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Stephen

Platteville, WI, United States | Member Since 2008

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 394 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By William Manchester
    • Narrated By Tom Parker
    Overall
    (252)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (138)

    Virtually all Americans above a certain age hold strong opinions about Douglas MacArthur. They either worship him or despise him. Now, in this superb book, one of our most outstanding writers, after a meticulous three-year examination of the record, presents his startling insights about the man. The narrative is gripping, because the general's life was fascinating. It is moving, because he was a man of vision. It ends, finally, in tragedy, because his character, though majestic, was tragically flawed.

    Geekazoid says: "Great material. Well read."
    "Beyond Praise"
    Overall

    William Manchester was the greatest American biographer of his generation. He was a great, powerful writer on his own, and he chose subjects well worthy of his talents. His account of MacArthur's long, rich, and consequential life traces a life and character that would be considered too far-fetched in a fictional character. Tom Parker's reading is perfectly pitched to Manchester's writing. (Parker also does an awesome job of reading Audie Murphy's To Hell and Back, a book I'd started to read several times; in Parker's hands, the story is riveting, and there is no question of stopping.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Barbara Demick
    • Narrated By Karen White
    Overall
    (1599)
    Performance
    (1010)
    Story
    (1015)

    Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years - a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung and the unchallenged rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape never before seen, Demick brings to life what it means to be an average Korean citizen, living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

    Gohar says: "The man who wants to be GOD"
    "Eye-opening, jaw-dropping"
    Overall

    This is a very well told story of an admirable and proud people who are being sacrificed at the behest of a brutal, uncaring, solipsist regime that early on classified the bulk of its population as "hostiles."

    The book is organized around a number of family accounts, based on interviews with "defectors" (escapees would be a more accurate term), and the author's limited and strictly monitored visits to North Korea. These accounts are illuminating, many are touching, revealing story the humanity of the oppressed.

    The Kim dynasty is simply another cult of personality which has long outlived whatever credibility it once had, and it survives simply through a vast repressive apparatus of spies, informants, agents provocateur, and brute force. This story, rooted in the political catastrophes of the 20th century, shows once again that even in the most "total" of totalitarian societies, the human spirit always survives. The regime will inevitably collapse, sooner rather than later; but the question is how many more must starve to death or die in detention camps before that happens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Brothers Karamazov

    • ABRIDGED (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (50)

    The book probes the possible roles of four brothers in the unresolved murder of their father, Fyodor Karamazov. At the same time, it carefully explores the personalities and inclinations of the brothers themselves. Their psyches together represent the full spectrum of human nature, the continuum of faith and doubt. Ultimately, this novel seeks to understand the real meaning of faith and existence and includes much beneficial philosophical and spiritual discussion that moves the reader towards faith.

    Tad Davis says: "An expert abridgement"
    "Dostoevsky told by a master"
    Overall

    Dostoevsky is amazing, particularly his dialogue. Simon Vance is voice actor, and is able to create vivid characterizations for the wide cast of TBK. Together, an awesome experience.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Manjit Kumar
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (530)
    Performance
    (360)
    Story
    (353)

    Quantum theory is weird. As Niels Bohr said, if you aren’t shocked by quantum theory, you don’t really understand it. For most people, quantum theory is synonymous with mysterious, impenetrable science. And in fact for many years it was equally baffling for scientists themselves. In this tour de force of science history, Manjit Kumar gives a dramatic and superbly written account of this fundamental scientific revolution.

    Terezia says: "Biographic facts not explanations."
    "Excellent Account of the Einstein-Quantum Wars"
    Overall

    The content and the narration by the reader are first rate. I have read a number of books on this topic, but the debates and Einstein's implacable thought-experimenting are re-created here with particular clarity, drama, and verve.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • To Hell and Back

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Audie Murphy
    • Narrated By Tom Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    Audie Murphy was a desperately poor eighteen-year-old orphan when he joined the Army, nineteen when he first saw a buddy die from an enemy bullet and an enemy die from one of his own. By VE day, he had killed at least 240 Germans, had single-handedly destroyed a German tank in one battle and held off six tanks in another, and had become the most decorated soldier in American history, winning every medal his country offered, including the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    charles says: "Great book by one of the true American heroes"
    "An American Classic"
    Overall

    This book reads well on the printed page, but reads even better with Tom Parker doing the reading for you. His voice captures the laconic mix of grit, horror, humor, stubborness, unheroic courage, and tragedy that characterized the American infantryman in WW II.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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