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Ben

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Member Since 2014

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 145 ratings
  • 325 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015
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  • Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ian W. Toll
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (334)
    Story
    (333)

    On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.

    BB says: "Superb narrative history"
    "Fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book. I knew little about the history of the Pacific Theater in World War Two and this is an excellent introduction. The author very skillfully weaves together the larger history of both sides with individual stories. The narrator is great. The battle scenes are riveting, as was the account of the initial bombing of Tokyo. This one was hard to put down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Oliver Sacks
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and best-selling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals - also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the he chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded.

    Dayle says: "Fascinating"
    "Mediocre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like several other reviewers, I found this to be a bit difficult to get through. The parts about Sacks' family history and childhood were interesting but there is a lot here on the history of chemistry that is a slog to get through. This would have been better as a long magazine piece and is stretched as a book. I usually like biographies but I just didn't enjoy this book very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Butcher’s Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John Williams
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    In the 1870s, Will Andrews, fired up by Emerson to seek "an original relation to nature," drops out of Harvard and heads west. He washes up in Butcher's Crossing, a small Kansas town full of restless men looking for ways to make money and ways to waste it. One of these men regales Will with tales of the immense buffalo herds hidden away in the Colorado Rockies and convinces him to join an expedition to track them down.

    Ann K says: "The incomparable John Williams goes west"
    "Terrific book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great novel, beautifully written and the plot picks up and gets quite suspenseful. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Evan Osnos
    • Narrated By Evan Osnos, George Backman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (252)

    As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control.

    Jeff says: "The Insider's Guide to Contemporary China!!"
    "Moderately interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is basically a strung together collection of articles that Osnos wrote for the New Yorker magazine. The stories are somewhat interesting but I found that the book dragged and was somewhat repetitive. The sum here was less than the whole of the parts for some reason.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1313)
    Performance
    (1129)
    Story
    (1117)

    Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

    Mark says: "A History of the Ancient Geeks"
    "Excellent book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was great. I was initially put off by the sample audio, which is from the preface and in the author's voice, which I do not think is good but is only a few minutes long. Boutsikaris narrates the rest of the book and is great. The story is a little slow in the beginning but picks up, and the post-World War II part, which is the bulk of the book, is excellent. It's a really good history of modern computers and the internet and how they developed and the people involved at the various steps.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Battle Cry of Freedom: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By James McPherson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (541)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (319)

    James M. McPherson, professor emeritus of U.S. history at Princeton, is one of the foremost scholars of the Civil War. In this informative and meticulously researched masterpiece, he clarifies the differing ways of life and philosophy that led to this shattering conflict. Abraham Lincoln wondered whether "in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government". And Jefferson Davis felt "forced to take up arms" to guarantee states' rights.

    Brian says: "Incredible audio book"
    "Highly enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I agree with all the high ratings. This is a very accessible and interesting survey of the Civil War. After reading this, I have added a number of other Civil War related books to my list to listen to as well. For those who enjoyed this and want a modern take, I highly recommend "Confederates in the Attic" by Tony Horowitz.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Requiem for a Wren

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Damien Warren-Smith
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Alan Duncan returns to his family home in Australia after the war and several years of study in England. But his homecoming is marred by the mysterious suicide of his parents' quiet and reliable parlour-maid. A search through her belongings in search of clues leads to heart-breaking revelations about the woman's identity, the death of Alan's brother Bill, and, above all, the disappearance of his brother's fiancée, Janet.

    Sharon says: "Bittersweet"
    "Pleasant but a little slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A pleasant story but not great. I have listened to quite a few Shute novels and this is not at the top of the pack. The story lacks any real drama and plays out rather slowly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4828)
    Performance
    (3729)
    Story
    (3735)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Great book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent audiobook. Plot is tight and moves along, the book is well-written, and the narrator is very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Don't Ever Look Back: Buck Schatz, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Daniel Friedman
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Unforgettable protagonist BuckSchatz is back, and once again this 88-year-old retired Memphis cop refuses to go gently into that good night. Having sustained injuries in Don't Ever Get Old, Buck is living at a retirement home with his wife, and he's downright miserable being treated like the elderly person he is. But soon, Elijah, a man from his past, pays Buck a visit. Elijah offers Buck a tidy sum to do him a favor, and Buck is eager to close the book on a series of robberies that he could never solve. But things soon go downhill - way downhill.

    Diana says: "Just as good if not better than the first one"
    "Terrific"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Buck Schatz books by Daniel Friedman are two of my all-time favorites on Audible. Great character, really funny, interesting plot and setting. I hope he writes more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Marc Levinson
    • Narrated By Adam Lofbomm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (68)

    In April 1956, a refitted oil tanker carried 58 shipping containers from Newark to Houston. From that modest beginning, container shipping developed into a huge industry that made the boom in global trade possible. The Box tells the dramatic story of the container's creation, the decade of struggle before it was widely adopted, and the sweeping economic consequences of the sharp fall in transportation costs that containerization brought about.

    Emile says: "Outstanding!"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this audiobook with high hopes after I saw that it got pretty good reviews and because I am always interested in a good business/economics story. I was disappointed. The story is straightforward and fairly dry. This felt stretched as a book and would have been a better long magazine article. In addition, the narrator is pretty flat. This one was a bit of a slog to get through.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Don’t Ever Get Old

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Daniel Friedman
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    When Buck learns that an old adversary may have escaped Germany with a fortune in stolen gold, he decides to hunt down the fugitive and claim the loot. But lots of people want a piece of the stolen treasure, and Buck’s investigation quickly attracts unfriendly attention from a Mississippi loan shark, a seven-foot-tall Hasidic Jew, and a bloodthirsty maniac hell-bent on rubbing out everybody who knows anything about the stolen gold.

    Ronna says: "It's a "Buck Schatz"!! And it's great!!"
    "Fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have listened to hundreds of books on Audible and this is probably my all-time favorite. Schatz is a great character and the book is laugh out loud funny. Also, the narrator is very good and a perfect fit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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