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Gene

Agoura Hills, CA, USA

637
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 41 reviews
  • 97 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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9

  • Live by the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Gus Russo
    • Narrated By Patrick Cullen
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    In December 1991, Oliver Stone released his movie JFK about the murder of John F. Kennedy, and as a result of public outcry, Congress passed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which called for total disclosure by all Federal agencies and private individuals who might be in possession of relevant material.

    Leo says: "Swordid..."
    "Pretty Good"
    Overall

    A good refresher course on the JFK assassination. I found the great many details on the situation in Cuba before Nov 22, 1963 overmany and I liked the appendices the best; there I found Jack Ruby a more sympathetic character than I expected. The author's basic thesis is that Oswald was paid by Fidel Castro to kill JFK because the Kennedys were trying to kill Fidel Castro. I don't think he proved the case, and I think that Gerald Posner's Case Closed is still the best book on the subject. However, the author marshalls the material well and explains the state of knowlege at this time. The reader does a good job, but the book is a long, tough slog. If I had fractional stars I would have given three and a half.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Waiting for Godot

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Samuel Beckett
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett, David Burke, Terence Rigby, and others
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (75)

    There is now no doubt that not only is Waiting for Godot the outstanding play of the 20th century, but it is also Samuel Beckett's masterpiece. Yet it is both a popular text to be studied at school and an enigma. The scene is a country road. There is a solitary tree. It is evening. Two tramp-like figures, Vladimir and Estragon, exchange words. Pull off boots. Munch a root vegetable. Two other curious characters enter. And a boy. Time passes. It is all strange yet familiar.

    Gene says: "Godot is here"
    "Godot is here"
    Overall

    This is a very creditible performance of a must-listen play, with the humor and tragedy and what I can only call the surealistic realism of Beckett at his best.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • A is for Alibi: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Mary Peiffer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (823)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (378)

    This is the first in the popular series featuring California investigator Kinsey Millhone. She's 32, twice divorced, no kids, an ex-cop who likes her work...and who works strictly alone!

    Gene says: "Poorly Narrated"
    "Poorly Narrated"
    Overall

    The narrator is no Judy Kaye. I am going to make my way thru the alphabet series on Audible as I already have in print, so this is my starting point, though I have already listened to other books in the series. This book is instructive because it shows how subtle things can trash a reading. Much of the dialog is very wooden and doesn't flow the way a real conversation does. This is very distracting and makes it difficult to focus on the plot. I love Grafton, which is really the only thing that keeps me going.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Never Let Me Go

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1685)
    Performance
    (517)
    Story
    (522)

    From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.

    Christopher says: "Moving, haunting, but slow developing"
    "Mesmerizing"
    Overall

    This seems like an amazing classic to me. Although it has a cloak of sci-fi or horror, I think that it is actually about our lives, which do have their horrible sides -- we are all on the way to dying, after all, and we are the caretakers of each other. But this gives such a crystal clear vision of an alternate reality that it is difficult to realize that we are simply looking at our own world with a few details altered. The reader is immaculate, the sound quality is great, the language is impeccable. This makes a very interesting contrast with other books by the same author, such as Remains of the Day and the Unconsolable. Ishiguro must be one of the greatest living authors. I would not want this reading to be one syllable shorter.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The New Yorker, 12-Month Subscription

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 3 mins)
    • By The New Yorker
    • Narrated By Todd Mundt, Dan Bernard, Christine Marshall
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The New Yorker's blend of reporting, commentary, criticism, fiction, and cartoons has garnered 36 National Magazine Awards since its debut in 1925 - more than any other publication. Edited by Pulitzer Prize winner David Remnick, the magazine has had only five editors in its 80-year history. Each week, Audible and the editorial staff of The New Yorker work together to select a variety of the issue's best articles from The Talk of the Town, Fiction, The Critics, and more. Each article is read in its entirety. The New Yorker is available in audio exclusively at audible.com.

    Gene says: "Amazing"
    "Amazing"
    Overall

    Each of the New Yorker Audible issues so far has been an incredible treasure. Many of us have subscribed to the New Yorker over the years, only to leave piles of them unread. This is a way to enjoy each week's New Yorker in a more consistent way. This is the way New Yorkers were meant to be enjoyed. Subscribe to the New Yorker for the cartoons, and for some of the articles that haven't been recorded, but don't miss the New Yorkers in this medium, superlatively read, quirky, thought-provoking. This is a don't miss experience.

    70 of 75 people found this review helpful
  • The Da Vinci Code

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6842)
    Performance
    (1603)
    Story
    (1643)

    While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

    Alexandra says: "Incredibly entertaining"
    "Pedestrian, with a few bold ideas"
    Overall

    I just completed my second listening to the unabridged audio book. It has interesting theories and facts about the origins and development of Christianity, coupled with a very pedestrian plot. I thought the reader did a good job. I thought the writing was ok, but not spectacular. I think that what accounts for the book's success is that it strikes a blow against the prevailing theology in a convincing way. That isn't to say that its arguments are all fact based, but it demonstrates that there's more than one way to look at them. Hooray on that score.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Molloy

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Samuel Beckett
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett, Dermot Crowley
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    Written initially in French, later translated by the author into English, Molloy is the first book in Dublin-born Samuel Beckett's trilogy. It was published shortly after WWII and marked a new, mature writing style, which was to dominate the remainder of his working life. Molloy is less a novel than a set of two monologues narrated by Molloy and his pursuer, Moran.

    Gene says: "Nauseating, boring, hilarious, and magnificent"
    "Nauseating, boring, hilarious, and magnificent"
    Overall

    If you haven't read, heard, or seen Waiting for Godot, do so now. Then return to this additional masterpiece by Samuel Beckett. This is the stripped-down, minimalist story of one man, aged and deteriorating and bitter, but frank beyond what many people would find acceptable -- certainly this is not someone you would want to hang out with. No one can truly follow in the footsteps of Beckett in creating this kind of character and spare yet eloquent prose. There are two narrators of this book, and the first one, who is the voice of Molloy, is the best to render Molloy's music. Molloy is the first book in a trilogy, and the second has just been realeased on Audible format. I finally figured out the (perhaps obvious) significance of the three titles. In the first the main character's name is Molloy, though he sometimes forgets it. In the second the main character is named Malone, which seems to me to be basically the name of the same character, though his name has evolved. And the third, The Unnameable, is the last evolution, where the name has evolved into dust. I think that some people will just hate this book, but if it reaches you, it will reach to your core.

    31 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By David Edmonds, John Eidinow
    • Narrated By Sam Tsoutsouvas
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    In the summer of 1972, with a presidential crisis stirring in the United States and the cold war at a pivotal point, two men, the Soviet world chess champion Boris Spassky and his American challenger Bobby Fischer, met in the most notorious chess match of all time. Their showdown in Reykjavik, Iceland, held the world spellbound for two months with reports of psychological warfare, ultimatums, political intrigue, cliffhangers, and farce to rival a Marx Brothers film.

    Gene says: "Engrossing"
    "Engrossing"
    Overall

    This is the enjoyable background story behind the immortal Fischer-Spassky chess match of 1972, the one that held the world spellbound and caused chess to become fashionable. No chess knowledge is necessary to appreciate this book. It not only sheds light on the chess world but on the relationship between the USSR and the US, a relationship that is no doubt being forgotten by the post-USSR generation. The most revealing moments in the book are the descriptions of the behind-the-scene struggles of the Soviets as it became clear that Spassky was losing the match. Much of the story is familiar to chess afficionados, but this retelling adds a bit of depth. It not only discusses Fischer's life and demise, but that of Spassky and many others in the chess world, from Steinitz to Paul Morphy to Tal, Petrosian, Smyslov, and even current #1 Garry Kasparov. This is a must-listen for chessplayers. Recommended further reading: "The Pathetic Endgame of Bobby Fischer", which I think is still available on the Atlantic Monthly web site. The only drawbacks of the book are its popular and somewhat superficial approach and the indications that its narrator and/or author are not particularly outstanding chess players. Fischer's incredible 6-0 victories over Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen are also discussed, along with various paranoid theories about how he achieved his victories, when it is clear that he was always a formidable talent and thus didn't need skullduggery to shake the chess world.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • A Fine Balance

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Rohinton Mistry
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (557)
    Performance
    (257)
    Story
    (257)

    In the India of the mid-1970s, Indira Gandhi's government has just come to power. It institutionalizes corruption and arbitrary force, most oppressive to the poorest and weakest people under its sway. Against this backdrop, in an unnamed city by the sea, four people struggle to survive. Dina, Maneck, and two tailors, the Untouchables Om and Ishvar, who are sewing in Dina's service, undergo a series of reversals.

    Karen P. Smith says: "Praise for the Narrator as much as the Writer"
    "It's a Wonderful Book"
    Overall

    This great book gives insight into India and to life itself like other greats such as Passage to India. I followed it up by reading the text and realized that listening to the book was almost as good, except for the many unfamiliar Indian words and phrases that were easier to follow in print. It would be nice if Audible in the future posted online supplementary pages that would help explain some things that are inevitably obscure in a reading -- in this case, a glossary of Indian words and expression would have been helpful. Certainly I will never think of Indira Gandhi and her State of Emergency in the same way after reading about the impact her effort at "beautification" had on the poor of India. Of course, I don't know how accurate this depiction is...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Don't Sweat Guide to Your Job Search: Finding a Career You Really Love

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Richard Carlson
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In these troubled economic times, looking for a new job or searching for that very first job opportunity can be extremely stressful. There's more competition out there, and fewer jobs to compete for.

    Gene says: "Many Sensible Ideas"
    "Many Sensible Ideas"
    Overall

    Most self-help books seem to be simply pep talks, full of sound and positivity and signifying nothing. This one is full of sense, with 100 topics focusing on helping someone who is unemployed or newly employed or soon to be out of work or searching for a better job. The excellent reading is sometimes jarring, because the topics are not always clearly differentiated, so that sometimes "you" are referred to as a manager and at other times "you" may be looking for your first job. In the book itself, these sections were probably clearly marked off separate paragraphs, but they tend to blend together here, despite the fact that they are numbered. Nonetheless, this is a valuable quick listen for anyone concerned with their job -- and that is just about everyone. It has imbued me with a calmer perspective on my personal job search, and turned out to be a much better book than I expected.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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