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David

Hellicopter Man

United States | Member Since 2012

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 34 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 277 titles in library
  • 45 purchased in 2015
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  • The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence

    • ORIGINAL (25 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert M. Hazen
    • Narrated By Professor Robert M. Hazen
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (112)

    This course chronicles the history of Earth and life on Earth from the point of view of the minerals that made it all happen. A major theme is how minerals and life coevolved, leading to the unprecedented mineral diversity on our world compared to the other planets in the solar system. Professor Hazen tells this epic story in 48 action-packed lectures that take you from the big bang to the formation of the solar system to the major milestones that marked the evolution of Earth and life.

    Blokoe_Geo says: "Utterly Fantastic"
    "Three 5 star books in one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Origin and Evolution of Earth to be better than the print version?

    Have not read the print version


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nucleogenesis


    Which character – as performed by Professor Robert M. Hazen – was your favorite?

    N/A


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

    Yes. Could not manage it all.


    Any additional comments?

    This includes the only complete and understandable description on how elements are made and thats just for starters. I am versed in much of this stuff but recommed the book to all comers.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Journey into Darkness: Genocide in Rwanda

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Thomas P. Odom
    • Narrated By Claton Butcher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In July 1994, Thomas P. Odom was part of the U.S. Embassy team that responded to the Goma refugee crisis. He witnessed the deaths of 70,000 refugees in a single week. In the previous three months of escalating violence, the Rwandan genocide had claimed 800,000 dead. Now, in this vivid and unsettling new book, Odom offers the first insider look at these devastating events before, during, and after the genocide.

    David says: "One of the most tiring audiobooks in my experience"
    "One of the most tiring audiobooks in my experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Journey into Darkness better?

    The editor should have banned the word 'I'. That alone would have increased useful content by 100%. Which still would have been a meager dissapointment. I gave up on content and went fishing chapter by chapter. Then gave up altogether.


    Has Journey into Darkness turned you off from other books in this genre?

    This is third most useless audio book in my experience. I hope the author financed the reading as I suspect he financed the written version. If there is a written version.


    What three words best describe Claton Butcher’s performance?

    Whatever he was paid is enough. He had little enough to do.


    What character would you cut from Journey into Darkness?

    The Author.


    Any additional comments?

    I harbor suspicions there could be useful matterial in the last third, but by then I no longer could stomach the effort. And I speak with some authority having listened to Will Durants 'Age of Faith' in its entirety.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Highways: A Journey into America

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By William Least Heat-Moon
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (86)

    Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation's backroads. William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about "those little towns that get on the map-if they get on at all-only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi." His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.

    Mr. says: "A new Mark Twain... this is a great book"
    "Suspicious piece two generations past prime time."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Recommend with caution. I was seriously put off when it got all racialist post 1960s. And I am always suspicious of so many many deep intimacies revealed within mear moments of a single transient encounter.


    Any additional comments?

    If I have the stomach for addition reading beyond the red neck in Selma I will let you know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Innocents Abroad: Or, The New Pilgrim’s Progress

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (215)

    In June 1867, Mark Twain set out for Europe and the Holy Land on the paddle steamer Quaker City. His enduring, no-nonsense guide for the first-time traveler also served as an antidote to the insufferably romantic travel books of the period.

    Cynthia Franks says: "Twain's Hidden Gem"
    "An Historical Treasure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Innocents Abroad to be better than the print version?

    By far. Some works rise to written rhetoric as is this one and Grover Gardner is the best reader of such works. It took Will Durant two previous works to get his Greco/Roman rhetoric of " Caeser to Christ" down properly and with Gardener reading it is a master piece.


    What other book might you compare The Innocents Abroad to and why?

    I have so many by now they do not come readily to mind. I generally give five stars to almost anything that I would generally recommed but that neglects works such as this that are also esthetically meritorious. Specifically, better read aloud then read silently. Some of my five star books seem read by amateurs.

    Perhaps there should be an extra credit score.


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

    Gardener knows his craft. I am unaware of any of his performances that do not adjust to the material at hand. .


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Early American Gothic.


    Any additional comments?

    Twain has grown in my esteem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By J. Maarten Troost
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (618)
    Performance
    (301)
    Story
    (300)

    At age 26, Maarten Troost decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to a remote South Pacific island. The idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. But he should have known better.

    Elizabeth says: "HILARIOUS"
    "The second half makes up for the first."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Even the first half was not all THAT bad ;). And since my math is wanting it might have only been the first third.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Iron Men and Saints

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Harold Lamb
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (66)

    The first crusade of 1096 unleashed a wave of impassioned, personally felt, deeply pious Christian fury that was expressed in a mass movement centered in France and spreading to other European kingdoms, including Flanders, German speaking principalities, and Italy. Master historian Harold Lamb tells the incredible story of how Pope Urban II fanned the sparks of Christian anger into a mighty conflagration of righteous indignation with his speech of 1095 in Clermont. The resulting armed clashes produced some of the most amazing stories you will ever hear.

    E. Idenmill says: "Dated but with a listen"
    "Any Interesting Approach"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although it does not ciome across as scholarly it had a sense of first hand observation that I liked. And certanly no sugar coating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Yuval Noah Harari
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    Overall
    (631)
    Performance
    (534)
    Story
    (529)

    One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the Earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?

    Gary says: "Masterpiece! Our myths make us who we are"
    "The Good The Bad And The Chicken Coupe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one history book suitable for all levels of interest. For instance, I have never read better summaries of world religions, philosophies and ideologies in such short, concise, clever and often humorous paragraphs. Here is a three word title on scientific revolution chapter: "The Discovery Of Ignorance."

    The author is way to soft regarding cruelty on chickens and cows. Tells us these and other domestic animals are prevented from exercising their evolutionary natures. What? They are DOMESTICATED. As a kid I took care of the cow and chickens. The cow clearly was Buddhist and did not give a damn about anything and living peefect nirvana. The chickens? All they wanted was a roost, a place to lay eggs and defecate.

    Any cruelty in the coupe was me breathing in all the dried chicken crap dust they kicked up In hurricanes. And don't get me started on cow defecation while filling the milk bucket.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Oldest Enigma of Humanity

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Bertrand David, Jean-Jacques Lefrere
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Thirty thousand years ago our prehistoric ancestors painted perfect images of animals on walls of tortuous caves, most often without any light. How was this possible? Scholars and archaeologists have for centuries pored over these works of art, speculating and hoping to come away with the key to the mystery. David and Lefrre give us a new understanding of an art lost in time, revealing what had until recently remained unexplainable - the oldest enigma in humanity has been solved.

    David says: "Finally a plausible explanation"
    "Finally a plausible explanation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Oldest Enigma of Humanity?

    The cave paintings are stunning so where are the "apprentice" student sketches? The talent in these many many works seem to have been done by masters who left no developmental works. This is the first plausible explanation.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Bernard Lewis
    • Narrated By William Neenan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Bernard Lewis is recognized around the globe as one of the leading authorities on Islam. Hailed as "the world's foremost Islamic scholar" (Wall Street Journal), as "a towering figure among experts on the culture and religion of the Muslim world" (Baltimore Sun), and as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies" (New York Times), Lewis is nothing less than a national treasure, a trusted voice that politicians, journalists, historians, and the general public have all turned to for insight into the Middle East.

    David says: "Fifty Years Of Good Stuff"
    "Fifty Years Of Good Stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the ME affairs.

    The author is almost 100 years old and first visited ME prior to WWII. Accordingly, the material accumulated in this book spans an unbroken body of work of a duration one seldom sees.

    The casual reader, however, needs to know many of the topic chapters (and there are a lot of them) might be a bit tedious if you do not know much about the subject. However, if you are the kind of person who knows the phrase Four Rightly Guided Caliphs you may be up to speed well enough. The matterial is not very difficult, however, and the reader kept my attention.

    I plan to listen to much of it again and might even buy the Kindle version. This is because not all of the readings include the original date and they span well over 50 years. A tablet PC would be good as well in order to look up some maps, photos of places and the like.

    Finally, I recommend YouTube University! I made that term up, but Richard Bulliet has some of the best lectures on the subject I have heard. These are full length lectures, often more then an hour long. I listened to them prior to listening to this book and it was fun to have a heads up!


    0 of 0 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
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    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.

    David J. Langrock says: "Amazing prose, breathtaking story."
    "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
    (344)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (261)

    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

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