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Jozef

Atlanta, GA, United States | Member Since 2011

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  • 3 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 112 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • General Ulysses S. Grant: The Soldier and the Man

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Edward G. Longacre
    • Narrated By Jonathan Walker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    Despite his reputation for rash decisions, brutal tactics, and intemperate behavior, Ulysses S. Grant was the only Union general who could win the war for Lincoln. Grant's aggressive strategies, swift movements and uncompromising battlefield attacks were praised in the North, feared in the South, and reviled by many of his own associates and staff. General Grant is, perhaps, one of the most controversial, enigmatic, and misunderstood generals in our nation's history.

    Morgan says: "Good Biography"
    "An unitiated's perspective"
    Overall

    As someone not familiar with Grant or the Civil War, beyond high school history education, I found this book to be a nice introduction to the further study of both subjects, but not groundbreaking. The author does a very good job describing Grant's early life, as well as the period setting. I found the setting description to be very enlightening and colorful; it added a lot of life to the book. The presentation was also quite good, with only a single caveat - the reader did not differentiate between sentences, paragraphs or chapters, always pausing for the same amount. This made the reading a little monotonous. The largest flaw with the book, however, is the author's strong bias in favor of Grant. Grant is a likeable character in general, but the author went a little over the top passing his own moral judgments over people who hindered Grant in his private and professional lives. In addition, I felt that the author tried to excuse Grant's drinking. A smaller complaint on my part is the fact that the author focuses so tightly on Grant that he fails to paint a bigger picture of the Civil War setting. A few times I lost track of the overall military situation, and did not fully understand Grant's motives and actions that were dictated bu that situation. Still, this is a decent book, which I believe will benefit people with more prior knowledge of the subject matter than me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pushing Ice

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (2002)
    Performance
    (1665)
    Story
    (1680)

    2057. Humanity has raised exploiting the solar system to an art form. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. And they're good at it. The Rockhopper is nearing the end of its current mission cycle, and everyone is desperate for some much-needed R & R, when startling news arrives from Saturn: Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, has inexplicably left its natural orbit and is now heading out of the solar system at high speed.

    Jesse says: "Proof that a good story doesn't require a trilogy"
    "Wonderful hard sci-fi with broken characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Pushing Ice is a wonderful book in many aspects. For someone who likes the science part in science fiction, I was fully taken by the technology and science behind the story. I found the travel at relativistic speeds, time dilation and gravitational forces especially appealing, well explained and integrated into the story. On the other hand, I was seriously disappointed by the characters. Nearly all were highly unlikeable. Not so much because of their character traits, but because they were all extremist in their own ways. So extremist that they were ready to kill for reasons that looked, or at least were described as, minor. I did not find any motives behind the character actions; they seemed as set pieces in a machinery. This made the book much less believable to me.

    From the audio perspective, I found the presentation relatively good. The reader was consistent in accents, even though sometimes he interchanged voices, especially for male characters. The only gripe I'd have here is a minor one: people's voices sound overly dramatic, as if starring in a soap opera.

    All in all, though, a well worth standalone work for fans of harder science fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • FREE: The Future of a Radical Price

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Chris Anderson
    • Narrated By Chris Anderson
    Overall
    (2441)
    Performance
    (1187)
    Story
    (1180)

    The New York Times best-selling author heralds the future of business in Free. In his revolutionary best seller, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson demonstrated how the online marketplace creates niche markets, allowing products and consumers to connect in a way that has never been possible before. Now, in Free, he makes the compelling case that, in many instances, businesses can profit more from giving things away than they can by charging for them.

    Christopher says: "A fascinating listen"
    "Pleasant surprise"
    Overall

    When I got the book, I expected a manifesto in favor of free stuff on the Internet. I was very pleasantly surprised that it wasn't so. The author did a very good job describing the free economy as a viable alternative to traditional business models. The description of various forms of free, with plenty of examples and side stories makes the book highly useful for anyone contemplating an on-line business. The presentation was also superb. The author read his own book, and despite sounding quite excited about it (in my opinion, that further improved the book), he was very clear in his reading.

    The book has a few downsides, though. Most importantly, the author sometimes confuses causation with correlation. This seriously weakens some of his arguments. The other problem was the existence of "sidebars" - related stories, but completely isolated from the main text. While they work well in books, in an audiobook they break the text continuity and make the listening a little more difficult.

    Still, overall this is one high-quality book, which anyone in an interest in on-line business should read/listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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