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Charles

Winchester, KY, United States | Member Since 2009

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 82 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Atul Gawande
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (395)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (132)

    Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive for best performance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. His stories of diligence and ingenuity take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to labor and delivery rooms in Boston, to a polio outbreak in India, and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on medicine, and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand washing.

    Bonneville says: "Unfocused & Rambling"
    "From an outlying negative view..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am baffled how people are rating this so high. It is a rambling, discontinuous stream of conscious kind of work. I have purchased approximately 40 books on Audible and this is the first one that simply did not warrant finishing. At 2/3rds of the way, I surrendered---no more. I, too, am in a medical field and so was particularly attracted to this about getting better in practice and teaching. Nothing in this collection of anecdotes provides a basis for self-study insights toward improvement. The narrator is fine. In fact, he has my admiration for doing his job on this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10299)
    Performance
    (4751)
    Story
    (4765)

    In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

    S Prabhu says: "Excellent book; well adapted for the audio format"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Throughout the book, the author uses narratives of several famous Individuals to generalize to the population. In effect, he attempts to validate his perspective with scattered anecdotal evidence. I found this somewhat misrepresentative during the progression of the book and then it all made sense listening to the interview at the end. The author purposefully planned the book as an "assault on rugged individualism"--his description. He appears to do this to advance some sociopolitical perspective (again, listen to the interview). Sure, circumstances and opportunity play a role in all our lives, not only the rich or famous. The hockey team story is way overblown. Could 6 more months of physical and emotional maturity make a difference in adolescent athletes? Sure, but are not most sophomore athletes better than their freshman year? Yes, it is simply development, practice, and competitive play. That some are denied opportunity because of these factors and it is unfair is nonsense. The author also seems to discount all the other intra-individual characteristics that could be significant factors in the courses of these lives and the outcomes of the stories. If you have ever made something out of nothing by virtue of your determination, had insights and developed some innovative project, or creatively solved a dilemma, you may not like this book. According to the author's perspective, you just got lucky and then anyone could have done the rest. He magnifies one factor in the equation disproportionally and minimizes the other contributors. I enjoyed Blink, but he's off target here. These are interesting stories, which is why I suspect so many people rate the book so highly. Anecdotes do not equal evidence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2603)
    Performance
    (1907)
    Story
    (1914)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Jennie says: "Unbelievably riveting!"
    "Truly amazing story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As this began, I was not as enthralled as other reviewers. As the story continues and the voyagers managed one hardship after another, one might begin to ask, "could I have endured that?" Time after time they did and against tremendous odds. What astounding constitutional strength by so many! In the end, they accomplished so much more than they intended, albeit at quite a cost. By the end, it truly was gripping.
    I did not realize until the notes at the end, the book was published that long ago. As others have commented, the reader does a great job. His pacing, tenor, emphasis, etc. are near perfect. He does a wonderful job projecting the emotions of the men and portraying the various characters in their voices.
    After completing it today, I have already begun to listen to it again to absorb it all more fully again. Stories like this are exactly why non-fiction is so much more interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3612)
    Performance
    (3230)
    Story
    (3259)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
    "Importance of a first account of history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, all the bluster about revealing operational secrets, etc.---it is not there. Nothing I heard in this narrative was particularly a surprise. If any adversary could gain some type of tactical advantage from this, they obviously have not done their homework elsewhere. I suspect some of that bluster is because the author is not particularly complimentary of Obama and his willingness to take credit for the operation. The author does not drone on about this, but simply makes an observation and moves on with the rest of the story.
    To learn the inside story of what actually happened with the mission is very interesting, particularly how close it came to going horribly wrong. This book is mostly about the men who train relentlessly becoming professional operators and the work that goes on to allow them to succeed. If you have an interest in current events and like to know the intricacies of how this event actually occurred, this is recommended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • When I Left Home: My Story

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Buddy Guy, David Ritz
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (45)

    According to Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy is the greatest blues guitarist of all time. An enormous influence on these musicians as well as on Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, he is the living embodiment of Chicago blues.

    Rick Gmail says: "Excellent History and Respect for The Blues"
    "A must for blues fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This one is, indeed, a must for blues fans. Buddy Guy's story is compelling--from working in cotton as a child to being a world-wide acclaimed guitarist. The history he tells of other blues musicians over the decades, however, is priceless. After listening to this, you will probably be a greater fan of Buddy's and you will have loved all the stories he told along the way.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Cross to Bear

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Gregg Allman, Alan Light
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (190)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (173)

    As one of the greatest rock icons of all time, Gregg Allman has lived it all and then some. For almost 50 years, he's been creating some of the most recognizable songs in American rock, but never before has he paused to reflect on the long road he's traveled. Now, he tells the unflinching story of his life, laying bare the unvarnished truth about his wild ride that has spanned across the years.

    the dude says: "my cross to bear was awesome"
    "Lots of history---fascinating trip"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are a fan of the ABB, you will love the story of how the band was formed. The group's struggles are well documented, but you will likely learn a few things along the way. Any discussion of the ABB invariably includes "what ifs" and we are again left to wonder what music could have been created had Duane lived longer. Gregg's personal account appears to hold nothing back. I confess to being a fan and have worn out multiple vinyl copies of Fillmore East before finally switching to CDs. It is still one of the finest sets every produced. The story behind the cover photos was interesting--and probably not what you might have imagined. This is but one of many nuggets along the way. Will Patton's reading is spot on. He seems to capture Allman's soulful expression from the text to match what Allman delivers in performance. Patton's delivery adds tremendously to the story, giving it great realism. I would have given this an overall of 4.5 had that option been available.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brother Ray: Ray Charles' Own Story

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ray Charles, David Ritz
    • Narrated By Andrew L. Barnes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    Ray Charles (1930-2004) led one of the most extraordinary lives of any popular musician. In Brother Ray, he reveals his life story unsparingly, from the chronicle of his musical development to his heroin addiction to his tangled romantic life.

    Charles says: "Very Candid"
    "Very Candid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Recommended if you really want to know Brother Ray, but be prepared for his candor. He makes no excuses and offers no apologies for his choices. His was a fascinating life and he was an amazing talent. I thought I knew something about him, but how little I knew was revealed with this memoir.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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