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Doc

Charlotte, NC | Member Since 2010

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 250 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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  • The Martian Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ray Bradbury
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (169)

    Bradbury's Mars is a place of hope, dreams, and metaphor - of crystal pillars and fossil seas - where a fine dust settles on the great empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn - first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow.

    Kathleen says: "Stands the Test of Time"
    "You gotta read this book. Try another narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended this book to friends and strangers.


    What other book might you compare The Martian Chronicles to and why?

    I don't have the depth in this genre to make comparison. I quit science fiction far too long ago. The book, however, transcends the genre.


    What didn’t you like about Scott Brick’s performance?

    Mr. Brick decided to give a stage performance to a book that was written to be read. I'm sure he meant well.


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

    Not a moment, but several moments. Some funny but many poignant.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth your time. There several versions so you might want to try a different narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Timothy F. Geithner
    • Narrated By Timothy F. Geithner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (259)

    On January 26, 2009, during the depth of the financial crisis and having just completed five years as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy F. Geithner was sworn in by President Barack Obama as the 75th Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. Now, in a strikingly candid, riveting, and historically illuminating memoir, Geithner takes listeners behind the scenes during the darkest moments of the crisis.

    Michael Moore says: "Very Worthwhile Read!"
    "Great Read in Audible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My trade is involved with finance, but that isn't the reason for reading this book. The details that I could not have gleaned from all the reporting I read over the past few years have shaped my impression of the players. If you want to read something like a new and devastating horror story that had a mostly happy ending, you'll be in the right place.

    But, even that isn't the reason to listen. It is a first person narrative, but the most affecting part is that the narrator is Mr. Geithner himself. I was anxious about that, but, in the event, Mr. Geithner's delivery was unaffected and a charming benefit of the audio experience.

    Read this book now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence 

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alexander Tsesis 
    • Narrated By Robert O’Gorman
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The Declaration of Independence is one of the most influential documents in modern history - the inspiration for what would become the most powerful democracy in the world. Indeed, at every stage of American history, the Declaration has been a touchstone for evaluating the legitimacy of legal, social, and political practices. Not only have civil rights activists drawn inspiration from its proclamation of inalienable rights, but individuals decrying a wide variety of governmental abuses have turned for support to the document's enumeration of British tyranny.

    Doc says: "Worth the Trouble"
    "Worth the Trouble"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I recommend this book to mine enemies as well as my friends. Useful to know that it is okay to fall short of the glory as long as we start back working on the goal again. My concurrent reads are Flash Boys and Capital in the 21st Century.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Relatively compact exposition.


    What didn’t you like about Robert O’Gorman’s performance?

    What I liked was the clarity of diction. What I didn't like is a tone devoid of any color. The text is somewhat dry anyhow and a little enthusiasm in the recitation would have made it better to listen/read.


    Did For Liberty and Equality inspire you to do anything?

    Throw more bombs.


    Any additional comments?

    I need a reminder of the fact of American exceptionalism in the form of why we formed our particular government. I need it when it sometimes appears that our exceptionalism is greed and hyprocosy. This book may not have passion, but it does have facts about our history that need to be refreshed. Read it for your soul.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10221)
    Performance
    (9352)
    Story
    (9373)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "I am here to save you"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Not possible. Pretentious in form and text. Implausbible plot; implausible to the point of comic book fantasy. Arrested or no development of some of the characters of interest. Pondersouly important messages.


    What could Donna Tartt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Write about something of which she has experience.


    What didn’t you like about David Pittu’s performance?

    Treacly.


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

    Can't come up with any.


    Any additional comments?

    It worries me when my comments are so at odds with those of people who I respect and who gush over this book, partly by comparison to Dickens. I have read Dickens and I fail, utterly, to see the comparison. If you're interested in a Dickensian read, then you should read Dickens. I read some of Dickens' work twice or more; I doubt anyone will give this book a second read. There is much in Dickens' work that is universal and not confined by its times. This ponderous piece is too tied to a time and moment of high style that I suspect it will not wear well, unlike the furniture and artifacts in the shop. None of the main characters .... Never mind. I'll stop now. If you must be able to say that you're familiar with the book,read a few reviews so that you can nod appreciatively at what someone is saying. I slogged through the entire thing in hopes that a corner would be turned. Not there. The final bit was some version of an old protestant sermon in new clothes, just so important, earnest and revealing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1945

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Max Hastings
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (53)

    A vivid and incisive portrait of Winston Churchill during wartime from acclaimed historian Max Hastings, Winston's War captures the full range of Churchills endlessly fascinating character. At once brilliant and infuriating, self-important and courageous, Hastings' Churchill comes brashly to life as never before.

    Charles Fred Smith says: "A Definitive History of Winston's War"
    "Worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    While I've been reading lots of WWII stuff over the past few years, this one fooled me. Not only did I get a better understanding of Churchill, but, for the first time, I gained a better understanding of the relative roles of Russia, the UK and the USA. You leave the book with no better feeling for Stalin but with a far greater appreciation of what the Russian people did. Nothing tarnishes Churchill, but the USA in perspective is revelatory.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Massimo Pigliucci
    • Narrated By Jay Russell
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (170)

    Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and - borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham - the nonsense on stilts.

    thunder road says: "Thought provoking and relevant"
    "Run For Your Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Nonsense on Stilts?

    The single worst thing I've "read" since law school. At some point, I elected to listen masochistically right the way through. Surely there would be a pony in there if I just dug deeply enough. No pony.

    The author comes across as hectoring and he gets distracted into sarcastic rants about people who practice fraud. The few good bits in the book were overwhelmed by having so much time and so many words devoted to the pillory of people who, ultimately, are irrelevant. But, if you feel awed by people with degress and appreciate their efforts to educate you the unworthy, then the author's condescending way of communicating to his readers may suit you just fine.

    I suppose the narrator must have been selected to reinforce the flaws. If you like listening to people who are supercillious, whining and snide, than Jay Russell is your guy. In fact, he may be over the top for you. The combination of the text and the narration made me question my long standing belief in evolution and the danger of ignoring global warming. If the author and the narrator are in what has been my crowd on these issues, then I am inclined to do everything I can to distance myself from such people.

    I read a fair amount of science for lay people. Scientists can write lucidly and in a way that makes what they do accessible to people without their background. Find something else to read.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm doing some light stuff to get the bad taste out of my mouth. Alexander McCall Smith at the moment.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Different narrator and different text. I think the text would have left me cold anyway, but the narrator was really bad. Something that starts as text, if well done, uses words, vocabulary, phrasing and structure to evoke in the reader a sense of dialog with the author. A narrator's task is to deliver the text orally without adding the narrator's creative revision by timing and dramatic rendition. This narrator took a dubious text and made it just awful.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment and anger. I did read a few reviews of the book and admit that I was forewarned. However, the topic was just too appealing to let myself be put off by some grumpy reviewer. I hope I've done a better job than the reviews did and that I succeed in helping others avoid wasting their time.


    Any additional comments?

    Please take care with the selection of narrators.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Reich at War

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Richard J. Evans
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (435)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (274)

    Evans interweaves a broad narrative of the war’s progress with viscerally affecting personal testimony from a wide range of people - from generals to front-line soldiers, from Hitler Youth activists to middle-class housewives. The Third Reich at War lays bare the dynamics of a nation more deeply immersed in war than any society before or since. Fresh insights into the conflict’s great events are here, from the invasion of Poland to the Battle of Stalingrad to Hitler’s suicide in the bunker.

    Karen says: "Masterful"
    "Just do it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review is for the entire series. My contribution to the pile of reviews starts with the observation that the work cannot be compared to any other book about WWII or, really, any other history. I'm tolerably well read in the area, and this set of books is unique.

    At the outset, I found the narrator troublesome. But, just as I have found on long walks, as I progressed, I realized that his delivery fit the material. Nothing hurried, nothing emotional, nothing dramatic. If you've been to the Viet Nam memorial in DC, you'll know what I mean. It isn't the individual names, but the total list; it isn't the granduer of the monument, it is the monumental display of horror. You, too, will get over it and then take comfort in the methodical recitation of what happened to all the unwanted, particularly the Jewish people.

    Some of the reviews complained about the relatively short shrift given to military history and some technological flaws. There are excellent military histories that cover this ground; readers of this book only need that material for contextual reference. For instance, the history of the period we're just passing through isn't about the individual money scams, the individual mortgages and speculations or the indivdual stories of growing disparities in income and assets; rather, it is about the how these individual events came about to overwhelm the financial system as a whole. So it is with Nazi Germany.

    For as long as this book is around, it will be difficult for people to deny the Holocaust and it will be difficult to repeat what Hitler and his followers were able to do. Just read it.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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