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Christopher

Union, NJ, United States | Member Since 2010

71
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 137 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
7

  • Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, & Scorpion Bombs

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Adrienne Mayor
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (44)

    Weapons of biological and chemical warfare have been in use for thousands of years, and Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs, Adrienne Mayor's fascinating exploration of the origins of biological and unethical warfare, draws extraordinary connections between the mythical worlds of Hercules and the Trojan War, the accounts of Herodotus and Thucydides, and modern methods of war and terrorism.

    andrew says: "Awesome"
    "A great read for those interested in Antiquity"
    Overall

    The books flows quickly and is very interesting. If it were in print, I'd call it a page-turner. There's a lot of material about Greek gods and Greek mythology, but it seems necessary to put the actual history into context (or in fact, the reverse - the actual use of these weapons puts the mythology into perspective for the modern reader). It is amazing how brutal and unmerciful human beings can be to each other. And how much pain and suffering must have been endured in ancient times. I am surprised that none of the other histories of antiquity I've read mention these weapons. For that reason, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the period. It also provides a perspective from which to consider modern nasty weapons.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Day of the Triffids

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By John Wyndham
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (225)

    Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere 24 hours before is gone forever.

    Mark Willis says: "Surprisingly good"
    "Perfect post-apocalyptic novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, I thought it ended rather abruptly. I actually expected I was half way through the book when it ended. So that was somewhat disappointing that it was over. Nonetheless, I wouldn't have been disappointed if I hadn't been enjoying it so much. It's a really good book, full of all the concepts and situations I like in a good post-apocalyptic novel. It's realistic, exciting, and the narrative is practically prose. The writer is extraordinarily articulate and well-spoken. Quite the opposite of the some of the more recent post-apocalyptic/survivalist novels which sound like a how-to manual being read. Highly recommended. I just finished Earth Abides, and although the stories begin quite similarly, they diverge enough to be mutually enjoyable, even if you read them in succession. I should also say that the reader is excellent and perfectly matched to the content.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Joe Bageant
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (72)

    After 30 years spent scratching together a middle-class life out of a “dirt poor” childhood, Joe Bageant moved back to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, where he realized that his family and neighbors were the very people who carried George W. Bush to victory. That was ironic, because Winchester, like countless American small towns, is fast becoming the bedrock of a permanent underclass.

    Jim says: "Wake Up!"
    "A Socialist's depiction of working class America"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is entertaining, and makes you think. The author has a socialist bent - he holds the opinion that if there were no rich people, everything would somehow be better. His characterization and depiction of the realities of the working class are honest, though. He makes excellent points and it's hard to argue with his views on most matters.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1246)
    Performance
    (709)
    Story
    (712)

    Author of the National Book Award-winning All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy is one of the most provocative American stylists to emerge in the last century. The striking novel Blood Meridian offers an unflinching narrative of the brutality that accompanied the push west on the 1850s Texas frontier.

    Chris says: "Bleak but Fascinating"
    "Masterpiece. A work of art!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listened to it twice to better appreciate and enjoy it. So rich, so wonderful. Dark and violent, yes... but that's what the time and place was. I have never encountered such a masterful rendering of the English language. This is the 20th century equivalent of Shakespeare. I read "The Road" also, and it was very good. This book is high art.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Intellectuals and Society

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (327)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (162)

    This is a study of how intellectuals as a class affect modern societies by shaping the climate of opinion in which official policies develop, on issues ranging from economics to law to war and peace. You will hear a withering and clear-eyed critique about (but not for) intellectuals that explores their impact on public opinion, policy, and society at large.

    Gare&Sophia says: "An efficient attack on liberal philosophy."
    "Lies, Flawed Logic, and Hypocrisy - laid bare"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wish I could absorb and retain all the great arguments and clear analysis in this book. It captures all of the nonsense you hear on the news, that falls out of the mouths of politicians, activists, and pundits - and explains quickly and clearly why they are wrong. A very entertaining and enlightening read.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Anthony Everitt
    • Narrated By John Curless
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (51)

    Acclaimed British historian Anthony Everitt delivers a compelling account of the former orphan who became Roman emperor in A.D. 117 after the death of his guardian Trajan. Hadrian strengthened Rome by ending territorial expansion and fortifying existing borders. And - except for the uprising he triggered in Judea - his strength-based diplomacy brought peace to the realm after a century of warfare.

    Darwin8u says: "A Biography "too tall for the height of the cella""
    "Another detailed and entertaining puzzle piece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like Roman history, this book is another great slice of the big picture. Hadrian himself is not the most interesting emperor; certainly a great one for his peaceful, learned, and benevolent nature. But the book also paints a vivid picture of the time and place - when Rome was at its greatest height. Everitt's book "Augustus" is another winner.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (962)
    Performance
    (829)
    Story
    (825)

    Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

    Ethan M. says: "Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis"
    "Strange choice of title, but a great read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always wanted to know more about how ancient writings come down to us. There's a lot of detail about manuscripts and how long they last, and how little actually dates back to ancient times. I found it very interesting. The story of Poggio Bracciolini, the renaissance book hunter is also interesting. The author writes in wonderful prose. The reader compliments it nicely. If you like ancient/Roman/European history, this book is an entertaining overview.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret War with Iran

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Ronen Bergman
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    In the years since 9/11, the U.S. war on terror has focused on al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Coverage of Iran has been devoted almost exclusively to its nuclear ambitions. Yet, as Ronen Bergman's groundbreaking reporting in this vital investigative history reveals, for 30 years, Iran has been the world's leading sponsor of global terror and stands as the most formidable sponsor of terror in the world today.

    Christopher says: "More about Hezbollah and Hamas, little about Iran"
    "More about Hezbollah and Hamas, little about Iran"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An interesting book, but you'll learn more about Israel and Hezbollah and Hamas, organizations through which Iran acts secretly. I was hoping for more about the overt hostilities with Iran, and the inner workings of Iran, but as the title says, it's the secret war. Overall, good, but not exactly about Iran.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Jay Rubenstein
    • Narrated By Brian Holsopple
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (23)

    Beginning in 1095 and culminating four bloody years later, the First Crusade represented a new kind of warfare: holy, unrestrained, and apocalyptic. In Armies of Heaven, medieval historian Jay Rubenstein tells the story of this cataclysmic event through the eyes of those who witnessed it, emphasizing the fundamental role that apocalyptic thought played in motivating the Crusaders.

    Christopher says: "Long, too much moment-to-moment detail, dull"
    "Long, too much moment-to-moment detail, dull"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping for more summary and historical analysis and perspective. This books is, rather, a lot of moment-to-moment detail about battles, minor nobles, and many names of minor historical figures. If you are a crusades enthusiast, you might like it.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Columbine

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Dave Cullen
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1849)
    Performance
    (875)
    Story
    (885)

    Over the course of this gripping narrative, Dave Cullen approaches his subjects with unrivaled care and insight. What emerges are shattering portraits of the killers, the victims, and the community that suffered one of the greatest - and most socially and historically important - shooting tragedies of the 20th century.

    Book reader says: "Truth and heartache"
    "Lots of interesting detail NOT heard on the news"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The impression of the story formed by the news media isn't going to be changed much by this book. But it's full of detail that would not otherwise be heard. The narrative is told in an interest, engaging way. The reader is good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3882)
    Performance
    (2452)
    Story
    (2471)

    The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
    "Solid and well written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found the book to be well written, and useful for filling in gaps in my knowledge of world history, but I discovered that the topic and the man are generally not my favorite areas of study. The reader is pleasant, and I guess I have nothing negative to say about it. If you are interested in Genghis Khan, you'll like this book (I think!).

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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