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San Diego, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

  • 3 reviews
  • 81 ratings
  • 391 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015

  • Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Peter Hessler
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the summer of 2001, Peter Hessler, the longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, acquired his Chinese driver's license. For the next seven years, he traveled the country, tracking how the automobile and improved roads were transforming China.

    BARRY says: "Excellent book and narration"
    "Author clearly loves China and you will too"

    Peter Hessler weaves a perfect tale of the aspirations of ordinary Chinese in a sympathetic way. In many ways, China's people have not changed from Pearl Buck's rural peasants of a century ago in "The Good Earth". The author gives a seamless sequel from the dynasties to today's modern China. The book gives countless insights into how the world's most-populated nation operates.

    The reader finds himself drawn to the numerous personal stories of how rural China is changing. While American politicians may attempt to scare their countryman by the rise of China, you find after reading it yourself less fearful of China's ascent on the world stage. The author clearly loves the rural Chinese people and you will too after listening to this excellent book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Double Down: Game Change 2012

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Mark Halperin, John Heilemann
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Drawing on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Heilemann and Halperin deliver another reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, Double Down offers a panoramic account of a campaign at once intensely hard fought and lastingly consequential. For Obama, the victory he achieved meant even more to him than the one he had pulled off four years earlier.

    Tony says: "Game Change 2.0"
    "Obama's landslide in 2012 should have been a given"
    Where does Double Down rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Although the Presidential race in 2012 seemed a tad boring, this book provides many revelations on how Obama's campaign team ran like a luxury vehicle and the Romney team was a lemon. Events went the right way for the Obama team, the only break for Romney was the Denver debate.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Any Democrat will love this book, while Republicans will hate it. Mitt Romney let the far right define his candidacy and it painted him into a corner. After the implosion of the Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty short-lived runs, Romney faces a bunch of clowns that brought him crashing to earth. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman, and Rick Perry come from a casting couch envisioned by the writers of Comedy Central's the Daily Show and Stephen Colbert.

    Have you listened to any of Robert Fass’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Robert Fass reads dramatically and the listener gets caught up in the sense of history being made. Even though everyone knows the ending of the story, the narration provides many thrilling details to keep the listener spellbound.

    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Although the Romneys and the Huntsmans are related distantly and come from the same Mormon Utah background, the two families share plenty of bad blood. Also, that Rick Perry considers himself a serious politician and not as a comedic villain.

    Any additional comments?

    I can't wait for the movie version, even though Sarah Palin only plays a minor role in the 2012 campaign. The real story of the 47 percent tape was revealed on MSNBC, but it helped define Mitt "Moneybags" Romney.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Peter Baker
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Theirs was the most captivating American political partnership since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger: a bold and untested president and his seasoned, relentless vice president. Confronted by one crisis after another, they struggled to protect the country, remake the world, and define their own relationship along the way. In Days of Fire, Peter Baker chronicles the history of the most consequential presidency in modern times through the prism of its two most compelling characters, capturing the elusive and shifting alliance of George Walker Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney as no historian has done before.

    Scott says: "A balanced account of the W and Cheney White House"
    "Liberal media more than fair to Bush and Cheney."
    What would have made Days of Fire better?

    While the facts seem pretty damning, the administration of George W. Bush receives an almost fawning treatment as a history. NY Times White House correspondent Peter Baker relies too heavily on inside accounts of what happened during America's lost decade. Presidential official insiders give their slanted view and spin on the disaster caused by all the wrong decisions. History would be better served by a more critical voices and more insightful analysis.

    What other book might you compare Days of Fire to and why?

    Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman's "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency" provides keener analysis and far more revealing reporting on how Cheney became the power behind the throne. The book provides many revelations and behind the scenes details than Baker's book.

    What about Mark Deakins’s performance did you like?

    The narrator does a fantastic job to keep the listener involved.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The book writes a sympathetic history of the George W. Bush. Republicans will love this book as it seems to vindicate all the bad decisions made. As a student of history or as a Democrat, most readers will find this book lacks balance.

    Any additional comments?

    If you think Bush was a great President, buy this audiobook. If you are a Democrat, the memories of this worst President of modern times will be painful. So much for the liberal media, the New York Times gives him a passing grade.

    5 of 19 people found this review helpful

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