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Bruce

Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2010

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 384 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Steven Saylor
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (125)

    Weaving history, legend, and new archaeological discoveries into a spellbinding narrative, critically acclaimed novelist Steven Saylor gives new life to the drama of Rome's first 1,000 years - from the founding of the city by the ill-fated twins Romulus and Remus, through Rome's astonishing ascent to become the capital of the most powerful empire in history.

    S. Caruso says: "Excellent Feel for Ancient Rome"
    "Wonderful Audiobook--Well worth 2 credits, even 3!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have had this book on my wish list for quite sometime, but I was hesitant to spend 2 credits after reading the negative reviews here. I'm so sorry I hesitated. I've learned to ignore certain negative reviewers...maybe the reviewers themselves should be rated, as well as the book.

    After reading Colleen McCullough's excellent "Masters of Rome series", I was interested in finding more on Rome. I tried Livy's History of Rome, which was good, but was so dry, and lacking in color or excitement, that I was unable to finish it. So I decided to try Steven Saylor's book. After only a few minutes of listening, I was rewarded with a wonderful, colorful, story of ancient Rome as Livy probably wished he had written it. Suddenly, Livy's stories made sense after listening to Roma by Saylor. Saylor obviously has absorbed and studied much of Livy, and he has fleshed out and enriched the barebone details of the ancient work, making it accessible and entertaining. For example, the three or four paragraphs in which Livy sketches the story of Hercules in Rome, becomes a lengthy, full chapter of adventure in Saylor's novel. The chapters on Romulus and Remus were so good, I wanted to read them twice. I never understood the significance of the Roman religious festivals such as Lupercalia (the original Valentine's Day), and so often found them boring. But after listening to Saylor's vivid descriptions and explanations, I find I want to celebrate Lupercalia myself!

    Well worth two credits, and maybe even three. For the first time ever, I found myself listening to 7 hours at one sitting. A true historical adventure novel in the fashion of "Sarum" by Edward Rutherford, this work by Saylor surpassed my greatest expectations. If you're into historical novels, don't let this one go by without checking it out. Ignore the negative reviews, and you'll be pleasantly surprised. I was.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Synchronicity Key: The Hidden Intelligence Guiding the Universe and You

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Wilcock
    • Narrated By David Wilcock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (150)

    Using history, astrology, and synchronicity theory as well as concepts such as fractals, spiritual geometry, quantum physics, and other new research, Wilcock shows that there is a hidden architecture within time, guiding individuals and nations through a system of enlightenment Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Historical events occur in shockingly precise, repeating cycles of time as a result. Once we understand and identify the hidden laws governing the fates of individuals and nations through seemingly random "synchronicity", we are left with a remarkable blueprint of how best to lead our lives in this uncertain and confusing world.

    kristen says: "If you liked The Source Field Investigations..."
    "Republicans=Evil; Democrats=angels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you believe that the 911 terror attacks were an inside job, or that a secret, all-knowing military cabal is ,responsible for every war in history, or if you believe that every Republican is evil and every Democrat is an angel, then David Wilcock is for you. Continually blasting the reader with :Bush, Reagan, Nixon are evil incarnate and part of the Cabal threatening humanity, while Carter and other democrats are angels sent to help humanity, this book clearly destroys Wilcock's credibility. He's gone from an author with spiritual insights in his first book, to a political hack with political bias in this book. The first 1/3 of this book was spent recapping his first book, the Source Field Investigations, and the second 1/3 of the book was spent showing readers how to write a Hollywood screen play, and the final 1/3 of the book was spent spewing political diatribe. Wilcock claims to be the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce, yet Edgar Cayce became more credible and more spiritual as he traveled through his life, while Wilcock has become less credible and more political as he travels his life. I don't remember Edgar Cayce ever being political, which made him relevant to everyone's life. Wilcock is only relevant to the 911 inside job conspiracy theoriists, and democrats. Might as well read Alex Jones instead.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Anthony Everitt
    • Narrated By John Curless
    Overall
    (818)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (400)

    Caesar Augustus has been called history's greatest emperor. It was said he found Rome made of clay and left it made of marble. With a senator for a father and Julius Caesar for a great-uncle, he ascended the ranks of Roman society with breathtaking speed. His courage in battle is still questioned yet his political savvy was second to none. He had a lifelong rival in Mark Antony and a 51-year companion in his wife, Livia. And his influence extended perhaps further than that of any ruler who has ever lived.

    John says: "Outstanding!"
    "Wonderful biography of Augustus"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a magnificient tale from start to finish. Every other biography, movie, or story about Augustus and Mark Antony, leaves you feeling like Augustus is the 'good guy', and Antony is the 'bad guy' ...such a simplistic description fell by the wayside when I read this biography.

    In reality, both Augustus and Antony were cruel, despotic tyrants with ruthlessness and savagery in their hearts. Think of Augustus and Antony as being the equivalent of the Hitler and Stalin of the ancient world. Hard to describe either Hitler or Stalin as a 'good guy'. Augustus was the coward and untrustworthy ally at the beginning of the biography, hiding in a marshy swamp at the Battle of Phillipi to avoid joining his men in a battle he was losing; and his betrayal of Cicero, who had helped Augustus to power, by surrendering him to Antony, showed the pettiness and selfishness of Rome's 'greatest emperor'. Talk about despicable, Augustus divorced his first wife Clodia Pulcra, and married Livia on the same day Clodia gave birth to Augustus' first child. And Antony, though not the coward Augustus was, was just as totally self-interested, black-hearted and dishonest, from his foreknowledge of Caesar's assassination. to his deserting/abandoning of his army and navy at the Battle of Actium in order to sexually pursue Cleopatra.

    The evil of both Augustus and Antony is breath-taking--the betrayals, the greed, the self-interest...I wound up hoping both tyrants would die before the end of the book...which thankfully they do. No longer do I feel pity for the elderly Augustus' poisoning at the hands of his wife Livia...he surely deserved worse. And Antony's and Cleopatra's well-deserved deaths had me cheering as well. A well-written biography which takes the Hollywood romantic aspect out of the real story of Rome during the civil wars of Augustus and Antony.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Electric Universe: The Shocking True Story of Electricity

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By David Bodanis
    • Narrated By Del Roy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (396)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (80)

    From the author of the bestselling E=MC2 comes a mesmerizing journey of discovery illuminating the wondrous yet unseen force that permeates our world and the scientists who've probed its secrets. Before 1790, when Alessandro Volta began the scientific investigation that spurred an explosion of knowledge and invention, electricity was perceived as little more than a property of certain substances that sparked when rubbed.

    Michael says: "Electric Electricity"
    "Good broad review of the history of electricity"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good overall review of the history of electricity. However, I agree with another reviewer here. The total and absolute omission of the contributions of Nikola Tesla is like writing a history of astronomy and leaving out discussion of Galileo. The author Bodanis obviously has such a prejudice and bias against Tesla, that the omission is like an elephant in the room that he doesn't want to talk about. It makes me leery of the author's other assertions, such as:

    1) the assertion that Samuel Morse stole the idea of the telegraph from Joseph Henry, a professor at Princeton

    2) the assertion that Edison was a villain without a conscience who was hired by Western Union as a 'patent-breaker' in order to crush Alexander Graham Bell's telephone patents;

    3) the claim that Marconi invented radio all by himself, leaving out discussion of Tesla; and the Supreme Court rulings that revoked Marconi's patents in favor of Tesla's

    4) the claim that Shockley stole the idea of semi-conductors from his assistants;

    According to Bodanis, the whole history of electricity is full of back-stabbers, cheaters, patent-villains, liars, and thieves. While this may be true, the author should have given a more neutral presentation. I enjoy hearing both sides of a story.

    But overall, Bodanis does explain with vivid imagery how electricity and radio waves work, so simply put that even a layman can understand it. Just be aware of the author's personal and blatant biases in this work. This book will lead me to double-check the history facts presented by Bodanis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone with the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Margaret Mitchell
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    Overall
    (3155)
    Performance
    (2112)
    Story
    (2147)

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Margaret Mitchell's great novel of the South is one of the most popular books ever written. Within six months of its publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind had sold a million copies. To date, it has been translated into 25 languages, and more than 28 million copies have been sold. Here are the characters that have become symbols of passion and desire....

    dallas says: "not to miss audible experience"
    "Good romance novel"
    Overall

    As a Civil War buff, I was looking forward to Gone With The Wind. I had heard it compared to 'War and Peace'. The best parts of 'War and Peace' were the descriptive battle scenes. Unfortunately, 'Gone With The Wind' doesn't have any battle scenes. It's not a war novel, it's a romance novel. It's the Civil War told from the woman's perspective...sort of like the Civil War equivalent of 'Army Wives'...scenes of the home front. The most descriptive scenes involved the anguish and pain of childbirth. Even though I've seen the movie many times, I was not expecting the sensation of seeing the Civil War through a woman's eyes as I did when reading the book. Ended up not caring too much for Scarlett O'Hara. She seems meaner in the book. I can see why Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer...very well written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Among the Indians

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Mark Twain, Lee Nelson
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    In 1885, while The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was becoming one of the best-selling American classics of modern times, Mark Twain began this sequel in which Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, and Jim head west on the trail of two white girls kidnapped by Sioux warriors. Fifteen thousand words into the work, Twain stopped in the middle of a sentence, never to go back. The unfinished story sat on dusty shelves for more than a hundred years until author Lee Nelson decided to finish it.

    Robert Whale says: "pretty good"
    "Best Mark Twain of all of Mark Twain's..."
    Overall

    This book was better than The Adventures of Huck Finn, which most consider to be Twain's masterpiece. I liked Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Among the Indians more than any other Twain work. Even if you only read the 15,000 words that Twain wrote, which is roughly 25% of the book (two hours of listening pleasure), you will be amazed by Twain at his adult best. This is no juvenile fiction...like Twain's other works...Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom Sawyer Abroad, Tom Sawyer Detective, etc,..., . The book examines how each character grows and develops from the childish personalities exhibited in other books, into fully developed complex adults. Tom comes to realize that 'book' Indians in the adventure novels he has read, do not act like 'real' Indians in the real world, and 'book' women in his romanticized novels do not act like 'real' women. Like Don Quixote awakening from his fantasies, Tom comes to realize that he can't believe everything he reads in books, James Fennimore Cooper and Sir Walter Scott, being just some of the authors that Twain skewers. And Huck comes to realize how to rely on his own instinct for what's right and wrong, rather than be guided by the often intolerant and bigoted social morays of his time, . Even former slave Jim grows and develops an awareness of what being free really means, after living among the wild Indians and being treated like an equal for the first time in his life.

    If you're expecting the same old juvenile, silly nonsense Twain usually put out, hold onto your seats when you read this one. Best book I've listened to on Audible. Best Twain book I've ever read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Time Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By H.G. Wells
    • Narrated By Bernard Mayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    The time traveler first steps out of his magnificent time-transport machine in the year 802,700. He finds Earth populated by a race of slender pacifists and decides to study this lush land of flower people before returning to his own age. These pacifists, he discovers, have built their wealth on the backs of a slave class forced to live below ground. As the conflict between them surfaces, the time traveler finds that his only means of escape, his time machine, has been stolen.

    Thomas says: "Great Fun"
    "Good Book"
    Overall

    I have read this book a few times before. But this I time, I read it after reading H.G. Well's Outline Of History. Many of the same philosophical thoughts are expounded upon in both books. Wells writes about the evolution of the human race in The Outline of History, and about the devolution of the human race in The Time Machine. The Morlocks bear an erie resemblance to the Neanderthals, whom Wells described as being remembered in the human racial collective memory as the 'ogre' of mythological prehistory. The crabs and insects who ruled the Earth of the early Devonian Period 400 million years ago are described by Wells in Outline of History, and they are similar to the giant crabs he describes who rule the Earth at the end of the planet in Time Machine. For anyone who wishes the Time Traveler had spent more time in that deteriorated library/museum of the future, try reading Outline of History and Time Machine back-to-back. Good scientific knowledge mixed with some action-thriller moments.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rebels of Ireland

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (105)

    Edward Rutherfurd's stirring account of Irish history, the Dublin Saga, concludes in this magisterial work of historical fiction. Beginning where the first volume, The Princes of Ireland, left off, The Rebels of Ireland takes us into a world transformed by the English practice of "plantation", which represented the final step in the centuries-long British conquest of Ireland.

    David says: "A Wonderful Story"
    "Rebels of Ireland"
    Overall

    Wonderful book that had me enthralled. Got a little long in places, but I stuck it out, and am glad I did. I tried reading Rutherford's "Sarum", not once, but twice, and could never get beyond the dragging, plodding pace of action. I anticipated a similar outcome on this book. But after reading other reviews, I decided to take a chance.

    This book is for anyone with a big blank space in their knowledge of Irish history. Some chapters I had to read twice, they were so thrilling--the Siege of Drogheda, the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the story of Robert Emmett, the Great Potato Famine, the Easter Uprising. I understand the Irish weltangst a little better now,... and no wonder the enmity between the Irish and the British. I'm inspired to explore Irish literature and mythos further.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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