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Acteon

Acteon

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

ratings
147
REVIEWS
78
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
7
HELPFUL VOTES
65

  • George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Miranda Carter
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (106)

    In the years before the First World War, the great European powers were ruled by three first cousins: King George V of Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Together, they presided over the last years of dynastic Europe and the outbreak of the most destructive war the world had ever seen, a war that set 20th-century Europe on course to be the most violent continent in the history of the world.

    D. Littman says: "interesting and entertaining work of history"
    "Of considerable interest if interested in WW-I"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to George, Nicholas and Wilhelm the most enjoyable?

    For someone interested in World War I and the period before, it is very interesting to have a more detailed and vivid picture of these three sovereigns, two of whom played a very significant role in the course of events. Seeing them closer up makes that war all the more dismaying. Neither Nicholas nor Wilhelm were evil like the great dictators of the 20th century, but they were weak and incompetent rulers, yet their foibles and decisions (or non-decisions) were instrumental in creating hell for tens of millions of people. Many factors conspired toward war, but these two could have kept it from taking place.


    Which character – as performed by Rosalyn Landor – was your favorite?

    Princess Victoria (Vicky) mother of Wilhelm II; her tragedy is losing her intelligent and liberal-minded husband Wilhelm I who died young, leaving the capricious Wilhelm II as emperor of Germany, to the infinite misfortune of Germany and the rest of the world.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Rosalyn Landor is exceptionally good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (169)

    The fateful quarter-century leading up to World War I was a time when the world of privilege still existed in Olympian luxury and the world of protest was heaving in its pain, its power, and its hate. The age was the climax of a century of the most accelerated rate of change in history, a cataclysmic shaping of destiny.

    Doug says: "Fascinating history"
    "A wealth of information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Proud Tower?

    The wealth of information on various aspects of life in the period preceding World War I


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Proud Tower?

    Dreyfus' rehabilitation. The assassination of Jean Jaurès.


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

    I have listened to many, and she is an excellent reader. She apparently knows French and pronounces most names correctly, but unfortunately leaves out the "s" at the end of one of the main figures in the book, Jaurès. It is tricky to know when the final "s" in French names is silent or pronounced, and before the age of internet it is not so easy to look up, so she should not be taken to task; I mention this only so that other readers should not be led astray in their own pronunciation of this name. Readers today, however, have little excuse to mispronounce foreign names as the correct pronunciation is easily found on the internet.


    Any additional comments?

    Parts of it (for me, some of the details of English political life) can seem a bit long, but the book is well worth one's patience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spain: A Unique History

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Stanley G. Payne
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    From bloodthirsty conquest to exotic romance, stereotypes of Spain abound. This new volume by distinguished historian Stanley G. Payne draws on his half-century of experience to offer a balanced, broadly chronological survey of Spanish history from the Visigoths to the present. Who were the first “Spaniards”? Is Spain a fully Western country? Was Spanish liberalism a failure? Examining Spain's unique role in the larger history of Western Europe, Payne reinterprets key aspects of the country's history.

    Richard says: "An Academic Wonder"
    "An outstanding book on history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Spain?

    This book is of particular interest to those who are interested in history not only for facts and stories but for an understanding of how things came to pass, not only on the primary level of events but also on the levels of how these are interpreted, transformed and transmitted. It is a very rich work that gives insights into historiography as well as history. I came away feeling enriched in many ways.

    The discussion of the Arabic occupation and how it has been seen at different times is alone worth the price of the book to me. I had a rosy vision of a tolerant and cultivated Islamic state that contrasted with the rough and bigoted Christians; this book not only sets the record straight but also explains where this idealized vision comes from.

    Do not pass up this book because of negative reviews, though these are right in saying that it is not written for those who want a easy account of the personages and events of Spanish history. The reader is also good, and though he reads foreign words with a pronounced American accent, he does not MISpronounce Spanish words as some reviews suggest (the incomprehensible words they allude to are probably Latin or French). Spanish words are all comprehensible, though the rare French words are seriously mispronounced.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is quite dense and not a "easy listen". Negative reviewers are not wrong to bring this up, but I am extremely grateful for having listened to it. It gives a wonderful overview of Spanish history with invaluable insights, but it is not a "concise history of Spain" and needs to be complemented by other books if you know little about Spanish and European history.

    The author's account of his academic career is both interesting and meaningful in the context of an important subject central to the book: historiography. I CAN understand how a casual listener might be put off by this book, and I would not recommend it to everyone. But to those with a somewhat deeper interest in history, it is a real find.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Bruce D. Perry, Maia Szalavitz
    • Narrated By Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (473)
    Performance
    (414)
    Story
    (418)

    What happens when a young child is traumatized? How does terror affect a child's mind---and how can that mind recover? Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has treated children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, witnesses to their own parents' murders, children raised in closets and cages, the Branch Davidian children, and victims of family violence. In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, he tells their stories of trauma and transformation.

    Marilyn says: "Changed a Sixth-Grade Teacher's Life"
    "A Six star book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog the most enjoyable?

    Not only are the case stories moving, but illuminating because Dr.Perry explains the underlying causes in the light of what we have only recently begun to understand about the brain. By doing this, he extends the meaning of his therapeutic work way beyond the individual cases, indeed to every one of us as well as to all of human society and history. In the final chapter, he makes some extremely insightful and pertinent comments on life and society today.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Each story is compelling, but in addition, there is a cumulative progression and a deepening sense of meaning.


    What about Danny Campbell’s performance did you like?

    He speaks clearly and warmly, with just the right tone.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, though there is too much to absorb for one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    The book's content and significance exceed what I had expected from the catchy title that made me think of 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat', which though also interesting is not nearly as moving and rich in significance as this one. I recommend this book to everyone without reservation; in fact, I urge you to listen to it, whoever you are. It is one of most stimulating, both intellectually and personally, that I have ever listened to or read. Truly a six-star book.I have read numerous books on psychology, psychiatry, and child development, and among my most rewarding life experiences are ten years of a composite therapy; yet this book has put all into a new perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Eri Hotta
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (80)

    When Japan attacked the United States in 1941, argues Eri Hotta, its leaders, in large part, understood they were entering a conflict they were bound to lose. Availing herself of rarely consulted material, Hotta poses essential questions overlooked by historians in the seventy years since: Why did these men - military men, civilian politicians, diplomats, the emperor - put their country and its citizens in harm's way? Why did they make a decision that was doomed from the start?

    Jean says: "Japanese viewpoint"
    "Informative addition to historical understanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Japan 1941 again? Why?

    Perhaps, to refresh my memory.


    What other book might you compare Japan 1941 to and why?

    John Tolland 'Rising Sun'; Max Hastings: 'Retribution'


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    This book provides valuable insight into the seemingly irrational way the Japanese behaved during World War II. For a non-Japanese, it is truly mind-boggling to learn how inefficient decision-making was in the Japanese government, and how this disastrous inefficiency was ingrained in Japanese culture and even language. It incidentally sheds much light on Japanese behavior today in various situations both political and personal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Knights of Bushido: A History of Japanese War Crimes During World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Lord Russell of Liverpool
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    The war crimes trials at Nuremberg and Tokyo meted out the Allies' official justice; Lord Russell of Liverpool's sensational bestselling books on the Axis' war crimes decided the public's opinion. The Knights of Bushido, Russell's shocking account of Japanese brutality in the Pacific in World War II, describes how the noble founding principles of the Empire of Japan were perverted by the military into a systematic campaign of torture, murder, starvation, rape, and destruction. Notorious incidents like the Nanking Massacre and the Bataan Death March emerge as merely part of a pattern of human rights abuses. Undoubtedly formidable soldiers, the Japanese were terrible conquerors. Their conduct in the Pacific is a harrowing example of the doctrine of mutual destruction carried to the extreme, and begs the question of what is acceptable—and unacceptable—in total war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Not for the faint of heart"
    "Grim but important to know"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Knights of Bushido again? Why?

    Probably not, as much of it is ghastly: once one is familiar with the contents, it seems a bit pointless to go through the horrors a second time.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Excellent. However, Japanese names are often not pronounced correctly, but this is not a major problem.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, it distressed me to learn about so many men behaving so horribly.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the essential moral issues anyone living after 1945 has to face is how masses of people could behave so brutishly, and in in the name of some ideal. The barbarism shown by German, Japanese and Russian military during World War II was not the wayward behavior of a few psychopaths or deviants but a systematic descent into almost unthinkable evil on the part of huge numbers of people deliberately incited by a few, and this in the name of some ideology. In each of these three cases, it came about in a unique way, and it is important and interesting to understand the particular elements at play. And in each instance, it is the perpetrators that are themselves the primary victims — the Japanese even more directly than others, since Japanese recruits were deliberatly brutalized (beaten and humiliated) to take away their humanity and turn them into instruments of brutality.

    I take this occasion to recommend the most enlightening book I know on the problem of evil : Barbara Oakley's 2007 book 'Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert D. Kaplan
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (52)

    Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia. With oil reserves of several billion barrels, an estimated 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and several centuries' worth of competing territorial claims, the South China Sea in particular is a simmering pot of potential conflict. The underreported military buildup in the area where the Western Pacific meets the Indian Ocean means that it will likely be a hinge point for global war and peace for the foreseeable future.

    Christopher says: "Biggest Challenge for US in Next 50 Years"
    "Informative and worthwhile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Asia's Cauldron in three words, what would they be?

    Informative, stimulating, important subject


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It's fine


    Any additional comments?

    I learned a lot about a part of the world that is much more important than I had imagined. I recommend it to anyone interested in what is going on in the world today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look inside North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jang Jin-sung
    • Narrated By Daniel York
    Overall
    (321)
    Performance
    (300)
    Story
    (304)

    As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life.

    David says: "Stop browsing and get this Book"
    "Fascinating, informative, and suspenseful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Dear Leader rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the very best


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

    No, but this one is terrific.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a fantastic exposé of North Korea, a country that embodies Orwell's 1984 in a way that is terrifying and so extreme as to seem "unbelievable". This book conveys the sense of what it is to live under such a regime, and is extraordinarily informative in its vivid presentation. It is also a wonderful depiction of deep personal experience and could stand as a literary work of fiction, which alas it is not. And it is as exciting as any mystery or spy novel I've ever read. I simply could not put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Wendy Lower
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (37)

    Wendy Lower's stunning account of the role of German women on the Eastern Front - not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers - powerfully revises history. Many young nurses, teachers, secretaries, and wives saw the emerging Nazi empire as a kind of "Wild East" of opportunity, yet they could not have imagined what they would do there. Hitler's Furies will challenge our deepest beliefs using evidence hidden for seventy years: Women can be just as brutal as men.

    Douglas says: "As Someone Who Has Read Much..."
    "Well worth listening to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Hitler's Furies again? Why?

    In part. To refresh my memory.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It focus on a very important aspect of what is surely one of the most horrific and therefore must-confront phenomenon in history: the Nazi attempt at world-domination and genocide. Women form half the population, and to understand their role in this is essential.According to Robert & Ruth Kempner's study "Women in Nazi Germany", cited by the author, German women were fanatical supporters who had been integrated into all aspects of the government..." They estimated 7 million indoctrinated, and that 600,000 were still dangerous at the end of the war because they were politically active and indoctrinators. But despite the alarming data they compiled, "crimal investigators and denazification courts ...concluded that women in the white-collar state machinery were not threats to postwar German society."

    The author writes: "at least half a million women witnessed and contributed to the operations and terror of a genocidal war in the eastern territories. The Nazi regime mobilized a generation of young females revolutionaries who were conditioned to accept violence, to incite it, and to commit it, in defense of or as an assertion of Germany's superiority."

    I would recommend buying the Kindle (or a paper) version to supplement the audiobook, as there are copious notes that are often of interest. These notes take up 40% of the Kindle edition and contain a plethora of references. The book is also useful for a better understanding of foreign names, often difficult to seize by ear even when correctly pronounced.


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

    No. She reads well, and on the whole pronounces German words correctly.


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

    Annette Schücking frustrating attempts to get courts to pursue war criminals.

    When a German woman is executed for giving food and succor to Jewish victims.


    Any additional comments?

    The one reservation I have is that the author does not take into account recent research on psychopaths. Modern equipment allows an objective definition of psychopath as someone whose brain does not respond to certain types of stimuli and therefore is physiologically incapable of feelings that are the emotional underpinnings of morality. This research, unavailable to Nürnberg judges and to earlier historians and psychologists, must surely change the way we look at perpetrators of atrocities and our approach to society and moral order in general.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country's Most Controversial Cover-Ups

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Richard Belzer, David Wayne
    • Narrated By Richard Belzer, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, and others
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (57)

    Dead Wrong is a study of the scientific and forensic facts of four assassinations of the 1960s (President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black Panther leader Fred Hampton), as well as an examination of new and incriminating evidence indicative of murder, not suicide, in the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, White House Counsel Vincent Foster, U.N. Weapons Inspector Dr. David C. Kelly and bioweapons expert Frank Olson.

    Acteon says: "Great content, poorly written"
    "Great content, poorly written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, but with a warning that it is terribly repetitive. Other reviewers have pointed this out, but until I listened myself, I did not believe it could be that bad. The content however is of such great interest that I recommend it nonetheless.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Reveals many things that are important to know.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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