

    Began listening to Volume 1, but only made it through the first 8 hours. I wouldn't have given it that long had it not been touted as one of the greatest novels ever written. I found no evidence of this whatsoever in the first 8 hours. Characters remained undeveloped, conversations between them are uninteresting with a whining, sniveling and pretentious tone. Made all the worse by a narrator with the same tone. An engaging story line never made an appearance. If a novel is unable to engage the reader in some fashion within the first 8 hours, I would hardly call it a gem. This one unfortunately is going on my most over rated list along with Ulysses and The Catcher in the Rye.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (8609)
    Performance
    (3065)
    Story
    (3094)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Great But a Lot of Repetition of its Predecessor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Great writing similar to Pillars of the Earth. There was quite a bit of repetition of Pillars of the Earth in this audiobook, which is why I only gave it 4 stars overall. The author does a good job building the tension between the protagonist and antagonist. Although, I frequently found myself yearning for the antagonist to get what he has coming already. Perhaps this delayed gratification adds to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By David Miller
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (279)

    In 2003, software engineer David Miller left his job, family, and friends to hike 2,172 miles of the Appalachian Trail. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is Miller’s account of this thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. Listeners are treated to rich descriptions of the Appalachian Mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the rewards of taking a less conventional path through life. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about hiking gear and planning.

    Phillip says: "Most Informative Book on the AT"
    "Good on ya AWOL"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed listening to the authors trials, tribulations and triumphs while taking some time away from his conventional life. Something I feel many long for but few actually do. I was surprised by how insightful the author is and felt myself wanting more of that inner voice. While the narration was acceptable, I felt it had too much of a melancholy tone that seemed a little off from what I envision the author's true persona to be.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Prophet's Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Sam Brower, Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Jonah Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (201)

    Despite considerable press coverage and a lengthy trial, the full story of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints has remained largely untold. Only one man can reveal the whole, astounding truth: Sam Brower, the private investigator who devoted years of his life to breaking open the secret practices of the FLDS and bringing Warren Jeffs and his inner circle to justice.

    Steve says: "Incredible Story of the FLDS"
    "Informative but puzzled about the authors beliefs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to other audio books on the FLDS and while their behavior may be shocking to the uninitiated, I have become to expect the irrational from the faithful. This book is very revealing about what occurs within this religious community. However, I am very puzzled by the authors own beliefs in Mormonism. Based on the book and his occupation as a PI, he seems like a rational human being capable of logic and reason. During the course of his investigations and research into the FLDS, I have to believe he uncovered the truth about the not so humble beginnings of Mormonism which contradicts the whitewashed version the church leaders are slinging. I know about the white washed version since I was forced into the religion growing up. Additionally, the FLDS is actually staying true to what the founder of this religion envisioned in many ways that the more popular LDS religion does not. Like it or not his religion (LDS) and its doctrine have the same fundamental holes in its validity and the same sordid past as the FLDS. It's very puzzling to me that the author has turned a blind eye to this, especially knowing how this blind faith can be exploited by evil people. One would have to be very naive to think that some of the horror stories coming from the FLDS devoutly faithful would never occur in the Mormon religion or any other religion for that matter where followers turn off their brain and follow without questioning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Marti Olsen Laney, PsyD
    • Narrated By Tamara Marston
    Overall
    (418)
    Performance
    (366)
    Story
    (362)

    The Introvert Advantage dispels common myths about introverts - they’re not necessarily shy, aloof, or antisocial - and explains how they are hardwired from birth to focus inward, so outside stimulation such as chitchat, phone calls, parties, or office meetings can easily become "too much". Most importantly, it thoroughly refutes many introverts’ belief that something is wrong with them. Instead, it helps them recognize their inner strengths - their analytical skills, ability to think outside the box, and strong powers of concentration.

    Jared says: "Enlightening"
    "Enlightening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook gave me some explanations and insight into some of my behavior and feelings that I have wondered about for many years. It is very reassuring that I am not the only one who is wired this way and that there is nothing wrong with not wanting to be as social as society infers.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By T. Colin Campbell, Howard Jacobson
    • Narrated By Don Hagen
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (281)
    Story
    (271)

    In The China Study, T. Colin Campbell revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a whole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science behind that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is wrong, our eating habits haven’t changed.

    Jason Cox says: "Debunking the Science of Nutrition"
    "Good, but Gaping Holes in the Main Premise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Whole?

    I like the thought provoking insight that uncovers hidden agendas within the mainstream organizations and thought processes. It's the mainstream thought process that has led us to all the health and environmental issues that currently exist.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This isn't a novel.


    What does Don Hagen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His cadence is a little slow but methodical and somewhat soothing vocal tonality. If the slow pace doesn't bother you, it seems to work for the content.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Good, but left unanswered questions.


    Any additional comments?

    While I applaud Mr. Campbell's extensive career and efforts to uncover truth's related to health, medicine, nutrition and disease, it seems to me there are some gaping holes in his conclusions that a plant based diet is the only healthy diet for any human anywhere on the planet. Just from a purely logical point of view this raises some immediate questions in my mind. For example, should I assume that the only way an Eskimo could possibly be healthy is by eating plant based food. That is likely not feasible, and the Eskimo would likey not make it through the winter on that diet. One of the best books I have read on health and Nutrition is by Weston Price and is called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It clearly indicates that healthy primitive people living in different locations all over the world eat different foods and this does not always mean that animal products are excluded. In fact in many cases animal based food was integral to the diet and health. I agree that most people should consume more plant based food and less animal based food, but I think that it would be somewhat reductionist thinking to only examine one group of healthy people (e.g. Rural China) and conclude that their diet is the only healthy diet for everyone located anywhere. I think we need to look to nature and our own common sense and rational for guidance. Although, technology makes it possible to consume an extraordinary variety of food that is produced all over the world, this is probably not what nature intended. I think our diet should be more locationally and seasonally based upon native food sources. Unfortunately humans have been extremely effective in disrupting the natural order of life on this planet and natural is becoming a rare commodity. It is a positive sign that more people are becoming aware that the fate of human beings is inherently tied to nature and are becoming alarmed enough to begin taking action. I believe Mr Campbell is one of those individuals.

    30 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • Angle of Repose

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Wallace Stegner
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (442)
    Performance
    (301)
    Story
    (299)

    Wallace Stegner's uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, and husbands and wives.

    Laurene says: "A magnificent novel, beautifully read"
    "Painfully Boring!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Angle of Repose?

    I kept waiting for something interesting to happen or to become engaged in the story or characters, and there was just nothing there.


    What was most disappointing about Wallace Stegner’s story?

    How slowly and uneventful the story unfolds.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narration of Susan was enough to turn my stomach. Maybe the narrator was capturing how the character was written, but hard to listen to.


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

    Well I guess it gave me a deeper appreciation for good books and I will make sure I am more scrupulous in my purchase decisions.


    Any additional comments?

    Book is over rated.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1819)
    Performance
    (792)
    Story
    (804)

    At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

    Stephen says: "River of Doubt"
    "Engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The River of Doubt in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, informative, incredible


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story has a good cadence and doesn't get too bogged down in dry details that sometimes accompany documentaries. There are numerous quotes from written accounts by many characters within the story that add a sense of credibility and different perspectives.


    What about Paul Michael’s performance did you like?

    Like good acting you just don't notice it. You get caught up in the story and the characters and forget an actor is acting. That is the way I feel about this narration, it was good enough that I didn't even notice it and just got caught up in the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Against all odds!


    Any additional comments?

    I feel this book not only provides a great story, but also provides a good look at one of the most beloved political figures in the past century at one of his most challenging periods. At times I was astounded at the incompetence and recklessness that admittedly makes this an amazing tale of adventure, luck, coincidence and human will power. While there are individuals described in this book with extraordinary character there are also those of exceptionally low character to counter balance the forces of good and evil. There is sufficient description to get a good sense of what the characters encountered on their journey and how they felt about it but not so much that the story gets bogged down. For those with a thirst for adventure and exploration this is a great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mormon Mirage: A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Latayne C. Scott
    • Narrated By Tamara Marston
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    Three decades after leaving the Mormon faith, Latayne Colvett Scott looks back to her original journey out of Mormonism and the reasons why she left. Revised and updated, this third edition of The Mormon Mirage presents both a fascinating inside look at Mormonism and new and formidable evidence against its claims and teachings.

    Suzanne says: "Informative and interesting"
    "The Title is Somewhat Misleading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes, the title. It suggests this book is predominantly about Mormonism. However, it was more like dissing Mormonism and pitching Christianity.


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

    I haven't listened to any other titles narrated by Tamara. However, she nailed the tone for the Pollyanna prose in the book. Can be nauseating at times if you don't have a strong stomach for this sort of thing.


    Was The Mormon Mirage worth the listening time?

    Yes and no. There are a lot of interesting things discussed about the Mormon religion and its history. However, I could of done without the sales pitch for Christianity. Also at times this book can become very tedious when passages from the Book of Mormon and Bible are being quoted or when details are discussed ad nauseum. In summary some good stuff about Mormonism, but its buried among a lot of unpleasantries.


    Any additional comments?

    I applaud the author for for her step toward increased awareness and breaking free from the mental constraints she willingly submitted to while she was a Mormon. However, I find it almost comical that she would so quickly jump to conclusions and adopt another set of mental constraints in Christianty after discovering inconsistencies with Mormonism. Both the Book of Mormon and the Bible were written by men and to believe either one has a connection to a supernatural being requires a giant leap of faith. It is obvious from her book that she is resentful for being duped by Mormonism, which makes it hard for me to give her judgement about Christianity any credibility. I suppose when you really want to believe something you find ways to make it happen no matter how far fetched they are. It is obvious from the books content that the author has spent a great deal of time researching Mormonism and reading the Bible. For those looking for a 30,000 foot view of Mormonism this book will likely have far too many tedious details. If you have a weak stomach for "God this, God that" talk then this also may not be your cup of tea.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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