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Dr.

WESTLAKE, OH, United States | Member Since 2010

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 95 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • Francona: The Red Sox Years

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Terry Francona, Dan Shaughnessy
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (127)

    From famed manager Terry Francona, a lively, unvarnished narrative of his tenure with the storied Boston Red Sox... From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, the most talked-about, scrutinized team in all of sports. In Francona the legendary manager opens up for the first time about his eight years there, as they went from cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history. He takes listeners inside the rarefied world of a 21st-century clubhouse.

    Sean says: "I enjoyed it a lot,"
    "A Great Baseball Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Francona the most enjoyable?

    Francona is a family story, about the Francona family, and his baseball family the Boston Red Sox.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The warmth, honesty and intensity expressed by Terry Francona.


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

    No


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

    A Bronx Tale in Fenway Park.

    Like the DeNiro Film, Francona is a baseball purist who has to function in a world run by CEO's, GM's and statistical gurus who try to compromise his belief in the players and the sport.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2439)
    Performance
    (1803)
    Story
    (1805)

    The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....

    Patrick says: "compelling father-daughter story"
    "Square Peg . . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It is fascinating history that reads like an engaging novel


    What other book might you compare In the Garden of Beasts to and why?

    Larson writes in a similar fashion as Ross King and Thomas Cahill, telling history with a focus on the psychological dimensions of the personalities involved. In this case William Dodd, FDR's first Ambassador to Berlin during the rise of Hitler and Fascism, and his fascinating daughter, Martha.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Many scenes were crafted perfectly to show how far ahead of other State Department officials Dodd was in recognizing the true evil in Hitler, Goebbels and his Nazi followers. Perhaps the scene that fits the title the best is when Martha is introduced to Adolf Hitler in 1934 or so, with the intention, of being his female companion, or at least to place the American Ambassador in a compromising position though his daughter. Nothing came of the encounter, but Hitler's beastly pathology is clearly intimated and Martha's discomfort was evident.


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

    The sadness that an intellectual like Dodd, who was paradoxically so naive and brilliant, was treated with such disrespect by Sec. of State Hull, and the other diplomats in the Old Gentlemen's Club. Hitler's mistreatment of Americans, and his maniacal obsession and oppression of German Jews was know to our leaders, and little was done in those early years form 1933 to 1938.


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent telling of both a personal history and a very significant time in American and World history. Larson is both historian and novelist. All politics may be local, but Larson makes history personal -- well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood & Beauty: The Borgias; A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Sarah Dunant
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (122)

    By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched by its brutality and corruption, nowhere more than in Rome and inside the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood: He is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate politician with a huge appetite for life, women, and power must use papacy and family—in particular, his eldest son, Cesare, and his daughter Lucrezia—in order to succeed.

    Taryn says: "Borgias Brought to Life"
    "Breath of Fresh Air"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Blood & Beauty in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent Historical Fiction


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lucretia --- because Dunant gives her a modern feminist strength, within the restraints of the patriarchal culture of 15th Century Europe and within the Roman Catholic Church.


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

    I enjoyed his narration of Beautiful Ruins, and he didn't disappoint here, except I had to get the image of Carlo Tursi out of my head and replace it with Rodrigo and Cesare Borgia! He is terrific with Italian themed stories. His use of the language gives it all its beauty and charm.


    If you could take any character from Blood & Beauty out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Tough choice --- only one, probably Lucretia because of her natural resilience and depth. Other wise it would be fascinating to have dinner with Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI and Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, the soon to be Pope Julius II. That would be a dinner of first rate minds and devious temperaments ---- their nonverbal communication would be more fascinating than the words they would share.


    Any additional comments?

    Dunant brings a fresh view of the Borgias to the over-saturated media versions on Showtime and the BBC. Her history seeks authenticity not sensationalism though rumor and innuendo. The Borgias were plenty corrupt without the titillation of incest, suspected not proven.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Godfather

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Mario Puzo
    • Narrated By Joe Mantegna
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (714)
    Performance
    (658)
    Story
    (661)

    More than 40 years ago, Mario Puzo wrote his iconic portrait of the Mafia underworld as told through the fictional first family of American crime, the Corleones. The leader, Vito Corleone, is the Godfather. He is a benevolent despot who stops at nothing to gain and hold power. His command post is a fortress on Long Island from which he presides over a vast underground empire that includes the rackets, gambling, bookmaking, and unions. His influence runs through all levels of American society, from the cop on the beat to the nation's mighty.

    Dana says: "Huge fan of the movie, loved this audiobook!"
    "A Deal You Shouldn't Refuse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It is very entertaining.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Each character has his or her strengths and flaws, and they are developed effectively


    Which character – as performed by Joe Mantegna – was your favorite?

    Mantegna's attempts to channel Brando for the voice of Don Corleone was a treat.


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

    No, too long. But it worked very well in multiple sittings.


    Any additional comments?

    I had forgotten how closely the movie script followed the book. The dialogue from the book is almost used word for word in the movie ---- both were exceptional in editing and implementation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lives of the Artists

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Giorgio Vasari
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    An Italian Mannerist architect and painter, Giorgio Vasari was acquainted with many of the most famous artists of his day. He is best-known today for his biographies of artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian and Giotto. This recording is read with clarity and authority by Neville Jason.

    MistyKat says: "Excellent if the music was removed."
    "A Personal History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Lives of the Artists rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    As an educational read it ranks near the top.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lives of the Artists?

    The very human tendencies of some of the most brilliant artists of all time. Like the fact that Donatello, I believe, eschewed money to the extent that he hung from the ceiling of his studio a basket where he placed all his commissioned earnings. The money was there for anyone working for him to take as needed, for personal or artistic needs.


    What about Neville Jason’s performance did you like?

    A nice voice that gives a very continental flavor to the story.


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

    It affirmed for me the great glory of the genius of the Renaissance artists from Cimabue to Giotto, to Donatello through to DaVinci and Michelangelo.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a step back in time. However, comments at the end may have been helpful to identify where many of these masterpieces are today. Vasari was giving a contemporary account. Now the works of art he describes are now housed in some of the most famous museums in the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • EMPEROR: The Gods of War, Book 4 (Unabridged)

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Conn Iggulden
    • Narrated By Paul Blake
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (112)

    The fourth volume in the acclaimed Emperor series, in which Conn Iggulden interweaves history and adventure to recreate the astonishing life of Julius Caesar - an epic tale of ambition and rivalry, bravery and betrayal.

    Konrad says: "Interesting novel series. Bad bad Audible service!"
    "A Disappointment"
    Overall

    I was not familiar with Conn Iggulden and his Emperor series. But as an aficionado of Ancient Roman History, and a former history teacher, I was disappointed this work of historical fiction. It is a compelling story. Rome's civil war pitting Caesar and Pompey, and the inexorable push by Caesar to gain absolute power, yet Iggulden relayed too heavily on the fiction, and not so much on historical accuracy, in ways that were too obviously out of context. A few examples, the story lines involving Julia, Caesar's daughter were completely fabricated, especially with references to a relationship she had with Brutus. Equally, the character of Brutus is mostly exaggerated, especially his being portrayed as an exceptional general, who helped subdue the Ptolemaic attacks on the legions in Alexandria after Pharsalus. The biggest disappointed in this work, however, is the pronunciations of names by the narrator. His pronunciations of famous figures too some getting used to. Cicero is Kickero, Octavian is Octawian, to name just a few. Finally, he covers the decline of Republic with little mention of Cato, whom the narrator calls Kato. Over all, it is an entertaining listen, just not a very accurate historical representation of these dramatic events.

    4 of 14 people found this review helpful

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