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  • The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    How did America become “one nation, indivisible”? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America’s most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators. Introducing the fascinating people who played a pivotal role in creating today’s United States, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree.

    Andy says: "deserves seven stars"
    "Good but not his usual A Game"
    Would you try another book from Simon Winchester and/or Simon Winchester?

    Of course. Overall a great author.

    Any additional comments?

    I did find this book a bit disappointing in that Mr. Winchester seemed to let more of his own personal philosophy, politics and moral judgement leak into this book, a vanity of many authors of history he has up to now, to his credit, refused to indulge in.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!"
    "Tough to find something good to say about this one"
    What would have made Daemon better?

    A good editor. Far less exposition and geek speak. The book falls into the usual trap that all those other "in the tradition of 'famous author'", in thinking that the liberal insertion of whatever jargon and technical detail into a thin plot makes for a thrilling inside novel. I'm an insider and I found it tedious. To outsiders it must be clutter that is both excruciatingly boring and utterly unhelpful in moving the story along.The plot in the last third of the book simply became absurd, rendering the government investigative team as utter morons, and the resolution completely predictable.Thats perhaps the biggest criticism of the book. There are no surprises, Mr. Suarez telegraphs every plot advancement and resolution; except when it simply jars into a new, different thread.Performance wise, I felt like I was listening to a never ending Michael Bay movie trailer. Note to Mr. Gurner. Subtly and an even measured cadence makes for an enjoyably listen.

    Has Daemon turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, huge fan of Stephenson, this is a pale pale imitation

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The idea at the core of the book has potential, although in reality its just another variant of the Skynet plot. I'm not sure it could ever be made workable though

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Annie Jacobsen
    • Narrated By Annie Jacobsen

    Drawing on exclusive interviews with dozens of Paperclip family members, colleagues, and interrogators, and with access to German archival documents (including papers made available to her by direct descendants of the Third Reich's ranking members), files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and lost dossiers discovered at the National Archives and Harvard University, Annie Jacobsen follows more than a dozen German scientists through their postwar lives and into one of the most complex, nefarious, and jealously guarded government secrets of the 20th century.

    Jeremy says: "This book will be read in all history classes soon"
    "To be fair I didn't get past the introduction"
    Would you try another book from Annie Jacobsen and/or Annie Jacobsen?

    Probably not

    What could Annie Jacobsen have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Leave her righteous indignation out of it, or at least save it for her own personal take in a chapter to itself.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Annie Jacobsen’s performances?

    Not really. Her tone was vaguely supercilious.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


    Any additional comments?

    It became apparent just a few paragraphs into the introduction this was not going to be a dispassionate historical account, but rather, morals and judgement, dispensed in great righteous dollops. What ever happened to articulate factual historical recounting and letting us, the little ole reader, for themselves, decide what moral judgment, if indeed any is even needed. If you've already decided it was pure evil incarnate, I cannot expect to get an accurate narrative of the history.

    5 of 22 people found this review helpful

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