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Amazon Customer

United States | Member Since 2014

  • 3 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 146 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • Life on the Mississippi

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Mark Twain was growing up, all he wanted to be was a steamboat man. And so Twain ran away in pursuit of his dream. Life on the mighty river for Twain consisted of paddleboats and history, poker games and gamblers, larger-than-life characters and outlandish festivals like Mardi Gras. Twain recorded it all with his keen eye for detail and biting wit.

    Kristoffer says: "Inaudible!"
    "Much too long and unfocused"

    Had Twain stopped after the first section, in which he describes riverboat piloting and his exploits therein, I would have come away with a positive impression of the book. His piloting writings were entertaining and interesting, even though not particularly relevant in today's world.

    However the later chapters ruin the book. Twain documents his return to the Mississippi with a plethora of miscellaneous descriptions and loosely related anecdotes. These sections range from only mildly entertaining to just plain boring, as Twain doesn't even use his humor to save them.

    In the end the disappointment of the second half outweighs the enjoyment of the first half.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Muhammad Yunus
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1983, Muhammad Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with miniscule loans. Believing that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a few, Yunus aimed to support that spark of personal initiative and enterprise by which the poor might lift themselves out of poverty forever. Grameen Bank now provides over $2.5 billion in micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh.

    Randall says: "Will change the way you think about the economics."
    "Lacks cohesive subject and audience,"

    I picked up this book hoping to find an interesting story that would also teach me a solid background in microlending. Unfortunately I didn't find enough of either in "Banker to the Poor."

    The author lacks a focus in both his material and his audience. For example, if the book is about Grameen Bank, it could do without the opening sections of scattered bits of Yunus's life.

    I also feel I could have learned more about microlending in a lengthy Economist article than from this book, especially when it comes to some of the challenges or downsides to microlending. The book leaves basic questions frustratingly unmentioned, much less unanswered (e.g. what role does *savings* have, or not have, in reducing poverty?).

    Yunus offers almost no criticism of Grameen or microlending in the book, which makes for very odd reading, when for example he has a chapter on "Grameen Bank 2" -- if there was not much wrong with Grameen Bank 1, why the complete overhaul for Grameen Bank 2?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jack Finney
    • Narrated By George Wilson

    At first, a handful of Dr. Miles Bennell's neighbors seem to be suffering a mass delusion. People are convinced that their loved ones have changed in barely perceptible ways and aren't really themselves. Miles is mystified, until the night a good friend shares a shocking discovery. Now Miles and his closest friends may be humanity's last and only hope.

    Jan says: "1950's writing is half the fun..."
    "Unsatisfying; would've been better as short story"

    This story is told with too much tangential information and musings, to the point where I was jealous half way through the book in which the protagonist tells another person everything that had happened thus far in “less than 30 minutes” – why couldn't he have given the poor reader the same treatment?

    A more concise telling may have made the book entertaining, but there would still be problems with unsatisfying actions taken by the characters, as well as the unsatisfying ending.

    0 of 8 people found this review helpful

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