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Christopher

Member Since 2001

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 194 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (114)

    Step into the real world of the spy with this detailed and unforgettable tour of the millennia-long history and enduring legacy of espionage and covert operations. While most of us associate this top-secret subject with popular fiction and film, its true story is more fascinating, surprising, and important than you could possibly imagine. These 24 thrilling lectures survey how world powers have attempted to work in the shadows to gain secret information or subvert enemies behind the scenes.

    Christopher says: "Learn About the History of Spying."
    "Learn About the History of Spying."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History in three words, what would they be?

    You Won't Believe


    What did you like best about this story?

    Very good overview of the history of spying and covert operations from ancient times to the modern era. Not nearly long or detailed enough to do the subject justice, however. The course teacher is superb--really, really talented at presenting the topic--not a minute of boredom here.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    History of covert operations in the 19th Century was fascinating.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the spies caught caught and killed--it happens more often than we imagine.


    Any additional comments?

    There is a need for more objective reviews of this topic in the literature and fewer "gee-whiz" types books (a la Clancy). This is towards the Le Carre style and the lecturer has great understanding of his topic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Decisive Battles of World History

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Gregory S. Aldrete
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (86)

    Throughout history, military engagements have altered the course of historical events. In these 36 dynamic lectures, Professor Aldrete leads you in discovering the military conflicts that have had the greatest impact in shifting the direction of events and defining our world. Across 4,000 years of history, you'll explore nearly 40 key military engagements, from the milestone battles of Western civilization to their counterparts in the Middle East, India, and Asia.

    Ken Mitchell says: "Excellent survey of decisive battles in history"
    "For Those Who Thought They Hated to Study Battles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Decisive Battles of World History the most enjoyable?

    An exceptional Professor who makes the context of every historical battle very informative and engaging.


    What other book might you compare The Decisive Battles of World History to and why?

    Lives of the Noble Greeks -- Just Kidding


    Which character – as performed by Professor Gregory S. Aldrete – was your favorite?

    N.A.


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

    Don't Bet On the Favorites!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7026)
    Performance
    (6685)
    Story
    (6697)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Really Good Science For a Really Improbably Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This book tells a story of human endurance in a unimaginably alien environment supported by great science and our current understanding of the Red Planet.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Martian?

    The trip across the Martian surface to the return module.


    Which character – as performed by R. C. Bray – was your favorite?

    NA


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The struggle to create food sufficient to survive a rescue mission


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert D. Kaplan
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia. With oil reserves of several billion barrels, an estimated 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and several centuries' worth of competing territorial claims, the South China Sea in particular is a simmering pot of potential conflict. The underreported military buildup in the area where the Western Pacific meets the Indian Ocean means that it will likely be a hinge point for global war and peace for the foreseeable future.

    Jean says: "Pending problems"
    "Biggest Challenge for US in Next 50 Years"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a really well written and presented analysis of the very complex topic of the strategic challenge to US power posed by the South China Sea and the countries which surround it. Informed by a large number of in-person interviews with strategic participants it is one of the very few "current affairs" type books that is a truly absorbing read.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The discussions of the roles of Lee Kuan Yu and Chiang Kai Shek in creating the current East Asia. Both descriptions were very insightful and informative.


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

    This is the first one. It is excellent even at 1.25x.


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

    "The Coming Storm"


    Any additional comments?

    Would really love to meet Mr. Kaplan in person some day. He bring deep historical knowledge to current affairs. Really wonderful book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Michio Kaku
    • Narrated By Feodor Chin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (489)
    Performance
    (449)
    Story
    (444)

    For the first time in history, the secrets of the living brain are being revealed by a battery of high-tech brain scans devised by physicists. Now what was once solely the province of science fiction has become a startling reality. Recording memories, telepathy, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis are not only possible; they already exist.

    Gary says: "More breadth than depth"
    "Good Science, Good Entertainment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Future of the Mind the most enjoyable?

    This is a very thought provoking book that is not bogged down by a lot of technicalities. Kaku-san brings us up to date on recent research in biology and cognitive science against a physics (quantum) background. There is speculation, prediction and thoughtful projection of the scientific world presented in a thoroughly entertaining read (or listen). The latter part of the book is a little too much of a rehash of "futurism" (with less of a focus on the mind), but it is still very interesting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Complex science made accessible for the interested laymen. If you can read (and generally understand) a Scientific American article, you will have no problem with this book.


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

    Good, but not the best. Yes, you can listen to this book at 1.25x and miss little.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The discussion of recent evidence of structural and chemical deficiencies in the brain and their link to mental illness was most interesting. It appears that psychiatry has been trying for 80 years to fix a car's engine by polishing the hood instead of looking inside.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one you will want to listen to and finish as soon as you can. Real reading enjoyment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Baroness Orczy
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (290)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (207)

    The Scarlet Pimpernel hides the identity of a British nobleman who, masked by various disguises, leads a band of young men to undermine the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution. The Scarlet Pimpernel makes daring raid after daring raid into the heart of France to save aristocrats condemned to the guillotine. At each rescue, he leaves his calling card: a small, blood-red flower - a pimpernel - mocking the power of Robespierre and his Committee of Public Safety.

    Amazon Customer says: "Beautifully Written Classic"
    "The Greatest Gothic Spy Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Scarlet Pimpernel in three words, what would they be?

    Hold Your Seat


    What did you like best about this story?

    Good character development; recognizable locations and plot development.


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

    No. But the narrator is good. I chose this over several other narrations because of its higher rating and I was not disappointed.


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

    Spying Against the French Revolution


    Any additional comments?

    Great Gothic type novel of spying. I picked this up because of other books on spying generally. It is viewed as the earliest and one of the best of the genre. That assessment is accurate. Ignore what they told you about this being a romance novel in high school. Great stuff, wish I had read it earlier in my life :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Confucianism and Taoism

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Dr. Julia Ching
    • Narrated By Ben Kingsley
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    Confucius (551-479 BCE) taught a moral wisdom that would become a predominant social force in China from the second century BCE until the mid-20th century. Confucianism does not teach a central doctrine that a God or gods should be worshipped, but it does embrace a system of ritual and emphasizes humanistic virtues and values. Daoism is both a philosophy and a religion, seeking a life and a mind in harmony with nature.

    Christopher says: "Not Deep Enough for these Subjects"
    "Not Deep Enough for these Subjects"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. But only for those with some Chinese history background.


    Would you recommend Confucianism and Taoism to your friends? Why or why not?

    Good starting point to understand the interaction of these religions


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not applicable. The discussion of early Taoism is fascinating.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. The material is way to deep and thought provoking for one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    A good starting place to understand the original and progression of both religions. You should know a fair amount about Chinese history to appreciate this book although some superficial comparisons to Western religions and philosophies are included.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Charlemagne

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Richard Winston
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (736)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (332)

    Charlemagne was easily one of the most fascinating figures in Western civilization, as well as the most heroic and romantic. The 47 years of his reign marked some of the most significant and far reaching events of the Middle Ages. Undoubtedly, it was his enlightened vision for Europe that resulted in the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of cultural flowering that never really ceased to develop, and which led in a straight line directly to that period of astonishing achievement we now call the High Gothic.

    Frank says: "A wonderful biography"
    "Learn About the Frankish Emergence in Europe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Charlemagne the most enjoyable?

    Both the writer and the reader are excellent


    What other book might you compare Charlemagne to and why?

    Historic biographies of Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon


    Which character – as performed by Charlton Griffin – was your favorite?

    The whole book is a chronological history


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

    The Man Who Made Europe


    Any additional comments?

    This is an excellent book if you wish to learn about the great acceleration of learning and civilization initiated by Charles the Great. Many myths are debunked. The writer makes Charlemange both a person and relevant to us in the modern era. A great listen if you like relatively obscure history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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