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John

Parker, CO, United States | Member Since 2015

63
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 36 reviews
  • 767 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 36 purchased in 2015
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  • The Man Who Was Thursday

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By G. K. Chesterton
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (55)

    The story begins when two poets meet. Gabriel Syme is a poet of law. Lucian Gregory is a poetic anarchist. As the poets protest their respective philosophies, they strike a challenge. In the ruckus that ensues, the Central European Council of Anarchists elects Syme to the post of Thursday, one of their seven chief council positions. Undercover. On the run, Syme meets with Sunday, the head of the council, a man so outrageously mysterious that his antics confound both the law-abiding and the anarchist.

    Erez says: "Indescribably good"
    "just silly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I suppose there is some deep Christian allegory hidden in here somewhere, but it isn't worth plodding through the inane plot to find it.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Involuntary Witness: Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Gianrico Carofiglio
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (980)
    Performance
    (853)
    Story
    (857)

    A nine-year-old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well near a popular beach resort in southern Italy. In what looks like a hopeless case for Guido Guerrieri, a Senegalese peddler is accused of the crime. Faced with small-town racism, Guido attempts to exploit the esoteric workings of the Italian courts. The voice of Sean Barrett brings this gritty Italian detective series to life.

    K Barrett says: "Maturity is the star here"
    "Mixed bag"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was undecided how to rate this. The writing, characters, dialogue, descriptions and narration were all excellent--easily a 4 or a 5. But I am an attorney and I find it hard to believe that the portrayal of Italian criminal law and procedure is accurate. No pretrial motions or pretrial prep at all by the protagonist lawyer--i.e., interviewed no witnesses, did no independent investigation and no preparation to introduce the obvious alibi he only happens upon during trial; written 'summaries' of witness statements prepared by prosecution being allowed as evidence at trial, with no opportunity to examine witnesses in some cases; permitting expert opinion to be introduced during closing argument, with no foundation and no opportunity for cross examination. Maybe this is how it really works, but if so, there must be a lot of guilty people in jail there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thinking about Capitalism

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jerry Z. Muller
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    In these 36 engaging lectures, Professor Muller takes you deep inside the perspectives on this most important and pervasive force. You'll gain fresh insights that will strengthen your understanding of capitalism's rich history, its fascinating proponents and opponents, and its startling impact on our world. These lectures take you beyond economic analysis to look at how some of the greatest intellects have thought about capitalism and its moral, political, and cultural ramifications.

    Sam Motes says: "Deep look at Capitalistc thinking"
    "Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Clear presentation of the subject, with a balanced approach to not only the problems of capitalism, but also the many benefits it has brought. Should be required reading for all politicians, especially Democrats.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Agent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (134)

    Our agent, a man named Mr Verloc, minds his own business while he keeps his shop in London's Soho, alongside his wife, who attends to her aged mother and disabled brother. Their lives are turned upside down when Verloc is reluctantly employed to plant a bomb and destroy an observatory in London. What was once the perfect bomb plot inevitably turns awry and Verloc, his family and his associates are forced to face the consequences.

    John says: "Worthwhile"
    "Worthwhile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The plot is only so-so, but the writing and narration are superb. Prose does not get much closer to poetry than some of the passages in this book. The narrator should do many more. He would be great at any of Dickens' works.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Interpreting the 20th Century: The Struggle Over Democracy

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Pamela Radcliff
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    Consider the intense and rapid changes that transformed the political, social, and economic struggles of the world during the 20th century: the first flight and space flight, the Manhattan Project and the Welfare State, Nietzsche and Freud, the Great Depression and inflation, moving pictures and home computers, the Cold War and terrorism - and war and peace.

    Lance says: "Philosophical differences aside, well worth it!"
    "No more 'other words' please"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall, a good course with many useful insights. My only complaint is the lecturer's apparent inability to quit saying 'in other words.' She says this a minimum of 5 times per lecture, sometimes many more. In one span of about a minute and a half, she said it 3 times. As annoying as a Valley Girl's 'like' or the early John Denver's 'far out.' Stop It!!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1188)
    Performance
    (1029)
    Story
    (1021)

    Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

    Ethan M. says: "Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis"
    "Excellent, but...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Intriguing subject matter, well written, but the narrator is way too dramatic. Every sentence sounds like a proclamation from Mr. Sinai.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Death in Tuscany: Michele Ferrara, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Michele Giuttari
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    In the picturesque Tuscan hill town of Scandicci, the body of a girl is discovered. Scantily dressed, she is lying by the edge of the woods. The local police investigate the case - but after a week, they still haven’t even identified her, let alone got to the bottom of how she died. Frustrated by the lack of progress, Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara, head of Florence’s elite Squadra Mobile, decides to step in.

    John says: "Disappointing on many levels"
    "Disappointing on many levels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this for two reasons: I'm planning a trip to Tuscany and was hoping for the sort of local color other mystery writers provide--Parker for Boston, Connelly for LA, Johnson for Wyoming, Sandford for Minneapolis and environs, for example. There's virtually none of that here and, except for the Mafia connection, it could have been set almost anywhere. Also, I like good mysteries, but this is not one. Finally, the narrator does all the Italian characters with something like either an Oxcam or Cockney accent, depending on their class and background. Cannot recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bryant and May Off the Rails

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Christopher Fowler
    • Narrated By Tim Goodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (109)

    Internationally best-selling author Christopher Fowler dazzles audiences with his mastery of impossible-crime mysteries - and with the exploits of his beloved, odd-couple detectives Arthur Bryant and John May. Here, the eccentric investigators delve into London’s lore-infused subway to catch a killer.

    John says: "Not my cup of tea"
    "Not my cup of tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like mysteries where almost all the essential information relevant to the crime is withheld until the very end, at which time the wily old detective gets everyone in a room and all the guilty ones readily confess and fill in all the details (a la Columbo, Poirot or Perry Mason), you'll probably like this. If not, not. There is a decent amount of clever British-style quips and banter and the narrator is ok but not exceptional.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Them: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Nathan McCall
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    Barlowe, a single African-American in his 40s, shares a ramshackle house with his 20-something nephew in the old Fourth Ward of downtown Atlanta. When Sean and Sandy, a white married couple from Philadelphia, buy and renovate the house next door in anticipation of a neighborhood "turnaround", everyone tries at first to go about their daily business. But fear and suspicion begin to build as more and more new whites move in and make changes, and once familiar people and places disappear.

    A User says: "A look at Race Issues"
    "Well done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this was very well written and thought provoking. Assuming it is an accurate portrayal of Black culture (which I do), it demonstrates that the author is not afraid to show that Whites do not have a corner on racism, but also that he does not seem to understand Whites or White culture any better than Whites understand Blacks. Since all the White characters are either air-headed, condescending, 'bleeding heart' (one of his Black character's phrases) yuppies or unapologetic red-neck racists, I can only conclude, surprisingly, that even with his intelligence and experience as a respected journalist, he apparently has not encountered any who share the same values I'm sure he has--hard work, honesty, self-reliance, self-respect, personal responsibility--and who endeavor to judge others on those same grounds, not on skin color. If he has, I'm not sure why none were portrayed in his otherwise excellent novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Stina Nielsen, Davina Porter, Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1512)
    Performance
    (744)
    Story
    (751)

    The child of a scheming father and ruthless mother, Lady Jane Grey is born during a time when ambition dictates action. Cousin to Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, she is merely a pawn in a political and religious game in which one false step means a certain demise. But Lady Jane has remarkable qualities that help her to withstand the constant pressures of the royal machinery far better than most expect.

    Jt says: "Superior listen!"
    "Strange"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book was ok in terms of plot, character development, etc., but I found it very odd that the author chose to present it as a number of first person narrations. What are we supposed to think these are? They are not letters or diary entries. If we are supposed to think the all-seeing author is putting us inside the heads of these people as they muse, it strains credulity to think that anyone muses so articulately, whether a child, a nurse maid, an executioner or a queen. I don't recall ever reading a book like this and I think it greatly distracts from the overall work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dixie City Jam: A Dave Roubicheaux Novel, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (110)

    They're out there, under the salt - the bodies of German seamen who used to lie in wait at the mouth of the Mississippi for unescorted American tankers sailing from the oil refineries of Baton Rouge out into the Gulf of Mexico. As a child, Dave Robicheaux had been haunted by the sailors' images. Years later, Robicheaux, a detective with the New Iberia sheriff's office, finds himself and his family at serious risk, stalked for his knowledge of a watery burial ground by a mysterious man named Will Buchalter - a man who believes that the Holocaust was one big hoax.

    Dennis says: "Jury out on this one"
    "Too many holes, too much politics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This may be my last Burke novel. The plot is preposterous in many places. (Warning: plot spoilers dead ahead.) Why would a German submarine have a 42 pound, jewel encrusted swastika and Hitler's 'plan for America' on board? Why would even a Neo-Nazi psychopath want the sub so badly? Would any real person risk his life to save a man (he thought) who had brutally tortured him or a woman (as it turns out) who terrorized his family? How can Clete continue to get away with his shenanigans (as much as I like them)? How many times can one novel contain some variation of 'Are we CLEAR on that now, podnah?" To top it all off, are Rush Limbaugh listeners (Burke makes a very thinly veiled allusion to them) really responsible for the Neo-Nazi movement and do they really not care about black people being slaughtered, as Burke clearly implies? I've contributed enough to the support of self-righteous liberals like Streisand, Baldwin, Penn and Damon. I didn't realize until this book that Burke has the same mind-set. I wish someone had warned me.

    I gave it two stars instead of the one (or less) it probably deserves because there are some funny lines and, despite a great deal of over-elaborate description and psychological musing, it is pretty well written. Unlike many Burke reviewers, I think Hammer's narrations are excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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