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Eric James Johnson

Michigan, USA | Member Since 2013

  • 6 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 78 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015

  • Hitler: A Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Ian Kershaw
    • Narrated By Alan Robertson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Hailed as the most compelling biography of the German dictator yet written, Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the heart of its subject's immense darkness. From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in the 20th century.

    Christopher says: "Superb, well crafted and well narrated."
    "A chore I leave unfinished"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I cannot recommend this. What was one of the most dramatic, and controversial episodes of history is boring, negative, and tedious in this tome. In addition to a generally flat reading of text, the presentation is also marred by mispronounced German words, and at best secondary pronunciation of some English words. Perhaps if the story were better, these would be memorable eccentricities. Instead, they are distractions.Too many (hundreds ?) names are recited without further reference or development of who that person was, whence he came, why he is there, et cetera. The reader may as well have been reading the phone book. Dreadful.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I don't know... My previous selections have been wonderful experiences. I hated for them to end, and was so eager to have another. This thing makes me entertain the notion of never again listening to another audio book.

    What aspect of Alan Robertson’s performance would you have changed?

    Pronunciation, and intonation. But the text is the real culprit.

    Was Hitler worth the listening time?

    No. We all know Hitler was a bad guy.. yeah, yeah, yeah. No new meaningful information is presented in this material... just additional, boring minutiae of calendars and guest lists. In contrast to Winston Churchill, and Thomas Jefferson, perhaps Hitler left behind too little information about himself. The book lacks an even-handed(!) examination of the ideas, and Zeitgeist that made the Third Reich possible. Hitler had a lot of support, and not just in Germany. What were the ideas that had broad international support? Instead we hear, as on the nightly TV news, that Hitler was a bad guy who thought only bad, and unjust thoughts. And, outside of a few 'close friends' whom we also know from public school history, nobody thought or believed such things. So simplistic-- 60 hours of it! Ugh.

    Any additional comments?

    Life is too short to waste your time on this.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Charlotte Simmons

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker

    Dupont University: the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition....Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

    Eric says: "Decadence through the eyes of a ?good girl?"
    "Save our children!"
    What did you love best about I Am Charlotte Simmons?

    TW depicts the milieu which Millennials must navigate with extreme clarity and accuracy. I cannot think of any previous generations wherein the younger was so poorly served, or callously disregarded by the older. The judgment will be deservedly harsh.

    What other book might you compare I Am Charlotte Simmons to and why?

    None, really. This book is unique in my experience.

    What about Dylan Baker’s performance did you like?

    Awesome affection of accents, female voices, and still annunciate clearly.

    If you could rename I Am Charlotte Simmons, what would you call it?

    Vodka and Sex for Everyone!

    0 of 0 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

    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."
    "NEWS FLASH! Western Civilation is not EVIL!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    We Euro-types (especially males) take a beating in popular media these days. It's a kind of sport, really, for the others, and our own masochists. If all that is getting you down, or you sense it isn't quite true, listen to this.

    What did you like best about this story?

    I see the rants on popular web sites, and they are okay as a quick antidote to our daily poison. Kind of a sugar rush, I suppose. This book, on the other hand, has real meat on it, and is served without flash, fanfare, or chest-beating.

    What about Kevin Foley’s performance did you like?

    Scholarly presentation... totally devoid of sensationalism.

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

    I know (knew?) nearly nothing of The Crusades. I did not realize 'The West' was so noble then.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By William Manchester
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson

    Winston Churchill is perhaps the most important political figure of the 20th century. His great oratory and leadership during the Second World War were only part of his huge breadth of experience and achievement. Studying his life is a fascinating way to imbibe the history of his era and gain insight into key events that have shaped our time.

    Wolfpacker says: "Superb - Review of Both Volume I & Volume II"
    "Awesome story, wonderful presentation"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Lion to be better than the print version?

    I don't have the print edition, but Davidson's narration is wonderful-- totally enjoyable. It takes a couple chapters to appreciate all his 'impersonations' (e.g. female characters), but as the story progresses, you will appreciate the variety it brings.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Churchill is an amazing character-- I expected that, but the author does a wonderful of job of setting the environment, and providing just enough background and detail for other important characters (e.g. his mother, General Kitchener, et cetera).

    What about Frederick Davidson’s performance did you like?

    His intonations / impersonations of characters, and of course, Churchill! Brilliant!

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

    Yes, but it is too long for that. Plus, you don't want it to be over too soon.

    Any additional comments?

    It is a long listen. Be patient. Allow the author and narrator to draw you in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jon Meacham
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann, Jon Meacham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

    Darwin8u says: "A Man and Biography Relevant to Our Day"
    "So sad that it ended"
    Would you listen to Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power again? Why?

    Absolutely... I re-listened to many passages multiple times to be certain I caught all the detail.

    What did you like best about this story?

    An attentive listener can develop a very personal relationship with TJ.

    What does Edward Herrmann and Jon Meacham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The patience to savor the words of TJ... allow TJ's conception of human liberty to blossom in the mind of the listener.

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

    It is hard to imagine a film doing justice to this material.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 1776

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By David McCullough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you ever thought history was boring, David McCullough’s performance of his fascinating book will change your mind. In this stirring audiobook, McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success.

    Amazon Customer says: "It tantalized my taste buds"
    Would you listen to 1776 again? Why?

    Yes... I did... it's a great story.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of 1776?

    The Hessian attack on Fort Lee.

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

    Mmmm... hard to say, since I haven't read the book. But DM has a good voice, good intonation and pronunciation... maturity.

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

    Many great moments... but the observations and recollections of average soldiers are great: recalling how cold they were, or how prosperous American cities seemed to be.

    Any additional comments?

    Pay attention to hints of why seemingly wealthy Americans like Washington, Jefferson, Adams et al would risk everything-- literally everything-- in the Revolution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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