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Dean

San Francisco, CA, United States | Listener Since 2006

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 53 ratings
  • 141 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • History Decoded: The Ten Greatest Conspiracies of All Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Keith Ferrell, Brad Meltzer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (103)

    Adapted from Decoded, Meltzer's hit show on the History network, History Decoded explores many fascinating and unexplained questions. Is Fort Knox empty? Why was Hitler so intent on capturing the Roman "Spear of Destiny"? What's the government hiding in Area 51? Where did the Confederacy's $19 million in gold and silver go at the end of the Civil War? Did Lee Harvey Oswald really act alone?

    debbie says: "I would rate as just OK!"
    "Slightly Entertaining, Ultimately Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who know little about "popular" conspiracy theory. It might serve well as introductory entertainment, but is unfortunately a bit too patronizing and annoyingly "populist" in tone. Admittedly, when I purchased this title I didn't realize that the author is a TV personality. That's exactly how he comes across, here. The chapters on the cornerstone of the White House and Lincoln's assassin are actually quite good; the chapter on JFK frustratingly rife with errors.


    What could Keith Ferrell and Brad Meltzer have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Less egotistical-sounding "what if I told you..." nonsense. More consideration of why people want to believe alternative accounts of history.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, the narrator did a fine job but the author's tone is populist in a "for the masses" way that IMO is to the detriment of the narration.


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

    It was entertaining enough that I didn't feel like it was a total waste of time. I listened to it while doing housework, so in fairness it was a decent mental distraction.


    Any additional comments?

    Recommended alternative: "United States of Paranoia" by Jesse Walker.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • David Bowie's Low (33 1/3 Series)

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Hugo Wilcken
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    Low is a kaleidoscope in which Bowie's obsessions and traits explode into fragments and reform in a new pattern. Sonically, it is hugely adventurous: combining a driving R&B rhythm section with the experimental soundscapes of Brian Eno, it evolves a whole new musical language. Thematically, it's the sound of a man struggling to get well. Bowie has often talked about his fear of insanity.

    Jason says: "even if ur just a little curious about Bowie"
    "Ample Background Info"
    Overall

    This book covers not only the making of "Low" but also contains a considerable amount of information on Iggy Pop's "The Idiot," as well as the Bowie albums that preceded and followed "Low," being "Station to Station" and "Heroes." The real value of the book is not so much analysis of the music of "Low" (actually I thought Wilcken was surprisingly bland and uninsightful when pedantically describing individual tracks on the album) but in the real-life stories about Bowie's days of excess in L.A. and the difficult period of transition during the making of his "Berlin Trilogy." Naturally, the book will also be of interest to followers of Brian Eno's serpentine career. A thoroughly enjoyable listen ... I don't believe any one "perfect" book about this important recording could be written, but Wilcken's is enjoyable, informative, and intelligent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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