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Dave

LAKEWOOD, CO, United States | Member Since 2004

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 229 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kai Bird, Martin J. Sherwin
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (910)
    Performance
    (519)
    Story
    (528)

    J. Robert Oppenheimer was one of the iconic figures of the 20th century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb but later confronted the moral consequences of scientific progress. When he proposed international controls over atomic materials, opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb, and criticized plans for a nuclear war, his ideas were anathema to powerful advocates of a massive nuclear buildup during the anti-Communist hysteria of the early 1950s.

    Christine says: "One of the best books I have read"
    "One of my best Audible books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to American Prometheus again? Why?

    Yes - great story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oppenheimer - probably the most interesting and complex character I've met.


    What about Jeff Cummings’s performance did you like?

    Good pace and consistent voice quality.


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

    No -too long.


    Any additional comments?

    This is long listen. But well worth it. Was there ever a more interesting man than J. R. Oppenheimer? Talk about living life to the fullest. Truly great books can be enjoyed at many levels and this book is no exception. And the big ideas in the great books are timeless. As I listened to this story - I couldn't help reflecting on todays scientists fighting with their government over the environment and more recently, national security, surveillance and personal privacy. Many years after his death - Oppenheimer appears to have been vindicated on nuclear defense strategy. This book left me wondering - can we and our government learn to tolerate a genius like Oppenheimer when his political thought and lifestyle is not mainstream? A great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Continent: Travels In Small Town America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By William Roberts
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (93)

    Hardly anyone ever leaves Des Moines, Iowa. But Bill Bryson did, and after 10 years in England he decided to go home, to a foreign country. In an ageing Chevrolet Chevette, he drove nearly 14,000 miles through 38 states to compile this hilarious and perceptive state-of-the-nation report on small-town America.

    Lou says: "Bill's sophmoric, condescending journey"
    "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The whole premise of the book is weak. Driving around the middle of the country, avoiding freeways and stopping at tourist stops and eating at local diners appears to have not created any interesting insights by the author. It certainly did not make an interesting read for me. The authors focus on food quality and waitresses seemed like he should be writing reviews for DDD (diners, drive-ins and dives) on the Food Network. I have served my time living in Iowa and have lived in small towns in the 'fly-over' states, and I have visited many of the locations mentioned by the author. But I did not find his observations particularly novel or interesting. I am not offering any redneck/patriotic defensive about this part of the country but the author seemed to only reinforce out-dated stereotypes and the whole book seemed out of date (circa late 1980's early 1990's?). If you live on the coasts/large cities and have never ventured out to explore small town/middle-America - then you may find this book new and entertaining. Otherwise if you are a refugee from middle America - skip it - you already know this stuff.


    Which character – as performed by William Roberts – was your favorite?

    The narration was very good. But even a great narrator can only do so much with a weak story.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    His observations about Iowa City were dead-on. Some of his facts about locations were interesting - but too infrequent.


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Decision Points

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By George W. Bush
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1542)
    Performance
    (689)
    Story
    (689)

    Decision Points is the extraordinary memoir of America's 43rd president. Shattering the conventions of political autobiography, George W. Bush offers a strikingly candid journey through the defining decisions of his life.

    Dave says: "Not a bad choice"
    "Not a bad choice"
    Overall

    First of all, I did not find this a spellbinding listen. It is a basic memoir but I'm glad GW did it. None-the-less, this should not detract from a good job done by the reader - Ron McLarty. However, I did find the book organization somewhat challenging. The story follows a chronological path to the White House then it jumps around per topic (or crisis).

    You've got to admit, it is sobering to reflect back on how the story of GW's term in office was basically one crisis after another - 911, Katrina, wars, financial meltdown. Which makes it more interesting to read this today with the recent debt crisis. Yes, GW provides explanations for his decisions, but I did find some of his explanations not very satisfying (e.g. the auto bailout). So I rate this book (not unlike his term in office) - not especially great, but not especially bad either.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4355)
    Performance
    (2511)
    Story
    (2512)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "No brainer"
    Overall

    Some of the reviews - including some from our veterans who lived it - are truly outstanding. I will not attempt to out do them here - it would be just "piling on". Just wanted to add that this is some really great narration. Consistent voices and accents, and that is critical to an Audible book. So if you have a sensitive ear to language/accents, then you should have no problem with Matterhorn. Lastly, one or two situations seemed not quite credible (showing the enemy a few seconds of mercy at the last major battle?... I struggled some with that one ....).

    Be warned, this is an intense, in-your-face, book. It will be hard to forget. And it could change your politics about war.

    Anyway, a legitimate no brainer - this is a MUST read.

    Dave

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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