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David

Hellicopter Man

United States | Member Since 2012

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 26 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 236 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2015
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  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (1327)
    Performance
    (1095)
    Story
    (1085)

    We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

    Francis J DiBona says: "Violence is decreasing everywhere. Who knew?"
    "Strong Reccomendation W/3 Cautions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Better Angels of Our Nature again? Why?

    Some chapters.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Better Angels of Our Nature?

    The early chapters.


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

    N/A


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Many


    Any additional comments?

    Yes. This book confirms my own observations general world conditions are much better then past. Three cautions. 1) the book progresses into very much detail that some of us will not require; 2) The author stratified civilisations by descending order A) Europe; B) Blue States; C) Red States; D) Islamic States. I am in one just above a Caliphate.

    Finally, the author seems a scientist, a socialist, and an atheist. What could possibly go wrong.

    PS - Atheism seems a bit Luddite in the era of quantum mechanics and the double slit experiment which has, apparently been proven retroactive in time. Consciousness, as an independent variable… religious fundamentalist atheists who might deny unknown science?

    Never heard of such a thing.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heart of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Joseph Conrad's searing tale of one of the strangest and most memorable journeys ever taken. Quite simply the scariest book ever written, this is a searing tale of one of the strangest and most memorable journeys ever undertaken - to the heart of a geographical and psychological wilderness from which no-one returns unscarred. For this isn't simply a journey up an uncharted river into a geographical wilderness; rather, it's a trip deep into our collective subconscious.

    imago1 says: "Best Narrator"
    "Actually Non-Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Joseph Conrad and/or David Rintoul?

    Hmmm


    Would you recommend Heart of Darkness to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. It seemed obtuse to me, jumpy in terms of visualizing scenes and following the time line. In addition, narrative is stylized and from another era that may not have translated well into the spoken word.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I did not like the over wrought style. That style may be appropriate to the stylized written narrative but I did not like that style either.


    Any additional comments?

    This is almost non-fiction. Conrad spent time in Congo and this representation apparently includes real people and a real boat (see King Leopolds Ghost - but read my review first) and is actually understated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Adam Hochschild
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (248)

    In the late 1890s, Edmund Dene Morel, a young British shipping company agent, noticed something strange about the cargoes of his company's ships as they arrived from and departed for the Congo. Incoming ships were crammed with valuable ivory and rubber. Outbound ships carried little more than soldiers and firearms. Correctly concluding that only slave labor could account for these cargoes, Morel almost singlehandedly made this slave-labor regime the premier human rights story in the world.

    Edith says: "Fascinating"
    "Relentless in All Respects"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up King Leopold's Ghost in three words, what would they be?

    This needs either an executive summary or "hatchet" edit. Pun intended.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of King Leopold's Ghost?

    The author's relentless fury.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are no good scenes to be favorable with. The book itself demonstrates first hand, up close and personal "Heart of Darkness".

    Be Forewarned


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

    I really tried, with time-outs. Just could not do it. Eventually started large scale skipping at the end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Caesar and Christ: The Story of Civilization, Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Will Durant
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (100)

    The third volume of Will Durant's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, Caesar and Christ chronicles the history of Roman civilization and of Christianity from their beginnings to A.D. 325.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Superb."
    "Of the first four this third is Master Piece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Caesar and Christ the most enjoyable?

    Comprehensive beyond title. Crafted by classical rehtoric and better heard spoken then read.


    What other book might you compare Caesar and Christ to and why?

    A World Undone (WW1) is similar in quality.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Perfect to hear the authors clearly rhetorical style read outloud.


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

    Yes. And have listened much of it over again. Pausing for instance to google one thing or another. Lots of bookmarks. Start with 'model ancient rome'. Its endless.


    Any additional comments?

    Just buy it and set up your browser with a Rome category. I recommed both opera mini and opera beta.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Industrial Revolution

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick N. Allitt
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (108)

    From electric lights to automobiles to the appliances that make our lives easier at work and at home, we owe so much of our world to the Industrial Revolution. In this course, The Great Courses partners with the Smithsonian - one of the world's most storied and exceptional educational institutions - to examine the extraordinary events of this period and uncover the far-reaching impact of this incredible revolution.

    Quaker says: "Incredibly entertaining, balanced, comprehensive"
    "The Reason Why Then And Why There"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Industrial Revolution?

    The second most important human development since agriculture ten thousand years ago.


    What other book might you compare The Industrial Revolution to and why?

    Will Durant Story of Civilization 3 Ceasar to Christ. Big story and well presented in all ways.


    What does Professor Patrick N. Allitt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Personal British Background.


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the most important periods in all human history and includes American symbiosis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Allison
    • Narrated By Professor Robert J. Allison
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (82)

    The history of colonial America is a story of extraordinary scope, with Europeans, Africans, and the native peoples of North America interacting in a drama of settlement and conflict that lasted nearly three centuries. Go back in time and relive this epic story in 36 spellbinding lectures. While concentrating on British North America, Professor Allison also covers developments in the colonial outposts of Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the all-important British possessions in the West Indies, which were the source of the most lucrative crop in the New World - sugar - and the reason for the enormous growth in the slave trade.

    James R. Ellis says: "New Perspectives and great insights"
    "First Rate and Plenty Of It + free read see below"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Thirty six chapters and could do with 36 more. I even searched for orher presentations by Allison but found none.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies?

    The captivity narratives.

    Even discovered a free audio book "Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson" at librivox which was a treat. Done by volunteers. Not professional reading but well worth the time.


    What about Professor Robert J. Allison’s performance did you like?

    Animated


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

    Captivity narative.


    Any additional comments?

    All told quite a value.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Electric Universe: The Shocking True Story of Electricity

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Bodanis
    • Narrated By Adam Levy
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In his best-selling E=mc2, David Bodanis led us, with astonishing ease, through the world's most famous equation. Now, in Electric Universe, he illuminates the wondrous yet invisible force that permeates our universe, and introduces us to the virtuoso scientists who plumbed its secrets.

    Simon says: "Amazing Book!"
    "More Fun Then Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Electric Universe rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is on the 'keeper' List


    What did you like best about this story?

    Nice little bag of gems


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Nothing extreme


    Any additional comments?

    A good section on the early transatlantic cables and I say that having on hand a full book on the subject. Also the section on Heinrick Hertz is essential.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How Jesus Became God

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Bart D. Ehrman
    • Narrated By Professor Bart D. Ehrman
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (149)

    This fundamental historical question and its complex answer speak penetratingly to the spiritual impulses, concerns, and beliefs that have played a seminal role in our world, even as they reveal the foundation of history’s most global religious movement, and fresh insights into the Western world's single most influential human being. Tackling all of these matters and more, Great Courses favorite Professor Ehrman returns with the unprecedented historical inquiry of How Jesus Became God.

    Richard says: "Fine scholarship but an off-putting delivery"
    "More Needs To Be Said"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about How Jesus Became God?

    It is a very good and though presentation but is a bit slippery at times. Be sceptical in listening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Variety


    Have you listened to any of Professor Bart D. Ehrman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. About the same.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    See extensive review bellow. I wrote it even before finishing the lecture because he does not mention the artifact.


    Any additional comments?


    Resurrection

    The lecturer rightly tells us Christianity began when followers of Jesus began to believed they had been visited by Jesus after his death. Further the lecturer rightly tells us this had nothing to do with an empty tomb and rightly observes non-Christians often attribute hallucinations and that Christians often do not call these hallucinations.

    Hallucinations or not visitations ARE described in spiritual rather then corporal terns more often then not. For instance, apostles talk and walk with him not recognizing who he is until revealed. Accordingly the phenomena described are not at odds with either definition. A distinction without much of a difference.

    However, I have one very serious challenge to the lecturer regarding tombs. We have a physical artifact that I am convinced confounds the entire discussion; the shroud of Turin. Lets get one thing straight from the start. The Carbon 14 test was contaminated by a medieval cotton patch interwoven with the linen cloth. This is not even worth much discussion and ranks up there with Piltdown man and is a scandal.

    But that's just for starters. The surface of the linen was pressed with tape in numerous areas to collect debris for testing. The tape samples collected pollen and mineral residue that are spine chilling. For instance, pollen from a thistle plant ONLY found in the Jerusalem area was prolific in large amounts around the head area. And the mineral samples were consistent with Jerusalem minerals such as might be found in a rock cut tomb.

    And there is a little bit more. The linen cloth is a very expensive 3 to 1 herringbone weave that is hank bleached. Hank bleaching rather eliminates medieval provenance because such an expensive weave would NOT have been hank bleached in medieval times. It would have been prepared as a very clean white bleach by a method not known in the first century.

    And so I ask myself when, where, and by whom would an expensive hank bleached linen have been procured to wrap what is clearly and forensically a victim of crucifixion. An image of a man with side wound, Roman scourge marks, head puncture wounds, crucifixion marks on a shroud full of Palestinian pollen.

    I do not claim this is Jesus's burial cloth. I do, however, require someone to give a better explanation before I dismiss it.



    8 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Rodney Stark
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (97)

    Modernity developed only in the West - in Europe and North America. Nowhere else did science and democracy arise; nowhere else was slavery outlawed. Only Westerners invented chimneys, musical scores, telescopes, eyeglasses, pianos, electric lights, aspirin, and soap. The question is, why? Unfortunately, that question has become so politically incorrect that most scholars avoid it. But acclaimed author Rodney Stark provides the answers in this sweeping new look at Western civilization.

    Philip Daniels says: "Another point of view."
    "Like A Refreshing Vodka and Tonic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does How the West Won rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the "Must Read" List


    What other book might you compare How the West Won to and why?

    The West And The RestHow The English Speaking Poeples Invented FreedomGuns Germs and Steel


    Which character – as performed by Kevin Foley – was your favorite?

    N/A


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

    Yes, and pretty much did.


    Any additional comments?

    All sorts of things I should have known, and some things I suspected. For instance, I have always been curious how ancient Rome fed all those legions and construction workers. And the population of Rome dropped about 90% in a very short period of time at the end. Now I might know why. Specifically, the state apparatus that confiscated all that needed food was enfebled and the residents had to go out and grow their own food. Or something. Anyway, at least in Gaul, the country people became better fed.

    A LOT better fed. Skeletal autopsies and isotopic studies show this. Apparently the country people got bigger and several inches taller. The glory of rome was built on near starvation rations left over for those who provided the food. So now we might more appreciate the various rebellions.What we lost during 'the dark ages' was a vast aristocracy with leasure time to contemplate Plato and write histories of Roman Glory.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Templars and the Shroud of Christ

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Barbara Frale
    • Narrated By Susan Larkin
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The Templars and the Shroud of Christ is the second book in this series by Vatican historian, Barbara Frale. The Knights Templar - the most powerful religious-military order of the Middle Ages - almost certainly looked after the mysterious shroud that is now kept in Turin. Worshipped in a relentlessly secret manner, and known in its intimate nature by only a handful of the order’s officials, the swathe of fabric was kept in the central treasury of the Knights Templar, who were known for their expertise in the field of relics.

    David says: "This is one ditzy broad."
    "This is one ditzy broad."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Templars and the Shroud of Christ better?

    Someone who knew more about the shroud then I do.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Barbara Frale again?

    For comedy effect only.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Not all that bad so no comment


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Templars and the Shroud of Christ?

    Rewrite the entire C-14 presentation.


    Any additional comments?

    I am convinced the shroud is first century and is forensically exactly as biblically described. Further, pollen and microscopic mineral annalysis shows Springtime in Jerusalem.

    I also suspect, as does the aurhor, it is the exact same article well documented as the Mandylion of Constantinople and was plundered during the sack of that city by disgruntled Tenplars on failed crusade.

    If you are orherwise well versed in this matter there is good reason to subject yourself to this weird presentation. Some good stuff on the Templar persecution trials and other tid bits. But know the C-14 was a royal botch job right up their with Piltdown Man. This woman is clueless on the issue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Guns of August

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (566)
    Performance
    (494)
    Story
    (499)

    Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman here brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, The Guns of August will not be forgotten.

    Chrissie says: "Pay attention!"
    "Guns of August v A World Undone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing at all. It is flat out tripe.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Barbara W. Tuchman again?

    Yes. Simply to find out if she is consistently this obtuse.


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

    No


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

    Very Very Very few.


    Any additional comments?

    Guns of August v A World Undone

    I recommend you listen to both of these in the order I present them to fully appreciate the contrast. My first listen was A World Undone and though I am not a military afficianato it was so compelling I found myself pouring through battlefield maps. And even ordered another audio book "The Sultans" which I give two thumbs up.

    Undone is so easy, so simple, so comprehensive and concise on the entire war that I was appalled with my listen to Guns of August. Putting asside guns covers only the first six weeks of the War, it rises to little more then a thrilling costume drama. And in my opinion a dime store costume drama at that.

    Her discussion of mobilization is an actual travesty and more then likely has adversely effected entire generations of readers.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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