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Benjamin

Portland, OR, USA | Member Since 2007

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 117 ratings
  • 111 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Augusten Burroughs
    • Narrated By Augusten Burroughs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    You've eaten too much candy at Christmas...but have you ever eaten the face off a six-foot stuffed Santa? You've seen gingerbread houses...but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? You've woken up with a hangover...but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection he recounts Christmases past and present - as only he could.

    jenn says: "For his fans..."
    "Such a BORE"
    Overall

    I had to listen to this one at 1.5 speed. Unlike his other, which didn't bother me, this narration sounded like he was a) high as a kite, b) having a seizure, or c) so enamored of his own writing and voice that he wanted to marinate in it by reading at a snail's pace. The stories can be interesting but for overall, I'd skip it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • New Europe

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Palin
    • Narrated By Michael Palin
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    In his latest voyage of discovery, Michael Palin reads his own account of a journey into a "new" Europe. He starts with a simple idea: that only a couple of hours from home is a half of Europe that is for him as unknown and unexplored as the plateau of Tibet or the vastness of the Sahara.

    Scott says: "Facinating Eastern Europe"
    "Stick with Bill Bryson"
    Overall

    I could not, for the life of me, get into this book. I was expecting a something akin to Bill Bryson given Palin's background in comedy. What I got was Rick Steves without the usefulness of a guidebook. It was like reading someone's fairly mundane journal. Don't get me wrong, the writing itself is good. So are the places he describes. But the overall story just left me completely bored. The reading, with his great voices, was a total letdown.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Tony Roberts
    Overall
    (1211)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (408)

    Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.

    colleen says: "Another Pine Cove winner"
    "Skip it."
    Overall

    Not good. I'm a Christopher Moore fan, but this one does not represent his comedic talent well. Skip it. Plus, the reader has a very old school style that makes an already flat story worse, especially when compared to some of the other terrific performers of this other books.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A Million Little Pieces

    • ABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By James Frey
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (739)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (160)

    By the time James Frey enters a drug and alcohol treatment facility, he has so thoroughly ravaged his body that the doctors are shocked he is still alive. Inside the clinic, he is surrounded by patients as troubled as he: a judge, a mobster, a former world-champion boxer, and a fragile former prostitute. To James, their friendship and advice seem stronger and truer than the clinic's droning dogma of How to Recover.

    Heath says: "Great Book"
    "Impossible to stop listening"
    Overall

    Flew through this book faster than any other. The story is incredibly gripping but very intense. You don't be in cheerfuly spirits after listening. However, this may be one of the single best audio performances I've ever heard. The narrator is FANTASTIC.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Happiness at Work

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By The Dalai Lama, Howard C. Cutler
    • Narrated By Howard Cutler, B.D. Wong
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (40)

    In conversations with the Dalai Lama over the past several years, Howard Cutler has asked the questions we all want answered about how to find happiness in the place we spend most of our time - work. This guide is an invaluable source of strength and peace for anyone who earns a living.

    Suzanne says: "t"
    "Message is COMPLETELY lost"
    Overall

    As an audio book, this is terrible. The message of the material is great but the author made a horrible mistake by reading it himself. His dry, passionless, delivery taxes even the most devoted fan of Buddhism. In contrast, the actor they chose as the voice of the Dalai Lama is completely over the top campy and cheesy. He honestly sounds like one of the voice-overs from the old kung fu movies of the 70's. The result is a completely disjointed, unauthentic presentation that either puts the reader to sleep or turns them off because of the awful, somewhat insulting caricature of an Asian accent.

    I respect the Dalai Lama immensely and have enjoyed previous titles in print. I had to turn this one off half way through because of the terrible choices made in this audio format.

    Don't waste your time or money on this title.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2345)
    Performance
    (425)
    Story
    (430)

    In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.

    Brent says: "This audio edition is abridged!"
    "Required Listening"
    Overall

    This book is absolutely unbelievable. It should be required for anyone outside of school as a sort of adult text book you actually want to learn from. Written (and read) in plain language, the science remains in the proper place for lay people: fascinating and awe-inspiring, not incomprehensible and tedious. If you're always interested in the world and the balance of life, get this audio-book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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