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Cliff

RED BANK, NJ, United States | Member Since 2012

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 73 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015
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  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ben Horowitz
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (806)
    Performance
    (663)
    Story
    (662)

    Ben Horowitz offers essential advice on building and running a startup - practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.

    Mark D. Adams says: "Exciting and insightful view of a "wartime CEO""
    "Tough to listen to, but interesting at times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The voice of the narrator in no way sounds like, or gives an impression of Horowitz. The constant us of "she" when referring to a universal or fictitious CEO or manager is odd, since when he mentions real people, they're all men, ie; Andy Grove, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs.

    The use of hip hop quotes was childish, and does not project an image of wisdom I need from a successful person. Why not quote Sponge Bob Square Pants while you're at it? I kept wondering how many rappers Horowitz was quoting while negotiating with HP.

    Once I got past the amateurish nature of the delivery of the book, there were some good stories and advice. The author did seem to brag a bit about how smart he was, perhaps listening to all that hip hop influenced his delivery.

    If you get the impression I'm not a big fan of hip hop, you'd be correct. But I'm not impressed by authors or speakers quoting any pop culture references like music or TV. It's lazy, and shows they don't read or revere serious thinkers or those who strive to advance or society. While some entertainers do contribute, they're not at the top of the list of those we can learn the most from.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Dahlia

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By James Ellroy
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (158)

    On January 15, 1947, the tortured body of a beautiful young woman was found in a vacant lot in Hollywood. Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, a young Hollywood hopeful, had been brutally murdered. Her murder sparked one of the greatest manhunts in California history.

    Grasshopper.Craig says: "Great naration"
    "Now This Is Storytelling!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't put this story down. Great character development, fact-based fiction, action-packed plot. I want more! Yes, the language is corse, and at times offensive, but The Black Dahlia's protagonist and his fellow officers are people who spoke and thought that way.

    0 of 0 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
    (1411)
    Performance
    (861)
    Story
    (866)

    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.

    Colin says: "Existential leavings"
    "I think I liked it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think I liked it, but it was so horrible, all the time. Many times, I'm a bit saddened when a good book is finished. Not this one, it was like having a rotten tough pulled; for days.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1776

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By David McCullough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5161)
    Performance
    (2282)
    Story
    (2290)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you ever thought history was boring, David McCullough’s performance of his fascinating book will change your mind. In this stirring audiobook, McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success.

    Mark says: "Front Seat on History"
    "If only history were taught like this in school"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are so many amazing facts, contradictions, things we just didn't know about the American Revolution that are either amazing, horrifying, or just left out of the story. Washington indecisive? The British troops' red coats were generally tattered? King George was not such a bad guy? Tell me more Mr. McCullough, your gentle, knowing voice has my ear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Earth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
    • Narrated By Michael Fenton-Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (764)
    Performance
    (674)
    Story
    (683)

    The Western Front, 1916. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of no-man's-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone? Madison, Wisconsin, 2015. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive - some say mad, others allege dangerous - scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson find a curious gadget.

    colleen says: "A Different Pratchett"
    "Brilliant! Great Characters, story, concept!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a wonderful surprise this book was. I felt like a teenage version of myself finding a great science fiction book, who couldn't wait to find out what happens next. There are so many books where I just don't care about the the characters, but these were well-fleshed-out.

    The story of the Long Earh was a great take on a concept that's been done many times. The difference was this time it seemed believable.

    Great performance, too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
    • Narrated By Blake Masters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1599)
    Performance
    (1278)
    Story
    (1276)

    The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won't create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them. It's easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1.

    Amazon Customer says: "Awesome Content. Hard to listen to."
    "Monopolies are the best business to be in!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Start a monopoly, you'll be successful is the message of this book. There, I just saved you from listening to this dreadfully boring book, read by the most uninspired narrator. I was really excited when I heard about this book by Thiel, but he's so smart, why didn't he write an engaging book, read by someone with some actual emotion. I've been getting books from Audible for years now, and this may be be the worst book I've listened to. I kid you not: if my mind is a bit too busy and I have trouble sleeping, this book puts me out in just a few minutes. It's the preformer's tone, or monotone that does it.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Year of the Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne, Katie MacNichol, Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1326)
    Performance
    (839)
    Story
    (842)

    The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life - has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life.

    Melinda says: "thought-provoking, engaging dystopic fiction"
    "Not Oryx and Crake"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The characters were not memorable. I found this disappointing and depressing.
    And please no more singing in audio books.

    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
    (17597)
    Performance
    (16343)
    Story
    (16348)

    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?"

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Macgyver on Mars"
    "Totally believable!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story and the science was brilliant. The brutality of Mars and the life and death situation was palpable. The protagonist comes off as a bit of bragger, but he's actually believable. Bravo!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19888)
    Performance
    (15764)
    Story
    (15807)

    A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

    Alisha says: "Good listen, but what's up with the chapter set up"
    "Absolutely Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't like sword and sorcery, knights, dragons, characters that drink mead or any of that sort of thing. I despise the Hobbit. But this series is so engaging, the characters in Clash of Kings could've been at Casterly Rock or The White House or St. Petersburg. Bravo!!!

    As for the narration, there were times I wondered how Roy Dotrice managed to keep all the characters separated in his mind -- an awesome dask handled brilliantly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12530)
    Performance
    (10843)
    Story
    (10820)

    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.

    Jeanne says: "Interesting man"
    "The Most Amazing Man of Our Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was mesmerized by this account of Steve Jobs' life. He is at once genius and monster, artist and heartless. How could someone so mean create such sublime products and be influenced by so many gentle souls? His triumphs and losses are legendary, and he may well be the greatest example of word "comeback" in human history.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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