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Christopher

Member Since 2007

ratings
91
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
2

  • Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Robert H. Lustig
    • Narrated By Jonathan Todd Ross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (204)

    In the late 1970s when the government mandated we get the fat out of our food, the food industry responded by pouring more sugar in. The result has been a perfect storm, disastrously altering our biochemistry and driving our eating habits out of our control. To help us lose weight and recover our health, Robert Lustig presents personal strategies to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress; and societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation.

    ashley d kasper says: "Changed the Way I Eat"
    "Better than usual book on diet and food"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What other book might you compare Fat Chance to and why?

    This book is in many ways a typical example of its genre, i.e. self-help books on changing your diet and/or relationship with food. As such it is comparable with Dr. Sears books on the Zone, or Dean Ornish's books. There is one important difference that makes this book more interesting to me, Lustig isn't selling anything (other than the book of course), no meals, no diet plan, just his conception of the science behind fat accumulation, storage and how the government and food industry are complicit in the "obesity epidemic".


    What about Jonathan Todd Ross’s performance did you like?

    It didn't get in the way at all. For a book like this, that's high praise.


    Any additional comments?

    From the point of view of an educated lay reader, I find much of the science persuasive. The fact that the book isn't part of a large merchandising effort makes it more so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (2070)
    Performance
    (1840)
    Story
    (1860)

    Michael Lewis returns to the financial world to give listeners a ringside seat as the biggest news story in years prepares to hit Wall Street....

    Darwin8u says: "Making the system deliver on its promise."
    "Ok, what was all the fuss about?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Michael Lewis and/or Dylan Baker?

    Yes, the reporting appeared thorough.


    What about Dylan Baker’s performance did you like?

    I think he was good at hitting the points the book was trying to emphasize.


    Any additional comments?

    You know, it's not that this story wasn't well done, it was. I feel almost guilty about rating it as only 3 stars, because it feels like it should be more important than that. The story was interesting in itself, and certainly points to trends that should leave any reader worried about the completely artificial nature of the structures for investment in the economy that are portrayed here.

    And yet, I felt curiously disappointed when I got to the end of the book. There were three stories braided together, the improper prosecution of a programmer, the building of a high speed network and the creation of a new stock exchange. I think I'm supposed to have felt triumphal at the end of the last one, worried by the second, and I don't even know what the first one had to do with the rest of the stories, except that it involved some of the same people.

    I think what I'm saying is that the book lacked focus. No bad cess to the author, he tried to take on a huge subject, using individuals as lenses to view the process of the destruction of the stock market as anything rational. And yet, I am left unsatisfied. Worth a read, but not going to be on my top 100 books ever list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Guns of Avalon: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Roger Zelazny
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    Overall
    (708)
    Performance
    (629)
    Story
    (637)

    Across the worlds of Shadow, Corwin, Prince of blood royal, heir to the throne of Amber, gathers his forces for an assault that will yield up to him the crown that is rightfully his. But, a growing darkness of his own doing threatens Corwin's plans, an evil that stretches to the heart of the perfect kingdom itself where the demonic forces of Chaos mass to annihilate Amber and all who would rule there.

    John says: "Nobody steals books but your friends."
    "Oh my God, can we please lose the accents!?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Guns of Avalon? What did you like least?

    I have loved the Amber series for nigh on thirty years, since I first discovered it as a teen ager. This series is magical in its language, portrays fascinating personal and moral struggles set against a tremendously imagined world. All this I love. The narration is decidedly the weak point in this rendition.


    What didn’t you like about Alessandro Juliani’s performance?

    It might be easier to sum up what I liked. His Corwin is well done, with a good grasp of the character. Just about everyone else is a miss. In this performance, the character of Ganalon is turned into an upper-class twit, and somehow Benedict and Dara become refugees from the Ante-Bellum South. Random remains a cross between someone from the Revenge of the Nerds and a really bad Peter Lorre on meth.


    Did The Guns of Avalon inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, write a scathing review of a performance, something I am not usually called upon to do on this otherwise wonderful site.


    Any additional comments?

    I gave the book three stars overall, despite my distaste for the narrator's choices in characterization. The Guns of Avalon is the weakest of the first five Amber books, having to do a lot of backing and filling and introduce large chunks of exposition that were necessarily delayed by the story conventions required in the first book by amnesia and a deft pacing that left no time to breathe, let alone fill in back story. Still, it's a four-star story for me, the only one that isn't five. I just wish Juliani didn't make a number of the characters sound like muppets, it makes me sad. I'm afraid I can't really recommend the reading of this series here presented, and will only go on in a dimming hope it gets better, and since I already bought the bloody thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942-1945

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Barrett Tillman
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (30)

    Whirlwind is the only book to examine in depth the human drama behind the most important bombing campaign in history. While the air war against Nazi Germany has been covered in-depth by many books, Barrett Tillman, a renowned authority on military aircraft and the air war in the Pacific, is the first to tackle the air war against Japan. For decades, historians and politicians have debated whether or not Japan was on the verge of surrender in August 1945---before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Michael says: "Good, but ultimately disappointing"
    "A workmanlike effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    For someone unfamiliar with the air war against Japan, this book provides a good summary of the history and some worth while glimpses into what it meant to fly in that struggle. For this sort of reader, it is well worth the read.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a good basic book. For readers with a more sophisticated grasp of World War II history, this book doesn't add anything new or startling. As I said, a workmanlike effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Roger Zelazny
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    Overall
    (1551)
    Performance
    (1394)
    Story
    (1410)

    Amber is the one real world, of which all others including our own Earth are but Shadows. Amber burns in Corwin's blood. Exiled on Shadow Earth for centuries, the prince is about to return to Amber to make a mad and desperate rush upon the throne.

    Joe says: "Great begining of the series"
    "Oy! What was he thinking?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What didn’t you like about Alessandro Juliani’s performance?

    Almost everything! What in the name of namable things was he thinking with some of his voice characterizations, making Random seem like a refugee from the Revenge of the Nerds?


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    How I lost 100 million dollars trying to make an unfilmable movie!


    Any additional comments?

    Ok, you have to understand, I love this entire series and have done for more than thirty years. Amber is, perhaps oddly, one of those comfort settings I return to from time to time, and each time I am still blown away by the tour de force that Roger Zelazny created in the making of this world and the people who dwell therein. So it was with great pleasure that I found Amber on Audible. I downloaded the first book in the series and sat back to enjoy another visit to a place I always come away the happier for having visited.

    Within an hour of beginning, I was gritting my teeth as Juliani's Random, turned into a caricature of a braces-wearing teen ager who happens to hold the keys to the universe came slushing through my headphones. Mr. Juliani is a talented narrator with a wide vocal range to work with. I was dismayed at his handiwork, but I will be giving the Guns of Avalon a go to see if things get better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Game: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    Overall
    (454)
    Performance
    (296)
    Story
    (294)

    The seventh Mary Russell novel finds her searching for the missing Kimball O'Hara, the famous "Kim" of the Rudyard Kipling novel.

    Kat Coz says: "another very enjoyable trip"
    "A workmanlike effort in a series I adore"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Game? What did you like least?

    In contrast to O Jerusalem, the view of India in this book is rather trite and boring, and the opposition characters rather less interesting. In OJ, post-war Palestine shone with the fierce intensity of its desert sun and the people were richly portrayed. Alas, King's India was far less engaging and the plot of the story fell short of her brilliant best.


    Would you recommend The Game to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes. While well below the best of this series, it is still a fun read. Jenny Sterling's narration is as usual impeccable, and even being relatively unexceptional in the series, the series is itself a fascinating exploration of one of western literature's most interesting legends.


    Have you listened to any of Jenny Sterlin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    As I said, her usual wonderful self.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Divine Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Clive James (translator), Dante Alighieri
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (85)

    Renowned poet and critic Clive James presents the crowning achievement of his career: a monumental translation into English verse of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy is the precursor of modern literature, and this translation - decades in the making - gives us the entire epic as a single, coherent and compulsively listenable lyric poem. Written in the early 14th century and completed in 1321, the year of Dante’s death, The Divine Comedy is perhaps the greatest work of epic poetry ever composed.

    Tad Davis says: "Brilliant!"
    "This is beautiful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Divine Comedy to be better than the print version?

    I have only experienced this in audio


    Any additional comments?

    I have read the John Ciardi translation of this monumental work. James' translation is by far the more beautiful and startling, bringing forth the pathos and horror of Hell and purgatory with a vividness that left my brain singing for days after I had finished it. This will be one I come back to time and again to enjoy the elegance and lyrical ferocity of the language. The narration is a fitting complement to such a magnificent text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4711)
    Performance
    (4239)
    Story
    (4324)

    The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.

    Ellen says: "At last - The Definitive Recording!"
    "A crime against the master."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Fellowship of the Ring better?

    Readers of this review should not mistake my displeasure for any lack of regard for the book itself. This is entirely on the narrator.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Lord of the Rings has been a touchstone for me ever since I was ten. Tolkien's love of language and the world of immense detail he created frame a story that stans on its own for excellence.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Rob Inglis’s performances?

    Absolutely not! I'm sure Mr. Inglis' talents would work for some British lit, in fact he might well do a smash-up job on Alice or something like that, but his delivery is altogether inappropriate for this story. And oh God, someone should have prevented him from trying to sing Tolkien's songs.


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

    Hmmm, almost anger. I love the entirety of Tolkien's Middle Earth and all the stories therein. There is a music in his poetry and a poetry in his music that requires care to bring across in a spoken performance. Rob Inglis left this poetic music writhing in shame on the ground, its petticoats torn, stockings awry and generally in a state of violated disrepair that I could not abide.


    Any additional comments?

    J. R. R. Tolkien was a linguist and a lover of the sound of language. If one listens to the music that is in Elvish when properly spoken, one cannot doubt that to be read aloud was one purpose for the writings of his tales of Middle Earth. I applaud Audible for bringing an attempt to do this into its collection, but I cannot describe in strong enough terms how disappointing this effort is in ruining the rhythm of the language and rendering the whole thing into a children's farce, note I say farce, not tale. One must love this material deeply in order to do it justice, as shown by the Peter Jackson film adaptations. I do not feel the love here.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • To Kingdom Come: An Epic Saga of Survival in the Air War Over Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robert J. Mrazek
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    On September 6, 1943, 338 B-17 "Flying Fortresses" of the American Eighth Air Force took off from England, bound for Stuttgart, Germany, to bomb Nazi weapons factories. Dense clouds obscured the targets, and one commander's critical decision to circle three times over the city---and its deadly flak---would prove disastrous. Forty-five planes went down that day, and hundreds of men were lost or missing.

    Andrew Scott McClanahan says: "38 Planes Were Sent Out. Only 2 Returned."
    "An important story"
    Overall

    As the last veterans of World War II pass away, their stories are disappearing. This is a sad thing, because it is in the personal stories of important events that we can truly learn history that affects us. Robert Mrazek's book conveys this history in a compelling fashion that makes it possible for 21st century Americans to relive the experiences of the young men of the Eighth Air Force during their time of trial in Europe.
    The personal touch Mrazek brings to each story manages to convey it at all scales from grand strategy to the happenings in individual planes. It's difficult to span this wide a scale, but Mrazek does it skillfully.
    In the interests of full disclosure, Ray Theodore Wilken, one of the men Mrazek follows through the raid was my biological grandfather, so I had a reason to read this book. Doing so has taught me more about my own family history and the histories of the men linked to Ted by their joint service, and the German fighter ace who killed him.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Too Big to Fail

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Andrew Ross Sorkin
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1125)
    Performance
    (484)
    Story
    (486)

    A real-life thriller about the most tumultuous period in America's financial history by an acclaimed New York Times reporter. Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true, behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami.

    Laura says: "Surprisingly Revealing"
    "Too Important not to read"
    Overall

    This book ate an entire weekend for me. I find the narration of the events to be gripping, and the hour-by-hour time scale during the critical time span between the failure of Lehman and the rescue of AIG to give me a lot of insight into the course of the great train wreck of the financial collapse.

    Sorkin is too sympathetic to the people he is narrating. Ifound myself annoyed from time to time by the gentleness with which he approached his subjects.

    On the other hand, William Hughes' narration was fabulous and upped my rating by a full star. This truly is a case where the quality of the production made the material better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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