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Jeff

50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction

Pickering, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2007

273
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 106 reviews
  • 305 ratings
  • 1563 titles in library
  • 108 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
37

  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2427)
    Performance
    (1299)
    Story
    (1293)

    The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

    Bill says: "Excellent!"
    "WHAT A STUNNING SURPRISE THIS WAS"
    Overall
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    Story

    What a remarkably fun ride this little book is! Lordy did I ever misjudge him. Who would have thought Steven King would be so funny? Other reviews here will tell you what this books about. What I want to convey is how enjoyable a read this was, just look at the ratings

    I had never read or intended to read any of kings books. That horror crap was the last thing I ever wanted to read . Then I read this book which completely changed my view of him as a writer and as a person, then I heard an interview with him on the radio when his new release called "11/22/63" was being discussed and that sounded like a book I might really like because it dealt with time travel, I LOVED IT. So I explored his books and found that not all of them where hard core horror. Remember the great movies SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and STAND BY ME? He wrote those as books!

    Under the dome was the next king book I read and again I LOVED IT, and let me tell you.... it was amazing on audible..WOW.. While the dome book had more than its fair share of murder and blood, it was done very well. Since, I've read many of his other books including "it" , Duma Key, The Stand, Misery, and the Green Mile which (let me tell you) made an astounding movie, If you want to have a truly rare first rate emotional experience. First read the green mile, then watch the movie. You will never forget it!! I think Its the most effective adaptation I've ever seen, and the special features on the dvd are really, really good and add an awful lot to the experience.

    So the bottom line is that we always need to challenge our pre-conceived notions.and stay "open" I've even read some of his horror stuff and to my amazement...I liked it. It just wasn't what I thought it was.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5994)
    Performance
    (5588)
    Story
    (5590)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Joyce says: "Love this style of King!!!"
    "AVERAGE KING NOVEL"
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    Performance
    Story

    For me, Kings writing is escapism from my usual fare of science,history,classics and assorted other non fiction. I first read 11.22.63 because of an interview i heard with king. The main selling point for me was the time travel aspect. I really enjoyed the book and my pre conceived opinion of his work was changed for the better. Next I read under the dome and found it too to be very entertaining. As I worked my way through 8 or so of his books, I became disappointed and frustrated by his inconsistency. A good number of his books were obviously formulaic quick knock offs. Part of me would understand that kind of production writing earlier in his carear for money or a contracts sake but at this juncture he surly must be free to write what he wants.
    After writing 11.22.63 and under the dome I thought a new chapter in his writing was being written. Then he wrote Joyland which for some other writer would be fine but for me it seemed like a cop out and a throw back to his quick formulaic novels. It was very disappointing for me that he wasnt even close to tapping his full potential.
    Its because I can see his phenomenal potential that books like this one fall far short. If he continues to be a one trick pony and not push his boundaries it will be a sad thing. He surly can afford to take a chance god knows how many millions he has.
    There is nothing new here in Mr Mercedes, Its the same formula so his fans will be pleased. Hell I enjoyed it and I'm sure Ill buy his next book, Its just too bad he doesn't challenge himself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10547)
    Performance
    (10036)
    Story
    (10054)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "OVER-RATED BUT STILL A WORTHY READ"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One reviewer titled his review mcguiver goes to mars and that's a very good summation of this novel. As a life-long do it yourself er,designer and woodworker, with huge interests in all the sciences this purchase was a given, especially with the added fact that it has an exceptionally high rating. The problem with this title is it has no depth.
    If the author Had added more than the one facet to the story, it could have really been something very special. Instead it seems to me like a squandered great idea,for all we have for the most part is an entire book of mcguiver style D.I.Y problem solving. Considering the fact that there are few people more entertained by this sort of thing than me and I find it too much- it would seem it must be so. Sure it was really interesting how he got out of trouble over and over and over and over again,but for me there should have been more to it. Its written to a large degree as a light hearted romp, The humorist tone does add allot- but I think it would have benefited by adding more realism on the emotion front.
    The protagonist never seems to suffer from the reality of his unique situation. Had the lonely, claustrophobic, hungry, panic stricken, soul searching aspects of his situation been added to offset the humor, the story would not just be more believable, it would have given it real substance!
    The story has such a great premise that regardless of the lost potential of the story it has garnered a very high rating. Its a worthy read but its very far from what an amazing story this could have been. I would say that if the description sounds like your bag then get it. Even if it isn't what it could have been its still worthy and entertaining.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Salem's Lot

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (853)
    Performance
    (796)
    Story
    (799)

    Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem's Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive Mears begins to realize that there may be something sinister at work and that his hometown is under siege by forces of darkness far beyond his control.

    Melinda says: "King's Favorite Novel? Good Enough For Me!"
    "EARLY KING HORRER"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is hard to rate for me because there are both great and not so great aspects to this story. Kings descriptive powers of the scary elements in this story are amazing and its easy to see how this tale became such a success when it came out. The problem is with the structure and pace- it needs to be tightened up. If he was to edit this book now with his present skills, it would really be something. Im used to his present high level of writing skill so this early attempt shows its weak points and I found it distracting and disappointing. Altogether a 3 star king read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love Life

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (678)
    Performance
    (625)
    Story
    (622)

    Love Life serves up another delicious selection of intimate stories and observations from Rob Lowe's life, told with humor, warmth, and brutal honesty. After writing his acclaimed debut effort, Lowe felt he had more stories to share and many more friends to introduce. The result is a touching memoir about the business and craft of acting, the pitfalls of success, family, love, and much more.

    russell says: "He did it again"
    "IF YOU LOVED HIS FIRST BOOK YOU WILL LIKE THIS ONE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lowe's first autobiography was such an unusual and remarkable sensation. It seems that most people like myself bought that first book due to all the over the top reviews, many of which started with lines like - "I never buy books like this but...." or I dont even like or even know who Rob Lowe is but....." Many listeners like myself belong in both of these camps and others like- I never read things related to Hollywood, movie stars or anything else even related to the entertainment industry BUT....
    So essentially this auto-biography escaped its inherent narrow target market of "fans" and stood on its own two feet as an enjoyable, interesting, and worthy read/listen. For me it was a very effective break from my usual heavy fare of History,Science, Classics and major biography's,of historical figures.
    . obviously this kind of success will make a sequel a given- even if the first book was an autobiography. I have to admit I was looking forward to another book from lowe and having grabbed it on 1st day of release was looking forward to another effective mental vacation from my usual stuff.
    So is the book worthy?? Obviously once you've written your autobiography, especially if it was just a few years before, you've used your best bits and story's and are left primarily with what has transpired recently combined with the left over bits from your previous best bio effort.
    Like most sequels, it has the same flavor but the high notes and originality are kind of used up. I would say if you haven't read the first book don't bother reading this one- but if you did read and really liked the first book you will enjoy this one but not as much as his first effort.
    I blew through the book so fast that its left me feeling like I just read an article but I enjoyed it while it lasted. As lowe is just 53 (my age) another biography will surly be coming at some point and yes- ill probably get that one too.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Tommyknockers

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Edward Hermann
    Overall
    (1009)
    Performance
    (699)
    Story
    (705)

    Bobbi Anderson and the other good folks of Haven, Maine, have sold their souls to reap the rewards of the most deadly evil this side of Hell.

    Grant S. Burroughs says: "The old Stephen King"
    "GREAT CONCEPT STRETCHED BEYOND BREAKING POINT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This could have been one of kings very best, whats ruined it completely is the total lack of editing. Scenes that should be a page are stretched out to chapter size- and this is a crippling fault that runs from the beginning to the end of this book. Ive read between 8-10 king novels and for the most part I have enjoyed them immensely, but there are a few that don't stand up well and this is one of them. There was another king novel that had the same problem and that was bag of bones. I've learnt that king fans cant stand any of their idols work to be criticized so I know that this wont be an appreciated post. Its feels tragic that one of kings best story concepts has been squandered. There is a great story in there somewhere it just needs to be sieved out. I feel like editing it just for fun. It would be interesting to check out kings drinking/drug intake during the period when these 2 books where written, I'm willing to bet they play a major factor. As for the narration, hermann consistently gives a great performance but Im not sure he was the best fit for this story- that is a very minor thing in the context of the books problems. If your a big king fan- try it on, my negative view of this book is certainly a minority opinion.I cant help repeating this- It frustrates me that such a great story has been screwed up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Eric Schlosser
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (431)
    Story
    (427)

    Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America's nuclear arsenal. A groundbreaking account of accidents, near misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved - and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind.

    S. Mersereau says: "Stunning"
    "SUPERB ON SO MANY LEVELS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great read but it will scare the shyt out of you. Nuclear weapons + human error = utter catastrophe. I dont know about you but I always assumed things as dangerous as nuclear weapons were handled with enormous over cautious care. To learn that the people in charge of policy and those that actually handle them are no better than those in your life that you dread lending your car to is a crap your pants revelation.

    This is a very well written book that you will prefer to remember as fiction but is of course non fiction. Scott Brick is an utterly perfect match as narrator making this medicine taste great. The revelatory nature of these facts should put this book front and center of our news media and zeitgeist, but thats not going to happen because were all kept amused with bread and circus and no news media will touch it. If your nerves are already at their limit with the state of things and your plate is overflowing, you may want to pass on the revelations contained here. If you can take it- its a drop jaw fascinating listen

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Meditations

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Marcus Aurelius
    • Narrated By Duncan Steen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (305)
    Story
    (311)

    One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions - a cornerstone of Western thought.

    Sam Motes says: "Insight from man on top"
    "BEST NARRATION ON ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is undoubtedly one of the best books ever written! Best advice for young and old in a perfectly straightforward manner. The most remarkable treatise on how to live ones life, whether it be on your actions or responding to the actions of others. One of the most remarkable books that Ive ever read- hands down. This is the best audible version of it as well. AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (50 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Will Durant
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (101)

    The first volume of Will Durant's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume I chronicles the early history of Egypt, the Middle East, and Asia.

    Michael says: "Wonderful"
    "MASTERPIECE KILLED BY NARRATION"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This 11 vol. World history is without peer- and is one of the greatest works by any measure In history - and on history. I had asked audible to get it when I saw it became available and it wasn't anywhere on their radar. I assumed they (the one who just released the first book-recorded books I think) would either use the one that was around on tape - that had already been done by the incomparable Grover Gardener or at least use someone else of his caliber and suitability for the material as well as being appropriate for such a stunningly important work. What we got was a huge disappointment. The narrator was not suited to the material-at all, and I should know seeing as( very roughly) 300 of my 900 books are history.

    Ive been after this series in audible format for 5yrs and while I sincerely thank audible for their efforts in bringing these titles on board It has been a huge let down. Its not audibles fault though.

    Audible has really been great, not just for getting this(despite it being a disaster) but also other things Ive requested like the 2 missing books from Robert Caro's years of lyndon johnson biography which by the way was done marvelously by them. If you havnt read that multi-volume biography your life is incompleate!

    Audible if your listening-this 11 vol masterpiece is out there on tape by grover gardiner(though he uses anouther name- Alex Alexander or something like that) Just waiting for you to pick it up re-master it and put it out there. Tongues are hanging out in anticipation of someone doing this!

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Death of a President: November 20 - November 25, 1963

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By William Manchester
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    As the world still reeled from the tragic and historic events of November 22, 1963, William Manchester set out, at the request of the Kennedy family, to create a detailed, authoritative record of President John F. Kennedy's death, including the days immediately preceding and following the assassination.

    Jeff says: "IMPORTANT HISTORIC BOOK"
    "IMPORTANT HISTORIC BOOK"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What you must know from the start is the historic nature of this book. When jfk was killed -Jackie and the Kennedy clan hand picked William Manchester to write the full official account of the assassination from their end for posterity. Manchester was picked for 2 reasons-firstly he was a friend of jfk and secondly he was a very respected writer/ historian.

    This is a remarkable account of EVERYTHING that was thought, done and said in the timeframe of the assassination and funeral. It would be hard to imagine a fuller accounting of that week. Every detail pulled me in tighter and tighter till I felt entirely part of the scene. I couldn't put it down! Though I was so wound -up and upset that I had to listen to something else in bed so I could sleep. I feel so emotionally drained by the experience that I too feel like I am in mourning for this president, despite the fact that I'm Canadian and was just 2yrs old when all this happened. Why am I so affected by something so removed and distant? Why were people around the world so intensely effected? It reminded me of when princess DI died, there was the same world-wide eruption of grief out of all proportion. I've meditated on this question- it seems important to learn why this is so. Was it their relative youth,their class, charisma? Those things are factors
    but I think that We hang our dreams consciously or unconsciously on those that embody those rare characteristics of goodness and kindness. Those rare "heroes" of good give us hope for good in a relentlessly dark world. That's my conclusion there's one thing that this book makes all too clear and that is that Jackie was as astounding as the president in this regard-this book makes that all too clear

    This is an important book that lays bare not just the tragedy but also the triumph of Jackie whose stoic example remains a testament for the ages. A BOOK NOT TO BE MISSED.

    A note on the narration- I thought it was perfect.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Andrew Solomon
    • Narrated By Andrew Solomon
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews wit fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policymakers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease.

    michael says: "It's a good audiobook, but"
    "ESSENTIAL READ FOR THOSE IN NEED"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I very much wish an unabridged version was available, this is perhaps one case where an abridged version of a book is a good Idea for some. While I'm not suffering a terrible level of depression now, I certainly have- and know how difficult it would be to listen to a 30hr version of this, or any book for that matter while being depressed. Hopefully the abridgement was a good one and an uncut version of this multiple award winning book is in the works.

    Before this book I read/ listened to the author's other non-fiction masterpiece FAR FROM THE TREE. That book blew me away and my review of it is in these reviews. Andrew Solomons writing is just incredible!

    Solomon uses his own life experiences in this book as he did in Far from the tree. Having battled severe depression himself he's able to write from the vantage point of a fellow sufferer. Solomon is remarkably forthcoming with all the intimate details of his story and others who have suffered terribly. There is much more here than biography though, All treatments I've ever heard of and then some are explained in detail, along with all the other related aspects of this disease. What sets this book apart is Solomons remarkable writing. His honesty, empathy, intellect, erudition and magnitude of research provide a uniquely readable and helpful tool to help those who need help or those who want to understand and help others deal with this dreadful all too common illness. Regardless of severity, this book covers it all. If you are depressed or want to help someone who is depressed I would encourage you to get the book format after listening to this.This is a heavy abridgement, the full book is over 500 pages and by sheer volume must contain important points left out here. Beyond that this is the kind of book to keep as a reference I don't have the book yet but a relative that has fought depression her whole life tells me that her copy is worn to bits and has been her source of solace for years.

    Some people don't like Solomons narration but I think he does a great job. If you're impressed with his writing I strongly recommend FAR FROM THE TREE. Considering the prevalence of depression and the severity of damage inflicted by it I Highly recommended this book for everyone

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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