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J. C. Schmidt

Metro Detroit, MI | Member Since 2012

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 65 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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  • Dad Is Fat

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jim Gaffigan
    • Narrated By Jim Gaffigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1916)
    Performance
    (1781)
    Story
    (1773)

    In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children - everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four-year-olds ("there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor").

    Sean says: "Good for Gaffigan fans - better for expecting dads"
    "Dad Is Funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dad is fat is a pleasant listen. If you know Gaffigan’s work, you know what to expect. If you don’t like his humor or his voice, don’t bother. If you are unfamiliar with Gaffigan, he is a clean comic and this book is pretty much only about his family. If you don’t find humor in the small parts of family life, don’t bother. I like observational humor about families and the inside out look and this book hit a nice space. Clearly Gaffigan is happy and happy to share with us what’s going on and how crazy a large family is.

    Gaffigan’s delivery is (this is not a criticism) flat just like his standup. Maybe it’s a bit nasal or whiny. It works for him (and me.) The book is 5.5 hours long so not too short. It is good for a drive – I could easily listen to a bit on my drive in.

    I’m giving it fours because, while it is good and funny and I will buy his other products, it is not to the level of Tina Fey, Nora Ephron, Dan Savage or David Sedaris. I’m looking forward to the books to follow as the kids grow up. Growing up doesn’t sound like it is ever going to be a problem for Gaffigan and I, for one, and pretty happy about that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3643)
    Performance
    (2111)
    Story
    (2125)

    For two thousand years, cadavers have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

    Matthew says: "Darn funny if you're open to the idea."
    "Fascinating Read, Excellent Reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Stiff in three words, what would they be?

    Somebody Loves Your Body Even When You're Done With It


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The true gift you can give to others and utility your body can have after death were the most compelling parts of this book. I had great information for conversations during the time I listened to it.


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

    I have not listened to Ms. Frasier's work before but I LOVED it and I definitely will listen to her again. Her voice was perfect for the work. I can't imagine how another preformer could have added anything.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The most interesting tidbit regarded all of the uses your body can have after death. While I was reading, I made certain to let my family know that, if my organs cannot be donated, I would like to have my entire body left to science or my brain left to the Harvard Brain Bank. Also, I will definitely look into a variety of ways of disposing of my mortal remains when I am done with them.

    The worst part of the book, for me, was the part about histoical medications and traditional medications that use corpses. I would probably have skipped that part if I were reading the dead tree version. As it was, I took a week long break from the book during that section. I probably should have skipped it altogether. The head transplant portion was pretty distressing as well.


    Any additional comments?

    Aside from the distressing portions mentioned above, the book was great as was the reader. I'm already planning to listen to more of Ms. Roach's work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Watch: Discworld #27

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1186)
    Performance
    (644)
    Story
    (650)

    Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he's back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck.

    Terry A. Austin says: "Another brilliant Pratchett"
    "Recording Quality Ruined a Good Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The recording quality of this book was so poor I returned it. I love Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs narration is good, as always. Unfortunately, I think this particular recording needs to be redone or somehow a better master needs to be found. It is not up to Audible's normal quality. Very disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Dan Savage
    • Narrated By Dan Savage
    Overall
    (568)
    Performance
    (519)
    Story
    (522)

    Dan Savage has always had a loyal audience, thanks to his syndicated sex-advice column Savage Love but since the incredible global success of his It Gets Better project, his profile has skyrocketed. Savage is recognized as someone whose opinions about our culture, politics, and society should not only be listened to but taken seriously. Now, in American Savage, he writes on topics ranging from marriage, parenting, and the gay agenda to the Catholic Church, sex education, and the obesity epidemic.

    Tim says: "You will laugh, you may cry and will probably fume"
    "Savage is an Amazing Writer and Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to American Savage again? Why?

    YES YES YES! I plan to listen to this again. In fact, I plan to buy his other audio books, narrated by him. First, Savage is an eloquent and witty writer who makes his points clearly and thoroughly. I don't always agree with him, but I always find him worth listening to. I generally do agree with him and I find listening to his writing gives me food for thought and new ideas in developing my own world view.

    Second, his narration is amazing. I could listen to a grocery list if he read it and feel soothed. He has an amazing voice and listening to him read his own work only makes what is great material even better.


    What other book might you compare American Savage to and why?

    I would say that hearing David Sedaris reading his own work or Tina Fey read her own work come closest to this book for me - not because they are similar but because all three of these authors as narrators make me so happy. They are so wonderful to listen to. Their own narration adds so much to the written word, enhancing it and making the words so much richer.


    What about Dan Savage’s performance did you like?

    Everything. Truly. I love his timing, his voice, his pronouncation, his laugh, everything.


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

    Many many parts of the book are moving. However, the most moving part was a story of his mother's last moments. I had heard this before on This American Life, slightly different. Even having heard that, even having cried for this moment before, even knowing what was coming, I had to work hard hold myself together. If I would have been driving, I would have had to pull over because I wouldn't have been safe to drive. I was walking in to work and it took everything I had to not break down sobbing in the building lobby.


    Any additional comments?

    Dan, if you ever read this - thank you so much for taking your time to write this book and then narrate it. Your work makes my vanilla little life richer. Thank you.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (979)
    Performance
    (880)
    Story
    (893)

    Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. Cousin to imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, Ivan is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere, leaving Ivan to enjoy his life on Komarr, far from the Byzantine court politics of his home system. But when an old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman who may be on the hit list of a criminal syndicate, his chivalrous nature takes over. It seems danger and adventure have once more found Captain Vorpatril.

    Barbara M. Sullivan says: "We are finally allowed to see Ivan without Miles."
    "Another winner from Ms. Bujold"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Captain Vorpatril's Alliance? What did you like least?

    I love being taken back to Mile's universe and seeing things from a different perspective.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ivan's Mother. She is a wonder!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Grover Gardner’s performances?

    I did not like Grover Gardner's performance at all. I had not listened to one of Bujold's books narrated by him before and I will not again. It was without any affect and ruined the book for me. I could not finish listening to the book - I read the book prior to trying to listening to it. That is some pretty major dislike because I loved the book.


    Was Captain Vorpatril's Alliance worth the listening time?

    Sadly, because of the narrator, it was not. For the story, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great story. Lois is as strong as ever with great characters and an interesting story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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