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Chris

Woodland Hills, CA, United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
21
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
9
HELPFUL VOTES
216

  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2344)
    Performance
    (1716)
    Story
    (1715)

    The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....

    Patrick says: "compelling father-daughter story"
    "Frightening, Powerful, Deeply Thought-provoking."
    Overall

    What an incredible view of a pivotal moment in history. Perhaps this book is not as powerful if you have middling knowledge of 20th century history, but I found this portrait of Germany and the birth of the Third Reich chilling.

    If you have ever asked, "how could THAT have happened?" read this book, and you'll know. Watching Berlin, one of the world's most important cultural centers, dissolve into barbaric, paranoid madness is very disturbing, particularly because of how easily it happened. Its also quite sad to know that there were a few moments at the beginning, here and there, when maybe it all could have been stopped.

    I'm still thinking about it all days later. Very worth reading.

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11482)
    Performance
    (9940)
    Story
    (9913)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a little less than a third of the way through and find the book quite interesting. It seems to be a fair portrait of Jobs, blemishes and all. I'm writing this before finishing, though, in defense of the narrator, who seems to be taking quite a few hits on this page for, apparently, not sounding enough like Steve Jobs.

    Here's my take: The narrator is just fine, and does a clean, professional job, comparable to what you get in many of the best biographies. I've heard "terrible" narrators; this fellow is not one. His reading is nothing that would normally raise complaints. He does not do a Steve Jobs impersonation, which is exactly the way I, personally, would like him to approach it. But Jobs was such a public personality, with a nearly cult-like following, that some listeners seem to be taking their obsession with Jobs out on the narrator because he is not Jobs. I don't think that is reasonable.

    So, I'm enjoying the book. I hope you will as well.

    151 of 160 people found this review helpful
  • Blood's a Rover

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Ellroy
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    Summer, 1968. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy are dead. The assassination conspiracies have begun to unravel. A dirty-tricks squad is getting ready to deploy at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Black militants are warring in southside L.A. The Feds are concocting draconian countermeasures. And fate has placed three men at the vortex of History.

    Christopher says: "Ellroy is a magician"
    "Magnificent."
    Overall

    Magnificent. Brings Cold Six Thousand to a proper conclusion. Ellroy loves Beethoven, but this is Mahler. It is certainly not for everyone, but for those it is for... wow.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing the Dime

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1291)
    Performance
    (360)
    Story
    (355)

    The messages waiting for Henry Pierce when he plugs in his new phone clearly aren't intended for him. They indicate something has gone terribly wrong for a woman named Lilly. Pierce probes, investigates, and then tumbles through a hole, leaving behind a life driven by work to track down and help a woman he's never met. Connelly's latest is "a grabber from the beginning...utterly compelling."

    David says: "Nobody Could Be That Stupid That Many Times!"
    "I have no problem with this book"
    Overall

    I'd been putting it off because of bad listener reviews, but I was finally out of Connelly fiction so I went ahead. I thought it was just fine. Not the best, not the worst. Why some people are so upset with this book, I don't know. True, if you've never read a Connelly novel, you probably should get to know Harry Bosch instead, but otherwise, it lives up to Connelly's normal high standards.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David A. Kessler
    • Narrated By Blair Hardman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (515)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (162)

    The End of Overeatinguncovers the shocking facts about how we lost control over our eating habits - and how we can get it back. Dr. Kessler presents groundbreaking research, along with what is sure to be a controversial view inside the industry that continues to feed a nation of overeaters - from popular brand manufacturers to advertisers, chain restaurants, and fast-food franchises.

    Deidre says: "The best 'NON-DIET" diet book out there..."
    "An important, honest, fascinating book"
    Overall

    I can't recommend this book enough. It is the most thought-provoking book on eating that I have ever read. It is also a very interesting look at the food industry. While not a diet book per se, I would strongly recommend reading it before you choose a diet. It will open your eyes in ways I doubt you will expect. Really, give it a shot.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

    • ABRIDGED (18 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Vincent Bugliosi
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (179)

    Polls reveal that 85 percent of Americans believe there was a conspiracy behind Lee Harvey Oswald. Some even believe Oswald was entirely innocent. In this encyclopedic, absorbing audiobook, Vincent Bugliosi shows how the public has come to believe such lies about the day that changed the course of history. Bugliosi has devoted almost 20 years of his life to this project, and is determined to show that, despite the overwhelming popular perception, Oswald killed Kennedy and acted alone.

    Lawrence D. Clayton says: "On an equal footing with Helter Skelter"
    "Very Good! Brilliant!"
    Overall

    Brilliant. A Great listen. Now, could Mr. B. please turn his use of insight and logic on the living tools who now push a 9/11 coverup? I'd be quite happy if he did.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Assault on Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Al Gore
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (970)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (132)

    Here is a visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith have combined with the public sphere's degradation to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason. Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from national security to the economy, from issues of health and social welfare to the environment. As The Assault on Reason explains, we have precious little time to waste.

    Walter says: "Partisan but Valuable"
    "Amazing"
    Overall

    This is an amazing book. Please read it.

    3 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Castle in the Forest: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Norman Mailer
    • Narrated By Harris Yulin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (32)

    In his first major work of fiction in more than a decade, Norman Mailer offers what may be his consummate literary endeavor: he has set out to explore the evil of Adolf Hitler. The narrator, a mysterious SS man who is later revealed to be an exceptional presence, takes the young Adolf from birth through his adolescence. En route, reavealing portraits are offered of Hitler's father and mother, sisters, and brothers.

    Peter Mangiaracina says: "Compelling"
    "Worthy of Mailer"
    Overall

    I was at first unimpressed and felt that the device of devils and angels was a bit clunky, but Mailer won me over. I find it, as I near the end, to be a very powerful work. The prose, at first, seem weak by Mailer's normal standards--the tone has hints of a mid-twentieth century English translation of Thomas Mann. I realized a quarter of the way through that this was certainly a choice. And a good one. The cumulative effects of the prose were stunning. As is the portrait of humanity that emerges. And the portrait of Hitler! To see and begin to comprehend the forces that molded so awful, so powerful an individual is a bit of insight that I truly appreciate. My big fear--since this clearly a first volume to a much larger work--is that Mailer will not be able to finish it, and leave us with another unfinished half masterpiece, which of course should be renamed "Hitler's Ghost."

    The reader is top notch, and has a tone akin to Mailer?s, making it very pleasing to listen to.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Freddy and Fredericka

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mark Helprin
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (367)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (93)

    Best-selling, critically acclaimed author Mark Helprin's work has drawn favorable comparisons to an elite group of literary legends, including James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe, and Thomas Mann. Helprin's sheer comic brilliance shines in this ingenious farce.

    Chris says: "God save Craig-Vyvyan! I liked it."
    "God save Craig-Vyvyan! I liked it."
    Overall

    It was weird, beautiful, and funny. I listened to much of it hiking alone through the Sierra Nevada, which is strangely appropriate. (Why I might think it strangely appropriate to listen to a comic novel about a mythical Prince and Princess of Wales while hiking through a pristine American forest will only become apparent after reading the book.) I finished it a week ago, and it still hangs on. There were times it seemed overly repetitive, overly long, overly repetitive, and overly long but that is part of what makes it so hypnotic. It feels more like a dream that I've woken from rather than something I've just listened to. Then again, maybe that was the forest. Anyway, Its really worth a try, because however overlong you may find it, it is still beautiful and strange and funny, or so says Mr. Neil (who you may look up if you have a 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica) Yes, now that I think about it, I liked it quite a bit. How often do you get to dream that you are the Prince (or Princess) of Wales? God save Mark Helprin!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Assassination Vacation

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Conan O'Brien, Stephen King, Dave Eggers, and others
    Overall
    (2028)
    Performance
    (512)
    Story
    (504)

    Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other, a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

    Rachel says: "extremely entertaining and informative"
    "I so enjoyed myself"
    Overall

    Yes, I did. I found it oddly beautiful, a tid creepy now and then, and wierdly poetic. It gave a fine view, and offered itself up as a starting place to think of so much else. Oh, and it is funny. Thanks Sarah.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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