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South Hackensack, NJ, USA | Member Since 2000


  • Bel Canto

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Somewhere in South America at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening, until a band of terrorists breaks in, taking the entire party hostage.

    Brian says: "Surprisingly engrossing"
    "disappointing tale"

    This story had a great deal of promise in its set-up, but its execution seemed shallow and very unsatisfying.

    Save yourself the disappointment. You will learn little about opera, latin america, or hostages.

    3 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • April 1865: The Month That Saved America [Portable Professor]

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Jay Winik
    • Narrated By Jay Winik

    In April 1865, after nearly five years of bitter civil war, Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. Soon after, Richmond lay in ruins, Lincoln had been assassinated, and the terrible war, which had cost some 600,000 American lives, was not yet over. Many of the Confederate commanders still in the field that fateful April were prepared to fight a guerrilla war that might have prolonged the conflict indefinitely.

    Sean says: "Interesting material but not the greatest lecturer"
    "makes you wonder"

    If I were a tuition-paying student attending this Professor's lectures I would want my money back. These lectures had very little original to say, were very poorly prepared and had appallingly defective standards of grammer and word usage. Time after time, the lectures are delivered as if a thesaurus were in hand and the professor was pulling out multiple synonyms strung together for no apparent purpose. Someone should tell him that using words with the same meaning over and over does not make one erudite or even rhetorically interesting. It is not even an effective device for emphasis.

    To make it even worse, when he shares his judgements about the importance of events, he repeatedly cites examples of what he considers "the most important" in the history of the republic or the world, hyperbole that could be excused if it were not lavished on so many events. How many things can be "the most important" unless the phrase has no meaning (or the author has no memory, a hazardous thing in a historian).

    Last, the lecturer repeats phrases frequently as a rhetorical device (much as an old-time preacher would). This adds little to the substance of what he says, although it adds considerably to the time.

    Very disappointing.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Truman

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger

    The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man, a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined, but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges.

    Erik says: "Thoroughly enjoyable"
    "not the author's best work"

    This was a very interesting biography but not the author's best work. Too many interesting confrontations are treated with less detail than one might want; others with so much detail that one wonders why. McCullough has a tendency to include details that do not even remotely bear on the story, seemingly included only to show he knows them. He also has a tendency to identify incident after incident as "the most significant" this-or-that.

    The treatment of Truman's early life and historical context was fascinating and was worth the price fo the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jessica Stern
    • Narrated By Jessica Stern

    For five years, Jessica Stern interviewed extremist members of three religions around the world: Christians, Jews, and Muslims. She traveled extensively (to refugee camps in Lebanon, religious schools in Pakistan, prisons in Amman, Ashqelon, and Pensacola) and discovered that the Islamic jihadi in the mountains of Pakistan and the Christian fundamentalist bomber in Oklahoma have much in common.

    Jerry says: "disappointing treatment of a serious topic"
    "disappointing treatment of a serious topic"

    Professor Stern's approach to the issue seemed very promising but both her reporting and conclusions turned out to be very disappointing. She had no balance between the types of "terror" she explored, giving little depth of treatment to Christian and Jewish examples. Her analysis was filled with lots of hand-ringing but little insight into solutions. One came away thinking her greastest suggestion was that the West walk away from globalization, at least to the extent it makes religious zealots uncomfortable. If the rise of religious terror is the by-product of McDonalds franchises, she ought to do better for all the work and risk she endured to gather her impressions.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Great Expectations

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When the young orphan called Pip encounters the escaped convict Magwitch, the child's life is altered forever - in ways he cannot even imagine. In the course of his story, Pip encounters such memorable characters as the eccentric Miss Havisham and her beautiful ward Estella - and a mysterious benefactor. This recording includes both of the endings Dickens wrote for this classic novel.

    Jerry says: "Why a classic is a classic"
    "Why a classic is a classic"

    This is a spectacular book and clearly demonstrates why Dickens should still be read.

    I greatly enjoyed the recording. The narrator made it come alive and, considering the 19th century syntax and the voices of the characters, it was quite accessible.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Coal: A Human History

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Barbara Freese
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The fascinating, often surprising story of how a simple black rock altered the course of history. Yet the mundane mineral that built our global economy, and even today powers our electrical plants, has also caused death, disease, and environmental destruction. In this remarkable book, Barbara Freese takes us on a rich historical journey that begins three hundred million years ago and spans the globe.

    Chad says: "About 1/2 good, 1/2 not so good"
    "a history with an agenda"

    Somehow, I expected this book to do for coal what Mark Kurlansky's excellent book did for salt. However, it fell far short.

    To her credit, the author is very up-front about her bias and her political agenda. Her interest in the subject grew out of her involvement in litigation concerning coal, environmental problems and global warming and the book is not disguised in its point of view. If you expect a vivid and detailed history without an agenda, this is not your book. If you don't mind picking through the point of view, it has some nuggets of interest.

    Unfortunately, the reviews did not give much of a clue.

    10 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Pickwick Papers, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Meet Mr. Samuel Pickwick, luminous presence, general chairman and member of the Pickwick Club, an organization devoted to meeting good friends, sharing good stories and spreading good cheer. Join Mr. Pickwick and his friends Mr. Snodgrass, Mr. Jingle and all the rest in Part One of their adventures, which include: the first day's journey, an old-fashioned card party, the action of Bardell against Pickwick, and Christmas.

    Amazon Customer says: "Pickwick Papers"

    I almost felt embarrassed laughing out loud to a Dickens novel, but this was a great reading. As good as any contemporary humour.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Libertarianism: A Primer

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Boaz
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    David Boaz presents the essential guidebook to the libertarian perspective, detailing its roots, central tenets, solutions to contemporary policy dilemmas, and future in American politics. He confronts head-on the tough questions frequently posed to libertarians: What about inequality? Who protects the environment? What ties people together if they are essentially self-interested?

    Dennis says: "Clear, in-depth analysis"

    A great little volume with clear, concise and persuasive ideas.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Napoleon

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Major Arthur Griffiths
    • Narrated By Bill Kelsey

    Many thought that Napoleon was the greatest military genius since Alexander the Great. The diminutive general, a conquering hero, helped steer the French through revolution and reign of terror, then parlayed his military victories into an emperor's crown. Griffiths, a noted historian and a major in the British army, gives a no-nonsense account of one of history's most enigmatic figures.

    miyaker says: "Tedious and confusing"
    "impossible to understand"

    The narrator is the ultimate British mumbler and the recording is virtually impossible to understand. If you can understand this, you have much better ears than I.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Salt: A World History

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mark Kurlansky
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    So much of our human body is made up of salt that we'd be dead without it. The fine balance of nature, the trade of salt as a currency of many nations and empires, the theme of a popular Shakespearean play...Salt is best selling author Mark Kurlansky's story of the only rock we eat.

    Karen says: "More than SALT"
    "I will never think of history the same way again"

    I will never think of history the same way again. Lots of cool, little twists on historical trends, large and small. Very engaging book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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