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David

Cumberland, ME, United States | Member Since 2006

50
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 60 ratings
  • 181 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • Gandhi & Churchill

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Arthur Herman
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (202)

    In this fast-paced epic, best-selling historian and master storyteller Arthur Herman spotlights two giants of the 20th century. Gandhi & Churchill shows how their 40-year rivalry revolutionized India and the British Empire, paving the way for a new era. Gandhi championed India's independence, Churchill the British Empire.

    David says: "A motif that works well"
    "A motif that works well"
    Overall

    I was uncertain whether a dual biography made sense, but in the hands of the author, it works very well, giving a clearer picture of each man. The visions of the two men arise from a shared Victorian world view. They occasionally crossed paths, and they clashed directly over India's independence. Both men lived heroic lives, suffered Herculean setbacks, espoused unpopular views, were both loved and despised at different times by the masses, embodied the highest virtues of their cultures, accomplished great things, failed to accomplish their most cherished goals, and will be remembered for centuries to come. History doesn't get any better than this -- it's the story of two amazing lives told with flair.

    43 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Alexander Scourby
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    The mysterious Jay Gatsby embodies the American notion that it is possible to redefine oneself and persuade the world to accept that definition. Gatsby's youthful neighbor, Nick Carraway, fascinated with the display of enormous wealth in which Gatsby revels, finds himself swept up in the lavish lifestyle of Long Island society during the Jazz Age.

    Gary says: "the right girl"
    "Very enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Years ago, I read quite a few of Fitzgerald's short stories and enjoyed them immensely. These days, most of my reading is non-fiction and I consume most books via audiobooks. There are a lot of renditions of the TGG available at Audiobooks. I found the story very enjoyable, the characters vivid, and the writing polished. I thought the narrator Alexander Scourby did an excellent job, never hurrying the story, and always capturing the temperament of the character.

    This is a story of great ambiguity and jumbled emotions that takes place at the start of what later became known as the roaring twenties. In the end, the main character Nick turns away from the false glitter of money and the seediness it cloaks towards more old-fashioned values. It is likely that part of the fame of this book arises from how well it foreshadows the movement that the entire country would make, mostly involuntarily, a few years after its publication.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By T. J. Stiles
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (173)

    In The First Tycoon, Stiles offers the first complete, authoritative biography of this titan, and the first comprehensive account of the Commodore's personal life. It is a sweeping, fast-moving epic, and a complex portrait of the great man. Vanderbilt, Stiles shows, embraced the philosophy of the Jacksonian Democrats and withstood attacks by his conservative enemies for being too competitive. He was a visionary who pioneered business models.

    john says: "Great! If you can get through it..."
    "Outstanding"
    Overall

    An interesting and significant man. Comprehensive writing (the P.P. no-less), and clear, measured reading made this the most enjoyable audiobook I have ever listened to. If you like U.S. history or biography, this book needs to be on your list.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War

    • ABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By David Halberstam
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (612)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (168)

    Up until now, the Korean War has been the black hole of modern American history. The Coldest Winter changes that. Halberstam gives us a masterful narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides. He charts the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu, and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides astonishingly vivid and nuanced portraits of all the major figures.

    Doug says: "Almost as good as The Best and the Brightest"
    "Well done"
    Overall

    The narrator is relentlessly cool. The story is compelling and informative. I knew nothing about the Korean War other than the years when it occurred. This book filled in the blanks for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Hermann
    Overall
    (384)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (94)

    Winner of the National Book Award for history, The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Applying his remarkable gift for writing lucid, lively exposition, McCullough weaves the many strands of the momentous event into a comprehensive and captivating tale.

    Tom says: "Something for Everyone"
    "Very enjoyable"
    Overall

    Quite the story of engineering know-how, boundless optimism, and dogged determination. Interesting and informative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Balance of Power

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Richard North Patterson
    • Narrated By Patricia Kalember
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (31)

    President Kerry Kilcannon and his fiancie, television journalist Lara Costello, have at last decided to marry. But their wedding is followed by a massacre of innocents in a lethal burst of gunfire, challenging their marriage and his presidency in ways so shattering and indelibly personal that Kilcannon vows to eradicate gun violence and crush the most powerful lobby in Washington - the Sons of the Second Amendment (SSA).

    A. Wright says: "Same as the last book only not as good"
    "Tour de Force"
    Overall

    A stroll through power politics. A bit long in the unabridged version, but an insightful look at the role of supporters, lobbyists, lawsuits, and politians in the nation's affairs.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Exile

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard North Patterson
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1144)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (189)

    David Wolfe's life is approaching an exhilarating peak: a successful San Francisco lawyer, he's about to get married and has been primed for a run for Congress. But when the phone rings and he hears the voice of Hana Arif, the Palestinian woman with whom he had a passionate affair in law school, he begins a completely unexpected journey. The day after Hana's call, the prime minister of Israel is assassinated by a suicide bomber - and soon Hana is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder.

    John says: "Exile"
    "Detailed work"
    Overall

    The author must be known for thorougly backgrounding his stories. In this story, he gives an inside look at the mind of a Middle Eastern terrorist. Confusion abounds and the story ends with a few questions unresolved. A good tale, although the reader seemed to struggle a bit with the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Faithful Spy

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Alex Berenson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2270)
    Performance
    (903)
    Story
    (896)

    John Wells is the only American CIA agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda. Since before the attacks in 2001, Wells has been hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, biding his time, building his cover.

    Margaret says: "Faithful Spy"
    "Mixed bag"
    Overall

    I enjoyed the "fighting terrorism" current events story line, but I have long since tired of orchestrated drama that resolves everything at the last moment's rush.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Moonstone

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (538)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (285)

    No, the "Moonstone" isn't a celestial relic, it's a gigantic yellow diamond of unearthly beauty that was given to Rachel Verinder as a present on her 18th birthday - and stolen that very night! Betteredge, one of the most beloved butlers in English literature, is the focus of this seminal detective novel, which examines how one family's life is turned upside-down by the theft. And find out why the answers to all of life's problems can be found in the pages of Robinson Crusoe.

    Catherine says: "One of the best readings ever"
    "A Victorian Ride"
    Overall

    A classic that I had never heard of. As long as you can tolerate Victorian sensibilities, you'll very likely enjoy it. The butler and his copy of "Robinson Crusoe" are memorable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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