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Ben

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Member Since 2014

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 137 ratings
  • 308 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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  • Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Philbrick
    • Narrated By Chris Sorensen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (99)

    Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord.

    Rick says: "Another Fantastic Story by Philbrick"
    "A dull slog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was not very good. The narrative is uninteresting and there is not much fresh analysis. Also, the narrator reads in a dull monotone that makes it hard to follow. I really enjoyed Philbrick's "In The Heart Of The Sea", but I was very disappointed in this one. My advice is to listen to something by McCullough or Ellis instead if you want a good audiobook on the revolutionary period.

    1 of 3 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
    (740)
    Performance
    (645)
    Story
    (637)

    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
    (507)
    Performance
    (291)
    Story
    (291)

    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
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    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
    (4622)
    Performance
    (3536)
    Story
    (3543)

    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
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    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
    (60)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (53)

    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.

    Ben says: "Disappointing"
    "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 2 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
    (46)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    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
  • Slide Rule: Autobiography of an Engineer

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By James Faulkner
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Nevil Shute was a power and a pioneer in the world of flying long before he began to write the stories that made him a best-selling novelist. This autobiography charts Shute's path from childhood to his career as a gifted aeronautical engineer, working at the forefront of the technological experimentation of the 1920s and ‘30s. The inspiration for many of the themes and concerns of Shute's novels can be identified in this enjoyable and enlightening memoir.

    Ben says: "I love Shute's novels but found this to be dull."
    "I love Shute's novels but found this to be dull."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge fan of Shute's novels and have enjoyed over a dozen. I was eager to listen to this given the good reviews but was disappointed. This is a fairly straightforward recounting of Shute's business career, focusing on his work launching an aeroship in the UK in the 1920's and then his experience helping launch and run an airplane manufacturer in the 1930's and beyond. There is little detail on his personal life. There are some enjoyable tidbits but they weren't nearly enough to carry the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5409)
    Performance
    (4984)
    Story
    (4989)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Not Gaiman's best work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have loved a number of other books by Gaiman (American Gods, Anansi Boys, Graveyard Book), but I thought this one fell flat. The plot isn't very compelling and doesn't move along like his others and I was not really invested in the characters. I think this would have worked better as a short story and it feels stretched as a novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10719)
    Performance
    (5589)
    Story
    (5636)

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Russell says: "Glad I Listened to 11-22-63 First"
    "Highly enjoyable yet flawed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen King fans will enjoy this one. The story moves along and there are a number of good characters. There are weaknesses, though. A number of plot points regarding character reactions to Big Jim's machinations are somewhat unbelievable and strained. In addition, as many have noted, the narrator's voices for women and children are terrible to the point of distraction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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