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Amazon Customer

REDONDO BEACH, CA, United States

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 58 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015
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  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (3996)
    Performance
    (3629)
    Story
    (3609)

    From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.

    FanB14 says: "Devout Fan Disappointed"
    "Told in the style of a 6.5 hour NPR broadcast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Not overtly funny, subtle and relaxing like an NPR broadcast (I love NPR by the way). Not quite enough meat to merit a $ book.


    What was most disappointing about David Sedaris’s story?

    No real standout moment, an average life told with subtle humor. The standard suburban kid story. Not funnier or more eventful than your average life. I expected more from a published autobiography. He takes average experiences and retells them without adding much additional humor. Its mildly amusing.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration, like the story, was uneventful. Not bad, not great. Told in the stereotypical even cadence and tone of a Saturday Night Live NPR skit.


    What else would you have wanted to know about David Sedaris’s life?

    I didn't know much about Mr Sedaris, I bought the book because of the best seller status (mistake I know) and its classification as humor/bio a genre I like. I feel I got a full taste but found nothing worthy of a book.


    Any additional comments?

    Its not bad, not great. He seems like a nice man and there is some humor there. Its not a terribly emotional story or narration. The story is better in snippets versus a marathon listen. Its decent enough to listen to in the car if you are driving at a time when NPR isn't broadcasting talk. If you drive during mornings and afternoons, save your money and listen to NPR, you will get the same experience for free.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Into Africa: Africa by Motorcycle - Every Day an Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Sam Manicom
    • Narrated By Sam Manicom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    A liberating motorcycle journey through Africa with descriptions of the amazing people and places, the joy of big skies and the open road, and the sometimes harrowing events that would shape destiny. Into Africa tells the story of a novice motorcyclist who takes on the challenge of riding the length of the continent just because, 'it seemed like a great idea’.

    Oubidoobie says: "Great Insight into an Incredible Journey"
    "Another great travelogue by Sam Manicom"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Into Africa again? Why?

    I have listened to, read, and watched most books, audiobooks, and videos on long distance motorcycle riding. Mr. Manicom's books rate as some of the best, possibly the best, in the genre. They are definitely the best on Audible. So, yes, I would listen to them again.

    I listened to his books our of order, that is to say I listened to his second book first, then this one which is his first. This book was excellent as well but I found the second one "Under Asian Skies" to be more entertaining. I feel he matured as a writer and as a rider, but again both are superb.

    This story is very compelling and, had I not read so many other books covering long distance riding in Africa, I would give it 5 stars. Its still better than the other books as a story. Mr Manicom is very good and telling the story of the lands he is in and seems genuinely curious about the cultures and people he meets. His descriptions are typically more vivid than others in the genre. One comes away with a sense of the beauty, smells, and feel of a place. He also comes across as a very likable chap, not cocky like some riders/authors and not rushing to the finish line like others. He is honest about his abilities and skills and the listener sees him grow in many ways as the journey progresses.

    He is also a superb narrator so one doesn't get "ear tired" from listening to the story. He is as good as a professional narrator.


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

    He is sort of a likeable everyman. Some long distance riders try to portray themselves as some globe trotting adventurous supermen just one step down from James Bond. Mr. Manicom humanizes the journey and is a sympathetic figure. He also makes better use of adjectives and you walk away with a better feel of the places he visits when compared to other travelogues.


    Any additional comments?

    To be quite honest the Africa route has been done to death. Its an amazing, huge, and diverse continent but I have found the books to be very similar. It is easily the #1 route to write about for long distance riders. This is my 7th book I have read/listened to that covers long distance riding in Africa and almost all have taken the same route. That on top of the countless blogs that cover the subject. That is not to say it isn't a HUGE accomplishment or worth doing, but as a listener/reader I appreciated his second book much more as the route was far less common to read about.

    He has written 2 other travelogues "Distant Suns" and "Tortillas to Totems" which I hope come to Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Billy Connolly's Route 66: The Big Yin on the Ultimate American Road Trip

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Billy Connolly
    • Narrated By James McPherson
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    Billy Connolly, music-lover, biker, and scourge of the beige and bland the world over, has dreamed about taking a trip on the legendary Route 66 since he first heard Chuck Berry belting out one of the greatest rock 'n' roll records of all time. And now he's finally had the chance to do it, heading out on his custom-made trike in search of the real America that can still be found beyond the nation's freeways.

    Amazon Customer says: "Rediscovering America."
    "Rediscovering America."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Billy Connolly's Route 66 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would like to give this book 3.5 stars but since Audible doesn't allow that I will bump it up to 4. I am a huge Billy Connolly fan and was quite let down that he wasn't the narrator. His accent and trademark infectious enthusiasm would have bolstered this book quite a bit. The narrator wasn't bad, I was just left thinking Mr Connolly would have been better......nay perfect!

    Mr. Connolly has an interesting way of looking at things. His viewpoint and the fact that he is coming from another land and background really sheds some unique light on the American road trip experience. It made me look and think about my country in a different way, at least for a moment.


    What three words best describe James McPherson’s performance?

    It was a good performance, but the author is a famous comedian with a wonderful accent and intonation. It would have been nice to hear his words in his voice. I would listen to other books by this narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    Its an interesting listen. The book has humor and levity. He meets a wide variety of people and has experiences to match. I think the book could have been/should have been longer. I would be interested in more travel book written from his point of view.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (127)

    In 2007 chef Grant Achatz seemingly had it made. He had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine in 2002, received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award in 2003, and in 2005 he and Nick Kokonas opened the conceptually radical restaurant Alinea, which was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma - tongue cancer.

    SamanthaG says: "Not much I didn't know"
    "Amazing Chef, book less so."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would take out most of the Nick Kokonas parts and delve more into Chef Achatz motivations and experiences. There is a lot of story there and I felt like the reader didnt get as much as they could have. Nick's story is pretty standard and other than being quite a self promoter, it was unremarkable and relatively uninteresting. The interesting parts of Mr. Kokonas' story could be covered in half a chapter or as a footnote.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Chapters 7-9 are absolutely brilliant. You see Chef Achatz growing and have his "aha" moment. It gives some insight into Chef Keller's way of running a kitchen and you see what Grant learned from him.


    Any additional comments?

    Considering what Chef Achatz has been through I expected the book to be just his story, a true autobiography. I bought it without reading the reviews or jackat based purely on his reputation and skill. Truth be told the book is about 60% Chef Achatz autobiography and 40% Mr. Kokonas vanity project.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tune In Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Tim Anderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (133)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (121)

    Everyone wants to escape their boring, stagnant lives full of inertia and regret. But so few people actually have the bravery to run - run away from everything and selflessly seek out personal fulfillment on the other side of the world where they don’t understand anything and won’t be expected to. The world is full of cowards. Tim Anderson was pushing 30 and working a string of dead-end jobs when he made the spontaneous decision to pack his bags and move to Japan.

    JOSEPH says: "Tune In Tokyo- a very enjoyable memior"
    "Accurate description s of living/teaching abroad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Tune In Tokyo rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The book started a bit slow but really built into something fascinating. Interesting as a travel book but more interesting to those that have lived and taught abroad or have aspirations to do so. There are great descriptions of teaching both in suburban and urban areas, The logistics of living in Japan, the nightlife, the people, and the types of students one encounters. There are also many interesting social interactions outside of class from bars, to music lessons, to bands, and more.


    What did you like best about this story?

    100% accurate descriptions of the type of people and often odd personalities that are attracted to teaching in Japan. I was laughing at loud and groaning at many of the descriptions as they matched perfectly with people I have experienced in Japan. The author doesn't pull any punches with the social misfits, losers, drunks, and _________ that think Japan will be the answer to their lack of social skills in their home country.


    What about MacLeod Andrews’s performance did you like?

    The author had a slight southern accent which matches the authors southern roots. One felt it could have been the author reading the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Backpacker

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By John Harris
    • Narrated By Tom Lawrence
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (11)

    John’s trip to India starts badly when he finds himself looking at the sharp end of a knife in a train station cubicle. His life is saved by the enigmatic Rick, who persuades John to abandon his mundane plans for the future for much, much more. Fast forward to the Thai island of Koh Pha-Ngan where they pose as millionaire aristocrats in a hedonistic Eden of beautiful girls, free drugs and wild beach parties. Soon pursued by Thai Mafia, they escape to Indonesia, Australia, and Hong Kong, facing danger at every turn.

    bionichands says: "Gave up"
    ""A Million Little Pieces" of travel books."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Harris and/or Tom Lawrence?

    The narrator Tom Lawrence was very good, I would easily listen to another performance. The author John Harris is better at fiction/semi-fiction than reality.


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

    The book is a retelling of a story in that age old pub fashion/fishing story. A small little adventure blossomed into a grand story with the retelling. The teller may think it really happened that way but the reality is likely much more sedate. Much like James Frey and his "A Million Little Pieces", there is a lot of embellishment in a story branded as non-fiction. It is an entertaining read though, just not true to the non fiction travel genre.


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

    Its an all around great performance. His voice matched the mental picture of the protagonist in the story. He is properly emphatic when the story calls for it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under Asian Skies: Australia to Europe by Motorcycle - an Enthralling Journey Through One of the World's Most Colourful and Diverse Regions

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sam Manicom
    • Narrated By Sam Manicom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In Sam’s second book, Under Asian Skies, you'll find yourself immersed in an enchanting mix of drama, majesty, laughter, mystery, love, and his usual disasters. Sometimes a traveller's plans simply don't work out as intended, but for Sam every mishap is the beginning of a unique adventure; silver linings do exist. You'll travel on a journey across the vastness of Australia, through the twists and turns of New Zealand, and on up into the exotic lands of Southeast Asia.

    Amazon Customer says: "A suprise, well written and engrossing travel bio."
    "A suprise, well written and engrossing travel bio."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Under Asian Skies rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I chose this book out of boredom and past interests. Because I have listened to or read most other modern travel narratives, this popped up on my recommended list. I am certainly glad it did as it is a real sleeper.

    I have read the other motorcycle distance travel books from Ted Simon, Helge Pedersen, Glen Heggstad, Allen Noren and of course the ubiquitous Long Way Down/Round (among others). Ted Simon set the bar for me but this book is in second place. Distance riders can get too caught up in the task of riding and forget or gloss over the experiences, people, and food they encounter. Mr. Manicom is more about the experiences than the journey and will often hop off his bike, even for weeks at a time, to experience things. Many other writers instill a sense of urgency, like they must keep the bike pointed at the end of the journey, not so here. He does a very good job of describing the things you see and the reader is often sucked in and experiences it with the author. There are great descriptions of sights, smells, people, social mores and customs. The food descriptions are the only thing lacking but, as a chef, food is more important to me than many others so its a small niggle.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Its a bit different than other motorcycle books. The majority of the other narratives take place in Africa, so one feels like that route has been done to death. I realize Africa is a fascinating and diverse continent but I have literally read 6 motorcycle adventure travel books based there. The Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, etc journey was a nice twist not seen in other books of the genre. Its nice to see variety.


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

    He does a great job with the performance, I was actually surprised the author was such a good narrator. He has a pleasant voice and was very professional in his performance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One More Day Everywhere: Crossing Fifty Borders on the Road to Global Understanding

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Glen Heggstad
    • Narrated By John Morgan
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In 2001, martial arts-trained biker Glen Heggstad began a journey from California to the tip of South America on his motorcycle and made it as far as Colombia, where he was kidnapped by local rebels and held captive. Undeterred by more than a month of traumatic incarceration, the 'Striking Viking' finished his trip after being released. Three years later he set out into the world on his bike again, this time searching for truth on his own terms in a world that had become strangled by a climate of fear.

    Amazon Customer says: "A must read for someone attempting a distance ride"
    "A must read for someone attempting a distance ride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to One More Day Everywhere the most enjoyable?

    As someone who has ridden across borders, although not nearly to the same extent, I found his descriptions of the process, and of cycling very accurate.


    Would you recommend One More Day Everywhere to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend it highly to someone that REALLY is going to do/ has done a long distance ride. It is superb prep for the hassles and paperwork you will experience. I would not necessarily recommend it to someone just looking for a travel book to take you away. There are not many descriptions of the people, culture, and foods. This book is more about the journey as an accomplishment. As a travel narrative it is 2 stars, as a distance motorcycle guide it is 5 stars.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are some good descriptions of his experiences in parts of Africa.


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

    I listen, 2 hours at a time, when riding my bicycle ion the mornings.


    Any additional comments?

    Mr Heggstad is the real deal when it comes to motorcycle riding. A few of his martial arts analogies make one roll their eyes like that one friend we have that is into martial arts and talks too much about it. That being said he gives a superb and accurate glimpse into what to expect with your bike, what happens at border crossings, and the bureaucracy of it all. He is not a food lover and says as much and there aren't many vivid descriptions of people and the cultures he rides through. Its about a rider conquering and accomplishing a hard task. How to get from point a to point b. It is absolutely a must read for anyone thinking of doing the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kissing Kilimanjaro: Leaving It All on Top of Africa

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Daniel Dorr
    • Narrated By Daniel Dorr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Mount Kilimanjaro is sometimes called "Everyman's Everest" because it is possible for a novice climber to reach the summit. And every year, more than 30,000 adventure tourists try. But for each person who goes to the mountain, there are thousands more who chat about it at parties, making plans to go...someday. That's how Daniel Dorr got started: flirting with a beautiful brunette and spouting impressive plans. Six months later, he was lying on the gravel trail at 18,000 feet, panting and hacking in the darkness.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great travel narrative."
    "Great travel narrative."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Kissing Kilimanjaro rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best travel narratives on Audible. I love a good non fiction travel book but, if you are a fan of the genre, you realize there aren't many "good" ones out there. The authors are either tragic hipsters trying to write ironically, arrogant and cocky rich kids trying to seem cool, fake, or any combination of the above. Its rare to find a good honest travel story by a guy on a budget who financed it himself. Kissing Kilimanjaro is one of the good ones


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Daniel Dorr is honest about his motivations for going (I won't share them here). He comes across as a regular hard working guy and he is honest about his failures and emotions. He never comes across as trying to be too cool or pretentious.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Dont want to give any spoilers.


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

    Its a good story about the realities of traveling, the interesting people you meet along the way, the interesting places you see, and most importantly how it can change your life.


    Any additional comments?

    You don't have to love Africa or mountaineering to enjoy this book, just have a love of travel. I bought the audible version and found the quality very good. It's narrated by the author and he did a good job with it. It doesn't get 5 stars because I wanted a few more details and perhaps an even longer version of the story, but I guess that is also a sign I enjoyed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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