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James

Tucson, AZ, United States

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 167 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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3

  • UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Richard Belzer
    • Narrated By Richard Belzer
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (36)

    Patrick Weldon says: "Great Audiobook."
    "Lone gunmen, beware!"
    Overall

    Belz hit a home run with this book. Do you think Oswald was a patsy? That the moon landing was filmed on a sound stage in Hollywood? That the men in black have paid you a visit? This is the book for you. As a fan of Richard Belzer's standup work, and later his character on SVU, I was tickled to see this book in the audible "stacks". It doesn't disappoint.

    Belzer's delightfully acerbic, and surprisingly compelling, paranoia shines here. Whether talking about the Kennedy assasination (which he devotes more than half of the book to) or the cover-up of alien encounters, Belz injects each argument with enough common sense, humor and (partially) plausible evidence to make the book both engaging and thought-provoking.

    I listened to this poolside during a recent vacation and it made an excellent diversion. If you're looking for Anna Karenina, this won't be the book for you. On the other hand, if you enjoyed the x-files, have an open mind, and think Oliver Stone may have been on to something, pick this one up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Alchemist and the Executioness

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi, Tobias S. Buckell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (735)
    Performance
    (355)
    Story
    (354)

    It is a world where magic is forbidden – yet practiced in secret every day. But each small act of magic exacts a dreadful price – for it brings the bramble, which chokes farmland, destroys villages, and kills with its deadly thorns. In this world an alchemist believes he’s found a solution to the curse. But will the cure be worse than the disease? And a woman is forced to take up the mantle of her father, the Executioner. But it will not be the only death that she faces.

    Rand says: "Not What I Expected..."
    "Entertaining and Intermittently engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Sure, if it was available cheaply. It's entertaining enough, and the plot moves along at a quick, easy pace, but listening to it felt like watching a decent miniseries on TV. It was reasonably enjoyable, but not especially memorable after it was finished.


    What does Jonathan Davis and Katherine Kellgren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration is a selling point. Both readers bring marvelous passion, engagement, and characterization to the production. Absolutely top notch. Even when the plot dragged, I still loved listening to the narrators.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Buddhism for Beginners

    • ORIGINAL (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jack Kornfield
    Overall
    (558)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (295)

    Created specifically to address the questions and needs of first-time students, here is Buddhism's vast spiritual legacy, presented by one of America's leading meditation teachers.

    Anna says: "Might be difficult for true beginners..."
    "A delightful introduction to Buddhist Life"
    Overall

    This is a wonderful series of dharma talks given by the foremost (at least in my mind) American Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfield. Kornfield's voice and manner are warm, soothing, and kind, and he illustrates his distillation of Buddhist teachings with everything from real-life anecdotes, poetry, and jokes. It is a pleasure to listen to, from beginning to end. The beauty of these talks is that they do not require a previous knowledge of Buddhism or a desire to immerse one's self in scripture. Kornfield gives practical advice on cultivating mindfulness, lovingkindness, and interconnectedness for even the most non-dogmatic of listeners. What a delight!

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Little Green Men

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Buckley
    • Narrated By Mark Linn-Baker
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (34)

    After the success of his highly-acclaimed Thank You for Smoking, Buckley returns to the strange land of Washington D.C. in a millennial comedy of manners about aliens and pundits...and how much they both have in common."

    Anthony says: "Laughing Gas"
    "Unexpected excellence!"
    Overall

    I selected this book on a whim to listen to during a car ride - boy am I glad I did. This wonderful book is hilarious, satirical and suprisingly incisive. While it's by no means Tolstoy, 'Little Green Men' is a perfectly entertaining listen that acerbically sends up American media culture and mass-pop-hysteria.

    Plus, the narrator (yale-educated thespian Mark Linn-Baker, who you may remember as "Cousin Larry" on 'Perfect Strangers') is brilliant, providing the necessary energy to fuel a plethora of campy voices.

    Pick this one up immediately!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dude, Where's My Country?

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Michael Moore
    • Narrated By D. David Morin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (544)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    He is the scourge of Stupid White Men everywhere. He's taken on fat cats, gun nuts, lying politicians. The Guardian describes him as "a wake-up call, a kick in the mental backside." And now, Michael Moore is back, daring to ask the most urgent question of these perilous times: Dude, Where's My Country?

    CARL V PHILLIPS says: "I am politically to the left - this is just bad"
    "Good, but take with a grain of salt!"
    Overall

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm forever grateful for Michael Moore's existence. His body of work (perhaps with the exception of the TV Nation episodes that devolved into mindless shock-jockery) is always thought-provoking, unflinching, subversive and disturbing.

    That said, 'Dude, Where's My Country' is not nearly as good as 'Stupid White Men'. Much of Mr. Moore's invective still strikes home and awakens in the reader a sense that all is not well in America's halls of power. Nonetheless, the book often feels like an under-researched, albeit passionately felt, diatribe.

    I got the sense, as I listened, that Moore wanted to get the book out in a hurry so he could use his readers as a large focus group for his next film.

    All in all an entertaining, incisive listen whose "facts" should not necessarily be taken as gospel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Don't Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Kenneth C. Davis
    • Narrated By Jeff Wooden
    Overall
    (545)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (93)

    When Don't Know Much About History first appeared, it created a sensation. With humor, great stories, and a trademark conversational style, the audiobook brought Americans a fresh new take on history. Davis proved that Americans don't hate history - they just hate the dull textbook version they were force-fed in school.

    Tom says: "Great listen. Great information."
    "Shots of greatness in between stretches of tedium"
    Overall

    Parts of this book are extraordinary. The author's admittedly liberal viewpoint puts an interesting spin on the schoolbook history we've been fed all our lives. His witticisms and borderline subversive anecdotes are often engrossing.

    Nonetheless, the book suffers from frequent dry spells in which the author seems to lose his purpose (and focus). In places, an entertaining listen becomes a verbose textbook reading.

    If you have short times you need to fill, though, this book is an excellent and illuminating diversion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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