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Scott

Santa Clara, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
56
REVIEWS
42
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
21

  • The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (817)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (699)

    Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist, presents a gorgeously lucid, science book examining some of the nature’s most fundamental questions both from a mythical and scientific perspective. Science is our most precise and powerful tool for making sense of the world. Before we developed the scientific method, we created rich mythologies to explain the unknown. The pressing questions that primitive men and women asked are the same ones we ask as children. Who was the first person? What is the sun? Why is there night and day?

    Connie says: "Audio version is superb for us grown-ups"
    "Should be on every high school reading list."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pretty basic stuff if you are a science buff. However, pass this one along to one of those adults who really didn't pay attention in school, or to an adolescent that you care about. A great superstition-buster.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lin Salamo (editor), Victor Fischer (editor), Michael B. Frank (editor), and others
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (64)

    Irreverent, charming, and eminently quotable, this handbook - an eccentric etiquette guide for the human race - contains 69 aphorisms, anecdotes, whimsical suggestions, maxims, and cautionary tales from Mark Twain’s private and published writings. It dispenses advice and reflections on family life and public manners; opinions on topics such as dress, health, food, and childrearing and safety; and more specialized tips, such as those for dealing with annoying salesmen and burglars.

    tracy says: "Mark Twain is Hilarious!"
    "A real hoot!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    From now on, whenever the damned human race drives me crazy, this the book I'll be reaching for.
    These here Mark Twain scholars have put together a delightful collection of anecdotes, stories, wit, and wisdom from the pen of the man himself. No one else could have written this stuff. It's funny, irreverent, insightful, and cantankerous. Real fun.
    Plus, they got Grover Gardner to read it, and ya' can't do better than that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In the Company of Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Steven Piziks
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (7)

    Lance Blackstone's father has used his son as a guinea pig in illegal medical experiments and punishes Lance when the experiments go wrong. His mother knows what's going on, but does nothing to stop it. And Lance loses chunks of time. Days or even weeks sometimes pass while he sleeps. He finds himself in strange places with no memory of how he got there. Odd objects show up in his room and he has no idea where they come from. Total strangers treat him like a close friend. Voices argue inside his head. And then one of the voices speaks directly to him, a voice that claims to belong to an artificial intelligence.

    Scott says: "I quit at the rape scene in chapter two!"
    "I quit at the rape scene in chapter two!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't care what this book is about—I don't think the writing is particularly good, and the narration is far from great.
    However, I'm not going to waste another minute listening to this trash. I'm personally offended by the rape scene in chapter two, and I don't care who knows it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirty Years War

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By C. V. Wedgwood
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (70)

    Initially, the Thirty Years War was precipitated in 1618 by religious conflicts between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire. But the conflict soon spread beyond religion to encompass the internal politics and balance of power within the Empire, and then later to the other European powers. By the end, it became simply a dynastic struggle between Bourbon France and Habsburg Spain. And almost all of it was fought out in Germany. Entire regions were depopulated and destroyed.

    Judith A. Weller says: "One of the World's Great History Books."
    "An interesting but difficult listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book covers an important chapter in European history. As such, it's worthwhile for any avid student of history. However, it's not easy to listen to, and not easy to follow. There's a lot of detail, and the power-plays and politics of the 17th century are a long way removed from present day. Still, the events covered are essential for a solid understanding of the origins, structure, and culture of Europe.
    Charlton Griffin's narration is characteristically stiff and pompous, much like his narration of "Charlemagne." For me, his tone and inflection actually make understanding this difficult book even more difficult.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Face of Battle

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Keegan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (66)

    In this major and wholly original contribution to military history, John Keegan reverses the usual convention of writing about war in terms of generals and nations in conflict, which tends to leave the common soldier as cipher. Instead, he focuses on what a set battle is like for the man in the thick of it.

    Ryan says: "Worthwhile for history buffs"
    "A disturbing and penetrating view of battle"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For any fan of military history, this book seems an essential read. It delivers key insights into human psychology as much as into the foibles of war.
    The writing, however, is not quite as compelling as it might be. There's lots of good information, but somehow the imagery lags.
    Furthermore, Simon Vance is a consummate narrator, but this is not his best work by far.
    Still, as a history buff, I'm glad to have listened to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trouble on the Heath

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 53 mins)
    • By Terry Jones
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    A comedy of Russian gangsters, town planners and a dog called Dennis. This hilarious story from Monty Python star, Terry Jones, will make you laugh out loud. Martin Thomas is not happy. The view he loves is about to be blocked by an ugly building. He decides to take action and forms a protest group. Then things go wrong and Martin finds himself running for his life. Along the way he gets mixed up with depressed town planners, violent gangsters and a kidnapped concert pianist.

    Scott says: "Johathan Keeble is a great narrator!"
    "Johathan Keeble is a great narrator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not the most brilliant bit of writing, but inoffensive and entertaining.
    Johathan Keeble's narration, however, is up to to his usual excellence. His characterizations actually save the book, in my view.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3135)
    Performance
    (938)
    Story
    (943)

    One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

    Robert says: "A Classic"
    "Painful Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to Scott Brick's narration of "Riptide," by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, which was okay, I felt optimistic about "Spin." However, I was sorely disappointed.

    Mr. Brick's reading of the novel is tense—as though each and every sentence is shocking, or otherwise deeply sad. The narration is so melodramatically charged as to completely obscure the changing emotion of the story. Most sentences trail off in an agony of breathy despair. Even the technical specs of the Martian spacecraft are read as though describing horrible monsters. After only a short time, the reading becomes quite distracting, and listening to it is at best fatiguing, and at worst just impossible. The story, on the other hand, is just fine, but the narration is draining. I finally skipped ahead chapter-by-chapter to find out the end of the story while avoiding the painful narration.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Scott Sigler
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (144)

    The entire human race balances on the razor's edge of annihilation, beset by an enemy that turns our own bodies against us, that changes normal people into psychopaths or transforms them into nightmares. To some, Doctor Margaret Montoya is a hero-a brilliant scientist who saved the human race from an alien intelligence determined to exterminate all of humanity. To others, she's a monster - a mass murderer single-handedly responsible for the worst atrocity ever to take place on American soil. All Margaret knows is that she's broken. The blood of a million deaths is on her hands.

    Shawna M says: "A Good Ending to the Series"
    "Surprisingly good for (yet another!) zombie novel."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Phil Gigante's excellent narration carries this rather predictable novel.
    In spite of revisiting a theme that gets more and more tired by the day, the characterizations and plot are still sufficiently well thought out to keep you entertained.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • More Than You Can Say

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Paul Torday
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    A late-night gambling session ends in a bet for Richard Gaunt: can he walk to Oxford by lunchtime the next day? Gaunt sets off, and as morning breaks and the dreaming spires near, his evening's winnings look set to double. But when men in a Jeep reverse into him, scooping him off the roadside, Gaunt enters a yet stranger world. Taken to a country house, he is kept hostage by a man with impeccable manners, Mr Khan.

    Scott says: "Not a comedy!"
    "Not a comedy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I won't give it away, but this book is not about what you think it's about. Both the title and the playing-card symbols used on the artwork seem to be part of the misdirection.
    Furthermore, it's told like a comedy, but turns out to be thought-provoking and disturbing. That dichotomy is one of the things I liked about the book, yet at the end of the day, it feels misleading.
    Jonathan Keeble is one of my favorite readers, and this is another fine example of his work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Library: An Unquiet History

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Matthew Battles
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    For rare-books librarian Matthew Battles, libraries represent a compelling paradox. On the one hand, they exist to collect and preserve knowledge. On the other hand, they have been used to control, restrict, and sometimes obliterate knowledge.

    Michael Scott Day says: "Fascinating and Timely"
    "Very entertaining and educational."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book ties together so many ideas and historical events. It's the kind of book that pieces together isolated bits of information into what eventually becomes knowledge.
    Furthermore, at under seven hours, it never gets tedious or mired down in detail.
    A wonderful listen, and well worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Dee Brown
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (305)
    Story
    (307)

    Dee Brown's eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century uses council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions. Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated.

    Reginald says: "A wrenching introduction to this history."
    "The most tragic book I ever loved."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My words can add little to this remarkable account of the destruction of a civilization and way of life.
    This book should be required reading for high school seniors. You will never feel the same about your country, or your government, or your way of life again. It is truth, after all, that sets us free.
    As for the production, Dee Brown's writing is excellent, and Grover Gardner is flawless. A very compelling story, presented in a very compelling way.
    Whether they prefer to read it or listen to to it, I will recommend this book to all my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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