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Ernest J. Levesque

Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA | Member Since 2006

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 244 titles in library
  • 40 purchased in 2014
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  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9834)
    Performance
    (8916)
    Story
    (8990)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "Much better than expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I find that Brown's writing often lacks depth in areas other than art and architecture; still the story was well worth the read.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Infidel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • Narrated By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1113)
    Performance
    (469)
    Story
    (473)

    This New York Times best-seller is the astonishing life story of award-winning humanitarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A deeply respected advocate for free speech and women's rights, Hirsi Ali also lives under armed protection because of her outspoken criticism of the Islamic faith in which she was raised.

    Teddy says: "A Story that Needed to be Told"
    "An Excellent book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Infidel to be better than the print version?

    Yes, The book is read by the author and you can feel the emotion and hear the "ring of truth" in every word.


    What other book might you compare Infidel to and why?

    There is a similarity to "I am Malala" by Malala Yousatzai. The books are both about the treatment of women under Islam. Malala's book does not question Islam only certain factions (i.e. Tali-ban).


    What does Ayaan Hirsi Ali bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    As I mentioned in the earlier question. Hearing the author read her own book gives you considerably more insight into the work.


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

    The book is non-stop. It was riveting and compelling.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dust: Kay Scarpetta, Book 21

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Patricia Cornwell
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (705)
    Performance
    (615)
    Story
    (609)

    After working one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history, Scarpetta returns home to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Exhausted and ill, she's recovering at home when she receives an unsettling call. The body of a young woman has been discovered on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's rugby field. The victim, a graduate student named Gail Shipman, is oddly draped in ivory linen and posed in a way that is too deliberate to be the killer's first strike.

    MARRILEE says: "Part Great, Part Tired"
    "Might be the last Patricia Cornwell book I read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Dust?

    The story was filled with detail after detail of the weather, surroundings, of memories and almost no story. The bulk of the story unfolds at the very end when the killer is already caught. Kay tells us over and over of her great love of Benton; why don't I believe it and why don't I care?


    Would you ever listen to anything by Patricia Cornwell again?

    Not likely. I've read a lot of Cornwell's work including books not about Kay Scarpetta. I haven't liked all of them, but this last story wasn't worth the time of the money.


    Which character – as performed by Kate Reading – was your favorite?

    I used to like the Morino character and I think the reader does a splendid job but there is nothing to work with. The character is dull and flat throughout the whole book.


    What character would you cut from Dust?

    There are no decent characters in the book.


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (744)
    Story
    (741)

    Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

    Ethan M. says: "Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis"
    "I was amazed!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book is wonderful. It is a story that everyone should know. I was stunned by accomplishments of people thousands of years ago and how ignorance destroyed much of the knowledge our ancestors tried to bequeath to us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Near-Death Experience and Journey into the Afterlife

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eben Alexander
    • Narrated By Eben Alexander
    Overall
    (1698)
    Performance
    (1480)
    Story
    (1493)

    On November 10, 2008, Dr. Eben Alexander was driven into coma by a disease so lethal that only 1 in 10,000,000 survive. Seven days later, he awakened with memories of a fantastic odyssey deep into another realm that were more real than this earthly one - memories that included meeting a deceased birth sister he had never known existed. Dr. Alexander deployed all his knowledge as a scientist to find out whether his mind could have played a trick on him. In its shutdown state, there was no way it could have.

    Kelly says: "Compelling"
    "There is no proof in this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book is an interesting story but the author's attempt to cast his opinion as proof is wrong. The author dismisses a number of things that might explain his "out of body" experience. All of the things he dismisses are not proof either. They are just an attempt by people to explain why the "out of body" experience might have occurred. I doubt any of the people who have had such experiences accept these explanations. The thing is, the lack of an explanation does not make his explanation the only acceptable answer or the true answer.

    I also do not see any science in the book. The author seems to think that if he says that it is science; then it is science. If his hypothesis is correct the next step would be to see what things that the idea would predict and what things we might do to test the hypothesis. He mentions at the end that he has started a non-profit organization and that site says that it supports a "rigorous scientific research concerning spiritually transformative experiences" but it doesn't say what that research is.

    The author suggests:

    Edward Kelly's "Irreducible Mind".

    I would suggest:

    "How the Mind Works" by Steven Pinker
    "The Greatest Show On Earth" by Richard Dawkins

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Lawrence M. Krauss
    • Narrated By Lawrence M. Krauss, Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (718)
    Performance
    (627)
    Story
    (623)

    Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing? Krauss’ answers to these and other timeless questions, in a wildly popular lecture on YouTube, has attracted almost a million viewers. One of the few prominent scientists to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss reveals that modern science is indeed addressing the question of why there is something rather than nothing—with surprising and fascinating results.

    Dennis says: "If you are new to the subject, listen to it!"
    "The Science is Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Universe from Nothing?

    I loved the science. "Nothing is unstable!"


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    There are no spoiler here. The ending is just more of the science.


    What about Lawrence M. Krauss and Simon Vance ’s performance did you like?

    It is always nice to hear the author tell their own strory


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

    The authors constant need to talk about god moved me to dislike the book. I don't think that science is about whether god exists or not.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Canada

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Ford
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (548)
    Performance
    (458)
    Story
    (460)

    When 15-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed. His parents' arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border.

    Susan C. S. says: "After the last word, went right back to beginning"
    "A Great "growing up" Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, The book is a great story. It all rings very true.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Canada?

    The pivotal scene where the boy witnesses the murder he has alluded to from the beginning of the book.


    What about Holter Graham’s performance did you like?

    I felt like the story was being told by the person who lived it.


    Who was the most memorable character of Canada and why?

    Dell. Dell is anyone. He is an ordinary person in extraordinary circumstance. When he reacts, I think that I would react that way too.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By S. J. Watson
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (562)
    Performance
    (461)
    Story
    (462)

    "As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...." Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.

    Tim says: "Couldn't put this book down!"
    "Surprisingly Spellbinding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Before I Go to Sleep rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book ranks in the top ten of audible books that I've read in the past couple of years


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, the plot is filled with surprising turns. The authors use of journal to tell the story, led to many unique turns in the plot. You. like the protagonist, are never sure what is true!


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

    The book is read very well. Her emotions made the book all the much more intense.


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

    "Who is that in the mirror?"


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Micro: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton, Richard Preston
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    Overall
    (769)
    Performance
    (660)
    Story
    (670)

    In a locked Honolulu office building, three men are found dead with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye. In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.

    Amanda says: "Honey, I Shrunk Your I.Q."
    "Not My Favorite Crichton Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    First, I found the science behind the book to be incredibly flawed. The loss, of mass caused by reducing humans in size, was never considered in any way. But it is science fiction and I guess I wouldn't mind too much but the story was lacking. I felt like I was reading the pilot for a television series. And the author introduces a character half way through the book who ends up walking off with the only computer disk that contains the "micro-making" technology. Everyone thinks that all was lost in a fire. Why do that unless your looking to franchise the "idea" of the book?

    Last of all, the author seems to have a problem with scientists who using modeling to predict "global Warming". He spent much of the book "State of Fear" talking this problem. While I hat any kind of "fear mongering", I think that the author's take is more like keeping your fingers crossed and hoping there are some good scientists out there that will figure this all out.


    If you’ve listened to books by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston before, how does this one compare?

    The Andromeda Strain - excellent
    The Terminal Man - excellent
    Congo - good
    Sphere - very good
    Jurassic Park - excellent
    Rising Son - good
    Airframe - excellent (probably my favorite)
    Timeline - very good (shared some of the flawed science of "Micro" but a much better story!
    Prey - very good
    State of Fear - fair (good story but way too much proselyting!)


    What does John Bedford Lloyd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent voicing of characters. Good pace and easy to understand.


    Do you think Micro needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, I don't think that I ever get over the lack of any scientific possibility of this occurring.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skinny Dip

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (2369)
    Performance
    (612)
    Story
    (623)

    When Chaz Perron's wife discovers that he is running a scam (posing as a marine biologist to doctor water samples so that an agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the Everglades), he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner. Unlucky for Chaz, Joey survives clutching a bale of Jamaican pot. Rescued from the Atlantic by a former police officer, Mick Stranahan, she decides not to report him but instead haunt and taunt him, with Mick's help, by playing dead.

    Phillip says: "Summer's Best Read"
    "Suspend your disbelieve"
    Overall

    This is my first Carl Hiaasen book and I loved it! You have to suspend you disbelief, however, because it is filled with truly implausible coincidence. Once you get past that, the story and the characters are wonderful. The narration is also great and adds a lot to the general feel of the book. As others have noted; it is laugh out loud funny (makes for interesting reactions when people don't notice your ear buds!). In this story very nearly every guy gets his girl and justice is served with incredible irony.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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