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Jonathan

Madison, WI, United States | Member Since 2009

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 164 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • The Commodore: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    Overall
    (306)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (138)

    After a dangerous tour of duty in the Great South Sea, Jack and Stephen finally return to their families in England. For Jack, the return is joyful, but for Stephen, it is heartbreaking. His wife, Diana, has left for parts unknown; his young daughter has all the symptoms of autism. To escape these painful circumstances, Stephen joins Jack on a bizarre decoy mission to the lagoons of the Gulf of Guinea.

    Jonathan says: "Patrick Tull is a master"
    "Patrick Tull is a master"
    Overall

    I love the entire series as books. I didn't really get how wonderful audiobooks can be, though, until I heard these readings by Patrick Tull. They are superb -- the variety of voices and accents -- and he captures Jack Aubrey and especially Stephen Maturin to perfection. If you love the series, do yourself a favor and get the version read by Patrick Tull. I tried the Simon Vance version, and in my opinion it doesn't compare.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Evolution: A View from the 21st Century

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By James A. Shapiro
    • Narrated By Ira Rosenberg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    James A. Shapiro's Evolution: A View from the 21st Century proposes an important new paradigm for understanding biological evolution. Shapiro demonstrates why traditional views of evolution are inadequate to explain the latest evidence, and presents a compelling alternative. His information and systems-based approach integrates advances in symbiogenesis, epigenetics, and mobile genetic elements, and points toward an emerging synthesis of physical, information, and biological sciences.

    Nelson Alexander says: "Fine for Student Review"
    "Much too technical for most listeners"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What didn’t you like about Ira Rosenberg’s performance?

    Ira Rosenberg does his best with this very technical material, but too often he doesn't understand the point of what he's reading so he places the emphasis on the wrong word or phrase, which makes the material even harder to follow.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very technical book. Even if you know some molecular biology, you are likely to find this a difficult listen. It really is much more suited to being read than listened to, and even then it's challenging. A sample, selected at random: "LINE retrotransposons typically are a few thousand base pairs in length, contain internal transcription signals for RNA polymerase II, and encode two proteins involved in reverse transcription. The SINE elements are shorter (typically 100 to 300 base pairs in length), related in sequence to stable cell RNAs (tRNAs, short rRNAs, and protein export particle 7S RNA), and contain an internal RNA polymerase III promoter." It goes on like that, detail after detail, page after page. Taking it in by listening is very hard work.

    It's an important book, but be warned: this is not a treatment aimed at general readers. It's aimed at specialists.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Genome War: How Craig Venter Tried to Capture the Code of Life

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By James Shreeve
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (31)

    On May 10, 1998, biologist Craig Venter, director of the Institute for Genomic Research, announced that he was forming a private company that within three years would unravel the complete genetic code of human life, seven years before the projected finish of the U.S. government's Human Genome Project. Venter hoped that by decoding the genome ahead of schedule, he would speed up the pace of biomedical research and save the lives of thousands of people. He also hoped to become very famous and very rich.

    Neil says: "DNA/Microbiology 101"
    "Wonderful book, beautifully read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Genome War again? Why?

    Yes! It's a great story and a great read. There's a lot of science here and wonderful characters, too. Very satisfying.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Craig Venter is a true giant of science, and you have to love his boldness and bluntness. He should have won the Nobel several times over by now. The fact that he hasn't is a bit of a scandal.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    He understands what he's reading, and he gives it just the right touch of humor or irony when that's called for. A great voice. I never lost interest.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listen in my car, but there were a number of times when I sat for a few extra minutes when I got where I was going. I wanted to keep listening -- but then I didn't want it to end!


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not in the habit of writing reviews, but I felt I had to for this book. It's just an excellent story, beautifully told, and beautifully read. I recently listened to Craig Venter's "My Life Decoded," which covers the same ground as this book, and I enjoyed it as well, but James Shreeve's treatment is a marvel of exposition. He has a genius for finding just the right metaphor for explaining difficult concepts in memorable -- and often funny -- images. And Grover Gardner's performance is superb, with just the right dash of irony when it's called for. If you're interested in genomics, or biology -- or science, for that matter -- I recommend this book very, very highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reverse of the Medal: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    Overall
    (361)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (164)

    Jack Aubrey is back in London after a successful mission. On the advice of an acquaintance he uses the time to invest some of his prize money. However when the investments link him to London's powerful criminal element and land him in jail it looks as if he has lost his post captaincy and the H.M.S. Surprise. It is once again up to ship's surgeon and covert agent Stephen Maturin to rescue his hapless friend.

    Jonathan says: "Most Moving"
    "Patrick Tull is a master"
    Overall

    I love the entire series as books. I didn't really get how wonderful audiobooks can be, though, until I heard these readings by Patrick Tull. They are superb -- the variety of voices and accents -- and he captures Jack Aubrey and especially Stephen Maturin to perfection. If you love the series, do yourself a favor and get the version read by Patrick Tull. I tried the Simon Vance version, and in my opinion it doesn't compare.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Letter of Marque: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (168)

    In The Letter of Marque, Jack is once again aboard his beloved Surprise but stripped of his post captaincy for a crime he did not commit. Bought by Stephen, the Surprise has become a privateer. Sailing into French waters, the two concoct a desperate mission which, if successful, may redeem Aubrey from his state of disgrace.

    Farlow says: "Two Patricks"
    "Patrick Tull is a master"
    Overall

    I love the entire series as books. I didn't really get how wonderful audiobooks can be, though, until I heard these readings by Patrick Tull. They are superb -- the variety of voices and accents -- and he captures Jack Aubrey and especially Stephen Maturin to perfection. If you love the series, do yourself a favor and get the version read by Patrick Tull. I tried the Simon Vance version, and in my opinion it doesn't compare.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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