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Los Angeles, CA, USA

  • 11 reviews
  • 89 ratings
  • 179 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Cinderella Man: James Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jeremy Schaap
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner

    Lost in the annals of boxing is the sport's true Cinderella story. James J. Braddock, dubbed "Cinderella Man" by Damon Runyon, was a once promising light heavyweight for whom a string of losses in the ring and a broken right hand happened to coincide with the Great Crash of 1929.

    Marcus Anthony says: "Excellent"
    "Nothing like the movie.."

    This book is a fascinating historical account of the boxing careers of Jim Braddock and Max Baer. In the movie, Baer is portrayed as a comic book villain, a la Mr. T in Rocky III. In the book, a far more complex character is revealed.

    While the film was emotionally compelling, the book reads like a historical account. If you like sports and/or history, you will enjoy this book. If you're expecting to have a more in depth version of Ron Howard's film, you will be disappointed.

    Grover Gardner's delivery was, as usual, above par.

    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

    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.

    Amazon Customer says: "It tantalized my taste buds"
    "Fascinating subject matter, but...."

    This book really could have used the services of a professional narrator. I felt like McCullough was just droning on. His voice is so soft, and the tone so rarely changes, that I would often find myself nodding off while listening -- I nearly fell asleep at the wheel while listening to this book. I would advise that you listen to the sample audio before purchasing.

    That said, McCullough is a fine historian, and there can be no doubting that he is a master of this period in American history. The monotone delivery is the only reason this book isn't getting 5 stars.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • 1984

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Richard Brown

    The year 1984 has come and gone, yet George Orwell's prophetic nightmare vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of "Negative Utopia", a startlingly original and powerful novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words.

    Erik says: "Good narrator, great book"
    "Powerful Warning that Stands the Test of Time"

    In 1984, the concept of "Engsoc" (English Socialism) has taken over Oceania, resulting in the utter destruction of religion, morality and free choice. However, 1984 is more than just a warning against dictatorial Socialism - it serves as a warning to anyone who would trade his liberty and free choice in exchange for the promise of "security" (economic or military) from the government.

    The narrator does an excellent job. There are some earlier reviews complaining that his voice is drab, dreary and monotone. This is true - his reading style entirely matched the depressing world of 1984. A good narrator must match the tone of the material he/she is reading.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Memory of Running

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ron McLarty
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In late 2003, in his column in Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King called The Memory of Running "the best novel you won't read this year." This glowing endorsement of the audiobook resulted in Ron McLarty receiving a $2 million two-book deal from Viking Penguin. Also, Warner Brothers has shelled out big bucks for the movie rights to The Memory of Running, for which McLarty will write the script.

    Neal says: "Funny and Fascinating, A Wonderful Book"
    "Great book"

    This book most definitely lives up to its hype...

    This is a great "Americana" story that will both inspire and entertain you. I continue to think about the various characters in this book; this is one title that I intend to listen to again, in order to catch what I may have missed during the first listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Company: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    "If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).

    Cynthia says: "Hang on to your Hat"
    "Entertaining novel..."

    Since there have already been quite a few full blown reviews, I am limiting myself to a few comments:

    Length: I did not think it too long. To the contrary, I found myself listening at every available opportunity. The book is long because it covers such a long period of time (50 years), not because the author is using filler material to fatten up his page count. If I have a criticism about the length, it is that there came a point towards the end of the book when something very big was revealed. I felt like the book should have ended then. This is mostly a stylistic judgment of mine, and it is the reason I am rating the book four stars instead of five.

    Politics: The book is fairly merciless in its swipes at the Kennedys (Ted, John, Bobby) and Ronald Reagan. Reagan is portrayed as a hapless and bumbling figure (a common claim that has been discredited by the release of the thousands of handwritten letters and speeches showing Reagan's strong views on Cold War related matters.) Bobby Kennedy is portrayed as a souless hatchet man, while Ted is busy tossing girls in a pool while the fate of the free world is being discussed.

    Profanity: As others have remarked, there is quite a bit of profanity in this book - but nothing approaching excessive profanity. This is a book about a bunch of gruff CIA agents. Gruff CIA agents swear.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Hand of Providence: The Strong and Quiet Faith of Ronald Reagan

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Mary Beth Brown
    • Narrated By Chris Fabry

    As the nation mourns the tragic loss of our 40th president, a new audiobook offers comfort and healing. Hand of Providence: The Strong and Quiet Faith of Ronald Reagan is an uplifting biography that emphasizes the powerful impact his faith had on his ideas, motives, and actions. According to recent opinion polls, Ronald Reagan is the most popular of modern presidents, and yet to most biographers the man is still an enigma.

    D says: "Enjoyable..."

    I enjoyed listening to this book, and it was decent enough... but it mostly consists of re-telling Reagan stories that I've heard numerous times before. I enjoyed hearing them again for the nostalgia effect. The big 'twist' to this book is its attempt to spin every seminal event in Reagan's life as having come from the "hand of providence" (God). In some ways, I felt like I was being hit over the head by a 2x4, as the author refused to allow me (the reader) to draw my own conclusions. The author even says in the preface that she hopes that the book will serve as a "witnessing tool" to draw people to Jesus.

    I'd say as a bottom line: if you're looking for a more scholarly review of Reagan's religious views and the impact his faith had on his life, read Paul Kengor's "God and Ronald Reagan." If you think the 1980s were the greatest decade of the 20th Century, and you can't possibly get enough of Ronald Reagan, and if you're not too uptight about proselytism, you should enjoy listening to this book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard

    Captain Nemo captures the men on his incredible submarine, the Nautilus. The captain and his unwilling passengers thus embark on a deep-sea odyssey that stretches from the palm-strewn Indian Ocean to the frozen peril of the South Pole. But the enigmatic Nemo has a darker purpose for his voyage...revenge on humanity.

    Randall says: "A good naration of a classic story"
    "Great story, excellent narrator"

    This is a great story. Some of the technological wonders described in the book may seem a bit dated these days, but the sheer splendor of our protagonist's fantastic journey stands the test of time.

    The narrator does an excellent job at pacing and changing the voices around - the scenes were flashing by in my head just as they would when I'm reading a good print book. He really brings Capt. Nemo to life.

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Dale Carnegie
    • Narrated By Andrew MacMillan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    You can go after the job you want...and get it! You can take the job you have...and improve it! You can take any situation you're in...and make it work for you!

    Ralph says: "This is well worth listening too! Main points are."
    "Good advice"

    The advice contained in this book is different than that found in more recent "self-help" books and seminars. Carnegie stresses the importance of genuine caring for others, and just being good human beings. Carnegie was clearly a spiritual man.

    The more modern self-help gurus take on a more souless, selfish, and purely manipulative approach to getting what you want. That isn't what Carnegie is attempting to teach. Carnegie and his book are firm believers in the "win win" approach to dealing with others.

    One final comment: students of history will delight in Carnegie's various references to important figures of his time, including T. Roosevelt, Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, etc.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow Divers: Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of WWII

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Kurson
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1991, acting on a tip from a local fisherman, two scuba divers discovered a sunken German U-boat, complete with its crew of 60 men, not too far off the New Jersey coast. The divers, realizing the momentousness of their discovery, began probing the mystery. Over the next six years, they became expert and well-traveled researchers, taught themselves German, hunted for clues in Germany, and constructed theories corrective of the history books, all in an effort to identify this sunken U-boat and its crew.

    Douglas says: "GRIPPING!"
    "I loved it"

    Let's face it - a lousy narrator can turn even the best book into a painful listening experience.

    In this case, narrator Michael Prichard turned an already good book into a pure listening delight. His deep Paul Harvey-like voice was an absolutely perfect fit for the subject matter of this book. He even made the parts of the book about the pure technical aspects of deep sea diving interesting.

    I highly recommend this book - this is one purchase you won't regret.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Autobiography of a Yogi

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Paramahansa Yogananda
    • Narrated By Ben Kingsley

    When Autobiography of a Yogi first appeared in 1946, it was acclaimed as a landmark work in its field. The New York Times hailed it as "a rare account". Newsweek pronounced it "fascinating". The San Francisco Chronicle declared, "Yogananda presents a convincing case for yoga, and those who 'came to scoff' may remain 'to pray." Today it is still one of the most widely read and respected books ever published on the wisdom of the East.

    Peter A. says: "One of the finest books on Spirituality ever"
    "Spiritually Uplifting -- and entertaining!"

    Many have read this book, and have come away inspired to follow the path established by its author, P. Yogananda. Others have simply been left with a fascinating story about a man who came to America in 1920 with nothing, and by the time that he left his body, had met with the President of the United States and future governor of California and established a religious path which is still standing to this very day.

    Regardless of the vantage point you may be coming from, this is a delightful read, and an excellent introduction to Eastern religious thought -- the way it had been originally taught -- before it was watered down by charlatans simply looking to cash in on the "latest fad."

    The audio version is an absolute delight, and Ben Kingsley's reading is inspired. This is not a man "going through the motions" to collect a paycheck. Every single word is thoughtfully and smoothly enunciated, making this a pleasure to listen to. Thus, I would highly recommend this to even those who have already read the print version.

    Finally, let me recommend the following: don't listen to this while jogging, driving in heavy traffic, or while otherwise distracted. Set some time aside and listen intently.

    34 of 36 people found this review helpful

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