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C. Levitan

Incline Village, NV United States | Member Since 2008

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 455 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (675)
    Performance
    (551)
    Story
    (547)

    At the dawn of the 20th century, humanity was facing global disaster. Mass starvation, long predicted for the fast-growing population, was about to become a reality. A call went out to the worlds scientists to find a solution. This is the story of the two enormously gifted, fatally flawed men who found it: the brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and the reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, controlled world markets, and saved millions of lives.

    sarah says: "Riveting"
    "The most important element on earth"
    Overall

    This book is a riviting story of, well, nitrogen. It's also a story of famine and war, since nitrogen's main industrial uses are fertilizer and gunpowder. I'll never read history the same, knowing that Europe, in the 1700's, and China, in the 1960's were both in famine, both relieved by fertilizer. It's amazing to plot the path from ship-to-ship barrages in the Napoleonic wars back to guano deposits in then-Bolivia, and before that, to compost trenches required on every British farm.
    Poor Haber is as sad a bit of humanity as you can imagine. His effort to end hunger drove German into two wars, his effort to end all wars created poison gas, and his efforts at insecticide ended up gassing Jews. The only rough part of the book was the sweeping, brief summary of nitrogen in today's world.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Fuzzy Nation Part 2

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In John Scalzi's re-imagining of H. Beam Piper's 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy, written with the full cooperation of the Piper Estate, Jack Holloway works alone for reasons he doesnt care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorps headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporations headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, thats not up for discussion.

    C. Levitan says: "Star Trek meets John Grisham"
    "Star Trek meets John Grisham"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This fine page-turner is a foundation of the space-legal-procedural: LA Law goes to Pandora. Fun plot, no character development, fantastic narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • WLT: A Radio Romance

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Garrison Keillor
    • Narrated By Garrison Keillor
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    In the spring of 1926, the Soderbjerg brothers, Ray and Roy, plunge into radio by founding Station WLT (With Lettuce and Tomato) in order to rescue their failing restaurant and become the Sandwich Kings of South Minneapolis. For the next 25 years, the "Friendly Neighbor" station produces a dazzling array of shows and stars: Dad Benson, Wingo Beals, Slim Graves and his Blue Movers, chain-smoking child star Little Becky, and household-tips maven Lucille Larson (who repeatedly broadcasts in her underwear).

    Steve says: "Funny!"
    "Not Lake Woebegone!"
    Overall

    WLT is Keillor's best work. It's got great story structure, fantastic characters and character development, hilarious language, and quirky atmosphere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • That Old Ace in the Hole

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Annie Proulx
    • Narrated By Arliss Howard
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (15)

    Strikingly original and intimate, That Old Ace in the Hole tracks the vast waves of change that have shaped the American landscape and character in the past century. In Bob Dollar, Proulx (The Shipping News) has created one of the most irresistible characters in contemporary fiction. "It's like seeing a painting up close and magnified," says Publishers Weekly, "with each tiny brush stroke lovingly emphasized."

    Mark says: "Wonderful characters and a Message, too"
    "Beautiful regional coming-of-age story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to That Old Ace in the Hole again? Why?

    This great story recounts Bob Dollar's trying to set up hog farms in the Panhandle, a job he loathes for a goal he hates, against people he respects. The story is a little like 'Shipping News', a lost man who saves himself, helped by the community and the land.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narration of this story was great, with perfect voices for each character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14075)
    Performance
    (6417)
    Story
    (6497)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Beautiful story, moving narration"
    Overall

    This is two stories, a challenged man in his 20's, and the same man challenged at 90 (or 93, what year is this?), each leading with humor and fantastic suspence to an inevitable disaster, or, well, jeeze, just listen to the story! You'll respect elephants so much more afterwards.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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